It’s Party Time!

June 11th is the Ecumenical Patriarch’s name day and according to our friends over at Helleniscope, Archbishop Elpidophoros and the GOA will be celebrating the awesome occasion with the Episcopalians at St.Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in NYC.

It appears we are fully in the “acting as if” stage now, folks, where all we have to do is behave, think, and feel as if we have something we want it and it will magically appear.  Kind of like getting your wish after you blow out your candles.  Only better in Bartholomew’s case, because he’s hoping for something no one else has and no one else wants:  something that requires the rest of us to step down and to the left so he can step up. . . way up.  So much better than my wanting to be Tiger Lily from Peter Pan when I was 5!  On future crossword puzzles, there will be 11 squares devoted to the answer to this question:  “Name the Orthodox patriarch who believed he was the Eastern Pope and all Christianity reported to him.”      

Getting back to this birthday nonsense. . . err name-day party stuff, St. Bart’s is heavily into streaming their sermons so all can attend.

[Editor Note: Please don’t wag your finger at me for concatenating their Blessed Saint’s Name; they did that all on their own.]

It’s quite impressive, really.  They have captured that new world order feel “to a T”.   In this spanking new form of global ecumenicalism, everyone is “in” by virtue of absolutely nothing.  Like smelling the leather in a brand new car, you can smell what they’re up to from an ocean away.  They’ve got something for everyone: concerts, arts, theater, history, architecture, justice and reconciliation, lunchtime chats for LGBT folks, knitting, the blessing of a flag somewhere in the city. . . seriously, they have it all

For example, this Sunday, after a one-hour in-person sermon, they will follow up with the same service online.  Those who get bored can click over to St. Bart’s, “The Forum,” where Dartmouth Professor Randall Balmer returns to St. Bart’s to discuss his new book about the separation of church and state, its long history as a key principle of American government, and the many challenges it faces in the current political environment.

No doubt Bartholomew’s name day celebration will be equally as exciting with virtual pony rides for the kids and online mimosas for the parents.

In contrast, when my name day rolls around (oh wait, I missed it!), I’ll just be grateful to be alive.   I cannot imagine having a celebratory party because I made it through another year, although I’ve got to admit it’s been challenging . . . for all of us.

As we approach the end of our lives, let’s give God all the credit for getting us this far and be happy we didn’t screw it up too badly in the process.  Let’s be content with what He’s given us and finally, as Nick said, let’s show some humility.   

Hmmm. . . . maybe we should send St. Bart’s some little paper hats to wear online to make it more festive.    

Happy Name Day, Bartholomew!!! May God grant you many more!  –  Mrs. M


  1. George Michalopulos says

    I have a feeling that my mimosa that day will be heavier on the alcohol than on the citrus. Much, much heavier.

    • Wow! An Orthodox (?) bishop is going to celebrate a divine liturgy in a Protestant church. (It’s bad/sad enough when they are “observers” at Roman Catholic or Protestant services.) On what altar table? Will the Episcopal bishop concelebrate? Seems like there will be union with the Episcopalians before there is union with Rome. This is not just uncanonical, it is schismatic. So, what will I answer to my old calendar friends who, when they see this, will ask why they are considered uncanonical and schismatic? A good question. A very good question. And, according to Orthodox ecclesiology, when and if the EP “joins” with heretical Rome, then every “Orthodox” bishop who remains in communion with the EP has also “joined” with Rome. I wonder how all this will play out/

      • The Episcopal Church isnt even Protestant! (Not anymore anyway). They’re much more of a political action committee that not even the left wants on their side.

  2. Austin Martin says

    I’m kind of amazed he’s still alive. At that age every year is another accomplishment. Maybe he should have taken the saint name of Methuselah.

    For some reason this reminds me of the historic St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre. I’m not saying that I hope for that, but New York City is a very unstable place right now.

  3. Well as long as the GOAA would prefer to celebrate with the “mainline” Protestants (as if it’s still the 1950s and as if the mainline prots are still relevant to anyone) rather than with American Orthodox Christians, I at least hope that the newly elected **first transsgender bishop of a major church in America** is on the invite list.

    What a glass ceiling to break. Thankfully someone did it. This is what our faith is all about, folks – transgender “bishops” leading the way for people to break free from those awful shackles called bodies that God makes us be born into (major sarc here for those who can’t tell). Man, what blasphemy.

    Seriously though, the Westwood estate in nearby Syosset would be a wonderful name-day fête venue. It’s even on the market. There are also several Orthodox monasteries nearby that could host.

    But nah, just go with the Episcopalians. After all, they have all the cash/endowments and have been hemorrhaging parishioners for years. I guess that’s much like the GOAA, minus all the cash/endowments. Maybe that’s why the GOAA expresses such a special kinship for them.

  4. I live in constant fear that my children will discover our bishops. What a pack of nothingness.

  5. Can GOARCH just implode already…SMH

    This is what is keeping me from being totally affiliated with the Ephraim monasteries. As much as I love going to them and would love to live near one, there comes a point where you just can’t seriously affiliate with the GOA anymore, no matter what capacity. I feel like the clergy and laity of the GOA, as well meaning as they are, are a case of the slow boiling frog.

    Between this crap, the financial scandals, Ukraine, etc., there doesn’t seem to be much opposition from the laity, unless I am missing something?

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Hmmm. . . Nope. Pretty well covered it except the part where he unites us with Rome. It wouldn’t surprise me if he used his name-day to announce his new name under our new Papa.

      • I have a feeling he is too self absorbed as the leader of the Mother Church of all the Orthodox world and of the grand imperial city of Constant- err Istanbul, to go to Rome…unless they agree to be co-equals. But, Lord Have Mercy I hope you’re wrong Gail!

  6. Phanar hierarch calls the Pope
    his patriarch and beloved father

    What are we to make of this…?

  7. Jane Tzilvelis says


  8. George Michalopulos says
  9. Theodore says

    Papadopoulos, the Pope, and Bart may cause a ruckus, but the actual Church is out of their grasp. No matter what there’ll always be a a true Orthodox Bishop someplace. “The gates of hell will not prevail.” We should all pray for wisdom for the Greeks.

    • It was a total embarrassment,,,,why wasn’t it in english,,,,,why was byzantine chant used instead of american compositions,,,,,sounded like a group of old men with indigestion,,,,I do not see this attracting any new members to the church but do see it as a reason for many to leave,,,we are in america, time to dispense with the foreign ties, isn’t it?

  10. I’m leaving this comment hoping someone can offer me some insight here. I read this article this morning – Can anyone help me to understand why Archbishop Michael was present at this thing, and what that means? Is this out of character for him? I am aware that he plays a large role in the SCOBA group with Elpidophoros, but this thing at St Bartholomew’s is insane to me. What is going on here? While I am a ROCOR member, I have close family that are in the OCA in NY and Archbishop Michael is their bishop. They have met him often when he comes to their parish and they all really like him. This is kind of scaring me and I don’t know if they should be in his diocese if he openly does this kind of thing (1) openly serves at a pro-gay venue (2) openly serves at a non-Orthodox “church” (3) openly serves with people that praise the creation of a terrible schism in Ukraine… or is this a matter of “he was simply there, he doesn’t agree with any of it, etc.”? Any advice or insight would be enormously appreciated. Thank you.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      I really like Archbishop Michael, too. Always have. This is one more example of the OCA seemingly going along with this fantasy that we can unite under the Greeks.

      THAT is not going to happen until Batholomew repents and puts Humpty Dumpty back together again in Ukraine. I don’t know how he is going to do it short of giving it back to the MP, which is highly unlikely.

      We hear from the good people in the GOA A LOT. They don’t want to unite under Bartholomew. They want to manage themselves and given their money situation, I understand why. These poor people have given, and given, and given only to find out their money has been grossly mismanaged.

      I’ve got to believe our bishops have a plan, which includes the monasteries, because if they do this thing, and Metropolitan Joseph goes along with it, they’re going to have a mass exodus on their hands, and make no mistake, we won’t be leaving the Church. We’ll be leaving the jurisdictions.

      Perhaps they’re waiting for Bartholomew to unite with Rome. I can’t explain it.

    • There are no good answers to your questions, Herman, unfortunately. With rare exception, there are so many of us who have ties across Orthodox jurisdictions in the United States, clergy included. Even long-duration clergy families in ROCOR/OCA have many ties that go back and forth. Now that ROCOR and the OCA are in communion again, it’s probably no longer a big a deal as it was 20 or 30 years ago.

      What gets me most about this “affair at St Bartholomew’s in New York” is that it sends the message from Abp E and other Orthodox hierarchs/clergy who attended that THEY THINK THAT OUR ORTHODOX FAITH IS A JOKE AND THEY DON’T TAKE IT SERIOUSLY.

      And to those who say, “Well come on, the only way the Episcopalians will see our traditional Orthodox faith in Christ is if we go there and celebrate on their turf.” Well, sorry, I don’t buy that one bit. They are not interested in what we have to offer. We no longer have anything in common with the modern ECUSA, particularly the incredibly leftist ECUSA churches that one encounters on the east and west coasts. The leftists who inhabit those churches don’t like us, and barring a complete “metanoia” on their part and becoming Orthodox Christian, they never will like us.

      Indeed, these leftists disguised in sheep’s clothing in modern mainstream protestantism are the worst, since they can seem friendly and may even pay lip service to Christ, but when it gets down to it, their eternal party line (which shows no evidence of abating) is that they fully believe that God blesses anal sex and any-other-kind-of-sex-as-recreation and that He *wants that* for His creation.

      We just can’t do anything with that, it’s just so antithetical to our understanding of salvation. We fully believe that this approach hinders one’s relationship with God and Christ, while modern leftist Episcopalians believe that it is what He wants for us. No common ground at all. We fully believe that God loves all equally – including those who struggle with same-sex attraction. But indulging in it seriously affects one’s relationship with the Eternal God. (There are obviously underlying emotional reasons and usually a history of family trauma for deep-seated SSA, issues which can be unearthed and dealt with… another topic altogether.)

      If Abp E and his cohorts who desecrate our faith and love for Christ by celebrating in such places don’t realize this fact by now, then they are positively hopeless. Which is why the faithful will always be scandalized by such actions: it’s tantamount to them saying “this traditional Christian faith that we preach to you little people…. well, none of us at the leadership level take it seriously. We just mouth off on it to control you and to get your money.”

      I also like and have respect for Abp Michael of the OCA, but he needs to become more aware that he must distance himself from the ECUSA-wannabes in the GOA.

      My hunch is that these types in the GOA are bottom-line jealous of the ECUSA’s deep financial resources and foundations, and maybe they see this stuff as sort of an “Orthodox taqiyya” (God forgive me) — i.e., “if this sort of action helps ingratiate us to the financial resources of the ECUSA and eventually helps us get some of their money or old church buildings, then it’s worth it!”

      Well, it’s not worth it, and God does not work according to an “ends justify the means” approach, despite the fact that many modernists might wish that He worked that way.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        Since they feel that way, I think we should send our tithes to the Episcopal Church (and any other church they decide to visit) and send the receipt to the archdiocese with a note saying we intend to support their “ecumenical endeavors toward unification” by sending these institutions our money instead of to the archdioceses.

        Further, I want to ask them if we have a blessing to take the sacraments at the Episcopal Church (yes, I’m aware it is forbidden, just like it was forbidden for them to do what they did) and invite our Episcopal friends to partake of the sacraments in our parishes. I used to be Episcopalian so I know a lot of them. Bet some of you do, as well. They would love to visit our parishes. The monasteries, as well, since I’m guessing anyone can take communion there now, too.

        In addition, since we are all “one” I’m guessing they’ll be fine if we jump jurisdictions.

        Finally, I think we should ask ROCOR, the Serbs, the Georgians if they truly need releases under the circumstances. Our bishops are taking the Church in a direction we cannot support. We all know this is just a warm-up for Rome.