I’ve Got a Bad Feeling about This

Pope Francis and Kim Davis

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways (James 1:8)

With apologies to George Meredith Lucas, this shopworn cliché from Star Wars seems applicable today.

Permit me to explain.

The literary motif from Star Wars springs to my Baby-boomer mind when considering the recent confusion sown by the papal spokesmen as regards Pope Francis’ covert meeting with Kim Davis. To my mind, the reason for this meeting was to encourage Mrs Davis as well as Traditionalist Catholics in general. That all was not as it seemed regarding his apparent approval for the new moral regime.

A Crescendo Off Key

Mo Rocca

Mo Rocca (center) – Reader of Holy Scripture at Papal Mass

As you all may know, the recent papal tour of these United States was not an occasion for glee on my part, nor on the part of the millions of traditionalist Roman Catholics for that matter. Pope Francis’ tepid word before the Congress sounded like an uncertain trumpet. Only perfunctory, oblique statements were made regarding traditional Catholic moral teaching. John Paul II’s last great crusade against the Culture of Death was not mentioned even in passing. And his espousal of the Great American Freak Show that is our present licentiousness was all-too-apparent. At the State Dinner given for him at the White House for example, a panoply of lesbian nuns, transgender clerics, homosexual bishops and abortion rights activists were all invited to break bread with His Holiness. At the final Mass in New York City, Mo Rocca, a openly gay comedian read the Lesson from the Prophet Isaiah (in Spanish for whatever that’s worth).

The love-fest given in his honor by the Mainstream Media was nothing less than exuberance on steroids. Finally the bad old days of John Paul II and Benedict XVI were over. Now the modernist fruits of Vatican II (which had supposedly been suppressed by these men) were now going to bloom forth while unicorns were going to prance under rainbows and everybody would be happy.

Clearly, the handwriting on the wall regarding the Church’s moral tradition was apparent. The signals given to the upcoming Ordinary Synod on the Family gave little doubt as to what His Holiness’ preferences were. And now we know (thanks to Rod Dreher), that Pope Francis acquired his seat because of a coup carried out by liberal prelates in the College of Cardinals. This carefully orchestrated rebellion was conceived almost from the outset of Benedict’s papacy.

Still, a few seeds of hope were sown when it was reported that Francis met with the Little Sisters of the Poor, a group of nuns who were suing the Federal government on freedom of religion grounds. Then even bigger news when Kim Davis, the County Clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky, was invited with her husband to meet privately with the Pontiff, who gave her two rosaries and told her to “remain strong.”

That’s when the feces hit the fan. Suddenly, all the accolades showered upon Francis and the Hip, New, With-it, and Relevant Catholic Church™ ceased. Now the Pope was vilified as the second coming of Pius XII. Many on this sight—myself included—began to undertake a reassessment of our previous, gloomy assessment. Maybe there was hope after all.

It’s possible that Francis was playing the Long Game. Giving a wink and a nod to the traditionalists in his Church to be strong, be patient; that the present licentious madness that had gripped the modern West would soon crumble. This was the way I chose to internalize this clever ploy. John Paul II had played a version of this game while he was a cardinal back in Soviet-occupied Poland and it worked well for the Church in the end. Maybe that’s what was going on here.

Now I don’t think so. That brief, shining moment of hope did not even last for one day.

Can Anyone Make Sense of the Kim Davis Meeting?

When the obloquy that was heaped upon Francis’ head proved too much to bear because of his meeting with Mrs Davis, the great walk-back immediately commenced. The screaming from quarters such as Salon, The Huffington Post, and all the other arbiters of what is good and decent made the Catholic hierarchy throw these little dollops of hope under the bus faster than you could say “Barack Obama.”

Suddenly we were told that Kim Davis, a poor white woman of questionable moral background from backwoods Kentucky—and who is not even Catholic—had “blindsided” the Pope. Somehow, she had orchestrated a clever scheme in which she hoodwinked the papal legates to hornswoggle a private meeting with the Pontiff, whereupon with her amazing hypnotic powers, she mesmerized him to give her those rosaries and force those words out of his mouth. She also orchestrated the press release announcing her triumphal meeting with His Holiness.

Of course this is nonsense. Francis may be a liberal but he’s not stupid. The diplomatic machinery of the Vatican can’t be played in such a fashion. Francis himself and/or his immediate circle initiated the invitation to Davis. That’s the only way such things happen when it come to private papal audiences, especially on foreign soil.

Not that it matters now. It’s clear that the rot is deep as can be gleaned by the tremendous blowback. While Francis himself said nothing to the contrary, American Catholic functionaries far and wide condemned Davis’ private meeting and the leadership of the Catholic bishops in the United States flatly stated that they would have never countenanced the meeting in the first place. And so it went. It was all a horrible misunderstand- ing; move along, there was nothing to see here.

Unfortunately, because the Pope has refused to set the record straight, the liberals probably are right: there really is nothing to see here. Francis may very well have intended to give the likes of Davis hope, to tell her that things will get worse before they get better. Or maybe he was playing both ends against the middle. Regardless, when he saw which way the wind was blowing it was decided that the accolades of Salon (which recently published an essay sympathetic to pedophiles) were more important than counselling courage and patience to the Traditionalist resistance. The gauntlet thrown down by the Gaystapo is clear: the Catholic moral tradition is set to go on a new, more “inclusive” path. If you don’t like it, then we’ll get rid of you just like we did with Benedict.

Traditionalists Orphaned?

So, where does this leave the Traditionalists? Your Humble Correspondent has heard some internet musings that perhaps Benedict XVI could come out of retirement and lead the Roman church into schism. Now that we know that Benedict was removed because of an uncononical rebellion, the case can be made that he is still the legitimate Pontiff and that Jorge Bergoglio is nothing but a pretender to the Throne of Peter. Others who think along these lines would state that he doesn’t have to come out of retirement per se, since, in either case, no valid election had transpired back in 2013. He’s still Pope (under both scenarios) but one incapable of serving openly, in much the same way that Pius XII served when he was under house arrest during the Second World War. This is a little bit more nuanced position but would still allow Traditionalists to ignore whatever the present hierarchy have cooked up since Bergoglio’s election.

(Both of these positions are more workable than Sedevacantism, which is the belief that the Throne of Peter has been “vacant” [sede vacante], since 1958, when Cardinal Angelo Roncalli had ascended to the throne as John XXIII. According to the Sedevacantists, Roncalli was a Rosicrucian and thus self-excommunicated. The real Pope should have been Giusseppi Siri who had narrowly won election but had been forced to give up his claim in favor of Roncalli.)

Thus, a “continuing” Catholic tradition could conceivably emerge giving hope to the Traditionalists. Unfortunately, the top-down, overly-centralized nature of Catholicism (as opposed to Anglicanism) makes such a scenario difficult to envision. And let’s be honest: the Continuing Anglican tradition is unworkable on its merits given High Church/Low Church, Arminian/Calvinist divisions that still exists within it. (The female priesthood is one contention you would think they’d have worked out long ago but even here, there is much disagreement.)

Cards on the table: we’re Orthodox Christians. We don’t have to worry about such internal struggles. Lord knows, we’ve got our problems but our business model won’t allow such accommodation to the modern world no matter how much the modernists may desire it. Not that there aren’t bishops, priests and laymen who are constantly trying to push the envelope regarding modernity, ecumenism, and Lord knows what else. (Thank God that a shouting match erupted between the Russian and Phanariote delegations at the last Pre-conciliar Conference at Chambesy which let the air out of the “inclusivity” trial balloon that was flown by Metropolitan John Zizioulas.)

And so we go on. We fight, we scrape, we try to claw our way out of the immoral abyss that is the modern West. The Resistance continues even if it is only in our own Orthodox Church. Hope remains. As John Paul II used to tell those languishing behind the Iron Curtain, “Lift up thine hearts!” Good words. Let us heed them, even if they came from a West that no longer exists.


  1. Tim R. Mortiss says

    George, give it a rest; maybe for as much as a week?

    • George Michalopulos says

      Tim, I actually wanted to. I had two pieces ready to go on culture but this Kim Davis walk-back proved to be the major story this week.

  2. Michlopulos:

    Your Humble Correspondent has heard some internet musings that perhaps Benedict XVI could come out of retirement and lead the Roman church into schism. Now that we know that he was removed because of an uncononical rebellion, the case can be made that he is still the legitimate Pontiff and that Jorge Bergoglio is nothing but a pretender to the Throne of Peter.

    So, Bergoglio is to Ratzinger as Mollard is to Paffhausen? You conspiracy theorists are nothing if not amusing. FYI: just because you don’t approve of the result, doesn’t make it a Robber Synod.

    • George Michalopulos says

      To your question regarding Bergoglio:Ratzinger/Mollard:Paffhausen, it certainly is beginning to look that way. Whether you or I approve of a synod is immaterial. The facts on the ground speak for themselves.

      • The facts on the ground are open to interpretation. Behind the scenes politicking takes place at every synod. To the extent that the outcome matters to you – leaving aside for the moment the very inconvenient fact that you are Orthodox and the Pope is Catholic – your side lost. That doesn’t make the election “uncanonical.” It just means your side lost. Get over it.

  3. “Thank God that a shouting match erupted between the Russian and Phanariote delegations at the last Pre-conciliar Conference at Chambesy which let the air out of the “inclusivity” trial balloon that was flown by Metropolitan John Zizioulas.”

    That’s funny, but it tracks with other stories I’ve heard about their interaction at ecumenical gatherings.

  4. Daniel E Fall says

    Kim Davis lost the effort to impune her religion on others.

    Thank God cuz sooner or later some Sharia player will need to be put down, too.

    The visit was to make it look like she won.

    My guess is the Pope was played.

    Just my perspective..

    • Daniel E Fall says

      …enforce, that is…

    • George Michalopulos says

      But Mr Fall, because the likes of Kim Davis are losing, Sharia law will most certainly be implemented, sooner, rather than later. Trust me, any society that condemns Christian morality in honor of Whiggish “universal principles” will be unable to stop the Islamists. And I can assure you that given our elites deep-seated hatred of Christendom, they will most decidedly not stand up to Islamism. Just look at the obloquy that was heaped upon Dr Ben Carson when he stated that he could never support a Moslem for president.

      Never forget: “tolerance,” “pluralism,” and “diversity” are merely the transition stages between one orthodoxy and another.

      • Daniel E Fall says

        Ben Carson won politically with his wise statements regarding the silly notion of a Muslim President.

        The adjectives are mine.

        Muslims would never marry gays under Sharia.

        Muslims were forbidden here in Mn from wearing the full face covering hood when driving, but I still see it now n then.

        I don’t see Sharia winning much support here.

    • Patrick Henry Reardon says

      Daniel speculates, “My guess is the Pope was played.”

      Not a chance.

      The Pope knew exactly who she was and what she represented.

      Somebody in the Vatican, probably in Lombardi’s office, later had second thoughts about the meeting. That’s all.

      • If you recall, something similar happened with JPII. When Gibson’s movie, The Passion, came out, the Pope saw it. He commented that, “It is as it was.”. Peggy Noonan later confirmed this story by fax. But the Vatican managers put out all kinds of bs to call it into question. Recall, to them, the faith is to maximize Peter’s pence.

        • Misha:

          If you recall, something similar happened with JPII. When Gibson’s movie, The Passion, came out, the Pope saw it. He commented that, “It is as it was.”. Peggy Noonan later confirmed this story by fax. But the Vatican managers put out all kinds of bs to call it into question. Recall, to them, the faith is to maximize Peter’s pence.

          Was JPII there at the passion? How did he know that the movie is as it was?

      • George Michalopulos says

        Fr, I agree with you; which makes it all the more unnecessary. Lombardi’s walk-back is an unforced error.

  5. Monk James says

    Not only do I disagree with the general drift of this essay, I think it can be truthfully said that its few good points are not supported by its including a photo of three nearly naked homosexual men.

    I hope that George Michalopulos will at least remove the photo if he doesn’t withdraw this unhelpful piece altogether.

    • lexcaritas says

      But James, a picture is worth a thousand words, distasteful and distressing as it is. Cardinal Dolan is a disappointment since the reader could hardly have been chosen without his knowledge and acquiescence.

      George, it wasn’t Rod Dreher who “broke” the story of the St. Gallen group, but Edward Pentin and the National Catholic Register. It didn’t really say that Benedict was forced out; furthermore, he himself has insisted that his resignation was voluntary and that he thinks it is what God wanted of him. This is not to say that I like the St. Gallen group or am thrilled with the demoralizing confusion stirred by Francis’ papacy, which is a mixed bag, but your sensationalism exceeds the facts. That does not mean that it does not accurately portray the clash of spiritual forces “in the heavenlies” so-to-speak. The rulers of this age have always been at war with the Cross and we may expect false shepherds and wolves in sheep’s clothing creeping in to devour the flock or, to put it more charitably, the blind leading blind so that both fall into the ditch.

      May Christ protect us from such folly and enable us to be sober and vigilant. He is, after all, in our midst.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Fr James, I can see why you and perhaps others would be shocked by that picture of Mo Rocca in situ, but haven’t we seen enough sanitized pictures, no different from you or I, of saintly homosexuals already?

      This unashamed flamer was given the honor and privilege of serving as Lector at the recent open-air mass which the Pope celebrated. I doubt he’s ashamed so why should we be offended? (If he is ashamed, then perhaps there’s hope for him.) To borrow the tired cliché: the cards are on the table. This is the new moral regime. The quicker Christians understand that Babylon is on the ascendant, the better.

      I don’t mean to offend anybody, most especially you, but the time for game-playing, of averting our collective gazes is over.

      • Daniel E Fall says

        I actually think the picture of Mo Rocca is very unflattering. And while I found The essay to be rambling; it would be a bit bizarre for Mo to present for the Pope.

        That said, doesn’t Orthodoxy have some strong statements regarding communing in disguise, if you will?

      • Keep calling it straight, George. (Pun intended.) A picture is indeed worth a thousand words. But I must say that leaning on Roman Catholic moral teaching as a bolster in our society, while comforting for a time, has been a long term losing proposition ever since Vat II. The center was never going to be able to hold. You can’t expect that people will hold to strict traditional sexual morals with gusto while gutting the praxis that creates the substrate within which such morals can organically thrive.

        Don’t forget that probably almost every cardinal who elected Francis was appointed by Benedict, JP II, or Paul (who published the Humane Vitae that strict Catholics lean on.) None of those popes were traditional or conservative enough to walk back the abuses of Vat II to any meaningful degree. They were part of it.

        JP II was “great” in one regard only — his role in bringing down communism. He held the line publicly on moral issues, but covered up for pedophile priests and stood by while homosexuals flooded into the priesthood and dominated whole seminaries and dioceses. He suppressed the Latin mass and gave little comfort to RC traditionalists.

        It is all a political game, and the Kim Davis episode was skillfully played. What Francis did was obvious. He met with Davis and leaked it later, hoping only conservatives would really notice amidst the progressive deluge of his American visit. He underestimated the totalitarian nature of American liberalism, which allows no dissenting views. Catholic traditionalists are desperate to love the Pope and want to believe he is secretly one of them — all public evidence to the contrary. This was throwing a bone to conservatives — it is in his interest to pacify them (or at least confuse them) if he can do so without jeopardizing his progressive agenda.

        And because Davis isn’t Catholic, he could always throw her under the bus with little consequence, should things blow up in the media. (They did and he did. )

        • Sean Martin says


          THis will give you lots to beat up the Catholics with.

          • Monk James says

            We orthodox Christians are not in the business of beating up Roman Catholics, or anyone else, for that matter.

            It’s just that they and their church have strayed from the authentically orthodox catholic christian faith, and we must occasionally, as need arises, point out their errors to them. They are very — and wrongheadedly — defensive of their ecclesial/theological positions.

            BTW: This has nothing to do with immorality, even with the misdeeds of the clergy. We sinners have plenty of that on our orthodox side.

            Anyway, the RCs don’t like hearing this, and we don’t like doing it, but it must be done for the glory of God and for the salvation of His people.

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

      The question is: If found on a young monk’s computer, would that photo be called pornographic? Can such pornography be used on a blog to try and spice up a tiresome rant?
      why does this talk about how Pope Francis became Pope smell so much like talk about Bush arranging 9/11 with the Saudis?
      Oh (chuckle, snort!!) the days are just too short!

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      Chicago Catholic Priest dismissed for “Inappropriate Relationship with another man.”

  6. Peter A. Papoutsis says

    Fr. George Passias sex tape scandal just broke today in the NY Post. Another sex scandal rocks the GOAA. Lord have Mercy!


    • Peter:

      Fr. George Passias sex tape scandal just broke today in the NY Post. Another sex scandal rocks the GOAA. Lord have Mercy!

      Peter, this seems more like schadenfreude than disappointment.

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America’s Statement on the recent Sex Scandal:
      Oct 6, 2015

      NEW YORK – In recent days, with heavy heart we have been confronted with a most regrettable matter involving a member of our Clergy, Rev. Fr. George Passias, and an adult female parishioner. We acknowledge the expected reaction of the faithful to feel deeply hurt and utterly disappointed, and the serious danger of scandalization. At the same time we know that the only one who walked on the face of this earth and was sinless was our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

      We assure the faithful that we are painfully aware of what has occurred and has so grievously impacted the life of our Archdiocese and community. As a result, the Archdiocese has already initiated the ecclesiastically appropriate procedures, starting with the suspension of the involved clergyman from any and all priestly activities.

      As with any difficulty, these moments allow us the opportunity to truly demonstrate our Faith in the response we offer. We ought to feel sorry for those who allowed themselves to fall into such a grievous state and pray for them and their families who have been deeply hurt by their actions. We also pray for the faithful, especially the young people of our community, whose faith has been shaken by what they have seen and read in the media. On the other hand we know that our Church in America has been abundantly blessed with devoted and pious clergy who truly labor in a Christ-like manner to proclaim the message of the gospel and to minister to the people of God.

      We pray that the almighty God, a God of mercy, justice and truth, will send down His Holy Spirit and grant sincere repentance to those directly involved and healing to those who have been impacted by their actions.

      • Patrick Henry Reardon says

        An official document of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese says,

        “We acknowledge the expected reaction of the faithful to feel deeply hurt and utterly disappointed, and the serious danger of scandalization.”

        Does anybody in that office speak English as a first language?

        • Interesting that the GOAA has now “suspended” Fr. Passias from pastoral duties. Is this the same kind of “suspension” policy that allows suspended Fr. Dokos, who is up for trial in Chicago this month, to serve at suburban churches? The GOAA takes us for fools sometimes.

  7. Patrick Henry Reardon says

    In my lifetime (eight popes) the Roman Papacy has never had so little moral authority as it has had during the past couple of years.

    I will likely not live to see it, but one hopes that the current Holy Father is succeeded by a Pope Pius XIII, who will refuse to give press interviews, refrain from puerile and off-the-cuff comments, and stay home to mind the store and keep the Swiss Guards up to the mark,

  8. “This unashamed flamer”

    I don’t know if I’ll put Mo Rocca under the category of “flamer” if you mean someone who is gay and very flamboyant about it. I didn’t even know he was gay until you pointed that out George, lol

    Nonetheless, there are many gay guys who are very masculine and you wouldn’t know by looking at them what direction they orient themselves towards.

  9. Author: Theodore Kalmoukos

    Date Published: 10/03/2015

    Publication: The National Herald

    Link: http://www.thenationalherald.com/101090/


    NEW YORK – Rev. George Passias, 68, presiding priest at St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church in the Upper Manhattan neighborhood of Washington Heights in New York City, is embroiled in a sex scandal with Ethel Bouzalas, to whom he has referred as his “spiritual daughter.” Rev. Passias has impregnated Bouzalas, 45, who has been his close associate for years. Both are married and with children.

    Bouzalas’ name was first revealed publicly by the New York Post in a June 1, 2013 article.

    TNH has obtained irrefutable evidence that Passias has carried on sexual relations with Bouzalas. Specifically, that they would often frequent the Courtesy Motel in Fort Lee, NJ – as “husband and wife.” Other evidence, including photographs and video footage, shows the couple going to the Countryside Hotel in Cold Spring, NY, and dining at Cliff’s Steak House in Englewood Cliffs, NJ.

    The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America has suspended Passias from every liturgical, pastoral, and administrative ministry.

    Archbishop Demetrios of America, expressed to TNH his “deep sorrow for this grievous event” and added that “the Church will take all the necessary measures for this case, according to the law of God.”

    Several attempts by TNH to communicate with Passias and Bouzalas were unsuccessful. We called St. Spyridon but we were told that neither Passias nor Bouzalas were there; Parish Council President Steve Papadatos did not respond to TNH’s request for comment.

    Rev. Passias was the Archdiocesan Chancellor during Archbishop Spyridon’s tenure, and is the beloved spiritual son of Ephraim, the priest-monk who left Mount Athos to come to the United States in the early 1990s and established monasteries here, essentially creating a fundamentalist movement within the Greek Orthodox Church..

    Passias often organized “pilgrimages” with buses going to Ephraim’s monasteries, filled with hundreds of parishioners. He publicly appeared wearing his anteri (inner cassock), with long hair and a long beard, and also a kosposhoini, presenting himself as spiritual and traditionalist.


    Passias met Bouzalas in Brooklyn while pastoring at the Three Hierarchs Church. She was converted to Orthodoxy, and according to the Post article “Passias baptized her while she wore a bikini,” giving her the name Euthalia.

    TNH has learned that Bouzalas’ husband is Greek-American, the president of a construction company, and that as of late he has been ill and was hospitalized.

    After huge rifts in the Three Hierarchs parish during Passias’ tenure there, the Archdiocese transferred him to St. Spyridon, where he has served for almost ten years.

    When he arrived at the Washington Heights church, Passias brought Bouzalas and Papadatos along. The latter became Parish Council President, a position he holds to this day.

    Passias appointed Bouzalas Parish Treasurer and also School Principal. No Parish Council elections took place at St. Spyridon – due to lack of candidates.

    At Passias’ directive, the parish undertook loans of $3.5 million to renovate its buildings.

    Passias, who used the Sacrament of Confession and his teachings about spirituality for many years to attract followers who became his “army of spiritual children,” has already left New York, to visit Ephraim at St. Anthony’s Monastery in Florence, AZ. Abbot Paisios of the Monastery did not respond to TNH’s request for comment.


    On September 28, Passias sent the following email to his followers, in which he does not mention the extramarital affair and pregnancy, or his whereabouts.

    “My Beloved Spiritual Children in Christ Jesus our Lord:

    “Today I share with you a very difficult and trying period in my priestly life.

    “The time has come for me to resign from the active ministry for personal and health reasons. Now I will dedicate myself to the repentance that I have tried to preach and share on behalf of our Lord. At the direction of my spiritual father, the Elder Ephraim, I will now fade out of this world for a considerable time according to God’s will. He has chosen for me according to my multitudinous sins and shortcomings, that I should retire and follow the way of silence, prayer, fasting, and utter devotion to our Lord. Please do not ask where I am going and where I will be. Then, it would not be possible for me to fulfill what is my lot.

    “It is immeasurably difficult for me to direct you to seek through prayer and vigilance, another spiritual father who will be able to address your needs with love, truth, and conviction for the betterment of your souls. God will provide. But you must also do the due diligence by seeking another Father, and then after prayer, choosing him as your spiritual guide and father. Think not that I will forget you! Never! I have already entered your names to be commemorated every day in the Holy Liturgy forever!

    “I am very grateful to the Lord for granting me to be a spiritual father to you, and have tried to do the best that I could to do in that role making myself as available as time and health permitted.

    “I will always love you through prayer and in my heart together with your family.

    “Please pray for me and Presvytera Mary, and my family, I implore you.

    “In His Abiding Love,

    “Father George G. Passias.”