“Now, Don’t That Just Beat Everything You Ever Heard?”

Sheriff Andy Taylor, you might remember, was the protagonist of The Andy Griffith Show, quite possibly one of the greatest television programs of all time.

Andy Griffith, who played Sheriff Taylor in this beloved program, conceived of a television show which took a light-hearted view of small-town Americana in Mayberry, North Carolina. It was based on Andy Griffith’s actual hometown of Mount Airy, North Carolina.  Many of the beloved archetypes of the small towns of our youth are depicted therein: the upright sheriff, the bumbling deputy, busy-body spinsters, the town drunk who let himself in jail at night so he could sleep off his stupor and the loveable but naïve mechanics. Every now and then the odd ne’er-do-well transient would show up but before things got too out of hand, he was bundled on a bus to Mt Pilot, more as a courtesy to him than as a sop to justice.

Hilarity invariably resulted from the hijinks that invariably erupted when different personalities stuck their fingers in the pie of life that was Mayberry. Sometimes it was just mild bemusement but in any case, it served as a reminder to not take life so seriously. The catchall put-down of Sheriff Taylor “Now don’t that just beat everything you’ve heard?” usually brought things to rights just as they were unraveling out of control.

As everyone knows, the Orthodox world is being rent by an unprecedented amount of chaos presently. Worse, one of its principal players has injected so much disruption into the system that even sympathizers of this person are left wondering just what the heck is going on. The words, the deeds and the sentiments of this hierarch are truly alarming. Worse, they are being manufactured out of whole cloth and they point to an ecclesiology that is clearly not Orthodox –not by any stretch of the imagination.

Unfortunately, this is not a pleasant, thirty-minute program produced by Hollywood and stocked with talented character actors. It is not a gentle diversion that takes the edge off of a hard day at work. Worse, there is no Andy Taylor to step in just when things are getting worrisome and with his Southern charm somehow gets everybody to make nice.

If these supremacist assertions (which are cataloged below) are truly the sentiments of Patriarch Bartholomew, then I for one can confidently predict that this will not end well.

Lord have mercy.


“According to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the privileges and the rights of the Ecumenical Patriarchate must not be deemed as hegemonic trends and desire for power. In particular, he said, “Some people are shamelessly accusing the Church of the Poor, even though it was that very Church, which led them to Christ.” The Ecumenical Patriarch emphasised that the main concern of the Ecumenical Patriarchate was all Orthodox Churches.

He also said that among the responsibilities of the Megas Ecclesiarch was to call to order those who violate the rules.

The rules exist, in order not to maintain order, discipline, peace, unity and proper functioning within the Churches. That is why there is the Hierarchy of the Throne.

Patriarch Bartholomew reminded that according to this administrative structure the Ecumenical Patriarchate held the first place and therefore had many privileges and rights. However, he said that there were some ignorant people who have been challenging this structure and opposing their own “benefactor”. “They challenge what is considered sacred and right. They are ambitious and politically influenced but to no avail. Orthodox Ecclesiology and canonical order cannot be changed and no one can question them however brave he thinks he is.”



  1. There is something I would like to point out. As “His All Holiness” spouts accusations against “the ignorant,” he always speaks of the long suffering patience and humility of the “mother throne.”  It has always been my experience that when you have to keep saying that you have great humility and patience….it means that you don’t have humility and patience at all.

    • Fr. Justin Frederick says

      As the  Scripture says, “Let another praise thee, and not thine own lips.” What comes out of the Phanar and from its apologists consistently violates this. Overweening pride is the overwhelming impression they give as ones entirely lacking in humility and living out of touch with reality. Twice in a century the Phanar has wrought division in the Church, inflicting great wounds on Christ’s bodies. This gives the lie to all their proudly pious words so far as I’m concerned.

      • George Michalopulos says

        I think you just hit the nail on the head, Fr. The protestations that emanate from the Phanar remind me of that George Harrison song “I, Me, Mine”.

      • Fanar and Rlpidophoros are just getting started. Let’s not forget – so soon! – the words of The Man Who Would Be EP spoke just over a year ago:

        Wisdom from Metropolitan Elpidophoros (July 2018)

        The fact that someone is anti-canonical does not mean he does not exist. The fact that he is schismatic does not deprive him of the right to ask for his rehabilitation and the settlement of his case. Outstanding issues relating to schismatic, anti-canonical and problematic situations fall within the competence of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

        Among its privileges, the Ecumenical Patriarchate has that of appeal, that is to say that a bishop or a priest condemned by his Church for some transgression, has the right to appeal to the Ecumenical Patriarch to hear his case and reopen his file for a final decision.

        The Ecumenical Patriarchate is regarded as the supreme court and the last resort, to use secular terms, in the Orthodox Church.

        Therefore, receiving an appeal is a right that can be exercised by the Ecumenical Patriarch in this case, and he cannot reject a request on the pretext that it comes from a schismatic and non-canonical cleric.

        It is precisely because he is schismatic and non-canonical that he is given the right to appeal to the Ecumenical Patriarch and to ask for the judgment of his case and for the reopening of his case for a final decision.

        For this reason, the requests that can be addressed to the Ecumenical Patriarchate for the granting of autocephaly can come from anti-canonical, schismatic, or canonical personalities, or from Uniates, so-called “Greek Catholics”.


    • Its Greek to me

      • Dan: The link is to a statement by a monk from Mt Athos who reads Bartholomew the riot act, accusing him of consorting with heretics etc.

        • Exactly right blimbax. I’ll link an English translation when one becomes available. It is notable that this is not just any monk from Mount Athos, but the holy elder Gabriel of Athos, a widely revered and holy elder who was a personal disciple of Saint Paisios the Athonite. In a lot of ways, his comments on the Ukranian matter are the closest thing we have to Saint Paisios himself speaking to us about the Ukranian situation. 

    • Alitheia1875 says

      This is a letter to Patriarch Bartholomew from the Elder Gabriel of the Cell of St. Christodoulos of Patmos, (a dependency of) the Holy Monastery of Koutloumousiou of Mt Athos, which states, in part:
      Your All Holiness,                                                                                                            I much wanted, during your recent visit to Mt. Athos of our All Holy Mother, the Theotokos, to receive your blessing and to kiss your feet, but I cannot do it because for some time now that is not possible. Perhaps you would like to know why?
      (Then he lists 6 reasons, elaborates on them and then writes a great deal more. The following are the 6 reasons with introductory pieces only because they are explained extensively)

      In your fruitless and evil dialogue with heretics you have betrayed the only Church, Orthodoxy…..
      2. You are an enemy of the Triune God and our Panayia because you have a warm friendship with knowing and unrepentant heretics…..
      Every heresy and innovation has found refuge under your patriarchate….
      As another Pope you have cultivated for three decades the impression that….
      You disrespect the apostolic canons along with those local and ecumenical councils and the teaching of the Fathers….
      Unfortunately, as those who have experienced it……you make use of political intervention…. 

      It seems to me that this is an incredible divinely inspired confession of the faith.

  2. Monk James Silver says

    According to our Lord Jesus Christ (JN 9:41), it’s better to be ignorant of right and wrong than to know what is right and what is wrong — and choose to do evil.

  3. Michael Bauman says

    A similar famous southern saying comes to mind, usually spoken by a proper southern lady with a classic southern drawl: “Bless your little ol’ heart!” In context, it means that the person being “blessed” has gone beyond the pale in matters of honor, manners and decency.

  4. Johann Sebastian says

    Bartholomew the Gaslighter will join the ranks of Josaphat the Apostate.

  5. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew: “Our consciousness is clear, as we are simply doing what is best. We uphold and protect the canonical laws and privileges granted by the Ecumenical Councils to the Church of Constantinople.”
    From the article linked below:
    The Ecumenical Patriarch launched an attack on the Patriarchate of Moscow, but he did not mention the Russian Orthodox Church. He said, “The most unpleasant events were those that were caused by other Sister Churches, which were benefited from the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The current unpleasant situation between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Patriarchate of Moscow is mainly caused by the Autocephalous Church of Ukraine issue.”
    However, the Ecumenical Patriarch seemed reassured and pleased with the decisions made. In particular, he said, “Our consciousness is clear, as we are simply doing what is best. We uphold and protect the canonical laws and privileges granted by the Ecumenical Councils to the Church of Constantinople.”
    The Ecumenical Patriarch once again expressed his gratitude to the Church of Greece. He said that the Church of Greece “set a good example by recognising and entering into communion with the newly established 15th Autocephalous Church of Ukraine.”
    He also thanked the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece and said that he was deeply moved by the letter sent from Archbishop Ieronymos to Metropolitan Epiphaniy of Kyiv. Finally, the Ecumenical Patriarch said that he expected that other Orthodox churches would also recognise the Church of Ukraine.
    See: https://orthodoxtimes.com/ecumenical-patriarch-we-expect-more-churches-to-recognise-the-church-of-ukraine/

  6. Greatly Saddened says

    Sad to say, since his enthronement, this Patriarch has caused more upheaval and problems.

    Especially to his largest and most financially supportive Eparchy. Where is one to begin?

    As the so called Mother Church, what does it actually provide? From what it seems to me, it is the child that has been supporting and continues to support the Mother Church.

    And now as of 2020, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America will be increasing its financial support from 1 million to 1.5 million dollars annually to the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Meanwhile we have churches here in the U.S., who can barely make ends meet and in some cases even closing their doors!

    All to take care of six Metropolitans living in a far off land. And to make matters even worse, in a land that has no religious tolerance towards non Muslims.

    What do these six Metropolitans do all day? It’s not like they have any pastoral duties to attend to. Nor do they seem to be feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, helping the needy and visiting the sick. And let’s not even touch upon doing any Evangelizing.

    It seems the Ecumenical Patriarchate, just like the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America lack basic humility. An ever so simple word that unfortunately seems foreign to both! This is supposed to be the Church of Christ. Not the Church of the elite and well off! Rather than throwing elaborate venues and dinners. Why not put that effort into doing the true work of the Church. The Church certainly should not be a culture club of Greek dance and language. Nor an arm of the Greek government. It is the Church of Christ! First and foremost!

    Time has come to take care of our own here in this great country of ours. The faithful are leaving in droves and neither seem to truly care.

    And where did the money go? I know, it’s a “mystery!” I for one have lost all respect and trust in both these so called religious institutions.

    • If there was ever any question as to whether C’ple considers our Holy Church and all Orthodox Christians in America to be anything more than a cash cow, well here you have it. 
      I’ll tell you, there’s no better example of the dysfunctional narcissistic/codependent relational dynamic than the dysfunctional  relationship that C’ple has with the GOA and with other Orthodox Christians in America.
      The emotionally healing and healthy among us tell the narcissist (C’ple) to shape up or get lost. We love him but also value ourselves enough to not stand for the abuse – we’re made in God’s image to glorify Christ, not to glorify and serve some self-inflated narcissistic institution and its Turkish and American gov’t overlords.  
      But the unhealthy among us (i.e., the GOA leadership) stays for and enables the abuse – that’s not venerable martyrdom, it’s unhealthy for everyone. 
      Terrible. Sick. May this dysfunctional dynamic go away someday. May all American Orthodox Christians realize that God did not design us to be servants of deluded narcissists. 

  7. The refined essence of the anti-christ is elitism (supremacy), which is a justification for any and all abuse. A quote from me.

  8. The bishop of Istanbul needs a reality check.

  9. Greatly Saddened says

    How sad is this! It is a total shame that out of some 650 priests in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. The list of possible eligible hierarchal candidates stands at 23. Ok, add a few more names of widowed priests to that list.

    Perhaps time has come to once again open up the ranks to married clergy as well. The Church should be seeking to get the very best possible candidates. Rather than only including a small number of possible celebate candidates. And out of this list of 23, just how many of these are seriously qualified and worthy to be possible hierarchs?

    It is these same celibate bishops of the Holy Eparchial Synod which would need to make the change. And I highly doubt they would entertain the idea of allowing married clergy of having the same honor presently and strictly bestowed upon to this small group alone. Bottom line is and let’s be totally honest and up front. The celibates do not need, nor want to feel threatened by having to include the married clergy as possible candidates for the office of hierarch. Talk about an exclusive group of good ole boys club.

    And please do not even attenpt to tell me by being celibate, the celibate priest has more time to give to God and to His Church. All the more reason to include married priests. They are the ones who truly experience everyday life. Balancing family life and Chuch life. It may not be for all, but they should at least be included in the selection process if they so do choose.

    • Antiochene Son says

      I enjoy your posts, GS, but I would have to strongly disagree with you on this one.

      • George Michalopulos says

        If I may, the problem is not celibate candidates vs non-celibates, at least in my opinion.  (And I personally have problem with married men being elected to the episcopate if the proper protocols are followed.)  The problem is the quality of the men.  Nor should we forget this (and it’s key):  call possible episcopal candidates arise from the people.  If the people are corrupt or spiritually moribund, then we will not get men with the proper spiritual formation.

        Speaking of the GOA, the average parish has been a poor man’s country club for going on four generations now.  Priests are treated like hirelings and because they are married family men, behave accordingly.
        Seriously, do you think that the average GOA parishioner wants anything to do with anything of a “pan-Orthodox” nature?  Not in my experience.

        And that’s just for starters.

      • Greatly Saddened says

        Well, it seems the pool of possible prospective eligible candidates is at an all time low and the future seems rather dismal to say the least!

  10. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Authentic Transparency and Accountability website.
    Monday, November 4, 2019
    Two New Bishops in the GOA?

  11. The man’s hubris is unreal! Well, we all know what follows hubris, so watch out.

  12. George,
    Two thoughts come to mind:

    1) Has someone documented all of these schismatic “bishops” in the OCU as well as their “ordination” origins?  Seems like the problem of a pretend bishop ordaining people is insurmountable and should be kept at the forefront of any discussion about whether or not the EP is acting in a christian manner.  If I am wrong and all of their “ordinations” are legit then I am willing to be corrected.

    2) The most recent scandal in the Roman catholic church with brazen mother earth worship seems to correlate with the environmentalism being preached by Francis and Bartholomew.  It seems to me, and this is my opinion, that environmentalism is a form of idolatry and the first step to pagan earth worship. 


    • Dan,
      Good points.

      The Roman Catholics had, some years ago, similar issues where bishops they deemed schismatic began ordaining priests and these priests baptized and began parishes and before anyone could say ‘Pope Francis’ these schismatics were quietly legitimized. My guess is the snowball had swallowed so many faithful, rather than toss the whole ball off the cliff, or into boiling water, they did what the Hindus do best. The Roman Catholics absorbed them, in a sort of ecclesiastic pantheism, just as they have other aberrations. 

      Bartholomew wrote a preface recently published in Pope Francis’ new book coinciding with this Amazonian synod glorifying pantheism and earth-worship.

      Curiously, in a letter to the Bartholomew, Francis reviews what he calls “the uninterrupted tradition of the Roman Church” which “has always testified that the Apostle Peter, after his martyrdom in the Circus of Nero, was buried in the adjoining necropolis on the Vatican Hill”. What is the motivation here? He included with this letter relics attributed to St. Peter and Bartholomew accepted, not correctly Francis as Francis shared how they “reflected on our [Francis and Bartholomew] mutual determination to ADVANCE TOGETHER TOWARDS FULL COMMUNION”, and how he “thanked God for the progress already made since our venerable predecessors met in Jerusalem over fifty years ago”.

      Francis then describes a gift that Patriarch Athenagoras gave to Pope Paul VI: “an icon depicting the brothers Peter and Andrew embracing, united in faith and in love of their common Lord”. Francis describes this icon as “a prophetic sign of the restoration of that visible communion between our Churches to which WE aspire and for which we fervently pray and work”.

  13. cynthia curran says

    Get “Letter to Lucy: A Manifesto of Creative Redemption in The Age of Trump, Fascism and Lies” on iBooks. by crazy Franky Schaffer. Now, Franky doesn’t know small town America.

  14. Martin Luther says

    “I know that a Christian should be humble, but against the Pope I am going to be proud and say to him: ‘You, Pope, I will not have you for my boss, for I am sure that my doctrine is divine.'”
    -Martin Luther

  15. The old saying holds true, “Don’t piss down my back and tell me its raining out” It seems that is what we get from the EP and his lackeys!

  16. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from Friday in The National Herald.
    GOARCH: Archdiocese 2020 Budget Approved
    By TNH Staff 
    November 1, 2019

  17. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article which appeared on Thursday in the New York Post.
    Greek Orthodox church official gets no-jail sentence for embezzling
    By Emily Saul
    October 31, 2019 | 4:41pm | Updated

  18. AB Elpidophorus is the Author of “First without equals.”  He is a staunch sycophant of the EP and one of the greatest advocates for the schismatic OCU Church raiders. He just presented a so-called human rights award to a layman pretending to be a Metropolitan.  And then we see this!!! It is highly disturbing and scandalous!!!

    • Antiochene Son says

      I wonder when the GOAA is going to recognize the OCA’s autocephaly?

    • Joseph Lipper says

      Mikhail, well, I’ll be… now bless your heart, and why is this deemed by yourself as highly disturbing and scandalous? We need Orthodox unity and close relations among our Orthodox bishops right here in America. It’s downright shameful that we don’t have more of this. I mean really. And they should all get together once a month for some apple pie. Now that would be something. At least Metropolitan Tikhon just congratulated Archbishop Elpidophoros on his name’s day:

      “Your Eminence, beloved concelebrant in the Mysteries of the Lord, may God keep you and bless you as you celebrate the memory of your patron saint, the Holy Martyr Elpidophoros of Persia. May he always intercede on your behalf as you witness the Orthodox Christian faith in America!”



      • George Michalopulos says

        Unity we need. Submission to a false ecclesiology is quite another.

        • Joseph Lipper says

          Divisions portend a false ecclesiology.  For example, it’s what we have when two or more Orthodox bishops in the same city pretend like the others don’t exist.  We have jurisdictionalism, and it’s a sign of a false ecclesiology.  Yet the reality is that it’s not going away in the foreseeable future.
          In my opinion, the best we can hope for in the spirit of overcoming and not submitting to this false ecclesiology is both through a recognition of our mutual brokeness and through a mutual focus on the unity we already share in Christ.  That takes a lot of humility:
          “We are called to move beyond what is ‘mine’ and what is ‘yours’ to what is ‘ours.’ From now on, this is how we should conceive and conduct all of our ministries and resources, all of our departments and initiatives. Otherwise, we do not practice what we preach. It is really up to us to accept the challenge or to refuse the call.”

          • Joseph Lipper: “Divisions portend a false ecclesiology. … We have jurisdictionalism, and it’s a sign of a false ecclesiology.”

            Or it is a reflection of the deep real division. After all, the Great Schism took several generations to become formal and official.

            Joseph Lipper: “a recognition of our mutual brokeness and through a mutual focus on the unity we already share in Christ. That takes a lot of humility:”

            I am sorry, but I do not feel unity with Phanariotes. If they were the only Orthodox in the world, I would not be Orthodox. Jesus Christ said “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me”. I do not hear voice of Christ coming from them.

          • The EP is squarely at fault on this one. Go read up on Ligonier and then we can talk. If +Bartholemew had not smacked down a real move to unity we would be a lot better off. But no, what he wants and continues to push it subjugation and that’s not unity. At this point things will not get better until the EP is dealt with by the Church. He is just sewing decision.

          • Pere LaChaise says

            The reason Elpi is acting so friendly toward the OCA and its Primate is that the Assembly of Bishops is moribund and its floundering is an embarrassment to the Fener who planned to have Elpi take charge somehow in America through it. 
            At present, some of the most important hierarchs who are supposed to sit at the Assembly are boycotting it because of Fener actions in Ukraine. Since Bart shows no sign of repentance the Assembly will continue to lose participants. This will be a blot on Elpi’s resume when ‘his turn’ to sit in the throne of St. Andrew arrives (sooner than you may think). If Elpi cannot achieve ‘Orthodox Unity’ in the States his ascendant star will decline. 
            The OCA as Elpi knows is the second largest Orthodox jurisdiction in the States. Most Greek Americans are ignorant of this fact but Elpi will bring it to their attention, to suit his purposes. To say he intends to suborn the OCA to GOARCH is going too far because Elpi knows the Holy Synod, all the lay clergy and people of the OCA would not stand for it, even if Metr. Tikhon did — and he does not. To pretend otherwise, as has been noised about here, is plain foolishness, acting out on the addiction to outrage typical of Fox News habituees. 
            Elpi is changing the appearance of relations between the two largest Orthodox jurisdictions. He will not be said to have ignored the OCA, as most GOARCH clergy and laity continue to do. I dare say he wants Greeks here to become more aware of the OCA. One feature of this new appreciation is the disappearance of the term ‘Russian Church’ which is the default descriptor for the OCA among Greeks.  2020 is the 50th year of OCA Autocephaly and its Tomos is going to be discussed. Insofar as Bart has made autocephaly and tomoi hot topics so recently, Elpi has no choice but to make himself relevant to OCA Autocephaly, to seize some measure of control over the dialogues they will take place in the coming year. To continue to ignore the OCA in 2020 and to let GOARCH folks talk as though it belonged to the Moscow Patriarchate serves no polemical purpose any longer in the age of Dumenko. The last thing Elpi wants is for Tikhon to avoid him the way anyone aligned with Moscow’s strong interpretation of canon will. By cozying up to Tikhon in some kind of friendship, Elpi is militating for the continued neutrality of the OCA as regards the Moscow/‘Stamboul split. 
            Whether GOARCH clergy and laity absorb any of this modified stance of their Abp. toward the OCA and cease calling it ‘the Russian church’ remains to be seen. But it serves no purpose to Phanariot plans to ‘give the Russians’ anything at this point. 

            • George Michalopulos says

              Pere, I see where you’re going with this. Your scenario makes sense. I for one am very much looking forward to losing that bet that I made two months ago.

              It would be an unmitigated disaster for the OCA to lose its autocephaly –or worse–have it redefined as ukrocephaly.

              • You have no need to fear…the OCA is staying exactly where it is. Trust me. We’ve witnessed and suffered for almost 50 years, and there’s no turning back.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  From your mouth to God’s ear!

                  • Verily!

                    • Pere LaChaise says

                      Recall what exactly the OCA has to gain by becoming an Eparchy of Synod of ‘Stamboul:
                      or rather, a negative integer. Alignment with the power splitting the Orthodox confession in two, and no longer therefore recognized as an Autocephalous anything from the church which granted the Tomos. Why would Tikhon want to disappear from Russian diptychs, to gain autonomy st the cost of Autocephaly?
                      Can some knowledgeable Phanariot e lighten me as to why Tikhon and the OCA Synod would make such a choice?
                      (crickets, embarrassed)

            • Monk James Silver says

              Perhaps people are missing the obvious signals here.

              The fact that Met. Tikhon received Abp Elpidophoros at the OCA’s headquarters is significant in itself, and that they both venerated the relics of the North American saints is important.

              After all, how many saints have been recognized in the GOA? It’s not that there might not be any saints among the American Greeks — all of us know some very holy people there — but the GOA isn’t functioning like a church. It’s an ethnic organization with a Christian b=veneer, deliberately so designed by the Phanar and bred to be a ‘cash cow’.

              Anyway, the fact that Met. Tikhon signed his nameday greetings to Abp Elpidophoros as ‘Archbishop of Washington and Metropolitan of All America and Canada’ without any sort of restrictive references shows that the OCA regards the GOA as a guest in its canonically legitimate territory, and its archbishop as canonically subordinate. I’m being polite by using the word ‘guest’.

              What ‘Pere LaChaise’ writes here doesn’t go far enough.

              Ideally, the temporary presence of any ecclesial administration other than the OCA will vanish soon, and the American Greeks, along with the American Russians and all other groups which owe allegiance to foreign churches, will either be subsumed into the OCA or cease to be Orthodox.

              Elevating ethnic identity over Christianity always leads to schism. Always.

              Let’s hope and pray that we Orthodox Christians in North America can see beyond these limitations, and come together to build a local church as strong as and even stronger than the churches of our ancestral homelands abroad.

              • I agree. The problem in USA us not the ethnic traditions, spiritual and cultural and Food!! Per se, these on a human level can enrich and support and be added to by new ones too. Our society is barren enough without this. Nor use of other languages apart from english if needed or asked for , although english, and good liturgical english, should be the default language. The problem is when a Church’ s HQ is ELSEWHERE with it’s concerns ELSEWHERE and its mentality ELSEWHERE. Then young Americans start to look ELSEWHERE. Also when it offers them a worship which is a pseudo old fashioned western attempt to be culturally relevent in circa 1948!! with no spirituality apart from rules and cash demand.
                Elpidophoros is just trying ro dress this up nice. But I believe the punters are moving g on.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Monk James, I felt duty-bound to read and then re-read your comments. Clearly I did not pick up on some of the salient points of this recent event and I’m more than happy that you did so. I believe (and hope) that what you wrote about the interplay between these two primates is real.

                I also appreciate your observation that the GOA is a “guest” on the OCA’s canonical territory. And of course that Arb Elpi venerated the relics of the American saints. This latter occurrence is huge.

                Of course, I very much agree on what you said in your last two paragraphs. It is in fact, the unalterable truth.

                My fundamental question however remains, in fact, it is now given extra urgency. And that is this: How exactly is the GOA going to square its subordination to the canonical local Church (i.e. the OCA) to the supremacist designs of the EP? My reading of the Phanar and Elpi’s self-understanding –as well as startling ecclesiology–leads me to believe that he cannot subordinate the GOA to the OCA or uphold the co-equality of the other local Churches to Istanbul for that matter.

                Please advise.

                • Monk James Silver says

                  In my view, since Constantinople has committed ecclesiological suicide, the American Greeks will soon have to choose between being Orthodox, or being part of a schismatic sect.
                  Since there is already an official acknowledgement of ethic diversity in the OCA, my guess is that the majority of American Greeks, when faced with only these two options, will choose to remain faithful Christians and come into the OCA as individual clergy and laity, if their parishes will not or cannot make such a move because of restrictions in civil law.  The episcopate of the GOA is a wild card here, but they owe their positions and their livelihood to theories emplaced by the Phanar, so their loyalties are divided.
                  In any case,  the parishes of the GOA will largely be left vacant and so of no financial interest to Constantinople, which will then be left with no support for its claims to administrative authority here and elsewhere.
                  And even if Constantinople returns to The Church, the Phanar’s misinterpretation of canon 28 of Chalcedon will then be shown for the error it is, and —  God willing — the OCA will be here as a safety net for the faithful.
                  We can hope and pray that the remaining — and much smaller —  ethnic jurisdictions in North America will follow this pattern in their own ways, and join in a united and autocephalous local church.

                  • Gail Sheppard says

                    Father, I think the OCA needs to start asserting itself. Elpi is the guest. Not of the other way around.

                    We’re their biggest asset and yet I feel like we’ve been relegated to the role of an anxious kid on a very long road trip with his parents. We’re tired and we’re cranky. The car has broken down a couple of times, mom and dad aren’t speaking to each other, the baby is crying, our older sister thinks she’s “all that,” and it’s taking an inordinate amount of time to get to wherever we’re going. It would be nice if mom and dad would just let us in on what’s happening. If nothing else they could answer the inevitable question, “are we there yet?”

                    I don’t understand why the laity is left in the dark until it’s all over. The bishops seem perturbed when we “guess,” but what do they expect us to do in the absence of information? Why can’t they contact George, and say, “Here, publish this (a detailed explanation of what’s going on). We want to keep people informed.” Instead, they post transcripts of their meetings where nothing of any consequence is mentioned, e.g. “. . . the two hierarchs discussed the various practical, pastoral, and ecclesial matters pertaining to the Orthodox Christian community in the United States of America.”

                    They could come on a blog like this and open with, “Well, folks, we’re breaking new ground. The problem at the moment is. . .” and then open it up to discussion. It could be done via Skype and someone like George could screen the calls. We have a lot of talent in our midst. They just might be inspired. Plus, people tend to be more accepting of something they’ve helped to create. This is something that has been clinically proven.

                    The problem with the “wait and see” approach is that if the bishops take a wrong turn, the laity can tank the outcome. Why take that risk? Wouldn’t it be better for the bishops to use our collective strength as a resource? With the laity on their side, they’d be coming from a powerful position.

                    We’re not “kids.” This is OUR Church. We should be involved in the direction it takes in OUR country.

                    • To that good end Gail:  Hopefully the more history we know (are reminded of), the better we can interact with our hierarchies in the US and request that they act. The post today on Orthodox Synaxis on the 1962 SCOBA resolution  is empowering in that regard:

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      Thank you for the link, Nicole. So in 1962, our primates (SCOBA) came up with some solid recommendations with regard to granting autocephaly in Ukraine. Bartholomew ignored them just like he ignored the advice of the Local Churches. He has proven he is accountable to no one unless, of course, you count a crooked politician and the State Department. He only cares about one thing: full communion with the Catholic Church. He believes he will go down in history as the one who healed the schism of 1054. In his case, it’s more like “car 54 where are you?” He hasn’t got a clue. He’s not healing the schism; he’s creating a new one.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      Thank you, Nichole. This proves, yet again, Bartholomew feels accountable to no one. He doesn’t care what our primates think but maybe we can make him care by resisting him with everything we’ve got.

                    • Gail. You see IT’S NOT YR CHURCH FOR THEM AND USA NOT THEIR COUNTRY.  There u have it. 
                      As you say if the bishops cut the bureaucratic small talk meaning nothing,  did Christ have bureaucratic small talk?? they could communicate with their faithful.  It strikes me that the communication revolution means this stilted way of conversation used at that level before in government etc and Church, simply does not work now. 
                      Fact is the OCA IS YR CHURCH AND USA YR COUNTRY. When will it become THEIRS?
                      The times I have worshipped in OCA New York churches I have felt as a greek, at home, FULLY ORTHODOX, in a living way, fullfilled, AND IN GOOD OLD USA.  

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Thank you Fr for your insights. 

                    If I may add to what you wrote:  you know, if the Phanar doesn’t repent of its arrogance and repudiate (or at least “clarify”) Canon 28 and repudiate the “first without equals” nonsense, then it’s possible that the OCA can pull a ROCOR-like position and just not recognize Istanbul and just start taking priests and/or parishes into it without the necessary releases.

                    For that matter, so could Antioch, or anybody else.  Then the Episcopal Assembly would be totally moribund, just being a gathering of GOA “metropolitans”.

                  • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

                    RE “We can hope and pray that the remaining — and much smaller — ethnic jurisdictions in North America will follow this pattern in their own ways, and join in a united and autocephalous local church.”

                    Father, I must reject, respectfully, the dichotomy you have proposed–namely, one supposedly non-ethnic or multi-ethnic autocephalous Church (specifically the OCA) vs. so-called “ethnic” Churches in North America with loyalties to mother Churches in foreign lands.

                    The primary impediment to ROCOR, to cite the jurisdiction that I currently know best, severing canonical and spiritual ties with the Patriarchate of Moscow and “uniting” with the OCA or, more likely, the OCA absorbing ROCOR is not the caricature of “ethnic” or cultural “loyalty” to Russia that seems to be a given in this conversation. For a good number of my fellow clergy and faithful in ROCOR those historic ties are strong and may override all other considerations. However, for a larger number of ROCOR clergy–and the faithful who pay some attention to the Orthodox ecclesial situation here–the obstacle is the OCA itself as the locus of an autocephalous Orthodox Church for the American nation.

                    As long as the OCA includes–and the hierarchy even shields– clergy and prominent laymen who are enamored with the radical renovationist agenda of the likes of “The Wheel,” “Public Orthodoxy” and the Orthodox Christian Studies Center at Fordham University, the secretive Amsterdam conference in 2017, the “Bridging Voices” conference at Oxford University last August (see https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/request-to-all-orthodox-bishops-in-america), and similar events and organizations, I can predict with confidence that ROCOR will never begin to consider the OCA as a partner, much less a senior ecclesial entity, for organic union of any kind. 

                    Today the Patriarchate of Moscow is, arguably and together with the Church of Serbia, the most traditional of all the Orthodox autocephalous Churches, particularly regarding Orthodox moral tradition. As an American-born convert to Holy Orthodoxy and an English-speaking ROCOR priest–indeed, as Dean & Professor of Moral Theology Emeritus of Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, the only ROCOR seminary in the entire world, and now back in Virginia for good–I feel quite at home already in ROCOR as it is and continue to serve with joy, gratitude, and contentment under the omophor of the First Hierarch of ROCOR, Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral), and, through him, the omophor of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.

                    • I must concur with Fr. Alexander 100%.

                    • Monk James Silver says

                      It’s always a joy to hear from you, dear Father Alexander. I fondly remember our sitting together at OTSA meetings.

                      While I respect your obvious and personally necessary loyalty to the ROCOR, Father, I must tell you that your accusations of faithlessness against the OCA ring hollow for two important reasons.

                      First, the aberrations which you cite are the opinions of sinfully misguided individuals, not of the OCA, which cannot be blamed for them. When those opinions are considered in proper ecclesial venues, hey will be explained for the edification of the faithful.

                      Second, the ROCOR has officially committed far worse transgressions against the Gospel and the canons here in North America than have some of the laity in the OCA. It would serve no legitimate purpose and merely embarrass everyone for me to start citing them here, but they are sad facts of life here among Orthodox Christians in America.

                      In the terms of the reconciliation between the ROCOR and the Patriarchate of Moscow in 2007, the Russian Orthodox Church agreed to forgive and validate all of those canonical mistakes which the ROCOR had made during their years of estrangement, with the condition that the ROCOR do no such things again,

                      The agreement seems to be still effective, but the rest of us are having to hold our noses as we indulge them. We’re accepting this, but it’s difficult. So please don’t proffer the ROCOR as a paradigm of Orthodoxy superior to the OCA.

                      Still, life goes on. Just the other day, an OCA bishop participated in the ordination of a ROCOR bishop in California. This is a good thing, and a sign of health’s returning to the Body of Christ which is His Church in North America.

                      Divisions among us must eventually end, and will best be resolved by the inclusion of all Orthodox Christians in North America in a single autocephalous local church, the only one here being the OCA.

                      That canonical position was rightly created by the Russian Orthodox Church which began the North American mission in 1794. Now, all of us must respect the blossoming maturity of the autocephalous church which it created here in 1970.

                      Asserting a privileged exemption for the ROCOR now is no more and no less an ecclesiological mistake than it is for the GOA to plead for its continued existence in North America., but for different reasons

                      This is especially true for the ROCOR, since Moscow seems now not to consider it a real and functional ecclesial entity in western Europe and elsewhere. It served its purpose, and that purpose is now gone.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Monk James, as a member of the OCA, as well as a student of history, I too agree with the late Arb Dmitri Royster of thrice-blessed memory that ROCOR had “made extravagant claims in the past”. And of course, I am completely overjoyed that His Eminence Arb Benjamin Peterson of San Francisco concelebrated with three ROCOR bishops the other day when he helped ordain Fr James to the episcopate.

                      Having said that, I cannot rebut Fr A Webster’s critique of the OCA coddling the Fordhamites and their fellow-travelers or the other concerns which he expressed. If nothing else, ROCOR’s continued growth may help keep the other American jurisdictions in line.

                    • Much of my spiritual growth in the faith was in the OCA back in the day, guided by wonderful clergy and parishes. 
                      However, once you hear of and learn of frightening and spiritually dangerous behaviors – and of spirituality treacherous escapades – on the part of some of the leaders and “movers and shakers” in the OCA, you can’t “unhear” those things.  Thus, I tragically cannot buy the premise of the OCA leadership (as a whole) as the paragons of Christian purity in North America.  I still love the OCA and its faithful and its mission, but I cannot view it as somehow more holy and just than other jurisdictions. 
                      Plus, any church that gives us St John of Shanghai & San Francisco must be venerable. Here is a wonderful video in which we hear St John’s voice in a talk that he once gave:
                      May the future be more of these OCA and ROCOR joint celebrations, like we recently saw in San Francisco with Abp Benjamin and Abp Kyrill jointly elevating Archimandrite James to the holy episcopate.  
                      A healthy body reproduces itself. As long as our churches are vibrant and healthy, are missionizing to those in our country who are not yet Orthodox,  and are sending some of their young men to seminary and ordaining their own to the priesthood and the episcopate, these are all markers of spiritual health. 

                    • Whether one agrees with Fr. Alexander’s overall comment or not, it is true that morally corrupt agitators in the OCA (some of whom are clergy) of whom he has rightly spoken are rarely, if ever censured, removed from office, position of influence, etc.  In short, there is no real discipline – at least not in some diocese.  The Western myth of “academic freedom” has infected many and seems largely to be the rule.  One cannot help but mourn this state of affairs because of the lack of love for the perpetrators, as well as their victims, it represents.
                      The otherwise true (but very generalized) statements issued by the holy synod of the OCA ring hollow to the faithful when little or no corrective discipline is exercised at the level of specific persons who are allowed free reign to spread their poison with what cannot possibly be construed as anything other than the blessing of their local heirarch, be it misguided of purposeful.
                      Take this as an accusation against some of the bishops if you must, but it is the truth.  And I love the OCA.
                      Having said this, I have never understood this or any of the current the attacks of the evil one on the Church as a jurisdictional problem per se.  None of the above mentioned diseases (or those of the CP or the Church of Greece or the GOA or the AOANA, the Serbs or whatever issues any jurisdiction may have) is a jurisdictional issue at its core.  Judgement is beginning with the house of God, and no jurisdiction will escape. 
                      What we are seeing virtually everywhere we look is not, in my opinion, anything new as such.  Rather it is the revelation of what actually is and has been for quite some time – only now it is being exposed by the Light for what it is.  We are being faced with a very clear choice. Have we been/are we now/will we be disciples of Christ – or of a cheep substitute that falsely bears His name and directly contradicts everything He and His Apostles have taught from the beginning? 
                      “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
                      But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.  For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
                      “Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;  for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
                      “He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.  And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.”

  19. George,
    Project Veritas has just exposed more dirt on the Epstein/Clinton Lolita express: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lfwkTsJGYA
    It is clear these Clintons and their network are protected and funded not only by the majority of both political parties and their lobbies, but we now have more damning evidence the American media is – obviously – protecting and encouraging everything behind the gruesome Gadhafi and Benghazi crimes, to the source and funding of ISIS and Syrian invasions, outright attacks against Russia and Ukraine to working with Epstein – – phew, we’re talking mass murder, war crimes and terrorism, blackmail, accusations of rape and pedophilia.
    And somehow, Trump is being held under the magnifying glass for impeachment? Talk about a civil war coming. What happened to America?

    • George Michalopulos says

      We live in insane times.

    • George Michalopulos says

      I know, it’s insane.

      • George I am no trump fan as you know BUT the hypocrisy and double standards regarding the Clintons and when we look at the way Monica L. was treated by a serial sexual preditor who lied to the american people,  defended  down the line,with the sisterhood no where in sight. And this wasn’t a million yrs so.  All these issues were well understood then. 

  20. You took the words from my mouth , George. But I will answer dear Joseph’s question regarding why it is disturbing, by repeating what I wrote above.

    AB Elpidophorus is the Author of “First without equals.”  He is a staunch sycophant of the EP and one of the greatest advocates for the schismatic OCU Church raiders. He just presented a so-called human rights award to a layman pretending to be a Metropolitan. 

    • George Michalopulos says

      Mikhail, do you think it possible that LP is not only the author of this scandalous teaching but the originator and its advocate? That he hornswoggled the EP who bought it hook, line and sinker? And now is left holding the bag?

      I dunno, I was speaking with someone today and that’s what his theory was. I suppose it’s possible.

      What do y’all think?

      • I have no idea, George, but he is a Turkish citizen, and we all know what that qualifies him for.
        Forgive me,  I suppose you could say I am joking…maybe.

      • Well…I will only say this. I was talking to someone who told me that when LP takes over as Patriarch, he will make Bartholomew look like a traditionalist.
        Right now he is smiling a lot and trying to say all the right things. But he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

      • Who knows what Elpi is capable of. He got you to publish his lie that he was taking over the OCA. Anything is possible with such a Turk in office. 

      • George re elpidophoros.  Very possible.   Bartholomaios is old and ill. It’s a common scenario.  
        Elpidophoros is DEFFINITELY a uniate.  Only problem is if the Pope can accept his papal pretensions.  Maybe the Pope of Rome may save us.!!! ? 

  21. Greatly Saddened says

    In case you may have missed it. Below please find an article from October 2nd, in The National Herald.
    Ecumenical Patriarchate To Audit Archdioceses, Metropolises, and Monasteries
    By Theodore Kalmoukos 
    October 2, 2019

  22. “One cannot maintain unity with enemies of Orthodoxy lest ye also become an enemy of the faith.”
    “You are an enemy of the Triune God and our Mother of God because you maintain an institutional friendship with conscious and unrepentant heretics and heterodox, subverted, and sinning, being self-condemned primates of heresies (Tit. 3:11).”
    Elder Gabriel’s message to Bartholomew

  23. Matthew Panchisin says

    Patriarch Kirill: Papism is dangerous in that it is much easier to influence one individual than a group of people

    Speaking about the crucial developments in the world Orthodoxy, His Holiness said in particular:

    ‘Today we are going through certain difficulties, in the first place in the relations with Constantinople. However, unlike Constantinople – which violates canonical rules by invading into others’ jurisdiction by granting ‘autocephaly’ to those who did not ask for it and insists on other privileges that have never been appropriate to it – our Church does not strive for power at the pan-Orthodox level. We only wish to preserve the canonical order and we cannot allow that a likeness of papism, a ‘quasi-papism’, should emerge in Orthodoxy.

    I will say perhaps a somewhat unexpected thing. Why is papism dangerous? – Certainly because papism does not follow from either the Word of God or the Tradition of the Church. I will still offer another, completely different argument: papism is dangerous in that it is much easier to influence one individual than a group of people. A pope and a patriarch who wants to become the pope become a very attractive target to the powers that be, and an outside influence made on one individual may ruin the Church.

    When the system of synodal governance of the Church was developed, the holy apostles were well aware what they were doing. It was impossible in the context of the Roman Empire that only one individual should have borne responsibility for the whole Church – indeed, he could be arrested, he could be persuaded to cooperate, he could be scared. However, all these dangers come to naught when the Church is governed collegially, synodally.

    Therefore, in our time too, it is necessary to uphold the synodal governance of the Universal Church. We do not challenge the Patriarch of Constantinople’s primacy in honour, but we disagree with any encroachments on the universal power. The Patriarch of Constantinople, who resides in the territory of Turkey, is very vulnerable personally, and for this reason it remains for us only to pray that the Lord may save him from influences that could have a pernicious effect on the life of the whole Church’.

  24. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald. Unfortunately, the article is locked and doesn’t appear in its entirety. I will continue to be on the lookout for the article in its entirety, and if found, I will post.

    Please also take note of the comment section below the article.

    Holy Cross-Maliotis Center Dispute Heads Towards Resolution after Elpidophoros’ Intervention
    By Theodore Kalmoukos 
    November 7, 2019


  25. I never saw this coming:
    Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria commemorates OCU head Epiphany 

    • Sad. I had hoped the Patriarch of Alexandria would have stood fast but perhaps the words of +Kiril are prophetic. Russia is the last bastion of Orthodoxy in the Great Falling Away.

      • Yes, certainly seems so, doesn’t it. The fact that the Western secular/atheist governments (including our own in America, sadly) are fighting the Russian Orthodox Church so hard on this one and pulling out all the stops to support the unrepentant schismatic and neo-Nazi “OCU” suggests that the Church of Russia (both inside and outside of Russia) is on the true, solid path. 
        I find it easier to forgive Mike Pompeo and the secular westerners at the State Dept for supporting the “OCU” — not being Orthodox or even believing in Christ or the Church, I wouldn’t expect them to know any better or to care, honestly.  I find it harder to forgive the leaders of the Church in Greece and the Patr of Alexandria/Africa…. I feel that they should definitely know better and have true discernment.
        Tragic, difficult times for those who struggle to stay with Christ and His Holy Church. 

      • I think Romania and Cyprus may be next. Bulgaria and Georgia are question marks. We may see a situation where only Russia, Serbia, Poland, Czech Lands and Slovakia, and hopefully Antioch and Jerusalem hold to the true faith. Then we will watch as C’pole takes most of the others to Rome.

        • Georgians and Russians may have their difficulties, but there’s no way that the Georgian Church will follow Black Bart to Rome. The monks there successfully forced them out of the WCC in the 90s and I doubt that they’d take well to overtures to Papa Frank.

          • The schismatic in C’pole is smashing the Church to pieces. Thankfully, we know that the gates of hell will not prevail.
            God will judge him soon.

  26. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald.
    Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Will Begin His Visit to the U.S. in Boston in May 2020
    By Theodore Kalmoukos 
    November 19, 2019

  27. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find another article from today in The National Herald.
    Archbishop Elpidophoros Keynote Speaker at the Ecumenical Symposium Truth Doe Not Fear Dialogue
    By TNH Staff 
    November 19, 2019

  28. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find yet another article from today in The National Herald.
    Metropolitan Ierotheos of Limnos and Agios Efstratios was Enthroned
    By Theodore Kalmoukos 
    November 19, 2019

  29. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from yesterday in The National Herald. Unfortunately, the article is locked and doesn’t appear in its entirety. I will continue to be on the lookout for the article in its entirety, and if found, I will post.
    Analysis: We Will Welcome our Patriarch
    By Theodore Kalmoukos 
    November 19, 2019

  30. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from yesterday in The National Herald.
    Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Sends Message to Vatican Conference on Protecting Children
    By TNH Staff 
    November 20, 2019

    • HA. It’s pure gold. THE PAEDOPHILE CHURCH HOLDING CONFERENCE ON PROTECTING CHILDREN. Do they have no sense of irony, if not shame. 
      Yes rule one KEEP KIDS way from Catholic church. That would be a good start. 

  31. Michael Bauman says

    Of one thing I am sure: Schism always leads to greater unbelief. However, if the EP chooses to unite with Rome, God forbid, there will be no choice to disavow him and everyone who follows him. In any case it is not to be hoped for, celebrated or encouraged. Although it is easy to take the position of “good riddance” even with my personal discomfiture and criticism with the current expression of Greek Orthodox Christianity, I cannot bring myself to do that. If it happens it will be a time for morning not unlike a funeral.

    God forgive us.

    “Lord God of Hosts, be with us for there is no other hope in time of sorrow but thee. Lord of Hosts have mercy on us.”

    • Johann Sebastian says

      Well, if the Pope becomes Orthodox, it wouldn’t be a problem.
      That would be nothing short of miraculous.

  32. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald.
    Christians Have Lived in Turkey for Two Millennia – But Their Future is Uncertain
    By Associated Press 
    November 21, 2019

  33. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald.
    Patriarch of Jerusalem Honored in Moscow for Promoting Church Unity
    By TNH Staff 
    November 22, 2019

    • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

      Thank you, GS, for that encouraging weblink.

      The Patriarch of Jerusalem, true Mother of all Orthodox Churches, wishes to host a meeting of autocephalous Orthodox Churches in Jordan to engage in “dialogue on the preservation of Orthodox unity.”

      Question for all : Is that the initiative for which we who hope and pray for a global Orthodox resolution of the disunity caused by the Patriarch of Constantinople’s meddling in Ukraine have been waiting?

      • Father,
        I am not a pessimist by nature, but I suspect the answer is no.  I sincerely hope I am wrong.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        Father Alexander, I don’t know that the initiative will be successful. Two Greek hierarchs, Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus and Metropolitan Seraphim of Kythira, called for the same thing earlier this month. All the Local Churches asked for a council before Ukraine and were unsuccessful, as well. What IS significant, however, is that the Patriarch of Jerusalem is one more who broke ranks, hopefully giving others the courage to do the same. What we’re looking for is that “tipping point.”

        The situation is made more difficult because of the geopolitical pressure.

        ” “Patriarch Theophilos is under pressure from the United States. However, the source of the pressure is not the American embassy and the Israeli Foreign Ministry, as some media reported, but representatives of the U.S. Democratic Party,” the source told RIA-Novosti. “First of all we are talking about diplomats appointed by Hillary Clinton when she was Secretary of State,” the source added. In particular, the Patriarch received a letter from Joe Biden, Obama’s Vice President who personally supervised the Ukrainian direction of foreign policy and whose family’s ties in Ukraine are a major news item at the moment. Joe Biden has met with Patriarch Bartholomew many times, and in 2015 Constantinople’s Order of St. Andrew bestowed upon him the Patriarch Athenagoras Human Rights Award, which it gave to Epiphany Dumenko, the primate of the schismatic OCU, this year. In September of last year, he met with “Patriarch” Philaret Denisenko, who bestowed upon him the Order of the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Prince Vladimir the Great, 2nd Degree. For his part, Biden spoke of the importance of an autocephalous Ukrainian Church. “There are no direct threats from the Democrats—it’s not in their style. Various hints are made, vague argumentations arise, from which Pat. Theophilos himself should draw conclusions. That is, we are talking about skillfully veiled pressure,” said the source. However, Pat. Theophilos does not intend to change his stance, the source said. He will continue to recognize the canonical UOC under Met. Onuphry. This is confirmed, the source said, by the fact that at he concelebrated with hierarchs of the canonical Church at the Holy Sepulchre in September. “Theophilos will not follow the example of his Greek brethren, Archbishop Ieronymos of Greece and Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria, in recognizing the OCU. He is independent from the Greeks, besides he has strained relations with Constantinople: Patriarch Bartholomew was against his election in 2005,” the source said.”

        “. . . Most oil and gas experts agree that the East Med Pipeline Project is a pipe dream that cannot compete with cheap Russian gas. But America’s enthusiastic support for it is more about a re-alignment of alliances, and securing energy supply . . . the battle between Russia and America goes beyond the land, the sea, the pipelines and the military deals; it also involves the Orthodox Church. Historically, the church has bound Greece and Cyprus to Russia but recently they have shown a distinct shift toward the US. In January, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, spiritual leader of the world’s 300 million Orthodox Christians, recognized the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which broke away from the Moscow Patriarchate last year. The latter roundly condemned the move and promptly cut ties with the Constantinople Patriarchate. While the Orthodox Church in Cyprus followed suit (???) in the recognition, the issue is still unresolved within the Orthodox Church in Greece. Eager to capitalize on this schism with Russia, the US has thrown its weight behind Constantinople; the East Med Security Act bill calls for an assessment of what is referred to as Russia’s attempts to “intimidate and influence” Patriarch Bartholomew. Whether either side will succeed in extending existing alliances and influence or forging new ones while keeping the rival at bay remains to be seen. Meanwhile, the maneuvering continues.”

        • My parents adopted country of the U.S.A really needs to buzz off. They have declared war on the Orthodox Church and they are now my enemy. Western civilization and her gift to mankind  the globohomo agenda needs to be stomped out and I will do my part. If Instanbul and CoG want to hitch their wagons to these political nations, then be it. But they can easily be replaced.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Let us hope so, Fr. At the very least, it may be the tipping point (as Gail writes in her answer to you above).

    • Patriarch Theophilos’ speech in Moscow is contained in a video in the following link: https://orthochristian.com/125797.html
      Patriarch Theophilos delivered the speech in English. The video is in the page, and the page includes the text.
      I cannot tell if someone has already provided the link.  If someone already has, my apologies for the duplicate posting.

  34. How can we greeks be so repeatedly stupid???. But we repeat same old crap for promises every time. 
    Now Russia will look away when Turkey turns towards Aegean and USA???  Quite!!  

  35. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald.
    Ecumenical Patriarch: We Stay and Fight Because this is Our Irrevocable Decision
    By TNH Staff 
    November 26, 2019

    • George Michalopulos says

      Gail, if there was ever a truly worthless news source, The National Herald is it.

      It’s degenerated to a purely ethno-nationalist news organ. Under Kalmoukos “journalistic standards” it’s indistinguishable from Der Volkischer Beobachter or The Final Call.

      • I just read the article of bartholomaios speech for 21/11 feast.    A complete denial of reality. Yes it’s very sad but living in a Fantasy does not make it better.  As for the rest,  it reminded me of one of those obligatory meaningless wooden speeches Russian bishops had  to give under communism,  so that they could then get on with being a bishop and celebration the liturgy and keeping churches open. With bart, there is no getting on cos nothing to get on with.  STILL NOW he is aquiring an over seas empire he will have work and perhaps he and his successorsw will be more abroad than at home.  
        I for one actually am glad this all is now in the open. 
        Don’t make the mistake though.  The world will judge us as bigoted and narrow and bart et al as modern and in the spirit of the time.  And remember rhe words of Christ.