An Open Letter to Metropolitan Gerasimos from Billy Jack Sunday

OK folks, things are getting a little too serious. Not a bad thing but it’s good to add a little levity every now and then. And let’s not forget that satire can serve a rhetorical purpose.

It is in this spirit that Yours Truly offers this open letter from Billy Jack Sunday. Think of it as a kind of two-fer.

[Editor’s Note: Yours Truly is working overtime to fixing the glitches that are occurring. Hopefully you will be able to edit and emend your posts and they will stop going immediately into the queue. Your patience would be greatly appreciated.]


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  1. If there was any remaining doubt as to what Gerasimos does for a living. Beats working.

    • NIKOS NINIS says

      Who is this man in black. Some say he is an Orthodox bishop.. All can say is give the dude a break, he does look as if using food bank or fasting which u cannot say of all of them can u?? ?

      • Jane Rachel says

        Nikos Ninis,

        I was wondering the same thing. He is thin, isn’t he? And the above comment from “bob”… what does that mean? Do you know what Metropolitan Gerasimos does for a living? I am prepared for all manner of correction from all of you who know so much more than I do, but I did read up a bit on the man, Metropolitan Gerasimos. If you look at his life of service to the Church, you will see that he does work, and he works hard. Whether you agree with his statements or not, the man, his title, his lifetime of work for the Church, and his office, deserve respect.

        I would also like to know what “Billy Jack Sunday” means by “rats.” The irony escapes me.

        • Jane quite right. I do not know any of the bishops personally, only some hard working clergy actually and dedicated lay people. U know my views on worship by now and think in that directions things improved and clerical appearance.
          To be an Orthodox cleric in Kardashian USA really in it’s way as difficult as Russian clergy in Breshnev USSR.
          All I can say and I do not know answer is we must before approaching the Church be aware of the congregational protestant mentality thst in the air in USA and influence us. Yes the Church is local but Catholic at same time.
          All I can say the situation of hollowed out eastern patrarchates as Fr Alexander Schmemamn said those decades ago, is a problem for the entire Church and a tragedy for those involved made worse by Syrian situation.
          The Church as whole needs to deal with it but Sadly we see political games and power play, little of Christ. This is what turns people away.
          The GOA certainly appears in crisis at all levels but in end of day we may package the Church nicely for suburban America with ‘ministries ‘ ( what a protestant Term) but if we not preaching Christ crucified and that to follow Him is to take up yr Cross with tears and fasting and prostations But also INTENSE JOY ( no doubt the new – old Soviet aparatchnik style atheists will call that sadism!) we may as well get another hobby

          • Jane Rachel says


            Thanks for your reply. You write, “All I can say the situation of hollowed out eastern patrarchates as Fr Alexander Schmemamn said those decades ago, is a problem for the entire Church and a tragedy for those involved made worse by Syrian situation.” How do the eastern patriarchs make the situation in Syria worse? I’m not sure what you mean. Would you mind explaining a bit more?

            • Jane I think you may have misinterpreted what Nikos said. He did not say that eastern Patriarchs make the Syrian situation worse. I do not think that would be true in any event.

              I believe he said that the Syrian situation increases the problem of hollowed out eastern Patriarchs, in this case Antioch (Damascus).

              Why is that a problem? I can’t speak for Nikos and can only give my own opinion. Hollowed our eastern Patriarchs (Constantinople, Antioch, perhaps Jerusalem to some extent, cannot survive on their own. They have ancient buildings and large synods that take lots of money to support. So they keep their talons in their foreign eparchies to keep control of every dollar possible. This denies us what we deserve. An organic authentic autocephalous American Orthodox Church, combing the best of what each old world tradition has to offer with the American experience. Apologies to Nikos if I hijacked his thought in a way in which he did not intend it.

          • Joseph Lipper says

            Remember when Russia was a hollowed-out eastern patriarchate?

            • Michael Bauman says

              But Russia had the catacomb Church, Joseph. Saints, like St. Luke of Simferopol and the Crimea among others.

    • Constantinos says

      You really let Metropolitan Gerasimos have it at Orthodox Christian Laity. His statements were incredible. Talk about being out of touch. He referred to the “Ecumenical Throne,” our beloved Patriarch Bartholomew,’ and that he “confronted” the individual in private. Does anyone believe he did any such thing? “The first among equals?” It’s time for the Greek Orthodox Church of America to cut “HIS ALL Holiness” loose. The greatest super power in history, the third most populous country on earth, and we don’t even have our own Orthodox Church!

      • George Michalopulos says

        These grandiose titles are really churlish if you ask me.

        • Greatly Saddened says

          Oh, how true and yet, so sad. Amazing for example, a small country like Albania in comparison to us and being under communist rule up through the early 90’s and as of the last census of 2011, 58% of the country is Muslim. Now please tell me how the church there is autocephalous and we here in the good ‘ol USA is not?

          What is one to make of this? Might we here not yet be mature enough to be autocephalous just like Albania? How silly, or better yet, how stupid!

          • 'The Black Sheep' says

            $$$! Something Albanian Orthodox don’t have but Greek-Americans do.

            • Michael Woerl says

              “Now please tell me how the church there (Albania) is autocephalous and we here in the good ‘ol USA is not?”
              The Phanar “freed” the Albanian Church to the status of “Autocephalous,” and appointed a Greek to head that Church, which is, although “Autocephalous,” is also beholden to the Grand Poobah in Istanbul, and will always side with the Grand Poobah in all his undertakings. A FER SURE vote in any “Great and Holy Whatchamaclalit!” America as “Autocephalous” is a BIG NO NO! That would greatly diminish the cash flow to Istanbul … And an “American Autocephalous Church” controlled by Greeks? The Obama/Hillary lovin’ Greeks? And possibly 95% of the “The Orthodox Church needs to recognize gay marriage!!!” nuts are … right here! And for those who think Big Bucks, and “World Power” status should equal “Autocephaly,” you are 100% WRONG. WHY would anyone even begin to think such nonsense? America has a tiny, tiny percentage of the world’s Orthodox Christians, and by all the nonsense that goes on here, “Autocephaly” is, and should remain, a pipe dream. Make that a crack pipe dream!

              • Billy Jack Sunday says

                Michael Woerl

                The nonsense that goes on here has largely to do with the fact that we are not local, not autocephalous

                Your argument is getting high off its own supply

              • Jane Rachel says

                Michael Woerl,

                You wrote: “That would greatly diminish the cash flow to Istanbul.”
                It seems that you are implying the cash “flowing” to Istanbul is somehow misused. Do you know the facts about where the money goes? Can you back up your claims with evidence? If so, great! Then we can all know.

                You write: “The Phanar “freed” the Albanian Church to the status of “Autocephalous,” and appointed a Greek to head that Church, which is, although “Autocephalous,” is also beholden to the Grand Poobah in Istanbul, and will always side with the Grand Poobah in all his undertakings.”

                By using quotes around the word “freed,” you imply that the Albanian Church is not free at all. How do you know they are not free? Why do you imply there is something wrong with the relationship between the Albanian Orthodox Church and the Ecumenical Patriarchate?

                Has anyone visited the Albanian Orthodox Church’s beautiful web site, to see if these things be true? Here is an excerpt from their Home Page. It speaks for itself:
                “After the Germans retreated from Albania in November of 1944, Albania came under total control of a communist regime. The Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania suffered under this regime like no other Church in the communist countries. For forty-six years, Enver Hoxha and his regime tried to destroy and eradicate Orthodoxy in our country.

                During the second phase of this persecution (1967-1990), the Albanian state became completely atheist. On the 4th April 1967, orders were given for the absolute persecution of religion. With a decree released on November 22, 1967, Albania was officially declared as the first and the only atheist state in the world and in history, where every expression of religious was constitutionally banned. The Orthodox Church crumbled. At that time, the Orthodox Church of Albania consisted of the Archdiocesan district, three other Metropolises, 19 hierarchical zones, 330 church communities and 25 monasteries (without monastic brotherhoods). The clergy were forced to remove their robes. Terrible crimes, internments, imprisonments, and murders were carried out against the faithful. All the churches and monasteries were violently closed, many of them were razed to the ground, others were repurposed and turned into museums, storehouses, blacksmiths, stables, etc. The Church’s possessions, such as its property, sacred vessels, and archives were confiscated. Even the smallest expressions of religious belief, e.g. owning icons, lighting candles, dyeing Easter eggs etc., were severely punished. For twenty-five years no ordination to the ranks of the clergy took place in Albania, but a most tragic thing was that no bishop survived this great trial. Therefore, when this period of persecution ended, it was impossible to reestablish and reorganize the Church given its internal situation.

                In 1991, when the communist regime collapsed as a result of world developments, the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania was in a very poor state. Terrible trials during the preceding decades had, as massive fires, burnt-down the local Church and left it barren like a desert.

                The initiative for the reorganization of the Church of Albania, which had been granted Autocephaly in 1937, was taken by the Ecumenical Patriarchate. On June 24th, 1992, His Beatitude Anastasios (Janullatos) was elected as Archbishop of Tirana, Durrës, and All Albania. Anastasios, at that time Bishop-Metropolitan of Androusa and Professor of the University of Athens, had also up until that time been the Moderator for the World Council of Churches Commission on World Mission and Evangelism. His election in 1992 was preceded by a year of missionary work, having arrived in Tirana in June 1991 as the Patriarchal Exarch. By the grace of God, the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Albania which began to be directed and organized by Archbishop Anastasios, rose again from the ruins.”

          • Jane Rachel says

            Greatly Saddened,

            You wrote:
            “Might we here not yet be mature enough to be autocephalous just like Albania? How silly, or better yet, how stupid!”

            I believe you are onto something. The United States is only a little over 200 years old. We show by our actions how immature we are… in fact, this blog shows how immature we are.

            • Thank you for that I am no fan of Phanar etc but re Albania the truth. My one bleat.. . U must know is via u damn yank Greeks u introduced the organ to some churches in Albania . Why do u wish to destroy Orthodox worship?.. And it does Only u guys no.

              • George Michalopulos says

                WHAT?!? An ORGAN? Will this madness never end?

                • Billy Jack Sunday says

                  Lon Chaney seen hanging around outside Orthodox Church in Albania

                  Very concerned

              • Jane Rachel says

                Hey, Nikos,

                Well, I’m not Greek Orthodox, but I sure agree with you about the organs.

                • Michael Bauman says

                  Jane, we do agree on something fundamental. That is a joy to me. No sarcasm. Although I must say we have an organ at my parish. It was a memorial gift given in the memory of a long time parishioner many years ago. It is not hooked up and has never been used, but it was brought over from the old St. George when the new one was built.

                  • Tim R. Mortiss says

                    When I first went to the local Greek church in the early 1980s, there was a harmonium (electric organ). I remember especially it being played during Good Friday lamentations.

                    It was quietly removed from the church over 30 years ago.

                    • Billy Jack Sunday says


                      Harmoniums first entered the Greek churches (late 60’s) not because of Roman Catholic or Protestant influences

                      But because The Doors were highly popular within the Greek community at that time

                      Therefore, organs will be phased out in time

                      Also, The Doors weren’t moody and depressing enough for the Russians

                      So that’s why you see the difference between the two communities

                • Michael Bauman says

                  I heard an interview with one of the founding members of the a capella vocal group Sweet Honey in the Rock years ago. In that interview she commented on why singing a capella was important. To paraphrase: it was to reclaim and proclaim the primacy of the human spirit over mechanization.

                  Now with truly great musicians, their instrument is reclaimed as well and becomes humanized and quite literally a part of them. I do not know if that is possible with organs however–even small ones. They were created to dominate.

        • Billy Jack Sunday says

          Grandiose titles are indeed churlish

          However, if I was a metropolitan, I would demand that I was addressed as, “Your M & M’s”

          I would also severely reprove and repudiate any subsequent giggling

          One on one as well as by public communication

          That’s how I would also defend the Mothership

        • Jane Rachel says


          Churlish means “surly and vulgar.” “Grandiose” means “absurd exaggeration.” Be sure to put the blame where you think it’s due, and not on the titles. Perhaps the Orthodox Church worldwide should consider changing the titles so they are not so offensive to the Monomakhos participants.

          Would you prefer that we call them “Mister Bartholomew” and “Mister Gerasimos”? Should these educated, experienced men undo their educations? Would you like Patriarch Bartholomew to move to an apartment in, say, Tulsa, and hang out at the local coffee shops so he can eat bagels and poke around online?

          I’m still shaking my head at your conclusion that Metropolitan Gerasimos doesn’t know his history, and therefore is “not a serious man.” Do you know him?

          • George Michalopulos says

            I don’t know him, so your point is valid –but only to a point. Any college educated man who thinks that a local church preceded the birth of Christ must have cut a few history classes.

            • Billy Jack Sunday says


              Maybe you should take it easy

              After all, the Church of Constantinople has been under Turkish subjugation since 1453

              And let’s not forget

              They were in captivity for 70 years with the Babylonians as well as in bondage with the Egyptians for 400 years

  2. Whiskey six says

    The letter by Jerry is his way of throwing his crown in the ring. Welcome to the GOA game of thrones.

    Archbishop Jerry the Great!

    • George Michalopulos says

      But yet according to The National Herald, Arb Demetrius is not going to step down.

      • DIMITRIOS GOID MAN AS MAY BE BUT HE IS 90..!!! HALLO., Yes he is a bishop until death and to celebrate liturgy till physically unable. But to lead GOA variety organ show?!! Hallo Retirement? How old was Iakovos when fell on his staff, sharp end hopefully.

  3. Billy Jack Sunday says

    Just got word from “the Mother Church”

    She doesn’t want us playing any ‘foosball’ either

  4. Constantinos says

    Instead of talking about things that divide us, why isn’t there more of a hue and cry for one autocephalous Orthodox Church in America? As everyone knows, we live in a very uncanonical situation in America. Think of all the confusion, division, waste, and duplication of resources. Surely, our Lord can’t be pleased with this situation. Why does some antiquated Patriarch in Istanbul, Turkey have any influence in America?

    • Jane Rachel says

      Hi Constantinos!

      You are making sense here. However, how can it be done? I don’t want to “churn the waters,” but I do want to understand, to learn the truth as far as it’s available, and to find some balance in this “debate.” Metropolitan Gerasimos made this statement in a response to Metropolitan Jonah back in 2009:’

      “For over 2000 years, faithful Orthodox Christians have kept the Church in Constantinople alive. This is especially true of the last 556 years, since the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans. Each day the faithful of the Ecumenical Throne, both clergy and laity, live their lives witnessing to our precious Faith in a Muslim world. Their world is one of sacrifice and persecution that comes from outside the Church.”

      Metropolitan Gerasimos also states: “Recently, we have been saddened by a homily given by Metropolitan Jonah of the Orthodox Church in America (formerly known as the Russian Metropolia). In his speech, Metropolitan Jonah attacks the Ecumenical Patriarchate and, in reality, all the ancient Patriarchates, calling them “Old World.” The Metropolitan ignores the canonical and ecclesiological understanding of that which is recognized in the diptychs of all canonical Orthodox Churches, namely, that the Ecumenical Patriarch is the first to be commemorated. Whether Metropolitan Jonah realized it or not, his words were an attack on the apostolic succession, which is derived through the ancient Patriarchates.”

      What will happen if the Church of Constantinople and the EP is “cut loose”?

      Shoot, I might as well cut and paste the entire letter:

      Archon News
      Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco defends the Ecumenical Patriarchate

      San Francisco, CA
      His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco has issued a letter to his faithful in response to recent public remarks made by the Primate of the OCA during a Pan-Orthodox Vespers in Dallas, TX and an ensuing apology issued by the OCA on Holy Friday. The Archons of the Order of Saint Andrew fully support Metropolitan Gerasimos’ letter which refutes the OCA Primate’s remarks and defends the mission of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. The letter can be read in its entirety below.

      April 22, 2009
      +Bright Wednesday

      Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you,
      and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for my sake.
      Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward
      in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
      (Matthew 5:11-12)

      Dearly Beloved in the Lord,

      Christos Anesti!

      The Church of Constantinople, tracing her apostolic roots back to St. Andrew the First Called of the Apostles, continues to preserve the integrity and sanctity of our Christian Orthodox Church. The apostolicity of the Throne of Constantinople is further acknowledged by the historical fact that the Apostle and Evangelist John preached in Asia Minor.

      For over 2000 years, faithful Orthodox Christians have kept the Church in Constantinople alive. This is especially true of the last 556 years, since the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans. Each day the faithful of the Ecumenical Throne, both clergy and laity, live their lives witnessing to our precious Faith in a Muslim world. Their world is one of sacrifice and persecution that comes from outside the Church.

      Recently, we have been saddened by a homily given by Metropolitan Jonah of the Orthodox Church in America (formerly known as the Russian Metropolia). In his speech, Metropolitan Jonah attacks the Ecumenical Patriarchate and, in reality, all the ancient Patriarchates, calling them “Old World.” The Metropolitan ignores the canonical and ecclesiological understanding of that which is recognized in the diptychs of all canonical Orthodox Churches, namely, that the Ecumenical Patriarch is the first to be commemorated. Whether Metropolitan Jonah realized it or not, his words were an attack on the apostolic succession, which is derived through the ancient Patriarchates.

      The 28th canon of the Fourth Ecumenical Council, which convened in Chalcedon, not only affirmed, but completed that which had been understood by the Second Ecumenical Council, namely, that the Ecumenical Throne was granted “equal privileges as those of the Church of Rome.” To this day, for example, only the Ecumenical Patriarchate possesses the ecclesiastical authority to act judicially in the appeal process regarding clergy outside its jurisdiction (Canons 9 and 17).

      Moreover, the spiritual authority of the Ecumenical Patriarch is not “papal” in its expression, spiritually or administratively. To say so is an argument without understanding of Christian Orthodox ecclesiology. One must remember that the Ecumenical Throne has jurisdiction over the Church in many countries throughout the world. Along with the land of modern-day Turkey, the Patriarch of Constantinople oversees the work of the Holy Gospel in Northern Greece, Mt. Athos, the Islands of the Dodecanese, Crete, Australia, Great Britain, Western Europe, Southeast Asia, Albania, Carpatho-Russia, and the Western Hemisphere (especially among the Greek Orthodox and the Ukrainian Orthodox Churches). There may be contention from other jurisdictions challenging the responsibilities of the Ecumenical Throne–although these responsibilities are supported in Canon Law–but it supports the same pretext of the Turkish government.

      Metropolitan Jonah, despite a weak attempt to reinterpret his statements, has shown us that the Ecumenical Patriarchate must now concern itself not only with attacks by those outside the Church, but also from within the Church, as well. It seems that the Metropolitan has ignored the fact that today’s world is moving towards globalization in every aspect of life, as evident in our ability to communicate with one another instantly.

      I appeal to Metropolitan Jonah to reconsider his position, especially during this holy season, as we celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection, and come forth with a sincere apology to our Mother Church of Constantinople.

      I beseech all God-loving Orthodox Christians to realize that we are all the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. This unity is expressed by the truth that we all partake of the precious Body and Blood of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ. As a Eucharistic community, we offer the prayer of the Holy Anaphora during the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great, “…unite us all to one another who become partakers of the one Bread and the Cup in the communion of the one Holy Spirit. Grant that none of us may partake of the holy Body and Blood of your Christ to judgment or condemnation, but that we may find mercy and grace with all the saints, who through the ages have pleased You: forefathers, fathers, patriarchs, prophets, apostles, preachers, evangelists, martyrs, confessors, teachers, and every righteous spirit made perfect in faith.”

      With Love in the Risen Lord,

      +Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco

      • George Michalopulos says

        “Over 2000 years”?

        That’s all I need to know. Gerasimos is not a serious man. I guess they didn’t teach church history wherever he got his MDiv.

        • Jane Rachel says

          What? This is how you totally discredit the man?

          • Jane Rachel, no, this is how Gerasimos discredits *himself*. He needs no help from anyone. The Apostle Andrew, well, he didn’t go to Byzantium OR Kiev. Or Seattle, Alaska, Hawaii or China. If fantasy is what the bishops want, fine, they should be sent play money. The way to deal with ancient patriarchates, our pyramids, is to ignore them. Don’t return the phone call, block the internet address, change the locks. Simple. If the Church here wants self rule (and I don’t mean like “Antiochians”, another virtual reality game) then act like it. Take it. If the Church here doesn’t, expect to continue to have your intelligence insulted by ill-educated leisurely bachelors. That Gerasimos actually says Constantinople has been a church for > 2000 years….Well, just not worthy of rolling eyes.

            • Jane Rachel says


              1) How do you know the Holy Apostle Andrew didn’t go to Byzantium?
              2) I don’t know what you are talking about. Would you mind making a bit more sense?
              3) Why are you getting caught up in Metropolitan Gerasimos’ exact wording? No one in their right mind could believe any educated person would be that dumb; therefore, he simply used the term “over 2,000 years” as a statement not to be taken verbatim. I guess he wishes he would have written, “for almost 2000 years” or something more acceptable.
              4) I like it when my intelligence is insulted. It keeps me on my toes.

              • Jane, concerning the much-traveled Apostle Andrew, I don’t “know” he didn’t go to Byzantium or Kiev. I’ll be content to join the late Fr. George Florovsky and historian (honored by the EP) Steven Runciman, both of whom called the association of the apostle with Byzantium a myth. I expect there are others. Met Gerasimos is not the first of EP apologists to make that 2000 year gaff, and it’s just plain stupid. The EP publicists (who probably came up with the amusing title “Green Patriarch”) have use it before too, saying the Phanar (light) has been spreading the Light for over 2000 years. I wouldn’t trust these chaps to tell me in what century the 2nd world war was fought or the American war of independence. Or anything else. If you like your intelligence insulted you don’t have far to look, just listen to any of those fellows in the interesting hats and the men who say they can do no wrong. I bet you’re a lot smarter than that.

                • Jane Rachel says


                  Okay, you win. Metropolitan Gerasimos is “just plain stupid.” Let’s remove the EP, and remove or replace the Metropolitans and Patriarchs and Bishops and Your Graces with anyone you like, and you and your people take over, okay? Let’s remove the Ecumenical Patriarch, change his color to purple, stop him from doing what you don’t like him to be doing, get rid of it all, not worry about what happens (just in case some people happen to be killed or tortured), and you can have your way. Put some “smart” people in their places – people who will do the “right” thing. Now that you have gotten your way, and you and your people are in control, what are you going you do?

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Jane I must say that I agree with you re the whole relocating the EP to NYC thing. It’s a ludicrous concept.

                  • Bishops need to have some qualification other than being single and having a body temperature. They need to be local, not answering to a place that used to have a church. As one GOA priest put it decades ago, if there is no “Ecumenical City” (and there is not) then you have no Ecumenical Patriarch, period. The “Antiochians” need to stop using that term as the Greeks need to admit that, sadly, 1453 and 1955 happened. I don’t suggest the EP move to the US to further confuse things, but simply say there used to be an EP, there isn’t anymore. Parishes are unaffected. I ignore what bishops say because most of what they say is nonsense like what we’ve been discussing. When they can be taken seriously, fine. There are very few Kallistos Ware type bishops, in fact just one. He won’t be around a lot longer which saddens me. The EP would never dream of putting someone that smart in a diocese. The EP where he is or anywhere else doesn’t bother me particularly, I just cringe when I think that my children or potential converts might discover the silly things he and his publicists write and mistake it for Orthodox Christianity.

                    • Jane Rachel says

                      You wrote, ” if there is no “Ecumenical City” (and there is not) then you have no Ecumenical Patriarch, period.”

                      This makes no sense. What defines a “city”? I mean, at what point did the Ecumenical Patriarch cease to exist? He’s still there, and working hard behind the scenes, doing his job in both a practical and a spiritual sense. The EP can’t help it that their physical presence in Istanbul has shrunk to a few city blocks over time.

                      What’s important, is the spiritual , overarching, archetypal presence of the Ecumenical Patriarch, WORLD WIDE.

                      I often think to myself that we American Orthodox are far too self-important, and that the Holy Orthodox Church Patriarchs, spiritual leaders and laypeople in other countries roll their eyes at our self-serving “opinions.” We want what we want, and we want it now. We will believe what we are told and we will follow the status quo. We are AMERICANS!

                      You can say the EP’s writings are “silly,” but I’d be willing to bet there are millions of Orthodox Christians who would think that your opinion is one of the silliest statements they have ever read – that is, if they ever bothered to come to this blog and read it. What I cringe at, is the thought that my kids might read some of the comments on this blog, or find out what some of the bishops and priests in this country are really doing, when no one is around to see them.

                      Here is a quote from Father John Meyendorff:

                      “Fr. John Meyendorff saw the need for the primacy of Constantinople:

                      [The] Patriarchate, for the past many centuries, has been recognized as having a certain responsibility for the entire Church as a center of consensus with a “primacy of honor.” This is why it is called the “Ecumenical Patriarchate.” Misinformed journalists sometimes identify the Ecumenical Patriarch’s position to that of the pope in Roman Catholicism, which is, of course, quite absurd, but it is unquestionable that the Orthodox conception of the Church recognizes the need for leadership of the world episcopate, for a certain spokesmanship by the first patriarch, for a ministry of coordination without which conciliarity is impossible… (“Needed: The Ecumenical Patriarchate,” in Vision of Unity (Crestwood, NY: SVS Press, 1987), p. 133.)

                      Personally, I see no way in which the Orthodox Church can fulfill its mission in the world today without the ministry of a “first bishop,” defined not any more in terms which were applicable under the Byzantine Empire or in terms of universal jurisdiction according to the Roman model but still based upon that “privilege of honor” of which the Second Ecumenical Council spoke. We should all think and search how to redefine that “privilege” in a way which would be practical and efficient today. (“The Council of 381 and the Primacy of Constantinople” in Catholicity and the Church (Crestwood, NY: SVS Press, 1983), p. 142.)

                      Meyendorff thus identifies Constantinople’s presbeia in terms other than mere “honor,” but that it fulfills a practical need.”

                    • Jane,

                      Historically, the patriarch leading the diptychs has been designated “first among equals”. Unfortunately, Pat. Bartholomew, in true papalist fashion, insists on being considered “first without equals”:

                      “The primacy of the archbishop of Constantinople has nothing to do with the diptychs, which, as we have already said, merely express this hierarchical ranking (which, again in contradictory terms the text of the Moscow Patriarchate concedes implicitly but denies explicitly). If we are going to talk about the source of a primacy, then the source of such primacy is the very person of the Archbishop of Constantinople, who precisely as bishop is one ‘among equals,’ but as Archbishop of Constantinople, and thus as Ecumenical Patriarch is the first without equals (primus sine paribus).” –

                      No matter what form of convoluted illogic one uses to arrive at the above statement, it is clearly papist heresy identifying the actual person of the Pat. of Constantinople as the source of primacy rather than his ranking in the diptychs, as if he possessed some unique charisma unlike other bishops. Without the deference of other local churches based on Constaninople’s elevation to primacy in its glory days, by default, after Rome fell from grace, it would be nothing to speak of besides a tiny little congregation of a few thousand oppressed Greeks.

                      What is obviously true, however, is that Constantinople lacks any justification for continuing to hold the first place. If the criteria of the patristic age was used to reevaluate the situation, Constantinople would no longer number in the top five given its size and relative insignificance. It is better known for heresy than anything else. First at the Council of Florence and now in its pursuit of a papist unia. When will they ever learn? They lost their freedom to Turks because of their apostasy in the 15th century.

                      Why tempt fate again?

                  • M. Stankovich says

                    I certainly would not turn to the internet, nor to you, Rachel, but rather, after such chaos, anguish, generations of our youth lost to complacency and indifference, and a legacy of a leadership in captivity, I would turn to Him,

                    that appoints princes to rule as nothing, and has made the earth as nothing. For they shall not plant, neither shall they sow, neither shall their root be fixed in the ground: He has blown upon them, and they are withered, and a storm shall carry them away like sticks. “Now then, to whom have you compared Me, that I may be exalted?” says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and see, who has displayed all these things. Even He that brings forth His host by number: He shall call them all by name by means of His great glory, and by the power of his might: nothing has escaped Him. For have you not said, O Jacob, and why have you spoken, O Israel, saying, “My way is hidden from God, and my God has taken away my judgement, and He has departed?” He shall call them all by name by means of His great glory, and by the power of His might: nothing has escaped Him. And now, have you not known? Have you not heard? The eternal God, the God that formed the ends of the earth, shall not hunger, nor be weary, and there is no searching of His understanding. He gives strength to the hungry, and sorrow to them that are not suffering. For the young men shall hunger, and the youths shall be weary, and the choice men shall be powerless: but they that wait on God shall renew their strength; they shall put forth new feathers like eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not hunger. (Isa. 40:23-31)

                    Such a cynical, resigned, and powerless position you would have us in, not a little more than one week after the Holy Pentecost, the celebration of “Fire from Fire,” the Holy Spirit Who is “ever-invigorating, ever-inspiring, ever-moving and ever-working” among us. If we honestly, truly, and factually have no one qualified and worthy to take the positions of these stagnant, static, arrogant individuals who value the memory – the illusion – of the “God-Saved City of Constantinople” more than the Church, we already know the answer:

                    But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said to them, O generation of vipers, who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance [ἄξιον τῆς μετανοίας]: And think not to say within yourselves, “We have Abraham as our father”: for I say to you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid to the root of the trees: therefore every tree which not producing good fruit is cut down, and cast into the fire.

                    We do not need to know what is going on “behind the scenes” or what might be the “sticky situations” in which these individuals might be engaged to state the obvious: the fruits of the negligence and arrogance speaks louder than words, and the consequences affect the entire Orthodox Church. Sadly, I am convinced that if they are left to their own devices, they will crash and burn, aided and abetted by those, like yourself, Rachel, who would place the Ecumenical Patriarch above the scrutiny of the Church, and above the instruction of the Holy Scripture and Holy Fathers to correct and offer brotherly direction, apparently, as Met. Gerasimos indicated, because “the Ecumenical Throne was granted ‘equal privileges as those of the Church of Rome.’” And I would ask Met. Gerasimos and you, where in the Holy Scripture or in the teachings of the Holy Fathers is the Ecumenical Patriarch – or any member of the ordained clergy, for that matter, excluded from correction (or from the direction of Matt 18:15-18, “If your brother shall trespass against you, go and tell him…) by any layman? Exactly nowhere. Your rudeness and and aggression is simply unjustified.

            • Billy Jack Sunday says


              St. Andrew did, in fact, found the Church of Constantinople

              Before the birth of Christ

              He then founded Wall Drug – after ridding the surrounding lands of all jackalopes

              This is why he is a cherished Saint with bikers

              • Billy Jack, you are nominated for an honorary Doctorate from Halki, Princeton on the Sea of Marmara.

                • Billy Jack Sunday says


                  That’s rad!

                  Maybe I can also be made a titular bishop somewhere in that region as well

                  I could populate it with digital Orthodox Christian characters – kinda like Pokemon Go

                  You would just have to download the app

                  Then you could see an entire digital population of Orthodox Christians around “Asia Minor” at random as viewed by your smart phone

                  Someone let the phanar know that I figured out how to get the Byzantine Empire back

                  You’re welcome, everyone

        • Billy Jack Sunday says


          The Metropolitan and the Archons are in agreement:

          The Church of Constantinople even predates the crucifixion and resurrection

          Oh – and that Church beat the Russians to North America

          and space

          In the Mothership

        • Constantinos says

          I wanted to check the claims that the Church of Constantinople was founded by St. Andrew. It seems that it is a medieval invention; there is no substantive historical evidence to support the Ecumenical Patriarch’s contention.
          In my search, I encountered the website Catholic Bridge. According to them, the Eastern Churches embraced the formally embraced the heresies the Arianism, Monothelitism, Monphysism, and Iconoclasm for extended periods of its history. They say reunion with Rome cannot occur until the Orthodox Churches abandon their heresies of contraception and divorce which were condemned by the Eastern Fathers. That’s one problem I have with the Orthodox Church is divorce and remarriage. I think it contravenes Christ’s command not to divorce.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Costa, while I must disagree with you about divorce and remarriage, you are otherwise correct about the spurious claims about St Andrew founding the church in Byzantium.

          • Jane Rachel says


            What? “Spurious”? You are stating something that is can easily be proven to be a false statement, and in addition, you are making the accusation that the EP is lying. Clearly, you should back off that statement. But I’m not you.

            “After the Ascension of Christ, each Apostle went to teach to a different place. Andrew the First-called went and taught to Bithynia, to the Black Sea, the Propontis, Halcedon, Byzantium, Thrace, Macedonia, and the places until Istro, to Thessaly, mainland Greece, and the Peloponnese; also to Aminsos, Trapzoun, Heraklia, and Amastris. He did not simply pass through all those countries, as the wind does, but stayed there and taught and endured many toils and afflictions for the Gospel… The relics of the Apostle, a long time later, during the reign of Constantios, were transfered to Constantinople at the command of the king by the Martyr Artemios and were set with Luke’s and Timothy’s relics in the temple of the holy Apostles.”



  5. Alitheia1875 says

    Theodore Kalmoukos of the National Herald writes that faculty at HCHC are supporting the Archbishop in his decision not to resign. The rumor is that some metropolitans don’t want the archbishop to step down, or be removed for that matter, because they might be next on the list to get ousted. The EP will sooner or later, probably sooner, force the archbishop to retire/resign if he doesn’t do it on his own. A lot will be said by the patriarch’s choice of his representative at the clergy laity congress in Boston this summer.The patriarch will depend on the representative to give him a close read on the temperament of the clergy and laity, especially the laity. He definitely doesn’t want to kill the goose that keeps on laying golden eggs. If it’s Elpidoforos watch out. The next archbishop will definitely be the EP’s man. Some think it might be Evangelos of NJ. What a catastrophe that would be.

  6. George Osborne says

    Be careful, Billy Jack, in today’s vulgarian society the term “Mother” often has unexpected connotations!

    • Billy Jack Sunday says

      George Osborne

      Ah ha, yes

      However, I gotta say, “The” Mother Church I am extremely uncomfortable with

      “A” Mother Church – sure

      “OUR” Mother Church (for GOA) – okay

      “THE” Mother Church?

      Did he really mean that the Ecumenical Patriachate/Church of Constantinople is THE Mother Church (overall for all Orthodox), or did he just mean it implied as OUR Mother Church (since he was addressing individuals in the Greek Metropolis of San Francisco)?

      I’m not sure

      • M. Stankovich says

        As I recall from a “60-Minutes” interview of the EC a few years ago, THE Mother Church and the glorious City of Emperor Constantine the Great consists of approximately 6-square blocks of run-down buildings in a similarly run-down suburb of Istanbul. And this, as we know from the Troparion of the Cross, is how the Lord has “blessed His inheritance” [ευλόγησον τήν κληρονομίαν σου]. Wait a second… check that. With that logic, I’ll be vacationing in Bayonne, NJ. Or something to that effect. Where all those pigs… Holy Cow! Now I have gone on to offend Archpriest (and Dean) Alexander Webster, who at one time more than put me in my place regarding this scurrilous rumor in regard to Bayonne. Mr. Michalopulos, I would ask that you not allow me to engage in uncorroborated accusation – despite my own subjective experience, such that the drive between Newark Airport and the George Washington Bridge on I-95 is the stinkiest, nausea-provoking ride I have ever taken (and for which I always carried a dose of odansetron, at which I marveled – tell ’em, Mr. M.). Enough of this…

        These are, truly, existential moments of absurdity: millions (am I correct?) of Orthodox Christians feel beholden to “honour” a city that does not exist except in the writings of Steven Runciman, in which, apparently, the cops suggested to the 60-Minutes producers they not park their cars unattended. The “proprietor” – with no pejorative intended – offered all sorts of – how can we put this – responses that “stretched the limits of the imagination” (with the notable exception of where I work) as to why “we” (the queens, “we”) must remain. I, however shamefully, concluded it reasonable to assume he should fear that if he travels for too long, the locks might be changed upon his return. He could write the Pope for assistance, but his batting average is low, and the “pawns” for negotiation paving the way to you-know-where. Has someone told him about Sunday Brunch at the Essex House – Central Park West?

        • Archpriest Alexander Webster says

          Thanks, Dr. S., for that brief ride down memory lane.

          I fully concur with your apt characterization of the penetrating, odoriferous stench in the air that one must endure while driving the gauntlet between Newark Airport and the GW Bridge.

          But I must, once again, rise in defense of Secaucus, New Jersey, whose “pig farms” Johnny Carson regularly blamed for the horrible “smell” on the NJ Turnpike. The notorious “pig farms” had long vanished into history by the time Mr. Carson became host of the Tonight Show. What stunk then was the nearby Kearny, NJ, dump and the industrial effluence rising like pagan incense from the oil refineries of Elizabeth and Linden, NJ.

          As for Bayonne, NJ, that was the place where many of us poor souls in Jersey City hoped to move someday. As it happens, a number of my high school chums did precisely that.

          • M. Stankovich says

            SECAUCUS! I knew Bayonne just didn’t sound correct. I appreciate your second correction in my NJ geography in my one lifetime, Fr. Dean. Actually, I was awaiting your intervention as the joke was between you and me, and quite obviously, you are blessed with the better memory.

            This, then, is a brilliant segue that fell into my lap courtesy of Nick. I had hoped someone would pick up on the reference to the “Essex House Hotel” overlooking Central Park in Manhattan, albeit GPS’d incorrectly – and my money was on Billy Jack Sunday, master minutiae. The “old school” Saturday Night Live featured original announcer Don Pardo, who generally announced the final program break by stating, “Guests of Saturday Night Live stay at the Essex House Hotel on New York’s Central Park (I gratefully stand corrected) South.” But he occasionally ended some sort of “comedic tension” by offering, “room service, part of the fine dining experience at the Essex House Hotel on New York’s Central Park South. The Essex House, by the way, is a Marriott “upscale Manhattan hotel [that] sits adjacent to Central Park South and is minutes from Lincoln Center, Columbus Circle and Fifth Avenue.” Age…

          • Monk James Silver says

            The pig farms and attendant abbatoirs of the Secaucus NJ area which I knew as a boy have been gone for years, and so is the Kearny dump. In fact, the Passaic River is so cleaned up now that Rutgers Newark uses it for crew practice and racing. The fish have returned, and they’re edible now, or so I’m told.

            The wetlands (we used to call them The Swamp) from Secaucus to Newark Bay are now a nature preserve Cleaning it up, beginning in the 1970s, nearly everything was found there, including miles of plumbing, abandoned automobiles, and architectural fragments from the old Penn Station in Manhattan.

            The acrid stench of the refineries, alas, remains. But we have made progress. Most of NJ’s energy needs are now met by nuclear plants instead of by burning fossil fuels.

        • Central Park South

        • Jane Rachel says

          What I can glean from Mr Stankovich’s recent barrage of words is that Mr. Stankovich tells us that he has visited the EP in Istanbul via “60 Minutes” and “THE Mother Church and the glorious City of Emperor Constantine the Great consists of approximately 6-square blocks of run-down buildings in a similarly run-down suburb of Istanbul.” We are made to conclude from Mr. Stankovich’s “logic” that the Ecumenical Patriarchate headquarters should not receive “honour” [SIC] by Orthodox Christians worldwide, since the city “no longer exists.” At least, I THINK that’s what Mr. Stankovich is getting at…

          One thing I’m quite sure of is that we don’t know what it’s like to be the Ecumenical Patriarch, and we don’t know what is going on behind the scenes, and we don’t know what goes on behind closed doors, and we don’t know what is happening on the world stage.

          I guess we American Orthodox should insist the EP moves to Tulsa, or New York City, or Secaucus, New Jersey.

          Does anybody on Monomakhos have any useful suggestions for this world religious leader, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, as to how he should proceed? I’m sure he’s listening.

          • M. Stankovich says

            Jane Rachel,

            There are a number of ways to approach your comment. Perhaps you missed Mr. Michalopulos’ opening remark to this thread:

            Not a bad thing but it’s good to add a little levity every now and then. And let’s not forget that satire can serve a rhetorical purpose.

            I took this as an invitation. Whatever…

            Let’s begin with the simplest approach possible, in three words: State the obvious. The Diptychs of the Primates of the Autocephalous Orthodox Churches begins with:

            His All Holiness, [Name], Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch

            Maintenant, faites attention, State the obvious:

            His All Holiness, [Name], Archbishop of 6-square blocks of run-down buildings in a similarly run-down suburb of Istanbul New Rome (Madonna Mia!), and Ecumenical Patriarch. Many Years!

            OK, Rachel, in the oikonomia of charity, let the “fluidity” of “obviousness” allow for “Archbishop of a headquarters in a city (and a Rome) that does not exist. ” Whether I become BFF with His Holiness, he issues me an all-areas backstage pass, or calls me up on stage (“I have an old friend in the audience tonight I’m going to bring up on stage to join me for some blues…”) to accompany him on the Strat for Muddy Water’s “I’m ‘Goin Down to Florida,” it will never change the obvious. But again, Rachel, whatever… As I have said to you previously, if you devoted a quarter of your time to studying the Holy Scripture and the Patristic Fathers as you do the inanities of these issues, you would have been able to provide an exceptionally “useful suggestion for this world religious leader, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, as to how he should proceed.”

            In the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, in what compromises the majority of Chapter 7, Stephen, “a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit,” who had been arrested and accused of “blasphemous words against this holy place [the temple], and the law” (Acts 6:13)
            is brought before the Sandhedrin to answer these charges. Instead, he chooses to present to the High Priest and those gathered a detailed account of the salvation history from Abraham to their present time, particularly in regard to the tabernacles in the wilderness, to the time of David. Then, quite startlingly he tells them,

            But Solomon built him a house. However, the most High dwells not in temples made with hands; as said the prophet, ‘Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will you build me?’ said the Lord: or ‘what is the place of my rest? Has not my hand made all these things?’ (Acts 7:47-50)

            That’s the answer? Yup, pretty much. What is Stephen saying, Rachel? “The Most High does not dwell in the glorious City of the Emperor Constantine, the New Rome, nor does He dwell in approximately 6-square blocks of run-down buildings in a similarly run-down suburb of Istanbul.”

            Again I say to you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the middle of them. (Matt. 18:19-20)

            The suit does not make the man, Rachel, nor do the GPS coordinates make the “New Rome.” “I am with you always, even to the end of the world.” (Matt. 28:20) The honourific title, Ecumenical Patriarch, is not a designation bestowed from heaven. Apologists, convince me this is not ethnocentrism, nostalgia, or worse, idolatry.

            Finally, sarcasm is significantly different than both levity and satire. It seems to me you pick fights, insult, and even mock “opponents” you unnecessarily create, and with whom you are at a distinct disadvantage to insult. This would be one of those times. It is pointless and childish. And if you didn’t see this coming (are you with me, Mr. M.?) you are seriously out of your league. And the EP could certainly do worse…

            [Grammarly offers, “A note of caution: when you use [sic] to mark a mistake, make sure it’s really a mistake. Just think of all the spelling differences between British and American English . Even if a spelling seems unfamiliar to you, double-check it before you sic it.]

            • Jane Rachel says

              Mr. Stankovich,

              You win. I give up. I guess I must be all those things you so eloquently list about me. I AM out of my league. Oh, well.

              That being said, what I wanted to know is, what should the EP DO?

              • M. Stankovich says

                Rather than gloating in my victory, Rachel – and who would start drinking before the All-Night Vigil? – apparently my point was not as obvious as I had intended?

                Let’s assume you agree with the premise that if “the Most-High no longer lives in temples built by hands,” (Acts 7:47) and this includes “Constantinople,” irregardless of Met. Gerasimos’ comments about St. Andrew, his “timeline,” or St. John’s preaching in Asia Minor (wat?), or that the city in question is non-existent. Likewise, let’s run with bob’s conclusion that Met. Gerasimos is a party to his own, if you will, disreputation:

                Each day the faithful of the Ecumenical Throne, both clergy and laity, live their lives witnessing to our precious Faith in a Muslim world. Their world is one of sacrifice and persecution that comes from outside the Church.

                I have a friend – a very close friend, in fact – who recently traveled to visit the historical remains of the early Christian structures in Ephesus, then, simply as a pilgrim, met with the Ecumenical Patriarch in his private office, in his headquarters, in the 6-square blocks of run-down buildings, in a similarly run-down suburb of Istanbul, New Rome [from here forward, the abbreviation will be 6SQB]. The EC, he told me, could not have been more gracious, kind, or receptive. In fact, the EC was so gracious, that he invited my friend to join him for the liturgy the next day (a Sunday), and to stand next to the EC in the kliros, and to receive Communion as a pilgrim. When I mentioned to my friend about the “world of sacrifice & persecution that comes from witnessing the precious Faith in a Muslim world,” his thought was that a “cohort” of the “faithful of the Ecumenical Throne” is minuscule in Istanbul, and that the “sacrifice & persecution” could be interpreted simply as choosing to remain in the [6SQB] – and in the mockery of the shadow of Hagia Sophia. I would continue this thought by noting that it also seems quite deceptive to fail to distinguish persecution because one is an Orthodox Christian from persecution because one is Greek. One cannot deny that the Greek population of Istanbul had fallen from approximately 130,000 in the early 1920’s to approximately 2,500 in 2008 (only a year prior to Met. Gerasimos’ letter), but only Human Rights Watch is emphatic that the reason is because they were Greek, not Orthodox Christians.

                In my estimation, Met. Gerasimos engages in what I term “reframing-en marche arrière,” casting a situation so as not to see it in a better light, but in a worse light. He does this in the example above, but also when he celebrates the individuals who “kept the Church in Constantinople alive,” forcing the question, “At what price is captivity?” and in the “muscle flexing,” statement, “the Ecumenical Throne has jurisdiction over the Church in many countries throughout the world,” I say, “He could do that from anywhere, even Tulsa.” (Am I right, Mr. M.?)

                So, Rachel, the best I can offer about “what should the EP DO?” flows from my own perspective, and for that, I have turned on the safety-belt sign, because I suggest he make a little noise. If he is truly the Ecumenical Patriarch, gives us again a moral voice of authority; loud, forceful, authoritative, free and unrestricted. The Church diminishes as he remains a hostage of nostalgia. Secondly, he will make the most impact from the 4th Rome: NYC. The city so nice they named it twice. Nothing to build, no buttons to push, no broker’s fees, “move-in ready.” More Greeks than Greece, for heaven’s sake. And best of all? Brunch at the Essex House Hotel on Central Park South. Can you actually barrel-roll an AirBus, Rachel? Your call. But you have my thoughts about “what should the EP DO.”

          • Greatly Saddened says

            Please forgive me and I certainly do not mean any disrespect. May I kindly ask, what has the Ecumenical Patriarch out of his so called love, done for his largest eparchy here in the United States of America?

            Since becoming the Ecumenical Patriarch, in my humble opinion, he has caused innumerable damage.

            Beginning with requesting the bishops to resind their signing at the Ligonier meeting, to the forced resignation of his Godmother’s brother of blessed memory, His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos. The Ecumenical Patriarch felt threatened and decided to break up the former archdiocese. Divide and conquer.

            He personally selected and had elected, His Eminence Metropolitan Spyridon of Italy, as the successor to His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos. Did you happen to notice there was basically no communication between His Eminence Spyridon, with his former predecessor, His Eminence Iakovos? This seemed a bit strange, to say the least, wouldn’t you agree? Could this have come from the top, meaning from the ivory tower in Istanbul? I would tend to think so!

            The elevating of the then diocesan bishops to metropolitans of their own sees. And by doing so, having them now answering directly to the Ecumenical Patriarch, half way around the world, rather than to the archbishop in NYC. Basically leaving the role of the archbishop as an honorary title, with little if any true responsibility.

            The passing of the most recent charter, which gave the laity even less say than before in respect to the archdiocese.

            I personally find it rather difficult to believe in my heart, this Ecumenical Patriarch, really has good intentions and the best interest of us here in the USA. I do believe he is afraid of losing us and by possibly doing so, quite obviously, also losing our financial support which he so sorely needs. Not thinking that by doing so, may very well help rather than hinder the financial support to the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

            I truly believe he has his own personal agenda and selfish reasons for not granting autocephaly to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Perhaps being, “penny wise and dollar foolish!”

            I hope and pray I am wrong in my thoughts and feelings. Nothing would make me happier than to be proven wrong.

            Lord have mercy on this terrible situation that confronts us!

            • Jane Rachel says

              Greatly Saddened, Here is a comment from Father Chris Margaritis of Assumption of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Church in Denver, CO, made on October 23, 2014 2:28 am on the OCL web site:
              “Be careful what you ask for. I can’t speak for all the ancient Patriarchates, or the divisions and pride that so many cite here. Clearly the Church from its onset copied and followed the divisions and offices of the Roman empire, perhaps wrongly but so. But by the grace of God, that very empire become Christian, and its emperor built the city of Constantinople on the concept of that new faith. There is no other city founded in the name of our faith, no parallel in Christian history of this magnitude. The word “Christendom” has no real meaning outside of the context of Constantinople. For a millennium, Constantinople was considered the “new Jerusalem”. In all that time it was believed to be protected by the Theotokos herself. These are not attempts at ethnic bragging, this is historically how the Christians that fathered us actually thought. Those now under the Patriarch of Constantinople enjoy (prideful or not) primacy in the hierarchy of the Orthodox Church. To abandon this ancient Patriarchate for a new autocephaly would put us at the very bottom of the hierarchical list. I doubt our American pride would take well to that.

              But all that is academic. To put it in real terms, after 9/11, Osama Bin Laden sent an ultimatum to the USA. Surrender to Allah. Of course we never took that seriously, but our response was hard and violent. Had his attacks continued, we would have responded even more heavy handed. Regardless, lives were lost and considered a worthwhile sacrifice. We would NEVER surrender NYC or the smallest plot of land to such demands. Well, neither will those who remain in Constantinople surrender the last inch of that venerable and historic city and what it represents to Orthodox Christianity without first surrendering their lives. That is a fact.

              So those of you wanting, praying for and even demanding autocephaly, right or wrong, for better or for worse, should we ever do so we’d soon discover that not only would our voice severely diminish in worldwide Orthodoxy, but we would in effect pass a death sentence on our ancient Patriarchal see, and the man who holds that office…or does anyone really think the Turks or other Muslims of the middle-east would spare them once their American support was gone? Our conscience would forever pang in regret.

              I understand the needs we face, and the desire to better ourselves, but would we? And at what price? Have we really thought this through? Is the Lord really concerned that we aren’t governed by the likes and power of the papacy…seriously? Those who crave that are in the wrong denomination. It’s not that our pastors are weak, but that our people are strong; hardened by centuries of martyrdom, to this point in millions upon millions. In the wake of that, we are casually debating who is rightfully in charge? [2 Timothy 2:23, Titus 3:9] The answer is clear to any believer. No man. Only the Lord Himself. And while Satan has us bickering and dying from top to bottom, why add to the fray? Must we too now unravel our history any more than the world has already done? None of this debate is even remotely significant by comparison. We point to the pride we perceive in the Patriarchates, but do we see the log in our own eye?”

              • George Michalopulos says

                What the good priest is offering here is sophistry. Sentimental to be sure but a superficial understanding of properly-ordered ecclesiology nonetheless.

              • Gail Sheppard says


                I would argue that it’s ludicrous to compare the reaction of United States to 9/11 to any response Constantinople could have to anything, ever! They occupy a few blocks.

                The Church is alive and fluid. It will move in whatever direction the Holy Spirit dictates and should the bishops decide to fold up shop in Constantinople today (which is very unlikely, BTW), no one would fight to the death to protect every “last inch of that venerable and historic city and what it represents to Orthodox Christianity without first surrendering their lives.” That’s insane. What’s more likely is the Church will move on with or without the support of the EP. He will be ignored. I think we’ve already seen that happen in Crete.

                As far as being granted autocephaly, we would rise to the occasion. We brought in 2000 Evangelical Christians across North America on a single day and survived, though people insisted it was impossible. Americans are quite resourceful when put to the test. It’s in our collective DNA.

                People assume the Assembly of Canonical Bishops has been inactive but not before they created plans for just this sort of eventuality. We wouldn’t be starting from scratch.

                The bishops sent a POWERFUL message when they all got together in Russia last Fall without the EP. Some of these men have trouble breathing the same air! But they put all that aside for the greater good of the Church. They seem to realize that today’s challenges require them to move in lockstep and they’ve demonstrated their willingness to do exactly that. Whatever decisions are made, the bishops will be leading the effort and the Holy Spirit will be leading them. How can we fail?

                • Jane Rachel says

                  Gail, Rev. Protopresbyter Chris Margaritis is the presiding priest at the Assumption of the Theotokos Cathedral in Denver, Colorado. You say his ideas are “ludicrous” and “insane.” Whatever your opinions, his words should be read with respect – if not for his office, then at least because he is a thinking, intelligent, well-informed person. I am sure he would not direct the same words back at you. I’m just saying, it seems unnecessary to use those terms.

                  Did you READ this?:
                  “So those of you wanting, praying for and even demanding autocephaly, right or wrong, for better or for worse, should we ever do so we’d soon discover that not only would our voice severely diminish in worldwide Orthodoxy, but we would in effect pass a death sentence on our ancient Patriarchal see, and the man who holds that office…or does anyone really think the Turks or other Muslims of the middle-east would spare them once their American support was gone? Our conscience would forever pang in regret.”

                  Oh, let’s just tell Patriarch Bartholomew to move to New York and get it over with. No one will mind.

                  Can you be absolutely SURE that you are right? These Orthodox leaders are dealing with extremely sticky situations. We armchair analysts simply don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes.

                  As for the 2,000 evangelicals who came into the Antiochian Church in one day, say what you will, but I can only say that you don’t know everything about that.

                  • M. Stankovich says


                    I attempted, in a very respectful way, to point out to you that there is absolutely no reason I can see for your sarcastic, offensive, and childish approach to individuals who comment here. You create adversaries where there are none; you invite disrespect by your sarcastic tone; you invite argument, not debate or discussion; you seem to go out of your way to hinder & stifle further discussion beyond your comments. “Can you be absolutely SURE that you are right?” No, and neither can you. Stupit point. Thank you, Mr. M., and you may now close this site, leaving only the quote, “Pilate said unto Him, “What is truth?”

                    What is so ridiculous to me is that you make absolute authorities out of absolute nobodies! “Rev. Protopresbyter Chris Margaritis is the presiding priest at the Assumption of the Theotokos Cathedral in Denver, Colorado.” WAT! Fr. Margaritis is significant to this discussion because… He’s not, for heaven’s sake! You Googled until you found a nobody who fit your narrative. He has an “opinion” like everyone else has an opinion. You suggest,

                    his words should be read with respect – if not for his office, then at least because he is a thinking, intelligent, well-informed person. I am sure he would not direct the same words back at you

                    and my response to you is that “his office” is no qualification as to whether he “should” be read (you made that up), and you damn well ought to follow your own advice about respecting “thinking, intelligent, well-informed persons,” and I suggest that those on this forum who have been insulted by your sarcastic, “Did you READ this?” let you know just how offensive you are.

                    It is my impression you are “accelerating” in your aggressiveness, merely transferring your obsessiveness from one topic to another. You just don’t seem to get the truth of your statement:

                    Oh, let’s just tell Patriarch Bartholomew to move to New York and get it over with. No one will mind.

                    No one will mind and no one will care. Do you get it, Rachel? This is the internet. A sandbox. A playground. If I heard the Ecumenical Patriarch, Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome took into consideration this forum and what he read here before deciding anything, I would go find out what this Oxycontin is all about…

                    You are not a researcher, a scholar, an original thinker, nor particularly insightful, Rachel. You are just a commentator like everyone else here. You want to adversaries? Punctuate your posts with sarcastic, passive-aggressive slaps in face from your internet-derived anonymity? Don’t cry persecution when you ask for it.

                    [Note: I do not know Fr. Margaritis and my comments were “rhetorical” – however, re his writing, I concur with Gail & Mr. M., sophistric “nostalgia,” and ludicrous (and as Ludacris would say, “You ‘betta call the hommies ’cause it’s about to go down.”]

                  • Gail Sheppard says


                    I did not say his ideas were ludicrous or insane. I said the statement that one could compare the reaction of the United States to 9/11 to what Constantinople would/could do is ludicrous by virtue of their respective sizes. This has nothing to do with the office of “priest” and I have no opinion of this Father Chris one way or the other. I don’t even know him! His statement, however, is overly dramatic to the point of being absurd. Saying that “our voice (would) severely diminish in worldwide Orthodoxy” and “we would in effect pass a death sentence on our ancient Patriarchal see” is equally over-the-top. – Plus, we don’t have a Patriarchal “see.” We have an Ecumenical Patriarch, in the Ecumenical “Patriarchate,” who is “first among equals.” Being first among equals is not primacy, i.e. authoritative power.

            • Billy Jack Sunday says


              Perhaps out of his great love, the EP will, in fact, relocate to NYC [or perhaps D.C] – as some have suggested

              This would be an act of love

              As American evangelicals wouldn’t have to travel near as far just to get the door slammed in their face

      • George Osborne says

        I would imagine in his ethos, there is absolutely no ontological distinction!

      • Billy Jack Sunday says

        Furthermore, commenter Dan on another article, but related comment stated that the Episcopal Assembly is now proven
        nothing more than window dressing

        I agree

        It’s proved absolutely pointless now

        It’s probably a good thing that ruse to block autocephaly has been exposed

        They act like things were going well, like Voltron was being formed when they met – but it was all smoke and mirrors

        It’s sad because this Mr. Valiotis was really just affirming one very important ORTHODOX point

        The Church is local!

        When we lose this truth, or fail to live it out, sooner or later it seems Orthodoxy is lost as well

        Rome wiped out the Celtic Orthodox Church, forcing reformes and leadership changes from a great distance

        The Celtic Church was Orthodox and strong when it was local

        It would seem they do not teach this local church truth at HCHC

        A mistake to award Mr. Valiotis an honorary degree? I think not! If anything, his actions show his merit – because at the last hour he boldly told those students exactly what they weren’t being told and exactly what they needed to hear

        And in front of the hierarchs who needed to hear it to

        That took guys

        He didn’t deserve correction or repudiation

        He deserves a standing ovation and a Chuck Norris thumbs up

        I thought what he said about the Ecumenical Patriarchate moving to America was actually charitable

        Given what appears to be the “Green Patriarch’s” true prioritized mission, I would have suggested that the Ecumenical Patriachate move to Furn Gully

        • Billy Jack Sunday says


          *That took guts

        • Alitheia1875 says

          There is no such thing as “World Orthodoxy” and the phrase “Mother Church” or “Holy Mother Church” has been a reference to Rome used by Roman Catholics.

          • M. Stankovich says

            Allow me to back up here and approach this in a more patristic fashion. Apparently the question is whether the Church is “local”; the secondary question, an addendum, suggests that it is improper to refer to the Church as “Mother” or “Holy Mother” specifically because the term(s) directly reference Roman Catholicism (and while it is unclear to me if the grounds for this objection are based on gender – Mother – or to an unspecified heresy of the RCC, I find neither rises to a point of substantiation, which will become clear); and I add a third question, can the Church, by its very nature, ever be simply “local?” These are essential, foundational, dogmatic truths, the answers to which are far reaching, and certainly beyond my capability – and the reason we have historically held Great Councils. Nevertheless, I think there are two fairly straight-forwards points that may clarify without significant confusion.

            Fr. Georges Florovsky wrote a wonderful short essay entitled, “The Ever-Virgin Mother of God,” with the sole intent of pointing out to the theologian that their task is “to explain to the believers and to all who seek truth the majestic mystery of the Incarnation. This mystery, beginning from the age of the Fathers, is symbolized by one sacred name: “Mary the Virgin, Mother of the Incarnate God.” He goes on to explain this “association” of Mary with the Church, this mystery of the Church, isn’t a “payback” for completing a mission, but because she chose to represent the entire fallen humanity, to become the “New Eve,” and becoming the Mother of the Incarnate Word. And in this response, she has left this indelible impression, Mother of the Church [Ματέρ Έκκλεσία] on all:

            And here there is a special place for her who is united with the Redeemer in the unique intimacy of motherly affection and devotion. The Mother of God is truly the common mother of all living, of the whole Christian race, born or reborn in the Spirit and truth. An affectionate identification with the child, which is the spiritual essence of motherhood, is here consummated in its ultimate perfection. The Church does not dogmatize much about these mysteries of her own existence. For the mystery of Mary is precisely the mystery of the Church.

            Secondly, Florovsky, in no uncertain terms, distinguishes the Orthodox theological interpretation of this position of Mary from that of of the Roman Catholics:

            Catholic theology follows the teaching authority of the Church, behind its living tradition. The Orthodox theologian himself lives in the Church, in the Body of Christ. The church is a mystical body, where, it can be said, the Mystery of the Incarnation does not cease to function, revealing its new facets in the sacraments and prayer experience. In the Heavenly – the true Catholic and Universal Church – the mystery of the New Humanity appears as a real new being. And here, in the living unity of the mystical Body of Christ, the personality of the Blessed Virgin is in all glory and glory.

            Quite to the contrary, it is the Orthodox who have, from the earliest days of existence, joyously referred to its Church in terms of “Mother.”

            In another place, Fr. Florovsky spends considerable time discussing the fact that the Fathers seemed to purposely refuse to define the word “Church”; they certainly described and characterized it, but rarely attempted to define it. As I thought about it, I immediately figured I should check a Father who contributed most significantly to the Church’s determination of its limits and boundaries (i.e. what must you do to be considered “in” the Church), St. Cyprian of Carthage, who is thought to have died in 294 AD. Among his writings are a series of approximately 90 Epistles where I found more than 50 similar examples:

            The glorious fruitfulness of Mother Church rejoices by their means, and in them abundantly flourishes; and in proportion as a copious virginity is added to her number, so much the more it increases the joy of the Mother. (I, 3)

            How joyously does your Mother Church receive you in her bosom, as you return from the battle! (II, 2)

            [They – the lapsed – will] have to plead their cause both before me and before the confessors themselves and before the whole people, when, with God’s permission, we begin to be gathered together once more into the bosom of the Church, our Mother. (IX, 4)

            We have found our parents our murderers; they have denied to us the Church as a Mother; they have denied God as a Father: so that, while we were little, and unforeseeing, and unconscious of such a crime, we were associated by others to the partnership of wickedness, and we were snared by the deceit of others? He who does not have God as a Father, does not have the Church as a Mother. (II, 9)

            I gladly rejoice and am thankful, most brave and blessed brethren, at hearing of your faith and virtue, wherein the Church, our Mother, glories. (VIII, 1)

            And finally, it is ironic (but never ironic) that as we are in the “post-Feast” or “Leave-Taking” of Pentecost, as Fr. Florovsky concludes his essay by observing,

            The Church is one. This does not merely mean that there is only One Church, but that the Church is a unity. In it mankind is translated into a new plane of existence so that it may perfect itself in unity in the image of the life of the Trinity. The Church is one in the Holy Spirit and the Spirit “construes” it into the complete and perfect Body of Christ. The Church is predominantly one in the fellowship of the sacraments. Putting it in another way, the Church is one in Pentecost, which was the day of the mysterious foundation and consecration of the Church when all the prophecies about her were fulfilled.

            When I was in college, I used to visit with an elderly Syrian widow (Of all things, her departed husband was Abraham, and she was Sarah), and she would tell me stories about life and the Church in her village. The one distinct thing I always remember was her description of when the Bishop(s) visited, and even once when the Patriarch of Antioch visited. She said when the Bishop visited, he would do things like chop wood or go to the well and fill containers for the elderly or disabled. She said the Patriarch (who arrived on a white horse) spent the whole day, and he and his priests and deacons baked bread, cooked, washed clothing, and obviously visited the sick, heard confessions, taught, and so on. This was the Church of Pentecost, and obviously, while it’s hands were in the “local” church, its heart and mind was in the Kingdom to come. Our Bishops, apparently, cannot see that, for the most part, they are strangers to their own flock, their words are “confounding,” and they are running out of time fast.

            • Michael Bauman says

              Michael S., thank you for your reflection. If the Church were only local, we could not be united with Jesus Christ and each other. If the Church were only “universal” we could not be human. She is fully human and fully divine.

              Just another of the antinomies that Lossky pointed out.

            • What beautiful words and actions. I call to mind the wonderful words of Bartholomaios, as my kumbaros says, conference paper words to be FORGOTTEN on way to next seminar. If he did one action that would speak volumes and preach values. And yes he is in a difficult position. But are not we all with an excuse not to attend the wedding of the King.?

      • Antiochene Son says

        I don’t know how often the good Metropolitan attends Vespers on Saturday (I know many GOAA parishes have no such service), but the Octoechos calls Jerusalem “the Mother Church”.

        • George Michalopulos says


        • Billy Jack Sunday says


          If there is a “The” Mother Church, it’s Jerusalem

        • Antiochene Son says

          Perhaps Jerusalem should be made the Ecumenical Patriarchate. (I say that with full knowledge that Antioch is not in communion with them right now.) It certainly has a better historical claim than the Phanar—and that is the only claim they can make at this point, sadly.

  7. For some reason, I expected a bit more hapkido from Billy Jack.

  8. Constantinos says

    Has anyone read The Great Collection of The Lives of the Saints published by Chrysostom Press? Does anyone have suggestions that are must reading for an Orthodox Christian?

    • George Michalopulos says

      Costa: Everyday Saints by Tikhon Shevkunov. Also, Christ, the Conqueror of Hell by Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev.

    • Fr. David Hovik says

      Orthodox Psychotherapy and Spiritual Medicine both by Metr. Hierotheos Vlachos

    • Michael Bauman says

      On the Incarnation by St. Athanasius the translation with the forward by C.S. Lewis.

  9. Greatly Saddened says

    Let us face the facts, the situation with the archdiocese is beyond anyone’s wildest imagination.. It pales in comparison to anything one could have humanly and possibly thought.

    There seems to be nothing left untouched by this gang of black robes and their lay appointees.
    May it be the archdiocese itself, Hellenic College, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Saint Nicholas at Ground Zero National Shrine, the Priests’ Pension Fund and need I go on?

    Meanwhile, the festival season is upon us once more and many of us will be giving up of our own time and volunteering to help out during the festival, along with various other fund raising events throughout the year to help offset the financial responsibilities at each of our parishes.

    In less than one month, the archdiocese will be holding its elaborate Clergy-Laity Congress in Boston to tell us exactly what? Thank God to The National Herald, we the general laity have learned the truth and if not, the closest thing perhaps to the truth regarding the shenanigans of the archdiocese.

    This so called religious institution is way beyond the critical stage and also way beyond any life support. As much as I am reluctant to say this, time has come to seriously scale back the contributions to this fledgling so called religious institution. At this point, by its actions as well as lack thereof, no longer warrant the general laity’s contributions. Talk about continuously pulling the wool over our very own eyes!

    All this seems to be is one big game and unfortunately doesn’t seem to have anything to do with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Sad to say, but unfortunately true!

  10. Billy Jack Sunday says

    Metropolitan Gerasimos also stated that he really hates the following:

    1. Autocephaly

    2. Christmas (Julian Calendar)

    3. Whoville

    4. An autocephalous Orthodox Church in Whoville

    5. An autocephalous Orthodox Church in Whoville during Christmas

    You’re a mean one . . . Mr. Grinch . . .

  11. 'The Black Sheep' says

    I always say, ‘if the people will lead, the bishops will follow ($$$).’ 😉

  12. 2 more cents worth says

    Metropolitan Gerasimos does have an air of elitism about him. Not sure if it stems from his academic degrees (PhD in psychology or counseling or something from the 1990s) or the Ecumenical Patriarchal elitist blanket he seems to keep wrapped up in.

    Regardless, it’s such a contrast with the sainted Archbishop John whose relics rest in an old calendar cathedral in Metropolitan Gerasimos’s episcopal see of San Francisco. Such contrasting models of what it means to be an Orthodox bishop.

    Without judging, I would say that more faithful are drawn by Saint Archbishop John’s life.

    However, the Greeks have always put more weight on secular academic credentials, as if these really mean much in the grand scheme of things. An old OCA/Metropolia priest I know could never stand the way the Greek clergy show off their secular academic credentials right and left.

    I suppose, to some extent, how much you care about secular academic credentials directly relates to who your intended audience is.

    For the faithful, the goal is Christ. My thought is to go with whichever Orthodox jurisdiction helps you grow most in Him. For me, it’s Saint Archbishop John’s. For others, I suppose it may be the GOA, as long as they don’t go schismatic!!

    Blessed Apostles Fast! 13 days longer for the OC folks, but that’s 13 more days to struggle toward Christ!

    • Alitheia1875 says

      Fr. John Romanides, easily the greatest mind to ever come out of HCHC, was of the opinion that in order for one to become an Orthodox theologian one had to have first ascended Mt. Tabor. So much for academic credentials.

    • Hi as a greek Orthodox living in Bulgaria ( heaven, humble poor church that worships in great beauty, greek or Russian style.,THEY NEVER HEARD OF AN ORTHODX ORGAN STYLE ( KITSCH SHITE STYLE) and I know USA and who with usa good friend, serving Marine, spent an afternoon finding the Russian Cathedral and venerating St John in Cisco ( the american good friend and Marine much moved) I understand fully.
      When i was a kid and we moved to uk from Greece, the first uk based greek bishop was sent from USA. athenagoras Kokkinakis THE FULL GREEK AMERICAN WORKS, little goatee, he tried to introduce harmoniums and clean shaved clergy etc and was met with total resistance by greek cypriot laity. which saved the greek church in Uk
      My own godfather’s son come as priest, clean shaved ( monks dirty, not like the Catholics, said my godfather)’. He was good priest but with next bishop Methodios, grew beard and was soon in scandal sent to Sweden. Say no more more and about the good Kokkinakis who i heard preach an Easter sermon on the Turin shroud and the Church has doors but no walls and the Turkish gown wearing and hair growing. 19c under -taker suits and roman dog collar,, obviously Heights of fashion for some happy clergy! ?
      My uncle in Greece said to me ‘ God help us if we could not tell a priest in public, what they would get up to.’!
      Gerasimos looks what he is, at home in first class on way to some conference spouting lovely words, like former Soviet clerics attending those peace conference in 1970s and 80s. so satirised in a very good book called ‘uncle Arthur and read Sq, by Christos Yannaras. TOTALLY IRRELEVENT TO YR TYPICAL pretend Greek-, AMERICAN KARDASHIAN FAMILY. As i saw.
      Empty hollowed out patrarchates, are the CURSE of the Church stopping us from entering the modern world as Fr Alexander SCHMEMANN often said. And draining the life blood AND CASH from you and why yr Orthopraxis ( liturgical life and worship) has been bastardised and given pseudo westernization to now in average traditional ( in yr screwed Terms) Parish resembling a bad 19c Mass. My fav memory is Bortnyanski ‘s Heruviko hymn with organ. The good man turning in his italianate grave. And that actually is what yr musical tradition is, musical equivalent of italianate humanist icons.
      Personally I would like a bozouki liturgy, more proletarian.

      • If i can reply to myself but I just read an appeal for the Panaghia diocese centre Chapel in Florida. And it gets to heart of problem..WE ARE WITH BEST INTENT LIKE MEDEVAL PAPACY flogging indulgences for St Peters in Rome.
        I read the appeal by the florida area Metropolitan Alexis, nothing wrong, i am not claiming scandal etc and as we say Από την φάτσα του Καλός και έχει γένεια! and good cause.
        But a closser look, buying brings as it were with chosen names bricked into to chapel to be prayed for in eternity, is damn well the same thing.
        We do this all the time because our Orthodox mentality and way of funding the Church, has turned it into a business with as the Russian peasant, and Kazanzakis, describing the priest as a ‘ shop keeper selling God’. So many grammes of holiness for the dead or for the living, so much per name.
        At least the Catholics were more logical and honest.
        The problem is we do not tithe because our connection to the Church is only worth it if everybody else knows we Leadership 100 etc. At least that was a start but turned into power play. WE can blame the bishops amd many yes,BUT WE NEED TO SEE BEAM IN OUR EYES TOO.

  13. Malis Fanikas says
  14. Photius Underwood says

    Remember the Metropolitan giving an interview saying he was a fan of the show Desperate Housewives?

    From the LA Times:

    In a wide-ranging interview, Gerasimos spoke of such things as the TV show “Desperate Housewives,” gay marriage, the war in Iraq and the politicization of the Terri Schiavo case.

    He admitted he is an unabashed fan of “Desperate Housewives.” Said Gerasimos: “That little bit sultry TV program has so many truths in it. I’m watching it every time it’s on.” He said the show is popular because it depicts what goes on in many families and connects with viewers.

    “What I’m saying to the church is, can we do that?”

    Read the whole article for a blast from the past.

  15. Michael Bauman says

    There is a false assumption that an autocephelas church here would leave the Patriarchates penniless. Out of love and charity there would still be money for real needs.

  16. What beautiful words and actions. I call to mind the wonderful words of Bartholomaios, as my kumbaros says, conference paper words to be FORGOTTEN on way to next seminar. If he did one action that would speak volumes and preach values. And yes he is in a difficult position. But are not we all with an excuse not to attend the wedding of the King.?

  17. Michael Bauman says

    Jane, in response to your post here

    No bishop has a purpose without a flock, no flock can keep together without a bishop. Part of the “everybody going his own way” here in the U.S. is because we do not have ruling bishops. Even the OCA suffers from this lack interestingly enough since their primacy is conditional. Primacy is required for a Church as is obedience to that primacy but what the EP is doing is not an exercise in primacy — it is politics. In that world he is out gunned, out manned and out flanked at every turn.

    When any man’s eyes and appetite wander to big chores and importance “behind the scenes work”, part of our soul is disturbed and darkened. I cannot speak for women. IMAO the Patriarchate of Constantinople suffered great injury the moment the first Patriarch paid the bride to the Turks to secure the office. The Turks have been slowing and brutally squeezing the life out of it every since. That has not changed.

    We will never know, can never know what might have happened if no one had taken the official office if a bribe was required. There could have still been a Patriarch of the Church and the tenure of each might have been quite short, but ……??? What would happen now if he rejected the “champagne wishes and caviar dreams.” and the machinations of power. He would have more influence if he lived in a simple hut and tended to his neighbors in any way that he could.

    The whole idea that history is made by doing big things, important things is a deep and abiding fallacy in our culture. It has no place in the Church at all. The way of the Christian is the way of the Cross allowing God to reveal the resurrection and give the increase.

  18. Zenas Palifernas says

    Paul Manolis told off Gerry many times.
    This guy is pure Helladism.
    He was Bart’s way of keeping them from ungreeking.
    Just recall Bart is the guy who gives Vaskania to our seminarians.
    Bart is the one who needs to quit.

  19. Billy Jack Sunday says

    Metropolitan Gerasimos and all within the Metropolia of San Francisco

    Supplemental and/or alternatively

    For a reasoned, detailed, concise and well articulated response from another source regarding the denial of autocephaly to the Church in the United States:

  20. M. Stankovich says

    No, no, no. Friday, midnights at the American Museum of Natural Histoy, Hayden Planetarium, Central Park West at 79th Street (leave it alone, Nick). Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety. Metropolis schmetropoliscomfortably numb. No explanation necessary…