Open Letter to the Assembly of Bishops

Received by anonymous poster 8/31/2021:

[pdf id=32875]





  1. The truth WILL SET YOU FREE. Well stated and very pointedly directed to the many responsible for what we, as Orthodox Christians will NO LONGER TOLERATE within or outside of the GO Church. The Great Christian Revival is coming. We ARE moving mountains with Christ. We have DISCERNMENT and Christ’s AUTHORITY to banish you thee behind us and purge the church of its evil ways and corruption.


  2. Antiochene Son says
  3. Heather Georgiou says


  4. This is great! Hopefully, our bishops will read it thoroughly, and let it soak in! (Though, I wouldn’t hold my breath.)

  5. One does not beg the sun for mercy.

    The clerics know exactly what they have done and why. They intended to do it – every last thing mentioned and many more. B*tching at them is futile. Leave the modernist jurisdictions and find traditional parishes. Modernism only gets worse. The only power the laity really has is the freedom to associate or disassociate.

    Live and let them die on the vine.

    Until you leave them, you are merely enablers. It is your money that allows them to do the vile things they do. And you must share the blame.

    • Ronda Wintheiser says

      I agree with you, Misha.

      Our family left our OCA parish. We are now attending an Antiochian parish where the priest did dutifully post notices about masking, etc., in 2020, but made it clear to his parishioners that the choice to do so was up to the individual and the family. The Eucharist was/is served with a common spoon, and there is no mention of getting “vaxxed”.

      We have been attending for several months, and today — the Church New Year — we will begin to give to that parish. We stopped giving to the OCA parish in May of 2020 when the bishop and the priest issued their draconian restrictions.

      Those restrictions were relaxed a few months ago, but now they are tightening again. The absurdity is beyond belief. Getting the shots was encouraged by the Synod and the bishop and the priest as part of one’s Christian duty. But now they strongly encourage masking anyway. ???

      It is such a joy to be in a parish where the focus is worship and not public health.

      • Ronda,

        I have a soft spot in my heart for the Church of Antioch. If you are going to remain in a modernist jurisdiction, that is probably your best bet. The thing that seems to elevate the Antiochians a bit above the others is the inherent conservatism of Arab culture, both Christian and Muslim. Neither feminism nor LGBT find much purchase there, at least not with ethnic Antiochians.

        • Ronda Wintheiser says

          Misha, that is my sense of it as well. This parish is the ONLY Antiochian parish in all of Minnesota. I was never very interested in the Antiochian church because of its history in the past decade… And because of what happened to Gail.

          Prior to contacting St. George, I had attempted to find a traditional church — I sent a number of messages to the Russian and Ukrainian and Serbian parishes in the Twin Cities. NOT ONE of them responded. I’m not sure why. I even drove to them hoping to find someone around.

          Fr. John Mangels is the priest at St. George Antiochian here in St. Paul. When I sent him an email and told him that I needed a parish that would not make masking absolute for the sake of my autistic daughter. He was immediately gracious and warm and welcoming and told me essentially what I have already described. Bring her, he said.

          I was nervous about how Jessica would respond to going to a new parish. It’s hard for her to change. She so loved our OCA parish and the priest there and she had made connections with other people as well, even though she is almost completely unable to communicate verbally in any way other than a rudimentary sense. As soon as I told her I had found a church where we wouldn’t have to wear a mask, she wanted to go. She is 30 now, but mentally she functions at about age 4 or 5. Since we started attending, she eagerly gets up and gets ready for church on Sundays. Until a couple of months ago, she had not been to a service since the first week of March in 2020.

          The other day she came to me, and in her halting way, offered that… “St. George is nice.” 🙂

          My other adult daughter has responded very positively to the traditional “feel” at St. George. Even this past Sunday we received a quarterly newsletter from Fr. John, and in it was an article about fathers leading their families to attend Liturgy, and one about St. Paisios. Carissa was pleasantly surprised at that. We had never heard anything quite that “firm” from the OCA parish… And she actually initiated wanting to wear a headcovering again, which is something I raised them with but had gone by the way since we moved to the Cities.

          We’ll take our chances with St. George. 🙂

        • Antiochian Deacon says

          Calling the Antiochian Church “modernist” is really, really, really dumb.

          • George Michalopulos says

            I’m kind of having to agree with you Deacon. From the outside looking in, during the time of late Metropolitan Philip Saliba, it sure looked modernist. From what I am hearing now, Metropolitan Joseph is tightening things up on many fronts, i.e. liturgics, rubrics, moral issues, etc.

            So the context is all. I guess when discussing human institutions you have to say it’s a mixed bag. Misha said that the inherent conservatism of the Levantine people helped keep the AOCNA on the straight and narrow as far as the whole globo-homo thing. (In fact, I think they were out of the execrable WCC/NCC monstrosity as well.)

          • Antiochian Deacon,

            If a church uses the Revised Julian calendar, has pews and the women don’t cover their heads, it is, by definition, modernist. All of that is contrary to the tradition. And there’s nothing dumb about it, only sad.

            • Wow. Where did Jesus command his people to use a certain calendar? I’ll wait……..

              • Is tradition to be reduced to Jesus’ explicit commands? Sounds like a very protestant standard to me.

                • Not protestant, never have been. Just tired of the incessant “holier than thou” attitude from Old Calendarists. December 25 on the new Calendar is December 25 on the Old Calendar. The actual date of Christ’s Nativity is constantly in question. The important thing is that we commemorate these parts of Christ’s life as part of the Church year cycle (there’s your tradition). In the words of Fr. Meyendorff, is it tradition with a small “t” or a capital “T”?

              • You’re now using protestant tactics. The Calendar was made solid by the Holy Fathers. The New Calendar is bad, but it doesn’t take away Grace, not claiming that, we’re not “True-Orthodox”

              • George Michalopulos says

                I’ll answer: nowhere. While the Calendar needs to be updated, the intention behind it was abominable. (Google Meletius IV Metaxakis and see if you want to be on his side.)

                Having said that, what good has come from it? It had caused a slow-motion schism. I’m pretty sure that Jesus, Paul and hundreds of other Church Fathers were not on board with schism.

              • That’s just Protestant reductionism.

                The Church always used the Julian calendar and there was no need to change it.

                • Basil,

                  I did the math once. It will take 6,000 plus years for Pascha to wander into the summer season. It will take an additional 3,000 years (total 9,000) until Nativity wanders into the spring season.

                  I dare say if Christ tarries that long, there will be no Christianity. Of course, I do not believe He will. There’s no reason to modify the calendar. However, even if there were a reason recognized by some critical mass of bishops and laity, you would need a Great and Holy Synod of the Church to do so inasmuch as the Julian Calendar’s use has been confirmed through canon law and the Typikon. The “New Calendar” causes a number of problems due to its inherent conflicts with the cycles of the Typikon. You would need a committee of experts in canon law in order just to come up with a proposal that doesn’t run off the tracks beyond a certain date or eliminate traditional events like the Apostles Fast or Kyriopascha.

                  The point of this travesty was to become more like the heretics. That’s really the root of the problem. Impious conformity.

              • The Julian Calendar is one thing.
                The Gregorian Calendar is another.
                But the Revised Julian is a botched and bungled miscegenation.
                It is neither flesh, nor fowl, nor good red herring!

        • That depends on where you are. In my area, the Antiochian church is run by former Protestants, and largely attended by former Protestants, who are still fundamentally Protestant in belief with little understanding of actual Orthodoxy or Orthodox spirituality. This is in part because the pastor is one of the ones the AO ordained without requiring Orthodox seminary formation first – and who is also very set in his ways. It creates many problems.

          There is a ROCOR parish, but it’s been shut down to all but registered parishioners ever since the lockdown began – and are still shut down, limiting attendance and requiring masks long after all other churches in this area are fully open and functioning. No visitors allowed. And good luck getting them to respond if you reach out to them about this or anything else. They are very exclusive.

          So I’m going to a little OCA parish, which is far more traditional in teaching and practice than the AO, and open and welcoming in a way ROCOR is not. I’m heartened by the new auxiliary Bishop Gerasim, it gives me hope OCA will start moving in a better direction than before, and truly bring Orthodoxy to America for Americans.

          But frankly, I’ll go wherever I can follow Christ best. As a western convert, I can’t get too excited over which calendar is used, if women wear head coverings or whether there are pews or not (my OCA parish has an open worship space, and I love it). I’m a lot more interested in His actual teachings and how to follow them.

    • ABSOLUTELY RIGHT, Misha ! I have walked twice (taking my pocketbook along, too) on “jurisdictions” which were going rotten. The first time (a walk on the Episcopal Church USA, induced by the “revolution” in morals gaily fostered there) was absolutely gut-wrenching, because the prayers and the music were a deep and integral part of my life. The second time (a walk on the Byzantine Catholic Church, induced by the hierarchy implementing “liturgical reform”) was easy, because I had learned that my search for truth was more important than sentimental and emotional attachment. As a dear old Priest friend (Fr. Owen) told me decades ago, “Changing your religion is like murder: it is easier the second time around.” Fr. Owen knew whereof he spoke, for he, himself, had “taken the walk.”

  6. Misha you are right.
    But, give me a Practical advice what to do inside Greece, without any other jurisdictions.

    • Ioannis,

      It is rough if you live in a historically Orthodox country where all or some part of the Church has made a deal with the devil. My advice is to contact the most pious fathers you can find there and posit the same question to them. The Church of Greece is internally divided regarding the antics of Patriarch Bartholomew. That goes also for the Holy Mountain.

      You might try and contact Fr. Theodore Zisis and see what his advice is. Also, Fr. Peter Heers is quite traditional, speaks fluent Greek and has lived, served and taught in Greece.

      If I lived in Greece, most likely I would find the nearest parish of the Church in Resistance there. I do not share the view of some that they are “uncanonical” and outside the Church but rather that they practice a form of “walling off” which is, in fact, prudent in our age.

      • “If I lived in Greece, most likely I would find the nearest parish of the Church in Resistance there. I do not share the view of some that they are ‘uncanonical’ and outside the Church but rather that they practice a form of ‘walling off’ which is, in fact, prudent in our age.”

        Last I heard, the Synod in Resistance hasn’t existed since 2014, having sworn off their “walling off” theology and been absorbed into the more hardline Old Calendarist faction.

      • Misha, thanks a lot.
        Certainly very useful advice!
        Regarding the Church in Resistance, they have a number of “denominations” or groups and the problem is which one is right and has proper Apostolic succession.
        Any thoughts on that?

        • anonimus per Scorilo says

          None has Apostolic succession. Neither do Catholics, Episcopalians, etc. Apostolic succession only exists inside the Church.

          If your hatred for vaccines and masks makes you imperil your salvation by separating yourself from the Orthodox Church and joining schismatics, maybe you should understand where this hatred comes from, and try to cut off the source.

        • Ioannis,

          I tend to refer to all the Greek Old Calendarists indiscriminately as the Church in Resistance. I recognize no enemies in the Julianosphere. You might review one of the few things Fr. Alexander Schmemann wrote of enduring value on The Canonical Problem:

          Some groups are less prone to division than others. Some groups are simply walled off rather than condemning the Greek Church as apostate and without grace. I would read the above article and look at the piety and observance of the parish more than be concerned with their particular take on the canonicity of the New Calendarists. You might also look at how they relate now and in the past to the Russian Church Abroad.

          I simply can’t refer anyone to the Church of Greece while they recognize the OCU. They are the real schismatics and we should be understanding with those who recognized it early on.

  7. Thank you so much for your boldness in defending the Lord’s Church against so many growing heresies within the church hierarchy. Many of our leaders are too in love with power, too preoccupied with a false ‘virtue signaling,’ too emmeshed with joining the spirit of the age instead of championing the Holy Spirit of God. Even the Church’s recent documentary about ‘preserving’ the earth by reducing our footprint was pure ‘this world’ propaganda. First of all, most Orthodox Christians have mostly been very consciencious about taking care of the earth for years now; how could our leaders have been so out of touch with the laity on this matter, acting like it was some ‘new cause’ they were taking up? Secondly, the documentary bordered on idolatry, adoring ‘nature’ as something independently holy, like it was some kind of ancient goddess . And thirdly, while encouraging this pagan worship of ‘Gaia,’ our church leaders have totally ignored any commentary at all about the endless, hideous immoralities being perpetrated by our secular leaders upon the masses. Instead our church leaders recently concelebrated with the non-Orthodox while they honored the gay flag at one of the most radical churches in New York City. Did our millions of Orthodox saints die for nothing in defending the principles of the Holy Orthodox Church? Shame on our leadership for embracing and promoting the moral degeneracy, the moral freefall of the modern world! Shame on our leadership for selling out to the lies of the devil and for attempting to lead the whole of the Orthodox flock into hell!

  8. Anonymous II says

    Speaking of accountability, the mixed-bag cult that was Innocent’s Academy is finally folding. Additionally, their coffeehouse Monk’s Rock is closing, too, although the article cited below says it’s due to ‘labor shortages.’ Yes, there’s a labor shortage, suddenly, but only because their defrocked leader crossed another red line:

    Pray for these families!

    • Ronda Wintheiser says

      Anonymous II, is this a “new” development at St. Innocent’s? I thought the leader was sent packing years ago?

      I visited St. Innocent’s ten years ago while I was on a short term mission trip with OCMC.

    • If you don’t mind me asking, what’s the back story on that?

      • Anonymous II says

        Ronda and George, this is a “new development.”

        Regrettably, their leader wasn’t sent packing, he was taken to spiritual court and defrocked. However, he withheld much from his spiritual father and slid beneath another diocese. Additionally, he continued to allow – maybe insist? – everyone continue calling him “Father” while dressing as clergy.

        Not sure how much I can or should go into detail here, but more will be made public. Some families are seeking community near the monastery in Arizona, but who knows if and when this actually happens. They’ve been through a lot of emotional, deep spiritual (and probably physical) trauma.

  9. Great letter. I do agree that the bishops will likely not listen, but I still think the letter was a good idea. If nothing else, it will be a witness against these bishops on judgment day.

    My personal take on leaving churches for others is two fold:
    1. Never leave for an uncanonical or schismatic group. Let’s keep our integrity to the end and not give Satan what he wants.
    2. There has not been one faithful jurisdiction that I saw in this whole mess. Virtually all the bishops caved to one extent or another. Faithfulness has been on an individual parish level. So if possible attend a faithful parish with a strong, trad priest.

    • Both of these points are very true. Everyone shares in the blame to some extent. No jurisdiction is innocent.

      The problem with schismatics is that even if they have some very valid criticisms, they are full of hatred and pride. They are never the kind of Christians you would want to be.

    • ReaderEmanuel says

      Define “uncanonical”. Which is the true, canonical church? The one that has separated from the modernist mainstream but adheres to the canons and traditions of the Orthodox Faith, or the mainline jurisdiction that has gone astray? I put it to you that it is the “UNCANONICAL” church that follows the canons that is truly canonical, while the mainstream has gone astray. The ones I really feel sorry for are the Greek Orthodox in Canada. Sotirios needs to be deposed. His flock are voting with their feet.

    • Never leave for an uncanonical or schismatic group. Let’s keep our integrity to the end and not give Satan what he wants

      True, but what to do with the Bishops who made and recognize OCU that is uncanonical and schismatic. Who are committing the greatest sin, causing both schism and heresy.
      And in the time of St Marc only few Bishops were not heretics and monks and lay-out people stay away from them, see life of Saints, and the Church prevailed.
      So I agree not to join those groups but we need to tell those Bishops that are heretics and with God’s help and our humility to go through this mess.

  10. True Obedience: Bishops, Monks, and Laypeople
    Fr. Peter Heers
    Aug 27, 2021

  11. The Patriarchate of Istanbul and therefore the GOAA *is* the “episcopal assembly” in the United States. They run it, they lead it, they control it, they set the agenda. Anyone who disagrees with Istanbul/the GOAA isn’t part of the “episcopal assembly.”

    It’s cute that some think that they’re interested in opposing viewpoints. They’re not. The “EA” has heard all of these concerns for 18 months. They don’t care.

    It’s similar to writing a letter to McDonald’s describing how bad fries are for you and expecting them to stop selling fries. They won’t. But many would applaud your letter. “Way to tell off McDonald’s!”

    If you think the “EA” is silly – as it definitely is – then avoid churches that are part of it. They’ve shown their hand. Everyone knows where Istanbul/the GOAA is headed. And it’s not toward faithful Christian Orthodoxy.

    They care as much about this stuff as the Biden team cares about Americans stranded in Afghanistan. Zero.

    But hey, nice letter.

  12. Unfortunately it appears they may just not care. What’s the point of shepherds when they don’t protect and care for the sheep? I heard that St Porphyrios said we are getting a “new crew” of the ship. It can’t come quick enough! Of course I’d rather there just be new bishops through repentance of the existing ones than death through war (or by “jab”) or deposition or whatever other means Gods may use.

  13. The answer to all of these questions is, Because they don’t care about you.

    The best paragraph is,

    “It is our duty and our right to protect and pass on the Faith, and if we don’t take these injustices and indiscretions, seriously, we will be held accountable. This is not a call to disobedience but rather a call to our bishops to start the conversation. The damage done to the trust we have in you, our bishops, cannot be overstated.”

    Despite how they may pretend, the hierarchs are noticing the revolt of the laity. The relationship has gone from that of respect to that of disgust. They cannot not notice the open scorn the laity have for them. They read this blog.

    I know I’m cynical a lot, but I feel really optimistic about this letter. I think it had just the right balance. Or something. I’m not sure what it is, but the letter feels like it could have been written by anyone.

  14. I only wish one thing was changed in this letter – I think the emphasis on the vaccines needed to be changed to how they were developed. I understand that all the vaccines made use of (aborted) murdered babies stem cell lines, whether in one part of the process or the entire process. Murder is murder, I don’t believe the end justifies the means, how old these cells are is irrelevant, and that every life is of value – these babies had their lives taken from them. I believe this is a crucial point that was ignored.
    Otherwise I willing add my signature to this letter. Though I don’t think it makes any difference.

    As for preferring one jurisdiction over another… I would think there are things that come down to each specific parish.
    I was a member of a local Antiochian parish. When the governor ordered lock down the priest of this parish immediately said we would go along with all orders from the Governor. Masks were mandatory, no veneration of icons allowed, only the priest, one to serve in the altar, two in the choir and three others were allowed to be at any service to accommodate the Governor’s orders. The majority were side-lined.

  15. Brothers and sisters,
    Being on the Old Calendar, this was the epistle reading for today. I felt it was so appropriate in regard to this letter.

    2 Corinthians 4:1-6
    Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. 2 We have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways; we refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the likeness of God. 5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

  16. What happened? Did it get pulled down?

  17. Orthodox Christian says

    For me, as a person who has personally been humbled by horrible illness and as a woman married to an amazing man who also carries as one of his crosses an illness that makes him at very high risk for Covid-19 – we are grateful for the humble and obedient approach that our bishop has taken with regards to complying with Covid-19 public health recommendations. Saint Paul makes it clear to us in his letter to the Romans in chapter 13 – “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God…for he is God’s minister to you for good.”

    The angry self-righteousness of this letter does not seem to be Orthodox in spirit. It reads very much like the 95 theses – and this contentious Protestant spirit is commonly carried into our churches by people who come from a Protestant background. We are glad you are here and that you have found the faith, and we ask that you look to our grandmothers for your example of how to grow in the faith.

    The essence of Orthodoxy is quiet obedience. Obedience is the mother of humility and humility is the mother of love. We do not shop for churches to find priests and bishops that agree with us. We do not trust in our own opinions. We certainly do not think we have a better understanding of Holy Scripture than our most revered bishops. We pray daily for our priests and bishops to be given God’s mercy to discern what is best for the flock and our job as the flock is not to criticize and join the clamor of outrage we see around us, our job is to simply and humbly do as we are told.

    There are many times that as a wife, I believe that I know better than my husband – in fact, there are times when I do know better. But when I criticize with the spirit similar to the spirit in this letter, it never yields the peaceable fruit of the Spirit. I have learned that God uses my prayers to change my husband’s perspective – not my self-righteous arguments.

    It is very much the same for us as the laity with our clergy who God has appointed as our head in much the same way as God appointed my own beloved husband to be my head. Convincing, arguing, threatening to leave – this is not how we are to behave as Orthodox. Self-righteous indignance is not one of the fruits of the spirit.

    If we are concerned that our bishops lack discernment, then it is through prayer, obedience, fasting and submission, they may be won by the hidden person of the heart.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      “Self-righteous indignance is not one of the fruits of the spirit.” Hmmm. . . I wonder who said that.

      You may not know this, but we don’t allow pejorative statements about our readers. You could have made your point without shaming the people behind this letter. You appear to be new to the blog. I hope you come back. But no holier than thou stuff, OK.

    • George Michalopulos says

      OC, what you write underscores an irenic spirit, I’ll give you that. Piety, obedience and humility are fruits of the Spirit. They are not the only ones however. It is my own (admittedly fallen) opinion that the should not be used to excuse ignorance, apathy or even malfeasance in our leaders. Dare I say laziness?

      Once the original shock of the whole “pandemic” wore off (say around April of last year), many health professionals who counselled caution against the hysteria were resolutely ignored. I’m talking about men such as Drs Mehmet Oz, John Ioannides, and others whose names escape me at present. The question to my mind becomes “why were they ignored”? Why were the experiences of other countries (like Sweden) also ignored?

      The questions regarding the entire pandemic narrative multiplied. Yet our bishops (all denominations, not just ours), went forward in an unquestioning manner.

      You owe obeisance to your husband. I commend you for that. But let us be reasonable: After drinking heavily at a party, your husband insists on driving you home, I believe that somewhere in your concept of Christian womanhood you would think it prudent to take his keys from him.

      All people are fallible which is why we are to be obedient to one another.

      We –many of us anyway (on this blog and elsewhere)–had/have no intention of taking the keys away from our bishops. We owe them obedience but not blind obedience, especially when the science in this matter is far from settled. In fact, it leans the other way.

      And that’s just the science/clinical aspects of the pandemic.

      What about the ecclesiastical and theological implications of locking people out of the Church with capacity limits? Of denying them the Eucharist? Or of coming up with novel (one could say scandalous) ways of giving the Eucharist ONLY on days where there is no Liturgy in contrast to the centuries of liturgical practices?

      At base, the problem is that we now know that our secular authorities (to whom we likewise owe allegiance), were not straightforward with us. I’m being charitable here. The uncritical attitudes with which our spiritual leaders acquiesced to their dictates bother the conscience. At the very least, it makes us question their own fidelity to Scripture and Tradition.

      In any event, thank you for your reasoned comment.

    • Orthodox Christian: ‘Saint Paul makes it clear to us
      in his letter to the Romans in chapter 13 – “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God…for he is God’s minister to you for good”.’

      Indeed. But context is all.
      What if the governing authorities are Nazis?
      What if they say abortion, or homosexual marriage, is ok?
      What then?

      “…our job is to simply and humbly do as we are told.”
      Ahh… The Nuremberg Defence – which failed at Nuremberg.

      And why, d’ye think, did God give you [us] reason and conscience?

      • There is a fundamental flaw in the reasoning of Enlightenment, Western mentality found in America and the democratic west. That flaw can be expressed as an equation:

        monarchy/autocracy = tyranny

        That is a false equation. The basic conviction of the Founding Fathers was deeply skewed by their own historical experience and they cast out the baby with the bath water. I have consistently referred those interested in this subject to an article penned by Vladimir Moss regarding monarchy:

        From the article:

        * * *

        The Holy Fathers distinguished between real monarchy and tyranny. Thus St. Basil the Great wrote: “If the heart of the king is in the hands of God (Proverbs 21.1), then he is saved, not by force of arms, but by the guidance of God. But not every one is in the hands of God, but only he who is worthy of the name of king. Some have defined kingly power as lawful dominion or sovereignty over all, without being subject to sin.” A strict definition indeed! And again: “The difference between a tyrant and a King is that the tyrant strives in every way to carry out his own will. But the King does good to those whom he rules.”[6]

        The Christian must submit to a king if his laws do not contradict the Law of God. But it is wrong to submit to a tyrant because his authority is not from God. As St. Isidore of Pelusium wrote: “If some evildoer unlawfully seizes power, we do not say that he is established by God [the definition of a true king], but we say that he is permitted, either in order to spit out all his craftiness, or in order to chasten those for whom cruelty is necessary, as the king of Babylon chastened the Jews.”[7]

        And there were tyrants whom the leaders of the Church refused to submit to. Thus the Persian King Sapor started to kill the clergy, confiscate church property and raze the churches to the ground. He told St. Simeon, Bishop of Seleucia and Ctesiphon, that if he worshipped the sun, he would receive every possible honour and gift. But if he refused, Christianity in Persia would be utterly destroyed. In reply, St. Simeon not only refused to worship the sun but also refused to recognise the king by bowing to him. This omission of his previous respect for the king’s authority was noticed and questioned by the King. St. Simeon replied: “Before I bowed down to you, giving you honour as a king, but now I come being brought to deny my God and Faith. It is not good for me to bow before an enemy of my God!” [8]

        Another such tyrant was Julian the Apostate. The Holy Fathers not only did not obey him, but actively tried to have him removed. Thus St. Basil the Great prayed for the defeat of Julian in his wars against the Persians; and it was through his prayers that the apostate was in fact killed, as was revealed by God to the holy hermit Julian of Mesopotamia.[9] Again, St. Basil’s friend, St. Gregory the Theologian wrote: “I call to spiritual rejoicing all those who constantly remained in fasting, in mourning and prayer, and by day and by night besought deliverance from the sorrows that surrounded us and found a reliable healing from the evils in unshakeable hope… What hoards of weapons, what myriads of men could have produced what our prayers and the will of God produced?”[10] Gregory called Julian not only an “apostate”, but also “universal enemy” and “general murderer”, a traitor to Romanity as well as to Christianity[11], explicitly denying that his was a power from God and therefore requiring obedience: “What demon instilled this thought in you? If every authority were acknowledged as sacred by the very fact of its existence, Christ the Savior would not have called Herod ‘that fox’. The Church would not hitherto have denounced ungodly rulers who defended heresies and persecuted Orthodoxy. Of course, if one judges an authority on the basis of its outward power, and not on its inner, moral worthiness, one may easily bow down to the beast, i.e. the Antichrist, ‘whose coming will be with all power and lying wonders’ (II Thessalonians 2.9), to whom ‘power was given… over all kindred, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwelt upon the earth shall worship him, whose names were not written in the book of life of the Lamb’ (Revelation 13.7-8).”[12]

        * * *

    • Orthodox Christian,
      I am terribly sorry to say, I would need many, many pages to address your points properly.
      I certainly agree with most (if not all) of the previous replies here.
      For my part, suffice it to say:
      I do not obey the bishops’ disobedience to God.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        Excellent way of putting, Ioannis, because a the end of the day, when you’re facing Christ I doubt He is going to spend that time talking about the foolishness of the bishops.

  18. I have had it! says

    The Barth Vader (Patriarch BartholoYUCK), The Elpster (Archbishop Elpi), Col Klink (Metropolitan Nathaneal of Chicago), Sgt Schultz (Bishop Timothy of Chicago who thinks he’s head of a Monarchy IN HIS HEAD ?) and all the other Metropolitans, Bishops and Priests who are violating the rules of the Church NEED TO BE THROWN OUT IMMEDIATELY!!!!

    The Greek Orthodox Church and the Patriarchate are Corrupt!!!1