Cha-Cha-Cha-Cha Changes

To say we were shocked to learn from our good friend, Κalami, that the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, headquartered in New York City, 501(c)(3), EIN 13-1632516, no longer exists, would be an understatement.

So we checked it out ourselves.  The EIN was gone so we check with another blogger.  He looked and he said it was gone.  So we wrote this big long thing about how this was not supposed to happen.  However, very early this morning, a good priest informed us we were out of our minds (he was actually more kind than that).  Turns out, they were doing maintenance on the IRS site the previous day when we were doing all the checking, which is why we could not find the EIN!    

The EIN number, however, was not the story.  We wanted to find out about what the good Archbishop had in mind with regard to the changes to charter he hopes to sell to the bishops and laity.   

So we asked the question, what is this charter going to look like? 

We have it on good authority that the Committee for Canonical Regional Planning (CCRP) within the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America (ACOB), under the authority of Archbishop Elpidophoros, passed a model of aligning the country into one administrative structure.

The Archdiocese is to be subdivided into several ecclesiastical provinces. Each province would consist of one archdiocesan/metropolitan see and several dioceses. Each diocese would consist of all local parishes (of all ethnic backgrounds). There would be a national synod chaired by a national primate, and provincial synods chaired by the head of each of the ecclesiastical provinces. In each province, there would also be ethnic vicariates, informal associations of parishes of the same heritage to maintain ethnic identity and culture. In working to create this model, the CCRP produced 300 pages of research and analysis.

So who put together this proposal? The CCRP was chaired by Metropolitan Nicolae of the Romanian Exarchate, and on its board sat Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit (GOA), Bishop John of Worcestershire (Antioch), and Metropolitan Tikhon (OCA).

I don’t know about you, but I am not thrilled to see Metropolitan Tikhon’s name on this list. After all, he is the “Archbishop of Washington, DC, the Metropolitan of all-America and Canada”.  It stands to reason that any jurisdictional reshuffling should take place around his person (or at least his office).

To add another wrinkle to the matter, there’s the fact that Syosset is moving its chancery to DC where it is rumored that the Ecumenical Patriarchate is opening offices.  Hopefully, they’re not going to be the same ones!  

One highly placed source remarked that “there can be no doubt that the reason this [chimera was created], was that the Russian Church is no longer part of ACOB and therefore was not represented.”  And what is further obvious, is that the next step would be declaring these “local administrations” to be under the EP. This should not be surprising as the ACOB itself was a creation of the EP. (Besides the GOA, the EP also has a Ukrainian exarchate and a Carpatho-Russian one as well.)

Our source wryly concluded with the following quip: “This may look good on paper (but so did the old constitution of the former USSR)”. And we know how that worked out. The problem however is whether the people will go along with all this. Given the modernist trajectory that the Ecumenical Patriarchate has been on for the last several years, I imagine that any top-heavy proposals with Elpidophoros at the top will go over like a lead balloon. Even if the proposed result was an “autocephalous” American Orthodox Church. Ukraine was supposed to pave the way for us but Patriarch Bartholomew’s “guidance” only made things worse.

No doubt schisms would abound, even within the existing jurisdictions. Already many in the GOA have intimated that they would go Old Calendar Greek. Russia –through the offices of ROCOR–will take priests, parishes, monastics and even bishops without a release. I’ve been told that Antioch will not go along, or the Serbs and possibly the Georgians, as well.

So get your popcorn ready. I imagine the teleconference call on Monday will be a lively one.




  1. Sounds about right. The modernists/”New Calendarists”. Greeks, Romanians, OCA, Antioch.

    Bon voyage!

  2. “One highly placed source remarked that “there can be no doubt that the reason this [chimera was created], was that the Russian Church is no longer part of ACOB and therefore was not represented.” And what is further obvious, is that the next step would be declaring these “local administrations” to be under the EP. This should not be surprising as the ACOB itself was a creation of the EP.”

    Finally, folks are being forced to choose. I agree with Misha that this is a good thing. Sure, there will be folks who will continue to go to their parish because it’s what their family has always done – just like after the Union of Brest there were Orthodox parishioners who became “Roman Catholic” overnight without even knowing it and didn’t really care – and I don’t think that God holds those who are unaware of the behind-the-scenes machinations to the same account as He holds to those who are aware.

    But just like in Ukraine and in Western Europe, the Orthodox faithful have been having to choose which path to follow – (the rue Daru group famously chose (and rightly so, in my opinion) last year to leave Istanbul and to go into formal union with the Russian Church – serious American Orthodox Christians will now have to choose whether to walk with Christ through the GOA/Istanbul Church or to live in Him through the Russian Church.

    Fr Andrew Phillips (prescient as he always is — the OrthodoxEngland blog) said years ago that ROCOR is going to be known for decades (maybe centuries) to come as the Orthodox Christian missionary arm to the English-speaking and Latin American worlds. Seems like his prescience is now playing out before our eyes in America. Will we choose the GOA/Istanbul Church or will we choose to live in Christ through Russian Church/ROCOR?

    The tea leaves seem to be suggesting that riding the fence as some sort of non-committal middle-ground (as the OCA has been trying to do for years) won’t be an option much longer.

    • “Finally, folks are being forced to choose.”

      Apocalypse of St. John 3:14-22:

      “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

      I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.  To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”

  3. So basically that was their goal all along?
    To mess up Ukraine, thus getting the Russians out of the way in America via the breaking of communion, and setting their own united structure.
    So will the MP now be able to set up new parishes by the dozens one this new structure is complete?

    • Sadly shows how secular and political their thinking or strategy is to move close to the seat of secular power!  As a Protestant used to say “What would Jesus do?”   Uh, not that!

  4. Jim Jatras says

    “Committee for Canonical Regional Planning (CCRP)” reminds me of the Nixon campaign’s 1972 “Committee to Reelect the President (CRP)” – – universally pronounced “creep.” 

  5. I am still praying that the relics of Vladika Dmitri of thrice-blessed memory will infuse the DOS and the OCA Synod and save both yet again from the apparent triumph of Ecumenism.  Has Met. Tikhon’s mother the Episcopalian priest had an impact?  Has our American immersion in the academic approach to the Fathers and rationalist thinking of the West led some of our hierarchs astray now?   The perennialism which afflicts many of us in the West (to be nice to others no matter their belief and to treat all beliefs about God as equally good) and our American desire to be popular really seem  in play here.  It’s sad to see but the contemporary elders and Saints of our Church have spoken about these trends for decades (and the older ones for centuries).  I’m taking refuge in immersing myself in our Eastern Orthodox Patristic understanding via the good teachers out there staying true and the jurisdictions still trying to honor the Holy Fathers and our Tradition.  Thank God for the Divine Liturgy today in one this morning (ROCOR) beyond time and space in Heaven.   Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us all.  

    • I have high hopes for the Diocese of the South to do the right thing and ask for the intercession of Archbishop Dimitri as well. It’s unfortunate that Archbishop Alexander is not on the same caliber as Abp. Dimitri which was proved during the lockdowns 

      • Petros, I am certainly praying for that as well. Abp Alexander is undoubtedly a fine and loving person and priest but his teaching and understanding of Orthodoxy and his execution as Archbishop are notably novel/different from Vladika Dmitri’s which saddens me enormously.

  6. I really wish this were as it would appear–a genuine effort to bring all US Orthodox churches together under one umbrella, primarily governed as its own body and not as “just the diaspora.” Many of us do want this and I would love to see it done with authenticity and a vision of true pan Orthodox unity. We could do so much if we just pooled our resources here in the US. As it is, let whatever ends up being done be accomplished by the will of God and not our own wills. 

    • Michael Bauman says

      Sasha, it is not and never has been about “doing things” that (forgive me) is the essence of secular thinking.  Unity with untruth is not unity with Christ.  God save us. 

  7. Be prepared to find a ROCOR or Serbian parish…or lose your Orthodoxy.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        I hope everyone reads what dan has provided. Very interesting.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Thank you Dan, as well.  I just read it.  Sobering.  Hopefully a new Athos can take off here in America; it seems to be dying on Athos.  

    • Well, ROCOR parishes in NYC are ethnic ghettos with nothing for outsiders. ROCOR is not always the answer.

      • Matthew Panchisin says

        Dear Anonymous,

        You are confused, NYC is much worse than an ethnic ghetto.

      • “Well, ROCOR parishes in NYC are ethnic ghettos with nothing for outsiders. ROCOR is not always the answer.”

        Nothing for outsiders, except for the Divine Liturgy and the Truth Faith.  If that’s “nothing,” one might as go all in and join a Protestant mega church: for the live band concerts and feel good sermons, and in church Starbucks, movie theater seats, and big 32oz drinks.

        • Ok, having sang in a ROCOR parish in Brooklyn for 4 years and being the only American there, I have alot more knowledge about the situation then you may think.
          Yes, the divine liturgy in a language Americans don’t even register with (much less Russians) and no real effort to welcome or extend missionary love towards those outside of the Russian circle. I left eventually because apart from just services there was little else. Fr. Thomas Hopko once wrote that even a parish has a billion divine services and not much else, it isn’t really orthodox.
          Furthermore, Met. Hilarion says yes to anything and everything. He’s a nice man but rubber stamps whatever goes on. That’s why every priest that has left this one particular parish in Brooklyn, goes on to open his own “storefront” church, with the blessing of Hilarion. Don’t believe me, come down to Brooklyn and I’ll show you. Next time, please before making presumptions, think before giving a lesson in theology by assuming that somehow the Divine Liturgy is always a conversion tool for outsiders who are non orthodox. 

          • Anonymous,

            Don’t get me wrong, you certainly get points for being intrepid and persisting for four years singing in a choir in a language quite difficult for Americans. Sounds like you were a “poor fit” for an ethnic ROCOR parish.  It depends on what you want from Orthodoxy.  If you’re looking for a church that has evangelical missionary zeal like Evangelical missionaries, you were in the wrong place.  That has more to do with conceiving of evangelism as an invitation to a heavenly banquet than extending a life saver to rescue someone from the jaws of an angry, legalistic god who wants to send them to hell.  Lost sheep is the most common analogy.

            But if you think that a church largely composed of immigrants and those of similar ethnic backgrounds should treat each Anglo inquirer as the one lost sheep out of 100 while withdrawing focus from the 99, indeed, you were going to be disappointed.  Most immigrating from Eastern Europe are still in survival mode, preoccupied with getting along from day to day and making sure their own family and community is keeping its head above water.  “Welcoming” is different than “looking for mouths to feed” at a crowded table.

            What all this means is that if you are interested in becoming Orthodox, then you have to take it upon yourself to make up the difference in the “meeting half way” when the other side is admittedly sometimes negligent.  The fact is that there are going to be at the very least pockets of English speakers in even the most russky of parishes unless it’s an MP arrangement for diplomats, etc.  You find them.  You look for translations, ideally bi-lingual, of the liturgy.  You act humble but tenacious and you wait.

            Russians are different than Americans.  Russians are less nonsense and more matter of fact and direct than Americans and there is a buffer that usually disappears fairly quickly which insulates from the ephemeral.

            But if you want to be(come) the center of attention, you’re in the wrong place.  Try a convert parish.  One thing most Russians lack is much, if any, sense of ethnic self-consciousness in the self-deprecatory sense.  Everyone is a show unto themselves.  The American tendency to be a supporting actor in your own movie is less common among Russians.

            PS:  Met. Hilarion does not say “yes” to everything.  Were that so, ROCOR would be much more liberal, and much less of a blessing, than it is.  And Fr. Thomas Hopko was a neo-Patristic, OCA type.  It’s a different mentality than ROCOR.  A parish church/temple is supposed to have a full cycle of services and, yes indeed, that does make it Orthodox.  Not all parishes are equally inviting or interactive.  But that is their shortcoming.  Your responsibility is to find a parish that either meets your needs or, alternatively, to take a serious look at your “needs”.

            • Misha: I’m glad I read your answer to Anonymous. I have been at a ROCOR parish since 2016 where the vast majority of people are Russians and wondered why they were aloof even as I said “hello”, or smiled, etc.

              Your words gave me some insight into what might be going on. I’m simply looking for some sign of reciprocal friendliness but don’t see it.

              There’s not much else around as far as Orthodox churches go so I’m kind of stuck unless I want to go back to a Protestant church.

              • Anna,
                You’re not going to connect with them all at once.  Look at it as getting to know one, then another, then expanding by osmosis.  After you are close enough to one or two, confide that you want to get to know more people and they will probably help you.  Just make sure to take them up on it if they invite you.
                Sometimes it can feel like you’re the dinner guest of a big Irish family, seven kids, all boys, and you’re just trying to get a piece of the chicken.  Once you do break the ice, Russians will remember you like an old friend when they see you.

                • Misha:  Thanks again for that answer.  The big Irish family dinner is a good way of looking at this issue-kinda puts it into perspective for me.

              • Michael Bauman says

                Anna, friendly is easy to fake and can be deadly.  Just remember: the Greeks as befits philosophers are crazy; the Antiochians as befits traders and shop keepers are wordly; the Russians know podvig. 
                Being “friendly” is a narcisistic fetish for Americans.  “Hi, how are you?”
                Do you really want to know? How much can you handle?  Or do you want people to lie?  A real conversation about it requires a level of intimacy that you just do not have with many people. So, asking the question is either an immense supposition or a display of such shallowness as to require no response, much less an honest one.  

                • Michael:  Thank you for your interesting perspective.
                  I do really want to know because I care about my fellow brothers & sisters in the Lord and I can handle quite a lot as my career necessitated that I handle a lot of serious issues.
                  I simply say “Hello” or smile, so some form of return kindness among Christians isn’t too much to ask and in order to have intimacy to converse you have to start somewhere.
                  I don’t rush in and ask a lot of questions and since I am not a shallow person that is why I persist in reaching out to try to truly get to know these brothers & sisters.
                  So what do you do?  How did you start to build intimacy in order to have a conversation?

                  • Anna,
                    Not saying for certain that it would get you to the level you’d like; but if it were me, I’d invite them to dinner one or two at a time.

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    Anna, I am extreme in this so please take that into account.  The experiences I have had with genuine Christian intimacy have not been “built” over time.  It has been there almost instantly and then (or not) it is entered into an experienced.  Sometimes a person or persons are so fractured that the particular curves and intersections that allow intimacy to be more deeply entered into are so damaged that it is impossible.  Plus I have no experience with a bunch of people as you describe.  In your situation, the capacity for the type of intimacy you desire is simple not there for you perhaps.  That does not mean that Jesus Christ is not there for you.  
                    A few cases as an example:
                    I met Fr. Moses Berry in 1973 in San Francisco.  We connected originally on a bond of a shared faith and mission.  That bond was pretty much instantaneous but it has grown over the years, yet when I was talking with him the other day, we both remembered a wonderful little event in 1974 and, in a sense that moment was made present for us all over again.    
                    My late wife:  Again, an almost instant bond that as we entered into it together led to marriage, the birth of our child and our reception (all three of us) into the Church.  Even with all of that, our prior injuries made an easy intimacy quite difficult.  Our marriage while a blessing was never easy.  Yet about 40 days after she died, on Pascha, 2004, I saw her taken up with Jesus in the Resurrection and a part of my soul went with her. 
                    The Church: I went to my first Orthodox Divine Liturgy in 1986.  I walked in and was almost plastered to the back wall by the icon above the altar of The Theotokos, arms outstretched, her Son in her lap.  Took a little convincing, but I knew at that moment I was home.  Nevertheless, seven years later we had to move to another parish because some of our fellow parishioners had taken a deep dislike to us because my wife, a talented singer and choir leader, did not sit well with some of the Lebanese old timers–she was not Lebanese and a FEEEMALE.  At one point on a Holy Day when part of the Divine Liturgy took place outside, I had the wonderful experience of standing behind one of those folks, a brother Orthodox,  and hearing my wife cussed out.   
                    My current wife:  We met on line 11 years ago and were married in less than three months. Against the direction of my priest.  I then went through open heart surgery with her by my side and a nine month penance for marrying her outside the Church as she went through catechism. We were received communion together on Holy Saturday and our marriage blessed in the process.  Now, our Bishop tells me he loves me, but he loves my wife more!
                    I am now retired but she still works in her brother’s  business. Unfortunately, she had major shoulder surgery on her dominant hand.  She is recovering quite well, but there are many things I have to do for her and we are together 24 hours a day.  It has only made our marriage better.   
                    My best friend, a man named Fred.  He was brought to the Church by a long time friend and co-worker and was deeply attracted but was holding back.  He is Afro-American, I am not.  I was in Eighth Day Book Store one Saturday and saw a book by Albert Raboteau 
                    and bought it for Fred.  Just then, he walked in.  I gave it to him immediately.  In that instant a deep bond was created and we hardly knew each other.  Still, it is real.   He is a bit bemused by it sometimes confessing to me that he has had that kind of friendship with a white dude before.   (BTW, he is the only person I allow to call me Mike). That moment was when he committed to joining the Church even though we are about as “white” as you can get.  
                    Then an insane and ugly moment of racism occurred when his grandson went to get his dinner through our drive through at our annual BIG DINNER.  Fred and I are still friends but he has not been back despite the fact that he was likely on his way to the diaconate.   And his grandson who is a tremendous person will likely never come near another Orthodox Church anywhere except by a miracle of God.  
                    Yet, we are a ‘friendly’ parish for the most part.  I am sure you would have no problem being welcomed and fitting in. Yet, unless you already are–you will never be Lebanese. That still makes a difference. 
                    I know that not feeling or experiencing what we consider “normal” human associations can be a rough thing.  Ask Fred.  
                    Ask Father Moses, who still gets racial crap from time to time in the Church.  
                    Fred will come back at some point I think, I hope.  But he will always be a bit of an “odd man out”.  I suspect that there is nothing you can do in the parish you describe, but that is OK I think.  Is Jesus there when you walk in?  Do Mary and the saints greet you?  
                    God gives us relationships and blessings all the time.  I try not to worry too much about my perception of what those are.  I am sure I have missed some just because my attention was on a process of friendship in a particular way.  But, I am not friendly.  My wife is.  She embodies her name Merry.  
                    Pray, be open to God through his saints and be patient.  You might be surprised what God has in store for you.  

                    • Michael, praying for a full recovery for your wife after her surgery.

                    • Michael:  Thank you for your reply.  I certainly have gleaned a lot from it.
                      It never occurred to me that some people are so “fractured” as you put it that they aren’t able to respond in kind when someone is friendly.
                      I will take your advice and pray, remain open to God through His saints, and remain patient.

                  • Anna,
                    Both Anonymous and Misha are correct; the truth is somewhere in the middle.  
                    The only parish within driving distance from me is a ROCOR community.  When I sought Christ, I decided to go to this community.  For four months I brought my 20-24 month old daughter, as a newly single mother, and sat outside the cathedral on the steps during the Liturgy, as I was too scared of my daughter making a noise during the services and I also was not sure if I was allowed in.  
                    When the weather became very cold and I was still outside with my daughter, I was called by the Priest to meet with him.  He sent an email to the community announcing that I had come and that I needed friends.  He must have worded the email as a command.  He told me about it afterwards.
                    I do not think that we should “strive to be the center of attention,” as Misha suggested, but there is no shame whatsoever in asking for help.  That’s the entire reason we attend Church — because we need it, desperately.  
                    Tell the Priest at confession your concerns.  
                    I have seen it happen several times in the last two years: catechumens and newly illumined leave the church because of “cultural barriers.”  I use quotation marks because I fear that this phrase and/or explanation might be misconstrued as putting the onus of cultural accommodation on the American converts.  
                    I sincerely hope that you can find a home in ROCOR (we need the Church — real, in-person, frequent, sincere love and sharing of lives with actual brothers and sisters in Christ… in addition to Christ).  If not, I judge no one for migrating to the OCA.
                    Is there an app/forum where American Orthodox can meet each other based on location?  If not, how can we build that? 

                    • Michelle: Thanks for your thoughtful response. I will try to summon up the courage to tell my priest during confession of my concerns.

                      I wish there was an app/forum where American Orthodox could meet each other based on location.

                • Tim R. Mortiss says

                  Perhaps I am more at ease in the world; who knows. The general friendliness of Americans on a casual level is agreeable to me. I don’t try to second-guess it or see some deep cultural aberration behind it.
                  I try to take each person on his own terms; unsuspicious of deeper motives. Thusly, novel facts emerge, nerves remain calm, digestion flows like a wide river. 

                  • “…digestion flows like a wide river.”
                    Now there’s a image that…uh…if you’ll excuse me for a moment.

                    • Tim R. Mortiss says

                      I cannot claim originality. It’s from the First Axiom of Human Accord, as described in a passage of a book by Jack Vance:
                      “For many years my nerves were like electric wires. Then I discovered the first axiom of human accord: I accept each person on his own terms. I keep a close tongue in my head; I offer opinions only when so solicited. What a remarkable change! Dissension vanishes, novel facts emerge, digestion flows like a wide river.”

                • A late friend of mine, a wee Lanarkshire former coal miner with lung disease, took great delight in answering empty ritual questions of: “How are you?” with an impish smile and: “How long have you got?”

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    I worked adminstrative capacity in insurance sales offices.  One of my bosses always said never ask a question that open ended.  Especially if you were dealing with people over 50.
                    I am beginning to come ’round to my father’s answer: “Better than you!” That usually stops further questions.

                    • I have two favourite responses; one short, one long.
                      Which I choose depends on who it is I am speaking to.
                      First Questioner: “How are you?”
                      Response: “All right – so far.”
                      Second Questioner: “How are you?”
                      Response: “As well as can be expected…”
                      At this the questioner usually raises an eyebrow or two,
                      so I continue: “…under the circumstances.”
                      Questioner: “Which are?”
                      Moi: “Changing, as we speak.”
                      By this time the penny has usually dropped
                      and the questioning has stopped.

          • “Next time, please before making presumptions, think before giving a lesson in theology by assuming that somehow the Divine Liturgy is always a conversion tool for outsiders who are non orthodox.”

            Don’t project your assumptions about my presumptions.  I wasn’t thinking about Divine Liturgy as a conversion tool, God will bring in the elect regardless of any lack of human effort, meanwhile the tares/goats/bad-fish will always find reasons to fall away. 

            “Fr. Thomas Hopko once wrote that even a parish has a billion divine services and not much else, it isn’t really orthodox.”

            That’s nice, a great friendly quote for people pleasing.

            My understanding is that Fr. Hopko was a leading figure in the coup against Met. Jonah, that helped put the OCA where it is now, which seems to be joining the Greeks, on their way out of Orthodoxy and maybe into union with Rome.


            Which itself is a lesson in why Russians tend to dislike the fake smiles and openness of Americans, because there are often ulterior agendas under even the most pleasant slogans, which can be used to shift the focus away from God.

      • Well we can whine about the current state of things all we want, or we can be creators ourselves and create something that is much needed – to help fix the problem. 

        Yes you’re absolutely correct that big-city east & west coast (and Chicago) Orthodox parishes tend to be very foreign-speaking and old-world-centered. 

        But nothing is stopping some English-speaking Orthodox faithful in NYC from creating an English-language parish in nyc and petitioning to join ROCOR. Met. Hilarion (a native English-speaking Canadian) would lovingly take you in, I’m sure. 

        Let’s make it happen!  It’s like whining that the church choir stinks – get in there and learn to sing and help make it better!!

        • Michael Bauman says

          FTS, “Get in their and make it better”. . . . My late wife as a young Orthodox was directed to do that at our parish. She obeyed. The choir got noticeably better because she worked them hard. Many of them and in the congregation hated her for it. We were forced out of the parish. The priest was a very troubled man (understatement) and threw us to the wolves. That was 27 years ago. My wife suffered greatly and was never really active in parish life again. Even though we changed parishes. The performance of the choir became abysmal. It still is. A friend who was familiar with what happened opined that the parish may never have a decent choir again as long as anybody of the parish then is still alive. That could take up to 70 or 80 more years. The priest died alone and deep in sin in San Francisco having abandoned the Church, stealing the funds from the Byzantine Rite RC mission here in town and abandoning his wife and child.

          “There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

          When we refuse gifts from God, we tend to reap the whirl wind.

          I think the Church here in the US will continue to be a mess until all of us who were responsible for rejecting Ligonier have reposed. 30 to 40 more years. That is the prophecy of one of the holiest there and I heard it from his own lips.

          May God forgive us. We need to pray for the souls of our bishops and priests and seek forgiveness for our own sin.

      • ROCOR has two English-language parishes in NYC, as well as a monastery on Long Island.

  8. MomofToddler says

    These short Orthodox videos are highly relevant to this situation. The second one speaks of the “dark spirit of compromise.” I personally have witnessed a rapid change in an Orthodox person I care about, nearly as it is described in the video, during the upheaval of the past 6 months. I recommend subscribing to both of these channels, if you are not already, as they both post writings regularly from Saints and Elders very relevant to our situation today.
    (The apocalyptic vision of Vladyka Averky Taushev of Jordanville as presented in the “Orthodox Word”, 1986)
    ((Excerpted from the writings of St. Benjamin of Petrograd, St. Paul
    of Starobela, and Archimandrite Constantine Zaitsev of Jordanville)

    • Invaluable, so agree M of T!

    • PS Mom of Toddler: Thank you also for the posts of the prophecies of the two Elders!  Can’t find now in the threads but wanted to reply.  Their perspectives are invaluable! 

  9. Whoa-wo-woooow – isn’t this all you’ve ever dreamed of since you’ve started this blog George? Admittedly it’s happening under a GOA banner, but still… it’s light years ahead of any other motion to create an American church in what’s probably the last century. I’m confused. 

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Saying a church under a “Greek banner” is American because it’s here is like saying wood shavings are food because that’s what people ate during the siege of Leningrad.

      In no way has George EVER “dreamed” of an American Church under the Greeks.

      As the name suggests, it is a united, “American Church” that we pray for. The Greeks already have one.

      • The PoC and GOARCH know they are out of money, this “unity” is meant to expand the cash flow to the Phanar and is meant to bleed dry not just the GOA but other jurisdictions as well

  10. It does sound good on paper. The ecclesial-cultural vicariates are an interesting element — perhaps a very good, pastoral idea. If the local bishop isn’t well versed in one tradition to do a certain task, would he call in a priest or fellow bishop so suited to help him out? Again, if we had the spiritual maturity, and if we were not pawns in an international political-ecclesial match, I’d welcome this development. As it is, though, I’m not so sure.
    Also, will this “structure” be throughout the Americas, or is it specific to the USA?

    • Michael Bauman says

      Joseph, it sounds horrible on paper or anywhere else. Only those hypnotised by the chimera of “Orthodox Administrative Unity” would think so. Personally I gave that up over a decade ago.  
      I am blessed, I have a good bishop who loves God and His people.  I worship in his Cathedral.  We have known each other a long time.  But I also remember my brief experiences with defective bishops far away.  
      For my self, as long as there are Greek bishops involved in leading roles–anathema.  

      • James Keys says

        Mr. Bauman, more Hellenic overload?

        • Michael Bauman says

          Mr. Keys the Greeks were largely responsible for torpedoing the unity proposals of Ligonier.  The downfall of the GOA began then.  It will continue. No reason anyone should listen to anything any bishop of Constantinople or the GOA says or does.  They sinned against the Holy Spirit.  They refused to enter and blocked the door for the rest of us. 
          I pray for God’s mercy but there is a judgement of God on them and all who willingly follow them these light poles on the road to hell.  

          • Solitary Priest says

            Michael, I disagee. The EP fell with Meletios Metaxakis, and his modernism; the calendar change being just the tip of the iceberg. I’m serving an OCA parish, but if the OCA submits to the EP,  I’m out; with or without the parish.

      • MB, I meant only the proposals — which would be sound if the parties involved actually tried to be faithful and obedient to the gospel and to our God-pleasing traditions. Imagine a situation (far-fetched, I know, but be creative!) where you had several Orthodox ecclesial bodies overlapping owing to immigration — but where all of them had the same commitment to the Church, had the same sober assessment of the secular society at large, had the same zeal to convert the society to Christ (rather than be converted by the Zeitgeist), etc. In that unrecognizable world, the people of God in this “new land” would have problems in trying to integrate into a unified diocesan structure, and the proposals (on paper) address those problems. If only those were our pressing problems!

  11. We need to increase our prayers!  Lord send down your Holy Spirit and enlighten the minds and hearts of those who will meet tomorrow.  Bring a spirit of love and a spirit of peace so that through illuminated minds and sanctified hearts, Your Holy Will be done. 

  12. George Michalopulos says

    Gail, thank you for your witty response on my behalf.  If I may, I’d like to respond as well, perhaps from a different angle.  

    Dan, I have desired unity and autocephaly for the Orthodox Church here in America.  What is envisioned under the present scenario hardly qualifies for autocephaly. 

    Having said that, I have no essential quarrel with what is being proposed, in fact, under different circumstances it might be the most desirable outcome possible.  Unfortunately, the past few years have been a shock to the system.  We have seen anything but good faith on behalf of the Phanar and its eparchies.  Ukraine was nothing less than a joke when it came to Orthodox ecclesiology and canonical protocols. 

    I suppose you could say that if it were a joke, we could somehow hold our noses and accept it because of man’s fallen nature.   But even the Greek-aligned Churches cannot bring themselves to do that.  In any event, it is worse than a joke, it is a fiasco which has unleashed intra-faith violence.    

    By what measure do we examine the bona fides of the EP given what transpired in Ukraine (and what is unfolding in Macedonia and Montenegro)?  Worse, how can we take Arb Elpidophoros’ bona fides seriously, given that he is the offer of this novel doctrine of Constantinopolitan supremacy?  The most charitable thing that could be said about his ideology is that it is startling; the worse thing that could be said is that it is heretical.  
    Then finally, we must look at his subsequent pronouncements since he has assumed the primacy of the GOA.  They have hardly comported with conciliarity or Orthodox theology. 

    I read where a Protestant said regarding the healing of schisms within that tradition:  “one one = three; the new ‘healed’ body and two ‘continuing’ sects”.   If this were to go through under the present GOA primate and EP, we would have countless schisms here in America. 

    The only way to go forward would be for Elpidophoros to categorically state three things:  

    1.  He repudiates his Constantinopolitan supremacism,  
    2.  He assures all the bishops in America that autocephaly will be real, as previously understood ante Ukraine, and 
    3.  He will state that the new American synod will not vote to recognize the schismatic Ukrainian sect created by Bartholomew. 

    In conclusion, I am most proud of my Hellenic heritage.  But I cannot trim my principles for a unity that is at best quarter-of-a-loaf and always subject to Istanbul.  Especially an Istanbul that is completely on board with the globalist and the “tolerance diversity” mindset. 

    • George,
      Thank you for your reply. I apologize for my initial tongue-in-cheek post. However, I am sincere in asking. In regards to the three necessary points you’ve listed – I believe number two, the most important one, would be impossible if numbers one and three were to happen. As you yourself know very well (as written in the article from a couple days ago), Abp. Elpidophoros is receiving heat from the Patriarch over some of his recent decisions. If he were to go further and denounce Constantinopolitan supremacy, and repudiate the Ukraine decision, I think Pat. Bartholomew would clip his wings in very short order. That is, if you want real autocephaly, you’ll have to be quite sneaky and very clever until you get there. Folks in Istanbul will be watching jealously as their main source of income and influence drifts away. For them to let it happen, you’ll have to make reverences in their direction here and there until it becomes too late for them to stop it – hence the sunflower and caring mother rhetoric. 

      Thus, it shouldn’t matter whether or not we can ascertain someone’s bona fides if we ourselves know where we want to get in the end. If the Greeks will be the vehicle by which this’ll be achieved – all the better – since they are the largest and richest grouping, meaning it would have been difficult to get THEM to sign on to any initiative launched by the other, smaller organizations. 

      In conclusion, I just want to reiterate that I think the events of the past few days would have been something that old George, from 7-8 years ago, would’ve cheered and championed. Maybe something worth thinking about?

      • George Michalopulos says

        Dan, thank you for your thoughtful reply.

        Look, I’ll be honest: if I thought that Elpi and the GOA were the only, best vehicle for achieving authentic autocephaly and unity in America, I’d be all in. I’ve never been one to let “the perfect be the enemy of the good”. I can trim and make deals with the best of them. (Having served as a president of the local GOA parish council for 3 years and twice as senior warden of my OCA parish over the last twenty-five years.)

        And I appreciate your candor and insight regarding Arb Elpidophoros’ constraints regarding the EP. I have it on good authority for example, that Elpi gave the EP an ultimatum regarding Fr Alex Karloutsos –“it’s either him or me”–and Bartholomew caved. This is a far cry from the “Sunflower” meme that I and others have created for him. And that speaks well of him. I can even envision a plausible scenario in which Elpi is playing a clever game in which it’s all “wink-wink/nod-nod” to the other American bishops. All of the above is plausible.

        What is not probable however, would be his repudiation of the ghastly primus sine paribus doctrine which he crafted de novo. It is nothing less than an abomination, one which will lead directly to papalism. Period.

        Then we must also consider the fact that Elpi has been marinated in the duplicitous phariote culture wherein there is no “yea” or “nay”. It has ever been thus with the Phanar since the Fall of Constantinople. Just as papal supremacy is in the DNA of the Roman Curia, so too is opacity and vagary in the DNA of the Phanar. It doesn’t mean that they’re evil, it’s just the way they’re built. Just like we here in America have our own quirks, so to the Phanar.

        Hence, it makes sense for American bishops to take this into account. They won’t change because they can’t.

        • I don’t agree that duplicity in these matters is necessarily a bad thing. It’s easy to be as hard as the Russians, but it takes more to unite – I believe.
          This is the way I personally look at it. In the corporate world, especially in banking and law, an old firm’s “culture” is a thing that’s worshipped in a way that’s probably hard for outsiders to imagine. These are mere commercial organizations that have been founded, at most, 100-200 years ago. Yet the thing they hold most sacred is the “culture”, which they rightly believe is what ensured the company’s survival for such a long time. The wink-winks/nods-nods, as you say, abound, zealots are carefully avoided, and “getting-along” is the highest virtue (conditional on competence). I can only imagine what kind of culture exists in the Orthodox Church, which has persisted for more than a millennium. I mean specifically the organizational culture.

          The wink-winks/nod-nods may seem like a two-faced act for action-minded reformers, but they are at the same time what keeps the Church going. If it succumbed to every gust of the wind, then we probably wouldn’t have it in the way it is today. Changes happen on a geological time scale, but that is why when they happen they are tectonic (apologies). Abp. Elpidophoros has to do the things he does, because he is an employee – who has a boss. At least, that’s the way I make sense of it. 

          • George Michalopulos says

            Dan, I see where you’re coming from and don’t disagree.  Except here:  the “Old Culture” of a secular corporation is real, unique, but also quaint.  When I first became a pharmacist, it never ceased to tickle me how the pharmaceutical representatives from Eli Lilly & Co would talk in hushed, reverential tones about “The Colonel”.  Then when I worked for Walgreens, the immediate higher-ups would talk about “Danville” in the same august tone of voice.  

            It’s a type of code in which the cognoscenti are able to recognize each other.  In The Valachi Papers, Joe Valachi said that mafiosi who would introduce another man as either “meet Pete, a friend of ours” or “let me introduce you to a friend of mine“.  In the former instance, “Pete” was in the Mafia.  In the second instance –not.

            Please forgive the verbosity of this.  Let me get right to the point:  the culture of the GOA is hardly conducive to spreading an Orthodox phronema.  It’d be different if there were God-pleasing saints emitted from that jurisdiction over the past century.  But there aren’t.  

            Indeed, post-Byzantine culture has been markedly sparse in the saint-producing sphere.  When I think about Ss Nektarios, Joseph and Paissios, these were all products of the Church of Greece. 

            And anyway, America has had an Orthodox presence pre-dating the GOA by over a hundred years, going all the way back to 1794.  Until the bright lights over at 79th St wake up and come to that realization, it’s just going to be more of the same.  Which ain’t much.  

        • George,
          Sine paribus constitutes heresy in and of itself, wherever it may lead.  It is, in its essence, the Roman heresy.

          Rome had long been condemned as heretical before papal infallibility was invented.  Though the filioque was the presenting issue, before you get to whether it is accurate theologically (it is not), you have to answer the question, “Who gets to amend the Creed?”.  Rome answered, “We do.” and the “why” is the sine paribus heresy.  The notion that the Pope of Rome, or the Archbishop of Constantinople, has a special papal charism which makes their primacy qualitatively in a class by itself with unique prerogatives not afforded to them through canon law is heretical in and of itself.  It is the fundamental reason for the separation between the Church and Rome.  All else flows from this “original heresy” which Archbishop Elpi has already articulated formally on behalf of the Phanar.

          Since then, if not before, the Orthodox Church in the persons of its bishops has been unconscionably derelict in its duty to excommunicate and anathematize the whole lot of the Church of Constantinople.  And the bishops of the Church will stand in judgment for the corruption which they have facilitated by betraying their consecrations in this way.

          • Misha: “Sine paribus constitutes heresy in and of itself,
            wherever it may lead. It is, in its essence, the Roman heresy.”
            I am inclined to agree with you.

    • Unfortunately, George, I don’t think any of the 1-3 will happen. Pride has blinded those in the Patriarchate of Constantinople 

    • George wishing we didn’t have to add the phrase “united in Patristic Truth” but truly that is what is lacking.  Thank God ROCOR is behaving in harmony with Patristic truth re the Divine Liturgy during COVID when others are not, for example.  Having been Roman Catholic, I can tell you that the misery in “union under one rule” of living under an unfaithful Bishop or Pope with no recourse to anything else Catholic otherwise is quite distressing and not unlike COVID restrictions themselves.  Please let’s not  wish for such temporal “unity” without spiritual unity and harmony in the fullness of Orthodox (Patristic) Tradition! Being told to “be obedient” to things which are against both Christ’s and Church teaching and tradition was then as RC and is now as OC simply awful. Thank God I am free to honor Christ and the Church somewhere Orthodox, thanks be to God. And that way I don’t insult other jurisdictions by my spiritual depression in their midst!

  13. “Earthquake” in the Archdiocese of America for the decisions of Bartholomew and Elpidophoros”
    (You will need Google Translate unless you speak Greek)

    • The last sentence in the Greek article you cite says seems to confirm a power grab;  “Finally, experienced ecclesiastical analysts emphasize that the changes that Bartholomew and Elpidoforos intend to make in the constitution also mean the abolition of the Dioceses. That is, to return the Archdiocese to a previous state, ie to the status of headed Archbishop and auxiliary Bishops.”   

  14. How can any agreement be made with anyone under Patriarch Bartholomew?
    Recent history has already shown us that the patriarch doesn’t keep his word.
    Christ’s Holy Church is one. Those who have separated themselves need to come to repentance. That is all.

  15. Michael Bauman says

    Seriously George what does ethnic heritage have to do with anything in the Church.  BTW even St. Paul found the Greeks problematic. There is supposed be neither Greek, nor Jew or any other such nonsense. Frankly the only place I have seen Orthodox unity on an institutional level my entire time in the Church is the new Fellowship of St Moses the Black. The leadership is biracial, its membership consists of clerics, monastics and lay people that spans the jurisdictional landscape. The ones I know about are Russian, Serbian, OCA, Antiochian, Patriarchial Bulgarian  even the Greeks. Their teaching as I experienced this past weekend is deeply Orthodox leading to repentance therefore challenging.  Without trying it is the antithesis of BLM, the KKK and all groups that prompt racial superiority of any kind including that of the God forsaken Patriarchs of the Greek Church. 
    The constant whining about autocephally and “unity” is counter productive in the extreme and enables hucksters like Elpi. 

    However, working on actually living and teaching repentance and reconciliation, as FSMB does, just might get us there.  
    Check the website   Join or at least learn and participate.

    Leave the old country crap behind and then, God willing, we will get an Orthodox Church instead of a loose confederation of ethnic anti-social clubs seemingly intent on making a mockery of every tennant of the faith.  

    Yet, the actual Church is so strong and our Lord so patient, She still lives.  Open to any and all.  She is after all a haven for sinners. Why should we expect anything  else on a human level?

    Ethnocentrism or anything like it is not the way of the Church.  Neither is maudlin sentimentality.  

    I learned one clear uncomfortable thing participating in the Fellowship Seminar this weekend. I have a whole lot more white first attitude than I would have thought. Even more uncomforable because some of the presenters have been my brothers and sisters for a long time.  God forgive me. 

    Shoot I work at it and I just might learn to like GREEKS.


    • Gail Sheppard says

      An old Greek saying: “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.” This announcement was wrapped up with a bow and there is an underlying objective that hints at the future for those who follow the Phanar.

      “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).”

      • George Michalopulos says

        My dear, I pray you don’t include me in that blanket, Vergilian statement!

        In any event, touché! At any rate, too much modernist water has passed under the bridge since Ligonier, has it not? For all his gifts, Elpidophoros is definitely in the modernist/progressive camp. This is obvious to a blind man. Then there is the very real possibility that an “autocephalous” Church here in America is being crafted by the State Department/CIA to serve as a counterpoise to Russia.

        This can’t be forgotten.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          Well, my dear, I include you in the camp with the Greeks who say, “be careful of Greeks bearing gifts!” The Greeks also invented the saying, “know thyself.”

          George, you of all people know I love Greek people. (Especially one.) It’s not Greeks I have a problem with. It’s the Phanar and their crazy idea that Bartholomew is in a position to dictate to every territory within the Church that I abhor. He is acting as if he is first without equal.

          I don’t want a “Ukraine” here. Unfortunately, I think that’s exactly what’s going to happen. A new, inclusive Church will be established without the buy-in of the other jurisdictions. It will be a false union just like in Ukraine and just like in Ukraine, it won’t be totally autocephalous. He will have them under his thumb.

          Rather than bring unity, it will force yet another schism. Those Greeks Bartholomew sent over a few weeks ago will likely play a big role in this reorganization. This is a hostile takeover not unity. It’s will be interesting to see how this goes over with the other jurisdictions. I can’t see Antioch continuing to play nice. Ukraine is one thing, but not here in the United States. ROCOR, the Serbs and the Georgians won’t go for it either.

          The OCA is a HUGE question mark. Can they give their autocephalous status over to the Greeks?

          Bartholomew will then be responsible for two schisms in two places. Question is, what are his brother bishops going to do about it? Are they going to let him continue his errors throughout the world?

          • George Michalopulos says

            Thank you, my dear. 
            Agree on all points.  If I may respond to Elpi’s nonsensical formal of “yes bishop=equal/but one bishop=better than everybody else”:  this is nothing less than cognitive dissonance.  It’s so illogical that it’s laughable.  
            And then there’s the phrase that the other bishops find their point of origin in Cpole.  That’s nothing less than insane.

            • Anyone who thinks the bishops source their authority in Constantinople has read neither the New Testament nor the Fathers, nor the Canons of the Councils, nor any half-decent history book. Or, if he has, he most certainly has not understood them.

            • Michael Bauman says

              George, it is not cognitive dissonance but almost a direct quote from Animal Farm.  All animals are equal but pigs are more equal than others.  In other words a recipe for unholy tyranny.  

              • Indeed, Michael. I think we are at the point in the tale
                where the slogan: “Four Legs Good; Two Legs Bad
                is morphing into: “Four Legs Good: Two Legs Better“.
                Of course, in the ‘final’ chapter (which Orwell most definitely suggested, even if he did not actually write it) the slogan,
                or mission statement or whatever you want to call it,
                would have emerged from its chrysalis as:
                Four Heads Good: Two Heads Better: One Head Best” –
                at which point Napoleon would have crowned himself Emperor.
                This is (of course) exactly what happened in Rome,
                not only with Bonaparte himself but also with the Popes themselves.

      • Michael Bauman says

        I have always been taught that the Primacy is one of honor not authority or power. Thus if the P of C acts dishonorably he has no authority at all.  Since I have yet to see any honor coming from that font, I have never given any honor.  
        Holding on to them only dishonors the entire Church. I say Bye, Bye we get to keep the apple pie.  Do not call from Rome, I do not accept collect calls.  
        Anyone who follows their lead is simply not of the Church. 
        Their “authority” is due to sentimentality, tradionalism and isolationism. Nothing of Truth.  
        The real primacy belongs only to the Lord. 
        May He cleanse us of this cancer. 

        • Well said Mr. Bauman.
          All Lights of the Church point to Christ. Those that point to themselves have left the path and to follow them is to descend into darkness.

    • Michael Bauman is not a racist. Far from it, as we can see from his posts. To be honest, I have never met anyone in the Church who is a classic racist, in the sense of disliking people because of their skin/nationality/whatever. I might make some salty jokes now and then, but I take everyone as they come, like most Orthodox Christians I know, and pretty much everyone else I have ever associated or worked with.
      Now, the fact that Michael here has gone to the FSMB conference and has come away despondent about his so-called “white first” attitudes – which he never realized that he had – leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It sounds like a cross between critical race theory – in which we are all guilty of doing a racism – and a Maoist struggle session.
      Now I’m certain that Fr. Moses et al are all good people, and I find his life story quite edifying, but to see people – especially someone who positively bends over backwards to extoll the virtues of the Afro-Americans – shaming themselves for their ‘complacency’ and lamenting the lack of black Americans in our Church to be galling.
      There’s not enough Chinese people in our Church. There’s not enough Hispanics in our Church. There’s not enough Indians in our Church. There’s not enough of anybody in the Church! EVERYBODY needs to be Orthodox. Heck, there’s not even enough Greeks in the Church, since allegedly 90% of Greek-Americans don’t affiliate with the Orthodox Church. Why this focus on black Americans? Why doesn’t every little minority in the Church get its own advocacy group?
      I don’t have any solutions other than the Great Commission, but bringing veiled critical race theory into the Church is not one.

  16. Keep an eye on the IRS site, it may provide insight into what is going on… has any of this been confirmed?

    • Gail Sheppard says

      It’s hard to tell what’s really going on with the IRS, Theophan.  The page we’ve been looking at is for verifying one’s donation is going to a legitimate non-profit. But what’s unclear to me is the process of dissolving a non profit.

      It seemingly takes awhile.

      This could be happening as we speak. The reason I believe it’s possible is because the two other bloggers could potentially have contacts I don’t have. In other words, they may not be looking at a donation screen. Someone at the IRS could have told them the EIN is being dissolved.  

      This process could be going on right now but hasn’t yet concluded.  You can’t dissolve a 501(C)3 unless you transfer its assets to another tax-exempt organization.  Plus, the bishops would need to pay all contractual obligations and debts.  If there aren’t enough assets to pay remaining debts (which I’m guessing there aren’t), a nonprofit would need to file bankruptcy or the board (bishops) could be held liable for not properly dissolving a tax-exempt organization.

      The government could be shutting it down.  Principals of the GOA have been accused of violating at least one rule that prohibits them from operating as a 501(C)3. A nonprofit organization cannot financially support or endorse any political candidates verbally or in writing. They may not oppose candidates either. This rule applies to candidates at every level — local, state and federal.  The following, if legitimate, suggests the GOA has done exactly that in at least one instance:

      I think it could be argued that the GOA also serves the private interests, or private benefit, of an individual or organization (the Eccumenical Patriarchate) besides itself to an substantial degree.  A nonprofit is not supposed to permit any of its income or assets to benefit insiders, such as board members, officers, directors and important employees but we know that is not the case with the GOA.  Karloutsos’ wife and son purportedly had substantial salaries (doing what, specifically, I don’t know).  As I recall, they abruptly stopped.

      And then there is St. Nicholas. All that missing money.

      The GOA certainly hasn’t taken their fiduciary responsibilities, seriously. Have the Feds finally caught up with them? It’s possible.


  17. Any news on how the call that Abp. Elpidophoros was suppose to be doing today went? 

  18. Psalm 118:8-9  It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.  It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.
    We have a great opportunity to put these words into practice.  

  19. According to “News Max” –this past Sunday, some very brave Catholic Priests took on the demoncrats–(pun intended) in their respective sermons/pulpits… Anyone hear of any Christian Orthodox taking on these devil-worshippers?

  20. Talk about blowing a smokescreen…


    • George Michalopulos says

      File this one under “Thank you Sir, may I have another?”

      • George, looks like it. Though it should read:
        “THANK YOU, Sir…may we have another?!”

        • Dickens (David Copperfield): “Child as he was, he was desperate with hunger, and reckless with misery. He rose from the table; and advancing to the master, basin and spoon in hand, said: somewhat alarmed at his own temerity: “Please, sir, I want some more.” The master was a fat, healthy man; but he turned very pale. He gazed in stupefied astonishment on the small rebel for some seconds, and then clung for support to the copper. The assistants were paralysed with wonder; the boys with fear.”What!” said the master at length, in a faint voice.”Please, sir,” replied Oliver, “I want some more.” The master aimed a blow at Oliver’s head with the ladle; pinioned him in his arms; and shrieked aloud for the beadle.”

      • Gah talk about bending over and taking it.
        Really thought at the very least Met. Isaiah or Met. Alexios would speak up…but I guess they don’t want to be “promoted” to a high ranking See in Asia Minor that hasn’t seen a Christian in 1,500 years…crazy. 
        Maybe/hopefully there is more going on behind the scenes, but, if the Metropolitans go along with this with no push-back then I have little sympathy for them when the inevitable comes. If they can’t manage to stand up for themselves, how exactly are they suppose to stand up for their flock? 

    • This must go in Webster’s dictionary as the best example of “how codependents let themselves be manipulated and controlled by narcissists” and of “learned helplessness.”
      Sigh. And still, even with all this nonsense, some folks will continue to financially support the GOA and its Turkish overlords.  

  21. And so you ought to ask yourself the question, “Will this new Leviathan recognize the OCU, the Phanar’s travesty in the Ukraine?”  And you should answer yourself, “Why, of course, the Phanar would never allow any other policy from its newest Frankenstein.”  And so, you might then ask yourself, “So how do the MP and ROCOR avoid excommunicating the monster recognizing the OCU, given that it has done so to all other local churches recognizing it?”
    The answer to that, of course, is that it doesn’t.  The monster will be born into schism.

  22. If GOARCH is going to make a power grab for the U.S, I fully expect the Russian Church to do the same thing. We have already seen it with the Western European diocese, but, also there have been talks that the Russian Church is going to set up a parallel Church to the Patriarchate of Alexandria after they recognized the Ukrainian schismatics. They are/were(?) also doing something similar with their flock in Turkey, especially since there are about 20x’s as many Russians than Greeks in Turkey. 
    There is no reason to think they wouldn’t do the same in the U.S., after all they have more claim to the U.S given their missionary activity here than the Greeks do. Not sure how it would work, but, they could possibly revoke the OCA autocephaly, especially if they go the way of the Greeks, and grant it to the ROCOR in America and those jurisdictions (Serbia, Georgia, Antiochians, etc) that chose not to go along with the Greeks will join ROCOR.  
    It would be messy for a while but the verse “by your fruits you shall know them,” will eventually play out. The Greek portion is already on the way to spiritual bankruptcy (along with actual bankruptcy) and already bears little fruit in the way of converts. The opposite is true for the massive amount of mission work the Russian Church is doing around the world. 
    Just my two cents, I could be completely wrong 

  23. I’m not a betting man…but I predict that it’s a good bet that the heretics from Fordham will be part of the creation of the new charter. Also, I predict that it is a good bet that the GOA will institute a female diaconate. Break out the popcorn kids! This is going to be a really scary horror picture.

    • George Michalopulos says

      And female altar-servers.

      • That will definitely help them “fit in” with Rome. In my experience of the parishes I went to, most alter servers in the RCC are female now…and this has had a disastrous effect on their vocations

  24. Changes? How about this for change:
    “China Changes Bible Story, Says Jesus Killed
    Woman Caught in Adultery: ‘I, Too, Am a Sinner’.”

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Oy Vey

      • I expect teams of legal scholars are employed
        in rewriting the Epistles of St Paul as I type.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      “Jesus stoned the sinner to death saying, ‘I, too, am a sinner.” Talk about missing the big picture.

      • They’re not ‘missing the big picture’, Gail.
        They just don’t like it and wish to replace it.
        Instead of Grace and Mercy, there will be Law and Punishment.
        And, of course, the Law will be what the CCP (not God) says it is…

  25. Anonymous posted a complaint on 10/14 that the ROCOR church he attended in Brooklyn was very Russian and used no English. Brooklyn has a large number of Slavic immigrants who arrived after the fall of communism and the Church rightfully ministers to them in their language. Hopefully, an English mission will develop in Brooklyn. Maybe you and some of your friends could be instrumental in helping to form such a mission. But, over at Synod in Manhatten , there has been for many decades, an English mission in a chapel at the Synod headquarters. ROCOR has shown concern for the English speaking population since the 1950’s. There was a Bishop James just for the English speaking population. A lot of the Church books were translated and printed by the monks at Jordanville, including the very popular Jordanville prayer book. The English monthly, Orthodox Life was also started back in the 50’s. ROCOR’s concern for the English speaking population goes back more than 70 years ago, and the pioneering work in the English is matched only by the Antiocheans. There are many myths that circulate about ROCOR.  There are a couple of well-reearched histories on ROCOR and I believe one in the making that might gives a complete and accurate picture of ROCOR. As for our Metropolitan Hilarion, he is well-loved and respected. He is a quiet, unassuming monk who is a wonderful example for us. One thing that attracted me to ROCOR was the quality of its  bishops. Growing up as an altar boy in a small town church,I found bishops intimidating and very imperial, with the exception of Bishop Gerasimos of Abydos. He was kind and gentle and a great example. But, I digress. In summary, Brooklyn has thousands of recently arrived immigrant and the Church ministers to them in Russian. ROCOR is English friendly and has been for over 70 years, and Metroplitan Hilarion is our beloved leader.

  26. Michael Bauman says

    In all these goings on let us not forget to pray for our priests.  They are on the front lines yet most of them also have families to take care of.  Case in point: a fine young local priest with four children lost his wife a year ago to a sudden medical trauma.  He has decided after much prayer and consultation to leave the priesthood.  He grew up in St. George, my home parish.  A fine man in every respect.  A man with a heart for God.
    He will be greatly missed but I am sure he and his children will continue to be a blessing in the Church.  His parish held a celebration for him as he transitions away from the priesthood.  
    Isaac Farha may great blessings be with you and your family