Patriarch Tikhon on Trial in Soviet Union – May, 1922 AD


One day, the Patriarch had to take a personal part, as a witness, in the trial initiated by the Bolsheviks against a group of clergymen. The Patriarch was warned that the fate of the accused depended on his testimony.

This was a trial involving a great many priests, and concluded early in May of 1922, at which “red justice” was showcased.

Here is an eyewitness description of the Patriarch’s interrogation and the conduct of the accused and the audience.

“When the stately figure, robed in black, appeared at the doors of the hall, accompanied by two escorts, everyone involuntarily stood up. All heads bowed low in profound, respectful homage.

His Holiness the Patriarch calmly and majestically made the sign of the Cross over the accused and, turning upon the judges a direct, stern and majestic gaze, awaited his interrogation, leaning on his staff. ‘You gave orders that your Appeal be read publicly, calling the people to refuse to submit to the authorities?’ asked the presiding judge.

The Patriarch answered calmly: ‘The authorities are well aware that there was in my Appeal no call to refuse to submit to the authorities, only a call to preserve our holy things, and in the name of preserving them to request the authorities to permit us to pay the monetary equivalent of their value, so that, while aiding the starving brethren in such a way, we might still preserve our holy objects.’ ‘So, this Appeal will cost the lives of your dutiful servants,’ said the presiding judge, indicating with a dramatic gesture the accused seated on a bench.

“The elder cast a kind and loving glance at the ministers of the altar and said clearly and firmly: ‘I have always said, both to the investigative authorities and to all the people, that in this I alone am guilty. These are merely my army of Christ, which is obediently carrying out the orders of the leader given it by God. But if a redemptive victim is required, innocent lambs of the flock of Christ must die.’

Here the voice of the Patriarch rose and was audible in all corners of the immense hall; and he himself seemed to grow when, turning to the accused, he raised his hand and blessed them, loudly and distinctly saying: ‘I bless the faithful servants of the Lord Jesus Christ to suffer and die for Him.’ The accused fell to their knees. The interrogation of the Patriarch was over.”


  1. Tim R. Mortiss says

    St. Tikhon, as Bishop of the Aleutians and North America, consecrated Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Wilkeson, Washington and installed its first priest there in 1901. Wilkeson is a small town in the foothills of the Cascades; back then it had a considerable number of miners and quarrymen of various Orthodox nationalities, as well as reunited Uniates.
    The church still stands and is active as a parish in conjunction with Holy Resurrection in nearby Tacoma. Fr. John Pierce has been priest there for 35 years.
    I used to attend often (in my Presbyterian days) and the church and its people were instrumental in my own decades-long journey to Orthodoxy. Of great impact was a homily given there by Bishop Basil [Rodzianko] on the Feast of the Transfiguration in 1981, something I described here a few years ago.
    The parish cherishes its connection to St. Tikhon.

  2. Now that is testimony!

    Do they make them like that anymore?

    I wonder.

  3. Not to be critical or judgmental, but, think if we had bishops such as this today in America. Think of the many people that would have converted because of the testimony of these bishops. Rather, what we got was bishops that were no different from the Protestant, Roman Catholics, Jews or the State 

    I want to add that I have seen YouTube comments of potential catechumens in despair bc their parishes are closed and they don’t know how to convert, or, they can’t get a response from their priests

    Lord Have Mercy on me chief of sinners, but, this is scandalizing

    • Yes, this is discouraging. I have been a catechumen for a year and was set to be received into the Church next week on Holy Saturday. That has been canceled of course. I pray that I will be worthy to enter the Church and trust that it will happen soon. But, this is upsetting and I believe unnecessary. 

    • Sad for the flock to feel untended!  There is encrypted private video meeting For groups under 75 available via jitsi meeting at The privacy equivalent of For  encrypted texts, phone calls and one on one video meeting. And of for encrypted email. 
      zoom, regular email, FaceTime, etc all have 3rd part intrusion.  
      hope the clergy will reach out prudently to those unable to be there.  

    • I’ve been an “enquirer” for almost a year now, and was learning about Orthodoxy a year or more before that. I’m really disconcerted by the handling of this. It seems to me that the government has stated that churches aren’t essential, while things like liquor stores, pot shops, hardware stores, automotive stores and garages, etc are all essential. And except for one other person at the church I’ve been attending, and the commenters on this blog (bless you for giving me a spark of hope that all is not lost) it seems like the Orthodox community–with the bishops leading the way–are in full consent that the church is nonessential.

      Is there any historic president for this? Have other bishops forbade all their priests from conducting Pasca before? It seems like the same arguments I’m hearing that it’s not worth putting people’s lives at risk would apply under persecution: if the priests held an underground service there would almost certain be some nonchristians who would know about it and be willing to look the other way, but those nonchristians would have their life at risk because they could be jailed or also martyred for not informing authorities.

      I’m frustrated that all the priests and bishops I’ve heard from during this time (except possibly partially Josiah Trenham) seem to have bought into the mainstream media narrative without engaging critical thinking and looking at the data. I keep hearing prayers about protecting us from plagues, which seems to be effecting about the normal rates of flu patients each year. I hear very little in prayer for the 10% of the workforce who’ve been laid off, nor for the civil liberties that appear to be non-existent. Does the whole church disagree with the New York Times and CNN on the validity of religion, abortion, and many other topics, but immediately bites hook line and sinker on any other topic? If I’m suppose to submit to the bishop does that mean I have to disable my brain and also by into the mainstream narrative?

      Finally, I don’t know where to go from here? Is the church corrupted? I can’t expect anything on earth while it’s under the prince of this earth to be perfect and untarnished. But what amount of corruption is material and acceptable. If I’m to accept corruption, why not go to the multiple catholic churches, or dozens of protestant churches I pass on the 45 minute drive to the nearest Orthodox church? Is there a church less corrupted then the Orthodox church? Maybe a Coptic church is less corrupted?
      I’d appreciate hearing advice, so far I haven’t found anyone who I can turn to about this. Thanks!

    • I’m an enquirer and am quite disconcerted by the handling of this. The government has labeled liquor stores, pot shops, hardware stores, automotive stuff, etc essential, but churches aren’t. And all the bishops seem to be stepping up to show by action that they’re even less essential then the government is making them out to be. I know on the current earth I can’t expect everything to be perfect, but using that logic I should just go to a catholic or protestant church which would be significantly more convenient. Should I look at a Coptic church or similar, maybe they’re in better shape? Would really appreciate advice.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        Oh, Kevin, if I could protect you from all this, I would!

        There really is only one Church and it’s the Orthodox Church. That’s not to say there are not lovely people in Protestant Churches or the Catholic Church, because of course there are. But being Orthodox is something that’s difficult to even imagine until you come into the Church. Frankly, if someone had been able to communicate to me the kind of impact it would have on me in the beginning, I might have run away! It is so incredibly profound. Now, I could never not be Orthodox.

        If you stick around, you’re going to see a lot of frustration. We’re kind of having the same disconnect you are with respect to the priorities of the secular world and what they see as “essential.” That our Church doesn’t seem to be having a problem with it, too, is something we have to work out (as in, it’s not OK). Not everyone feels that way, but George and I do, as well as a number of other good souls on this blog. We all LOVE the Church, though.

        We love the people, too, but it’s kind of like with your family when you think every thing would be perfect if (fill in the blank) was not always messing things up for everyone else. The family part, though, is real and we have brothers and sisters in Christ all over the globe.

        I have many Coptic friends and, God willing, all that will work itself out. For now, stick with the canonical Church. If you’d care to share with us where you live, we can help point you in the right direction. One of us (there are thousands on this blog) can make some introductions for you if you need the help.

        Welcome, BTW. I say this with a lot of trepidation. This site normally doesn’t attract inquirers. The last thing we would want to do is scandalize you or keep you from becoming Orthodox.

        That’s all for now, my friend.

        • Thanks for the words of wisdom and the welcome! It’s a long story, but I kept running across Orthodoxy shortly after I become aware that the elite believe and serve material evil. I found this blog a few months ago after I somehow ran across Ware’s article in The Wheel and started trying to search out if Orthodox were rebutting such obvious sophistry, or if the Orthodox church was just a few years behind all the other churches in castrating itself to demands of those trying to undermine civilization and turn Christianity into another sterile hobby. Rather then scandalizing, it’s been encouraging to lurk here and see that there are people speaking up about challenges the church is facing.

          • Michael Bauman says

            Kevin, there is a word the Russians have which, to my mind, sums up life in the Church: podvig. There is a simple definition “spiritual struggle” but it has much deeper and wider resonance than that. See here: for more complete explication.

            Also it is important to keep in mind God’s providence for us. He provides for us in all things. That includes certain events and circumstances that we must endure in thanksgiving.

            Never forget Christ is Risen!

            That is not simply a pious expostulation. It is the reality of our entire life, but most of the time I, at least, have difficulty remembering that.

          • Kevin,
            If I may contribute a little stone on top of the wise comments so far:
            “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thes.5,17)
            Many times a day when you have a even few seconds, say a silent a prayer, even a quick one like “Lord, Lord”, “Lord have mercy”, “Lord have mercy on me a sinner”, The Lord’s prayer, etc.
            The Lord and the Holy Spirit will help your mind decide what is the best thing to do. This is no theory. 

          • Kevin,
            I came to Orthodoxy very gradually some twenty-five years ago after a long exposure (about fifteen years) of learning the truths of the Orthodox Faith from the outside.  I must tell you frankly that I came into the Church very reluctantly for all the reasons that you stated (and many more). 
            There finally came a ‘tipping point’ for me personally, a story too long to relate here, which made me realize that for all the faults of the sinners in her, as well as some things that I just plain didn’t like, the Orthodox Church is nevertheless “the pillar and ground of truth” and holds to the wisdom of God in a way that can neither be fully understood by – nor adequately articulated – to someone on the outside like me at that time who didn’t fully share in her way of life.
            Much like you, apparently, I found myself recognizing the Spirit of the Living God in the breadth and depth of the Church’s wisdom and truth (for I was a believer in Christ).  I began to perceive that she has  wisdom of a sort that surpasses human understanding or dialectic argument, as well as the capacity to insulate her faithful members not only from the lies of this present age, but also from the beguiling deceptions of the many wolves who masquerade as Christians and seek to lead us into apostasy by their distortions of the Gospel and the Scriptures.  (And yes, some of these wolves masquerade as Orthodox Christians, yet we know them by their fruits.)
            There finally came a point where I could no longer in good conscience allow my petty dislikes or increasingly senseless reluctance to prevent me from submitting to what I knew in my heart was the wisdom of God.  Whether I ‘liked it’ all or not, I had to admit to myself that this is Christ’s Church, His glorious Bride that He has preserved by His own power and is in the process of pruning and perfecting for Himself.
            But it wasn’t until I had fully united myself to Christ in His Body the Church and had submitted to her way of life for several years that I began to know (and not merely with my mind) the greatness of her wisdom in Christ – not as doctrine or even as truth (of the sort that can be argued or intellectually grasped), but as the fullness of life, against which everything I had known previously now seems shallow, relatively empty, and even childish.  It is, as Gail said, “…so incredibly profound. Now, I could never not be Orthodox.” 
            I often teasingly say to the many inquirers and catechumens with whom I have worked over the years, “Don’t do it.  Nothing will ever be the same, and you won’t be able to go back.”  And it’s true.  No matter how hard and ‘messy’ it can sometimes be, there is no going back once you have tasted the heavenly gift and seen how good the Lord is.  As Peter said, “To whom shall we go, Lord?  You alone have the words of eternal life.”
            I would offer two words of caution, if I may. 
            First of all, Gail advised you to unite yourself to the ‘canonical’ Church, and I would agree.  She meant this as opposed to those (like the Copts, for example) who, though similar in many respects, do not accept all the ecumenical councils.  I would only add that there are many so-called Orthodox who hold to the canons in outward form only.  Beware of them.   Don’t let being ‘canonical’ be the sole criteria for judging what is true or where ‘the true Church’ is.  The Church is certainly not lawless, but neither do ‘laws’ alone define her.  And as the general apostasy increases I fully expect false apostles to use their ‘canonicity’ to deceive and coerce the faithful.
            Secondly, the only converts to Orthodoxy I have known that ever turned back are those who tried to come to the Church on their own terms and presumed themselves wiser than the Church.  These are those who never truly submit themselves to her way of life and by refusing to do so never come to know (experientially) the fullness of her wisdom.  By all means inquire and question, but if/when you decide to unite yourself to the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ, be aware that you will only know the fullness of which we speak if you submit to her as a wise and loving mother.  For it is not merely about believing the right things, but about doing them.
            If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.”
                  -John 7:17

            • Regarding what you teasingly tell inquirers, one of the parishioners where I’ve been attending has several times told me, very much not jokingly, to be prepared because Orthodoxy is wonderful for some honeymoon period and then becomes a great struggle.

              • Kevin,
                That parishioner speaks the truth.  I am pleased to hear that they did not sugarcoat it (as some do).  
                No one likes to struggle (God knows I don’t!), but it is through struggle (or podvig, as Michael said above) that freedom, joy, and fullness of life are revealed.  This is why, IMHO, it is so important to submit to the Church’s wise prescriptions and immerse one’s self in them so that struggling becomes a way of life – because it is the way of life.
                Forgive me.  I don’t mean to preach.  God bless you on your journey.

              • Gail Sheppard says

                And during Lent, the “purple” demons come out. You, my dear, now have a target on your back. Be strong.

              • Michael Bauman says

                Kevin, there are elements that only revealed and experienced once you are received. Then as Hebrews 10:32 says, the struggles begin. But also the grace of God is abundant.

              • A monk I met once told me that he often tells inquirers “Orthodoxy: Prepare to be Disappointed!” i.e. put your fantasies aside and prepare for a big dose of realism. The Church is perfect, because it is Christ’s own Body, but its people (including the clergy) are… less so.
                And he was a pretty WOKE monk too.

      • Kevin,
        I must first compliment you on your insight and clear love for the truth. You are further along than you realize. I wish that your critical thinking and analysis were the norm in Orthodoxy rather than the modern day exception. But alas . . . Do not be discouraged by the fact that you find so few kindred spirits around you. If you are honest then you can look at your life and see that this was the case wherever you have been. I share your very same criticism of Orthodox Bishops especially. I have written letter after letter in my mind to the Orthodox bishops on your general thesis. You are not alone in this regard. Be that as it may – Orthodoxy is life. By the Grace of God you stand at the precipice of Christs Church. You are astute and insightful enough to recognize many of the modern day problems and human weaknesses that make up Orthodoxy. When, and not if, when you become Orthodox it will be your challenge to orient every single cell in your body to Christs truth, which is found in the Fathers, the Apostles and their successors, their Councils, the Bible and the praxis of Orthodoxy. The Church doesn’t need us. We need the Church. Yes it has many, many, many problems, foibles and human weaknesses. The truth will always be mercilessly attacked from within and without. You and I love Orthodoxy and have (and will) joined to follow Christ and great leaders like St Tikhon. When Satan is successful in eradicating most of them from earth commit to becoming a St Tikhon yourself – in your life, with your family, before your God. Most of the great Saints struggled with some for or other of internal superiors who seemingly got between themselves and Christ. Unlike so many other expressions of religion Orthodoxy is the Church that Christ founded and because of this He will always come to the aid of those who struggle to follow the totality of the way – the system – the ethos – that He handed to his Apostles to hand to us. Never, ignore the very astute questions that you ask of the modern day compromises that you see – but do not allow Satan to use these questions as a weapon against your soul. Relish the fight and join the battle. Ignore those around you who are asleep. Follow  Christ. Enter the Church Christ founded and find healing for your soul. 
        Glory to God.
        I sent George my email to forward to you. I would be happy to further this conversation privately. You are more awake than you realize.

        • Kevin,
          As to what jurisdiction. I can only say that there are generalizations about these jurisdictions and then exceptions to those generalizations. You should go where you find the most Logos and vibrancy for your soul. In general, I would steer clear of the GOC and Bartholomeu – but the exceptions here are many and very valid. There are many heroic GOC priests who I am nothing before. Then you have the Ephriamite Monasteries that are lifelines in the US. I do find bit interesting that Elder Ephriam was with ROCOR for a short time and went back under Constantinople. What about the future did this clairvoyant Saint know that we can’t see?  The Antiochains are generally English speaking and partially woke. I like that the Bishops are from Syria which is under attack from the West. They probably know more than I may give them credit for. We are Antiochian and have a wonderful priest. The parishioners are generally as you have experienced yourself – normie Americans who still suffer from the Boomer fantasy of America and don’t realize that it was all fake. This is probably true for most of the other jurisdictions as well. ROCOR is probably the most WOKE to thew NWO and Zionism – but again, case by case. I would probably be ROCOR if it was more practical. Here in the PNW we are generally conservative and most of the jurisdictions are conservative on the American Normie scale but still too Americanized and propagandized to see what is really happening worldwide. The rhetorical question is – where doesn’t this exist – the answer is – I don’t know. Even in Russia I’ve been told its 1/3, 1/3, 1/3. 1/3 leftist, 1/3 asleep, 1/3 Orthodox and WOKE to the NWO (These are all just my very incomplete opinions as I am always seeking greater understanding of this milieu and adjusting accordingly).
          The bishops of all jurisdictions will have to very soon decide to fold or fight. The Church will very soon likely be seemingly destroyed by the NWO. If the Bishops choose to fight they will win more converts for Christ. They will never appease the secular masters who are hellbent on destroying Orthodoxy. Compromise only shows weakness to potential converts. This is also a reason for you to double down on becoming Orthodox. The more you can learn the better and upload into your heart which may very soon be the only place that you are allowed to worship. Don’t tarry.
          As for going to a protestant or Catholic Church – I will dismiss this as you venting your frustration. You are of course free to do so – after tasting Orthodoxy – well you know the punchline. I can tell from your writing that you are too spiritually smart to do this.
          In Christ, 

          • You’re perceptive, the Catholic church would need to drop a lot of cultic symbolism among other things before that would even be an option. I was using hyperbole to convey my struggle. It sure would be much more convenient though, it’s been difficult to attend all the services I would like.
            The parish I’ve been attending is OCA. After reading “Becoming Orthodox” and separately noticing that most of the Orthodox podcasts I listen to are from Antiochian priests I was hoping to go to an Antiochian parish, but unfortunately they are quite a bit further away.

            • The RCs need to do more than drop the occult symbolism. They need to drop 1000 years of heresy too. It’s not as simple as you think.

  4. To paraphrase Lewis, these were men with chests.  May they intercede for us.
    A blessed Feast to all.

  5. Fr. Hans Jacobse says

    Wow. The courage to give his priests over to martyrdom and the courage the men expressed in hearing the call not to betray Christ is a courage we may have to emulate one day. 

    I doubt if Kirill is of similar ilk.
    Your thoughts?

    • Nobody is.

    • George Michalopulos says

      J-RO, I couldn’t say. I must say in his and his predecessor’s defense, they’ve both been quite resolute when it comes to evangelism and apologetics. Alexei II for example wrote an excellent exposition on the Trinity in order to explain it to Moslem leaders.

  7. I was expecting him to offer himself in their stead.  Am I the only one?

    • Brian Van Sickle says

      He seems to have tried…
      “I have always said, both to the investigative authorities and to all the people, that in this I alone am guilty. These are merely my army of Christ, which is obediently carrying out the orders of the leader given it by God.”

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      Read of his life, even if only the Wikipedia entry. Then consider his life and reflect upon your own life and your own works, as we all must as to our own lives.
      He was the first Patriarch of Russia in 200 years. Chosen of the Spirit by lot from three worthy as in ancient times.
      He died a confessor of Christ. The first Patriarch to confront the Bolshevik evil.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Thank you TimR for positing the context in which he lived.

        As for myself, Fr Ilya Gotlinski took us to Donskoi monastery and we saw the apartment where Patriarch Tikhon was imprisoned. Those evil satanic Bolsheviks even had women guards placed outside his door in order to entice him and cause further scandal to the laity.

  8. Was anyone able to listen to the town hall with the Greek Archbishop?

    • Hi Petros. I had to jump online for one last post because I just heard some disturbing news. I was informed that at around the 18 minute mark of the playback of Abp Elpi’s townhall meeting, he claims that disease cannot be transmitted from Holy Communion…but the spoon that is used to administer it can transmit disease. Anaxios! He has crossed the line!

      • George Michalopulos says

        Can you download this townhall for us, Mikhail?

      • At 34:50 he walks off the edge.  Not an orthodox bishop, not a priest.  Perhaps a very ill educated average layman.  Desperately in need of a catechumen class.  And very unlikely to find one in that organization.  Quite solidly in the tradition of archbishops of America who can’t be trusted to speak about the orthodox Christian faith.  He can be replaced by a cheese sandwich anytime.  99% of his flock don’t know why what he suggests is 100% protestant.  They’re just delighted with him.

        • AnonymousPA says

          Abp E’s comments are definitely not words that we would hear publicly from any other bishop (I’m thinking OCA, the Antiochians, or ROCOR here) who comes from a jurisdiction that is dedicated to missionizing America.  The GOA, recall, was never created to missionize America.  It does not come from the lineage or tradition of St Tikhon, Apostle to America.  Rather, the GOA was created and continues to have its purpose as supporting Greeks and Greek-Americans as they live in America to “make money.”  If  non-Greeks want to tag along, that’s OK, but the mission of the GOA is not mission to America.  Very stark contrast to the mission of the OCA, Antiochians, and ROCOR, who comprise the bulk of the mission-oriented jurisdictions in America.
          In the recent transcription posted on (dated Apr 12, 2020), Abp E states that his prime reason for communing non-Orthodox spouses is that “mixed marrizges” in the GOAA are >65% and he must be “inclusive” lest he lose 65% of his families.
          It’s telling that Abp E uses race-tainted language to describe marriage to non-Orthodox spouses.  In America, the term “mixed marriage” carries with our divisive racial history, but Abp E’s use of this term gives insight into how many Greeks view their ethnic origin and the Orthodox faith — as a race, which no one can enter or leave.  You are born into it and you stay in it, whether you want to or not.  Thus, with the Orthodox faith, catechism is irrelevant.  It’s much like being born to a Jewish mother — you are Jewish, no matter what you do.  Case closed.  I wonder if many of Abp E’s supporters think that it is even possible to reject one’s baptism in Christ, which is often done as an infant?
          The far more honest approach for Abp E would be to catechize himself and the faithful — and for non-Orthodox spouses (I hate the term “mixed marriages”) to accept Christ either before marriage or over time, as they witness their spouse’s life continually transformed by Christ.  Yes, this approach is “more challenging,” but it is the correct approach.
          Instead, Abp E advocates changing Orthodox Christian dogma and ecclesiology as a seemingly simple, utilitarian solution to a more challenging problem: living as Orthodox Christians in a non-Orthodox Christian world.

          And — make no mistake about it — Abp E is working overtime to appease his wealthiest donors (the “Archons”), many (most?) of whom have non-Orthodox, non-Greek spouses.
          It becomes clearer each month that the GOA/EP’s approach to Orthodox Christianity is simply irreconcilable with any healthy approach to Orthodox Christian faith and life that the other venerable Orthodox Churches follow.
          As “bob” astutely observes, Abp E is “desperately in need of a catechumen class” but is “very unlikely to find one [in the GOA].”
          Aside from a St Paul Damascus-road change-of-heart experience by Abp E and his Constantinople crew, I don’t see how this ends in any other way except the GOA/Constantinople going its own way (likely going the way of Rome) and the rest of Orthodoxy continuing to follow Christ and to be with Him through His Church.  

          • Apb. E. recognizes the critical problem the GOA faces, loss of parishioners. I am certain the he underestimates the number of inter-faith marriages which is closer to 80%. In addressing the problem, he makes a bad choice by stating that non-Orthodox can receive the Eucharist. The real problems are 2 fold: the lack of any significant interest in evangelization and language. Until the great commission is taken seriously and the GOA realizes that it is the Body of Christ and not a Greek club that does church services and begins to understand that worship must be in a language people understand the GOA will continue in its state of terminal decline.

            • George Michalopulos says

              JK, you are correct. I’m sure there are other considerations as well. Gail pointed out that the original plans for St Nick’s did not have a cross. To which I replied: “Makes sense, it’s going to be an ‘ecumenical’ (read syncretistic) house of worship”.

              Either that, or the Gospel is merely an afterthought for the GOA.

          • AnonymousPA, JK,
            to put it bluntly,
            Elpidoforos and his big boss
            are simply playing a Power Game. 

    • Two things struck me about his opening remarks.
      First when he said the Lord’s burial took place on Holy Saturday.
      I think he realised the error, judging from his facial expression,
      but he did not correct it.
      Secondly, he said the GOA Synod decided on the shutdown
      and the whole Orthodox world followed suit.
      Does he regard Georgia and Bulgaria as non-Orthodox,
      never mind Moscow and Metropolitan Onuphry’s UOC?

  9. Michael Bauman says

    Hmmm, maybe the only way to declare our essential value as human beings is through martyrdom.

  10. Petros, I listened to Archbishop Elpidophoros’ town hall. There was one answer to a question that I’m sure will stir some controversy. He stated that he believed the bread and wine to be the true body and blood of Christ that can’t transmit disease. But,he said the means of transporting the Eucharist, the spoon, can carry disease. He then added that we didn’t always use a spoon, and we don’t have to, it’s just a tradition. But, he doesn’t have any intention of  getting rid of that tradition.

  11. It seems as though the Greek Archbishop yet again has supported open communion for non Orthodox spouses. This is how it starts folks, they loosen one thing then everything else falls by the wayside 

  12. Monk James Silver says

    This reminds me very much of the trial and martyrdom of St Benjamin Kazanskiy, metropolitan of Petrograd, shot by the Bolsheviks in 1922. 
    A little of his story can be read here:

  13. Archbishop Elpidophoros’ issue about non-Orthodox spouses receiving Holy Communion is a lot of fuss about nothing. Because the GOA usually receives people from other Christian groups by chrismation, all the the non-Orthodox spouse has to do is  go to the church for a 10 minute ceremony in which he or she agrees to the Orthodox Church’s  beliefs. What’s the big fuss? Does the Archbishop want to eliminate the Chrismation and confession of faith ceremony? Does he want the non-Orthodox spouse to receive the Eucharist while still keeping his or her current faith?

    • Peter,
      What he wants is papal power to proceed however they feel is expedient for ecumenical reasons and image. 
      It has always been the understanding of the Church that only Orthodox may commune.  What is somewhat novel is the practice of Orthodox priests marrying an Orthodox believer to a non-Orthodox Christian.  Some jurisdictions won’t normally do this but it is common in the Greek church. 
      It has been a bigger problem among the Antiochians.  In the Middle East, there are many such mixed marriages of Orthodox and Catholics and often both spouses are allowed to commune at either parish.  My former Greek priest would not do this at his parish and it upset some of the Arab congregants who couldn’t see what the big deal was.
      A funnier story is that of my godson’s parents.  She is Ukrainian and he is American.  They were married in the Ukraine.  They moved here, had their baby and he was baptized at the Greek church to which I belonged at the time and so I was tapped as godfather and contributed some Slavonic at the service.  Now the father told me he was born Catholic so we did not know what to do about communing him but of course the mother and child were communed at the christening.
      Months later I was talking with the father about his marriage experience in the Ukraine and he said they made him go through a big ceremony even before the marriage, though he did not appreciate the significance of it apparently.  I suspected I knew what had happened and talked with the mother.  Just as I thought, they had converted him to Orthodoxy before the marriage, unbeknownst to him!
      Now he can commune with his wife and child.  So there you go . . .
      To many people, it is that simple.  I mean, if I had to poll some number of my fellow former congregants about the details of the faith, I would doubtless be disappointed at their answers.  It would be some hybrid mix of Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism and Protestantism with a healthy dash of Humanism added.
      Really, you just don’t want to know some things.

  14. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from yesterday on the Orthodox Times website.
    Home > Society
    “The recognition of the Autocephalous Church of Ukraine by the Church of Greece is an internal ecclesiastical issue”
    May 08, 2020 | 17:51

    • George Michalopulos says

      If I had to guess, I’d say that the recognition of the schismatics in Ukraine is far from a settled issue as far as the Hellenosphere is concerned.

      As a betting man, I’d say that as far as the CoG is concerned, they’ve left themselves an “out” given how caterwampus their decision making was regarding this whole issue.

  15. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from yesterday on the Orthodox Christianity website.
    Kiev, May 8, 2020