Why Is there a Pentagram at the Phanar?

So what do we have here, folks?   The first two pics came from one of my sources and the 3rd came from a popular tour guide by the name of Serhat Engul, which confirms that the pentagram is most definitely there (or at least it was as of November 2015).  https://istanbulclues.com/istanbul-fener-greek-orthodox-patriarchate/

If you look to the bishop’s throne and go left to right before the Royal Doors (i.e. at the intersection) you will see the pentagram. (You may need to click on each photo and enlarge it). To be honest, when we were there in 1999, I didn’t see this symbol inscribed onto the floor of the Nave, however, the floor is usually covered in red carpet. (Nor would I have expected to see it in the first place for that matter.)

And to be fair, I’ve seen the “All-Seeing Eye” over a few iconscreens in Greece in the past. Whether they were placed their because the architects and/or interior designers were Freemasons or not is an open question. They may have been “in fashion” at the time in which they were built. Still, the pentagram (a.k.a. the Seal of Solomon) has been widely associated with esoteric societies for centuries. On the other hand, a Christian association with the All-Seeing Eye is not controversial.

Is it possible that this was inscribed there during the unfortunate reign of Patriarch Meletius IV Metaxakis? As is well-known, Metaxakis was a notorious Freemason who owed his elevation to the patriarchal throne by the British foreign service in the aftermath of the Great War. And, as is well known, Freemasons are as thick as thieves in the British establishment. There may very well be more here than meets the eye.

Regardless, if anybody can shed any light on why such an esoteric symbol (and I’m being very charitable here) was inscribed into the floor of the Patriarchal Cathedral in Istanbul, I’d like to know.


  1. Constantinos says

    You are destroying your name and reputation by engaging in silly conspiracy theories, religious intolerance, bigotry and fundamentalism.  I suppose you also believe we faked the moon landing, 9/11 was an inside job, Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone, and Elvis faked his own death. Oh, yes, I  would assume you must also believe in toll houses.  That’s it, keep driving people away from the Orthodox Church. This forum has become a joke, and a laughing stock.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Costa, I do believe in the Moon Landing and that Elvis is dead. As for Lee Harvey Oswald, I long held to the Lone Gunman Theory, however I am open to going to wherever the evidence leads. As or 9/11, I also believe that it was perpetrated by Osama Ben Laden’s disciples.

      There are problems associated with this. For one, why did Pres Bush allow several Saudi nationals to fly out of the US the very next day, when all other planes were grounded?

      Indeed, the term “conspiracy theory” was weaponized by the CIA in 1966 in order to serve as a rhetorical eye-roll, to delegitimize any skepticism of criminal events. Think of it: every District Attorney posits a conspiracy theory in order to build a case against a cabal of criminals. It doesn’t matter if that cabal is a group of CPAs at Arthur Andersen or two-bit criminals who rob a bank. All “conspiracy” means is when two or more individuals plan and/or engage a criminal enterprise. That’s all.

      As for the Toll Houses, that one is controversial. I for one am not a theologian and having never been dead and come back to life, cannot comment as to whether that that is a real phenomenon. The teachings of both the Catholic Church (i.e. Purgatory) and the Orthodox Church (Toll-houses) are rather opaque. That’s not exactly fair actually as the RCs have dogmatized Purgatory.

      • George as you I have not come back from dead   Toll houses.  Sounds to me like stuff picked up from the ancient  Egyprians.  

        • Antiochene Son says

          They are mentioned in Orthodox liturgical texts. 

          • Constantinos says

            Antiochene Son,
            I can tell by that one sentence of yours that you have never led one person to the Orthodox faith because no one in America would accept that jive.

            • Antiochene Son says

              Not an argument! Funny isn’t it, no anti-tollhouser ever attempts to refute the liturgical texts. It is always met with ad-hominem and obfuscation. LOL.

              If someone doesn’t like the liturgical texts they aren’t going to like Orthodoxy. I’m not ashamed of the Gospel or of the Orthodox Church’s teachings in any capacity. (That doesn’t mean I totally go along with the extremely detailed account of Blessed Theodora, but the bare existence of tollhouses is affirmed by even folks like Fr. Hopko. It is not debatable, and to George, I don’t intend to hijack your comments with such a debate here.)

              And, PS, my two godsons would disagree with your assessment, but go on, keep judging.

              • heavenbound says

                I’m not worried about the Tollhouses.  My O-pass subscription is up-to-date.

              • Yes, Jesus did say to the thief, tonight you will dine with my Fr. in heaven after you go through the toll houses if you make it.

                • Michael Bauman says

                  Jk, the quote is actually; “Today you will be with me in paradise” A too literal interpretation of that scripture would also invalidate Jesus’ descent into Hades.

                  In any case, Christ’s mercy trumps all of our attempts to condemn people.

            • Constantinos: “no one in America would accept that jive”

              Perhaps you could look at the toll houses as a metaphor or a symbol and leave this issue at peace?

              You you are going to use present American mindset as a universal criterion of of what is right or what should be left in the ancient liturgical texts, what will be left?

              • Nothing!! ? but seriously I prefere to keep an agnostic reverance. Just as with the Liturgy.  We believe as the Catholic church that the bread and wine becomes in true  reality the Body and Blood of Christ. But we do not use transubstantiation or any  philosophical, scientific theory, to explain it. 

                • Nikos: actually, the 1672 Synod of Jerusalem accepts transubstantiation as the Orthodox teaching on the Eucharist. Transubstantiation for the Orthodox, as with the Catholics, tells us what happens, but not how.

      • George the all seeing eye along with GOD THE ANCIENT OF DAYS, ( spoiler. Cringe!) is not absent in Bulgaria and is in the Church of St Dimitrios in Dlugnya village near here, rebuilt in 1847. Now whever the quite famous local builder was a free mason I do not know. After all the greek revolution was based on a masonic like secret society and indeed freemasons. I personally not interested in freemasons one bit. The city here has a very active rotary club that do much good.

        • Ecumaniac Patriarch says

          A few have asked is this pentagram is something we should worry about.  It’s past time to worry because the Ecumaniac Patriarch is engaged in naked ecumenism; why would we be surprised by this or the Masonic symbols present at one particular place of meeting to work out the details before Crete? What’s worse is Holy Communion is now being openly given to Monophysites without reconciliation, even in the USA in at least two new calendar jurisdictions.  Too bad Moscow had to break communion with the EP over politics instead of for ecumenism.   

          • anonymous says

            Ecumaniac Patriarch

            I agree

            And it bothers me that the widely understood meaning (for several centuries let alone the modern use of it) of this unneccesary symbol has no chance to elude those persons there who are among the best theologically and religiously trained men in the world

            This place is touted as the flagship of the Orthodox Church

            Why are they also flying a pirate flag?

            It’s true what you say and I’m also highly bothered that key archbishop positions around the world have been almost simultaneously swapped out right after ecclesiastical/ theological redefining
            Whenever that happens, things seem to go very wrong

            I’m sorry, but the West Was Orthodox, right? 

            Rome departed and then they wiped out the Orthodox stronghold of the Celtic Church – by swapping out bishops

      • Constantinos says

        As for the Saudis flying out of the US the next day, that reminds me of a very interesting story involving my late dad. The owner of the air service is a very wealthy, mob connected real estate developer. He wasn’t always in that position. Like my dad, he started off as an electrician, then expanded out into other areas of the building trade such as site work. My father was the general contractor in charge of building a Volkswagen garage in the heart of Mafia country.
        When the man who was doing the site work was finished with his job, he said to my father, ” If anyone bothers you, let me know.” The building department was all mobbed up. When the building inspector came around to the job at various times, he told my dad that when the “boys” came around, just pay them.. The “boys” never came around which shocked the building inspector. Come to find out, the man who did the site work was best friends with the Godfather’s son, and went to Il Padrone’s house, and asked him to protect my father. Il Padrone did exactly that. That’s why the mafia never came around my father and tried to shake him down. This man who did the site work went on to become that multi- millionaire real estate developer, restaurant owner, and owner of the air service they used to fly the Saudis out of the country. Moral of the story: I guess it helps to have the right friends at the right time.

      • Constantinos says

        I really hate this fundamentalist strain that permeates much of Orthodoxy. For example, I hate the expression Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy. There are many things the Orthodox can learn from the “Heterodox.”
        For example, I was wondering where Ben Franklin got his marvelous spirit of public service. I figured it was from the fact he was an active mason, but to my surprise he got it from a book by the famous Puritan Cotton Mathers called Essays to Do Good. Every Orthodox Christian would be well served by reading this book, and heeding the author’s sound advice. In essence, we are to do good whenever we can. Cotton Mathers was more orthodox than the Orthodox, and he was much more intelligent and better educated than the overwhelming majority of Orthodox Christians. Will fundamentalist Orthodox read his great book? No, because there is “no grace” outside of Orthodoxy.
        Another extremely dangerous part of some Orthodox circles is the glorification of Seraphim Rose. He and the co- founder of their monastery met in the gay mecca of San Francisco. It is an incontrovertible fact that his closest friend and co- founder was an active homosexual and pedophile. It stretches credulity to believe that Seraphim Rose was unaware of this fact. Impossible! People claim he led a life of deep repentance. How do they know this? Were they around him twenty four hours a day? If his best friend was such a loathsome figure, what does that say about Seraphim Rose? Based on the overwhelming evidence, there is no way this man could be possibly be a saint. We’re known by the friends we keep. Don’t forget, that his best friend was considered a living saint by his acolytes until his gay, predatory behavior was revealed beyond all doubt. And, yet, many Orthodox posters on this very forum believe that Seraphim Rose is a saint, and in his toll house heresies.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Costa, I perceive that you are a kindhearted man (as I try to be). But you got to give the whole “fundie” thing a rest. Like so many other scare words, it has a “surplus of meaning” and thus is meaningless as a rhetorical weapon. Consider: what does “zionist” mean? A Jewish patriot to believes in the nation-state of Israel or a religious Jew who believes that the King-Messiah will establish his everlasting kingdom on Mt Zion when he returns? For that matter, are Christians who have been grafted onto the Israel of God and believe that Jesus is that eternal king of the spiritual Israel Zionists? I could see that.

          Rather than go down further rabbit-holes, I wish to remind all that “heterodox” is not a dirty word. It is merely a word which describes “almost orthodox” (if you will). And it’s certainly better than “heretic”.

          • The 3rd Day 9th Day 40th Day is all standard procedure for Orthodox Soul. Lots of souls don’t get these days, they just go express to democracy down below, count yourself lucky to do the toll houses in first place. Fr. Seraphim recommends remembering church father teachings about toll houses and warding off demons, some might even try to deceive you and say “there aren’t any toll houses” and lull you into not being true to your Faith and make your Guardian Angel job difficult.

        • Johannes says

          You are misinformed about the Toll Houses. Your soul will be tested by the demons after your death. I pray you and I both make it through.

          • Constantinos says

            All I can say is that it’s very difficult for a thinking man to remain Orthodox, but cheer up this kind of thinking will destroy the Orthodox Church in America. It’s creepier than the first time I entered an Orthodox Church in America service. In other words, Orthodoxy is in reality heterodoxy. Not surprising since all the heresies have come from east. The toll house heresy is a soul destroying doctrine.

            • Constantinos: “All I can say is that it’s very difficult for a thinking man to remain Orthodox … In other words, Orthodoxy is in reality heterodoxy.”
              Well, which denomination is more to your liking? Southern Baptists maybe?

            • Michael Bauman says

              Costa, thinking is dependent on one’s assumptive base.  The more infected with modernism that base is the more one quarrels with the revealed truth of the Church. 
              In any case to become Orthodox one must transcend what is normally considered thought.  It is the only way to be healed from the Cartesian heresy and learn to be human.  It is a struggle I fail at all the time.
              Still, the Church remains the only place where one can find wholeness.

            • Exactly what, Constantinos, did you find so difficult in the OCA Church you entered? That the language of worship was unapologetically English? Your comment is vague and nasty.   

        • Antiochene Son says

          Who even brought up Fr. Seraphim? It was you. The liturgical texts are much older than he.

          Here’s some fundamentalist truth for you: Christ died for sinners and makes them saints. 

        • Wow! I am reticent to say this…but that post by Costas was one of the most mean-spirited comments I’ve ever read here.

          • The words and writings of Father Seraphim convict people, so it’s no surprise that the watered-down pseudodox of America react badly. He’s loved and venerated by many, many people in traditionally Orthodox countries and by those of us in the New World that haven’t chugged down the secularist-modernist Kool-Aid. Same applies to Father Ephraim out in Arizona.

            • Basil, dear brother in Christ,
              It is no coincidence and no secret that the saintly Seraphim Rose rejected Freemasonry and that Freemasons or friends of FreemasonRY, in turn,  reject Seraphim Rose, made him ridiculous and what have you. Seraphim admitted himself that before becoming Orthodox he had gone down to the lowest level. He confessed, was baptised and put on Christ, just like St. Mary of Egypt.
              Read his biography,

              Regarding one’s friends or “friends” I have found that,
              for various reasons,
              some “good” people may have some “bad” friends
              AND VICE VERSA.

            • Michael Bauman says

              Basil, indeed the words of Fr Seraphim do convict people. Even when I disagree, they require me to question my own assumptions and approach to Christ.  To go more deeply into the mystery. 

            • Yes, Basil. To that I say, Amen!

            • Antiochene Son says

              According to some Russian clergy I know, Fr. Seraphim is venerated much more widely in Russia than he is here. 
              But a prophet is never welcome in his hometown. 

          • I am with you, Mikhail.
            That will be sorted out when our brother Costas, finally, like others, fully jettisons any remaining old baggage and accepts fully and utterly and singly our Lord Jesus Christ as the only Saviour in this life and in Eternity and no man-made wise theories.
            Only then will he be able to appreciate the similar course of the old “wise” Eugene Rose (new Fr. Seraphim).

    • Antiochene Son says


    • Costa. Suicide rate amongst american teens is soaring ! Harvard report. This I thinks rates a mention above free masonary.

      • I mentioned before that suicide rate amongst USA teens is soaring.   Never got a nod.  But PENTAGON MANIA FULL FLOOD. Do i not get something here why the Orthodox church post 1991 is in retreat and back to fairy land? . And treating Ukrainian people as cattle to be sold back and forth. 
        I personally am sickened by the greek church. Corrupt,  cynical,  retarded and dead. 

    • The truth is always mocked before it is accepted.

    • George alone is driving people away people from Holy Orthodoxy? and not the corrupt heirarchs,  and worldliness among the laity? George is very powerful,  I never knew that.

  2. Gail Sheppard says

    I remember this topic being discussed years ago, however, there was nothing to corroborate the first two pictures.  For all we knew, they had been photoshopped.  But now a third picture has surfaced, with a recent date, taken by yet another party, and it plainly shows the pentagram exists.  Just to be sure it came from the tour guide, I contacted Serhat Engul.  He acknowledged the picture but had no idea why a pentagram would be there.
    Why hasn’t this piece of tile been replaced over the years?  If I moved into a house with a pentagram, I would worry that the people who put it there had used it as a form of worship and it might have negative energy attached to it.  I would want it gone.  I could only see someone keeping it if the energy it represented was something the person believed would be of benefit to him. This is not usual for leaders, from what I understand.  Hitler was very fond of symbols and their power. 

    Then there are the rumor in the RC that out right devil worship has occurred there. Various heretical Christian sects and groups, such as the Knights Templar and the Cathars, purportedly performed secret Satanic rituals, as well. Is this something we now have to worry about with regard to Constantinople?    

    • George Michalopulos says

      As a pharmacist, I studied alchemy as a historical lark and I know a lot of its symbolism.  To my knowledge, the pentangle was never used in the Byzantine East.

      Regardless, it’s inscription into the floor at an Orthodox church is most curious.

      • George I am trying to recall if a pentangle in London St Sophia  Bayswater Cathedral on iconostas. I know there is an eye but can’t remember if pentangle around it.  We will be there in late September so will hold our noses and have a look. 

      • Gene Defrinas says

        No, but it originated with Pythagoas and the pre-Socratics.
        It is a common symbols of scientific societies.

        • anonymous says

          So the symbol was placed there by math enthusiasts who just so happened to unfortunately choose that particular random symbol instead of the symbol for Pi?

          What are all these people walking around wearing this symbol?  Mathletes?

          Besides, one can be all about math and the occult at the same time

          Speaking of factual moon landing science, math and the occult

          You know who was all about math, geometry, science and engineering as well as absolutely passionate about the occult?

          NASA’S Jack Parsons

          Unexplained covered up sacred geometry does not belong in the Orthodox Church

  3. Will Harrington says

    Well, it seems to me that if we go back to medieval sources, specifically Gawain and the Green Knight, we will see that the pentangle (pentagram) was Gawain’s heraldic device and represented the five virtues, and its not a stretch to associate it with the Rose of Sharon and the five wounds of Christ. When it became associated with devil worship, it was inverted as was the crucifix. Then along come Neopagans and Wiccans who, being  not the best historical scholars, saw it as an antichristian symbol that must be related to older beliefs that they desperately wanted to connect to, and they adopted it, but at least they turned it right side up.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      So can one assume this pentagram is inverted?  It appears on the part of the stone closest to the doors and the pointed part of the pentagram points toward the doors.  

    • anonymous says

      Easily removed and it should be immediately 
      It even has what appears to be corners/sections allowing for access points for the whole removal of the marble slab
      Now that I do find curious.  
      The actual symbol I find more than just curious.  I find it totally evil and beyond unacceptable 
      Because it is

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Exactly, John. It should be replaced. This is not the first time there has been controversy over it. I believe the Phanar denied it was even there at one point. –  I did some research. The marble pavement of the sanctuary was replaced by Patriarch Joachim III and he was a Mason.

      After my grandmother passed, my father gave me what he believed was a small bible engraved with my great-grandmother’s name.  Upon closer examination, the “bible” had to do with initiation ceremonies for the Order of the Eastern Star, part of the Masonic family of related groups known as the appendant bodies.

      “The pentagram has occasionally appeared in the symbolism of Freemasonry, most prominently as the symbol of the Order of the Eastern Star . . .  The degree ceremonies tell stories about five heroines of the Bible: Adah, Jephthah’s daughter from the Book of Judges; Ruth, the daughter-in-law of Naomi; Esther, the brave Hebrew wife of Xerxes; Martha, Lazarus’ sister, from the Gospel of John; and Electa, the “elect lady” mentioned in II John. The pentagram as used in the Order of the Eastern Star depicts these five star “points,” and also represents the Star of Bethlehem, while the bottom point supposedly directs viewers to the place of Christ’s nativity. Chapter rooms are traditionally laid out with a large floor cloth or carpet representing the pentagram and its star points. At the center of the symbol stands an altar with an open Bible upon it.”


  4. anonymous says

    This is THE known worldwide symbol of the occult/witchcraft/satanism

    Stop trying to ignore it, dismiss it and/or refuse to see it for what it truly is

    It is an abomination and there is no excuse

    It’s ugly. As ugly as a symbol can get. But it is what it is – and it is, in fact, there

    Stop being blind. It’s right in front of your face

  5. Could it be a symbol for the pentarchy?

    I was there in 1997, and I don’t remember it — but that’s not surprising. There’s a lot to see in “New Rome.” A Spaniard and I were walking around the Phanar trying to find the cathedral — with no luck. I finally spotted a modest house with a cross on it. I knocked, but the lady who answered knew no common language with us. However, she called her son — perhaps seven years old — out, and he led us to the cathedral complex gate — several blocks away. It shocked me at the time. Who sends her young son with strangers? Near Eastern hospitality, I suppose.

  6. Stefan Evgenii says

    Honestly, does anyone study geometry?  http://www.matematicasvisuales.com/english/html/geometry/goldenratio/pentagondiagonal.html
    We are far too immersed in the nutty Evangelical mindset that rubs off on us Orthodox. They can’t read iconography as most of us properly Churched Orthodox can, we get symbols and don’t see the “evil” in them as the nutter sectarians do.
    I remember a coworker listening to a podcast of some nutty Evangelical by the name of Steve Quale describing an Orthodox cross as “satanic” b/c it had a skull and crossed bones on it. Well, we all know what it means to us Orthodox… the grave of Adam and Golgotha the place of a skull.
    Another favorite one for Evangelicals is the Eye of Providence or the dove in the glory surrounding it. Doesn’t matter to them that Freemasons started using it centuries after we did. Another example is the double-headed eagle an East Roman symbol long before the Freemasons thought of co-opting it.
    My Orthodox brothers and sisters let’s not partake of the Evangelical stupidity as this “Preacher” does.

    • anonymous says

      Great!  You know geometry 
      Do you know anything about the occult?
      I think the Pythagoreans would just be tickled to have a pentagram perfectly etched in a dilapidated temple floor, slightly off-set and inverted when facing West
      The alter faces East, the doors face West shutting the devil out, no?
      Math aside, this symbol has belonged to Baphomet since at least the Middle Ages
      Why dont you tell all those Wiccans and Satanists using and wearing this symbol (at whatever angle) that their real spiritual problem is that they are, in fact, actually one of those contemptible evangelicals?
      Why dont we just put this symbol up in all our parishes and see how that flies? Venerate it even!  Would you do that?
      Context.  It’s in a religious house.  What’s it doing there?

      • Stefan Evgenii says

        English, is not my first language but at least I know the difference between Altar and Alter anonymous , yet you try to persuade me to your side?

        The evil one always takes good and twists them to his own purpose.
        If you ever saw the coronation robes created for St Tsar Nicolas II they have a border of little swastikas on it. Even the church vestments had it.
        So at that time, they were for good luck and a positive symbol. Even the Tsarina scratched it on the wall in that basement before their brutal execution.  We know for a fact that the star was used by Christians and Jews. One finds it on Jewish and Christian graffiti in Pompii
        So I doubt it was put on the floor like a dark plot.

        • George Michalopulos says

          The swastika is an ancient Aryan symbol. It is found on statues of Buddha and the Pantheon in Rome.

          Here in T-Town, the First Church of Christ, Scientist is modelled after the Pantheon and has swastikas all around the base of the dome.

          For what it’s worth, the First United Methodist church which is right across the street is a scaled-down version of Westminster Abbey.

          • anonymous says


            Speaking of floors and Westminster Abbey
            A black and white checker pattern floor surrounded by red carpet in the GOA Archdiocese synodal chamber awaits our new Archbishop 

            Because for years they’ve had that old mafia hang out meets 50’s diner theme going on

        • anonymous says

          You point out a typo
          But overlook an oddly placed stand alone pentagram

          The reality is

          We either need to fix what’s going on

          Or start working on an emoji translation of the Bible

        • anonymous says

          “English, is not my first language but at least I know the difference between Altar and Alter anonymous , yet you try to persuade me to your side?”

          In fairness, let me try again – using simple words for anyone else out there who, like me, might struggle with using English:

          See Dick

          See Dick run 

          See Dick run out of pentagram church

          Run, Dick, run!!

    • Gail Sheppard says

      See, I think if it were the “nothing burger” you’re describing, that piece of marble would have been replaced after the umpteenth fire if for no other reason but to avoid the scrutiny of people wondering why a symbol we associate with devil worship is pointing toward the altar.  I also think they wouldn’t try to conceal it under carpeting that appears nowhere else but leads up to and covers the symbol.  

  7. Rhonda Dodson says

    Just a few notes:
    1) The All-Seeing Eye is Orthodox Christian vs the Eye of Horus which is very ancient Egyptian. Seriously they look different in Orthodox iconography vs Egyptian hieroglyphics & Freemasonry symbols. In the OT Hebrew Scriptures, God is call El Roi (God Who Sees). So no need to hyperventilate over the All-Seeing Eye just because the Freemasons adopted a shoddy alternative. Seriously, if we rejected all symbols because some pagan or unbeliever has used them wrongly, then we would not even be able to cross ourselves or venerate the Cross itself.

    2) As an American, yes, toll houses (i.e. the soul’s journey after bodily repose) is nothing other than the particular judgment spoken of by St Paul when the soul journeys from the body through the spiritual realm of the powers & dominions of the air also spoken of by St Paul. Any claims that it is Egyptian or Gnostic or any other nonsensical pagan origin have been repeatedly refuted & shown to be a fabrication dating from the 1970s by a deacon that ROCOR defrocked in 1980. The particular judgment (i.e. toll houses colloquially) are found in the patristic writings, synaxarion, menaia (general, daily, festal), iconography, hymnography, liturgical services & texts.

    3) The 5-pointed star I only saw in the first 2 pictures. At this time it is little more than a curiosity. Whether it is upside-down or not very much depends on the direction from which one views it. In the pics, it appeared right-side up. From the Ambvon it would appear upside-down. Thus little more than a curiosity at this time & definitely not important enough to jump off a TH rant. How do we Orthodox even begin to digress SO easily & SO much?

  8. There is no circle around it, so technically not a pentagram of demonic lore. Also, looks like it is placed at about the spot an icon stand would sit or a priest or bishop would stand for the prayers before the amvon. Bringing this up is almost as bad as claiming the RC worship satan because they sing about “lucifer” in some of the Latin lyrics. Lucifer is not a name, it is a title for Christ “the morning star”.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Alec, thanks for providing an explanation. I’m not sure your hypothesis is correct (or not) however. In my particular parish, we place the lectern for the Epistle and Gospel reading in the Nave by sight. It’s not that difficult. However, I’m open to any suggestion.

    • Alec hit the nail on the head, I’ll bet. It doesn’t look anything like the photo George posted, put there that we might descend further down Alice’s rabbit hole. It is a five-sided star. But NO! It is there because Satanic worship! You really have to be smoking the hookah to get your knickers in a twist over this one. Oh, and “Heb je lucifer?” in Dutch means, “Do you have a light?”

    • anonymous says

      Put a stand on it
      There’s your circle 
      Or surround it with candles if you like

  9. Joseph Lipper says

    My recollection is that this part of the cathedral floor is usually covered up with rugs, so the bare floor isn’t usually visible on that spot.   If there actually is a pentagram inscribed on the floor of the cathedral, then that’s very interesting, but people shouldn’t jump to conclusions about it’s meaning.  The Cathedral of St. George has been the Patriarchal Cathedral since at least about the year 1600.  Before that it was a monastery for nuns.  So, it’s an old building, but of course it has also been restored several times over the years.

    I was at the Phanar a few years ago, and I didn’t see any pentagrams anywhere.  If I did, then I would have certainly asked my tour guide about it.
    It’s probably worth noting that “wicca” is a 20th century popularization of the occult that has adopted the pentagram as it’s symbol.  Four hundred years ago, a pentagram on the floor of a church may have had an entirely different association than it would today.  

    For what it’s worth, wikipedia references a book by Dorothy Coles and Heather Childs called “Christian Symbols, ancient & modern”:
    “In ancient times, the pentagram was used as a Christian symbol. It stood for the five wounds that Jesus Christreceived during his crucifixion (the nails in each hand and foot, and the spear wound in his side).”

    • anonymous says

      Joseph Lipper 
      Certainly some ancient pagan symbols were redeemed as symbols for Christ/Christianity
      For example, the Celtic Orthodox Church has the Celtic Cross, triquetra (however that’s spelled) etc. 
      The test is if it sticks and is widely accepted and understood 
      Whatever could be said about the pentagram, if so, it didnt stick
      It would be like me saying the double thunderbolts stand for the Super Star in Jesus Christ Super Star 
      It wouldn’t stick
      The symbol is not an Orthodox symbol by any stretch and for centuries it has been the gang sign of that other guy
      That stuck

    • Thanks, Joseph. The great Inkling writer (friend of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien), Charles Williams, sometimes referred to the Pentagram, and said this about it: “Is not that strange, and beautiful, and true? For, in its degree, it banishes all evil spirits, and is a part of High Magic, and identifies the worker of it with the powers of — True Worlds. ”

  10. Monk James Silver says

    My first thought was that depicting the star on the floor, where it would be constantly trodden underfoot, might be a symbolic way of expressing Christian contempt for Islam, the Ottoman Empire, Turkey, or all three. But I would need to know the date of the floor’s installation to consider this a serious possibility.

    Although the canons forbid using the cross as an element of decoration on a floor for exactly the same reasons as dishonoring a hostile symbol might recommend it, the same cannot be said for many other sacred symbols and signs. BTW These canons have been ignored in the West for a thousand years or more.

    As mentioned in the article included below, the five-pointed star was once considered a symbol of the Mother of God, and this might be the answer to the original question.


    Various myths are associated with the symbolism of the red colour and the star and crescent, but none really explains their origins. Although the star and crescent are often seen as typical Muslim symbols, in fact they have a history long predating the rise of Islam. Ancient civilizations throughout the Middle East used a crescent moon as a religious symbol, and the ancient city of Byzantium was dedicated to the moon goddess, Diana. A star, emblematic of the Virgin Mary, was added to Diana’s crescent symbol when Emperor Constantine I made Christianity the official faith of the Roman Empire and renamed the city Constantinople in his own honour.

    The crescent and star became associated with Islam when the Muslim Turkic peoples of Central Asia captured the Anatolian peninsula (and, eventually, Constantinople) and added the crescent and star of the latter to their own plain red flags. There were several Turkish flags throughout the centuries of the Ottoman Empire, most of them incorporating the crescent and star and the colours red or green. In June 1793 the flag now used as the Turkish national flag was established for the navy, although its star had eight points instead of the current five. The reduction in the number of star points was made about 1844. That flag design was reconfirmed as the Turkish national banner on June 5, 1936, following the revolution led by Atatürk, who had established a republic in 1923 after the collapse of the Ottoman dynasty.

    • anonymous says

      So not sure if pentagram should be venerated or used as toilet paper
      Either way, ROCOR has a better pentagram 

    • anonymous says

      Monk James

      There are 5 pointed stars

      And then there are pentagrams 

      It’s a pentagram 

      • Monk James Silver says

        And just how is this proved?

        • anonymous says

          Monk James

          We are a Church full of highly educated arborists who can’t see the forest from the trees

          That is a pentagram hiding in plain site

          How is it not?

          You can’t argue it against geometry
          You can’t justify it religiously – no matter how hard you stretch it

          If I’m wrong, then Hot Topic is actually a Bible bookstore

          Who knew?

          • Monk James Silver says

            Sorry, ‘Anonymous’.

            You still haven’t demonstrated the difference between a five-pointed star (as a symbol of anything, religious or otherwise) and a satanic pentagram, or proved how you know for sure that the design on the floor at the Phanar is a satanic pentagram.

            All you’re offering so far is your unsupported opinion. I can’t imagine your reasons for thinking as you do, but it would only be fair for you to back up your opinion with some facts.

            Absent any facts from its background, all we have is the design itself, and its purpose and meaning remain unknown.

            • anonymous says

              Monk James

              I didn’t say it was a satanic pentagram
              I said it was a pentagram
              Unless you know it’s being used by Satanists, you should never call a pentagram specifically a “Satanic” pentagram.

              Do you know why?

              It absolutely infuriates the witches!

              I’m totally serious 

              They have absolutely no desire to be associated with or being confused for Satanists

              From our perspective, however, although we are willing to distinguish the two groups, we would understand both groups to belong under the same management
              Using the pentagram and not wanting to be identified as/associated with satanism?

              Keep the list going:  Esoteric societies/mystery cults, astrologers, mediums

              All that stuff belongs to that other guy

              And yes, I believe, ultimately satanic
              What you havent demonstrated is how this symbol is Christian 

              We aren’t talking about a solid filled in 5 point star on a flag or otherwise 

              I have no idea who put the symbol there or why, but it doesnt belong to us

              We dont use this symbol.  The widespread use of it in the occult should cause us great concern.  It shouldn’t be in our Church 

              If you truly disagree, get a pentagram necklace.  See how long you can wear it for

              Does the thought of that alone not bother your conscience?

              • Dear anonymous,
                the rule is;
                “Thou shalt not try to prove Bartholomew is wrong about anything!”

                • anonymous says


                  You said:

                  the rule is;“Thou shalt not try to prove Bartholomew is wrong about anything!”

                  Very true, so it seems

                  But maybe it’s time we concede and tell him he’s number one – and even use a symbol

                  • Yes, maybe we do a face-lift on the title too,
                    I mean it is just two superlatives higher than God
                    can you imagine?

              • anonymous, Monk James certainly has his reasons
                for not believing you
                for asking REAL PROOFS and
                for considering the pentagram as a geometrical figure of no further value.
                On the contrary, I, a not very clever person, with common sense or below that, I agree with you, and I am satisfied with the common info found below:

                Pentagrams were used symbolically in ancient Greece and Babylonia, and are used today as a symbol of faith by many Wiccans, akin to the use of the cross by Christians and the Star of David by the Jews. The pentagram has magical associations. Many people who practice Neopagan faiths wear jewelry incorporating the symbol. Christians once commonly used the pentagram to represent the five wounds of Jesus.[1][2] The pentagram has associations with Freemasonry and is also used as a symbol by other belief systems.

                Of course, one can still insist (why?) that
                they drew the sign by accident, and NOBODY there knew any of the above 4-5 negative uses!

              • Monk James Silver says

                Thank Heaven, nothing of what you write here, ‘Anonymous’, bothers my conscience. Not in the least.

                But then, you aren’t responding to the points I raised earlier. If you would kindly address those points, we might have more to write to each other here.

                But if you intend just to go on with these side issues, I think that it would be best for us to conclude our correspondence.

                May the Lord bless you and keep you.

                • anonymous says

                  Monk James 
                  I would encourage you to read:

                  Ioannis says
                  June 22, 2019 at 2:44 pm

                  As he pretty much summed it the issue
                  However, I’m willing to break down your specific questions, (I believe there are 2 – correct me if I’m wrong)

                  You asked:

                  [1] “You still haven’t demonstrated the difference between a five-pointed star (as a symbol of anything, religious or otherwise) and a satanic pentagram,
                  [2] or proved how you know for sure that the design on the floor at the Phanar is a satanic pentagram.”

                  Point 1:  Context.  This is a symbol in a house of worship.
                  A pentagram by itself means nothing.  It’s the context that it is in that provides clues to its meaning

                  A pentagram in a 5th grade geometry book is not placed there for you to giggle at and add doodles and/or conjure up spirits – no more than a rectangle is
                  I have no problem saluting the American flag, something I have done and will do.  It has 50 five point stars on it.  One for each state in the union.  Geometric symbol, non-religious context – no problem.  Plus, they are solid anyway.  Religious pentagrams are not solid, just lines
                  Not seeing a problem here with this or any other non-religious contexts that may exist.

                  In the religious context, well, we have it in a house of worship – oddly placed, stand alone, in the center, usually, it would seem, covered up

                  So if its religious, what does it mean?


                  Let’s think of the 5 wounds of Christ explanation 

                  Not used to our knowledge in the Byzantine East and/or understood as such at the time of installation of this floor.  If used, had pagan/other origins to begin with and any Christian representation had fallen out of use long before hand even if it had ever existed.

                  Given your star and crescent example, it would be as if we built a parish today in 2019, and included a star and crescent at the top with the justification that, hey, it used to be Christian!

                  No, it would not be okay and would be misleading at best
                  Oh, but I’m supposed to be okay with that, right?  Because we can tie it in to some long forgotten past?

                  So I’m left with the fact that it represents spirituality all those other possible religious explanations – none of which are Christian 

                  Which brings us to your second question

                  [2] “proved how you know for sure that the design on the floor at the Phanar is a satanic pentagram.”

                  Not sure what you mean by prove here

                  I never attempted to “prove” anything 

                  I suppose that would go along with the “why” it’s there

                  I dont know why. I cant prove why it’s there

                  The title of this article is, “Why is there a pentagram at the Phanar?”

                  The author doesn’t know why and I don’t presume to know why either

                  I may have my own personal opinions, but those I’ve actually left unsaid.  Because I dont know the why

                  We know 2 things
                  We know what it is
                  We know it is there

                  Given the context that it is in it and it’s very known and widely used in the occult 

                  It is reasonable to find it totally offensive and highly suspicious

                  That’s really what you are getting at, isn’t it?

                  It is on the keepers of this temple to provide a very good explanation 

                  You must realize, Monk James, that if you think I am speculating too much

                  Just what are you doing, providing possible but extremely unlikely disconnected explanations?

                  Providing the benefit of the doubt?

                  No.  Not on this one

                  Lucy??!!  Joogadalada esplaining to do!!

                • anonymous says

                  Monk James 
                  “Thank Heaven, nothing of what you write here, ‘Anonymous’, bothers my conscience. Not in the least”

                  I’ve answered your question(s) the best I know how or understand what you were asking me for

                  Now will you do the same?

                  My question to you is simple:

                  Would you be willing to wear a pentagram symbol as a necklace?

                  Would that bother your conscience

                  or should we order and ship you one from Amazon?

                • Constantinos says

                  Monk James,
                  When you were discussing the filioque, it motivated me to do some research about the subject. The question I have to ask you is not about the filioque.
                  It’s about Canon 28 of the Council of Chalcedon. As you know Pope St. Leo the Great( a saint venerated by the Orthodox Church) vetoed Canons 28 and 29 before he approved the rest of the canons of the council. He said his authority came from the fact that he was the successor of St. Peter, the Prince of the Apostles. He vetoed the canon because it intruded on the rights of Alexandria which was also founded by St. Peter through his disciple John Mark. As you know, Antioch, Alexandria, and Rome were apostolic sees; Jerusalem became a patriarchate because it was a place of pilgrimage, and Constantinople was the seat of the Eastern Empire.
                  Now, if the Pope struck Canon 28 from the canons of the Council of Chalcedon along with Canon 29, why does the Orthodox Church talk about a nonexistent canon?

                  • Monk James Silver says

                    I am at a disadvantage here, since I am unfamiliar with the canon which ‘Constantinos’ asserts that we Orthodox Christians rely on in order to reject the phrase ‘and from the Son’ from inclusion in the Symbol of the Faith.

                    But two things remain true: First, the first ecumenical synod at Nikaia (A.D. 325) emplaced the Symbol of the Faith as a bare-bones minimum profession of what we believe. That, in itself, can be considered a canon, especially since it was so accepted by the entire Church.

                    Second, when it started to become customary in some parts of ‘the west’ to insert the phrase ‘and from the Son’ into the Symbol, the pope of Rome resisted the movement, and had the original Symbol inscribed of tablets of silver and gold, and mounted on the pillars at the doors of the Vatican basilica. This was around the beginning of the ninth Christian century.

                    Now, in the twenty-first Christian century, most– if not all — of the uniat churches (used to be Orthodox, but are now Roman Catholic) do not include the phrase ‘and from the Son’. The Roman rite has yet to catch up with their theoretical sisters in faith.

                    I trust that this answers your question.

                    • Constantinos says

                      “Monk James,”
                      When you were discussing the filioque, it caused me to do some research which led me to the Bishop of Rome. I’m talking about the Pope.
                      To my understanding, our Lord built His church on Cephas’s  confession and on him personally. He was the Prince of the Apostles. Antioch, Alexandria, and Rome were all built on St. Peter. Jerusalem became a patriarch because it was a place of pilgrimage. Constantinople became a patriarchate because it was seat of the empire.  Pope St. Leo the Great did not ratify Canons 28 and 29 so they were null and void.
                      As you know, the first forty Popes suffered martyrdom. Pope St. Leo the Great made it clear that Constantinople derived its power from the government, but the Pope derived his authority from the Lord Jesus Christ Himself because He built His church on Cephas and his successors, the Bishops of Rome. During antiquity, the Pope was never ” the first among equals,” he was the earthly head of the church. A careful study of early church history clearly shows the Pope wielded real authority over the church. The Popes destroyed all Eastern heresies. Christ willed the Pope to be the earthly head of His church. “Where Peter is, there’s the church.” The Orthodox Church has apostolic succession, the proper sacraments, but is deficient because they are not in communion with St. Peter. It doesn’t really get any clearer than that. Bottom line: If you are not in communion with the Pope, you are deficient” as former Greek Orthodox and now Catholic apologist James Likoudis has stated many times.  I have never believed the Orthodox Church was the one true church; it is at best the “Church of the Councils.”  The fullness of faith subsists in the Catholic Church. Why do I belong to the Orthodox Church? Because I didn’t have the time to go through RCIA.

                    • Constantinos: “Why do I belong to the Orthodox Church? Because I didn’t have the time to go through RCIA.”
                      What is RCIA?
                      “A careful study of early church history clearly shows the Pope wielded real authority over the church. The Popes destroyed all Eastern heresies. ”
                      Hmm, how much time did you study this?

  11. Nothing!! ? but seriously I prefere to keep an agnostic reverance. Just as with the Liturgy.  We believe as the Catholic church that the bread and wine becomes in true  reality the Body and Blood of Christ. But we do not use transubstantiation or any  philosophical, scientific theory, to explain it. 

    • Constantinos says

      Now, you are acting like a troll.  You are a complete waste of my valuable time so bother to address me again.  You remind me of the mosquito who had sex with the elephant, and then asked, “did I hurt you baby?”

      • Constantinos: “You are a complete waste of my valuable time so bother to address me again. ”
        If you want to save your valuable time, why do you waste it addressing me?

  12. Len Zetipas says

    Indeed the eye appeared in a video recently circulated of 1930s services in Astoria. Religious extremism came to Greece always from the west. The antisemitic Holy Thursday passages (anomus, anarcus, adiascorus) were forced by the Crusaders. Greek clergy ignored Kazantzakis until the Catholics objected – so ironic because in Greco he extols the cardinal vs “goat”. We were also indifferent to evolution until the evangelicals met Efrem. The Elpidorus squawk you much maligned, but which I adore, clearly pins Orthodox extremism on Converts. 

    • George Michalopulos says

      Yeah, them thar konvertsy scum. It explains everything, don’t it?

      Tell Stan howdy!

      • Monk James Silver says

        Stanley ‘Barbara Marie’ Drezhlo hasn’t been a presence in the blogosphere since 17 February 2019. That’s more than four months — an eternity in internet time — so I suspect that he has died or become gravely ill.

        Let us intercede for him, that the Lord may be merciful to him and to all of us.

    • anonymous says

      Actually converts who, being lead by God, and at the same time – stumble upon the Orthodox Church, tend to investigate very diligently to discover what is Orthodox and what is not

      Yes, they need to learn from the cradle Orthodox and truly understand the authentic phronema of the faith. Most, however, are at least aware of this fact and I believe, make a conscious effort to allow for this by being open and teachable as well as slow to speak. That doesnt mean they are Orthodox 2nd class and should always stay silent or have absolutely no idea what they are talking about ever
      But understand this, the fact that they tend not to take things at face value is a good thing and their knowledge and understanding should not be simply dismissed automatically.

      Some (certainly not all but many) cradle Orthodox are on autopilot and just assume that if a guy in a hat says something it must be true 

      Both need each other and it is wrong to devalue the convert.  It is very wrong with to label them an extremist simply because they show great concern over such a thing.

      That labeling and use of language is very harmful
      This whole pentagram thing does not hold water and I don’t care how big the hat or how apathetic some of these born and raised “real” Orthodox individuals are towards it 

      Besides, where are all the other pentagrams at if this is so very Orthodox?

      If it’s a non-essential one-off, why is it dead center and appearing very misplaced?

      What other symbols are up for grab just because we slap a Greek or Christianized label on it at whim?

  13. Retas Tidaflis says

    Not to mention how modern man is growing skull horns  from cell phone use:
    Perhaps Saul Alinsky’s dedication of his Rules for Radicals explains:
    Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to thevery first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (andwho is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins— orwhich is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled againstthe establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won hisown kingdom —Lucifer.—SAUL ALINSKY

  14. I feel certain that there’s a genuine question here about this pentagram. Perhaps that question could be put to the new Greek archbishop in America, who should be familiar with Constantinople. I wonder what response – if any – people would get from him 

  15. Just wanted to point out some distortion in the photographs. In the top 2 pictures the light colored tile below and to the right of the star do not have seams and grout lines (they don’t connect). If you look at the third photograph, these same tiles have the grout lines (as is proper). It seems sketchy to me that 2 photographs from different angles have distortions and blurs in that same location. That would lead me to believe that it’s a possible fake. 

    • anonymous says


      Putting aside that observation and your belief that therefore it is a possible fake

      Honest question –
      If it is not a fake, but truly real and there, would it be of concern to you, or would it not matter?

      • Abnnonymous.  Yes I would be concerned about non Christian images that have not been over the centuries given a Christian meaning  as with a fish, shepherd  etc  used in a Church. But there is so much else of higher order to be concerned about. 
        In late 18c  and 19th it seems to me that many church
        Elites were free masons.  Now free masonary has never interested me in the least.  Except where they hold undemocraric power. 

      • Anonymous. It would to a certain extent. I think that symbols matter. I personally do not like seeing the All-seeing eye. There is one above the royal doors etched into the the marble at my church. Perhaps when seeing it my mind should lift up and think of God’s providence, that He is always watching over us, and other things proper to God (as any good image in the church does). But unfortunately, most of the time my mind descends and thinks about how freemasons have penetrated into the church. In other words, the devil uses my knowledge of it to tempt me rationally and distract my attention from God.

        From the little I know about pentagrams (which is very little), it should be apparent that it is not a symbol that belongs in our church. Besides the more important esoteric meanings, that symbol is very ugly and not beautiful. The one in that picture, being slightly off center and very faint makes it even more unpleasant to see. 

        It would honestly make me feel better if I found out some Muslim was responsible for the engraving and it was kept for historical purposes. 

        Knowing that the Patriarch stands over a symbol highly associated with satanism does not put a good feeling in my stomach. Especially if I picture him holding up the chalice over it. 

        I’m not overly concerned, but I’d like to hear a follow up as well. After looking at the picture more I found some other disconnected grout lines on the left side. So it could have just been 1 panoramic picture causing that effect. 

        • anonymous says


          “After looking at the picture more I found some other disconnected grout lines on the left side. So it could have just been 1 panoramic picture causing that effect.”


    • Gail Sheppard says

      Nikos, the first two photos surfaced several years ago (I think it was 2003/2004) but George didn’t see them back then. What is compelling is that the third photo that is dated November 2015 seems to corroborate the first two, even though you can’t see exactly what’s going on because of the blurs you mentioned. I talked with George and he told me he is going to ask someone at the Phanar about it. It should be interesting to hear what they say if they say anything at all. Years ago, I think they denied there was anything there but it would be kind of hard to do that now.

  16. Anonymous and Ioannis are on the ball. More, please, gentlemen.
    I want to hear Anonymous’ hypothesis on the pentagram; it probably makes more sense than the old “nothing to see here” we’re getting from others.

    • anonymous says


      Who put it there and why I don’t know

      I sure would like more answers

      We do know a couple of things 
      1.  It is a pentagram 
      2.  It is there

      In addition, it is a symbol highly favored by esoteric societies and/or the occult

      Some have pointed out the 5 wounds of Christ explanation but it doesnt seem congruent with what we see here – given historical time lines, how it was placed, ect

      The fact that it is widely used in the occult, esoteric societies, witchcraft, etc. is more than a red flag.  The fact that it has been noted on such places as Mormon temples doesn’t help

      Stars appearing in Christianity? Sure

      Stars also appear in ancient pagan societies

      So what is this?  Christian because it appears in a church?

      What about a pagan star in the midst of the people of God?

      It happened with the ancient Israelites [as St. Stephen quoted the Prophet Amos]:

      “Did you offer Me slaughtered animals and sacrifices during forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel?  You also took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan [related to the god Saturn?], images which you made to worship; and I will carry out away beyond Babylon. ” Acts 7:42-43 [as quoted from Amos 5:25-27]

      I sure would like to know what this star of Remphan/Chiun looked like

      But this star we are talking about, the pentagram, sure has its baggage

      I can see the justification Christian bumper sticker now:

      “The pentagram:  We’re taking it back!”


      I will offer a speculation though

      This symbol may become THE religious symbol of the future

      I’m not the only one who has speculated that and there are reasons for it. 

      Further elaboration maybe for another post

  17. If I was a betting man, I would wager that the answer to this strange mystery is somehow connected to the Freemason, Meletios Metaxakis, of thrice wretched memory.

    • Very wisely said Mikhail.

    • “…this strange mystery is somehow connected to the Freemason, Meletios Metaxakis…”
      That would be my best ‘educated’ guess as well.  As for removing it, don’t we know that nothing in the ‘eternal city,’ the mother of all cities can ever be changed?  

      • Constantinos says

        Sorry, but it’s not a very “educated” guess at all. It’s ridiculous. Do you believe in little green men also? Shouldn’t the late Ecumenical Patriarch be addressed with a little more respect than you have shown? Former Ecumenical Patriarch Metaxakis of blessed memory.

        • Meletios Meataxakis was responsible for massive damage to the holy Orthodox Church (not just the calendar). Do the research. And although Bartholomew is giving him a run for his money, I believe that the term “thrice wretched memory” is applicable. There are no fond memories of this destroyer of the Orthodox faith.

        • Michael Bauman says

          Metaxsakis does not deserve to be remembered well if only for his obscene handling of the calendar issue. He did great harm to the Church that persists to this day. Unfortunately, the calendar was only part of the damage he did.

          • Sure, I agree with both of you Brian and Michael.
            It happens to be my “educated” guess too.
            was the freemason Patriarch blessed 
            (1) by the God of O.T and N.Testament, the Father of Jesus Christ,
            (2) or by the Great Architect of the Lodge,
            (3)or are these two persons the same God, in which case the Lodge also believe in God the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit?  

        • Constantinos,
          You’re correct in the sense that my reply was poorly worded.  My point was that the presence of this symbol is most likely related to Free-Masonry.

          You will note that I have not commented on this until now, primarily because there is little point in doing so. I’m not a fan of national flags in our churches either, but there they are in many of them.

        • Constantinos: “Ecumenical Patriarch Metaxakis of blessed memory.”
          Worshipful Master of Harmony Lodge.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Costa, I’m with Martin. Metaxakis wasn’t a bad egg because he was a Mason. He was a bad egg because he was a liberal “reformer”.

            Masonry was just a way for him to validate his heresies.

            • Lon Calefas says

              ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ἡμῖν
              Indeed, Iakovos, a member of mariners67.org along with Alexis Scherbatow, said it doesn’t matter what you belong to but what yo do with it, viz, if you use Masonry to promote Orthodoxy, good, if you use Orthodoxy to promote Masonry, bad

              • anonymous says

                I disagree 
                Promoting Orthodoxy via masonry is not an acceptable means for many reasons
                They are at odds and incompatible with each other

            • Blessed Elder Philotheos of Paros 1884-1980
              Now I come to you, the Priests of Greece and especially of Athens, and I beg you to hear me attentively. When 50 years ago—I do not remember precisely—Meletios Metaxakis of Kition…ascended to the Archepiscopal throne of Athens, he summoned a clergy congress in a hall in the offices of the Metropolis. Almost all the priests of Athens came enthusiastically to hear his paternal counsels. Instead of telling them, as Christ told His disciples, ‘Ye are the light of the world. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father Who is in heaven’ [St. Matthew 5:14,16]—to be ‘humble, merciful, meek, pure in heart, peacemakers, patient in afflictions, temptations, persecutions, accusations, and to rejoice when men persecute you, hate you and wrong you, to love God and every man, even your enemies, and to pray for them’ [St. Matthew, chapter 5]—he gave them the following advice. Listen, so that you may shudder and weep: ‘In Europe all the clergy shave, cut their hair, and go without rasa. We should imitate them, in case we should seem out of date and uncivilized.’ Then almost all the priests, with one mouth, with boldness and confidence, said to him: ‘Your Beatitude, we are Greek Orthodox; we will never become heretics, Protestants or Papists.’ Then, as a politician, not as a pastor, he told them: ‘I did not tell you to become Protestants and Papists. I told you that, because I am concerned for your health, since beards, uncut hair and rasa cause illness.’ A fair number of priests replied to him: ‘We are healthier than those who are shaven and woman-faced.’ Having given up hope because his aim and his advice had proved vain and fruitless, he turned to a doctor, whom he had brought along to assist his purpose, and said to him, ‘Doctor, talk to them, advise them, because they will not listen to me.’ When he was called upon to speak, the doctor began to give them advice, but some of the priests did not allow him to, saying to the Metropolitan: ‘Let the physician heal himself.’ Others said to the doctor, ‘Go and cure the sick who summon you. We are neither sick nor have we summoned you,’ and in this way the clergy congress dissolved into a shaming of Meletios Metaxakis, the modernist, the innovator, the scorner of Patristic Traditions, and redounded to the glory of God, the boast of Orthodoxy, and the praise of the priests of Athens. (Fourth Clarion Call to Salvation [Thessaloniki: “Orthodoxos Kypseli” Editions, 1981], p. 36)

              • You know Mikhail,
                how Professor Fr. Georgios Metallinos
                call such a bishop (or Patriarch):
                “He is not a real bishop, he is a figurant”

              • M. Stankovich says

                You have made well known your opinion of Patriarch Meletios – with all the associated “titles” of your scorn. Patriarch Meletios died in 1935, and as near as I can tell, he may no longer be corrected, instructed, nor may he repent of any sin or error for which he is accused of in this life. Nevertheless, you scorn him vehemently and viciously at every opportunity. Likewise, it seems to me that your words inspire others to speak in the same vicious manner, and to concur with you. So, I would ask you, how you are able to justify this continuous, angry tirade? By what Scripture, or according to the directive of which of the Holy Fathers? Specifically, how do you interpret the words of St. John Climacus:
                “Listen to me, listen, all you malicious reckoners of other men’s accounts! If it is true (as it really is true) that ‘with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged’, then whatever sins we blame our neighbour for, whether bodily or spiritual, we shall fall into them ourselves. That is certain. Hasty and severe judges of the sins of their neighbour fall into this predicament because they have not yet attained to a thorough and constant remembrance and concern for their own sins. For if anyone could see his own vices accurately without the veil of self-love, he would worry about nothing else in this life, considering that he would not have time enough for mourning for himself even though he were to live a hundred years, and even though he were to see a whole river Jordan of tears streaming from his eyes. I have observed that mourning, and I did not find in it even a trace of calumny or criticism.” Ladder of Divine Ascent, Step 10, 9-10.

                Or perhaps St. Paul:

                “If meat make my brother to offend [the Greek says σκανδαλίζει – from σκανδαλίζω, to put a snare in the way, to cause someone to stumble, to scandalize someone] I will eat no flesh while the world stands, lest I make my brother to offend.” (1Cor. 8:13)
                You referred to yourself in a recent post as “the most wretched of sinners.” I could certainly be wrong here, but either you were posturing, or you’ve pretty much convinced me that that title belongs to Patriarch Meletios. My thought is that it would be much more courageous – let alone charitable – to beg our God to save his “thrice wretched” soul, than to continue to publicly revile him. I would certainly pray someone would do the same for me in that terrible hour of judgment.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Ouch! I get it. However, there is no reason from an historical perspective as to why we can’t continue to hold up that unfortunate wretch as an example of what not to do.

                  I’m sorry but perhaps I should be praying for his soul (as so should we all). But golliwhillickers, it was clear from the outset that this guy was up to no good. Why we let the British place him on the Cpolitan throne is enough for me to rethink my Anglophilia and laugh at their joke of a church.

                  The damage he did was incalculable. He started a slow-motion schism. Unfortunately, his present successor is well on his way to finishing it off.

                  Lord have mercy!

                • Michael Bauman says

                  Michael S. from an epidemiological point of view, Metaxakis could be considered patient zero as far as hierarchs are concerned. Thus it is prudent to know what and why he did what he did and to have appropriate quarantine measures in place and treatment response plans to meet other outbreaks.

                  Unfortunately, it appears as if the Church has learned nothing, thus the frustration of others who see the contagion still alive and spreading.

                  • The new calendar was not the only innovation Meletios wanted to introduce: what he wanted, writes Bishop Ephraim, “was an Anglican Church with an eastern tint, and the faithful people in Greece knew it and distrusted everything he did. While in Athens, he even forbade the chanting of vigil services (!) because he considered them out of date and a source of embarrassment when heterodox – especially Anglicans – visited Athens. The people simply ignored him and continued to have vigils secretly.”
                    Vladimir Moss
                    1922: The Asia Minor Catastrophe

                  • M. Stankovich says

                    Michael Bauman,
                    That Patriarch Meletius IV was a sinner is not the question.

                    By way of perspective, my personal faith is so weak & so limited, that I am unable to raise a single person from their bed of illness, when the Lord says that with faith the size of a mustard seed, “nothing shall be impossible to you.” (Matt. 17:20) I live with defiance & disobedience, and frequently am arrogant, argumentative, and impatient. “For that which I do, I do not understand: for I do that which I do not want; but what I hate, that I do.” (Rom. 7:15). When I am finally able to momentarily see the extent of my failings for what they are, I again realize my dependence of the mercy of God to exist and to resist, for “If you, O Lord, should remember iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?” (Ps. 129:3) And yet, despite all of this, I still dare to judge others! How is this possible?

                    I certainly did not say that I object to the lesson(s) of the consequences of harmful and divisive actions & behaviours of anyone, or that they should be ignored; I appreciate that the failings of Christians can be a productive lesson for us, and it was customary that the Holy Fathers did so, frequently. Nevertheless, can I justify continuous scorn – even against those “thrice wretched” – in the light of my own failings? Personally, I do not see how it is possible, and it disturbs me to see it.  

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      Meletius is beyond being hurt by words.  The words that should concern us are the words we utter against one another.    

                • The moral authority of the Patriarchs of Constantinople has likewise fallen very low in view of their extreme instability in ecclesiastical matters. Thus, Patriarch Meletius IV arranged a “Pan-Orthodox Congress,” with representatives of various churches, which decreed the introduction of the New Calendar. This decree, recognized only by a part of the Church, introduced a frightful schism among Orthodox Christians.
                  St. John Maximovitch

                  • Archimandrite Haralambos Vasilopoulos, in his book Saint Nektarios, has preserved for us the background to this incident between Patriarch Meletios Metaxakis and Saint Nektarios. He writes:
                    The monastic-loving and ascetic spirit of Saint Nektarios clashed with the secular spirit of Patriarch Meletios Metaxakis, in regards to the completion of the building of the Monastery of the Life-Giving Spring in Aegina.  It should be noted that this Monastery was the only one in Aegina at the time.
                    At that time Patriarch Meletios Metaxakis (who was then Metropolitan of Athens) had gone to Aegina to prevent Saint Nektarios from constructing the Monastery.  His suggestion to stop the building was a characteristic observation of him:
                    “What are you doing here?  Now you’re building a Monastery?  Do you not see that there are so many abandoned chapels around?  Monasteries are not for our era today.”
                    The last sentence, “Monasteries are not for our era today”, apparently shows a slip of secularism.
                    Saint Nektarios, the “godly healer of Christ”, as his Apolyikon says, ignored this secular spirit and continued to complete the Monastery.

                    • Thanks Mikhail for the very important msg.
                      Saint Nektarios  had a lot of experience with Alexandria Patriarch Sophronios (meaning prudent!) who was jealous of st.Nektarios because the people loved very much.
                      Another important thing about you posting is the name
                      Archimandrite Haralambos Vasilopoulos.
                      He has written many important books.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      It’s interesting that St Nektarios chose not to reply to him.  As much as I like a witty riposte (and the more scathing the better), sometimes it’s just best to ignore the other person, smile nicely and then see them on their merry way.  

                      Then just go ahead and do what the Lord commands.  Jesus said it best:  “let the dead bury their own dead”.


                  • St.Paisios said,
                    “If we do not react, they will do worse things”

                    • Amen! St. Paisios also said:
                      The Devil has three tentacles…
                      For the poor: communism
                      For the believers: ecumenism
                      For the wealthy: Freemasonry

        • Constantinos, do you only personally attack people,  and use ad homein? nothing was said about little green men. 

          • Actually, brother James,
            perhaps the “little green men” were not mentioned by accident:

            if anybody is REALLY interested in little green men as registered in official files,
            let him/her read Serafim Rose’s book:
            “Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future”


            Warning: S.Rose & Freemasonry mutually dislike each other.

          • Constantinos says

            Well, folks, it’s good to see the Holy Inquisition is alive and well in the person of “James.” For your information, “James,’ this is George’s forum, not yours. You don’t get to say who can and cannot post on this forum. If you don’t like my posts, don’t read them. It’s called “free speech.” Stop your whining; it’s unmanly. And stop trolling me.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Costa, some day I’m gonna write/speak about the Inquisition from a historical perspective. The record does need to be set straight.

              P.S. As far as the modern day is concerned, the Inquisition never really went away. That’s why we have rogue actors like Brett Weinstein and Jordan Peterson appearing on Joe Rogan regularly. It’s basically a samizdat forum, better than nothing but under the radar of the modern censors.

            • Constantinos: ” it’s good to see the Holy Inquisition is alive and well in the person of “James.” … You don’t get to say who can and cannot post …”
              Hmm, I think you would be a perfect candidate for interrogation.  I detect at least a few of heresies in your statements. 😉

  18. Monk James Silver says

    Constantinos (June 24, 2019 at 6:59 am) says:

    “Monk James,”
    When you were discussing the filioque, it caused me to do some research which led me to the Bishop of Rome. I’m talking about the Pope.
    To my understanding, our Lord built His church on Cephas’s confession and on him personally. SNIP

    That is the Roman Catholic interpretation of Matthew 16:18, but it is mistaken.

    The Church, based on linguistic evidence in this very section of St Matthew’s Gospel, and supported by other scriptural passages, understands that our Lord Jesus Christ Himself is the Rock and Cornerstone upon which He builds His Church, setting the apostles in place as its foundation.

  19. M. Stankovich says

    In my estimation, if as much time and energy were invested in studying the Holy Scriptures, the writings of the Holy Fathers, and figuring out how to best comply – in a spirit of joy – with the commands of the Lord in Matthew 25, as is being exerted “gazing” at blurred photographs and dreaming up monikers such as “thrice wretched,” we would undoubtedly be a better Church and better people.

    • Always time for both!

    • Bingo! Michael Stankovich!
      For some reason we all are guilty at taking our turn whipping The Man, instead of healing and loving Him. His people and Church are thirsty and we only offer vinegar. Where would we be without His Church yet…
      Jesus Christ, Son of God, have Mercy on me, a sinner.

  20. Michael Bauman says

    RCIA=Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. Adult catechism of the Roman Catholic Church. Constantinos, your lack of catechism in the Orthodox Church shows. In my parish there is roughly nine month course of study. Classes are once a week and all the basic aspects of Orthodox life are covered in a drive by way (that is all that can be covered really).

    However, if you really believe in the supremacy of the Papal office, then you should be in the RCC. That simple. One of the many, many reasons I am not in the RCC is because my study of history (much of it done prior to me becoming Orthodox) tells me just the opposite of what yours does.

    “The One True Church” has become an egalitarian hammer.

    • Constantinos says

      Mr. Bauman,
      I was catechized more than nine months. Do you dispute that the Pope holds the seat of the Apostle Peter, the Prince of the Apostles? My suggestion to you: read and study more.

      • Constantinos, if you believe In Rome,  go be a Roman Catholic,  bitterness is starting to show on your part in these posts. Your energy for papalism would be much better among Catholics, instead of Proselytizing Orthodox Christians, we are happy without the innovations and heterodoxy of Rome. 

        • Yes, brother James,
          Read the document by the Spanish nobleman and ex-RC monk Paul Ballester Convalier who discovered the deceit by the Roman Church and became Orthodox in the 50s.
          He later became an Orthodox bishop in Mexico and 
          … just by accident he was killed by a retired Mexican General who also happened to be a jesuit;
          by Bishop Paul Ballester-Convalier  +1984

                Bishop Paul de Ballester-Convallier: A contemporary Neo martyr of Orthodoxy (25th anniversary of his martyrdom: 1984-2009)

  21. Alitheia1875 says

    Anyone ever wonder why the EP bishop on Italy is not based in Rome? Because an Orthodox bishop in Rome would be the Pope, not the Latin imposter. And that would crreate a  ig problem for Patriarch Bartholomew.

  22. Alitheia1875 says

    That Meletios Metaxakis was a Mason there can be no doubt. Masons entered the church where he lay in the middle of the night and did a masonic funeral service. But, also, Eleftherios Venizelos was his cousin. Venizelos was secular to the core. Venizelos leads Greece, Metaxakis becomes patriarch of Constantinople, the new calendar is introduced, and responsibility for the Greek Orthodox church in the US passes from the Church of Greece to the EP.

    • Yes Alitheia! The horrific deeds and destruction of the faith by the Freemason Metaxakis (of thrice wretched memory) is well documented. But here’s the really frightening part. Bartholomew is on recorded as referring to him as a “great visionary”!  Indeed, it seems that Bartholomew is following in his footsteps.

  23. Mikhail,
    Thanks for the fascinating and revealing passage about the encounter between St. Nektarios and the then Archbishop Meletios who later became Patriarch of Alexandria and later of Constantinople. I would guess the encounter was somewhere in the late 19′ teens. Meletios did so much damage to the Church, especially with the schism caused by the calendar change, when millions left the Church. Another saint, John Maximovitch(whose memory we celebrate Saturday), commented, 20 years later about the sad state of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. And yet more was to come with the extreme ecumenism of Patriarch Athenagoras.( By extreme I mean the talk of unity through the common cup, the nonsense about the two lungs, the joint services etc) And now we have the Ukraine situation which if it’s not resolved, we might be facing another 1054. Kyrie Eleison! If that’s not enough Patriarch Bartholemew, apparently having learned nothing from the Ukranian fiasco, yesterday started eyeing the church situation in Montenegro.

  24. George, St. Nektarios had the most important quality needed in a bishop’s resume–humility. His  life resembles that of our Savior. He was pushed around, slandered, demoted, ridiculed etc., and just received the attacks and moved on rather than cause people to sin. You can study about humility in seminary and that might help you achieve it. But, it is said, that humility is best acquired in a monastery under the guidance of a spiritual father. St. Nicholas’ troparion, I think is the best job description for a bishop.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Very much agreed. More humility would be a good thing. We could start with doing away with the most vain title of all: “Your All-Holiness”.

  25. Let’s try not to get despondent or pessimistic about our bishops(my struggle). Let’s stay in touch with God and confess our own weaknesses and pray for the hierarchy. After all, over the full sweep of American Orthodox history we been blessed with many good, humble bishops. In my time in GOA, I think of Bishop Gerasimos of Abydos who was bishop of Boston. He was a great bishop and very humble. I’m sure most people who follow this blog could likewise come up with humble bishops they knew and know now. Let’s hear about them.In my own ROCOR, I could mention current hierarchs, Metropolitan Hilarion, Bishop Nicholas, Bishop George for openers.Ones I met in the past, Bishop Andrei of Novo Divevov, Metropolitan Philaret, Archbishop Averky, Bishop Mitrophan, Bishop Constantine. Metropolitan Laurus, and many more. So let’s pray for all our present bishops. If we get our own  lives up to par and offer prayers for the Church and the clergy, I believe all will be good. We not only need good clergy but good lay folk too. Let’s get ourselves in order.(but those clergy involved in corruption, and a culture of corruption and making trouble for the Church, teaching heresy, calling evil good, well that’s a whole different story, they are rightfully called out)

    • George Michalopulos says

      Peter, I agree that you are on to something. We’ll never get “good” bishops for America until the laity themselves become good.

      As it is now, a lot of the bishops on the EAUSA know what is real and what they should do but they know that if they go too far afield in pan-Orthodoxy/increased spirituality/evangelism to America they would get thrown out in a New York minute.

    • Good post Peter.
      I have met +Metropolitan Laurus and Metropolitan Hilarion and Bishop George….all from ROCOR.
      Very wise yet humble men.

  26. George Michalopulos says
    Very much agreed. More humility would be a good thing. We could start with doing away with the most vain title of all: “Your All-Holiness”.

    Spot on, George!
    Actually it sounds even more vain in Greek:
    “Pan-agio-tatos” which has TWO superlatives higher than “Holy God…”
    The full rendition in English would be e.g.:
    “Your All-Most-Holiness” and “All-Holi-est”.
    St.Nikodimos explains in the Rudder (p.274):
    “The appellation of “All-holiest” was first accorded to the Bishops of Constantinople Sergius and Peter by Macarius of Antioch at the Sixth Ec. C. in the seventh century…”

    And who was Macarius of Antioch?
    Wikipedia mentions:
    “His title seems to have been a purely honorary one, for his patriarchate lay under the dominion of the Saracens, and he himself resided at Constantinople. Nothing is known of him before the Sixth Ecumenical Council, which deposed him on account of his monothelitism, after which he disappeared into obscurity in a Roman monastery…”

    It would appear that Macarius was really a guest in Constantinople, and hence his excessive politeness to the local Patriarchs (hosts) Sergius and Peter.
    St.John Chrysostom, the Golden Mouth, whose homilies are translated/read by all Christians, world-wide, whose Divine Liturgy we celebrate on most days of the year, was and is still called,
    “St. John Chrysostom Archbishop od Constantinople” and not “All-holiest”
    like Metaxakis, Athenagoras …and now Bartholomew.   
    P.275 of the Rudder states:
    “these titles are designations conferred, not by any Canons of the Councils or of the Fathers of the Church, but given by custom to the Bishop of Constantinople”.
    It is interesting to remember St. Chrysostom’s words that the more titles the less value.
    However it appears that many people are “intimidated” by this title. It has thus a psychological weight.