Playing for All the Marbles

So this is a power grab, plain and simple.  This new charter isn’t just about the GOA.  It is a charter designed to unite the jurisdictions under the EP.

The creation of such a charter by an Archbishop in the GOA should come as no surprise.  This is a tactic the EP has use before.  Like when he told the world he speaks for the “entire” Church.  If no one makes you quit saying you speak for the entire Church, it becomes fact, if only in your own mind.  The EP thinks we’re the diaspora, under his care, and he and Elpi can darn well do what they want with us.    

We have learned from a reliable source that the Ecumenical Patriarchate will set up offices in DC.  This makes perfect sense if you ask yourself the following question:  What would you do if you were the Eccumencial Patriarch and needed to “pack everyone up” to move to Rome?

Time will tell, but I would bet all my marbles that this new “charter” is going to be about unity across jurisdictions.  No more “Greek” Church.  It will be the “American” Church (I know, don’t laugh).  Lord have mercy if the OCA goes along with this charade in order for its autocephaly to finally be recognized.

Sidebar: If memory serves, there was a certain fellow last year who predicted that the OCA was going to merge with the GOA. I wonder who that clever rascal was?

That Bartholomew’s & Francis’ intentions to reunite the Church is still “on,” is evidenced by recent news stories on the Catholic side concerning the problem with intercommunion between Catholics and Protestants in Germany.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) wrote last week to Bishop Georg Bätzing, president of the German bishops’ conference, saying that a proposal for a “Eucharistic meal fellowship” [with Protestants] would harm relations with Orthodox Churches.”

They are seemingly making the Orthodox Church a priority.  Why?  Because it is the Pope’s intention to unite with Bartholomew and they don’t want the Orthodox Church to balk at the idea of opening up Eucharist communion with Protestants.

And then there is something put out by Elpi within the last couple of weeks “calling for much closer ties between the two branches of Christianity.”  This is seemingly (there’s that word again) about unity with regard to Hagia Sophia, but since it is well after the fact, there is clearly another message behind the message:

But wait! There’s more:

“. . . it is announced that His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros has convened an extraordinary teleconference of the Holy Eparchial Synod on Monday, October 12, 2020, in order to evaluate these new decisions of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

“ We have just received a wonderful opportunity to rebuild the Church in America from the ground up. Over the past one hundred years, great hierarchs led the Archdiocese of America, of which the later Patriarch Athenagoras and Archbishop Michael stand out, who consolidated and strengthened our communities. [Curiously, there is no mention of Ss John Maximovitch or Nikolai Velimirovich or any of the other the God-pleasing saints who worked here in America. –Ed.] Of course, Archbishop Iakovos was the one who, in his 37 years as Archbishop, transformed our Archdiocese, giving it a leading role in American society.

“ Today we feel especially blessed, because with this decision, the Ecumenical Patriarchate gives us the great opportunity to envision and design our Church together in view of its 100th anniversary. All together, clergy and laity, we will participate in a joint committee with our Patriarchate, and we will develop and complete a new plan with new perspectives on Orthodoxy in America for the next 100 years.

“ With the Ecumenical Patriarchate, we will establish a joint committee to study the current needs and the dynamics of our Archdiocese and prepare the plan for our new Charter.

“ I consider this decision to be divinely inspired and auspicious, because it comes a few days before the name day of the ever-memorable Archbishop Iakovos, during which we recall the glorious past, and prepare for a new century with new visions to strengthen our ministry and renew Pan-Orthodox cooperation. We are all grateful to the leader of Orthodoxy and the Holy and Sacred Synod that is with him.”

The full text of the Patriarchal Communiqué can be read at the following link:–october-2020

What say you, fellow bloggers?  Does this look like the mother of all power grabs or what?


  1. So be it. Let the modernists unite under the Phanar and prepare for a Unia. Was that not the plan going back to Patriarch Melitios IV?

    Get on with it and let the Church get on with our business of deification. A house divided against itself cannot stand.

    • George Costalas says

      Thank Elder Ephraim brought the monastics.  

      • Amen! Thank you George C. Sorry Mr. and Mrs. M, I will click any like button you someday adopt instead of “amening” but it is just too tempting right now!!!

    • George Costalas says

      Don’t forget.  The GOA isn’t the only choice…ROCOR, the Antiochians, OCA, Serbians.  BDS the Patriarch, Archbishop and their demonic false church!!! Not a cent. 

      • I’m probably odd man out here (again, pause for laughter), but I see providence in the fact that there are different jurisdictions in America.  America, like it or not, is an imperial country without any real culture other than the Western Anglo-Saxon culture it has self-repudiated and a faux progressive bs culture which does not take religion seriously in the least except as a target for subversion or extermination. 

        This bs culture acts as an acid on any religious confession operating on American soil.  It has destroyed the mainline Protestant confessions and ruined Roman Catholicism to the extent that it still had some merit.  Thus, it was inevitably going to have an effect on Orthodoxy.  The various jurisdictions have been affected to different degrees, some much less, some much more than others.

        Were there only one American Orthodox Church, likely it would have succumbed to the apostate spirit of the age as has GOARCH, the largest jurisdiction on American soil.  The canonically questionable situation we have here of overlapping jurisdictions is the price we pay in America for some bastions of Orthodoxy to resist the progressive Borg.  Without that division, resistance would not have been possible.

        Just let it be.

        • Agreed Misha.  The answer is in more Orthodox learning about Orthodoxy “in full” via the Holy Fathers and connection with those monastics who are close to the Saints and practices of Mt Athos.  And becoming humble about what we don’t know.  I feel so blessed now to have found that early on and weep that so much Western influence has prevented those in our country from even hearing about the fulness of the Faith.  But they can now via Fr Peter and others, so I hope all will.   But of course we are all free and only if they choose.  So much suffering and turmoil could be prevented if we only go Eastern…

  2. MomofToddler says

    Okay, I’m not sure if this is considered gossip. If it is, please don’t publish. A year ago maybe before we left our OCA church, after a diocesan meeting or something, the priest reassured me we would not go under the EP and then he said something to the effect of “but if there was to be an united America church, then we could do that” or something like that and I knew then something was up…if I couldn’t sense it already. If was the way he said “but if” that really made me think something. This was during the height of the Ukraine scandal when joining with GOA is/was not a good thing especially. I guess the Ukraine scandal is still going on but it’s not making news too much anymore. A potential false church in America terrifies me in a way. It’s hard enough to share our faith with others. Just today at the park when it came up I was Orthodox, it’s so awkward that I can’t invite anyone to my church and have to explain (in case they look it up) gently why we drive so far to go to church and why the other two are not a good choice right now. Not a good way to introduce someone to Orthodoxy. I wonder how people converted to the faith during the Soviet Era?

    • A true scandal, is it not? Outreach & evangelism is exceedingly difficult.

    • “Just today at the park when it came up I was Orthodox, it’s so awkward that I can’t invite anyone to my church”

      It is utterly humiliating to have to tell Heterodox Christians, whose churches perhaps never ceased functioning normally, or have returned to normal months ago, that your church is still functioning at about 1/5 capacity.

  3. Sorry, long post. I hate being that guy.
    No. I mean, it looks like that, but it won’t happen. If it could have happened, it would have already happened.
    I think people want the EP to lead, and most of the jurisdictions would gladly unite under the EP if there was an assurance that they would remain, you know, Orthodox. Maybe ten years ago that was a possibility.
    Pan-Orthodoxy died some time around 2015. I would love to be proven wrong, but I strongly think that there will never be a single, unified American Church.
    I suggest you look up CGP Gray’s youtube video “rules for rulers”. For the EP to get American unity, he would have to give something in return. The EP is not in a giving mood. Currently they only do the taking. They can’t just force out two metropolitan bishops after restructuring the pension plan and then assure the OCA bishops that they’ll be able to keep their status.
    What Bartholomew and Elpi (an American bishop should have a name that can be easily pronounced, so I refuse to try to spell it correctly) are planning are insane fantasies devoid of reality. It’s as ludicrous as bringing democracy to Afghanistan. I understand the logic on paper, but it just won’t happen.
    We saw this with Ukraine. It was a coherent plan. Force the Russians out and then use the historicity of Constantinople to force the Churches to pick sides and then jump to a union with the eastern catholics. But this didn’t happen. Only Greece and Alexandria recognized the new sect, and only hesitatingly, and other churches outright forbid it.
    If the EP is forced out of the Orthodox communion — and it’s a real possibility — then they lose the prestige of all their territories in Lithuania and Finland and elsewhere.

    • Dimitrios Papageorgiou says

      They will give something in return: the greek character of the archbishopric! Something that they gladly want to get rid off but same time they cannot do that immediately without loosing their flock and, most importantly, their influence on their flock acting as an ethnarchy in diaspora. Under a new panamerinac shcema they have the opportunity to act to this direction having many excusses tο say to their flock and to present it as something neutral and in favour of ecumene. Until now, the patriarchate prevents fiersomely the development of non ecclesiastical greek institutions in diaspora, following the instructions of the turkish and USA goverments but giving to the greek one the assurence that it will work as a greek institution for the greek interests. The politicall truth is some in the middle, it is working for everyone’s interests and tries not to bother anyone saying to everyone what he wants to hear: yes greeks we are greek nationalists working for Greece, yes USA we are acting on behalf of your interests as the american patriarchate…everywhere, yes Turks we are just keeping the Greeks under your control in a side way, so do not take seriously some necessery acting.  Now, οn the prospect of the creation of an american church they think that they will not have any damage by giving up, at last, their greekness as it is their desire (although they indeed love greek language and literature). All this masqarate is called by them “high roman diplomacy” in the Phanariot idiomatic way of speaking, making them feel confidence about themselves. As a Greek, in and from Greece, the only interests that I serve and I want to be served are the greek ones, so, our homogeneouses in Constantinople, if they want to act differently firstly they must permit the development of non ecclesiastical greek institutions, secondly they will clearly express their deep gratitude for the assistance of the greek state to them (for example in Europe everything is unofficially and under the table paid by the greek state), thirdly they will stop to provoke anti-helladic sentiment and to undermine the greek intentity saying that they want to replace it with a peculiar “unethnic panroman” one and then they can do whatever they want! But you will ask, all this is it not contradictory to re-hellenisation of the archdioceses as it is decided by Elpis and Bartholomew after the initiall failure of the americanisation? Not at all! They are different responses to different situtation: if it is to stay alone let it be a strong greek fortress to coil the greeks around us to have as many of them as we can take, if it is to create something panamerican then we should change rhetoric. On the greek side they will say “see, now as greeks we will control every orthodox in America, so do not fear of anything, see the stupid Russians, the failed to control everyone in Ukraine by giving up their canonical rights to create a unified autocephalous church, we as Romans, sovereigns of the world, can do it better than this microcephalus panslavists”, do not laugh! This is exactly what they say about themselves, they have created a world in their mind where Bartholomew is the universal emperor and unfortunately all this “medieval festival” becomes a trend and believable in Greece, especially among Pontians, Cretans and Minorasians!

  4. Interesting that your sources mention the EP setting up office in Wash DC, just as the OCA is selling their Syosset property, and making plans to move +Tikhon to DC (which has historically been the see of the OCA Metropolitan).  Very interesting timing.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Very interesting observation!

    • I was going to write the same thing about the OCA and moving to DC. I guess the troops are gathering.

    • The OCA has had plans in the making for years to move the National Chancery to the Washington, D.C. area. The idea started with Met. Jonah, but never got going properly. (We don’t have to go over that story again.) After being stalled for years, it finally got moving. And, now all of a sudden, the Archbishop of the GOA wants to move his headquarters to Washington, D.C. (Hmmmm…sounds like someone is being a copycat. It’s almost like a bad chess move. The Greeks don’t like the idea of the OCA being headquartered there—so they’re going too! Monkey see, monkey do!)
      Seriously, this whole conspiracy scenario of both church bodies moving their administrative centers (almost) at the same time is just that. No one is massing troops. (I’m actually wondering how the Greeks can be spending so much money these day? Where do they keep getting it from? Bankrupt entities usually can’t keep functioning this way!)

  5. Sorry, but I don’t see the OCA merging (or going under) the EP. Again, as I’ve stated in the past, according to the OCA’s charter (and bylaws) that would have to be voted on by both clergy and laity at an All-American Church Council. No back door deals would be happening on our watch. (I speak as someone who is heavily involved not only on the parish level, but also on the diocesan level for my area of the country.) Granted, you might have a bishop or two that may think it’s a good idea, however, the rest of them do not.
    The GOA is a sinking ship…what idiot would want to board something that is going down fast? My own bishop has told me the same thing. He even laughed at the whole scenario when we spoke about it months agoand again just recently.  

    • “The GOA is a sinking ship…what idiot would want to board something that is going down fast?”
      Don’t discount peoples idiocy. Patriarch Bartholomew is hitching his wagon to Rome, which is the Titanic of sinking ships 

      • Petros, the OCA went through some financial scandals and issues some years back, and it’s taken time for us to heal the wounds. Why in the world, after all of that…would we want to hitch up with the GOA/EP where there has been massive monetary maleficence and financial issues? Believe me, our clergy and laity will not have it. No way, no how.

        • MomofToddler says

          Perhaps you are right.  However, clergy and laity are putting up with a lot worse as we speak with “restrictions” and changes, some of which may be classified as blasphemous changes (in certain dioceses).  If they are choosing to “fall in line” with something as serious as liturgical changes why would they not fall in line with something on a more political, and less personal, level?  The prevailing view at my former OCA parish was that what goes on in greater orthodoxy does not affect the local parish, and it didn’t concern them.
          Also, I’m not sure going under the EP is what is being discussed, but maybe I’m wrong.  I thought it was an autocephalous American church that would include the GOA, perhaps with their bishops leading?  The OCA has always been okay with creating a united America autocephelous church as far as I understood.  The problem now would be that joining “with the GOA” at this time in history does not seem wise given what has happened in recent history and certain agendas that are now being pushed.   

          • Sorry, MomofToddler, the OCA is THE autocephalous American Church. We never, ever officially yielded upon that point until Met. Jonah started making off the cuff remarks during speaking engagements. (He basically suggested that the OCA might be willing to give up its autocephaly if a common consensus could be arranged for total Orthodox unity in the U.S. But one which the Greeks weren’t calling all of the shots.)
            MomofToddler, you and I both know that this will never happen. The Greeks will never swallow their pride and play nice is the realm of administrative unity. So, it’s all a moot point. Besides, I personally do not want to be caught in the vortex of a sinking ship. Join with the GOA? No way, Jose!

          • George Michalopulos says

            MoT, the OCA has always been “OK” with being the midwife of a newer, broader –yet still autocephalous–Church. As Archbishop Dmitri Royster of thrice-blessed memory said “the OCA is not the master of [American] autocephaly but the servant of it”.

            Nor was their any hesitation by the OCA back in 1994 at Ligonier for transferring the white klobuk to the head of Archbishop Iakovos Coucouzis. So profound was the admiration that all Orthodox in America had for the GOA’s then-primate that would have done it without hesitation. But we were talking then about real autocephaly, not the contraption that was created in Ukraine by the Phanar, which I choose to call “ukracephaly”.

            There has been too much water under the bridge since then; we know now that the papalist tendencies of the present EP are out in the open. And it doesn’t help matters at all that this papalism was the ideological brainchild of Arb Elpidophoros, who is likely to be the next Patriarch of Constantinople.

            So there’s all that. For me, the question is personal: why would those of us (like the OCL) who have been trying to create a pan-Orthodox unity want to do it under the lead-footed headship of the Phanar? More to the point, outside of a few luminaries at Syosset who have had an inferiority complex, why would the OCA? I’m sorry, I think that all local Churches should recognize each other. I treasure the order of the Diptychs. But I can’t or won’t apologize for the autocephaly that already exists in the OCA. If it’s not good enough for the Phanar, then too bad. It still hasn’t stopped the OCA from evangelizing (at least in the South) or being the native Church of the Alaskans. Nor has it stopped us from producing God-pleasing saints.

    • But brother Alex,

      Remember that the OCA as an institution has this weird thing at the national level called the “Metropolitan Council,” which no other “autocephalous church” has and which essentially duplicates what is done at the diocesan level on the national level. There is zero reason to have a “Metropolitan Council.” Do “Metropolitan Council” decisions supersede decisions that are made at the “mere” diocesan level? Don’t know; I’m not sure if anyone has ever answered this question directly. Can the Metropolitan and the “Met. Council” overrule the individual dioceses?

      Also remember that the “movers and the shakers” in the OCA (mostly who live in the northeastern USA) came of age in the ’70s-’80s, during the time in America when one definitely did NOT want to be known as being Russian. (This is why ROCOR had such little missionary success during that time period, not to mention that ROCOR was compromised by its involvement then with the uber-judgmental Greek Old Calendarists.)

      Many of the current OCA movers and shakers (and/or their parents) were mercilessly teased in American high schools for being “Russian Orthodox.” Thus, many current OCA leaders have long-developed relationships with the GOAA dating back to the time of Abp Iakovos. If it’s a matter of being associated with the Greeks or the Russians, these OCA movers and shakers will choose the Greeks hands-down. To many northeastern, secularized OCA-ers, the Russians were good for giving the church autocephaly, and that’s it.

      With my generation (younger), I’ve loved witnessing the rebirth Christianity in Russia and have no problem at all being in a church that is jurisdictionally under Patriarch Kyrill — I love his level-headed leadership and the amazing depth of faith and practices that one finds in Russian Orthodoxy. (As I’ve said before, Russian Orthodoxy is incredibly multinational; just like most Roman Catholics are not Roman, millions of Russian Orthodox are not Russian.) There’s also no way that I want to follow the patterns of Western Christianity. I fear that many OCA “movers and shakers” don’t see things this way and are stuck in the ’70s-’80s mindset of “Russian = bad, “Greek” and “Western” = better. Thus, for them, there is a very natural inclination to follow the leadership of the GOA.

      One does not want to “rebuild the Church in America from the ground up” if one likes what we have done already for the past 200 years since the 1794 arrival of the Russian missionaries to the Alaskan shores. The Greeks, simply, don’t like it. Many Greeks can be pigheadedly narcissistic, and, to be blunt, many think that if the Greeks didn’t do it, then it simply doesn’t matter. (How many in the GOA actually care about and venerate Sts. Alexander Hotovitsky, St Juvenaly, St Iakov Netsvetov, St John of S.F, St Alexis Toth, among others?) Such is how Abp E and Patriarch B view the non-Greek churches in America, in my opinion — as if they are irrelevant until they are controlled by Constantinople.

      I recall how months ago Abp E visited the wondrous Holy Virgin Cathedral in San Francisco, allegedly to venerate the relics of St John of S.F. There are photos of that visit circling around. God forgive me for judging, but based on his recent statements and behavior, it does somewhat seem that Abp E may have been less amazed by the life, works, miracles, and witness of St John of S.F. but rather was more interested in trying to figure out how to claim San Francisco’s Holy Virgin Cathedral as his own.

      It’s awful, but such is our reality in modern America.

      The Greeks will almost certainly go through with this narcissistic power-grab. Many/most of the northeastern OCA-ers will probably join them, all the name of “Orthodox unity in America,” despite making absolutely ZERO effort to get buy-in from the other Orthodox jurisdictions in America beforehand. The degree of narcissism is astounding. One needs to avoid these people at all costs. (What they are doing is saying “this is how we are defining Orthodox unity in America, by lining up behind the Greek Archdiocese. If you don’t like it, then you’re a unity-hater.”)

      ROCOR, the MP, and the Serbs will rightfully tell the Greeks to get lost. Hopefully the OCA-West and OCA-South will also tell the Greeks to get lost, and God-willing so will the American Ephraim monasteries.

      • George Michalopulos says

        That’s an amazing assessment you’ve written there, FTS. It’s important to look at the anthropological level.

        In any event, simply stated, it’s difficult to imagine anything productive coming out of an administrative unity under the EP.

      • Johann Sebastian says

        FTS said:
        “Many of the current OCA movers and shakers (and/or their parents) were mercilessly teased in American high schools for being ‘Russian Orthodox.'”

        For many of us, that just galvanized our identity. We knew the fix was in and that the world wasn’t on our side–and never would be.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Bingo! One of the good things about COVID and the Floyd Festivities as well as the feminization and homosexualization of our culture, has been to take the bloom off the American rose. The days of Ozzie and Harriet are long gone. Christians, conservatives and traditionalists have been bitch-slapped by the slothful march towards Gomorrha that we’ve been on for at least two generations.

          The mockery some of us experienced as children galvanized many of us. The ascetic struggle of fasting likewise made us more resistant to the spirit of the age. I love America. I don’t love unAmerica. Perhaps a truly united American Orthodox Church could have preserved us (anything’s possible) but it may have gone the way of the Protestants and the RCs. Who knows? In any event, we know which way the GOA is going so why pine for a united Church now? We’d only be hitching our wagon to a falling star in my opinion.

      • Brother FTS, some interesting points to reflect on to be sure, but I’m still not buying it. If a few of the ‘flaky’ or ‘wishy washy’ OCA parishes in the NE want to hitch onto the sinking GOA/EP, then more power to them. (They like to venerate Francis of Assisi anyway, so let them go.) I just can’t see the Dioceses of the South, Midwest, West and Alaska going with them. Nor the Archdiocese of Canada. (And, that would also include the OCA’s Romanian Episcopate, Albanian Archdiocese and Bulgarian Diocese.) 
        So, the ‘movers and the shakers’ that you speak of will have a very small shell to take with them if they choose to join the sinking Greeks. 

      • Dear FTS, Re AE’s visit to the Holy Virgin Cathedral:  

        Was that his visit January 26 just after spending time in Hawaii in lieu of joining the March for Life January 24 in DC, an event whose date was long known?  Very happy smiling photo ops in each place in contrast to the sober nature of event he skipped and in tragic harmony with his celebration of pro-abortion politicians who also happily skipped it, if not reviled it. His actions and choices speak volumes.  

        Where would St. John of San Francisco have chosen to be? What would he say to AE person to person or priest to priest?

  6. Patriarch Bartholomew may be about to pull a Pope Benedict and step down in “humility,” which I’m guessing Abp. Elpidophoros will take over. This is a consolidation so that he is able to control more clearly the GOA from Istanbul, stripping the Metropolitans of any meaningful authority and making them bishops under his direct control. 
    As for the OCA, they would be dumb to move under the GOA, maybe some clergy will, but, you have entire diocese like the Diocese of the South or Diocese of Alaska that has no chance of going under the GOA. I could see Met. Tikhon joining, he seems to be more of the Elpidophoros than ROCOR type. 
    As I’ve been saying for months, I’m more curious about what the clergy/laity/monastics of the GOA are going to do. You have entire Metropoli like Denver that cater more to converts than being Greek like the parishes in the Northeast. Gail mentioned before that the monasteries are looking for a way out, I hope that’s true, and I hope it’s done quickly before there is no chance for escape. The Antiochians and Serbians would be wise to create a Greek Vicariate 

    • Petros, you may have a point. I know that there is a very small faction in the OCA that would consider being under the EP, but I hate to say this…they are idiots. If Met. Tikhon wants to go, then let him go. He’d be a Metropolitan without much of a church, though…as the vast majority of the OCA wouldn’t go with him, and some of the wishy-washy clergy, and their parishes. You also have to factor in the OCA’s Romanian Episcopate, Bulgarian Diocese and Albanian Archdiocese—they won’t be going under the EP—no way, no how.

    • PB doesn’t look as zealously energized in recent photos and I wonder if his mortality may be catching up with him, so am praying his seeming turn toward traditionalism  is a good sign at least for his spirit.  St. Dismas is one of my favorite’s for the “last minute” reprieve…

  7. “…rebuild the Church in America from the ground up.”
    “…the great opportunity to envision and design our Church together”
    …having a form of godliness but denying its power.  And from such people turn away  …men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all…
    Through the intercessions of the holy Greek Fathers, God save His faithful ones.

  8. Why would the OCA join the GOA if it hopes to have its autoc. recognized? – why would the OCA hope join the GOA if that would make autoc. meaningless? 

  9. What is missing from this new statement by the Archbishop? There is not one mention of Jesus Christ. The GOA is in apostasy. The patristic and pious clergy, monastics, and laity need to get out…NOW.  The ship is on fire and sinking fast. Any other jurisdiction which would unite themselves to this train wreck, does not care for the future of the holy Orthodox Church. Most of the hierarchy of Constantinople no longer has Christ as its Head…they are worshipping mammon.

    • Not only is there no mention of Jesus Christ, the GOA is apparently “our Church” (whose Church?) – and thus something that can be re-envisioned and re-designed.  Strange talk indeed from someone who is otherwise so insistent on following the ‘canons.’
      Aside from that, can anyone here name a single potential benefit (other than the mere appearance of unity in the eyes of this world) that would come of administrative unity?  What could we do then that we are prevented from doing now?  Nothing!  Some say we could pool our resources, but to what end?  So some central administration can use them to further the ‘glory of Orthodoxy’ in the eyes of this world and prove that ‘we have arrived’ or that we are a force for the supposed good of this world?  As if this world cares?
      We don’t need administrative unity (lovely though that would be if it was a unity in truth) in order to pray, evangelize, give to the poor, support missions, and do all the good works to which we are called
      Moreover, if you ask me, the Orthodox faithful everywhere are quite possibly more united now than they have been in the last 150 years or so.  It is just becoming more difficult for the faithful to discern where the Church is because the strictly ‘canonical’ measures of her boundaries are being blurred by those who wield them as tools of raw power rather than as a means of protecting the faithful from wolves.  And although I hope I am wrong, intuition tells me this is only the beginning of trials to come for Christ’s faithful.

  10. How much influence did Reverend Alexander Karloutsos and Rev John Chrysavghis (the organizer of the Cretan Debacle of a few years ago and happens to have the close ear of Patriarch Bartholomew) have their hands in all this ? @mamma mia I believe you are spot on. The Metro DC area will now become the new Orthodox Hub. 

  11. “calling for much closer ties between the two branches of Christianity.”
    I wonder: Is this the Two Lungs Theory of the Church all over again?

  12. William Tighe says

    Readers may wish to consider this:

    It is archly phrased in a very English manner, but it is not frivolous or without a point.

    • Inasmuch as both Latin and Russian lack any definite (or indefinite) articles, I’m sure the significance would be rightly lost on Patriarch Kirill.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Thank you Sir, for this contribution.

  13. We have learned from a reliable source that the Ecumenical Patriarchate will set up offices in DC.
    Same as OCA is doing, strory about ecclesiology is just a cover as all is coming from the same kitchen. It is interesting to note that Serbian Bishops in US also tried to change constitution of their dioces in similar manner to be closer to EP. Then Serbian Patriarch came to US to anull those changes.
    Libertyville, March 11, 2020
    To the priests, church-school congregations and KSSof the Serbian Orthodox Church in North, Central and South America

    Reverend Fathers, dear brothers and sisters,
    An extraordinary Church assembly was recently held in Florida, presided by His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia, and it reached the following decision:
    1. Serbian Orthodox Church in North, Central and South America, in order to remove any doubt, once again confirms its inseparable and unquestionable inner unity and it points out that it has been, and remains, an integral canonical and hierarchical part of the Autocephalous Serbian Orthodox Church with center in Belgrade, Serbia.
    2. The extraordinary assembly hereby implements decisions of the Holy Hierarchical Synod No. 995 and 1009, rec. 638 of September 25, 2019 which says, “Make void all decisions of the Church assembly of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North, Central and South America [July 2019]… pertaining to the structure of the Serbian dioceses in those territories.”
    3. All proposals regarding the Constitution are to be left to the Episcopal Council and the Holy Hierarchical Synod to resolve, and once an agreed-upon version is reached, the same is to be delivered to the Holy Hierarchical Assembly by the Holy Hierarchical Synod.
    4. Inform all Church-school communities and all parishes on the territory of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North, Central and South America about this decision.
    We would like to believe that decisions of this Assembly, as well as words of His Holiness, Patriarch of Serbia which were heard on that day, will bring peace and calm among our faithful.
    We pray to all the Serbian Saints with Saint Sava at the helm, to give us strength to preserve our Orthodox Faith and remain faithful to our Serbian name.
    With the blessing of God,Bishop Longin, President of the Episcopal Council

  14. Isa Abdalmasih Almisry says

    Nach Phanar gehen wir nicht!