No One Comes to the Father Except Through Me

This is one of those days in which your humble host cannot catch an even break.  

Here I go and get my lovely bossina to publish my piece on the Alinskyite subversion of the Catholic Church, and what pops into my inbox this morning?


Does he have his kalimavkion on straight?  (Actually, it looks like it’s not.)  This is flat-out heresy.  “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father but through me’ (John 14:6).”  Not Mohammed.  Not Buddha.  Not Brahma, Vishnu, or Shiva.  Not even Pope Francis or Patriarch Bartholomew, who have been setting their own paths for a few years now. 

It looks like Arb Elpidophoros, who is not only the primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese but is the head poobah of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in America, is leading us on the road to syncretism.  

Oh sure, the RCs got the jump on us but we’re doing our dead-level best to catch up.

So exactly when do our bishops say enough is enough?  Future generations of Orthodoxy are going to be lost if they allow the Ecumenical Patriarchate to continue down the road of “truth is what I say it is.”  We might as well be Lutheran.  At least they know who Christ is.   


  1. The question is, what are WE the laity going to do about it. We actually have power in the Church. For those that are able, we should be storming his chancery demanding him step down (I wish I was in NYC). If the bishops won’t do anything, it is up to us.

    • The apostle tell us to avoid them, to refrain from greeting them, and to refrain from eating with them. Oh how very intolerant and unloving those pesky apostles called and chosen by the Lord Himself are!

  2. To be fair, in context it seems like he is talking about if a state elevates one religion above another, it blocks the path to tolerance, equality, etc. etc.

    Here’s the text:

    • And so what of symphonia?

      You have to laugh, actually. Look, it’s a war, a war just like between the Christian nationalists and communists here in the US; this war is between the Orthodox and Western Progressives like Elpi. The religious war, however, is not entirely cold. It is violent in the Ukraine. Elpi is just being true to form. Recall that the Phanar supported the Living Church at one time.

      We’re fighting thinly disguised apostates.

      And there will be no peace until Orthodoxy is victorious.

    • Et tu, Jesse?

      Seriously, though, with Pope Francis doing his best to wreck his own church (see his recent ruling on the Latin Mass), it looks like we have our own people trying their darndest to do the same. Sad!

      • True. But in Orthodoxy it is a much, much smaller scale than in Roman Catholicism.

        What we are seeing in RCism, and have been seeing the past few years, is what happens when you have been removed from the True Church for 1,000 years. This is just the branch dying off the vine.

      • I mean, I’m not defending him. I still think his talk was a steaming pile of crap.

        • George Michalopulos says

          🙂 🙂

          I know Jesse. I appreciate you’re making it about the context. Actually, it’s the context which is more subtle and devious, isn’t it?

    • So what are all the ethnic Orthodox Churches in the USA? The local Greek church I go to is far more Greek nationalistic than pro American.

      And are the Christians here in the USA forming a Christian party or are they more interested in retaining Christian values in the country?

      • George Michalopulos says

        Very good point, Lina.

        The problem with the Fordhamites and other Public Orthodoxy types is that they can’t see the plank of ethnonationalism in their own eyes, while they castigate the far more ethnically and racially diverse pro-American conservatives and traditionalists for the mote in their eye.

        • Henry Bellman says

          I think that these types of comments are really what happens when you put the Christian gospel second and ethnonationalism first. The good Archbishop’s statements could easily be placed in a statement from the EU or the UN and nobody would know it came from a reportedly Orthodox Christian.

          That being said. Its a lesson for American Orthodox as well. Just because someone is “pro-American” does not mean they are speaking the gospel. The Gospel of Christ is equally exclusive from Americanism as it is from Hellenism.

      • I think the mistake is taking his arguments seriously. He’s just saying things to confuse you. If you get angry at the fallacies and hypocrisy, then you are playing into his game. He wants you to be angry so that you will realize your own impotency.

        The explicit message is never the same as the implicit message. Whatever gibberish about Ukraine and Hagia Sophia is not important.

        What’s important is the message that the Church is being taken away from you. He wants you to know that you have to changes the premises of what you thought it meant to be an Orthodox Christian. The message is that you are not in control. The message is that he gets to determine truth and reality.

        The hypocrisy over ethnicity is intentional. It’s hypocrisy for the sake of hypocrisy itself, because if he is master of reality, then he can change the rules at will. The message is that he doesn’t have to play by the same rules you do.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Plausible deniability.

    • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

      Archbishop Elpidophoros’ address to that international gathering was, in a word, appalling. His mischaracterization of the Russian Orthodox Church today is classic “red baiting,” which is at once a grave insult and risible on its face. Obviously, the entire Patriarchate of Moscow, including ROCOR and all of us faithful, traditional priests and laity, are, as the current saying goes, “living rent-free in his head.”

      • It goes both ways. He is living free in the Russophiles’ heads.

        The point of the speech was not to make a serious argument. It was to anger people. If you argue against his points at face value, then he has won. The actual message is, “I can change whatever I want, and you are impotent.”

        Nobody believes the things he says except for the people who are paid to believe them. He’s not trying to convince anyone of anything. He is just drawing battle lines.

        This archbishop with $50,000 worth of plastic surgery in his face is just a puppet. He isn’t a serious person with his own vision. People should save their anger for the one who holds the strings.

        • Regardless of the Archbishop’s intent, and what anyone else thinks his intent is: he really believes what he said!

          • He’s like Tony Blair.
            He believes what he says, when he says it.

            But afterwards…???

      • George Michalopulos says

        Very well said, Fr.

      • His mischaracterization of the Russian Orthodox Church

        The irony in all this is that Metropolitan Hilarion (ROC) was at this very same “religious freedom” summit and spoke at it as well.

    • We think that is the right track. To us, and after consulting with some Greek priests, it appears that he was trying to criticize Islam. Not that makes thinks much better, because he should never have said this. In the context of the Patriarchate in Turkey, this is seen as an appeal to minority rights. But in the American context where the Archbishop serves and where he made this speech? It reads like straight up heresy. Bad, bad choice. One of many.

  3. It looks like the kalimavkion is photoshopped, which seems like a perfect meme for a guy whose Christianity (alone Orthodoxy) is pasted on. Shame on all of the bishops who support him and his patriarch through their tolerance which is tacit approval. But as author Michael Hoffman (an RC) says, the wimp factor in the clergy is off the scale.

    • Understanding Hoffman’s writings is essential to ‘getting’ what is going on now.

      It’s a pity that Hoffman himself seems a bit theologically flaky these days.

  4. Speaking of Lutheranism, just an hour ago I was listening to Lutheran radio. I sent in a super misogynistic comment about the inevitability of the patriarchy and women’s lack of volition, and they read it on air. I just want to brag.

  5. I just have to wonder how this plays in Greece, seeing that Orthodoxy is the state religion. I understand that Elpi is taking a shot at Moscow (as if GOARCH doesn’t have any serious problems that need attending) but is Elpi implying that Orthodoxy should not be the state religion of Greece? How strange.

    • It sounds more like he is saying that “Islam” shouldn’t be the state religion in countries like Turkey and Iran, because this becomes a “boulder of prejudice” that inevitably leads to the persecution of Christians there. That’s the context I get from his speech.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Excellent point, Steve!

        I wonder if LP would give this same speech in his native homeland? You see, at the end of the day, it’s only traditionalist Christian lands who should be deracinated. It’s us who should lose our Christian moorings.

        (Spoiler alert: I’m not going to hold my breath.)

        • Again, the context here is a speech at an “International Religious Freedom Summit” and held in the U.S., a country understood to be rooted in its first amendment that reads “congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”.

          Would he make the same speech in Greece or Turkey? My guess is most probably not. This was a speech made in America and primarily addressed to Americans. Orthodoxy has a tiny representation in America where it is ignored or rejected based on Americans own mountain-top experience and “boulders of prejudice”. Some Americans simply need to hear the message that Orthodoxy respects religious freedom.

      • Agree, context is important but he is a Confessor of the Faith with a track record of not confessing the Faith, so this doesn’t help. It’s what he is NOT saying that is as just as alarming. For once could a Bishop just speak as our Holy Fathers did, is that to much to ask?

    • George Michalopulos says

      Clearly, like most liberal/progressive endeavors, this hasn’t been thought through by their exponents.

  6. What is the provenance of this document?
    The hat and the head are facing in different directions,
    which certainly suggests the picture has been photoshopped.
    As for the quotation, where does that come from?
    It reads more like a politician’s creed than a bishop’s.
    Perhaps it is a politician’s…

  7. Jane Tzilvelis says

    Elpi is now parroting Buddhist philosophy:
    All we need to do is follow the Buddhist noble path, namely, to cultivate and grow our practice. This noble path is sometimes said to consist of 84,000 different methods. Now, nirvana is not a place! Rather, it is simply a view!

    I miss church. I miss Communion. I have my Bible. I have my cross. I have my prayers to say. I hope the Orthodox hierarchy return to worshipping Our Lord soon. I am an old woman with little time left. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit…help us Lord! We have been forsaken by our holy men of the cloth.

  8. George Michalopulos says

    This essay came to me recently. It’s very much in line with the entire Fordhamite narrative: .

    It was written by Fr Geoffrey Korz and it’s entitled “Beware of the Orthodox Bobos”. (“Bobos” being a neologism crafted by David Brooks twenty years ago. It means “Bourgeois Bohemians”.)

    I highly recommend it.

    • Jane Tzilvelis says

      Just finished reading about the Orthodox Christian Bobos. Thank you for posting this. The last paragraph of the article sums up what we must do:

      “The Orthodox Christian must seek the Cross of Christ, and the path taken by the saints who took up that Cross, and flee the individualism, self-actualization, and narcissism of the Bobo, whether it attacks the Church from inside or from outside.”

      I have left this infantile stage of life. It was a long and painful journey. Yes, I am still a sinner. I enjoy the company of Christ in my elder years. I am without a map. Today, I am grateful for listening to the podcasts of Father Peter Heers. May Gods bless Father Peter always. He restores sanity to Orthodox Christians. Again, thank by you for refreshment of my soul.

  9. Joseph Gilman says

    The Evangelical Lutheran Church just elected their first
    transgender bishop.
    As an RC, I pray that you Orthodox keep up the good fight.
    It helps me to think that all is not lost!
    An aside, the Pope’s ban on the Latin Mass is not
    total and as is the case with this Pope especially,it is
    a touch confusing.
    Thanks again George and Gail, for this blog, I cannot
    tell you how much I appreciate it!

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Thank you, Joseph. I hope you’ll keep commenting.

    • George Michalopulos says

      You’re welcome.

      Regarding the recent “ban”, you’re correct, technically speaking. But the hoops that he created makes it all but impossible to find a Latin rite.

      • I’m sure there are Catholic bishops who are very excited about the ban and the extra hoops required.

      • Antiochene Son says

        The ban is still going to result in the death of the Latin rite, as no new priests or communities can be blessed to say the Latin mass. So at best, it will just wither away over time.

    • Welcome Joseph. I, too, hope you stay around and share your thoughts.

      After reading your comment, I looked it up and found, ironically, that the Papal order is entitled Traditionis custodes, Latin for ‘Guardians of the tradition.’

    • Appreciate the comment, but I’m struck by how many of us go to great lengths to excuse the terrible behavior and blatant non-leadership of our hierarchs.

      Archbp Elpi and Patr Bartholomew are complete disasters, except if one’s an ethnic Greek who only cares about promoting Greek culture. Or if one’s a State Dept employee who’s happy to see his $25 million bribe to Istanbul pay off.

      In the case of the church in Istanbul, they’re actively persecuting real Christians in Ukraine. They go out if their way to do it. This is not ok or excusable. Yet people keep saying “well the Church in Constantinople is not that bad….” Yes, they are.

      In the case of the Pope of Rome, he despises traditionalist Catholics, like much of the boomer clergy/bishops who grew up during the Vietnam era. But the sexual abuser (former) cardinal Ted McCarrick? The same boomer clergy who despise traditionalist Catholics were more than happy to actively hide his abuse for decades, resulting in the tremendous suffering of thousands of young men.

      Why the preference for this “battered women syndrome,” Orthodox-style ? Why the reflexive need to excuse terrible behavior among those in earthly leadership?

      Do we just feel overwhelmed and impotent, like any effort to speak out against it is meaningless? (It’s not meaningless.) Prayer can be a call to action. Not all are called to action, but some are. Sometimes staying silent or doing nothing is the wrong choice.

      • Fr David says

        “In the case of the Pope of Rome, he despises traditionalist Catholics…”

        I think you can argue that the EP despises traditional Orthodox. Perhaps that is the 2025 glue that binds.

        • With the recent goings-on my Pope Francis re the Latin Mass, it seems there will be an influx of Catholics into Orthodoxy.
          Indeed there has been a steady stream over the last few years (myself included) that I have seen online through various outlets. Just look at Jay Dyer’s discord alone.

          I just don’t think many Orthodox outside of Bartholomew and his ilk are pining for union with Rome, or they would have already done it.
          But, if there are, then so be it when it happens. Rome can have all of our bad Orthodox and we can have all of Rome’s good Catholics.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            I don’t think many people have figured out that it’s his aim to go to Rome.

            • …it’s his aim to go to Rome.

              Everything points in this direction, yes. And yes, I realize that Bartholomew’s thought processes and (to me anyway) sleazy motivations are about as far from my own as they could possibly be.

              But I keep wondering what, exactly, is the motivation here? Other than worldly ‘glory, how does union with Rome advance the status and power (and/or financial interests) of the ‘Ecumenical Patriarchate? With an extreme few possible exceptions, I haven’t seen him do anything that doesn’t have these goals in view.

              What, then, is behind the scenes (as it were) that motivates him to pursue something that in the faithful (and even semi-faithful) Orthodox world, would constitute a betrayal that would reduce his already tenuous status to nothing?

              If he really intends to try to make this happen the only possible imagined perceived ‘gain’ on his part that I can think of involves thinking he will benefit (more than he already has) from climbing into bed with the political enemies of his archenemy, Russia. And if this is so (though it is only a guess on my part), is he so deluded as to forget that the whore who commits fornication with the kings of the earth inevitably winds up being hated by them above all others?

              Again, this is only a guess on my part, and I really am curious. If this isn’t his motivation, what is? How does he gain from union with Rome? For he is not known for ever doing anything except that from which he and his patriarchate expects to gain.

              • Gail Sheppard says

                I think his primary motivation is to be known as the Patriarch who reunited the Church. I also think the UN and Nato hope to leverage the unification in places where it counts.

                • GOA Priest says

                  Why would Bart pursue a course of action that would ultimately diminish his power? Think about it. It’s head fake.

                  His sole interest is himself, and his own power and standing. Nothing more, nothing less.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Fr, I’m intrigued. Please expand on that if you please.

                  • Gail Sheppard says

                    Because he wants a legacy that will go down in history.

                  • Yes, Father, please expand. The “head fake” is believable to me, but the questions remains. What does he have to gain, even from that?

                  • @GOA Priest

                    What do your fellow priests in the GOA think about Elpidophoros and Bartholomew?

                    Are they ready to defend the faith when the time comes or will they go along to get along?

                    Inquiring laypeople would like to know.

                  • It is very simple. Bartholomew, a graduate of the Pontifical Institute and thus possessed of an Orientalist view of Orthodoxy, believes it would be more prestigious (as a Greek, for the Greeks) to be the pope of the East under the pope of the West than to be the chairman of Orthodoxy effectively led by Moscow.

                    In short, it is a combination of Hellenistic hubris and Russophobia. He sees himself as a sort of eastern emperor who is second in command to the western emperor, the bishop of Rome. That status seems higher to him because it would garner him world recognition as a western lackey and Catholic uniate rather than just technical pre-eminence in the Orthodox Church, but not the West, under the de facto leadership of Moscow.

                    This is an ugly manifestation of the dhimmi inferiority complex. “Our own people are crap and will fall in line so long as we secure the blessing of Massa.”

                    Deeply ugly.

                    And his crash and burn will be all the more devastating because he has bet on the wrong team in the Olympics of World Politics.

                    The West is not going to win the current conflict. It is self destructive, irrational and divided against itself. Christianity will defeat Secularism, and then we can move on to Islam . . .

                    • Misha is spot on.

                      As he correctly said, Patr B “believes it would be more prestigious (as a Greek, for the Greeks) to be the pope of the East under the pope of the West than to be the chairman of Orthodoxy effectively led by Moscow.” Exactly.

                      Though wouldn’t it be that Patr B has an “occidentalist” view of Orthodoxy, not “orientalist”?
                      Occidental = western, oriental = eastern. This is obviously semantics, but simply working to clarify terms.

                    • FTS,

                      “Orientalist” is a description of those in the West who relate condescendingly toward eastern people, culture, etc.


                    • FTS “wouldn’t it be that Patr B has an “occidentalist” view of Orthodoxy, not “orientalist”?

                      Not really. Misha was very precise. Orientalism is a patronizing vision of the East as a quaint and backward curiosity with cute artifacts and collectibles.

                      Look up:
                      Orientalism Edward Said

                    • @FTS

                      Interestingly the Oxford English Dictionary
                      notes the following usage of the term:

                      orientalist, n. and adj.

                      A. n.

                      †1. A member of the Greek Orthodox Church. Obsolete.
                      1683 W. Cave Ecclesiastici 205 He found..the Western Prelates..vex’d into compliance, and the Orientalists forc’d to go the same way. ‘

                      The ‘He’ mentioned is St Hilary of Poitiers.
                      The event referred to is the Council of Seleucia where:
                      “At his coming to Court, he found the Catholick Faith going down the Wind apace, the Western Prelates in the Synod at Ariminum impos d upon, and vex’d into compliance, and the Orientalists forc’d to go the same way…”

                      Ecclesiastici, or, The history of the lives, acts, death & writings, of the most eminent fathers of the church, that flourisht in the fourth century wherein among other things an account is given of the rise, growth, and progress of Arianism, and all other sects of that age descending from it : together with an introduction, containing an historical account of the state of paganism under the first Christian emperours
                      Cave, William, 1637-1713.

                      Anyway, it would seem that this reading
                      of ‘orientalist’ is not obsolete.

                • I’ve talked to a couple of people in Greece and I get the impression that Bartholomew is wildly unpopular there among lay people and presumably the hierarchy. I just don’t see the Greek layperson going with Bartholomew down his road to perdition.

                  Something I don’t hear a lot about, which I would be very curious of, is how lay people in his actual Patriarchate in Istanbul proper feel about him. I mean there’s only like 1,500 of them, so I’m curious of their thoughts since there only like 5 people at a hierarchical liturgy.

                  • GOA Priest says


                    …You’ve repeated it so many times that you actually believe it.

                    Bart is a shrewd little creep, and being second in command is not his aim.

                    And don’t even get me started on Holy Russia, which just recently spewed forth complete nonsense about vaccines in the person Volokalamsk. Give me break.

                    Are you a former Protestant? I ask, because reading your posts is like watching a Protestant tele-preacher who prattles on about the book of Revelation…EVERY time he’s on…the end of world is coming next week. Then when next week comes, but not the end of the world, and so it’s the end of the world next week, and so on. Apocalypse-a-thon.

                    You’ve been duped.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Fr, I’ll let Misha answer for himself but I must say that I’m still intrigued by your assertion (that Bart doesn’t play second fiddle). Mind you, I’m not averse to your suspicions but to be fair, you still haven’t answered this question: what’s in it for the EP? How can he not be second fiddle? Based on the realities on the ground as they presently stand?

                      Let me put it this way: are you insinuating that he will not be second in command? That there is something higher in the geopolitical horizon for his office? Again, I’m asking these questions in all honesty.

                      As I see no other way out for him, as far as I’m concerned, I’m still in Misha’s camp on this one.

                      Of course I could be wrong. As such, I am avidly following this debate.

                    • GOA Priest,

                      If you’re taking flak, you’re over the target.

                      Actually, there is no defense to the assertion that Bartholomew is herding his flock toward Rome. That is self evident to everyone and there’s nothing in his statements or the statements of his underlings that calls that into question. His actions at the Robber Council of Crete and in the Ukraine are designed to test the absolute blind loyalty of the Greek led churches and alienate those with any canonical integrity. I’m certainly not the first to observe that no other narrative fits these actions but the intention to lead as many as possible into a Unia.

                      What miffed you is the amateur psychoanalysis of the motivation behind his actions – the Orientalist, dhimmi, self-contemptuous spiritual poison at the heart of hating the perceived backwardness of your own Orthodox people (Greek, Slavic, Arab, etc) from a cosmopolitan perspective that you become callous to any considerations of doctrinal integrity, having lost genuine faith, and clinging only to ethnic solidarity and licking the boot of the Western sultan in recognition of his present (but ephemeral) supremacy.

                      That was meant to sting. It is ugly and it has led to untold violence in the Ukraine.

                      Now there is one other possibility which has been implied but not spoken. That is that Bartholomew believes that canon law, properly understood, makes his position in a Unia superior to that of Rome. I would not put that past the Phanar. However, there are reasons to seriously doubt that he is that delusional.

                      Bartholomew is requiring no doctrinal repentance from Rome and was himself educated in the Pontifical Institute. One can see a legalistic argument having been alluded to at times suggesting that the canonical language “after Rome” means “as successor and superior to Rome” and that Constantinople’s omophorion extends over all territory not specifically allocated otherwise by canon law (the canon 28 canard). These two assertions would yield him pontifical supremacy and jurisdiction over the Catholic Americas, et al.

                      Now, you have to ask yourself a) is he that crazy? and b) what are the chances that Rome would acquiesce to all of that?

                      I don’t believe he has the balls to say such a thing to the pope’s face. Moreover, I don’t think you could prevent the pope from laughing in his face if he did.

                      Constantinople is a tiny little see of maybe 2000 Greeks in a Muslim country of which it is not even the capital. Its only claims to being relevant are its possession of GOARCH and its status in the diptychs. Had Constantinople not burned its bridges with the Russians, et al., Rome might treat it as having more gravitas. However, those bridges are burnt and the Phanar only represents a very thin slice of Orthodoxy.

                      Rome has no conceivable reason to even begin to entertain any such insane notions.

                    • If Bartholomew was not to be second,
                      he would have to become Bishop of Rome.
                      I don’t see that happening.

          • “With the recent goings-on my Pope Francis re the Latin Mass, it seems there will be an influx of Catholics into Orthodoxy.”

            Maybe, but if it’s the Latin Mass that these traditionalist Catholics really want, they’re not going to come to the Orthodox faith just for that. Many of the Latin Mass traditionalist Catholics are the same who believe that there is no salvation outside of the Church of Rome, so obviously Orthodoxy will not be attractive to that group.

            And Western Rite Orthodoxy is sort of a nothing-burger. The ethos of our faith has not really been lived out in the Western Rite for centuries. I’ve always thought that Western Rite Orthodoxy is attractive only to those who like what we believe but who don’t like how “funny” or “bizarre” Eastern Orthodox worship looks from a western perspective. The Western Rite hasn’t really been an effective missionary tool, anyway.

            What Pope Francis’s insane Latin Mass policy — it truly is a persecution of traditionalist Catholics (just call it what it is) — may result in is more Catholic splinter groups, like more sedevacantists and things of that sort.

            If, however, they’re truly looking for a deep life in and connection with Christ and participation in the sacramental life of His Church, then yes, by all means look no further than Orthodox Christianity.

            I’ve just known so many Roman Catholics over the years who could not get past the “salvation is only under the Church of Rome” thing. I grew up in a very Irish and Italian part of the country — this issue has always been a huge stumbling block with so many RC’s, from my experience.

      • Why the preference for this “battered women syndrome,” Orthodox-style ? Why the reflexive need to excuse terrible behavior among those in earthly leadership?

        I Think many of us are trying to figure out exactly WHAT we should do. There are only so many emails you can send to a hierarch, but, trying to figure out something concrete is the deal

        • Gail Sheppard says

          I think it’s to be able to tell Christ that we gave them every opportunity to come back to the fold with honor and respect if they would stop marching in lockstep with the secular world.

          If we criticize them when they do wrong, and we do, then we have to acknowledge when they do something right, even though those occasions are few and far between with each passing day.

      • Antiochene Son says

        Orthodox Youtuber “Ubi Petrus” made a good point in a stream last night. The Turkish government requires that members of the Holy Synod of Constantinople be Turkish citizens (especially the EP). With a body of, what, 1500 Turkish Greeks to choose from, they have to scrape the bottom of the barrel to even get butts in the seats. Bart and Elpy are not stellar hierarchs; they’re the only ones available to fill the positions. Turkey is now willing to extend citizenship to Greek hierarchs to join the Synod, but there doesn’t seem to be much interest.

        Because of this, the EP is better off totally ignored. To say nothing of the men themselves, the entire institution has no legitimacy.

        Thankfully, as Orthodox we can say this. Trad-Caths cannot say the same about their pope.

        • I listened to his stream with Jay Dyer as well. Ubi is great, and he’s correct on his summation of Archbishop Elpidophoros and Patriarch Bartholomew. Even though the Archbishop may be the head of the Greek Archdiocese, he is technically only the Metropolitan of his diocese, he has no control over the other Metropoli and definitely has no control over the other jurisdictions.

          As Gail & George have previously written about with the new GOARCH charter, who knows how long that will last. My hunch is that the new charter will have him be over all, which would be even more disastrous situation for GOARCH than they are already in, because as Ubi notes, the good archbishop is “dense.”

          The same could be extended to Patriarch Bartholomew , however, Bartholomew is beholden to his brother patriarchs…and if he does indeed excommunicate the holy Metropolitan Onuphry (which I predict he will indeed do in August while in Ukraine) then he will have Hell to pay, literally and figuratively. This effectively draws the line in the sand and gives the Church of Russia all they need to anathematize him in November (if they don’t call an emergency session)

  10. The Fellowship of St Mark of Ephesus says

    Is there a Walk-Away movement happening in the GOA? I thought Pat. Bartholomew’s actions in Ukraine would have awoken the GO Church. I thought Elpi’s comments on Covid and communion would be the watershed moment or maybe his comments on communing non-Orthodox who were married with the sacrament or certainly his liturgy at St Bart’s. Nothing, seemingly, happened. Or, are GOA members in it for the long fight as was the case with iconoclasm in the Church?
    Or are we just too busy with our lives to even pay attention? God have mercy on us.

    • Seraphim says

      Fellowship of St Mark of Ephesus,
      It’s probably some of both. Some are probably trying to hold on, foolishly hoping things will just get better. Others are probably just lazy. The only thing these churches will understand is money and bodies. If churches and coffers empty, they would have to listen. But people have to have the guts to leave for other jurisdictions or even to do home services.

      Side note, is the FSME a real thing? What is it and what does it do?

      • In fairness, I think many of us, clergy and laity alike, are waiting to see what the monasteries do. We believe they will make the right decision when the time comes.

        Make no mistake, right now its just a “sit and wait” type of thing, but, when/if the Ephraim monasteries leave then you will starts to see an exodus from GOARCH.

        I truly pray it doesn’t come to that but barring some major change soon, I don’t see how its unavoidable.

    • CS Louis says

      My home parish has several families with young children that “walked away” from the GOA in the past year. Sadly though, the greater number of “walk away” people will simply walk totally away from Church. The reckoning still remains to become evident. If/when Sunday School programs reopen, how many children will be left? How many member families 5 years from now? A nearby GOA Church has lately been averaging 75-100 people attending on Sunday, with usually only 2 or 3 children. Sunday School as well as the Choir, and all youth activities have been cancelled since Spring of 2020. The Greek Church in America is primarily supported by older folks who are gradually dying off. The trend line for the future is not good, but I don’t expect the bishops to wake up until it hits their pocket books.

  11. Jane Tzilvelis says

    Americans have been socially engineered to do nothing about anything. They no longer desire freedom. The “greater good” is used as a form of social control.

    • I wouldn’t say that. At least from the point of view of the dying Episcopal Church there was a strong movement to leave and to reestablish an Anglican communion in the USA. This movement has had its ups and downs but it is growing, with both new members and former members who also left. There were enough people who said, “Enough is enough.”

      I also understand that the Methodist Church is reaching the stage of splitting but in a much more amicable way than the Episcopal church has done.

      Maybe it is in the genes of us who have been here much longer than the Greeks to say that if something is not working or off track, it is time to do something about it?

  12. John Belushi says

    Hi George,

    Something I’d like you to investigate, if you are willing, and also perhaps call on Monomakhites to rescue things from the memory hole, if they have saved screenshots. was hacked and everything removed from it. There are snapshots of some of their articles on the wayback machine, but not of one of the more recent ones, where it was reported that two homosexual monks came to blows . . .. While I can’t confirm the whole story, a scandalized friend of mind who knows one of the monks in question confirmed that that monk at least is a known homosexual.

    Likewise, the once-numerous articles reporting the orgy conducted by Metropolitan Emmanuel with the Bulgarian prostitutes and one of his chief clerical associates in France are now very difficult to locate on Google.

    It is likely that this is US State department work. Anyway I’d just like to see the information stay out there.

    • Gail Sheppard says
      • John Belushi says

        Thank you for these links. The detailed Emmanuel story is linked in the second, but there is no other detailed account of the first online that I know of. George had the good taste to leave the details out, but with the COC blog hacked there doesn’t appear to be another source.

    • We are so blessed to have such leadership.

    • Hello John Belushi,

      Not sure if you’re related, but the John and Jim Belushi of SNL and American comedy fame grew up in the Albanian Orthodox Church in America, outside of Chicago.

      It’s an interesting tidbit, as Albanian Orthodox Christian Americans are so rare. It’s a tiny church, most of it now an “ethnic” diocese in the OCA.

      For those of us (like me) who love American Orthodox history, the Albanian Orthodox Church is one of the few (maybe the only?) Orthodox Church where the first liturgy in its native language (if I’m not mistaken) did not occur in the country of origin.

      Archbishop Theofan Noli (who also was later prime minister of Albania, well before the brutal and insane communists like Enver Hoxha terrorized the country for decades) was the first to celebrate the Divine Liturgy in the Albanian language, which occurred in the United States in the early 1900s. It was in Boston, I believe, where the main cathedral of the OCA’s Albanian Archdiocese remains today.

      Anyway, the Belushi brothers are among the most famous of all Albanian Orthodox Americans. John B. died of a drug overdose in 1982. His brother Jim is still alive, though not sure how active an Orthodox Christian he remains today.

      And oh man, your comment “…where it was reported that two homosexual monks came to blows over who gave Archbishop Elpidophoros better fellatio” is something that you just can’t un-read, no matter how much you wish you could. Ugh.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        It’s my fault. I should have edited that out.

        • Jane Tzilvelis says

          Truth is truth. Thank you for truth in a world that denies truth.

        • John Belushi says

          Gail, sorry for including the lurid detail! I didn’t realize that was against policy. I suppose it’s a testimony to my mental illness that my mind goes to even worse places if I allow myself to think about such things at all. I shouldn’t.

          I know the Orthodox story of the Belushis and am not related. I only use this username when I post outrageous things that even I don’t want to be associated with.

        • George Michalopulos says

          No need to apologize my dear. We did not break that story but we’re merely relaying already published information.

  13. Kephalonitis says

    Actually the Belushi family was very active at St Nicholas Albanian Orthodox Church in Chicago which is under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Here is a link to some photos from James Belushi’s visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople

  14. “Straight is the way and narrow is the path which leads to eternal life.”
    a quote from the Son of God.

  15. Mark E. Fisus says

    It’s the layout with the diagonal cropping that makes his kamilavkion look like he should be called Elpi-dope-oros, but really it’s on fine.

  16. John Belushi says

    Roman Catholic apologist Michael Lofton used this to mock us on his twitter feed.

  17. On a positive note, at least not all the hierarchs in Greece are hostile to the canonical Ukrainian Church:

  18. Brendan, what are your thoughts on this?

    Wasn’t this guy one of Manuela’s accomplices in Stalliongate? How does this bode for Thyateira? I have been told by a ROCOR monk in these here United States (who was baptized and formed in Thyateira) that the archdiocese has generally been spared the madness of most of the EP’s foreign exarchates and is quite solid in terms of liturgical practice.

    So, Brendan, our man in the Isles, how does this change things? The arrival of Nikitas (wasn’t he involved in some lavender scandal, too?), the two new bishops (are they reliable?), and now this guy from France…?

    • Basil, I know nothing of this.
      I know not what if anything Bp Maximos will change for I know nothing of him.
      Nor do I know, or want to know, anything of any rumours involving Abp Nikitas.
      From what I can tell, he is running Thyateira pretty well;
      but I am in Glasgow, not London, so what do I know?
      Of the two new bishops, I know only Bishop Raphael of Ilion.
      “Is he reliable?” Well, I would say so – but then, he is my Godfather.
      Indeed, when I was an undergraduate student in the Faculty of Theology
      at Glasgow University (some time ago) he was working on his doctorate.
      I was instructed by him when I was a catechumen.

      As for the analysis of the ROCOR monk you mention
      (whom I also know), I agree with his analysis.

      Next time you speak with him, please give him my regards.

      • PS: To whom it may concern:
        All the opinions I express here are my own.
        I do not discuss these comments with Bp Raphael.

      • Thank you, Brendan. Since Thyateira is ‘confirmed safe’ for the time being, I hope it stays that way.

        I don’t see him often, but I will pass on your regards if and when I next visit his monastery. I’m sure he will remember you.