The Episcopal Assembly Continues to Stand Firm

Those of you who have been following his blog have known for awhile that there has been a dearth of good news on various fronts.  This is not without silver linings however.  Let me be direct, because of certain unfortunate events in the spiritual sphere (especially here in America) there is a growing fissure between the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and well, everybody else.  

This is most regrettable.  However, given the fact that the eparchies of the Ecumenical Patriarchate are fully on board with the globalist agenda, what other choice do we have other than to let the fissure continue to widen?

This was first noticeable last year when all of the non-GOA primates, led by Metropolitan Joseph of the Antiochian Archdiocese, drew a line in the sand regarding the planned consecration of Alexander Belya to the episcopate.  They did this with two strongly-worded letters, both of which were  addressed to Archbishop Elpidophoros, who, in his capacity as primate of the GOA, is also the Chairman of the Episcopal Assembly.  

This was an unprecedented act of defiance on their part. 

Sadly, in the immediate aftermath, Metropolitan Joseph was forced to retire.  Elpidophoros then responded forcefully to their two letters, informing the other primates that he was going to go along with Belya’s consecration.  Some of us worried whether the aforementioned primates would back down.  Imagine our surprise when, Saba Esper, Joseph’s replacement picked up the baton and signed an even more defiant letter to Elpidophoros regarding Belya.    

More importantly, it worked.  Last year, Belya actually went to Istanbul with Elpidophoros and he had to wait outside while the Phanar discussed his case.  Eventually they told him to “be patient”.  That’s diplospeak for “the check is in the mail”.  As of now, it looks like his consecration has been successfully derailed.     

Even before the Belya affair, there were of course other concerns that were precipitated by some of  Elpidophoros’ other maladroit actions.  That’s all old news, so there is no need to rehash each and every one them here. 

What was in the back of our minds (for most of us anyway), was whether the Episcopal Assembly was going to continue on this welcome path of bold Christian witness.  Or was this (welcome as it was) a “one-off”?

Well, wonder no further:  they continue to resist Elidophoros’ globalist agenda as can be seen by the following letter  (courtesy Byzantine, Texas).

If anything, they are acting even more boldly, this time bypassing their supposed head and taking on the American Establishment directly. Make no mistake, this is a bold move on their part, one which, in my estimation, signals a widening chasm between the GOA and the other Orthodox jurisdiction. 

What was the straw that broke the camel’s back?  I chalk it up to Elpidophoros’ ungracious speech before the National Intelligence University last April.  In a blatant, unChristian fashion, this speech signaled his willingness to align the Orthodox Church here in America with the Deep State’s intelligence agencies. 

This is nothing less than American-style Sergianism, a set of affairs which the Russian Orthodox Church found itself in upon the triumph of the Communist revolution.  Their accommodation with the Bolsheviks, if not exactly heretical, was most unfortunate all things considered.  

In my opinion, it’s actually far worse than Sergianism.  The Russian Orthodox Church literally had its back up against the wall when Metropolitan Sergius made his peace (as it were) with the Communists.  Hundreds of thousands of Christians had been brutally murdered by the Bolsheviks and well over thirty thousand churches and monasteries were destroyed in an orgy of pillage not seen since the depredations of Genghis Khan.  On the other hand, we in America have been blessed with innumerable comforts.  Therefore it is a most egregious happenstance for the primate of the GOA to pledge his allegiance to the anti-Christian forces that presently run our government. 

In any case, the ball is in Elpidophoros’ court.  Is he going to repent of his actions or is he going to continue to be a toady of the globalists?  (My guess is that the entire Ecumenical Patriarchate is going to continue on the path of globalism.)

The battle lines are being drawn.  We have won a few battles already thanks to the forthrightness of these four primates.  More battles await us.  

Regardless, we should thank our bishops for being bold and doing the right thing.  






    After following the link listed in the above article, I really like Bishop Irenei response and I wanted to watch it again, I found another link in the comment section. The link is pasted above my comments. The article stated that just saying that the war was evil was not enough but more effort should have been made to specifically state why the war was evil. I was blown away by such a premise. I realize now that the enemies of the Church will never be satisfied by any statement that we make. We could denounce our Patriarch and it would make no difference,. We could denounce Putin and it would make no
    difference. We could denounce the entire Russian country and it wouldn’t make any difference. We could specifically denounce the invasion as Met. Onuphry did and it would make no difference . The enemies of the Church would still not be satisfied. ROCOR is an autonomous Church. We have our own voice. I stand by my Metropolitan and my Bishops. The War is Evil! If that’s not enough for you than tough! This doesn’t upset me and it is expected. When someone criticizes a Bishop for speaking about praying for peace. I wonder whose side are they on?

  2. It is fascinating that they do not see NATO’s war against Russia as a war of secularism against Holy Orthodoxy.

    Thank God for times like these when our enemies, who might have remained in sheep’s clothing, declare themselves.

  3. Mark E. Fisus says

    The Foreign Affairs article says that the FBI warning cited evidence that Russian state intelligence seeks to collect blackmail material on church personnel. Imagine the potency which Metropolitan Joseph’s affair would have had as blackmail material.

    • The Russians would be the last people to undermine the Church. I wouldn’t believe anything that article says. I didn’t even read it. – There wasn’t an affair according to my sources, which are pretty good given my relationships with the Antiochians.

      • Galya,

        This does bring up a good point though.

        We are in the midst of a war during which the legacy media, including Fox, has constantly and relentlessly lied to us, along with most all of the politicians, for well over a year now. And that is following the wall of constant lies that emit from them since Trump came down the escalator.

        So why should we believe any of the stories or footage coming out of Israel/Gaza right now given that everything else has been a lie? A Palestinian spokesman was on the net this morning stating that he thought that most of the Hamas attacks were on military infrastructure and personnel. He very well could be lying, but how do we know given the track record of the Western press?

        For what it’s worth, I’m sure that the stories of Palestinian atrocities are hyped to some extent. It’s just difficult to say to what degree. I don’t put anything past Hamas, including murder of civilians, rape, kidnapping, torture, etc. But remember Bucha? Remember the alleged Russian missile attack on Poland?

        This is the problem the Empire of Lies creates by the way it freely engages in dishonest propaganda. The chimps all jabber in unison when stimulated with the right emotional provocations and end up in hateful condemnations which may well be based on CIA/Mossad propaganda. They are now calling the common people in Gaza – not just Hamas – animals and monsters who deserve to be eradicated.

        The clear heads are calling for cease fire and negotiations.


          IMO this article puts some perspective on the current situation.

          22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.
          23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. 1John 22-23

          Two sides fighting that deny Christ. Why would we believe anything either side says.

          Now during all of this fighting between the enemies of Christ, does either side act according to Holy Scripture?

          19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
          20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
          21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12: 19-21

          What kind of fruit do these people bring? Is it of Christ? I say no!

          16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
          17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
          Matthew 7: 16-17.

          I trust neither side of this war between Hamas and Israel. Revenge begets revenge that will evolve into a continuous cycle of evil. This is a tree I refuse to pick fruit from.

  4. Speaking of “WAR!” As I was watching the pinpoint strikes of Israel on Gaza, it occurred to my simpleton mind that if truly evil forces ever wanted to take out churches and priests it would now be a piece of cake. Lock onto the church building or the priest’s home – push button – smoke!

  5. Wayne Matthew Syvinski says

    I believe that, after holiness, the most important trait for a bishop is courage.

    • Courage is indeed a virtue. According to Aristotle, it is the first of all virtues. We all need it, martyrdom demands it.

      • Yes, it is first because without it, no other virtue is possible.

        • I disagree. Humility is the the first of the virtues, without no other virtues are possible.

          “Without humility, one cannot be a disciple of Christ. Without humility, the heart of a man does not receive—does not assimilate—the teachings of Christ. Humility inspires the heart of a man: to be submissive to the will of God; to humbly accept everything that the Lord is pleased to send on his path of life; to submit his mind, his understanding, and his desires in obedience to Christ.
          ~ St. Nikon of Optina

          “Always seek in your prayers first and foremost that God grant you humble-mindedness. Persist in this request of yours, for without true humble-mindedness nothing good or worth a reward is achieved.
          ~ Elder Ephraim of Arizona

          “just as one cannot build a ship unless one has some nails, so it is impossible to be saved without humility.
          ~ St. Syncletica of Alexandria”

          “From humility it is known that a man is a true disciple of Jesus, meek and humble of heart. If we wish to show evidence that we are true Christians, let us learn from Christ to be humble as He Himself enjoins us, Learn of Me; for I am meek, and lowly in heart (Mt. 11:29).
          ~ St. Tikhon of Zadonsk”

          “The true Christian is a warrior making his way through the regiments of the invisible enemy to his heavenly homeland.
          ~ St. Herman of Alaska”.
          Yes courage is an admirable virtue but it cannot be attained without Humility.
          “We advance toward humility by means of trials. He who rests on his virtue without suffering tribulation has the door of pride open before him.
          ~ St. Isaac the Syrian”

  6. Anonymous II says

    Israel bombs 1,160-year-old Saint Porphyrius Orthodox Church in Gaza: Report


  7. Not sure how I missed this from last month:

    Looks like the Fanar has disbanded/suspended the committee on the charter for GOARCH, at least for the next 3 years.

    Which means GOARCH will continue to operate without a charter until at least 2026, if I’m understanding that correctly(?)

    • George Michalopulos says

      Thanks for this info from TNH re the Charter!

      I’ve been nursing an intuition that things aren’t going so well for Elpidophoros/Bartholomew as far as the GOA laity is concerned. The fact that they can’t get their act together re a Charter confirms that suspicion.

      • Perhaps the thinking might be that
        by 2026 it will be Rome’s problem?

        • If I’m not mistaken, the Charter not being means that it’s actually easier for parishes to leave the GOA. If it does hypothetically become Rome’s problem then that would mean that all GOA parishes would be subsumed under the various RC diocese, which I don’t see happening,

      • as far as the GOA laity is concerned.

        With the uproar towards Elpi from just the clergy of the Chicago Metropolis alone, I can’t help but think he has hit too many unsurmountable stone walls.


    The GOA monastery synaxis just ended. One interesting takeaway:

    b) the Synaxis submit to the Archbishop and the Holy Eparchial Synod a request for the establishment of a Mixed Committee to examine both the pertinent article of the Charter as well as the special regulations, within the framework of the ongoing revision process

    The theme of the Synaxis was “Monasticism in Support of the Parish.” if the Archdiocese is trying to integrate monastic life into the average parish like it is in some other jurisdictions then I’m all for it. But, knowing Elpi, color me skeptical.

    As a separate interesting note. Metropolitan Apostolos was recently installed in the Metropolis of New Jersey:

    I know he’s controversial for various reasons but these were some bits I thought were good:

    “Therefore, just as I have my role and responsibilities as your spiritual father and Chief Shepherd, all of you, the sacred clergy, also have your roles and responsibilities in order to ensure the unity of this holy Metropolis and the continued spiritual growth and well-being of our parishes, communities and our dedicated faithful……..keep in mind the following pastoral concerns which I bring to your attention: “Your families, your Presvyteres and your children, of course are of great importance in your lives. You must care for them, provide for them and protect them. However, your parish is an extension of your family and must be provided and offered the same love, commitment and nourishment that you show to your own family.

    “I ask that you give particular attention to the Acolyte/Altar Boy ministry within you parishes. Encourage these boys and young men in your parish to assist you in the Holy Altar. Please meet with them, train them to serve correctly, and teach them the meaning behind our beautiful and sacred Services. In addition, please speak to them regularly about our beloved ‘Scholi’ and encourage them to consider the Holy Priesthood as their vocation in life, because with the right direction and guidance from their parish preists these boys and young men, God-willing, will become our future Clergy

    At least he specified boys only as altar boys with a specification that its for the priesthood.

    “Please also be reminded that you as clergy, through your ordination, have accepted a heavy burden and must always be good examples to our faithful. Therefore, heed the words of St. Paul as he states: ‘Be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry’ (2 Tim. 4:5). Remember that only with your own continued spiritual cultivation and your own dedication to our Lord and Savior, will your ministry to your parish reach its full potential and be most successful.

    • What difference does it all make when the EP is still on track to join the GOA to Rome. In a few months (they’re shooting for Sunday, April 20, 2025), the GOA will probably be under a Monsignor.

      • I don’t think they would be ran by a Monsignor, that’s a specific Latin Rite thing, even the Uniates aren’t run by a Monsignor.

        If anything the GOA parishes that decide to go into Unia with Bart & Co., will be still tan by Elpi. He’s obviously totally bought into it. Bart then, IMHO, will be head of a new “Greek” Unia. But the Uniates have never been successful with the Greeks and I wouldn’t expect them to be super successful this time either.

        Will there be Greeks who apostatize? Sure. But I don’t think it will be the majority.

        But as I have said and as you/George and others have said: A lot can change by 2025.

        – Bart is old
        – Elpi’s has lost credibility not only in the GOA but the AOB
        – The faithful clergy/laity of the other jurisdictions are the ones coming to the aid of GOARCH
        – No other Church has recognized the OCU.
        – The Greek Church are fractured on the issue
        – Geopolitically the West is broken.
        – Roman Catholicism is currently fracturing on its own bc of this Synod on Synodality. Who even knows what they’ll look like by 4/2025.

        None of this really screams to be that Bart will be leading tons of Orthodox to the Unia like a Satanic Pied Piper.

        • RE: “I don’t think they would be ran by a Monsignor, that’s a specific Latin Rite . . .”

          BINGO. April 20, 2025

          Most Greeks don’t look at the situation even if you put it right on front of their face, which makes it hard for the one who get it. The naysayers are quick to tell you there is no proof. Like a gaggle of geese, they fly together.


    Let’s see what we can do to get this event cancelled 😬

    Time to spam the bishops and the Assembly.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Gotta hand it to them, they just don’t give up, do they?

      • They really don’t, and neither should we.
        To think they’re just gonna go to Rome in 2025 and leave us alone is a bit naive. If we don’t fight back they’ll spread this as far as they can.

  10. Gotta keep an eye on this, hopefully Archbishop Anastasios doesn’t cave. You know they had to have talked about the OCU.

  11. Synodality Undermined by Orthodox Bishop During the Synod

    This is surprisingly refreshing to see, ESPECIALLY coming from someone in the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

    • Yes, it is refreshing and NECESSRY, as this whole effort was designed to mitigate the primacy issue: To become more synodal like the Orthodox Church upon which “unity” between the two churches can be based going forward.

      But recent meetings excluded 75+% of the Church, like Russia, Serbia, and of course the OCA. The EP, Alexandria, Georgia (sad to say), and the others who sided with Bartholomew over Ukraine, represented the Orthodox Church and together, they birthed a monstrously which has become the Catholic version of Synodality, which, BTW, includes the following: the Anglicans, the Lutherans, LGBT+ (marital) blessings, the ordination of women, and confession without repentance (i.e. without the willingness to work toward change).

      Of course the pope would remain. They will have a pope.

      All in the name of “unity,” which it is anything but. If Bartholomew didn’t separate himself from the Church through his unilateral decisions in Ukraine, he has certainly done so now. It would seem to me that our Bishops have enough to act on Bartholomew’s decision to leave the Church. I suspect if they asked Jerusalem, Alexandria,, if they want to remain with Bartholomew and a heretical Pope, or come back to the Orthodox Church, they might decide to come back.

      They would seriously be leaving the Orthodox Church behind. And for those who understand the twists and turns of the Catholic Church to accommodate the NWO, they would be signing up for that, as well.

      • To become more synodal like the Orthodox Church upon which “unity” between the two churches can be based going forward.

        When I first heard of the “synod on syndolaity” that’s what I thought, at least partially. Roman Catholicism needs to decentralize itself in order to create it’s pan-religion, which is clearly where Roman Catholicism is heading, it’s little more than an NGO with a Christian veneer.

        Georgia (sad to say)

        I don’t think Georgia has sided with Bartholomew over the OCU. If they have I haven’t seen it.

        But recent meetings excluded 75+% of the Church……..All in the name of “unity,” which it is anything but.

        The good news is the majority of the Church has not gone along with Bart and will not go along with Bart. Even within the Churches that accepted the OCU they are not monolithic in their acceptance of the OCU. I think we can extrapolate out acceptance of the OCU with the acceptance of union with Rome. At least partially. The OCU, even though it is schismatic, still has trappings of Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism does not, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of the people who accepted the OCU make an about-face if it came to union with Rome. Union with Roman Catholicism is wholly different than accepting irregular Ukrainians.

        It would seem to me that our Bishops have enough to act on Bartholomew’s decision to leave the Church.

        You would think so, and I hope they do so soon. There’s wisdom in waiting, but, there’s also danger in it.


        I haven’t seen where Jerusalem has sided with Bartholomew at all. Patriarch Theophilos seems to be trying to mend the situation, he has also barred clerics from the OCU from celebrating in Churches within the Jerusalem Patriarchate.

        They would seriously be leaving the Orthodox Church behind

        I obviously cannot speak for the inner workings on someone’s heart, but, you can discern by someone’s actions. To me, Bartholomew, Elpidophoros, etc., have all but already left Orthodoxy. And we are witnessing the spiritual fruit of that.

        Does that invalidate the entire Patriarchate of Constantinople? No.
        Nestorius, one of the great heresiarchs of Church history, was Patriarch of Constantinople. Saint John Chrysostom was patriarch less than a century before Nestorius. There have been great saints and great heretics of Constantinople, we are unfortunately living through the latter. Various Sees, or portions of them, have fallen in and out of heresy over the past 2,000 years. I have to constantly remind myself of this in order to not invalidate and cast judgment on an entire patriarchate and it’s sacraments, even the Church of Russia hasn’t done that. This is a struggle for me TBH .

        • Bishop SABA’s eyes light up at the mere mention of Elpi and Bartholomew. (The entire Synod of Georgia is conservative, save for one.)

          Jerusalem is not a fan of Bartholomew ever since it referred a matter with Antioch to Bartholomew for arbitration. It had to do with a handful of parishes here in America. So what did Bartholomew do? Award the parishes to Jerusalem or give them over to Antioch from whose region they came? Oh, no! His decision, which was binding, was to award their parishes to himself. Neither of them are huge fans of Bartholomew.

          For a long time, Jerusalem and Antioch refused to breathe the same air. But since the beginning of Ukraine, the ice between them has begun to thaw.

          They realize the Church needs them both to be on the right side of this thing with Ukraine, which they are. When this war is over, I’m guessing Putin, himself, (as emperor) will call a council for the bishops to weigh in on Ukraine. Bartholomew, et. al, probably won’t show up, but it won’t matter. The other bishops will and they will officially reach a conclusion with respect to going forward.

          You are absolutely correct that Constantinople has left the Church and hopped into the clown car in Francis’ circus. They’re telling the world they’re uniting. Every type of “crazy” is being ushered in with the beep-beep of their horns. Climate change, ordination for women, gay weddings and baptisms, liturgical dance. . . a wok “church” for the ages.

          To protect the Orthodox Church, our bishops need to put a fork in it. Bartholomew and his cohorts are gone and are doing tremendous damage. If we cut our losses now, we won’t be dragged down even further, were that possible.

          The Patriarchate of Constantinople has invalidated itself. It’s become a shell of it’s former self. A prop.

          It has breeched the canons with no intention of turning back. They have announced to the world they are one with this synodal business of the Catholic Church and have embraced the idea of not only joining the Catholics, but the Anglicans and the Lutherans as well. They are no longer THE ORTHODOX CHURCH. They are an arm of the globalists. After April 2025, they’ll become just another NGO to join the UN, WEF, and the WHO. It will probably be called the World Church; the WC.

          We were warned.

          “God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Th 2:11–12.

          Stand Fast
          13 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, 14 to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.
          16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.

          Pray for Us
          3 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you, 2 and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith.
          3 But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one. 4 And we have confidence in the Lord concerning you, both that you do and will do the things we command you.
          5 Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ.

          Warning Against Idleness
          6 But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us. 7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you; 8 nor did we eat anyone’s bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, 9 not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us.
          10 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. 11 For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. 12 Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread.
          13 But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. 14 And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

          16 Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.
          17 The salutation of Paul with my own hand, which is a sign in every epistle; so I write.
          18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.