The First, the Fourth, Free Speech & the Blog

Below you will find my thoughts on the First Amendment, what it means, what it doesn’t mean and how it affects the Monomakhos community. [Editor’s note: below is the updated vlog that should have accompanied this blog entry. Please forgive the delay.]

There are a couple of reasons why I think this is necessary. The recent series of interviews with Gail Sheppard helped bring things to a head. Certain criticisms of course heightened this focus. The primary criticism being why I chose to censor and/or not publish certain comments. In the video below I explain further why a free-speech advocate such as myself would feel compelled to exercise such editorial discretion.

In addition, there are other reasons. I believe that it was serendipitous that we chose to do these interviews right about now –in the run-up to the Fourth of July. Coincidentally, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (GOA) is meeting as we speak during this holiday weekend at their biennial Clergy-Laity Congress.

You wouldn’t know from the speeches that these sessions are taking place in the United States of America however. In fact, you would be forgiven if you thought a UFO had landed and somebody named “the Exarch of the Atlantic and the Pacific” had conquered this land, placed the President and the Congress in chains and proceeded to receive instructions from a holographic image of the Galactic Emperor.

OK, snark off. There will be much to discuss regarding this event (most of it I imagine, not good). There are problems in that jurisdiction. I fully expect that nothing positive will transpire but that there will be the same go-along-to-get-along happy-talk that is the standard operating procedure of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and its overseas eparchies. Truly, it would be surprising –nay, miraculous–for anything good to happen; for the GOA to right itself and come roaring out of the gate with renewed vigor.

So let’s not play along and hope that “this time, they really mean it”. It ain’t gonna happen.

Instead, I wish to comment on one thing; perhaps the thing that is at heart the problem of the GOA. And that is that ever since its founding in 1923, it has been built upon a foundation of sand. That foundation being a “diaspora” rather than a local church. That doesn’t mean that the foundation couldn’t solidify into a harder surface over time. I believe we saw inklings of that with SCOBA and more so later with the Ligonier movement. But the rug was pulled out from under us in a most brusque and unChristian manner.

Since then, the GOA has served as a hindrance to the Gospel. Proof of this is what is happening in Boston as we speak. Neither the Archbishop’s address, nor the Patriarch’s address speak to the reality that America is the homeland of the vast majority of the GOA. The United States of America is not even an afterthought. The idea of evangelizing this great nation, of being salt, doesn’t even occur to the assembled hierarchs based on what we have so far heard.

Just as bad, it doesn’t even appear to be on the radar of the clergy and laymen who make up the various delegations.

Now, I understand that there are huge problems within the GOA; that financial scandals abound. And that these need to be addressed. But it seems obvious to me that unless the delegates there assembled address the real elephant in the room (which is their aversion to evangelism), then these scandals will not go away. Instead, they will only get worse. And the Lord in His infinite mercy will allow the present edifice of the GOA to continue to crumble into dust.

In the meantime, let us thank God that He has planted us here in this great land and let us strive to do His will. As for myself, as long as I am able (and as long as the First Amendment is inviolate), I will continue to offer this forum for venue as a forum for free and unfettered speech.



  1. George C Michalopulos says
  2. Greatly Saddened says

    GM … first-and foremost, I would like to wish a safe and happy 4th to you and the family. As well as to my brothers and sisters in Christ and their families here on Monomakhos.

    I attempted to copy and paste the video you provided, but unfortunately is comes up … “video is unavailable.”

  3. Whiskey Six says

    Loved the Archbishops speech. Especially the part about mixed marriages. Not marriages outside the faith but mixed marriages. Image if Trump used the term mixed marriage. The ethnicity is what matters not the faith if you keep the blood pure than they will stay in the church. In my parish the pure bloods are there for the most part for the Greek the mixed marriages are there for the faith.

  4. Alitheia1875 says

    Well said George. And, a couple of comments. When the archdiocese was founded in 1923 there was a conflict between the Venizelists and the Royalists here as well as in Greece. It doesn’t really matter who won but why things happened needs to be looked at. When the archdiocese was formed the responsibility for the church in the US was switched from the Church of Greece to the Patriarchate of Constantinople. This all coincided with the changing of the calendar. This probably coincided as well with the patriarchate’s push for the ecumenical movement. Also, Venizelos and Metaxakis were fellow Cretans and good buddies. You add two and two and you get five. All of this is somewhat important because it laid the groundwork for what the GOA would, and has, become. Namely, as long as there are wealthy Greek Americans to support the GOA, and thus the financial stability and standing of the patriarchate, there is little need for something like evangelism. God forbid that the majority of the laity in the GOA should someday be of non-Greek descent (even though 75% of the marriages have been of the so-called “mixed” type for at least 25-30 years). That would lead to many changes, not the least of which is that (hopefully), the GOA would cease to be a Greek American social club. That’s one of the reasons many are alarmed at the number of converts wanting to be priests who are enrolling in Holy Cross. PS, I never heard anyone object to Archbishop Iakovos bearing the title of “Exarch of the Atlantic and Pacific.” PS again…..I’m a first born American of Greek descent who is very proud of his heritage, fluent in Greek, and equally proud and thankful for what this country is.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Thank you.regarding the grandiosity of the title, it was as ludicrous then as it is scandalous now.

    • George C Michalopulos says

      Thank you.regarding the grandiosity of the title, it was as ludicrous then as it is scandalous now.

      • Alitheia,

        I don’t lay claim to knowledge of the history, but I can’t help but notice how the date of the founding of the GOA closely follows the Russian revolution. It is my understanding that prior to that revolution America was Russian ecclesiastical territory. Is there a connection? And why the EP (and not Greece) when the other ethnics (Serbs, Syrians, Romanians, Bulgarians, etc.) looked to their home countries in the wake of the revolution?

        Just wondering if you know.

        • Nancy Pullus says

          My grandaddy punched the Russian archbishop Tihon who wanted to take over
          our Brooklyn church. Because the Russian Caesar gave them money, most Greek
          churches belonged to him until Lenin tried to sell them for cash. So we
          formed masonic self help societies (which became AHEPA) to own the churches
          as private chapels so the Russians could not have them. This is why the
          goats must be obedient to AHEPA and not the other way around. The KKK canard
          was invented by Iacovous so he could snuggle with the Market Looting Koon,
          because the Greeks and Jews were slave traders in Catholic New Orleans, which
          is why David Duke is Catholic. Greeks fought with Confederates but Russian
          commies fought for northern aggression. The finest slave traders were Benaki
          of Louisiana and Lehman of Alabama which is how GrecoRoman Venetian noble
          Benaki built the New Orleans church and the Athens museum. Russia never
          wanted a free Greece, just a Russian Greece like they did to Armenia.
          Russian secretary of state Nesselrode sent bishop Uspensky to make Antioch
          speak Arab. They failed in Jerusalem but as you see they still don’t give up.
          Assad & Saddam’s party was invented by their Michel Aflaq in order to spread
          Slavocommunist domination. In 1845 Moscow provost Masagieff invented Pan
          Slav Macedonia and their ambassador Ignatieff tried to implement it at St
          Stefanous thirty years later. Russians shriek that we practice “Heresy of
          Phyletism” but this refers to Pan Slavocommunists trying to have their way
          with poor north Greeks back then. At Berlin, in 1875 the West saved Greece
          from Russian domination. Greeks are always West, never East! These charter
          revisions want us to dissolve AHEPA and become part of
 under but Popandrew
          Spyridons want us to become part of The RICO law was
          designed to protect us against such racketeering by both sides. Look into
          the backgrounds of all the Greek pro Russian goats and you will find
          communists who fled here from Metaxous. Most Greeks don’t understand that
          the Russian Church was always communist and always believed in this Obshchina
          peasant commune. In fact, their false proof of Macedonia being Slav is that
          there were Obshchinas in Greece. The Russians make the Holy Greco Roman
          Palioloques look evil because they crucified them at Florence Ferrari. There
          was this usurper called Candacouzinous, with his chief goat, Greg
          Palamous. You don’t read good things about them in old Greek books, but the
          Russians make them look like good guys, and our goats try to sell them to us.
          They, not the Crusaders, were the ones who let the Turks into Constantinople
          because they used Turk and Slav mercenaries to take power. They first took
          Salonica in 1342 as the “Zealots” who set up an Obshchina and killed all the
          rich folks so the Russians could take over Greece. You have to know what the
          monks are all about. The black goats defeated the white goats because of the
          Iconaclasts. Someone should tell these moslem commie ayatollas that real
          priests don’t have beards and that men wear pants. Monk theology comes from
          the dualist Zoroastrians, just like the Sufi Dervish Turks and the Buddhist
          monks. Alexander the Great crushed the Russian Magog near Persia. Confucian
          family values are equally repulsed by the same Zoroastrian monastic
          homosexual abomination of the Buddhists. Real priests are good at baseball
          and American football and not sissy games like basket and socker. The black
          goats have always been agents of the Slavs. This is why the junta cracked
          down on Athos, which had become a soviet spy nest and homosexual bordello and
          Iacovous banned monasteries from America. Slavs and Celts are homosexual
          white booze niggers unlike Greco Romans. Ain’t be no Greco Roman booze
          niggers, but Russian national poet, Putkis, was part nigger. The black goats
          freely cooperated with the Sufi Dervish Turks, this is why every Greek
          government, right or left, keeps taking away goat lands. Thanks to my college
          grown friend Suzie Cocas for helping me make this edition more righteous.

          Nancy Pullus
          Romeo, MI 48065

          • Joseph Lipper says

            Nancy, great story. What was the name of the parish in Brooklyn that your grand daddy punched the Russian bishop in?

            I heard a similar story about a parish in Manhattan.

            • George Michalopulos says

              I’m saddened that Nancy is happy at what her granddaddy did.

              • Joseph Lipper says

                Well, yes, that Holy Russian bishop is now a canonized Orthodox saint, and one of my favorites. However, Nancy’s story shows us the mindset of Greek Americans in New York even before the Bolshevik Revolution started. They didn’t regard themselves as being part of the Russian Church.

                I’m really hoping that Nancy will provide more detail, just for the sake of history. I would appreciate it. I’m sure St. Tikhon has long since forgiven her granddaddy. It’s great to hear oral history like this.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  I suppose being an amateur historian I would like to hear it told in detail. Still, I’m aghast. I’ve never known a Greek to behave in such a fashion towards a bishop (even one who deserved it).

                  Oh well, I guess the silver lining to this is if the EAUSA forces a non-GOA parish to accept a less-than-stellar Greek bishop, it could do the same to him. We can call it “The Tikhon Precedent”.

                  • Do any of you understand the life of St Tikhon and the suffering of the Russian church. Do any of you actually care about spiritual values as opposed to Politics. I Sign out to get some fresh air.

            • U ignorant fools. Ignorant fools Just give all this shite to a young greek american,what ever that means, and they will stare and ask what dementia ignorant, fascist crap play book it is from. WHERE IS CHRIST, GOD? The GOSPELS? I want to cry and vomit in a bucket .

          • Antiochene Son says


          • Estonian Slovak says

            My, it seems we are hitting the Ouzo and/or the Metaxa early in the day. So you admit to being both a Mason-lover and a racist, using the “N’ word? Lovely. You insult rational Greek- Americans like George. If your grandfather punched the future Patriarch, he punched a future Martyr of the Church. May I suggest AA?

          • Monk James Silver says

            I have my doubts as to the accuracy of Nancy Pullus’s story.

            But even if it is true and accurately reported, it illustrates several misunderstandings and points of confusion which underlie the jurisdictional chaos we have had to deal with in North America for the last century or so.

            The first reality which needs to be acknowledged here is that North America was considered a mission territory of the church of Russia since the late 18th century, with a bishop first in Sitka, then in San Francisco, and finally in New York City. So, for instance, when St Alexis Toth decided to convert from the Roman Catholic unia to Orthodox Christianity, he traveled from Minneapolis to San Francisco and presented himself to the only orthodox bishop in America at the time.

            When individual parishes came into existence in New Orleans or Brooklyn without the blessing of the only bishop in North America, they did so irregularly and uncanonically, whether in ignorance or out of ethnic defiance, as seems to be the case in Nancy Pullus’s account.

            Then there is the mistaken notion that the concept of ‘ethnic’ trumps the concept of /Christian’, that a consciously bishopless group of Americans with roots in Greece, for example, could form a parish and ask for a priest to come from Greece. And when the lawful local bishop comes to call them to canonical order, they reject his authority. People such as those Brooklynites and the irreverent ‘granddaddy’ failed to realize that — had the roles been reversed — a parish founded by immigrants from Russia would have been under the authority of the Greek missionary bishop. But that’s not the way the facts on the ground played out.

            The chaos which ensued the Bolshevik revolution in Russia had predictable effects on church life, but it’s an oversimplification to suggest that Lenin was selling off church properties in North America. That was an aspect of the ‘Living Church’ fiasco which was stopped in its tracks here not by Patriarch St Tikhon Belavin, but by his successor, Metropolitan Platon Rozhdestvenskiy, who directed that all American and Canadian parishes incorporate themselves asa legal entities in their respective states and provinces. This move prevented the ‘Living Church’ from suing the local bishop as a corporation sole to acquire those parishes and their holdings.

            It was not necessary or even desirable to involve the Masons in this endeavor, In fact, nearly all the confusion in the Greek church, both in the United States and in Europe can confidently be blamed on the involvement of senior churchmen and politicians in the Lodge — not to mention North American parish boards who found masonic support and solidarity useful in their anticlerical assault on the canonical order of The Church.

            • Tim R. Mortiss says

              What’s a poor Anglo-American, whose Presbyterian family immigrated from British Columbia, to do with all of this history? My sojourn in the GOA is interesting from many points of view…..

              Nobody ever seems to forget this stuff. As for me, I’m not mad at anybody, I have no historical grievances or revanchist leanings. No invasions for a thousand years, no big social revolutions, no mass slaughters (only little ones), gradual development of a reasonable political, legal, and economic system…..I think I’ll go eat a roast beef with some Yorkshire pudding. While my grandkids are rehearsing the dances for this fall’s Greek Festival!

              • John Sakelaris says

                Perhaps you might want to put off the “roast beef with some Yorkshire pudding” until tomorrow, as today (Friday) is listed as a fasting day.

                But on a far more serious note, the “historical grievances” remembered by some in the Greek diaspora (and forgotten by many more) do include direct or indirect sufferings from policies and actions of the British Empire that your family apparently called home.

                A far-from-complete list would include the 1790s-1890s British policy of protecting the Turkish Empire from any major dismemberment, recognizing only a small Greek nation that still left most Greeks under Turkish rule, the 1850 Don Pacifico naval blockade of Greece, another 1916-1917 starvation blockade of Greece designed to force Greece to join the Allied side in World War I (my Yiaya suffered in that one), and the 1920-1922 British betrayal of Greece that culminated in the 1922 Asia Minor Catastrophe (ancestors of my in-laws died in refugee camps in that tragedy). After World War II the role of disappointing Greeks was largely taken over by the United States, and so with that I end the list. Please understand, I am in the history business, so knowing past grievances is part of my job.

                On a happier note, the Christianity of both the Orthodox and the Presbyterians does also include a major level of forgiveness. That is important. And as I had stated, the historical grievances have been forgotten by large numbers of Greeks, especially here in the diaspora. My adult sons have no interest in this subject, for example. Your grandkids will likely not be expected to learn much of this except to perhaps have a vaguely happy independence celebration on March 25.

                Bear with us all. Hope the beef and pudding will be great.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  True all that John! It never ceases to piss me off how the powers-that-be will move heaven and earth in order to get nations to fight unnecessary wars. In my estimation, King Constantine I was a hero because he wanted to remain neutral at all costs while the “hero” Venizelos did the bidding of the Western Powers. While Greece “won” the Great War (at least in their theater of operations) they overreached in Anatolia and he katastrophe ensued.

                  It reminds me of the neocons today who are hell-bent on getting us into a shooting war with Russia. And for what?

                • Tim R. Mortiss says

                  One good thing about British history is that it is just possible to keep track of it. That’s the virtue of living on an island.

                  The other good thing about it is that its people don’t go around blaming everything and everybody else for their historical misfortunes. Those that do never seem to actually get anywhere with it.

                  So, as Gilbert & Sullivan put it: “In spite of all temptations to belong to other nations, he remains an Englishman!”

                  Just getting my “ethnicity” up to speed with everyone else…..but with no complaints to go along with it!

          • John Sakelaris says

            The occasional interesting details of Nancy’s account are greatly undermined by her disgusting and bigoted slurs, misspellings, and her overall general air of mean-spiritedness.

            • George Michalopulos says


              Truthfully, I wrestled with myself as to whether to publish this screed. Was she serious (and if so, bigoted)? or was she just trolling for yucks?

          • I have never read such crap, not even coming from a yank.And I really cannot bother to go through this meandering badly written Fantasy ignorant crap. TOTALLY unconnected with Christ and a illustrates why millenials are walking away. No doubt u even think organ playing and dog collar shaven clergy are Holy tradition, let alone rest.
            No one doubts the influence of Russian church pre 1917, but as now was dominant church. Without it , Ottoman Turkey supported as always by the British, would have slaughterd far more Bulgarians and Armenians than they did.
            The phanariots loaded it over the Bulgarians and Romanians squeazing the peasants on behave of the turks for every penny during the years of Ottoman yoke. The Constantinople patrarchate after as a greek mafia.
            Macedonia since 6the AD is geographical area inhabited by Greeks and Slavs and Albanians to degree. HAVING VISITED, last year ( i live in Bulgaria now) I can tell u what a beautiful land with thriving monasteries it is, and the Slavs there speak bulgarian actually and are Bulgarians. GET OVER IT. What is yr problem!?
            As for Greece and west. Greece’s history of cynical use and betrayal by above all Great Britain, makes useful reading. Russian yes played great game in BALKANS as well as the western powers but at least was Orthodox.
            U mention Tikhon. Do u ignorant uneducated moron, know that Tikhon was a great Orthodox bishop in USA working for a single church who advised all there to pray for their president,not Tsar or greek King etc.aiding and helping ALL Orthodox and who in 1918 become Patriarch of Moscow and effectively suffered maryrdom under communists. A HOLY AND GREAT HIERARCH WHO LOOKED TO ORTHODOX UNITY amd in Russia to church renewing at 1918 Moscow great council
            I am greek( Patra Greece)and proud of it but not of narrow nationalism or a church in USA that as long as mumbles in greek, feels all the pseudo western worship etc is just fine.
            I am currently visiting Uk. ( great football at moment) and in Southampton, UK. yesterday had my yearly memorial for my parents in the Romanian church there. Priest speaking fluent english, works full time as engineer, married young man, packed church of all ages. Warm
            The Southampton greek church has priest who over ten yrs in country let’s not one word of english pass his lips and and whose spirituality is on open display in financial greed. Yes lots of Greeks from Greece but if u look at Original cypriot community… Mostly absence and long gone away or some putting in AS CHURCH PRESIDENT, a Pascha night appearance.
            Compare that ro the late bishop Anthony Bloom in London. Yes I am greek and proud and fully literate Fully BUT I AM ALSO A CHRISTIAN. Orthodox.
            Thank GOD I worship in Bulgaria.

            • Constantinos says

              Are you certain that you are literate because I don’t have the faintest idea what you are babbling about? Do you? How many times do you have to say you are a Greek? Hey, we Greeks have plenty of black sheep- and you’re one of them. Do you know what they call a stupid Yank? A Greek Bulgarian who is visiting Southampton, UK. Nikos is one of the reasons we have to crack down on all immigration to the US.

            • Estonian Slovak says

              Calm down, my friend, calm down. I agree with almost everything you say, but you don’t have to repeat the same stuff about clean shaven, organ playing clergy every time you post. Give it a rest already.

            • Billy Jack Sunday says


              Are you a Greek living in Bulgaria?

              If so, Tim is 70 years old

    • George Constantine Michalopulos says

      Alitheia, for what it’s worth, Meraxakis was the nephew of Venizelos. Both men were arch-reformers and both were Masons.

      • Plagioscoufis Zonasficas says

        Vatikiotis says BOTH Metaxas and Venizelos were masons. And Metaxas believe the fiction of popular autocracy Diderot sold Catherine. NY Times has Metaxakis staying with the Russian archbishop of NY when he became patriarch. In her bizarre way, Nancy’s twenty year old post has much truth. Venizelos sent troops to fight the Russian civil war (1917-1922) on the side of the Whites as part of the 19-nation League and Lenin never forgot this or that Atatturk fought with Lenin. Lenin sent Atatturk Chechens to kill Greeks at Smyrna because Turks didn’t want to kill their neighbors. Lenin then sued to sell all Orthodox holdings in America on grounds they belonged to the Russian people. The centential history for the NYC Greek cathedral says there was a law in NYS chartering all Orthodox under Moscow, so the Cathedral and Boston and other parishes became chapels of masonic Athena Brotherhoods, which became the model for AHEPA, also founded in 1922. And indeed, St Tikhon was thrown out of Brooklyn for not being Greek and said “I was lucky! The Germans lynched their Irish bishop!”

      • Alitheia1875 says

        George. True enough. Venizelos was a secularist and didn’t want the burden of the church in America. Metaxakis was eager for power, standing and influence so of course he accepted responsibility for the church in the US. As is well known, Metaxakis was Archbishop of Athens, Ecumenical patriarch and died while patriarch of Alexandria. A young deacon, who later became an archbishop, (it might have been Ezekiel but I can’t recall) recounted how, when he was standing vigil, men in funny dress, which he didn’t recognize, came into the cathedral in Alexandria in the middle of the night and performed a service at Metaxakis’ bier. It was only later that the deacon found out those men in funny dress were masons. Metaxakis even made it to the US and toured a few cities.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Interestingly enough, Meraxakis was proclaimed EP while he was in exile in the U.S. it seems like his Masonic brothers in the UK had something to do with his selection.

          • Tim R. Mortiss says

            Those guys with their miniature motorcycles are everywhere!

            • Billy Jack Sunday says

              Reducing the significant activities of that secret society to pretty much just tiny motorbike riding

              Is like stating Alister Crowley was a mere Egyptian artifact enthusiast

              My dear little Buttercup

              • Tim R. Mortiss says

                Well, being Anglo, I see no significant activities of this so-called secret society beyond some great hospital charity work and splendid parade calliope playing.

                As for conspiracy theories, we don’t worry about them. We are the Conspiracy.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Any institution can do philanthropy. The Freemasons certainly do. So did the Soviet Union. No one is all bad or all good. That binary doesn’t –can’t–exist in a fallen world.

                  Having said that, it’s abundantly clear that the Freemasons have been very active behind the scenes in many world affairs.

                • Tim R. Mortiss says

                  I founded a secret society in 1961 with four friends. We were all 13 at the time. The name of the organization is the Royal Order of Mountain Beaver. We did not have kingly approval, but merely arrogated royal sanction unto ourselves.
                  We sought no social or ecclesiastical support or approval for the cabal. Indeed, I never heard until decades later that you were supposed to get church permission to have a secret society! The concept still seems odd, Because then it wouldn’t be a secret society, would it?

                  I have the journals of 17 of our meetings and expeditions in 1961 and ’62, together with our guiding rules or “constitution” These still exist, but are carefully guarded from public scrutiny.

                  We went underground in late 1962 and have clandestinely controlled most of the world since that time. Aplodontia rufa is just a cover.

                  The foregoing account is almost entirely true.

                  • M. Stankovich says

                    Ah, Mr. Mortiss, you have tapped into my rich adolescent fantasy life gone dormant. What, exactly, accounted for the designation, “Royal” Order? Was the legitimacy of your secret society contingent upon proprietary rituals, like many such orders (e.g. a handshake simulating the large, flat tail smacking mud; protrusion of the front incisors in the powerful “gnawing” motion that literally felled trees). In other words, signs that clearly indicated to other members, “He is one of us.” This, in turn, leads me to ask, is this a male-exclusive society?

                    This reminds me that my next-door neighbors put their condo on the market last month, and sent out an email to each neighbor – particularly me – informing of an upcoming “open house” & asking for “positive talk” – especially from me – about the building & the neighborhood. It so happened that I came home and ran into a prospective buyer – a charming young Black couple with a 5-yr old daughter. My neighbor (who gave me “the look”) took the wife & child into the condo, and I chatted with the young man, asking him the two requisite “secret society” questions: are you troubled by the sacrifice of animals bred specifically for that purpose and what is your opinion of physically disciplining your wife if you both agree she deserves it? My neighbor yelled out the door, “DO NOT LISTEN TO HIM!” I couldn’t stop laughing and he got that it was a joke. They will also be my new neighbors in two weeks. Imagine.

                  • Billy Jack Sunday says

                    Tim R. Mortiss

                    Hey, Tim that’s really neat!

                    Just curious

                    When your adolescent secret society was out on expedition, did you ever come across any booty twaps?

                    • Tim R. Mortiss says

                      George, please restore my post. I posted a good Royal Order post, then it said “back” to put in the email. Please restore it. Editing has disappeared. I don’t want to write it again.

                      Used to put that stuff in automatically…..

                    • Tim R. Mortiss says

                      Well, I had an extensive reply. Submitted it; got the “back” message saying that I needed to add my email address (which all used to be automatic). When I went “back” as directed, there was nothing. So I asked George to restore it, as above. Really hate to do the whole thing again. What happened to the editorial functions of our posts?

                • Joseph Lipper says

                  I really have to wonder if Shriner’s children hospitals are in some cases a cover for the practice of ritual child sacrifice. If it happens, it would probably be a very closely guarded secret known only among the very few initiated. There certainly is a documented occult element to Shriner rituals. For someone who actually wanted to practice ritual child sacrifice, a Shriner hospital might be the perfect cover.

                  Shriner’s hospitals are completely free for children. Without a doubt these hospitals do a lot of good, but being free hospitals probably makes them more difficult to sue in the case of malpractice or questionable care.

                  In the end, would you really trust your child to an organization represented by winking and smiling clowns who wear red fezzes and parade around in tiny cars?

    • Veras Coltroupis says

      Money at the top is one thing, stuck hobnobbing with urban elites and clueless about the parishes. But the bottom is all about families and communities. The GOA trumps the OCA in pastoral care. The other Orthodox are ideologues with small and collapsing churches while most GOA churches have either been renovated or completely rebuilt under the quiet, tidy Demetrius. Pensions are a big problem throughout the developed world, GM, A&P, Greece and GOA all went broke over pensions. They all need to import kids to replace those they aborted in order to pay pensions. Pensions were concocted as a form of population control, that those with pensions wouldn’t need kids to support them in old age.

  5. Michael Bauman says

    The first amendment relates only to the government interdiction of speech and it’s analogs. The is no entitlement to be heard in any non-governmental venue. Much speech needs to be regulated.

  6. GLFarmer says

    God bless America and everyone on this fine blog.

  7. Constantinos says

    I can’t find Bishop Tikhon’s post where he was criticizing our President’s zero tolerance. I completely and totally support President Trump’s enforcement of our laws. The immigration act of 1965 has been an unmitigated disaster. This is why America is becoming a third world country- because of all this immigration. Diversity is not our strength; it’s war on America. Ted Kennedy said when he sponsored the bill it would not upset our demographics, but it has. If Congress what this disastrous bill has done, it never would have passed this onerous bill. We can’t even recognize our country any more. There are millions of illegal aliens in our once great country, and , frankly, I’m tired of it.
    If President Trump nominates Amy Barrett for the vacant seat on the Supreme Court, he will go down as the greatest President in my lifetime. He has already surpassed Ronald Reagan. Do I disagree with him on Israel? Absolutely! I’m even starting to like the way he is handling his many enemies- like calling Maxine Watters a low IQ person. She’s as stupid as a rock. I love the nickname Pocahontas.
    President Trump loves our country. Do you Bishop Tikhon? If you do, then support our great President. By the way, where should I send you a MAGA hat which I’m sure you will wear with pride?

    • John Sakelaris says

      To Constantinos and the others: There are two models that Greek-Americans can have to inform their opinions about the US immigration debate. The first is one that remembers the difficulty and prejudicial treatment that so many of our families did truly encounter upon arrival in the US. Such a model can naturally lead one to a sympathy with the current “open borders” movement.

      The second model is one that requires a longer historical consciousness and some reading beyond the headlines of today’s mainstream media. It involves a careful look at a horrible disaster that befell Greeks and Orthodox Christianity in general over the course of the last thousand years. I refer to the destruction of the Byzantine Empire. That tragedy unfolded over a period of 400 years. There was much more to this sad story than simply the Turks taking Constantinople in 1453 (and the western European Crusaders previously seizing it and holding it in the 1204-1261 years).

      The really critical trend that occurred over these centuries was in the matter of demographics; the Turks came to become numerically dominant in the Byzantine Empire’s large land mass of Asia Minor. How did this happen? Well, it was much more to it than the Greeks losing one battle with the Turks at Manzikert in 1071. It was process of large numbers of Turks moving into Asia Minor in the centuries after that battle. They then came to dominate the culture there.

      It is by remembering this other part of our story that we Greek-Americans can develop a more nuanced approach to America’s current debate.

      • Constantinos says

        Brother John Sakelaris,
        Your post really got me to think. Let me assure you, getting me to think is no easy task. Great post on your part!

    • Michael Bauman says

      Come on Costa, His Grace can love the United States and not support the President’s policies. Dislike the man. The opposite is also true.

    • Bravo, Constantinos!

  8. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

    Constantinos (means Constantine, like the Greek name “Konstantinos”) wrote this puerile taunt: “President Trump loves our country. Do you Bishop Tikhon? If you do, then support our great President.” I love this country, and do not “foreignize” my name. I served three years as an enlisted man in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, and ten years in the U.S. Air Force as an officer–the last five (1966-71) s Deputy Chief, Personnel Security Group, room 5D466 at Hqs USAF, the Pentagon. I support our President when I, a voter and citizen, APPROVE of his execution of his office. I rarely find any reason to support President Trump, but he DOES pay immigrant labor on his real estate holdings under the
    Immigration act of 1965, thus “saving” taxpayer money! President Obama did not do so.
    Now, I’ll sign off like M. Stankovich again So George and Dino, etc., can safely lift their heads out of the ground!

    • Constantinos says

      Your Grace,
      Thank you for your great service to our country. I know you love America. It’s just your stance on immigration that sadly troubles me.

    • Antiochene Son says

      Thank you for your service, Your Grace.

  9. Alitheia1875 says

    Early Greek immigrants spoke Greeklish. Does anyone know what tzamboatis means? It’s how they referred to illegal Greek immigrants…..those who “jumped the boat”.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Lol. And “siderobuk” is Sears & Roebuck”.

      • Alitheia1875 says

        There is a debate among those of us who study Greeklish as to whether “Castel Gardi” refers to Castle Garden in NYC or, more generally, the Coast Guard. Probably Castle Garden as this was another immigrant entry point in NYC along with Ellis Island,

        • George Michalopulos says

          Alitheia, is “Greeklish” a higher form of “Gringlish” or lower? Any insights would be most appreciated.

        • Veras Coltroupis says

          Castle Garden predated Ellis Island (opened in 1892) as an immigrant processing center. Yes, they called it “Kastigari”. Grosjean offers lessons on creoles and bilingualism that seem to have only been understood by Iacovus. “Οι μεγαλύτεροι άμυντορες της ελληνικής γλώσσης ήτοι αυτοί οι οποίοι ήχων παιδιά που δεν καταλάβαιναν ελληνικά” A parent who makes the effort to learn English is usually the one rewarded with his kids learning the ancestral language; while the one who refuses is rewarded with kids who not only do not learn the ancestral language, but are rather bad at the new one as well. What keeps ringing me back to Orthodoxy at times of despair is how bad western Christianity mangles the Greek meaning.

  10. Constantinos says

    You have convinced me that the culprits are indeed who you say they are. That’s disgusting, no one should live in terror. These dastardly miscreants need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I think Gail’s actions were misguided because they were bound to fail.
    We can all learn from the Mafia. When John Gotti clipped Big Paul, he made sure all the captains were on board before he struck. Gail should have studied The Prince by Nicolo Machiavelli and The Art of War by Sun Tzu. What I’m saying is she would have had to get the bishops and hierarchs on board before she confronted Metropolitan Philip, otherwise, it was kaput.
    I believe my characterizations of her were disgusting, shameful, personally embarrassing, and deeply un Christian. Gail, I know you won’t forgive me, but I am deeply remorseful, sorry and ashamed for my abuse toward you. There is no excuse for it. I was angry because you called me a troll. I was being petty and childish. I am very sorry for hurting you by my hateful comments. I actually asked God to forgive me, and then I wrote more hurtful things.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Costa, someday I’d like to meet you. Anybody who has read Sun Tzu and Macchiavelli (and understands them) is a man I can shake hands with.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Naw, Costa. I forgive you. Sometimes I hurt people when I’m trying to get their attention. Please forgive me if I did that to you. I shouldn’t have said you were a troll.

      • Constantinos says

        I can’t tell you how much it means to me that you forgive me. It’s more than I deserve. It shows a very merciful spirit on your part. I really am deeply sorry for all the hurt I added to your already painful situation. You are in my prayers and I do believe you. Thank you so much for your kindness. I’m feel terrible.

  11. GOA Priest says

    I have been at the Clergy Laity for the last five days…if you want to know what happened here, just ask.

    In the meantime, let me tell you about one inglorious highlight.

    One of the sessions was entitled:

    LGTBQ: Thoughts and Considerations

    Fr Jerry and Helene Hall, parents of a gay son, share a personal perspective of their spiritual journey with their family. They present a pastoral approach that involves listening and openness to the many families and individuals who are part of all of our communities.

    This was a wild train wreck…wherein we learned that the Church needs to get over itself and begin communing active…and married…homosexuals. We need, we were told, to understand that Holy Scripture is contextualized, and on this point is hardly relevant today. It is all about love, love, love, which is defined as promoting men anally sodomizing one another.

    Present at this blasphemathon was Metropolitan Gerasimos (for nearly the whole session), and the Metropolitan of Chicago, Nathanael, who made an appearance, only to speak in favor of this wickedness. Gerasimos remained silent throughout, even as a priest from his Metropolis spoke in favor of what was being presented.


    Yesterday, at one point during the Plenary Session, our dear Metropolitan Alexios, moron extraordinaire, had the temerity to take the mic, point to the “crowd,” i.e., the people who financially support him, and say that the problems at the Archdiocese, are in fact O U R fault. How so? Because we voted to pass the former budgets, which led to the financial problems we are experiencing today! Well, excuse me, Mr. Imbecilic Hierarch, I do N O T remember voting to to give anyone at the 79th St. permission to actively rip us off by misappropriating funds. This jerk received a round of boos for his outrageous statement, which at least meant some of us were actually still conscious. However, we should have walked out…but we didn’t.

    Anyways, there is so much more to share…but misery in large doses begets despair, but that’s quite enough for now.

    • Centurion says

      Not surprised anymore that the GOA would feature such blasphemy and the bishops would bless it. These impostors have been allowing this depravity to flourish in their parishes. Remember this insanity from last year?

      Fr. Michael Courey: Orthodox Church Must be More Inclusive, Welcome Same-Sex Couples

      On March 12, 2016, as a featured speaker at the Christian Family Life and the Challenges of Faithfulness symposium organized and sponsored by Huffington Ecumenical Institute at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in California, Fr. Michael Courey called on the Orthodox Church to be more inclusive and welcome same-sex couples into her sacramental life.

      While admonishing those who “place too much emphasis on our sacramental life on exclusiveness rather than inclusiveness,” and bemoaning that “the Church is so oriented towards the traditional conservative view of marriage and the family” that young and old singles “feel there is no place for them in the pews,” Fr. Michael challenged the Church to “embrace and welcome all who seek shelter from the stormy seas of life, traditional and non-traditional families, with open arms and open minds.”

      Fr. Michael Courey, is a Greek Orthodox priest serving St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church in Redondo Beach, California. The Huffington Ecumenical Institute (HEI) was originally funded by a $5 million dollar donation by openly homosexual and LGBT activist millionaire Michael Huffington who also supports same-sex marriage. The Institute is run by Dcn. Nicholas Denysenko, Ph.D. who is the Director of HEI.

      Here are some additional excerpts from Fr. Michael Courey’s presentation in “Session 1: Christian Perspectives on Contemporary Family Life” at the March 2016 symposium:

      – “Does the couple living together outside of marriage belong to the Church family? Does the same-sex couple belong to the Church family?” (from clip at 2:07:22 in video)

      – “In our church community today how do we remain faithful to the Gospel of Christ if we place too much emphasis on our sacramental life on exclusiveness rather than inclusiveness. I have heard countless times from singles, young and old alike, that the Church is so oriented towards the traditional conservative view of marriage and the family that they feel there is no place for them in the pews.” (from clip at 2:08:58 in video)

      – “Our Church needs to welcome and minister with greater urgency to singles, divorced, widowed, and to all couples regardless of their sexual orientation who are yearning to be part of the Christian family they grew up in and love from the very depths of their soul.” (from clip at 2:10:03 in video)

      – “The Orthodox bishops in America issued a joint statement after the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage confirming the traditional definition of matrimony as one male and one female with the potential to raise children. And I am obedient to that teaching. Nevertheless, we are admonished as priests by our bishops, the very same bishops, to minister to those in our congregations who have same-sex attractions with mercy and compassion. And not with exclusion or condemnation.” (from clip at 2:09:26 in video)

    • Whiskey six says

      The clock is ticking 10 years till the bishops fully embrace this. The bleeding of finances and people in the pews will continue. When it’s all said and done 20 – 30 years from they won’t know why everybody left the church except the old ladies.

      This is how the episcopal church started circling the drain.

    • Photius Underwood says

      GOA Priest, Watching the Bishops and Archdiocesan Council push their budget at the expense and risk of the clergy pension fund and theological education was like watching that Italian Cruise Ship Captain Jump off the Costa Concordia as it was sinking and leaving everyone to die.

      GOA Priest, I was also looking at the pictures from clergy laity and was struck by how old all the attendees were. It looked like an retired persons convention. Was anyone under 40 even there?

      My final question is regarding the budget itself. Does the whole idea of the Archdiocesan Council balancing the budget mean they have the balance the budget with the one million for the clergy pension fund or can they remove it? If they can remove it then the entire clergy laity process has no meaning whatsoever.

      • GOA Priest says


        Based on my observations, I think there was a good demographic mix. It’s too bad this is ignored, and we continue to play the Greek National Anthem and chant hymns in Greek to the exclusion of a large majority of those present.

        They cannot remove the pension portion. They will have to balance the budget by cutting elsewhere. I propose they begin with the Hierarchs oversized salaries and benefits.

        • George Michalopulos says

          How come the Turkish national anthem is never sung. After all, the EP commemorates the president of Turkey during the litanies” does he not?

          • GOA Priest says

            Why indeed?!?!?!

          • Veras Coltroupis says

            Quite to the contrary. There exist many photographs of Orthodox clergy along side Ottoman muftis and Jewish rabbis jointly blessing Ottoman civic festivities. The only reason so many nigrasiates object to “syncretist concelebration” is that their families were beneficiaries of Ottoman franchises and are nostalgic and vindictive over their loss at the hands of the Jordanians, Israelis and British, which they therefore despise. Now they are testing their DNA and finding it bizarre their “Greek” is really Arab, or in the case of the Ponticans, Persian.

        • Greatly Saddened says

          That is a perfect place to start. Do we have any idea what a hierarch’s salary is, and what his retirement package consists of and includes? Or, are these things kept safe guarded, for obvious reasons, under look and key? Doesn’t the general laity have the right to know? Perhaps, it is purposely kept from us. There we go again, lack of accountability and lack of transparency. Some things never seem to change!

          This of course does not include the “honorarium” a hierarch may receive from a parish for visiting his flock.

    • Greatly Saddened says

      Father … thank you so much for sharing some of the happenings at the Clergy-Laity Congress. Rather interesting, to say the least. Lord have mercy and God help us all!

    • Unpistevable says

      GOA Priest,

      You are a disgrace to your priesthood with a comment like that.

      I was in the session with Fr Jerry and Pres Helene as well. First off, reducing people’s lives to a sex act is disgusting and shows where YOUR mind is, not theirs.
      Second, you misrepresent everything that was said in that room. The consensus was clearly that no one has an answer today. And His Eminence Nathanial was quite clear about being merciful and even predicted someone like you would lambast him online (I even recall someone saying that others who were there would have his back and correct the record if it was misrepresented- and here we are!).
      Third, if that’s all you took away from that room, then you clearly weren’t listening. If you were able to sit there with this kind of disgust in reaction to the tearful, pain filled stories of the people in that room, then you have absolutely not business whatsoever being a priest. You must be able to minister to everyone not only those you agree with, and your comment makes it clear that these families can expect no love from you, nor can your hierarchs. You are a clanging cymbal and nothing more. Your lack of compassion and mockery of love is horrifying. I do notice that you take to anonymously posting on an internet blog rather than actually speaking up in the room that night. Interesting. That seems to me to be the likes of what cowards do.

      In addition, I was not only in the same plenary, but was by His Eminence Alexios’ side for those five days. Thus, first, I know that you took his comments out of context. His entire point was in specific response to one gentleman who was rude and mean spirited (is he a buddy of yours?) toward the volunteers that were working so hard to fix this mess. Second, he was trying to balance the fact that the body did indeed approve a deficit budget at the last CL, whether we like it or not (and he did not at all blame the assembly for the misappropriated funds, that is an utter lie on your part), and (three) was ultimately attempting to ask everyone to stop fighting so that we could get to what really mattered- the programs, especially the youth, for whom he has a great deal of pastoral love and enthusiasm. And while there were some boos by people like you, there were also many who clapped and agreed verbally with him, especially regarding the youth programs. I certainly didn’t hear anyone else prior to that saying they wanted to hear about the youth programs (including you), and after he said it, everyone began repeating it.

      And, because I was with him, I also know that you didn’t speak up and talk to him, either, like adults do. Instead here you are like a passive aggressive child, complaining on the internet. Do you feel proud and justified and righteous in your priesthood, behaving this way?

      Further, you clearly don’t know His Eminence Alexios, or you would know that he is no moron and no imbecile and certainly no jerk. He is highly educated, one of the most respected hierarchs in the Church in the US and in Greece, and, knowing him quite well, he is also wise and is clearly far more humble and loving than you.

      You know, something else that strikes me here… His Eminence Alexios has a strict policy about anonymous complaints regarding priests. When he receives anonymous letters about his priests, he trashes them without reading them. Why? Because he is supportive of his priests and has integrity. He believes that a person who wishes to complain should also have integrity, and that struggles with priests in parishes are opportunities for him to be pastoral, which he cannot do if he doesn’t know who the person is in order to respond. He asks for discussion, connection, and fellowship.
      What I find so funny about this is that, were your comment in the form of a letter, landing on his desk about YOU, he would trash it. And here you are instead, defaming him, calling him names, misrepresenting him, mocking him, with disgust and disdain, which he would NEVER do to you. He would invite you in, offer to cook for you, serve you, and sit with you for as long as you wished to discuss your grievances. Would that you were a servant leader like him. Would that any of us were, and our Church might be in far better shape than it is now!

      I am sad for you, priest. I am sad that your heart is so hardened toward your Church, your hierarchs, and your flock. I will pray for you, that you may feel the Love of Christ, the “love, love, love” that He preached and you so easily mock. And I will pray that the Lord remember your holy priesthood in His kingdom, as we all know that you will one day be called to account for the souls you turn away from Christ with such ugliness and vitriol. I would expect this kind of smut from lay people, I see it all the time. But from a priest?

      And by the way, yes, I post anonymously here for the moment because you don’t deserve to know who I am so you can come after me. And, I do not post to insult. I post to defend- rather different. I am not lacking in integrity here. That said, I’ll tell you what, I’ll make you a deal. While I’m pretty sure I already know who you are, you tell me your name, priest, and I’ll tell you mine. Or would you rather continue to hide in your self-righteous cowardice?

      • GOA Priest says

        The consensus was clearly that no one has an answer today.

        Seriously? Are you an educated priest? The Church’s position on homosexuality is not up for discussion. Have you heard of Divine Revelation? It’s something found in the Holy Scriptures. Please read it, and report back.

        And His Eminence Nathanial was quite clear about being merciful…

        Whoever said anything about not being merciful? We are talking about communing unrepentant, and in the case of the example that Met. Nathanael was speaking about, a CIVILLY MARRIED homosexual. Unfortunately, you are uninformed.

        Further, you clearly don’t know His Eminence Alexios, or you would know that he is no moron and no imbecile and certainly no jerk.

        How do you know that I don’t know him? Look around. There are many priests who have been abused by this monastic impostor. He is a member of the odious mob called the Holy Eparchial Synod.

        What I find so funny about this is that, were your comment in the form of a letter, landing on his desk about YOU, he would trash it.

        You are a silly little suck-up if you believe that. How do you know that he doesn’t respond to anonymous comments about priests? I for one, know that he does…

        Or would you rather continue to hide in your self-righteous cowardice?

        Thanks for the offer. I would rather continue to hide from disturbed sycophants who will do anything to curry favor with the morally compromised hierarchs of the GOA.

        • Greatly Saddened says

          Father … “abusive and morally compromised!” Now that does seem to fit the basic description of a number of today’s GOA’s hierarchs. I know, so sad. Yet, so true! They seem to need a course in basic “humility!”

          Unfortunately, they certainly do not strike me as role models Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ would be proud of. It is more like … “it’s all about me!” Remember … “the first will be last!”

          The saying from now on should be … “do not trust and be certain to verify, so help me God!”

          • GOA Priest says

            Greatly Saddened,

            You are correct. They aren’t role models. Worse than that, they stand against Christ and His work.

            The current state of affairs is an embarrassment, and to those of use who have lived our lives within the GOA and dedicated our lives to serving the Lord from within it, a source of profound sadness.

            • Greatly Saddened says

              Father … I really feel for the clergy. You are between a rock and a hard place. You cannot say anything, because if you do, it will be held against you. Not only from perhaps your parishioners, but certainly from your holier than thou and most pious hierarch/s. What a terrible position to be in!

        • Tim R. Mortiss says

          Is there any direct link to this aspect of the conference? I’d rather have something more than “read it on Monomakhos” that I can refer to.

          • George Michalopulos says

            TimR, I too would love to hear from any and all who attended the C-L. Videos would be appreciated as well.

          • GOA Priest says


            What are you looking for? I posted the blurb from the program. There were no handouts at the sessions.

            • Billy Jack Sunday says

              GOA Priest

              I think sometimes things are so unbelievably wrong, people gotta hear the exact quoted craziness word for word so their mind can try to wrap around it


              If I understand correctly, hierarchs including Metropolitan Gerasimos were present at an official GOA Church business function where a Greek priest speaker actively promoted the communion of unrepentant and married lifestyle homosexuals – with no correction from anyone – including no correction from any hierarch present? Can you confirm this?

              Also, would you be willing to state which priest in the Metropolia of San Francisco stood up and made statements in favor of communing married homosexuals? Would you be willing to state his identity? Perhaps quote him to the best of your ability?


              • GOA Priest says

                Billy Jack,

                The event was called a “Workshop,” and began later in the evening, at 8pm.

                Met. Gerasimos was present throughout, except for a bathroom break, and Met Nathanael made an appearance, late in the event.

                The San Fran priest I referred to is Fr John Balkas from the cathedral in Los Angeles. (He is not a seminary educated priest —how he managed that remains a curiosity to many.) His said a lot…of nothing…if you know what I mean, which is typical for him. Amongst the hot air, he said, “I don’t have a gaydar at the chalice…” and “We have to stop weaponizing the canons…” He mentioned love, and not judging others in the same breath as the gaydar and canon comments. Generally speaking, he also mentioned monasticism, and implied that monk confessors are unduly interested in the sex lives of their confessees.

                As for corrections offered, there was a priest from Greece who tried to articulate a theological challenge, which met with blanks stares from the presenters, one of whom who replied, “I am not a theologian…” it was a bit difficult to hear him and understand what he was trying to say…

                There was a lot of “sharing,” including a parish council member from the Las Vegas parish who said he was a homosexual, and everyone in the parish knew it, and kept electing him to the PC. Some guffaws at this point..He mentioned his priest was fully aware of his homosexuality. All this met with claps, as if his homosexuality was akin to someone who had won a prestigious award.

                If other bits and pieces come to mind, I’ll share them.

                I don’t know if the session was recorded, but I strongly doubt it.

                • Billy Jack Sunday says

                  GOA Priest

                  Thanks very much for the additional information

                  In regards to the parish council president from Los Vegas

                  Was that individual stating that he is currently an active ‘out and proud’ homosexual – or that he is an individual who recognizes it as sin and struggles – yet is accepted?

                  What the Los Angeles priest stated is a total face palm

                  In regards to the priest conducting the presentation

                  Can you remember any possible direct statements he made concerning potentially adopting the policy of communing non-penitent, civilly married homosexual couples?

                  I want to be sure I understand exactly what was being communicated here


                  • GOA Priest says

                    Billy Jack,

                    Yes, the PC guy was stating that he is currently an active, ‘out and proud’ homosexual.

                    As for the presenters (priest and his wife), I cannot really quote him competently at this point. He said we need to find a better way to deal with the situation…as if there are options. He used the word “discover” more than one. By discover he meant that we needed to go beyond the traditional biblical / patristic teaching on homosexuality. He said the “traditional” approach is not working, insofar as it is not addressing the needs of the homosexual community.

            • Billy Jack Sunday says

              GOA Priest

              If possible, could you provide some quotes from the LGBTQ presentation, please?

              Do you have any idea if there was a recording or if there is a transcript available?

              Did the presenters provide any handouts?

              Thanks for reporting on this, BTW

        • M. Stankovich says

          Everything I need to know about you, priest, is summed up in a single sentence: “we should have walked out…but we didn’t.” I’ll validate your parking and you can go prepare your sermon. But you knew exactly where to come to assuage your sorry conscience, the home of the Orthodox witness protection program. Here, you can freely refer to a Bishops of the Church as “Mr. Imbecile,” and imagine God Himself turns away His face and ear.

          The obvious problem is that the Orthodox Church is jammed packed with priests like you, regardless of jurisdiction, while the Bishops are a particularly limited quantity. Is it possible that the Bishops are entirely for responsible – are in fact the singular source – for Fr. Alexander Schmemann’s observations expressed in the Problems of Orthodoxy in America? It is impossible. This leaves you holding the bag, I’m afraid. So, I ask you, priest, do you have any helpful thoughts about how a priest’s ability to refer to his Bishop – or any Bishop, for that matter – as “Mr. Imbecile Hierarch” might affect his ability to, say, be charitable to his flock? To be patient; to bear their burdens; to actually believe that, in his priesthood, he is called to “make present” in his congregation the Lord Himself Who – as near as I recall, never referred to anyone as a “silly little suck up,” or a sycophant? And the fact that you seem to be “energized” by the supportive comments here is all the more reason to be ashamed of you and for you. What you don’t seem to grasp is that moral compromise is moral compromise is moral compromise, and you all smell alike. And it is always foul. But, take heart, suppose, as I offer a Prince of a man to help you. But a fellow like you, priest, will need to take the cotton from his ears and put it in his mouth. #toneddown

          • GOA Priest says

            Believe what you will, make judgments as you must. Call it as you see it. I am not going to deny you that right.

            You are, after all the all-knowing, quick to judge Dr. S., always ready with your keen insight into all things ecclesiastical.

            Perhaps you ought to look up the etymology of imbecile and try…since you continual remind us of your intellectual prowess…to understand the ironic nature of the epithet.

            • M. Stankovich says

              No, champion of true virtue. You won’t turn it back on me. You look in the mirror as you adjust your silk vestments and recall the words of Savior:

              But so shall it not be among you: but whoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: But whoever of you will be the most chief, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (Mk. 10:43-45)

              I am unworthy to judge you. But you may consider me a cheap imitation of Nathan. And so it goes…

            • M. Stankovich says

              Apparently, my even quoting the Holy Scripture to you crosses some imposed line, so I will simply say this to you: my actions match my words, priest. When I refused to compromise my integrity and my values, I was dismissed from my job – a job, I might add, that paid an exorbitantly embarrassingly salary. This did not mean a whole lot to me. What I have never mentioned here is how completely devastated my wife was at this turn of events. She wanted to complete payment of her student loans; she wanted to buy a house; she is an ocean diver and was planning a dream dive in Pulau; it affected our charitable giving, on and on down the line. I suffered terribly for disappointing her, and the “righteousness” of not compromising began to rapidly fade. But in the end, we agreed that it is simply a lesson in the price of integrity. But more importantly, we agreed that it is a lesson in the value of integrity.

              You will not turn this around on me as if I have somehow offended you. I would refer you to 2 Sam. 12, the account of the confrontation of King David by the Prophet Nathan. Obviously, Nathan knew he was at the mercy of the King, but he was committed to speaking the truth. I am unworthy to judge you, but perhaps, in scruffed up dungarees and bad hair cut, I am your Nathan, priest.

  12. Greatly Saddened says

    I do not mean to be disrespectful in any way, but the Metropolitans of the GOA seem to lack true leadership qualities, as well as knowing how to effectively communicate with their brother clergy and the laity in general. They seem to be detached and in a world of their own.

    These same hierarchs seem to have an air about themselves. I relate it to being kind of “better than thou.” As if they are some sort of royalty looking down upon us common folk and in fact, talking down to us. Is that what Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ intended for his hierarchs to be? Somehow, I tend to doubt it!

    • What do you expect when a man puts a large imperial margarine crown on his head, stands in front of a large crowd and no one laughs.

      • Whiskey six says

        You forgot while in a dress.

        As a bonous if you are Antiochian he stands on a frisbee the deacon throws down so his feet don’t have to touch the ground…

      • Billy Jack Sunday says


        You are killing me, man!!


        George, you gotta feature that comment


        • Billy it’s been getting a bit thick here lately. So a little balance was in order. Where the hell you been!?

          I think George likes the crowns! He is a monarchist after all.

          BTW since George shut down Michael Stankovich, again. I would like to let Michael know, if he is listening, please forgive me, all will be Dust in the Wind, and in his honor and by his enlightenment, from on end I will be: DINO?

          • Sister Jane Rachel Beryl Wells Hamilton,
            Crowns are not humble. Monarchy begets tyranny.

            Beryl, cuttlefish are colorblind, yet still know which color they need to disguise themselves. “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”(James 4:10)

            In other news: After liturgy concluded today. I gave my parish priest (who just returned from the Boston C/L conference) an expression that only one Greek to another can understand, and asked,”Should we pray for your pension?” He quickly responded, “What pension? I’ll be working at 7 Eleven!”

            Forget the shrine, forget the campus, forget hush hush funds and forget the GOA office administration layoffs. How do you remain silent, when money taken out of priest’s paychecks, given in trust, to a pension fund, controlled by the GOA is used as credit line piggy bank to fund the Hierarch’s out of control budgets?

            I do not need to vilify the Hierarchs, sister, those in the GOA vilify themselves. Beryl, would you remain silent if someone was raiding your pension? The bishops are so humble, they even asked all parishes to raise their percentage of giving to the GOA. It was voted down.

            Beryl says, “Silence is golden.” Yet Jane Rachel vilifies Elder Ephraim. BTW Hope your giving George royalties for that link to your business.

            • Beryl Wells Hamilton says

              Dino, you are right. IF any hierarch is found to be corrupt, he should be called on it by the laity, of course. Sorry about the link, it never occurred to me that I was trying to advertise.

      • Dino, Look at the cuttlefish. If God created cuttlefish, the duck-billed platypus,the giraffe, the two-toed sloth, the manta ray, the bugs on your eyelashes, and every universe there is, and if God created you, then God can do anything He wants with His Church. The Hat is a wondrous thing. It covers up the hierarch’s brain so he can do his job representing God the Father, Who wants to serve up the Divine Liturgy – and change the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ His Son, and make the change by His Holy Spirit – to the likes of itsy-bitsy, pea-brained you and me, so we can become God. IMAGINE!!! YOW!!!! HELP!!!!

        Honestly, I sometimes think of Dr. Seuss’ book “If I Ran the Circus” when I think about the majesty and beauty of God and how God runs the universe… Can God sit on a quark? Does time exist? Orthodoxy is the true faith. Bishops are vital or there would be no true Church.

        Hierarchs are humans inside their vestments. What is the point of vilifying them? Does it do any good at all? Just speak what you know to be true. Or not. Silence is golden.

        Would you do a better job if you were a hierarch? They are men, and they put their pants on every day just like everybody else.

        Hi. I’m Jane Rachel.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Welcome aboard Jane Rachel!

        • Gail Sheppard says


          God, in His infinite wisdom, created free will. We can choose God’s way or we can choose *not* God’s way. With each bad choice, we move further and further away from what God intended and therein lies the rub.

  13. Tim R. Mortiss says

    I’ll ask my priest about it, indeed. Mt. Gerasimos is our bishop. Can you link to the agenda item or such?

    • Billy Jack Sunday says


      We need quotes

      If an official presentation at the Clergy Laity Congress openly and specifically advocated for the communion cup to be granted to non repentant open, civilly married homosexuals (as opposed to repentant but struggling SSA Orthodox Christians) – and the hierarchs present either said nothing or gave approval of some type

      We need quotes

      I can’t go to my priest in protest over a word on the street generalized second hand statement.

      I will be immediately shot down and be told that the source must have misunderstood something and no big deal, excuses, yada yada

      If, however, all this is true, and the GOA/EP is on its way to communing married homosexuals – this is apostasy

      Documentation, please!

      Don’t get me wrong – I appreciate the information some have provided so far

      If you give the sacrament of communion to unrepentant civil married homosexuals – then you’ve automatically stamped approval for the sacrament of marriage for homosexuals within the GOA/Church of Constantinople – as the sacraments are interrelated and not exclusive to each other

      Good grief! If this is actually being proposed, hit the breaks!

      Who cares about a budget if this communion thing is true

      If it is true, if the GOA / Church of Constantinople does not immediately repent of this idea

      Well, then, financial collapse would be a good thing

      I’m certainly not gonna give a dime to a Church going apostate, champion its cause, or support its continued existence as an institution – and I wouldn’t agree with anyone who would do so

      Can someone please provide direct quotes? Not links. Just cut and paste, please

      • Tim R. Mortiss says


      • Billy Jack Sunday says

        Still waiting on quotes, people!

        The allegation is that the Clergy Laity Congress actively advocated for a change of historical sacramental practice: to commune open, unrepentant, married homosexuals – thereby giving the stamp of approval on gay marriage – which leads to sacramental gay marriage


        If you can’t produce quotes, then I have to side with a misunderstanding of compassionate pastoral care

        Can anyone prove otherwise?

        Or is the GOA train about to run full on into apostasy, and y’all asleep at the switch?

        I spoke with a local parish council member, who had spoke with a priest who had been present at the Congress

        So far, I’ve been personally told:

        There was 15 million dollars missing that a former accountant had hidden. But they found it. No other financial shenanigans stated

        For certain necessary reasons, a budget with a million dollar deficit was approved

        There was an emphasis on family resources for such things as divorce

        New policies regarding background checks for volunteers

        That’s it

        Nothing about any alleged presentation/subject matter

        I’m told that was just a brief conversation, and that more information may follow

        But it didn’t even make the list so far

        So, what is indeed going on?

        • Billy Jack Sunday says

          George Michalopulos

          What follows communing non-repentant openly civil gay married couples?

          Granting them sacramental marriage (how can you deny them the sacrament of marriage if they have access to the cup?)

          All the sacraments will become available


          Guess what?

          Your priest might be clean shaven, but Presbytera is gonna have a full-on Gandalf beard!

          • Gail Sheppard says


            Michael B. has told us that his son and daughter-in-law are not permitted a sacramental marriage, although they commune and have been married quite some time. Unfortunately, there is no uniformity with respect to the sacraments and clergy in various jurisdictions do as they wish in different circumstances.

            When you have different ways of bringing people into the Church, different criteria for marriage, etc. it invites confusion. I think that’s why the Church, in her wisdom, has said there is to be but ONE Church in each region. Since we have deviated from the norm, I guess we shouldn’t be surprised people who have rejected the teachings of the Church are being communed.

            • Michael Bauman says

              Gail, you mistake what I said. My son and his intended are not married and, at this point, are not allowed to be married in the Antiochian Archdiocese because my son’s intended has already two marriages in the Church.

              They had been living together in sin in the naïve and mistaken assumption that a third marriage was a ‘right’. As of this moment they have separated, as far as I can tell, but are still under sacramental discipline having something to do with an incomplete restoration after her second marriage ended in divorce. There is no end in sight apparently.

              It is quite a struggle going on for both of them. A great deal of sin, baggage and shame that neither has yet shown the willingness to really face combined with stubborn streaks that are quite deep in both. It is probably good that they are not being allowed to be married, but the process is really confusing to my son. I tend to think it could be handled better. My son, in particularly feels he is being forced out of the Church and that no one really cares about him or his situation.

              In part it is a reversal of the cavalier approach Met. Philip took, but simple a swing of the pendulum rather than a real reversal. Met. Joseph not accepting the pastoral recommendation of the parish priest or leaving it in the hands of the local bishop. He seems to be saying, “No more third marriages in any circumstances and darn few second marriages.”

              The policy, whatever the policy, does not seem to be pastoral in nature but punitive and restrictive. It does not, if I am right about it, help at all with guiding people to a real, deep and life-long marriage.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Michael, I will continue to pray for your son and his intended.

                And while I respect Metropolitan Joseph, I do think that these things should be left to the diocesan bishops. I didn’t like what Metropolitan Philip did to his diocesan ordinaries.

                • Fr. George Washburn says

                  I find George’s advocacy of a single American Orthodox Church at odds with his position on relatively independent diocesan bishops.

                  The ancient custom of small dioceses whose bishops had full powers arose in times and places where small, almost tribal populations were common, often politically, linguistically and culturally quite separate from the peoples over the next mountain range. No mass media, homogeneity or instantaneous electronic communication over vast distances.

                  It made sense in such times to govern church from the local commercial and political center whence uniformity of law, custom and enforcement powers flowed to the smaller cities, towns and countryside. In the U.S. of the Internet Age, can’t a very good case be made for a single, unified governing voice for a religious entity whose boundaries are coterminous with the political boundaries of the nation, or a bit more broadly the geographic, media, cultural and linguistic boundaries of N America.

                  When I look at the independent metropolises of the GOA and the lack of power vested in Abp Demetrios I tend to think the net result is bound to be a weaker Church presence when it is necessary to speak the Church’s message to Wall St., D.C., or Hollywood or deal with them. Would we be better off with potentially inconsistent policies on difficult issues among dioceses? I doubt it.

                  I tend to think it is just your dislike of Met. Phillip combined with the deeply rooted American mistrust of any seat of power that isn’t well circumscribed by checks and balances. There is such a tendency for the Church to take on the coloration of the surrounding society, for example to adopt a discourse among Christians that sounds more than a little like Donald v. Hillary campaign gotchas (and less like “they will know you’re my disciples by your love for each other”). There is much to be said for a jurisdiction having a centralized N American seat of power given the realities of our times, where any unified Orthodox witness to the surrounding world ( to say nothing of unified action among us) is already irreversibly compromised by its division into independent, and usually silo-thinking ethnic bodies.

                  I’m afraid that I hear the drumbeat for a single, independent jurisdiction as a nicely imagined exercise in conformity to canons made for different ancient times and places, but lacking in realistic appreciation of all the trouble, not to say horrible fights and bitterness, it would take to start and the immense difficulties it would take to maintain. Sure the current disease of competing jurisdictions has some very unpleasant symptoms, but aren’t you stumping for a cure that would be worse?

                  • Joseph Lipper says

                    The multiple Orthodox jurisdictions in America are a great blessing for those humble enough to receive it as a blessing.

                    For those who want a single jurisdiction in America, and who also complain about the Greek Archdiocese, can you then imagine if the only jurisdiction in America was the Greek Archdiocese?

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      Well, Joseph, if we only had but one jurisdiction, it wouldn’t be Greek, now, would it?

                    • Joseph Lipper says

                      Gail, the easiest way to have a single canonically accepted Orthodox jurisdiction in America would be for everyone to submit to the Ecumenical Patriarch. Just by sheer numbers, Greek Orthodox are the largest Orthodox jurisdiction in America without equal. Converts may account for almost half of Orthodox Christians in America, but a unified American Church would still be more Greek than anything else.

                      “More than 70 percent of the roughly 75,000 Antiochian Orthodox Christians in the United States are converts. The Orthodox Church in America, with roots in Moscow and about 85,000 adherents, reports a 50 percent figure. In Greek Orthodox Christianity, by far the largest branch in the United States with almost 480,000 members, it’s about 25 percent.”


                    • George Michalopulos says

                      That would be most distressing. Especially since C’pole is in the vanguard of Orthodox Episcopalianism.

                    • Billy Jack Sunday says

                      Joseph Lipper

                      “The easiest way to have a single canonically accepted Orthodox jurisdiction in America would be for everyone to submit to the Ecumenical Patriarch.”

                      And the surest way I can act so that I do not happen to die of a combination of sever gout and spontaneous combustion

                      Is to drink a bottle of Wild Turkey and place the tip of a revolver in my mouth

                      No thanks, dude

                      Suicide, in any form, is never the answer

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      LOL! Placing the entirety of American Orthodoxy under the omorphor of the EP at this point would be the ensure that we dwindle into oblivion. Besides, it would never happen as I imagine you’d see an exodus of people going to Moscow –even if they have to hold their noses to do so.

                      Seriously, the financial implosion that is the GOA and its various “ministries” (e.g. St Nicholas Shrine, etc.) is really a blessing. One of the things the GOA had going for it in the past was its financial muscle. That’s no longer an option. And frankly, I don’t see how the St Nick Shrine can be made whole at this point.

                    • Veras Coltroupis says

                      That has always been the Bartlutso plan. Bart encouraged Ligonier only as long as it seemed to go his way, to unite the SCOBA under him. Lex Lutsos only turned Ligonier against Jake only when they went their own way.

              • Gail Sheppard says

                Michael, I pray everything works out for them.

              • Greatly Saddened says

                Michael … in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, I believe one can be married up to three times. Perhaps, I am mistaken.

                • Michael Bauman says

                  The GOA does not count marriages outside the Church we Antiochians do. Three is the maximum that does not mean there is a right to three.

                  My Godly wife was married three times before she met me. I am her fourth. Bp. Basil would not approve our marriage in the Church. Nonetheless, he blessed our marriage at the time my lovely wife was Chrismated and I was restored to the Cup. I was prepared to remain away from the Cup for however long it took. I never once felt there was capriciousness involved and Bp. Basil knew us.

                  The current process seems capricious.

                  I have had priests from the OCA and other jurisdictions say they would marry my son and his girl. Even our priest has said he would marry them.

                  Met Joseph seems to be taking a stand, a legalistic one, against multiple marriages. I have no problem with the Church saying no. However, Met Joseph does not seem to be doing that. The way my son perceives it he is being told maybe but probably not. Do the dance anyway and I will decide when I decide, maybe.

                  My son and intended have a lot to deal with which the Church should address. I do not see the healing in what is being done.

                  It is a mess.

                  God grant His mercy and wisdom.

  14. Tim R. Mortiss says

    What was described was a session, not that the Clergy Laity Congress advocated etc.

    Session is bad enough.

  15. Beryl Wells Hamilton says

    Good news from Syria:

    Where does the money go? Hopefully, here, to help rebuild what has been destroyed.
    “The Russian Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches have begun implementing a plan aimed at reconstruction of Christian churches and monasteries destroyed during the years of Syrian war, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, the chairman of the Department of External Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church, told TASS on Saturday.

    “We have taken on reconstruction, and some churches and monasteries are being rebuilt now. In particular, restoration work is nearing an end in Maaloula. It is one of the major holy sites in the Antioch Orthodox Church, a nunnery built in the location where the Aramaic language was spoken not long ago,” the bishop said. “The nuns were forced to leave the place, but we are hoping now they will be able to return.”