The Romper Room of the Elite

Several weeks ago, one of our frequent correspondents wrote something very insightful about the nature of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. It was basically this: There are a great many good and possibly holy people within that jurisdiction but in the final analysis, the GOA was not set up to be a spiritual organization per se, but an ethnically-based cash cow.

Even though I’m not in the GOA, I am a Greek-American and that assessment stung me. Not because it was scabrous or bigoted, but because it was true. As much as I wished otherwise, I couldn’t.

The capstone to the corruption –or if you will permit me to be more charitable–the incompetence of the GOA is, of course, the St Nicholas Shrine. Much has been written about it in these pages (and elsewhere) and much more will be said about it in the future. The Shrine, however, is the culmination of said malfeasance as there are dozens of other little scandals that feed into this culture of quasi-criminality.

I believe it was Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois, a stalwart of the Senate, who many years ago said something to this effect: “You know, you’re talking a billion dollars here, a billion dollars there, pretty soon you’re talking about some real money”. Or as one of the characters asked another in The Sun Also Rises: “How did you go broke?” To which he received this reply: “Well, slowly at first, then quickly”.

We are seeing this in the GOA presently. I dare say in the Ecumenical Patriarchate as well. To my mind, one issue which shows the culture of corruption that is presently vexing the GOA is based on nepotism. Like Hunter Biden, who is presently destroying his father’s presidential chances, Michael Karloutsos is inadvertently directing the spotlight on the internal workings of the GOA.  Karloutsos, commonly referred to as “Fredo” by his many detractors, has joined the Romper Room of the elite.  

The younger Karloutsos is presently involved in the Hard Rock franchise that is taking place in Athens. The details involved are rather messy and the Greek government is looking into it. That’s because Hard Rock International wants to build the casino but there is at least another bidder out there. Michael Karloutsos, in Bidenesque fashion, is attempting to strongarm the Greek government to go only with Hard Rock’s bid.

According to Karloutsos: “I am absolutely convinced that Hard Rock International will be chosen because this is good for Greece. I am absolutely convinced that this will be the final decision. However, we are determined to get it to the end. Even in the courts, if this is necessary, in the European Union, in the judicial system, so be it”.

The issue as far as the GOA is concerned is how Karloutsos wound up getting involved in the project in the first place. A man of meager accomplishments, Karloutsos traded on his father’s reputation. And like Hunter Biden, Karloutsos is applying significant pressure on the Greek government to go with only one bidder (Hard Rock International) in the construction of the casino.

The younger Karloutsos’ accomplishments are a mixed bag. A minor political operative, the height of his career was as a protocol officer in the Trump State Department. In his private life, he was involved in the restaurant business in Philadelphia (and the details there are rather murky). He then took up consulting and was active in Greece as a member of the management of the Ecclesiastical Real Estate Development Company SA. Unfortunately, there is no record of this company’s accomplishments in Greece. Perhaps it was merely a shell corporation; as to whether we’ll ever find out, that’s an open question.

So how did Michael Karloutsos achieve such lofty heights? As everyone knows, Fr Alex is the only priest in the GOA to report directly to the Ecumenical Patriarch; essentially bypassing the bishops and metropolitans of the GOA. Among other things, what we are witnessing therefore, is the exposure of the nexus that exists between the New York City headquarters of the GOA, the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and the Greek government.

And it’s not a pretty sight. I imagine that as more comes to light, we will also see that just like in the case of Hunter Biden, there is a Ukrainian connection as well.


  1. Meletios Metaxakis (of thrice wretched memory) started this whole mess.

    Almost 100 years later……….it continues.

    • Mikhail,
      we are talking about efficient organizing:

      Metaxakis begat Athenagoras
      Athenagoras begat Bartholomew (& sent to Jesuit School)
      Bartholomew begat Elpidophoros,
      we may go back to sleep…
      …and wake up another 100 years later…

      • Alitheia1875 says

        Actually, the first archbishop of the GOA was not Athenagoras, it was Alexander. Of course the dissension between the Venizelists and Royalists caused great damage. Alexander  was a Venizelist and assistant bishop to Metaxakis when Metaxakis was head of the Church of Greece. On and on it went. Anyone wishing to learn about the founding of the GOA should read Theodore Saloutos’ book “The Greeks in the United States”, published by Harvard University Press in 1964 and long out of print. Saloutos was denied permission to do research in the GOA archives because, as a professor and chairman of the history department at UCLA, it was known he wasn’t writing a public relations piece but a thorough history of the Greeks in the US. The text, bibliography and notes are extraordinary.

    • As I keep on saying LENIN SHOULD HAVE BEEN GREEK. 70 yrs of That would sort the faithful ( extinct species)  and the parasitic scum. Katloutsos makes you wonder if Marx had met them in another life. SCUM, NOTHING BUT SCUM. For the ones in drag,  if i met one i would spit in his face. THEY PROBABLY KEEP THE NAILS TO CRUCIFY CHRIST HANDY IN THEIR POCKETS, AND THE WOOD CLOSE BY, JUST IN CASE HE POPS BACK. ABSOLUTE SCUM.  On a Monday morning ( here) makes one want to weep for the Church, And for one’s fading faith in all this crap. 

    • Alitheia1875A says

      What has been left unsaid is the question of whether an Orthodox Christian should be involved in the casino business.

      • Well, here in the US, Catholic parishes in casino states organize parish outings to casinos, bus rental and all, so if they’re going to unite, why not?

        • Alitheia1875 says

          The GOA banned bingo some years ago. But a part of every parish’s annual festival, and at other times as well, are raffles.

          • Tim R. Mortiss says

            No…say it ain’t so! Raffles– even the EP could not sink so low!

            • Alitheia1875A says

              Hah! This has been going on for decades, back to the 50s. Almost every parish does this. And we’re talking big money and serious prizes.

              • Tim R. Mortiss says

                Yeah, we just made a grand plus or so on ours at this year’s festival. Last year we made over twice as much with a winsome lass who dressed in 1940s English WWII garb raking it in! She moved to California, alas….

    • Alitheia1875 says

      And Metaxakis, a Mason, was cousins with Eleftherios Venizelos, an avowed secularist. Interesting isn’t it that the calendar change, the transfer of responsibility of the Greek churches in the US was transferred from the Church of Greece to the EP, and the establishment of the GOA all occurred at the same time.


      Disgusting what the EP has done since the Soviet times:

  2. Monk James Silver says

    While I don’t know enough about the finances and fratricidal politics now obviously operating here, I can say for a fact that any organization which allowed an architect to design a church — the ‘St Nicholas Shrine’ at NYC’s ground zero — in the image and likeness of the ‘Star Wars’ robot Artoo-Deetoo is seriously defective.

    • R2D2….LOL!  That is post of the month!

    • George Michalopulos says


    • Monk James Silver,
      “defective” is rather an understatement.

      (1) whoever (and by what criterion) selected the Architect?
      (2) he had never designed an Orthodox temple before or had he?
      (3) was there no other good Architect on Earth, preferably
      with proper Church portfolio, and if possible a devout Orthodox too?
      (4) why did the Church committee cum Bartholomew approve the “Star Wars” style?

      Should we be surprised if God will not allow this temple to be completed?

      • Monk James Silver says

        In the same way as it should be expected that Orthodox Christians compose our hymns and paint our ikons, it seems to me that it would be appropriate for only Orthodox Christian architects to design our churches.

        It’s probably asking too much that our churches be built by Orthodox Christian construction companies, but that would be nice, too.

        • Tim R. Mortiss says

          Especially if, say, three of them bid, so you could get a competitive price!
          We have a narthex replacement/renovation project going; not an inexpensive one, to be sure. I don’t know if the designer was Orthodox, but the design is Byzantine and fits our church building, built in 1924 on traditional lines. Well before the flying-saucer era of Greek church designs in the 1960s, fortunately. It has to pass muster with the bishop and has done so. It is much more traditional than the early-1970s narthex tacked on to the building. We have gradually been replacing non-traditional elements, such as the windows, with traditional ones. This has included most of the interior iconography in apse and dome.
          We’re going out to bid soon. I’m pretty confident that there aren’t Orthodox bidders; but in any event the lowest solid bid will get the job.

          • An Orthodox-owned construction company might not be feasible, and perhaps might even be something to avoid, but my goodness there are a multitude of Orthodox Churches of all sorts throughout the world.  A competent architect, even if not Orthodox, should be able to render a plan that faithfully reflects a traditional design taking into account pertinent building codes and materials.

        • Well said!

        • TheFutureOfTheChurch says

          “It’s probably asking too much that our churches be built by Orthodox Christian construction companies, but that would be nice, too.”

          Nice idea in theory but in practice this can lead to disaster. Just because an architect or building contractor is Orthodox does not mean they are competent. Better to hire such people based on references and competitive bids (just like most hiring efforts). That’s just the way it is.

    • Monk James. It’s an eye sore. I have stood close up. And all New Yorkers regard it as a sight  and site!  ? to be missed 

  3. George Michalopulos says

    TimR, I would love nothing better than to preach the good news. It will be easier to do so when the EP gets back on the orthodox program.

  4. Austin Martin says

    About a decade ago the OCA had their big financial scandal. Now the GOA is having theirs (you know, spread out over half a decade). Wait another ten years or so and it will be ROCOR’s turn.

    • Doubt it; ROCOR has no money to have scandals with, as far as I’m aware.

      • I know ROCOR leaves parishes to their own devices and that generally there are probably more clergy than laity

      • I live in the Sacramento, CA, valley, and am blessed to have access to every kind of Orthodox Church under the sun: a large ROCOR church, a ROCOR mission parish, a large Serbian church, a small OCA parish, two large Greek churches, a Romanian parish, two small Antiochian parishes, a Ukrainian parish, and several others that are not in communion with the general Orthodox community. When I left the OCA, I attended them all. Multiple times. Over a long time frame. The ROCOR churches consistently had the largest attendance and by far offered the most comprehensive schedule of services, classes, outreach, sponsored monastery trips, pilgrimages, youth camps, large choir trainings, music performances for outreach, etc. There is a monastery nearby that is growing and flourishing. While I understand this may not be commonplace in every city, the devoted and faithful laity of ROCOR are in abundance in my area. ROCOR is also growing in other areas as well, due to the loving guidance of our very active hierarchs, who definitely don’t leave parishes to their own devices.

  5. I love the connection with “Star Wars” I have often thought that it looked like a giant “Crematorium” a good place to get rid of the rift raff destroying the GOA at large!

  6. Steve Zaris says

    Terrible. BTW, how are those Chinese trademarks Drumpf sold out US foreign policy for working out for the genius Ivanka? 

  7. Alitheia1875 says

    It looks like a nuclear reactor. There was a committee, supposedly comprised of Orthodox who knew about Orthodox architecture, etc. It was Archbishop Demetrios who insisted on Calatrava. Typical Greek attitude, all splash, no substance. And Calatrava’s projects are known for massive cost over runs. Just think if the Chapel at Holy Cross had been chosen (the plans still exist). It’s a replica of the 11th century Church of the Holy Apostles in Athens. But the reincarnation of the church was never meant to merely replace the old St. Nicholas. No, much grander plans, make it a national center for prayer and contemplation and prayer, etc.

  8. John Drenin says

    It kept getting moved from the original site. Karloutsos drempt up all sorts of PR uses like making it a “not parochial” center for ALL faiths. He didn’t want it for worship, just as an instrument to hob nob. In fact, there has been quite a conspiracy to cover up that it was old calendar (on Sundays and new Calendar on Wednesdays) and it not only had tsarist trinkets but was probably financed by the tsars. They rejigged the dates and other details but newspaper archives still have them. Some have argued they no longer really want it because US-Russia relations have soured and it is an inconvenient embarassment.

  9. The “Church” (to include GOA, Greece, Russia, Jerusalem, and Damascus) and all of its sordid characters wouldn’t survive careful scrutiny under US RICO laws (Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations). It is simply a worldwide, continuous organized criminal conspiracy. 

    • How many RICOs have been brought down through
      careful scrutiny under US RICO laws
      and how many have not?

  10. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald.
    Adds: Hellenikon Casino License Award Delayed – Hard Rock Will Appeal if Process Seems Unjust
    By TNH Staff 
    December 5, 2019

  11. I welcome you to deconstruct the meaning of this ikon. For instance, what do the butterflies and the eye at the top represent? Why more than two hands, like a Hindu statue?:

    “The domes of Orthodox Churches around the world hold the strong and vibrant figure of Christ the Pantocrator or ‘Ruler of the Universe’. In my depiction, Patriarch Bartholomew, persecuted in his native country and abroad, yet steadfast and unwavering in his love for God and mankind, and strong in his leadership of well over 3 million Orthodox Christians around the globe, is shown in the heavens as our ruler, who, while living with us on this earth, stands in the place of Christ and imitates Him.”SOURCE:


    “Fordham University featuring modern Byzantine Iconography art exhibit by Joni Zavitsanos, opening Sep 12.” [DESCRIPTION:]___
    “Zavitsanos is the wife of National Council member John Zavitsanos, Esq., who was recently named the 2019 recipient of the Nicholas J. Bouras Award for Extraordinary Archon Stewardship. … Ms. Zavitsanos’ extensive experience creating multimedia art reflecting a variety of cultures led to her exposure to Byzantine iconography, the earliest form of Christian art, which she uses to develop themes including the afterlife. The influence of her father (also an Archon) renowned Byzantine iconographer Diamantis Cassis, is also proudly visible in all her work.”


    • Gail Sheppard says

      R, Fordham clearly doesn’t know much about Bartholomew if they really think he leads “over 3 million Orthodox Christians.” Frankly, a university and those connected with it should know better and this “art” (using the term loosely) looks like something a kid might do for fun after school. The butterflies, the planets, and the eye, etc. mean nothing. This was done for the shock value alone and the statement Bartholomew, “stands in the place of Christ and imitates” is just plain profane. I think little Joni may be confusing Orthodoxy with Catholicism; we don’t have anyone in our Church standing in the place of Christ. – I would file this under: Never Should Have Been Seen

      • Gail,
        The description says that her father was a famous iconographer who influenced her. Isn’t it true that in iconography, many symbols have meanings beyond the plain meaning? For instance, an icon may have a dove not just because a dove is a pretty bird, but because it represents peace or the holy spirit. Likewise, if you go to modern art exhibits, the tour guides often tell you what the artists meant when they included certain elements.

        So in this case, you can guess that some of the elements may have to do with his status as Ruler of the Cosmos. When you see a painting of the Ruler or Master of the Cosmos, might you think of how some major Hindu deities are depicted with more than two hands? Whereas the artist says in her description that he is depicted as our ruler in heaven, I think that Hindu deities are sometimes depicted with many hands in order to show their many powers or abilities.

        Could not the other symbols in the painting also be deciphered?

        • Gail Sheppard says

          R, I think you’re right. I was so put off by it I didn’t look at it all that closely. But now you’ve piqued my interest and frankly, we should probably be paying more attention so we know where they’re headed with all this. What in the world would make these people associate Bartholomew with some kind of diety? This is more than the artist’s imaginings or Fordham wouldn’t have made such a production out of showcasing her work. Could it be that they’re saying their “god” has taken the form of (or taken up residence in) Bartholomew and all these symbols represent that?

          • Gail,
            Since I am not an Archon or in a closely aligned association with similar ways of thinking and symbolism, I don’t know the answer to your question, “What would make these people associate Bartholomew with deity?” One answer could be that the artist says that Pat. Bartholomew “imitates Christ” and is depicted in the form of the Pantocrator, who is Christ-God, and so Pat. Bartholomew is also depicted in the form of a deity. But why would the EP be imitating Christ-God in terms of rulership? Perhaps one explanation is related to a proposed status of the EP over the Orthodox Church. Fr. Emmanuel Hatzidakis, a GOARCH priest, has an article on his website called The Ecumenical Monarch:_ _ In the article, he notes that one of the arguments that the GOARCH Archbishop of America Elpidophoros makes for the EP’s status of First Without Equals is that since God the Father is supreme within the Trinity, the EP must have a corresponding supreme status within the Orthodox Church worldwide.

            • Antiochene Son says

              This argument is heretical madness. The Father is supreme because he is the fountainhead of the Trinity, and that is all. This argument in applying it to the EP is borderline tritheism.
              But Constantinople is emphatically NOT the fountainhead of the Church. The Church existed for centuries before the village of Byzantium even had a bishop. If this is the line they want to take, it is literally papism, except that Rome actually has more to back up its claim than does Constantinople.

              • Antiochene Son.
                Yes, it sounds heretical to say that the primate in the Church who is the “First Among Equals” must have vertical supremacy over all the other bishops in the whole Church because God the Father has a prior relationship to the son. One reason that it sounds heretical is because in fact the primates are standing in for the apostles in terms of their relationship to each other. And further, the apostles did not have the relationship of God the Father to the Son in terms of the apostles’ relations to the other apostles. For instance, whereas God the Father is the ultimate “source” for God the Son, the Apostle Peter (or for that matter any other apostle) is not the “source” for all the other apostles- Christ is their source.

                Since Abp. Elpidophoros is the new leading hierarch for GOARCH, and he also authored the article that you discussed, do you think that GOARCH is going to be professing this regularly as a new teaching of the Orthodox Church? For instance, if you go to GOARCH catechism classes at your parish, or OCF meetings with young Orthodox, or other inter-Orthodox gatherings, are the GOARCH clergy going to be teaching the EP’s “supremacy” and “First Without Equals” as “the” doctrine of Orthodoxy?

            • R,
              Fr. Emmanuel Hatzidakis is right in talking about this fallacy
              and he explains it clearly. He does not agree with it.
              He left GOA a few months ago and went to ROCOR.

              • Ioannis,
                Right, the argument for Trinitarian-based Papal supremacy doesn’t sound very good, and Fr. Hatzidakis did a good job demolishing it quickly. I say “papal”, because Abp. Elpidophoros explicitly made the argument that such primacy is based in the foremost primate of the church, that this primate in medieval times was the Pope, and that now this primate is the EP due to the schism. The argument entails that back in medieval times, the Pope of Rome did hold Supremacy over the Eastern Patriarchs, as well as the supreme powers that the EP is claiming for himself. So whereas the EP is claiming that all of the clergy in the Orthodox world have the right to appeal to the EP for redress, he is implying that the medieval Popes held this right over and above the Eastern Patriarchs.

                But he is not openly announcing at this point that “the Pope was right and the EOS were wrong about papal supremacy”. It is just the logical If A and B then C conclusion to his announcements.

                • R,
                  Elpidophoros is a very clever man.
                  He took the Primacy of the Pope as a fact, a dogma, tacitly forgetting that this Primacy was exactly one of the main differences between Orthodox and Papal. 
                  Having established the basis, he then moved on to the much easier next step to prove that EP has now “inherited” whatever Rome had, thus the Primacy.
                  E’s short term benefit was that Bartholomew liked E’s thesis very much and made E GOA Archbishop.
                  The long term benefit to E is that when he becomes EP he will have the first ever full term as Primate or as the new description they have coined: “The head of the Church on Earth”. 
                   Nice job, eh?
                  The result of the plan is so nice that nobody wants or is allowed to talk about the wrong initial tacit assumption that the Primacy of  Pope is wrong!

                  • Ioannis,
                    I don’t know whether Abp. Elpidophoros and other EP hierarchs really forgot that the EOs have rejected papal supremacy for centuries. The EO rejection of this position is so classical and well-known, and the EP hierarchs’ supremacist declarations are so recent, that I am inclined to think that they are aware that their new teachings are not “Orthodox”. Their new conflicts with the MP and the Russian Exarchate is so shrouded and confusing, that it makes it hard to tell what is going on. And it is this strange hiddenness that implies that they are aware that their statements do not represent traditional Orthodoxy. For instance, why did the EP dissolve the Russian Exarchate of the EP, thus compelling most of the Exarchate parishes to switch to the MP? The EP has never supplied an open explanation for this decision of which I am aware. And since the decision was so apparently disturbing for those parishes, and actually harmful to the EP (due to their loss), his silence implies that there is some hidden mistake or problem in his recent decisionmaking. and this is not just one incident, but a recent trend.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      R, if we approach this problem from a secular/business angle, it’s really quite simple: The EP/Phanar has lived in a bubble for so long that it has no feedback loop. They kinda/quasi/almost surreally believe in their own propaganda. Plus, there’s a little bit of bigotry involved: Slavs are supposedly culturally inferior, hence only those Greeks who are Phanarioti, really “know” anything. And then there’s the fact that the majority of the Greeks in the diaspora (who actually self-identify as Orthodox –a dwindling number but that’s a story in and of itself), will never stand up to the corruption.

                      The reason they won’t is because the Church oftentimes acts as money-laundering racket. Plus it’s a convenient place to plop down the random “mama’s boy” who can’t make it “in the real world”.

                      I’m sure there are other reasons as well. In any event, this is the reason why the Phanariotis are dumbfounded when things blow up in their faces.

                    • R  and George:
                      This “hidden” thing and I guess the “big picture”,
                      could it be related to this piece of news:
                      Papal nuncio: Vatican looks forward to the Ecumenical Council

                      9 December 2019, 17:46

                      ” The Vatican hopes for the Ecumenical Christian Council to take place and will look for a way to conduct it, said the apostolic nuncio in Russia.
                      On December 9, 2019, the apostolic nuncio in the Russian Federation, Archbishop Celestino Migliore announced at a press conference of RIA Novosti in Moscow that the Ecumenical Council would be held and the Vatican would look for a way to hold it.
                      “We hope that the Ecumenical Council will take place, but someone should convene it. It should be one person who has to convene it,” he said when asked by the journalists about whether a new Ecumenical Council is possible in modern conditions with the participation of representatives of all faiths of Christianity.
                      “In the future we will find a way to convene the Ecumenical Council, find a formula for how to get together,” added the nuncio.
                      Earlier, the possibility of holding a new Ecumenical Council was discussed by Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and Pope Francis. They also discussed the possible date of its holding – 2025, on the anniversary of the First Ecumenical Council of 325. In March this year, at a conference in Moscow, a report was presented by the Athos brethren – elder Paisios Kareotis and monk Epiphanios Kapsaliotis, which stated that Constantinople and Rome had allegedly already agreed on joint management of the jurisdiction, which would be openly enforced after the Ecumenical Unification Council.
                      As reported by the UOJ, earlier Patriarch Bartholomew said that dialogue with the Vatican is one of the priorities of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.”


      • George Michalopulos says

        File this piece of art under “What is seen cannot be unseen”.

        • I know George, right?  You can’t “unsee” this “Patr Bartholomew icon” art.  

          For folks like this in the GOAA or elsewhere, I’m not sure what faith they belong to or practice, but it sure as heck ain’t Orthodox Christianity. 

          • Anon 2,
            It is hard to tell. In this thread, we discussed the eye image on top. Historically, the Freemasons used the eye symbol and they, with their opposition to political and religious tyranny, also played a major positive role in achieving Greek Independence. In the wake of WWI, Pat. Meletius occupied the Patriarchal throne of Constantinople and belonged to them, as did some of his successors. But there is no direct evidence that I know of that Pat. Bartholomew is a Mason. And further, two other questions arise: (A) Is Freemasonry really its own “religion”, or is it rather just a very influential fraternal club with some arcane symbols? And supposing that it is (B) an influential club with some general beliefs (ie. theism/deism), but without really its own “religion”, then your question remains unanswered as to what influential group or religion it is that you are asking about. Because I am not really aware of any politically powerful or influential religious-type group or organization other than the Freemasons that would qualify as associated with the EP or the Archons.

    • Since George Michalopulos made a post earlier on the validity of calling the organization Archons, I welcome him to make a post welcoming attempted decipherment of the painting/ikon. The archons encouraged people to attend the exhibit, and her father and husband are archons, so is this ikon pointing in the direction that the EP will take? Is this significant for the EP’s trajectory.

      To begin with decipherment, consider that there is a Christian motif. Whereas the normal Pantocrator ikon has Christ’s head and shoulders in the middle of an ikon framed by a colored circle, here you see the EP’s heand and shoulders in such a design. But why many hands? Could it be because some powerful Hindu deities are depicted with many hands, perhaps to reflect their many powers or abilities? Wouldn’t this interpretation fit with the concept of his powerful status as Ruler of the Cosmos?

      An example of this motif is the many armed Obama on Newsweek’s Cover:
      Newsweek Depiction of Obama as Lord Shiva Upsets Some Indian-Americans

      Also consider the eye at the top. Is this not an allusion to the famous symbolic art motif of the All Seeing Eye of God, which positions a lone eye at the top of painted scenes?

      • George Michalopulos says

        R, I am shocked beyond all measure by this icon. I simply don’t know what to say. I wish it hadn’t been posted but I also wish it hadn’t been commissioned in the first place.

        Lord have mercy.

        • Her husband, John Zavitsanos, is on the Archons’ National Council. Is this a sign of the trajectory that the Archons are taking regarding the place of the EP in Orthodoxy?

    • Johann Sebastian says

      Looks like someone got a clip-art kit and a dime-bag. And a surplus of cheap booze.

    • Antiochene Son says

      Did Terry Gilliam make this? 

    • Alitheia1875 says

      Byzantine iconography is not the earliest form of iconography. The  artwork in the Roman catacombs and the house church in Dura Europa in Syria (some of which is in Yale’s art gallery) are the earliest extant examples of Christian art. 

      • George Michalopulos says

        Interestingly enough, we saw several newer churches in Russia which display the type of iconography you describe. For want of a better word, the term that comes to my mind is “Fayoum” (as in a catacomb which was found in the Egyptian city of that name). Dura Europa is another such valid term.

  12. Alitheia1875 says

    The butterflies might be a reference to his self-proclaimed moniker as the “Green Patriarch”. Of course the eye, which was found in many GOA churches once upon a time, is a masonic reference to the all-seeing eye of God, usually put above the entrance to the altar, a spot traditionally reserved for the Mystical Supper. And I would be interested in the opinion of her father, the iconographer Diamantis Cassis. If he thinks such a depiction is proper, whether as an “icon” or a painting done for whatever reason, he should never be allowed to work in an Orthodox church.
    This “icon” is blasphemous and it ought to be publicly criticized by the Church, but Archbishop Elpidoforos would never do that.

  13. That “icon” is sick and blasphemous. The one eye, the monarch butterfly, and the planet saturn are all symbols heavily used by the occult elites, with connections to satanic rituals, mind control programs and other nasty things.

    • Basil,
      Are you aware of what the Archons’ logo looks like?

      • You mean the red one with the white St. Andrew’s cross? It doesn’t seem too suspicious, but I’m open to what you have to say.

        • Basil,
          Look for the fingers of the right hand and the right knuckle, and look for where they meet the left “zipperline” border of the robe of the figure that apparently represents St. Andrew on the logo. By the zipperline, I mean the edge of the robe where an inside zipper would be if he were wearing a coat with a zipper. Clearly, the robe has a border, and naturally, his right hand has 5 knuckles and a finger. Do you get it?

            • Basil,
              All the other ikons of St. Andrew, besides the Archons’ icon, show the hand positioned spacially like this:
              It seems like it raises the same kind of question (ie. why they chose that design when it overlaps with the design in the portraits that you showed) as the question that G. Michalopulos raised: Why they call themselves the Archons.

              • Interesting. Another reasons to dislike these cretins.

                • Basil,
                  if I am not mistaken, to become an Archon you agree to donate $100K. 
                  A poor person however holy will not become an Archon. 
                  Now, compare that to the words of Christ:
                  “And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.And he called [unto him] his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all [they] did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, [even] all her living.”
                  (Mark, 12: 42-44)

                  • Ten thousand a year for ten years (Archons). It used to be two thousand per year for life under Jake. L100 is 100k/yr. The name comes from the council of Athens, which according to Nicholas Biddle persisted in Ottoman times. But the model is the Knights of Malta.

                    • Alitheia1875 says

                      Actually, L100 is $100,000. It can be paid up front or in smaller amounts. But it’s definitely not $100,000 per year. And you don’t have to give $100,000 to become an Archon.

    • There is also something else people are missing and not addressing. 

      I HOPE WE ALL ARE GREEN, that is care about this planet, and how to make a more viable less consuming life that challenges consumerism.  Does anyone on this blog want to have guys down coal mines ruining their health for coal and dirty power stations and the continued genocide of animal species and children’ s health damaged by pollution?   Do they see that as God given? . This has nothing to do with global warming or not, but  simply about the reality of the planet now.

      No,  my criticism at this level on this of Bartholomaios and his ilk, are that they are IRRELEVANT,  YOU HEAR ME!?, IRRELEVANT, play acting their little symbolic games from conference to conference. Trying to be relevant and profound.  FR St  Amphilochios of Patmos, long before it was a ‘ fashion accessory ‘ statement ‘, had the farmers as a penance, plan trees on the deforested mountains and changed the face of  the  island. Mount Athos was a haven also but now in danger from the new breed of monk financiers running it for Bart. Do not expect ANYTHING FROM THAT QUARTER. 
      All Bart and his ilk do is talk and no doubt travel first class doing it on their jet miles!!   To be fair to him,he is not the worst. He is just a pathetic hangover from history trying to be relevant and powerful in the world at the  expense of the Orthodox church.   ITS ACTUALLY QUITE SIMPLE TO UNDERSTAND ONCE YOU SKIP THE BULL…….   Etc 
      I have not the faintest idea why simple science and Christian morality get hijacked in to politics and the rest.  About time it was uncoupled.  As Christians we all have a duty and self interest not to screw up the environment. What is so hillary Clinton about that?? .  

      • Καλά τα λες.

      • Jim Bernik says

        No, no, no! God created the planet for man, only the pagans reverse that!

        • Jim Bernik, Let’s say that the planet is to mankind what a house is to a man and his family. Would God approve of it if a man ruined his house and made it uninhabitable for himself and his family?

          • Blimbax,
            You are making a good point. When Genesis says that God made man master of Earth, it entails that man has responsibility as a steward. I think that it is nice that Pat. Bartholomew cares about the environment and that he uses his leading role to raise support for earth stewardship. I had a high, positive view of Pat. Bartholomew as a spiritual leader before this crisis came out in 2018, which is why his decisions are sad for me. Unfortunately, he has since been making major decisions and declarations that are surprising and confusing for me. A good example is his decision to disband the Russian Exarchate that was under him in Western Europe, planning for all their parishes to just go directly under Greek bishops, at the same time that he entered into major conflict with the MP. The timing looked like it was related, yet he gave no comprehensible explanation for the apparently related timing. When most of the affected parishes refused to dissolve their Exarchate, he forcibly “released” the EP Exarch who had been leading them. And then the parishes left the EP to join the MP. And then, as if recognizing that he, the EP, made a wrong decision, the EP has promised autonomy to the parishes that stayed with the EP.

      • Dear Nikos,
        I liked it very much that Patriarch Bartholomew cared about environmentalism, and I had a very good impression about him. I really liked him, and saw him as a positive leader in the Orthodox world. That is why this new turn of events is sad for me. Suddenly, since October 2018, his office is presenting itself as the vertical supreme leader of Orthodoxy, and this is not mere words, because he is using the power that he claims to announce that the Ukrainian Church that he had been recognizing for decades is no longer legitimate. And then this event can serve as a precedent to legitimize power claims for the EP.

        Here is where the EP says that the EP has “the supreme authority and the right to deal with issues of other local Churches” and the sole right to set up autocephalous churches where the EP wishes: _

        • Michael Bauman says

          Modern environmentalism, the kind Barthlomew likes, is anti-human and reverses the natural order.  

          • Michael,
            It would be helpful if you gave some quote from Pat. Bartholomew where he expresses environmentalism in anti-human or anti-natural terms.
            Otherwise, my impression is that he is promoting environmentalism, which by itself is a good thing. For me, the conflict between his positive, humanitarian past campaigns/declarations and his current strange ones is surprising and sad. One example is where he wrote an insulting letter to the primate of the UOC-MP, Met. Onufrey, a few months into the conflict, saying that he only calls Onufrey “Metropolitan” by “ekonomia”, since he (the EP) considers the UOC-MP to be no longer canonical.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              Here you go, R: If you look at his speaking engagements, the awards he’s been given, etc. it’s all for the environment. The Gospel, not so much.

            • Michael Bauman says

              R, it has been a decade or so since I stopped reading his environmental statements. The only one that really sticks with me was the book one of his folks put out: Shattered Image. The proscription given there is nothing but a left wing soup gussied up with Orthodox language. It started out pretty good, but the further into the book I got, the more ‘progressive’ it became including down-right feminist stuff at one point. Then there was the Soros funded float down the Mississippi which delivered nothing but the talking points of the political environmentalists.

              BTW–any cause that ends in….ist is nothing but an ideology wrapped in politics and deceit. The environmentalist bashing of Christianity began quite early on with Charles White taking about a straw man Christianity and even getting that wrong.

              I was weaned on this R. My father was an actual pioneer, homesteading as a young boy in the Territory of New Mexico with his father, mother and brothers–sod hut and all encountering the living God along the way. He transformed that understanding and experience along with an MD from Kansas University and an MPH from Harvard into an ecological public health practice that almost no one else understood.

              A summary of what he taught and practiced: Ecology comes from the Greek word for house or home. We are all interconnected with one another and with each living things sustained by the Divine person. It is necessary to care for each other and the rest of the natural world, but the law of unintended consequences is at work and once human being intervene, they have to keep on intervening to restore and maintain balance. Our primary effort is to care and bring to health the human communities in which we live. By doing that, the larger communities, including the non-human ones will also become healthier.

              Best stuff I have ever read is Wendell Berry. He is an actual farmer, not a ethnic ghetto dweller swaddled in pseudo-Greek bubble wrap fed by ideological politics and statist government handouts.

          • Which natural order is that, Michael, the one that has our wealthy eating all of us out of house and home, crapping in the water supply, fouling the air and destroying the climate so we all starve to death? 

            • Michael Bauman says

              Obeast, Your comment reveals an ideological approach to the topic not one of thought and consideration. At the very least you seem to think that your solution is the only solution and anyone who disagrees is evil (ideological again).

              But just in case I am wrong: The natural order is a sacramental order of our Incarnate Lord, God and Savior in which thanksgiving is continually given for His providential gifts in a spirit of humility, repentance/forgiveness, almsgiving with a merciful heart and actual asceticism. In other words: living the life of the Church on a daily basis.

              That is NOT what the EP preaches. He preaches an anti-human statist approach that actually gives more power and control to those you rail against. Historically statist approaches have been shown to be much more damaging to the natural world including we human beings. He could have made care of the natural world a keystone of an evangelistic preaching of the full Orthodox Christian life which he has emphatically NOT done. A true missed opportunity though which he actually could have taken up the leadership reins as the first among equals. Instead he has sold out.

              The modern statist approach always tries to supersede God. Actually that fact is the best argument for the Orthodox theoria of Symphonia–but that requires a Christian state–right back to what I just suggested.

              Do you see any Christian states running around loose?

              So we are back to the worshipping communities locally taking up the Cross. As we are each transformed by the Life and Spirit of our God, the world in which we live and are responsible for will also be transformed.

              Want your “one thing” to do for the environment? Repent and sin no more. You have your list of sins–you wrote them yourself. They are real sins. All you lack is the recognition that you are one of the wealthy, the proud, an unjust steward of the vineyard refusing to give up its fruits in due season to the real owner (as am I).

              • Mr. B., your eisegesis is profound. I never proffer med ‘statist’ solutions but any cogent voice that cautions against rapacious profiteering heedless if its cost to other people and the community of creatures who don’t even have a human voice is one that bears hearing. 
                Good for you that you don’t beat your wife. Keep up the good work!

              • Very well said Michael, 
                true Orthodox Christian words in the example of Christ.
                When ever did our Lord make such sermons about the environment?

                By the way, this “Green Patriarch” has he ever delivered a real, I mean a real ChristoCentric sermon in a Liturgy etc. I would like to see just one. Compare St.John Chrysostom:

                Bartholomew is called
                “His Most Divine All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch”
                and St. Chrysostom was just called,
                “Archbishop of C’ple”.
                Chrysostom preached Christo-centric sermons from memory.
                Bartholomew has paid theologians in service as his “Speech-Writers” and he has read to us many carefully prepared Green Sermons  but no Christo-centric sermon from memory compared to the simple Archbishop St.Chrysostom. I have never found one. I would like to receive even one such link from Obeast or anybody else.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Practically speaking, there is nothing wrong with the EP’s emphasis on the proper stewardship of the environment.  The older I get, the more tree-huggier I get.  Having said that, there are a few problems with the execution of said agenda:

                 Who/which state actor shall be in charge?   As Michael B points out, the natural want of states is to become totalitarian, and Has the EP and others like him who are rightfully concerned with environmental awareness willing to proscribe many of the contaminants which contribute to environmental (and biological) degradation?

                Permit me to explain:  female contraceptives are contaminating the water tables.  Fish, who are at the bottom of the food chain are mutating because of all the BCPs that course through women’s bodies when they urinate.  The ingestion of female hormones by human males is one of the reasons why feminization is so preponderant.  
                Of course, if we all abided by the Church’s teachings (not just the RCC’s teaching btw), this wouldn’t be a problem.   But we don’t and for the life of me, I can’t see the EP or anybody else in authority for that matter, prescribing the Church’s teaching.

                I don’t want to ascribe hypocritical intentions to the EP but I am fairly confident that many of the authority figures who are “environmentalists” are simply poseurs.  Environmentalism for these people is not just a pose but a method of aggrandizing power and wealth to them.

                I mean think of it:  Al Gore, the Pope of Gaia-worship lives in a 30,000 sq ft mansion somewhere in North Carolina.  The Obama’s recently purchased a 15,000 sq ft mansion on Martha’s Vineyard.   Now, leaving aside the fact that these two personages have carbon footprints the size of Godzilla, why in God’s holy name would they want to live so close to the ocean’s edge?  I mean if global warming was real and the ice caps are really melting, the flooding that would result would be of Biblical proportions; not only would their homes be destroyed but their lives as well.

                I for one don’t think that they suffer from cognitive dissonance.  I ascribe hypocrisy instead.

            • Michael Bauman says

              Oh, by the way Obeast, I never have beaten my wife, in case you are interested.

      • Michael Bauman says

        Nikos, the trouble is that most politically relevant “green” solutions are focused on taking human beings out of the picture as much as possible and creating state solutions–big state solutions for ill defined (at best) problems.

        Real eco-systems are primarily local and can be managed locally. The essential eco-system is the one of human communities and their interaction with the rest of the natural world. That too is a step by step procedure. Each locally defined ecosystem that becomes healthy makes it easier to restore health to others with which it is interconnected. Solutions have to be quite flexible to adapt to constantly changing conditions. The larger the solution, the less likely it is to work. The more government policy is used, the less flexible and less likely to work.

        Honestly, if we would really understand and mold our behavior on the fact that the “Earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof” and treat the rest of the natural world as the sacramental elements that they are and love our neighbors in a practice of voluntary asceticism full of alms giving, worship, repentance/forgiveness and prayer, we might be quite surprised the changes that would occur (like FR St Amphilochios of Patmos demonstrated). It does not even take a saint.
        BUT, we (me especially)are too satisfied with living lustfully, greedily and gluttonously that we just want the government to force other people to change.

  14. When I first saw the hands, I thought of the six fingered wings on the hexapteryga. However, on counting them, I now see that there are only five on display – which do not all seem to belong to Bartholomew. The two I find most curious are pair at the back, one on each side. One appears to be pulling the tail off a butterfly or moth while the other (bloodstained?) slides down the inside of the window through which the onlooker is viewing the scene. This may be Fordham iconography, but it is not what I would call Orthodox. One can only wonder at what was in the mind of the ‘artist’ who could create such a thing.

    • Brendan,
      The hands seem to belong to Pat. Bartholomew, because they have the two elbow areas as their axis, and because they are aligned with their respective sides, eg. 3 left hands on his left side. 
      You could be making a good point though- the two floating hands could be like his spiritual hands. The floating right hand has black on the fingers and the thumb, and maybe a close look at the thumb area suggests that the black is smeared on the screen. It could be that the fingers are pressed up against an invisible pane of glass, thus either smearing black liquid on the glass or else the fingers only appear black because they are pressed against the invisible glass pane.
      The floating left hand I take to be releasing the white moth/butterfly or about to hold it. 
      Notice that one hand is associated with black (and you suggested bloodstained, ie. red handed), whereas the other hand is associated with white (and benevolence, since the artist has elsewhere stated that she uses the butterfly to represent the Holy Spirit). Do you think that the theme of a black dark hand and a white good hand might be associated with modern and symbolic art?

      • Gail Sheppard says

        I have to ask, R, are you the artist?

        • Gail, my answer got put below.

          • No, Gail, I’m not the artist. I knew that the Monomakhos Blog had made posts about the Archons and Pat. Bartholomew’s power claims, so I decided to post about the ikon of Pat. Bartholomew, Ruler of the Cosmos here.

        • Why all the acres of comment on that bad art.  ITS NOT AN ICON. Tip it in the bin NOW AND MOVE ON. There are more pressing matters.  These guys long ago left the Church. Well any church I might go to, SO LEAVE THEM TO THEIR PATHETIC GAMES.  
          Let me let you all into a secret,  they have just caught up with western Christianity, circa 1970, so wait for the beads and beards…  Oops we do have a few beards already. But u get my point. They making up for their missed teenage Christian years.  Let them enjoy,  don’t be a spoil sport. If they want to hold hands in the park in their relevant love in and face painting,  let the kids enjoy!!! ? 
          But what I don’t forgive them for is thst in a few days time we will be in Greece in thessaloniki and we cannot attend a liturgy and are debating about even go to St Dmitry shrine.  I DO NOT  FORGIVE THEM FOR THAT. 

          • Nikos,
            You wrote: “These guys long ago left the Church. Well any church I might go to”. In fact, her husband is on the Archon’s National Council. Does this show a direction for delineating the EP’s powers that the EP’s Archons are going in?

  15. No, Gail, I am not the artist. I first found out about Fordham’s exhibit from the OrthoChristian website article that you can read here: _
     _ She does mention the butterfly as meaning goodness or the Holy Spirit on her website, but I was mistaken – the article where I read her explanation was _

  16. Zoni Depren says

    A bishop crosses his hands with a chi-rho symbol, but it comes from the Hebrew Kohanim making the upper part of the Star of David, or Shaddai, which Roddenberry and Nimoy borrowed half of as the Vulcan Greeting. The Star (Hexagram, Magen) of David actually predates King David and originates from the seraphic hexapterygum and appears even in Ancient Armenia.

    • Hello, Zoni. 
      Are you Greek?

    • George Michalopulos says

      Zoni,thanks for the reference. 

      If I may expound: The fingers outstretch in the Vulcan greeting “Live long and prosper” come from Leonard Nimoy’s appropriation of the ancient kohanic benediction. 

      The fingers represent the Hebrew letter shin (“S”) for all practical purposes but originally pronounced sh rather than s.

      In the priestly context, it stood for the first letter in the word Shaddai (the Almighty –literally “[He Who] hovers”.  The high priest of ancient Israel blessed the congregation with both hands outraised in such a fashion.

  17. R,
    Elpidophoros is a very clever man.
    He took the Primacy of the Pope as a fact, a dogma, tacitly forgetting that this Primacy was exactly one of the main differences between Orthodox and Papal. 
    Having established the basis, he then moved on to the much easier next step to prove that EP has now “inherited” whatever Rome had, thus the Primacy.
    E’s short term benefit was that Bartholomew liked E’s thesis very much and made E GOA Archbishop.
    The long term benefit to E is that when he becomes EP he will have the first ever full term as Primate or as the new description they have coined: “The head of the Church on Earth”. 
     Nice job, eh?
    The result of the plan is so nice that nobody there wants or is allowed to say that the initial tacit assumption of the Primacy of  Pope is wrong!

    • Ioannis,
      You wrote, “He took the Primacy of the Pope as a fact, a dogma, tacitly forgetting that this Primacy was exactly one of the main differences between Orthodox and Papal. Having established the basis, he then moved on to the much easier next step to prove that EP has now “inherited” whatever Rome had, thus the Primacy.”
      The Russian theologian A. Osipov said that the issue of “Papal Supremacy” was the fundamental reason for the schism with Rome. I think that this is the case, and that it is a bigger issue than the Filioque, because the Filioque can be interpreted (as some EOs have done) to have an Orthodox meaning. 
      So it is ironic that the churches schismated over papal supremacy (at least as one of the major causes), and then Abp. Elpidophoros asserts that as a result of this schism, the Pope’s alleged supremacy powers have transferred to his jurisdiction, the EP.
      You also made a good point that Abp. Elpidophoros could end up being the next EP, since some EPs have previously been the primates of GOARCH. So is this what we are to expect from the EP and GOARCH in the upcoming years and centuries? Are GOARCH catechism classes going to be teaching converts that Orthodoxy teaches “First Without Equals” and supremacy of the EP based on papal supremacy? Is this going to be the position of GOARCH and the EP at inter-church and inter-EO meetings and in organizations like the OCF?

      • R, thanks for your reply,
        I’ ll try to make my long reply a short one, suffice to say,
        they (Rome & EP) accept the Papal Supremacy,
        Bartholomew is the brother Pope (after so much emphasis of the brothers Peter and Andrew)
        and you and me overnight will become de facto Papals, unless we abandon the sinking ship and get rescued by a small rowing boat with a few Bishops on board which will take us to salvation.  

      • Alitheia1875 says

        Only one GOARCH primate, Athenagoras, has become the EP. There have been 6 primates. Elpidoforos was made Archbishop to give him legitimacy to become EP. He apparently never had responsibility for  even a parish or diocese. As archbishop he gets administrative experience. Look for him to become EP in 5 years at the most.

        • Jeremy Ronipas says

          Karloutsos says Elps will be the next Athenagoras because of all the Amrican contacts he will gain. So what exactly did Athenagoras so marvelously accomplish? The 1955 pogroms and ethnic cleansing, secretly endorsed by NATO just like Krajina. Karloutsos is the self-same Caiafas beholden to the self-same Lazio evil empire. Karloutsos (before his recent weight gain) looked just like the snake of Eden.

          • Jeremy,
            Its shocking they would even say such a thing. Athenagoras the supposed savior saw his flock in Constantinople dwindle from 80,000 to less than 10,000 by the time he died. was he not meant to be the best man to preserve the Patriarchate? He also received the ire of the holiest men from Elder Paisios, to Photios Kontoglu, to the great bishop Augustinos of Florina. One saint after another condemned him. And upon his death he was required to have a closed casket funeral without even an icon, simply a latin 3-D crucifix attached. Your lips could not even reach the top of the coffin to give it a last kiss. 

  18. Papal nuncio: Vatican looks forward to the Ecumenical Council
    “…Constantinople and Rome ha[ve] allegedly already agreed on joint management of the jurisdiction, which would be openly enforced after the Ecumenical Unification Council.”
    What jurisdiction? What will be openly enforced?
    Western Pope, Eastern (sub)Pope? The Filioque? What?

    • PS: …and who will enforce it?

    • Gail Sheppard says


    • Gail Sheppard says

      What jurisdiction? Constantinople, Ukraine, some from the Church of Greece, Alexandria, probably the Unia since they’re already there and perhaps the GOA if we can’t come up with something better for them and soon.

      Western Pope, Eastern (sub)Pope? For a while, they will let Francis be the pope (Bartholomew will call him the Bishop of Rome) but Bartholomew will say that as the Ecumenical Patriarch he is first without equal, meaning he would be over Francis. The thing is, Francis is now saying without “absorption” so he may argue since the two are not merging Bartholomew is not over him. But to actually heal the schism of 1054 they would need to merge as one, as they were before the schism.

      What will be openly enforced? The Filioque? What? They’ll leave the theology alone for the time being because they can’t agree. That’s what Francis means when he says, “unity with diversity”. The diversity part means “you can worship the way you do it and we can worship the way we do it.” They’ll start with baptism in either church being allowed and permit the clergy and laity to commune and pray with one another. I imagine a marriage that is honored in one would be honored in the other. The Orthodox Church allows for up to three marriages depending on the circumstance; however, in the RC if the first marriage isn’t annulled, a member cannot commune. Don’t know how the pontiff is going to address this or even if he will address it. He has made some noise to that effect recently. – Very soon after they join together, they will put some kind of synod in place. Expect women to come to-the-fore. Those of us who don’t go along with Bartholomew will be labeled a faux church. – That’s what I think is going to happen unless Bartholomew is removed from his Patriarchate.

      • Probably Thyateira and Great Britain too.

        • From my chat with the one day stubble beard priest in London St Sophia Cathedral last early October,  yes, easily.  New archbishop, new spirit, as the man said. ‘ We must be modern ‘ ???

      • Antiochene Son says

        I think in this scenario Bart would be set up as basically the pope of all the Eastern churches. All the Eastern primates would answer to Bart, and Bart would answer to Francis, who in practice would let Bart do what he wants.
        I agree that theology won’t be touched, and both sides would agree to disagree. Cross pollination over the course of many centuries might bring about a theological compromise, but the most I could see is making the filioque optional in the Roman rite, or issuing a statement which attempts to make the filioque acceptable to Orthodoxy. (as a show of good faith or something)
        It won’t work, but a few of the churches would follow Bart into this heresy. 

        • Antiochene Son says

          I also think that if Bart went into communion with Rome, he would continue commemorating all the Orthodox primates in order to try to force the reunion meme, even if everyone else excommunicated him.
          Even with everything happening today, I can’t quite imagine Bart going through with it, though. I think the vast majority of Orthodox theologians know full well what Rome must do for reunion to happen, and those requirements—even the most basic of them—will simply not be met.
          However, if the desire is so strong as to override common sense, I could see Francis doing as I said above: making the Filioque optional (permitting it for historical reasons) and issuing some kind of ex cathedra fig leaf to make it seem acceptable to Orthodoxy, and then promising not to interfere with the Eastern (Uniate) Churches.

          That would probably be enough to satisfy Bart and give him latitude to tell the Orthodox that he would protect the Eastern tradition from Western innovations, and everything that theologically separates us is magically waved away as theologumena.

          • I see Papal Supremacy a the main stickler- the teaching that the Pope has a veto power over anything that the Eastern patriarchs do because he is the supreme head of the Church. But this is looking like what Pat. Bartholomew is trying to aim for himself, with Abp. Elpidophoros saying that the status as primate over the whole church passed from Rome to the EP.

            • Michael Bauman says

              It is impossible to separate any idea of Papal Supremacy or even primacy from a radical and even heretical ecclesiology. One that ends up denying the Incarnation of Jesus Christ and therefore the possibility of our salvation.

  19. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald.
    Hard Rock Cries Foul Over Hellenikon Casino License Bidding
    By TNH Staff 
    December 12, 2019

  20. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald.
    The Person of the Year: Archbishop Elpidophoros of America
    By TNH Staff 
    December 28, 2019

    • Among other things, the article states that Elpidophoros has “a track record of flourishing work at the Holy Theological School of Halki.” I thought the school has been closed for decades. What, exactly, does “flourishing work” consist of?

      • “When I was a lad I served a term
        As office boy to the Patriarch’s firm.
        I cleaned the windows and I swept the floor,
        And I polished up the handle of the big front door.
        I polished up that handle so carefullee
        That now I am the Ruler of th’ Archdiocese!”
        [With apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan]

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Someone should sue this paper if for no other reason than to set the record straight: Elpi is not “the First” or “the Primate” of the Local Church in America. Words have power. I said the same thing after Crete. You cannot let people expound this BS unchallenged. People believe it and the problems we have are compounded.

      • That is odd, calling him the First of the Local Church.  I thought Bartholomew’s reorganization of the GOA turned the archbishop into a glorified metropolitan of the New York are.

      • On the one hand, we should be fair about what was likely intended by this. This is The National Herald, after all. They are not alone in using such language. To cite but two examples, Metropolitan Tikhon is called the “Metropolitan of all America and Canada,” and Metropolitan Joseph is called “Metropolitan of all North America.”

        On the other hand, I don’t put it past these folks to assume that they are – and by nature always will be – first without equal.

        The most interesting line in my mind was this: “Time is of the essence, and unity, cooperation, and support are needed. There is no room for any kind of failure because Archbishop Elpidophoros is THE LAST HOPE for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. It is as simple as that.”

        • George Michalopulos says

          I pretty much agree with that last sentence.  Desperation has been the hallmark of the tenure of the EP ever since his selection.

      • And you know what Gail?
        After a while somebody (like a friend here) will come along and say,
        “but  this is now tradition!” 

      • Matthew Panchisin says

        Dear Gail,
        For some years now I have often cringed when hearing in the news “Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians”, as if we have some Grand Poobah or Dalai Lama type of bishop(s). Orthodox Christians know that such notions are quite foreign, apparently corrections are rarely tendered by other bishops, his Priests dare not say anything, so here we are today. I do recall though Metropolitan Jonah saying last year “Stop the insanity”, they should have been saying that to the E.P. years ago and for many years, for the sake of health and happiness.
        I have never corrected via email or left a comment in the remarks section(s) to the so-called journalists on the internet that publish the E.P. spiritual leader narrative.
        If the journalists cared to check it out they would most likely call GOARCH only to receive confirmation of the “spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians” description. Nobody in the big media in America or Greece is reporting that he is a schismatic and is not in his right mind.

        The spirit of ecumenism has put the kabash on corrections from the Orthodox Bishops to the popes, the so-called “Vicar of Christ, Successor of Christ” etc.

        I don’t anticipate another Encyclical of the Eastern Patriarchs like the one issued in May 1848, we are all supposed to be thankful to Bartholomew and the pope as we watch them cooperate from the perspective of a few of them.

        • Gail Sheppard says


        • I am ethnically Greek and was born into the Greek Church in the USA (which at that time was the Archdiocese of North and South America).  I dimly remember  becoming aware of the fact that there were other people, other than Greeks and Greek Americans, who were Orthodox.  (I lived on the West Coast and there weren’t as many Orthodox parishes there.)  As I became aware of the fact that there were Russians, and Serbs, and Palestinians, and Ukrainians, and Romanians, and so forth, I thought it was really nice that the Orthodox family was as large as it is.
          Now, as to the “title,” “the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians,” I could accept it, and did, if it referred to spiritual leadership, the kind of spiritual leadership that might come from a monk who lives in a humble skete on some mountain top.
          But it has become obvious to me that the present incumbent and his coterie view the term “spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians” as involving a form of temporal power, something that seems clearly based in part on relationships with political figures.  It has also become obvious to me, largely through reading comments on this blog and the links that have been provided, that the Patriarchate of Constantinople has, at various times in its existence, behaved rather badly.  I was not aware, for example, of Metaxakis or of how the Russian Church was treated by the Patriarchate after the revolution.
          I have heard descriptions of how Dimitrios behaved when he was Patriarch, and how Bartholomew now behaves.  I  have been told that the former was truly a humble person and treated even insignificant visitors to the Patriarchate with hospitality and kindness.  I have also been told that the present incumbent treats unimportant visitors with aloofness.
          Dimitrios may have been viewed by those around him as an interim Patriarch or as a compromise candidate for the position.  I do not know, I only speculate.  However, the problem is not personal nor a simple matter of personnel.  The problem with the Patriarchate is institutional, something I only recently came to realize.
          I believe – and now I may be revealing my ignorance, if I have not already done so  – that that which should characterize the unity of the Orthodox Church is a common view of dogma and tradition, and an unwillingness to make changes without the consent of all the Orthodox, of the entire church.
          One way of putting it, perhaps, is how the Holy Spirit is believed to work.  Does that Spirit operate through the aggregate of the Church, or does it do so through special individuals who by virtue of their position are presumed to know better than anyone else what is the correct way?
          This is how I thought it worked, through the entire Church.  That is how I believe it should work.

          • Bartholomew is not a pastor. He is a wolf;
            a wolf in pastor’s clothing.
            To be sure, he is an old wolf;
            but under him there are younger wolves.

            • To understand and pity Bart is to understand and pity Caiaphas

              • Caiaphas thought he was giving up one man to be crucified once.
                Bartholomew is giving up a whole canonical church to be crucified piecemeal – priest by priest, parish by parish…

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  I knew the Church would face persecution. Just didn’t think it would be at the hand of one of our own

          • Blimbax As usual u get it spot on.. That is the same journey re Phanar I have taken. As a fellow greek u can understand the respect and love I had for the  Patriarchal seat  of Constantinople and to me they were fellow sufferers with those under communism. Now some of that may have been true but now my eyes are fully opened to this farce and  parody of sad batchelors hunting for some excuse to exist.  They are turning papal wards when in the west the papal structure  is beginning to unwind.  A protestant friend long criticised our church for fact it was on it’s head. What did He mean? He meant the hierarchs are on top, not serving, but being  served by the faithful. They are a burden. 
            The greatest damage it is doing is to Church of Greece. 
            As to the indifferent arrogance,  a greek lady I know who was married to man connected to Phanar and from Istambul,  visited Phanar on Easter day and was met by Metropolitan of Chalcedon, in civilian suit and tie ( in fairness Turkey had banned clerical costume in public), well fed!!!  and with three hair on his chin.  His attitude to the lady was indifferent, telling her they were about to eat.  No invitation to eat, not even the offer of a Paschal egg  or drink.  Just indifferent, ‘go away, who are you? ‘
            The Bishop of  Chalcedon may have been the current Patriarch. 
            The secular west wishes to destroy the Orthodox church. The late Alexander Schememn long saw western secularism as the greatest danger to the Church,way above communism. And ABOVE ALL AMERICAN SECULARISM. 

          • George Michalopulos says

            Totally agreed.  The proper ecclesiology for the Church is found in the words of St James, the Brother-of-the-Lord in Acts 15:   “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us…”

            He was merely the president of that assembly, not the monarch.

        • Tim R. Mortiss says

          I think the ‘spiritual leader of the Orthodox world’ business originated as a media description long ago; a combination of the Ecumenical Patriarch title with an inability to understand the Orthodox Church except in papal-type terms, the only available contrast to Protestantism to most people in the West, or at least in America.
          The EP tried it on and liked it, and of course never did anything to clarify the reality.

    • “…the last hope”.
      Thank you, Dr Goebbels.

  21. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald.
    Gov. Cuomo Officially Welcomes Archbishop Elpidophoros, Announces St. Nicholas Plans
    By TNH Staff 
    January 2, 2020

  22. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today by Nicholas Karakas of Naples, Florida, under the “Opinions” section in The National Herald.
    Our Orthodox Church, Our Beloved Orthodox Church
    By Nicholas Karakas 
    January 3, 2020

  23. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find another article from today by The Associated Press, in The National Herald.
    AP: Rebuilding of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church to Resume
    By Associated Press 
    January 3, 2020