The GOA: Every Man for Himself?

Well, folks, this just came in. Things are preliminary right now but from the looks of this document (published in its entirety below), it seems that there is consensus in the GOA as to how to go forward from the present morass. And judging by what I’m reading, there doesn’t seem to be any consensus as to how the GOA got to this point.

Met Alexios of Atlanta for example, blamed the assembled delegates for all the problems. Why? Because as delegates they voted in previous budgets. This is stunningly immature. It seems to escape His Eminence that a budget can be busted by criminality, fraud and malfeasance. That’s not the fault of delegates who in good faith, took the information given to them, debated the finer points, and then voted yea or nay. That’s like blaming the Congress because certain FBI agents have set up a secret cabal dedicated to subverting the Constitution.

Michael Psaros, the man who had the unenviable job of putting together a balanced budget unexpectedly resigned. The reason appears to be because the clergy delegates decided to approve a budget that was $1 million in deficit. I understand his frustration and probably would have done the same thing in his case.

However, try to look at this from the point of view of the clergy. In their collective wisdom, it seemed that this was the only that they could salvage their pension fund (which is probably depleted). If I were a priest in the GOA, I’d probably do the same thing myself. When all is said and done, it looks like there are only bad choices available to the GOA and it’s up to the delegates to decide which is the least, bad choice. I dunno.

If my take is accurate (and anybody who was there has complete freedom to respond on this blog), then I’d say it’s “every man for himself”.

More to follow.!AoJ6irzqEp8jy0dfpj2MBeR1VVnv


  1. I’m a meritocrat says

    Apparently the pension fund is about 50 million depleted, it had not been funded for several years.
    Some feel the priests should fund it themselves, which they already do,
    It comes out of their paycheck!!
    Imagine watching your company sponsored pension whittle away, and then you are made to look the bad guy, by the men who run the company!!

  2. GOA Priest says

    $53 million underfunded, to be exact.

    Please note that Archdiocesan pension contributions have, over the last 5+ years, been redirected to other funds, further exacerbating the situation. The misdirected monies have been returned, however the interest owed has not.

    In each case, the presbyters, through the benefit office agents, discovered this manipulation. In one case about 5 years ago, it was discovered that monies to the tune of about $3.5 million, (due payable on behalf from the Archdiocese employees) over a multi-year period were not directed to the correct account—i.e., not DEPOSITED. This has happened on more than one occasion.

    When this initial mis-direction of funds was discovered and reported in the presence of the Archbishop, he tried to stop the meeting and further discussion.

    For any of the characters employed at 79th Street to claim that this entire financial morass was a big surprise is absolute and complete nonsense—perhaps only believable to outsiders who don’t know better, and implicitly trust these people.

    And this is just one example…

    • John Sakelaris says

      As a Greek Orthodox Christian, I wonder: What arrangements exist for retired priests in the OCA and Antiochian churches?

      • Antiochene Son says
        • John Sakelaris says

          In retirement jargon, the current Antiochian plan involves a mandatory enrollment in what is called a defined contribution plan, with both the priest and the church contributing, and with the priest having some leeway as to how much he puts into it and where it is invested. The ultimate pension each will receive depends on how much was put in and how the financial markets did. The Antiochians also specifically encourage priests to make other retirement savings on their own.

          This Antiochian manual also references an “old plan,” which was apparently a kind of defined benefit plan. It is clear from this material that the “old plan” had financial problems and is being phased out, as priests now contribute to the new plan. How limited is the “old plan?” Well, clergy retired on it after 30 years are only to get $800 a month maximum.

          Other questions then arise: Is the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese plan a defined benefit plan or a defined contribution plan? Or perhaps a hybrid of the two?

          And what kind of retirement plan do OCA priests get?

  3. Matthew Panchisin says

    Dear George and Meritocrat,

    Are you sure about the Priest’s pension fund being depleted, I have not heard of any bouncing checks from any of the pensive pensioners.

    In Christ,

    Matthew Panchisin

    • John Sakelaris says

      Matthew: There may not have been bounced checks yet, but even so, there may be a projected lack of money to pay benefits beginning at some point in the predictable future. I do think we should be given more information on this.

    • GLFarmer says

      Pension funds should be invested. It’s not about the current costs, it’s about the future. Unless you expect a massive influx of young priests to be able to continue to pay for all the retiring priests.

  4. Dear Matthew,

    The pension fund is not entirely empty. What has occurred is a kind of ticking time bomb. Unless the money that was diverted is returned, the pension fund will eventually go bankrupt leaving many retired clergymen without any financial assistance. While it is true that there is some level of insurance from the federal government, it will most likely result in substantially reduced payouts. By the way, a multitude of lawsuits could be coming as well from all this. Let’s see: fraud, breach of fiduciary responsibility, negligence, embezzlement, theft, etc. There is also the possibility of criminal and civil liability. So … while you may not have heard of any priest’s pension funds being depleted yet, unless this money is put back, and put back quickly, it’s going to get a lot more interesting very soon.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Have any of the priests thought of a class-action lawsuit?

      • GOA Priest says

        Yes, that has been considered.

        Unfortunately, due to fear from impious and bullying hierarchs, the priests are paralyzed by fear.

        • A court can order that plaintiffs be unnamed “Greek Orthodox priests” vs. GOA

        • Greatly Saddened says

          There may very well be a rather sound solution to balancing the additional 1 million dollars added to the archdiocesan budget.

          As a friend of mine mentioned earlier this morning. Perhaps the Archbishop, along with the Metropolitans and Assistant Bishops to the Archbishop, can forego part or all of their salaries and put it towards the budget deficit. As well as their seemingly over used and abused stateside and overseas travel ecpenditures. After all, there is no “I” in the word “team!” And we all know this ecclesiastical group is a “team” effort! All for one and one for all!
          What would Jesus do?

          • Constantinos says

            Greatly Saddened,
            What a splendid idea! Of course, that would never happen. A greedy, avarice bunch like that is not going to make any financial sacrifices for any reason. Only the laity makes financial sacrifices. What a vast difference from St. Peter when he said, ” Silver and gold have I none,” and when St. Paul set the example of working with his own hands so he wouldn’t be a hindrance to the gospel or a burden to the laity.

        • I’m a meritocrat says

          I don’t think the priests can sue, I believe they signed away that right.
          This goes back to the 1970’s when there was a big scandal in the GOA

    • Antiochene Son says

      Sounds like the GOA has taken a page from Congress’s book, raiding Social Security.

  5. Constantinos says

    Can you tell me why Dr. Stankovich has such a negative attitude toward the police?”Typical cops!” Only gangsters, thugs and felons talk like that. American Orthodox Christians should respect law enforcement. In my town, the local police department is beloved because they are classy, great citizens.
    Dr. Stankovich, Please allow me to show you how one should behave when encountering the police. Last Saturday, I took my Corvette out to Home Depot to purchase a worm drive Skilsaw. On my drive back home, I was absentmindedly thinking of all the things I wanted to do when I drove through a stop sign. As I was driving, I noticed a police car following me; I was wondering why he was following me when he pulled me over. Before he got out of his cruiser, I had my license and registration in my hand. When he approached my car, I said, “Good morning officer, How are you today?” He replied, “Fine, how are you?” When he came back from his cruiser, he said, ” Constantinos, here’s your reg and license. Just try to drive more carefully.” I said, “Thank you very much officer. I appreciate it,” then I shook his hand for cutting me a break. In my humble opinion, that is the way a law abiding citizen should deal with the police, not don’t touch this, don’t touch that. Courtesy will take you miles with the police because they are human just like the rest of us.

    • I’m a meritocrat says

      What does that have to do with this thread?

      • Constantinos says

        I’m a meritocrat,
        You wouldn’t believe how much nine words told me about you. Let me just put it this way: an intelligent person wouldn’t ask a question like that.

        • Deep Steak says

          wonder if ol constantinos would have the same opinion of the police and find it as easy to be courteous if he were pulled over on average once or twice a month and had a gun pointed at him a couple times a year not because he ran a stop sign but just because somebody thought like he looked like he did not belong in his own neighborhood

          • George Michalopulos says

            That’s not fair. As long as a motorist is not acting erratically there’s little to worry about.

            • Deep Steak says

              what is not fair is assuming the driving experience of an elderly white looking guy is the universal driving experience for everyone

          • Constantinos says

            Deep Steak,
            In the past I would only drive my Corvette at night because I didn’t want to show off, but I stopped driving in the evening because I got tired of being stopped every time I went out. I’ve been pulled over by the police more times than I can count.

        • I’m a meritocrat says

          This guy tries to trash me for asking a question???
          I’m practically brand new here, I have not been welcomed , and the moderator doesn’t mind some “frequent flyer” bash me, a stranger and a newcomer!
          Not that I mind his pronouncement on my IQ, he knows nothing,
          I can tell already that calling people dumb is his MO.
          I hate to see this website behave like a church where a few voices do all the talking, and outsiders are tolerated at best, Mr George, please keep the dogs on their leash a little better, OK?
          They may have a right to be total, disrespectful asses but that doesn’t mean their comments should be published.
          I don’t think some folks here are treated with the respect they deserve

    • M. Stankovich says

      I will say outright that there is no one on this site who is more indebted or has more gratitude to the courageous men and women of law enforcement. How to comprehend the character of a human being who hears, “Shots fired,” and unhesitatingly runs in the direction of danger? I can only vaguely appreciate this, in that I am 63-yrs old, and I have been in exactly two fights in my entire life – both to significant consequence – because I could not allow myself to abandon an officer under attack by inmates in a CA state prison (read that as I took a serious ass-whooping, twice, from 4-5 young men under 30, we held our own until help arrived). I depended on them to have my back, every single day, so I could walk out that gate safely and return to my wife and family. Not once in ten years did they ever fail me.

      At the same time, I have witnessed individuals abuse their power and authority in the most arrogant, shameless, and despicable ways, seemingly for nothing more than the “entertainment” of themselves and their peers. What did I do in response? Nothing. Why? Because they stood between me and danger. Because they made it possible for me to go home to my wife. It was a “pragmatic,” ambivalent decision; half of me accepted the utility, and half of me feels ashamed, and remembers seeing men cuffed and chained at the waist and ankles, black, swollen eyes, and a bloody noses, knowing they had been “paid back” for something while chained & defenseless. Or sitting in the family van of a friend, a psychiatrist at a CA state hospital – my wife and his wife & young children aboard – and the security guard at the gate checking my state ID who “joked”: “How many CO’s [correction officers] does it take to shove a cuffed inmate down a flight of stairs?” When I didn’t respond he said, “None. He tripped and fell on his own.” Today is July 9, 2018 and I have been stopped by the police 3x already this year for no discernible reason I can tell. The last was right after Pascha. For anyone who knows San Diego, I had left my HMO, Sharp Rees-Stealy, on Elm & 4th downtown, gone two blocks, turned left onto 6th Ave and there was an officer standing in the center of the street. He looked at me and waved me over into a line of three other vehicles, two older pick-up trucks and an older discolored American car. All three vehicles were obviously being driven by male Hispanic drivers with 1-3 passengers. My car is a 2016 Nissan Versa and I was alone. In my visor, I have a small laminated card from the ACLU entitled, “What to do if you are stopped by the police.” The first instruction: “Place your hands on the top of the steering wheel in plain sight of the officer, for his protection & yours. Await the officer’s explicit instruction. Always inform the officer of your intention before doing it. If the officer requests your operators license, and it is in your back, right-hand pocket, tell the officer what you intend to do, and why. Again, this is for his safety and yours.” And so on. The officer wanted to see my license, registration, and proof of insurance. He was all business. Why did he stop me? He didn’t say & I didn’t ask. Who cares? That’s just the way it is. 6-7 minutes later he returned my documents and simply said, “Enjoy the rest of your day.”

      As for the Homeland Security Agent in my home, perhaps you missed me say, “I had nothing to hide.” But imagine yourself, talking to a member of law enforcement in the privacy of your own home, and seeing in your peripheral vision that another officer is looking through your personal mail. Did you catch that? My personal mail in my home. I didn’t complete the story, but when she asked me why I would be upset at her looking my ID, the clear implication was, “unless you had something to hide.” I said to her, “because if I recall correctly, our Constitution forbids illegal search & seizure, and I don’t need to sponsor a fishing trip in my own home.” And the whole event ended when she began asking me about my father – was he legally admitted to US, was he ever accused of being a foreign agent (he actually was a captured Serbian army officer who spent nearly the last year of WWII in Dachau, and wept holding the feet of the Black American troops – apparently the first Black people he had ever seen – who liberated them). I asked her if she any intention of arresting me, and when the other officer said no, I opened my front door and told them to leave immediately.

      May I kindly suggest that you hardly had enough information to imply I am a “gangster, thug, or a felon,” or that I do not, “respect law enforcement,” and then set about to school me in the proper way to address the police.

  6. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from The National Herald, which has previously been posted. Please take special notice to the comments section below the article.

    Archon Michael Psaros Report to the 44th Clergy Laity Congress
    By Theodore Kalmoukos – July 7, 2018

  7. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from The National Herald, which has previously been posted. Please take special notice to the comments section below the article. In the comments section, you will find comments from allegedly Mr. Jerry Dimitriou, as well.

    Michael Psaros Resigned as Archdiocese Treasurer
    By Theodore Kalmoukos – July 8, 2018

  8. Greatly Saddened says

    Folks … once again, and in all due respect. What will it take for the general laity to finally stand up and say … “we have had enough of this, please excuse my French, B’S!”

    These so called hierarchs, along with their hierarchal lay appointees have deeply damaged and if allowed, will continue to damage and destroy this once glorious religious institution.

    They continue to show they lack the leadership qualities needed to forge ahead and to clean this toxic cesspool or swamp. Which even has the gall to associate itself with Our Lord and Savior. It continues its downward spiral in to the black abyss, with no hope in sight.

    Time is well past for a cleaning and cleansing of this disgusting institution. No more excuses should be allowed, nor permitted.

    It is time for the laity to put its foot down, once and for all, and demand action! Time for this archdiocese to get back to its sole and main purpose of saving lives through Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and to also finally begin to evangelize and to take care of the poor and needy. And by this, I do not mean the hierarchs!

    To stop being the public relations spokesperson for either the Greek or Turkish government and to begin taking care of our own, right here in the good ‘ol United States of America!

    In addition, the general laity must demand total accountability and transparency. No more playing the general laity for fools! Shame on us all, for allowing this to happen and worse of all, for allowing it to continue!

  9. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Greek News website.

    Archbishop Demetrios tells Greek News he is confident deficit budget will be fixed soon
    By Apostolos Zoupaniotis

  10. Andronicos Palaeologos says

    They need to spend more time, on how to reverse the worse downfall in Church attendance, and allow the accountants to do their job.
    It would be nice, if they all showed such concern, for the lay people who are ignored, showed sour/dour, unwelcome faces by the priests, & bishops, who seem to have forgotten the meaning, power, of AGAPI (Αγαπη).
    The Church should be expanding in these times, extending its services, to the many suffering, soul searching lay people, seeking compassion, understanding, and a respite, from usery souless governments, and threats, attacks from non Christian groups.
    We have a rich History in our Church, especially starting with Constantine the Great who founded Constantinople, in the 4th Century, through the Synods, & the Glorious Byzantine Empire, that when others saw the Beauty of the Greek Orthodox Services, adopted it for their countries.
    We have lost all that beauty, ignored use of Beautiful, ethereal Byzantine Hymns, decreased use of insense, and seem to apologize, or be embarassed for being Christian.
    The World has grown, with use of the internet, more travel, their are more disturbed souls, suffering from unrest, bullying, perceived racial, sexual differences/indifferences, seeking answers, salvation, understanding Science cannot give them.
    We failed to spread our Agapi, to these people, and even turned away, our former loyal laity, with the Priests, Archidioces, indifference.
    They are now reaping the rewards of this indifference, as the lay now show their indifferance, to the Church.
    Its a shame for the hard work, & sacrifices many Greeks, Greek Americans, & former Archbishops made, to keep the Greek Orthodox Church Viable, Vibrant, Vigilant, Alive, Caring, Relevant, and all Welcoming.
    Ντροπη Σας!
    In a matter of 20 years, you have caused more destruction to the Greek Orthodox Church, than even the Muslims were able to affect, in their almost 1500 years of attacks on our Church, against the Byzantine Empire, through today.
    Even after the fall of Constantinople, and up to WWII, Priests, Bishops, sacrificed their lives, being tortured, hanged, skewered alive, to keep the Greek Church, History, Language Alive.
    They formed hidden schools, to accomplish this, and help bring order to a fledgeling, Greece trying to recover after WWII.
    They also sacrificed their lives, offering Agapi, and refuge, to hundreds of thousands of Jews, seeking to leave Germany, and hid, many more in Greece, refusing to turn them over to the 3rd Reich.

    The Churches main preoccupation, energy, Agapi, in the 21st Century, seems to be only reserved for themselves.

  11. Out of curiosity, why did you post that picture?

    • George Michalopulos says

      Because the one I wanted wasn’t ready.

      On the other hand, it kinda sez it all, doesn’t it?

      • Alitheia1875 says

        You need to explain what you mean by kinda sez it all. There are those who seem to think that even Fr. Alex Karloutsos was surprised by the looting of the St. Nicholas fund. Actually to think that he would put his reputation, and many friendships, on the line by raising millions of dollars and then allowing the fund to be looted is ludicrous, to put it mildly and politely.

      • Yes, about the picture. Just where has the cleric Karloutsos been during this travesty? In retreat or waiting for future orders ?

      • John Sakelaris says

        George, lots of people pose with sitting presidents. I recall one bright young man in my community, full of promise, who once posed with President Obama.

  12. Greatly Saddened says

    This so called religious institution called the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, is nothing but one big total disappointment.

    Instead of concerning themselves with being first and foremost, “Christ centeted” and spreading the word of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ … the “Gospel,” as well as reaching out to the many destitute and in need of food, clothing and shelter. It seems to be more concerned with being in the public relations business for the Greek government.

    And, rather than staging opulent meetings at high venue places. It’s time it comes down from its high horse and tries to be more “Christ” like in its ways. Which includes, having a fiduciary responsibility in how it spends the general laity’s funds.

    It is time to re-evaluate its priorities and start putting its time, energy and finances where they will truly make a difference in this ever so selfish world of ours!

    • Billy Jack Sunday says


      Perhaps dumping the GOA would be an act of Orthodox love and fidelity

      And yet, love wants to hold on to hope

      That, too, is the very heart of our Orthodox faith

      This is so hard

      • Constantinos says

        Hi Billy Jack Sunday,
        This is your friendly troll Constantinos. What the GOA should do is hire an outside secular business such as Bain Capital that focuses on turning around failing businesses. They could really clean house and eliminate all the dead wood. I’m totally serious. Too bad Mitt Romney is running for the Senate. He could sell off all the Greek Orthodox Church’s non producing assets, valuable icons, lavish buildings, cashier all the useless hierarchs, cut the assessments to the parishes, end first class travel, and do whatever is necessary to ensure sound business practices. Instead, the GOA is poised to take out another loan to meet their shortfall. Just imagine, usury was once a sin. If the GOA had any brains and gumption, they could put their house in order. Of course, that would require humility, something in very short supply among hierarchs. Also, they should stop the St.Nicholas Shrine dead in its tracks and sell the building along with the property.

        • George Osborne says

          Anybody know what was used as collateral for the loan touted at the Congress?

          • Greatly Saddened says

            If you are referring to the Alma Bank loan, I believe it was 8 and 10 East 79th Street. The GOAA headquarters. Perhaps I misunderstood.

  13. sign seen on a bill board a few years ago. so true!

    “Problems cannot be solved with the same mind set that created them.”

    ― Albert Einstein

  14. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article posted Friday on the OCL website.

    Elpidophoros sees his future in GOA. Or not?
    Source: Greek Herald


    • Alitheia1875 says

      Metropolitan Elpidoforos is the Patriarch’s axeman. He insults wherever he goes. He certainly was insulting, big time, when he visited Hellenic College Holy Cross some years ago. He said he was speaking for the Patriarch when he criticized, of all things, the Greek language program in the college. And he did that publicly from the pulpit in the chapel without first speaking with the dean and professors. That’s a good indication of what the patriarch thinks is important for the GOA. There are probably two scenarios for him coming to the US as archbishop. The first would be if the patriarch wanted to gain complete control here and he thought that a combination of Elpidoforos and the GOA metropolitans would prove an invincible front for whatever the patriarch hoped to accomplish and the second would be if he and the patriarch thought that adding that line on his resume would improve his chances of succeeding Bartholomew. He would be a worse choice than all of the GOA metropolitans and that is saying a lot.

    • Alitheia1875 says

      Among his titles and responsibilities is that of Abbot of the Halki theological school. Another fine example of a hierarch who is tonsured a monk or proclaimed an abbot without, apparently, ever having spent even one day under the obedience of an elder in a monastery.

      • Monk James Silver says

        Metropolitan Elpidophoros Lambriniades has made no friends for himself or for the ‘ecumenical’ patriarchate of Constantinople in his public statements. It would be a complete disaster for him to be appointed archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (or whatever they’re now calling it).

        Still, on points of terminology which have nothing to do with Met.EL personally, there can’t be an abbot of Halki, since it’s not a monastery.

        And there can’t be an abbot in Orthodox Christianity because (except for a tiny ‘western rite’ practice,) we don’t have any such title. Abbeys have abbots, and Orthodox Christians pretty much don’t have abbeys. That’s a Roman Catholic Benedictine set of terms, and we have almost no Orthodox Christian Benedictine monks and nuns.

        In English, the superior of a men’s monastery is a hegoumen (based on the Greek word for ‘leader’ or ‘guide’), and so the superior of a women’s monastery is a hegoumeness. As we can obviously see from the women’s example, the superior needs not be a priest.

        Archimandrites (Greek for ‘rulers of the sheepfold’) are another issue altogether.

        • Kephalonitis says

          The Theological School of Halki is located at the Holy Trinity Monastery which was founded by St. Photius the Great. Most of the deans of the school in recent history were also the abbots of the monastery and numerous graduates of the school recieved their monastic tonsure there. Metropolitan Elpidoforos is the present abbot and there is a small community there under his guidance.

          • Monk James Silver says

            My thanks to ‘Kephalonitis’ for the clarification, but a theological school is still not a monastery. If the hegoumen of a monastery also serves as dean of a theological school connected with that monastery, that’s a coincidence, but these are still separate entities and separate titles.

            I had hope to demonstrate that — whatever Metropolitan Elpidophoros Lambriniadis is — , he is clearly not an ‘abbot’. Were he not a bishop, his title in the monastery would be ‘hegoumen’. While bearing the responsibilities of leading that small group of monks, he performs the duties of a hegoumen, but he is primarily a bishop.

            • Greatly Saddened says

              Please excuse me, but at present, the Theological school of Halki has been closed for some 45 years now. Let us face reality.
              Hopefully, with God’s blessing it will re-open and will afford prospective priests’ a choice, between Holy Cross here in the U.S. and there.

  15. Robert Dickson says

    I think you should attach the complete report, not only the first page. It has quite a number of things to think of. Please find the link to it below.

    It’s sad to see the Archdiocese in such a crisis. These terrible cases of malfeasance clearly indicate that the clergy cannot keep the situation under control. One should expect major changes in the GOA. We can only hope that these changes will follow soon, until it’s too late.

  16. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald.

    First 100 Days of His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael of Chicago
    By TNH Staff – July 9, 2018

    • GOA Priest says

      Unfortunately, Metropolitan Nathanael hired a public relations firm right out of the box, as it were, and they have succeeded in politicizing his message.

      It is another sad day in the GOA.

  17. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find another article from today in The National Herald. Unfortunately, the article is locked and doesn’t appear in its entirety. I will continue to be on the lookout for the article in its entirety and if found, I will post.

    Analysis: Clergy Laity Congress of Tragicomedy?
    By Theodore Kalmoukos – July 9, 2018

  18. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find a news release from Sunday on the Orthodox Church in America website.

    July 8, 2018
    Pension board concludes quarterly meeting, invites delegates to AAC open house

    • Times are indeed tragic and painful for faithful Christians in the GOA. Concerning the GOA pension debacle, I must say that it makes it much more attractive for American Orthodox clergy to be “tentmakers” in the tradition of St Paul, having outside employment that provides for them and their families and often provides a “secular” pension.

      Another alternative is for each parish to set aside money for its own priest’s pension fund — not relying on the diocese — an idea which I entirely support.

      Orthodoxy in America remains in its infancy — while some individual Orthodox Christians and Orthodox communities may be quite mature in the faith (like Jordanville NY, Florence AZ, South Canaan PA, etc.), on the whole we remain terribly immature in this country and are still merely tilling the soil here. Until our church organizations/institutions have deep roots of support and are stable, it is irresponsible for us to expect our clergy to rely on the national church organizations for clergy financial support in their retirement.

      Plus, when the episcopal structure goes off the deep end — as it seems some of which is happening in the GOA — being a “tentmaker” in the tradition of St Paul also gives more freedom and options for individual clergy who have issue with where their hierarchs are going. If some GOA hierarchs, for example, fully endorse “gay marriage” (an incredible oxymoron, though it’s where it seems to be headed), such clergy who can’t live with the ridiculousness of such an event could leave their diocese but still have a means to make a living.

      It’s tough, though, since some jurisdictions do not allow “tentmaking” in the tradition of St Paul. Yes, forbidding “tentmaking” frees clergy to do pastoral and mission work 24/7, but then when the hierarchs fall off the deep end, such clergy are stuck. And often those jurisdictions that forbid “tentmaking” are not even very mission-minded.

      We see this drama playing out now among many American Roman Catholic clergy who feel “stuck.” As is well publicized, homosexual sex scandals are rampant in American Roman Catholic seminaries and among Rom Cath bishops/cardinals in America — with blackmail and denial keeping most faithful Catholic clergy from doing or saying anything about it. Yet the good and faithful Catholic priests who are fed up and want to get out think they cannot get out, since many of these priests think they have no other marketable skills. I disagree with this idea, though, since good and faithful priests make wonderful teachers and counselors in the “secular” world. God knows that American young people need good men to lead them in any capacity they can get.

      If I were a young man being called to the priesthood in America in these times, I would by all means look for somewhere where I could have some sort of “tentmaking” employment like St Paul did. The more reputable and honorable of our Church jurisdictions are too poor to provide for clergy pensions and allow many of their priests to be tentmakers. But those jurisdictions who self-style themselves as wealthy and powerful and do offer “pensions” are where we see the most corruption today.

      May God see us through this mess and give the faithful and repentant American Orthodox Christians — those constantly striving for metanoia — the strength to persevere and survive.

  19. Wayne Matthew Syvinski says

    A budget is only as good as the assumptions used to formulate it. One of the most important assumptions in making a budget is that it will actually be followed. Another, particularly relevant for churches and other nonprofits, is that hypothecated (earmarked) funds will be used only for their intended purpose.

    So I ask: is it the fault of the delegates who approved the budget when those who spend the money disregard the budget?

  20. Hesforad Alonis says

    OCA had its own nasties over Kobdratik just as we have Bartlutzos.
    Admittedly Lex Lutsos adds more colorful affects with his hissy fits.
    But the problem is still that we don’t have enough children to pay pensions.
    It’s time we all got serious and had more kids.

  21. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald.

    Report to the Clergy Laity Congress by Leadership 100
    By TNH Staff – July 10, 2018

  22. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find a “Letter to the Editor” from today in The National Herald, by William Pappas
    of Weymouth Heights. MA.

    Letter to the Editor: On Hellenic College-Holy Cross
    July 10, 2018

  23. Dean Calvert says

    I have turned around many companies in my life. Having read the facts here, this is one I would have RUN AWAY from.

    I don’t know Mr. Psaros, but it appears, from what is written, that he and his team diligently and professionally attempted to change the course of the Archdiocese (against all odds).

    Unfortunately, organizational culture is destiny in this case. He may have been 1000% correct on the diagnosis and the cure, but the patient refuses to take the medicine.

    Having been in similar situations many times, I sincerely sympathize with Mr. Psaros. It’s easy to throw stones, sitting in the audience of the Clergy Laity Congress. The fact is – this guy rolled up his sleeves and tried to make a change…when I’m SURE he had MANY better things to do….and at GREAT personal cost.

    My hat is off to Mr. Psaros for taking the time, making the commitment and attempting to see it through. Unfortunately, you are dealing with an organization which has been bankrupt in every way but money, for many, many years.

    As someone who grew up in the GOA, working every day to make a parish grow and prosper, it sincerely grieves me to see what is going on at the Archdiocese – even though I left many years ago to join the OCA.

    May our good Lord be truly merciful to those still inside the Archdiocese who have so stubbornly and selfishly resisted the necessary changes, all because of their own parochial interests. They have consciously or unconsciously, contributed to the abysmal yet colossal failure of the Greek Orthodox Church on this continent.

    It didn’t need to be this way!

  24. George C Michalopulos says

    Dean, what’s your prognosis of this situation?

    • Dean Calvert says

      Hi George,

      Having been away from it for many years, I’m really in no position to judge.

      Everything I read, which is the same as you, suggests that the deterioration has reached a tipping point.

      Such a shame!

      • Left decades ago says

        Yes it is a terrible shame, what’s going on in the GOA. I, too, left the GOA more than a couple of decades ago, in the early 1990s. I was starving for a closer relationship with Christ and wanted a parish that served Vespers and also where I could experience confession. Where I was located at the time I had to leave the GOA to find both of these. Fortunately, I had no strong ties to the “ethnic” part of GOA, so leaving for me was fairly easy. Leaving the Greek festivals and GOYA young-adult “meat-markets” was also easy.

        There is no schadenfreude here. Faithful Orthodox Christian Americans view the GOA predicament with profound sadness. Yet I firmly do believe it is a “reap what you sow” phenomenon which is going on with them.

        I’m torn between hoping that the GOA can somehow recover itself versus wishing that it would be put out of its misery so that faithful Orthodox in the GOA could then resurrect a church that St Paisios of Mt Athos, St Nektarios, and St Cosmas Aitolos would then recognize and be at home in.

        • Dean Calvert says

          Dear “left” (Eleutherios? LOL),

          My pun aside…your comments ring so absolutely true…particularly the last line.

          I’ve always been a history NUT – Byzantine history in particular. A real “AHA” moment occurred to me a couple decades ago, when I began to read contemporary Byzantine histories. The complete absence of any ethnic affiliations in those histories, including references to ‘Greek’ left me positively speechless. As I once told my (then) Greek bishop, “If you called St. Nicholas a ‘Greek’ Orthodox he wouldn’t know what you were talking about, and if you called him a ‘Greek’, you would have just insulted him.” The term ‘Greek’ having been reserved for ‘pagans’ during the Byzantine period.

          Resurrecting a church that St Paisios, St Nektarios, St Cosmas, or Sts Cyril & Methodios, St Photios and St John Chrysostom would “recognize and be at home in” sounds like a worthy goal to me!

          It’s funny….my business partner (also Greek) and I once had a discussion about the sad state of affairs in the GOA. We came to this conclusion: They (the GOA) simply have a different definition of ‘success’ than the OCA or the AOCA. We described the GOA definition of ‘success’ as 1.) a church building and parish hall worth $2-3 million dollars 2.) a couple hundred thousand in the bank and 3.) paying the priest a triple digit salary. Right or wrong, that was our experience. In contrast, the OCA (and AOCA) definition of ‘success’ is 1.) a parish with perhaps fewer than 100 families 2.) a parish priest who may have a second job and, MOST IMPORTANTLY 3.) a parish full of people who are discovering and growing their relationship with Christ.

          Glad you found a parish to encourage yours!

          • Left decades ago says


            Thanks. To you as well, my friend!

            Not to be a linguistic pedant, but, technically, “Ελευθέριος” means “liberator.” The word for freedom (“ελευθερία”) has the same root. Maybe George’s site can help bring freedom to the suffering Christians who are currently captive in the GOA black hole?

            George, in other news, the OCA recently posted on its website that Fr Paul Harrilchak of northern Virginia has been suspended from priestly functions as of last month. Those who have been around here for a few months might remember that George posted something a few weeks or months ago on this site that Fr Paul served liturgy at his parish in northern Virginia with one of the schismatic Ukrainian “bishops” from the “Patriarch Filaret’s” “Kiev Patriarchate.”

            I was so pleased to see that the OCA hierarchy did something about this to rein him in. Remember that this fly-by-night “Kiev Patriarchate” is the same “jurisdiction” to which the former OCA parish of St Nicholas in Philadelphia jumped ship last year.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Good to hear!

            • Monk James Silver says

              Thanks for your remarks, ‘Left decades Ago’, especially for pointing out that when we call peoples’ attention to mistakes in translation and in language altogether, that — in spite of their discomfort –we’re not being just pedants, but hoping to make ideas a bit more clear.

              I can’t imagine what was going through Paul Harrilchak’s mind when he did this awful thing. He’s an intelligent man, but apparently not too wise.

              May the Lord forgive him and all of us.

              And I hope and pray that whatever you ‘left decades ago’ wasn’t The Orthodox Christian Church.

          • Billy Jack Sunday says

            Dean Calvert

            So what you are saying is

            The history of the “Greek” “Byzantine” Church is essentially a combination of two misnomers?

            This is all modern Greek propaganda in total?

            • Dean Calvert says

              Dear Billy Jack,

              I apologize for not seeing the earlier. I’m not on this site every day.

              AGS sets it all out accurately below. Answer to your question (misnomers?) is “yes.”

              The only thing I would add with regard to the names (Greek vs Byzantine) is this: In the absence of reading the original histories, it is hard to understand how completely ‘Roman’ the Eastern Romans (ie Byzantines) considered themselves. This was not a watered down “Roman” in any sense…they considered themselves the heirs to the Caesars…right down to their dying day in 1453.

              Similarly, it is very hard to appreciate how truly deprecating the word “Hellene” (ie Greek) was to those same people. That word was reserved to describe either 1.) Pagans, of the Periclean Age or 2.) residents of the far away theme (province) of Hellas (Greece) – a place I should add that NO ONE would ever want to visit!

              The attitude of the Eastern Romans, particularly residents of the capital, toward the Greeks was very similar to that of a modern day New Yorker toward Arkansas…not a place you would EVER want to visit.

              It’s actually funny when you come across these references in the contemporary histories.

              One of the eye opening phrases can be found in the Alexiad of Anna Comnena, in which she is describing the orphans from the various provinces who are cared for by her father (Alexios I). Describing the Greeks, she says something to the effect of, “we need to bring them [Greek orphans] to the capital to teach them to speak their own language properly.”

              In any case, as I told the local Greek bishop one time, “You use the word “Greek” more on the front page of the Orthodox Observer, than you will see it used in many 800 page histories written during that time.”

              It’s truly remarkable…completely different paradigm.

              Hope this is not completely incoherent!!!


              • Billy Jack Sunday says

                Dean Calvert

                Not at all. I appreciate the further explaination/elaboration

                If I may ask a little more

                So concerning the “Byzantine Empire” or Eastern Roman Empire, are their any ethnic demographic numbers that tell us what percentage of that empire was actually comprised of what we would understand to be ethnic Greeks?

                Also, what were the ethnicities of the royal bloodlines of that empire, predominantly?

                • George Michalopulos says

                  I can say that the Macedonian dynasty of Byzantium was founded by Basil I the Magnificent,a peasant adventurer of Armenian descent.

                  I believe he married a Khazar princess giving birth to Leo VI the Wise, who in turn was the father of constantine VII Porphyrogenitos.

                  Under the last man, Byzantium reached its apogee according to most historians.

                  • Billy Jack Sunday says

                    Dean Calvert and George Michalopulos

                    Thanks – all additional information is helpful

                    If possible, a list of the different royals/dynasties with dates and ethnicities would be greatly appreciated

                • Tim R. Mortiss says

                  Mr. Calvert, a most useful post!

                  The history of East Rome is endlessly fascinating. Ostrogorky’s “History of the Byzantine State” is very good . John Julian Norwich’s 3-volumes is interesting though not scholarly; lots of color.

                  My favorite is Warren Treadgold’s “History of the Byzantine State and Society”; about 15 years old now. It is super-comprehensive but readable; I’ve read it 3 times my own self.

                  As Treadgold puts it, much as Mr. Calvert has said, Rome lasted as a clearly identifiable polity and state for two thousand years; from the early Republic to 1453. Rather a good record, I’d say.

          • Alitheia1875 says

            The Byzantines considered themselves Roman.

            • Exactly. The term “Byzantine” was invented by western academics to describe the eastern Roman Empire because they didn’t want to call it the eastern Roman Empire.

              Technically, the faith of the Byzantine empire was “Roman,” as they called themselves Romans. And, of course, it was catholic. Thus, in a sense, it’s quite appropriate for the Eastern Orthodox to call ourselves Roman Catholic, even though we have nothing to do with the modern Roman church.

              We still see vestiges of the Roman name in the east today. The Arab Orthodox in the Middle East are called the “Rum Orthodox” in Arabic (after “Roman”). The Greeks in the eastern Roman Empire always self-identified as “romaioi” (Ῥωμαῖοι), that is, Romans.

              The Byzantine epithet was invented by a bunch of WASP academics.

              • Tim R. Mortiss says

                True enough, except for the little paranoid bit about the motives of the “Western academics”.

                German historians coined “Byzantine” for East Rome quite awhile ago now; a couple of centuries perhaps. It has always been recognized and understood that the East Romans never used the term, and that it is purely an academic creation.

                It has survived and become near-universal for the simplest of reasons: it is very useful.

  25. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Orthodox Christianity website.

    A Homily on the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul
    Archimandrite Gregorios (Estephan)

    The following contemplation on the apostolic conciliarity of our Church was written by Archimandrite Gregorios (Estephan), Abbot of the Dormition of the Theotokos Monastery, Bkeftine, Lebanon.
    Translated by Maher Salloum

  26. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from yesterday on the Orthodoxy Cognate Page website.

    Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Budget – An Analysis

  27. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald.

    Clergy Laity Congress -Plenary Session – Budget
    By Theodore Kalmoukos – July 13, 2018

  28. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from July 1st on the Greek News website.

    Metropolitan Amphilochios of Kissamos slams “National Herald “for “flood of lies” and “perversion of truth”

  29. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from yesterday on the Pappas Post website.

    Metropolitan Nathanael of Chicago Throws First Pitch at White Sox Game
    written by Darden Livesay – July 12, 2018

    • Billy Jack Sunday says


      I would have expected that

      Metropolitan Nathaniel threw out the first pitch at a recent White Sox game

      GOA Priest had said that Met Nathaniel had hired a PR firm

      They are doing pretty good for him if they got him that

      However, later on

      I even saw the lights of the Goodyear Blimp

      And it read, “Billy Jack’s A Pimp”

      I gotta say it was a good day . . .

  30. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Orthodox Christianity website.

    Ekaterinburg, July 13, 2018

  31. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from yesterday in The National Herald.

    Archons Luncheon in Honor of Patriarchal Representatives
    By TNH Staff – July 14, 2018

  32. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald.

    Patriarchate Representative Apostolos’ Speech at Clergy Laity Congress Banquet
    By Theodore Kalmoukos – July 15, 2018

    • Billy Jack Sunday says

      Greatly Saddened

      Why doesn’t the Patriarch himself come to the Clergy Laity Congress?

      Why is it we are tied to him, but he doesn’t even bother to take responsibility to show up to anything of normal regular importance here?

      • “Metropolitan Apostolos said that “with God’s help we came to the end of this Clergy-Laity Congress, during which we examined from various perspectives and points of view and put our hands on the divine words: all things are possible to him who believes(Mark 9:23), always in reference to the life of this local Church, the chosen and prominent Eparchy of the holiest Ecumenical Throne.

        Now there’s a contradiction in terms if ever there was one.

        Why doesn’t he come? It enough to know that you are…

        “…of one mind with Mother Church, with one soul and with love in our heart that can reach the point of sacrifice and even self-sacrifice, let us all be, Hierarchs, Clergy and faithful people, connected to the holy leadership of the Orthodox Church as strings to the guitar.”

      • Steve Zaris says

        “…devout Fountain of our Race”???

        • Whiskey Six says

          Yes and they run around telling trump supporters not to be racist.

          Log in your own eye.

  33. Greatly Saddened says

    BJS … I have asked the same question numerous times before. Even though, by him attending, I doubt it would make any difference at all.

    • Greatly Saddened says

      His so called “love” runs deep. For this, his largest and most financially supportive eparchy …. yeah, right. Sorry for being so cynical, but this is beyond comical. Perhaps, best described, as a tragic comedy!

  34. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Orthodox Christianity website.

    Ekaterinburg, July 16, 2018

  35. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald. Unfortunately, the article is locked and doesn’t appear in its entirety. I will continue to be on the lookout for the article in its entirety, and if found, I will post.

    Metropolitan Alexios Talks to TNH about Clergy Laity, Finances, St. Nicholas, Autocephaly, Archbishop
    By Theodore Kalmoukos – July 16, 2018

    • GOA Priest says

      You can’t make this stuff up. These are the ramblings of a disturbed mind. Met. Alexios is a pseudo-monastic fraud poseur. Go back to your own Tartarus and leave us alone! What a creep.

      BOSTON, MA – Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta, the only hierarch who spoke at the Clergy Laity Congress even as he was booed, even by priests, spoke to The National Herald about multiple serious issues regarding the Church, including the Congress, the Archdiocese Finances, the St. Nicholas National Shrine, Autocephaly, and Archbishop Demetrios. The interview follows:

      TNH: Your Eminence, which are your thoughts about the 44th Clergy Laity Congress?

      MA: It was a successful Clergy Laity Congress for different reasons. First we had many delegates. Next year for the local Clergy Laity of our metropolis, I am hoping to present a problem in order to attract people, because it seems when there is a problem, many attend.

      TNH: Some 357 parishes participated, almost half of them.

      MA: Not half, of the 550, two thirds participated. The second success point was that there was an open dialogue. There was not a dialogue that was directed from somewhere. I didn’t see any who wanted to create problems or to impose their own agenda. I saw genuine people. Did they come out of concern, out of care, to make proposals? I don’t know. I think that because of the problem (finances), we had participation.

      TNH: Since you spoke about success, I remind you that Archdiocesan Chancellor Bishop Andonios of Phasiane threatened to resign, and Treasurer Michael Psaros did resign.

      MA: Yes, that shows that we had success because everyone wanted to express himself as he believed, either from the chair or from the plenary. Thus everyone expressed himself at that moment, at that time since things weren’t going well. If I had a position I would do the same to show to the people that we are sincere, especially we the clergy. We know that the problem was created because we had never a balanced budget.

      TNH: Why wasn’t there a balanced budget?

      MA: Simply because everyone wanted something, like this year the priests with Pension Plan. I am in favor of the priests and the Pension Program because when you get old, you should collect. But the moment that your family has a problem, should you ask for yourself and forget the others?

      THN: How did you feel as a human being and also as a hierarch that you were booed, and unfortunately, even by priests during your intervention about the budgets of the previous years?

      MA: That is why I told some of them that they only care about money. If you became priests for the money you are on the wrong path. The disapprobation of their own hierarch because he spoke the truth is proof that we need education and spirituality. Instead of talking about those things as clergy with our wives and children, we care only about money.

      TNH: Are you going to say anything to the priests who are under your responsibility?

      MA: Of course, of course, I will tell them that I feel ashamed as a person not only as a bishop, and please I want you to write it. Regardless if they agree or disagree, was that appropriate behavior toward a spiritual father?

      TNH: Your Eminence I want to assure you that I will write verbatim everything you are saying. Why do you think the archbishop and your fellow hierarchs were siting voiceless and you were the only one who spoke?

      MA: I can’t say anything about it because each one expresses himself as he wishes. I spoke not to differentiate myself, but in order to present the situation and to praise the things that Psaros and others are doing, who were not involved in our own mistakes. All the rest of us were involved and those people came and put in some order. Say your opinion, say your thought, but the priests were saying we want money. Is it not a shame to repeat that demand, knowing that the Archdiocese doesn’t have money?

      TNH: Why has the Archdiocese gone into this dire financial situation, to the point of taking out a bank loan just to survive?

      MA: Simply because Nicholas Bouras and Michael Jaharis died, and they were the ones giving money for the balanced budgets. [Then-Director of Administration] Jerry Dimitrou had expanded and he was taking funds from other accounts and he never asked us. On the contrary, at least once a year we (the Eparchial Synod) had a meeting with him discussing these things. We asked questions and he had answers, but we never asked him did you get money from here and there? These things are shown only when you do an audit. We are not accountants to do audits.

      TNH: Dimitriou didn’t tell you holy hierarchs that he transferred money from the St. Nicholas National Shrine account, etc.?

      MA: No, never.

      TNH: As a Synod you didn’t ask where the money was coming from?

      MA: Supposedly we thought there were other Bourases and Jaharises who were giving money, at least that was in my own mind.

      TNH: Don’t you think, as you said at the plenary session of the Clergy Laity Congress that all are responsible, the archbishop, the Synodic hierarchs, and the Archdiocesan Council?

      MA: And the people. The budget is voted by the people, not from the Synod or the Archdiocesan Council. The Synod is obligated to execute the decisions of the Clergy Laity Congress. The people of the Congress are responsible and I said exactly that. Among the lay people there are individuals who deal with accounting, finances. Businessmen. Why didn’t they ask questions? I studied to be a priest; I didn’t study to be an accountant.

      TNH: Would you recommend Archbishop Demetrios obey the ecumenical patriarch and depart in peace and nicely? The patriarch has told him to submit his resignation.

      MA: We don’t know that. We haven’t received any letter from the patriarch or the archbishop. There is no announcement from the Synod. The archbishop, like the old hierarchs, has been elected to serve, canonically speaking, until the end of his life.

      TNH: Don’t you think that the archbishop as the First also has the main responsibility?

      MA: Certainly, and he explained it very well.

      TNH: Do you thing that a detailed audit should be done in the metropolises?

      MA: I have already started.

      TNH: Since when?

      MA: Since Christmas. Every year we post our finances on the Internet. We are clean in everything since the first year that I came here. I have found people who are accountants. One of them is from the government. Another one recently retired from the IRS; these are the people who are helping with the finances. Also, every five or six years we hire an accounting firm; this year we are going to pay $28,000 and we are going to have the report by the end of October because the second weekend of November we have a meeting of the Metropolitan Council and I have to present the report.

      TNH: Why is Theological School in its current situation.

      MA: I don’t want to talk about the Theological School because Christopher [Metropulos, the Hellenic College Holy Cross president] was my first assistant; he was also serving in my metropolis.

      TNH: Would you talk about St. Nicholas?

      MA: We spoke about St. Nicholas, they got the money. Everyone knows those who were involved, Psaros, etc., that we didn’t know what was going on with Jerry Dimitriou. That is why Psaros paid $140,000 to an independent firm to see what was in there.

      Michel Psaros announces his resignation from his position as Treasurer of the Archdiocesan Council. Shown are Archbishop Demetrios of America and Metropolitan Maximos of Sylibria. (Photo by TNH/Theodore Kalmoukos)
      TNH: You didn’t know about the Archdiocese; you didn’t know about St. Nicholas, but for God’s sake, as a Synod, what you were discussing in the meetings?

      MA: I didn’t say that I don’t know about the Theological School, but I said that I don’t want to say. Regarding St. Nicholas, we know that the money was taken from there but it has been returned, thanks to Mr. Psaros and George [Tsandikos]. I am not responsible about the architect. The archbishop and Jerry Dimitriou are. Dimitriou was the general manager. As far as the design is concerned, I personally don’t like it.

      TNH: Please explain why.

      MA: Because it is not a Byzantine church. They say it will be for everyone. I understand and I respect that. We have so many Greek and Greek-American architects and byzantinologists and we found someone to whom we paid so many millions?

      TNH: As a Synodic hierarch, did you say that in the Synod?

      MA: I can’t say what we said in Synod, the meeting is closed doors, but I told you how I feel.

      TNH: Did you say these things to the archbishop? Did you voice your disagreement?

      MA: Again that is my problem, personal. I am telling you in general how I feel about St. Nicholas. In the Synod everyone can express his opinion, but at the end we have to do what the majority wants.

      TNH: How would describe the autocephaly talks: naïve, laughable, foolish, or all of the above?

      MA: None of the above, because it is impiety to the office of autocephaly, we degrade it. This issue belongs to the time and the Ecumenical Patriarchate. This doesn’t mean that that anyone can’t express himself and say whatever he wishes, always with respect.

      TNH: What do you mean by saying it belongs to time?

      MA: Like the time for the Church in Russia, it became autocephalous and after many years, many centuries it became Patriarchate. This is the time in the Church.

      TNH: Please speak clearly, what do you imply that at some point the Archdiocese here should become autocephalous?

      MA: Autocephaly as it became in Greece, as it in every country, but that it will happen in the time and the time is the thing that the Patriarchate works. When the Patriarchate feels that there should be autocephaly, then it will be autocephaly.

      TNH: Since everyone is responsible, why don’t you resign all together you, the archbishop, the Synod, and the Archdiocesan Council, in order our Church here to do a new beginning?

      MA: Your thought is beyond boundaries. We are hierarchs who have been elected by our Patriarchate; we have been ordained and you as a Theologian believe in the Holy Spirit. You shouldn’t think that at all. Second, the Church belongs to God and not to us. In the Synod and in the Church we need to have the spirit of humbleness and the spirit of wise men. You ask God in a humble spirit and pray God illumine me how to be and for what things. This doesn’t mean that I am worthy or unworthy; slimly the Church elected me and the Church charged me with this job. I am trying to it with the best possible way. I pray, I make mistakes, but in my life I want to make mistakes in order to do something, instead of doing nothing. In conclusion I want to tell you that Archbishop Demetrios saved the Church in America.

      • Billy Jack Sunday says

        THN: How did you feel as a human being and also as a hierarch that you were booed, and unfortunately, even by priests during your intervention about the budgets of the previous years?

        MA: That is why I told some of them that they only care about money. If you became priests for the money you are on the wrong path.

        Says the guy with an undisclosed income

        Hearing about a guy getting booed by priests is pretty funny

        Like as if Mr. Rogers had punched out an overbearing flight attendant or tripped a bratty kid

        You know you shouldn’t laugh

        • Greatly Saddened says

          Now, this is rather interesting. From what I surmise, as long as the hierarchs pension is safe, that seems to be all that counts.

          Shouldn’t these same hierarchs be just as concerned about their fellow clergy and their pensions as well? As the so called “shepherds” of their flock, which just so happens to include the clergy which they are responsible for as well. I would think, that would be the Christian thing to do! Once again, silly me for thinking this way. Please forgive me!

    • Greatly Saddened says

      Below please find the above article from The National Herald. As of this morning, it has been posted in its entirety.

      Metropolitan Alexios Talks to TNH about Clergy Laity, Finances, St. Nicholas, Autocephaly, Archbishop
      By Theodore Kalmoukos – July 17, 2018

      • GOA Priest says

        Take note, this what the GOA has to offer for pastoral leadership.

        If you became priests for the money you are on the wrong path.

        Excuse me, you mitre wearing fraud. Prior to ordination, we were REQUIRED to sign a document promising to participate in the pension. Now that priests, who upheld their end of the agreement by participating in the pension, discover said pension to be vastly underfunded and repeatedly abuse by cronies at the Archdiocese AND demand that the pension be administered properly, this moron calls us money-grubbers. Right.

        And you say all this while raping the parishes to build your Panagia Chapel (hardly a chapel), by making continuous demands for more, and more, and more donations for this extravagant church. Which, by the way, is inaccessible to a great number of the parishes in your Metropolis.

        Who is the real money-grubber?

        Go back to Greece where you learned all your con-man tricks.

        • Billy Jack Sunday says

          GOA Priest

          I’ve seen so much hussling by the church parishes

          In addition to the constant begging for regular tithes and sweating you to sign an annual tithing pledge

          [Of which my woman pointed out to her absolute disgust that they print in the bulletin the names of families that tithe – so you got the guilt and shame of peer pressure expectations. Shouldn’t that information be private?]

          Please come and pay for

          After church service fellowship hall
          luncheon (puts you on the spot)
          Annual festivals
          Christmas parties
          Wine and chocolate balls
          Crab feeds
          Candles candles candles
          Building funds
          Book store
          Dinner with the bishop present
          Mission coin boxes all around
          PARKING even at some parish properties
          (ever got a parking ticket from a
          Gouging hall rental prices

          Etc – on and on and on

          Greek churches charge for everything

          Most offensive in my opinion?

          They charge for Harvest Parties


          Everyone else in America gives out free candy for Halloween/Harvest Parties

          It’s like a rare anomaly in selfish America. Most everyone in America become generous to their community at that time – and give out candy

          It’s magical

          Some churches provide a Harvest Party as a safe family alternative to Halloween – free of charge – no thought of making people pay

          That, too, is neat! Some churches really go all out and are extremely generous for any/all random families who happen to show up simply because it’s a part of our culture and it’s special for making memories with and for your kids

          Does the Greek Church do the same – like everyone else?

          Nope! They charge!! And it ain’t a buck or two

          $10-12 a head, perhaps


          I get mad every time I think about it

          • George Michalopulos says

            When I was president of the parish council, I was rather self-satisfied because we had a different luncheon almost every other week. All fund-raisers and all serving very delicious food. After a year or so, I started getting complaints from some of the more established types why “certain people were not supporting X” (“X” being the specific group/ministry hosting the particular luncheon”.) I let it slide but one day, months later, in some other context, I found out that for some of these people, ponying up $5/plate every so often was a struggle. When it started getting up to the $7 and up range, then it was usually a deal-breaker.

            Now, I see both sides of this equation but the trap that many ethnic (esp GOA parishes) fall into is that it becomes a social mecca/fundraising bazaar. As to why this is, I assume it’s because tithing is non-existent and so the stewardship/dues fund the bare-bones operation as opposed to the various ministries.

            Anyway, that’s my take. Any other opinions and/or insights would be appreciated.

            • Billy Jack Sunday says

              George Michalopulos

              Do you mean like, “Why don’t the McCormick and Hubbard families support the FDF and Ladies (Greek ladies) Philoptochos fundraiser luncheons put on by the efforts of the Nichol and Dimas families?

              • George Michalopulos says


                • Billy Jack Sunday says

                  George Michalopulos

                  Don’t get me wrong

                  I’ve put on a lot of fundraisers for churches myself

                  And a parish member should contribute

                  It’s the hustling that accompanies some fundraising I have a problem with

                  Plus, some things should simply not be used as fundraisers

                  And what about where all this revenue is going?

                  Not everything is done on an Archon dime

                  I think things are set up in Greek Church to try and alieviate the problem of nominal ethnic Greeks showing up every great now and then and siphoning church resources in a selfish way while contributing next to nothing. I get that.

                  I don’t say this to be rude. I say it because I haven’t seen things done anywhere else quite the same way

                  However, how these things are done in Greek church creates a whole separate issue that some time later I might elaborate on

                  Until then, I would say that 5-7-10 a plate for a struggling single parent with 2-3 kids adds up quickly as another monthly bill – plus – you never know who else may look like they do alright, but are actually struggling

                  Add that on top of tithing, church clothes, etc – it can be hard on people

                  So they might sadly opt out of the ethnic food and say, “Hey, kids, why don’t we hit McDonalds on the way home? You guys can order whatever you like off the dollar menu.”

                  I personally think after church fellowship hour should be a simple coffee hour with simple, nice, low cost refreshments for everybody

                  No one should feel compelled to buy some meal simply because they went to Divine Liturgy and want to fellowship building relationships afterwards

                  Save the fundraising plates for the special dinner auction night – done on occasion – not nonstop

                  Overall, giving is a good thing, but

                  I believe these are especially symptoms of an insular ethnic church.

                  That being said, all sorts of faith communities find all sorts of ways to harshly lift people’s wallets

                  Also, I’m gonna disagree on the publishing of the Church stewards

                  All you gotta do is pledge a dollar+ annually to get on that list

                  Also, simply being a pledged steward alone doesn’t make you automatically a member in good standing. It just means you are not automatically not a member in good standing

                  A current church membership list eligible for voting purposes could be produced before any quarterly business meeting and annual parish council elections
                  Like a few weeks before meeting sign in so people know ahead of time and maybe catch up on their responsibilities

                  Maybe parishes need a dollar menu at the fellowship hour

                  Personally, I appreciate it when whatever is present is simple, and free. If not, then freewill – give whatever you like – offering

                  If you just take out the opinions, and just look at the cash – there’s usually plenty of people that put in enough to balance everything out

                  I knew of a church that built an exterior parking lot drive through coffee stand open 6 days a week that thrived off of donations only for quite a while – no listed prices . It worked but there’s more to that story. I digress

                  People can actually be very generous when there isn’t a price tag given when it comes to those sorts of ministry/fundraisers


                  I recommend any parish off of a busy road, perhaps with no coffee stands around, to consider putting up an espresso drive thru

                  Run it as a non profit so that the revenue can be used as a constant parish fundraiser

                  Either set it up as donation, or offer really good prices – either way – do it top notch professional

                  Get a couple parish volunteers or maybe hire part time – either way – they gotta be skilled at coffee and appropriately friendly and a good representative of the Church

                  I guarantee you will have revenue coming in and most likely new inquirers/visitors to your church off of the positive community contact

                  Just gotta convince the parish to invest the resources to get it off the ground – but there are ways to do it to keep initial costs down and pay for improvement/upgrades along the way

                  There will be enough generous customers to make it work


                  No arm twisting to get people to the fundraiser. They drive right to it and drive away. People go away with something they want. It benefits them and without compulsion

                  Numerically, a much greater pool if potential fundraising donors

                  Positive community contacts

                  Plus, if there isn’t any good places to get coffee around, you’ve made someone’s morning on a regular basis

                  Might really help people get to work and eventually find themselves in church and maybe even convert to the faith

                  Just some thoughts. Sorry for the long post/rant

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    BJS, I have no disagreement with what you say. I was just offering my historical perspective and why I don’t believe in run-of-the-mill fundraising anymore. Unless we Orthodox in America get to the point of tithing, we’ll always just limp along here in America.

                    • Billy Jack Sunday says

                      George Michalopulos

                      I hear you and I pretty much agree

                      I guess what I’m saying is that I’m okay with very periodic fundraisers that are light and under no compulsion at all

                      I agree that relying on them to supplement regular giving produces all sorts of problems

                      You might even get slapped in the face for refusing to work as a fundraiser volunteer!

                      Girl Scouts are lucky that the Samoas and a few other cookies that they peddle like a bunch of midget drug dealers are so good it makes their annual cookie sale fundraisers forgivable – and people actually really look forward their cookie season

                      Otherwise, everybody would find them obnoxious like smug and pushy donation services telemarketers

            • George, clubs focus on programs and churches focus on ministries. Most GOA members of the GOA are not faithful stewards. If we tithed, there would be no need for the Church to be in the restaurant business. Yes, an occasional parish meal/picnic generates fellowship. Remember Jesus had the Last Supper with his disciples. Furthermore, you pay dues to belong to a club not a Church.

              Billy Jack, I don’t see any problem with printing names of stewards, in fact, I believe the amount should be printed. Printing of the amount makes people accountable. God calls us to sacrificial giving and what is sacrificial to one person is not sacrificial to another. Remember the story of the widows mite. What is overlooked is that Jesus was watching what the widow offered and commended her for her sacrificial giving. Remember the story of Ananias and Sapphira in Acrs 5. These 2 were held accountable for not giving the proper amount and being dishonest for which they lost their lives.

              • George Michalopulos says

                johnkal, I too agree that the names of stewards be published. If nothing else, it shows who can/is eligible to vote for the parish council, serve on it, vote for funds, etc.

                • Alitheia1875 says

                  It’s a sad, sad day when what makes you eligible to vote for the parish council, serve on it, vote funds, etc., is that you are a steward. Nothing else is involved? No mention here of fasting, confession, Holy Communion, regular church service attendance. So I can afford to give lots of money to the parish but I don’t really feel like getting up most Sunday mornings because I work so hard all week to make the money to give to the church. But, of course, I do find time to dance to the music till a late hour at the several Saturday night dances sponsored by the parish, which, of course, only increases my desire to sleep late Sunday mornings. Next thing you know we’ll be selling seat space in the pews.

              • Constantinos says

                Do you tithe? Did Jesus or any of the Apostles ever tithe? Did the Apostle Paul ever command anyone to tithe? Tithing was part of the Old Testament law and was abolished. Tithing binds you to the law, and you are required to keep the entire law. I have studied tithing for a long time, and am convinced the practice is wrong. It’s between a person and God how much they give. We are not commanded to tithe, but to help the poor, widows, and orphans. If you plan to tithe, spread it around where it will do the most good. The church is not the only worthy charity. The problem is not tithing, but frivolous, unaccountable overspending by the dioceses. With all the financial chicanery, a person would be an unwise steward to tithe to the Greek Orthodox Church. It is unrighteous to “guilt” people into tithing.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  I must disagree with you Costa. Jesus did indeed tithe; both He and His family also attended the Temple liturgies as well as the local synagogue.

                  When He talked about the Widow and her Mite, He was not condemning the tithing of the Pharisee but pointing out that she gave “more” because she gave all she had.

                  Forgive me for being strident on this matter, but all my life growing up I’ve heard Orthodox Christians use a form of this argument to not fast; i.e. did Jesus and His disciples fast on Holy Thursday (when He instituted the Eucharist)? Also, did Jesus not condemn the fasting practices/appearances of the Pharisees?

                  Yes to both questions. However they then overlook what Jesus said to His disciples on another occasion: “When you fast…” Not if you fast.

                  In matters of tithing, giving, fasting, praying, Jesus was not concerned with outward appearances (even though He Himself observed them) but the inward condition of the person doing the fasting/praying/etc.

                  • Constantinos says

                    You are a very intelligent man and a deeply committed Orthodox Christian. In regards to the draft and other related topics, I propose that the government not only reinstate the draft, but impose a war tax on all American citizens. The war tax should be specifically withheld from a person’s income like the income taxes and social security taxes. It should say The War in Afghanistan tax, The War in Iraq tax, etc. These two measures alone would destroy War, Inc. forever.
                    George, when yo study tithing, isn’t it a good idea to study Judaism? Basically, it is a good idea to study the Talmud. I have to disagree with you about Jesus tithing. He was a carpenter, therefore He was not subject to the agricultural tax. In Judaism, tithing was only in effect when there was the Levitical priesthood, and it was only for the land of Israel. During the diaspora in Babylon, the Jews did not tithe. What Christians call tithing, the Jews call Tzedekah; it means justice or righteous. The Jews don’t tithe to the local synagogue, they purchase seats; they give their money to worthy charities. Bernie Marcus ( co- founder of Home Depot ) gives an interesting little speech about philanthropy on Youtube.
                    The (what I believe to be false teaching on tithing) keeps people from becoming Orthodox Christians because they think all the church is interested in is their money.Think about this example; suppose a single mother raising three children, working two jobs to make ends meet is in no position to tithe. On the contrary, the church should be helping her out financially. We are required to help the poor, but are not required to tithe our income to the church. For some, this is way too much, for others this may be too little. I have to respectfully disagree with you on that topic, but I nevertheless respect your opinion.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Costa, you are correct about current synagogue practice. However the Judaism that is practiced today is far different than what obtained in Jesus’ day.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      I would also like to see the Congress take back its constitutional authority to declare (not authorize) war.

                    • Somehow, the current Orthodox clergy have adopted a fear about speaking about money. The fear is that the people will think that “it is all about the money” as Costa states.Jesus spoke more about money than he did about prayer. Our inclination is to hoard our money and thus Jesus taught, “where you treasure is so will your heart be also.”

                • Costa, please read Luke 11:42. I do tithe not because I follow some legalistic principle but rather because that is the goal set forth in srcipture. One will always have some problem with the institutional church and should not use that as an excuse to give. Jesus did not discourage the widow’s giving even though he had strong objections to the way the temple was being run, rather he commended her for her sacrificial giving. The easiest excuse to find and justify, is the one not to give. Read the story of Annias and Sapphira in Acts–their giving was clearly not between them and God.

            • Greatly Saddened says

              GM … I tend to agree and do not mean any disrespect to these parishes. Tithing and stewardship seem to be rather foreign to numerous ethnic immigrant GOAA parishes. I do believe it is somewhat of a psychological thing, where one needs to be told how much to give, rather than to give from the heart. This has been my personal experience between the more ethnic immigrant parishes, versus the so to speak, more Americanized parishes.

  36. Greatly Saddened says

    Thanks to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America … the emptying of the pews continues!

    I’m sure Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is elated with what He sees happening. A severe course adjustment is needed before it is too late. Wake up and sound the alarm!

  37. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from yesterday on the OCL website.

    Response to 4th of July, American Independence Day Address of Patriarchal representative to Archons in Boston during 44th GOA Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress
    Prof Paul G Manolis
    Source: Orthodox Christian Laity


  38. My, oh my. I don’t look at this website for some months, and lo, it appears that the whole operation is falling apart.

    As long as the concept of “independent audit” is viewed as anathema by the ruling hierarchs and insider laity, then these problems will only proliferate. As long as the golden rule of the world* reigns, expect more of the same.



    #ponzi #ocanews #financial #accountability #standards
    *he who has the gold, makes the rules

  39. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald. Unfortunately, the article is locked and doesn’t appear in its entirety. I will continue to be on the lookout for the article in its entirely, and if found, I will post.

    Analysis: Inadequacies and Incompetencies
    By Theodore Kalmoukos – July 17, 2018

    • GOA Priest says

      Since last September, when The National Herald first started the revelations about the Archdiocese’s dire financial situation, many attempts were made to ignore, spin, undermine, or even to refute them.

      Let me make it clear that I don’t mean the various defenders and decoys, but rather the official representatives of the Church, including the archbishop, some hierarchs and some appointed laypersons, who were consciously spinning about the well-documented revelations – which rattled our Greek-American community, the Ecumenical Patriarchate – of which the Archdiocese of America is its most Eminent Ecclesiastical Eparchy – Greece, and Hellenism throughout the world.

      Thus we arrived to Clergy Laity Congress in Boston and specifically July 2, indeed an unforgettable day on which His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios Geron America with a heavy heart admitted the financial sinking of the Archdiocese, that most prestigious church which His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the Patriarchate in general entrusted onto him.

      The archbishop did not have any other choice or to do otherwise because he knew that everything the Herald was revealing was true and accurate. His problem, as well as that of his flatterers, was and still is where the Herald finds the evidence, how obtains even the most confidential information, and why it reveals it, because the archbishop and cronies didn’t want and don’t want the Church – i.e., the Body of the Laity – to know what is going on. The prevailing doctrine and mentality is pay, pray, and obey.

      After noting in his keynote address the events that transpired from the previous Congress, in Nashville, TN in 2016, including mention of those who since passed away, he proceeded with the astonishing admission of the Archdiocese’s virtual bankruptcy as follows: “There have appeared since the 2016 Clergy-Laity Congress in Nashville unexpected serious economic difficulties and problems and organizational inefficiencies for which we genuinely and deeply regret.

      “For me, personally as Archbishop, after a long 19-year experience of serving here, and for the entire faithful of the Archdiocese, this dire situation caused truly unbearable pain. This pain resulted from the fact that in spite of the sincere and unselfish offering of work done by many people, we suddenly found threatening before us an extremely difficult and really unacceptable situation. I am truly and deeply sorry for the disappointment, sorrow, frustration, and pain that this unfortunate situation brought upon each and every member of our precious and beloved Archdiocese. And I am still refusing to accept and justify the stopping of the building of St. Nicholas. To stop the building of a church, truly monumental and highly symbolic universally for Orthodoxy as is St. Nicholas at Ground Zero is really unthinkable. Tragically, this unthinkable [situation] happened.”

      Even after that clear admission his collaborator George Tsandikos and one or two more of the same caliber continue their innuendos about “misinformation and fake news.” Listening to the archbishop, I felt extremely sorry for our Church, and listening to Tsandikos I simply laughed.

      Certainly the archbishop has every reason to feel “disappointment, sorrow, frustration, and pain” for this “dire situation… threatening us extremely difficult and really unacceptable.”
      Of course these “serious economic difficulties and problems and organizational inefficiencies” as the archbishop characterized it, reflect not his vociferous inadequacy and incompetence, but also of the members of the Eparchial Synod and certainly of the Archdiocesan Council and its committees and subcommittees, because where had they been?

      I emphasize yet again that they are all responsible for this tragicomedy of our Church in America. If all those inadequacies and incompetencies were in the private sector, they would have been dismissed from onset.

      • Greatly Saddened says

        Father … thank you so much posting both recent articles in their entirety from The National Herald.

  40. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Orthodox Christianity website.

    Ajiro, Japan, July 17, 2018

  41. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Pravmir website.

    Unbaptized Infants Allowed to Funeral Service in the Church

  42. Greatly Saddened says

    Time is past due for forensic audits to be done in all the metropolises of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. This should have been a “standard operating proceduce” requirement from the very beginning, when the dioceses became metropolises.

    It is paramount these metropolises, along with the archdiocese, are totally transparent and totally accountable to the stewards that support them. No excuses will suffice!

  43. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from Monday on the Orthodox Christianity website.

    Tbilisi, July 16, 2018

  44. Greatly Saddened says

    Just a thought … could His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios be preparing to retire before the new ecclesiastical year? Only time will tell for sure!

  45. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find a news release from Monday on the Orthodox Church in America website.

    July 16, 2018
    19th All-American Council is just one week away!

  46. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from yesterday on the Reuters website.

    JULY 18, 2018 / 8:21 AM / UPDATED 18 HOURS AGO
    Greece’s last bellmakers keep time-honored trade alive
    Karolina Tagaris

  47. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald.

    Conclusions of the 2nd International Conference on Digital Media and Orthodox Pastoral Care
    By TNH Staff July 19, 2018

  48. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find a news release from Wednesday on the OCA website.

    July 18, 2018
    Clergy consider current issues at STOTS Continuing Education gathering
    SOUTH CANAAN, PA [STOTS Communications

  49. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find a news release from today on the OCA website.

    July 19, 2018
    SVOTS grants emeritus status to two retired professors
    YONKERS, NY [SVOTS Communications]

  50. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Orthodox Christianity website.

    Helsinki, July 20, 2018

  51. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from yesterday on the Pravmir website.

    Mistranslation of the Lord’s Prayer?
    Source: Fr. John Whiteford’s Commentary and Reflections

    • Alitheia1875 says

      The standard English version of the Lord’s Prayer used in almost every Orthodox Church has a major error. It is not “deliver us from evil”. It is “deliver us from the evil one”. Evil in Greek is “poniria” whereas the Greek word in the Lord’s Prayer is “poniros, which is a descriptive word. Satan has frequently been referred to as “O Poniros” in the tradition of the Church.

      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

        Accuracy of translation from Greek is great. However I prefer to be delivered from evil “period” and not just Satan.

    • Monk James Silver says

      Greatly Saddened (July 20, 2018 at 5:27 a ) says:

      Below please find an article from yesterday on the Pravmir website.

      Mistranslation of the Lord’s Prayer?
      Source: Fr. John Whiteford’s Commentary and Reflections

      Fr John Whiteford’s article concentrates on the phrase ‘and lead us not i8nto temptation’, which he considers to be accurate, but it is not.

      He insists on retaining ‘temptation’ as the only possibly correct rendering of peirasmos here, but he is mistaken for three major reasons.

      In the first place, the Greek word peirasmos means not only ‘temptation’, but also ‘test, trial, scrutiny, examination, assay’ , etc..

      Then — and perhaps more importantly — the scriptures tell us explicitly in several places that the Lord will never ‘lead us into temptation’. I hope that FrJW and everyone reading my words here know how to use a concordance, although the evidence so far is rather thin.

      Finally, there is the grammar of the last two clauses of ‘Our Father’ in Greek. The penultimate clause introduces a conditional situation which is resolved by the ultimate clause.

      Here, St Matthew’s Greek has kai mE eisenegkHIs hEmas eis peirasmon. The negative particle mE followed by the subjunctive verb eisenegkEIs creates a conditional clause which causes us to anticipate a resolution. Note that the verb here is not an imperative form, as is the case with the verb rysai in the next clause. This line, then, is to be rendered something like ‘and, lest You bring us into a test…’

      The ultimate clause is introduced by alla (‘but, instead, rather’); this tells us that we have come to the resolution of the previous (conditional) clause. We now tell the Lord (since we’ve already established that it would be a bad idea for Him to allow us to be tested) to rescue or deliver us from the Evil One: alla rysai hEmas apo tou poneirou.

      Were this final word intended to mean ‘evil’ in the abstract, it would have to say ponos or ponEria. As it is, though, our word here is the generative case form of poneiros, an adjective meaning ‘evil, wicked. sly’) here used as a substantive (an adjective functioning as a noun), well demonstrated by the presence of the definite article tou. There’s no question, then, that we are speaking of being rescued from ‘the Evil One/Person’.

      In idiomatic contemporary English, then, I’d render these two lines as ‘And, rather than let us be put to the test, rescue us from the Evil One.’

      Ultimately, our problems with revisiting our more commonly encountered translations of ‘Our Father’ with a view toward correcting them starts with the sad truth that they are largely based on the Latin liturgical version used in England a thousand years ago rather than on the Greek text of St Matthew’s account of the Gospel, which is what we Orthodox Christians use without alteration.

      Then there’s the reality that there is not now, nor has there ever been, a completely consistent universally accepted English-language translation of this most foundational prayer. Some people are used to ‘debts’ (which is correct) and others to ‘trespasses’ (which is not). So we then run into the buzz saw of people’s comfort zones — they just want to keep doing what they’re accustomed to doing, the truth being sacrificed to inertia. ‘So tell me, Father James, are you lying to us now or have the English-speaking churches been lying to us for a thousand years?’

      I hope that you understand the problem a little better now, and that this essay helps a bit.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Thank you Fr for this wonderful exposition

        • Monk James Silver says

          You’re most welcome, George.

          I hope other readers found it helpful, too.

      • M. Stankovich says

        Another jamboree over presumptions that make absolutely no difference whatsoever.

        In the first place, if you check the Ancient Greek, a speaker of Greek at the time of St. Matthew would not have understood εἰσενέγκῃς [lead] as you & Pope Francis apparently are aflutter in “mistranslation,” but as Plato intended it: [in the identical verb – aorist – subjunctive – 2nd person singular] swept or carried along as in the flow of a river; or δειλίαν ἐσφέρει τοῖς ἀλκίμοισι [“sweeps/carries cowardice into the brave”]. He used it to describe a powerful, potent action, with the very real, very dangerous potential of “sweeping away,” like a racing river, anyone who disrespected the power and the danger. How is it inappropriate to refer to this as a “temptation?” For this to be even worth the time and effort arguing, you would first have to convince me that there is a substantial difference between “temptation” and anything else you’ve proposed – trial, test, scrutiny, whatever. Is it unreasonable to propose to you that common sense easily suggests a “test” is a “temptation” is a “test,” is a “temptation?” What point would be served to changing the text of Mark 14:38 to read: “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation a trial.” Nothing at all.

        Finally, in my opinion, the only justification for the ensuing chaos of changing hundreds of years of common practice, hundreds of years of repetition, and hundreds of years of common familiarity is to correct an error of true theological principle, or unless it is a universal decision, for example, to change from Elizabethan English to a colloquial form of English. The rest is valueless schoolhouse busywork that will result in more time attempting to explain the rationale for actions that, in the end, have no practical value.

        • Monk James Silver says

          There are no presumptions at all here, just the facts.

          I regret that Michael Stankevich fails to appreciate the theological problems which my corrected translation of ‘Our Father’ solves, and that he is unable to understand the implications of its properly understood Greek grammar.

          Perhaps a closer reading of my earlier post will be of help to him, especially since I took great pains to line out the issues and their resolutions, at least in the final two lines of the prayer. There are other errors all through the text, but that’s not what we were discussing. For now, let’s just get used to ‘Evil One’ for the reasons which I adduced.

          • M. Stankovich says

            OK, I openly concede my inability to appreciate your generosity. Forgive me. I have re-read your post closely and with particular attention and I ask you one simple questions, if you would: 1) Please indicate for me where explicitly the scriptures tell us, “in several places that the Lord will never ‘lead us into temptation.” Otherwise, your great pains are, for better or for worse, self-laudatory only. In fact, if these scriptural passages do not include the word εἰσενέγκῃς, you have no argument. Have at it.

      • Tim R. Mortiss says

        Well, we Presbyterians (me being one for 66 years) never got the “trespasses” thing. We always used “debts”; i.e., the correct word.

        I confess I still get a little tic now with “trespasses”. I’m getting over it…

  52. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from yesterday on the OCL website.

    George Matsoukas, Executive Director of Orthodox Christian Laity
    Source: Orthodox Christian Laity

  53. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Orthodox Christianity website.

    Kiev, July 20, 2018

  54. Alitheia1875 says

    The standard English version of the Lord’s Prayer used in almost every Orthodox Church has a major error. It is not “deliver us from evil”. It is “deliver us from the evil one”. Evil in Greek is “poniria” whereas the Greek word in the Lord’s Prayer is “poniros, which is a descriptive word. Satan has frequently been referred to as “O Poniros” in the tradition of the Church.

    • George Michalopulos says

      I’m glad you pointed this out! As a point of general knowledge, Arb Dmitri Royster of thrice-blessed memory translated the Lord’s prayer correctly in this regard.

      • Alitheia1875 says

        I didn’t know that. But where is it used today?

        • George Michalopulos says

          Diocese of the South. I’ve heard it’s been picked up in other OCA dioceses as well. Can anybody confirm this?

    • Both are correct; it is whether you read it as the genetive of a neuter noun (“evil”) or the genetive of a masculine noun (“evil one”). I would hardly gainsay five centuries of English translation.

      • George Michalopulos says

        I disagree. It’s “poneirou” is the accusative of the noun “ho poneiros” which means “the evil one”.

        The distinction is crucial in my opinion. Naming an actor is much more condemnatory than naming the action. Naming the action diffuses the responsibility.

        • Theokleia says

          Yes you are right of course. I have pointed this out many times…but there are those who are unwilling or perhaps fearful of calling evil what it is, namely that which “o poneiros” inflicts. So they recite “evil” which in itself means nothing as evil is not abstract. It is the named and real purveyor of evil all through the teachings of the Church as well as in the holy scriptures. It is that which he does.

        • Alitheia1875 says

          “Poneirou” is the generative not the accusative. “Poneiron” is the accusative. But I believe it is easier to accept “evil” rather than “evil one” because evil is a commonly used word but to many, to suggest the existence of the “evil one” is very difficult because do not believe in the existence of Satan.

          • Monk James Silver says

            In the gospels, our Lord Jesus Christ Himself not only mentions Satan several times, but actually has a conversation with him.

            People who deny the existence of the Evil One are defying Jesus. Not a good idea, especially since the ‘Our Father describes him very clearly, and those are Jesus’s words.

            • Alitheia1875 says

              Evil in Greek is poniria which is clearly not the word used in the Lord’s Prayer. The word poniros is used, “apo tou ponirou”. If it were evil it would read “apo this ponirias”, a very great difference in meaning.

              evil in Greek is poniria

              • Monk James Silver says

                That’s pretty much what I wrote earlier, and everyone who can read Greek understands this.

                The question remains, though: Why do we English-speaking Orthodox Christians continue to use an inadequate, inaccurate translation of ‘Our Father’ — among other liturgical and scriptural mistakes?

              • You’re thinking modern Greek – and yes, the original is the genetive case, not accusative. Indeed, if the reference had been only to a “person” He could have just as easily used Σατανά.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  I stand corrected re the case.

                  However, the idea that Jews of the classical period would use personal names for spiritual beings in conversation and%or prayer is quite misleading.

                  Jews for example would use the title “adonai” for God instead of Yahweh (which because of this reticence) we don’t know how to pronounce. In the Lord’s prayer for example God is addressed as “our Father”.

                  Likewise “belial/Beliar” or “beelzebub” was used as opposed to Satan.

  55. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald.

    Matsoukas Voices Support for Efstathios Valiotis and Autocephaly
    By TNH Staff – July 22, 2018

  56. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from Friday on the OCL website.

    Son of slain priest ordained in Iraq by same bishop who made his father a priest 0

    Source: Aleteia
    John Burger

  57. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from yesterday on the OCL website.

    by Dean Popps

  58. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Orthodox Christianity website.

    Kiev, July 24, 2018

  59. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from yesterday on the Orthodox Christianity website.

    Kazan, July 23, 2018

  60. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from Friday on the Orthodox Christian website.

    Valaam, July 20, 2018

  61. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Orthodox Christianity website.

    Kiev, July 24, 2018

  62. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find a news release from yesterday on the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America website.

    MONDAY, JULY 23, 2018
    Successful Biennial Clergy Symposium Concludes at Antiochian Village
    Peter Samore

  63. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald. Unfortunately, the article is locked and doesn’t appear in its entirety. I will continue to be on the lookout for the article in its entirely, and if found, I will post.

    Analysis: Urgency for Renewal
    By Theodore Kalmoukos – July 25, 2018

  64. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from Tuesday on the OCL website.


    Source: Orthodoxy in Dialogue

  65. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from yesterday on the OCL website.

    “Thicket of Idols”: Alexander Schmemann’s Critique of Orthodoxy


    Source: The Wheel
    John A. Jillions

  66. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Orthodox Christianity website.

    Kiev, July 27, 2018

  67. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find a press release from yesterday on the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America website.

    Archbishop Demetrios Raises the Issues of Religious Freedom of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in State Department Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom
    Stavros Papagermanos – Press Office,
    July 26,

  68. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from Wednesday on the Orthodoxie website.

    Patriarch Irinej of Serbia on the situation of the Orthodox Church in Montenegro
    By Emma Cazabonne
    25 July 2018

  69. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Orthodox Christianity website.

    Moscow, July 27, 2018

  70. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find a news release from Wednesday on the OCA website.

    July 25, 2018
    AAC delegates pass funding resolution

  71. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find a news release from yesterday on the OCA website.

    July 26, 2018
    Delegates updated on OCA and pan-Orthodox institutions, ministries

  72. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald. Unfortunately, the article is locked and doesn’t appear in its entirety. I will continue to be on the lookout for the article in its entirely, and if found, I will post.

    Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit Discusses Congress, Archbishop, HCHC, etc.
    By Theodore Kalmoukos – July 28, 2018

  73. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find a news release from Saturday, July 14th, on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA website.

    UOC of the USA Introduces New Web Site

  74. Greatly Saddened says

    Please forgive me, but after reading the interviews with Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta and Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit. I find it rather interesting that it seems the Holy Eparcial Synod of this Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America was unaware of the financial mess at the Archdiocese.

    In addition, I also find it rather strange that neither of them, and perhaps the entire group of these Metropolitans didn’t seem to ask any questions in regard to the finances of the Archdiocese. I guess they are strictly concerned with theological matters only. But then again, they seem to have no problem spending the faithful stewards’ money that is sent to the Archdiocese. It is simply amazing that it seems no one knows or can recall any thing. I guess all that has transpired will remain a mystery. How convenient. And as the saying goes … “ignorance is bliss!”

    With the position of Hierarch comes responsibility. One cannot, nor should shrug off responsibility when it seems convenient to do so. All are to blame. That includes the Archbishop, the Metropolitans and the Archdiocesan Council! No pun intended … “Stop passing the buck when it comes to responsibility!”

  75. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Orthodox Christianity website.

    Moscow, July 30, 2018