The Greeks Surrender

Well, this is not a story I ever wanted to write or words I ever wanted to hear. But there’s no way around it: the Church of Greece threw in the towel.

Shame on them. That’s what happens when you have compromised men in the episcopate. I imagine that during his most recent visit, Pompeo took several holdouts and passed them some sealed manila folders. He probably said something like “It would be a shame if these ever became public”.

That’s how things work.

But now the believing flock of the Church of Greece will wither. I imagine some will look more kindly upon the Old Calendar remnants. The more marginal will just simply stop attending church and join the ranks of unbelievers. And why not? When a local Church becomes so corrupt that it can’t withstand the blandishments of the State (or worse, foreign state actors like Pompeo), then what kind of Church do you have?

Is going through the motions enough? Honestly, I don’t know. I ask this question in all sincerity.

In the meantime, I expect the schism between Istanbul and the rest of Orthodoxy to continue. Dark days are ahead. I say these words not because I’m a pessimist but because I’m a realist. It’s best that people know what is going on. Just like the Democratic debate the other night, in which Beto O’Rourke stated flat out that the Federal government should rescind the tax-exemption of churches that don’t go along with the LGBTQRST agenda.

It’s coming folks. Prepare yourselves accordingly.

P.S. After the 28th of October, in which the Greeks under Gen John Metaxas repelled the Italian invasion and then gave the Wehrmacht a bloody nose, Winston Churchill arose to speak in Parliament these stirring words: “Never let it be said that Greeks fight like heroes but that heroes fight like Greeks”. Alas, these words are now null and void. They speak of another race, another people.


  1. Two things I am curious about:
    1) What will happen with the clergy (there’s a high amount I’m certain that still hold the Orthodox faith), that do not go along with this? 
    2) Within the laity of the CoG, will there be any protest? Or, will they just go along with it, do they even care? Not being familiar with the “devoutness” of Greek laity, I am left to wonder what they will do. 
    How sad that no matter what he has done in the past, Archbishop Ieronimos will be remembered among the faithful Orthodox along with Bartholomew and others that sold out Orthodoxy…what an immense shame and stain on his legacy and ordination vows 

    • What will happen in the COG on ground?   Well as with calander question, the majority will consider it a far away question and continue to draft along or continue out, which is prevailing trend. U know,  the ten minute Pascha night attenders will be fine!  
      A few will ACTIVELY support decision but not many. A large minority will oppose and either align with old calandarists of whom the ‘synod in resistance ‘ based at monastery at Fyli near Athens,  the most open and coherent, although they broke with ROCOR when it joined Moscow,but times change, or form new groups. Either way as with old believers schism in Russia, old calander question in Greece, it will divide and weaken  the Church and deprive it of the more active elements just as the state carried on with separation. As for CIA etc,  as u say once their anti -Russian drive is achieved, the Church will have served it’s use. 
      Accursed be the name of Ieronimos  and the 72 betrayers of the Church. ANAXIOS ANAXIOS ANAXIOS. . 

  2. I hate to say it, but, I will not be visiting any GOARCH parishes any longer, I can tell where this train is heading. 
    What a shame, I was planning on going on a religious pilgrimage to Greece in December…I have just purchased my ticket for Romania instead of Greece as I can no longer take communion in good conscience from any parish associated with the Church of Greece or Constantinople, they have betrayed our Lord’s Church for silver  

    • Solitary Priest says

      Watch out. Romania may be next. Don’t forget, they were the first non-Greek church to recognise the calendar change.

    • Greece pilgrimage is canceled for me and mine as well.

    • Alitheia1875 says

      Just remember that if your bishop, of whichever church you belong to, is in communion with the Church of Greece or the EP, that makes you in communion with them as well. 

    • I too now feel uncomfortable going to a GOA parish or monastery presently, even though the GOA priests in my city support monasteries while the monks and nuns  in the US monasteries are devout and revere the Holy Fathers and Tradition.   They sadly seem to me to be honoring by their silence (and communion with those advocating for schismatics) certain heartbreaking actions and beliefs.  I pray that will not long be the case.  May God protect us from schism, heresy and discouragement.    Panagia, pray for us.  

  3. Only 7 Metropolitans voted against the recognition. Lord knows they will be counted like St. Mark of Ephesus when the time comes.

    • Monk James Silver says

      It would surprise no one if those seven metropolitans formed yet another ‘synod inj resistance’, but perhaps with more legitimacy this time.

      Altogether, while its interorthodox effects are going to be many and wide-ranging, this disappointing betrayal of the basic principles of Orthodox Christian ecclesiology has immediate and very serious implications for church life in North America.

      • Angry Observer says

        Yes, of course, this directly affects Orthodoxy in America.

        The Greek churches continue to align with the western secularists, while the Russian/Slavic churches continue their trajectory of maintaining faithfulness to Christian Orthodoxy.

        How long do you think the OCA will try to continue to maintain “neutrality” in its way-too-generous overtures to the GOA?

        It’s high time that the OCA calls a spade a spade and calls out C’ple and the CoG on their complete betrayal of Metropolitan Onuphry and of our faith.

        One can’t both recognize the schismatic “OCU” and also recognize Metropolitan Onuphry and his suffering flock. In doing this, the CoG is effectively calling the saintly Met. Onuphry and his flock illegitimate. To the synod of the CoG, anathema and ανάξιος!!

        God forgive me, but what a bunch of capitulating spineless weakling opportunists the synod of the CoG is. Trading our faith for western money and secular “protection” and influence. May God have mercy on their souls.

        • Yes of course,The Truth with Love   as i did today.   Many ordinary believers here in Bulgaria do not even know of the situation so is sad to tell them but  the truth makes you free. 

        • Angry observer.  Yes spinleless and effect load of ……  bar those who are not,  few indeed.  
          But over the years they have allowed churches to be filled with rigid rows of chairs like a 19c Theatre and organs to creep in ( as in Corfu, in Plaka  area in Athens etc  . And yes we do need seating but plenty ways of providing seating without turning church into 19c Theatre.. You may say these are minor matters in comparisom  but by how they act in  small matters people can be judged as to how they will act in larger ones. 

      • Yes the Fyli synod in resistance the most coherent old calander grouping.  But I fear most will drift on and many as is trend,  continue  out. 
        I fear Romania next.   

    • BlueHorseshoe says

      Do we know how many voted for recognition ( I have no idea what the size of the electing body is )?  Are the yes/no votes publicized?

    • The 7 (actually 8) Metropolitans were:
      Kosmas of Aitolia and Akarnania
      Seraphim of Kythira
      Nikolaos of Mesogaia and Laureotiki
      Seraphim of Piraeus
      Seraphim of Karystia and Skyros
      Andreas of Dryinoupolis Pogoniani and Konitsa
      Germanos of Ileia
      ——–and also by letter:
      Nektarios of Kerkyra, Paxoi and Diapontioi islands 

      • Joseph Lipper says

        It sounded like they only voted to delay the decision. If so, then it doesn’t sound like these bishops will go into schism with Church of Greece.

      • Those are some of the best bishops in Greece, especially Seraphim of Piraeus.
        Good strength to them!

      • The 7 Metropolitans list is now corrected to at least 10, in alphabetical order:

        Andreas of Dryinoupolis Pogoniani and Konitsa

        Daniel of Kaisariani

        Germanos of Ileia

        Kosmas of Aitolia and Akarnania

        Nektarios of Kerkyra, Paxoi and Diapontioi islands (by letter)

        Nikolaos of Mesogaia and Laureotiki

        Seraphim of Karystia and Skyros

        Seraphim of Kythira

        Seraphim of Piraeus

        Symeon of Nea Smyrni

        • Axios!!!

        • My Athens Kumbaros today told me I am angry because I do not realise that the Church is in captivity,  an interesting Term used by Stephen Runciman in his magisterial  book on Constantinople patriarchate under Othomans and its soul sold.  And that Greece since 2008 the same and Athens turned in to a multi ethnic SLUM. 
          I, inspite of being Greek, am not a conspiracyt theorest but cannot but help see a pattern. They want to destroy the remaining protest against the globalist agenda which is  the Orthodox church. I see this clearly.  

        • Rhonda Dodson says

          I see how we went from 7 to 8 as I had wondered about Nektarios’ letter myself, but how did we go from 8 to 10? Got a news source?

        • It would be wonderful if there was a way to get email addresses – these Bishops need to know that others from other lands value their faithfulness.

        • Everyone…this is extremely significant…It is certainly 1439 all over again, but in the wisdom of our Ecclesiastical tradition, and according to the Church canons, in the event of a schism of heresy, you only need 3 bishops to survive in order to maintain the Church in a viable state.  If the current count is accurate, Greece has 10 (maybe more will join) so long-term viability will be preserved, even though it appears like we are officially entering a state of turmoil…

  4. George, meant to ask, do you think the Russian Church will set up parallel parishes in Greece like they plan to do in Turkey?

    And do you think the Russians will now recognize the Old Calendarists in Greece?

    • George Michalopulos says

      We shall see.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        It’s ironic that Greece will officially recognize the OCU on October 19, the day Epiphany is expected to be in New York City to receive the Athenagoras Human Rights award from the Patriarchate of Constantinople’s Order of St. Andrew.

        For those who don’t know, the award is based on Constantinople’s Athenagoras I, who purportedly: “. . . cultivated a new era of recognition and prestige for the Orthodox Christian Church on an international and ecumenical level. Having established closer contacts with sister churches of Orthodoxy, with leaders of other Christian Churches and with other Faiths and denominations, his name became synonymous with love for all peoples of the earth.”

        Interestingly, Epiphany did everything BUT “establish closer contacts with sister churches of Orthodoxy.”

        • October 19 is also the day when the Russian church commemorates St. Makarios, new martyr of Mount Athos… ”
          Our Holy Father, the New Martyr Macarius.

          Commemorated October 6 in the Orthodox Christian Menaion

          From the Prologue
          Born in Cion in Bithynia, of Christian parents Peter and Anthusa, he was baptised with the name Manuel. His parents had him taught tailoring as a trade, then his father embraced Islam and moved to Brussa. Once, when Manuel went to Brussa in the course of his work, his father found him and put great pressure on him to follow his example. Manuel refused, but in vain: the Turks circumcised him by force. Then Manuel fled to the Holy Mountain and became a monk in the skete of St Anne, receiving the name Macarius. He was a model monk for twelve years, but his soul could find no peace. ‘Whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father’ (Matt. 10: 33) – these words of Christ’s were constantly ringing in Macarius’ ears. He therefore resolved, with his elder’s blessing, to go to Brussa and openly confess his faith in Christ before the Turks, calling Mahomet a false prophet. After being flogged for a hundred and thirty days and enduring even harsher tortures, he was beheaded with the sword in Brussa on October 6th, 1590. A part of his wonderworking relics is preserved in the skete of St Anne on Mount Athos.”

        • Angry Observer says

          My assumption is that Pompeo and Karloutsos wanted this CoG “recognition” of the schismatic “OCU” wrapped up before the Oct. 19th charade in NYC that “honors” the non-metropolitan “Epiphany.”

          Pompeo, the US State Dept, Karloutsos, and the GOA are desperately pushing the narrative that this is a Greek vs Russian thing, rather than an Orthodox Christian vs. non-Orthodox-Christian thing (the latter accurately depicts the reality; this is NOT a Greek vs Russian thing; Greeks with any sense in their brains can see right through what Istanbul and the CoG are doing).

          Pompeo, Karloutsos, et al. are playing off of Westerners’ anti-Russian/anti-Slavic biases and prejudices to garner sympathy for the “OCU” and for the “poor Greek Churches being bullied by the Russian Churches.”

          What morons.

          Karloutsos et al. still haven’t realized that the State Dept and the Western secularists will throw the Greek Orthodox Churches under the bus in a second, the minute that Istanbul and the GOA cease to be useful to them.

          I pity anyone who remains stuck in Istanbul/GOA churches who cannot muster the testicular fortitude necessary to get out of there ASAP.

          • Angry observer. They lost those long ago.!!  
            Hopefully the Church of Bulgaria where i am, has them aplenty. 

            • Vox  Pop here including priest and theologian..They totally against. 9/10. 
              And they may not necessarily be pro Russian. It’s not a cultural but religious view they taking. The Patriarch is a good man, very but near death and they putting pressure on him but he not bending, nor bishops. Bulgaria knows what a greek hyper – nationalistic hypocrisy giving fraud behind high sounding words, is the man in istambul..
              When the turks come Greece will learn hard way.

    • A good first move for the Moscow Patriarchate (that would benefit the rest of the Church) would be if the MP recognizes and patronizes the zealot fathers of Esphigmenou on Mount Athos.
      They were right.

      • October 19 would be a good date since Bartholomew will be on Mount Athos on October 19-22  to cast his darkness over the Holy Mountain.

      • Well, I’ll be blessed!  

        Look at what the Orthodox Times reported yesterday:
        On September 24, 2019

        Patriarch Neophytos of Bulgaria and bishop Polycarpos of Leukopolis welcomed at the patriarchal mansion the Abbot of the Esphigmenou monastery of Mount Athos, Archimandrite Bartholomew.
        Abbot Bartholomew of Esphigmenou monastery was in Sofia for the presentation of his newly released spiritual book, that tooκ place in the Patriarchate’s premises.

         Patriarch Neophytos of Bulgaria thanked Abbot Bartholomew for his visit and for the prayers of the Athonite fathers for the good of the whole world. 
        The Patriarch reaffirmed his prayers for resolving the case of the Esphigmenou Monastery and expressed his conviction that “Our Lady will not leave her children in the face of various trials, and soon everything will be solved.”

  5. A very sad day indeed, but to be fair I’m actually amazed that Athens held out as long as it did. That fact alone is worthy of respect.

    Unfortunately, it seems in today’s world there is no such thing as ‘non-aligned’. The euroatlantic bloc is greedy. It wants it all. In this case, it won a victory. For now.

    This is not the first time in history we’ve seen this happen. And we know that eventually mankind will fail, including many of the church. Let’s hope, though, that this is just a bump and not the start of the big slump.

    We’ve seen it worse. What happened in Russia in 1917 was terrible. It took 74 years before we saw a reversal, but it happened. Unfortunately decisions at the synodal level take a lot of time to reverse and undo, usually a generation. That is the tragedy of this situation. But in the greater specter of history if this is a bump, it will pass. At least I have the audacity to so hope.

    I love the Greek people and just like back in the Soviet days we had ROCOR, there are enough Greeks who will continue to stand for the truth. That I’m convinced of.

    • George Michalopulos says

      George, I cannot disagree with you. Still, the sadness which I feel is profound.

      • Speaking from my Russian perspective it would have been immensely sad for me back in the 1940’s when the USSR backed the Greek communists (which apparently included statements of support from the Moscow Patriarch at the time), and when Stalin tried to use the Russian Church in 1947 to create a pan-Orthodox Synod for geopolitical purposes. No church is immune from political influence.That said, I’m hoping to learn something from this experience: how to see holiness amidst the darkness of the world. Russia and Greece I’ve noticed have a counter-cyclical pattern in history: when one nation is under occupation, the other is not, and then it goes back and forth. Russia was under the Tartar-Mongol yoke, and just as she was free, Byzantium fell under the Ottomans. Greece started to break free from the Ottomans in the 19th century, Russia fell under communism in the 20th. Russia is breaking free of its communist legacy in the 21st century and trying to exert an independent path, Greece became entrenched in the globalist EU. Maybe I’m reading into things too much, but maybe it was purposely done that way by God so we can support each other during the tough times. I pray we find a way to make that happen.

      • I am devastated and ASHAMED  

      • Of the 8 who stood by the Faith the most significant bishop is that of Piraeus,  the huge Metropolitan port area.  He is also outspoken and active.  He will not buckle under I am sure. We will see events but Ieronimos has shown himself to be weak and two faced. 

  6. St. Mark of Ephesus, pray for us. I am so sorry that the Greeks caved and wish they had postponed making any decision. But then, how many times do you want Pompeo on your doorstep? I pray for Moscow to always take the high road. This movement toward disunity within the Orthodox Church means we are missing a golden opportunity where the West is concerned …have you seen what has been happening at their Amazon synod?

    • George Michalopulos says

      Very well put. “Is Christ the author of division?”

      To ask the question is to answer it. Bravo Bartholomew! Bravo Hieronymus! There was another follower of Jesus who didn’t get to enjoy his ill-gotten gains. At least he had a conscience.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      A priest once said to me, “God allows bad things to happen so good men will stand up.”

      Maybe it takes something like this for the Local Churches to do something. They now know a couple of things they didn’t know yesterday:

      1. This isn’t just a Bartholomew problem: It’s a Greece problem, as well.
      2. It is a true schism.
      3. Bartholomew will take Greece with him to Rome.

      Had they managed to call a Council before today they would have had no idea where Greece stood and any good lawyer will tell you, you don’t ask a question in court unless you know the answer. They have the answers they need to move forward and they’ve had a lot of time to prepare for both eventualities so they should be ready to move forward and name this thing (schism). We shall see.

      If they do nothing we’ll have a 4th problem: An ununited Church.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Agreed. Now is the time to call a Council. Enough of pussy-footing around and hoping that compromised hirelings will stand up for Christ’s Church. Let’s get it over with and be done with it.

        • George I as a greek am shattered and ASHAMED. And when Turkey comes calling with it’s ‘Aegean Menu’,  just as in 1453 we will see the reality of american help.  Just ask the KURDS.THEY know..  The Russians will remember at that time. I am deeply shamed as a greek and as an Orthodox Christian. Thank God I am in Bulgaria.  

          • George Michalopulos says

            re the Kurds: touche!

          • I share Nikos’ sentiments, as well as a shared origin.  Η μητέρα μου ήταν Πατρινιά. Patras is where we now live for a part of the year, right across from the Church of the Pantocrator.  I was not happy to see that the Metropolitan of Patras was not one of the 7 or 8 “no” votes.
            Now, since I reside during most of the year in the U.S., I suppose “multi-jurisdictionalism” is a sort of life preserver.  But what about those people who do not have the choice to go to a different jurisdiction?  I’m not sure that the MP will cut off communion with laity, especially if that were to mean that the laity, those who have no choice, are treated as schismatics.

            • Yes I know the pantocrator church well.  Used to go there with my grandfather.  
              I live in Bulgaria now which has not officially pronounced but made  plain where stands. With Russia. And autonomous Ukrainian church. 
              I am appalled.  It is not just the delusional byzantine crap but the AMORAL situation with Denisenko and invalid bishops ( self consecrated)  made legal by stroke of pen and CIA pressure. 
              I am shattered as a believer but must remember the situation of Russian church in 1920s and Patrarch Tikhon. We must not despair. 
              I am sad to learn the Bishop of Patras was one to vote for it.  
              I for one will not worship in a Church of Greece church or take Communion there as i, as in our recent trip to uk,  took Communion in London Russian Cathedral.  
              I hope this will cause the bulgarian, Serbian and other Churches to clearly stand by the teaching, order and tradition of the Church.  Sad times we live in.  And what can we say to our children? . I cry. 

              • Nikos: ” And what can we say to our children?”
                The truth. With kindness.

                • Yes of course,The Truth with Love   as i did today.   Many ordinary believers here in Bulgaria do not even know of the situation so is sad to tell them but  the truth makes you free. 

      • Gail they will not stand up but fall individually. The corruption of lack of faith, yes lack of faith,  and power and   money,will tell   Watch Romania go next and Albania.  They are hollowed out. 

  7. Even though I expected this, I am still in shock. Archbishop Ieronimos will be known as the first to recognize the EP’s schismatic abomination. Let us pray that his dark decision does not open the door for others to follow suit. Quite frankly, I am disgusted. How can a Hierarch of Christ’s Holy Church recognize a group of unrepentant fascist schismatics who seize Churches and beat clergy and elderly and women? His decision was not Orthodox. It was not even Christian! It was demonic! I suppose all his accolades and gracious words of respect to Metropolitan Onufriy were all lies? How will the Archbishop sleep at night while they ramp up the slaughter against the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church. May God have mercy on his soul…and all those who agreed with him.

    • Alitheia1875 says

      It has become very difficult, if not impossible, after all these years, to not understand why the Old Calendarists have been right all along………..

      • George Michalopulos says

        Sadly, you are right. The irony of course is that the Calendar should be adjusted to correctly correspond to physical reality. After all, it’s just an astronomical phenomenon. One has no more moral validity in believing that Jupiter has twenty moons or thirty, it all depends on the latest telescope.

        The problem however is that the Calendar was switched surreptitiously by a man of questionable orthodoxy and under horrendous conditions, conditions in which he literally stabbed his fellow Christians in Russia in the back.

        I’m sure there are other considerations that make the New Calendar a proxy for the anti-Christian evil that we see playing out before us presently.

        • George Michalopulos: “The irony of course is that the Calendar should be adjusted to correctly correspond to physical reality.”
          The Julian Calendar is more accurate. Why? Because the Earth axis is slowly wobbling and seasons shift in relation to the stars (that is why astronomers use a version of Julian Calendar.
          Second, the Earth has two hemispheres what has a peculiar consequence – when summer is in the north, in the south you have winter. So …
          BTW, nobody is pressuring Jews or Muslims to make their calendars more “accurate”.

          • B. Jackson says

            Martin, your “BTW” point is well taken.

            Forgive my ignorance, but I would like to learn more.  Regarding use of a “version of the Julian calendar” by astronomers…could you point us to a link for those who are curious about this?

            Also, although I am sure I am only emphasizing my ignorance further (!), will you please clarify the relevance of your point regarding the two hemispheres to the Church calendar controversy?

            • B. Jackson: “could you point us to a link for those who are curious about this?”
              Plenty of links, just search for: astronomy julian calendar.
              “will you please clarify the relevance of your point regarding the two hemispheres”
              If you define the accuracy by adjusting calendar to the seasons, you would need two separate calendars, one for the northern hemisphere and the other for the south. If you define accuracy by the relation to the stars, then the Julian calendar is more “accurate”.

      • Alkeiluia  1875. Yes as u say the arguement of the old calandarists shown to be correct even if they have gone beyond the spirit of the  calandarist question but their claim as to what we heading for,well TOTALLY  clear to see. 

    • Mikhail, body language tells a lot.
      Look at Ieronymos’s face, particularly the eyes, he isn’t himself.
      But, again, all this has been foretold by St.John Chrysostom (GoldenMouthed) but we don’t want to believe him:
      GoldenMouthed said that if somebody does everything to become a Bishop (let alone Arch-Bishop or Patriarch) he will subsequently do everything to keep his throne, including signing any document! 
      So, why all this surprise? 

      • I had Ieronimos down for a decent  spiritual man and his  stewardship of the Church of Greece, up to now, in difficult times, good.  Either he has “Kompromat”,  or he  has been leaned on so heavily he can’t say no. ANAXIOS 

  8. Mike Pompeo is doing fist pumps as he takes victory laps. But God will have the last word.

  9. I’m of Greek descent in ROCOR. Upon hearing the news of the Church of Greece Synod’s decision to recognize the schismatic organization of Epiphanios, I had a selfish thought. I wished that the solving of the multi-jurisdictional problem in America would be delayed so that I can continue my spiritual journey in peace in ROCOR and not have to deal with those jurisdictions who will choose to be in communion with the schismatic entity thereby abandoning and betraying the righteous successor to the Apostles, Metropolitan Onuphrios. Kali Dinami to the canonical leader of the struggling Ukranian Orthodox Church!

    • George Michalopulos says

      That’s pretty much as I see it. Multi-jurisdictionalism is basically our last, best hope. Otherwise, it’d be formal schism here in North America.

      • Maybe “multi-jurisdictionalism” was someone’s plan all along.  And I don’t see that changing now.  It’s a form of insurance policy, don’t you think?

    • Greek in ROCOR also says

      Myself as well, I’m of Greek descent in ROCOR.     There are more of us of Greek descent in ROCOR/OCA than the GOA would prefer to acknowledge. 
      Hopefully this disastrous “recognition” by the CoG will trigger ROCOR or the OCA to finally create some Greek-speaking parishes in America, to give faithful Greek Orthodox Christians in America an escape from the clutches of Istanbul/the GOA.  So many Greek Americans are tired of throwing their time and stewardship down the drain by wasting it on the GOA. 

      • That’s it!

        • Let’s hope the OCA stands firm and does not fall. Maybe as with other patriarchates it will continue to ‘run with the hare and hunt with the hounds’,  but will find this position untenable. 

          • Amen.

            • I am sorry to say, that I believe it is more likely that the OCA folds and comes under Bartholomew than to stand firm in the truth. 75% will join him…and 25% will move to ROCOR or some other jurisdiction. This is only my opinion and I hope I’m mistaken.

      • I’ve never been in an OCA parish without Greek members – in one case, quite a large contingent, possibly the largest ethnic group. My present parish is 99% in English but we use Slavonic and Greek here and there.  Pan-ethnic parishes really are the ideal.

  10. The big question for me now is whither Athos and its sons like Eldae Ephraim?
    If they acceed to CP does it mean grace has fled the Holy Mountain, or that the CP has created another unfortunate but endurable mess like the introduction of the new calendar?

    • This is a very important question.
      In North America we have been told that Elder Ephraim and the monasteries under him form a vanguard and a stronghold for the Orthodox Christian faith.  I’ve been told that they are the “Green Berets” of the Church, an elite spiritual fighting force.
      Where is this fighting force operating now?  Does anyone have a fix on their position?  
      Whose side are they on?

      • It would be very souls crushing if the Athonite monasteries in the U.S, and indeed Mt. Athos itself went along with this 

        • It would be that, but let’s not let it be a soul-crushing defeat if, God save us, the “Green Berets” also surrender.
          There is no more front line vanguard to hide behind. There are  no more “elite” commando shock troops in this phase of the war.  We Orthodox Christians are surrounded on all sides so all of us are on the front line.
          We can’t depend on our hierarchs or elite monks to protect us. 
          Time for each of us to make a stand wherever we are. 
          This is our fight and our test Orthodox lay Christians!

          • Exactly Ioan!
            If some bishops out there are juggling with canons for their own benefit, it is our falt(!) that we do not know the canons ourselves.
            We spend thousands of hours in our lifetime to read worthless fiction books, or watch mass-produced tv-films and we never read the Canons of the Church (you can download them for free). 

        • Amen

  11. George Michalopulos: “Multi-jurisdictionalism is basically our last, best hope.”

    Perhaps “multi-jurisdictionalism” is what The Doctor prescribed 😉

  12. It’s time to pick a side.

    • George Michalopulos says

      I guess we need to know who the seven metropolitans are. If I ever do go to Greece again, I will have to know so that I can know where to attend church. Hopefully, they will coalesce into an authentic Synod.

      • The Church of Greece has 80 bishops.  Many of those voting for recognition are from so called new territories ( gained in 1912/13 – 1918 Balkan and wwi wars. They are under Phanar in sense as well as Church of Greece. This situation in itself is a anachronistic stupidity unrelated to real world.  
        The key thing now is to see what  the 7 Metropolitan  do and more so will the Church of Russia break Communion with greece.?  It should do logically now and morally . 
        Then what will Cyprus do. And Serbia and Bulgaria?  If they go along with this than I really do not see the Orthodox church existing for much longer outside of Russia.  
        The only thing rhe bishops of the greek church fight for was their salaries not to be cut. Shepherds indeed. False Shepherds and corrupt AMORAL Shepherds. 

  13. I need prayers, I lovey little community in the the GOARCH church I go to, had a bad expirence at a ROCOR church near me, don’t know what to do? This is going against the canons and leading to schism. I wonder what will happen to the Arab Churches, that use to be under Jerusalem, then somehow came under GOARCH , they seem unhappy, many traditional , under Old Calendar, and not modernist, and I know of one holy man under these churches from Milpitas, says what Ecumenical Patriarchate is doing is heretical. Lord have mercy.

    • I am one of the many who will pray for you I am sure, James, and ask your prayers as well that I can focus and worship and not yield to discouragement from this blow.  I am trying to remember that Greece herself is a long-time victim of invasion and dispersion and may have the same psychological temptations to succumb as PB himself individually.  May Panaghia protect and may God heal our hearts, souls, and minds and theirs.   

    • James, Remain in your blessed little community at the GOARCH church, with God’s help endeavour to live by the Golden Rule and pray for all. The Lord bless you my brother

  14. It would be nice if one of the Patriarchs would call for a Great and Holy Council and then the Hierarchs could meet and thrash this out. If the Patriarch of Constantinople went beyond his scope of influence then he could be sanctioned but if he didn’t the issues would be settled . This issue is causing a very frightening schism in the Church and it needs to be handled and settled by the Church .

    • My prayer exactly StephenD.  And that the Holy Spirit would enlighten all to emulate St. Mark of Ephesus.  

    • James, Remain in your blessed little community at the GOARCH church, with God’s help endeavour to live by the Golden Rule and pray for all. The Lord bless you my brother.

  15. I just saw that AB Ieronymos claims that there are no canonical obstacles to recognizing the schismatics, the territory has always belonged to Constantinople, and that the schismatic OCU will make relations between the Russian Church and Ukraine stronger! This is delusional beyond words!

    • I’m thinking that, as long as they aren’t insanely stupid, most on the CoG Holy Synod know that they are pushing pure garbage. They don’t make sense. Even they can’t withstand the cognitive dissonant B.S. that we’ve been reading for the past 24 hours. I believe that they simply don’t care.

      I think we Americans underestimate the lack of faith that is probably rampant among many in the Church in traditional Orthodox countries. In America, yes, we do not have the large cathedrals and the venerable Orthodox monasteries that have been around for centuries. We do not have full cities that celebrate Pascha or other Orthodox feasts as a collective group, where Pascha is a national holiday.

      We are largely on our own here, but because of that, we have to fight harder to live and to maintain our faith. Many of us tithe and more than tithe in terms of our time and money to our parishes, just so that the parish can pay the bills. Many of us have worshipped for years in storefronts before our parish had any semblance of a building. Recall that in many Orthodox countries, tithing is often not done because the state supports the church. In traditional Orthodox countries, people simply expect the church to be there. The state supports the church and pays the clergy salaries. The individual faithful, as a result, has much less skin in the game.

      I’m guessing that the hierarchs in the CoG synod aren’t stupid and know full well that they are maneuvering to pull the wool over many people’s eyes – and they really hope that people are stupid or aren’t paying attention. I think these hierarchs simply don’t care. We Orthodox living in the West may have a hard time buying this fact since we are more used to our hierarchs here also living in a hostile environment and often “fighting” for our faith as well (except in the GOA, where the GOA hierarchs don’t bother fighting for the faith at all).

      What probably happened is a purely utilitarian approach, a non-Christian approach, to the “UOC” dilemma (there really is no dilemma: the UOC is schismatic and non-canonical, end of story) but which the CoG felt was the best option given the circumstances.

      Some US State Dept officials probably convinced leaders in the CoG Synod that without “recognizing” the “UOC,” the Greek Churches would permanently lose stature when compared with the Russian Churches, and that this was the “last chance” for the Greek Churches to not forever play second fiddle to the Russian Churches in the Orthodox world. And some Greek hierarchs were probably wowed by some American money (I would not be surprised at all if money was paid to ensure the “correct” result — similar to how the “UOC autocephaly” was purchased with a $25 million bribe to Istanbul via America).

      Basically, the data suggest that the CoG Synod is filled with hierarchs as corrupt as they come, willing to sell their faith for the vague promise of Greek cultural supremacy in the Orthodox world over Russian – but a cultural supremacy in the Orthodox world enforced by whom? The Americans? As if that’s worth anything.

      The CoG is counting on most Orthodox faithful to not care about this issue, or for most to simply not be paying attention, or for most to revert back to their national allegiances, with Greeks supporting the CoG simply because of their ethnic heritage.

      It’s all disgustingly sickening. But honestly it makes me thankful for the hard work that we have to do in America, to tithe and donate our time and sweat to build and support our local parishes, simply to pay our priest and his family and to keep the lights on. To support our small but more than venerable Orthodox monasteries and seminaries (I’m not talking about Holy Cross). To travel to venerate the relics of St John Maximovitch in that beautiful California cathedral among the cultural wasteland that is much of the city of San Francisco. To pray at Orthodox men’s and women’s monasteries that spring up out of the vast nothingness of the American Southwest desert in Arizona. To honor the legacy of St Herman of Alaska in those small Alaskan villages that have venerated him for centuries – surely the only places in America where we can say that “nearly the entire town is Orthodox.” To trudge through the snow in the massive Orthodox cemeteries in Jackson, New Jersey, and in upstate New York, praying among the many three-bar crosses the dot the land, thanking our forebears who have reposed in the Lord for their sacrifices and suffering as they brought our faith to this land.

      We are faced with the full-blown corruption of what many felt was a venerable holy synod in an autocephalous Orthodox Church, but which today showed itself to be simply a bunch of pretenders. Maybe this is why many think that Orthodoxy is most vibrant not in the traditional Orthodox lands but rather in the lands where it is still largely a missionary field, particularly in North and South America.

      Perhaps we American Orthodox Christians need to stop being so naïve and just admit that many “old country” Orthodox hierarchs are simply corrupt and willing to sell out their grandmother and nieces and nephews for a few American dollars, as they have done today. And not two days before the feast of the Protection of the Theotokos — what irony that this feast will fall in two days! A feast in which the Greeks in the Eastern Roman Empire thanked the Mother of God for protecting the imperial city from barbarian, pre-Orthodox Slavic invaders!

      How things have changed since the miracle of that feast occurred.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Profound words. We need to start thinking Ben Op (as in Benedict Option). Let the state have the churches in the cities. Go to the outskirts, the countryside where we’ll mostly be left alone. Think “house church” as well. A large living room, 200 sq ft. Or a 300 sq ft prefab in some well-to-do parishioner’s back yard. As for a congregation, small cells of 20-50 people, no more. Stop thinking about basketball courts or even parochial schools.

        For the priest, pay him with cash. Or gift cards to the grocery store, hardware stores. Have different people take over his utilities.

        • Monk James Silver says

          Yes.  The persecution is beginning, and we must get ready to live as real wheat, or be cast off as chaff.  We must choose to be sheep who are saved or goats who are condemned.  It’s up to us.
          Even the clergy and the bishops are not always faithful , as current events painfully emphasize.
          It’s important that we understand the original  form of the admonition which the deacon says before we recite the Creed:  ‘Let us know one another that with a single understanding we may profess (people chime in) the Father and the Sion and the Holy Spirit, the Trinity same in essence and indivisible.’

          • B. Jackson says

            “It’s up to us.” Yikes.

            Lord, help me! I feel so discouraged by this whole affair. I pray for Ukraine and the schism daily, but I know that I do not fit the description of St. James: “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” Also, there are the words of our Lord probably encouraging to many, but I can only feel convicted about: “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”

            I know I am not righteous, and my faith is weak.

            But I am a father, and I know what it is to be scared and blind and groping. The poor afflicted boy’s father in the Gospel of Mark is one of my favorite verses, my motto, really: “And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”

            I have tears as I write this because I really did hope and expect that the decision of the Greek synod would go differently.

            I’m not too excited about living in “interesting times,” but here we are.

            Is it a foretaste of worse to come? Maybe so. This does occur to me though: I lack righteousness and strong faith… but I can be stubborn.  Maybe this is one case in which God can transform one of my passions into something that may resemble steadfastness.

        • Tim R. Mortiss says

          George, the state doesn’t want the churches. What are you talking about?

          • George Michalopulos says

            TimR, I most definitely think that they want the properties that the churches stand on.  All in all, I’d say the real estate in all of the major metropolitan areas of the United States that the churches own is worth hundreds of billions –if not trillions–of dollars.

            This would not be the first time something like this happened.  Henry VIII confiscated hundreds of Catholic churches and monasteries.  Those they he didn’t turn over to the new Church of England he handed over as bribes to the nobility. 

            I’d say that a considerable portion of the wealth of said nobility that has been passed down generation to generation came from the original plunder.   Think Downton Abbey?

            A lot of the capital that made northern Italy the engine of capitalism came from the plunder of Constantinople.

            • George yes why so many great houses have names ending in Abbey,  … Cos, well, that is what they were. 

        • Alitheia1875 says

          How did Metropolitan Panteleimon of Piraeus vote?

      • If the bishops and priests are paid by the state, how much pressure would the state put on them to vote a certain way?

      • Observer,  moving and deep words and yes inspite of the well known, there is a deeper,richer American Orthodoxy that will grow. .  
        Re old world I fear as u say as was case at Brest Livtovsk in 1596 in Ukraine with unia. History repeated as indigestion!  Money and blsckmail bought many. 
        Here in Bulgaria the Church is separate from state and country is secular,  so to believe, one has to make an effort and not for social convinience. 

      • To “Observer,” good and informative comment.

        I just want to note that I believe you have mixed up the acronyms. “UOC” (or УПЦ) is the canonical Church while “OCU” (or “ПЦУ”) refers to the schismatic group.

  16. Antiochene Son says

    On the eve of the Holy Fathers of the 7th Council no less. Weak bishops versus strong. 

  17. Manny Olewurd says

    It looks like Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback and Geoffrey Pyatt, US Ambassador to Greece along with Pompeo succeeded in “persuading“ the CoG to back the EP’s Ukrainian debacle. Pyatt and Brownback, as you reported in May 2019, also visited Abbot Ephraim of Vatopaidi Monastery of Holy Mountain. Has there been any more US interaction with the monasteries of Mt. Athos since then?  Blackmail, bribery and strong-arm tactics will not work there.  Or am I a naive “true believer”?

    • George Michalopulos says

      Manny, I’m sure there have been subsequent contacts it’s just that the State Dept is better at covering their tracks this time.

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says

        Dark, dark day! The CofG fell to heresy! Lord have mercy!.
        Peter A. Papoutsis 

        • It is a day that will be remembered throughout history. October 12, 2019…the day the Church of Greece abandoned the truth of holy Orthodoxy and decided to come into communion with a group of unrepentant schismatic fascist Church raiders while throwing Metropolitan Onuphriy and the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church under the bus.  My greatest fear, is that this will spread like a virus and we will see other pro-phanariot Churches (like Romania) following suit. As someone said earlier…it is time pick a side. Choose carefully. Choose the truth. 
          Having eyes, see you not? and having ears, hear you not? 

          • MaranathaOrBust says

            Are you sure you aren’t part Greek Mikhail? Your dramatic affect suggests DNA testing is in order.
            For most of Orthodox planet earth, the day will mean nothing and won’t be remembered.
            Salvation is local. Most people, excluding the hyper-interested 24 hour news cycle monomakhos chicken-little sky-is-falling folk are going to continue to go about their business, meeting the daily struggle of living head-on, without nary a thought about the Church of Greece and its statement on the situation in Ukraine.
            Pray, work, eat, work, eat, pray. For most people who don’t have endless hours to waste reading every next end-of-everything scenario, daily living is where it’s at.
            And since none of us miserable sinners possesses foreknowledge or divine wisdom, so how about not assuming it’s the end before the trumpet sounds and Lord has made His appearance.
            Actually that would be better, wouldn’t it? Marana tha! 

            • No, MaranathaOrBust…I am not Greek. Perhaps you are? C’pole created a schismatic fascist so-called church which seizes true Churches from the canonical Ukrainian Church while beating their clergy and parishioners. The Church of Greece justified this abomination. It will surely be a day remembered as a dark time in the history of Holy Orthodoxy. You have free will to fluff this off as a glitch…but I have a conscience I must live with…and you will live with yours.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Mikhail, if I may add this: well, I am Greek. And I’m ashamed at what Arb Ephialtes has done to Orthodoxy. We have lost the See of Cpole to heresy and schism, that doesn’t mean that the rest of the Greek people have to go along with it just because of ethnic solidarity.

                It is a dark day indeed.

            • Yes, just like the day when the emperor decided to remove the icon of Christ from the palace in Constantinople isn’t remembered throughout history. Seemingly smalls acts have big repercussions.
              Salvation might be local, I agree with you there, but why was it Saint John of Damascus, safely tucked away in the Islamic Caliphate, who fought against the iconoclasts? A heretical blow against one local church is a blow against the entire Body, that’s why.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Basil, as in Damascene’s day, so in Eugenicus’ day –both men were stalwarts against heresy and they were protected by Islamic powers.
                Who says God doesn’t have a sense of irony?

  18. GoArmyBeatNavy says

    I resent this blogger’s and others persistent accusation, without any proof whatever, that American officials are bribing the Greeks and Bart or anyone else.  Everyone insists that the theological and ecclesial arguments be presented with great precision and legalism, yet when it comes to America, the most flimsy accusations are presented as gospel. “I’m sure Pompeo had manila envelopes for them” . Psychologically, that’s called “projection” . You’re projecting the Greek, Russian, Turkish and Arab bribe culture , that YOU’RE  so accustomed to, onto American officials. Either put up or shut up when it comes to bribes. 

    • Antiochene Son says

      If you don’t think American foreign policy is run on bribes and worse, I have a bridge to sell you. 
      I’m not Greek, Russian, Turkish, or Arab by the way. 

      • George Michalopulos says

        GoArmy, I must concur with AS here. Bribery has always been the way that foreign policy has been conducted, going all the way back to the Hittites and Egyptians.

    • I don’t think that US officials bribe, so we agree there. I do, however, believe that they threaten, which is far worse.
      With bribes, there’s always a chance that someone with a bit of moral fortitude will say no, but when you threaten to militarily or economically annihilate a country, well, that’s a different kettle of fish entirely.
      If Trump can threaten to wipe out the Turkish economy on his Twitter account, who knows what creeps like Pompeo and McCain say behind closed doors to cowed and fearful world leaders? America’s destruction of Iraq, Libya, and Syria is enough to strike fear into anyone’s heart.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Basil, what you say about a “moral” man possibly being able to resist a bribe is true. Also what you describe about the immense firepower of the US to wipe out an entire country’s infrastructure is true as well. And the ability to do it by economic sanctions as well.

        However, you assume that the US didn’t have its bases covered about the bribery. While it may not work with moral men you assume that these blandishments were offered to moral men. I am not under the illusion that they were of such character. All it takes is for a minority of bishops on any particular holy synod to be homosexual to compromise the entire synod.

        • No, I wasn’t assuming anything; I was envisaging a best-case scenario. Unfortunately, I have come to the realization that a high proportion of bishops are compromised and easily malleable.
          Like someone else mentioned, these guys fought tooth and nails for their state salaries, but when it comes to church-stealing, babushka-beating schismatics… that’s another story.
          If this world has any more time left, then the Lives of the Saints in a few centuries will not refer to these men as “of blessed memory.” That will be reserved for those who opposed this madness and suffered for it, as I can now foresee,

          • Basil re salaries it was me >. The bishops of church of Greece refused during height of economic crisis to reduce their 1200 monthly euro salaries, one cent.
            Re bribes,  well USA practiced it in Iraq openly. But black mail cheaper and easier  in bishop’s case. 

    • For heaven’s sake, don’t be purposely naive, man!  When I was deployed to Baghdad & Iraq in the mid-2000s, our units would take piles of American cash around with us to the tribal warlords to grease their palms so they’d do what we want. 
      If it’s DoD policy to have soldiers give bribes in the field to help folks make the decisions that our secular American leaders want, then surely the State Dept has no compunctions about it. 

  19. Richard smith says

    This is quite simply a roman tactic used by the Americans to divide and rule. A tactic effectively used so that Americans gain control over orthodoxy. 

  20. Matthew Panchisin says

    It seems like there is some word parsing going around.

    “We recognise not the Tomos of autocephaly, but the right to grant it”, the metropolitan said.

    • “It seems like there is some word parsing going around.”
      There is careful diplomatic language but the writing is on the wall. First of all, there has been a gradual buildup to all this, from the “chance” meeting of Dumenko and Archbishop Ieronymos in the Phanar, to the co-service of several CoG bishops with the Ukrainian schismatics which went totally unpunished, and now this is just another preparation for the big embrace. It’s so obvious that it doesn’t need more clarification. This is just typical politics, tiptoing into the water, or in this case watching a train wreck about to happen.

    • George C Michalopulos says

      Interesting.  I didn’t catch that.
      In any event, it doesn’t matter.  If all the local churches voted against the schismatic sect and the EP’s neopapalist pretensions, the EP would just blithely go alone regardless.  Because reasons.

  21. Alitheia1875 says

    George, were you referring to Meletios Metaxakis? Arch mason and cousin of the secularist Eleftherios Venizelos. If so, he did more than stab the Russians in the back. He stabbed all of Orthodoxy in the back. The writing was on the wall when he was allowed to switch positions, Athens to Constantinople to Alexandria, etc., like most of us change socks and underwear. Old Calendarists will tell you that the issue is not the calendar but that the calendar change represented a falling away from patristic tradition, most evident in the ecumenical movement. (PS, getting down to a personal level, how many in the GOA know that the Lamentations service of Holy and Great Friday used in the GOA is perhaps one third of its proper length? I cannot speak of other groups because I don’t know.) It is notable that in recent years the Fyli synod, the GOC under Archbishop Kallinikos, and old calendar groups in Romania and Bulgaria, etc., have joined together. And the GOC is growing in the US and Canada. And, again, for all those posting on this blog, remember that if your bishop/synod is in communion with Constantinople, or in communion with a synod that is in communion with Constantinople, etc., then you too are in communion with Constantinople and its group in Ukraine.  

    • George Michalopulos says

      Yes, that Metaxakis. Personal conundrum here: my beloved grandfather (who fought in the Great War and Balkan Wars) was an avid devotee of Venizelos. Like him a “little-R” republican. (In America, he was the only Greek-American in our community who became a “Big-R” republican but that’s a story for another day.)

      My father on the other hand (his son-in-law) despised Venizelos, not because he was/is a monarchist but because he thought that for all of Venizelos’ manifest gifts and vision, his belligerence unleashed he Katastrophe upon Greece. Like all the other victors who participated in the aftermath of the Great War, he helped make WWII possible.

      • Estonian Slovak says

        Your father is my kind of Greek!

        • George Michalopulos says

          Thank you!

          Btw both men were gents and loved each other. I was blessed to be raised by both.

          • But still, George,
            your father knew much more than his father-in-law!

            • George Michalopulos says

              In this case, yes.

              To my remembrance, they never exchanged words over it. Once, I believe I was 12 or so, I asked my dad as we were working in the garage on something or other (he was quite the jack-of-all-trades) why he didn’t like Venizelos and then he told me things along the lines that he was a troublemaker and because of him Greece suffered. This of course confused me as Greece emerged victorious after WWI but I let it drop.

              Later I learned that while Greece did in fact win WWI its victory went to our head and the Greeks were used as pawns by the Entente allies (Britain and France) to invade Asia Minor. Well, needless to say, Kemal Ataturk handed us our heads (thanks to some last-minute betrayals by British banking interests (read: Rothschilds) and the entire Greek Army was driven into the Aegean by the Turks, as well as 1.5 million Anatolian Greeks.

              Greece, which barely had a population of 4 million all of a sudden had to accommodate an addition 1.5 million refugees. Think of it: that would be like the US having to take in 150 million people overnight. That’s why it’s called he Katastrophe *=(the Catastrophe) to this day. For the Greeks, it ranks right up there with the Potato Famine for the Irish.

          • George my grandfather fought in 1919-22 Greek- Turkish war amongst several, and against Bulgarians. He was Venizelos supporter putting catastrophe down to actions of  restored King Konstantine and royalist purging of all Venizelos officer in 1920/21,  who then  carried on and extended ( AKA Vietnam etc)  greek army sphere of action but with loss of experienced officers etc, and with very  war weary troops.( often fighting from 1912 Balkan wars !! )    But it is not widely known how savage and extreme these battles were in depth of  Asia minor, extention over many days of intense battle, and the utter  bravery of greek army and must be said of turks who formidable fighters as Bulgarians too.  

            • George Michalopulos says

              True, but King Constantine I was forced by the victors to go to war as a price for his return from exile. It should be remembered that he moved heaven and earth to avoid Greece getting involved in that war in the first place. In fact, the Entente powers forced a blockade on Greece and reduced it to near-starvation in order to get them to go to war. Venizelos had set this whole debacle in motion with his belligerence.

              To all, here’s a brief primer about King Constantine I:


              And one about the back story:


  22. In response to how the Russian Church may react to the decision, Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos said:
    “We do not think about reactions; we did our duty to ensure unity. Anyone who wants to create a schism takes the responsibility.”
    He has just condemned himself with his own insult. He is now the schismatic.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Fascinating, isn’t it? And it will be this particular metropolitan who will go crying to the MP when Bart finally rips off the papalist mask and declares unia.

      After all, he was the only stalward CoG bishop at the Robber Council 3 years ago who, like Horatio of old, “held the bridge”.

    • He shall also judge those who give rise to schisms, who are destitute of the love of God, and who look to their own special advantage rather than to the unity of the Church; and who for trifling reasons, or any kind of reason which occurs to them, cut in pieces and divide the great and glorious body of Christ, and so far as in them lies, destroy it — men who prate of peace while they give rise to war.

      If they don’t preserve unity and communion with the Church, no reformation of so great importance can be effected by them, as will compensate for the mischief arising from their schism.

      Their sin shall not be washed away even by blood.

      – St. Irenaeus of Lyons

    • I used to be a reader of Vlachos’ books.  But now when I look at these tomes in my home, I can’t help but see his mocking visage before my eyes.  

      Whatever truths he wrote about, I now feel I must learn from trustworthy teachers, ones who not just “write about” but put into practice.
      I’ve moved them off the bookshelves and into a plastic storage bin in the basement.

  23. Rhonda Dodson says

    Ok, everyone. I would like to get thoughts on this article which has appeared on 2-3 websites:
    The decision of the Greek Church does not mean recognition of the PCO, said a source

  24. Joseph Lipper says

    The Church of Greece is now in a very vulnerable position.  Not only is there the risk of the Russians breaking communion with them, but there is also the risk of the ROC supporting and entering communion with the Greek Old Calendarists.  If that happens, the ROC will then be supporting a schismatic group that none of the other Local Churches are in communion with or recognize!  Would that be Moscow’s “tit” for Constantinople’s “tat”?  Well, hopefully it won’t happen.  Such a possibility would also affect the U.S., as there are Greek Old Calendarists here in America. 
    The Church of Greece really had no other option but to recognize Ukrainian autocephaly.  The terms of Greece’s own autocephaly specify that the CoG agree with the ecclesial decisions of the Ecumenical Patriarch:
    “in ecclesiastical matters that may occur, which require joint examination and joint action for the stronger economy and support of the Orthodox Church, it has resolved that the Holy Synod in Greece refer to the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Holy Synod Around him. The Ecumenical Patriarch with the Holy and Sacred Synod around him will readily provide his assistance, communicating the things that are necessary to the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece.”
    So, the CoG is only following the terms of their own tomos of autocephaly.  Furthermore, the Greek Holy Synod declared that there is no canonical impediment for them to recognize Ukrainian autocephaly.

    Hopefully the ROC won’t follow suit and declare that there is no canonical impediment for them to recognize and enter communion with the Greek Old Calendarists.
    At any rate, may the Church of Greece be rewarded for their obedience to Holy Orthodoxy. 

    • George Michalopulos says

      Joseph, you write well, I give you that. However you are straining at the gnat while swallowing the camel. The CoG –or any local Church for that matter–is under no obligation to go along with the EP when it is doing that which is clearly uncanonical –and possibly heretical.

      There is no “unity” that will be gotten from this. Quite the opposite.

      • EP/Elpidophoros have been forthright all along about the “unity” that they wished to accomplish, a unity of Hellenism amongst the so-called “Greek” Local Churches.  It’s never been their goal to support unity amongst the Orthodox.  
        To put it rather crudely, it’s always been about “Greeks for the Greeks,” as if they are an Orthodox Church in themselves and above all others.  
        If the goal was to split the “Greek” churches and anyone else who would follow away from the main body of the Orthodox Church and then declare the rest of the Church to be the schismatics and apostates (using the convenient political tool of anti-Russianism) then it looks like Fener is well on its way to mission accomplished.
        If I were on the side of the demons, I could say: “Well played good and faithful servants.”
        But I’m not, and I mourn and now nurse the gaping wound in my back.

        • Ioan,
          when EP/Elpidophoros use the word “unity”
          they actually mean “submission to Fanar”.
          Make this substitution and you will discover that everything clicks together!

      • I was in Boston this weekend when news of the Great Betrayal broke.
        I was at one of the city attractions where I noticed the ticket-taker was wearing icon buttons next to his name tag.
        I told him that I liked his icon buttons and mentioned that I too was an Orthodox Christian and that I was in town for a visit.
        He asked me: “Are you Greek Orthodox or Russian Orthodox?”
        I was a little taken aback by this question but just stated again “I’m an Orthodox Christian.”
        A few days ago, I would’ve just brushed off this question as a funny example of parochialism, but after this weekend I had the sad, sinking feeling that a lot of us are going to have to answer this type of question definitively because there are indeed different “types” of Orthodox or “o”rthodox Christians that have arisen as a result of the Great Betrayal.
        For the record, I am not a Russian.  I am a Russian Orthodox Christian.

        • Well said Ioan!
          If I may make a suggestion, the next time they ask you, say,
          “I’m an Orthodox Christian, firstly and then Russian.”

          In my case I would tend to say just
          “I’m an Orthodox Christian”,
          because it is now not a compliment to be Greek. A shame.

          • Ioannis, I’m not of Russian ethnicity, but I am, through the intercessions of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco:
            100% RUSSIAN ORTHODOX 

            • Me too as a greek and I will never forget my visit to San Francisco Russian Cathedral and Saint.  I am greek by blood but at human level. RUSSIAN BY FAITH. 

              • Solitary Priest says

                Funny, Nikos, Patriarch Nikon said the exact opposite, something to the effect that he was Russian by birth, but Greek by spirit. I don’t recall the exact quote in Russian. I have had only limited exposure to the Bulgarian church, and that here in the USA. What I’ve seen is a liturgical nightmare, both in the OCA Bulgarian diocese and in the Bulgarian Patriarchate parishes. In all fairness, I do admire Metropolitan Joseph. I know him to be a traditionalist. His convert parishes almost all are sound liturgically.
                I like the Greek way of serving, though I am a Slavophile. I like doing Orthros in the morning, and beginning the liturgy right after the Great Doxology. I suspect I would be at home in the church in Bulgaria. I have one Bulgarian family in my flock and they are very pious.

      • Joseph Lipper says

        George, I’m having some second thoughts.  Admittedly I have a soft spot in my heart for the Greek Old Calendarists, especially the ones I’ve met here in the U.S. 
        Since the Church of Greece, after all these years, has proved unable to reconcile with the Greek Old Calendarists, then maybe it’s due time for the ROC to give it a shot.  If the ROC is able to reconcile with them, then may it be so.  I’m all for schismatic groups reconciling with the Orthodox Church.   

        • George Michalopulos says

          Me too, Joseph. We may be undergoing what another Joseph (Schumpeter) called “creative destruction”.

          • Or the ancient Greek saying:
             “Οὐδέν κακόν ἀμιγές καλοῦ” 
            There is nothing bad, unmixed with good.
            Every cloud has a silver lining.

    • Sorry Joseph I must disagree with you here.  I pray that the Greek Church, especially its faithful will not get the just “reward” that is due them as a result of perpetuating this schism in the Body.

    • Alitheia1875 says

      If Moscow and Constantinople are not in communion then all those that are in communion with Constantinople are not in communion with Moscow, whether it be the CoG or any other group. 

    • Joseph,
      “may the Church of Greece be rewarded for their obedience to Holy Orthodoxy. ”
      There is the other side of it.
      Ierotheos of Nafpaktos in his Press conference did not say things accurately.

      A long statement by Met. Seraphim of Kythira (in Greek)  is in
      It may be worth trying  google-translate.  

  25. AnonSaysWhat says

    If there was a certain fear that the autocephaly in Greece was to be revoked if they didn’t comply – then you can understand why this was the result. Imagine the CP changing out Metropolitans in Greece… how bad that would be.
    The move towards Rome seems to be the plan of these ecumenists, which will fail in the end. But what’s worse is that they are now rushing and forcing for this to reach fruition. 

  26. “If there was a certain fear that the autocephaly in Greece was to be revoked if they didn’t comply – then you can understand why this was the result.”
    By this statement it would mean that already have no autocephaly.

  27. Statements by Metropolitan Kithira Seraphim after the extraordinary Session of our Hierarchy (12-10-2019) for the Ukrainian “Autocephaly”

    On the Announcement of the Press Release of the Last Meeting of the Hierarchy of that day and the Interview with the senior (Metropolitan) of the Press Committee Metropolitan of Nafpaktos Ierotheos about the Ukrainian (problem) (12-10-2019).
    I think that some of the information was not given exactly as it was, so their transmission and caused and are causing false impressions and disturbances in church circles and other circles.

    Full text in Greek:

  28. I google translated the text and the translation is incomprehensible to me.
    What was transmitted that caused false impressions and disturbances in church circles?
    And what does this press release clarify?

    This article clarifies their statements. 

    • Joseph Lipper says

      This seems to be consistent with what Metropolitan Hierotheos has stated before, that the Church of Greece has no right to vote on the Ukrainian issue:
      “’The Local Church of Greece does not have the right to oppose the decision of the Ecumenical Patriarchate with regard to its actions in the Church of Ukraine’ the hierarch of Nafpaktos writes. The issue of new autocephalous Churches should be dealt with by an Ecumenical Council, he argues, not by individual Synods making resolutions.
      “He ends by saying that the Church of Greece cannot even take a vote about the Ukrainian issue, because that would constitute meddling in another Church’s affairs—again, the issue belongs to an Ecumenical Council.”

      • Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos can no longer be trusted. He has become a propaganda machine for the Phanar. It is very sad.

      • Joseph,
        the above source says,
        In his opinion, the position of certain hierarchs who are advocating for recognition of the OCU’s autocephaly, such as Met. Hierotheos (Vlachos), who immediately portrayed the Council’s decisions as a recognition of the .OCU, do so because of their desire to take up the primatial throne.” 
        Joseph, why can’t you see that this is a game of Power and Glory?
        Bartholomew’s  ultimate purpose is to make every Bishop in the world his “child” (read slave).-Compare this situation of “which-Bishop-has-more-power” to the initial equal Bishops the Holy Apostles left to us. This Cple thing has become a secular legalistic system to give one man all the Power and Glory. No similarity with the ancient bishops.
        Now Hierotheos is drawn to the same Game of Power and Glory, and he is  supporting  Bartholomew and Ieronymos so that he (Hierotheos) becomes the next Arch-Bishop of Greece! That is the really important thing to to him!
        You can see how real are the words of St.J.Chrysostom:
        He  refused to become a Bishop(!), because he was afraid he would sin with the very beautiful female called Doxa or Gloria, the Glory of the Bishop!
        Now Ierotheos wants to get rid of the beautiful Gloria of the Bishop,
        and he is after another female, much more beautiful, the Gloria of the ARCH-bishop!
        But of course Ierotheos is much wiser and knows much better than St. John the GoldenMouthed and he attracts you and me to the  new paradigm of glory and power.   
        Ioan said yesterday, about Ierotheos’s books:
        “I’ve moved them off the bookshelves and into a plastic storage bin in the basement.”
        I would add 
        “and read Chrysostomos instead of Ierotheos”
        Saint John Chrysostom, please pray for us sinners!

        • Joseph Lipper says

          Any suggestions that Metropolitan Hierotheos is vying for the position of Archbishop of Greece is slanderous.  First of all, there is no opening for that position currently.  Secondly, as an autocephalous Church, that position is chosen not by the Patriarch of Constantinople, but rather by the bishops of Greece.  This is just an obvious personal attack, an attempt to invalidate his arguments, and it cannot be taken seriously.  Metropolitan Hierotheos is foremost a man of prayer and a Palamite scholar. 

          • Michael Bauman says

            Joseph and Ioannis, slander always comes from slanderous situations. No need to keep it going. We are in a situation that demands a much higher practice of both repentance and forgiveness guarding our own hearts first.

            I only know one thing about being a bishop–I would make a terrible one and God is merciful by removing that temptation from my life.

            Since the days of the Met Philip kerfuffle, I vowed to always honor bishops no matter how I might disagree with them.

            Remember the Peter Principal: “In a hierarchy a person tends to rise to his level of incompetence.”

            So, most of all they need our prayers and compassion. Like the rest of us, “They know not what they do” but unlike most of us they are required to act as if they do. Even a strong man would rightly quail at the responsibilities of the office coupled with the lack of support. Unfortunately, weak men will strive for the perks they see. We have all too often heaped heavy burdens on men unable to carry them and then wondered why they fail.

            When there are those who try to lead us astray, we must say no and not follow. We also must raise our voice pointing out the wrong path and indicating the right path if we are able, but not acrimoniously. Always, we must realized that not following our bishop(s) is a dangerous path in its own right even when it is necessary.

            God grant them all grace and mercy and forgive me a sinner.

          • “Secondly, as an autocephalous Church, that position is chosen not by the Patriarch of Constantinople, but rather by the bishops of Greece.”
            Or so we are led to believe…

          • Joseph,
            “Any suggestions that Metropolitan Hierotheos is vying for the position of Archbishop of Greece is slanderous.  First of all, there is no opening for that position currently.”
             It is not my own suggestion but that of Met.Seraphim of Kythira, and he(!) knows exactly what is happening inside the Church, not you, not me. So, your  “slanderous”  characterization  is automatically redirected to Met.Seraphim of Kythira! So, to you Joseph, Ierotheos is clean and innocent whilst Seraphim of Kythira is slanderous.

            “Secondly, as an autocephalous Church, that position is chosen not by the Patriarch of Constantinople, but rather by the bishops of Greece.”
            Are you ignoring that we are dealing with “communicating vessels”, ie Bartholomew has many of his own supporter bishops  in Greece, just like you are  one his supporters here?
            “This is just an obvious personal attack, an attempt to invalidate his arguments, and it cannot be taken seriously.  Metropolitan Hierotheos is foremost a man of prayer Palamite scholar. “
            Exactly the same applies to Met.Seraphim of Kythira!
            You Joseph, indirectly attack  Seraphim of Kythira too, and attempt to invalidate his arguments!
            So, at the end of the day it is a choice between one of the two differing  bishops. It so happens  that you choose the one who agrees with Bartholomew.

            • George C Michalopulos says

              Why would he want it?  It’s clear that the CoG is about as “autocephalous” as is the new Ukrainian outfit birthed by Poroshenko and the EP.

            • Joseph Lipper says

              Ioannis, no, those slanderous words are not attributed to Metropolitan Seraphim of Kythira.  Rather, those words are attributed to some anonymous “source within the Greek Church”.  Here it is again:
              “Moreover, a source within the Greek Church also told RIA-Novosti that the hierarchs’ decision does not mean recognition of the OCU, as there was no vote directly on recognition. He says, instead, that will come only when Abp. Ieronymos begins to commemorate Epiphany Dumenko at the Liturgy.
              “’Everything that is being written right now is aimed at serving the interests of, and is mobilized to promote the decision of the Ecumenical Patriarchate,’ the source said.
              “In his opinion, the position of certain hierarchs who are advocating for recognition of the OCU’s autocephaly, such as Met. Hierotheos (Vlachos), who immediately portrayed the Council’s decisions as a recognition of the OCU, do so because of their desire to take up the primatial throne.
              “The source also said that the recognition of the OCU will lead to a schism in the Greek Church, and he expressed the hope that the Russian Church will not rush to make a decision until the situation is fully clarified.”
              It’s always easy to be slanderous under the protection of anonymity.

              • Ok, Joseph, I am with you.
                Agreed, the source is anonymous, it could be laity, a priest, or a Bishop.
                The important fact Joseph is that St. John Chrysostom mentions that there are men who will do everything to become Bishops (let alone Arch-Bishops or Patriarchs), and that is very bad because it has bad results both for the Church and for the soul of the Bishop too. Read the homilies of Chrysostom, there is constant reference to this fact.

                Now you prefer to see Ierotheos as a kind of ideal Bishop, like St.Chrysostomos.
                I am sorry, I do not!
                I see him as the majority of Bishops as stated by Chrysostom.
                The Holy father goes as far to say that most of them will not be saved.
                (Read his homiles on the Acts).

                So your “slanderous” characterization ACTUALLY apply to St. John Chrysostom!
                I am terribly sorry!

                • Joseph Lipper says

                  Perhaps some day you will become a bishop like St. John Chrysostom.  You already seem to show some mastery of the rhetorical art of not wanting to be a bishop, and surely that must account for something.  As for myself, I have at least one, and most likely several, serious canonical impediments that preclude me from this position.  Somebody has to be bishop though, and that’s why it’s so important to pray for them.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              Joseph, even Wikipedia understands that the Church of Greece is “nominally and spiritually under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.”  Like Ukraine, it isn’t really autocephalous. 

              Metropolitan Hierotheos is all over the map, from characterizing the documents of the Crete Council as “diplomatic compromise texts, from which each can draw the conclusion he wants” to his more recent statements that “New Rome became the first throne of the Church with special prerogatives and rights”—a statement with which all Local Orthodox Churches agree[not].”  He may be a man of prayer, but it’s hard to get a read on this guy let alone follow him.  If he really believes “the Church of Greece has no right to disagree with Constantinople’s actions in Ukraine, lest it call its own autocephaly into question,” why is he now reporting that they recognized the OCU?  What difference would it make if they recognized the OCU if they have no authority to do so?  Too many questions and too few answers.  Nothing is making sense.

              And since when does an Archbishop position need to be open to be filled?  The EP has “special prerogatives and rights,” don’t ya know?  He can do anything he wants.  

              • George Michalopulos says


              • Joseph Lipper says

                Gail, did Metropolitan Hierotheos make some type of pronouncement at last Saturday’s Synod?  Would somebody kindly direct me to actual quotes from him? 
                Metropolitan Hierotheos has been very consistent, as far as I can tell.  His criticism of the Crete Council, which he explains later, was that the Ecumenical Patriarchate was pandering to objections coming chiefly from the Russians in the pre-conciliar meetings, hence the EP’s overly diplomatic language that he was critical of.  It was his view that the Russians essentially hijacked the pre-conciliar meetings, and he was dismayed that the EP allowed the Russians to do this (although you won’t read that on  Metropolitan Hierotheos has always been a huge supporter of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.  
                Metropolitan Hierotheos has also stated that all the recent autocephalies are flawed because they have not been confirmed in an Ecumenical Council.  He was severely disappointed that this topic reached an impasse in the pre-conciliar meetings, preventing it from being addressed at Crete.  Should the EP have the sole special right and priviledge of granting autocephaly?  Metropolitan Hierotheos is saying probably not.   In fact, the pre-conciliar statements on autocephaly issued from the EP were intentionally designed to limit that special right and priviledge. 

                Thus, autocephaly needs to be addressed at an Ecumenical Council.  However, for an Ecumenical Council to take place, the current “special rights and priviledges” of the Ecumenical Patriarchate have to be respected.  Otherwise, an Ecumenical Council will not take place.  Some other type of council might be called, but it won’t be Ecumenical without respect for the EP.

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  Joseph, several reputable websites said he did and as far as I know, they haven’t retracted anything. It’s certainly consistent from what we’ve seen from him in the recent past in terms of the flipflopping, the most obvious thing being his insistence that Greece cannot have an opinion on recognizing Ukraine without bringing their own autocephaly (if that’s what we’re calling what the EP is giving out these days) into question. I’m guessing Bartholomew thought the Church of Greece would be a slam dunk and he needed at least ONE Church to support his decision. He clearly misjudged the situation. . . again.

                  I am not the only person who has been confused by Hierotheos’ various responses. You’ll see a lot of comments to that effect on this very blog. Your characterizations of how Hierotheos felt at Crete doesn’t jive at all with what he said. He said his problem was with “relations of the Orthodox Church with the rest of the Christian world,” specifically with respect to the redefinition of the “Church” which is dominated by, in his words, “. . . ‘the branch theory’ [that the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church includes various Christian denominations whether in formal communion or not] and ‘baptismal theology’.”

                  The “special rights and privileges” of the Ecumenical Patriarch are as specific as they are limited. An EP does not have the “right” to intervene in another bishop’s territory. He cannot mediate disputes unless both parties ask him to. He cannot intervene on behalf of a party who is outside the canonical Church, as was the case with the OCU. He certainly doesn’t have the right to bring schematics and the unordained into the Church. He cannot commune with schismatics unless he himself wants to become one, and he cannot unite any part of the Church with Rome, as the OCU is trying to do with the Unia.

                  He does have the right to call an Ecumenical Council. Every Local Church agrees to this fact. So his “rights and privileges” in this matter are being respected. Why won’t he call a Council? He won’t call a Council because he doesn’t want the Local Churches to tell him what they’ve already stated, i.e. what he did in Ukraine was overstepping his authority in a region that didn’t belong to his patriarchate. Respect goes both ways, Joseph. It is Bartholomew who doesn’t respect the rights of the other Churches, not the other way around.

                  • George C Michalopulos says

                    Truly.  What I remember from the Robber Council was Vlachos valiantly and at great peril to himself, held out for the proper understanding of our ecclesiology.  In fact, he had to barricade himself in his room with furniture pushed up against the door because the modernists in the CoG & Phanar were wanting to literally twist his arm to give up his “outdated” opinions.
                    Anyway, according to the Robber Council’s protocols, every Church is autocephalous and a “sister” Church.  Autocephaly was understood as it always has been, i.e. no “conditional” autocephaly.
                    And finally, Fr A Karloutsos said in a press conference that Ukraine “belonged” to Moscow and that there was no such understanding on behalf of the EP otherwise, nor was it to be brought up.


        Athens, October 14, 2019
        So Vlachos is correct; the Synod of Greece cannot vote on the matter, nor did it. Reports suggesting they did are a lie Greek bishops will not gainsay for fear of their positions.  

        • George Michalopulos says

          Irrelevant.  By not doing anything, they accede to the Phanar’s plans.  “Silence gives consent”.  Very chicken-hearted.

          • Don’t give in to panic. Cowards are of use to no one. God looks at a person’s situation and helps him… In order to hold back a great evil, great holiness is needed.
            A spiritual person can hold back evil and help others. In the spiritual life the biggest coward can attain great courage by entrusting himself to Christ and His divine help. 
             He can go to the front lines, do battle with the enemy, and win! So therefore we will fear God alone, not people, no matter how evil they may be.
             The fear of God makes any coward into a hero! A person becomes fearless to the extent he unites with God.
             There’s a war on today, a holy war. I must be on the front lines. We have to pray a lot, and with pain in our hearts, so that God will intervene: our times are very hard to understand. 

             – St Paisios the Hagiorite

          • We don’t see a clerical general Metaxas amongst them do we.?  I had hopes for Seraphim of Piraeus.  I always think of him every time I take money from the hole in the  wall,  at the local bank of Piraeus branch across the road from us . 

      • Joseph,

        Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos identified himself with the Metropolitan Ignatios of Dimitriados

        (Semi-automatic translation)

        Many times we have asked the question of whether the declared ecumenist (and not only) Metr. of Dimitriados and the alleged student Fr.Romanidis Metr. of Nafpaktos ultimately differ. The answer is ‘no different’! This is proved by what Dimitriados submitted to the Hierarchy regarding the “Ukrainian” (problem). Only three point features are typified.

        First, he said, “Focusing our discussions on the validity of the ordinances and on the behavior of the Bishops should not take place  in absentia οφ the existence of millions of souls, against whom we have a responsibility.” In no way was Met. of Nafpaktos different, who focused on the solution without examining the impermeable condition that is valid priesthood. They don’t care whether or not they have an apostolic succession, because according to them the Patriarch of Constantinople determines who has the priesthood and who doesn’t, so Metr. of Nafpaktos fully entrusted the issue of the “restoration” of the unordained to the Patriarch.

        Second, he said, “We tried to explain to them that, once the Ecumenical Patriarch first signed, this was not in dispute.” Met. of Nafpaktos believes the same, who said the Church of Greece has no right to even discuss Patriarch’s decisions. , even when they are completely arbitrary and anti-canonical.

        Third, he said, “What the Russian Church will do, after our recognition, is a matter of its own.” Metr. of Demetriados had assumed a recognition by the Hierarchy, as if he had predetermined it with the Archbishop and the Met. of Nafpaktos. Met. of Nafpaktos, as chairman of the Press Committee, consciously directed the hierarchy’s official announcement to the viewpoint that the Church of Greece had recognized it, while other Hierarchs had said no decision had been taken.

        The once respected Hierarch identified himself with the Ecumenist Met. of Dimitriados. It is unforgivable that Romanidis’ name is damaged by his “disciple”.

  30. Ecumenical Patriarch says

    And the EP surrendered to Rome well before that.  All going as planned.
    See 18:58 of this video and see who is recognized as the first in the hierarchy:

    • Yes Ecumenical,  at exactly 19.33 it says
      “….ἒτι δεόμεθα ὑπέρ τοῦ ἀγιωτάτου καί ἐπισκόπου Πάπα Ρώμης Βενεδίκτου, καί τοῦ ἀρχιεπισκόπου καί Πατριάρχου ἡμῶν Βαρθολομαίου….”
      “….we also pray for the most-holy and bishop of Rome Benedict, and our archbishop Bartholomew….”
      the Pope is mentioned first and as “Most-Holy”
      -Bartholomew is mentioned second. However, without his usual title “Παν-αγιώ-τατος” i.e. “All-Most-Holy”! Is this omitted because it is higher than the Pope’s?

  31. George Michalopulos says

    BTW, several of you who have commented on this site on this particular situation, have been quoted on

  32. Romfea is reporting on its Greek site that an earthquake was felt on Mount Athos this morning(10/22/19) at 7:12 . The epicenter of the 3.5 earthquake was 39 kilometers NW of Mount Athos. You just can’t make this stuff up.

    • “ The Lord is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.”

      Jeremiah 10:10

    • Similarly from the Prologue of Ohrid by St. Nikolai Velimirovic today Oct 26:

      “The Commemoration of the Great Earthquake of Constantinople:
      In the year 740, during the reign of Emperor Leo the Isaurian, there was a terrifying and prolonged earthquake in Constantinople. The people considered this a punishment from God for their sins, and prayed with great repentance to the Most-holy Theotokos and St. Demetrius, until God showed mercy and the earthquake ceased.”

  33. Open Letter to Archbishop Hieronymos about the Ukrainian problem.
    (Semi-automatic translation of an extract)

    By Basil Eustathiou, Dr. of Physics, graduate of Theology.

    Blessed Archbishop of Athens and all Greece lord lord Hieronymos,

    Sadly watching the facts from the special meeting of your special hierarchy on October 12 until today, 19 October, regarding the Orthodox people about Crew Ukrainian ecclesiastical issue after your participation in today’s liturgy in Thessaloniki with the Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch,………………………….. 
    …After all these sad and painful for our Church and its unity, I have decided that for reasons of conscience, either ecclesiastically or humanly meaning it, I can not possibly attend church services with you, either in your area of jurisdiction in Athens, or anywhere else you happens to concelebrate and you are commemorated with the metropolitan Epiphanios…”
    (highlight mine) .

    Full text in Greek:

    • Solitary Priest says

      Times like this, I wish I could read and understand Greek. I do read and understand Ukrainian, however. When Volodymyr Zelensky was debating President Poroshenko prior to the Ukrainian election, he had this parting shot. “You think,” he said,” that autocephaly was a victory for you. It was actually a victory for Filaret “