What’s Going on in Brookline?

lavendar-greek-orthodox-goa-logoWell, this is interesting.

We here at Monomakhos have been hearing rumblings coming from Holy Cross for about a year now. So far, we’ve decided not to comment as these complaints were rather vague, things like “administrative style” or “a possible homosexual subculture entrenching itself” or what-not. It’s still hard to get a handle on what’s really going on behind the scenes but it appears that a group of disgruntled students along with some faculty have decided to publicly air their grievances (whatever they are).

It’ll be curious to see how this plays itself out.

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  1. Sounds like an HQIC (head queen in charge).

    • Misha, I wanted to comment to you, off topic here, regarding your comments on the HouseSprings post back in Aug. I agree with you regarding the hazard of protestant converts and convert to priest en masse. The resulting blend and lack of reverence for the Eucharist displayed has been a stumbling blockfor me. I think it is unfair to priest, family and parish to turn them loose on their own so quickly.

      • Mira,

        Yes, I know what you mean. There is a “soft sell” approach to Orthodoxy that can get overdone. It starts out with, “Tell me about the God you don’t like and I’ll tell you about a God who’s not like that.”

        There’s some value to that, of course. But ultimately you’re simply manipulating reactionary feelings. What you end up with is Byzantine-lite therapeutic deism. It may even be superficially conservative in some ways.

        The Eucharist is the heart of Christianity. It is a memorial, but it is more than that. God became man so that man might become divine. The Eucharist is very God of very God, the Body and Blood of Christ. By consuming it, we literally and physically partake of the divine nature. It is also an everpresent reminder that this partaking, theosis, in all its manifestations, is what we are all about. Indeed, Christianity could just as easily be called “Theosis” much in the same way the religion of Muhammad is called by its attitude toward its god, “Submission”.

        Orthodoxy is not Roman Catholicism, of course. But it most certainly is not a form of Protestantism. Few Protestants profess a belief in the Real Presence. Some Anglicans and Lutherans still do, but that is about it. In the Real Presence, God does overtly what He also does spiritually through hesychasm, unite us to Him in divine participation

        • M. Stankovich says

          It seems to me, Scott, you should again look to the Holy Fathers, rather than talk off the top of your head, particularly when you intend to throw shade on “Byzantine-lites.”

          Personally, I would have started with this astonishing message from St. Peter: “Whereby are given to us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature [θείας κοινωνοὶ φύσεως], having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (2 Pet. 1:4) And then “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” (Heb. 2:14-15) And, come on, Scott, anyone who uses the OCA prayerbook knows the poetry of St. Symeon the New Theologian: “For whosoever partaketh of the divine and deifying grace is no more alone, but with Thee, my Christ, the three-sunned Light that enlighteneth the world… I partake of Fire, I that am grass And, strange wonder! I am bedewed without being consumed, as the bush of old burned without being consumed.”

          But it gets more difficult, Scott, because you need to reconcile your statement with – you had to know this was coming – St. John of Damascus:

          [Yet even with the Eucharist] the human body and soul did not pass over into the Divine nature, but were only united with it, united without confusion or change. For there never was, nor is, nor ever will be another Christ consisting of Divinity and humanity, Who remains in Divinity and humanity, the same being perfect God and perfect Man,” (Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, Book 3, chapter 3)

          . So, the question becomes, can you, “literally and physically partake of the divine nature?” And I presume your quotation, “God became man so that man might become divine” refers to St. Athanasius the Great, and it is incorrect; St. Athanasius wrote, “εἰ δὲ μὴ ἀνθρώπινά ἐστιν ἀλλὰ Θεοῦ γινώσκεται,” “so that man can become God. It gets more difficult, St. Symeon the New Theologian concluded:

          “The limitless, unapproachable, and uncreated God became incarnate — έσωματοποίησε — through limitless and inscrutable goodness and, so to speak, humbled himself in unapproachable glory so that it would be possible for him to enter into union with his visible creations — I mean holy souls and angels — and so that they could be participants of the life of the Godhead. Transforming through leniency and by his love for man, he becomes incarnate and unites with and receives holy, saintly, faithful souls. According to St. Paul’s words, he becomes one Spirit with them — soul into soul, so to speak, and hypostasis in hypostasis — so that the soul which is worthy of God and pleasing to him can live in renewal and experience immortal life and become the participant of imperishable glory. And when he so desires, he can be fire. When he so desires, he can be an ineffable tranquillity, for everything he may want is pleasing to him. [Yet] He is God and the soul is not. He is Lord and the soul is a slave. He is Creator and the soul is a creation. And its nature has nothing in common with God. Only through his infinite, ineffable, and inscrutable love, and through the goodness of his heart, does he deign to settle in this creation, in this reasoning creature.”

          I have not a clue what “an everpresent reminder that this partaking, theosis, in all its manifestations, is what we are all about” means, but if we continue the riff on what the Fathers meant by theosis and deification, St. Gregory Palamas is no help to your argument:

          If we have conformed ourselves to God and have attained that for which we are created, namely, deification – for they say that God created us in order to make us partakers of His own divinity (cf. 2 Pet. 1:4) – then we are in God since we are deified by Him, and God is in us since it is He who deifies us. Thus we, too, participate in the divine energy – though in a different way from the universe as a whole – but not in the essence of God. Hence the theologians say that ‘divinity’ is also an appellation of the divine energy.

          For if deification is accomplished according to a capacity inherent in human nature and if it is encompassed within the bounds of nature, then of necessity the person deified is by nature God. Whoever thinks like this should not attempt, therefore, to foist his own delusion upon those who stand on secure ground and to impose a defiled creed upon those whose faith is undefiled; rather he should lay aside his presumption and learn from persons of experience or from their disciples that the grace of deification is entirely unconditional, and there is no faculty whatever in nature capable of achieving it since, if there were, this grace would no longer be grace but merely the manifestation of the operation of a natural capacity.

          Topics of Natural and Theological Science and on the Moral and Ascetic Life: One Hundred and Fifty Texts, 105

          If anyone declares that perfect union with God is accomplished simply in an imitative and relative fashion, without the deifying grace of the Spirit and merely in the manner of persons who share the same disposition and who love one another, and that the deifying grace of God is a state of our intellectual nature acquired by imitation alone, but is not a supernatural illumination and an ineffable and divine energy beheld invisibly and conceived inconceivably by those privileged to participate in it, then he must know that he has fallen unawares into the delusion of the Messalians.

          The Declaration of the Holy Mountain in Defense of Those who Devoutly Practice A Life of Stillness

          Now, I would not presume to leave this hanging, and I am so moved by the natural progression, I will share it with you. Imagine this mesmerizer text from the Mystagogy of St, Maximus the Confessor:

          By holy communion of the spotless and life-giving mysteries we are given fellowship and identity with him by participation in likeness, by which man is deemed worthy from man to become God. For we believe that in this present life we already have a share in these gifts of the Holy Spirit through the love that is in faith, and in the future age after we have kept the commandments to the best of our ability we believe that we shall have a share in them in very truth in their concrete reality according to the steadfast hope of our faith and the solid and unchangeable promise to which God has committed himself. Then we shall pass from the grace which is in faith to the grace of vision, when our God and Saviour Jesus Christ shall indeed transform us into himself by taking away from us the marks of corruption and bestow on us the original mysteries which have been represented for us through sensible symbols here below. (Myst., 24:704D–705A)

          Seriously? Doesn’t that seem to contradict everything I’ve written so far? Hold on. He writes of 5 modes of natural contemplation and says:

          [The Saints say] that three of them are intended to lead us to the knowledge of God, that is, being, movement and difference, in accordance with which God makes himself known to men who from the things that are conclude that He is the fashioner, provider, and judge. The other two—mixture and position— educate us to virtue and to assimilation to God. The man who forms himself in accordance with these becomes God, experiencing what God is from the things that are, as it were seeing with his mind the complete impression of God in accordance with goodness, and forming himself after this most limpidly with his reason. For what the pure mind naturally sees with reverent knowledge this, they say, it can also experience, becoming this itself in accordance with the habit of virtue. Thus being becomes the teacher of theology.

          Do the Fathers believe the creature will participate in the nature of the “I am,” Scott? Of course they do not, and your statement is incorrect. But st. Maximus concludes:

          And the unerring witness of all this is the true theologian, the great and holy Dionysus the Areopagite, in the chapter on the Perfect and the One in the Divine Names, where he speaks thus: ‘For multiplicity is not without participation in the One, but that which is many in its parts is one as a whole, and that which is many in its accidents is one in the subject, and that which is many in number or potentialities is one in species, and that which is many in species is one in genus, and that which is many in its processions is one in its source, and there is none of the beings that is without participation in the One.

          For the wisdom and sagacity of God the Father is the Lord Jesus Christ, who holds together the universals of beings by the power of wisdom, and embraces their complementary parts by the sagacity of understanding, since by nature he is the fashioner and provider of all, and through himself draws into one what is divided, and abolishes war between beings, and binds everything into peaceful friendship and undivided harmony, both what is in heaven and what is on earth.

          Scott, is this not breathtaking! Dostoevsky…

          • I really do not understand your point Stankjoshka. St. Peter clearly stated that we are to be partakers of the divine nature. It is not up for discussion. Nothing you have offered calls this point into question in the slightest except a phrase from St. Gregory Palamas:

            “Thus we, too, participate in the divine energy – though in a different way from the universe as a whole – but not in the essence of God. Hence the theologians say that ‘divinity’ is also an appellation of the divine energy.”

            I would have to look at the Greek and its translations to see to what precisely St. Gregory is referring since there is an apparent contradiction in the way you reported his thoughts and in the doctrine of the Eucharist, which I am sure is not the case in reality. What I think is the case is that St. Gregory is using “participation” in a different sense than I meant it. I meant it simply as a synonym for “partaking”. I do not suggest, i.e., that we act in the Divine Essence. St. Gregory goes on to state that participation in even the slightest part of the divine essence would render us all powerful. That is not what we are talking about.

            What I have been told by monastics and gathered from hesychasm and the Fathers, and what seems completely in keeping with Orthodox theology is that God’s Essence is unfathomable and incomprehensible and without the strength of the Holy Spirit it would consume us as the Sun would consume the Earth were it to approach; however, in the Eucharist, God is present in His Essence and having been vivified by God’s divine energies, it does not harm us if we partake worthily in repentance and after having died and been reborn with Christ.

            You may quote on at will but unless you can show me something that indicates that the Eucharist is not, or does not bear, the Divine Essence, then you have lost the argument. You will recall that Met. Kallistos in his book, the Orthodox Church, he speaks of artology, the worship of bread, which would be the case if one adored with latreia before consecration. “This is my Body.” and “This is my Blood.” mean no less than what He stated. There is but one sacrifice, on Golgotha, in which we partake in the Eucharist.

            For some reason you think that it is persuasive to quote much which does not address the point in controversy. Very odd.

            If you really understood the distinction between essence and energies, you would realize that St. Gregory drew no bright line between them and that they are simply ways of expressing God in relation to creation. He succeeded in giving a philosophical/theological explanation to a seemingly inexplicable phenomenon; i.e., that God can be fully present, united with us and yet infinite and unapproachable in His ultimate Reality.


            You have read about these things in a book, I have lived them in hesychasm. It is entirely different. I make no claims to anything, least of all authority. Take what I offer at face value, with a grain of sand or as illuminating, depending on your ability to comprehend it.

            At this, often one of the highest spiritual realizations at which a soul in pursuit of theosis arrives, the Fathers tend to use inexact references in describing the indescribable.

            Quote less, pray more.

            • Or to put it as it was put very succinctly to me by a Russian Orthodox monastic:
              “We partake of His Essence through His Energies.” Otherwise, it would not be possible.

              • M. Stankovich says

                You seriously need to speak with a professional, Scott. You apparently seem to think I say this as an insult or joke, but I am serious.

                • Stankjoshka,

                  I have regular doctor’s appointments. The medical professionals in my life are fine with my day to day mental state. Hopefully, yours can say the same about you.


              • Misha! Very well said! Your words and quotes truly raised goosebumps. Divine energy is real and unless experienced, unexplainable, yet ironically still unexplainable when experienced. I know it’s source yet always left in awe in his mercy and love, for such an unworthy sinner. Sincerely thank you , this type of enlightenment is why I frequent Monomakhos.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Thank you Dino, you’re very kind.

                  • Fr. George Washburn says

                    The contrasting view is that the sort of light Misha’s post helps us see is so rare here that it is why many, like me, don’t frequent Mono anymore.

                    • Fr. George Washburn, please forgive me, but I bet you frequent Monomakhos, more than you’d like to admit. I do. Sometimes it’s a car wreck, too hard not to look, but sometimes you have you sift through the dirt to find a diamond. Misha’s post was spot on for me. Some here like to make our trial run here on earth, so much more complicated than need be. Salvation is not that complicated, it simply takes time and commitment to our Lord, and the Gospels.Of course our Saints and Holy Father have a lot to offer, but in my opinion, we sometimes out smart ourselves, and/or muddy the waters in our effort to seem more intellectually enlightened than others. This is exactly what the devil wants confusion, doubt, and division.

                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                      Fr George, this sort of “light” is shed here all the time: “You have read about these things in a book, I have lived them in hesychasm. It is entirely different. I make no claims to anything, least of all authority.”
                      He CLAIMS: “I have lived them in hesychasm.” Then he says, “I make no claims!”
                      A nomination for the next Purple Book of Myths and Legends: “Hesychasm as Logorrhea or How I became a Teacher!”

                • First, one reconciles oneself to the Law of God. Buy a good catechism if you don’t have one. I prefer Slobodskoy’s but there are others.

                  Then one joins the Church.

                  Then one lives by God’s Law, incrementally at first (with things like fasting) but fully in time. During this time, one observes a prayer rule. It need not be lengthy. 2-3 times a day and a short “Into Thy Hands . . ” before sleep.

                  Then one gets a chotki/komboskini/prayer-rope and commences battle.

                  At first it is slow going. Just concentrate and don’t worry at all if you wander but get back to it as soon as you realize it. I found it good to pray while wandering on foot or traveling by bus (which I’ve done quite a lot of). And I usually chant it.

                  Then as God wills, and you can handle it, stuff starts happening. The prayer writes itself on your soul so that it is ever-present, ever-recurrent. When, problems, conundrums, doubts, logismoi come, you defeat and disarm them with the Sword of the Jesus Prayer. Faith will overcome.

                  Soon, you will realize that you are battling your partial understandings of theology which sometimes seem to come into conflict. Both reading a praying helps with this, as does consultation with a starets. But mostly you battle the passions in some form, mask or disguise.

                  And when theology reconciles itself, and emotion/passions are reconciled one may experience a moment or moments of “wow”. Realization. “Seeing the Light.” As faith has grown, so has dispassion taken hold.

                  That is as far as the Fathers and Lossky take it in writing and a good point to introduce the notion that some things are personal, not published.

                  That’s the way I would direct someone.

                  George is a very gracious host. The thing I most love about him is that he is earthy and full-spectrum. He intuitively knows that its all connected and he trusts the faith. We owe him a debt of gratitude. I do not know who reads this blog but I am told that it finds its way to high levels.

                  George has achieved something wonderful here.

                  • Fr. George Washburn says

                    Another lovely post by Misha. Can he, in all sincerity, point to *any* of the key things on his summary of spiritual growth that is liable to be fostered in a substantial fraction of the readership or participantship here? No, or if sincerity allows him to mention one, it makes my point just about as effectively because anonymous bloggery is so manifestly destructive of the dawning awareness of our masked selves … and what it is that I must repent of.

                    Dino, you lose your bet. I tell the truth here. In recent months I have probably averaged one check in a week. Earlier in the year far less than one a month. For someone who once visited more than daily, I no longer ‘frequent.’ You can use the word differently if you like.

                    Your reply, however, while appearing to take issue with me, shows that you really know I am right. A ‘car wreck?’ Exactly! Like publishing unsubstantiated, anonymous vilifications and defenses from dueling sources about Holy Cross seminary.

                    Your most telling and honest remark, for which I thank and respect you, is the one about sifting through dirt to find a diamond. Exactly!

                    You may suppose that you are largely dirt-proof, and by comparison with others you know or observe, perhaps you are. Now, in my 70th year, experience has taught me that I and the vast majority of the people I know and observe, are not.

                    But you do raise a very interesting question which I ask here every so often in various ways. How much dirt can, does, or should the soul slough off without damage to get Misha’s diamond? How much bad sushi do you want to nibble, if not swallow, before getting a good piece?

                    Let’s ask ourselves another candid question, Dino, Misha, and all. In reading the Bible how does the dirt to diamond ratio compare to what you find here? Do not be deterred from answering honestly by the difficulty of arriving at a precise figure for the composition of Mono. A rough estimate in order to make a general comparison is all I ask. Or compare Mono to reading the writings of Archimandrites Vasieios or George of Mount Athos, Met. H. Vlachos, and any number of saints in between Apostolic times and today.

                    Dino and the rest of us, to be honest, come here vastly more for the ‘car wreck’ than for the occasional spiritual diamonds. Having realized the dirt from which they had to be sifted was far more damaging to me and others than anything we got, I stopped frequenting and regular posting.


                    Fr. George

                    • Father George Washburn, again forgive me, but you did say:”don’t frequent ANYMORE”. Perhaps you misspoke? Please don’t believe I take any issue with you, in fact I truly appreciated your response.

                      To your questions, I am large, but certainly not dirt proof, but does that stop most from tuning into newspapers, cable, or local news? Do we not sift what is true and false, right and wrong. I understand that with Monomakhos as well, at the same time I have learned much, about the inner workings of our church. This I value, and appreciate that George take the time for Monomakhos.

                      Father. I do truly thank you in your ,Bible dirt to diamond ratio, and sushi reference. You have reminded me, that obviously we need more time spent, with The gospels, and our Holy Fathers, than Monomakhos, which I am guilty of. In a ironic twist this is another diamond in the dirt moment for me, with you. I will work on managing my time better. Please pray for me.

                    • Fr. George,

                      I understand. I have left off of Monomakhos at times, as well as AOI at times, because the waters were too shark infested. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? Anymore I’m teflon. None of it touches me at all. But it hasn’t always been that way.

                      Even Christ wanted distance from the crowd, even from his own periodically thickheaded disciples, sometimes. And most certainly, there were places He visited where He was ill received and thus turned His back. Cast not thy pearls before swine.

                      And certainly it is better to spend time with Scripture and the Fathers, which I do most every day.

                      The wolves have been hyperactive here since at least that little incident with the ROCOR nun was news. It was like Halloween for awhile. Hopefully it will get back to normal. The animosity of the trolls is self defeating. Incidentally, battling the trolls here is a bit like battling logismoi.

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      As far as I am concerned, there will always be a seat next to me for an officer of the court in whom there is no guile. May the seat, however, never be found on Alta Road! Ecoutez: “The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the grey head.” (Prov. 20:29)

            • M. Stankovich says

              Dino is atwitter with your “words and quotes,” but whose “quotes” are they, Scott? I don’t see any sources for your exhortation whatsoever. Which monastics told you what; what hesychastic revelation informed you; and which Father(s) do you quote? You say:

              If you really understood the distinction between essence and energies, you would realize that St. Gregory drew no bright line between them and that they are simply ways of expressing God in relation to creation. He succeeded in giving a philosophical/theological explanation to a seemingly inexplicable phenomenon; i.e., that God can be fully present, united with us and yet infinite and unapproachable in His ultimate Reality.

              I have been quoting St. Gregory Palamas from the Philokalia, specifically from Topics of Natural and Theological Science and on the Moral and Ascetic Life: One Hundred and Fifty Texts directly, and he is quoting St. John of Damascus, St. Basil the Great, St. Gregory Nazianzos, and St. Maximos the Confessor directly. The overwhelming majority of these 150-texts are especially “bright lights” delineating the fundamental difference and distinction between God’s Essence and Energies in the most emphatic and minute detail:

              Three realities pertain to God: essence, energy, and the triad of divine hypostases. As we have seen, those privileged to be united to God so as to become one spirit with Him – as St Paul said, ‘He who cleaves to the Lord is one spirit with Him’ (1 Cor. 6:17) – are not united to God with respect to His essence, since all the theologians testify that with respect to His essence God suffers no participation. Moreover, the hypostatic union is fulfilled only in the case of the Logos, the God-man. Thus those privileged to attain union with God are united to Him with respect to His energy; and the ‘spirit’, according to which they who cleave to God are one with Him, is and is called the uncreated energy of the Holy Spirit, but not the essence of God, even though Barlaam and Akindynos may disagree. Thus God prophesied through His prophet saying, ‘I shall pour forth’, not ‘My Spirit’, but ‘of My Spirit upon the faithful’ (cf. Joel 2:28. LXX).

              St Basil the Great, when he writes of God in his Syllogistic Chapters, says, ‘The energy is neither the one who energizes nor that which is energized. Therefore the energy is not to be confused with the essence.” St Cyril likewise affirms concerning God: To create pertains to energy, to beget pertains to nature. But nature and energy are not identical.’ And St John of Damaskos writes, ‘Generation is an operation of the divine nature, but the creation is an operation of the divine will.’ And elsewhere he says clearly, ‘Energy is one thing and that which has the capacity to energize is another. For energy is the essential activity of the nature. That which possesses the capacity to energize is the nature from which the energy proceeds.’ The energy, then, according to the holy fathers, differs in many ways from the divine essence.

              I believe I understand quite clearly the Tradition of the Church. If there ever was need for anyone to provide the exact Tradition of the Church as to partaking in the “Essence” of God in the Eucharist, it is from you. What a cheap trick to ask me to disprove it!

              Further, you say ” It is not up for discussion,” but my creating this argument, you beg the question: did St. Peter, in referring to “divine nature” as φύσεως intentionally mean something different than what the Fathers intended by using οὐσία in the Creed of the First Ecumenical of Nicea? I have already given you the words of St. John of Damascus, “[Yet even with the Eucharist] the human body and soul did not pass over into the Divine nature, but were only united with it, united without confusion or change.” But curiously, I have offered you mesmerizing commentary from St. Maximos the Confessor, yet you did not touch it! “The man who forms himself in accordance with these becomes God, experiencing what God is from the things that are…” Surely you have an hesychastic insight? You are not even engaging in Google theology here; you are contriving “monks” & Fathers that are contrary to the Holy Fathers. Come on, Scott, “Joining with those Holy Fathers before us…”

              • Stankjoshka,

                I don’t have to convince you of anything. If you wish to try and falsify one of the following statements, be my guest:

                1. Jesus Christ is of one essence with the Father.

                2. The Eucharist is Jesus Christ.

                Apart from that you can read Palamas’ description of God’s energies and essence as being like the sun and decide for yourself what he meant. But without certain experience, it will not be an informed opinion. I have told you what I believe it means and that in no way contradicts the consensus of the Fathers of the Church. You have not provided the slightest indication from them that it does.

                “If, according to the nonsense of Akindynos and those with him, the divine energy is nothing different from the divine essence, then, the act of creating – which is proper to the energy – will in no way differ from the acts of begetting and procession which is proper to the divine essence. But if to create in no way differs from begetting and procession, then created things differ in no way from Him Who is begotten and Him Who proceeds. And if, according to our adversaries, such is the case, then, neither the Son nor the Spirit differ from creatures, since all things are begotten and/or proceed from God the Father; thus, the creation will be deified and the divine Persons will be ranked with their own creatures. For this very reason the divine Cyril (of Alexandria), distinguishing between the essence and energy, says, ‘The act of generation is proper to the divine nature whereas the act of creating belongs to His divine energy.’ Then, stating the obvious, he adds, ‘Nature and energy are not the same.'” – Palamas

                Your confusion has to do with the effort mystics make to safeguard the distinction by stating that Essence is something which may not be attained in any way. This is true and the language sometimes sounds so exclusive as to preclude that this Essence may ever involve itself with Man at all.

                But the Divine Essence became Man for the very purpose of deifying humanity. The notion that flesh cannot bear it is absolutely absurd and heretical in the utmost.

                We cannot control it, we cannot understand it, we cannot hold it and we certainly don’t exist as it. It is incommunicable in its ultimate reality and we can have no grasp of it. However, it is communed to us through Divine Energy.

                One can say the same thing with the Holy Spirit. Theosis is sometimes described as attaining the Holy Spirit. Yet the Holy Spirit is God in His Essence every bit as much as the Father and the Son. So what are we to make of this?

                Perhaps that God Himself is the Medicine of Life and this Medicine acts/effects through its Energies. He is unfathomable and totally beyond us but He gives of Himself to heal us from within.

                If you come up with something else worthy of notice, I will let you know. You seem to have read much and you quote far too much but you haven’t actually understood what you have read.

                “We know the Essence through the Energies.” – St. Basil

                This is the same unknowable, unfathomable Essence of which we are speaking.

                • M. Stankovich says

                  What I clearly understand, Scott, is that you are claiming – like the heretic Montanus – to hold certain “insights” that “without certain experience” others may not draw an “informed opinion.” Lucky you. You are now responsible for a new symptom: theologumena-salad, characterized by a pattern of gibberish resembling theology. You are standing before the Holy Fathers, not me (you get that, right?), Scott, in Batman Underalls a size too small. I am done here. Trust me, this is a dreary damn day in Mudville.

                  • Poor fellow, I will pray for you, Stankjoshka.

                    Go with God.

                    * * *

                    God does not withold anything from us except what He needs to in order to maintain a distinction of consciousnesses and to limit the power His creatures wield. We cannot understand infinity.

                    In a word, He is Thought-Power, or, as Christ said, a Spirit. A conscious Power that lies behind it all. He doles out power as He wills, not as we will. That is really the whole point. Lucifer refusing to bow, Adam eating the fruit . . . we know not what we do. He’s trying to raise us responsibly and we ourselves keep getting in the way. He intends for us to act as a conduit for His Power, at His pleasure. He even breaches the bounds of consciousness to reveal Himself to the prophets and saints.

                    Essence and Energy simply safegaurd the designations/reality “He” and “we”. He is in charge, we are not. And we may all thank Him for that.

          • M. Stankovich says

            Mr. Michalopulos,

            Are you pursuing a fantasy writer’s division here? Under the big top, the Holy Fathers themselves are refuted by posters who levitate and display the stigmata? The first wave was the “winning of argument” by the openly hostile, degrading infliction of projective insult and degradation, and now you have opened the door to the “Last Hippie” of Oliver Sacks’ An Anthropologist on Mars, whose blindness, “clairvoyance,” and “enlightenment” was not of God, but a slowly developing adenoma in his brain. Everyone was shocked… except me, and prolly Edward. Living in hesychasm – “stillness” – and challenging the Fathers as contained in the Philokalia – off to check the Greek by what miracle? – is about outrageous as this discussion can become. It is simply another, but equally effective manner – by which to kill any process of intellectual debate, not by attempting to debase your “intellect,” but your “spiritual insight.” Somehow, this is eminently more pitiful and lamentable that the former.

            We’re about the same age, Mr. M., and I don’t think you’ll take offense to my saying the Nobel Prize hardly looms in either of our futures. But you are the boss, and have saved me from myself here on many an occasion, I would note that while the 1st Amendment is one thing, supporting insanity by silence is quite another.

            • I have not contradicted the Fathers in anything except the one instance where I take issue with the opinion of St. John of Damascus regarding God the Father icons. He lived under Muslim rule before the 7th Council which settled the matter. And in all things, I have the highest respect for him and all the Fathers. Where they are in consensus, there is the Apostolic word – Sacred Tradition.

              Really, Stankjoshka. Adenoma?

              “Look, let me explain something to you. I’m not Mr. Lebowski. You’re Mr. Lebowski. I’m the Dude. So that’s what you call me. That, or His Dudeness … Duder … or El Duderino, if, you know, you’re not into the whole brevity thing.”

            • “and prolly Edward…” Yeah, Stankovich, none of it escaped my attention or failed to disturb me, but I am done.

              I’ve been Orthodox long enough and have had a sober enough formation to know that anyone who claims to be free of the passions — isn’t, that no true hesychast would ever lay claim to being a practitioner of the same, and that anyone who is never wrong — well, is probably wrong more than even his most scrutinizing critics say. Cavalier recklessness with theology is bad enough, but all of this is prelest of the most obvious kind.

              And I’ve had enough training in mental health to recognize Cluster B when I see it. I know that if that person can’t or won’t be removed, you have to remove yourself before bad things start to happen. Given that you received a thinly veiled threat like “Historically, people I have singled out as enemies in other contexts may or may not have lived to regret that designation,” I would strongly and lovingly suggest that you take my advice and remove yourself just as I am removing myself.

              George, I have no idea how to reach you via email to express my concerns, but in one sense it really doesn’t matter. You have decided what kind of site you want to run, what kinds of spiritual danger you will flirt with, and what sorts of behavior you find acceptable. I wish you all the best.

              • I had no intention of threatening anyone and the remark was not made to imply that I might. What I have done in the past has always been within the legal framework of the United States of America. So no one need worry in the slightest.

                As for the rest, I really don’t claim anything other than that I am undergoing the same process (theosis) as all men are meant to undergo. Where I am exactly in that process need not matter. I’m a bit amused at the indignation, I suppose everyone has the right to be offended . . .

                That being said, no apologies.

          • The manner in which the Jesus Christ remains in the Holy Gifts.

            1. Although the bread and wine are transformed in the Mystery into the Body and Blood of the Lord, He is present in this Mystery with all His being, that is, with His soul and with His very Divinity, which is inseparably united to His humanity.

            2. Although, further, the Body and Blood of the Lord are broken in the Mystery of Communion and distributed, still we believe that in every part — even in the smallest particle — of the Holy Mysteries, those who receive Communion receive the entire Christ in His being, that is, in His soul and Divinity, as perfect God and perfect man. This faith the holy Church expresses in the words of the priest at the breaking of the Holy Lamb: “Broken and divided is the Lamb of God, Which is broken, though not disunited, Which is ever eaten, though never consumed, but sanctifieth those that partake thereof.”

            3. Although at one and the same time there are many holy Liturgies in the universe, still there are not many Bodies of Christ, but one and the same Christ is present and is given in His body in all the churches of the faithful.

            4. The bread of offering, which is prepared separately in all churches, after its sanctification and offering becomes one and the same with the Body which is in the heavens.

            5. After the transformation of the bread and wine in the Mystery of the Eucharist into the Body and Blood, they no longer return to their former nature, but remain the Body and Blood of the Lord forever, whether or not they are consumed by the faithful. Therefore the Orthodox Church from antiquity has had the custom of performing on certain days the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, believing that these Gifts, sanctified at a preceding Liturgy, remain the true Body and Blood of Christ. There has likewise been from antiquity the custom of preserving the sanctified Gifts in sacred vessels in order to give Holy Communion to the dying. It is well known that in the ancient Church there existed the custom of sending out the sanctified Gifts through deacons to Christians who were not able to receive Communion of the Holy Gifts in Church, for example to confessors, to those in prison, and to penitents. Often in antiquity believers brought the Holy Gifts with reverence from the churches to their own houses, and ascetics took Them with themselves to the desert to receive Communion.

            6. Since to the God-man Christ it is fitting to offer a single inseparable Divine worship, both according to His Divinity and His humanity, as a consequence of their inseparable union, therefore also to the Holy Mysteries of the Eucharist there should be given the same honor and worship which we are obliged to give to the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.


            Stankjoshka quoted:
            [Yet even with the Eucharist] the human body and soul did not pass over into the Divine nature, but were only united with it, united without confusion or change. For there never was, nor is, nor ever will be another Christ consisting of Divinity and humanity, Who remains in Divinity and humanity, the same being perfect God and perfect Man,” (Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, Book 3, chapter 3)

            Yes, and . . . what? I never suggested anything to the contrary. But the Word did become flesh and dwelt among us, the same Word who is fully present in the Eucharist.

            • M. Stankovich says

              Fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants Google theology. You believe you struck gold here in Fr. Pomazansky? And you are not even aware that this a rag-tag, thrown-together English translation of his Dogmatics text. Passaic Russian Church! Madonna Mia! You are a piece of work, Scott. He would be offended at your use of his writings to defend this point.

              From the outset I have been asking you questions – is there not a fundamental theological distinction between the terms φύσεως as used by St. Peter when he says we shall become “partakers of the divine nature, and ουσία, as used by the Fathers of the First Council in the Creed of Nicea, when they said the Lord is “one “essence with the Father?” You do not know, Scott. By your syllogism, “1. Jesus Christ is of one essence with the Father. 2. The Eucharist is Jesus Christ.” you should be ecstatic at the words of both Sts. Maximos & Dionysus that I provided, but you have given them no mention. What are they saying? What is their point, Scott? You do not understand them. You would dismiss me with, “Pray more, quote less?” You raised these issues and misrepresented your personal opinion as the teachings of the Church. They needed to be corrected.

              And finally, you promote Fr. Pomazansky, who does not even address the question! St. Gregory Palamas, whom Fr. Florovsky correctly identifies to have “summed” in himself the dogmatic teachings of the Fathers before him, describes the impossibility you dangerously promote:

              Just as the essence of God is altogether without name because according to the theologians it transcends all names, so it is also imparticipable in that according to them it transcends participation. Thus those who in our day disbelieve the teaching of the Spirit given through our holy fathers and who revile us when we agree with the fathers, say that if the divine energy differs from the divine essence, even though it is envisaged as wholly pertaining to God’s essence, then either there will be many gods or the one God will be composite. They are unaware that it is not activating and energy but being acted upon and passivity that produce composition. God activates without in any way being acted upon or subject to change. Thus He is not composite on account of His energy. Furthermore, God also possesses relationship and is related to creation, as being its Principle and Master; but He is not on this account numbered among things that have come into existence. And how will there be many gods because of God possessing an energy, since the energy pertains to one God or, rather, since God Himself is both the divine essence, and the divine energy? All this is clearly folly deriving from a demented state of mind.

              You need to stop publishing this trash, Scott. You are walking the tightrope of outright heresy at this point, if you already have not crossed it. You continue to backtrack, to Google, and postulate, and you reach the same source for your position: you. I believe you will have “credibility” and your “disagreement” with the greatest Teachers and Defenders of the Orthodox Faith will be taken seriously when the Church sets aside a Sunday in Great Lent to commemorate you. You are singularly the loudest & most verbose hesychast in my recollection. Time to be still.

              • Stankjoshka,

                I already told you I should not have used the word “participate” or should have clarified that I meant nothing more than the partaking which St. Peter spoke of. As I said above, when I talked about participation, I was not talking about activity as the divine essence.

                As to partaking of the Divine Essence, we most certainly do so in the Eucharist. It is, as you point out however, a passive thing. We receive it and only then through the divine energies. I am nowhere close to heresy, Stankjoshka. However, if you are denying that the divine essence is present in the Eucharist, you very well might be.

                For some reason you are quoting passages of the Fathers who exhort against those who make no distinction between essence and energy. If I were one of those, they would be relevant. Since I am not, they are merely a curiosity since I have already delineated my understanding of what St. Gregory was getting at in his distinction. It is real, but not absolute. Just as St. Gregory wrote, it is like the sun and that which proceeds from it.

                But it is of no matter at this point. Your histrionics are silly. We’re just a bunch of guys and galls shooting the sh*t here. You take life too seriously.

                Take a Zanax and a day off and you will feel better. I mean, seriously, you can go off all you want to but I will never move away from the Orthodox faith.

        • Tim R. Mortiss says

          Is “Byzantine-lite therapeutic deism” similar to “Renovationist Eastern-Rite Protestantism”?

  2. Thomas Barker says

    …if an inquiry does not occur along with substantive change…our website will go live on December 1st.

    Who’s their PR man, Julian Assange?

    • If this is true this type of threat is unbecoming. To threaten the hierarchy before they have had a chance to investigate and respond is cowardly.

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

      Julian Assange has evolved in his isolation into a new Hedda Hopper!

  3. Sean Richardson says

    This is indeed distressing and I’m sorry to hear it.
    In the mid- to late 1970s, from what I have heard from several sources, there was a great deal of infighting at SVS, and it turned out poorly for everyone involved, regardless of what side the students and faculty were on. It was during this time that Fr. Schmemann uttered his infamous quote, again from what I have heard, “I will not be the dean of a pot smoking homosexual joint”. To confirm all of this, I personally heard Fr. Meyendorff bemoan the troubled atmosphere that existed for a few years.
    I have a sense that things turned better, after awhile, but still, damage is done and wounds are caused in any of these battles.
    At Holy Cross, I pray that the ship is righted quickly and our Lord remains on the throne of the hearts of all, faculty, administration and students.

    • tony absolom says

      Sean: During the time you mention at SVS, there were only one or two students who were accused of and admitted to smoking dope. This was the Vietnam era and these students left the school. 99% of the students were not of this ilk. Ask Stankovich for more [info].

      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

        Sean is right in that it was the POT-SMOKING homosexuals that irritated Father Alexander!

    • Thomas Barker says

      It’s easy to spot a man who attended seminary in the 70’s. When he lights a cigarette, he immediately passes it to the person next to him.

      • M. Stankovich says

        Thomas Barker,

        Thanks to God I quit drinking July 21, 1980, and stopped smoking cigarettes in 1987. Enough said. But I’m going out on a limb here, my friend, presuming that if there is anyone here with a memory for such things, it is you who will recall this discussion, and this song. What goes around comes around. “The thing that has been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.” (Ecc. 1:9) And so it goes…

  4. What seminary did Fr. Mackay in Eugene,Ore. attend? If, it was this one, it is easy to surmise that, he thought he could get away with adultery, fornication, child endangerment with anunderage prostitute. It also explains how he thought he could forbid me, from speaking against the LBGT agenda. Totalitarian Bishop Sorach is an example of such virtue-less, ruthless disregard for the manner of spirit the Christ described, that His faithful disciples should know. These seminarians want a fish, not a stone.
    They do as I did, when I wrote concerning Fr. Gerasim Eliel. 24 witnesses merits a real examination of their claims.

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

      Michael Kinsey! Why this GRATUITOUS and poisonous reference to ROCOR’s Bishop Nikolai (Soraich), a graduate of the Johnstown, PA. Carpatho-Russian Seminary of Christ the Saviour?

      • tony absolom says

        Soraich, your buddy, was a disaster in Alaska. The clergy threw him out. He was almost as bad as you!

        • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

          “tony absalom” What’s that got to do with Michael Kinsey’s reference to Mackay’s seminary? Did Mackay go to Johnstown, too? BishopNikolai (Soraich), now that you mention it, is not and never has been my “buddy,” as you call it! Like Metropolitan Jonah, also neber my “buddy”, he left the OCA and was received into ROCOR. Is Bishop Nikolai, in your opinion, still a disaster, as he builds his 3rd Church in Las Vegas? By the way, the *clergy in Alaska* didn’t throw him out. What an idea! You write, “He was almost as bad as you!” No way! No one is nearly as bad as I! Another crackpot idea of yours?

  5. Who, What, Where, Why, Abomination of Desolation Michael Kinsey. Google it, then see if you can find something that is not scriptural and contradicts to Holy Fathers, and authentic Christian Tradition. Then, match me and explain the Vision and Abomination with something you write that does not.

    • The Vision is the Christ’s responses, which is the only Way of Peace. No amount of snarky-ness can change this,Do it or perish. This is hard ball. Care to play Tikon?

  6. Gail Sheppard says

    So these “loyal sons and daughters of the Church” didn’t sign their names or did they just withhold their names from distribution? It was rumored that our then Bishop Joseph would throw unsigned letters like this in the trash. I always respected him for that.

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

      Yes, indeed, Gail! Unsigned letters, like pseudonymous postings on Monomakhos, are, as one says in Russian, “the rustling of the mice!”

      • Or it’s indicative of the kind of environment of fear that exists at Holy Cross. Imagine investing so much in priestly formation, only to be canned for raising real concerns.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          They don’t sound like they’re afraid of anything to me, Ages. Their delivery is way too inflammatory for raising real concerns. They’re fanning the flames.

          • Lee Roy Fitzgerald says

            Nonsense. They are obviously at the point where fighting fire with the threat of additional fire is their only recourse.

            • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

              George! Moderator and owner! Please, ask the person posing as “Lee Roy Fitzgerald” to choose another pseudonym! I have never taken anyone to court, but I’m not absolutely averse to doing so. Thank you.

              • Peter Millman says

                Your Grace,
                That was a funny comment. I’m also glad that you have followed St. Paul’s admonition not to take a brother or sister to court. I’ve definitely grown fond of you- and respect you.

          • I’m sorry, Gail, I don’t see an inflammatory tone in the letter. To me it reads as full of regret.

            • Gail Sheppard says


              The tone of a letter is set by the words (usually adjetives), rather than content. In this case, they were largely derogatory and pejorative.

              • disastrous
              • incompetence, mismanagement
              • mood swings, constant memos, hostile attitude
              • beyond the pale
              • refusal
              • insistence
              • explosive temperament (2X)
              • retaliation; hostile (work environment)
              • refuse
              • demean
              • insulted

              In addition, negative assumptions were made, including this: “most likely be buried.”

              Finally, there were threats that if their concerns were not addressed they would open a website, presumably like Mark’s, and pursue a Sidebottom (EEOC) solution.

              Don’t you think this letter meets the following criteria?

              Definition of inflammatory:
              1. tending to excite anger, disorder, or tumult : seditious
              2. tending to inflame or excite the senses

              I understand the need for anonymity on a website, but if you’re going to write a letter like this, it needs to be OWNED. If it weren’t so inflammatory, they probably would have signed it. I felt like they were EMBARRASSED to sign it and that weakened their case. It is always a good idea to have someone who is not involved in your fight read a letter before you send it. Sometimes an objective point of view can make all the difference. The bothersome words could have been removed and just direct observations made. For example, instead of saying X “refused to do A,B,C”, you can say, “no actions were taken when . . .”

              • George Michalopulos says

                Agreed. The GOA has a habit of putting out unsigned letters even in official venues. Several years ago “the faculty of HC” put out an unsigned letter talking about the wonderfulness of Phanariote supremacy.

                They really don’t have room to complain now, do they?

                • It’s time, and far past time, for orthodox christian ‘jurisdictions’ in North America to stop playing politics in The Church, both within their structures and among their structures, all of which are canonically irregular except for my own church, the Orthodox Church in America, which is not doing too well these days, either, because of its internal administrative chaos, indulgence of immorality, bad management, false leadership, and serious attrition..

                  Our bishops, at least those with any brains and grace and a sense of their divinely given responsibilities, must REQUIRE their fellow bishops in the Assembly of Canonical Bishops to abandon any allegiances to foreign churches — one way or another — and to forge, by hammer and tongs, a strong and vital Orthodox Church of America.

                  Elsewise, The Church of Christ — no fault of His — will die here in North America just as local churches did in the Near East before the turn of the second christian century..

    • Steve. Johnson says

      Not signing this letter severely handicaps its credibility.

  7. Braun Lūdavič says

    Maybe some of the students (the protesting students?) could begin attending the Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University?

    • Out of the frying pan, into the fire.

      • Braun Lūdavič says

        I don’t believe their are any protest against authority at the Fordham Orthodox Studies Center.

        • M. Stankovich says

          Pardon me, Mr. Lūdavič, are you referring to the relatively new center established at the Roman Catholic Fordham University, Rose Hill Campus in the Bronx, NY? To my knowledge, this is not intended to be 1) a substitute for an Orthodox seminary, and 2) you are aware (if I am recalling correctly) it is (only on the “local” trains) two train stops from St. Nersess Armenian Seminary in New Rochelle, and three train stops from St. Vladimir’s Seminary? You have different information?

          • Braun Lūdavič says

            M. Stankovich,

            I am not familiar with the New York train system. I have only been to New York a few times, and St. Vladimir’s Seminary a few times as well, but this via car from the Washington DC/Baltimore metro-area.

            My mentioning of the Fordham Orthodox Studies Center is that this is under the auspices of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, as is Holy Cross. There are a few Orthodox professors there at the studies center.

            If memory serves me correctly, I am not familiar with GOA seminarians being sent to one of the OCA schools. I could be mistaken on this point.

  8. Ah, I misread. I thought this had the support of Met Isaiah of Denver and so made certain assumptions. Hmmm . . . don’t know what to think of it at this point. It was unsigned.

  9. Why was this letter addressed to Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco instead of to His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios of America? What am I missing here?

  10. ex-GOA member says

    Those of us who are familiar with the Greek Archdiocese and its history do not find this surprising. The GOA is merely reaping what they have been sowing. The way to heal this is for the many Ephraimite monasteries in America to take the lead and show the GOA the path it needs to take. But don’t hold your breath — the elite, moneyed interests and wealthy Greek-Americans who run the GOA (mind you, the GOA bishops and the Patriarch of Constantinople merely do their bidding) will not let this happen. Most of the Ephraimite monasteries, if they had their way, would prefer to be under the spiritual protection of Mount Athos or of the Patriarchate of Russia/ROCOR.

    The best thing I did for my spiritual life was to leave the GOA years ago. If you are more interested in Christ and His Church than you are in Greek-ness, then you must seek spiritual refuge outside the GOA.

    For Holy Cross seminarians who are reading this, please consider transferring to seminary here or here or here. You have a responsibility to lead Christ’s flock, and you will be led down a dangerous path at Holy Cross and other corrupt seminaries of its kind.

    • “Most of the Ephraimite monasteries, if they had their way, would prefer to be under the spiritual protection of Mount Athos or of the Patriarchate of Russia/ROCOR.”

      Ephraim WAS under the ROCOR. He left it for the GOA. He clearly followed the money. I’m not saying he was right or wrong. I personally am just as happy not to have the problematic parts of Ephremite teaching in the ROCOR. And they are maybe doing some good in the GOA.

    • EX GOA:

      If, as you state, the monasteries of Ephraim prefer to be under ROCOR/Russia/Mt Athos, why don’t they leave the GOA. You make no sense. Ephraim is where he is because that is where the money is. However, I do agree with much of what you say about the GOA.

    • Being “under the spiritual protection of Mount Athos” would mean being under the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which Elder Ephraim’s monasteries and the GOA are, too.

    • ex-GOA member says

      To all,

      Happy Thanksgiving! Blessed feast, the most Christian and “Orthodox” of our American secular “holidays!”

      What I was saying — forgive me, it wasn’t worded well — was that at our local Ephraimite monastery, the monastics have told me that they’d much prefer to be under a traditional jurisdiction such as ROCOR and they would much prefer to be on the old(er) calendar. They are also quite concerned about the ecumenism we see emanating from the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

      I still believe the GOA is far more interested in money than in anything else, and it is reaping what it is sowing. For me, it was one of the best things I did for my spiritual life, to leave the GOA all those years ago. If even half of what they are saying about this Fr Christopher is true, then that merely reinforces my position. I find it funny that some have written that he would be better suited as a parish priest than as a seminary leader. Any priest who calls students or parishioners “πούστη” for fun needs to be disciplined. But like that will ever happen, especially if he brings in the $ to the GOA! Point proven.

      My opinion is that the GOA will go the way of the ECUSA — wealthy, but far too modernist and hemorrhaging parishioners every year. Especially hemorrhaging seminarians and prospective seminarians who would otherwise become priests. Maybe they will need to start ordaining women? But let’s not go there now.

      • If Ephraim wanted to be connected to another archdiocese he would do so. He is in the GOA because that is where the money is. Besides, contrary to the traditional practice of the Church, his monasteries worship exclusively in English.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Johnkal, you mean “worship exclusively in Greek”, right?

          Also, I’m not so sure that 79th St ponies up any money to the monasteries. If anything, the local parishes have been browbeating 79th St because of the increasing numbers of people going to them. That’s my take anyway.

          Also, my gut tells me that the really rich Greek-Americans who make up the Archons are secular/modernist to the core and very much anti-Ephraim. I could be wrong on that point. If you or anybody else for that matter has any info pro or con on this issue, please feel free to chime in.

          • Yes, my mistake, I meant Greek. It is Greeks that primarily support the Ephraim monasteries. No way that the GOA supports the monasteries. It has been said that there are four great fund raisers in the Orthodox world: Triantifilou, Scott, Karloutsis but the best of all is Ephraim.

            • Peter A. Papoutsis says

              I would fight to keep Fr. Ephraim’s monasteries in the GOAA. ROCOR doesn’t need them.

              It is unfortunate that the modernist bad press of these wonderful monasteries have given people bad impressions of them. We are truly blessed to have two of these monasteries where I live, and enjoy them both as do many from all the surrounding jurisdictions.

              These monasteries are presently the only thing keeping the GOAA Orthodox.

              However when the schism happens most Greek people will go to the Greek Old calendar Church along with their money and, possibly, Fr. Ephraim’s monasteries.

              If this happens, and it will, the Greek OCC will be forced to be canonically united with certain other parts of mainstream Orthodoxy. Let us wait and see what happens.


              • Peter, a simple question, fight with whom? Ephraim is an independent agent and attaches where and when he wishes. If he wished to move elsewhere he would. The reality is that his support primarily comes members of the GOA. He certainly has little interest in attracting non-Orthodox to the faith or worship would be in English. Nevertheless, you can fight, even though I don’t know with whom.

                Peter, you can have Pantelimon and his Group. I find the OCCs to be as pharisaical and legalistic as the Pharisees of Jesus’ time.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Johnkal, again, in my limited experience (once at Florence, five times at Kendalia), the overwhelming number of people I saw were non-Greek and non-Greek-Americans. I’d say at least 50% were converts. In Florence, a huge number of Russian and Ukrainian emigres as well as the odd Arab or two.

                  And no, I don’t know how to square this with the exclusive use of Ecclesiastical Greek. I wish I could but I can’t.

              • M. Stankovich says

                What an outrageous fellow this Ephraim. He is an anarchist in sheep’s clothing, causing conflict, scandal, arguments, divisions in families, divisions in parishes, and nearly divisions in jurisdictions, and for what? That in a few selected places, some who choose will continue to hear the call to a very narrow path:

                Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Why take to you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, with which you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. (Eph. 6:11-20)

                And whenever in this fallen world one undertakes such a challenge, he, and those who choose to follow, are bound to provoke the scorn of many. Leave them alone. “If the world hate you, you know that it hated me before it hated you.” (Jn. 15:18) They will be fine. Without them and those like them we are doomed.

                • Mr Stankkovich, The Orthodox church here in America, already had, conflicts, scandal, arguments, divisions in families, divisions in parishes, and divisions in jurisdictions, as you put it, long before Elder Ephraim ever arrived onto the scene. Some can’t handle brutal truth, some can. Our church offers many roads to salvation, just because it is not your cup of tea, does not justify slandering his name, and honor.

                  • Mr. Stankovich, sorry for the extra “k” in your name, not intentional, simply a typo, on post above. (Eph. 6:11-20) and (Jn 15:18) How in the world, do they apply to Elder Ephraim? Hopefully they are just two of your favorites to share, and hopefully you did not mean antichrist, instead of anarchist. Regardless neither would apply to Elder Ephraim.

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      My comments, Dino, were intended to be “ironic” and obviously failed. I have nothing but the utmost respect for the Elder. I met him in Rockland County, across the Hudson River, approximately 40 minutes outside NYC before I went to medical school. He and a highly-educated English-speaking monk (whose name I do not recall) who accompanied him, were being entertained by one of the founders, a Greek man, of the small OCA parish of which I was a member. I sat, basically without speaking, as the monk translated the Elder’s “plan” for purchasing properties and establishing monasteries. Obviously it struck me as highly ambitious, given they had absolutely nothing! But he was confident, trusting in God, and certain – and I mean certain – that his plan would succeed. And like most everyone who has met Elder Ephraim, there is a peace about him beyond description.

                      What was “convincing” for me, however, was the reaction to the Elder – personally & as a spiritual guide – and what began to happen around him. The Greek man of whom I spoke was a first-generation Greek-American who announced two things: he was devoting himself to learning New Testament Greek because the Elder told him he must pray in Greek (and despite being a native speaker of modern Greek, he simply could not catch on and bagged it in two weeks!), and having recently retired as an engineer from the City of NY, he was in the position to make a substantial donation to the the Elder, and suggested others – Greek or not – do the same. People went crazy, wagging their heads, “See! That monk is a con-man & Shylock! Shaking down the Orthodox in parishes for who knows what!” But two people left for the monastery as well. It was also during this period that I picked up Fr. Thomas Hopko to take him to a retreat he was delivering in Rockland County, and captive in my car, I asked him what he thought of the Elder Ephraim. True to character, he responded, and and not a word more:

                      Beloved, believe not every spirit, but test the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know you the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof you have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. You are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God: he that knows God hears us; he that is not of God hears not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. (1 Jn. 4:1-6)

                      He was a wise man, and obviously correct. As I noted above, “whenever in this fallen world one undertakes such a challenge, he, and those who choose to follow, are bound to provoke the scorn of many. ” I believed that Ephraim was prepared to suffer from within the hierarchy of the Church, and from without, “for righteousness’ sake.” By the word “anarchist,” I specifically had in mind the words of the Lord from Matt. 11:12-15:

                      From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if you will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. He that has ears to hear, let him hear.,”

                      It also reminds me of beloved SS Verhovskoy, Professor of Dogmatic Theology & Ethics, who though a meek man on the whole, admonished us that “you are called to be Elijahs, to face the falsehoods of this fallen world in a hair shirt, with a bone in your hand.” Unfortunately, I end up in the “graduation” scene from Full Metal Jacket, when everyone is assigned to “Infantry,” Sgt. Hartman yells out, “Private Joker, Basic Military Journalism. Private Joker, who do you think you are? Mickey Spillane?” “Sir, no, sir. I wrote for my high school newspaper, sir.” And so it goes…

                      By the way, the reference from Ephesians 6:11-20 in my original post is the primary text in the Orthodox Service for the Tonsuring of a Monk; a new monk is “vested” according to the instruction of St. Paul in this section – from head to feet – like a soldier, to do battle against the forces of darkness, and to “pray always.”

                    • Mr. Stankovich, thank you for your clarification, and sharing a bit of personal information on the Elder, and Father John.

              • Peter,

                It would be nice if the Ephraimites could unite in communion with the Greek OC’s and ROCOR. It is doubtlessly true that we are all edinovertsy (of one faith). Modernism complicates everything.

                • If Ephraim wanted to unite with the Greek Old Calendar Churches and ROCOR he would have done so. He chooses to stay with, as you call it, the modernist New Calendar Churches. He chooses to be under the authority of the Ecumenical Patriarch and not separate himself from the Body of Christ.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    johnkal, what you say is correct –as far as it goes. I for one would lose respect for the Elder if he went jurisdiction-hopping just because. Perhaps the Athonite elders view themselves as a “loyal opposition” which serve as a bulwark against the modernist drift of the Phanariote-controlled churches. I respect that. Having said that, there is a limit to the patience of honest men and women that can be borne under the modernist yoke.

                    As to your point regarding the financial aspect of their remaining under the EP, perhaps I am wrong (and if so, please correct me), I certainly don’t see any economic reason for staying as the financial well-being of the Athonite monasteries here in America is based on the massive pilgrimages that take place on a year round basis. Those same pilgrims will continue to attend regardless of whether they are placed under the omorphor of Russia or Georgia or whoever.

                    Asking God’s forgiveness.

                    • George, I can not judge a persons motivates, that is God’s business. I do know that Ephraim has made and continues to make the decision to stay in the GOA and under the Patriarchate, that is obvious. The funding to support his projects comes primarily from members of the GOA and Greeks from Canada. To assume that the pilgrims, who drop a dollar here and there to purchase a candle, can fund the large building projects Ephraim has undertaken is naïve.

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      They definitely are the Loyal Opposition and they are not going anywhere. They would have to be pushed out to leave. Barring that they are staying to save as many souls as they can.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Peter, do you think it’s a possibility that they may be “pushed out” as you say? I’m looking at those waiting in the wings at C’pole and I’ve got a sinking feeling in my stomach.

                  • Unlike the Greek Old Calendarists (and Elder Ephraim, I dare say), the Patriarchate of Constantinople apparently believes that the Romans are merely in a state of akoinonesia rather than schism or heresy.

                    “Another very important and significant event that is often ignored not only by the antagonists of the participation of the Orthodox Church in the Ecumenical Movement, but by many Orthodox in general, is the lifting up of the anathemas of 1054 between the Churches of Rome and Constantinople at the end of the Second Vatican Council, on December 7th, 1965. As the Church historian and canonist Vlassios Phidas writes, “it is obvious, from a canonical point of view, that this ecclesial situation of the rupture of communion (akoinonesia) is clearly distinguished from the state of an accomplished schism, since, by the lifting up of the anathemas of 1054, we are now standing in the situation we were before their imposition”.[9] Therefore, if the Church of Rome and the Church of Constantinople are now in a state of rupture of communion (akoinonesia), due to historical events and theological disputes, while both sides wish today to restore the full ecclesiastical communion, how can some dare, even through the voice of a local synod, not to acknowledge the Church of Rome as a Church, or to consider her members as schismatics, or even, as heretics?” – https://www.orthodoxcouncil.org/-/the-ecumenical-significance-of-the-holy-and-great-council-of-the-orthodox-church

                    Search though you might, you will scarcely find that opinion represented in the Body of Christ over the centuries since Rome’s departure. So you might want to be more circumspect regarding whom you consider part of that Body.

                • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                  True that.

                  • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                    No Father Ephraim will not be pushed out as this would cause a schism in the Greek Church, and 79 street does not want that.


            • Yes this is true. Our local Fr Ephraim monastery does not get financial support from the Greek Archdiocese, from what they told me. And yes, wealthy modernist Greek Americans do not like the Ephraimite monasteries. No surprise there.

              I would love to see Fr Ephraim’s monasteries (and the GOA for that matter) return to the older calendar, in line with well >70% of the Orthodox world. The newer calendar seems to be gradually phasing out. The newer calendar churches are not growing or will soon return to the older calendar to be in line with their brothers and sisters in Christ. May it happen if God’s will!

              Blessed start of the Nativity Fast tomorrow to all!

  11. M. Stankovich says

    Mr. Michalopulos,

    As the unofficial patron of everything unofficial, unconfirmed, and anonymous, I unofficially express my amusement at your statement, “So far, we’ve decided not to comment as these complaints were rather vague.” Holy Cross Disgruntled Anonymous – particularly those with trash to unload – consider this an unofficial invitation!

    As to Mr. Richardson’s point of SVS in the mid-70’s, I’m all the confirmation you will ever need. To set the background, you have to 1) appreciate the role played by the Sacristan, the person who Fr. Alexander Schmemann personally selected and relied upon to keep everything running smoothly in the altar. As a rule, none of them could sing, some of them he protected from “bullying,” some because they were Russian, and some because they were students he particularly respected. In 1976, the Sacristan was Robert Arida. 2) There was, that year, an influx of 1st-year students from San Francisco, several of whom had friends accompany them and who lived in the area. They tended to gather in the student TV area, for example, which led to several “confrontations” as to whether they were “family members.” 3) The walls in the newest dorm at the time were very thin. Between mine & Eric Wheeler’s room and Robert Arida’s room was the room of a “person in question” who was “entertaining” several guests late at night. I came out the door the same moment as Robert Arida. This repeated itself on several more occasions, and included a deacon across the hall. Arida was especially disturbed. 4) However you want to argue it, the Viet Nam War only officially ended when NVA tanks finally rolled into Saigon in April, 1975; even SVS had its share of students there only for the draft deferment, and where there was a draft deferment, there was marijuana. Fr. Cyril Stavrevsky was the Dean of Students (may his Memory be Eternal!) was a would be Clouseau, appearing late, late at night with a giant flashlight en patrouille (which I referred to as the “night of the squeaky shoes”), and on Friday, unlocking and entering dorm rooms. Yuck. Several weeks passed, and a notice hit the bulletin board announcing a mandatory meeting in the auditorium with the Dean.

    What was extraordinary was that, while everyone always wore cassocks to such events and rose when the Dean entered, Dean Alexander wore a suit with a black Russian shirt that finished sort of like a cassock. Then he pulled papers out of his jacket and put on his glasses! Only then did he tell us to be seated. I am not big on shaming speech, in fact it brings out the defiance in me big time, and that was the gist of his presentation, shaming us collectively. Three times he said, pounding his fist on the podium, “I will not be the Dean of a pot smoking, homosexual joint,” but this, actually, was not particularly offensive. He chose, for example, to demean a visiting priest from Paris – an iconologist, whose wife was an iconographer, who was teaching a 2-semester course – with long hair & beard, always in his cassock, who had become a favorite of students because of his personality. Schmemann railed against him without naming him – “flash in the pan,” – and he obviously had nothing to do with the matters at hand. In the end, if Schmemann had asked a good portion of the students to group up and go across the road to burn down the RC church & convent, they might have done it. Others, not so much. By the next evening, there were empty rooms, including the one that separated me and Robert Arida. Perhaps there was compassion and calls for repentance in the process. Perhaps. I pray there was heartfelt compassion and calls for repentance.

    • Sean Richardson says

      Thank you for your note. I always wondered, even though I heard these stories from a couple sources, I still am hesitant to relate second hand information. I just hope that this can be sorted out, without any significant damage to the seminarians or the seminary.

  12. Hey All,

    I am a seminarian at HC/HC and can answer any questions you might have. The letter above is substantially true. Our community is going through a difficult time right now. I am shocked that those who published this letter did not black out the times of the people in question.

    Without a doubt we need a change in leadership. Father Chris is a poor match for the HC/HC community. Perhaps he is better suited for parish ministry. The Status quo cannot continue.

    That said, a number of recent graduates who are either ordained or awaiting ordination are great men who love the Faith. Our professors of Pastoral Care, Old Testament, and Parish Administration are some of the best the GOA has to offer. I hope this time passes quickly for all of us.


    • Concerned Orthodox Christian says

      What do you mean that the letter is substantially true? Can you be more specific about what problems are currently happening within the HCHC community? What is the status quo that seems to make the faculty and students so upset?

    • George Kohen says

      Hello Michael, “The letter above is substantially true”. Are you implying there are elements of the letter which are not true/accurate? Clarify please.

    • M. Stankovich says


      I have no idea if you have been to this site previously, but in my estimation, it is neither Reddit nor the National Inquirer, though at times it is unmistakable for the latter. I strongly suspect this will rapidly sink into the customary filth of a witch hunt for homosexuals, so I strongly urge you to go to the library and read St. Chrysostom’s Homily Against Publishing the Errors of the Brethren. κατενώπιον τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐν Χριστῷ λαλοῦμεν

  13. Re-reading this, I’m amused. “Let the dead bury their dead.”

  14. Christopher P. says

    These complaints are vague on purpose. We do not want to provoke a scandal- we all want to eventually be ordained and serve the church. We have evidence of his outbursts on audio and video. His mockery of professors (particularly Fathers Maximos and Pentiuc) are well known to the entire student body.

    This man is an unmitigated disaster.

    -Chris P.

  15. Η ώρα ήρθε!

  16. Hello,

    In response to the questions that were raised:

    1.) There is not (and the letter does not imply) that there is any type of active homosexuality on our campus. The problem is that Father Chris throws the term “Pousti” around- even when talking about professors and students even though these people are not homosexually inclined. In fact, they all have girlfriends.

    2.) Administrative staff (all women) have experienced his rude behavior and explosive temper (and will be submitting official letters of complaint next semester)

    3.) This letter is true. Ask any priest on faculty or dean.

    4.) A second letter will be sent out soon with proof to the Metropolitans.

    5.) It is clear to us that the Archdiocese will take no action- anyone who has been around the archdiocese long enough knows that action is never taken unless money is involved.

    • Braun Lūdavič says

      Have the students there ever listened to the evangelistic outreach of myocn.net, a mission spearheaded by Fr. Christopher Metropulos?

    • Will you be able to tell us more about this website that is being created?
      What is the URL?
      Will it contain the letter(s) you have sent to the Hierarchy of the Church?
      Is there an email address we can use to be in contact with you?

  17. Chris, are you sure the professors have girl friends? This would be a real problem since many of them are married.

    • George Michalopulos says


    • George Kohen says

      …and two of the professors mentioned in the letter specifically (Fr. Maximos and Fr. Joachim) are celibates (monastics? Is one a monastic if they aren’t in a monastery? I’m not casting aspersions, I don’t understand how this works being fairly new to Orthodoxy and still learning).

  18. Blah

  19. Hello all,

    Just to clarify, Father Chris’ use of the words “pousti” and “queen” are used to describe men who are neither. He uses these words to tarnish and smear the good names of good men. None of the professors at the school have girlfriends (that we know of).

    We are aware of his work at OCN. Unfortunately, what you don’t know is that while at OCN he (and the archdiocese) received several complaints about his behavior there. His staff couldn’t stand him and for that reason he was transferred to the school.

    In response to Dimitri K’s message- we have contact with a few members of the School’s Board of Trustees. Father Chris expressed to them his intention to prosecute anyone who started a blog or website. As a result, we will go public to a major news organization instead of starting the website. The December 1st date is no longer set in stone.

    In charity, we will contact the bishops one more time so that they might act. We want to give them the benefit of the doubt before this situation comes crashing down (perhaps on a national level).

    If father Chris elects to step down from his position that would benefit all parties and potentially save what will be left of his career.

    • “Chris P.”-

      Fr. Christopher was not transferred to the school. He was elected by the Board of Trustees, chaired by His Eminence. His election was the result of a public search which resulted in more than 30 candidates for the office. Not only was he not “transferred,” but he was in parish ministry mainly before being elected to his post. OCN was his “baby,” considering he bore the brunt of the work from its inception and regardless of what was thought of him there- he was a successful pastor to his parish for many years. He would not be sent to one of the most demanding positions in the Church of America had he been a failure.

      You are bluffing. A “group” who is prepared to take action against a “abusive” president would not have any reason to back down or give the “benefit of the doubt.” Who is this group anyhow? We have no proof that there are any more than one single person who wrote this letter. You should be ashamed of yourself- soldiers fight. The Archbishop has called your bluff and he is correct. His statement today in support of the President and his administration has caused you to pause and reexamine this. Your goal is to shame the Church publicly and it is disgusting. Your bluff is so pathetic that your only “threat” is no longer “set in stone.” What a mockery. Should the group be exposed, it would be fitting that these men never stand before the Beautiful Gates for ordination, how can you prostrate with no backbone?

      Fr. Christopher will not step down nor will he be deposed from his position because he has brought more money to the Institution than ever before. Had you any sense, you would have requested the Archbishop appoint a Spiritual Leader for the campus while Fr. Christopher is away making sure the roofs don’t come crashing down from a lack of funding. But you have no sense- you are spineless individuals who seek to destroy rather than repair. May you reap what you sow. Fr. Christopher is a smart man who will not hesitate to seek legal action for slander in this case and rightly so. A “group” of bluffers- why not accept that there is none without sin and work with the sinner rather than stab him in the back?


      • So Fr. Chris’s inappropriate behaviour is justified solely due to his intake of funds for the school?

      • Anthony,

        I would suggest that you perhaps remember to not judge someone. As far as I know, you do not know the inner workings of what is happening at the school.

      • George Kohen says

        Anthony W., would you please be so kind as to provide a link to the Archbishop’s letter mentioned in your post. I did a google search and could not find anything.

        • His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios Visits HCHC

          His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Geron of America, and Chairman of the Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology Board of Trustees engaged administration, faculty and students throughout a regular scheduled semester campus visit on November 16 and 17. Topics including curriculum development, academic programming, potential future institution initiatives and student life were discussed, among others.

          His Eminence further took the time to visit eight different classes in both Hellenic College and Holy Cross, and lead the community in worship in Holy Cross Chapel. He was highly impressed with the faculty’s intellectual activities, the students’ academic curiosity and desire to learn, as well as the many new improvements to student life on campus.

          Archbishop Demetrios expressed complete support and confidence in Rev. Fr. Christopher T. Metropulos’ leadership, and his many efforts to improve productivity, efficiency and operations during his first year as President.

          His Eminence looks forward to continued oversight and participation in the academic and spiritual life of the school and its constituencies.

    • Get a life/job, poust.

    • Chris,

      If what you say is true, then you have no reason to fear a website/blog about your perspective of the situation. All Fr. Chris can do is request a cease and desist letter to be issued. If he dares prosecutes you then that shows what type of character he has as a priest. Priest’s are suppose to be the example of what it means to ask for forgiveness. But that also means you must have forgiveness in your heart too. However, the situation is a little more complex when as students you are paying a lot of money to attend an institution of higher learning that barely meets the needs for the future leaders of the Orthodox Church.

      The Archbishop did call your bluff. They have put their support behind their President. But, it only takes one person to change the world. Will it be you?

      You have gone this far. Stand before the icons in the Holy Cross Chapel. Pray on the situation you have found yourself involved in. If you feel in your heart you are doing the right thing, then reveal the facts. Remember it’s difficult to gain support for your cause when the FACTS are not known.

      Now is the time to speak up! Don’t let random people who have no voice in this matter deter you from exposing the bad. If the bad exists (and is just covered up or ignored) then make it known to the world. Only then can you and the rest of the HCHC community expect real substantial changes. It will never be easy, but that’s what it means to stand up for what you believe is noble and right.

      • George Kohen says

        CS, You write “However, the situation is a little more complex when as students you are paying a lot of money to attend an institution of higher learning that barely meets the needs for the future leaders of the Orthodox Church.” Not true. Those students who are classified as Seminarians attend free of charge. I wish I could have gotten my masters debt free. Talk about immature and ungrateful!!

        • I don’t know what world you’re living in. Apart from Leadership 100 support- we all pay tuition and room&board. It’s pay for play- want to be ordained? Financially support our school.

        • George Kohen,

          I’m sorry, but you are wrong. Most students are graduating from Holy Cross with at least 50k in debt. I know this because I am a graduate of Holy Cross.

          The perception that seminarians are getting a completely free education is not only WRONG but contributes to the problem.

        • George, I don’t know where you are getting your information regarding the cost of attendance for seminarians at HCHC, but you are completely mistaken that the seminarians get a free ride. In fact, most seminarians take loans out to cover the cost of what scholarships don’t cover which usually ends up being close to the federal maximum that one can take out per year. The cost of attendance including room and board is roughly $40,000 a year. Scholarships typically account for about $20,000 leaving the student with about $20,000 a year in loans. Believe me, seminarians do not attend “free of charge”, as you put it, by any means.

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      This is why you put your name on things. If true then comit and put your name even if it costs you. Things of this magnitude are not about you, but about the institution you care about. Right? Otherwise you are trying to have your cake and eat it too. Shameful.

      Peter A. Papoutsis

  20. Chris,

    Why would you write that the professors have girlfriends in your previous post and now write that none of the professors “that we know of” have girlfriends; this is slanderous. I have to question your credibility. You actually speak on behalf of professors and seminarians?

  21. Braun Lūdavič says

    From the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology website:

    “Archbishop Demetrios expressed complete support and confidence in Rev. Fr. Christopher T. Metropulos’ leadership, and his many efforts to improve productivity, efficiency, and operations during his first year as President”.


    • Mr. Ludavic:

      Do you honestly believe that this statement is directly in reference to how Mr. Metropulos has acted in regard to these allegations? I hope you are not this naive. Also, how do you expect the archbishop to fully understand the true nature of the school if he visited and sat in on classes wearing an epanokalimafkon and holding his bastooni whilst sitting in a throne at the head of the room like some sort of patriarch? This is all show and clearly no student will voice their opinion or put his name on anything. The students are in fear of their futures since this “priest”, Mr. Metropulos, is indeed such a terrible human-being and will do anything and say anything to hurt those who speak ill of his actions or deed. It should also be said that at least 15 faculty, administration, and employees have been fired or “retired” during his tenure…this is not a coincidence, sir.

      • Braun Lūdavič says


        The Archbishop is surely aware of these accusations and I am also sure that he has every confidence in the ability of Fr. Christopher Metropulos.

  22. Steve. Johnson says

    I am ashamed of what I have read here.

    Why would anyone want to be Orthodox after reading this nonsense?

    Unsigned allegations about a proven priest that has excelled and is well respected? These said allegations in no way resemble the man Fr. Chris is known to be. Yet some immediately and erroneoulsy believe them to be true.

    (By the way, it is my understanding that Elder Ephraim DID join ROCOR for a bit before he returned to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Ephraim does have ties with Russia.)

    Men that are allegedly clergy and even hierarchs are on here adding fuel to the fire, instead of trying to calm things and insist on “due process”. Some of you guys seem to have an axe to grind and I dont understand where that is coming from.

    Doesnt stand to reason that perhaps Fr. Chris is targeted by a few of the baser sort, because he is a dynamic and articulate man of intelligence that will not tolerate the fundamentalist agenda of pro-Ephraim supporters? Like most rational human beings that are Orthodox Christians, I would bet that Fr. Chris does not believe the world is 6,000 years old. I am sure this has brought him more than a few enemies. It is no surprise that Fr. Metropulos is what they would consider a “progressive” and not a “traditionalist” as some like to be called.

    Now I have participated in this nonsense and I am sure some will not like what I had to say. Perhaps if we all remembered a few adages it would minimize some of this unseemly talk: “innocent until proven guilty” and also “gossip is bad” as well as “lying is bad” – even if it is supposed to “promote” Christ.


    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      How did Fr. Ephraim and his monasteries get in this? You sure you don’t have an axe to grind Steve?

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

      Elder Ephraim, Mr Johnson, may have gone under ROCOR upon coming to America, or, rather, Canada, FIRST. I believe he may have had the impression that GOA had no room for traditional monasticism. Later hwas persuaded by, possibly, Bishop Anthony ofGOA in San Francisco that traditional Monasticism WOULD be welcome, and so he moved to Arizona. What hierarchs are “adding fuel to the fire” in this matter of Father Christopher (or Father “Chris” if you prefer that style for a man who is your chum rather than a Presbyter). It is not true that gossip is bad, my boy. There is bad, malicious, and mendacious, definitely bad. bBut gossip can also be good, philsanthropic, and honest. A man, like so many, wiser than I, has pointed out that ALL HISTORY is gossip, As for “lying is bad”–well often it is, St Basil the Great tricked a man into either monasticism or the episcopate by telling a lie, that he, Basil, was also going to do so! His friend took that course of action but Basil did not. In fact, he called that kind of lie, a”pious ruse!”
      Did this Priest, Christopher, NOT call Fathers Maximos and Joachim “QUEENS?”
      Is that how Priests who have people calling them by nicknames rather than Saints’ names set an example of virtuous speech?Would the Apostle Paul encourage TIMOTHY to be that kind of icon? I am 84 and irrelevant myself. I’m just trying to see how your morality is supposed to exceed that of the anonymous poison pen!
      It is obviously true that our moderator relishes such anonymous attacks IF they support his own antipathies.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Thank you for the insightful history Your Grace.

        To flesh out your story re Elder Ephraim, after Bishop Antony encouraged him to come under the omorphor of the GOA, he went to NYC to meet with then Archbishop Iakovos. What I remember about this incident is that he went to his office and sat patiently in the waiting room for an appointment. Iakovos ignored him. He came back the next day; again, ignored. Then the third day; same result. Then Iakovos was admitted to the hospital for chest pains and from his convalescence, he called Ephraim and gave him permission to begin his mission.

        I heard this from two sources but I’d like to know if anybody else heard this as well.

  23. Anthony W is without a doubt Father Christopher Metropulos. Instead of addressing the claims of the administrative staff, students, and faculty he has offended by his words and actions he justifies his position by appealing to his fundraising abilities.

    He neglects to mention that his presidential inauguration alone cost the faithful over 100,000 dollars and how he initially tried and failed to funnel the money he raises to OCN. The result of his spending splurges- the burden is shifted to students. Students at HC/HC have the ninth highest cost of Dormitory living of all colleges in the United States in facilities that are falling apart.

    And he has the gall to state that the archbishop has every confidence in him…that isn’t why an emergency meeting of the board was called two weeks ago. Having lost confidence in his administrative staff, he barred anyone else from School Administration, Faculty, or Staff from attending.

    Father Nicholas (Triantafilou) was loved by all students for his sincerity and charity. We lost a true shepherd when he had to retire. Now we have a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    The next letter to the Metropolitans will be going out shortly. All of us (Deans, faculty, and students) involved in this letter will pray for you and urge you to get help)

    • George Michalopulos says

      Michael, my only request would be that your “next letter” be signed. That’s much more powerful. Just a thought.

    • “Deans,” by this you imply the involvement of Dean Katos considering you mentioned Dean Skedros is unwilling to act. Thank you for clarifying.

  24. Emmanuel Melonak says

    Dear Friends,

    I am a Holy Cross Student in the MDiv program posting under my real name. I trained as a physician before I made the decision to explore a vocation to the priesthood, which has always been a dream of mine ever since I was young. I hold a job while completing a dual degree at Holy Cross and Boston College.

    I believe that Holy Cross can improve in a number of ways. What is clear to me is how I have grown as an Orthodox Christian and as a human being since my time at the school. I have had no shortage of setbacks or obstacles in my way. But while in seminary I have grown in ways that I would not have previously thought possible even though (due to chapel and work) I didn’t have time to make it to chapel as much as I could have.

    Let’s take a deep breath and pray instead of screaming at each other- and give thanks for what we have.

  25. Alitheia1875 says

    Where to begin. The letter is not the creation of one person. Was the executive board trustee meeting really regularly scheduled as the school’s website said or was it convened because of the letter? Some of the trustees wanted the president dismissed immediately but he has powerful defenders. Nothing of substance was discussed in the meetings the Archbishop had with students and faculty. No surprise there. Of course a statement of support was quickly forthcoming. And, yes, the school has a history of burying things. Of course it was anonymous if one assumes that what was written in the letter is true. Any priest who curses in the altar should be suspended. The accusations about name calling are true. One of the priests called a queen had a heart attack last week. There are more than a few people at the president’s former parish in Florida who would paint a very much not so rosy picture about his tenure there. And, yes, the atmosphere at the school is very different under this administration than under the immediate previous one. The great question that never seems to get addressed is why the school, about to be 80 years old, has such a meager endowment. This about an institution that serves one of the wealthiest religious groups in the US. The truth is that the Archdiocese has never really supported the school to the extent that many believe it is supported, either monetarily, by the bishops etc. Why has Hellenic College failed to grow? Of interest is why the letter was not sent to the Archbishop and Metropolitans Alexios and Evangelos. Or why it was sent to Bishop Demetrios and not Metropolitan Iakovos. It was obviously addressed to Bishop Andonios as chancellor of the archdiocese. This is all embarrassing and shameful for Orthodoxy.

  26. Well, that all flamed out rather quickly.