Who Wants to Play “Hot Potato”?

Yesterday, yours truly wrote a post called “Kicking the Can” (or words to that effect).

This was in respect to the Church of Greece’s Holy Synod and whether they would recognize the new Ukrainian uncanonical outfit created by the globalists and their puppets in Kiev. At the time it did indeed look like a game of kick the can.

Now it looks more like “hot potato”.

It seems that the bishops decided to not decide, or rather to let the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece make the decision unilaterally. In essence, they tossed the hot potato in his lap and in his abject fear of the consequences, decided to toss the potato into the lap of the entire episcopal body of the Church of Greece.

They are to meet in October. One wonders how many times the potato will be tossed around at that session. It’s sad really, that grown men couldn’t come to a decision one way or the other. It says a lot about their moral character, their rectitude. Regardless, even timorous men can make the right decision and, given the ludicrous set of circumstances which the Phanar has created, this may be the best possible decision for now.

Stay tuned.


  1. “The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it.” -Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf (Aug. 1934 – Dec. 2012)

    Sounds like the Holy Synod and Primate of the Church of Greece could learn something from an American general’s common sense. We are, after all, more than simply “barbarians in the diaspora,” as they too-often mischaracterize us.

  2. I pray that the Church of Greece follows the example of Saint Mark of Ephesus. The following encyclical is addressed to the Latins and those who entered into a false union with them. Today, I believe this applies to the schismatic OCU and those who have entered into communion with them (and those who may enter into communion with them in the future).

    “And so, brethren, flee from them and from communion with them, for they are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the Apostles of Christ. And no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works (2 Cor. 11:13–15). And in another place, the same Apostle says of them: “For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly”; and by good words and fair speeches, they deceive the hearts of the simple. Nevertheless, the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal (Rom. 16:18; 2 Tim. 2:19). And in another place: “Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the circumcision” (Phil. 3:2). And then, in another place: “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you—let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:8). See what has been prophetically foretold, that “though an angel from heaven,” so that no one could cite in justification of himself an especially high position. And the beloved Disciple speaks thus: “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, and give him no greeting; for he that giveth him greeting is partaker in his evil deeds” (2 John 10–11).
    Therefore, in so far as this is what has been commanded you by the Holy Apostles, stand aright, hold firmly to the traditions which you have received, both written and by word of mouth, that you be not deprived of your firmness if you are led away by the delusions of the lawless.
    May God, Who is all-powerful, make them also to know their delusion; and having delivered us from them as from evil tares, may He gather us into His granaries like pure and useful wheat, in Jesus Christ our Lord, to Whom belongs all glory, honor, and worship, with His Father Who is without beginning, and His All-holy and Good and Life-giving Spirit, now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.”

    -St. Mark of Ephesus (1444)

    • Mom of Toddler says

      “And the beloved Disciple speaks thus: “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, and give him no greeting; for he that giveth him greeting is partaker in his evil deeds” (2 John 10–11).”
      When reading this verse, what are the implications of con-celebrating with the EP? Am I correct in thinking this is a closer form of communion than a greeting or a shared meal of lunch?   

      • Gail Sheppard says

        Excellent question!

      • Joseph Lipper says

        What is the false doctrine that you are referencing here, and how does this pertain to the Ukrainians?
        “And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another.  And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.  For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
        Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.  Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
        If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:  For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.”  2 John 5-11

  3. Jim Jatras says

    I think it’s less that grown men can’t make a decision and more that in this group a lot of them have made their decision — but with opposite conclusions. Add the fact that the US and Greek governments are twisting Bishops’ arms. It’s just another sad example of how much discord the Phanar, the State Department and CIA, the Greek government, and their cheerleaders in the Vatican, the LGBT “community,” and the Soros organizations (do I repeat myself?) are willing to inflict on the Orthodox Church to take a shot at Russia.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Jim, leaving aside all the heterodoxy, seating arrangements, mythologizing, that’s really what it’s all really about isn’t it? Is the Orthodox Church going to get aboard the modernist Crazy Train or not?

  4. I am very glad to hear that the Archbishop of Athens and all Greece declined to make a unilateral decision. 
    Blessed Feast to all who celebrated the Dormition yesterday!
    Most Holy Theotokos, Save us!

  5. Estonian Slovak says

    One would think this feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist would cause them to think soberly. I know many who post here disagree, but once again I say, you need an Orthodox emperor to light a fire under these Hierarchs and induce them to get their act together.

    • George Michalopulos says

      ES, I agree with you. As the emperor (or anointed king) is a layman who bears ultimate responsibility for the commonweal, he has the right, duty and obligation to call a council. Clearly, the mettle of many of the bishops in the Greek-speaking churches is not up to the task of defending the Church or “rightly dividing the word of truth”.

  6. George, I think there is another advantage of the decision not to decide until October.
    The people of Greece (and other countries) now know the deadline, they can talk to their Bishops, other clergy and laity to show that this is a VERY SERIOUS DECISION which can cause a lot of trouble!

    • The moral authority of the Patriarchs of Constantinople has likewise fallen very low in view of their extreme instability in ecclesiastical matters. Thus, Patriarch Meletius IV arranged a “Pan-Orthodox Congress,” with representatives of various churches, which decreed the introduction of the New Calendar. This decree, recognized only by a part of the Church, introduced a frightful schism among Orthodox Christians. Patriarch Gregory VII recognized the decree of the council of the Living Church concerning the deposing of Patriarch Tikhon, whom not long before this the Synod of Constantinople had declared a “confessor,” and then he entered into communion with the “Renovationists”…
      In sum, the Ecumenical Patriarchate, in theory embracing almost the whole universe and in fact extending its authority only over several dioceses, and in other places having only a higher superficial supervision and receiving certain revenues for this, persecuted by the government at home and not supported by any governmental authority abroad: having lost its significance as a pillar of truth and having itself become a source of division, and at the same time being possessed by an exorbitant love of power—represents a pitiful spectacle which recalls the worst periods in the history of the See of Constantinople.
      St. John Maximovitch-1938

      The only thing that changed since this was written, is that they now have the support of multiple corrupt government authorities abroad.

      • Indeed, Mikhail.

      • Fr. Justin Frederick says

        But Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey said last October:
        “For the past seventeen centuries the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople has embraced all the Orthodox faithful throughout the oikoumene with faith, love, care, and pastoral sensitivity as it has aimed to ensure peace, unity, and healing throughout the Orthodox world. One of the central roles of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, is safeguarding the unity of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, the Holy Orthodox Church with which he has been entrusted by the Grace ofthe Holy Spirit. This is a responsibility that he accepts willingly and most seriously since this role requires sincere love, unfettered faith, strong leadership and objectiveness in making decisions. The right decision is rarely the easy decision and this holds true for the current ecclesiastical situation in Ukraine. . . .
        “His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate desire to heal this division within the Church so that the sheep who had been lost can return to the ninety-nine, and so that our Lord may“gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad” (Jn. 11:52). This decision of His All-Holiness and the Holy and Sacred Synod endeavoring to correct the uncanonical situation is not being taken because it is the easy option, but because it is the difficult and necessary solution. We must acknowledge and understand that these decisions are being made in the spirit of healing, love, peace, canonical correctness in order to safeguard the unity of the ecclesial body, achallenge and responsibility entrusted to the Mother Church of Constantinople. . . .
        “Let us continue to pray for and with our spiritual Leader and Father, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who for the past twenty seven years as our Ecumenical Patriarch, has and continues to do that which is right by seeking and promoting unity and peace throughout the Orthodox world. Let uspray for the Members of the Holy and Sacred Synod, one of whom I am, as we continue deliberating these pastorally sensitive issues with great care and love, and above all, faith in our Triune Lord and God. And let us pray for all the people of Ukraine whoseek peace and unity in the faith, so that they all “may be one”. Further, let us pray for those who for reasons, known to them and the rest of the world, are being openly defiant. May they too see with the eyes of their soul, come to the knowledge of andacknowledge the truth, by embracing the decisions of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and His All Holiness, based of course on the centuries old historic facts and Patriarchal documents which exist. Finally, let us reiterate the prayer heard at the Divine Liturgy, ‘O Lord, our God…unite them to Your Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church and number them together among your elect flock.'”
        That was so clearly demonstrated by Patriarch Meletius in 1923. Now Patriarch Bartholomew pulls a similar stunt. But the words of his supporters sound so fine. If only actions matched words.

        • Evangelos is a baffoon and should not be a Bishop. He was a poor student at HC and rules his metropolis like a dictator. He has no Christian view of the church but raher endorses a vision of the church as an ethnic enclave. Paramount in his directives to the clergy, is how many times and when to cense the bishop. Furthermore, I guarantee he is not capable of writing the statement above. His endorsement of the patriarch is what is commonly called “ass kissing”.

      • Antiochene Son says

        How many Ecumenical Patriarchs have been anathematized?

        • Brute from bygone ages says

          At least dozen. 

        • Add Meletios Metaxakis and his successor Germanos (who broke Communion with St. Tikhon to recognize the NKVD’s Living Church over the MP) and the current scoundrel BLACK BART to the next version of the ever-growing list of heretics, schismatics and pawns of the devil. 

          • George Michalopulos says

            Metaxakis’ breaking of communion with St Tikhon’s Church was a horrible act. That the Ecumenical Patriarchate as a whole has not repented of en masse is even more horrible. Metaxakis may not have known all the details at the time in which he perpetrated this atrocity but we know the extent of Bolshevism’s hatred for Christ and His Church –for this there is no excuse.

            • Brute from bygone ages says

              If that was only Metaxakis. Patriarchs after him were still supporting renovationist heresy. Gregory VII would first declare support for Saint Tikhon, and in few months would support renovationists. Same goes for Photius II. In order to be honest, Attaturk’s regime was close ally of Soviets. Kliment Voroshilov was national hero of USSR and Turkey…
              By the way, current Greek Prime Minister is descendant of Eleftherios Venizelos. Metaxakis was first cousin of Venizelos… 

  7. Joseph Lipper says

    The Moscow Patriarchate cannot possibly agree with the Church of Greece’s decision that the EP has a right to grant autocephaly to Ukraine.  Moscow has insisted that the EP has no such right.  
    Although it’s understandable that the the Church of Greece is trying to avoid fanning any flames of schism, nonetheless this is still fundamentally a huge disagreement with Moscow.
    “The Church of Greece said Wednesday it supported Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios’ right to grant independence to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in 2018.”

    • George Michalopulos says

      The CoG’s position re the granting of autocephaly is their position and not binding on the Church as a whole.

      An opinion and nothing more. If anything, it’s a face-saving way out for them so they can buy themselves some time.

      Anyway, it’s incorrect. The Patriarch of Antioch granted autocephaly to Georgia over a millennium ago.

      • Joseph Lipper says

        Yet this is really the crux of the matter:  whether or not the EP has the right to grant autocephaly in Ukraine.  Greece’s Holy Synod says yes.  Moscow says no.
        BTW:  Georgian autocephaly was initially of a very limited nature, and for many years Georgia was still required to send money to Antioch.  Autocephaly was later abolished, not by Antioch, but by the intrusion of the Russian Tsar in 1811, and then not reinstated again until 1917.  However, it wasn’t until 1990 the EP finally recognized Georgian autocephaly, but only upon condition that it still needs to be confirmed at a future Ecumenical Council.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          Correction, Joseph: Greece’s Holy Synod said the EP has the right to grant autocephaly, not that he had the right to grant it in Ukraine, not under these circumstances.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Joseph, there is no such thing as “limited autocephaly”.  There is autonomy or autocephaly.  Anything else is specious, hence my own sardonic neologism “ukrocephaly”.

        • “However, it wasn’t until 1990 the EP finally recognized Georgian autocephaly, but only upon condition that it still needs to be confirmed at a future Ecumenical Council.”
          In that case, he should be comfortable with patiently waiting a thousand years for the rest of the Churches to recognize his grant of Ukrainian autocephaly.  If not, he can call for a council on the matter – which, of course, he won’t because, unlike his recent sham of a predetermined outcome ‘council,’ this is one that all the Churches are eager to attend.

    • Joseph,
      The Church of Greece recognizes the CP’s right to grant autocephaly. But has not yet recognized the OCU itself.

  8. First off, NOWHERE in Canon Law is the Bishop of Istanbul given the authority to grant autocephaly. This is authority that Istanbul USURPED for itself. When Byzantium existed and the known civilized world was under the Byzantine Emperor, his bishop took on extra abilities backed by the Emperor and his army. NONE of this exists today. There is no Byzantium nor Emperor. Istanbul is a mere shadow of the past. Canon Law does say that each territory should have its own autocephalous church; Russia is one territory & Ukraine is another. These peoples are cousins and their history is interwoven. The ONLY reason + Bart got involved was that Ukrainian oligarchs initially paid him $25MM and another $50MM after + Bart granted them autocephaly. + Bart sold himself with authority that is questionable at best. To give the Ukrainian church autocephaly and to ignore the OCA’s autocephaly is inconsistent and duplicitous. The OCA will never pay ANYONE for its autocephaly!

    • Joseph Lipper says

      Let’s hear it for ocacephaly!

    • Brute from bygone ages says

      Where does Canon Law say that: “each territory should have its autocephaly? “

      • Excellent question

      • Michael Bauman says

        BSA, Canon Law, unlike modern law, is not concerned with “rights”. Most Canon Law was written before there was any conception of secularism. Most Canon Law was not written with the idea of a “global” Church.

        The, fundamental reality of the Church is that she is local by nature, headed by a local bishop who congregates in a confederation style with other local bishops as necessary.

        “Jurisdictions” were never seen as a remote possibility because, while the Church is local, she is also one. Obedience to standards and to a hierarchy is an important and necessary step in maintaining unity. Obviously, obedience to a central authority can also be substituted. That is always the human temptation. “I don’t want to make a decision and be responsible for it, so kick it upstairs” Jurisdictions were born out of chaos and distrust and fear.

        A well organized local Church should have the responsibility of choosing her own bishop(s). In actuality, the recognition that a local Church is ready, able and willing to take on that responsibility needs to be made locally before the decision is affirmed hierarchically. It boggles my mind that any one central authority could ever, unilaterally decide that a local Church HAS to choose her own bishops whether she wants to or not.

        Centralized control and decision making on all but general matters never works, especially when the spiritual health of particular people in particular communities is involved.

        Autocephaly ought to be the norm, like kids going out on their own rather than some hierarchical decree. So, BSA, where is there a Canon that says that any territory or local Church should not be autocephalous? Where is there a Canon Law that demands that a parent community shall always be in charge of their children in perpetuity. That seems like bad parenting to me and diametrically opposed to the way in which God, the Father treats us.

        That’s the trouble with law is it not? It never works well unless there is a community understanding of the virtue and order under pinning the law itself. The Ten Commandments presuppose a community. They do not create it.

        Historically the Law Givers of any civilization are always held in high honor because those people understood the heart and soul of a given community and were able to codify the essence of that heart in ways that helped the civilization maintain virtue and order appropriately, under divine obedience. So it ought to be with autocephaly and canon law.

        That is indeed what happened originally in the United States. The fact that our law givers are more and more held in disrepute and/or ignored indicates a fundamental collapse of our civilization.

        The same is true of the Church except the Church is not just a human enterprise. She is, as the Body of Christ, designed to be able to both absorb and transform any and all sin.

        Whether She will endure in any local incarnation is another thing entirely, but that is largely up to the local community.

        We are in the midst of a storm socially, spiritually and culturally. We can cower in our boat hoping against hope that the storm will abate long enough to get to shore, or we can, like St. Peter, step out of the boat and go toward our Lord.

        I pray that God will raise up men who can be new law givers in a sense for an actual Orthodox Church in North America. As it is now, all of our bishops, even the best among them are content to stay huddled in the boat hoping to make it to shore.

    • Nikolai, Brute,
      The Apostles and the first Church of the day of Pentecost did not have the modern concept of “Auto-cephalous” churches.
      “Auto” means “self”, “cephalous” is from “cephale” Greek κεφαλή = head.
      “Autocephalous” means self-headed. Strictly speaking, this is wrong, because the head of the Church, the “One Church” which includes all local churches, the head of all these is Christ and nobody else.
      Anfortunately all members of the Church are also members of the local State, Country.
      For spiritual things they go their local church.
      For civil things the go to the local State authorities.
      Eventually the powerful State of Byzantium and other countries started influencing the church management in various ways.
      Also the people of the church frequently asked the aid of the State, the King, (now the President).
      An easy example might be the State Aid to the Church in case of a catastrophe like earthquake, etc.
      The Apostles organized the christians at the city level by the office of the Bishop, from Greek “Epi-skopos” meaning “Over-seer”.

      Centuries later, Canon 28 (4th Ec.Synod) was done exactly to facilitate the aid of the State to the Church:
      The Bishop of Constantinople (the Capital) had an unusual function: He helped visiting Bishops to meet the King and get assistance from him.
      Read Canon 28 carefully, including the interpretation/comments from St.Nicodemos.
      So, there is a de-facto autonomy/independence (more accurate than autocephally belonging to Christ alone) in the various countries.
      By Canon 28, if the Orthodox Christians of the U.S. of A. want to get special assistance from the President of the country,
      they would (should) go to THE Orthodox Bishop of Wasington D.C. and he would arrange a visit to see the President.
      That sorts out OCA as well.
      Now compare this canonical way to what is happening in practice, in most countries.
      BTW, from this you can also gather what is the de-facto real power of Bartholomew nowadays.

    • Nikolai,
      You must certainly be avoiding creepygreek clergy altogether to remain ignorant of the legendary 1970 payoff of the impecunious OCA to the MP to ‘purchase its uncanonical autocephaly’ from the church that was always looking for ways to spend its state-granted rubles.  I’ve heard this from virtually every GOARCH member, clergy and lay. 

      • Monk James Silver says

        Although Goebels thought differently, repeating an outrageous lie is not likely to make it appear to be the truth.

        To assert that the Orthodox Church in America ‘bought’ its autocephaly in any way is an insult to the integrity of the people who worked so hard to achieve it, and a lie of amazing proportions, unsupported by any of the facts surrounding the event.

        And to further suggest that this lie is believed and spread by ‘virtually every GOARCH member, clergy and lay’ insults their integrity and intelligence too.

        On the whole, I suspect that ‘Claes’ is suffering from some serious sort of delusion. Unless he can produce verifiable facts to back up his monstrous allegations, I suggest that he withdraw them before someone sues him or libel. His pseudonym here will not protect him in court.

        • George Michalopulos says

          I agree with you here. What kind of money the Metropolia had at that time was negligible. As uncomfortable as it may be, the truth is that the Soviet dominated ROC at the time had good reasons (in their minds) to grant autocephaly. Whether it was the prudential thing to do is another matter entirely. I personally think it was.

          If GOA priets and/or laymen repeat this canard it is on them to prove it.

  9. Brute from bygone ages says

    Statement of Greek Synod that country club of titular bishops, posing as Holy Domestic Council of See of Saint Andrew the First Called, has right to grant autocephaly to provinces of other Patriarchates is tottaly unacceptable. Do you really think Romanians, Serbs and Bulgarians accept it? Besides this is lousy diplomacy. They avoided State Department blackmails, but other Churches wont forget this. 

  10. Interesting news, George, from Europe and the Church of C’ple’s dalliances there. They’ve formally suspended Archbp Jean, the Archbishop of the Russian Parishes in Western Europe exarchate (the “rue Daru” group), which they had sort-of dissolved last November:
    (from Orthodoxie.com):
    “During the meeting, it was decided to discharge Archbishop Ioannis (Archbp Jean) of Harioupolis from the Apostolic and Patriarchal Ecumenical Throne, personally and only to him, thereby relieving him of the responsibility of the Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox parishes of the Russian Tradition in Western Europe. services.
    As a consequence, Metropolitan Emmanuel of France is now responsible for parishes of the former Exarchate.
    The same is true of the rest of the former Exarchate parishes in other Western European countries, which fall under the responsibility of the respective Hierarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in these areas.
    Furthermore, the Ecumenical Patriarchate has decided to appoint Archpriest Alexis Struve, University Professor, to replace [Archbp Jean as] the Head of St. Alexander Nevsky cathedral church in Paris.”
    So C’ple continues to work overtime to silence the opposition.  Archbp Jean was an advocate for his rue Daru group to go back with Moscow, which clearly makes the most sense for them.  I believe the rue Daru group has an assembly scheduled for this month to formally vote on its future.
    Also important to note that the priest Alexis Struve – the C’ple-appointed leader of the majestic St Alexandre-Nevsky cathédrale on rue Daru in Paris – is a well known modernist of the “Fraternité Orthodoxe” and comes from the Marxist Struve family, which had helped to overthrow the Tsar and Christian Russia a hundred years ago.
    Hopefully most of the rue Daru churches will find the cajones to tell C’ple to get lost and will ask Moscow to accept them under the MP’s new Western European diocese – a diocese which is a long awaited for step in the much-needed Orthodox mission effort to Western Europe.  



    Sophia Iliadi

    Source: eurasianews
    August 9, 2019
    The position of the Greek Orthodox Church is changing rapidly. After the new Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was elected, all proposals on lifting the state support were revoked. On July 16, Mitsotakis and Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens met to discuss a new era in the Church-State relations. However, even if the new government brings the Church’s authority back, it will have to act according to the US and EU’s political interests.
    The new Greek government intends to improve the relations with the Archbishop but it seems that one of the main reasons is convincing him to collaborate with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and eventually recognize the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, which is the goal of US-backed Constantinople.
    Mitsoutakis is the right person to promote the Phanar’s interests. The new Prime Minister and Patriarch Bartholomew know each other personally – they met in May 2017 on the island of Imbros.

    …For much more information: Read the rest at eurasianews.

    Sophia Iliadi