Is the GOA Divesting Itself of Multiple Parishes?

Well, it looks like we lost the battle. We gave it the old college effort but at the end of the day, the judge ruled against the congregation of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Chicago. You can’t say we didn’t try.

It’s ironic of course because the fine people at Holy Trinity stepped up to the plate and came up with the money to make a counter-offer. God will reward that effort, of that I’m sure. Still, the problem is deeper. Why? Because it looks like the fix was in; the hierarchy wanted –needed?–to sell the church.

If so, this bespeaks a larger problem.

One of our sources contacted Monomakhos to tell us that Holy Trinity isn’t the only parish on the chopping block.  It seems there are many others facing foreclosures (the number I keep hearing is fifteen all told) and over 90 percent of all GOA parishes need some serious maintenance.

Many parish councils are complaining they can no longer pay what they refer to as “franchise fees” (and others term “extortion payments”) to the Archdiocese, which apparently went up again.  It looks like the food festivals are there just to keep the lights on anymore.

Greek-Americans in the US have no association with the Church for the most part.  The Census Bureau tells us that there are close to one million Americans of Greek descent her in the States. The best internal figures for the GOA put the numbers at perhaps 100,000, give or take. This is an apostacy of apocalyptic proportions. GOA funerals now outpace baptisms. Greek weddings are down by 35 percent over the last two years.  Why? Your guess is as good as mine. The word on the street is that they don’t want to spend the money anymore and they’re tired of the church “nickel and diming them to death.”

Further, the typical parish is “aging out”.  The average age of the churchgoer is over 65 years.  They’re failing to engage the younger generation who are tired of the old ways of doing things.  The last Archon awards picture (the one with the imposter Dumenko) looks like a half-filled retirement home.  It’s rumored that Greek churches in all major cities can’t even fill the first 3 rows on Sunday.

It all sounds very dire and to be truthful it is. Plus, The National Herald just reported that the Ecumenical Patriarchate wants a “complete audit” of all parishes, monasteries and metropolises. Why? Didn’t the GOA just perform such an audit two months ago? The only answer that seems to make sense is that the Phanar doesn’t trust the numbers that were obtained.

Last week, we published a photograph of the new GOA primate together with Metropolitans Joseph and Hilarion (of Antioch and Moscow, respectively). No one was smiling. Russians typically don’t smile but Arb Elpidophoros is an ebullient type of fellow who always looks happy. I imagine that he has come to the realization that what he was told to do as Exarch here in America and what is able to do are two radically different things.

The unfortunate sale of Holy Trinity in Chicago coupled with future closures, an unfinished St Nicholas Shrine and an unpopular audit do not paint a flattering picture of the GOA. The “jewel in the crown of the Ecumenical Patriarchate” that was the GOA is now looked upon with a jaundiced eye. And it’s hard to see how it can be a template for a united Church here in America.

Monomakhos

CHICAGO – A Chicago Court issued its final decision late Friday evening, October 25 that the sale of the nave of the historic Holy Trinity parish of Chicago should proceed.

As TNH had reported on October 10, the Court had issued an order on October 3 that temporarily froze the sale of the nave of Holy Trinity.

It is reminded here that on September 10 the sale of the nave had been authorized for the price of $2.5 million dollars to the religious organization Universal Life Church.

Judge Timothy A. Barnes in his lengthy decision made reference to the Uniform Parish Regulations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America as to who has the authority the local Metropolitan or the members of the parish. He stated that there was “ambiguity.”

The Judge wrote in his decision among other things the following: “The Uniform Regulations define  the  Metropolitan as “[t]he head Hierarch of  a Metropolis,” (Id. at p.  ix.) Here, the  Metropolitan of the Metropolis containing the Debtor is  Metropolitan Nathaniel, the Metropolitan of the Greek Orthodox  Church of  Chicago, Debtor’s Resp., Exh. A (the  “Approval of the  Metropolitan”), and  Metropolitan  Nathaniel  has  apparently  given  hierarchical approval  for  the  sale.    Id. The  crux  of  the  Concerned  Parishioners’ argument is,  however,  that  while  such  approval may  have  been  obtained,  as  the  approval  of  two-thirds  of  the  parishioners  was  not,  the  sale  is unauthorized.    The  Opposing  Parties,  on  the  other  hand,  argue  that  the  two-thirds  vote  requirement is  simply  a  procedure  to  ensure  that  the  Hierarch  is  not  burdened  with  such  requests.    According  to the  Opposing  Parties,  such  procedure  is  one  of  convenience  for  the  Hierarch  but  is  not  an  actual vested  right  of  the  parishioners. Here  is  where  neutral  principles  of  law  cease  to  be  illuminating.    To  accept  the  Concerned Parishioners’  argument,  the  court  must  conclude  that  the  Archdiocese,  in  approving  the  Uniform Regulations,  intended  to  divest  the  higher  authorities  within  the  church  from  making  decisions.   There  is  some  evidence  to  support  that.    See  Uniform  Regulations,  art.  10,  sec.  2(M)  (setting  forth the  Metropolitan’s  responsibilities  and  rights  to  include  approving  the  purchase,  sale,  lease, mortgaging  or  other  encumbrance  of  the  real  property  of  a  Parish,  but  procedurally  in  accordance with  Article  16,  quoted  above).    This  might  be  read  to  limit  the  Metropolitan’s  authority  in  this regard.    It  might  also,  however,  be  read  as  the  Debtor  suggests,  as  a  procedural  convenience.    The language,  in  this  context,  is  ambiguous. By  the  same  token,  for  the  court  to  conclude  that  the  church  intended  to  vest  in  its parishioners  a  property  right  sufficient  to  require  service  under  Bankruptcy  Rule  6004(c)  and sufficient  to  create  a  pecuniary  interest  in  the  outcome  of  the  sale,  the  court  must  attempt  to  answer fundamental  questions  of  the  church’s  treatment  of  its  parishioners. Interpreting  that  ambiguity  and  resolving  those  fundamental  questions  would  require  this court  to  probe  into  the  allocation  of  power  within  the  church,  to  attempt  to  posit  the  church’s  intent and  polity  regarding  the  rights  of  its  parishioners.”

The Judge concluded that “here, those facts and circumstances require that the Rule 60 Motion be denied. CONCLUSION For all of the foregoing reasons, the court concludes that the Chicago Sale Order is not appropriately subject to reconsideration in this matter and must, therefore, be denied.

Dated: October 25, 2019  Timothy A. Barnes United States Bankruptcy Judge.”

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Comments

  1. Hey, I’m not in the GOA, but have many friends that are. Where’s all the $MONEY$ going?! Is it being funneled to that little bishop in Istanbul that wants to be an eastern pope? So very, very sad. Lord have mercy!

    • Alitheia1875A says

      The 2020 GOA budget allocates $1.5 million for the Patriarchate.

    • Fr. Justin Frederick says

      Bishop goes to law against the faithful, and that before unbelivers. The Gospel is forgotten, not practiced. But how haughty is the rhetoric proceeding from the mouths of Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop Elpidophorus!

  2. Unfortunately GOARCH is dying on the vine with the rest of the Ecumenical Patriarchate (I’m sure there are some exceptions). Honestly, the best bet for GOARCH to survive is indeed a united American Church. Rather than having dwindling finances and resources on its own, it would benefit from a United Church and could learn a thing or two about the more missionary-minded jurisdictions like the OCA & Antiochians.
     
    Trying to look at the situation as a glass-half-full, maybe God is allowing all of this to happen to pave the way for something greater? 

    • Dear Menas,
      “Honestly, the best bet for GOARCH to survive is indeed a united American Church.”
       Honestly, the best bet for ORTHODOXY  to survive in the USA is indeed

      INDEPENDENT, ABSOLUTELY EQUAL BISHOPS in big Cities
      Local Parishes of Rite and language(s) decided by the PEOPLE
      COORDINATING BISHOP in Washington D.C. to facilitate visits of local Bishops who want to ask assistance from the POTUS
      TOTALLY AUTOCEPHALOUS USA CHURCH 
      THIS IS THE CANON 28 PARADIGM!

      • George Michalopulos says

        It is indeed, Johannes. It is indeed.

        And the ironic thing is that this regime could be executed within 48-72 hours. The only problem is neither the people nor the priests nor the bishops nor the Old World patriarchates want it. I therefore see us withering on the vine and the judgment will be horrible indeed. We are that servant who was given one talent and we are making darn sure that we won’t turn it into two because of our miserliness.

        • George as you say the USA situation could be sorted in days but it’s not wanted and as u say the road as will be in Europe too, is to quiet ‘reservation’ status. 

        • Gus Langis says

          This is a very sad situation in that Greeks have been building ornate temples for the heterodox since that day the Turks captured Hagia Sophia. Even when I visited the old city in Rhodes a mosque stands that was originally an Orthodox church. Although no Muslim turks reside there anymore the Greeks keep it as a mosque.  

          After millions were spent to build up St Constantine and Helen Church in Chicago in the 1960’s it was sold a few years later to be the headquarters for the Nation of Islam. This Holy Trinity church was sold to some sect I never heard of.  This will repeat itself hundreds of times in the next 150 years. Truth is many parishes our parents and grandparents built and we still attend will not be ours in the decades to come.

          • Monk James Silver says

            It’s very wrong to write or even to suggest that ‘Greeks have been building ornate temples for the heterodox since that day the Turks captured Hagia Sophia.’ – at least the Orthodox Christian Greeks.

            Sometimes, military victors took beautifully designed and constructed christian places of worship and desecrated them by turning them toward their own false gods. That sad fact of history is not the same thing as saying that the Christians built them for that perversion as their original purpose, but that’s what we read here.

            The christian temples built by the Greeks were erected only for the worship of the Holy Trinity, and phrasing this concept otherwise is likely to create great misunderstandings.

            Even if we’re trying to be satiric, we have to watch our language. People who read our words will quote them as we write them in spite of our best intentions.

            • It’s implying that we build temples that one way or another fall into non-orthodox hands. People can twist words all they want, that is on them.

      • ” local Bishops who want to ask assistance from the POTUS”
        Please, no! We know the system is totally corrupt, so let’s just keep secular authorities away from our Church. Evangelical Republicans hate Orthodoxy, and atheist Democrats hate Orthodoxy. If we ask them for assistance, then we, too, hate Orthodoxy.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Basil, I’m not in opposition to your analysis. You are largely correct. However, I would point out that despite the overall antipathy of evangelical Republicans to us, there are glimmers of hope. One of these Evangelicals, VP Mike Pence first sounded the alarm of the Christian genocide two years ago. Once the seed of Christ is planted in man’s heart, surprising flowers can grow.

          What I’m trying to say is that we Orthodox may be caught between the Scylla of the Christ-haters on the left and the Charybdis of the funny-hat-wearing Christian-haters on the Right, but the hearts of the Evangelicals is not as hardened as those of the left.

          I saw this in the late 90s when Evangelicals were flooding into the GOA. This happened as well earlier when the EOC went into Antioch. With them at least there’s hope.

          Unfortunately, the EP is making such efforts at outreach all but impossible. But that’s a story for another day.

        • Basil,
          “” local Bishops who want to ask assistance from the POTUS”

          Please, no! We know the system is totally corrupt, so let’s just keep secular authorities away from our Church. “
          You are right,  yet this is the ONLY REASON of having a coordinating bishop THEN ,right there in the first place. The only reason was that the Emperor (say president) and the government were seated in THAT city, NOTHING ELSE. So yes you do NEED to have that element. I agree, not all Byz.Emperors were good Orthodox, but still, some things DID need the Emperor’s KIND OF assistance. “Assistance” as mentioned by St.Nicodeme in the Rudder (Pedalion)  was a very generic and wide word. you might want to substitute it be the word “cooperation’ or “interface” or even “opinion”, or “discussion”   if that helps justifying the necessary existence of the Emperor or President in that kind of “central” city. 
          To put it in different terms, whether we like it or not we are two things AT THE SAME time: Citizens of our Country and Orthodox Christians and there is an delicate and necessary “interface” between them. That’s why sometimes the Bishop wants or indeed NEEDS to visit the emperor or president.
          Do not forget that in captive constantinople they sung a hymn in church for the Sultan’s longevity, and indeed the same is done nowadays in Orthodox churches abroad where they pray for the non-Orthodox President or King!
          Even Christ spoke to the pagan Roman Pontius Pilate, the local Governor!

          There is no other reason in the world to justify the necessary central  status of Constantinople (or Rome before her). That’s the original paradigm! 
           

      • Michael Bauman says

        Ionnis, none of what you propose has anything to do with “Orthodox Unity” which is a shibboleth for Greek hegemony.  

        What you suggest all fine except for the POTUS part.  We need to stay out of the politics and regain our prophetic voice.  

        • I am with you Michael.
          I fully appreciate your fears regarding politics etc. I couldn’t agree more. I have not made myself clear, and the matter is indeed VERY delicate.
          It all has to do with the interpretation of Canon 28, as written in the Rudder by St.Nicodeme.
          For one reason or other, it was deemed necessary that the remote Bishops would, in real practise, visit the Capital city to pay the Emperor a visit,…for something they had in mind.
          Suppose we had this “ancient” structure with many remote and equal bishops and also suppose that the government wanted to say something to the whole Orthodox Church, and all the bishops equal. How does a State official officially approach the “Church” if there are say equal 100 bishoprics? 
          Apparently, the same happened like 1500 years ago, and the remote bishops thought “let’s make that bishop a coordinator”. That’s it.
          Actually nowadays too, any large group of EQUAL people must organize their “coordinator” to deal with others outside their group. That’s all.
          I wonder if you still have a problem with this.  
          You might as well completely forget about POTUS, and select another City for the “coordinating” bishop, even a rotating city, but it was THEN thought that the Capital has the least problems.
          ….
          P.S.
          This structure INDIRECTLY solves the problem of Unity, Ethnicity, Hegemony, Jurisdiction and what have you. It is a TRULY AUTOCEPHALOUS church (say in the US) where every particular parish in a greater City has decided, simply by majority, on its own rite and language.  
          ANNEX:
          The Interpretation says:“3) The fact that the Bishop of Constantinople ought to receive privileges of authority because various Patriarchs and Prelates used to come to the Emperor to beg for his help in their exigencies, and it was necessary for them first to meet the Bishop of Constantinople, in whom they found a man to co-operate with them and to lend them assistance, and through him they were enabled to approach he Emperor, just as, in confirmation of the ancient custom, Justinian prescribed this.”  
           
           

    • Speaking recently to a friend who is a GOARCH clergyman, I hear that the OCA is in deep financial crisis. I ask him to explain as this is news to me. He is vague on details of course because he is just blowing the smoke that all Greek clergy do, talking trash about the OCA. I remind him of the historical facts that under Swaiko, the OCA did in fact face such a crisis but that was TEN YEARS AGO and since then the theft and shortfall has been remedied, and he can peruse OCA financial statements on the web if he is curious. Of course he isn’t, he just parrots the Greek Orthodox habit of only noticing evil in regards to the OCA. 
      He also said the OCA, since it’s insolvent and in collapse should join the Antiochians. I reminded him that AOCNA is a very small organization compared to the much larger OCA, which is second in the number of its parishes only to GOARCH. This was news to him, and like the news of OCA solvency and stability, something he will immediately disregard and forget, because his opinion of the OCA is fixed and does not feature success or relevance. 
      Recall also that this very site publicized an unsubstantiated rumor to the effect that the ‘Northeastern Cabal’ of left-leaning clergy and bureaucrats running the OCA, its own ‘Deep State’ who forced the OCA’s Great White Hope Metr. Jonah into retirement now conspire to hand the Tomos of Autocephaly over to Elpidophoros and ask him to become their head, running OCA as another pointless ethnic jurisdiction like the Ukrainian, Carpatho-Rusyn and Albanian dioceses. This false narrative, so attractive to those here who also think Mr. Trump is a victim of a Deep State conspiracy to unseat him rather than a crook and traitor, is just as pernicious and damaging, proceeding from the Sour Grapes response to their disappointment that Metr. Jonah was not allowed to unilaterally and unconciliarly steer the OCA into the Culture Wars but instead was ousted when he mused openly about handing the Tomos over to Moscow Patr. Kyril. Also recall that the source of the rumor has been found in the very person of Abp. Elpidophoros Lambrianides.
      Kicking against the alt-right pricks here, I can tell you the OCA has no friend in Kyril, and the Moscow Patriarchate is just as hungry for American churches as is ‘Stamboul. Moscow has violated the Tomos their head of blessed memory Alexei signed by establishing new Patriarchal (not ROCOR) parishes on US territory. The Muscovite leader whose praises are sung in another post below bares some of the blame for the bad blood between the churches these days. Kyril has put wind in the sails of Phanariot polemical warships by his consistent grasping after control of European churches. 
      I just want you to be free of illusions about the Orthodox scene. Among the Patriarchates, as in Turkish politics, there aren’t any good guys. It’s just plot within plot all the way down. The fact that we have a stable if humble Autocephalous Church here in America should give us great comfort as it shields us from the machinations of foreign heads who don’t have pastoral concern for us. Pray for the OCA Holy Synod, and do not engage in efforts to undermine their fair and disinterested governance. Do not amplify the lies of those who envy the little plot that was placed into their hands.  

      • George Michalopulos says

        Claes, you were right on the money for the first two paragraphs. However when you talk about Met Jonah and the “supposed cabal” of liberals on the East Coast who forced him out, you really are blowing smoke.

        Your final paragraph is supposition which then goes off the rails. I’ll grant you that the MP may have little love for Syosset, especially after what it did to Jonah but that doesn’t mean that it would stand anything to gain in this great game being played between it and Istanbul if it rescinded its original tomos. Indeed, it would be a complete submission to Istanbul. To do this, Russia would have to gain something HUGE from the EP and short of jumping up the Diptychs to #2 I just don’t see what Bartholomew has in his sleeve to offer.

        Already the MP is establishing parishes and dioceses all over the world, not just the Far East. But also Turkey. That’s a magnificent slap in the face to the EP.

        However, I very much want to pick your brain. How do you see this playing out?

        • Monk James Silver says

          In accordance with very ancient and foundational ecclesiological principles, Orthodox Christians who emigrate from their own church to the territory of another church must integrate themselves there, and not expect to import the language and liturgical style of their homeland.

          Until such immigrants — and there might be many of them, as we see in history — are thoroughly inculturated, the local church would do well to provide pastoral care for them in their native language, even if this means borrowing clergy from their homeland. But this is always a temporary arrangement, as envisioned by the canons.

          In no case do the canons anticipate the establishment of ecclesial exclaves on the territory of another church, although there was a temporary exception in Turkey for the ROCOR a century ago. The church of Russia should behave better in Turkey (and elsewhere) now if it would claim any validation from the canons and larger practice of The Church.

  3. Need any cuff links?

    • As an Orthodox Christian I find the situation sad but reality.   The policy since 1930s of liturgically etc assimilating to western churches in worship etc  while reducing church to a foreign club where money and Archons rule, has died the death. It is irrelevant and old fashioned and lacking any spiritual depth. Yes there are good clergy and people and churches and they will survive,  and I pray for them as a greek, but they are the ones betrayed in this beaurocratic greekfest land. 

  4. The best thing that the EP could do to end the downward tend is not fundraising or kissing up to world powers, but to exemplify a saintly, humble life; to live the Christian Life and to lead the Church in humility and not a pride that divides. 

    • Anon, This is exactly right!  In fact, it is the role that I used to think the Patriarchate of Constantinople played: exemplifying “a saintly, humble life” and leading “the Church in humility and not [ ] pride.”  For me, the previous patriarch, Dimitrios, seemed to exemplify that type of humility, and from what sources who had encountered both him and Bartholomew have told me, Dimitrios himself was that sort of person, although perhaps badly advised by the coterie of titular hierarchs surrounding him.  For me, Constantinople was a beacon of spirituality, shining through in martyric witness from its humble surroundings and bearing witness in spite of, or even because of, the oppression under which it operated, manifesting spiritual power instead of worldly power.
       
      Obviously, this is not the role Constantinople is playing today, and from what I have learned from reading this blog and sources it led me to, it was not the role Constantinople played many times in the past.

      • Blinbax,  yes as u i had a vision of Constantinople as leading amongst equals and giving witness as a humble martyred Church and yes Dmitri was such a humble man and even Athenagoras as a person for all his failings.  But what we have now is an arrogant power sucking up pseudo PAPACY.  The Russian church may do not too good things sometimes, but it has not fallen in to papal heresy 

      • George Michalopulos says

        Blimbax, Dimitrios was exactly that type of man. Kallistos Ware in his book The Orthodox Church, called him “a man of prayer”.

        • Alitheia1875 says

          Patriarch Demetrios knew who would succeed him and he was not in favor of it.

        • Met Kallistos says some things that are sensible, others (I don’t like to say this about a an I admire) and others that are not. He was educated in a system of assigned essays and recitation. He did not have a choice of what to write about. I recall reading his puff pieces about other bishops. It’s painful. When he wrote about Demetrios it made my teeth hurt. Clearly an assignment. Once he wrote he was “..a man of silence.” Well. There’s faint praise. The fact is Demetrios had nothing worth saying. He had that in common with his predecessors and successor. Notice? If Demetrios had had been replaced by a cinder block no one would have noticed. If Bart were replaced by a cinder block it would be an occasion to rejoice.

  5. GoArmyBeatNavy says

    Focus on the tactical, practical, profit-loss matters and please hold all the chatter about virtues, patriarchy, Ukraine and the rest. That’s not going to save this.
    What you have going on in GOA is a classic business school case of a distressed, insolvent, and failed enterprise. It very much mirrors Greece’s economy and other examples. The enterprise is not profitable and can’t pay its bills or even the interest payments on the debt, its income/revenues have eroded to unsustainable levels, its product and services are not competitive and not in demand as displayed, its showrooms are 50% more empty than 6-7 years ago, its workforce lacks leadership-training-renewal-purpose-consistency-evaluation, its C-Suite is inept,corrupt,and doesn’t work for the benefit of the shareholders but for foreign interests, its managers don’t manage-they simply eat up overhead, the corporation underfunds and misuses every asset including the pension fund and reserves for special building programs, its books are a mess, it is not a “bankable” business by any traditional US bank measure, it must reply on “ethnic’ banks for loans, and it is floating month-to-month on ” franchise” fees which are raised under extoration-like circumstances, still, no one has been held accountable.
    As reported, perhaps 25% of the franchisees are now near insolvency themselves. The rest teeter quarter-to-quarter, one “bad” festival away from skipping payments due. 
     The new “restructure” team hasn’t missed a business-class trip to Greece or “Constantinople” (which is like calling Iraq “Babylon”) and which uses the props of imported monks,Athonites, and monastic life, weeping relics of every manner, Hellenic day and night propaganda, and franchise fee increases for 2020—as their only management solution to the problems at hand. 
    The enterprise has a horrible reputation from within and without. It’s ridiculed nationally. 
    And the few remaining faithful–perhaps 200,000 paid members, no more, continue to invest in an enterprise like the above, because Yiayia and Pappou would want them to do so. 
    Go figure !
     

    • Not being a businessmen, I won’t comment on much of what you say, as it is probably substantially true, but please bear in mind that those “imported monks” have been a thorn in the side of that bureaucracy since they arrived in the 1980s. If anything is going to survive the atrophy, it will be Papa Ephraim’s monasteries and those parishes that have been renewed by their influence.

      • Basil,

        IMHO, the monasteries under Elder Ephraim lost a vital opportunity to speak truth to ungodly power when all of the monastery heads gathered at their assembly before their Archbishop.
         
        Instead they modeled for their pilgrim-devotees, a sheepish go-alongism to the EP and his hierarchs.  
         
        If  this is the “strength” of GOA…
         
        Ou sont les Grecs d’antan?
         
         
         
         

        • Good point, well made. I do think, however, that when push comes to shove the monasteries will make the right decision.

          • Basil and/or Any Elder Ephraim Devotees,

            What form will this push or shove take?
             
            If I had “leader” who told me to join him in a run towards the the edge of a precipice from which he was going to leap into an abyss, how far should I run with him?
             
            A few steps?  Halfway? To the edge?
             
            I am not unsympathetic to the plight of my Greek brethren, monastic or otherwise, but I am glad to be in the Russian Orthodox Church whose leadership tells me: “Take not one step with this madman!”
             
            The Monk Gennadius (later the first Archbishop of Constantinople under the Ottomans) posted this notice on the door of his cell before the fall of Constantinople:
             
            “O unhappy Romans, why have you forsaken the truth? Why do you not trust in God, instead of in the Italians? In losing your faith you will lose your city.”
             
            I’m afraid we are witnessing another Fall of Constantinople and a Great Stumbling (Will they fall also or catch themselves?) of those church bodies under this current Patriarch of Constantinople.
             
             
             
             
             
             

            • I’m no devotee, just an admirer, but I think that blatant steps towards concrete union with Rome might be the shove. We’ll have to wait and see.

              •  
                Bartholomew: With Francis, we invite all Christians to celebrate the first synod of Nicaea in 2025
                http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Bartholomew:-With-Francis,-we-invite-all-Christians-to-celebrate-the-first-synod-of-Nicaea-in-2025-31213.html
                 
                This telegraph has been old news for over 5 years now.
                 
                So I’m guessing that monastics are planning to pull up from this precipice sometime within the next five years?
                 
                But in the meantime, they and their followers will charge on forwards?
                 
                What about their followers who won’t be unable to check their forward momentum?
                 
                 

                • May 2014
                  “Bartholomew says that together with Pope Francis ‘we agreed to leave as a legacy to ourselves and our successors a gathering in Nicaea in 2025, to celebrate together, after 17 centuries , the first truly ecumenical synod, where the Creed was first promulgated’.”

                • May 2014
                  “Bartholomew says that together with Pope Francis ‘we agreed to leave as a legacy to ourselves and our successors a gathering in Nicaea in 2025, to celebrate together, after 17 centuries , the first truly ecumenical synod, where the Creed was first promulgated’.”

                  • Horrifying new “old news” to me.  In that light seems wise to examine and educate ourselves about the reports signed by all participants apparently on our own shores for the North American Orthodox-Catholic Consultation of the Assembly of Bishops and consider the implications, trajectory, and any similarities to PF and PB’s consultations . Problems to solve by the grace of God.

                    http://www.assemblyofbishops.org/ministries/orthodox-catholic/

                    Thank you for posting Ioan.

                  • The link to my reply now under moderation re the reports of North American Orthodox-Catholic Consultation of the Assembly of Bishops:
                    http://www.assemblyofbishops.org/ministries/orthodox-catholic/
                    Very concerning and in our neighborhood.
                    Thank you for your post Ioan.  I did not know.  
                     

                  • Antiochene Son says

                    LOL. Maybe Francis will use the occasion to return to the Orthodox form of the Creed. That’s the most good that could come from it.

              •  
                Bartholomew: With Francis, we invite all Christians to celebrate the first synod of Nicaea in 2025

                http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Bartholomew:-With-Francis,-we-invite-all-Christians-to-celebrate-the-first-synod-of-Nicaea-in-2025-31213.html
                 
                This telegraph has been old news for over 5 years now.
                 
                So I guess for the monastics, they will stop running with their Archbishop and Patriarch sometime within the next five years?
                 
                But in the meantime, they and their followers will charge on forwards?
                 
                What about the followers who will be unable to check their momentum?
                 
                 

                • I agree with you that all of these things are bad, but unity with the RCs is – at this moment in time – not concrete, although increasingly likely. I think they will wait until it is a given, then will make their move, so that they don’t get accused of jumping the gun by the Greek hierarchy.

            • Perhaps the  line in the sand for the monasteries here will be refusing to serve with schismatics ~ as seems to be the one adopted in the new directive posted today by the ROC for parishes in Greece which a parishioner is and is not to attend (link below).
              Wise discernment and a sense of when to act and when to be silent borne of prayer, asceticism and labor for God are givens for the Elder Ephraim monasteries, so hopefully we will all exercise patience and  “wait and see”.  In an ideal world the Local Churches will meet and deal with the issue and PB and the UCO so that hierarchy can be restored to fitness.
              *Russian Orthodox Church Publishes List of Greek Dioceses Its Faithful are Not Blessed to Visit:
              https://orthochristian.com/125233.html

              • Nicole, I guess we will see what we will see when one (or more) of these seemingly triumphant OCU apostates attempts to take a Hellenic victory lap through one (or more) of the monasteries that are under the direction of Elder Ephraim.  

                • Ioan, your description of their demeanor is spot on!  Truly they behave as if this is an innocent schoolboy victory over an unharmed opponent.    Their triumphant “glow” in every photo is utterly inappropriate given the actual human suffering their present “victory” has caused, much less the assault on our  Faith itself.  The righteous, sober, truthful  and prayerful demeanor, words and actions of  Met. Onuphry and his faithful flock as well as those defending and seeking to restore them and canonical Orthodoxy?  Quite a contrast.   Easy to know who is truly Orthodox and truly human.  

                  Likely won’t be long til the challenge. Lord have mercy.

                •  
                  Qui tacet consentire videtur, ubi loqui debuit ac potuit.
                   
                  He who is silent, when he ought to have spoken and was able to, is taken to agree.
                   

        • The monks of the Georgian Church excommunicated their own patriarch about 20 years ago over his participation in the World Council of Churches, which is far less egregious than invading other Local Churches territory and setting up unrepentant schismatics over the existing Autonomous Metropolis. The feckless cowardice of supposedly pious monastics in the Greek church here in America demonstrates that (Hellenic) blood is thicker than (Baptismal) water. I won’t be going or encouraging anyone to visit the Orthodox Disneyland of the Southwest until they act like real monks and stand up to the abuser Bartholomew and his smiling pet Elpidophoros. 

      • GoArmyBeatNavy says

        Those imported monks have been filled with as much scandal and accountability as the bureaucracy you reference. Parish life in the USA is NOT monastic life.  We are not monks and nuns. We are laity in a pluralistic, capitalist republic and we need a church that understands that fact. 

        • George Michalopulos says

          GoArmy, while I agree with you that parish is not –nor should be–to be confused with monastic life, you make assertions for which you do not proffer evidence. The are “filled with as much scandal and accountability as [79th Street]”. Really, do you have evidence for that?

          As for living “in a pluralistic and capitalist republic” I have to ask you: what has that gotten us? The laity being terrorized by foreign gangs? The wages of working men being undercut by illegal aliens, just to please the Chamber of Commerce? Is this “capitalism”? Only if you subscribe to the dog-eat-dog nostrums of Ayn Rand.

          How about this: men competing in women’s sports or beating the crap out of them in Mixed Martial Arts competitions? (Hell, I’m sixty years old and 20 lbs overweight and I’m quite sure I could beat Rhonda Rousey.) Why, we have a presidential candidate in Julian Castro who assures us that we won’t be a complete free nation unless we can ensure that men can have abortions. This is pluralism? Only in an insane world in which Timothy Leary is president.

          Count me out.

          • Solitary Priest says

            Count me in with you, George. This morning, I had the sad task of taking my cat to the vet for euthanasia. While waiting to pay for the service, I saw a Vetinary journal on the counter. On the front, I couldn’t help but see “LGBTG Veterinarians.”
                   So this is what we have come to. Frankly, I go to a vet for the services he or she provides. What the vet does in his or her private life is irrelevant to me; as long as they do their work professionally. I actually envied my poor cat, being taken out of this fallen human world. What may we expect; euthanasia for those of us not on board with this crazy agenda?

            • ChristineFevronia says

              I am so sorry for the loss of your cat, Solitary Priest. The passing of our dear animal companions is never easy. Praying for you.

              One of the most touching pieces of Orthodox writing I’ve ever read was Abbot Tryphon’s blog post sharing about the passing of his monastery’s cat Hammi. Our animal friends truly impact our lives for the better, don’t they?

              • Solitary Priest says

                Yes, they do. At least the cat will not suffer any more pain, whether from her kidney disease or traveling in the car.(Dogs usually are better travelers). I can’t help thinking, looking at animals eyes, that they somehow know that through our ancestor Adam, death entered into the world. I believe the animals can see both the angels AND evil spirits, precisely because they are innocent.
                     There was a young man in Greece many years ago. He lived a pure life and could actually see the angels assisting the priest at the altar. He never spoke of this, assuming that everyone else saw them as well. When he overheard a monk telling someone that there were saints capable of such things, he never saw them again. No doubt, he was being protected from the sin of pride.
                     My favorite modern Greek Saint, Papa Nicholas Planas, would sometimes see Saints during the Divine services. Once, he heard angels singing the Paraklysis in the side chapel of his church. He obviously had a pure heart, which I, least of all priests, don’t have. 
                    Back to the cat. She will never have to answer to God for sinning against Him, as I will. God gave us friendly animals like cats and dogs, to not only show love, but to actually protect us. I’m reminded of St. Herman’s Monastery in Platina, California. At first, the fathers wanted no cats and dogs, considering this to be worldly. Then, a cat was given to the brotherhood. Soon after, the rattlesnakes which plagued the fathers, seldom were seen. It seemed the cats were killing the rodents, thus depriving the snakes of their food. So, instead of being just cute pets, they were protecting human life.

                • Please be cheered,Solitary Priest.

                  All cats go to heaven!

                  “Fr. Nektary [St. Nektary of Optina] had a cat with which he played. He tied a piece of paper with a string for it. The cat obeyed him like a human being. The Elder said, ‘Gerasimos was a great elder, and he had a great lion; but we’re small so we have a cat.’ And he would tell a story how a cat saved Noah’s ark. When an unclean spirit entered into a mouse and tried to gnaw through the bottom of the ark, the cat caught that pernicious mouse and ate it. And for this all cats go to heaven.”

        • Monk James Silver says

          GoArmyBeatNavy (November 4, 2019 at 7:51 am) says:

          ‘Those imported monks have been filled with as much scandal and accountability as the bureaucracy you reference.’ SNIP

          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

          What’s wrong with ‘accountability’?

          • I think he means a lack of accountability, just like the bishops.

            • Monk James Silver says

              Perhaps, but that’s not what he wrote.

              Everyone needs an editor — even if it’s ourselves — to take a couple of looks at our words before we send them out.

              As I keep insisting, we must watch our language.

              • Pedantic but valid point. I always read and re read as predictive typing can have u typing the opposite to what u mean.
                On a more serious note the apostasy of Alexandria I find especially sad, not only for his judas kiss and 30 pieces of silver but for fact he seemed a real bishop and missionary and had rowed back on the previous modernist tedencies of Alexandria.
                Our episcopate has always seemed wrotten so why should I be surprised? But I am human and naively expected bishops to be bishops but they nothing more than place Men, lazy, idle bastards for most part full of… And the requisite fashionable words meaning nothing.. Bartholomaios et al.ageing students on the crap lecture circuit.
                But while THE GREEK AMERICAN MUGS PAY UP GOOD LUCK TO HIM.
                ..LETS HOPE THE UKRAINIAN LOT READY TO GIVE TOO.
                When i see a bishop now I just want to stand up and turn my back and leave.

  6. This judgement style is the principle cause of what is utterly wrong with American politics. Officials are not elected to do their own will, but elected to do the will of the people who voted for him. Granted, it is a situation that never appears in authentically  ruled churches, with faithful, called and chosen clerical servants of Jesus Christ.
    Nevertheless, it is standard practice in American politics. Flip flopping on important issues has occurred every time the US launched a false flag attack. Wilson was elected by the people because he claimed he would keep us out of WW1. He approved the false flag, and then did the precise opposite of the will of the people and declared War on Germany. The flip flopping ought to made an instant impeachable crime against the will of the people who elected him to the office. Also, nullifying his order. We the people have no say in what the government does until this odious scam is made illegal. Add the 5th amendment, too. Answer, or go jail, lie and be charged with purgery and go to jail. That’s the ticket! The Metropolitan’s will was what got done, not the peoples.

  7. After a year and some, I finally got my email addresses back online. I do not have a phone
     

  8. Basil has got it right. The Fr. Ephraim monasteries are the healthy part of the GOA. And, there are some parishes that seek to  benefit spiritually by associating with those monasteries. God willing, this weekend, I will go the St. Nektarios monastery, Roscoe, N.Y. for its feast day celebration.

  9. Greatly Saddened says

    FYI … it has been reported in The National Herald that at the most recent Archdiocesan Council meeting held in October. As of 2020, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America will be increasing its assessment/contribution to the Ecumenical Patriarchate from 1 million dollars to 1.5 million dollars annually. Please see below.
     
    GOARCH: Archdiocese 2020 Budget Approved
    By TNH Staff 
    November 1, 2019
     
    https://www.thenationalherald.com/266705/goarch-archdiocese-2020-budget-approved/

  10. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from yesterday in The National Herald. Unfortunately, the article is locked and doesn’t appear in its entirety. I will continue to be on the lookout for the article in its entirety, and if found, I will post.
     
    Fr. Nick Jonas Says Farewell to His Parishioners at Holy Trinity Chicago
    By Theodore Kalmoukos 
    November 12, 2019
     
    https://www.thenationalherald.com/268080/fr-nick-jonas-says-farewell-to-his-parishioners-at-holy-trinity-chicago/

  11. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald. Unfortunately, the article is locked and doesn’t appear in its entirety. I will continue to be on the lookout for the article in its entirety, and if found, I will post.
     
    Archimandrite Joachim Cotsonis Recommended for Elevation to the Episcopacy
    By Theodore Kalmoukos 
    November 13, 2019
     
    https://www.thenationalherald.com/268161/archimandrite-joachim-cotsonis-recommended-for-elevation-to-the-episcopacy/

  12. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald. Unfortunately, the article is locked and doesn’t appear in its entirety. I will continue to be on the lookout for the article in its entirety, and if found, I will post.
     
    Interim PC Appointed by Metropolitan Nathanael at Holy Trinity Chicago
    By Theodore Kalmoukos 
    November 19, 2019
     
    https://www.thenationalherald.com/269126/interim-pc-appointed-by-metropolitan-nathanael-at-holy-trinity-chicago/

  13. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald.
     
    Former Executive Director Of Non-Profit Religious Organization Charged With Two Embezzlement Schemes
    By TNH Staff 
    November 25, 2019
     
    https://www.thenationalherald.com/270622/former-executive-director-of-non-profit-religious-organization-charged-with-two-embezzlement-schemes/

  14. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find another article from today in The National Herald. Unfortunately, the article is locked and doesn’t appear in its entirety. I will continue to be on the lookout for the article in its entirety, and if found, I will post.
     
    Dimitriou Arrested on Embezzlement Charges and Misuse of Archdiocese Credit Card
    By Theodore Kalmoukos 
    November 25, 2019
     
    https://www.thenationalherald.com/270614/dimitriou-arrested-on-embezzlement-charges-and-misuse-of-archdiocese-credit-card/

  15. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald.
     
    Jerry Dimitriou Was Freed on $150,000 Bail 
    By Associated Press 
    November 26, 2019
     
    https://www.thenationalherald.com/270655/jerry-dimitriou-was-freed-on-150000-bail/

    • Gail Sheppard says

      I wonder if he has dual citizenship in Greece? Even if he has been given instructions not to leave the States, $150,000 sounds like nothing in comparison to what he purportedly embezzled. This guy really gets under my skin because of the way he pointed his finger at the monasteries and at his archbishop when things started going south.

  16. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find another article from today in The National Herald.
     
    Former Archbishop Gregorios of Great Britain Falls Asleep in the Lord
    By TNH Staff 
    November 26, 2019
     
    https://www.thenationalherald.com/270597/former-archbishop-gregorios-of-great-britain-falls-asleep-in-the-lord/

  17. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald. Unfortunately, the article is locked and doesn’t appear in its entirety. I will continue to be on the lookout for the article in its entirety, and if found, I will post.
     
    Patriarch Theodore of Alexandria and DFM Diamataris to Attend Thronal Feast in Constantinople
    By Theodore Kalmoukos 
    November 27, 2019
     
    https://www.thenationalherald.com/270766/patriarch-theodore-of-alexandria-and-dfm-diamataris-to-attend-thronal-feast-in-constantinople/

  18. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find another article from today in The National Herald.
     
    Archbishop Elpidophoros and the U.S. Archons Visit Ecumenical Patriarchate
    By TNH Staff 
    November 27, 2019
     
    https://www.thenationalherald.com/270790/archbishop-elpidophoros-and-the-u-s-archons-visit-ecumenical-patriarchate/

  19. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find yet another article from today in The National Herald.
     
    Archimandrite Joachim Cotsonis Elected Bishop of Amissos
    By Theodore Kalmoukos 
    November 27, 2019
     
    https://www.thenationalherald.com/271105/archimandrite-joachim-cotsonis-elected-bishop-of-amissos/

  20. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from yesterday in The National Herald.
     
    Archbishop Elpidophoros Appoints New Ionian Village Director
    By TNH Staff 
    November 28, 2019
     
    https://www.thenationalherald.com/270583/archbishop-elpidophoros-appoints-new-ionian-village-director/

  21. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from Thursday, November 21st, on the Authentic Transparency and Accountability website.
     
    Thursday, November 21, 2019
    Archbishop Elpidophoros Charging Parishes More Money
     
    http://protectingorthodoxchurch.blogspot.com/2019/11/archbishop-elpidophoros-charging.html?m=1

  22. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from Friday, November 22nd, on the Authentic Transparency and Accountability website. Also take note of the comment section below the article.
     
    Friday, November 22, 2019
    Nathanael Announces Open Communion in the Metropolis of Chicago
     
    http://protectingorthodoxchurch.blogspot.com/2019/11/nathanael-announces-open-communion-in.html?m=1

  23. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from this past Saturday on the Authentic Transparency and Accountability website. Also take note of the comment section below the article.
     
    Saturday, November 23, 2019
    Analysis: Chicago’s New Open Communion Policy Applies to ALL Metropolises of the EP
     
    http://protectingorthodoxchurch.blogspot.com/2019/11/analysis-chicagos-new-open-communion.html?m=1

  24. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from this past Sunday on the Authentic Transparency and Accountability website. Also take note of the comment section below the article.
     
    Sunday, November 24, 2019
    Elpidophoros Wants to Freeze the GOA Clergy Pension Program
     
    http://protectingorthodoxchurch.blogspot.com/2019/11/elpidophoros-wants-to-freeze-goa-clergy.html?m=1

  25. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article (open letter) from this past Sunday on the Authentic Transparency and Accountability website. Also take note of the comment section below the article.
     
    Sunday, November 24, 2019
    OPEN LETTER: Submission from a Dissatisfied Customer of the Metropolis of Chicago
     
    http://protectingorthodoxchurch.blogspot.com/2019/11/open-letter-submission-from.html?m=1

  26. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from this past Monday on the Authentic Transparency and Accountability website. Also take note of the comment section below the article.
     
    Monday, November 25, 2019
    FIREWORKS BEGIN: Jerry Dimitriou is Free to Give More Names
     
    http://protectingorthodoxchurch.blogspot.com/2019/11/jerry-dimitriou-is-free-to-give-more.html?m=1

  27. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from Tuesday on the Authentic Transparency and Accountability website. Also take note of the comment section below the article.
     
    Tuesday, November 26, 2019
    Do Not Be Fooled, Again
     
    http://protectingorthodoxchurch.blogspot.com/2019/11/do-not-be-fooled-again.html?m=1

  28. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from Wednesday on the Authentic Transparency and Accountability website.
     
    Wednesday, November 27, 2019
    GOA has a new Auxiliary Bishop
     
    http://protectingorthodoxchurch.blogspot.com/2019/11/goa-has-new-auxiliary-bishop.html?m=1

    • The article from ATA unjustly condemns Frs. Kalivas and Stylianopoulos. These 2 were willing to stand up against the cabal of homosexuality that existed at Holy Cross and in reality has a stranglehold on the church at large. They are faithful servants of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  29. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald.
     
    Buenos Aires Gets New Greek Orthodox Metropolitan
    By ANA 
    November 29, 2019
     
    https://www.thenationalherald.com/271439/buenos-aires-gets-new-greek-orthodox-metropolitan/