Will the Third Time Be the Charm?

Many of us on this blog have been following the travails of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America for many years now.  Some have long memories; mine own stretch back to the 1990s when many dedicated Greek-American Orthodox instituted GOAL (Greek Orthodox American Leaders).  The effort was to push for more transparency and accountability in the GOA.  The predicate for this action was the unjust defenestration of Archbishop Iakovos Coucouzis, then the primate of the GOA.  

As can be gleaned from its name, GOAL was Hellenocentric.   Sensitive to this criticism, they soon changed their name to Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL) and expanded their mission from an emphasis on the GOA to uniting with the other canonical jurisdictions in North America.   Given its previous success in forcing the removal of Archbishop Iakovos’ successor, the OCL proved itself to be a force to be reckoned with.  Within short order, the GOA realized that it needed to make some type of effort to come to terms with the OCL’s concerns. 

Whether these efforts were sincere or not is beyond the scope of this essay.  Those of us who were in the OCL on the other hand, were sincere.   (Full disclosure:  I was a member of the OCL at the time.)  At our annual OCL conference in 2010, we met with a representative of the GOA who flew all the way to Houston to address our concerns.  From the outset, it became obvious to some of us that this effort was no different than the rest; that is to say a delaying tactic by the GOA hierarchy to buy more time in their efforts to derail trans-jurisdictional American autocephaly.  (The cat was let out of the bag when the GOA’s representative told us that we “might get some type of semi-autonomy, like what they have in Crete”.)  In any event, we proved our bona fides by raising $10,000 on the spot to be given to the archbishop in order to defray the costs of the first Episcopal Assembly.

So now we are here, eleven years later.  The OCL is still extant but it seems to have lost its luster.  More worrisome to me is the fact that they have largely bought into the American Establishment’s Russophobia, an unnecessary and needlessly provocative narrative that cannot make American unification easier.  And so, in the interim, a different group of Greek-American leaders has decided to take the bull by the horns and demand that ties between the GOA and Istanbul be severed.  In anticipation of this declaration, they put together the following manifesto:  https://www.helleniscope.com/2021/10/21/a-declaration-of-faith-and-independence-for-our-church/

Whether the Greek-American community, in general, can emulate the previous successes of GOAL and OCL remains to be seen.  Within the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, however, things have reached a boiling point.    

While I personally would not rule out continued Phanariote recalcitrance, the ground has shifted considerably since the heyday of the OCL.  For one thing, the GOA has experienced a precipitous decline in membership; 22 percent in the last ten years alone according to Alexei Krindatch (who works directly for the Episcopal Assembly).  Secondly, the St Nicholas Shrine has turned into an embarrassment of scandalous proportions.  Despite cost-overruns approaching $100 million, it is still nowhere near completion.  Thirdly, the present primate, Archbishop Elpidophoros Lambrianides, has made disastrous missteps on more than one occasion which calls into question his ability to administer the GOA. 

In addition, there is no palpable enthusiasm for Patriarch Bartholomew’s visit.  According to one source, reservations for the banquet which is to be hosted by AHEPA (The American Hellenic Education and Progressive Association) in his honor are not being returned.   To add insult to injury, there will be no Oval Office meeting with the President (as was originally hoped for).  To this end, Greek-American laymen were encouraged to get ahold of their congressional representatives to rectify this “oversight”. 

Finally, some of the financial heavy-hitters in the GOA have withdrawn their contributions which were to be used to subsidize the Patriarch’s visit.  Accordingly, the patriarchal entourage had to be scaled back significantly because of these monetary shortages. 

That is just the tip of the iceberg.  The priests’ pension fund has been rendered insolvent due to mismanagement.  As a result of this and other instances of financial misfeasance, the finances of the GOA are under continued scrutiny by the Department of Justice.  Jerry Demetriou, the previous treasurer of the GOA is presently cooperating with the DOJ in a plea deal.  As for the St Nicholas shrine, it continues to be an expensive eyesore, costing close to $100 million.  Compare this for example, with Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow,whose $100 million cost was more when adjusted for inflation:  St Nicholas’ architectural footprint is barely 3,000 sq ft, whereas Christ the Saviour is more than five times that in size.  Moreover, the cathedral in Moscow was completed in record time, during one of the most difficult economic periods in Russian history.  After twenty years, the St Nicholas Shrine is still not completed.  

Then of course there is the elephant in the room:  ever since Bartholomew’s disastrous foray into Ukraine, goodwill between the autocephalous Churches and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, have been strained (to say the least).  This goes as well for their eparchies in North America, many of whose congregants feel that the present Episcopal Assembly is merely a ruse to ensure Greek hegemony over any “autocephalous” Church which is instituted in the United States.    

Thus, while I cannot discount traditional byzantine chicanery and obstinancy, the situation which Patriarch Bartholomew will find when he steps on the tarmac in America is far more unsettled than he would prefer.  If there were to be a time to strike out for Greek-American autonomy and an eventual convergence into a truly autocephalous Church in America, now would be that time.  


  1. George,
    Is an autocephalous Orthodox church in America truly reasonable? Regardless of where the Greeks fall, don’t we have a problem with all the other churches? Aren’t all the other patriarchs hesitant to sign off on an American church because of fear of losing American contributions?

    • Seraphim,
      Nota Bene: The main other churches outside the autocephalous OCA and the CP jurisdictions (eg. ACROD) are the Serbian Church and AOCNA, and to some extent ROCOR. They are significantly smaller than the OCA and seem to me to be closer to the OCA than GOARCH is.

  2. George, Patriarch Bartholomew lives in a glass house fantasy world. I really don’t think that he knows what’s going on around him. His entourage more than likely doesn’t fill him in when it comes to factual reality. At least that’s the impression I get. Besides his allusions of pompous grandeur, he can’t be dealing with a full deck. How else would you explain him taking on the monolithic Russian Patriarchate and other Orthodox churches, and expecting to win? How can the guy look at himself in the mirror every morning…knowing what hurt and destruction he’s caused in Ukraine. If he were truly an Orthodox Christian of right mind, he wouldn’t be able to do so! Therefore, I say that he’s delusional. (Or just not a very nice person!)

    • How else would you explain him taking on the monolithic Russian Patriarchate and other Orthodox churches, and expecting to win?

      Because he has the American State Department, and very likely the Vatican and Davos (which he attended) on his side. I’m sure he was betting that he couldn’t lose and that the other local Churches would be strong-armed into going along with the charade. Luckily (unfortunately) only Greece, Cyprus and Alexandria have gone along, though they are internally divided. They were not able to convince the other two Greek primates (Jerusalem & Albania) to join in.

  3. I’ll echo a quote from “CV” in the original the Helleniscope article:

    And how pre tell, are you going to get all of the other Orthodox jurisdictions on board with this…….there already is an Orthodox Church In America that meets all your needs. Rather than cahnge the Apostolic nature of our our Greek Orthodox Church here in America why dont you just pick up your toys and join the OCA which already meets all your needs…….and while you are at it , you may wnat to do some research at to the history of the OCA and the Greek Orthodox Church you may find an answer in why the GOA has not “officially” recognized the OCA here in America while it “unofficially” does so by utilizing its priests as substitutes …

    Also, the article states that average Sunday attendance in the GOA is ~85K, why does the Assembly of Bishops cater to, and allow to be run by, a hierarch of a jurisdiction that is not only
    In terminal decline, but, has made statements wholly contrary to Orthodoxy. The GOA should be dissolved and merged with a different jurisdictions like the OCA or Antiochians (there’s no way they would join ROCOR), and have major oversight.

    The GOA is run like a business, and what does leadership in any failing business do? They double-down, micromanage and make life miserable for the employees. I expect this to be the case in the GOA.

    If everything mentioned in the Helleniscope article and what you have written, then it seems that Bartholomew’s chickens have about come home to roost and the house of cards is soon to fall. The Russian Synod meets in a few weeks to decide the fate of Bartholomew (at least for the MP). The other Local Churches won’t be able to cast a blind eye for long, especially the more Bartholomew slides into Heterodoxy.

    • Petros: “The GOA is run like a business, and what does leadership in any failing business do? They double-down, micromanage and make life miserable for the employees. I expect this to be the case in the GOA.”

      Can’t they run it like a Church?

      • The irony is that if they actually acted like a Church and the EP/GOA took the Great Commission seriously, they probably wouldn’t be in the situation they are currently in.

  4. “ the present Episcopal Assembly is merely a ruse to ensure Greek hegemony over any “autocephalous” Church which is instituted in the United States”

    Yes, that’s exactly what it is, and until any unified American church ever exists, the EA’s goal is to pretend to maintain Hellenic Orthodox hegemony among the American Orthodox.

    (By the way, an autocephalous American church already exists, though some continue to pretend that it doesn’t! Whether it’s a healthy autocephalous church is a different animal altogether, but pretending that the OCA doesn’t exist doesn’t make it non-existent.)

    Do the Istanbul hierarchs love the American people? Do they love the history of the American Orthodox in all of our honor, pain, and messiness? Do they love St Herman of Alaska, St Peter the Aleut, St Juvenaly, Blessed Fr Seraphim Rose, and St John whose relics are enshrined in San Francisco? Do they yearn to bring Christ and His Church to the millions of unchurched and post-Christian Americans, of so many different colors and cultural backgrounds?

    Or do they merely view American Orthodox as a cash cow? If the answer to this latter question is yes – and most of us know/suspect that it is – then they should please get on the next plane and return to Istanbul. Viewing the American Church as a cash cow makes prostitutes out of us – raping the country for its financial wealth and then leaving. That’s not ok at all.

    We aren’t stupid; most of us see right through inauthenticity and aren’t fearful of calling it out.

    • Why in 100+ years of GOARCH in the US has the GOARCH seemingly lagged seriously with evangelization/outreach compared to other jurisdictions, especially the AOCNA?

      Sure, the AOCNA has made a strong policy decision for outreach and brought in large numbers of evangelical converts. I heard some rumor a while ago that the AOCNA was the most welcoming for the mass of evangelical converts that joined like 20 years ago, especially in California.

      But it feels like compared to OCA and AOCNA, GOARCH has made some kind of policy decision to almost ignore Orthodox outreach beyond the Hellenic sphere. Don’t get me wrong, GOARCH has done some outreach and would prefer to have converts. But it seems like there has been longstanding negligence in this area. Imagine all the outreach GOARCH could have been doing to non-EOs with all the millions that they pumped into the St. Nicholas Shrine. They probably could have given every kid in New York State a meal and a bulletin every day for a week for the $100 million.

      You can say that immigrants are focused on preserving their own fragile community’s well-being, but after 100 years, that excuse only goes so far to explain why there is less outreach outside of the Greek community. I don’t want to give Greeks a hard time, because I am glad that GOARCH is as strong as it is, but it seems like non-EO outreach has been relatively small over the years. I don’t know if it’s because they didn’t want to ruffle the feathers of Non-EOs due to political-social concerns, or because they were scared that non-Greek non-EOs coming in would dilute them.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        The Greeks are unable to separate their culture from the Church. If you’re not Greek, they have a have a hard time understanding why you’d want to be Orthodox or why they should let you. They can’t make you “Greek” so what’s the point?

        • Who knows why or how long they were this way. Maybe it has to do with being under Ottoman rule as Dhmmis under the Millet system for 500 years or something, and then the emergence of 19th century Greek nationalism + pre-1960’s US ethnic or racial animosities/segregation cultural mores.

          Abp. Elpidophoros at one point in his 2009 HC speech that Hellenism is inherently ecumenical. Maybe that was true in the wake of Alexander the Great’s conquest of eastern nations up until the Byzantine Empire got reduced to modern Turkey + the Balkans, since Hellenism did at that time cover many nations. It seems that in the context of 19th century nationalism, Hellenism is more about nationalism (understandably) than about international Greek culture (like the Seleucids and Ptolemies) or something like that.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Hal, you’ve pretty much pegged it. One historian wrote that Hellenism was the “prestige culture” of the.world from the time of Alexander to Mohammed. That’s almost a millennium.

            Anyway, it remained coherent enough according to Victor Davis Hanson to survive under the guise of Byzantium for another 8 centuries but only as an ethnic proxy, the eastern half of the Roman Empire beimg.more homogeneous.

            In the aftermath of 1453, it degraded into an ethnic ghetto.

            • cynthia curran says

              Yeah, but I think the West caught up to Constantinople by the year 1000. Hanson doesn’t mention that some of the Byzantine emperors use Venetian merchants to do a lot of the trading for them and the emperors gave them somewhat of a monopoly in trade which caused some Venetians to be attack by other Byzantines. In fact Hanson leaves out inventions in the medieval world over the Roman or Greek like a stronger horse collar or more crop rotation.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Hanson is concerned with the immediate future of the U.S., not the long-term implications about whether the West can rise again.

                As I reqd him, he thinks that the Byzantine model worked post AD 476 when the West plunged into anarchy but the East was spared the depredations of the barbarian invasions.

        • As I understand it, when the Greeks won independence
          from the multinational Ottoman Empire (successor to the multinational East Roman Empire), and had to decide what it is that defines a Greek in the territory they inhabited, they chose Orthodox Christianity. If that is so, it is little wonder they cannot separate their culture from the Church. After all, it was the Church that sustained the culture, the language, during the centuries of the Turkokratia. Without the Church, there would have no ‘Greeks’ to win independence.

          As for wanting to be Greek, I became Orthodox because Orthodoxy is true;
          not because I wanted to be Greek – or Cypriot.
          Nevertheless, I have been welcomed by the local parish as one of them;
          as have my own (now numerous) Godchildren.

        • If you’re not Greek, they have a have a hard time understanding why you’d want to be Orthodox or why they should let you. They can’t make you “Greek” so what’s the point?

          This was Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas, and also of blessed memory, experience when he was converting in the 1950’s, or so I was told. They didn’t even have a service for reception of of converts. But again I was told this by a priest in Dallas and not 100% sure if it’s wholly true, though I wouldn’t at all doubt it.

          • George Michalopulos says

            I believe it was.in the late 30s when.he and his sister were.received at Holy Trinity in Dallas.

            • Ah yea, didn’t realize it was that far back

            • I think the story goes something like this:

              Abp. Dmitri and his sister decided they wanted to be Orthodox so they went to the Greek Orthodox Church in Dallas. Twice they attended, sat in the back and were completely ignored by everyone including the priest. The services were in Greek so they couldn’t understand a word. People just looked at them curiously on the way out of the church. Finally, the third time, at the end of the service, the priest walked back to them after most everyone had left and asked in a thick Greek accent, “You vant to be Orthodhox?”

              And they said yes.

              • I’ve been to Holy Trinity in Dallas many, many times, I’m happy to say that decades later the parish is no longer like that and Fr. Peter the head priest is a very great man. It’s also one of the more convert-friendly Greek parishes (as I assume most in Texas are)

              • Rdr. James Morgan says

                Many years ago, back in the ’50s when I was in high school, I attended a vesper service at a Russian Orthodox church in Los angeles. Afterwards the priest came up to me and said in a thick English accent: You want to be Orthodox? Learn Russian and I will teach you. So many things have changed since then.

        • Thank God that Sts Cyril and Methodius did not think this way! “Eh, we can’t make the Slavs Greek, so why bother evangelizing them?”

        • Μολων Λαβε says

          I have thought for years that the non-Greeks will be the salvation of Orthodoxy.
          Growing up in Greece going to church became a habit to many and taken for granted – even among some of the priests. I felt it had evolved into something more bureaucratic – managed by administrators – as a result I went to church infrequently.
          With the mask and communion mandates, I left the Greek Orthodox church and embraced the Antiochian Orthodox Church and I have found a home amongst many who take Orthodoxy seriously – and abide only by the Lords laws.
          I find that Orthodoxy is growing in Africa and abide by the correct teachings of Orthodoxy and the Holy Fathers. Many have come to the garden of His Truth, Word and Love and this gives me great comfort. There is hope for us yet ! 🙂

          • Molon, many of us have been nourished by Greek parishes/priests and monastics, but, I tend to agree with you. Happy that you have found a home with the Antiochians.

      • “ GOARCH has made some kind of policy decision to almost ignore Orthodox outreach beyond the Hellenic sphere.”

        From my experience, it’s more that the entire point of the GOAA has never been about missionary work. The point of the GOAA has been to support Greek-Americans as they pursue the American success story. Yes, there are rare exceptions, and there are American converts who like the “exoticness” of Greek culture and go along in the GOAA for the ride, but, overwhelmingly, the entire point of the GOAA has been to provide spiritual support to the Greek American success story.

        As is clear as day, that effort only goes so far. It really exhausted itself about 40 or 50 years ago. And obviously it directly contradicts Christ’s command to us (not simply a suggestion) to go and baptize all nations.

        The history of the other major Orthodox jurisdictions in the United States – namely the Russian jurisdictions (OCA/ROCOR) and the Antiochians – is completely different.

        Perhaps this total difference in experience is why the GOAA and the other Orthodox jurisdictions in the United States have such a hard time connecting with each other – and why the GOAA can’t really connect with any but only tries to dominate.

        The GOAA’s efforts to dominate fail pathetically, but in the narcissistic delusion of those who run the GOAA, it seems that they still can’t admit to or swallow that reality.

      • Antiochene Son says

        I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: for what the GOA spent on the St. Nicholas Shrine, they could have opened 200 mission parishes. Or if they really wanted to play the long game, give full ride scholarships to 100 men to become priests, and open 100 new parishes for them to lead. Plant them in strategic locations and charge them to fill them up.

        That’s what the Saints would have done — that’s what the Saints in fact did. Our leaders are not Saints.

        • For what they have spent on the shrine, they could have kept the GOA priests’ pension fund solvent….

    • Gail Sheppard says

      RE: “. . . an autocephalous American church already exists. . .”

      Until Bartholomew recognizes you, you don’t exist. To him, the OCA has even less standing than an unordained, Ukrainian nationalist with a penchant for violence.

      And he calls us the barbarians.

      A few days ago, when talking about the “historical responsibilities of the Throne,” he stated he not only “christianized” Russia”, he “civilized them. . .” Bet he wishes he could make them disappear. (Frankly, I think he might try.)

      • The Vikings/Rurikids/Varangians were already ruling Russian and Ukrainian cities in the 9th century AD before the Christianization of Rus. So it was the Vikings or probably much earlier peoples who civilized Rus, ie. gave it “cities”. Probably Kiev became a city in the 6th to 9th centuries AD, but it was already a settlement before the 6th century.

        P. Bartholomew could reply that the Byzantines gave Russia writing. But writing per se is not the same as “civilizing” a place. A people could be nomadic and “uncivilized” yet still have writing, and the converse (cities + no writing) could also be true. Further, slavs probably had some primitive writing system comparable to the Celts’ “Ogham writing” system even before they acquired Glagolitic and Cyrillic from Byzantine missionaries.

      • The OCA certainly does exist to Patriarch Bartholomew, but only as an autonomous (not autocephalous) church of the Moscow Patriarchate.

        From his point of view, the Russian Church is still in communion with Constantinople … only through the OCA. (and even though the OCA has absolutely no administrative connection with Moscow whatsoever.)

        Other churches that similarly consider the OCA to be connected with the Moscow Patriarchate include Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Serbia, Cyprus, and Greece. So it’s not just Patriarch Bartholomew with this viewpoint.

  5. Patriarch Bartholomew has been admitted to hospital in Washington. He was not feeling well and his doctor hospitalized him for observation.

  6. George,

    I am glad to hear of your work for accountability with GOARCH. Wasn’t the OCL at some point connected with the brief, small Charismatic “Renewal” movement in the Orthodox Church

  7. Bartholomew arrived in the U.S. on Saturday for a 12-day visit that includes a meeting with President Joe Biden.

    The patriarch was due to attend a church service in Washington but felt unwell after the long flight and his busy schedule since reaching the U.S. capital, Greece-based AMNA news agency reported Sunday.

    Bartholomew, 81, was taken to the George Washington University Hospital, where he was advised to rest and is being kept under observation, the press office of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America said on Twitter.

    • Just a dad says

      Someone should tell President Joe Biden that Bart loves to ride trains. Joe would love the opportunity to tell his mangled Amtrak “Joey baby” story for a 6th time since January.

  8. George Michalopulos says

    This was just sent to me from a person who was at St. Sophia Cathedral in DC this morning.

    One source reported:
    – Patriarch Bartholomew was advised by his doctor not to undergo the trip.
    – St. Sophia was full but not to capacity; there were empty seats in every pew.
    – Some of the Archons are now to be called “Senators” and sat in the front row to be sworn in.

    Another source said:
    – It appeared as if the majority of those in attendance were unaware that Bartholomew wasn’t there.
    – A few of the visiting clergy seemed to think Metropolitan Emmanuel was Bartholomew.
    – With the exception of the Gospel reading, the entire service was in Greek, including the sermon.
    – In order to make it appear as if the young people were excitedly awaiting Bartholomew’s arrival, they lined a few of them up at the entrance in the early morning rain, which was unfortunate.
    – Emanuel was shuttled in through a side entrance.
    – In terms of pre-eminences, the tension between Elpidophoros and Emanuel, was palpable; reminiscent of the jostling in 1990 that took place between the then-Metropolitan Bartholomew (who was a member of Patriarch Demetrius’ entourage) and Arb Iakovos.
    – Karloutsos’ absence was expected, as he and Elpidophoros are not on friendly terms. At present, the archbishop has the upper hand and Karloutsos has been banned from attending all events.

    • “Our archdiocese went through a crisis because of our previous management, so St. Nicholas was stalled — and it was an embarrassment,” Father Karloutsos said. “With the new archbishop, Elpidophoros, we had an opportunity to renew our drive.”


      So Fr. Karloutsos is blaming the previous Archbishop, Demetrios, for “mismanagement” of funds.

      I would not be surprised if something similar happened to GOARCH’s St Nicholas Shrine funds as what happened to the OCA’s 9 11 foundation funds. I don’t even know if all of the OCA’s missing funds from that debacle have been accounted for.

    • The Senators are not necessarily Archons. The title of the group, formed in 2020 by Archbishop Elpidoforos, is Senators for Orthodoxy and Hellenism and consists of clergy and laity, men and women. The original group consisted of about 30 people.

      • Senators, archons και απατεώνες και μασκαραδες! Ι am sick of the entire lot of this rubbish. You don’t need it for greekness anymore which more and more expressed in secular Terms nor for Christ.
        How much of this endless rubbish is connected to Christ?. Is Emmanuella not to be discussed? . We have bishops living luxury lives on backs of ordinary. people, let alone their morals. And they think this normal amd their right. When i see an Orthodox bishop these days I see a fat business man with a token beard from the prop department and I think, απατεώνες όλοι και μασκαραδες. Λύκοι.
        Ιf I am still alive, please God and come back in ten yrs time. Will we still be discussing these issues
        Here in Bulgaria sundaychurch attendance pre Covid was 0.6 %, Can we discuss this for instance or the 3% in Greece.
        Are we lost in a byzantine Fantasy world? All I know is I am bored with the lot and ask where is Christ in all this? με πολύ λύπη .

    • https://www.gettysburgtimes.com/news/national/article_6b86a53b-ddb9-540e-84f1-929c6abad365.html

      There is his schedule. he is out of the hospital on Monday morning after skipping Sunday liturgy.

      • Couple of things from the article:

        Blinken, however, “reaffirmed that the reopening of the Halki Seminary remains a continued priority” according to State Department spokesperson Ned Price.

        I’m sure there a strings attached and a quid-pro-quo is expected, I’m sure involving the Macedonian, Montenegrin or Georgian schismatics.

        The White House said the meeting between Bartholomew and Biden “underscored the critical role that faith communities play in confronting the range of global challenges we all face.

        More globalist globohomo speak

        Bartholomew said at the White House that he was abundantly satisfied with his visit, praising Biden as a “man of faith, and man of vision.”

        Yes, Biden, the most Pro-abortion, pro-sodomy, pro-gender dysphoria president in history is a “man of faith.” Kick rocks Bartholomew.

      • Antiochene Son says

        My mama always said: if you’re too sick to go to church, you’re too sick to do anything else.

        I guess he got well really fast, well enough to kneel before his true masters, Blinken and Biden.

    • Helleniscope says P. Bartholomew wasnt commemorated or mentioned and ABP. Emmanuel was presented as the next patriarch:

    • Helleniscope reports that at the Sunday Washington DC service, P. Bartholomew was not commemorated, nor was he mentioned, and Met./Abp. Emmanuel was openly presented as the next Patriarch:

  9. Regarding the status of Father Alex Karloutsos: another highly reliable source reports that, in fact, he is meeting with the Patriarch at this time.

  10. Allegra Ferrari says

    Karloutsos and AB Elpidophoros have not been on good terms since at least the summer. Also, noticeably absent from HAH Bartholomew’s side is Karloutsos’ son Michael.

  11. Somewhere, Jesus got lost in the shuffle.

  12. https://www.goarch.org/-/bartholomew-vima-interview
    In this interview from Jan. 2021, P. Bartholomew reiterates his claims of authority over all EOs, while also rejecting the label of him being the Pope. He also rehashes his position on Ukraine.

    • The following is quoted directly from Hal’s link above – from the interview with Pat. Bartholomew.

      “We read a number of allegations of violence by extremist groups against Orthodox in Ukraine. If, of course, such actions are true, no matter where they come from and to the detriment of whoever they are, we have condemned them from the outset…”

      Can anyone site a single instance of Pat. Bartholomew condemning this violence?

      I have searched multiple times over the last two years or so and have never been able to find even one instance of such condemnation.

      • I remember pro-MP sources a few years ago saying that recognizing the OCU would lead to church seizures, violence against the MP in Ukraine, etc., which it did. Then I vaguely recall the CP denying that it would lead to violence and maybe in passing he said briefly that he was against violence. But he never emphatically issued press releases condemning anti-MP violence or something like that, AFAIK.

        • “We read a number of allegations…”

          Allegations? Seriously? And “we” have only read of them? Why of course! It isn’t as though there are innumerable videos of this violence readily available to HAH.

  13. Article blaming Abp. Demetrios for the missing funds. It claims the funds were used to pay non related GOARCH expenses and it was just internal shifting of funds, thus not criminal.

    It says Fr Karloutsos has nothing to do with the.missing funds because he was not managing it and is a hero. Plus, now Abp Elpidophoros is here now to fix things.

    It implies that asking about missing funds is annoying.

    • https://www.goarch.org/EPVisit2021

      The EP did meet with President Biden

    • Allegra Ferrari says

      Those articles that you referenced are comical if you know the truth. The blame on AB Demetrios and ensuing scandals in the papers were orchestrated and planted by Karloutsos to make AB Demetrios look bad and that the GOARCH is out of control, to give the EP a reason to remove him.

      • George Michalopulos says

        How horrible was that?

      • Gail Sheppard says

        I remember calling it a “controlled demolition.”

      • Allegra,
        The part where it makes questions about missing funds sound annoying reminds me of what I heard of the movie Master of Lies about Bernie Madoff.

        It’s really curious where the funds went, because the St. Nicholas funds are just a fraction of apparently all missing funds, based on a Helleniscope article that uses the same chart as in George M.’s article here.

  14. Nowhere on the OCA’s website is there any mention of Patr B’s visit to America.

    This is definitely a first. Every other time the Patr of C’ple has visited the USA, the OCA has covered it in detail, in glowing terms.

    Something is now clearly different. Maybe lines are clearly drawn, and serious Orthodox Christians know that they can no longer both support the Russian Orthodox position and the C’ple position vis-à-vis the complete disaster that Patr B and his synod created in Ukraine.

    If so, and if the OCA is formally denouncing the mess that C’ple created in Ukraine and the schism in the Church that C’ple is leading, then hats off to the OCA. About time.

    • George Michalopulos says

      This is true, and to be quite frank, a pleasant surprise. Ever since Fr Kishkovsky of recent memory went to his reward, the OCA seems to have received a massive testosterone injection as regards to the Phanar.

      Still, it is surprising that no mention was made on the “Apostolic journey of the spiritual leader of 350 gazillion Orthodox Christians” to our shores.

      Rather interesting oversight, wouldn’t you say?

      • One problem for the OCA is that P. Bartholomew is now emphasizing his claims to being the head over the OCA and all Christians. I kind of recall the CP making similar justifications in the 20th century for things like giving autocephaly to the Czech lands or controlling Finland. But it seems nonetheless that he is emphasizing this ecclesiology much more now.

        The more that the OCA or any church trumpets the CP, the more it indirectly could support the CP’s position. Imagine if the OCA tells everyone to attend the CP’s speeches, and then the CP reiterates in the speeches that he is the head over all EOs.

        Another problem is that the OCA is stuck to some extent getting along with the MP if it wants relations with the CP, JP, and Antioch. This is because those Patriarchates consider the OCA to still belong to the MP and don’t recognize its autocephaly. In other words, the CP, JP, and Antioch have relations with the OCA to the extent that the OCA has relations with the MP, as the OCA’s relations with those churches flow through the MP, due to them rejecting OCA autocephaly. Were the OCA to side with the CP and accept the OCU, the MP would suspend relations with the OCA, while despite the OCA being in a predicament, the CP, JP, and Antioch would not recognize the OCA. The CP could use his papal style powers to try to overturn the suspension, and the JP had relations with ROCOR in the Cold War schism with the MP, but it would still be messy for the OCA ecclesiastically to fight the MP.

        A third factor is that the OCA, like all other autocephalous churches, doesn’t sympathize with the CP’s new first without Equals ecclesiology. Some Greek based churches accepted the OCU, but AFAIK they didn’t openly accept the ecclesiology of first without equals.

      • Maybe the OCA leadership has realized that it simply doesn’t worship the literal feet of the Most Holy Patriarch of Constantinople as the latter wishes that it would.

        Yes, these words were actually uttered:

        ‘And quoting Romans 10, he praised: “O, how beautiful are the feet of His All-Holiness; He, who preaches to us the gospel of peace and the good things of God. And in humbly bowing our heads to Him, it is with a joyful heart that we all receive His venerable Patriarchal blessing.”’


        Seriously, what whackos. The Church of Constantinople caricatures itself. No help needed. Serious Orthodox Christians who seek communion with Christ should avoid them.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          RE: “And quoting Romans 10, he praised: “O, how beautiful are the feet of His All-Holiness; He, who preaches to us the gospel of peace and the good things of God. And in humbly bowing our heads to Him, it is with a joyful heart that we all receive His venerable Patriarchal blessing.”

          I thought Bartholomew wasn’t allowed to preach the Gospel. (Not that he does.)

        • There has been a tendency among the Phanar’s minions to set Bartholomew and his role as Patriarch of Constantinople in the place of God and Christ when referring to scripture; i.e., as if light and truth itself emanated from him and his see. They tend to twist and abuse scripture to fit him and his office into that role.

          This is particularly troubling when you consider the religious eccentricity of Tayyip Erdogan, president of Turkey. Erdogan has delved into Sufism (Islamic mysticism) and believes he has attained some type of unity with Allah. He has a statue of himself to whom he orders visiting Turkish politicians to venerate or worship. Compare this to the Vatican’s assertion that the pope is the “vicar of Christ” and you can see where the Phanariot minions are gleaning their sacrilegious bs.

          You have to assume that they are secular materialists, perhaps a little “superstitious”, who simply want to use the old images and concepts to accumulate as much power as they can, twisting them as they will in the process for lack of fear of or belief in “Some Guy out there”.

          • Erdogan has an idol of himself? Can you link this?

            • There is evidently a cult of Erdogan in Turkish politics. I do not endorse what Walid Shoebat is saying here but I do believe that the quotes are real and what he says regarding Sufi illumination is also relatively accurate, though he paints it in too dark a light IMHO.


              There is a story that Erdogan has such a statue in his official residence or office and expects loyalists to make obeisance to it/him. I can’t say whether it is true or not. However, I can say that both he and his followers encourage Turks and Muslims in general to blur the line between him and prophet or demigod.

              Though Turkey is a Sunni Muslim society, it has been through a thoroughly secularizing period. So statues of respected figures are not as taboo as they would be in many Muslim countries. This description of an Ataturk statue, for instance.

        • Who said that sycophantic rubbish? I give up..

  15. Didn’t Jesus say to give anonymously?

  16. When I search online, I can’t find hardly anything on where Goarch’s and the Shrine’s millions went.

    J. Demetrou supposedly embezzled $500k, but that leaves millions more still unaccounted.

    The architect is Calatrava, who made the Oculus transport building near the Shrine in NYC.

    In the 208 projects Calatrava has worked on since 1979, at least 30 have been cited as over budget, abandoned or involved in lawsuits. Fellow Greek Orthodox followers, please digest this for a moment.

    In Spain alone, 8 projects were saddled with cost over runs amounting in the 100’s of millions of dollars. Most notably, he has been called “a high-risk” architect. It seems deservedly so.


    The money missing from the pension fund is even more though right?

    • You could speculate that the $$$$ millions went to pay off the Turkish government, like Helleniscope suggested some of it could have. Theoretically it could have gone into the personal accounts of CP related figures. I kind of recall speculation that it could have served as bribes to persons related to the US government as compensation after the US investigation into the missing St. Nicholas shrine funds.

  17. Anonymous II says

    “Speaking with journalists after the meeting, the Patriarch praised the President [Biden] as “a man of faith and man of vision,” adding that “we know that he will offer to this wonderful country and to the world, the best leadership and direction within his considerable powers.”


    See: https://orthochristian.com/142561.html

  18. And referring to the Heavenly manifestation that led the Magi to the Christ-Child, Abp. Elpidophoros continued that Pat. Bartholomew is “the Star of the East, who came to give us once again the light of the ever-shining and martyric Phanar,” which is the “glory of the Orthodox Church and our devout Genos.”

    This is an actual quote from Elpidophoros…I legit busted out laughing. What are these people smoking

    • Surely: “…the All-Star of the East”?

    • What they smoking? Mate this is white line, needle stuff. So now we know what they do behind that screen.. What ever it is could we have some?? ?

      In the mean time someone called Christ has been sighted far far away, denying all knowledge of this byzantine Turkish farce AND CHRIST WEPT

  19. EP praises Biden as a “man of faith.” Gag. Can we please just give him the boot? This is NOT what I left RC and became Orthodox for! Sick of that garbage!


    • George Michalopulos says

      The people that believed in Moloch were “men of faith” also

    • Meanwhile, immediately after learning of the GOA press release from his wife while driving…


      After recovering he was heard to say, “Let’s go Brandon!”

      • LOL. Seriously. If only it wasn’t so appalling. The EP would fit right in with the limp-wristed USCCB Catholic bishops. Given the RCC is hemorrhaging members and more fed-up Catholics than ever are looking East right now, this EP idiocy is NOT good for making converts. I’m at least directing those I know away from the GOA. What an embarrassment.

        • I have yet to speak to one priest in the GOA that approves of Bartholomew or Elpidohphoros, not that I have talked to a ton of priests in the GOA, but enough. On the parish level GOA parishes are for the most part pretty good (at least in my experience), but, I agree with you I tell people to go to a non-Greek parish if possible.

  20. Time to take a long, hot shower…..