Enhancing the Role of the Ecumenical Patriarch

By Dennis Menos

The fact that the Orthodox Church is fragmented and operates without centralized control is well known. The Holy and Great Pan-Orthodox Council held last year in Crete provided ample proof.

The Orthodox Church is a consortium of 14 Autocephalous (self- governing) Churches. Each operates independently of the others, but remains in full communion with them on matters of faith, sacraments, and canonical discipline. Governance in each case is by a Primate, selected by the Church’s Synod of Bishops. There is no “head” as such of the Orthodox Church to whom he and the other Primates of the Autocephalous Churches must report.

Because of the advantages autocephaly offered, it became the preferred form of church administration in the Orthodox East from the earliest of times. Autocephaly allowed persons of similar ethnic background to organize their churches, retain their own language in religious services, and be administered locally, without the requirement for outside oversight or direction.

It all made sense back then, but it no longer does.

Autocephaly is not responsive to many of today’s challenges. For one, there is no provision in its structure for a “head” of the Orthodox East to coordinate and promulgate the policies and activities of all Autocephalous Churches. The Ecumenical Patriarch currently has no such authority; he is merely the “first among equals” of the Primates of the Autocephalous Churches. In the absence of a “head” of the Church, issues of common concern need to be debated and agreed upon by all 14 Primates before they can be implemented — admittedly an extremely demanding task.

The Orthodox Church has also a huge diaspora problem today – a byproduct of autocephaly – as evidenced by the millions of Orthodox now residing and practicing their Orthodox faith outside the borders of their parent Autocephalous Church, but to which they still belong administratively. Enormous waste in Orthodox infrastructure and clergy resources, worldwide, are the result. Adversely affected also by the absence of an Orthodox Church “head” are the ongoing reconciliation dialogues with Rome and other Christian Churches. Despite the best intentions on both sides, in the absence of someone who can speak with authority for the entire East, results have been meager.

Even among critics of autocephaly, there is no desire currently to replace the present system with a different form of church structure. But the time has come, to alleviate certain major problems inherent in autocephaly that constrain Orthodoxy from fulfilling its worldwide mission.

These problems cannot be confronted, however, until the role of the Ecumenical Patriarch has been dramatically enhanced. The Ecumenical Patriarch needs to be elevated to the rank of “head” of the Orthodox East, with authority to act and speak for the entire Church. He cannot continue being merely one of the Primates in the Orthodox East. Every human activity involving large numbers of people, whether a commercial activity, social organization, or political institution, has a “head”- someone in charge who provides overall direction and control.

So, should also the Orthodox Church. The Ecumenical Patriarch needs to become in fact the “first” Primate throughout the entire Orthodox East, rather than a mere ”first among equals,” which is his present role.

To be able to fulfill effectively his duties as the “head” of the Orthodox Church, the Ecumenical Patriarch will need to be freed of all responsibility for serving also as the Primate of the Church of Constantinople. This responsibility, for administering the Church’s holdings in Turkey, Greece, Western Europe, the United States, and Australia, should be assumed by a senior Hierarch of the Patriarchate, perhaps its Grand Chancellor.

Freed of this burden, the Ecumenical Patriarch would then be able to focus on activities designed to reunify Greek Orthodoxy. One such activity would be the convening annually of a conclave of the Primates of all 14 Autocephalous Churches. Such a body does not currently exist, but needs to be formally activated and serve as the senior policymaking assembly of the Orthodox East. Huge benefits should accrue from such regular meetings of the Orthodox Primates conducted in reverence and understanding.

Will the Primates of the Autocephalous Churches concur in the organizational changes proposed herewith? Only time will tell. Convincing them of the wisdom of the proposed changes will require patience and energy, but they must be persuaded of their need, if the Orthodox Church is to move into the 21st century in unity and purpose.

Orthodox faithful, worldwide, should participate in this regard (the Order of Saint Andrew comes to mind for the United States) by approaching doubting Hierarchs, in love and humility, with the rationale for an Orthodox “head” and the need for a conclave of senior Primates to address and resolve major Pan-Orthodox issues.

Enhancing the role of the Ecumenical Patriarch while also engaging the Primates of all Autocephalous Churches to resolve the major issues confronting Orthodoxy today will not come easy. Both actions will probably require a sustained effort of several years for acceptance. But, with the help of the Holy Spirit, both should come to pass to the benefit of Christ’s Church on earth.

Dennis Menos is the author of several books and a writer on Orthodox and Hellenic issues.

11 Comments

  1. By proclaiming the patriarch pope of the east the Orthodox Church would be in position to fulfill the plans of this writer.
    Of course, tradition and canon law would have to be modified and the other Orthodox churches would have to agree.
    Perhaps this could be accomplished at a future Great and Holy Council.

  2. Too late for such a dream! The reasons for the existence of the grotesque conditions we have today have been a thorn from the beginning (phylogeny, ambition, selfishness, etc.). It seems we haven’t been able to let the Holy Spirit overcome these obstacles!

    1. The author means well. He’s sees the state of the church and wants to see it find relevancy by direction with a unified effort. However, what is being proposed will only in the end result in top down centralized hierarchical power and control residing in one man, a form of religious dictatorship.

      The Christian character of any man who would become a Patriarch as the Orthodox equivalent to the RCC Pope is critical here and if one only looks at the history of the RCC Popes that only reinforces that need for a moral and ethical Christian character. If that is not applied to any selection process then the Orthodox will find themselves in a far worse position than they are today.

      So, Orthodox what would be the ethical and moral standards to be applied to anyone who would be considered the Pope of the Patriarch’s? What is the ethical and moral character of those hierarchies that would elect such a man? Would power religious politics make the final decision or God the Holy Spirit?

      One only has to remember Astoria NY and the Patriarch. He is disqualified from the gate.

      Would the Orthodox put +Krill into that position? Putin would just love that.

      When the solution to a problem is itself a problem no solution comes. The solution that would come would be worse than the problem trying to be solved. That’s circular without solution. Seems to be a lot of that taking place in Orthodoxy and especially in America.

      Trying to bring together the religious jurisdiction fiefdoms of the different Patriarch jurisdictions are willing to give up their jurisdictional power and control and subjugate themselves to a Patriarch Pope? I highly doubt it.

      More centralized top down hierarchical power and control is not the solution. Look at what that kind of power and control has done to many of the jurisdictions in America. The two largest jurisdictions are dying. Both are regularly rocked by corruption scandals.

      So, a foreign rule Patriarch operating like a RCC Pope is going to solve the problem in the Greek Chicago diocese, deal with the cult of elder ephraim and stop the hemorrhaging of people state of the jurisdictions? He will make Orthodoxy relevant in America and so it can reverse its dying state? Yes, which current bishop or metropolitan or patriarch will make make any of this happen?

      Moving to a more centralized structure of hierarchical authority is the opposite direction to take. A reform of the hierarchical structure away from top down centralized power and control to a structure that actually accommodates laity authority to hold any hierarchy transparent and accountable with consequences that can be enforced is the direction to take and its an idealistic pipe dream to believe it will ever happen.

      When all that you know is top down hierarchical power and control then more of it must be the solution, right? The already centralized hierarchical power and control in the jurisdictions can’t be the problem and so more of it by way of an Orthodox Pope will provide solution to the problems, correct?

      I believe the well intentioned author needs to reevaluate his position and then REFORM it to what will actually help this church find correction, relevancy and growth. That would be especially true for Orthodoxy in America where it is basically really only found relevant to itself in its closed and isolated structure of authority.

      As it stands today in America is Orthodoxy relevant, attractive and reaching out to millennial’s and their children with a church they can relate too and then embrace? What message does Orthodoxy in America really send to that generation? What do they think about organizational values, ethics and morality? (Its a long list of different relevancy to them questions)

      Orthodoxy in my mind in America is both top down power suppressed down and generally speaking is ruled over by incompetency and corruption. The power suppression push down molds this church into irrelevancy while a church that comes under people and raises them up is found relevant. When all power and control is held at the top the weight of the top crushes the church under that heavy weight of authoritarianism and that is exactly why Orthodoxy is not going to find church growth relevancy in America.

      Last time I checked one of things Jesus did for us in the Gospels is set us free from top down authoritarian religious power and control that suppresses and molds us into what it is and not who Christ is. The church that religion press molds and does not freedom In Christ transform raise up will find itself irrelevant to any new generation in America.

      When authoritarian and dictatorial man rules in the place of humble servant Christ in a church that church can expect a not so good real world outcome over time. The Orthodox in America for the most part and if not in subjective religious denial are not experiencing a good real world outcome of church here.

      Last month at my church of 300 adult members 40 first time millennial visitors came to our visitor orientation. The only Orthodox parish (Greek) in my city has been here for 60+ years and on a regular good Sunday about 100 adults attend. The message sent is the rest of the city can go straight to hell without Christ’s salvation. It is an unspoken message that none the less speaks loudly as to why it is not taking the salvation of Christ to those outside of its closed doors in any relevant fashion.

      There is a difference between self centered dead religion focused inward on itself and other centered living Christ evangelism that focuses outward to reach a lost world like Jesus did. Orthodox, can you tell the difference between them? In America you can. The difference is Christian spiritual discerning undeniably obvious to anyone of a true Christ centered spiritual maturity.

      An Orthodox patriarch pope is not going to solve this dying state of Orthodoxy in America problem. More centralized top down power and control is not the solution. It will only place more of a church crushing heavy authoritarian weight on the church accelerating its demise in America. When the problem is the solution it will only get worse.

      Orthodoxy is being crushed out of existence in America and to believe otherwise is deluded religious denial based in a subjective misplaced loyalty that cannot get objective about the reasons why it is dying. Subjective misplaced loyalty is easily turned into idolatry of church that turns a church inward upon itself and especially if the structure and system of the church is already closing and isolating.

      Jesus Christ is God and no church is God and its structure of authority is God. God is to rule over all or the church goes corrupt, then irrelevant and then dying. Idolatry of church and/or its leadership places those things over God and then that church starts to die. It operates in its own power by replacing the power of the Holy Spirit with the power of self centered man. In other words, the Orthodox in America are powerless to stop the demise of their church here. It is why no solution to this dying state of church is going to work. Mark my words, no solution is going to work.

      The church built on the wrong foundation will one day find that foundation crumbling. That’s Orthodoxy in America and denying it is the problem that will not revive it. The evangelical church foundation is what? Is it outreaching other centered evangelism centered in Christ’s salvation?

      Orthodox, you share what you have and if you don’t have it you don’t have it to share. I am speaking about Christ’s salvation. I personally believe the degree of your salvation as a church is the degree that you will share that salvation with others not of your church. If your Orthodoxy truly does represent Gods only true salvation then why is your church dying in America? I believe I just addressed why. Oops, now I’ve stepped in it.

      God is not going to wait for the Orthodox. In my city of 200K there are several evangelical churches that number in the thousands in Sunday attendance and that have been here for less than 60 years.

      If it had been left up to the Orthodox in my city to share Christ’s salvation with me it would never have been shared with me.

      1. Very well stated Ashley. Unfortunately, the top-down authoritarian system stifling the Greek Orthodox Church of America will always remain in play.

      2. Sir, I take no pleasure in stating that.

        My son was once involved with that church monastery in Arizona and its abuse of him greatly contributed to his suicide in 2012. We tried to tell them that they were destroying him emotionally and spiritually and we were made the problem for pointing out the problem.

        My wife and I confronted +Gerasimos to his face and we exposed the elder cult in several different public ways. When we left his posh diocese mansion in Pacific Heights San Francisco we stood together in front of the big bay window in front of them and wiped our feet. They didn’t like it.

        After our son died at St. Anthony’s monastery the diocese didn’t like what I was telling them and sent the police to talk to me twice as a form of intimidation. Within 5 minutes of talking to the police each time they saw what I was dealing with apologized and left. The intimidation only motivated me. I have also received death threats. They will know they are Orthodox by their love?

        After we left the mansion we went to the home of one of the ladies who operate Pokrov and ate lunch. Prokrov is part of SNAP the organization featured in the movie SPOT LIGHT.

        The hierarchy and the patriarch know my name. I’m notorious among them. We rocked their world. I understand the issues facing this church well and far better than its incompetent metropolitan’s do.

        I have spent about 35 years focused on church growth and what can undermine it, stop it or kill it dead. All the wrong signs and symptoms pointing to the cause of this jurisdiction demise are there.

        The Greek church will continue to exist and its future existence is a much smaller church in America that is more irrelevant than it is today. I believe in the next decade or so that a real estate sale is going to take place in the Greek church. It may take longer than that but it will happen. Without the needed numbers to financially prop it up it will shrink, shrink, shrink.

        I’ve also had the experience of confronting the Archdiocesan council. They are nothing less than manipulated powerless pawns without a back bone. They are the model of religious codependent corruption enabling. They are as systemically sick as the hierarchy. The then co chairman of the counsel, Jaharis, promised he was going to deal with what contributed to our sons death and lied. He did nothing. That’s the future of the GOA. A do nothing church that dies due to its do nothing.

        Sir, the Greek church will remain in play but with less relevancy than today. Any influence they have will be exponentially less in the not to distant future. All of the religious grandiosity and pomp is not going to prop this church up. It’s shinny gold and jewel embossed veneer is being ripped off exposing what this church really is and people are leaving it in droves.

        If the Greek church cannot reach and retain the needed number of millennial’s this church is basically over in the not to distant future. I give it no more than 15 years. I will probably not be here to see it and I could care less. However, you may be here to see it and so try to remember what I said. It’s going to come true. Not because I want it too but because all the objective facts say so. What I want for this church is a simple prayer, God bring this church under your authority and will and no matter what that takes.

        Keep your head up and don’t let any hierarchy push it down. Push back instead. Let no religious pharisee like hierarchical bully or thug push you around. Trust your life to Christ and when they come at you walk with God through it. I was betrayed by some Greeks and so be very careful if that is the jurisdiction you find yourself in contention with. It will not be Orthodox polite baklava and coffee during parish social time when they come at you. It will be full tilt spiritual war like you most likely have not experienced before.

        I had many run in’s the demonic principality behind the corruption of this church. His face was debased soulless cold apathy and indifference. It was psychopathic and murderous, pure evil. I kid you not.

        Satan has this church in his clutches and does not want to let go of it. He destroys and does not build. That’s the spiritual reality of it with this corrupt and cultic self destructive church. The evil one wants to take everyone in it down with it and he’s doing a pretty good job of it from my vantage point.

        You take good care now.

        Blessing brother in Jesus Christ.

  3. @Father Basil
    The Church, unfortunately, is like any other institution, it has many flaws – and for good reason. The people guiding Her are flawed. The Holy Spirit is always at work guiding hearts and minds. The Holy Spirit does not need our permission to do anything. Christ is in our midst!!
    Our problem is two – fold,; first, we see the working of the church through human eyes and not spiritual eyes, Second, we are just not worthy – none of us.
    We need to rebuild from the bottom up – not the top down to gain back our worthiness. My Yia- Yia was one of those women who labors to build up the body of Christ…she was always hands on – ready to help. A strong women who had the kind of faith that could not only move mountains, could turn them upside down as well. Now we have over-educated, ambitious, and selfish individuals who do not even know what it means to break a sweat leading our parishes into decline. The real gift of Orthodox Church comes from the people of faith who are not afraid to labor for Her. From the bottom up!!!

    1. I would say that it is at the very least it is highly difficult for a top down centralized structure and system of authority and whose system of church is closed and isolating to become bottom up raise the church up and open system inclusive. Orthodoxy in America is top down being crushed suppressed by the pushing down authoritarian weight all at the top.

      The only real solution is a reform of the structure of authority from top down to more of a bottom up structure with an open inclusive system. That reform would also give the laity more authority to hold church leadership transparent and accountable with consequences that the laity can enforce.

      What is top down pushes down while what is bottom up raises up. What is closed is not open. What is exclusive is not inclusive. No reform of structure and system and no bottom up reviving.

      Christ in the Gospels was servant bottom up raise us up and not top down authoritarian push us down. That top down push down structure that is closing and isolating is simply not Christ in the Gospels.

      Was your jurisdiction built primarily on evangelism or was it built primarily by way of ethnocentric, marriage and birth and immigration?

      A wrong foundation built upon will eventually collapse what is built upon it. Thus the decline.

      If the works of service are for building what does not share the salvation of Christ then those works of service will one day no longer prop a church up.

      The hard work of evangelism is how one labors for Jesus and His church. A lack of evangelism will lead any church into steep decline and then that church dies.

      Our worthiness, value, meaning and purpose, our identity, is to be found in Christ alone and not in a dying church that can’t evangelize those outside of it. Being hands on ready to share the salvation of Christ to those who do not have it is the solution. No other service to Christ in my mind really compares to that, but all good works of service to God are important to the survival of any church.

      I am worthy because the salvation of Christ makes me worthy. I am born again to new life. My worth to God is not determined by the state of my church. Get your worth to God right and the state of your church will change dramatically. When you truly understand your worth to God you understand the worth of others to God and then you will bring salvation to them.

      I am not an unworthy sinner, that is shame! I am redeemed from that wrong religious thinking that shame degrades my worth to God. I am a son of the King, a royal priest and child of God forgiven. If I place my worthiness in anything other than Christ that is idolatry and hope shifting. I have been bought with the most precious of prices, Christ on the cross and resurrected! I am worthy because of Christ’s worthiness. I can come to him in personal relationship with the dividing veil ripped in two. I am not religion shaming shame based. I am Christ’s love, mercy, grace and truth based. I am owned by God and not by shame or sin or death.

      Religious works to build a church will only work so far and then it stops. Spiritual work for God will take a church much further with the Gospel than one based on religious works. Freedom In Christ sets us free of religious works. Works based churches with a top down authoritarian structure of rule end up performance based churches that shame and abuse and they often go systemically corrupt.

      The real gift of Christ is His salvation brought to us by way of evangelism, by people with the faith in courage to share Christ with those who do not know Him. If a church looses the ability to relationally reach outside of itself with Christ centered relevancy in evangelism that church will lose in freedom of religion options that people can choose from. So what the labor of service for Christ is applied to as a priority is what makes the real world outcome difference for any church.

      From what I mostly see of Orthodoxy in America and in the only parish in my city is that the Orthodox ask the fallen world without Christ to come to them to find Jesus and His salvation. They are not bringing Christ to others as Christ Himself did along with His apostles. That is what I generally see across the board of the various jurisdictions here in the United States of America.

      Why the parishes are declining is more than you expressed. All the hard work in the world will not reverse the dying course unless that work is first applied to real evangelism outreach that replenishes and retains new people into the church.

      A humble servant bottom up church structure of authority with an open inclusive relationally confessional to one another system of love, grace, mercy and truth is what works. Bottom up gives real authority to the laity while top down does not. Would you consider your hierarchy to be humble servants who come under the church and raise it up and who keep evangelism a priority of the church or do they come over the top of the church and push it down in some way, shape or form by keeping their power and control over all of you in a fashion that ultimately kills evangelism relevancy? Do they at times talk evangelism but really don’t practice it? Are they really more about keeping themselves propped at the expense of the greater church? Are you powerless slaves to incompetent and corrupt power and control or are you slaves of humble servant Jesus who is our ultimate authority and the Holy Spirit that brings us His power?

      I don’t ask easy questions, do I. Their honest not in religious denial answers are quite revealing. They expose the real reasons for what you call a decline and that I call a dying church.

      Part of always being ready to help is to be ready to share the saving grace of Christ’s salvation with a lost world. All other works of service to the Lord are to ultimately lead to that taking place in a church. They are all ultimately to lead to evangelism or the church exists only for itself and that is self centered while Christ is other centered. Over time the self centered church dies while the other centered church lives and grows.

      Orthodoxy in America has turned itself upside down and that is why people are falling out. Unless it can get right side up by attracting and retaining millennial’s and their children the future of this church in America is obvious. Orthodoxy in America will always exist in some form but what it is existing as is the problem. It is basically only really relevant to itself and not to those outside of it or it would not be found in a dying going no where but down state. An edge of survival at risk of completely erasing itself church is not Christ relevancy to most all millennial’s and they don’t want to involve their children in such.

      Fact is, millennial’s are not interested in an authoritarian church that is systemically corrupt and dying and especially if it is ethnically centered on its ethnicity and basically isolated all by itself alone with no real outreach on the local church level other than an ethnic food festival. They either walk out of it or they walk the other direction when it is seen by them. Fact is as an example the Greek church in America cannot keep and sustain enough of its youth and young adults to over time to sustain itself here let alone see real church growth in the future.

      The church I attend is made up of 80% under the age of 45 and its growth is popping our seams. It’s a great problem to have! This church is raising up the next generation of church leaders. We don’t compromise the Gospel and for sure we are not an ethnic religious club church focused inward upon itself. The church that does compromise the Gospel and the evangelism of Christ’s salvation is not my church. It wouldn’t be allowed or tolerated. Period.

      Practical real world reality tells us you get the church you build its foundation upon. You get the church you allow and tolerate. We are not going to hole ourselves up for 60 years with an exclusive viewpoint of ourselves that is really arrogance and pride in a false fabricated lie of self importance that is irrelevant to those outside of our church. We are out in the real world taking great risks for Christ and they are paying off with a healthy, safe and growing church. It’s exciting, encouraging and positive.

      Our church leaders lead by example and not by do what I tell you to do while I don’t do it myself. We do not bow to known corruption as our church authority and kiss its ring or hand. We see that as heresy that can lead to apostate idolatry of leaders when they are known to be corrupt. We also don’t prop them up with religious titles that don’t reflect the reality of those with the titles. Respect and trust of leaders is earned and not freely given assumed without Christian moral and ethical standards upheld by them. We hold our leaders transparent and accountable with consequences that can be enforced. We know if we don’t what that will mean for our church over time. Our leaders want that accountability or they would not be in leadership in our church.

      Do I strike you as a Christian that would tolerate what most all Orthodox tolerate from their jurisdictional leadership? Do I strike you as a Christian held powerless by corrupt authoritarian power and control? Do I strike you as a Christian that would stop at nothing to expose corruption if it were to show itself in my church?

      I’m not afraid to stand in the path of the corrupt and expose them to their faces and I got the scars to prove it. I am not ashamed of the Gospel and will confront the corrupt who bring shame to it and do not care what that costs me and it has cost me a lot. My hope is in Jesus and not in corrupt man.

      I have confronted and exposed the corrupt Greek hierarchy like few others have and I am not Orthodox. I was willing to do what most all other Orthodox carnal immature religious but not spiritual men were unwilling to do and that is why the Greek church is systemically corrupt and dying.

      Spiritually immature religious cowardice is not me. I confront that kind of rationalizing and excusing cowardice to its face when and where necessary. Apostle Paul did too. He is my mentor and hero next to Jesus first . If the so called men of God in what exclusively claims to be Gods only true church were to do the same your jurisdiction would be found today in a completely different state. They have been spiritually emasculated if not castrated. That analogy in a spiritually mature context is graphically true.

      I do not see the dying church subjective idealistically. I see it objective realistically. It’s not beautiful Orthodoxy whose beauty has no comparison as what I see in the collapsing imploding state of this church in America. The idealistic Orthodox bubble viewpoint of itself in America has popped. Now its too little far too late to stop the degrading decline that is pushing this church over the cliff into irrelevancy oblivion in America. I understand why that would be heart breaking to the Orthodox in America in the watching of their church dying. I take no pleasure in telling you any of this as one who sees it from the outside looking in. Its obvious to see and no hiding it will work. I also know where it starts to reverse course for all of the Orthodox here in America, look in the mirror and don’t blame anyone else but your individual selves who make the whole of your church. Bottom up system wide repentance is a good starting point. However, I don’t believe your hierarchy would lead the church through that process and because they would have to be transparent honest about their own sin. Image is all important to them.

      Its not America’s fault, its not the Protestants fault, its not a post modern culture fault, its not anyone’s fault but your own and it all starts with what the foundation was really built upon and the structure and system of your church authority. If you believe somehow that your church has been hijacked then who stood up against that when it was most necessary to do so before it all became too late to stop what has hijacked it? Most of what I see coming from concerned Orthodox like yourself is after the fact talk that talks about the state of the church and not why it came into this state. You were not in front of it to stop it and now it is in front of all of you and by the looks of it nothing is going to stop the decline now.

      This church failure now leads you around by the nose now. That must be painful to experience. Maybe when the pain becomes so great that all of you will hit bottom and find God there to raise you up and out of the pit your church is in here in America and then things will change. When you come to the end of yourselves in your own power and find God’s power it all might turn around. Yes, these are difficult words to hear and they are the truth of it.

      An alive church is encouraging while a dying church is discouraging. Do I have that wrong? With all due respect sir you sound very discouraged. You are seeing all that your mother dedicated herself to building up being dismantled right before your eyes. What in the past propped it up can no longer prop it up. Christ is the foundation and prop that holds the church up and not carnal corrupt man in rule power and control. Without evangelism your jurisdiction will collapse implode in on itself. It’s only a matter of time and time has run out.

      The good ole days are over. It can take years if not decades for a wrong foundation basis of a church to finally catch up to it. I would say it has caught up to the Orthodox in America now.

      From the bottom up is right. However, if you are top down pushed down no bottom up can take place. If a bottom up approach to remove what top down pushes you down took place many issues that concern you would change. Cowards need not apply for that work of service to Christ. Apostle Paul confronted the cowards who betrayed him and the Gospel of Christ our path to eternal salvation. He named names. He did not mince words about them.

      I don’t mince words either. I also name names. The sexually corrupt Greek Patriarch of Astoria NY fame is a name I name. Apostle Paul would have conflicted with him and probably if he did not repent would have turned him over to Satan. He never did repent over Astoria NY. He didn’t have too when he is held up as some kind of idol god of absolute authoritarian power and control that can change the Biblical moral and ethical standards in rules as he situational ethics and morality sees fit. He is not God, but when he does that he is operating like he is. He is operating diametrically opposite of God and we all know that Satan does too and so which one is his real God? That’s a fair question.

      God is not going to bless that corruption or idolatry Orthodox. I don’t see God lifting one finger to help your church not die a slow, ugly and painful death in America.

      No doubt your mother was an excellent servant of Christ dedicated to the Body of Jesus that was her church. You are blessed with great memories of her service in sacrifices made to Christ and His church. My prayer for you is bold Christ centered confidence that is not afraid confront what is bringing your church down, that you would be willing to lay anything you might put security in down and take up the risk for Christ and trust the outcome to God no matter what it might cost you. We are to be living sacrifices and when we are not all sorts of problems can control a church and even bring it down.

      You get the church you make the sacrifice for, pay the price for and take the risk for.

      No sacrifice + no price paid + no risk taken = What for the Orthodox future in America?

      Your present state is going to define your future if all of you together don’t stop the dying state of church immediately if not sooner. The more you wait the more declining it all becomes and the harder any turn-around will become. Complaining talk is cheap but effective action is highly expensive and the longer you wait the more expensive it will become. None of you are going to be able to talk your way out of this dying state, only effective sacrificial action will work.

      The Orthodox decide their church future in America and no one else does.

  4. If Patriarch Bartholomew becomes the head of the Church, then the Church will be headed up by a liberal Freemason who believes that all religions are essentially one. That actually happened to the Roman Catholics at Vatican II with disastrous consequences. I wonder what lodge Dennis Menos belongs to and if he is the same one as Phanarites?

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