Letter to the Editor: Reader Takes Issue with Matsoukas and Kalmoukos

To the Editor:

Regarding the July 8 article “Metropolis of Chicago: Foreshadowing the Future of Orthodoxy in the U.S.?” by George Matsoukas,

I take issue:

First, it is the prerogative of the Orthodox Christian Laity to be liberal, agnostic/atheists.

Second, monks work eight and nine hours a day and worship God five, six hours a day without getting paid either by the Archdiocese or anyone else.

Third, the monks are not required to remain within any particular archdiocese or metropolis if they are pressured, tormented, or threatened.

They respect the existing hierarchical order but they are not subservient to it. So Mr. Matsoukas – and Mr. Kalmoukos – please stop beating a dead horse.

Dr. Andreas K. Poulakidas
Phoenix, AZ

5 Comments

  1. Mr. Poulakidas, what I posted in response to your last post applies here as well. So please read it this time and realize that both of the men you question/attack are truth tellers. They defend and fight to cleanse the Orthodox Church of the problems we are encountering. One of the most serious and significant problems we are currently in countering can be traced to the monasteries of Elder Ephraim. I strongly suggest that you go online to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese website and find the regulations that govern monasteries. These were signed by the elders of the monasteries in question. They were also approved by the Church. Once again you have misrepresented the ecclesiastical requirements and status of the monks. How convenient. Here’s what I wrote you once before:
    July 26, 2017 at 4:36 pm
    Dear Mr. Poulakidas (PhD)
    In political jargon there is a phase used to describe a person who acts as a propagandist of causes or goals they are not fully aware of. That term is “useful idiot” or to a lesser degree “apologist”. Inferring that “it is the prerogative of OCL [Orthodox Christian Laity] to be liberal, agnostic/atheists” is demeaning and disrespectful to the OCL and all of their members worldwide. But, I guess that some people will say anything to protect a cancer within the Church.
    There was, for those interested in going a bit under the surface of the Ephraimite problem an interesting exchange on the OCL website. There were useful idiots trying to defend the indefensible and those who spoke candidly and realistically about the issue. For your convenience here is part of the exchange:

    BILL STOTIS on JULY 25, 2017 3:53 PM
    This discussion is rife with inaccuracies. The “defense” of the Monasteries under the spiritual direction and control of Elder Ephraim should be the last place that terms like “true Orthodox Christian”, placing judgment on fellow Orthodox Christians or dealing in speculation about others should exist. I served on the Monastery Review Committee (“MRC”) since its inception. I served with Elaine Jaharis and Jerry Dimitriou as well as several others.
    My personal background includes the practice of law for over 30 years, as well as being Chairman of the Board of a Bank in Illinois for a decade. I served in many positions my Bank and was educated in the areas of money laundering and other illegal activities. This is necessary in todays banking environment to identify criminal activity.
    In my law practice, I was retained by defendants charged with a variety of crimes. All of this useful in an investigation. I was picked for the MRC because of my understanding of banking and criminal activity. If you really want to know the truth demand the Hierarchs publish the MRC reports. Yes, I said reports, as in multiple reports.
    The posts I have read here concerning the topic of Elder Ephraim and his Monasteries reek of the tactics used by those who defended the former Priest George Passias. While many of Passias’ parishioners sounded the alarm bell, all they experienced for years was to be attacked. It was not until the release of the video tape that his exploits and the truth came out. Yet the damage from ignoring and attacking good people is still being measured. Here we have people still attacking in the name of what they see as a superior form of Christianity, i.e. the Monasteries of Elder Ephraim.
    Some months ago someone posted information on this blog (in a different story byline) containing more inaccuracies about the Monasteries of Elder Ephraim. I wrote to set the record straight and Mr. Dimitriou posted what is quoted below. Yet we still have individuals making judgments and attacking the truth-tellers. Mrs. Jaharis has a graduate degree in Business from the University of Chicago and is a former banker. Instead of applauding her courage and candor her “true Orthodox” beliefs and even her understanding of the Church Fathers is under attack.

    Here is what Mr. Dimitriou the Executive Director of the GOA had to say then:
    .
    “Jerry Dimitriou on April 13, 2017 7:27 pm
    Dear All,
    Thank you Bill Stotis for your comments! Greetings to Mr. Carris who I have known for over 35 years!
    For the record, I never reviewed financial statements provided by the Monasteries and said they were in “good order”. As Bill Stotis knows, the members of the Monastery Review Committee MRC (of which I was a participant) requested financial statements from ALL of the monasteries but NEVER received most of them. The ones we did receive were insufficient and incomplete. The MRC obtained financial statements of the Monasteries that were filed with their state or filed when they were purchasing properties and not directly from the Monasteries. The financials that we found, were significantly different and showed substantially more assets than those provided by the Monasteries to their Metropolitans or the MRC.
    The Monasteries in the United States are NOT following the regulations set forth by the Synod nor are they complying with the direction of their Metropolitans. They are functioning independent and do not follow the rules or the direction of their Metropolitans in most cases.
    I hope this clarifies some of the statements made above. Bill Stotis’ comments are exactly on point.
    Thanks and have a Kali Anastasi and Blessed Pascha!

    Jerry Dimitriou Executive Director
    Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America”

    Here is the link for the above comments of Mr. Dimitriou:
    http://ocl.org/orthodox-christian-laity-requests-check-monasteries/

    Here is what Mr. Cherpelis had to say on this same issue:

    STEPHEN CHERPELIS on JULY 15, 2017 2:46 PM
    I read again and again the open letter that Elaine Jaharis wrote to “All” and published in the National Herald on July 1. And I read it many times because this is not just a “letter.” This is a homily, this is a sermon, this is a wake-up κήρυγμα that should be read from the pulpit, from the amvona to all the parishioners every Sunday from every priest and every hierarch. The Ephraimite teachings are not the Orthodox Monasticism as we know it, it is not even Christian. It is a devious medieval doctrine that insists in the total obedience to Ephraim and snuffs out our pure, our chaste faith to the crucified for us Son of God Jesus Christ. It is a malignant growth, a “morphoma” that preys on our youth from a very, very, young age and on the weak and elderly.

    I will not devote to these pages as to what I observed personally at the start of this “malignant growth” at my parish. It will take not just pages but whole volumes to describe how devious is this trickster, this mascara, who appeared all of a sudden in our lives and in reality threatens the existence of our Orthodox Church in America (and believe me, in the world!).

    But I will humbly ask the editor of the National Herald to translate and publish Elaine Jaharis’ letter in the daily ΕθνικόςΚήρυξ– after, of course, receiving permission from Elaine Jaharis.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Stephen Cherpelis
    Douglaston, NY

    So the thousands of OCL members, Stephen Cherpelis the vice-chairman of the direct district of the Church and long time Archdiocesan Council member, Elaine Jaharis long time Archdiocesan Council member and member of the Monastery Review Committee (“MRC”), Jerry Dimitriou Executive Director of the Archdiocese and member of the MRC, Bill Stotis former Archdiocesan Council member, also a member of the MRC and many others all see issues. Are they all “liberals, agnostics or atheists”? Are the Monasteries of Ephraim infallible? Do you know for a fact that nothing is wrong? Is suppressing open dialogue by insulting people who engage in dialogue about the Monasteries of Ephraim another heresy associated with the followers of Ephraim?
    Your response to Mr. Matsoukas’ article is an insult to the intelligence of all orthodox Christians. I do not need to even discuss the balance of what was written by you as the first few sentences speak volumes about who you are.

  2. Clearly, Dr. Poulakidas is not interested in critical thinking. Basil has outlined the valid and alarming concerns based on the things that have occurred involving these monasteries and the clergy heavily influenced by them.

    What does Dr. Poulakidas have to say in defense of cake porn priest Fr. George Passias who is a major follower of Ephraim and impregnated his goddaughter? He can’t do he doesn’t! Instead of addressing the obvious dysfunctional things Basil has outlined already to him, he just throws a blanket statement out there about how hard monks work, and hurls insults of “agnostic/atheist” to those that challenge his blind obedience. In a time when younger generations are applying critical thinking to their world and faith instead of just blindly accepting monks can thow they please

    It is this type of denial that allows these cultish entities like the Ephraimite one to continue thriving. Sad.

  3. Clearly, Dr. Poulakidas is not interested in critical thinking. Basil has outlined the valid and alarming concerns based on the things that have occurred involving these monasteries and the clergy heavily influenced by them.

    What does Dr. Poulakidas have to say in defense of cake porn priest Fr. George Passias who is a major follower of Ephraim and impregnated his goddaughter? He can’t so he doesn’t! Instead of addressing the obvious dysfunctional things Basil has outlined already to him, he just throws a blanket statement out there about how hard monks work, and hurls insults of “agnostic/atheist” to those that challenge his blind obedience. In a time when younger generations are applying critical thinking to their world and faith instead of just blindly accepting monks are not practicing obedience to the rules of the Archdiocese they are functioning under.

    It is this type of denial that allows these cultish entities like the Ephraimite one to continue thriving. Sad.

  4. Kirie kalmouko kai kirie ekdota….
    Eimai ellinas Orthodoxos xristianos pou zo stin Ameriki. Ta arthra sas gia ton Geronta Efraim einai lian epiikos aparadekta. Otan ta diabasa pisteba oti ta grafei kapoios airetikos polemios tis Orthodoxias mas otan katalaba oti grafonte se” Orthodoxi efimerida” kata to onoma mono NTRAPIKA KIRIOI….O Gerontas Efraim,enas asimantos ipiretis tou Theou irthe stin Ameriki kai apo to tipota eftiakse 17-18 monastiria ta opoia anapaboun xiliades Orthodoxous, ta opoia eginan faros tis Orthodoxia mas, polos elksis xiliadon piston kai oxi mono afou episkeptontas ta monastiria mi Orthodoxi gnorizoun tin Orthodoxia mas kai baptizonte. Posoi ellines xamenei se aireseis metanoisan kai girisan stin mitera Ekklisia mas meta apo episkepsis sta monastiria afta. To monastiri tou Agiou Antoniou stin Arizona opoios to episkefti amesos katalabainei oti to xeri tou Panagathou Kiriou to eftiakse kai oxi anthropos.O Gerontas Efraim pros enimerosi sas me afta ta monastiria pou eftiakse epitelei Apostoliko ergo kai i istoria tis Ekklisia mas tha ton dikaiosi kai tote kirioi den ksero pou tha kriftite. Mitropolites,arximandrites,ieris apo tin Ellada,Ameriki, kai olokliro ton Orthodoxo kosmo episkeptontai kai zitoun tin efxi tou geronta….Tha sas doso mia simbouli kirioi…Na eksomologithite kai na breite pnevmatiko giati sigoura den exete polli tha boithithite.

  5. Parakalo na dimosieftoun ta sxolia mou xoris na ta perikopsete kai na to dimosiefsete os exete ipoxreosi. Euxaristo.

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