Metropolitan Elpidophoros of Bursa Elected Archbishop of America, Sends Message to Community through TNH

Archbishop -elect Elpidophoros of America. Photo Ecumenical Patriarchate

BOSTON – Metropolitan Elpidophoros of Bursa was elected Archbishop of Saturday, June 22 at the Holy Trinity Archdiocesan Cathedral in Manhattan and Metropolitan Methodios of New England was appointed locum tenens until the new archbishop is enthroned. Methodios, along with Bishop Apostolos, Secretary of the Eparchial Synod, and Fr. Alexander Karloutsos, Protopresbyeter of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and Advisor to the Order of St. Andrew, Archons of the America on Saturday, May 1. His enthronement will take place on Ecumenical Patriarchate, will oversee preparations for the ceremony.

Shortly after his unanimous election in Constantinople by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Metropolitan Elpidophoros made the following exclusive statement to The National Herald: “I am deeply touched because the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Synod honored me with their vote and confidence. I express my feelings of gratitude to our Patriarch and the Holy Synod. I glorify God, and with His Grace I will serve the superb people of the Holy Archdiocese of America, a people whom I love and who love the Church, who are faithful to its traditions and respect our Ecumenical Patriarchate. I greet my beloved brother members of the Holy Synod and the other brother hierarchs and bless from my heart the reverend clergy and the People of God. I am looking forward to meeting our People. We have many things to do together. All together. Christ is risen.”

The Ecumenical Patriarchate issued the following announcement:

“Today, Saturday May 11 2019, the Holy and Sacred Synod, continuing its work, proceeded to fill the vacated seat of the Archdiocese of America following the voluntary resignation of its shepherd, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios Geron of America.
Therefore, following the suggestion, permission and exhortation of His-All Holiness, the holy synodical members dully casting their votes unanimously elected as Archbishop of America His Eminence Metropolitan Elpidophoros of Bursa, Abbott of the Holy Monastery of the Holy Trinity in Halki and Professor of the Theological School of the Aristoteleian University of Thessaloniki.
From the Secretariat of the Holy and Sacred Synod.”

His Eminence Archbishop-elect Elpidophoros Lampryniadis was born in 1967 in Bakirköy, Istanbul. He studied at the Department of Pastoral Theology, Theological School of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, from which he graduated in 1991. In 1993, he finished his postgraduate studies at the Philosophical School of the University of Bonn, Germany submitting a dissertation entitled, “The Brothers Nicholas and John Mesarites”.

He was ordained a Deacon in 1994 at the Patriarchal Cathedral and was appointed as the Codecographer of the Holy and Sacred Synod. In 1995, he was appointed Deputy Secretary of the Holy and Sacred Synod. From 1996-1997 he studied at the Theological School of St. John the Damascene in Balamand, Lebanon, where he improved his knowledge of the Arabic language.

In 2001, he presented a doctoral dissertation at the Theological School of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki under the title: “Severus of Antioch and the Council of Chalcedon” proclaiming him a Doctor of Theology. In 2004, he was invited to Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Boston, where he taught as a visiting professor for one semester. In March 2005, at the proposal of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, he was promoted by the Holy and Sacred Synod to the position of Chief Secretary and was ordained to the priesthood by the Ecumenical Patriarch in the Patriarchal Cathedral.

In 2009, he submitted two dissertations to the Theological School of Thessaloniki and was unanimously elected Assistant Professor of Symbolics, Inter-Orthodox Relations and the Ecumenical Movement. The dissertations are entitled: “The Synaxis’s of the Hierarchy of the Ecumenical Throne (1951-2004)” and “Luther’s Ninety-five Thesis. Historical and Theological aspects. Text – Translation – Commentary “.

In March 2011, he was elected Metropolitan of Bursa and in August of the same year was appointed Abbot of the Holy Patriarchal and Stavropegial Monastery of the Holy Trinity on the island of Chalki. He has served as the Orthodox Secretary of the Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Lutheran World Federation and as a member of the Patriarchal delegations to the General Assemblies of the Conference of European Churches and the World Council of Churches.

He was the Secretary of the Pan-Orthodox Synods in Sofia (1998), Istanbul (2005), Geneva (2006), and Istanbul (2008). He has been a member of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches since 1996.

Α. As Metropolitan of Bursa (2011-present)
– He conducted a worldwide fundraiser and a bought two byzantine-era churches: a. Panagia Pantovassilissa of Triglia (13th century), and b. Taxiarchs Michael and Gabriel of Sigi (9th century). The contribution of the Christians of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America was notable.
– Assigned a permanent priest to serve the needs of the Orthodox Christians.
– Bought a residence for the permanent priest.
– Established a fund for the Metropolis of Bursa, thus making it financially independent.
– Organized the refugees originating from the areas within the jurisdiction of the Metropolis of Bursa and are now living in Greece: the “Gathering” of the Bursalites, where all the people originating in Bursa participate, takes place every year.

B. As Abbot of the Theological School of Halki (2011-present).
– For the first time in the modern history of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, he established a monastic brotherhood, with monks from Constantinople, Greece, Finland, and Mexico.
– For the first time in the history of the Theological School of Halki, he began publishing books under the “Halki Theological School Press” imprint.
– For the first time, the building of the Theological School of Halki was mapped, in collaboration with the School of Engineering of the University of Thessaloniki.
– The garden of the Theological School of Halki was improved and put to good use.
– The computer cataloguing of the Library of the School began, and has now been completed. Currently, the digitization of the entire library collection is well underway, in collaboration with the Library of the Greek Parliament, and with OPAP as the grand sponsor.
– Established collaborations with universities in Greece, Germany, and Cyprus, so that students from these countries can come and work at the Theological School of Halki, with funding from the European Union (“Erasmus” exchange program).
– Works inside the Monastery to emphasize its monastic character: a. two new wood carved and gold-plated special shrines (proskynetaria), b. A new wood candle stand carved in Mount Athos, c. decoration of the monastery’s refectory with murals, and d. decoration of the conch of the Prothesis with mosaic.
– Other works: a. the radical makeover of the Monastery’s kitchen b. the creation of the new Synodal Hall for the summer sessions of the Holy Synod.

C. As professor at the Theological School of Thessaloniki (2011-present).
– Wrote the following theological and ecclesiastical books:
The stance of Severus of Antioch on the Council of Chalcedon (doctoral dissertation, 2001)
Luther’s 95 Theses (2009).
Proceedings of the Synaxis of the Primates of the Orthodox Churches (2008).
The institution of the Synaxis of the Hierarchs of the Ecumenical Throne (2015).
The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Ukraine: 2008 (2018).
The Patriarchs of Halki. Volume Α΄: 1844-1901 (2018).
The witness and the theology of the Ecumenical Patriarchate (2018).
– Written many articles published in scientific and theological journals.
– He is Professor of Symbolic Theology, Interorthodox and Interchristian Relations.

He has studied in Greece, Germany and Lebanon, and has either taught or given lectures at universities in Greece, Cyprus, the USA, Germany, Turkey, and France.

He has been awarded the first class Ukrainian Order of Merit by Presidents Viktor Yushchenko (2008) and Petro Poroshenko (2018)

115 Comments

    1. I want him to swear on the Bible he isn’t gay and doesn’t have a wife or child trashed somewhere.

    2. @Johnnie

      The term “Axios” under the current circumstances in my humble opinion premature. And to Spiros’ point, Axios of what? Take a good look at where we are as Orthodox christians – does anything or anyone propel you to jump up and shout Axios?

      My Yia-Yia served her church in Astoria, New York for fifty plus years, dedicating all her free time to build up the body of Christ. No one ever referred to her as Axios and nor should they have. Jesus Christ, the only one who is worthy will decide whether our efforts meet the criteria of worthiness on judgement day.

      Christ is Risen!

  1. Anaxios!
    This is a day of mourning. First without
    Equals archbishop. Expect further destruction
    In inter orthodox relations and an effort to
    Cement patriarch bartholomews dictatorship
    Over the whole of orthodoxy.

    The conciliar tradition in orthodoxy is in
    Danger. And a Turkish citizen is
    Archbishop. Remember bartholomew
    Blessing the Turkish tanks.

  2. This is proof that Black Bart never gave a damn about input from here in the colonies. All a side show. This guy will be an unmitigated disaster.

  3. Abbot of a monastery? Nowhere in his biography does it state he actually lived in a monastery, while doing nothing else, under obedience to an elder. How does one become an abbot if you have never lived in a monastery? The halls of academia and the patriarchate don’t count. Aside from that, he’s definitely the patriarch’s man.

    1. Wait and see what else is about to be revealed …
      He won’t survive more than three months as Archbishop of America….quite soon may be from tomorrow he will start begging for money…..

  4. The speed of it all concerns me, his resume is just coming out, somethings are very good, others are not, now especially the American Church needs to have separate, with the Priests, Bishops, Archbishop in the religious services and spiritual matters of the church, with the finances fund raising and payments done by others, the school needs to be separate as well, a laity Council in charge of it all open and no secrets. Trust and honor need to be restored asap, no games no let us review forever, few months at best then start firing the guilty either clergy laity or both….blame, gone, fix move onward…..Growing up In America I never knew our Bishop, Archbishop, etc was just our church the Priest and members, everything seemed fine we had Basket’ our festival, services Pascha etc. Yes there was some intrigue as I got older and saw how the laity tried to run the church too much, getting priests replaced they didn’t like because they were trying to do it all different and they were liked by the parishioners..so we are all to blame. Those that can do better then step up and go on the board council etc. Don’t just complain do something.

    1. Unfortunately many of our best and brightest did go on the Archdiocesan Council, and when they tried to enforce our very limited rights under the Charter that Black Bart stuffed down our throats many years ago, Black Bart took a big old crap on them. This clown comes to America with a huge black cloud over his head. ANAXIOS ANAXIOS ANAXIOS!!!

    1. This election does not bode well for the
      Archdiocese, orthodoxy in general, or
      For the patriarchate itself which is
      Destroying its credibility in the orthodox
      World.

      The new archbishop has formulated
      A doctrine where the ecumenical
      Patriarch is “first without equals”.
      This has been criticized by theologians
      Throughout the orthodox world (and in
      Greece).

      The orthodox churches have been
      Unsettled by events in Ukraine and
      Have been hoping the patriarchate
      Would moderate its actions to avoid a
      Schism.

      The election of this archbishop who is
      Associated with constantinoples claims
      Of greater power is likely to cause greater
      Anxiety and tension.

    2. His reputation precedes him and it ain’t pretty. Another Spyridon except smoother, more accomplished.

  5. The GOA is not only made up of monasteries. We are a commonwealth of Churches and Parishioners. Haven’t we learned that monks and “academicians” are not qualified to run an organization of close to 500,000 constituents?. BTW did The Archdiocesan Council of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, had the opportunity to comment on this appointment?

    1. The by laws of the Archdiocese state that the patriarch must ask the Archdiocesan Council and the Synof of Bishops here for their opinion on the next archbishop. And the Patriarh did indeed ask their opinion. But, apparently there were groups in the US that asked the patriarch to postpone the election for at least a month. But that wasn’t going to happen because the patriarch was going to ignore whatever the Council and Synod said anyway. The fix was in a long time ago. The patriarch wants Elpidoforos to succeed him and he figures this is a good career move for someone who has no experience running a diocese, metropolis or archdiocese.

    2. here is an excerpt letter that was sent to the Patriarchate from The Archdiocesan Council of the GOA

      “To our surprise and concern, we were informed today, May 9, 2019, that the Ecumenical Patriarchate has afforded the Archdiocese only until 2:00 p.m. Eastern time tomorrow, May 10, to commence and complete the advisory process required by the Archdiocesan Charter and Regulations–a time frame that makes it impossible for us to complete this task. We stand ready to complete the required advisory process, with appropriate speed and diligence, should we be permitted a reasonable time period of at least thirty (30) days to conduct the process. In the interim, we respectfully ask that, in accordance with the Charter, the most senior member of our Holy Eparchial Synod, Metropolitan Methodios of Boston, be designated by the Ecumenical Patriarchate to serve as locum tenens, until the completion of a meaningful advisory process and subsequent election.

      In the meanwhile, we respectfully ask the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to give every possible consideration, for election to the office of Archbishop of America, a member of our esteemed and beloved Holy Eparchial Synod.

      We pray that the election decision will serve to strengthen the sacred bond between our Holy Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Church in America and promote and preserve the unity and order of our Holy Archdiocese.”

  6. He sounds Axios to me. Does anyone have a better person out there in mind? If so who are they? His resume sounds great he has accomplished a lot now he will be put to the test. No doubt he is a pupil of the Patriarch and born in Turkey but he may find a way to dance around the Patriarch like Iakovos did. Either way he deserves a chance and our support before we rush to judge.

    1. YES! How about an AMERICAN to lead the GOA in AMERICA?? There is not one single qualified Greek -American male in this entire country to lead our Archdiocese? Really?? I’m tired on the colonization and control tactics of Bart and his henchmen.

  7. Let’s pray the Lord gives him strength and wisdom to navigate through the dire straights of our many challenges. The eye is the lamp of the body, the mirror of the soul, and his eye is clean, loving and trustworthy. Let’s all rally behind him and help him out!

    1. I’m with Job! Let’s pray for him and stop rushing to judgement. He is an accomplished bishop up till now.

    2. This is how his eyes work, i.e. how he sees the Church:

      “If we are going to talk about the source of a primacy, then the source of such primacy is the very person of the Archbishop of Constantinople, who precisely as bishop is one ‘among equals,’ but as Archbishop of Constantinople, and thus as Ecumenical
      Patriarch is the first without equals (primus sine paribus).”

    3. Niko: What has he accomplished in the almost-5 years of attempts to push this teaching down the throats of Orthodox Christians worldwide?

    4. This first without equals verbiage comes close to heresy. It isn’t but it smells the same.

    5. “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”

      from the Gospel of St. Luke, chapter 6 and verse 45

  8. So they decided for us (US).
    Telling to know the Charter that was agreed upon by the Phanar and the Church in America means not a thing.
    Also quite interesting that Australia outranks US in terms of input through solicitation of a delegation.

  9. Spyridon the Sequel. Sent here for one reason: to control the colonies and collect the money while remaining loyal to his Turkish overlords.

    1. Karlootsos, the neurotic, ever-hissing snake, has been going around claiming his new puppy, Yelping Doofus, is going to be JUST like Athenagoras, going back as Patriarch with all those powerful American acquaintances. Well, for one, Athenagoras got to stay in America a lot longer, as Bart won?t. Then, what exactly was Athenagoras? greatest accomplishment as Patriarch? The pogroms of 1955! Karlootsos is so proud that he keeps stepping on his own member with consistency!

  10. Loan, TNH published his resume both in this edition and in the Greek edition. Is it a fake? Is anything on their made up? It looks pretty extensive and impressive. And what can a bishop in Constantinople possibly accompish? Their hands are tied by the Turks but thats another subject. The first among equals goes back to the 5 Patriarchates which includes Rome, which was always the first among equals. When Islam spread its ugly self into the other lands with Patriarchates , and weakend them, Constantinople gained power and prestige. The rivalry and power struggles between them and Rome led to the great schism, along with other things. But what does that have to do with this person? And do you suggest any other candidate for the job?

    1. Can someone clarify- does he have a PhD or no? It says he submitted dissertations – that’s not the same as receiving a PhD. Is this simply poor draftsmanship or a slight of hand?

    2. When Rome was the capital of the empire the bishop of Rome was considered first among equals. When the capital was moved to what became Constantinople the bishop of Constantinople became first among equals. But never was the bishop who was first among equals considered first without equals. That’s what the Roman Catholic pope is to the Roman Catholics. He’s a bishop above bishops. That’s what the EP wants the world to believe because he considers himself pope of the east. By the way, the only Bishop in Italy under the EP is in Milan, Rome. That’s because an Orthodox bishop in Rome would be considered the pope of Rome and the EP certainly doesn’t want to fuffle those feathers.

      Yes, his resume is correct. But there’s one thing missing. He hasn’t so much as been responsible for a parish, let alone a diocese, metropolis or archdiocese. He, like all the other metropolitans of the throne don’t have dioceses.

    3. Niko: He does not claim “Primus inter pares” (first AMONG equals) for the Ecumenical Patriarchate as you stated, but “first WITHOUT equals” (primus sine paribus).

    4. RE: “And do you suggest any other candidate for the job?”

      I would suggest that Greek Orthodox Christians of good faith beg the Jerusalem Patriarchate to come back to these shores.

    5. Mr seretis,

      Any other candidate would have been
      Better. This is a divisive figure only
      Assigned to enforce the phanars
      Papal like claims over orthodoxy. Any
      One familiar with his history
      Anticipates disaster. The whole
      Orthodox world dislikes him based
      On his twisted ecclesiology.
      Patriarch bartholomew threw a slap
      At all orthodox churches with this
      Appointment.

      Also what is needed is a bishop with
      Experience. He has none. He has a
      Title nothing more.

    6. In 2001, he presented a doctoral dissertation at the Theological School of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki under the title: “Severus of Antioch and the Council of Chalcedon” and was proclaimed a Doctor of Theology.

    7. Elpidoforos is not what the United States needs. How does the Patriarch appoint a bishop who has never spent a day of his career in the US? And I don’t count a semester (i.e. 3 months) as a visiting professor at Hellenic College spent in an academic environment as US experience. He is a mouthpiece of Istanbul meant to represent them, not us. I predict this will lead to fracture with Constantinople and the establishment of an autocephalus church in North America, which is what was needed, just not this way. The Patriarchate will not survive this.

  11. I understand but the “ first without equals “ I believe but I could be mistaken started around the time of the schism and has continued to the present as was recently demonstrated by the Patriarch with his actions with Ukraine. The truth is none of really know what to expect from the new archbishop but I’m sure he’ll be put to the test soon enough. I’d especially like to see how he handles the bishops who punish their parishes when enough money isn’t kicked back to the metropolis. I’m hoping For the best.

    1. Niko you are unfortunately in for a rude bad surprise. This man’s theology is a disaster. First without equal??? Pure heresy and alien to the historic conciliatory of the Orthodox Church. He was sent here specifically to be Black Bart’s pit bull / lap dog, and that is what he will do. ANAXIOS!!!

    2. Because, today, there are more Greek Americans who are Methodist or other Protestant than Orthodox!

  12. It is not just Bart. This is the way all Greeks treat their families, neighbors and employees: codependent abusive behavior. THis is why I have become a Methodist.

    1. @Leon Colefas: if you converted to Methodist then why do you read this publication and comment on the Orthodox? Besides, the Methodist Church has enough problems that you can help solve.

    2. John Wesley was deeply influenced by the “Fifty Homilies of St. Makarios the Great,” a truly marvelous collection of writings.

      By the way, St. Makarios is one of OUR guys.

      The best of Methodism is the result of a distorted reading of this Orthodox Christian Father in an alien, protestant context.

      Still, some of the light of our Holy Orthodoxy shines through. May this Holy Light guide you back Home.

  13. Elpidophoros has never managed any large or complex organization, much less one in this bad shape. He’s been sent here to be Sammy “The Bull” Gravano by his boss, John “Bart” Gotti, to get the Gambino Family in order. He’s an ecclesiastical “hit man”. His first excommunication and/or spiritual court of Laity will commence by late fall, just after “Greek vacation” August 1 to September 15, while real America works.

    You know, I wonder if Turkish Elpidophoros has to declare himself as agent of a foreign government (Turkey) while here under the Foreign Agent Registration Act ( FARA). Isn’t that what “powerful” Greek American lobbyists” and their spiritual advisor had to do when they represented a Russian bank owned by Putin and his buddies who wanted relief from US sanctions? How can ELPI go up to the Congress and lobby for Greece and The EP without registering?

    A lot of commenters have cried for withholding all donations. I am beginning to think they are correct and that’s the only way along with complete self-governance, or in other words INDEPENDENCE.

    Sammy the Bull go home.

  14. Spot on. Sammy the bull as in bull in a china shop. Poor Evangelos. Alexios has a chance because he’s the only real “G”. Nicholas and Jerry should be worried. Isaiah couldn’t care less. Savas and Nathaniel will go along to get along. Methodios will be his right hand man. Andonios, sick or not, saw the writing on the wall and got out while the getting was good. It will be interesting to see if I am right.

  15. I am most appalled by all the negativity emanating form the posts under this comments section. “Oh ye of no faith…” Faith is a wonderful word which it appears that most of the authors of most of the comments above have none. In particular those authors who advocate that the next Archbishop should have been selected among the Metropolitans that make up the Holy Synod here in the US… really ? The very same Metropolitans that allowed our Archdiocese , under their leadership, to disintegrate in the manner in which it has, financially and spiritually, and for which they have criticized the very same administration. The appointment of our new spiritual leader should come from our spiritual leader of the faith and not from the secular Archdiocesan Council who has their own interests at heart. If you are indeed a person of faith, which I hope most of you are, the hand of our Lord will guide this entire process to a most successful and re-flourished church here in the US…..forgive them father for they know not what they do…….

    1. So the Lord only guides the Synod and not the Archdiocesan Council? Statements like the above are why we need to clean house.

    2. dissgruntled believer has helped me to see the long game, namely that the Orthodox Church in its long history has survived heretical Patriarchs of Constantinople in the past and will survive them (and their followers) now and in the future.

      Why?

      Because despite the pretensions and rather comical protestations of the current holder of this office and his enablers, Christ is and always will be the Head of His Church.

      Stay strong my Greek brothers and sisters!

      Spasi, Gospodi!

    3. Black Bart and Elpidoforos his goon are the authors of the heresy that has brought schism to our Church over Constantinople’s uncanonical invasion of Ukraine. They have much to beg forgiveness for. ANAXIOS!!!

    4. What about the murderous invasion of Ukraine and Crimea with the blessings and prayers of the Moscow Patriarch and the FSB infiltrated church?

    5. @disgruntledbeliever
      Wrong! Only a re-spiritually – re-vitalized Greek Orthodox faithful will be able to guide “this entire process to a most successful and re-flourished church here in the US”.

  16. “Metropolitan Elpidophoros, the main mastermind of legalization of the Ukrainian schism and the main hater of the Russian Church in the Patriarchate of Constantinople, became the head of the American archdiocese. And this is the direct path to becoming the patriarch. Restoration of unity seems to be postponed for a long time.”

    Metropolitan Hilarion of the Moscow Patriarchate

    1. Metropolitan Hilarion of the Moscow Patriarchate is NO friend to the Greek Orthodox Church anywhere on Earth. His Patriarchate has attempted undermine the all of the Orthodox World they can’t control. We should take anything that comes out of Russia and see it for the propaganda that it is. The Russians have co-opted the Monasteries of Elder Ephraim and many of our clueless clergy within the GOA. Anyone that posts anything that comes from Russia is doing their bidding. Ask yourself “why is the Kremlin owned ROCOR jurisdiction trying to open Greek Language Parish in America?”

    2. Basil you are wrong. It is the Russian Church preserving our tradition while the Greek Church flounders in modernism and ecumenism. We have become the tool of the CIA and State Department, God forbid. Sad day to be a Greek.

    3. The Russian church is defending its
      Canonical territory in Ukraine. Bartholomew invaded their territory.
      When has Russia invaded the territory
      Of any Greek churches?
      In 1992 four Russian monks on mount
      Athos were brutally expelled because
      They refused to commemorate
      Pope bartholomew in the liturgy.

      Ironically, the only one who ever
      Invaded the church of greeces
      Territory was bartholomew who
      Fought with the archbishops
      Seraphim and christodoulos. The
      Late archbishop seraphim of Athens
      Was so angry with constantinoples
      Meddling he refused to invite
      Bartholomew to Athens while he
      Was alive.

      A reality check. Patriarch bartholomew
      Feuds with everyone. The church of
      Serbia fears he will recognize their
      Schismatics. By the way today
      Metropolitan hilarion expressed
      Support for greeces claims to
      Receive compensation from Germany.

      In 2012 the Russian church raised money
      To help people in greece. When did the
      Phanar give money to anyone?

    4. OK Vasilios, I have asked myself: ““Why IS the ROCOR (I am a member) trying to open a Greek Language Parish in America?”

      I answered myself: “Well, ROCOR has opened English-speaking parishes in America because there is a need for such parishes that can the impart the fulness of the Orthodox Christian faith in language comprehensible to the American populace, perhaps ROCOR is responding to the need of our Greek Orthodox brethren for the same fulness of Faith imparted in a liturgical language of which they are accustomed.”

    5. Michael, One opinion and loan I guess we can all respectfully disagree with each other. The Russians have, for example, promulgated and sponsored “Aerial Toll houses”. You may see that is preserving our great Orthodox traditions, while I, and many see it is heresy. I would argue that the Russian Orthodox Church is destroying all of Orthodoxy. There are many learned treatises and academic works surrounding the Russian government use of the Russian Orthodox Church as a tool of their intelligence apparatus. To say that our Greek Orthodox Church in the United States has become a tool the CIA is absolutely absurd.
      Just this very minor exchange shows the damage being done by the Russians against our Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Interestingly enough, those who are writing, are adding to the scholarship on the topic of the manipulation of the laity of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America by Geopolitical forces outside the United States. Keep writing you are proving my point.

    6. Vasilios 132: You may believe that Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk is no friend and perhaps even an enemy of the Greek Orthodox but you could not get this belief from his words that I posted earlier.

      His words were a lament.

      Are there many Greek Orthodox like yourself who believe that they are better off being separated from the Russian part of the Orthodox Church?

      Do these Greek Orthodox that you speak for make up the body of support for the new GOARCH Metropolitan?

    7. Old calendar czar freaks of ROCOR were spawned by triple agent soviet provocateur “Prince” Turkul (Unholy Trinity 1998 p.152) to make them look foolish. If they really wanted “old” calendar they should have used to Hebrew lunar Jesus used not the one his Roman slaughterers did. Czars were just as communist as Stalin as they had free health care and education. and were intolerant of land ownership on grounds the grand obschina was their mother Mokosh. 1839 Tsar bought Mount Athos and drove out many Greeks. 1926 Pagalos drove out those younger than fifty from the monasteries who slavocommunized the plains. Then the homosexuals hid from Nazis in the monasteries, which have made fagdellos . When two dozen fagoats were arrested in 1974 they brought down the government. 1843-47 Tsar dehellenized the Levant, mixing with Monophysites fled to Greece in 1922 and rebelled as old calendars in 1929 and became the New Ionia Decembrists of Vafiades and Zachariades (1944&2008). Cardinal sins and toll houses are Persian Ishtar astrology also found the pseudepigraphas of Reuben and the twelve patriarchs. They are no different than purgatory or reincarnation. They are dharmic syncretism just like hyperventilating hallucination hesticlasim.

    8. The Greek puppies who fall for OCA agitprop on Phyletism fail to notice the Iron Church of the Bulgarian Exarchate still functions in Constantinople.

  17. @tthoms67: The Church in America is a beautiful entity and its’ membership is made up of good, faithful people and you should be ashamed of yourself for making such statements. Unfortunately our Archdiocese has been misled by a bunch of thieves for the past 20 years and we have strayed far from the Faith of the Apostles. By over institutionalization and gross financial misconduct, the archdiocese has eroded since the former Archbishop was elected.

    When did you (or anybody in the OCL) become a great Theologian? Wasn’t the Faith given to the people – not negotiated with the people? When did Christ hold group sessions and take votes on how to proceed? When did Christ sign a charter with anybody?

    Anybody can hand-pick specific verses from the Gospel to rationalize anything they want. In fact academics are experts on this “connect the dots” approach which most people blindly follow. Please outline the verses in the Bible where Christ (or any of the Apostles) solicits opinions from people to help define the Faith? Or perhaps explain how/ where Christ sent out questionnaires and asked people for their opinions and input?

    Here’s an idea – spend an entire fiscal quarter living the real tenets of our Faith. That includes fasting and understand how that relates to Holy Communion, read the Bible every day (in whatever language you want), pray according to the Orthodox Hours of Prayer and attend community worship each Sunday. Then see if you have the same posture as you…

  18. Reading most of the comments raises the question if anyone here believes that the church is the Body of Christ? Can anyone tell us what they know about GOD’S PLAN?! Have you considered that we are where we are BECAUSE God isn’t impressed by our hypocrisy and irresponsibility. Have any of you served the church, to include telling the hierarchy of their errant ways, or is your contribution only back-seat driving and snark?
    You all sound like little dictators who’ve never accomplished anything in YOUR lives. The Church is ALL OF US. If all you do is gripe and make excuses for YOUR behavior, DON’T EXPECT ANYTHING BUT WORSE!!

    I am as angry at the arrogance/incompetence/waste (what a combination!) of the American leaders of Greek Orthodoxy as anyone alive, BUT I’m not blasting everyone/everything just because. If the Patriarch had chosen ANY of our U.S. ‘Metropolitans’ (that terms still chaps me), I would expect no future for our trainwreck.

    “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, either way you’re right.” —Henry Ford

    We have a new leader who is NOT part of the mess that we’ve become. Don’t punish him. Give him a real chance. Could any choice have satisfied you?

    We all should engage, participate, become better Christians–if Orthodoxy is the right choice, defend it.

    If you disagree, keep braying like donkeys until you destroy it. Just know, we won’t be remembered as the lost Church, but the people intent on their own damnation.

  19. Logos, word has it that Elpidoforos has already enlisted Methodios as his right hand man. Nothing official yet.

  20. The toxic nature of so many of these comments indicate how damaged the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese is in the United States. If someone doesn’t know why these comments are so unsettling, they need to know that many of these people have been brainwashed. They have been brainwashed by clergy and laity who are strict adherence to the “theology” of Elder Ephram and his diseased Monasteries.

    Many of them would voluntarily run to the Kremlin and be puppets of Vladimir Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church. Does it surprise anyone, how many of these people are willing to take the Hellenic roots of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and hand it to the Russians? The people on this comment section are tools of Russian counter intelligence. They have conflated half truths, lies and misrepresentations with a goal of destroying the Patriarch. Do I agree with everything the Patriarch does? NO, but I don’t want the leadership of Orthodoxy to be in the hands of a lawless state. A state where the dictator has become the richest man in the world by raping his country. We Greeks have an interesting history. We have had traders in our midst since the fall of the Spartans and of Constantinople.

    1. Basil the Russians are not introducing heresy into Orthodoxy. I visit many Russian Churches and have never heard the toll house heresy. I have only heard that on visits to Greek monasteries. And Black Bart has surpassed Meletios Metaxas of thrice cursed memory in bringing modernism and ecumenism and all sorts of heresy into our Church. And don’t forget Black Bart blessing Turkish Tanks – probably some of the same ones once used in the Cyprus invasion.

    2. The patriarchate is in turkey a lawless
      State. Politics aside bartholomew has
      Been the cause of schism in the church
      Of greece as well as Russia.
      For twenty eight years he never said a
      Word about Turkish aggression against
      Greece and Cyprus.
      Now he plays the role of the Greek by
      Accusing the Russians of being
      Anti Greek.
      Finally, the church’s function is to
      Bring people to Christ and the true faith
      Not to Hellenism them.
      There is a reason why other orthodox
      In America are growing and the Greek
      Archdiocese is not.
      Bartholomews predecessors 1000 years
      Ago converted the Slavs and served the
      Liturgy in their native languages.
      Today we have the representatives of
      Tsipras an atheist who is already
      Persecuting the church of greece
      Influencing the Greek archdiocese.
      Things are very wrong.

    3. The most ardent supporter of the aerial toll houses will that the teaching is theologoumenon and NOT a dogma of the Orthodox Church.

      It serves to remind us to be accountable for our sins – though we may choose to make excuses for them, forget them or just harden our hearts.

  21. Logos, let’s just say I’m well informed of facts and possibilities. Perhaps I’m wrong but we should wait a bit and see how things turn out.

    1. So in other words you are guessing. Parlor intrigues, rumor, and innuendo. Nothing more. If Methodios really wanted to run things he would not have declined multiple invitations for the job himself. I live in his diocese, less than 5 miles from his residence, active in the local community. I would consider myself well informed.

  22. Vasilios 312,

    RE: “We Greeks have an interesting history. We have had traitors in our midst since the fall of the Spartans and of Constantinople.”

    Really? You really want to go there?

    In his “Prologue of Ohrid,” Nikolai Velimirovic, a 20th century Serbian Saint, says that “Because of the sins of men, God permitted a bitter calamity to fall upon the capital of Christianity.” [Constantinople]

    The Union of Florence was chief of those sins. Patriarch Metrophanes II of Constantinople supported this Union and signed over (or rather attempted to) the Orthodox Church to Rome and under its Pope.

    Upon return to the East, the Patriarch and his entourage of co-signers found that this union was rejected by the populace, the monastics and God-loving civil authorities. It was during this tine that the words, “Better the Turkish turban than the Latin mitre!” became a rallying cry of the faithful.

    So you are right Vasilios 312 about the history of traitors in your Hellenic midsts. Strange, how history seems to be repeating itself even now though the faithful may have to update their rallying cry to something like this:

    “Better the Russian Omophorion than the Fener’s turncoat!”

    1. Nah, I think Joel Osteen is better than Putin’s chaplains, the ones who collaborate with his FSB intelligence, the Red Army, and his crooked oligarchs to rob, steal, cheat, and kill world-wide , but who still have the nerve to wear icons around their necks and proclaim their Orthodox righteousness to the more stupid Greeks who will listen to them.

    2. Has there been any talk of contingency plans among the American Greek Orthodox to appeal to the other “Greek” Local Churches for help if it is the case the Ecumenical Patriarch has sold them out?

      I believe that they might be a better fit for the Greek Orthodox and a surely better alternative to the many who have posted here against “running to the Russians.”

      It is my understanding that the Jerusalem Patriarchate and even the Alexandrian Patriarchate used to have a presence in the U.S.

      Apparently the Patriarch of Constantinople forced them out of the country but are these actions irrevocable?

  23. δάνειο ( daneio ) or loan; interesting quote mining on your part. Using Nikolai Velimirovic who “After being liberated by the Allies at the end of the war, he chose not to return to Yugoslavia (which had a Communist government by that time). He moved to the United States in 1946, where he remained until his death in 1956. He strongly supported the unity of all Orthodox churches and established particularly good relationships with the Anglican and Episcopal Church.” Then proceeds to become an anti-semite who writes things like: “The Devil teaches them [Jews]; the Devil taught them how to stand against the son of God, Jesus Christ. The Devil taught them through the centuries how to fight against the sons of Christ, against the children of light, against the followers of the Gospel and eternal life [Christians].
    Europe knows nothing other than what Jews serve up as knowledge. It believes nothing other than what Jews order it to believe. It knows the value of nothing until Jews impose their own measure of values […] all modern ideas including democracy, and strikes, and socialism, and atheism, and religious tolerance, and pacifism, and global revolution, and capitalism, and communism are the inventions of Jews, or rather their father, the Devil.” Please

    Not everything, a saint writes is true, accurate or accepted by the Church. His opinion on why Constantinople fell is his his opinion. It does not make it legitimate or accurate because he might’ve been a saint.

    1. It was to the holy monk Gennadius that the angry people went after seeing the Uniate services in the great church of Aghia Sophia. It was said that he hid himself, but left a notice on the door of his cell:

      “O unhappy Romans, why have you forsaken the truth? Why do you not trust in God, instead of in the Italians? In losing your faith you will lose your city.”

      And thus it came to pass.

      No thanks to the Ecumenical Patriarchs Joseph and Metrophanes II, the supporters of union with Rome and subservience to the Pope.

      This monk later became better known as the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from 1454 to 1464, the first one after the fall of the City.

      was a Byzantine philosopher and theologian, and Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from 1454 to 1464.

    2. Vasilios 312:

      Is what St. Nikolai wrote about the Fall of Constantinople true?

      Do you not believe it or do you just choose to doubt it?

  24. Let’s get back to the main point. Bursa Aliquippaforos is the worst choice for America. GET THAT? AMERICA. AMERICA AMERICA

  25. Logos, actually I’m not guessing but we will have to wait and see how things play out. Methodios has turned it down twice but rest assured, among the Metropolitans he has been the power behind the throne, the kingmaker

    1. Seriously? Kingmaker? Throne? What power? Do you live in the real world or do you think this is Kings Landing? You speak as if these people are omnipotent. What power do they really have? I’ll answer that. Very little. Excommunicate people? Parishes are shrinking as it is. Fire priests? There are too few even now. And the talent pool for spiritual celibates who are decent managers is microscopic.

      We are not Rome, the Vatican, the Jesuits, the Hebrews, or Evangelicals, or even Mormons when it comes to organization and funding. These bishops are small fish in a small pond. Until they realize that we are doomed as body. Fooling around with a $50M shrine? They are ponies in the team of horses.

      The body…λαοs…that is the church, not these weasels. I really couldn’t care LESS if Moscow is mad at Constantinople and who the Bulgarians sit next to at dinner. When a major donor wants to fund building a $50M shrine or spending $5M on renovating the the pointy roof of an existing building to a dome, I would rather have a leader who has the wisdom and the bravery to say “No thank you, what we really need is to fund youth activities. No thank you, but could you help fund some Greek Schools next year? No thank you, but the Hellenic nursing home needs a new furnace.”

      Enough of these delusions of grandeur. It is not the 9th century anymore. In AMERICA, build for the future, and that means focusing on the youth. We don’t need Constantinople to…

  26. There is a big difference between what is right and should be the norm as opposed to how things actually are.

    1. Chicken or the egg argument. Aristotle answered it correctly. Egg represents potential, but the chicken is real, so the chicken came before the egg. Reality prevails. Time for the Patriarchate to realize that.

  27. Logos, first, I said….among the metropolitans…..none of the other metropolitans would dare cross Methodios. And, Metropolitan Methodios has been appointed vicar for the archdiocese, probably in lieu of a locum tenens. That he’s the senior metropolitan is only one reason this came to be.

  28. Elpidophoros (“Hope-Bringer”) has been selected, appointed, approved by the EP and respective Synod asap for very specific reasons, not really privy to universal public scrutiny.

    Bartholomew is up in age – no one lives forever!
    An heir apparent is needed.
    There are very few slim pickings to choose from.
    None of the GOA Metropolitans “foot the bill” and Bartholomew knows that for certain
    (as do the Metropolitans themselves, thus no open backlash on their part).

    One of the moronic stipulations of Turkey is that the E. Patriarch be a Turkish citizen.
    Elpidophoros is.

    He is to be “groomed” and set in the limelight via the GOA.
    His “tutor” Methodios of Boston (formerly archdeacon to Iakovos) will update and educate him of who’s who, and what’s what. He’ll have to sift through all that, and glean what is necessary.

    When the times comes, his selection will be made, and like Athenagoras, will be flown to Constantinople.

    What is REALLY needed is a brand new, fresh, vibrant GOA of America.
    The GOA NYC Headquarters is in desperate need of a major long over-due house-cleaning; breaking up a clique that is rotten to the core-loutsos.
    This culture and mentality has trickled down into individual parishes – deplorable!

    Andonios has resigned his post and retired, and others need to do likewise and follow him out the door.

    Hopefully this young Archbishop won’t be a puppet figure-head and bullied by anyone at the GOA, and it crony affiliates.

    Time…

    1. @Goddard Guy,
      you are very insightful for a longer-term plan than the rest of us envisioned. Our recovery necessarily will take time and get done in stages.

      IMO, the Metropolitans offered no backlash because their nests are well-feathered; if the new Archbishop ‘rocks their boats’, that’s when they’ll squawk. And that’s when their lifelong crony affiliates will collaborate with them again, digging us deeper for their efforts. IF WE ALLOW THAT.

      Hopefully, all the faithful will just speak up, defend their Church and denounce the status-seekers who have squandered our treasuries in their quest for ‘prestige’.

  29. Being a good and faithful priest in this environment today has to be a very difficult thing. Being a leader like E P Bartholomew in a hostile Islamic country like turkey , the founders of modern genocide, has to be even more difficult and even scary. Not only that he has Russia undermining his status and not even showing up with all the other Patriarchs a few years back in Crete where the council was held. Whether Bart is deserving or undeserving Is for God to judge, not all you self proclaimed expert know it alls on this blog. Try doing his job and when you can do it better than him then you can talk smack. Let’s see what the new archbishop brings to the table. Let’s at least support his work because he will be working for OUR church. If he’s a thief we’ll find out soon enough. Trust me living in turkey under the gun and doing this work isn’t glamorous and full of wealth and riches. These people don’t vacation on islands and on yachts with women and eat surf and turf every day. I feel all of us live better and richer materialisticly then they do. If he speaks out against the Turks and doesn’t do as they say he’ll be beaten , torchured, locked up and starved. I’m sure you all love our church and that’s why your all so passionate about this, because if you don’t you don’t belong on this thread.

    1. The Apostles and early martyrs spoke truth to power in the Roman Empire. Many gave their lives for their courage. Black Bart does his Turkish masters’ bidding. Remember when Black Bart blessed Turkish tanks last year? He is a neo-Ottoman tool. Would be better to abolish the job than have a crooked tool as EP.

    2. Skazmos was rude, but I'll defend silencing idiots who are rude to a new Archbishop that they don't know says:

      Good insights Jeffdiner, but don’t expect the armchair generals here to change.

      You’d think that Kissinger, Churchill, Eisenhower, and Alexander the Great are here commenting under aliases! Political geniuses that are privy to the machinations of all the espionage that exists, or ever existed in this world.

      And what that has to do with a bunch of vain, incompetent little tyrants who never built anything trying to build a fancy chapel in the cesspool of corruption that is NYC is anyone’s guess.

      We should take heart that as long as they are sitting on the stinky cushions in front of their ‘puters, the world is a safer place for it.

    3. Please explain how Russia is undermine
      The phanars status? Let’s get this straight.
      Orthodoxy does not have a pope.
      There is no spiritual leader of the
      Worlds orthodox Christians despite the
      Propaganda from the phanar. What is
      The Russian church supposed to do
      Let bartholomew carve up their church
      In violation of orthodox ecclesiology
      And the tradition of conciliatory.
      Bartholomews Ukrainians are the ones
      Who are attacking the canonical churches
      Of Ukraine. Despite the violence of the
      Schismatics 95 of 97 Ukrainian bishops
      Of the real church maintain that moscow
      Is their omophorion.
      To quote the newspaper orthodoxos typos
      (From Greece not Russia) bartholomew is
      A murderer of church peace.
      And there are now countless bishops,
      Priests, and theologians in greece, cyprus,
      Serbia, Bulgaria, Albania, Syria, Jerusalem, slexandria, mount athos,
      And the us and Western Europe against
      His blatant power grabs.

  30. RE: “Let’s see what the new archbishop brings to the table.”

    He brings “First without equals,” thus setting up the future schisms with the Orthodox brethren who will not submit to eastern-popery. But at the same time, he will serve to coalesce the body of Hellenic nationalists around himself and the GOARCH who care more for Greek identity politics than the Faith. In other words, “Greeks for the Greeks!”

    RE: “Let’s at least support his work because he will be working for OUR church.”

    And not anybody else’s church (cf. Greeks for the Greeks). Is “OUR church” something other than the Orthodox Church?

    RE: “If he’s a thief we’ll find out soon enough.”

    What IF he isn’t a thief, but just a plain old heretical, schismatic phyletist?

  31. I’ve asked some of you Holier than thou commentators to give me “ONE” name! ONE person that can do the job or at least a more honest and qualifying person who can do this? None of our bishops can obviously have any credibility with the flock. The best I got was “anyone” but him! Yes it is “OUR” church. Our “Protopori” built everything for anyone that wants to join, not just Greeks. But those who do join should not try and force changes on the rest of us to become more protestant or more american catholic. And their is nothing wrong if the patriarch is grooming the new Archbishop for his position in the future. Again is their anyone who can dance around the Turks better out there?
    Until their is a Patriarchate set up in America for all Orthodox Christians regardless if the leader is a Greek or not, this is the best we have. I would have no problem being under Jerusalem but what happens when the current Patriarch there leaves and someone like the one before him is in charge again? Then we are in the same boat.
    Maybe we should start discussing autonomy rather than trashing everyone put in front of us.

    1. Speaking for myself I would have liked
      Someone who did not espouse this
      “First without equals” heresy and who
      Has not been slammed by theologians
      And bishops throughout orthodoxy.
      A bishop with real pastoral experience
      Would have been nice.
      The bottom line is this was a political
      Choice intended to solidify the phanars
      Plans.
      As for being more Roman Catholic the newArchbishop has referred to Francis as
      Being a father of the church.

    2. Here is one name:

      Archbishop Theophanes of Gerasa

      of the Holy Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre

      of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem

  32. Loan, would the Patriarch in Jerusalem allow it? Or better yet would Bartholomew allow it? That would undermine his crop of bishops that they weren’t worthy enough for the job. I think our problem here is the fact maybe we have outgrown being under anyone and the topic of autocephaly should be on the table.
    One Opinion, Pope Francis is one of the fathers of the church, along with many others. Would it have been more appropriate for Elpidoforos to insult him?

  33. “The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem in North and South America as a jurisdiction comprised the parishes of the Church of Jerusalem represented in America by Archbishop Damaskinos of Jaffa. In 2008, by the agreement of the Constantinople and Jerusalem, this jurisdiction was dissolved and its parishes formed the Vicariate for Palestinian/Jordanian Communities in the USA, directly answerable to the Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.”

    What agreement? Why did the JP have to leave?

    If the EP is found to be a instigator of schism under the Church canons, wouldn’t “all bets be off” so to speak? Wouldn’t the EP be guilty of abrogating its responsibilities thus freeing the other Patriarchates to tend to the needs of the faithful who need their help and to take up the Cross where others have cast it aside?

    See what the Moscow Patriarchate/ROCOR is doing with its exarchates in SE Asia for example, or the potential growth of the Russian Western European Exarchate which may soon grow as the churches of the disdainfully dissolved former-Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Christians of the Russian Rite may enter under its omophorion (or possibly the Romanian Patriarchate or ROCOR).

    The Greek Orthodox bench is deep outside of the US for holy hierarchs. I’m confused as at why this very fact had not been acknowledged.

    If they are “out there”, why can’t my determined and ingenious Greek brethren figure out a way to bring them “in here.”

    1. BTW, the JP has one last outpost in the Los Angeles area that refused to ho under the GOARCH

  34. EP, JP…Palace intrigues. No one at the parish level cares about this. Where is the leadership for building the parishes, feeding the hungry and clothing the poor?

  35. Married clergy have been excluded for many reasons from becoming bishops in the Orthodox church (as in the R.C. Church) that is historically evident.
    Go back in time and read up on all the problems that ensued with married despots and their respective sees, then you’ll backtrack and be more understanding to the facts and realities.

    1. The RC Church bishops ? You mean all the ones behind bars or defrocked as an example of your point? The Apostles were married, that’s a good enough example for me.

  36. Computer cataloguing? How about SCANNING them and putting them on archive.org. The archives of the Moscow Patriarchate have been full text on ATLA since the 1990s. Heavens, no! If we could read them, we might find out how sneaky they are.

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