Elpidophoros’ Actions Against the Church of Greece

June 8, 2024
Analysis by Theodore Kalmoukos

Αlmost every time Elpidophoros visits Greece, he is bound to leave behind some negative memory stemming from actions and deeds against the Church of Greece. Let’s delve into the matter: During the liturgy at the Cathedral of Athens on Sunday, May 26, as part of the conference of the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, he engaged in the following act: With excessive theatrics, he knelt before the reliquary where the remains of the national martyr Patriarch Gregorios V are kept, whom the Turks hanged at the gate of the Patriarchate, and performed a Trisagion service for the repose of his soul. If you can believe it!

Of course, Elpidophoros’ inadequacies have become increasingly apparent. However, I cannot believe that he was unaware that funeral Trisagia are not performed for saints, since, if I could use a theological expression, they are ‘already deified’, although they too await the ‘last day’, which they nevertheless experience in the ‘eschatological present’ of the Church in the here and now.

However, he engaged in this act for the following reasons: Firstly, because there was a live television broadcast that would show his ‘humble’ genuflection in front of the reliquary of Saint Gregory, since everything is done for publicity.

Secondly, to humiliate the Church of Greece and its current Primate, Ieronymos, by implying that the Mother Church of Constantinople does not recognize the canonization of the National Martyr Patriarch Gregorios, which the Church of Greece unanimously declared on April 8, 1921. Thus, Elpidophoros does not consider him a saint, hence the Trisagion for the repose of his soul.

Thirdly, in this way, he was ‘selling’ out to his spiritual father and protector, Patriarch Bartholomew. Out of respect and honor for the institution represented by Bartholomew, no one dares to tell him bluntly that “enough is enough with all that you are plotting against the Church of Greece.” That is something that the hierarchs of Crete recently dared to do with their extremely forceful letter urging the Patriarch “not to interfere” in their jurisdiction. Respectfully, I must say that Ieronymos also bears responsibility here, as he passively bears the humiliations of the actions and words of Elpidophoros.

Fourthly, the Phanar does not proceed with the recognition, or if you prefer, the ‘official’ recognition, of the canonization of Gregorios in order to avoid angering the Turks.


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