The Orthodox blogosphere is all abuzz with news and views about Abp. Elpidophoros’ latest outrages.
Right after the conclusion of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese’ centennial celebration, the consecration of St. Nicholas’ Shrine and the clergy/laity congress, the archbishop boarded a plan for Greece. All of these prior events were problematic in their own rights. Questions were raised by those concerned in New York: Why was St. Nicholas’ consecrated when it’s not even finished yet? (And, again, where did all that damned money go?!) Why were the archdiocese’ financials not handed out to the delegates of the clergy/laity congress? Why does the archdiocese still not have a charter? When is the IRS going to come knocking on the doors of Manhattan’s 79th Street?!
These are only a few of the queries. Notwithstanding, it is the action that the inimitable archbishop took after he landed in Athens that took the cake. What did he do this time? He baptized the two little children born via surrogacy and claimed by a so-called “married” homosexual couple. They are “famous fashion designer Peter Dundas (of Norwegian descent) and Evangelo Bousis, an actor, son of billionaire Jim Bousis and Eleni Bousis of Chicago.” So writes Nicholas Stamatakis, who has the inside story of all things Greek at his blog, Helleniscope.
Boy, did the (expletive deleted) ever hit the electric fan then! The pertinent Greek hierarchs are furious with the archbishop for deceiving them. Elpidophoros is one “walking, talking embarrassment to American Orthodoxy”, as someone close to me has said.
But wait! There’s more! On another topic, the venerable hierarchs of the Assembly of Orthodox Bishops in America have told Abp. Elpidophoros in no uncertain terms that they will not tolerate the consecration of a certain scoundrel. They are ready to part ways with GOARCH if the archbishop makes the mistake of elevating one Alexander Belya to the episcopacy. Belya has already made himself persona non-grata with ROCOR by being a cheat, to put it succinctly. He is not episcopal material. So says the Assembly. They have warned Abp. Elpidophoros not once, but twice; not privately, but publicly that they will leave the Assembly is he goes through with the consecration. The proverbial gauntlet has been cast down.
In regard to the last scandal, the prolific Abbot Tryphon has made the following comment. The abbot is well-known for the Morning Offering, where he writes something for spiritual edification every day of the week. He seldom comments on the newsy Orthodox weblogs. But he has now. Notice how the abbot implies that Patriarch Bartholomew is behind this plan to ordain Belya. In fact, Bartholomew is assuredly behind much if not most of the outrages perpetrated by his trusty exarch, Elpidophoros. It is Bartholomew with whom the abbot demonstrates a sarcastic exasperation:
The Greek Archdiocese is moving further away from the Orthodox Church, but are we surprised, given the “Ecumenical Patriarch’s” plans for union with the Roman Catholic Church by 2024? Time to admit we no longer need “Black Bart” as the “Pope of the Eastern Church”. Time to break ties, I would say.
One gets the distinct impression that some key leaders of American Orthodoxy have about had it with Bartholomew and his devoted lieutenant, Elpidophoros. The status quo may soon become “status gone”.