Come out from among them

A comment on the weblog Monomachos got me to respond:

Why would anyone stay Greek Orthodox with this now (speaking about regular people, that is, not those whose incomes are tied to this stuff)? How can regular people fight this? Withholding contributions from their parish? Every priest reports to his higher-up that reports to his higher up, eventually Elpi… are we condoning this by contributing funds to our churches?

That is the $64,000 question. Depending upon the makeup of one’s personality and the degree to which one has suffered in the past under episcopal misrule, the response will be different. I am a serious-minded former clergyman who has been fighting and regrouping from the onslaught of heresy for my entire adult life. Over the years, that tide flushed me toward Orthodoxy, and for that I am eternally grateful. I have finally discovered the Church of the Apostles, and though its customs are sort of weird, I can be confident that there is no farther to look.

Consider then how dismayed I was to see the infiltration of the atheistic utopian vanguard into Christ’s Church. The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in particular has been severely compromised for the last century. The leadership’s recent forays into schism in the Ukraine, and into immorality regarding homosexuality and abortion, and the megabuck corruption in New York and Istanbul must not stand if the GOA wants to remain a canonical jurisdiction.

Throughout the so-called pandemic, I sat on the parish council of a Greek Orthodox church. That involvement gave me some insight into the inner workings of the broader Church. I saw some areas of strength in our metropolis’ governance, but other aspects were deeply troubling. One of those problems was the draconian measures that shut down the churches’ liturgical life in person and put it online. What a grave mistake that was! A misguided non sequitur! How can one then participate in the mysteries, which are essentially tangible means of receiving intangible grace? It is a logical impossibility, and yet our parish followed the metropolitan directives to a tee. Even our medical officers were duped as they considered protection from a bug that kills only those whose health was already compromised by age, disease or obesity. And our priest was weak, knowing that he might very well be removed from his pastoral cure and transferred – or worse, deposed and left by the roadside along with his family. Orthodox bishops carry a big stick.

And then we come to the issue of money. There was some temporary abatement of the parochial assessment, but our treasurer made it clear to us that the metropolis was very keen to have its pound of flesh. Our assessment for this year was a figure in excess of our income from stewardship pledges. Without the constant income from ownership of the land beneath the apartment building next door, parish finances would run into the red. With this in perspective, it was particularly irksome to watch with suspicion the financial malfeasance in New York, especially the astronomical sums of money that just poured into the construction of a national shrine that looks more like a nuclear power plant than a temple.

Some who are Greek Hellenists have a primordial bond with the GOA – a bond that can deny or withstand the corruption, both theological and financial, that has so soiled that jurisdiction. Knowing now what I had come to know, and being the wary warrior that I am, I got to the point where I could no longer stomach the corruption and left the parish and vowed not to return to the GOA until it had had a major overhaul. I.e., penitence and amendment of life across the board.

Hardly a saint myself, I needed to find a purer expression of Orthodoxy to find healing for my own soul and advancement in the virtues. Thanks be to God there was a Russian parish to which I could repair for that purpose!

Not everyone is willing to pack up and leave his parish. Many Greeks have their ethnic bond to the GOA which prevents them from leaving. Some converts from elsewhere remain ignorant of the heresy, schism and malfeasance. Or, they just feel comfortable in their habits. “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.” Let them all know that a goodly portion of their financial contributions to the parish go to the metropolis and the archdiocese, which are guilty of this corruption. Greek or not, if they feel that they must remain, it would behoove them to find a creative means of supporting their priest and his family that circumvents the need to pour money into a bottomless pit of corruption. Regardless of their personality type, loyalty to Christ and his greater Church demands that they pray for metanoia and that they protest the evil actions of Abp. Elpidophoros and Pat. Bartholomew.

There is a woeful lack of catechisis in the GOA, so ignorance of sacramental theology is a problem. Most laymen do not know that participation in the chalice at the parochial level is, among other things, an expression of support for the hierarch. Many months before I left my Greek parish, I decided that I could no longer remain loyal to hierarchs who were not loyal to Christ, so I stopped receiving the Eucharist and I stopped paying my pledge. Those were the practical means for me to both obey my conscience and express my displeasure. Months thereafter, weary of the cognitive dissonance, I left the parish altogether. Many others have chosen to do the same thing for similar reasons.

The watchword that directed me is, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” II Cor. 6:17 It would behoove other Orthodox Christians to contemplate the implications of that verse of Scripture.

Jordan Peterson’s Clarion Call

Prof. Peterson’s speech is forceful oratory. He’s a psychologist and statesman whose impassioned words are downright prophetic. One can sense his heartfelt compassion for the world. This man is very close to the kingdom of God. He finds Orthodoxy the most authentic expression of Christianity, so let us pray that he enter with all his genius into a full relationship with Christ and his Church. Lord knows he’s been through hell already. He doesn’t hide the sufferings of his personal life, so the rest of his story is just a click or two away. You will see that his podvig has already begun.

Peterson’s call in this videograph for a stop to the public insanity about the war in Ukraine is more persuasive than the lies regurgitated by a hundred compromised politicians like Justine Trudeau and Joey Biden. Watch his passionate plea that the West step back from the brink and come to its senses vis a vis Russia and Ukraine. Petty politicians who control their nations’ foreign policy ought to be careful when they play with nuclear fire lest they set the whole world ablaze! Listen to Peterson.

Prof. Jordan Peterson

A tip o’ the hat to Monomachos.

The End of Elpi

Writing about the latest manipulations of liberal Catholic bishops and their pressure on Pope Francis, Orthodox intellectual Rod Dreher states this about Abp. Elpidophoros: “The woke head of the Greek Orthodox church in the US has caused a ginormous stir in world Orthodoxy by baptizing the children of a gay male couple, in what is being read (and proclaimed by one of the couple) as an indirect attempt to legitimize same-sex marriage within Orthodoxy. What was so shocking about that is not only that the Archbishop did it, but that he would do this kind of radical thing, heedless of the tradition, and how it would appear to other hierarchs. The rarity of this kind of thing in Orthodoxy, and the protest that it has predictably raised, testifies to the stability of the Orthodox tradition.”

Rod Dreher

Yours truly has an incurable case of PTSD from the generation of rape of the Anglican Communion, caused mostly by the leaders of the Episcopal Church of my birth, the problem child of worldwide Anglicanism. The Faith, having been betrayed by bishops who thought they knew better -even bishops in the Nippon Seikokai, where I was trained and served as a priest – I will never fully trust a bishop again.

No, please! Not ever!

The bishop who immediately comes to mind today is the unorthodox Elpidophoros, who pulled that gay stunt reported above. So, I am pleasantly surprised that the bishops of the Greek Orthodoxy Church – the real one in Greece – have rebuked the conceited Elpidophoros, and it is my hope that the conniving titular bishops of the Istanbul-lish Phanar will now see that it is in their best interests to excise their exarch in New York. Let us hope and pray for the sake of the GOA that they will be granted a truly orthodox Orthodox bishop to lead their archdiocese after this debacle.

Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops

Let us also work toward the unification of all Orthodox jurisdictions in the United State and the Americas under the transitional leadership of the faithful Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops. They have stood up to Elpidophoros on a separate issue regarding the impending consecration of a scoundrel. Good for them. Now, let them use this occasion to solidify our visible unity as one American Orthodox Church.

Abbot Tryphon’s Afternoon Offering

The Orthodox blogosphere is all abuzz with news and views about Abp. Elpidophoros’ latest outrages.

The most expensive little dome in the world

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?!

“Keeping up with the Kardashians?”

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.

Belya with Abp. Elpidophoros

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.

Abbot Tryphon

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:

Abbot Tryphon says

July 14, 2022 at 1:25 pm

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.
Abbot Tryphon

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”.

The Chinese Coronavirus

Listen to the first twenty minutes of Tucker Carlson’s presentation tonight and tell me that the SARS Covid-2 coronavirus did not emerge from the viral research laboratory in Wuhan. And then explain to me why the president of the United States and the Congress of the United States and the American mass media discount the need to investigate the origin of the virus. Apparently it’s not important that we know how large grants bestowed by Tony Fauci’s NIAID helped fund the devilish research that led to the deaths of so many people and the lockdowns that destroyed our economies. Tell me how the pandemic is over and that we all need to ignore the story and move along. That, while the same laboratory is confecting a new monkeypox virus to present to the world. Covid came from the Wuhan laboratory and it turned the world upside down, but apparently that isn’t a story that still needs investigating. Right. Watch Tucker Carlson explain why it is necessary to get to the bottom of what may be the crime of the century.

Are we Americans so naive? Do we have such short memories?