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?

Three “Takeaways” from the Archbishop’s Address

Abp. Elpidophoros gave his keynote address on the Fourth of July at the Clergy/Laity Congress in New York. He spoke on the centennial of the organization of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Having listened to the archbishop’s keynote address, I am reminded of three things about the GOA, of which I myself was a part until the end of 2021.

Archbishop Elpidophoros holding forth at the Clergy/Laity Congress
  1. The archdiocese is still, even today, an EPARCHY. In other words, it is a colony of a Byzantine Empire in the imaginations of the leadership. The presupposition is that primary fealty is still due Constantinople, a whole century since the GOA’s organization. How can such imperialistic thinking jive with the American spirit of independence, celebrating its 246 birthday on the day of the archbishop’s address?
  2. The ethos of the archdiocese is still, even today, HELLENIC and therefore narrowly ethnic. The archbishop placed emphasis on GREEK classical and theological education, with the hope for linguistic instruction. Although that mentality works to preserve the particular legacy of the GOA, it lacks a broader vision for the evangelization of all of our American people. Unless they see boatloads of Greek immigrants arriving at Ellis Island, there is little hope for the sustainability for such a narrow mindset. If Orthodoxy is to survive and thrive in these united States, our leaders just have to drop the emphasis on ethnic legacies and focus on the essentials.
  3. MONEY is never not mentioned. The archdiocese is always asking for money, or thanking people for money, whether it’s for the Hellenic College and Holy Cross seminary, or for St. Nicholas’ Shrine, or for the Clergy Pension Fund or for the Ecumenical Patriarchate, GOA’s hand is never withdrawn. This is a subtle indication of a Greek preoccupation with money, a decline in stewardship giving and of fiscal malfeasance at high levels. God hasten the day when the Church can once again say with St. Peter the Apostle, “Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I thee. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!”

When in Doubt, Take a Time Out

Oh, Magoo, Abp. Elpidophoros is about to scandalize the Church yet again. How long are the rank and file of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese going to tolerate the unilateral actions of this man? And of even greater importance: How long will the hierarchs of the other Orthodox jurisdictions in our country remain in full Eucharistic communion with Arch. Elpidophoros?

The issue is the elevation of one archimandrite named Alexander Belya to the episcopate. Belya was expelled by the Russian Orthodox Church outside of Russia for forging documents. Important diplomatic documents. And, like our illustrious president, he has a close relative who has been accused of criminality. In Belya’s case it is his ne’er-do-well brother, who apparently dealt in human trafficking.

Alexander Belya is the one on the right.

Details are readily available to the curious. Those aside, the point that I am trying to make is this: that there is a taint to this Monk Belya and his family. In a surprising move, the primates of the other jurisdictions besides the Greeks have written to Abp. Elpidophoros to lodge a formal complaint, saying that they cannot support the consecration of this scoundrel. Abp. Joseph of the Antiochian Archdiocese is the bishop who penned the letter for the other primates. Elpidophoros, for his part, has fired back, expressing his sadness and surprise. He makes an indirect accusation that Joseph is upsetting the unity of the Orthodox in America. Well, if that ain’t a case of the pot calling the kettle black, I don’t know what is.

On the contrary, your Eminence E., it is the announcement that you made that you would elevate Mr. Belya to the bishopric in the GOA that is disturbing Church unity, already fraught by some of your previous ill-advised actions. Is there any need to enumerate them, sir?

It’s clear for all to see now that there is a shroud of doubt that surrounds this Belya character. This may not be the best time to consecrate him a bishop. When in doubt, take a time out. Orthodox bishops are not renowned for swinging into action anyway, so why rush the ordination? It’s not as though you were double-parked on a busy street in Manhattan. Give it some time. Hear your brother bishops out before you take this precipitous action, unless you are hell bent on eviscerating your already-questionable credibility.