By Nick Stamatakis
Persistent information from unverified sources insists that AB Elpidophoros will fly back to New York on Sunday to deal with a very pressing issue, namely the priests’ pension fund, which threatens his tenure. Our sources insist that there are several groups of priests all over the country organizing to deal with their pension fund… Basically they are attempting a revolt against AB Elpidophoros, and some of these groups have used very scathing words in their remarks on the issue in the recent Virtual Town Hall with Elpidophoros…
The Archbishop was scheduled to remain in Istanbul through the beginning of the Ecclesiastical Year (September 1st) and be present at the Ecumenical Patriarchate at the Feast of the Indiction. If our sources are correct regarding the urgent return of AB Elpidophoros, then it will be one more indication of the chaotic situation the whole GOA is entering, under the pressure of financial problems and federal investigations. Also, AB Elpidophoros has to deal with the upcoming Clergy-Laity Congress (Sept.9-10), which will no doubt provide a forum for all grievances to surface.
REGARDING THE PRIESTS’ PENSION PLAN, OUR OPINION is that the priests need to widen their scope. By focusing exclusively on their pension plan: a) They give the impression they are arrogant and self-absorbed. b) They miss the opportunity to take part in a greater restructuring of our Church, emphasizing the need to install transparency and accountability rules and above all the need for self-governance.
If our Church keeps losing faithful to other Orthodox Churches or other Christian denominations at the current rate, very soon half of the priests will have no employment at all at their present parishes. And yes, the faithful are voting with their feet!! They DO NOT want to deal with a corrupt church hierarchy run by some in Turkey, where the Patriarchate’s legal status is “a Turkish religious institution”. Are we serious? Do we expect from a “Turkish religious institution” to apply informed solutions to our priests’ pension plan and all other problems we face as a Church in America? How more narrow-minded can our priests – and all of us – be?
If we learned anything during the first year of AB Elpidophoros is that no problems will be EVER solved using the “Turkish/Phanariot mentality” in America. AB Elpidophoros not only represents the “Turkish/Phanariot mentality” in each and every step he takes, but he also brought with him a bunch of “confidants/assistants” from Turkey and Greece who now live together in the hotel-like 79th Street and are training and preparing to “take over” our Church soon. At a minimum they will be installed in key positions to serve as Elpidophoros pawns, to control the church when he leaves us for good to go back where he came from and become a Patriarch… These people are all faced with a very long “learning curve”: they are first year immigrants… Their presence among us spells disaster in one thousand ways..
When will we realize, clergy and laity, that it is impossible for our Church to operate and grow in such a schizophrenic situation? Our Greek-American community is near the top of the US in educational and financial achievement – yet we are supposed to be “managed” (read: manipulated, exploited, abused, lied to, etc) by a bunch of people who have no idea what America means? A bunch of people trained to think and act in autocratic terms – as they have to deal with the Turks daily?
Bottomline: THE CHURCH OF AMERICA CAN OFFER FINANCIAL AND POLITICAL SUPPORT TO THE CONSTANTINOPLE PATRIARCHATE ENDLESSLY, BUT WE DEMAND AUTONOMY IN OUR CHURCH GOVERNANCE. CONSTANTINOPLE CANNOT SOLVE ANY OF OUR PROBLEMS, SPIRITUAL OR PRACTICAL. IF THEY INSIST ON A TIGHT GRIP OF THIS CHURCH, THEY RISK LOSING IT FOR GOOD, PERIOD.
August 22, 2020, firstname.lastname@example.org www.helleniscope.com
Hmm…. in the middle of this — record numbers of Greek Americans—American Greeks —Diaspora— have been critical of the optics and the message sent from Wednesday’s benediction….. If one compares it to Archbishop’s 2016–(which was indeed a blessing, and not an endorsement of either candidate—- the poll numbers don’t look good for him…. Leading one to think that– a political operative may want him to give it another try at the RNC Convention (starting Monday.) Just thinking….
I’d be willing to bet that ELPIvirus’s words at the Democrat event were, most likely, hand crafted by Vicar of the Progressive Party Karloutsos with the consent of archdiocesean oligarch Dennis Mehiel because AK needs another job in the Biden administraton for his son Michael and other favor seekers. ELPIvirus has his nerve, doesn’t he? The whole US archdiocese is hunkered down in a foxhole with the pandemic, lost jobs, economic hardship and the LEADER deserts his post and goes to Asia for a month after telling his troopers (the priests) to pound sand and forget about the $50m “underfunding” (more properly labeled misappropriated) in their pension fund. ELPIvirus should be relieved of his duties and sent packing along with the Waffen SS cadre of mad monks in the 8-10 East attic who are probably here under HB1 visa manipulations. We have long gone past the point of no return in this journey of persistent financial, emotional, physical, and spiritual abuse. Will we act as Americans should act– with courage, abandon, purpose, and independence? Or will we act like Hellenic and Ottoman slaves with a Greek “diaspora” gulag mentality ? Priests–damn it !! Live and minister the Gospel as free Americans or remain like chained slaves to a permanently corrupt institution. You’re choice, brothers.
Κρίμα, κρίμα, κρίμα για την Ομογένεια.Κρίμα γιατί
όταν πρωτοάκουσα ότι έρχεται ο Ελπιδοφόρος
είχα την ελπίδα ότι θα φέρει πράγματι την
ελπίδα στην ταλαιποριμένη Εκκλησία μας. Δυστυχώς τον έμπλεξαν στα δίχτυα τους ….. οι
ναύτες του Stakara …..και κατήντησε ο Αράπης του
Stakara , ο οποίος Αράπης ( που ήταν για όλες
τις βρώμικες δουλειές ) όταν αντελήφθηκε τον
ρόλο του, τα έκανε όλα γιαλιά καρφιά , έτσι με το
σπαθί του , πήρε το πόστο του , την αξιοπρέπειά του και οι υπόλοιποι Έλληνες ναύτες , τον έβλεπαν, τον έτρεμαν και το σεβόντουσαν (εδώ το λίνκ σε παλιότερη ανάρτηση μας)…
Ας ελπίσουμε πως το ίδιο θα κάνει και ο φέρων
την ελπίδα Αρχιεπίσκοπος να στείλει όλους αυτούς που του έχουν γίνει στενός κορσές, στη
φυλακή η στα σπίτια τους και να ζητήσει από τον
Ύψιστον να τον βοηθήσει να επανιδρύσει μέσα από τις στάχτες την διαλυμένη Εκκλησία της
Αμερικής που κάποτε ήταν η πρώτη επαρχία του
Οικουμενικού θρόνου και το καύχημα και το στολίδι του Ορθόδοξου Ελληνισμού.
If the Ukraine can do it,
and as Belarus plans on doing, why oh why can’t we!?
Autocephaly for the Greek Orthodox Church of America is now very long overdue.
It’s about time that tje Clergy together with the Laity band together and have a “Tea Party” just as our historical American forefathers did.
The combined voice needs to be heard and respected as it is becoming more obviously evident that the institition of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America has become with the passing of time, more corrupt than before, and rotting from within.
The GOA as a church s failing.
A new, real leader is much needed, and not someone one placed as a hierarchical puppet of the Phanar, manipulated by those whose sole intent is that of personal vanity, power and greed.
Someone who is truly spiritual and knowledgable in being able to give positive direction and guidance to his “flock”is very much needed, moreso now than ever before.
Someone who is hands-on, and is there to listen accordingly and is not a virtual avatar.
Someone who acknowledges the sacrifices of each established Greek Orthodox community in America and does not just see churches as real estate ventures, to fill the coffers of the GOA that is always in constant financial need ( due to mismanagement) ad infinitum.
The GOA is in desperate need to reinvent itself.
The GOA needs to totally clean house, from the top down on all levels, clerical and administrative.
A cosmetic make- over just won’t do anymore.
If the GOA is not, infused and rejuvenated with new, truly, capable, and altruistic administrative personnel, then it’s only a matter of time that the GOA falls like a house of cards.
Greek Orthodoxy in America deserves this change for the betterment of all, both clergy and laity
The only true remedy is ACCOUNTABILITY. The “leaders” (self-proclaimed ‘hierarchs, no less) refuse to explain, or to apologize for, or to take responsibility for their ABSOLUTE FAILURE.
They allow no lay person to know what they are doing, and have done, with all the money that has been entrusted to them. Hundreds of millions of dollars have apparently evaporated. The seminary has no endowment, REQUIRED deposits (by law) have not been made to the pension fund, and St Nicholas at Ground Zero is Black Hole that astronomer Elpidophoros should explain.
Their recurring excuse that all churches are losing members is lame and full sarcasm. The Catholics have a festering pedophilia crisis, yet the Orthodox church couldn’t buy a convert from them. The GOA through ineptitude, and lack of ambition, is like a musician that couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket. It is most certainly NOT the church I was baptized into, the one my entire family worshipfully attended and obediently served.
The priests better chose to side with the laity and boot the entire administration into retirement and obscurity. Or they will find themselves no longer employed because their ’employer’ went out of business.
Here’s a 6 min analysis and solution from Fr. Josiah. The convert has to tell us because our “leaders” are corrupt and blinded.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan gets it… He opened the RNC with the perfect tone.
That’s because Cardinal Dolan is from America not Turkey. That’s why he struck the correct tone. He knows his flock. He is Cardinal of New York, not a town in Byzantium that hasn’t existed for 600 years. And he’s clean shaven and doesn’t look like the Taliban.
The more I look at this pension mess, the more I come to the conclusion that the purpose of creating the crisis was to get the vast majority of the American born senior level priests to retire. That creates vacancies for the bearded and robed Greeks from Greece and the Phanar who are sitting in the wings.
With the Americans gone, the Phanar and it’s business partner, The Hellenic Republic of Greece, can Greekify whatever is left to the max. Forget The Gospels, this is about geopolitics and the need to upstream cash to the Phanar and do the bidding of the Greek Foreign Ministry. We need to affiliate, parish by parish, with a newly created American Orthodox Church.
“We need to affiliate, parish by parish, with a newly created American Orthodox Church”
Already exists, the OCA was freed from foriegn influence with the granting of autocephaly. If what you want is an American Church then come to the OCA. Any tomos issued by Patriarch Bartholemew is not true autocephaly as we have seen with the Ukraine debacle.
Come to ROCOR. Then, you can serve and worship on the Orthodox Calendar, not some bizarre “new calendar” – you can be free from being in communion with schismatics in Ukraine, and you can help to build up the only Orthodox Church in the US that is willing to maintain and hold fast to our Tradition. We need more English speaking priests, anyway.
GOD I WISH I COULD. But the GOAA has my area in a stranglehold, and the nearest ROCOR parish is 50 miles away.
No thanks to both. OCA has same toxic ethnic corrupt culture and ROCOR presents security clearance issues, since every time I would have to talk to a Russian priest, archpriest or bishop, I’d have to file a report of contact with a foreign national. They are not American, they are Russian.
Calendar? Who cares about dates? Dates will not save my soul. No where can anyone say with any certainly what the dates were historically except for Easter, thanks to the Jews.
Not true. There are ROCOR parishes who serve entirely in English and have American clergy. In the DC area, there is Holy Apostles in Beltsville and St. Thecla over in Kensington. Even established parishes like St. John the Baptist Cathedral have both foreign-born and native clergy (the rector, Fr. Viktor Potapov, was born in Germany, so he cannot be a Russian national) and conduct either English or mixed services. Some parishes are still Slavonic-only, but many ROCOR parishes use at least some English in the services and read scripture in both languages.
Folks— Language is not the problem here— culture is—
And loyalty…first to the Gospels and to the American Homeland….not to foreign cultures and priorities, governments and state directed religious leaders.