We received a copy of an email that a parish priest sent to his parish council members. The name of the parish was not identified in the email. See the intriguing message below:
Dear Members of our Parish Council,
Like many of you, I was surprised and saddened to read from Greek media sources that Archbishop Elpidophoros of America recommended to the Holy and Sacred Synod of Constantinople to suspend the Official Charter of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. I wish I could provide clarity to the many questions you have submitted to me over the past few days, but unfortunately, I am unable to sufficiently answer your questions and inquiries about what this all means.
I certainly have my own interpretations about this latest development. My brother priests and I have attempted to receive some insight from our Spiritual Father and Metropolitan and/or Chancellor about this situation; however, it saddens me to write that we have been unsuccessful at receiving any information from the Metropolis. I do not believe this is a deliberate attempt to avoid our concerns, but rather, they were caught off guard and surprised as much as we were about this rushed and unusual decision. I want to be absolutely clear with you that I share the same questions and concerns that you have shared with me.
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In response to the comment made by Mr Pappas that our spiritual leaders have failed us, I would like to quickly offer a reflection. To be blunt, I certainly would concur with that viewpoint, but our primarily focus at this time should not be on the men who lead us. We should focus our attention on the teachings of Christ Jesus, who was crucified for our sake and rose from the dead, so that we may be granted eternal life. When faced with challenges, we should always pray to God for help and clarity, and this situation is no different. Our first action as Christians is to pray for our spiritual leaders. And while we pray, we must also be mindful about our secondary priority that our own actions are not enabling our spiritual leaders to continue to make poor, and dare I say, reckless decisions.
With this being said, I would ask that our Parish Council members exhibit some patience as we wait for a response from our Metropolitan. In the mean time, as Parish Council members, you have chosen to offer your talents and service to our parish. It has been brought to my attention that many of our sister parishes have begun discussions of withholding their monthly assessment payment to the Archdiocese until the current Charter is removed from its suspension or a new Charter is ratified.
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As you are certainly aware, a Parish Priest traditionally refrains from offering any support about any decision that would involve going against the Archdiocese. However, I would argue that since Archbishop Elpidophoros has suspended the Charter, the Regulations that were in place no longer apply since there is currently no Archdiocese. Archbishop Elpidophoros has no canonical authority over this parish or to me as a priest. As the spiritual father of this community, I believe it is in our best interest to immediately begin discussing the possibility of withholding our monthly payments to New York until a time when there is no ambiguity about the new vision that is being created in New York.
I would also like to express my thoughts that the parish council does not need to worry about any consequences (i.e. losing their priest) by moving forward with this decision. Our Metropolitan is more focused about losing his own job at the present moment than being attentive which parishes are paying their assessments and which one’s are not. With God’s protection, we will be just fine.
We have an obligation to ensure the survival of our parish for generations to come, and I know that with our hearts in the right place, we will succeed. We will still plan to have our regularly scheduled Parish Council meeting Wednesday at our usual time, and we can continue this conversation at that time. If I receive any information from the Metropolis, I will relay it to you all.
Thank you for all your support and patience during this uncertain time.
This is the only way not to be raped and pillaged by the corrupt, secretive, greedy, unworthy leadership of what’s left of our sad church. KEEP ALL THE MONEY AT THE PARISH LEVEL AND SEND NOTHING OUTSIDE THE PARISH. Kudos to this priest and let’s hope dozens of other parishes follow suit. It’s time to toss Elpi , Bart, and the whole lot of them in them into the dumpster. And don’t look back.
The REAL power is not to be found in any member of tbe clergy- since not one of them is a “Spartacus”.
They lack the courage of historic Greek clergy of old who exhibited their convictions with the utmost ferver in revolting against their oppressors.
The REAL power of authority is in the complete and unified voice and actions of tbe Laity – the parish congregants of every church in the GOA.
If every parishoner nationwide witheld making any sort of monetery contribution, even on a small scale from refraining from lighting candles, to making a basket offering, to not paying their annual church dues, etc. It will have a very resounding ripple effect.
The old addage of, ” Put your Money where your Mouth is” holds true.
Shut down the flow of dollars that pour into the GOA & EP.
God does not need candles to hear and answer prayers, but will look into the contrite hearts of all who pray to Him.
Don’t think.your dollar in the basket holds any real charitable significance.
During this pandemic how many Greek Orthodix churches have set up any food pantries!?
The Jewish synagogues, and the Muslim mosques bave!
Our sense of Philiptochos, unlike the Great St Basil is nothing more than a Special Events office planning expensive luncheons, and dinners and galas at exhorbitant prices called ” donations” to accommodate the venue’ s business, while the actual collected percentage is miniscule in comparison.
Come on people, let’s wake up and smell tbe coffee.
We as parishioners are equally to blame for allowing all this to happen – we have become too lax and comfortable with our so- called Greek Orthodox ” traditions” that hold no real validity in this century or any other in the past.
COVID 19 has managed to lock down all businesses and institutions, and everything
else, including houses of worship.
Perhaps this is God’s way of making us come to term with our “established thinking” and habits and realize what is really important in life, and make the appropriate repentful altetations.
It will take more time, until this plague lessens its grip on contemporary society and humanity.
A ” cleansing” process of sorts, not of flood waters, not of fire and brimstone, but an equally effective way to bring forth the necessary change much needed in today’s world that has no regard for Nature or for Man.
Power and Greed, and Notoriety have become the ” attributes” will aspire towards – even the Church.
In order to come up with a truly ” New Vision” from tbe ground up, we must allow the GOA to implode and become rubble.
It is up to everyone of us to become the brick and mortar in the building of a New Church.
Hopefully our parishes, clergy and Metropolitans will leave the GOA while they still have the chance
Wow. This is both wonderful and negative news for the orthodox faithful.
Negative because the mainstream Orthodox Church of America is in disarray with the changes being made to conform to the Papal church. It has been happening slowly for the last 100 years but now speeding up, it seems to be near its end.
What do I mean? Well in a nut shell in the early 1920’s the Catholic Church approached the Greeks that never deviated or sided with the schismatics of the west. Remember when The emperor Constantine asked the pope for protection instead of asking Panagia like all the emperors of past did against the Turks is when we lost Constantinople. Well the majority of Greeks back then decided to side with the Catholics and changed the calendar to the Gregorian instead of the original Julian. Another thing to remember is that our Glorious Father Jesus Christ was born December 25 of the Julian calendar not the papal one. This official change in Greece and with the patriarchate in Constantinople brought many problems with the orthodox faithful during that time where even St. Nectarios alive during all this was very much against it. Most of Greece accepted the papal new Calendar except the Holy mountain and a few parishes in Greece. Those who did not accept this were forced to close their churches, or arrested. The Patriarch taught The faithful that everyone including the clergy who was with the traditional calendar is a heretic and doesn’t have the Holy Spirit anymore. Priests that didn’t become New Calendarists were shaved and had leashes put around their necks and paraded in the streets of Athens for the faithful to see. What a shameful site to witness think about it. How can loving orthodox leaders do these things? What Christian example were they giving? Shame on them. The devil infiltrated Greece.
Well we know from our Church history that all heresies in the past are only temporary. This siding with the papists heresy will pass as well Officially once the Patriarch of Constantinople changes Pascha to the be celebrated with the Catholics. We know this information from one of our recent saints.
It’s really simple if you think about it.
If someone asks you for chicken soup and you serve them chicken soup with other soups mixed in they will tell you “ This isn’t chicken soup”
Well the Catholic Church every since the schism has made many changes over the years which is why they constantly update their beliefs. Their response is that we need to change and adapt to the times. What they fail to realize is that what God has given us is perfect and doesn’t need to be changed. Or the mindset of newer is better and two thousand years ago they didn’t know what we know today. Well, water that God has given us is the oldest Liquid and is the best thing for us. Just like the fruits and vegetables. Who are we to say these new beliefs and unions with all other faiths is what God intended?
Before the schism of the Church we had the 7 Ecumenical councils which joined all the churches of the same Holy Catholic and Apostlic Faith to condemn the heresies of those times. Today the word Ecumenical has a totally different meaning. It means the unification of all faiths.
We know that the world awaits the antichrist. The Antichrist can’t come until there is an agreement that all faiths are officially unified. Because this is what he will announce to the world when he proclaimes himself as God on Earth. He will say that he is the Christ the Buddha the Messiah, Allah and so forth. That he is the same God but with different names. The world will believe him because he will successfully bring world peace after world war 3 that will be started between Gog and Magog or China and America. He will come under the banner of love. Notice how in today’s society we can’t tell anyone what they are doing is wrong or displeasing to God because they will respond “ Who are you to tell me what’s good and bad” They feel that since it makes them happy practicing what they are doing then it isn’t a sin. The devil has finally found a way for the world to abolish sin. It’s not a sin if it makes you happy and we should all love each other no matter what sins you do. This is part of the banner of love.
So you mean to tell me that if I like robbing banks who are you to tell me that it’s wrong! It makes me happy!
The world has easily accepted these nonsense beliefs because they haven’t been grounded in the truth and don’t have a strong spiritual connection with our creator anymore like the days of past when tradition was important. There is no fear of God.
Why should I fear God he is love and kind and understanding? This is the common belief as well today. How do we answer this?
We all have parents that we love under normal circumstances and for an example as a child if I were to upset my father whom I love dearly I will fear the consequences that await me.
Well it’s the same with God. He loves all of His children more than we know and we supposedly love Him. If we upset Him we should Fear the consequences as well.
What’s the wonderful news you might be asking?
Well it’s wonderful now that many New Calendarists are finally coming to the awarenesses of what is happening with their church and are puzzled and concerned about the future of their church. The future of their church was written above in this response. There are many wonderful people in the Archdiocese church of Patriarch Bartholomew including the clergy but were raised in the belief that the traditionalists are fanatics. Does this mean that the Apostles and Saints were fanatics? How can this be preached to the faithful all these years? It’s a shame that this is what’s still being said today.
What are the differences between them?
Here are a few of the differences…
First is the Dates. New calendar sided with the pope where Old calendar hasn’t changed anything. This is why the New Calendarists celebrate Easter or Pascha with the old Calendar and then jump 13 days ahead after. In 1920 they tried to change it with the Catholics but were told by the Orthodox Majority that if they did that then they would be Catholics so they decided to keep out the same.
Second is Baptism.
If someone is a convert or catechumen that wants to become Orthodox in the New Calendar church all that is needed is to be chrismated as long as you were baptized in another denomination.
Simple right? No it’s not that simple.
Let’s go back to the chicken soup example.
If someone was baptized orthodox Originally and became an apostate, since we are allowed only one baptism all that is needed for them to re enter the orthodox church is to be re-chrismated and all would be fine.
If the original chicken soup I have has become cold all I need to do is reheat the soup again and all would be fine.
Well since the other denominations serve mixed soup if I reheat it all wouldn’t be fine.
So how can a convert only be given chrismation and not the full submersion baptism.
The New Calendar church has been doing this unfortunately to many converts still to this day.
In this situation God will judge the chrismated converts as orthodox Christians because they didn’t know better but the clergy is a different story because many of them know. If a convert that fits this description reads this God will judge them on what they know and will now have to make a decision and be baptized with full submersion to become an orthodox Christian. If they Fear God they will make the right decision and it will be the happiest day of their life on the day of baptism.
There are other differences but unfortunately this letter is becoming too long In this post so I will leave my email address if anyone has questions.
Your friend in Christ