These hard to believe acts are happening as: 1) AB Elpidophoros is trying to consolidate his control over GOA by moving away from the “Federation of Metropolises”. 2) GOA is literally bleeding financially, legally, and in every other way… It is losing support by the day and, unless a miracle happens, it will be hard to avoid bankruptcy. Meanwhile, vultures like ALMA (Valiotis and Andriotis) are pretending to help, while in essence, they are maintaining their business interests. Let me remind everyone what Stathis Valiotis said (to me and some others I realized later) when asked why he doesn’t take the second step in terms of seeking autocephaly for GOA: “I cannot do that”, he said… “I am doing business with the Church”… And so he missed his “rendevous with history”… While Andriotis, half-dead, insists on holding his grip on Astoria, lest ALMA loses the business… Yes, my friends, these are the characters of the fake “donors” and “benefactors” of GOA…
For AB Elpidophoros, consolidating is the only way to stop the bleeding as the parishes cannot be burdened financially by supporting expensive Metropolises and demanding Metropolitans, most of who act like businessmen. They offer no real services; instead, they promote self-interest and cause problems even in parishes (eg. Naples, Florida) that are well run by good priests…
What lies ahead for Chicago? Please allow me a prediction: Nathanael will be swiftly eliminated one way or the other and will head to Australia to find cover (and lots of money…) under his close friend Makarios… As I said, his acts are strange and can only be seen as an invitation for his elimination…
Met. Nathanael Does Not Trust His Priests, Indirectly Issues a Counter-Strike Against the Archbishop and Ecumenical Patriarch
The annual celebration of the nativity of our Lord and Savior is traditionally a season for pious Orthodox Christians to reflect upon the joy and divine love that our God gave to his creation through the incarnation of His beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Like most Metropolitans of the Ecumenical Throne, the Chief Shepherd of the Metropolis of Chicago chose to issue his own encyclical for the Christmas feast. The authors of this website would like to offer a few commentary remarks about how there are a few notes of concern with this latest publication from the Metropolis of Chicago.
We begin by first sharing with our audience the instructions sent to the Chicago Metropolis clergy via email by the Chancellor. In the email (see below), Bishop Timothy of Hexamilion tells the clergy that the clergy are “only to read our Metropolitan’s Encyclical at the conclusion” of Divine Services for Christmas. What does this mean? The Chicago priests are prohibited from reading from the pulpit the Christmas Encyclicals from both Archbishop Elpidophoros and the Ecumenical Patriarch. The timing of this directive is certainly intriguing considering it has been confirmed that Archbishop Elpidophoros is moving away from continuing to have a “Federation of Metropolises” operating within the Archdiocese of America.
Is this a counter-strike by Metropolitan Nathanael of Chicago and Bishop Timothy of Hexamilion to show their dominance and unquestionable ecclesiastical superiority within the Metropolis of Chicago? What punishment will Metropolitan Nathanael impose on a priest that chooses to read the Ecumenical Patriarch’s Encyclical from the pulpit following Divine Services?
On the surface this appears to be another petty directive that once again is attempting to make His Eminence feel more important than he actually is in reality. This becomes evident to anyone who actually took the time to read the alarming message from Metropolitan Nathanael’s Christmas Encyclical.
The first page of the Metropolitan Nathanael’s Christmas Encyclical is what anyone would generally expect from a hierarch. It offers a generic message, albeit long, that provides a reason to celebrate this glorious feast of our Lord. It is when the reader enters the second page that the red flags start to appear in larger numbers than at a Chinese Communist parade.
The action of Metropolitan Nathanael’s message is for all of us to “spread hope and healing to the world around us.” This great message has been preached by thousands of clergymen throughout the entire history of the Christian Church. What makes this message unique is that the Chief Shepherd of Chicago connects this action by instructing his flock to not only attend the Sacrament of Confession, but to confess directly with him!
Wait! What? Why?
It seems that Metropolitan Nathanael is deliberating communicating in his 2020 Christmas Encyclical that he does not trust the priests under his omophorion to issue the most appropriate spiritual correction or penance for their spiritual children. But what does Metropolitan Nathanael know about issuing penances?
His Eminence primarily served as a Sunday-only priest prior to his election as a Metropolitan. It is well known that the faithful at the Annunciation parish in Manhattan, New York were so upset with Nathanael’s approach to parish ministry that Archbishop Demetrios had no choice but to reassign Nathanael out of active parish ministry. In fact, Archbishop Demetrios had to issue his own “spiritual correction” and limit Nathanael’s interactions with parishioners and faithful by having him serve in active parish ministry as a part-time/Sunday-only parish priest. A junior priest has more experience serving in full-time parish ministry than Metropolitan Nathanael.
What is truly fascinating is how a Metropolitan of the Ecumenical Throne can be disengaged with the fact that His Eminence is inviting the faithful to contact him personally so he can “discern what is best for your salvation,” despite His Eminence personally doing serious and substantial spiritual damage to many faithful Orthodox Christians during his short tenure as a hierarch. His Eminence speaks a lot about metanoia and the need for his flock to repent while simultaneously refusing to repent for the spiritual lives he has destroyed.
The faithful of Chicago should be very hesitant when trusting ANY clergyman who is actively desiring to hear your confidential confessions, especially if that clergyman is a hierarch.
Read the email reference below.
Sent: December 21, 2020 at 10:07 AM
Subject: [CHI_CL] Metropolitan Nathanael’s Christmas Encyclical
Dear Rev. Fathers
I trust this email finds you and your families well as we prepare for the birth of our Lord in just a few days. Attached you will find His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael’s Christmas Encyclical with instructions below as to how you should disseminate it:
- Read it after the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Liturgies. If you have multiple liturgies, they are to read it at each liturgy.
- Share on your parish’s social media channels.
- Share with your parishioners via the parish email service.
In addition, we will send all clergy the Patriarch’s and the Archbishop’s encyclicals on Tuesday as they have still not been released. When you receive those encyclicals, you may make those available to the parishioners through your social media outlets as well. Please keep in mind that you are only to read our Metropolitan’s Encyclical at the conclusion of your Divine Liturgy Services while the others may be shared and made available to your parishioners through your various outlets.
On behalf of His Eminence, it is our prayer that you and your families share in the joy of the Feast of New Born King. Wishing you well always, I remain,
Bishop Timothy of Hexamilion
Holy Metropolis of Chicago
What role does homosexuality play in the Metropolis of Chicago? This dysfunctionality has a pathology that seems to go way beyond just theological matters. These are snarky personality wars that remind me of the musical Les Cage aux Folles.
Exactly! Clergy that are supposed to be monks, yet they are sexually active homosexuals. Archimandrites belong in monasteries! Parish priests should be married. More men need to be encouraged to become deacons, priests need help! Bishops need to be genuine monks and live like monks! Look at the difference between GOA bishops and ROCOR bishops. ROCOR, the Serbs, the Antiochians, even the OCA have produced SAINTS here in North America! The GOA has not produced a single one!
You are in the money I would guess.
My 10 Celts worth is these people are dishonest to themselves. So how can they be effective pastors?
In this day and age no one need enter clergy ranks to hide their sexuality. So why don’t they come clean and either leave the priestly status for lay life, or remember their cos and live them!
10 cents!! Not Celts!
Vows not cos! Predictive spelling.
All this mess and much more is why I left the GOA 30 years ago and fled to ROCOR (The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia). I’ve never looked back! (I do miss the Greek language and Byzantine music and a few Greek customs, but ROCOR is much more faithful to Orthodoxy.) ROCOR is not perfect, it is made up of humans and has problems also; BUT the difference between the GOA and ROCOR is like night and day! Bishops who are genuine monks and live like monks, is one difference. Bishops who are faithful to Orthodoxy and strongly against Ecumenism.
Very funny indeed American, to mention homosexuals cause hasn’t the gay agenda been one of Met. Nathaniel’s cherished causes like all good liberals?
Notice Met. Nathanael’s friend in Australia is Archbishop Makarios rumored to be homosexual.
And despite all this nauseating news among church politic, here’s hoping your Christmas holy days are blessed
Respectfully, you all are missing the point. The offer to alleviate penances is a move against the Ephremites, who infest the Chicago Metropolis so deeply (because of the inattentiveness of Met. iakovos and Bp. Dimitrios of Mokissos).
He is offering help to people whose father-confessors cut them off from Communion for thirty years for having sex with their spouses in a manner other than the missionary position.
This is a kind and rational thing. Don’t make it out to be anything else.
How dare you! Ephremites!? Sounds like you’re one of those ecumenist, modernist OINOS (Orthodox In Name Only). Thank God above for the witness of genuine Orthodoxy from Elder Ephraim and his monasteries. The Freemason-filled, active-homosexual, monachomachist, modernist, ecumenist episcopacy of the GOARCH has been leading the pious faithful here in the diaspora down the easy, wide road to perdition for decades.
Elder Ephraim and his monasteries have been instilling a genuine ορθόδοξον φρόνημα (Orthodox way of thinking). He and his monasteries have been educating the faithful in what it means to be an authentic Christian.
Stephanos, the Ephrem monasteries are part of the GOA not ROCOR, and ROCOR is not in communion with the GOA.
Who said that Blessed Elder Ephraim’s monasteries are part of ROCOR??? I didn’t. As regards communion, the hierarchs of the GOA and ROCOR are not concelebrating due to the uncanonical and un-Orthodox actions of Bart the Turk. Due to the strange jurisdictional situation in the diaspora, ROCOR laypeople are allowed to visit GOA parishes and GOA faithful are welcome at ROCOR parishes.
Okay, so there are TWO major issues in Chicago according to this comments thread. An official pro-gay agenda and an Ephraimite insurgency.
So, what’s the remedy? And it’s not ROCOR !
Stefanos, I never said tthat you said the Ephrem monasteries are part of ROCOR. I was pointing out that the Ephrem monasteries are in communion with the “the unconical and un-Orthdox Bart the Turk.”
Why all of this talk and innuendo about homosexuality in the Chicago Metropolis? What am I missing other than the supposition on the part of some of a”pro-gay agenda? What’s new? Who cares?
James, are the Chicago hierarchy and those around them homosexuals in practice and is that issue their agenda for the Metropolis? Their personal virtuousness is a fair question when seeking answers to this decades-long dysfunction.
American, yes virtuousness is a fair question in all things, particularly among those preaching the message of salvation. That said, why is this an issue now in Chicago and not elsewhere within the Church? Not from your area, I’m left to ponder what is more likely supposition and innuendo.
James, what applies to Chicago applies across the board. For 100 years, our US governance as a church has been torn between married US clergy who run PARISHES not monasteries, and unmarried hierarchs who affect the life of a MONASTERY.
Plus, our married clergy has, for no good reason, been prevented from serving in positions higher than parish priest (with the exception of Cardinal Karloutsos). It has created an untenable culture. Rassa, hats, and beards who live in a fake Byzantine world versus suits and collars who live in the real world of community and its 24/7 problems.
Now, adding to this is the open fact that there are two distinct sexual modalities and cultures in the US Greek Orthodox priesthood, starting at the seminary, where the seminarians who wish to be married to the opposite sex live on one floor and the seminarians who are attracted to the same sex, live on another floor. The same sex devotees fill the ranks of the hierarchy, in every Metropolis, and make all the decisions, not the married guys.
The recent attempt to retire the married clergy and mess with their pensions is an attempt by the same sex devotees to move the married clergy out and replace them with rassa, hats, beards and, yes, their same sex lovers.
There’s no innuendo needed for Chicago or elsewhere. The hierarchy (to include archmandrites) is filled with active and open same sex practitioners and it creates a real strain with the rank and file priests who have to do the daily work. It’s a contradiction of beliefs that are incompatible with the Church, much less good governance.
So, let’s not keep secrets any longer. The 800 lb gorilla in the room is the Rassa and their agenda. And everyone is too polite and too intimidated to tell the truth.
Bravo, American. You’ve taken my bait and come out with the exegesis I wanted to hear. And you’ve done so without beating around the bush, laying it out in the open for all to hear. Not surprised by what you say, I commend you for your courage to articulate what seems to be a pervasive culture that exists within the GOA today. Thank you.
James, There’s a wonderful Greek saying, loosely translated, which says : “Who do they (the village) send to pull the snake out of the hole? Why they send the village idiot ! ”.
I have been the village idiot a long, long time with or without your baiting.