UPDATE JUNE 17, 6.00 PM (Nick Stamatakis): One day after we posted the response by one of our readers to AB Elpidophoros’ homily last Friday in St. Bartholomew’s Church – where the name day of the Patriarch was celebrated – the story had already attracted international attention… Orthochristian.com came out with a full report of the event and some analysis of the ramifications, which I suggest to read linking here…

 

A very well respected priest put it very bluntly to us: “We are dealing with a hostile takeover of our Church” – and he is right… The gang that dominates GOA (please do not have any doubts that they are a gang: they look like a gang, they act like a gang = they are a gang) have never shown any interest in leading the Church of America – except to milk it for all the money it has… For the last few months, their main emphasis daily is the “PAT. BARTHOLOMEW FOUNDATION” in order to achieve, as they explain it word for word “financial independence for the Constantinople Patriarchate”…

Well, let me list here the priorities of GOA: 1) Financial Independence for the Patriarchate, 2) Collecting more money ($95 million is not enough) to finish St.Nicholas!! 3) Collecting more money for the priests’ pension plan, 4) Collecting more money for the Holy Cross Hellenic College – on top of the $2.2 million annually given by the Greek government (but I heard a rumor recently that Mitsotakis will give no more than the money already given…)

Have any of you seen or heard anything spiritual (or at least not arrogant and self-centered – or not financial) coming out of this gang at GOA recently?  Please enlighten me… Has any of you seen any signs that this gang of so-called priests and hierarchs are American or that they are willing to lead this American Church? Where was the Memorial Day Service for the millions of Americans who sacrificed their lives for this country and for world freedom? Is Pat. Bartolomew’s name day more important than Memorial Day? Shame on them!!

The photo below (from TNH) shows all the decadence of the Constantinople Patriarchate in celebrating the name day of Pat. Bartholomew.  Thank God they did not put any birthday candles on his “name day cake”!… Have you ever seen ANY Orthodox hierarch celebrate his name day in such a secular, self-centered, and arrogant way? A bunch of corrupt actors took part in the celebration, including Met. Emmanuel of Chalcedon (formerly of France – sitting on the left) is in charge of Ukraine – but his only concern is how much money he will get from there every time he visits… The “Titanic” heads towards the iceberg with the orchestra playing… When the boat sinks please do not get any ideas to transfer its seat to DC… We had enough… More than enough!!

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By Abba Photodosios

A proclamation that vexes a believer’s heart…

From the website of St. Bartholomew’s Church

 Dear friends,

 For over twenty-five years, St. Bart’s [sic] has joyfully celebrated the LGBTQ+ Community during Pride Month. Declaring God’s love for all people has long been an important part of our mission as an Episcopal Church. We affirm and advocate for the LGBTQ+ Community—and all historically marginalized people—not because it is popular, but because it is what the Gospel calls us to do.

This year will be no exception to our well-established pattern. We plan on hosting a mix of virtual and in person events over the course of the coming weeks, and we hope you will join us for as many of them as you feel comfortable.

On Sunday, June 6, we will bless the Pride Flag after the 5 pm Eucharist, held in person in the Church. To attend the service, please register here. You may also arrive on the Church steps at 5:45 in order to participate in the outdoor blessing. Following the service, the Pride Flag will fly over Park Avenue for the remainder of the month.

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From the Orthodox Observer

On June 11, 2021

Archbishop Elpidophoros to Celebrate the Feast Day of the Ecumenical Patriarch at Historic Saint Bartholomew Church in New York City

 Excerpts from Archbishop Elpidophoros’ homily:

Today, in an ecumenical gesture worthy of the occasion, I have the special honor to preside over the Divine Service for the Patronal Feast of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople and New Rome, and Spiritual Father of Orthodox Christianity. This magnificent church dedicated to Saint Bartholomew is truly a precious architectural gem and artistic jewel of both Manhattan and the entire country.

Some may wonder: Why celebrate the Ecumenical Patriarch’s nameday in a church borrowed from another Christian tradition? My dear friends, it’s not only the name. Therefore, let me say this in reply: It is precisely because of the ecumenicity of the First Throne of Orthodoxy, and the faithful and inspiring ecumenical ministry of our Patriarch. 

For this alone, this day is most fitting indeed, especially in a church that shares his heavenly patron, the Apostle Bartholomew!

As Orthodox Christians, we are not about exclusivity, but about authenticity. We say with the Lord Jesus Christ, “whoever is not against us is for us!” (Mark 9:40).  We openly embrace those who differ from us, not to manifest any compromise, but to extend to others the love and acceptance of Christ.

We are very welcome here indeed, and the honor shown by our Episcopalian brothers and sisters to our Patriarch is a sign that bodes well for the future of the ecumenical movement. By this time, we all know what gulfs separate us. Perhaps, then, we should spend more time focusing on building bridges than on acknowledging walls.

For as the Lord said: “By this shall all people know that you are My disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35). Therefore, this ecumenical commitment stands at the very heart of what it means to be a Christian (https://www.goarch.org/).

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Horace, a Roman lyric poet, once warned his readers, “nihil admirari” (to be astonished at nothing). Unfortunately, Archbishop Elpidophoros too often exhibits a disquieting skill for astonishment, typically for the wrong reasons. Add to this the advice of Sirach (27:5), “The fruit of a tree shows the care it has had; so too does a man’s speech disclose the bent of his mind,” and we may ask, what’s wrong with this picture? Several things. A careful look at some of the Archbishop’s choice of words will suffice to expose what’s going on here:

“exclusivity” versus “authenticity;”

“build bridges” versus “acknowledging walls.”

The 3rd century Latin writer, Tertullian, in an effort to distinguish the conclusiveness of the Christian Gospel from the necessity for philosophical speculation, asked this pertinent question: “What has Athens to do with Jerusalem.” Today, many centuries later, and having witnessed an unprecedented liturgical travesty in a New York parasynagogue, we are compelled to ask, “What has the Orthodox Church to do with Sodom and Gomorrah?”

The Archbishop refers to the Episcopalians as “our brothers and sisters” and claims that by welcoming us they offer a sign that, “bodes well for the ecumenical movement.” How so? Better yet, let’s ask His Eminence, how many red lines must the Episcopal church cross before we realize that, “they are not for us?” Yet, Archbishop Elpidophoros has the boldness to quote Mark 9:40 to justify his actions, “whoever is not against us is for us.” Is the spiritual leader of the Greek Orthodox Church in America unaware of the following:

 In 1994 “sexual orientation” was added to the non-discrimination canons for ordination in the Episcopal Church. In 2009 the Episcopal Church passed a resolution stating that, “God’s call is open to all,” and eradicating discriminatory barriers to the election of bishops. However, the church had already consecrated its first openly gay bishop in 2003.

The Episcopal Church also approved transgender ordination at its 2012 General Convention. Women have been ordained priests and elected bishops in the Episcopal Church since 1974 (https://www.hrc.org/resources).

Episcopalians Approve Rite to Bless Same-Sex Unions (July 10, 2012, NYT)

He claims, “We openly embrace those who differ from us, not to manifest any compromise, but to extend to others the love and acceptance of Christ.”

Perhaps His Eminence’s use and understanding of the English language is wanting. Embrace defined: 1. hold (someone) closely in one’s arms, especially as a sign of affection. 2. accept or support (a belief, theory, or change) willingly and enthusiastically.

Compromise: 1. settle a dispute by mutual concession. 2. accept standards that are lower than is desirable.

Tell us, venerable hierarch, how can we embrace what so manifestly opposes Orthodox moral teaching without suggesting “any compromise?” Will you charge us with the crime of exclusivity if we dare remind you of St. Paul’s injunction, “But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.” (Eph. 5:3-5)

Did your Episcopalian friends, in an act of compromise toward Orthodox sensitivities, remove the offensive rainbow flag for the duration of your liturgy? You claim that Orthodox Christians are not about exclusivity but about authenticity. If you really wanted to be “authentic” you might have remembered St. Paul’s call, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 2:5) And, was it not St. Paul who required the Corinthians to, “deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” (I Cor. 5:5)

While the Episcopalians remain true to their perverted exegesis of Christian morality, the Archbishop wants us to forget the walls that separate us and build bridges instead. This kind of sentimental drivel is useless when it comes to honest, genuine ecumenical dialogue. After all, who burnt the bridges that once connected the Episcopal church to authentic Christianity? Who keeps adding layer upon layer to the wall that separates them from us?

You speak, Archbishop, about love, yet you conveniently forget that our Lord Himself defines how the exercise of this preeminent virtue works in the life of a Christian: “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.” (John 14:23) And, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt. 5:17-19)

We are known as His disciples, Your Eminence, by keeping His word. And, You will know them by their fruits” (Mt. 7:16). Authentic love, as gift and fruit of the Spirit, always speaks the truth, never deceives, and points to Christ as “the Truth, the Way and the Life.”  We confess Christ, as we know Him in the Gospel, the Mysteries, Tradition and teachings of His Church.  Our Faith is a proclamation of the Lord, the Giver of Life, undistorted by heresy, schism and the graceless delusions of fallen human nature, that distort His message precisely because it is popular.

Finally, we cannot endure much more of the ecumenicity of the “First Throne” and its present occupant. The Orthodox Church throughout the oikoumene has been scandalized and alienated enough by the egregious mischief of a man whose throne is more important to him than the unity of the Church. The notion itself of a “First Throne,” a byzantine exaggeration like the title “Ecumenical,” should be alien to the Orthodox spirit of conciliarity.  Indeed, history witnesses to the fact that Constantinople, “had no splendid traditions from the earliest age; it had none of the lustre of Apostolic origin; its dignity could not be compared with that of the old patriarchates, Rome, Alexandria, Antioch; it had nothing of the sacred associations of Jerusalem. A new see, in itself of no importance, its claims were pushed solely because of a coincidence that had nothing to do with the Church. It was only because of the presence of the Emperor and through his tyrannical policy that the Church of his city managed to usurp the first place among the Eastern Churches…” (The Orthodox Eastern Church, Adrian Fortesque, London, 1920, p. 31). Should we be surprised, then, when this same See, faithful to its historical/political foundations, collaborates today with foreign secular powers to affirm its “prominence” and champion its “authority”? A See, like those of Alexandria and Antioch, that continues to decline under the suffocating oppression of Islamic rule; a See that stands mute as a fish while its churches are changed into mosques. This is the See that challenges and disrupts the unity of the Orthodox world, while propagating unity with heretics and schismatics. The unity of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church should be paramount in the hearts and minds of all our spiritual leaders. All others, including your Episcopalian friends, need to find the path to repentance and return before we can offer them the guarantee of unity in and with the Body of Christ.

It was for times and reckless deeds such as the transgression committed at “St. Bart’s” that our Lord gave the warning: “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.” (Mk. 9:42)

The verse says “sea” but the Hudson River would do just fine.

Abba Photodosios

23 COMMENTS

  1. Thank God for those who have the courage to stand for the truth! “who will rise up for me against the evildoers? Or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?”
    Psalm 94:16
    Yvonne Stamatellos

  2. When did we ever see such abomination happen? Such disrespect for our holy Orthodox Faith? The Patristic Fathers are spinning in their grave & weeping from Heaven!

  3. A veiled political message? Abandoning the wall and letting cartels infiltrate our polluted cities with drugs? Wow! I’ve actually never ever thought this gang would go here….. stunned at this messaging!

  4. Salaciously delicious Nick~

    Now we have “authenticity”! Whatever that means…It does, however, reveal the intention of the global “ecumenical inclusion” (which is another extension of the great reset) of all who do not worship Christ but follow Satan. This is blasphemy. And this IS THE DIRECTION IN WHICH THE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH IS HEADED–off the cliff! Better jump ship now before being led down the road to perdition.

    Anyone can quote scripture. I liken this to the drive by media’s attempt at leaving out the many other words which either precede or follow the actual interview, speech or in this case, scripture partially quoted by our dear Eminence to highlight only the points which suit their narrative. Elpidophoros is no exception in being selective in his word choice to continue the vague indirect manner of speaking gobbly gush like most in the media do so today purposely designed to hide truths because they can’t face open criticism and deal with the consequences of their poor decisions and shameful actions.

    (Mathew 13:14), “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

    One of the most important verses follows next-

    (Mathew 15-20), “Watch out for false prophets (Elpidophoros, Pat. Bartholomew and gang of many leading the church today). They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

    Continuing in the following passages, (Mathew 21-23), True and False Disciples:

    21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

    1. Jesus never sacrificed God’s message for popularity.
    Not long after feeding a crowd of thousands and teaching about the cost of following Him, most followers fell away. Only the disciples remained (John 6:66-67).
    Also, He enraged Nazarenes in the synagogue by preaching something they did not want to hear, so they tried to throw Him from a cliff (Luke 4:24-30).

    2. In pursuit of tolerance and cooperation, key Christian doctrine is easily lost.
    Participants of this movement are in danger of echoing an “all roads lead to God” mantra, which would draw them away from “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6) in order to nurture tolerance and cooperation between popular opinion of all religions. Jack Wellman argued on Patheos: “When essential doctrines of the faith are compromised, and certain elements of the faith are sacrificed for the sake of unity then the things lost are of greater consequence than those things gained.”

    3. Lost people are led to believe they’ll reach heaven without Jesus and more importantly without redemption and atonement.
    In the past century, many clergy have argued for a more inclusive form of Christianity, arguing that gospel truth turns people off; Christians must be more inclusive if they are to serve the needs of their local and global communities. While Christians must serve others regardless of beliefs, Christians should not compromise the truth of the gospel.

    What’s Wrong with the Modern Ecumenical Movement? I recommend reading the book by Michael J. McClymond, author of The Devil’s Redemption: A New History and Interpretation of Christian Universalism. The following is an excerpt he said in an interview with The Gospel Coalition that “universalism” addresses “the way that many religiously believing people—and contemporary academic theologians especially—would like for the world to be.” The problem with these universalist sentiments linked to the Ecumenical Movement is that not everyone is going to heaven. “It would be spiritually hazardous to tell those who have consciously rejected Christ that beyond the present life there will be further opportunities to respond to Christ—opportunities of which Scripture says nothing,” McClymond said.

    Clearly being “authentic” still does not equate to mean speaking the “truth”. It just means I will tell it like we are going to now do it. Elpidophoros like all of us who are fallen is even more disingenuous as a “holy man” of the cloth as they have finally acknowledged they care NOT for the opinions of the Laity, the few in the pews, who write the checks and give generously out of their Christian hears. Who are we anyway? They are pious and full of “religious” traditions of men following men, not Christ.

    Finally, why is there even consideration to purchasing this Episcopal Church when the Archdiocese is flat broke, other than to further glorify the second man on the throne, Pat. Bartholomew himself.

  5. This episcopalian approach was not done by the Episcopalians, it was done by Fanar under
    the auspices of those Satans that are pushing the Ecumenical movement. Elpidophoros is one of the many figures
    those promoting globalism = cannibalism.

  6. Oh VOMIT
    & that huge gay flag hanging outside that has been church, St. Bartholomew’s is most satanic thing we’ve ever seen plastered on an ecclesia! Shameful

    • If we the people leave, then we are leaving the Church with all its moral stature and all its properties to the hands of people who are corrupted in every sense of the word. No we don’t have the right to do that… Those who are immoral, heretic or corrupt have to be removed…

      • Nick, ideologically I agree with you but we all need to hear proposals of how this is supposed to happen. Almost all the ‘sheep’ out there are either uninformed, unwillingly to trust their own eyes, or willing to be part of the ‘priviliged’ cabal of prestige-seeking atheists who support this status quo.

        We can document and agree all we want about their incompetence, corruption, criminality… kai ti egine??
        When I’ve described the embarrassing disgrace that is our Church, it feels like my fellow parishioners think I have a personal axe to grind, or my faith just ‘isn’t what it should be’. It’s the old Wisdom of an Ostrich: “pisteve kai min erevnas”.

        If something BIG doesn’t happen quite soon ( e.g. a class-action lawsuit, or serious criminal charges made) then Option B, the financial collapse of the GOA will proceed incrementally. They just renege on the Charter that legally defines us, without suffering ANY repercussions. So can anyone credibly argue that the Body of our Church isn’t a zombie corpse?

        As to the properties, each individual church belongs to each local chartered parish IMHO, as is written on their deeds, despite what the hierarchs claimed a few years back. But I’m not a lawyer.

  7. I say let’s support our churches and priests– stop giving to St. Nick- the bottomless pit and don’t show at events that offend decent tradition- how does one explain the pride flags in front of the church?

    • Unfortunately, this “leadership” is determined to blackmail the priests or kick them out and replace them with others From Greece or Istanbul. So if the churches and priests are supported in the regular way then the “gang” that runs GOARCH will eventually take advantage one way or the other. They will not hesitate to demand the parishes (especially the dying ones) to pass on the property rights to them to be sold, with most of the money heading to Istanbul…

  8. I agree with supporting our local parishes, churches, priests however, you can’t keep parishes from sending our money to the GOARCH. Leadership has increased the amounts they are demanding for money to strap the smaller churches hoping they fall by the wayside so that they can stake claim to these valuable parcels of land for the huge sums of cash they need to keep the gay pride Jessy going! (cough cough, gag!)

    When you donate money, you must do so anonymously. And you’re right Antonis, there are many Archons supporting the wolves in sheep’s clothing seeking publicity, kudos, bravo’s and other accolades that somehow will “guarantee” them a spot in heaven. It is just the opposite.

    Now that the faggots are out of the closet with their cries for Universalism….You can officially call them “Professional” Christians (which they are anything but) feeding off the backs of those thinking they can save the “church”. Face it, the church will forever remain in our hearts. Not in men of this world.

  9. O.k. they are sick and should have received therapy- something may have gone wrong in their wiring– they didn’t like girls- probably hung up with a smothering overbearing mom –guys should date– and date young—– let’s not call them f……..s– let’s pray they don’t get out there with propaganda and veiled teachings— our grandkids futures depends on our strength…we need our churches -as the public schools and woke culture may just ruin a generation.

  10. Just spoke to a conservative friend who follows “Helleniscope”– and said the sickness part of homosexuals has been challenged in liberal church responses as a counter-argument. In other words, the church accepts all, and like a hospital takes in all the sick, etc…

  11. Related comment– Wow! Time to celebrate the 9-0 SCOTUS DECISION ! Great day for religious freedom–in the right direction out of Philadelphia adoption Case!

  12. Larissa: we already know the church welcomes all sinners – but gay flag hanging outside a church is desecrating.
    Why not also hang flags for adulterers, murderers, robbers, alcoholics, drug addicts, child molesters etc.,?

    It’s a deliberate agenda to destroy holiness, purity, accountability !
    It’s Satanic – to derail God’s Plan.

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