By Jackie Morfesis

We never cease to be amazed by the words and intentions of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros. His latest missive against the Orthodox Church, and as always veiled in his social and political agenda once again seeks to revise a faith tradition from the time of the Apostles. Here are his words from the Annual Leadership 100 Conference in Naples, Florida:

“But today, I want to challenge us all – here in the “New City” of Naples – to think about what new thing are we going to be known for in the next hundred years. What makes our faith so marvelous is that even though we repeat the cycles of holy seasons and services with a precision unmatched, we always can infuse our traditions with new enthusiasm, new excitement, and new energy.”

Let’s take a moment to unpack and reflect on the not-so-veiled meaning and purpose of this statement. He uses the “New City” of Naples as his starting point, entry point, permission if you will, to launch his ever-present and ongoing theme of changing the unchanging and changeless truth of God and His Holy Mysteries. Just as he previously did in revisioning the Annunciation of Mary with language very purposely crafted to tear away at the position of the Orthodox Church regarding the right to life of the unborn.

We know that as Orthodox Christians, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). We also know that as believers, we are made anew in Christ. “Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are passed away; behold, all things become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Yet, the archbishop feels the need to somehow make anew what has already been perfected. The notion that it is we who bring new energy and infuse our liturgies and sacraments and traditions is a false and concerning one. We know very well that we are partakers in the Divine Mysteries of our God and that we are to stand as good stewards and shepherds. We are not the “creators” of the Divine.

And the cycles and holy seasons and services are not offered year after year, season after season, as rote repetition whose aim is a seamless precision. They are offered with reverence and worship. The only reason His Eminence would believe that we need to infuse anything is if they are in some way lacking. And the Holy Spirit is not lacking. God’s favor and providence is not lacking. And God’s healing, forgiveness, and love is not lacking. There is no slack nor lack with God. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

Yet, it is we, who lack. We lack bold faith.  In fact, as Orthodox Christians, we are not readily taught God’s Holy Word. We do not know the Bible the way other Christian denominations know the Bible. And we know that God’s word is our daily bread. “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Exodus 16:16). We also know that God’s word is the sword of the spirit. Ephesians 6.

We are not taught that we are a child of God, a disciple of Christ, and an ambassador in the kingdom. And sorely, we are not taught that we are to lay hands and heal in Jesus’ holy name. This is not only something relegated to the clergy, but to all of God’s children.

No, Archbishop Elpidophoros, it is not our Divine Liturgy and services and observances that need to be infused with new energy, it is the very stance of our church leaders who believe that the power of the Holy Spirit, though they tell us is given to us at our baptism, is only in their hands to be meted out to parishioners at will. And it is not.

Jesus said: “I will not leave you orphans. I will comfort you” (John 14:18). The Holy Spirit is our comforter. And we, in turn, are to comfort others. Not only comfort others, but as is told to us in scripture, offer healing in Jesus’ name.  We know very well that Jesus is the Master Physician of our souls and bodies. And our life is in His hands as His follower. We are gifted by medicine. and we appreciate and value all who are learned. We appreciate and value our doctors, surgeons, and medical professionals. But we must not speak words that convey we have forgotten who is responsible for the healing of body and soul.

His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros is weaving a tapestry, but it appears more so a web, to recreate what has already been created. A carefully crafted web with a very specific agenda and purpose.

We should all be impassioned. We should all be desirous of learning more. We should all be willing to open our hearts, minds, and souls. We should all care about our neighbors and our communities. And not only care but put into action our mercy and compassion. And in these ways, we can all do better as Christians and within our parishes. Especially parishes that are able to allocate millions of dollars to build new community centers and have not included spaces for outreach to God’s children in need as referenced in (Matthew 25.35).

But as an Orthodox Christian, this is not achieved by struggling to decide what “new thing” we will be known for in the next hundred years. It is not achieved by revisioning, reimagining, remaking, and reestablishing our traditions, sacraments, and services, that have endured since the time of the apostles, founded upon God’s Holy Word.

It is achieved by diving deeper into our faith with prayer, humility, and dedication. No, Archbishop Elpidophoros, we are not here to be concerned about what “new thing” will we be known for in the next hundred years. We are to be concerned by how we will be viewed by God throughout eternity.


  1. Excellent point Jackie – AB Elps is weaving a diabolical web to pervert our Church for his own sinister dark agenda.

    Keep speaking out sister! Even if he keeps blocking all of us never stop exposing the Emperor with no clothes.

  2. Reading his comments, it does not seem he implied what you said. He simply said infuse energy in what you offer to God in your worship. Enthusiasm. Enthusiasm literally is to be possessed by God. He was actually encouraging worship with our heart . Could he have emphasized some other things? Yes , of course.

    • I disagree, but respect your stance. Elpi is part if the global cabal Great Reset.” I call this man “Elp”i because he is not an Archbishop by any means. He is a Pied Piper for globalist “Build Back Better”
      control – part of the reset is for globalists to get control of the churches.


      “His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros is weaving a tapestry, but it appears more so a web, to recreate what has already been created. A carefully crafted web with a very specific agenda and purpose.” Y E S!

    • A Reply by Jackie Morfesis
      In reply to Fr Chris Moody.
      The Archbishop said very specifically to infuse our “traditions”. Our traditions do not need infusing nor revitalization. Which is the point I made. We cannot replace his words with infuse our “hearts”. That becomes a very different meaning. Thank you for your comment.

  3. Jackie, though I agree with much of that you say, I think you misinterpreted the statement you quoted. . The GOA is in dire need of a new energy and enthusiasm. I don’t think he knows how to invigorate a dying church but I don’t think his intent is to recreate the church. Additionally, I am much more concerned with his statement that we need to “create a new generation of philhellenes.” I am not aware of any patristic or biblical support for that statement. I want my children and grandchildren to identify with Jesus Christ. I think of the words of St Paul in Galatians 4:19, I am in pains of child birth until Christ be formed in you. This has nothing to do with being a philhellene. One can be a philhellene and be far from the Kingdom of God.

    • Thank you for your comment. The church is not dying. The Church is the bride of Christ, the body of believers. It is we who are born again in Christ, and it is we who must take our rightful place in His kingdom just as the Early Christians did. Our spiritual leaders are missing the mark here and that was my other point. Yes, of course – in regards to Galatians 4:19 – scripture also tells us in Romans that we are predestined to become the image of Christ – this is God’s plan for our lives. Our core identity is “Child of God”. All else follows.

      • The church is dying. The latest census showed Greek Orthodox adherents have declined +/- 20% over the last ten years in the US. That’s on top of the massive losses over the preceding ten years. We should highlight this tragedy at every opportunity as it clearly demonstrates leadership’s absolute failure to “infuse our traditions” with anything inspiring whether it be new or old.

  4. I am always appalled, amused, disillusioned, and actually, quite entertained, at how everyone is a critic of the Archbishop. Everyone is a theologian, and everyone knows how to twist his words around to take a stab at him, just because it is so fashionable these days to do so. Jackie, you wrote an entire article that is full of hot air, choice phrases, and theological-sounding statements. And you’re basing this article on something that the Archbishop did NOT say. You quoted him yourself: “…we always can infuse our traditions with new enthusiasm, new excitement, and new energy.” That’s it. What part of what he said did you all NOT understand? Clearly, all he is saying is to take our EXISTING Traditions (and I’m using a capital “T” here) and follow them with “new enthusiasm, new excitement, and new energy”. I mean, there’s no paraphrasing this, as it’s clear as day what he is saying. He did NOT say to “change” anything. He did not say to “create” anything. He merely said to take what is already there and exercise them with a renewed sense of purpose and not merely as a repetitive (“mundane”, if you will) cycle, as some people feel that it is. You know what? This attacking of the Archbishop is getting quite old, mainly because people who are attacking him haven’t a CLUE of what he is saying in the first place. Let me end this by ripping apart another moronic statement made in this article: “Just as he previously did in revisioning the Annunciation of Mary with language very purposely crafted to tear away at the position of the Orthodox Church regarding the right to life of the unborn.” You’ve GOT to be kidding me, right? The Archbishop’s statements regarding “the autonomy of women” were very clearly NOT meant to support abortion. Anyone who thinks that this is what he said is just an idiot. (I’m sorry, I’m being a little harsh, aren’t I? Well, not nearly as harsh as the attacks this Archbishop is getting pelted with.) Once again, another miscostruing of his words. He CLEARLY said that “We affirm the gift and sanctity of life — all life, born and unborn.” He then CLARIFIED this statement by saying, “”Every life is worthy of our prayer and our protection, whether in the womb, or in the world.” (To me, these statements alone SCREAM “right to life”. But those that want to attack the Archbishop don’t see it that way, because… well, because they want to attack the Archbishop.) In the next (and what some supporters call “fateful”) paragraph, he made the statement about “affirm(ing) our respect for the autonomy of women.” Again, his words were very clear: he was not referring to this “autonomy” of women to choose to preserve or end life, but the autonomy of women to choose to conceive or not. That’s it!! THAT’S what he was saying. The example he used of the Virgin Mary as a model of this autonomy is very clear: she chose to ACCEPT the task of bringing forth the Savior of the World INTO the World. When the Archangel Gabriel came to her with the good news, could she have easily said, “Well, no, I don’t think I can do this, please tell God to pick someone else”?? OF COURSE she could have! Why? Because as human beings we have been given the gift of free will. Even though God Himself sent his own personal messenger to this humble young Jewish girl to offer her the chance to be the mother of the Son of God, she could have easily said “no”. It’s comical how his enemies continue to peddle this false narrative of what he said. No, Archbishop Elpidophoros is NOT a renegade. He’s not out to change our Traditions and to rip apart the Church. On the contrary. He is actually looking to PRESERVE them. But again, those that want to attack him will find any and all arguments to do so by twisting his words. I’m done with this. Sorry, Jackie, I don’t know from where you got your theological training, but you missed the mark on a lot of what you wrote. At least, that’s the way I’M interpreting it. Instead of trashing Elpidophoros, why not request an audience with him and, in the spirit of love and respect, confront him directly? You may be pleasantly surprised at the result.

    • Ellhnas, With all due respect – your assumptive, accusatory, and mean-spirited tirade and missive against me is unfounded and ugly. Firstly, it is absolutely my right to voice my concerns about our appointed earthly church leadership which I have already addressed directly to the GOA at the office of the Archbishop (assumptive on your part that I have not). Also, it was not the “learned theologians” who our Lord chose as His disciples but fisherman so they could be fishers of men. Please refresh yourself with scripture. And as far as “choice” you know very well the AB was not arguing a woman’s right to “choose” to be pregnant. That goes without saying. He was arguing a woman’s right of “autonomy” to carry the child. It is you sir, who are twisting words and meaning here. Also read up on spiritual discernment and the difference between the mind and they heart. The Jesus prayer is in order here. Amartia is what “screams” loudly through your words to me. By they way – I use my real name “Ellhnas”. Come show yourself behind the veil. I am a spiritual warrior in God’s kingdom and I have shown mine again and again. And to finish – “love and respect” is not what you have shown me. So let’s add hypocrisy to your resume.

    • Ellhnas, Might I add… The representative of the office of the Archbishop at the GOA mirrored and supported my concerns during our phone conversation, telling me that I was not the only one who voiced such concerns directly to their office.

  5. Sadly, many people in the church would have more enthusiasm…. if we replaced this archbishop with a new one and new hierarchs/clergy who were actually teaching Orthodoxy and being true examples of how to live an Orthodox life and uphold the traditions and teachings of the church.

    The fact that he makes statements (i.e., autonomy) that are vague enough to be misinterpreted does not bode well for someone who is supposed to be leading/teaching others. What kind of a teacher is that? When have you ever read a writing of the Holy Fathers or Saints and came away asking yourself ‘I wonder if he meant it this way, or the opposite way?’ Never. This confusion is the work of the devil.

    His quote from the IRF meeting last summer that all religions are different paths up the same mountain is NOT the teaching of Orthodoxy. Neither is prime sine paribus (first without equal). For two thousand years!
    If you don’t know what the church has taught, you can’t have discernment about what someone says that is wrong. That is not being a critic. It is discernment. For the sake of our eternal souls, we are not to stray from the teachings of the church and follow people into delusion.

    Lest someone says that we are to be blindly obedient to our hierarchs as is fashionable these days for those who are abusing their power and are in delusion: “We are all responsible for the Church, and not only the bishops, for the Church is not someone else’s private property. The bishop, together with the clergy, as well as the laity, as one body with the head – Christ, are responsible for it, each in their own way. Often, when patriarchs and hierarchs fell into error, only the elders and monks stood up to protect the Church from all kinds of heresies, and the faithful people have for centuries been generally recognized as the guardians of Orthodoxy.” Fr. Theodore Zisis

    We have enough excitement in our lives trying to figure out how we are going to feed our families food that won’t kill us (or how we will be able to afford any food at all) and keep our bodies which were made in the likeness and image of God from medical tyranny, but more importantly how to keep our souls on the path to salvation when our shepherds aren’t guiding us towards that but seem to be guiding us away from that.

    We don’t need excitement or new energy. Part of what we need is faith-filled clergy and hierarchs. Absent that (which we seem to be) the other thing we need is to concentrate on our own faith ourselves and in community with other remaining faithful Orthodox through prayer and repentance, reading the lives of the saints, the teachings of the holy fathers/saints and knowing/understanding/upholding the true traditions of the church.

    Glory be to God for this situation we find ourselves in which has showed us how deficient we all are in our faith and how much work we have to do for our souls! Pray for everyone!

    Kyrie eleision imas!

    • Aggeliki, I find it interesting that you did not mention the reading of Scripture. That is the direction the Frs. and saints would direct us. St Chrysostom states ‘ the cause of all evil is not reading the scriptures ” and in another place says “we should not begin any day without reading from the divine scripture. “Also, from a modern saint, St Porphyrios, we have the consistent recommendation to read the scriptures. Read Hebrews4:12, 2 Timothy 3:15 and 16 and psalm 119 about the importance of Scripture. First things should always be first. It amazes me how biblically illiterate most Orthodox Christians are. Our churches are administrated by parish council members who have never even read the New Testament. I implore you read the Scriptures only then can you understand the Frs and saints.

      • JK, We do not need to look to St. John Chrysostom to know the origin of evil when scripture tells us that “The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy, I came that they may have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10)”. We are also told to rebuke the demonic in Jesus’ name. Evil existed before scripture. Evil existed with the fall of Lucifer and His legions who work tirelessly to attack God’s children. This is also a wound in Orthodoxy – that indeed must we learn scripture – but also that we place the words of the saints and martyrs above God’s Holy Word. And for the record – we are all called and called to be saints in scripture. I see very clearly from Aggeliki’s words that she is a devout woman of faith. She did not need to mention specifically that we must read the scriptures – when her understanding and love for God and His Holy Word is infused in everything she wrote. I see nothing biblically illiterate about her comment – but I do see a lack of understanding in your’s.

    • My article was not a “political” reflection. I firstly identify as a “Child of God’. This is my core identity. Not Republican nor Democrat. And our leaders should not speak in such a way that we are forced to give them “the benefit of the doubt.” Doubt should have never entered the picture in the first place.

  6. Aggeliki, God bless you. You speak with the gift of the Holy Spirit. You know very well that lies and deceit are the tools of darkness. As is confusion and ambiguity. There are near 200 scriptural passages on lies. And we know that God “will silence the tongue of the liars and the deceivers” (Psalm 63:11). Scripture is very clear – over 60 verses warning us against “sheep in wolves clothing”. You are a woman of God, and it shows through your words, heart, and discernment. Please add me to your prayer list. Those who speak up in the face of earthly authority are and will be attacked. Jackie

  7. Great job Jackie!
    Ellhnas to you I write:
    I must ask how can anyone possibly read into or interpret anything Abp Elpidophoros ever really says? Do you write his speeches? Are you an “insider” who gets copies of his speeches ahead of time so that you can pour through studying and analyzing it line by line and spin it to his advantage? Are you here to prop up the Abp’s contradictory image of “holiness” by downplaying the movement towards Global Universal Ecumenicism and corruption within the rank and file of the GOARCH by spreading false “good news” to the few faithful remaining in the pews waiting and hanging on by a thread for change to occur? Or are the rest of us just plain stupid “deplorable” idiots? I don’t know, but I’m willing to stick my neck out to say that the truth probably lies somewhere in the muck buried deep within the GOARCH itself.

    Over the last two short years, God has brought forth the evil forces of darkness into the light; it is difficult NOT TO ACKNOWLEDGE what has now clearly been exposed and is visible! The American Orthodox faithful demand and deserve to know these truths and the hidden agendas no matter what the consequences.

    There is a serious disconnect, lack of transparency and ability in which Abp Elpidophoros communicates succinctly with clarity to his Orthodox audience. If you don’t recognize that as a problem by simply continuing to believe what you think you can interpret, or what you may have heard or want to hear, then you are the one confused. His speeches leave much to be desired and leave more unanswered questions still hanging than answered.

    When the Abp speaks, it is usually with such broad generalities and vagueness that honestly, it is difficult to discern his hidden agenda, heartfelt intention and meaning behind the utterances to comprehend what he means other than by making inferences and dissecting his word choices by reading in between the lines of what he simply doesn’t say or write. The absence thereof, in his case speaks louder volumes than what comes forth.

    In my humble opinion, with which I’m sure you will disagree, Elpidophoros speaks in circles, “beating around the bush” constantly dodging by never addressing what the flock wants or needs to hear by using flowery diction, soft peddling the difficult topics while saying absolutely nothing spiritually enlightening, encouraging or uplifting to the flock. That my friends are the real problems we face with the current leaders at the “helm”. Are we here to simply remain enamored with tradition for the sake of a religion?

    I don’t think anyone who writes articles or comments on come to this blog as “haters” just spewing ugly venomous words writing as you seem to espouse. With the many ongoing lawsuits, crimes committed and corruption coming into the light daily, Nick Stamatakis and others continue writing in order to expose and counter the lies being circulated by the propagandist media outlets trying to set the record straight by bringing Satan’s darkness into God’s light. Perhaps at times, it is necessary to continue to “stoke the fire” as new information gets released for these and other topics to remain up front and center as a constant reminder of the deep corruption within the church. Are we seeking vengeance? No. Just simply the truth. God knows what is or isn’t in anyone’s heart. No judgements here as we are all born into a sinful nature.

    If Abp Elpidophoros spoke with the same clarity, forth rightfulness and Christian beliefs rooted in God’s covenants and commandments that Abp Vigano speaks with, there would be no doubt, confusion or debate as to any position, innuendo or inference as to what Abp Elpidoktonas believes or says. But few elder statesmen have the gift of speaking truth as Abp Vigano does.

    Where is the Orthodox Church’s position on any of these current events? NO WHERE. NADA. ZYLCH. ZIP.

    The Orthodox “religion” which is ritualistic in nature hence, “religious”, no longer speaks to the many thousands of former Orthodox believers who have fled the church in which they grew up being indoctrinated because of the “mysteries” and secrecy which continue to shroud and surround the religion and its inner dealings of the church and the ethos of those who are in leadership.

    I don’t for a minute believe that the church hierarchy has the eternal salvation of its flock of Orthodox Christians as their primary and central focus, nor do they have the interests of the Priests who work overtime with boots on the ground now without a pension fund for their years of service tending to their flock. These are serious flaws which are wrong and outrageously egregious. This shows me that the hierarchy with all their ceremonious pomp and circumstance are nothing but dead man’s bones as they have forsaken their flock for other worldly possessions.

  8. I am one who has confronted Abp. Elpidophoros face to face. That was in January 2020, right before the so-called pandemic hit. I asked his eminence about his claim that Constantinople was primus sine paribus, wondering whether that made Bartholomew an Eastern pope. He denied it.

    I asked him why Bartholomew had granted the tomos to schismatics in Ukraine when they already had an autonomous Church under Met. Onuphry. He said that nothing had been done for “those people”, meaning the schismatics, so Constantinople needed to act. (I’m paraphrasing.)

    I asked him why he permitted one of our parishioner’s non-Orthodox wives, admittedly of long standing in the congregation, to commune without being initiated into the Faith via baptism or chrismation. He gave the usual argument that he was trying to keep families together.

    Now two years have passed, and Abp. Elpidophoros has demonstrated very cleverly that he is a radical heretic and schismatic. As a former Episcopalian and Anglican priest and now convert to Orthodoxy, I was most infuriated at his use of St. Bart’s Episcopal Church in New York to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of Bartholomew’s enthronement during Pride Month, 2021. St. Bart’s boasts of its mission to “queer Manhattan”. An Orthodox hierarch should have nothing to do with such a demonic group.

    Other actions that Elpidophoros has taken:

    Following the George Floyd incident, Elpidophoros marched with Black Lives Matter, the Marxist group started by three lesbians and funded by George Soros.

    And, what truck did Elpidophoros have with the Mormons in Utah when he spent almost a week with them last year? Was he busy trying to convert them or was he displaying his penchant for radical ecumenism?

    Another example of his failed leadership is the promotion of the not-a-vaccine “vaccines”, denying religious exemptions to any Greek Orthodox with a conscience who was hesitant to take it.

    And then there are the obfuscations that he is know for, one of which is his equivocal statement at the March for Life, in which he tried to straddle the issue of abortion and have it both ways.

    There is the statement at an ecumenical gathering in which he said that there are sundry ways to reach the top of the mountain, implying that there are myriad paths to salvation.

    I have not even mentioned the financial scandals surrounding the Karloutsos family and St. Nicholas Shrine in the Battery of New York. Nor have I touched on the questionable depositions, suspensions and reassignments of clergymen, some of which are a source of suspicion. It is hard to know how much responsibility Elpidophoros has had for those issues as he inherited some of them, but doubts abound. That is not good.

    I could go on, but it is clear to me and to others here at Helleniscope and beyond that Elpidophoros has proven not only by his words, but also by his actions, that he is a heretic and a schismatic who is doing the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese a disservice and who should be removed from office and deported to Turkey. As a matter of fact, Elpidophoros’ patron, the ultimate heresiarch, Bartholomew of Istanbul, ought to be defrocked and sent to Mt. Athos to repent for his delusions of grandeur and his part in bringing scandal and division to the worldwide Orthodox Church by his meddling in Ukraine, which is now at war.

    Elpidophoros would make a good roommate for his All Holiness there at a monastery in Mt. Athos.

  9. Here is a suggested “new thing” to revitalize and energize the witness of Orthodoxy in the US:

    As the presiding Hierarch of the Assembly of Bishops, which has been struggling for more than a decade to bring the overlapping, declining, ethnic “jurisdictions” in the US into canonical order as a united, autocephalous local Church, the Archbishop can lead the Assembly to declare itself a synod, elect its own presiding bishop, proclaim itself to be an autocephalous “sister” church and petition the other autocephalous churches to recognize its autocephaly.

    The benefit of this “new thing” is that it is consistent with Orthodox ecclesiology and canons, it will allow the church to grow as a missionary church reaching out to those seeking the truths of Orthodoxy and those who have left the Orthodox Church because of its emphasis on language and culture rather than Christ.

    A united self-governing Orthodox Church in America will be better positioned to address the challenges of modernism vs fundamentalism than the current, uncanonical collection of colonies directed by foreign synods.

    • George~
      I know you, George M and many others have been working for many years to bring about change, reform and unity within Orthodoxy here in an American Orthodox Church. For Orthodoxy to survive in America with its rapidly declining “active” membership and church attendees, a Pan Orthodox Church would be needed to unify all ethnic “jurisdictions” as you write for the financial health of the church and its missing ministries and outreach in our communities.

      Honestly, do you really think that Abp Elpidophoros will give up his control for an Autocephalous local church? And if so, how many Millions with a capital “M” will it take to “persuade” the Abp to do so?
      Thank you,

  10. I don’t know what is in a mans’ heart, but I believe he is being misguided by the wrong people and not God.


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