MAIN PHOTO: Was the Patriarch asked about honoring AB Spyridon? And how AB Demetrios will be honored by AB Elpidophoros? Like he was last time, hidden in the back seats?
Persistent – but fairly trustworthy rumors – about the upcoming “departure” of AB Elpidophoros from the leadership of GOARCH and his replacement by AB Nikitas of Gr.Britain!! Helleniscope, always many steps ahead of the news, had predicted this eventuality in a prophetic article of September 27, 2021, published after the NYC “Turkish House” debacle and titled “AB Elpidophoros Is Finished… Who Should Replace Him and How?” – where we proposed AB Nikitas Loulias, an American-born hierarch…
Furthermore: Why is AB Elpidophoros consecrating an unfinished Saint Nicholas? What is wrong with one more problematic Clergy-Laity Congress?
By Nick Stamatakis
When I heard a few weeks ago that Met. Emmanuel of Chalcedon (formerly of France – AKA “Emmanuella”) would be coming to New York for the C-L Congress (July 3-7) an alarm bell started ringing: We all knew that his relationship with AB Elpidophoros had hit bottom a long time ago and they cannot stand each other. Sending Emmanuel here for the C-L Congress was a clear sign that something was brewing in the background and it had to do with the leadership of GOARCH. Was it that The Patriarchate was afraid of a move by AB Elpidophoros towards “autonomy”?
The trouble had started last January with the so-called “questionnaire” regarding the affairs of the Church. Initially, it was distributed to only about 80 respondents and it seems that the results were such that forced a wider distribution. It was obvious from talking to many respondents that a uniform answer was given regarding the general questions about the affairs of the Church and that answer included one word: “Autonomy”. The demand was widespread and it included even those in the “Archons”, as well as major donors; after all, this is America and the respondents were mostly business people and successful professionals or priests and other associates of GOARCH.
There are very few people, if any, in this Church that would support the existing dependence on the Constantinople Patriarchate. It does not make any sense from any perspective to any of us – no matter what justifications Pat. Bartholomew, Karloutsos and the circus around them give… Their goal is purely political – they want to chain this group of wonderful Orthodox faithful around the Patriarchate (and they do the same for Canada, UK, Australia, etc) in order to counter politically the influence of the Moscow Patriarchate.
It never crossed the “leadership’s” mind that the best way to achieve such a goal would be to project in every move and in every speech faith and spirituality – and also adherence to the teachings of Orthodox tradition. Instead, they did the opposite: they promoted “pan-religion” by visiting and re-visiting the monstrous “Abrahamic House” in Abu Dhabi, they incessantly aimed at the union with the Catholic Church and they demolished everything we deem holy and sacred in Orthodox tradition. The latest example, AB Elpidophoros’s double-faced approach to the issue of abortion. On the opposite, the Moscow Patriarchate (yes, surely led by Russia’s political leadership), despite their equally intense rapprochement with the Vatican, is glowing with faith and spirituality and is taking the opposite, anti-globalist, stance and they have transformed themselves into protectors of traditional family values.
Who do you think is winning the hearts and minds of the faithful? Certainly not the faithless Constantinople Patriarchate...
In this framework AB Elpidophoros, a declared globalist well before his enthronement, has been making misstep after misstep, for three full years, alienating droves of faithful each time. The churches were emptying even before covid, but the pandemic accelerated the process. The reality that I described early on, during 2020, became clear: there was one and only chance for AB Elpidophoros to survive in America and that would be to take the road AB Iakovos left unfinished, the road of autonomy.
At some point, AB Elpidophoros had to face the harsh reality: there is no way for this Church to survive without autonomy and the rumors started spreading. The fact that Met. Emmanuel became the clear favorite for succeeding Bartholomew simply intensified the rumors; AB Elpidophoros would not “peacefully coexist” with a future “Pat. Emmanuel”, no way… And so it was evident that the two would not work together under any circumstances and that the greater risk for the Patriarchate would by a renewed pursuit of “autonomy” for the Church of America…
The Constantinople Patriarchate – no longer deserving the title “Ecumenical” – had to react against this eventuality of “autonomy” which is becoming all the more widespread… PAt. Bartholomew’s and Karloutsos’s main goal is to maintain the political “integrity” (lol…) of the Patriarchate and not allow any “autonomy” of any sort (the example of the autocephalous Church of Crete comes up again and again recently…) And so the possibility of AB Nikitas of Thyateira (Gr.Britain) becoming the new Archbishop of America came to the surface recently. I heard it from at least three trustworthy unrelated sources and when this happens in the news business you know you have to publish it…
Helleniscope, usually many steps ahead of the news, had predicted this eventuality in a prophetic article of September 27, 2021, published after the NYC “Turkish House” debacle and titled “AB Elpidophoros Is Finished… Who Should Replace Him and How?” – where we proposed AB Nikitas Loulias, an American-born hierarch…
To get a good idea about AB Nikitas (Loulias) please link here... A native of Tarpon Springs, a graduate of Holy Cross, speaker of Russian, graduate of St. Petersburg’s Theological School as well as Thessaloniki’s Theological School, served in Chicago parishes, etc etc… Theologically speaking he dwarfs not only AB Elpidophoros but many Orthodox hierarchs… He is family-related to Congressman Bilirakis and has served to his father’s Mike Bilirakis office for a substantial period… He definitely checks almost all the boxes… Are their blemishes of character from the past? Yes, there are... One hopes that in his late 60s now, Nikitas will leave those blemishes in the past where they belong. One thing is for sure: Nikitas is part and parcel of this Church and this community…
A note of caution: Karloutsos and the Patriarch should not believe that because they will install Nikitas in America they will push back the demand for autonomy – DEFINITELY NOT… This Church needs ample autonomy if it is to survive… Otherwise, it will dissipate as it happens now with droves of faithful, moving to the Antiochean Church and ROCOR… Is this what they really want? To lose Greek-American faithful to other Orthodox Churches that are much closer to Moscow Patriarchate? And a second note of caution for Met. Emmanuel: Keep your dirty hands off this Church!! You are not welcome in America! Go play your political games in Ukraine (or what is left of it!!)
A few notes about the 46th Clergy-Laity Congress…
I am copying below a few valid points from my good friend George Michalopoulos of Monomakhos.com
- The financial situation. Will they be able to replace its coffers?
- The Assembly of Canonical Bishops: Will convince them to stay in the Assembly now that Belya has been accepted by the Ecumenical Patriarchate?
- The ongoing overages and assorted boondoggles that have plagued the St Nicholas Shrine. Will they be able to complete it?
- The Athonite monasteries: why are they not sending any of their representatives to New York? If so, it would be a stunning rebuke based on their concerns regarding the ecumenist drift of Istanbul.
I will have to add the following:
- No financial or other reports were distributed prior to the congress – according to the “Regulations of the Archdiocese” Are these “Regulations” still in effect? If so, they have violated their own bylaws and the budgets cannot be passed.
- Why is the “Treasurer” of the Archdiocese – Mrs. Elaine Allen – allowed to be an “officer” when she was married to a Jew out of the Church and is not in good standing with the church? She was technically excommunicated when she was married to a Jew outside the church – and yet she works as a “volunteer” COO of the GOA and is on the Executive Committee which is against the “Regulations” of the GOA. You must be an Orthodox Christian in “Good Standing” with the Church to be on the Executive Committee or any other parish board in the USA… Why is this being ignored? The answer is that she works for Michael Psaros and they are friends from Fr. Villis’ church (new NYC Chancellor)… How did Fr. Villis become the “Arxchdiocesan – NYC – District Chancellor”? Because of Michael Psaros… Well, is GOARCH Psaros’s private Church organization, where he violates rules and regulations and appoints anyone he chooses? Where is the line drawn between a private donor and the rules and regulations of our Church?
- I have to remind everyone that Psaros “quit” under Demetrios because he did not get his way at the CLC of Boston…. Now he is the king of the GOA …. But suddenly, because of Karloutsos is against AB Elpidophoros and wants him out.
Why AB Elpidophoros is Rushing to Consecrate Saint Nicholas?
We recently reported on the “unfinished business” regarding Saint Nicholas (link here)… Here are more details from very trustworthy sources inside the Archdiocese:
- The “Friends of Saint Nicholas” recently told Elpidophoros they had no money left and could not pay for the “consecration” of the church… They expected AB Elpidophoros to cancel the event but he told them he would “raise the money” himself if the Friends could not…
- Then the Archbishop told the new priest of St. Nicholas, Fr. Andreas Vithoulkas, that he needed money and that he needed to empty the St. Nicholas Church’s bank/investment accounts and give the last over $400,000 they had from the insurance claim after 9/11 and give it to the Archdiocese for the “consecration event”… Fr. Andreas obliged blindly; he has shown many times that he is simply following the “orders” of the Archbishop.
- We already know that the interior scaffolding will go up after the “concentration event”… This is NOT a true orthodox consecration. The church would need to be finished for the consecration to be valid in Orthodox tradition.
- The ONLY iconography installed is the Platytera and the Icon Screen at the altar. NO OTHER ICONOGRAPHY IS COMPLETED. How can they consecrate a church without it being complete?
- Sources tell us there was a major battle about this “consecration” and Karloutsos and many others did NOT want it to proceed but the Archbishop insisted because he did not want to look like a “fool”…
- In 2017 Psaros’ name with St. Nicholas was nowhere. How come he is now the “savior” of the church? And how come with Psaros involved they ran out of money?
- Why are all of Karloutsos’ grandchildren will be “altar boys” at the consecration? And when did the Orthodox Church begin to have “altar servers, including little girls on the altar? Are the Karloutsos granddaughters part of this too?
- Why are all the NYC / NY area churches being “shaken down” for liturgical items to be used/borrowed for the “consecration”? Couldn’t Saint Nicholas purchase its own liturgical items?
- Why are the monks from the Xenofontos monastery being “forced” to stay in town by the Archbishop to put up the limited icons for the “consecration”? The monks/hagiographers wanted to go home because they were not treated well and not even given money to stay at hotels by the GOA… Rumor has it that they even forced the Abbot of the monastery to “come to NYC” for the “consecration event”, when he did not want to…
DISCLAIMER: The views and statements expressed in this article constitute constitutionally protected opinions of this author.