UPDATE – Monday, May 15, 5 pm: We just learned that Resolution regarding the women’s role was rescinded today by the Metropolis of New Jersey Clergy-Laity Congress because it did not follow the proper procedures for submission… 

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Tomorrow, in the Metropolis of New Jersey Clergy-Laity Congress, the failed Archbishop will try again to push his novelist agenda one step further and divide the Church even more. Is this how he will attract the faithful back to the empty pews?  He underlined in a November 2022 meeting (that we only learned about yesterday): “… The Archbishop explained that the dominant problem is the false notion that only men are allowed within the sanctuary…” 

By Nick Stamatakis

Since the “Big, Fat, Greek Gay Baptism” last summer, the heretic AB Elpidophoros has tried various ways to advance his novelist agenda.  Recently, he used George Demacopoulos (the same “theologian” who, along with the other Fordhamite “theologian,” Aristotle Papanicolaou, gave him political advice to participate in the infamous BLM march holding the sign) to create an LGBTQ “ministry” in the parish of St. Paraskevi in Greenlawn, Long Island.  This attempt created a massive uproar from the faithful and had to be postponed or reduced… As the heresies continue, one after the other, and as the pews are emptier and emptier every Sunday,  the “activist” Archbishop, never the one to repent and return to the Faith, suddenly turned to plan B.

What is Plan B? Out of the blue, we learned today that tomorrow, during the Clergy-Laity Congress of the Metropolis of New Jersey, the delegates will discuss two resolutions (you can see the full text here – WOMEN IN SANCTUARY – NJ – PDF_20230514_0001) for the introduction of women in Church functions including in the sanctuary!!  This text was attached to an email sent to all delegates:

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Dear delegates, Χριστός Ανέστη!
Please find attached 2 resolutions that will be brought up by Dr. Cary Limberakis at the upcoming Metropolis of New Jersey Clergy Laity Assembly for your review.
Thank you and we are looking forward to seeing you on Monday!
At the direction of His Eminence the Archbishop,

+ Archimandrite Christoforos Oikonomidis, Chancellor

Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Jersey

215 E. Grove St., Westfield, NJ 07090

Office number: 908-301-0500

Email: chancellor@nj.goarch.org

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That we are dealing with a plan is clear from the participation AGAIN in the decision-making of the “theologian” George Demacopoulos!! No matter what stone you pick up, Demacopoulos would be underneath, machinating the evolution of Orthodoxy into a bad copy of the Anglican or the Episcopalian Church.

But the real problem is the heretic Archbishop himself, who, during the meeting in GOARCH headquarters last November (why do we learn now about this meeting?), underlined: “… The Archbishop explained that the dominant problem is the false notion that only men are allowed within the sanctuary…”

The Orthodox Church does not AT ALL preclude women from participating fully, spiritually, in the life of the Church: their participation is sanctified by our holy Theotokos, the glorified, celebrated, and sincerely worshipped Panagia.  Our Panagia, with the thousands of local names and other nicknames, the Panagia who runs to our protection at any adversity. And the many women Saints of our Church…

Orthodox practice in various denominations allowed limited liturgical participation of women as “deaconesses”:

  • When they were heads of female monasteries.
  • In the classical Byzantine era, when they helped with the crismation of women (before baptism) all over their bodies in order “to avoid scandalizing the priests”, as expert historians told me.
  • This happened historically when the faithful were baptized later in life and not in infancy.
  • The deaconesses, contrary to deacons, were always celibate (unmarried or widowed) and strictly selected regarding their pious character and devotion to the Faith. They also were allowed to become deaconesses at age forty or older.

Did you see any qualifications described in these resolutionS by the heretic and novelist Archbishop? No, of course not… He could have circumscribed the issue according to the basic history described above.  But he did not.  He left it to “a committee” – undoubtedly to be flooded by ideologues and activists like Demacopoulos…

We say in discussing politics that “when an official does not want to solve a problem, then he refers it to a committee…” Such is the case here. AB Elpidoktonos could have given specific guidelines addressing the issue that could have guided any committee.  He did not. Why? Because his instincts are not to unite all under the Faith, under Christ, but to divide us.  And divide he did in all issues big and small: BLM, plastic or multiple spoons for holy communion, gay baptism, and now women’s role in Church.

I am not a theologian but a plain Orthodox Christian.  And I ask myself very basic questions: Why did Christ pick men-only apostles?  Could he not pick some women? As we all know, he had many female followers in his close circle. Also, why did Saint Paul, the Apostle, never contemplate women in ministry?

And finally, how do existing practices of female participation in the Church inform this debate? We have received numerous messages from various corners of this Church indicating significant problems.  One ubiquitous example: Young ladies are allowed to help chanters or participate in choirs dressed quite inappropriately and provocatively.  If we cannot handle simple issues like that, what makes us think we are ready to venture further?

Just this one example tells us that this whole discussion should be left for a later point, when the atmosphere around us is not so politically and ideologically toxic and society would have found a point of equilibrium.

Finally, is this part of the reason why the Archbishop removed Evangelos? Does Evangelos have something to say about the issue ?

 

May 14, 2023, n.stamatakis@aol.com   www.helleniscope.com

DISCLAIMER: The views and statements expressed in this article constitute constitutionally protected opinions of this author.

BELOW YOU CAN SEE A PHOTO OF THE TWO RESOLUTIONS  (AGAIN THE SAME LETTER IN PDF HEREWOMEN IN SANCTUARY – NJ – PDF_20230514_0001)

28 COMMENTS

  1. Ο Νίκος έχει δίκαιο , χθες το βράδυ ,
    είδα μια διαφήμιση στο Ελληνικό κανάλι
    Αντένα που με προβλημάτισε πάρα πολύ.
    Κάποια Ομογενειακή κοινότητα διαφήμιζε
    την αναμετάδοση της Κυριακάτικης θείας
    λειτουργίας από το ανωτέρω κανάλι και
    στην εικόνα που επρόβαλε υπήρχαν
    Παπαδοπαίδια ( Altar boys) όμορφα ντυμένα και κρατούσαν εξαπτέρυγα , μέχρι
    εδώ όλα καλά , δυστυχώς όμως ανάμεσα στα παιδιά ήταν και μία κοπέλα ντυμένη
    Παπαδοπαίδι ( altar girl) και κρατούσε
    εξαπτέρυγο και φυσικά με λύπησε αφάνταστα γιατί μεγάλωσα μέσα στην Εκκλησία και γνωρίζω τι ακριβώς συμβαίνει.
    Λυπούμαι γιατί δυστυχώς βλέπω ξεκάθαρα
    να προωθείτε η ατζέντα της ΝΤΠ από όλους
    σχεδόν τους κληρικούς μας που σκοπό έχει το Μαγάρισμα της Ορθόδοξης πίστης μας.
    Μην αναφερθεί κανένας στο παραμύθι με τις
    Διακόνισες ……. αυτές εξυπηρετούσαν την
    Εκκλησία χωρίς να έχουν καμίαν απολύτως
    σχέση με το άβατον του Ιερού χώρου και το
    τελετουργικό .
    Η ατζέντα που προωθείται είναι η διάβρωση
    της μίας καθολικής και Αποστολικής Εκκλησίας την θέση της οποίας κρατεί μόνο
    η Ορθοδοξία.
    Ο πόλεμος της Ουκρανίας δεν είναι τίποτα
    άλλο παρά πόλεμος κατά της Ορθοδοξίας.
    Οδήγησαν δύο Ορθόδοξα κράτη σε πόλεμο
    δια να διαιρέσουν ακόμη περισσότερο την
    Ορθοδοξία η οποία έχει την θαυματουργή
    δύναμη να σώζει τον άνθρωπο από την
    πτώση.
    Μπορεί να την ταλαιπορίσουν , να την πληγώσουν , αλλά πάντα μέσα από τα δεινά
    θα βρίσκει τον τρόπο και τον δρόμο προς
    την Ανάσταση.
    Η Πατρίδα μας η Ελλάδα μας ο Ελληνισμός
    γενικώτερα θα υποφέρει αλλά ποτέ δεν
    θα πάψει η Δόξα να περπατά έστω και μόνη
    στεφανωμένη με τα λίγα χορτάρια που θα
    έχουν απομείνει από την καμμένη της γη.

  2. When even nuns, who DO in fact read the epistles in women’s monasteries on a daily basis have NEVER been “tonsured as readers” by a bishop…instead they are plainly appointed by the abbess to read the epistle, because that’s what has been done for centuries. So the only “tonsure” women receive is that of the Small or Great Schema… So what do these “learned ones” think they are talking about, when they babble about “tonsuring female readers”? There is no such tradition in Orthodoxy.

    The official “tonsuring” track (Χειροθεσια / Χειροτονια) has historically been associated with the “rank of lesser clergy” (i.e. Reader / Subdeacon), and that has been clearly associated with males since the beginning of time… have you ever heard of a “sub-deaconess”? The level of nonsense we are witnessing these days is absurd…

    And returning back to the “historical pretext” that is being attempted here…how exactly are the academic “geniuses” planning to re-introduce the historic role of the “deaconess” (helper/assistant) before they first figure out how to revive the proto-Christian & Byzantine era framework for adult Baptism, with proper Baptistries, etc, so that they can also restore the obvious need to have a female anoint a female’s naked body with oil, so that the priest doesn’t have to do that task? One really wonders at this point…Were they sleeping in that class, or did they never get taught these details, or is there another explanation to this illogical narrative?…Sadly, there are only a few limited logical hypotheses to explain this:

    1) these “PhDs” really don’t understand the distinction between the Greek words διακονια and ιεροδιακονια… or,

    2) they are well aware of what they are trying to do, but they are banking on the fact most of the laity doesn’t understand the difference between these two terms (διακονια and ιεροδιακονια), and they are manipulating that weakness in order to push their personal or social agendas to satisfy whoever their “real master” is…or even,

    3) they are not aligned with 2000 years of Orthodox Dogma and Tradition at this stage of their life, and simply need to be “thrown out” or “abandoned” (Titus 3:10) vs. allowing them to remain in their positions, continuing to “mask” as Orthodox, while trying to convert as much of the flock as they can to these “strange” teachings… (Heb 13:9 – διδαχαῖς ποικίλαις καὶ ξέναις μὴ παραφέρεσθε)

    The Sanctuary of an Orthodox temple (naos) is not a “club” …it is a Sanctuary, and ONLY those who respect it, ONLY those who absolutely need to be there (according to Canons and Tradition), for ONLY as long as they need to assist, should be allowed to enter. This point alone actually excludes MANY irreverent & faithless layperson males, as well as many blatantly irreverent “tonsured ones” who should actually be “bound up and thrown out of the bridal chamber, for it is not a wedding garment”, on account of their track record of proven disrespect for Faith, Tradition, and Canons…

    Yet, oddly enough, it is the inaction and lack of response from the other autocephalous Churches that enables this behavior. The other hierarchs / jurisdictions should finally take a stance and openly call out the individual heretics (formally declare them as non-Orthodox), cut them off from the official body of the Church, and they won’t be able to “metastasize” their incremental heretical cancer year over year…That is true Orthodox tradition.

  3. Markos, interesting that you put yourself above the Ephrem monasteries. Neither Ephrem himself, who many purport to be a saint, or the current leadership at the monasteries, suggests the action you recommend. Apparently, the monasteries believe the GOA is still within the boundaries of “true Orthodox tradition.”

    • Many count on the very likely at this moment removal of the Archbishop before they take further action. Soon we will have an answer if this is the right approach or if we need to stray opposing him in other ways. Also, God may have other plans…

      • This is only 1 scandal in a line of many, many scandals since he has been Archbishop, why would the Patriarchate remove him now? Why is this any different from the marching with BLM, gay baptism, multiple spoons, etc? I mean is Elpi that untouchable that he can get away with all of this without being sanctioned by the EP?

        There has been talks of his removal since the beginning, how exactly are they going to remove him if they can’t even punish him?

        • Because at some point “critical mass” is reached and the reactions of the faithful threaten the Patriarch himself and his position

    • jk,

      The assertions you make, and the manner in which you are passing along as “journalistic fact” are a bit surprising here, based on the past several years of news material that is out there…let’s focus on some facts here…

      Do you really believe that any Orthodox Monasteries in the world are actually aligned with and happily promote all of the following “concepts”?:

      A) the bishop of Constantinople is “Primus sine Paribus” (first without equals), as was declared by Elpidophoros over a decade ago.

      B) The infamous Archbishop’s 2021 quotation, as reported in the media “…When you elevate one religion above all others, it is as if you decide there is only one path leading to the top of the mountain. But the truth is you simply cannot see the myriads of paths that lead to the same destination, because you are surrounded by boulders of prejudice that obscure your view….”

      C) The use of multiple Communion spoons is an universally acceptable Liturgical innovation [remember the well-known publications re: the battles of the Ontario monastery vs. Sotirios]

      D) It’s ok to commemorate and concelebrate with Epiphanios of Kiev [did you read what Philotheou’s position was on this topic only a few weeks ago, as well as the women’s monastery of St. Nektarios in Aegina only 2 years earlier? Do you remember how Ephraim of Vatopedi at the time had a “cardiac incident” at the airport in Kiev, conveniently allowing him to not be present for Epiphanios’ enthronement?]

      E) The archbishop’s public comments at the 2020 Leadership 100 where he said that he feels it’s ok to offer Holy Communion to non-Orthodox who were “married in the Church” (another example of Ecclesiastical Economia)

      F) it’s ok for a local Synod to arbitrarily overturn / ignore prior decisions of the 7 Ecumenical Councils [priest remarrying, routine common prayer services with heretics, etc], just because their vision for a “Great and Holy Council” to be deemed “Ecumenical” went up in smoke when it was naturally snubbed by some Autocephalous Churches largely due to its organizing committee’s decisions to deviate from its originally proposed and agreed-upon agenda (efforts dating back to the 1970s/80s/90s)?

      G) the baptism Elpidophoros conducted in Glyfada in 2022

      H-Z) etc, etc, etc…(we can go on for pages here)

      I personally find it hard to believe that any Orthodox Monastery in the world would agree that all of the above are “still within the boundaries of true Orthodox tradition”… It’s not wise for you or anyone to equate monastic “public silence” on matters with automatic “alignment” or “approval” of these innovations.

      And just because occasionally a couple of lay people speak up (because they are more free to do so than a couple monasteries who are perhaps trying to balance survival in the shadow of the occasional “threatening prosecutory bishop” these days), that doesn’t imply the laypeople are placing themselves “above” monasteries, either…unless you are advocating that the lay people also remain “silent” in the face of “outrageous clerical conduct”?

      That ship has sailed long ago, my friend…the message to clergy remains clear…unless you are 100% aligned with what the Christ and the Church Fathers have said for 2000 years, we don’t need to listen to or accept your innovations…recall how the laity of Constantinople “received” the delegation from Ferrara after that pseudo-council of 1453…it was the laity that rejected what the Patriarch had signed away, resulting in utter failure of that “council”…yes, the laity have a say in Ecclesiastical matters, too, especially in eras where spiritual leaders exhibit signs of betrayal and apostasy from Tradition…

      • I may agree with some of your assertions but the monasteries still align themselves with the GOA. Until communion is broken, we all share the same Eucharist and are part of the same Body.

        • JK,
          Sharing the same Eucharist is not au equivalent to “alignment with the GOA”…
          Prior to any formal Schism, there is always a period of time where the conflicting opinions are debated, and expression of dissent is formalized in written exchange of Communication.
          This is no different in the Ukrainian situation, where there was a LOT of correspondence dating back to the early 1990’s…it took almost 27 years for Bartholomew and Moscow to arrive at a “formal breaking” of Communion, but they were definitely not “aligned” on a variety of topics for several of those years, correct?
          In our entire Ecclesiastical History, we have evidence of years, and even decades passing before a formal “break” of Communion occurs.
          It is not accurate to claim that everyone is “aligned” while these unfortunate debates are going on, merely on the pretext that they are technically sharing the same Eucharist…however, there does come a point where each person’s conscience has to decide which Canonical bishop they are “aligned” with, per the letter to Titus…until the Synods formalize whatever they need to later on…

    • I disagree. The lack of overt opposition does not necessarily suggest that the monasteries believe the GOA is still within the boundaries of “true Orthodox tradition.” Rather, the monasteries are holding this stance because the schismatic is the one who makes the first and final move. Heaven forbid it the monasteries or any of the true members of the Body of Christ should ever be accused of schism.

    • jk – It’s spelled Elder Ephraim
      & was a monk since 12 years old,
      while Elpidophoros was never a holy man,
      he was a Turk Government Agent!
      Who sent him here?
      Patriarch Bartholomew really is the
      fish that rots from the head.

  4. When Elpidophoros said that the multiple spoons were an experiment to see how acceptable they would be to the faithful, what he didn’t say was that the spoons was just the first of many experiments.

    It seems that his mission, with the blessing of Bart of course, is to conduct a series of social experiments that systematically challenge Holy Tradition. In retrospect, these social experiments give the impression of having been planned long ago, since each one comes on the heels of the other. The goal is what he said it was – to see how acceptable each innovation would be to the masses; and how knowledgeable, how T(t)raditional, how faithful and how vocal the members of the church would be. Why is it important for them to test us and know? Why do they have to take our spiritual vitals at every step and turn?

    I believe it is because they have already signed a union with Rome, but not just Rome, a union with all of woke Babylon. The only thing that’s missing is our clear knowledge of it, which will be made known when they are ready to consummate their false union with a common Eucharist. They are determined to do this, but before they consummate they need to “court” us, to see if we want Babylon too, to see if we will flirt in return with their gnostic ways, to ensure enough of a following and as little revolt as possible.

    The writing is on the wall, and this is going to happen. The question is, what will our answer be?

  5. Believe me JK, monasteries are freaked out by Elpidoktonos & they pray hard, very hard he goes away.
    Elps & Bartholomew are tools of Diabolo but shoving this global/homo agenda will fail miserably

  6. No, Sir Gatanas, the monasteries are not freaking out and they never pray for any one to go away. That is neither the monastic nor the Orthodox phronema. Our monasteries pray for the repentance and salvation of the whole world while working out their own salvation, which is what we should be doing. While some of us may want Elpi to just “go away” we should realize that he would not be occupying this position if the Holy Spirit did not allow it. Why, then, you should ask, is the Holy Spirit tolerating this? The answer should make Elpi and his followers freak out, because the testers in this heinous experiment, who think they are testing us, are to a far greater extent, testing themselves. As the surgeon cuts out what he believes to be the patient’s cancer, suddenly, he realizes he is the cancer and he has just cut off his own blood supply. This irony is a great tragedy. We should all be weeping for one another.

  7. I was baptized many decades ago as a Greek Orthodox Christian. Over these decades, I was taught the dogma and traditions of the church, with their profound meaning and symbolism, by priests and fellow parishioners WHO HAD NO AGENDAS.

    These VOLITIONAL changes serve no purpose, other than to satisfy political or personal egotistical goals. IMO.

    I cannot/will not control what others do, I can only decide and defend what I do.
    If the Church strays from what it has been, and imo what it should be, my only real recourse is to shun it.
    I will continue to teach my family & friends what I know, that was taught to me by loving Christians who served as great role models and if that is different from what they witness at our services, then it is up to the Clergy to explain and defend their actions. Especially heresy.

    And Scripture backs me up on avoiding a heretical Church. (Always remember it is a human (not Holy) institution, and if those employed are not competent, they ruin the ‘business’) Christ himself never said that church attendance was mandatory. Sorry, but not sorry.

    • Antonis,

      Christ said “take eat…” & “drink of this all of you”… and “whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood…”
      He also told us the parable of the Banquet and all those guests who had other things to do and couldn’t attend…
      For centuries, church bells call people to common prayer, and Divine Liturgy is the recurring “reminder” that the gates of heaven are open for us, the “great divide” was bridged, and with the tangible symbolism of Christ Himself exiting the “open gates” of the Altar to simultaneously approach us and call us forward (with fear of God, Faith, Love), a constant opportunity of meeting and receiving Christ’s physical Body and Blood for the remission of our sins…
      Early Christians (who were closer to the original mindset of our Church) were considered “not in good standing” if they failed to attend Divine Liturgy 2 weeks in a row “without good cause” (there’s an old Canon that is largely overlooked these days for obvious reasons)…So it is clear from the above that frequent attendance and participation at the Divine Liturgy is supported by both Scripture and original Church tradition. On the flip side, consider this statement about mandatory attendance – it is also not mandatory for Christ to forgive any of us, either…especially when he asks us to approach Him, and we’re not even in attendance…

      So as a result, it is a risky spiritual proposition to “stay at home” and avoid the Sacraments on account of some “unworthy Judases” that may have infiltrated the Church… In the days of Christ, there were 12 disciples, one of which was a thief & traitor…yet, even the traitor was allowed in the first Divine Eucharist (Last Supper). Today, that ratio may be much higher. Even if that ratio was ever found to be 11/12, Instead of staying at home, it’s better to look around for the few “good Orthodox priests & bishops” that remain, and align yourself with them…

    • I empathize with how you feel, and I agree with avoiding a heretical church, but not with avoiding church altogether. Remember that a sacramental and liturgical life within the Church (the body of Christ) is required for our Salvation, according to our church canons, which you referred to.

      THIS Church never strays from the Truth. THIS Church does not just consist of imperfect humans; it also consists of Christ as its Head. The gates of Hell shall not prevail against THIS Church which is the Bride of Christ.
      THIS Church is not a human institution but a Holy one.

      THIS Church has been infiltrated by a lot of weeds at all levels, that Christ is being patient with, until the harvest. If you are being scandalized by what is happening at your local parish, find another parish that does not practice the innovations that scandalize you. Even though Elpi May be the administrative head of that parish too, the Grace of the Holy Spirit still works for the sake of the faithful, regardless of whether or not the clergy believe in or follow Christ. I believe this is part of what Christ means by “patient endurance “ in the book of Revelation.

      The Grace of God will continue to nurture the Faithful even in those parishes which stray, until the next schism. Then, the heretics will all go their way, and Christ will regather his faithful flock under those priests and Bishops who did not go down the wide road with the many. He will provide these new leaders. A purification will happen as it always does, but in God’s time, not ours.

      Meanwhile, we need to remind ourselves of the Power, Wisdom, Justice, Mercy, Love and Longsuffering of our Awesome God, who at any time can remove anyone He wills. If He has not removed anyone yet, you can be sure that there is a good reason for it. Maybe that person will repent; maybe we will become better Christians because of their sins, less indifferent perhaps. You get the picture. One thing is for certain, though, the more we hate the antics of our hierarchs, the more WE need to pray and repent. There is no such thing as too much of that

  8. “Reverence is the key to all virtues” said
    Dietrich von Hildebrand- a theologian.

    Archbishop Elpidoforos defies promoting any reverence in Orthodoxy, he’s doing Satan’s work to eliminate reverence.

  9. Can any Greek from America, answer me why this Elpidophoros hasn’t been dragged from his position and sent back to Turkey or somewhere else? Why is he allowed to continue these disgraceful acts against the Church?

    • Great question! Is it because he’s fighting the devil King Karloutsos? That self serving demon is in hiding, planning his return to the Goa kingdom.

      Black Bart plays both sides. The biggest suitcase filled with good ole USA funds will win.

      Which Archon will deliver since they follow the money to keep their all expense paid “service to the church” positions. Just sayin, it’s been working out nicely for them and a disaster for us.

  10. Early Christians in Constantinople and elsewhere rioted over bad bishops and threw them out. We need to get back to that. And we laity are part of the Church and our voice matters, Orthodoxy is not clericalist or papist.

    The bishops who were reduced to auxiliaries without real authority, as I hear happened to the Antiochians in the US, need to push back and reclaim their authority. I hear Elpi wants to do the same to bishops in the GOA. Do NOT accept this! It is papism! Do you want to wind up like the Catholics, voiceless and powerless, under the heel of corrupt clergy and Popes? I came from there and know exactly what it is like. That’s where this is headed if not stopped.

    • The Archdiocese applied the Rules and dismissed those old presidents who were allowed to participate in the parish council. They had the right to do it but they did it in their usual abrupt way. They could have done it more amicably with a closed meeting – to avoid alienating anyone…

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