EDITOR’S NOTE:  When will enough be enough with the Archbishop? The slide to his demise has no end in sight… Following the contrarian personality, contrarian decision, and even more contrarian and love-less action of the heretic Patriarch, the Archbishop creates one conflict after another, alienating one group of faithful after the other and driving the Metropolitans crazy – literally.  Elpidophoros and Bartholomew never saw a conflict they disliked and hesitated to participate. But their game is now ending as the conflict in Ukraine is lost for their masters, and in the conflict in Africa, they have now lost the people’s hearts before it even started…  “Vive La Russie,” the Africans cry in demonstration after demonstration… 


source- orthochristian.com


New York, August 9, 2023

Despite the grave concerns expressed by the hierarchs of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America, Archbishop Elpidophoros, the head of the Patriarchate of Constantinople’s Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, intends to move forward with the episcopal consecration of Alexander Belya, a defrocked former archimandrite of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

The Archbishop writes in a letter to the hierarchs representing the various canonical jurisdictions in America that while he has heard their concerns about Belya, he must abide by the decision of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople “and proceed with the ordination of our Bishop-Elect.”

The Synod elected Belya as auxiliary bishop of the Greek Archdiocese, to head its Slavic Vicariate, in June 2022. His consecration was initially scheduled for July 30 of that year, but was postponed due to the fervent protest of the Assembly hierarchs who said they recognize Belya’s defrocking by ROCOR and pointed to issues with the former cleric’s moral fiber. They would be forced to quit the Assembly if he were to become a bishop, they said.

Hoping to alleviate the bishops’ concerns, Abp. Elpidophoros proposes that despite Assembly bylaws, which dictate that active and canonical bishops are automatically members, Belya will not become a member of the Canonical Assembly and will not participate in any Assembly events.

The same is dictated by the rules of operation adopted at the Fourth Pre-conciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference held in Chambésy in June 2009, which established the various Canonical Assemblies throughout the diaspora.

Read the Archbishop’s complete letter below:

I greet you warmly in the peace and love of our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

It has been over a year since the election to the episcopacy by the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of His Grace Bishop-Elect Alexander Belya as bishop of Nicopolis. I have heard your concerns expressed to me by way of correspondence and in person. I have welcomed your thoughts and tried to address your concerns with brotherly love and understanding. And I have responded to these concerns during an open and transparent discussion at our Assembly meeting back in January 2023, in Los Angeles, CA. Moreover, in a spirit of consensus, I have postponed the ordination of His Grace searching for ways to create the necessary conditions for a context acceptable to all. However, while respecting your positions, I also have to abide by the decisions of the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and proceed with the ordination of our Bishop-Elect.

At the same time, I would like to assure you that I am considering specific actions that, I pray, will facilitate your continued participation in the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA and support a consensus by:

  1. Not accepting His Grace Bishop-Elect Alexander of Nicopolis as a member of the Assembly despite article 3, section 1, of the Assembly bylaws;

  2. And, subsequently, by not inviting him to participate in any Assembly activities that would put you in any position of discomfort.

It is my sincere hope and earnest prayer that these two suggestions will allow us to continue building a spirit of fraternal collaboration and communion, especially at a time when so many other forces antagonize us. As we read in Scripture: “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls.” (Luke 11:17) Our witness to Holy Orthodoxy in this blessed Nation should never submit to the spirit of this world.

May our Lord abundantly pour upon you His rich blessings and continue to guide you as we walk towards the holy feast of the Theotokos’s Dormition. With fraternal love in Christ,

Archbishop of America


Alexander Belya has been at the center of a number of controversies in recent years.

In the summer of 2019, the Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate received a letter purporting to be a request from His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral), then the First Hierarch of ROCOR, that it confirm the ROCOR Synod’s election of Belya to the episcopacy. However, Met. Hilarion said he never sent any such letter, and the ROCOR Synod never actually elected Belya, who was subsequently suspended from priestly duties.

Refusing to abide by his suspension, he instead fled to GOARCH without a canonical release from ROCOR. He was defrocked by ROCOR in February 2020, and thus is canonically only a lay monk.

GOARCH created a “Slavic Vicariate” and placed Belya at its head. The Vicariate is largely made up of defrocked and suspended clerics. Plans to consecrate Belya as bishop for the Vicariate have as yet not come to fruition.

On January 11 of this year, Belya sent a letter through his attorney Oleg Rivkin to the heads of the Orthodox jurisdictions in America, threatening legal action against them for their stance against him. Copies of the letters were also sent to the primates of the Local Churches represented in America.

As soon as he learned of Belya’s actions, Archbishop Elpidophoros instructed him to withdraw the letters, but the Assembly hierarchs noted that the whole episode only reaffirms and highlights their serious opposition to Belya ever becoming a hierarch.

Belya is also suing ROCOR, his former jurisdiction, including the now departed Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral) of blessed memory. In June, the Supreme Court rejected ROCOR’s call to hear its objections to lower court rulings allowing Belya’s case to be brought against the Church jurisdiction. Thus, his suit will move ahead for now.


  1. This guy (ELPIDOPHOROS) is cutting his own throat! Either he is really that stupid, or doesn’t care that he’s destroyed any chance of there ever being canonical unity in this hemisphere for many, many decades to come!

    ELPIDOPHOROS = Mucho el Dorko!

  2. The Synod is not holy.

    The flock prefers bondage over liberty from these thieves holding them hostage. It’s cult like.

    Galatians 5:1
    Read it.
    Open your bibles to Galatians 5:1
    Christ gave you liberty!

  3. Several months ago, “decades-old scandals” mysteriously emerged in the press, which forced the chairman of the Assembly of Bishops to resign, shortly after it was reported that he and the other bishops of the Assembly warned Elpi of serious consequences if he tonsured Belya.

    Was this timing accidental?

    Was Met. Joseph’s downfall a “message” to others who might also “resist” Lord Elpi’s will?

  4. Despite my dislike for Elpidoktonos, this type of thing has happened numerous times, the russians in particular, love to bring in defrocked clergy from other jurisdictions and have been doing it for decades.

    For all his faults and missteps, this action by Elpidoktonos ranks pretty low on the list.

  5. Elpi doesn’t care what the faithful think of him because he knows they never do nothing to remove him including Bartholomew

  6. The AB is daring the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA to defy him. It will be interesting to see their reaction. I pray they have the back-bone to stand up to him and the EP.

  7. Regarding the renewed appeal for the consecration of Belya, Elpidophoros Machiavelli has listed two concessions to put at ease the minds of the other bishops of the Assembly. Those of us who have been following the political “Antics of Elpi” should be wary of his ulterior motive in making those modest offers. For some reason having to do with money and power, Elpi is determined to shoehorn Belya into the episcopacy, so he is trying to make it palatable to the bishops by keeping Belya off the Assembly…for the time being.

    Nevertheless, just you wait! In a matter of a short year or two, Elpi will make another devious request to regularize Belya’s position on the Assembly. If the bishops of the other jurisdictions can’t see that coming or can’t find their way to act in response to it, then they don’t have the gonads that Met. Joseph had.

    Here’s an idea! Why not kick Elpi off the Assembly for unscrupulous leadership and downright heresy?

    • It appears the “concessions” are invalid (non-starters) unless the bylaws are rewritten. If there is no exception clause in the bylaws, how can there be an exception granted?…It is not likely that the assembly of bishops collectively posesses the intelligence of a pre-schooler in order to “take this bait”… that’s just a ‘press release’ for the naive lay people, setting the stage for future deceptive press releases…

      The real question is the point already mentioned by another commentator above…does Elpi (or anyone else) have “sufficient leverage” on any of the other members of the assembly, such that they will not “retaliate”, and remain quiet and silent observers in the future? That’s what matters more than what the “press releases” say…

      We are definitely in the days that St. Paisios had described…we are living in a “time of Confession of the Faith” – Καιρος Ομολογιας Πιστεως. Even if they have “leverage” against you, will you stand your ground or not, in the name of resisting the growth of Schism in the Church? That is the big question…for those bold enough to have become bishops…


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