source – orthodoxtimes.com

Bishop Constantine of Sassima has been elected Metropolitan of Denver by the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which is meeting in the Phanar.

It will be recalled that the Triprosopo to fill the vacancy in the Diocese, apart from Bishop of Sassima, consisted of Archimandrite George Nikas and Bishop Sevastianos of Zilon.

Biography

Bishop Constantine Moralis of Sassima was born in Baltimore Maryland in 1966.

His father, Panagiotis, was born in Athens to parents who were refugees from Asia Minor, and his mother, Sarah, was born in Mobile, Alabama, whose family came from Patmos and Egypt.

From the age of nine, he began serving as a priest in the Holy Vema under the late Fr. In 1988, he entered the Hellenic College and School of Theology at Holy Cross Boston. In 1996, he was ordained a Deacon and Presbyter by the late Metropolitan Silas of New Jersey, and in 2002, Archbishop Demetrios, the former Archbishop of America, conferred upon him the title of Archimandrite and appointed him Priestly Superior of the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Baltimore.

He was elected Bishop of Sassima on July 22, 2022, and has since served as Archbishop of the Diocese of Denver.

Translated by Ioanna Georgakopoulou

28 COMMENTS

  1. I was previously under the Denver Metropolis and I’ve heard from friends still in the Metropolis and they’ve had nothing but good things to say about Bishop Konstantinos. Hopefully that’s the case.

  2. I am from Baltimore and have known Father for almost forty years. He is a good man and a worthy priest and hierarch. I worry about him being surrounded by the vipers brood that leads the GOA. May God protect him.

  3. Bp Constantine is a home run. He is a kind, faithful and humble Christian man. My prayer and hope is that he doesn’t get corrupted by the system.

  4. From a poster on my Calculus teacher’s wall 50 years ago:
    “Be not simply good, be good for something.”

    Judgement is the Lord’s but he allowed us this liberty: “Know men by what they DO.”
    It is an epic understatement to say there is PLENTY that needs to be done.

  5. Great ma, barely can converse in Greek. Surprised Helleniscope isn’t being critical of lack of ability in the Greek language.

    • It’s more important to understand Greek so to know the meaning of the Bible. And it’s even more important to be a good Orthodox and a wise leader. In addition we all know that his Metropolis is likely the least Greek-speaking in the country…

      • Mr Kritikos, please read 1 Timothy chapter 3. St Paul states the required qualifications of a bishop. Knowledge of Greek is not listed.

        • Response by Markos
          But “Knowledge” (of something undefined??) is required, apparently, because 1 Timothy 3 states that a bishop must be Διδακτικον (able/qualified to teach).

          So we come full circle…there are two ways you are “qualified to teach”:

          1) You are so holy that you open your mouth and the Holy Spirit does the talking (as happened in Pentecost). {ανοιξω το στομα μου και πληρωθησεται Πνευματος…} Please, show me people like this today, so we can get them elevated to the episcopate ASAP! That would solve a ton of problems…

          2) You have not achieved full sainthood, so you rely on your faith, reverence, and then you work hard upon your education (to learn from “qualified teachers” and of course from Fathers of the Church, and hopefully, the ability to combat heresy by understanding the original Scriptural texts as well as the language of the Canons of the Church…)

          What does educated mean? That definition has changed in the last 100 years…
          Up until the end of the Victorian era, the definition of someone who was educated in the Western European / American sense included studies in Latin and Classical Greek. Evidence of that abounds in the mottos of American Universities, as well as the meaning of the acronyms of their “fraternities”…
          In the year 2024, there are some people who don’t agree with 19 centuries of that tradition.

          Nevertheless, let’s revert to 1 Timothy chapter 3, and see what the Church Fathers have to say….here’s a little sample from the Explanations of the Epistles by St. Nikodemos so we can see what he writes about merely this “tiny” word Διδακτικον (able/qualified to teach):

          Πρεπει, λεγει, οποιος αγαπα να γενη Επισκοπος, να είναι μαλιστα και εξαιρετως διδακτικος, ηγουν να ηξευρει και να εχη δυναμιν από τας Γραφας, να διδασκη συνεχως τον λαον του (*) διατι όλα μεν τα αλλα οπου ειπε ανωτερω ο Παυλος, χρεωστουν να τα καμνουν και οι λαικοι Χριστιανοι, οι εις τον Επισκοπον υποτασσομενοι. Το δε να εχη δυναμιν να διδασκη, τουτο μαλιστα από ολους είναι αχωριστον ιδιωμα του Επισκοπου και Αρχιερεως.

          Footnote(*)
          Δια τουτο και ο ιθ’ Κανων της αγιας και οικουμενικης ς’ Συνοδου διοριζει, ότι οι Επισκοποι και προεστωτες του λαου, πρεπει και κάθε ημεραν να διδασκουν τον λαον τους, μαλιστα δε τας Κυριακας, διαλεγοντες από τας θειας Γραφας τα της αληθειας νοηματα, καθως αυτά ερμηνευουσιν οι της Εκκλησιας θεοφοροι Διδασκαλοι. Ανισως δε και οι Επισκοποι και Αρχιερεις δεν εχουν δυναμιν να διδασκουν (το οποιον ουτε ολως πρεπει να ρηθει δια το ατοπον) πρεπει να προσκαλουν από αλλους τοπους διδασκαλους και ιεροκυρηκας και διδοντες αυτοις τα προς ζωαρκειαν, να κατασταινουν σχολεια εις τας επαρχιας των και δια μεσου εκεινων να αναπληρουσι το χρεος της διδασκαλιας οπου αυτοι χρεωστουσιν εις τον λαον. Ει δε και αμελουν εις τουτο και δεν διδασκουσι τον λαον τους, ουτε φερνουν διδασκαλους και ιεορκυρηκας εις τας επαρχιας των, βεβαιοτατα είναι ενοχοι εις την καθαιρεσιν, οπου προσταζει ο νη’ Κανων των Αγιων Αποστολων και ορα την ερμηνειαν του ανωτερω αποστολικου. Δια τουτο και ο Β’ Κανων της αγιας και οικουμενικης ζ’ Συνοδου λεγει, ότι οποιος δεν ηξευρει, όχι απλως, αλλα ερευνητικως το Ψαλτηριον, το Ευαγγελιον, τον Αποστολον και ολην την θειαν Γραφην, ομοιως και τους ιερους Κανονας και να ζη και να πολιτευεται κατά τα θεια ενταλματα, ο τοιουτος να ΜΗ χειροτονηται. «οριζομεν παντα τον προαγεσθαι μελλοντα εις τον της Επισκοπης βαθμον, παντως τον Ψαλτηρα γινωσκειν, ινα ως εκ τουτου και παντα τον κατ’αυτόν κληρον ουτω νουθετη μυεισθαι. Ανακρινεσθαι δε ασφαλως υπο του Μητροπολιτου, ει προθυμως ειχει αναγινωσκειν, ερευνητικως και ΟΥ ΠΑΡΟΔΕΥΤΙΚΩΣ, τους ιερους Κανονας, και το αγιον Ευαγγελιον, την τε του θειου Αποστολου βιβλον και πασαν την θειαν Γραφην και κατά τα θεια ενταλματα αναστρεφεσθαι, και διδασκειν τον κατ’αυτόν λαον…ει δε αμφισβητοιη και μη ασμενιζοι ουτω ποιειν τε και διδασκειν, μη χειροτονεισθω»

          source: (Οσιου Πατρος Ημων Νικοδημου του Αγιορειτου – Ερμηνεια εις τας ΙΔ’ Επιστολας του Αποστολου Παυλου, Εκδοσεις “Ορθοδοξος Κυψελη” Θεσσαλονικη, 1990)

          Hopefully we agree with the Church Fathers on this “tiny” patristic explanation of a single word of 1 Timothy 3….either way, it looks like the Canons are very explicit on their expectation that a bishop MUST UNDERSTAND Scripture “ερευνητικως και ΟΥ ΠΑΡΟΔΕΥΤΙΚΩΣ” … the danger of understanding scripture ΠΑΡΟΔΕΥΤΙΚΩΣ increases exponentially with the less amount of original text you understand…

          • Nick, with your reasoning all the great saints of the church who did not know Greek would be excluded. Heresy comes from a faulty heart not from linguistic misinterpretations.

          • John, you have misunderstood the whole issue. When it comes to communication it is clear that Helleniscope uses English because it serves the purpose – in the same way that Orthodox faithful in English speaking country use English. This is in total agreement to the famous Gospel phrase “πορευθέντες μαθητεύσατε πάντα τα έθνη” or “Go and teach (the faith) to all nations”. The argument here – and Markos analyzed it in depth – is that when we are dealing with a disputed dogmatic issue, a heresy or anything that needs further interpretation, we have to go back to the Greek original text.

            Should I remind you that the Old testament was translated into Greek by Hellenized Jews? Greek was the English of the time in the three centuries after the death of Alexander the Great (323 BC) until we’ll after the Birth of Jesus. The translation happened around 260-270 BC. The Stoic philosophy and everything else was considered to be superior intellectually – and in many ways it was. The dominance of the Greek in the Levant was absolute. It was not – never – necessary to suppress Jewish religion and identity because at the time Greek was considered so much superior and it was completely adopted by all. In the near future we will make a post on “Hellenized Jews” to explain. The translation of the Old Testament was done by Hellenized Jews, the famous “Seventy”.

            When we do that we will stress that when the Rabbis wanted to clarify certain concepts and dogmas of the Old Testament they emphatically refused to go by the Greek translation and they were ALWAYS reverting back to the original HEBREW.

            Do you get it now?

        • Paul wrote his epistle to Timothy in greek. Most of the early church leaders knew the greek language. You can not be a leader of a greek orthodox church without knowledge of the language which the gospels were written. Being bilingual today is an asset to those who serve the church. It is disgraceful that protestant ministers are taught the greek language at their seminaries so they can read the gospel in the original greek, and our bishops and priests are unable to express themselves in the language of the parents and grandparents.

      • If he doesn’t bring in Cardinals to “bless the faithful”, and doesn’t allow memorial services for police dogs, I’ll personally take that as a positive sign for now, in the situation that we are facing….we are all “hearing” many good things, absolutely… now it’s time to start “seeing” some proof, too… expectations are quite high, but has disappointment been equally high the last several years…

        At the risk of seeming that we all “celebrate” on the Sunday of Thomas, unfortunately we are at the stage where we all say the words “my hearing is very good, but my eyesight is far better…” (put it in writing / show me in deed and action…)…the Lord’s words “Blessed are those who do not see and (yet) believe” can’t apply to the GOARCH Faithful’s relationship with their Hierarchs right now…

  6. Nick, it is not often that I agree with you but this time I do. We need shepherds, men who watch over their flocks, not ethnarchs who seem to have value because they know Greek. Few people in the GOA know Greek. Think of it, most choirs who sing in Greek read the words from English phonetics.

    • I consider knowledge of Greek as something more than a communication means, it’s a great intellectual gift to yourself – esp. as a priest. Mainly because so much is lost in translation. But the Church needs to be able to function at all circumstances.

      • I agree our Greek language is a beautiful gift especially because it is the language in which the salvific Gospels were transmitted to us.

        But I would rather have bishops and priests who burn with zeal for God’s House and want to spread the Gospel to the hundreds of millions of Americans who know nothing of Orthodoxy than ones who know Greek perfectly and are happy to just preside over their Greek country club franchise.

  7. Knowledge of Greek can be beneficial intellectually but we must acknowledge that there are many saints who were Latin, Russian, Serbian, Romanian and others who did not know Greek. Salvation is experienced in a person, Jesus Christ, not a language.

    • Some of those saints were actually illiterate, and unable to read or write…in fact, it wasn’t until well after the printing press was invented that most of the faithful were finally able to have a copy of scripture in their homes…somehow that model worked for 15+ centuries…for all those years, most people were catechized by whatever they “heard”, whatever they “saw”, and whatever they “experienced”…that’s a historical fact, so we need to look elsewhere for the answer.

      There are also multiple heresies out there right now that directly resulted from misunderstandings and incorrect translations of the original Greek…including the modern “gender heresy” which happens to thrive most in countries and cultures that only speak the English language, because English nouns are “genderless” by nature, but Greek nouns are absolutely not…the absurdity of the matter is quite clear to a native Greek speaker, but it is not to someone that only knows English… Latin (covers Romanian) and Slavonic” don’t have these weaknesses that are inherent in English, so their translations are “stronger” in conveying meanings (even of gender) than English is.

      So, is the experience “really” the same in English, as it is in Greek or other “traditionally Orthodox” languages? Linguistically, it’s definitely a hard sell to make that claim….However, if you just want to imitate the life of prior saints, then certainly language isn’t the focus…the simplicity of faith during the first 15 centuries prior to the printing press is powerful…but relying on English alone to achieve full understanding of matters is quite risky given that no two translations seem to match, and that’s why, even when you are 40, 50, 60, or even 70 years old, if you have an opportunity, take a couple semesters of ancient Greek at your local community college…it will be eye-opening.

      • Before the printing press in 1440 people sent kids to school and they learned how to write on papyrus. Most Icons have Greek inscriptions and all monasteries had libraries and scriptorium – Γραφεια.
        You write:
        “There are also multiple heresies out there right now that directly resulted from misunderstandings and incorrect translations of the original Greek…including the modern “gender heresy” which happens to thrive most in countries and cultures that only speak the English language, because English nouns are “genderless” by nature”
        THATS AN INTERESTING EXPLANATION!

  8. The newly elected Metropolitan Constantine is a good person & leader. Whatever Country u visit, it is the language of the country that is spoken. We have over half of the Orthodox people who do not understand the Greek language. Faith comes by hearing….

  9. Jeanne, well said. I wish at some point Mr Markos would express the same passion for the Gospel that he does for the Greek language. You can not serve 2 masters because you will love one and hate the other, said our Lord.

    • Markos will reply to this I am sure. But language helps understand the Gospel and not follow heresies, like Elpifophoros does when he interprets Sodom and Gomorra so innocently- as if it was not clear that they are talking about homosexuality. Where does the word sodomist cones from? Read Genesis 19.

      • Elpi misinterprets the Sodom and Gamorah story not because he doesn’t understand the language it is because he has an agenda. Heresy comes from faulty hearts not faulty translations.

    • We are obviously discussing something now that has nothing to do with this article…oh well 🙂

      Jeanne is correct, and by the way, didn’t I also use the word “heard” in my comment above that Jeanne replied to with the word “hearing”? So what exactly are you arguing about again, JK?

      Faith for 15 centuries when printing presses were not around and most people were illiterate came from “hearing”…that concept is linguistically and historically related to the ecclesiastical use of the word catechumen (for those that understand the original Greek), κατ + ηχον, going back to the days of the thunderous / resounding (ηχος) word of God from above (being sent down – κατω) on the day of Pentecost…so there’s no disagreement, either with Jeanne or you on this first part…

      However, if the one “preaching” to the ones “hearing” has misinterpreted the words, like the Ethiopian in the chariot (a reference to the book of Acts, in order to satiate your passion for scripture), or the same one reading is reading off a “script” of scripture that has not been translated correctly, then “Houston, we have a problem/heresy”… the phrase from Acts “do you understand that which you are reading” addressed to the Ethiopian apply today as well, and not just in the 1st century AD. How is it possible to rely on a kaleidoscope of variant English translations for a 100% understanding when there are no two exact translations of the original in English? That’s the whole point here.

      That’s what I can’t seem to get through, no matter how many times I write it in the English language for you, and we end up with a broken record of diversional and twisted responses from you on this topic every time… can’t be much clearer on this topic, my friend… 🙂

      And by the way, Helleniscope is correct in the response to this referring to Elpidophoros and other “scholars” and what they are doing with their own “interpretations”…but perhaps we need a couple tangible examples, to stop talking “theory” here…

      There’s an entire contingent of “scriptural scholars” in the English language that has been trying for years to alter the English translation of the word αρσενοκοιται in Corinthians, in order to fit the LGB-Z alphabet soup agenda, even though it’s clearly a compound word that is previously found in its broken down form in a sentence of Leviticus 18:22 (Septuagint Greek)…

      Similarly, in another scandalous example, Elpidophoros also tried to “teach the people of St. Demetrios in Astoria” what the word “αιρετικος” was, and provided a definition that was different from the one St. Basil presented in his 188th letter, on the pretext that “you Greeks in America don’t know Greek”….

      https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3202188.htm

      “…Thus they used the names of heresies, of schisms, and of unlawful congregations. By heresies they meant men who were altogether broken off and alienated in matters relating to the actual faith; by schisms men who had separated for some ecclesiastical reasons and questions capable of mutual solution; by unlawful congregations gatherings held by disorderly presbyters or bishops or by uninstructed laymen. …”
      -St. Basil

      However, Elpidophoros, on that historic day in St. Demetrios of Astoria (July 14, 2019), told the congregation that the term “heretical man” means “troublemaker/someone who divides other/who introduces hatred” in Greek, and does not refer to those belonging to “other churches”…That’s certainly not congruent to what St. Basil wrote in letter 188, and certainly not congruent with our historical use of the term in ecclesiastical history…Is Archbishop Elpidophoros going to also tell us now that he knows Greek better than St. Basil or the other Church Fathers did? Here are his words, exactly, especially starting on the 10th minute:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EssHKq-pqB0

      And why did he do this, because he said “that’s what the sermon is for, to explain to you all things that are difficult to understand in the ancient language”…he’s taking advantage of people who have not studied ancient Greek and the Fathers of course, but do you, JK, feel that an English translation was going to help you avoid Elpidophoros pulling wool over your eyes in this situation? Many of these translations don’t use the term “heretic” either in this Titus translation (KJV did, however, and that was the “original English translation”)…they use the term “divisive” or “factitious” which is exactly what Elpidophoros tried preaching in Greek…I personally don’t believe the avoidance of the term “heretic” in Titus 3:10 in modern English translations is an “accident” in later years…it’s avoidance coincidentally fits well within the WCC agenda.

      And an additional point of interest… the Greek Archdiocese of America for some unknown reason keeps using the word “factitious man” in English translations of the letter to Titus when it is recited on Sundays of the Fathers, while we hear precisely the term “ανθρωπον αιρετικον (heretical man)” in the Greek version (that to Jeanne’s point “few understand”, anyway in the USA). Is all this by chance? Is it also a chance that St. Mark of Ephesos was the only one insisting at the Pseudo Council of Ferrara that the Latins were “heretics”, while the compromisers that “signed the bottom line” insisted on the term “shismatics”, which is exactly the term the “compromisers of the faith” that we observe today continue to insist on?

      Ultimately, these examples are exactly why everyone (even modern Greek speakers) should invest time in understanding the patristic interpretations of the original Greek of the New Testament, so that when the next “Ethiopian upon the chariot” shows up to preach nonsense or even heresy to us from the pulpit, he can be called out on the spot, based on the correct patristic and Orthodox interpretation of the original words…

  10. Marcos, please note that the Pharisees condemned Jesus for hanging around with the wrong people. I will begin to pray that you become as passionate about the gospel as you are about the Greek language. You would be a learned and powerful witness.

  11. Η χαλαρή προσέγγιση της μάθησης της ελληνικής γλώσσας από τους υπεύθυνους της θεολογικής σχολής, η αποδοχή ότι και με τα αγγλικά μεταφέρεται πλήρως το μήνυμα της ανθρώπινης σωτηρίας, η παρέκκλιση από την ορθή πατερική-εκκλησιαστικη ερμηνεία των γραφών έχουν οδηγήσει στο σημερινό κατάντημα της εδώ εκκλησίας, όπου αρχιερείς και ιερείς προσβάλλουν το σωτηριολογικο θεμέλιο της εκκλησίας με τοποθετήσεις άσχετων με την ορθόδοξη παράδοση και διδασκαλία. Ο ίδιος έχω καταστεί μάρτυρας απερίγραπτων βλασφημιών από ιερείς που κηρύττουν ότι ο Κύριος δεν είναι ο ίδιος με τον πατέρα, η Θεοτόκος έχει αδελφή, εύχονται να αναστηθεί ο Κύριος και όσοι πιστεύουν ότι τα μνημόσυνα βοηθούν τισ ψυχές των κεκοιμημενων, κάνουν μια τρύπα μέσα στο νερό. Όλα αυτά επειδή δεν διδάχτηκαν την αξιοπρέπεια και ιερότητα της ιερωσύνης καθώς επίσης ότι υστερούν οικτρά στη γνώση της εκκλησιαστικής γλώσσας. Όπως έχω αναφέρει η γνώση αμφοτέρων των γλωσσών είναι πέρα κάθε αμφιβολίας απαραίτητος. Μόνο έτσι θα περιοριστούν λάθη που τώρα πληγώνουν.

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