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The Esteemed Greek Orthodox Archbishop Demetrios - Eis Polla Eti!

The Esteemed Greek Orthodox Archbishop Demetrios - Eis Polla Eti!

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10 thoughts on “Archdiocese

  1. Samwa

    I am old and retired, maybe that gives me a little perspective about the Greek Archdiocese, or maybe not. For what it is worth, I feel that we are in a crisis mode within the entire Archdiocese. I realize that today everyone’s reality has become geographic based within the GOA. What is now true in the Metropolis of Chicago may not be true in some other Metropolis. I was concerned about the zealotry that I began seeing in our Metropolis with the opening up of a “Monastery” in Wisconsin. People that would go to old calendar non Canonical Parishes soon started showing up in our Parish. Then I noticed that several Parishes nearby had clergymen that would speak badly about their “clergy brother” at my Parish.

    I vacation In Florida and noticed that the Priest at the Parish I go to there has Monastic tendencies as well. My adult children and grandchildren no longer want to step into a GOA Parish based on the experience one of my grandchildren had at our local Orthodox camp. A Monk-Priest would come into the boy’s cabins at night with another similar oriented Priest and tell the boys about the Tollhouses! Both of those Priest from Illinois. Our family has had its religious world turned upside down. So I ask myself “where is the Hierarchy”?

    They collect assessments around here like their life depended upon it! They show up and eat off China while we eat off paper plates. Personally I do not think that any of them have the intestinal fortitude or determination to deal with this issue. I saw many good people leave my Parish years ago and go to the local Antiochian Parish when a new Priest came in and tried to change things, this problem is different that that. These fools are changing the Theology of the Church. I was taking to someone from a Northern Suburb of Chicago who has a Monk-Priest. On Mother’s Day he told his congregation that their ancestors where really not in Heaven! I guess he may travel there like their leader allegedly does at night and see things that suit their distorted view of our Faith. So much for the why I use to characterize my Orthodox Faith as “undefiled”.

    Now I have lost my faith in the once proud institution of the GOA. Is anyone listening?

    • Admin

      We are listening Sam. That is why we are here. We hope our efforts will attract the attention of our Metropolitans, our Archbishop in New York, and the Patriarch. We see that people from the GOA HQ have logged into our site. We are not going away. The idea of “if you ignore it, it will go away” will NOT happen. But if you ignore it, what will go away, or rather, what will continue to go away, will be good people. We have already seen an exodus of many from the GOA to the Antiochian Archdiocese. While we are happy that our Antiochian brothers appear to have their act together, we are not willing to give up trying to protect the GOA from the militant fundamentalists that are slowly usurping it.

      These posts and efforts are not an attempt to have the tail wag the dog, but rather are a cry out for help from our leaders. As leaders, we want them to clarify if the modality promoted by Ephraim and his monasteries are what we should be emulating at the parish level, or not. We want them to clarify if Toll Houses are legitimate dogma, or not. Even if they are “metaphorical”, is it appropriate to use such metaphors that put our salvation in the hands of demons, and not Christ? Keep the faith. Spread the word.

      Write. Write. Write. Not only posts, but letters to our Metropolitan(s) and copy them to the Archbishop and Patriarch. Write! Right?

      • Samwa

        Thanks for not just listening but responding so quickly to my post. I talk to a lot of people and I have never seen the loss of respect for the Hierarchy to the level I see it today. If I could sum up in one word my only attempt to discuss this with a Hierarch it would be “deflection”. Once I had occasion to bring this matter up to a Hierarch of a different Metropolis. He kept saying things like “that is not allowed in my Metropolis” or “after 911 I make my Priests look like Americans and not some Muslim cleric”. Everyone around here blames someone else, yet no on can take the bull by the horns and fix this mess.

        Is there a grand plan to empty our Parishes? I sometimes think that this is premeditated and they want less people in Church. Is anyone following the exodus of Parishioners out of the GOA and into other Christian jurisdictions? I have old friends that left their Parish in Tampa because of this Monastic movement and are now happy at an Antiochian Parish. I use to be so proud of our Faith and now I do see it as corrupted. An ancient Faith tarnished by a stain of heresy brought to our shores from within. Please keep your website going because I realize no one within my Metropolis is doing anything. Thanks again and may God be with all of you.

  2. Tomk

    I hear a lot of people complain about the Church. I did not use to have any sympathy for those I heard complaining until the onset of the Ephraimite issue and its growth with our beloved Faith. Let me give you my observations on the issue and where the fault lies:

    1. The Charter change of 2002 was and is the single most damaging change made to the operation of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. It has had unforeseen consequences that have been seized upon by the leadership of the Ephraimite movement. They have lobbied, complimented, praised, shown a “fake” respect for the Hierarchy, and all time moved them around the board like pawns on a chess board. They have had the same level of success with the Lay enablers that carry out the orders of our Hierarchs.

    2. There is no longer a chain of command within our beloved Church. Yes they all tell you that there is, but trust me it really does not exist. In our Metropolis we have a version of the “wild wild west”. Any Priest does what he wants and there are never any repercussions. Money money money that is the case in many Metropolises today.

    3. They (the Ephraimites) understand the system and use it to their advantage. They have gotten some of the Hierarchs on their side and to hell with the laity that do not agree. How many of us put or money where our mouths are? How many of us are willing to get on a plane and go to the Patriarchate and tell his all Holiness the truth? While we sit by and watch they are in the process of moving the pieces around the Chess board and promoting their own agenda.

    4. Financial transparency is non-existent with the monasteries of Ephraim. Where are they getting the money to do what they do? Ornate monastery resorts around the country are not cheap. Our Parishes are STRUGGLING yet the monasteries do not give that indication at all. How much monastery money is going to the Metropolises? To me this raises more questions, including if there is any conflict of interests.

    5. We as Faithful have been taught to respect and never question our Priests or our Hierarchs. So now when we have this cancer running through the body of our Church what do we do? Do we write letters, do we go to the Metropolis office or do we even send an email to his All Holiness? No, the vast majority of us will do nothing. Is our Faith worth the fight? One of my friends who is a former Parish Council President says it best “I still believe in my Faith, I no longer believe in the leadership, at any level”. Why, perhaps it is the way they promote those with “life style” issues and then say and do anything to defend them and their flawed decisions.

    My personal hopes and dreams that included the Greek Orthodox Church as a future place of worship for my grandchild are dashed. Those that protect this cancer do so at their own risk of salvation.

  3. Tomk

    I just read Lambros’ post and felt compelled to write a short response. Lambro please do not feel bad about what you have written. The problem here is clear. We see it in Chicago in epidemic proportion. The Ephraimite movement has flourished due to many factors.

    Is the OCL right about Church governance issues in North America? When it started 25 years ago I would have said no, but not today. You see Lambro, today I agree with them. I think the elevation of the Bishops to Metropolitans is the “death nail” of the Greek Orthodox Church in North America. Clearly some of our Hierarchs are more concerned about their “Facebook” pages or consolidating power to reign over the Laity than facing this issue. A very wise man in one of the affected Metropolises that I converse with calls our current crop of Hierarchs “Pillars of Salt”.

    The Laity that serves as their handmaidens also shares in the guilt for the current condition of the Church. I attend an Ephraimite Parish in the Metropolis of Chicago and witness this movement first hand. I have brought it to the attention of several members of the Metropolis Council to no avail. All I can tell you is we are doomed. Are our best and brightest involved in the infrastructure of the Church? No, what has happened here is the emasculation of the independent voice of the Faithful.

    God bless your efforts and my best to those who still care about the Faith; that is the Editors of this site.

    Editors Note: Thank you for your post and your well wishes. We do not feel that the elevation is a “death nail”, nor do we feel that all of them are “pillars of salt”. The Archdiocesan Charter clearly states that the Metropolitans are still accountable to the Archbishop, as well as to the Patriarch. Whether they follow this or not is another topic.

  4. Admin

    Well, okay, I must add this too in honor of +Archbishop Iakovos.

  5. Romanos

    Excellent comments. I thought I would add this. I found it on YouTube.

  6. Lambros

    Iakovos was right!

    I think that if the United States were under one hierarchical structure, it is very likely that we would not have many of the problems we do. Our focus on the gospel is obscured. The OCL is right! Their mission statement says it all.

    But the Fundamentalist movement of Ephraim is attempting to thwart the OCL’s mission. Unfortunately there are even a few subscribers to Ephraim’s mode of spirituality in the upper echelons of the OCL. This is not about the OCL of course. This is about the Greek Orthodox Church of America being UNDERMINED by the fundamentalist ideas and activities of Ephraim and his followers.

    Ephraim’s movement is negatively influencing the definition of who we are in America, and seducing our leaders somehow.

    I feel guilty writing this under the picture of Archbishop Demetrios. I live in the state of NY. I have seen him, met him, hear him speak regularly. He is a genuine good and holy man. He is not the problem. He is not influenced or affected by Ephraim. Thank God.

    Inaction, a distorted vision, fear, and politics, are the real problem.

    One day we might see an icon of the beloved late Archbishop Iakovos. He was right! I would prefer this to the icon that is already out there of Fr. Seraphim Rose (who is not even a duly recognized saint).

    I really liked one of the user’s name on here that I read in another post – “KsipnaGOA”. Excellent. Ksipna GOA and Phanar! Ephraim is redefining things that we all worked very hard for!

    People are leaving the Greek Archdiocese because of Ephraim and his followers that are clergy and laity. I pray that something is done.

    Kalo Pascha everyone!