One of the Priests in the Metropolis of Atlanta has published open criticisms of the Ecumenical Patriarch. His website is filled with questionable fundamentalist-type topics. No one appears to be too concerned – even if the Patriarch is called a “betrayer” of the faith by one of the Greek Orthodox Priests in the Metropolis of Atlanta. Did Metropolitan Alexios respond? We have not been made aware of it. Click to read.
We have just received a request by the apparent owner of the video we featured here on multiple baptisms at St. Anthony’s Monastery in Florence Arizona. This was from a public YouTube account that has since been marked private. We can only conclude that rather than allow you to judge for yourselves, the owner decided that information was “dangerous” to the reputation of the Ephraimite Monastic system. Why else would the request be made for it to be removed?
Strangely, while the owner professed “I’m not an Ephraimite, I bow to one King and accept guidance through obedience from my spiritual father who I do NOT consider a guru or divine guide”, he did not appear to be interested in transparency. If the Baptism was performed under the consent of the local Hierarch, then why ask us to take it down?
We were given notice of these multiple Baptisms a while ago, when a member of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America sent us the following email:
“The Monasteries under the “spiritual guidance” of Elder Ephraim are performing baptisms (again). Under the Uniform Monastery Regulation (Signed and attached below), a sacrament at the Monasteries may only occur under “compelling reasons deemed acceptable by the local Metropolitan”.” The link below (now marked private” showed the full immersion baptism of one infant, while clearly there are two others occurring at the same time as this one.
It is irregular for a monastery to replace the ministries of a local parish. This video foreshadows the “replacement” of the Parish in exchange for the Monastery becoming the preferred place of worship in seeking holiness, and it seems to be offering itself as the epicenter of Parish life, for at least some of the Laity of our faith.
Healthy Monasticism is part of the Orthodox Faith where it serves a separate purpose in conjunction with the parishes. The resulting destruction of the Parish Community, especially in Chicago, is evident in lower stewardship numbers and empty pews in our parishes. The many Monasteries of Elder Ephraim are quickly built with lavish opulence.
When Monasteries permit sacraments to occur such as weddings, baptisms and funerals, in addition to Sunday services with Sunday School and other community-geared events, then a parallel church is created that erodes and devastates the GOA local Parish life. It has been heard that the aim of these particular monasteries is that, “Someday all of our parishes will look like this.”
There is also the question of whether the baptisms are being recorded and where. If they are not being recorded anywhere in the GOA, then there is a much greater issue. Are the monasteries now establishing their own governance, rules and administration? That does not bode well for the GOA – as the very fabric of a single, centralized GOA is already under strain with various Metropolises creating their own strategic plans and fiefdoms. The parallel marches towards a Metropolis-based church in the US (without the GOA) seems to be in opposition to the work of the Synaxis of Primates leading towards the Holy and Great Council of the Church.
As we predicted, once word got out with another video that provided irrefutable evidence of what is ongoing at the Monasteries, it was removed from the public domain.
This email was sent to one of our editors around March 15th of 2016.
Once again truth is hidden and diminished from the Church.
EDITORS’ UPDATE as of 30 March 2016, 16:30 EST:
The owner(s) of the video graciously allowed the video to be viewed publicly on YouTube again, along with his commentary.
Thank you to the owner(s) of this video. Aside from the administrative and protocol issues, the baptisms of these several children are beautiful.
The video that we see here below was publicly posted on 10/10/2015 on YouTube for the general public to see. It illustrates that the Saint Anthony’s Monastery in Arizona has apparently violated the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese GENERAL REGULATIONS FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT AND OPERATION OF HOLY MONASTERIES IN THE GREEK ORTHODOX ARCHDIOCESE OF AMERICA. (click to view them)
While Monasticism is an important part of Orthodox Spirituality, it is not the only place where holiness is found. It is also found in the local parish. Therefore it is important to have Monasteries that serve in conjunction with the parameters that they have said they would obey. Monasteries are to supplement the efforts of the parish, but not to serve and compete as parishes. This appears to be quite a profound and blatant disregard of the Regulations that violates one of the basic tenets of Monasticism. The rules that govern our Monasteries require that baptisms only occur there when there is a COMPELLING REASON DEEMED ACCEPTABLE BY THE LOCAL METROPOLITAN. Is it even possible to think of a compelling reason for there to be three different families having their baptisms at the same time and place? Our editors doubt it. Perhaps we will witness a new round of “Deny, Defend and Deflect”(click that title to read strategy) at work by our “leadership”. It is more likely that the Metropolitan in question had no prior knowledge of the baptisms. Is a disobedient Monastery a good example of humility and obedience to the ruling Hierarch and the GOA itself?
The video itself is a simple baptism with a few beautiful babies and beautiful music in a beautiful church at a Monastery. One may ask “what is wrong with that?” In and of itself there is nothing wrong with that. The problem is that it seems that this violates the Monastery Regulations of the Archdiocese (The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (GOA) which is based out of New York, and not referring to the confusion that some have by using this term to refer to a “Metropolis” (formerly known as a Diocese)).
This video suggests that the Monastery has violated their agreement and obedience to these Regulations and the Hierarchs of the GOA themselves. Obedience is said to be a big-deal for Monasteries. To have one apparently openly violate this with impunity is also a big deal. That may be why this video was pulled off YouTube.
New article on the website “GOTruthReform.org” asks the question “EXACTLY HOW MANY CANONS AND COMMANDMENTS MUST A PRIEST VIOLATE BEFORE THE CHURCH TAKES ACTION?” Although we are not affiliated with this site, it is a valuable site that addresses similar problems as we do. Evidence that the Voice of the People can bring needed change. Click to read.
A new post on “Greek Orthodox Christian Clergy Laity” comments and links to the state of affairs with the Chicago Metropolis. It’s no wonder so many issues (like the Ephraimite aberrations) are not dealt with. It appears the inability to deal with issues is systemic to some leaders. After all, the fish starts to smell from the head first. Click to read.
The Chicago Tribune calls out what seems to be world’s most toxic and vindictive Greek Orthodox Metropolis: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/kass/ct-greek-orthodox-priest-theft-kass-0224-20160223-story.html
Another article has appeared in the Chicago Trib. Please click here to view this.
by the Very Reverend Fr. Steven C. Salaris, M.Div., Ph.D.
Note from the Editors:
This is another article exposing the heresy we know as Aerial Tollhouses. In his first article against Tollhouses, Fr. Salaris used the hymns and scriptures from the Feastday of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary to refute the teachings of the Tollhouse Heresy. In this paper, Fr. Salaris uses the Orthodox Funeral Service itself to expose the Tollhouse teaching as heretical. If this teaching were to be found anywhere, it would be overtly evident in the Funeral Service – but it is void.
As mentioned before, absolutely no confusion about this existed before these (and other) heretical teachings seeped into North American Orthodox beliefs as a result of revisionist teachings from the Ephraimite movement. We now have Priests telling our Laity, at funerals, that we must pray for departed souls to “successfully” pass through the Arial Tollhouses. We agree with Fr. Steven when he writes: “As do all tollhouse teachings, it makes a blasphemous mockery of Christ’s salvific death and resurrection”.
Fr. Salaris attended DePauw University in Indiana and graduated in 1987 with a B.A. in Biology. In 1991, he received a Ph.D. in mammalian physiology from the Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology at Purdue University. After graduate school, he transferred to St. Louis, Missouri to take a position as a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Cardiology at Washington University School of Medicine. In 1993, he began teaching biology courses at various campuses in the St. Louis area. That same year, he married at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in St. Louis, MO to his present wife. In 1995, he moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he taught biology at St. Joseph’s University. In 1997, as a result of his personal journey, that began several years earlier, he pursued and was granted a Master of Divinity degree at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Christian Theological Seminary in Crestwood, NY.
“Ephraimite” Clergy Sex, Lies, and Video Tape – “piece of cake”.
The New York Post (October 4th 2015) reported that Fr. Passias’ God-daughter recorded them in sexual acts. For a huge proponent of Elder Ephraim’s teachings that married people should only have sex in order for procreation, it is sad to see these pictures and newspaper articles documenting these indiscretions. It makes one wonder why more people do not see the illogic and unwholesomeness of these perversions that are labeled as “teachings”.
It is a sad day for the Church when something like this happens. It beckons the obvious question that perhaps if Fr. Passias had a normal and healthy understanding of the beautiful nature of human sexuality in the sacrament of marriage, maybe he would not have resorted to this.
The bottom line is that Fr. Passias had it within his control to prevent this. It seems quite apparent that Fr. Passias’ “blind obedience” to the unhealthy and distorted teachings of Elder Ephraim severely compromised his judgement.
Imagine how much worse that could be to laymen that do not have the education that Fr. Passias does. Scott Nevins comes to mind. There are others. There are many reports of Scott Nevins having his emotional wellness compromised by the Monastery of Elder Ephraim. Under great duress, he wound up killing himself at the gates of the monastery. Elder Ephraim and his proponents continue to influence the faithful and naive. No one in the Church is challenging them. There will be more stories that we will hear about that have yet to unfold.
…in the news again: Fr. George Passias. This time for allegedly getting his girlfriend pregnant. By the way, it turns out that this adult woman is reported to be his “God-daughter”. Fr.Passias was recently suspended. It is also reported that Fr. Passias and his wife are seeking shelter in one of Elder Ephraim’s Monasteries (of which Fr. Passias was a staunch supporter of). We first posted this report in June of 2013 (click here to see that).
One cannot help but wonder: do our Metropolitans not deal with things until there is a crisis? In effect, should they share some responsibility in causing the crisis (or other types/examples of crisis) because they passively allowed it to fester and reach a crisis stage?
“I agree Father. I really do. But they (clergy of all ranks) above all should know this better than me, and as such should be held to a higher standard. Adopting that higher standard should mean being more pro-active about this.
Our friends at The Orthodox Reformer website have published a timeline and details regarding the alleged embezzlement of a Trust entrusted to Fr Dokos. This seems to illustrate the lackluster administration of the Metropolis of Chicago, whose integrity has also been called to question by specifics mentioned in this article. Click to read.
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