THE TIME FOR ORTHODOX UNITY IS NOW!

America’s Greek Archdiocese Can Take Lessons from Albania’s

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Archbishop of Tirana, Durres and all Albania Anastasios. (Photo by Eurokinissi)

Source: The National Herald

In June, 2012, an Orthodox Church was built in Tirana, Albania. Yes, Tirana, Albania. That marvelous cathedral was built largely through the blood, sweat, and tears of Archbishop Anastasios, the Primate of the Church of Albania.

The Resurrection Cathedral currently stands as the third-largest Orthodox church in Europe. This was nothing less than a miraculous accomplishment considering Albania, a very poor country, was not that long ago under the grips of communism and fiercely anti-Christian. Yet, in a largely Muslim country, Archbishop Anastasios has managed to revitalize the Orthodox Church, building new churches and restoring many others without the benefit  of the Port Authority of New York handing over millions of dollars for construction, which is what happened with St. Nicholas Church in Lower Manhattan. That is in addition to the millions donated by the faithful. Despite all this, St. Nicholas has yet to be completed as corruption enveloped the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. “Archbishop” Demetrios apparently wants to stay until St. Nicholas is completed? Why? Does he actually believe this will be his legacy? Is this man so naive as to compare his corruption-filled tenure to a true giant of Orthodoxy as an Anastasios? This is simply laughable.

The parishes need to follow the example of Sts. Constantine and Helen in Wisconsin and immediately stop funding the corruption at the Archdiocese until proper hierarchs are put into place, as the only thing they understand is money. Thankfully, there is no shortage of qualified metropolitans.

Metropolitan Elpidoforos may be the best example of a talented young hierarch who can come to the United States and bring some order. He would restore morale, build church ministries that have been destroyed under Demetrios, and energize the faithful by being honest and transparent. In any case, he wouldn’t cover up one incident after another, he wouldn’t accept two salaries, and I am confident that he would immediately defrock priests that sexually abused children.

“Bishop” Andonios of Phasiane, who is the Archdiocesan Chancellor, is also completely incompetent and virtually unemployable outside the bubble of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, and also can be easily replaced. At this point, why would any reasonable person believe that changes being instituted by Michael Psaros and others at the Archdiocese would have any positive effect when the two individuals responsible for this wreck are still at the Archdiocese continuing to live off of the donations of the faithful- essentially on welfare. Who are they kidding?

Thomas Bletsas
Brooklyn, NY

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7 Comments

  1. Dion Papafilis, MD on

    Mr. Diamantaris,

    I was an extremely active member of a parish of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese (basically my entire life), up until about a little over a decade ago, when my family and I felt that “enough was enough”, and then decided to attend an OCA parish near our home. At first, we had to adjust ourselves to the OCA way of doing things. However, overall, we feel at the end of the day that we were freed from the esoteric fights and intrigues plaguing the GOA, such as the language issue, the Ephraimites, and the identity crisis in general of Greek America. In this new community, one not plagued with intrigues, we were welcomed, embraced and allowed to live out our faith. Now of course the OCA, too, has its share of scandals and battles, but at least they seem to aim at being accountable and transparent, especially since in the past, they have deposed numerous clergymen due to sexual misconduct. The GOA on the other hand seems to prefer a different approach, as if sweeping the not so private lives of its clerics under the rug is not going to eventually come back to haunt them. Maybe the idea is: (at least) not during my term!

    The editorial offered recently by Thomas Bletsas is very misleading and paints an inaccurate portrait of the well-known Metropolitan Elpidophorus. Being privy to information circulating in circles in Greece and New York, I am certain that this Metropolitan would do the exact opposite of what Bletsas suggests. According to what is commonly known abroad, Metropolitan Elpidophorus has surrounded himself with a brood of unethical clergy, and has taken bold steps not only to protect this special “brotherhood”, but also to promote these misfits to positions of authority and leadership within the Church. A prime example can be seen in his well-known staunch support of various questionable clergymen and deposed clergy, the former Metropolitans Paisio and Vikentio of Astoria, who were both guilty of drunken orgies and pedophilia described as drug induced sexcapades that made popular headlines. Truly embarrassing! Metropolitan Elpidophorus fought publicly for them ( frankly, so did your Herald) and in the Synod, strived to protect these thieves and robbers, who mostly had the demeanor of mafia bosses not clergymen. And for what reason? Well, all of this has simply demonstrated that Elpidophorus is not fit to lead or put things in order. His history speaks for itself and he unfortunately has already failed the test. Elpidophorus will not and cannot bring a bright future to the Archdiocese, but a very dark one, much darker than we could ever imagine. As the rumors grow stronger of his takeover, more evidence about him will surface in the coming weeks. I am sure courageous men and women will stand up to convict him and all those despots who cover up, promote, and tolerate sexual deviance in the Church. #ME TOO is not only for secular institutions. The time has come for it in our Church. DO NOT deceive your readership, National Herald! You owe us all the truth, and only you have the audacity to report on these matters and these people who will bring more tragedy to our Church and community.

    Let’s be real and let’s be honest! Don’t let the pimps keep pimping!

    Dion Papafilis, MD
    New York, NY

  2. Seems that Dion Papafilis uses rational critical thinking, ethics and morality and history of facts to determine if the hierarchical leader is qualified to lead. If all GO did the same the state of the GOA would not be systemically corrupt and numerically dying.

    Its really not OK in a corrupt church to ask the hard questions and point out the difficult truths of the new Metropolitan. You are made the problem for pointing out the problem which shows how problematic the systemic corruption really is.

    Discern before Axios is what I read from the MD. Engage rational thinking before you emotionally buy in is what I read. Call the corruption out without compromise is what I read. Do not believe resume hype before you know the OTHER facts is what I read.

    What is left out of his resume is the systemically corrupt church leadership culture he came up in and how it has influenced his character as a leader.

    This metropolitan selection is interesting considering that the new Metropolitan teaches ethics at a university. No doubt that in just a couple of years this prove to be the most ethical diocese in the GOA, right?

    Organized systemic corruption reproduces organized systemic corruption. Fact is, you have to be corrupt to lead in a corrupt organization. It’s a prerequisite requirement of the already systemically corrupt power and control to only allow their like kind into the hierarchy.

    Oh, so, a systemically corrupt hierarchy is going to appoint someone who is moral, ethical, intolerant of corruption, not a supporter of cult monasticism and who will confront other corrupt hierarchy? So the corrupt hierarchy is going to put not corrupt bishops and metropolitan’s into positions of authority to reform the corrupt hierarchy system?

    Who selected this man and then approved him? What is the character of those who selected and approved him? (Trace symptom back to cause to see the cause and deal with the problem at the cause origin or just keep repeating the same mistake)

    You will know within 2 years of less what this man is about. If he proves to be corrupt he will do much damage to an already greatly damaged diocese. If he proves corrupt how many years before you can remove him? The last metropolitan could not be removed and so with respect to the MD I don’t see the GO standing up and removing him. It will take more than a petition that is safe and puts no one at real risk. You get the church you take the risk for, pay the price for and make the sacrifice for. This is the church the GO today have, systemically corrupt, monastic cultic and numerically dying. Those are signs and symptoms of its SPIRITUAL STATE.

    Show up in the hundreds to protest at the next Archdiocese clergy/laity council and at the next Chicago diocese clergy/laity council. The easy and painless arm chair petition will not work. When we exposed the ephraimite cult on TV 200 ephraimites showed up at the TV station to protest. That is what you are up against. They take physical show up action. What you got petition signers?

    He’s 38 and so your probably going to have him for a very long time. Maybe 50 years. That is, if the GOA survives with any viability over the next several years. The numerical future of this church does not look good. You’ll be fortunate to have a church in America in 50 years.

    Ashley Nevins
    Father of Scott Nevins

  3. Ashely, thank you for your insights and kind words; however, I would expect every faithful devotee of the “Greek” Orthodox Church to use rational critical thinking, ethics, and morality. Is it too much to ask for? Apparently (and unfortunately) it seems in our day it is.

    This all can easily be discerned from the recent headlines in the Greek and English press concerning the reluctant election of the new Metropolitan of Chicago and the drama unfolding in Istanbul’s monthly Holy Synod. Where should I even begin?

    Let’s start with Archbishop Demetrios and Metropolitan Elpidophorus’ back and forth during the Synod, which was published in detail by the Herald. As I mentioned in my response to Mr. Bletsas’ article that ran to the support of the infamous Elpidophorus, being privy to information circulating in circles in Greece and New York, I am certain that this Metropolitan would bring destruction to America if he were elected Archbishop. According to what is commonly known abroad, and in the US sometimes (but nobody is really willing to talk about it) Metropolitan Elpidophorus has surrounded himself with a band of unethical clergy, and has taken bold steps not only to protect this special “brotherhood”, but also to promote these misfits to positions of authority and leadership within the Church. Certainty, it is well understood that he is behind the word for word leaking of the minutes to the Herald of Istanbul’s Syond meetings. Remember, the deliberations are considered confidential and the entire process is sacramental in nature. Yet, Elpidophorus leaks the information to the notorious Theodore Kalmoukos, a long time enemy of Patriarch Bartholomew and the Patriarchate of Constantinople, so all in all, his demeanor is everything but befitting a clergyman. Again, these actions bring to mind reminds the type of activity you would see from a mafia boss in film. And all this just to become Archbishop?

    Demean, ridicule, accuse, slander and verbally assault a 90-year-old clergyman who has served to the best of his ability? I am in no way defending the Archbishop nor the circus he is running on 79th, but if we are looking for a man of the cloth to lead an American Church, I would hope people do not place their hopes in this spiteful, unethical on every level, untrustworthy person. We’ve definitely had enough of that.

    Of course, people should give Elpidophorus the benefit of the doubt, perhaps the Patriarch himself is directing or at least tolerating this man’s behavior in the Synod just to bring the Archbishop to his knees. Yet, why on earth would Elpidophorus betray his own Synod, and make it look like a gathering of bafoons meeting to administer our American Church? Someone tell Bartholomew that his Synod is starting to demonstrate clearly a lack of integrity, seriousness, and credibility. He is losing his grip, and this will cost the Church much in the end.

    In the mean time, Metropolitan “Hopeless” is preparing his application for a greencard and openly promising to place his import chess pieces on the game board he considers to be the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Yet, in all the commotion, one of his pieces fell off the board and did not become the Metropolitan of Chicago. Who is going to console the “imported” auxliary bishop who is now inconsolable? That’s Gerry’s problem, right? He deserves it. Never make promises you can’t keep my friend or people will start losing their “hope” in you! Let us not rehash your family’s wounds.

    Now, Chicago. Okay, so two openly gay clergymen left, one well-known lover of precious twink souls boycotted, and a “discrete” manly and mediocrely endowed, according to some pictures, titular Archimandrite is in the Olympic style men’s relay race. Let’s be positive and hope that the videos and pictures everyone is whispering about behind closed doors and in the halls won’t get on the New York post. If they do, we will have a scandal of Passias’ proportions, without the banana bread of course. I don’t think he likes sweets anyway! Let’s just wait and see, and hope for the very best.

    At the end of the day (ladies and gentlemen), we have a huge volcano ready to explode. The Phanariots have not learned their lesson. You can’t play with fire and not get burnt. Yet, the National Herald, their own rival, is the compass which they are using to now orient themselves and the caliber to “taste” the waters in America, and of course to promote their persons: two in fact, Elpidophorus and Nathanael. It is their loudspeaker where they betray the very “martyric” and chained-up church they serve and the place where they “hang” those who have served them once they become useless to their personal ambitions. Yes, this is the ethos and personas demonstrated now there. They remind us more of the Pashas of the Peloponnese, than devout followers of the Carpenter.

    Who is to blame for all of this scheming? Who is to blame for the chaos that is erupting in America? Let’s leave the answers to these questions for Lent! We had enough fish to fry on this Ash Wednesday, a great day which my family and I honor even though we’re members of the OCA.

    GOD BLESS AND HAPPY LENT!! DON’T LET THE PIMPS KEEP PIMPING!!!

    DION P., MD

  4. Sad to say the least and we greek Orthodox and Orthodox in general have I think a gay scandal waiting to happen because we have not been able to discuss sexuality and gayness etc etc as Christian adults,Juvenile Hypocrisy is name of the game.
    And how can we say to our young ‘this is the Church of Christ ‘ or ask the many unsung devoid clergy doing their best, not to just walk away?

  5. Timothy Nicholas on

    It is sad to read the Greek-=American press about happenings in Fanari. If it is as they say, the atmophere there is like a Greek kafenio, God have mercy on us!

  6. Timothy Nicholas on

    THE DELIBERATIONS TAKING PLACE IN cONSTANTINOPLE CONCERNING THE AFFAIRS OF OUR CHURCH IN THE uNITED sTATES ARE PATHETIC, TO SAY THE LEAST! NO RESPECT, NO COURTESY, NO BASIC AND SERIOUS MANNERS IN DISCUSSING OUR HOY ORTHODOX CHURCH. VERY SAD, IDEED!

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