[ditty_news_ticker id="27897"] Musings of the OCL Executive Director – Metropolis of Chicago: Foreshadowing the Future? - Orthodox Christian Laity

Musings of the OCL Executive Director – Metropolis of Chicago: Foreshadowing the Future?


George Matsoukas, Executive Director of Orthodox Christian Laity

Source: Orthodox Christian Laity

May the memory of Metropolitan Iakovos, who passed away, be blessed and eternal.  He served the Church in the United States for many decades and was head of the mid-western Metropolis for 38 years.  This interim period is a time to reflect upon his legacy and to look forward to the direction of Orthodoxy in the United States in this post-Conciliar Age.

His passing affords the Church the opportunity to become unified by putting our theology into practice, “moving beyond words to actions…moving beyond what is mine and yours to what is ours”, as stated by the Ecumenical Patriarch.  His passing affords the Church the opportunity to be a conciliar Church, respecting meaningful clergy and laity participation in governance that is transparent and accountable. This heartland Metropolis and multicultural city of Chicago, which has representatives of all canonical Orthodox Christian jurisdictions, offers the appointment of a new Metropolitan, the opportunity to unify Orthodox Christians to fulfill the mission of the Church.    Such an appointment can be symbolic and exemplary in helping the ecclesiastical body receive and understand the work of the Holy and Great Council and bring canonical order to the Orthodox Church in the United States.  This appointment should reflect new beginnings for our 21st Century Church.

We pray that the Holy Spirit guide those vetting and deciding who to nominate for this office of Metropolitan.  We pray that those making the decisions listen to the direction of the Holy Spirit.  The office seeks the best candidate. The candidate does not seek the office.  This is the Orthodox Way to fill this ministry of service.  To find the best candidate, the pool can be extended by thinking “outside of the box”.  Which archimandrites, widowed priests, and auxiliary bishops would make the best candidate?  Surely, the input of clergy and laity groups should be sought before they ask the faithful to acclaim AXIOS.

The task and responsibility of naming a bishop is awesome.  We pray that the process will have integrity and broad input.  Considerations, in addition to the piety and education of the candidate, should include the servant nature and administrative skills of the candidates.  The candidate should also understand how to combat the rise of Orthodox fundamentalism which is infecting our faith and parish life.  He should also have the strength to enforce the rules and regulations governing the integration of the monasteries into our Archdiocese.

The decision sets the tone for Orthodoxy in the global, post-conciliar age we live in, and for ministering God’s word to the faithful and seekers.  The “heartland” of the United States is a timely place to chart this Church renewal of our ancient Orthodox Christian faith.

George Matsoukas
Executive Director
Orthodox Christian Laity



  1. Father Steven Vlahos on

    Bravo George:
    Keep up the good work of taking us out of the ecclesiastical swamp.
    While “business as usual” and “maintaining the status quo” are the prime directions of our hierarchy, I don’t expect a new direction for the church in Chicago.
    Thanks for your so inspirational and positive approach.
    Next Thursday we will see how the Holy Spirit works among our hierarchy.

  2. Pelagia Gilchrist on

    Dear George Matsoukas,
    Forgive me, but could you explain what you mean by “…combat the rise of Orthodox fundamentalism which is infecting our faith…”? Could you provide an example? I am a convert from Protestant Evangelicalism, in which context I understand the problems of fundamentalism- often selectively proof-texted to support (heresies).
    Thank you very kindly.

  3. Andrew Georgopulos on

    Some information I found on the web that seemed to pertain to the influence of fundamentalism in the Church. I can’t speak for the source, but i enjoyed the read, though hair raising actually.

    • Pelagia Gilchrist on

      Forgive me, but are you saying that you base your opinion on some unsourced internet site? Is this wise? Does using unsourced information further critical thinking and informed, intelligently crafted arguments? Forgive me for sounding harsh, but does this not run the risk of perpetuating “fake news”?

  4. George,

    Like Pelagia’s comment above I am also perplexed by your reference to the “…Orthodox fundamentalism that is infecting our faith and parish life…”. Obviously this “fundamentalism” is concerning to OCL because it was highlighted in George Karcazes’ letter the to Patriarch Bartholomew as well. Could you explain what your understand “Orthodox fundamentalism” is and give a couple concrete examples?

  5. Iyad Jabbour on

    I think they are speaking about teachings of Fr. Ephram monasteries.
    Any way: I used to be supportor of one Church in America.
    I spoke to some people and every day I realize more that something isnt right: is the OCA a CIA making? What if one day we got a Patriarch who is Masonic or CIA agent like the Ec Pat Athinagoras? This will be the biggest church and thus can be frightening.
    I agree that we cannt have more than one bishop over a city. That was a Cannon before the Rothchildes ruled the world. Now, and after seeing what happened to the Vatican in the last century, fighting this intended unification is a must.

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