July 30, 2014

Greek lobby: Bartholomew leads U.S. church into ‘canonical normalization’

Hellenes Abroad News, one of the primary voices of the Greek lobby, reports that Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will meet with SCOBA during his visit to the United States, which kicked off yesterday. The article makes a startling assertion: Under the leadership of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the worldwide Orthodox Church has moved significantly in the past year toward a canonical normalization of the Churches that exist in the so-called “Diaspora.” This opportunity for the Members of SCOBA to meet with the Ecumenical Patriarch comes at a fortuitous time in the process. Considering that the newly constituted U.S. episcopal assembly is not scheduled to gather for its first meeting until May 2010, this is what we "barbarians" in America's so-called "diaspora" refer to as jumping the gun. Recall, to cite just one example, Antiochian Metropolitan Philip's critique of Constantinople's interpretation of Canon 28. Met. Philip argues that Constantinople’s … [Read more...]

Bishop Savas Launching New Blog

Bishop Savas, head of the Greek Orthodox Office of Society and Culture, is starting a new blog called Living in the LOGOSphere (no posts yet). He told Greek News that the new blog "will have a different, less personal, less whimsical character" than the travel diary blog he authored last year. Readers of the AOI Observer will recall that his blog greeting to the new president after last year's election included this exclamation: This is the Day that the Lord has made! The editorial focus on the new blog will range from "the political to the environmental, from bioethical issues to trends in popular culture," the bishop says. A number of writers will be involved. This is a positive development and welcomed here. Too much of what passes for "social witness" in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in recent years has been focused on the very mixed bag of "national issues" of the Greek state and constant collaboration with various and sundry Greek pols and bureaucrats. Defense of the … [Read more...]

Greek Ambassador: ‘Hellenism and Orthodoxy’ Is A Foreign Policy Tool

Ambassador Mallias

Outgoing Greek Ambassador Alexandros Mallias is getting a big send off for all of his fine work in helping the American Omogeneia and Diaspora (still wandering in search of a home) advance the interests of the Greek state. Here's the key paragraph from a report in SAE News: [Mallias] forged and cultivated substantive relations with the organized Omogenia undertaking initiatives focusing on the coordination, unity and cooperation of its powers for the promotion of issues of Greek interest. He kept us updated on the course and progress of our national issues, actively participated in meetings of Greek-American organizations and contributed to every effort aimed at supporting and promoting Greek education and culture, mobilizing the youth on Greek issues and establishing relations between Greek and Greek-American businessmen. He and his associates were always accessible and eager to brief the Greek-American community and suggest more effective ways to promote Greek issues as US … [Read more...]

Greeks losing interest in Hellenism

The anarchists that sank Greece into a near state of chaos late last year are now taking aim at the Church: Greece is seeing an unprecedented spate of terrorist attacks against churches. Among the churches that were hit, in one case during religious service, were the Athens Metropolitan Church, the Piraeus Metropolitan Church, and the Church of St. Demetrios in Thessaloniki. Greek media have described these attacks, the likes of which Greece has not seen even when the country was under occupation, as a “declaration of war against the Church of Greece.” All of the bombs were defused in time and only one, at Agia Triada in Pireaus, caused minor damage. The organization “Conspiracy of the Nuclei of Fire – Commandos” along with “The Nihilist Faction” assumed responsibility for the attack and in a manifesto claimed “Religion is a mechanism of power that plays a particularly devious role in subjugating people.” Authorities in Greece are taking the attacks very seriously, especially in … [Read more...]

Patr. Bartholomew to White House meeting?

The Greek newspaper Kathimerini is reporting that President Obama will meet Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew when he is in Istanbul on April 7 during a visit to Turkey. "However," the paper said, "the US president is also due to hold a one-on-one meeting with the patriarch in the White House on November 3." The plans were firmed up when Archbishop Demetrios met with the president on March 25 during a White House reception in honor of Greek Independence Day, Kathimerini said. During the public ceremony, the archbishop compared the president to Alexander the Great. While in Washington, he also attended a reception hosted by the Ambassador of Greece to the United States Alexandros Mallias at the Greek Embassy. Minister of Justice Nikolaos Dendias represented the Greek Government at the Independence Day events. Meanwhile, the tug-of-war between, on one side, the Turkish government and, on the other, the U.S. Greek lobby and the Greek government, continues over a proposed meeting … [Read more...]

Archbishop Demetrios Compares Obama to Alexander the Great

Archbishop Demetrios, leader of the largest Orthodox Christian jurisdiction in the United States, compared President Obama to Alexander the Great at a Greek Independence Day celebration at the White House. Politico, noting that the president got "a little unexpected flattery" from the hierarch about his crisis management skills, said the archbishop told Obama: "Following the brilliant example of Alexander the Great...you will be able to cut the Gordian knot of these unresolved issues." The unexpected flattery was so over that top that it embarrassed the president and earned the archbishop a link on the Drudge Report. In the video, someone can be heard hailing the president as an "honorary Greek." Just a hunch, but I bet that little hosanna came from one of the Obamakis and Bidenopoulos set. Back story. In the last few days, the Greek Lobby has been in overdrive over a report in Hurriyet that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was to meet with Turkish Cypriot President Mehmet … [Read more...]