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 interpretation of the canon is historically untenable, interferes with good order, hobbles efforts at jurisdictional unity and, most important, retards Orthodox missionary work in the United States.

Ever notice how the communication organs of the Greek lobby seem to have been modeled on the techniques of Newspeak that were used so effectively at the Ministry of Truth?


  1. I doubt you will see much authentic interaction between the EP and the media during this visit. The most people will see are some cotton candy pictures of the EP planting a tree followed up by pre-fab press releases to ethnic media outlets.

  2. George Michalopulos :

    We can only hope that that is all that will take place during these events. Instead, I fear that the heavy hand of the Acorns and 79th Street will do/say something comical.

  3. While I’m willing to entertain the kind of primacy for the EP that some want him to have, it seems to me that assuming leadership in the “Diaspora” requires at least two things:

    (1) Here in America demonstrate tangibly that the GOA can and will make room for non-Greek Orthodox Christian (both individually and as parishes). Yes, non-Greeks can join a GOA parish but those parish are (to a greater or lesser degree) always GREEK parishes. It is one thing to have separate ethnic dioceses under the EP here in America but it is another thing to integrate these other ethnic groups in to the GOA. The former is smacks of separate but equally, the latter will require the surrender of Greek ethnic identity as normative for the GOA.

    (2) Claiming leadership in the Diaspora seems to me to require also the humble acceptance and acknowledgment that the EP is also responsible for the failures of the Diaspora. The EP can’t simply come in and take over without accepting responsibility for the mess made by neglect and/or mismanagement. Responsible leadership is more than simply declaring victory.

    In Christ,


    • George Michalopulos :

      Fr Gregory, re point #2, absolutely correct. In reading and rereading Rev Lambrianides’ address at Holy Cross last March, much mention was made of the cacaphony that characterizes much of American Orthodoxy (in his eyes). Yet after much thought, it became obvious that while the EP’s minions claimed leadership over the Diaspora in America, they never once acknowledged the failure of their leadership (assuming his critique was correct). As I’ve written and said countless times, if (for example) the quality of our hymnody is poor, then why doesn’t the Phanar pay for the proper training of the GOA’s cantors and choristers? To ask the question is to answer it…

  4. I didn’t know where else to put this. A nice article published today about the issues involved in the upcoming “Road to Unity” conference at Ligonier:

    Hopes rising for unifying Orthodoxy’s U.S. churches (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)


  1. […] Couretas has an interesting post on the AOI blog “Greek lobby: Bartholomew leads U.S. church into ‘canonical normalization‘.”  As always John is worth reading both for the facts of the matter and his […]

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