Met. Gerasimos blasts Met. Jonah for “persecuting” the Church of Constantinople

Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco (GOA)

Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco (GOA)

In what can only be described as a radical restructuring of an increasingly public discussion, Met. Gerasimos (GOA, San Francisco) blasts Met. Jonah (OCA) for his recent criticism of the address by Fr. Elpidophoros Lambriniadis at Holy Cross Seminary last month. In the address, Fr. Elpidophoros laid out the rationale for submission of all American Orthodox Christians to Constantinople in what can be generously described as exclusively ethnic terms.

Met. Gerasimos addresses none of Met. Jonah’s criticisms or Fr. Elpidophoros’ rationale. Instead, Met. Gerasimos frames the discussion in terms of the “persecution” of the Constantinopolitan Church, which, he contends, “…has shown us that the Ecumenical Patriarchate must now concern itself not only with attacks by those outside the Church, but also from within the Church, as well.”

No mention is made of the historical and canonical claims made by Fr. Elpidophoros. Neither does Met. Gerasimos address the worldwide resistance to Constantinople’s reading of Canon 28 (see articles), the reduction of Hellenism to Greek ethnic identity, or the servitude of Patriarchal and GOA leaders to the national interests of the Greek state.

Any analysis or criticism of Constantinople’s historical and canonical claims are tantamount to persecution of the Church Met. Gerasimos says in so many words. Is he trying to shut down discussion?

Complete text follows:

Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you,
and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for my sake.
Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward
in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you (Matthew 5:11-12).

Dearly Beloved in the Lord,

Christos Anesti!

The Church of Constantinople, tracing her apostolic roots back to St. Andrew the First Called of the Apostles, continues to preserve the integrity and sanctity of our Christian Orthodox Church. The apostolicity of the Throne of Constantinople is further acknowledged by the historical fact that the Apostle and Evangelist John preached in Asia Minor.

For over 2000 years, faithful Orthodox Christians have kept the Church in Constantinople alive. This is especially true of the last 556 years, since the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans. Each day the faithful of the Ecumenical Throne, both clergy and laity, live their lives witnessing to our precious Faith in a Muslim world. Their world is one of sacrifice and persecution that comes from outside the Church.

Recently, we have been saddened by a homily given by Metropolitan Jonah of the Orthodox Church in America (formerly known as the Russian Metropolia). In his speech, Metropolitan Jonah attacks the Ecumenical Patriarchate and, in reality, all the ancient Patriarchates, calling them “Old World.” The Metropolitan ignores the canonical and ecclesiological understanding of that which is recognized in the diptychs of all canonical Orthodox Churches, namely, that the Ecumenical Patriarch is the first to be commemorated. Whether Metropolitan Jonah realized it or not, his words were an attack on the apostolic succession, which is derived through the ancient Patriarchates.

The 28th canon of the Fourth Ecumenical Council, which convened in Chalcedon, not only affirmed, but completed that which had been understood by the Second Ecumenical Council, namely, that the Ecumenical Throne was granted “equal privileges as those of the Church of Rome.” To this day, for example, only the Ecumenical Patriarchate possesses the ecclesiastical authority to act judicially in the appeal process regarding clergy outside its jurisdiction (Canons 9 and 17).

Moreover, the spiritual authority of the Ecumenical Patriarch is not “papal” in its expression, spiritually or administratively. To say so is an argument without understanding of Christian Orthodox ecclesiology. One must remember that the Ecumenical Throne has jurisdiction over the Church in many countries throughout the world. Along with the land of modern-day Turkey, the Patriarch of Constantinople oversees the work of the Holy Gospel in Northern Greece, Mt. Athos, the Islands of the Dodecanese, Crete, Australia, Great Britain, Western Europe, Southeast Asia, Albania, Carpatho-Russia, and the Western Hemisphere (especially among the Greek Orthodox and the Ukrainian Orthodox Churches). There may be contention from other jurisdictions challenging the responsibilities of the Ecumenical Throne—although these responsibilities are supported in Canon Law—but it supports the same pretext of the Turkish government.

Metropolitan Jonah, despite a weak attempt to reinterpret his statements, has shown us that the Ecumenical Patriarchate must now concern itself not only with attacks by those outside the Church, but also from within the Church, as well. It seems that the Metropolitan has ignored the fact that today’s world is moving towards globalization in every aspect of life, as evident in our ability to communicate with one another instantly.

I appeal to Metropolitan Jonah to reconsider his position, especially during this holy season, as we celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection, and come forth with a sincere apology to our Mother Church of Constantinople.

I beseech all God-loving Orthodox Christians to realize that we are all the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. This unity is expressed by the truth that we all partake of the precious Body and Blood of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ. As a Eucharistic community, we offer the prayer of the Holy Anaphora during the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great, “…unite us all to one another who become partakers of the one Bread and the Cup in the communion of the one Holy Spirit. Grant that none of us may partake of the holy Body and Blood of your Christ to judgment or condemnation, but that we may find mercy and grace with all the saints, who through the ages have pleased You: forefathers, fathers, patriarchs, prophets, apostles, preachers, evangelists, martyrs, confessors, teachers, and every righteous spirit made perfect in faith.”

With Love in the Risen Lord,

+Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco

Download a pdf of Met. Gerasimo’s statement.


  1. I am a long-time member of the GOA, but I sure didn’t interpret either Metropolitan Jonah’s sermon nor his apology with the evident sensitivity of the Metropolitan of San Francisco.

    As I read this, there are a number of features in the response of his Eminence that lead me to question the purpose of this response.

    First, Metropolitan Gerasimos fails to acknowledge the incident to which Metropolitan Jonah was responding. I am confident that in a more pastoral situation, he would not simply point the finger at someone who raises an issue but would – if he is truly seeking to foster the healing he claims – also recognize the context in which the issue arose. Anyone seeking to foster genuine reconciliation would do so. The lack of any explicit recognition of the origin of Metropolitan Jonah’s concern tells me that he either considers it unimportant (which is contradicted by the response) or that he agrees with it (which may well be the case).

    Second, his characterization of Metropolitan Jonah’s behavior – evident in the choice of such words as “attacks” and “weak” attempt” – also indicates that this is not the conciliatory letter that he would have us to believe. Indeed, the choice of words used to characterize Met. Jonah’s stand seems to indicate a different audience altogether – perhaps those sympathetic to the EP and antagonized by Met. Jonah’s words. It is almost certainly not Metropolitan Jonah. (I can’t think of anyone who would response to their own words being framed in this manner in a positive or apologetic manner.) The choice of words is almost designed to elevate not diminish the conflict.

    This would seem to be confirmed by the selection of the particular scripture verses used to open the letter; they indicate that the writer see the EP (and himself) as the victim in all of this. Had he meant to embody the conciliatory character of Christ, he might have quoted a verse further down – Matthew 5:39 – but there is nothing in this letter that indicates a willingness to turn the other cheek.

    In fact, rather than diminish the conflict (the apparent intent), he has significantly raising the stakes by claiming that Metropolitan Jonah’s comments were an attack on the Apostolic succession. I will gladly defer to those who know much better than I, but it seems to me that this is a stretch at best. My reading of Metropolitan Jonah was that he was focusing on the canonically untenable position of the Church in America. The language was indeed pointed and prone to rhetorical excess – as he later acknowledged – but the issues remain.

    In regard to the canonical issue, the letter simply “begs the question” – it assumes and asserts the very claims that is in dispute. Based on what I have read – and the issue has been addressed on these pages at some length – this doesn’t appear to be supportable. What I find a bit confusing is the claim that the EP does not assert “papal” authority, but he does have something similar in terms of jurisdiction. Again, I will submit to those who know far better than I, but I can’t make sense of that argument. (In common parlance, if walks and “talks” like a duck, it’s a duck, even if you call it a squirrel.) I am very curious as to how the monks on Mount Athos would view this issue and these claims. (To their view, if there is a common view, I would gladly submit.)

    That is not to say that I disagree with the entire letter. I agree wholeheartedly with the last paragraph. It just doesn’t seem to bear much resemblance in tone, approach or content to the rest of the letter.

    As I have said elsewhere, we need leaders who are less concerned about asserting their prerogatives and more concerned about following Him Who, though He existed in the form of God, did not consider equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself.

    Nothing in what I have written should be construed as a desire to disregard, dismiss or denigrate the honor and primacy owed to the EP. Likewise, we must absolutely and resolutely support his place and mission in a horribly hostile environment. Constantinople has been subject to persecution the likes of which the world should readily condemn. (Unfortunately, since vast oil reserves are held in Muslim countries, no one should expect heroic intervention by the West. It could happen, but it would be a miracle.) My greatest concern at this point is that enormously important canonical issues which urgently need to be addressed with care will be swamped by escalating rounds of accusation, wounded feelings and antagonism that do no credit to the claims of our faith. Metropolitan Jonah, to his credit, took a step toward conciliation with his apology. This letter certainly appears to go in the other direction altogether.

    Lord have mercy.

  2. George Michalopulos says


    it seems to me increasingly that the arguments that the EP/GOA use in almost all their public utterances can be summed up in two words: “wah-wah!” It gets very tiring to see the victim card played over and over again. To “metropolitan” Gerasimos: He apologized, get over it.

  3. Wesley J. Smith says

    Am I wrong that the proper structure of Orthodoxy should be a united American Orthodox Church, as there are Russian, Greek, Serbian, Romanian, and other national jurisdictions?

    And is not our mutli jurisdictional circumstance a unique paradigm caused by the vicissitudes of history, e.g., the collapse of the Russian Church’s ability to administer the American mission field due to the events of 1917, as that catastrophe coincided with the great immigration tide of that era which brought millions of Orthodox Christians here who needed shepherding? And am I not right that such multi jurisdictions were without question a temporary necessity, the current division have never been considered the permanent order for the Church? And if this is so, shouldn’t all jurisdictions be working with humility, self sacrifice, and love to find a way to create an American Church united?

    That seems to me to be what + Jonah is seeking. Perhaps his words were intemperate, I don’t know. I am not sure he should have raised that matter publicly in the manner in which he did. We need to talk to each other, not at each other. But his apology, it seems to me, should be accepted and forgiveness accorded, and the kiss of peace shared.

    No good can come from keeping the waters churning. But it can thwart the move toward unity. I hope that + Jonah does not react to this but continues to move, through the direction of the Holy Spirit, toward the proper ordering of our life as Orthodox Christians in the Americas.

  4. cherokee Steve says

    I do not mean to offend anyone or maybe it is where I grew up in the nations here in Oklahoma. But are we not “One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church”. If certain person’s come to this country and think there homeland is so wonderful and we native american’s are not then should they not return to their native homeland?

    We in American should have a united orthodox church. Please do not get upset when an American Met. says so. If you would like to be under an overseas bishop then should you not move back to that bishop diocese?

    Instead of trying to have our church services in Greek, Russian, or Arabic should we not have them in the langauge of the people like English, Cherokee, and Creek.

    There are many of us here in Oklahom trying to keep are Cherokee heritage alive here in Oklahoma. It would not make any sense for some of us to move to Mexico and get mad if someone said you need to be under a Mexican bishop and also have the church services in the language of the people. Come on if we did the church servies in Cherokee in Mexico or somewhere else how effective would we be?
    Not very at all….

  5. Eliot Ryan says

    Met. Gerasimos’ message starts with:

    The Church of Constantinople, tracing her apostolic roots back to St. Andrew the First Called of the Apostles, continues to preserve the integrity and sanctity of our Christian Orthodox Church.

    A totaly different view is expressed here.

    When the Patriarch of Constantinople, John the Faster, took upon himself the title, Ecumenical, in the fourth century, he met with ardent opposition from St. Gregory the Dialogist [the author of the PreSanctified Liturgy]. St. Gregory wrote to the Byzantine Emperor, “All of Europe is in the hands of the barbarians. Cities have fallen, fortresses are in ruins, the provinces have been depopulated, there are no hands left to cultivate the land, and idol worshippers persecute and even kill the believers. And in the midst of all this, priests [bishops], who should fall down in church courtyards in sackcloth and ashes in prayer,instead run after empty titles” (The Monks of the West, Count de Montalembert, p. 370).


    I am very curious as to how the monks on Mount Athos would view this issue and these claims. (To their view, if there is a common view, I would gladly submit.)

    Here is how the monks on Mounth Athos view the EP:

    “No longer can the Holy Kinot tell the Athonites and other believers that you preserve strictness in your confession of Orthodoxy, and firmness in your faith since you openly preach otherwise. The Holy Mountain can no longer express its devotion and respect for the Ecumenical See. Athos firmly adheres to the sacred covenants of faith and piety.”

    It is clearly evident that the Patriarchate has chosen a definite course, which it is unwilling to change. The alarm of the Athonite fathers is understandable when one considers that according to Church canons even interfaith prayers with heretics are forbidden, not to mention intercommunion. According to Orthodox understanding the Roman Catholics are heretics, and their sacraments are devoid of divine grace. St. Mark of Ephesus maintained, “The Latins are not only schismatics, but heretics” and St. Gregory Palamas wrote, “The Latins have left the enclosure of the Church.”

    I whish I could believe that we are all One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I submit to what the righteous Justin Popovich said:

    Regarding the Moscow and Constantinople delegations present at the first pre-council meeting in 1987, discussing a forthcoming new “Ecumenical Council,” Fr. Justin writes, “Who do they [the delegates] really represent, which Church and what people of God? The hierarchy of Constantinople present at these meetings consists mainly of titled metropolitans and bishops. These are pastors without a flock and without any concrete responsibility before God and their living flock. Who does this hierarchy represent, and who will it represent at a future council? Recently the Patriarchate of Constantinople has created many new bishoprics and metropolitan seats, sees that are only titular and indeed fictitious in nature, since the actual communities no longer exist. This is being done, no doubt, in preparation for the upcoming ‘Ecumenical Council,’ where, with a majority created by these titled delegates, enough votes will be cast to support the neo-papist ambitions of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

    “All of this reflects the secret desires of well-known persons in the Patriarchate of Constantinople, who wish to manipulate all the autocephalous Orthodox churches, and the Orthodox Church in general into accepting their position of ‘first in honor.’ The first four topics of the ten chosen for the Council clearly expose this attempt of Constantinople to submit the entire Orthodox diaspora, which in reality would mean the whole world, to itself. They also seek the sole right to grant autocephaly and autonomy to all Orthodox churches in the world, both now and in the future, as well as the order of rank according to their definition (this is in fact the real question concerning the diptychs; it is not merely “the order of commemoration at the Liturgy,” but the rank and order of Churches at councils, etc.).

  6. George Michalopulos says


    As far as I’m concerned, Chyrs’ brief re Gerasimus’ victimology rant says it all. We’d all just be better off ignoring him. I used to think that of all the GOA bishops, that Iakovos of Chicago was the weak link, but now I believe that he’s probably the most resolute one of all. Methodius is pretty much an opportunist who used to be for unity before he was against it but Gerasimus is hands-down now the weakest link. Best we can do is pray for them, observe them at arms- length, but never take them seriously. Like Bishop Savvas of Troas, they’re completely in the tank with the popular culture.

  7. Christos Anesti!

    Axios Thespota +Gerasimos! The truth shall set us free!

    I have been a long-time observer and reader of these and other forums and internet sites including the ones that originally erupted during the time when the laity called upon +Spyridon to step down. I must say that the more I read the statements, opinions, truths, and untruths that are stated publicly and posted in this and other blogs, the more I truly believe that the Holy Spirit is guiding our Church down a path that I believe many of us do not yet know or understand.

    I am certainly speaking as an amateur lay person in the shadows of the giants of laity and clergy who dominate this forum and who are self-professed and/or respected theologians, but I for one am certainly glad that our hierarchs have now become engaged in necessary discussions that will lead up to the Great and Holy Synod of our Church. I for one plan to make statements on this forum as my time permits and as these issues arise. I certainly have read many of the publications and statements made here that reference our beloved theologians and hierarchs such as Metropolitan +Kallistos, and many of his observations and statements–that I have read and have heard in person–are either misquoted or are spun to support a one-sided argument that is portrayed especially in this forum.

    I strive for a balanced viewpoint and I have come to believe, especially in my conversations with various people and having heard and read many articles and opinions including those posted here, that an Orthodox Church that is adminstratively and canonically unified can in the Americas only be achieved by working with and through His All Holiness +Bartholomew.

    In His Service.

  8. For anyone who may have forgotten the Metropolitan has his own history of contributing to the proud tradition of buffoonery in the GOA. Lets roll the clock back to when the Metropolitan -at his installation- professed to be a fan of the show Desperate Housewives and had some interesting views on other social issues. They do not call Bihsop Gerry the Despota of Desperate Housewives for nothing….

    Published by the Los Angeles Times, April 2, 2005

    Hoping a New Leader Will Soothe Internal Conflicts

    A new Greek Orthodox metropolitan bishop for seven states takes office today. One issue is how independent the U.S. church should be.

    By Larry B. Stammer, Times Staff Writer

    OAKLAND (Los Angeles Times, April 2, 2005) — When the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America today enthrones His Eminence Gerasimos Michaleas as its new metropolitan bishop for California and six other Western states, it will install a leader many hope will work for common ground in a church that has been beset by internal divisions.

    Austere-looking as a desert monk, introspective and, in the view of some, a little too informal for a prelate, Gerasimos becomes chief shepherd of the church’s Western region, whose membership has doubled in the last 25 years to as many as 200,000 believers. It has 65 parishes, three monasteries and 80 priests. It reaches to Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Arizona and Nevada.

    Though a long-running controversy over how independent the U.S. church should be from the international mother church has subsided, tensions remain. The American church is a province of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul, Turkey, which is led by the patriarch His All Holiness Bartholomew.

    Part of Gerasimos’ task will be to balance his allegiance to Bartholomew and to the Phanar — the Orthodox Vatican in Istanbul — while leading an increasingly Americanized church. In 1999, internal struggles forced the resignation of the church’s then-U.S. Archbishop Spyridon, whose autocratic style grated on a church that had grown beyond its immigrant roots.

    Gerasimos apparently is off to a good start in his new position, formally known as the Metropolitan of San Francisco.

    Priests and laymen say they view him as accessible and a good listener. Some in the church, Gerasimos said, even think his comparative informality in little things — such as avoiding references to his high office in imparting a blessing, or calling himself “Bishop Jerry” — are unbecoming.

    In an interview this week at Ascension Cathedral in Oakland, where he will be enthroned in an ancient ceremony, Gerasimos said his leadership style would vary from that of Metropolitan Anthony, who died in December after leading the region for 25 years.

    “I’m different, I think, than Metropolitan Anthony, of blessed memory, who was very spontaneous, a very in-your-face person,” Gerasimos said. “That was his great gift of captivating people, and at the same time, his great downfall of making people alienated altogether. I don’t have that kind of zest.

    “I’m much more a person who gets to know people from where they’re at and build relationships from there. I’m passionate about what I believe and what I want to do. And I intend to do whatever I intend to do.”

    Others, such as layman Peter Haikalis, said he would reserve judgment until he saw whether Gerasimos followed through. Haikalis is a member of the national board and is immediate past president of Orthodox Christian Laity, which campaigned for a more autonomous church in America.

    “I hope he becomes a really good listener and tries to interact with as many people as possible before he sets a course,” Haikalis said.

    Gerasimos, 59, was born in Kalamata, Greece, to Nicholas and Anastasia Michaleas. In 1970, he enrolled at Hellenic College in Brookline, Mass., where he received a bachelor’s degree with honors in 1973.

    He was ordained to the diaconate in 1979 and served as archdeacon to His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos, the then-prelate of America. During the same period he was dean of students at his former alma mater in Brookline. He earned a master’s degree in counseling and school psychology at Boston College in 1984, and his doctorate in counseling and school psychology in 1993. He was elected a bishop in 2001.

    Now, as he faces the daunting task of running his sprawling territory, he says he has wondered whether he would have to be even more disciplined in maintaining a spiritual life.

    “You ask me about my spiritual life. It’s on a good road, but I think I’m going to have a hell of a fight from now on,” he said, smiling. He said he took hope in the lives of the church’s desert fathers: late 3rd and early 4th century monastics in the Egyptian desert beloved for their spiritual guidance.

    “Many times there is a huge desert in our lives, and I try to water my desert with their wisdom as much as possible,” Gerasimos said. “If I don’t do that, I would literally become withered spiritually and I am not able to be happy.”

    In a wide-ranging interview, Gerasimos spoke of such things as the TV show “Desperate Housewives,” gay marriage, the war in Iraq and the politicization of the Terri Schiavo case.

    He admitted he is an unabashed fan of “Desperate Housewives.” Said Gerasimos: “That little bit sultry TV program has so many truths in it. I’m watching it every time it’s on.” He said the show is popular because it depicts what goes on in many families and connects with viewers.

    “What I’m saying to the church is, can we do that?”

    One of his first plans, to be unveiled at his enthronement today, is to launch an institute to serve families and educate priests on family issues.

    At the moment, Gerasimos said, many priests merely bless a troubled couple and they go about their business. “But what is your business? If Christ is not involved in your business, I’m missing something. I’m not doing my job,” Gerasimos said.

    He also spoke of moral issues that have straddled religious and political thinking.

    On the war in Iraq, he criticized President Bush’s policy: “Was it a preemptive war? We did start it, but it was very much premeditated…. ‘Preemptive’ means you’re going to try to prevent something. What war did we prevent? The politics have their own place. They have their own culture. They have their principles. But when they try to get them sanctified by God and by faith, that’s when I get very angry.”

    Asked if same-sex unions were a threat to the traditional family, he said, “Absolutely not. I don’t see that at all…. I would say God bless you, but I will not sanctify a marriage. But at the same time I will not tell them that you’re condemned to die, that you’re going to hell.”

    The Greek Orthodox church does not have any set rules on the kind of end-of-life issues raised by the Schiavo case, according to Father Paul Schroeder, chancellor of the metropolis.

    Metropolitan Gerasimos questioned the intervention by Congress and the White House in efforts to reinsert Schiavo’s feeding tube.

    “This family has an inherent responsibility to choose and decide for their own,” he said a day before Schiavo died. “So here comes the government and says, ‘No! I’m going to become something over you. I’m going to tell you this is wrong, this is a sin.’

    “This is the way we’re politicizing issues, like abortion, like same-sex marriages. We politicize them to the point that you divide the nation, you divide neighbors, you divide everybody — face to face, black and white. It’s not a black-and-white issue here.”

  9. George Michalopulos says

    Hmmm…. let’s run the numbers: “As many as 200,000 believers?” “In 65 parishes”? Let’s see, grab the ole’ calculator, and we come up w/ 200,000 people divided by 65 parishes = 3077 people per parish! Wow! Talk about mega-churches!

  10. Tom Kanelos says

    Christ is Risen!

    Many Years George! Na ta ekatostisi (may you live to be 100)!

    Actually, though I am not defending His Eminence, I can agree with his numbers. I think the key word is “faithful” versus “parishioners” or “stewards”. I can say with absolute certainty that our parish in Niles Illinois with its 650 families serves probably 3500-4000 “faithful”. Believe me, they were all there for Anastasi (from 11:30 to 12:30) and then we were left with the 500 regulars.

    Oh well, Father tells us to be nice and welcoming to them and perhaps they will start to come around a little more often.

    200,000 “faithful” in the metropolis of San Fran, sure I believe it. 200,000 parishioners…I doubt it.

  11. Fr. Johannes Jacobse says

    Tom, church numbers are always tricky, but a rule of thumb I use which has proven accurate for the most part is that if you double you average Sunday attendance, you have a rough sense of how many people have a sense of connection to the parish, even tangentially.

    The large numbers at Pascha and Christmas are driven by nostalgia and habit mostly I think. You won’t see the children of those parents coming as they grow up. I can tell who they are because the children don’t really know how to cross themselves while their parents still do.

  12. George Michalopulos says


    eisai levendis!

    many thanks and Christ is risen!

  13. Scott Pennington says

    “There may be contention from other jurisdictions challenging the responsibilities of the Ecumenical Throne—although these responsibilities are supported in Canon Law—but it supports the same pretext of the Turkish government.”

    Let me see if I understand the twisted logic here: He uses Clintonian newspeak (remember “contributions” which actually meant increased taxes?), to characterize the Phanar’s ongoing power grab as “responsibilities” and says that those other jurisdictions who “may” contend that these claims are false and (obviously) not supported by canon law are supporting “the same pretext of the Turkish government”.

    I may get in trouble for saying this, but if this hubris and “entitlement because of victimhood” are the way the Greeks in Turkey deal with the Turks, it’s no wonder the Turks don’t like them.

    I mean, hopefully the Greek hierarchs are not interested in convincing the rest of the Orthodox world that the Turks are doing us all a favor by ending the Ecumenical Patriarchate. You wouldn’t know it, however, by their recent statements.

    To most of the rest of the Orthodox world, judging by their reactions, the reactions of those I’ve talked with, and my own reaction, what’s coming out of the Phanar and the Greek leadership sounds utterly, pathologically arrogant. Arrogance does not inspire affection. Most, if not all, of the hostility that some of the Greek posters here notice being directed to toward the EP, his representative and his defenders, is a result of that perception of arrogance.

    Making up baseless theories that arrogate power to oneself (or perpetuating them) is not the best way to win friends and influence people. If the EP’s end game is anything other than becoming Uniate, he and his defenders are badly misplaying their hand. The Antiochians, the Russians, and the OCA will not soon forget what has been said recently.

    I hate to say it but it appears to me that we’re heading for a schism. The meeting in June or other preparatory meetings for a new “Ecumenical Synod” might very well be the occasion for the break. Think of what these men will say to one another behind closed doors!

    The EP seems to be courting Rome. The only good thing that can be said about this is that there are many Greeks who have a visceral distaste for Rome or who have the doctrinal integrity to refuse to become Uniates. This means that not even all of the Greek Church would be lost.

    I do hope that doesn’t materialize. But I wouldn’t put it past this EP.


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