Sunday, March 27, 2011

Liberty or Death 600 Greeks Defeat 10,000 Ottoman Turks

Imbrahim Pasha sent the following letter:
June 21, 1827

Most noble Abbot and the priests and monks of the Great Cave.

We inform you that we arrived four days ago at the plain of Kalavryta with the effendi Imbrahim Pasha. We have many arms and are much prepared for the siege of the Monastery of Mega Spelaion. We await soon cannon balls and bombs and many sappers also, so that after one or two days we shall begin the siege of the Monastery and the places round about. Therefore, we ask you to spare your Monastery which aforetime had not been destroyed, but now might be destroyed. Indeed, many more ignorant than you have come and submitted to our effendi and saved their villages, and many people and their life and possessions. You, who are more intelligent than they, are able to consider matters even better.

I shall write you no more; you will also be informed by the letter of my friend Fotilas, who shall himself advise you.

Abbot, consider that this uprising of the Romans will come to no good, therefore, as a sensible man, consider well that you will not end well, but be conquered. Know that what we write, we write at the orders of our most high effendi; answer to us what we have written.

Sami Effendi
Segneztipe effendi

The Abbot and monks of Mega Spelaion responded with the following letter:

June 22, 1827

Mega Spelaion

Most sublime leader of the Ottoman forces, Hail.

We have received your letter and have read it. We know that you are in the plain of Kalavryta for many days and have all the means to wage war. It is impossible for us to submit, because we have vowed on our Faith to become free or to die fighting, and as long as we exist we cannot break this sacred vow to our fatherland. However, we advise you to go wage war somewhere else. If you come here to war against us and you conquer us, the evil thing is not great, for you have only defeated clergy. But if you should be defeated by us, which is our sure hope in our impregnable position with the help of God, it will be to your shame, and the Hellenes will take heart and hound you everywhere.

Such is our advice, and you, as a wise man, do what is to your advantage. We have letters as well from the parliament and the Marshal Theodore Kolokotronis stating that if needed they will send us much aid, soldiers and supplies, and that either we will be freed quickly or die according to our sacred vow for the fatherland.

Damascene, Abbot
and the other priests and monks with me.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Tomos on Autocephaly Things That Make Us Go HMMM

On 22 February 2011, the Inter-Orthodox Preparatory Commission, convened to consider the agenda of the Pan-Orthodox Council, began its work at the Orthodox Centre of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Chambesy, Switzerland.

The last session took place in December 2009. The results of the Commission’s work should be submitted to the 5th Pan-Orthodox Pre-Council Conference. The time of its convening will be fixed after the preparatory work is completed. The Pan-Orthodox Pre-Council Conferences were held in 1976, 1982, 1986 and 2009.

The session is chaired by Metropolitan John of Pergamon, Patriarchate of Constantinople. The delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church. Led by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations (DECR), includes Archbishop Mark of Berlin, Germany and Great Britain, Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia; archpriest Nikolai Balashov, DECR deputy chairman; and the interpreter Anatoly Churiakov.

Delegations of the fourteen Autocephalous Orthodox Churches take part in the session.

The Commission began its work with a prayer; Metropolitan John presented an introductory report; and a cable requesting blessing and prayers was sent to the Primates of the Local Orthodox Churches. Heads of the delegations greeted the participants.

Metropolitan Hilarion conveyed wishes of successful work in the spirit of love and mutual understanding from His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.

Metropolitan Jeremiah of Switzerland presented a report on the questions on the agenda.

The Commission, which is to consider the contents of the Tomos on Autocephaly and the manner of its signing, as well as the topic of diptychs, will work till February 26.

Preparatory Commission: Tomosa Autokephalia


Chambesy, 21 to 26 February 2011.

In the center of the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambesy, in Geneva, met on 22 to 26 February 2011. The Preparatory Commission Međupravoslavna Holy and Great Councils of the Orthodox Church.

The Commission was chaired by HE Metropolitan of Pergamon g. John, a representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and its secretary was the Metropolitan Swiss g. Jeremiah, Secretary for the preparation of the Holy and Great Council.

Međupravoslavna Commission had for the course of completing the study questions autokefalije and ways of its declaration, and the question of Orthodox diptychs.

1. The Commission, after introductory words Eminence Chair and introductory remarks, the Secretary of the continued examination of issues signing Tomosa autokefalije, which remained unfinished since its last meeting.

After a long discussion on this issue was not a unanimous decision. Since, according to the current regulations, decisions must be made unanimously, the agreement on the issue and how it autokefalije declaration has not been achieved and what still remains unfinished.

2. The Commission is jointly discussed and the topic of Orthodox diptychs and examined its various canonical and ecclesiastical aspects, from time described the practice of the Orthodox Church on this matter and unanimously expressed the opinion that the obligations imposed in the future be made diptisi unique in the Orthodox Church, as a tangible expression its unity.

The Commission has described the criteria as they apply to the present, to enter and sort some of the Church in the sacred diptychs.

The Commission has examined the application of the Churches of Poland and Albania on their uniform ranking of the holy diptisima all autocephalous Orthodox Church, the Church of Poland which precedes the (Albanian), and has proposed certain adjustments to the diptychs of the Orthodox Church.

The Commission has examined the application:
a) Most Holy Church of Georgia, on her elevation to sixth place in the holy diptisima all Orthodox Churches;
b) most holy Church of Cyprus, on her elevation to the more sacred place in diptisima;
c) as notable distinction between the sacred diptisima some churches, which refers to the inclusion of pan-Orthodox Churches which are not recognized as autocephalous.

The Commission has established the impossibility of finding unanimously acceptable solution with respect to these issues.

Metropolitan John of Pergamon,

Translated by G. Gajic, archpriest
Delivered: Metropolitan
Montenegro and the Littoral
Littoral, a member of the Commission

Monday, March 14, 2011

Ecumencial Patriarch Explosion at Fukushima, Japan

Agiographo Elias Damianakis, Archon Maestor
 Ecumenical Patriarch  Message In Full

Message on the nuclear explosion at Fukushima

It is with burdened and painful heart that the entire world is witnessing the drama of the tragic earthquake, which over the last days has afflicted Japan and cost numerous lives of our brothers and sisters. Moreover, it is with much anguish and sorrow that we behold the related devastation in the Land of the Rising Sun as well as in other nations of the Pacific. Every corner of the planet is offering prayers both for the repose of the departed souls and for the support of those who continue to be grieved and imperiled by the ensuing seismic tremors and ferocious tsunami. Lamentably, yet another calamitous consequence has struck the region with the explosion of the nuclear plant at Fukushima, rendering still more frightening the recent nightmare in Japan.

The disastrous ramifications of this event will become more evident over the next days. Of course, with regard to the earthquake, no human response is adequate. The causes and results eclipse human words. Nevertheless, with regard to the explosion of the nuclear reactor and the aftermath of a nuclear adversity, there is indeed a response that we are called to make. With all due respect to the science and technology of nuclear energy and for the sake of the survival of the human race, we counter-propose the safer green forms of energy, which both moderately preserve our natural resources and mindfully serve our human needs.

Our Creator granted us the gifts of the sun, wind, water and ocean, all of which may safely and sufficiently provide energy. Ecologically-friendly science and technology has discovered ways and means of producing sustainable forms of energy for our ecosystem. Therefore, we ask: Why do we persist in adopting such dangerous sources of energy? Are we so arrogant as to compete with and exploit nature? Yet, we know that nature invariably seeks revenge.

From the Ecumenical Patriarchate, we raise fervent prayers for our beloved Japanese people for the trial and tribulation it currently faces, while at the same time passionately appeal to all those responsible for a reconsideration of the nuclear policy of nations throughout the world.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Assassination Attempt On Ecumenical Patriarch

Assassination Attempt on Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Prevented

March 9, 2011 - 17:12 AMT 13:12 GMT

PanARMENIAN.Net - The Turkish police have prevented another assassination attempt on Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I, according to the Austrian catholic news agency.

The Turkish police have arrested two suspects aged 17-18. The assassination attempt was planned in the Fanar district, where the residence of the Patriarch is located.

According to representative of the department for foreign church relations at the Russian Orthodox Church Igor Yakimchuk, Turkey is a huge country and there are extremists.

Expert of Carnegie Moscow Center, professor Alexey Malashenko believes that, most likely, Islamists are engaged in the assassination attempt, who are much more radical compared to incumbent Prime Minister of Turkey Erdogan.

With respect to the assassination attempt, several Turkish papers referred to a Catholic priest, Armenian journalist Hrant Dink and three protestants, including a German missioner, who were killed by young people aged 16-20, reported.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

an indigenous, multi-ethnic, missionary Church, laboring to bring Orthodox Christianity


To the Clergy, Monastics, and Faithful of the Orthodox Church in America:

Forty years ago, the Orthodox Church in America received its autocephaly from the Russian Orthodox Church and soon after glorified the first North American saint, our Venerable Father Herman of Alaska. The Holy Synod of Bishops gives thanks to Almighty God for the prayerful intercessions of St Herman and of all the saints who shone forth on this continent and likewise celebrates and affirms the gift of autocephaly. By the grace of God, this great gift was the result of a long process of reconciliation between the Metropolia and the Moscow Patriarchate, whose relations had tragically gone astray, a gift which still stands at the heart of our ecclesial life and serves as the basis for understanding ourselves.

At the same time, much has transpired in the past forty years within the life of the Orthodox Church in America. A most significant event took place on May 25th-27th of this year with the convening of the first Episcopal Assembly for the region of North and Central America. All of the hierarchs of the Orthodox Church in America participated in this historic gathering of the canonical Orthodox Bishops of this region. Our Holy Synod is grateful to His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who wisely undertook the task of convening the Fourth Pre-Conciliar Pan Orthodox Conference in Chambésy, Switzerland in June of 2009. This Pre-Conciliar Conference resulted in the establishment, with the blessing of all the Orthodox Patriarchs, of an Episcopal Assembly for our region which has as its goal the “swift healing of every canonical anomaly” [Message of the Patriarchs 3.12] and the working out of a solution to Orthodox administrative unity on this continent.

This event, as well as the recent dialogue with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, has provided us with an opportunity to enter more fully into the pan-Orthodox process in North America. As such we have reflected on how we understand our life and work and how these can become a means for greater and deeper interrelationship with the other Orthodox Churches as we move towards authentic unity through the process of the Episcopal Assemblies.

As we reflect upon the past forty years, we affirm the following principles:
1. We understand ourselves to be an indigenous, multi-ethnic, missionary Church, laboring to bring Orthodox Christianity to all citizens of this continent.
2. We affirm that our historical reality derives from the Russian Orthodox Church and that we have humbly received and faithfully maintain the inheritance of the Russian Mission of 1794, the Diocese of Sitka in 1843; the Diocese of San Francisco in 1870, and its relocation to New York in 1907, and the Autocephaly of 1970.
3. As directed by the Tomos, we live as other self-governing Churches do: electing our own bishops and Primate, without confirmation by any other Synod, maintaining inter-Church relationships with all other Churches; and consecrating our own chrism.
4. As envisioned in the Tomos, we believe that the autocephaly given to us will be fully realized when the promise of Orthodox unity in North America is fulfilled, and the OCA together with all the Orthodox faithful in North America become one united Autocephalous Church of America, recognized by all other Orthodox Churches.
5. We commit ourselves to work within the Episcopal Assembly in order to realize the goal of unity.
We express our gratitude to all the Patriarchs for their care and ask all of the clergy, monastics and faithful of the Orthodox Church in America to be of one mind and one heart to offer thanksgiving to God for the gift of the Church, whose mission in this world is to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all the people of North America. We ask the clergy and faithful to pray that we be worthy of the heritage of the saints who shone forth in North America in building up the Body of Christ, fulfilling these words of Scripture: “Speaking the truth in love, may [we] grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” (Ephesians 4:15-16)

Asking God’s blessings on all the flock,
The Most Blessed JONAH
Archbishop of Washington
Metropolitan of All America and Canada
Locum tenens of the Diocese of the Midwest
Locum tenens of the Diocese of the South
The Most Reverend NATHANIEL
Archbishop of Detroit and the Romanian Episcopate
The Right Reverend NIKON
Bishop of Boston, New England and the Albanian Diocese
The Right Reverend TIKHON
Bishop of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania
The Right Reverend BENJAMIN
Bishop of San Francisco and the West
Locum tenens of the Diocese of Alaska
The Right Reverend ALEJO
Bishop of Mexico City and the Exarchate of Mexico
The Right Reverend MELCHISEDEK
Bishop of Pittsburg and Western Pennsylvania
The Right Reverend MICHAEL
Bishop of New York and New York and New Jersey
The Right Reverend IRENEE
Bishop of Quebec City and Administrator of the Archdiocese of Canada
Archimandrite MATTHIAS (Moriak)
Bishop-Elect of Chicago and the Midwest
Nativity Fast, 2010

Friday, March 4, 2011

Met. Jonah, Fr.Alex Garklavs, Paul Bodnar, Fr. Andrew Jarmus, Fr. Michael Tassos, Fr. Dennis Swencki

The reading is from Zechariah 8:15-17

"...These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another, render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace, do not devise evil in your hearts against one another, and love no false oath, for all these things I hate, says the Lord."

The OCA has never acknowledged that it needs to regularize its protocols traditionally in accordance with the rest of the Orthodox world. If you don't look within there is no healing and no correction. In the case of Church leadership that means that there is a wake of untold destruction in the lives of real people, actual families with cosmic results.

Moving on and attempting to provide another narrative is no way to take corrective action for the betterment of the Church. The reality of what is and has been is discrediting, unseemly and grotesque. The repeated inclination to look to stuff the past down the memory hole is unacceptable. Pretending that all is well or that no actual "wrong doing" to actual people has happened is not repentance and not forgiveness. The crux of the matter the corporation that is the OCA is riddle with corruption. All the corrective action in the world, all the formal reprimands, bailouts, payoffs and hush money with their backdoors deals doesn't fix anything. These approaches with teh golden parachutes perpetuate scandal while increasing the carnage.

The OCA as an organizational body (pun intended) has deep seeded pathologies which need direct counsel and assistance. It is time that the people sanctioned the business of the church. Can you imagine tolerating another corporation to function in this way? Can you imagine tolerating it and not objecting? Can you conceive of anything more vile then a group of churchman hiding their corruption behind a veneer of holiness?

Be very cautious of the advice that we the faithful should  avert our eyes for pious reasons. Quite the contrary we should seek to root out evil where we find it. If I sin I hurt myself and a very small circle of people if the Synod sins and manipulates the broader church then the destruction is greater. Everyone who has tried to censure me and my news discovery wish to either bury their heads in the sand or desire to pursue ungodly ends behind closed doors in private meetings.

Review the executive position turnover rate within the previous four years. Chancellor (Fr. Alexander Garklavs) "resigned"; Secretary (Paul Bodnar) dismissed; Treasurer (Fr. Michael Tassos) resigned; Director of Communications (Fr. Andrew Jarmus) position eliminated; Controller (Fr. Dennis Swencki) position eliminated; Met. Jonah on (administrative) leave of absence; the only remaining active officer: Fr. Eric Tosi, Secretary (who during a telephone conversation with me had no words to explain the current situation the morning Greek news broke the story).

The initial criticism of my reporting regarding the current course of events proved not to be so incorrect. In actuality I under estimated the brokeness, the conflict and the chaos. The meat of the matter is that many have vowed their loyalty to one side or the other and to that extent that they may have "perjured" themselves. Scape-goating the Greek press or the blogosphere won't change what is wrong. A open and public confession is the only way to out the prideful power hungry demons.

When you constantly re-draft the map you eventually end up on the wrong course knowingly or unwittingly. This debacle should be celebrated and we should not kick a gift horse in the mouth. The fact is that there is so much going on that is unbecoming and poisonous to the flock. The hierarchs in this instance would be hard pressed to demonstrate how their personal  ambition reflects their pastoral care for the flock. While hierarchs push and shove each other with their self righteous indignation the flock is left unattended. The gig is up boys. How will the OCA continue amidst the scandal the law suits the glossing over all the unrighteousness. There is a systemic problem with this which can be traced back to its indolent inception. Thankfully I don't have a horse in this race. I do wish all the faithful of the OCA the very best and I hope that God cleans house truly.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Turkishness in Full Force Armenian and Greek Beware

"I am a Greek American woman. My mother is a Greek American woman. My grandmother is a Greek woman from the island of Lesvos who became an American citizen because she wanted to. My mom's dad was a Greek Turk who became an American citizen after fleeing Turkey with his life. My dad is a Greek American man. His parents are Greek Turks who became American citizens because the country they were born in did not like Greeks, Armenians or Orthodox Christians or Christians. His mom and her seven sister's were hidden in a well while the Turks ransacked, murdered and raped other people in their village. The Turks burned the earth to the sea to kill as many people as they could and the ones the fire did not kill the army did and the one that made it and lived is the reason why I am here. And some of you ask why I want Religious Freedom in Turkey. My Family sacrificed there lives for their heritage and their faith. The blood that courses through my veins is special and rich with history that I do not want to forget. Because of Bishop Savas, Angela and Elias I think I am finding my voice. We talk about Post traumatic stress disorder of men coming home form war today. WE SHOULD SUE THE PANTS OF THE GOVERNMENT OF TURKEY FOR WHAT THEY DID TO OUR FAMILIES. they owe us big time".
--Helen D. Limberakis Sampsonis

Wednesday, March 2, 2011





La Fonda Hotel, Santa Fe, New Mexico

22‐24 February, 2011The Holy Synod’s Concern for the Health of His Beatitude, Jonah


The Holy Synod discussed matters affecting the primatial service of His Beatitude, Metropolitan JONAH. Holy Synod members affirmed their love and obedience to the Metropolitan and reminded him that love and obedience are also reciprocal between the Metropolitan and the Holy Synod. There must be mutual obedience.

Metropolitan JONAH was asked to absent himself from the meeting.

Discussion followed.

Metropolitan JONAH returned to the meeting.


The Holy Synod took the following actions and reviewed them with His Beatitude:

1. The Holy Synod accepted Archpriest Alexander Garklavs’ resignation as Chancellor effective immediately.

2. The Holy Synod expressed concern for the Metropolitan’s health. Once again they affirmed their love and concern for him and their earnest desire to see him succeed. After further discussion, the Holy Synod determined that a sixty day Leave of Absence for His Beatitude would be beneficial. Metropolitan Jonah accepted to do so. The Synod asked him to request to do so, as it would be better seen that he acknowledged the need for this. Metropolitan JONAH then requested a Leave Of Absence for not less than 60 days during which time he would see a physician and devote himself to his own spiritual and physical health without concern for the burdens of the primatial office. This could include a time of retreat at a monastery. His Grace Bishop Benjamin asked if he was ready to make this decision or if he needed additional time and the Metropolitan said he did not need more time to make the decision.
3. The Holy Synod appointed Archbishop NATHANIEL as Administrator of the OCA for the length of His Beatitude’s leave.

4. The Holy Synod appointed Bishop MELCHISEDEK as interim Chancellor.

5. The Holy Synod relieved His Beatitude, Metropolitan JONAH from his responsibilities as Locum Tenens of the Diocese of the South and appointed Bishop NIKON Locum Tenens of the Diocese of the South with Bishop MARK continuing as administrator.

6. The Holy Synod relieved His Beatitude, Metropolitan JONAH from his responsibilities as Locum Tenens of the Diocese of Midwest and appointed Bishop TIKHON as Locum Tenens of the diocese of the Midwest with Archimandrite MATTHIAS continuing as administrator.


Bishop BENJAMIN conveyed to His Beatitude, Metropolitan JONAH, the above decisions of the Holy Synod. He noted that these decisions were made out of love for His Beatitude and out of concern for the spiritual and physical health of the Primate.

The members of the Holy Synod emphasized that it was their desire for His Beatitude to sincerely take this time to address issues of his well‐being so that he could most effectively fulfill his responsibilities as Primate of the Church.

Metropolitan JONAH thanked the brothers for their concern and acknowledged that a leave of absence would be beneficial and noted that he had not had much time off since his election as Primate.

Bishop TIKHON asked His Beatitude if he needed any time to reflect upon these matters.

Metropolitan JONAH declined and confirmed that he would abide by the counsel of his brothers.


A. The Holy Synod accepted the request of Metropolitan JONAH for a leave of absence for 60 days.

B. Bishop MICHAEL will meet with Archpriest Alexander Garklavs on Friday to convey to him that the Holy Synod accepts his resignation. He will also meet with the other members of the staff and inform them of the above developments and appointments.


To the writers of the former JN1034 blog  and then Syntheopoiesis who have faithfully, for years, shared the love that is God and the mystery that is faith, your presence is required of you.

I know that we have lost one of our fathers but we must continue the cause of liberty and love. We must bond together to fend off the coup of the Internet Pentarchy.  If you are unable to maintain a blog please contact me directly (you know how) to assist me in taking up the armor of God and defeating the enemies of the Church.