Meet the Man who’ll save Greek Orthodoxy in America

His Eminence Metropolitan Elpidophoros (Lambriniadis) of Bursa

His Eminence Metropolitan Elpidophoros (Lambriniadis) of Bursa

Jessica Kolettis – Independent Article- OCP News Service – 4/7/18

USA: These days attacks on the Ecumenical Patriarchate have multiplied. First some allegations about Patriarch Bartholomew’s ties with Fethullah Gulen appear on the Internet, then the Moscow Patriarchate threatens to disrupt relations with Constantinople in case it grants autocephaly to the Ukrainian Church, and then some Greek businessmen attempt to sow discord between the Phanar and the American archdiocese.

Extremis malis extrema remedia, the Latin proverb reads. It’s obvious that now His All-Holiness Bartholomew faces great challenges whilst defending against attacks on the Orthodox world; he needs an assistant to stand up for the Patriarchate’s honor. This person is the Metropolitan of Bursa and Exarch of Bythinia Elpidophoros (Lambriniadis).

His Eminence Elpidophoros is one of the youngest (he is only 50 years old) and progressive metropolitans. On behalf of the Patriarchate, he participated in the project Minorities and social media under the aegis of the EU, has a Twitter account, perfectly shuttles between the interests of Turkish authorities and Orthodox Church, enjoys friendly ties with journalists, according to his not numerous but frank interviews to international media.

Although Metropolitan Elpidophoros is a Turkish citizen, he is respected by Greeks in Europe and the Greek-American diaspora in the US. A vivid example is the recent visit of AHEPA, the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association, which donated to Patriarch Bartholomew $20,000 and to $5,000 to Elpidophoros.

These donations may be linked to the achievements of Metropolitan Elpidophoros as the dean of the Halki seminary. Patriarch Bartholomew has recently noticed that the theological school closed for almost fifty years can open its doors as early as this autumn. It hasn’t been officially announced why the Turkish authorities changed their mind and decided to open the seminary. But one can assume that it was due to the dean’s affords as it was obviously the main goal of his appointment.

The renovation of churches in Elpidophoros’ region also indicates his developed abilities in negotiating with Turkish authorities. In a couple of years the Metropolitan has purchased several ancient churches and launched their renovation. And this is done in Erdogan’s Turkey, where islamization is under way! His activity is covered by the local media, he is a common guest at various cultural venues.

Now, there is an opportunity for Elpidophoros to show his worth for the sake of the Church. The elderly Archbishop Demetrios, the primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, can hardly control the situation in his archdiocese. All he can do is to live in luxury at the cost of parishioners, hide incidents and cover up depraved priests. That’s why scandals have become so common during his corruption-filled tenure. The recent financial crisis affecting the Hellenic College Holy Cross School of Theology, the only GOARCH graduate theological seminary, is detrimental to the Archdiocese’s reputation. Much indignation was caused by the misuse of the funds for the construction of St. Nicholas church on the site of the church destroyed on 9/11. As it was noted back in February, Albanian Orthodox Church had built its own Cathedral which became third-largest Orthodox temple in Europe. Their Primate, Archbishop Anastasios managed to do that even in such poor and largely Muslim country. What a shame for His Eminence Demetrios to fail at that in historically Christian America and with multi-million donations from authorities and faithful! But the worst in this situation is that believers are losing trust not only in corrupted American hierarchy but also in Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Orthodox Church in general.

The Resurrection Cathedral in Tirana (left) and the St. Nicholas National Shrine in New York (right)/

The Resurrection Cathedral in Tirana (left) and the St. Nicholas National Shrine in New York (right)/

Obviously, His All-Holiness Bartholomew is extremely displeased with Archbishop Demetrios who is finally going to leave. The Patriarchate requires a strict and respected representative who can put things in order in the US, restore the image of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and rule the Archdiocese so that it won’t struggle for survival but spread the divine knowledge. One of the best candidates for this is Metropolitan Elpidophoros who is so talented that he surely deserves a much better position in the hierarchy of the Church of Constantinople. For sure, being transparent and honest, he will restore faith and draw American flock back to the Church.

Please note that the opinions expressed in the above article are solely the author’s and it do not represent those of Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE or OCP New Service.

OCP News Service

20 thoughts on “Meet the Man who’ll save Greek Orthodoxy in America

  1. I think Met Elpidophoros’ formulating the notion of “first without equals” pretty well disqualifies him from polite company, let alone higher ecclesiastical positions. This article is a very strange and unseemly piece of politicking.

  2. “Propaganda” and “garbage” are the ONLY two words that come to mind here … perhoas if Patriarch Bartholomew DID thje “honorable thing,” instead of galavanitng around to ecumenical and political confabs all the time, he the “Patriarchate” would not NEED “an assistant to stand up for the Patriarchate’s honor.” This Metropolitan (of nothing …don’t think any people left or open churches in his ‘Diocese’) may possibly be the next Patriarch. He will at least get all the confusion over with … New Unia with Rome the day he takes over!

  3. This piece is unmitigated propaganda full of so many rhetorical fallacies I won’t even bother to dissect them. But I will refute the referand of the title: the Man Who will save Greek Orthodoxy is Jesus Christ and no other.
    I call this article propaganda because it is not news, it merely seeks to cement and reinforce prejudices assumed to prevail among readers. Not having drunk the Fener Kool-aid, I don’t buy any of it. Reading between the lines the astute reader can discern the writer’s preference for Hellenism despite its ridiculous untenability in the contemporary world of Orthodoxy. Perhaps Abp. Anastasios has been successful in Tirana because he is building a temple to the One True God there instead of running a ponzy scheme and paying bribes. And again, I’d like the author to point out a time in the Greek Archdiocese of North America under any archbishop when large sums were not being funneled out of America to prop up the Fener (not a typo but the Turkish spelling) as a locus of western influence in that barbaric country.
    When an ecclesiastical organization exists for any other reason than the simple propagation of the faith in Christ and prefers to propagandize something as irrelevant to salvation as Hellenism and the honor of a vestigial institution, results are exclusively bad and scandalous to those who actually put their trust in Jesus Christ. I do not look to this man Lambrianides as any kind of ‘savior’ and I should hope no one calling himself a Christian does.

  4. Pingback: Met. Elpidophoros Gaining Popularity in the US: RCA to Support Him as the Next GOA Primate - News | Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE

  5. Pingback: RCA to Support Elpidophoros as Next Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Primate – Jelena Rakocevic Reports | MATTER News

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  7. The so-called “editor” if this website should be ashamed of himself and be more careful what he posts.

  8. The so-called “editor” of this website should be ashamed of himself and be more careful what he posts.

  9. Brothers and sister, Metropolitan Elpidoforos would be a great choice to restore the church to its former magnificence.

  10. These comments are silly. No one know much about the new Archbishop nor how the Ecumenical Patriarchate plans to organize his relations with the Metropolitans. Better to wait and see instead of sniping in the dark.

  11. Just because he was elected doesn’t mean this piece is not propoganda. Instead of talking about building monuments and defending its own honor, how about the Christian reputation of Constantinople? This I think will not be fixed by an Archbishop who does not respect Orthodox tradition, and is promoting neo-papal doctrine. I don’t see Christ and the saints gaining their reputation through better administration and defending their own honor.

  12. The only way to spread the divine knowledge is to be in the image of the divine one who said, “I am gentle and humble of heart…” not “shape up or ship out”. Neither when He was reviled does the Gospel say He defended his own honor. Bishops are called to lead by example and win loyalty through the beauty of their character and genuine love and concern for others. They are not going to spread anything but worldliness if they are insensitive to others and are only concerned for putting forward their own agenda and protecting their own rights and honor.

  13. To Orthodoxy Cognate – Nothing I have read on your pages provides a single coherent argument as to what this man has to offer the Greek Orthodox community in the United States and why he is qualified to lead us. Never in his career has he ever served in this country, and I do not count a few months as a visiting lecturer in an academic setting at Hellenic College as US experience. He knows not our culture, our issues, and our needs.
    His previous opinions on the American diaspora frankly are poorly informed (e.g. Lambriniadis, 2009). From what I can tell, he has been placed here to act as a mouthpiece for the Patriarchate, to represent the Phenar in New York and Washington and to try scratch out perhaps another few more years before the Patriarchate is expelled from Turkey. But by that time the Greek Church will have dwindled after the archdiocese splits into an Autocehpaluos church and one loyal to Istanbul. His tenure will not end well. His appointment was a mistake, Demetrios’s successor should have been a native born American who knows how to provide vision and build parish communities from the ground up. Once that is done, the finances will work themselves out. Regretabley, Elpidophoros Lambriniadis is not the man for that role.

  14. If there is a problem with the Greek Archdiocese, then let the laity and clergy rise up and ask the Ecumenical Throne for a change. If you feel that this man is not worth enough please urge for a change and it is your right.

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  16. Paisios Eznepidis is patron of conspiracy lunatics, Cosmus Aitrelus of genocide, Nectarius Putnaplus of Bacchan orgy. Plato was the First Communist. Aristotle was the First Fascist. Crysustolm was the First Muslim (Ohlig & Puim, Ibn Warraq, Toynbee). Lucan icons unheard of before Ted Lector (530AD; Uspensky, 1992, pp. 62-63). In his Handbook of Spiritual Counsel, Athonite “saint” Nicodemus denounces bathing by monastics! Quest microbiologist Golobic showed all beards hoarde fecal bacteria. There are rites for gay marriage (adelphopoiesis, pobratimstvo) in Byzantine manuscripts from the ninth to the fifteenth century. Rasputin shocked by rampant Athos homosexuality. Anthony, the first monk, was a pyramid necrophile. Fasting makes them airheaded swamis (Yanagizana-Drott) like hindu hesychasm. All their spiritual quietude is about nursing hangovers. In 1342-50 Greek and Slav religious zeaotes seized Thessalonia, set up a commune and massacred the aristocracy in preparation for the Palamite Cantacuzene usurpation with Turk and Slav mercenaries.If Greeks trojaned their eurobudgets, do you trust their food hygiene, caique shipping, quisling lawyers or olive witch doctors? The Greek Church begat Islam and Communism by rejecting Original Sin. Our forefathers fled heathenated grecletude to partake in American holiness.

  17. The skills and experience cited in this article “participated in the project Minorities and social media under the aegis of the EU, has a Twitter account, perfectly shuttles between the interests of Turkish authorities and Orthodox Church, enjoys friendly ties with journalists,” no doubt enhances his credibility and favor with the Turkish government and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, but shouldn’t he first and foremost find favor and credibility as an advocate of Christ and the Greek Orthodox Church in America? How is Elpidophoros even marginally qualified to pastor the North American Church? This is all very strange. Enough of this Turkish papist yoke and the financial milking of the American Church. With respect to restoring the image of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Bartholomew’s retirement may be a good first step. That aside, Elpidophoros is not the man for America. Please keep him in Turkey where he can continue to be a good soldier for Bartholomew and the Turks and allow us to have an American born Archbishop who understands our culture, our needs, and will represent Christ as he advocates for the Greek Orthodox Church in America.

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