The Anti-Pastor of American 'Orthodoxy': He Couldn't Care Less About Your Salvation

"When you realize that this is actually a new religion, it makes the heresy of Archbishop Elpidophoros even plainer. . ."

Originally appeared at: Orthodox Reflections

America is a wreck. Properly counted, inflation is the highest it has ever been in our history. Poor and middle class families are struggling to afford gas. We are facing food shortages, with the food that is available being exhorbitantly expensive for struggling families to buy. Restaurants, jobs of last resort for many Americans, are facing financial ruin as food prices continue to spike. Rents are up, and decent housing is hard for even solidly middle class families to afford.

Crime is rampant. Many inner cities are large homeless encampments. Mass shootings are happening, even in small town America. The Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade promises another round of leftist rioting. Drug overdoses are the highest ever. Our Southern border is completely out-of-control. No one has any idea the extent of drug trafficking, human enslavement, and gang / cartel activity occurring there. Mental illness is increasing among the young at an alarming rate. Public schools, in addition to being unsafe, are used by progressives as LGBT and critical race theory indoctrination centers. “Woke” companies, such as Disney, are actively pushing an anti-moral agenda on innocent kids.

Americans are increasingly fed up and feeling abandoned. After all, who speaks for them, as their lives are flushed away by powerful political, economic, and financial interests? It is in times of crisis like this that many turn, or return, to the Church to find spiritual and emotional support. Within American Orthodoxy, the largest and most well-known jurisdiction is the Greek Archdiocese headed by Archbishop Elpidophoros. Here is a recent picture of him visiting the White House with two of his clergy:

While our entire society is crashing, the ruling Archbishop of the most important Orthodox jurisdiction in America has access to the White House. He has access to power. Does he soberly embrace his responsibility to advocate for the common American? The poor who are flooding food banks with requests for aid? Many of whom never needed any assistance before? Not at all. He gets photographed at the White House yucking it up like a man without a care in the world. The caption of this picture could easily be, “Let them eat cake!”

A few days later, an image of this Tweet from Archbishop Elpidophoros landed on our timelines. This is a picture of Archbishop Elpidophoros leading a prayer service for the Democratic leadership in Congress. The Tweet was an obvious suck-up to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and was meant to encourage support for Greece.

When the Archbishop speaks of “our two Republics”, he is obviously not acting in a capacity as leader of an American Orthodox jurisdiction. Maybe if he were, then he might have pointed out to someone present that our “freedom” and “democratic” ideals aren’t faring too well at the moment.

What made the optics of this Tweet even worse, is that it was released right as Nancy Pelosi was being excommunicated for her abortion extremism by her own bishop.

Everyone within Orthodoxy knows that Archbishop Elpidophoros is “soft” on abortion. His disastrous commentary at the March for Life drew a rebuke from four of his fellow Orthodox bishops. The Greek Archdiocese has a history of coddling pro-abortion Greek politicians and academics. I was raised in the Greek Archdiocese, and still vividly remember my first disagreement with the leadership in New York. It was over an award given to former Senator Paul Sarbanes. Sarbanes had a 100% lifetime score from NARAL on his pro-abortion voting record. Ponder that for a second. A supposedly Orthodox politician had the highest possible score from The National Abortion Rights Action League. Sarbanes never waivered in the slightest from supporting unlimited baby killing. No matter. Despite his moral stain, the Greek Archdiocese loved him and honored him. When he died, here is what Archbishop Elpidophoros had to say:

The falling asleep in the Lord of Senator Paul Sarbanes is a profound moment in the consciousness of our Holy Archdiocese, which marks the passing of a true giant of the Omogeneia and the Nation. There are so many who have stood on his shoulders and seen farther and clearer than they could have ever imagined. Paul Sarbanes was the proud son of immigrants from Greece, whose vision for the future found a sweeping panorama of the American dream in their son, who went on an exceptional educational journey from Princeton, to Oxford, to Harvard, and whose trajectory was a life of exemplary and extraordinary public service.

It is very difficult to speak of Senator Sarbanes’ accomplishments, as they are virtually numberless; but through them all, he was a devoted husband and father, a devout Orthodox Christian, a faithful member of the Church, and a prudent, humble, and diligent servant of the People of his beloved Maryland and the American Nation.

No one should expect Greek-American politicians to be excommunicated any time soon over their pro-abortion zealotry. While that may have made some of us angry in the past, Roe v. Wade did the Greek Archdiocese a huge favor by keeping the central question of abortion’s legality out of the democratic process. It was easy to hide when the political issue revolved around Supreme Court appointments. The Roman Catholic Church also provided cover for the Greek Archdiocese by largely turning a blind eye to her own pro-baby murder politicians. In a post Roe world, abortion will be a politically explosive debate going on in every state capitol in America. In that national debate, the Archbishop will do everything he can to be “neutral” / “middle of the road”. He will look awful doing it. Especially if more Roman bishops find their Christian courage.

Whether Archbishop Elpidophoros actually represents the interests of Greece or Turkey is an open debate among Greek Americans. Whichever claims his true loyalties, one thing is clear – neither the Archbishop nor the people around him care one whit about Americans and their struggles.

Now, some readers who got this far will say, “But shouldn’t an archbishop stay out of politics?” That doesn’t always work. Some moral issues, such as abortion, have been politicized, but nonetheless remain first and foremost questions of Christian morality. Archbishop Elpidophoros would be on firm ground taking clear stances on those, and even enforcing Church discipline on politicians who embrace evil. Unfortunately, it is precisely clear issues of morality which the Archbishop either ignores or refuses to address in unambiguous terms. On the other hand, Archbishop Elpidophoros regularly speaks out on political issues, in moral absolutist tones, that are near and dear to political progressives.  This tendency to moralize the purely political was clearly on display in the aftermath of the latest school shooting.

The US is in the middle of both a mental health crisis and a crime waive. Many police forces are understaffed while being burdened with high numbers of incompetent officers. In the latest school shooting, police waited outside for 40 minutes or more while the murderer was inside the school. Police respond belatedly to 911 calls all over the country, sometimes not showing up at all. Self-described anarchists are attacking churches. In cities across the country, criminals who are arrested by police are often bounced by prosecutors refusing to bring charges. Of course, once back on the street they continue to commit crimes and harm innocent people. The US government is trying to found a Disinformation Governance Board that could turn average Americans into thought criminals. Pending food shortages and inflation make Americans nervous about protecting themselves, their families, and their supplies. The threat of political violence is always with us.

So in the middle of all that disaster, a Turkish-born Archbishop comes out in favor of gun control to make vulnerable Americans completely defenseless? Abortion is a choice, but owning a gun to protect your kids is part of a “death culture”?

The Archbishop is not just in favor of removing the ability of Americans to defend themselves and their children. Archbishop Elpidophoros is also fully in favor of wrecking our economy in the name of “fighting climate change”:

As the Ecumenical Patriarchate never ceases to repeat with other Christians and especially with His Holiness, Pope Francis, along with other religious leaders, the protection of the environment must be a common goal. While some international political leaders reject the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, faith-based institutions have the crucial task of raising awareness of the dangers related to the destruction of our natural environment. An ecological spirituality should be a spirituality of conversion. By conversion, we need to understand the transformation of the inner self as the starting point of an external change.

Scientists tirelessly emphasize the need for a radical change in our lifestyles in order to reduce the polluting activities that affect climate change. This is a reality that Christianity calls “metanoia” (μετάνοια), a reversal of the whole being. In the patristic tradition of the Desert Fathers – those seekers after the spiritual forged through centuries of ascetic experience – this metanoia encourages a clear-sighted way of regarding humanity. It is precisely this vision that was imagined by St. Isaac the Syrian, a mystic of the seventh century, who considered the goal of the spiritual life to be the acquiring “of a merciful heart that burns with love for all creation … for all of God’s creatures.”

In order to meet the challenge of environmental care, we must also take on a spiritual challenge: that of converting lifestyles. The spirit of conversion, in Christian spirituality, calls for an in-depth mutation, for a conversion of the being that simultaneously touches and goes far beyond environmental issues. Love for one’s neighbor – present and future – replaces selfishness. The collective action of believers will apply pressure to world leaders and global decision makers. Sobriety will respond to the appetites of over-consumerism. Sharing limits inequality.

Now by “polluting activities”, the Archbishop means the production of CO2. Which, until the last couple decades, was known as “plant food” and not “pollution”. As a result of the Ukraine War, which the Archbishop also heartily endorses, the American and Western European economies are already buckling under high fuel and energy costs. The poor and the middle class are being crushed by $4-a-gallon gasoline while businesses everywhere are collapsing under $5-per-gallon diesel.

This catastrophe is going to get worse as governments push the “green transformation” supported by the Archbishop. Green energy costs four to six times as much as traditional generation methods. Plus, it is unreliable and non-scalable. The Wall Street Journal warns that electric power blackouts are coming because of overreliance on wind and solar power. Remember Texas during Winter when the wind turbines froze? Now imagine that scene everywhere in a future Winter. To battle a non-existent threat of “climate change”, the Archbishop would have us freeze and starve in the dark. Our suffering will make us less “selfish”, so I suppose that is an upside. Our spiritual health will improve as the poor and the vulnerable die in front of our eyes in pursuit of “Net Zero Carbon”.

Meanwhile, of course, Obama will still live on the coast with all the other millionaires, the rich will still fly private planes, and they will all laugh at us rubes over tables fully-laden with sumptuous food. The Archbishop will be on hand to bless it all, as there is no doubt he will be right there with the parasitic elites in their “New World Order” after the Great Reset.

At some point, if this push for green energy continues, the whole nation will start to look like California, where gas is $6 a gallon, the lights go out regularly, and electric cars are stranded because of rolling blackouts.  The worst part, the elites pushing the “green transformation” even admit that a massive amount of pain is coming for the average citizen. The pain is just “worth it”. Evidently, the Archbishop agrees. If we allow ourselves to be spiritually “gaslit” into accepting this fraud, we have no one but ourselves to blame.

Speaking about small and medium businesses in Davos, Norwegian finance CEO Kjerstin Braathen says energy transition will create energy shortages and inflationary pressures, but this "pain" is "worth it."

— Andrew Lawton (@AndrewLawton) May 23, 2022

In case freezing and starving are not enough, let us not forget the level of governmental control that will be exercised in the name of fighting climate change. The Archbishop must think this is part of “freedom” and “democracy”. At least his version anyway.

Alibaba Group president J. Michael Evans boasts at the World Economic Forum about the development of an "individual carbon footprint tracker" to monitor what you buy, what you eat, and where/how you travel.

— Andrew Lawton (@AndrewLawton) May 24, 2022

While pushing the Progressive Agenda, the Archbishop is willfully ignoring almost everything else he should actually be addressing. Among these neglected issues is the rise of a whole new religion. One that leads an increasing number of young people to mutilate themselves as a sacrifice acceptable to their new god.

This is from an article by a “detransitioner” and neatly summarizes how much of the Progressive Agenda espoused by the Archbishop are really just tenets of a new anti-Christian religion:

The world painted by Tumblr’s radical queer, feminist, transsexual theorists was one that has since become familiar to many people. You might know it as Wokeism, DEI, Successor Ideology, or Critical Theory. It has many tenets, but to massively oversimplify, it applies a pseudo-Marxist analysis to pretty much every social issue: men oppress women, whites oppress People of Color, the abled oppress the disabled, and so on. Through the magic of Intersectionality, these class antagonisms coalesce into one great struggle: the oppression of the Marginalized by White Supremacist Capitalist Cis-Hetero-Patriarchy (the Enemy). The world is wicked, and it is that way because it was made wicked by the Enemy.

protests are essential for the archbishop

One has to understand the nature of the world’s evil before one can repair it. The first step in obtaining that knowledge is realizing that our bodies are not us, but things which we’re trapped inside of. We’re not humans; we’re ghosts haunting rotting corpses. To stop the Enemy, trans people need to make us all understand that our true selves don’t exist in our corrupted material forms. This is what gender identity actually means: We are not our bodies.

Virtuous souls have been unjustly trapped in profane flesh. The most virtuous are those who suffer most from their embodiment: women, “queer” people, the disabled, those lower in the hierarchy of the racial caste system described by critical race theorists like Robin DiAngelo and Ibram X. Kendi. These are the Marginalized. The Marginalized are the chosen people. They are chosen because they suffer. If you aren’t Marginalized, you can become Marginalized by deciding to transition. If you’re already Marginalized, you can become even more virtuous through transition, because Marginalized identities stack. A Woman of Color is more virtuous than a white woman, and a Trans Woman of Color is more virtuous yet. Trans actually carries more weight than some other forms of Marginalization; a woman transitioning to become a trans “man” or a gay person becoming a “straight” trans person are increasing their net Marginalization despite giving up Marginalized identities.

If those who are born Black or disabled are the chosen, trans people are the converts who have voluntarily accepted Marginalization. They choose to suffer more from their involuntary embodiment. Because of this, they become virtuous. They are saved.

Counterfeit salvation. Counterfeit Satan and a counterfeit god. Denial of the nature of man as inherently, eternally body and spirit as created by the real God. Denial of the Resurrection, both of Christ and of all humans at the End of Days. Why bother with a Resurrection when the spirit alone matters and not the rotting flesh? Why not embrace transhumanism, as the human body does not matter anyway? Traditional Orthodox Christians often look at these religious tenets individually, never realizing how interconnected they are. When you realize that this is actually a new religion, it makes the heresy of Archbishop Elpidophoros even plainer. This is not a quietest faith either. It is an aggressively proselytizing religion. Our young are its primary mission field with the aid of the political, cultural, and business elites.

.@Ankeny_Hawks brought in drag queens to perform for students during school. The drag queens also spoke to students about gender identity and expression.

— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) May 24, 2022

Archbishop Elpidophoros is not the man we need leading the largest Orthodox jurisdiction in America. His willingness to be isolated in a progressive echo chamber, his lack of concern for the common man, his failed leadership on authentic moral questions, his moralizing dangerous progressive policies, his blindness to the rise of an anti-Christian religion… I could keep going, but the situation should be clear to everyone. We have the wrong man doing the wrong job at wrong time. We can only pray that God sorts this out, for authentic Orthodox Christian leadership has never been so critically needed.

Constantine is a cradle Orthodox raised in the Greek Archdiocese who currently attends a Serbian parish 

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