A response to his blasphemous speech during the Sunday of Orthodoxy
We just celebrated the First Sunday of Lent celebrating Orthodoxy, the great festival of our Church. It celebrates the one who gave birth to all the saints and martyrs, the “one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church”. It celebrates her glorious victory against the heresy of iconoclasm. The Church is founded on what Christ taught, what the Apostles preached, what the Fathers and Teachers of the oikoumeni interpreted, what the Ecumenical Councils ordained, what our Orthodoxy confesses. And we do not have the right to change even “one iota” as our Christ Himself taught us in the Gospel of Matthew. Father Alexander Schmemann writes in his diary “The Church was founded in this world to celebrate the Eucharist, to save man by restoring his Eucharistic existence. Eucharist is impossible without the Church, that is, without a community that knows its unique character and calling, that is, to be love, truth, faith and mission”. But unfortunately for us here in Canada, the love, faith and truth have been taken away from her mission.
On March 13, 2022, the Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church of Canada, during his speech at the end of the Liturgy at the Annunciation of the Theotokos Cathedral, on the feast of Sunday of Orthodoxy, frustratingly did not honour this great day at all! He spoke and boasted about his distorted achievement, bare-headed, to treating the church like a “restaurant with a menu”, so that each “customer” can individually line-up in two different rows and choose between a) multiple spoons, or b) from one common spoon for everyone, the holy Lavida. Choose a chalice of your choice, and get it! Oh what grave sacrilege and blasphemy!
He went on to say that in the 1960s he noticed a “holy” Christian(?) who was the president of a church in Montreal where he was a priest at the time, stating that this man was a regular church goer, but yet never seen him communing. So he asked him why he did not commune, and the man responded that he was disgusted(!) because of the common spoon(!) which everyone’s saliva comes into contact with!! And instead of instructing him, building him, and strengthening him in his faith, he felt that the best possible remedy would be to change the way of offering the Eucharist!! He informed those attending the Church of the Annunciation of the Theotokos that he sent a letter to the Patriarch, before the coronavirus, asking him to change the way of distributing Holy Communion, making reference to the example from the 60s! In other words, instead of pure gold, the Archbishop gave us the rust of heresy.
The Archbishop also stated that the reason he ordered teaspoons and napkins be used for the distribution of Holy Communion was that he had an order from the Government. But he did not tell us why all the other Orthodox Churches (Russians, Serbs, Antiochians, Bulgarians, Romanians, etc.) in the same province and region did not adopt the same innovations. Why didn’t they implement the same changes? We are still waiting for an answer. The real answer is that the Canadian government had never requested what the Archbishop has been using as an excuse for two years now, reinforcing untruths and teaching the error. Indeed the emperor is naked without excuses!
Isaiah tells us, stop offering useless sacrifices, I am disgusted with incense. Celebrations of the New Moon and Sabbaths, invitations to celebratory gatherings, disrespect along with solemn worship I cannot tolerate. I despise your celebrations and your holidays! For me it is a burden, I am bored having to tolerate them. When you raise your hands, I close my eyes not to see you. And when you say your prayers aloud, I do not hear them because your hands are dipped in blood. Bathe and purify yourselves, lest my eyes see your wicked deeds, cease to do evil (Isaiah 1: 13-17). By faith Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He preferred to suffer with the people of God, rather than enjoy the temporary sinful life.
Who has not more or less read the lives of Saints and heard their synaxaria? And with what admiration we bow down to such impeccable faith, to such sacrificial offering of soul and body, to such strong witness that inspires and makes one wonder how much these people loved our Christ. Where is this man today?, A saint, a living sacrifice, a confessor, willing to be arrested, to be judged, to lose his property, to be thrown in prison, to be abused, to be exiled, to be tortured, to be thrown to the beasts and to suffer all the torment, without seeing any external intervention of God to stop his torment? This Christian firmly believed in God, he saw clearly with the eyes of his faith <the Invisible> he saw the invisible rewards that God has prepared for those who love him. (A. Kantiotis) But this presupposes courage and bravery of soul along with humility of God’s grace and righteous ecclesiastical life.
The good courtier (layman or clergyman) is a curious creature. It used to be in danger of extinction but now it is in abundance. Like the bare head, the poisonous fish that “invaded” from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean, with a deadly neurotoxin that kills. It is not eaten with anything. So is the good courtier, who submits to every order of the boss. He does not know (the boss). It’s enough that he knows the boss’s ordinances. These are for him his masters, who will say a good word about him, who will throw him a shred of freedom, power, recognition or maintenance of what has been rightly or unjustly acquired so far, even a small loss in relation to the majority. Collaborative and submissive in every way. It is difficult to classify as a species. (A. Daskalakis)
If he is a clergyman and especially a bishop, he exchanges God, the Gospel, the Holy Tradition of the Church, with power, with officialdom, with the suspension of tax audits, with publicity, with silver pieces gained from betrayal. He kisses the hands of cardinals, of the pope, he blesses masons, he casts his oath not to offend infidels, he insults the Patriarchal tradition, he persecutes confessing clergy and laity. He considers the Holy Temples his own sanctuary, blocks the entrances, forbids the Holy Mysteries, the worship of icons, and promotes the covering of the face of the image of man. He walks with certainty in the loss. He thinks he has built a career, until at some point someone feels that he is no longer needed. And while the demons surround his bed, he falls asleep and wakes up with the illusion of success. Until the clock of the heart stops providing him with extra minutes of error, sin, condemnation. And so he leaves having surrendered to the curse.
Saint Niphon of Constantia (Cyprus) tells us, “the clergy in the last years will become an instrument of the Antichrist. He will teach blind obedience as a virtue of peace and salvation. A satanic obedience, which will require from the faithful ignorance, contempt for the teaching of the Saints, indifference truth and superficial piety. ” Thousands of times in the past centuries, people thought that the boat of Orthodoxy would sink. But it neither sank nor will sink. Such is the hull and such is the Helmsman that it is impossible to sink. Jesus, in words of love and meekness, said, Judas, with the kiss, which is a sign of love, do you betray your Master? (Luke 22:48) Yes, we are living in a time when some people are taking advantage of and flashing their vestments, thinking that God is on earth. Fortunately, there is still time for repentance, and that is why we pray that He will humble us all in repentance and help us return to the way of the Lord.
St James, called the “Brother of the Lord” urges the faithful to “show me your faith from your works.”(James 2:18) Your words and your deeds Archbishop are for the actors, they successfully close the eyes of the unsuspecting people. Of course you forget that one cannot make fun of the Fair Judge! We do not boast that we are good and we hold the truth. The Truth is in the words of our Lord, the Apostles, the Saints and the Synodal decisions. We are sinners and miserable, but we strive to mobilize in the practical experience of our faith. After all, being orthodox does not seem to be very easy, because the measure of this faith is given to us, not by the people of this world, but by our Saints.
Originally posted a here: Archbishop Sotirios - A Torrent of Blasphemy and Lack of Faith - Orthodox Reflections