A WITNESS TO PAIN AND DESTRUCTION

By dogcatcher on February 25th, 2012

 

A Witness to Pain and Destruction: A Letter to our Editors from a Faith Abiding Priest

We received the following letter to our Editors from a Faith Abiding Priest:

To the Editors at www.Gotruthreform.Org.:

Christianity has taken a back seat in the Metropolis of Chicago. No longer is our focus on our Savior Jesus Christ. No longer can we find endearing leaders who witness the teachings of the Gospel. No longer can we find joy in the hearts of the Clergy while they are coerced and intimidated by their supposed spiritual leaders. Instead we find coldness of heart along with blatant immorality and corruption. We also find ourselves entangled in webs of deceit and lies that emanate from those to whom we should be turning towards for encouragement and consolation. Where is the love of Christ! Where is the love of the Church! It has been replaced with the love of money, power and Machiavellian principles of life.

The Clergy are treated and looked upon as pawns whose only purpose is to keep parishes in line with monetary assessments keeping the Hierarchs in power. The Clergy have become bank tellers assigned to collect exorbitant funds from their parishes while at the same time the parishioners are suffering during a national economic crisis. There is no concern for the well being and lives of the Clergymen and their families. Brotherly love between Hierarchs and Clergy is at an all time low. Whatever uplifts the esteem and pleasure of the Chicago Hierarchs is paramount in their relationships with the Clergy. Since there is no safe, just or even compassionate system for Clergy to express their anguish, we find a castrated Clergy that have no trust in any Hierarch and at the same time they have become demoralized and depressed. The Clergy have become isolated, islands to themselves. The end result is they either fall off the deep end functioning robotically and possibly losing focus in their personal spiritual lives which become void of any hope or love that should have been expected from their Hierarchs. Or they accept the fatherly embrace of the Ephraimite community. The Ephraimites fill the void in many lives of Clergy and laity. Entrance into the Ephraimite community brings to one who feels misused and abused a sense of gratification and appreciation. It has become the salvation of many who see a church riddled with hypocrisy and a lack of genuine love. Some priests report they are victims of disdain from their Hierarchs and have witnessed such disdain towards their laity in Chicago. It is a shame that the Church is no longer viewed as a haven of love for the oppressed and wounded but it is the antithesis of all that we claim to possess. It has now become the depository of sin and darkness.

Our Church is not growing; in fact, we are shrinking and the attitudes of greed and pride along with threats of closing parishes that don’t meet the demands of the Hierarchs only fuels the exodus of parishioners into the hands of the Ephraimites or to other religions. What is worse, many leave and go nowhere, relying on their intuitive instincts for survival.

Furthermore we say that we are under The Ecumenical Patriarchate and yet there is silence from overseas. While our Patriarch lives in his Byzantine enclave it appears he is seemingly unaware of the destruction that wastes away one of the most precious Churches under his care. Where is the direction of the Church when immorality and heresy abound? Where is the love of the Church when spiritual direction is lacking? Where is the Church going to be in five, ten or twenty years?

Pray for true men of God that will guide and nurture the Clergy and laity of Chicago. Pray for true shepherds who think of the good of the Church first before they think of their own desires. Pray that righteousness will prevail over evil.

(Name withheld)

Editor’s Comment

This unsolicited, heartfelt and insightful email was received from one of the dwindling number of faith abiding Clergy members in the Metropolis of Chicago. The pain is palpable. We received this letter almost 6 months ago. We debated whether we would print it “as is”. We have slightly modified its tone to protect the author who has every right to express his opinions. You may wonder why this member of the Clergy would write such a letter. Recent reports to our website from individuals within the Metropolis of Chicago will shed light on this question. The following three recent Ephraimite activities bear reporting and explain conditions that continue to cause many to lose faith in the leaders of Orthodoxy.

1. Aerial Toll Houses…..Really?

One event which recently occurred in the Metropolis of Chicago is that a popular member of the Ephraimite Clergyman in Chicago targeted a wealthy family from another priest’s parish. This popular Ephraimite Clergyman visited them without the knowledge of their longtime Parish Priest. The visits become more frequent. He gained spiritual access to the family and when their “Yiayia” died, he convinced them to bury her at the monastery. She was buried at the monastery in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin without the presence of their longtime parish priest. In the closing prayers, this popular Ephraimite Clergyman asked in Greek for everyone to pray that she makes it through the aerial toll houses.

The most heretical and slanderous teaching promulgated by followers of Elder Ephraim is that of aerial toll houses. It is important for you to know that the teaching of aerial toll houses is not an accepted practice of our Orthodox Theology. If your Parish Priest is teaching Aerial Toll Houses at your parishes, he must be reported to your local Hierarch. You are listening to heresy and you must be aware that this Priest or Monk is trying to control you. This teaching is only followed by those who are adherent to the “theology” of Ephraimites. The Ephraimite followers and Clergymen are using the concept of Aerial Toll Houses the way a dog trainer uses a choke collar. It is used to frighten parishioners and develop full obedience to an Ephraimite Spiritual Father. This is why we often refer to this fundamentalist movement as a cult because they use cult tactics to gain power and control over members of the Orthodox Faith.

You must also know that during our Divine Liturgy the Priest prays:

“Above all, remember, Lord, our Archbishop (name) and Bishop (name). Grant that they may serve Your holy churches in peace. Keep them safe, honorable and healthy for many years, rightly teaching the word of Your truth.” (emphasis added).

Members of our editorial staff have directly asked His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew and His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios and other Metropolitans if aerial toll houses are part of our faith. They have all responded NO. Some have gone as far as to call it a heresy. Many Orthodox Christians have asked us then why have the leaders of our faith not spoken up about at least this heretical teaching that is occurring right under their noses? We have asked them the same question and have received no response. Please ask your Hierarchs this same question.

2. Visits Occurring Right under our Noses

A Greek Orthodox Priest from the Metropolis of Pittsburgh recently visited the Metropolis of Chicago. He spoke at an Ephraimite fundraiser hosted in the western suburbs to raise money. According to our sources, the money was not raised for the local parishes of Holy Apostles in Westchester or St. Athanasios in Aurora whose parishes have faith abiding priests. Instead, the proceeds were allegedly for the benefit of the Monasteries of Elder Ephraim. The next day, this same visiting priest was supposedly a guest speaker at an “invitation only” presentation at St. John Chrysostomos Monastery in Pleasant Prairie, WI.

3. Join Us or Else

We received numerous reports about a monk from Holy Transfiguration Monastery of Harvard, IL being dispatched to northern Indiana. This monk is also under the “spiritual guidance” of Elder Ephraim. We inquired as to the reason for his visit? Was he dispatched to work in a soup kitchen, visit the elderly at the Greek American Rehabilitation and Care Institute in Wheeling, IL or to visit the ill at hospitals? No, we were told he was part of a “mobile confession service” hosted at a follower’s home to hear confessions. Parishioners of the local parish were specifically targeted and called to participate. We have received numerous reports that once a parishioner gives confession to a monk, the monk then becomes their spiritual father and the parishioner is slowly persuaded to leave his home parish and no longer give confession to his parish priest. Our readers must know that in the Metropolis of Chicago, certain faith abiding priests (those who do not have a strong allegiance to Elder Ephraim) are targets. The message to them is clear; either accept Elder Ephraim’s teachings as a guiding principle or we will convert your lay members into Ephraimite spiritual children. We contacted several individuals to determine if any Hierarch from the Metropolis of Chicago first approved these visits and second if they interceded on behalf of their local GOA ordained priests? We invite the Hierarchs of Chicago to respond to these questions. At one of our Editorial meetings we examined how a Metropolitan who exercises effective leadership and oversight over his Monasteries regulates this issue? We looked at the Metropolis of Detroit. Faith abiding Clergymen from this Metropolis have reported to us that this kind of activity would have caused Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit to take action by confronting the aggressive solicitation of unsuspecting parishioners thereby protecting his Priest.

We invite our readers to directly contact the Hierarchs of Chicago and ask them what they should do in the event they are contacted by someone other than their parish priest to give confession. Their contact information is located on their website at http://chicago.goarch.org/contact or by telephone call Metropolitan Iakovos or Bishop Demetrios at (312)337-4130 or fax them at (312) 337-9391. Our goal is to educate you, the members of the Orthodox Christian community so that you are prepared in the event a member of the Ephraimite movement comes knocking on your door. We hope you have a deeper appreciation for why we received this letter from a Clergyman from the Metropolis of Chicago. We commend his courage to protect the “rightly teaching of the word of God’s truth.”