Thursday, 30 May 2013

A Response to Attacks on Archbishop Makarios and on HOCNA

A Response to Attacks on Archbishop Makarios and on HOCNA

May 28, 2013
Archbishop Makarios of Athens is an honorable man who knows the teachings of the Holy Fathers and rightly teaches the word of God's truth. Matushka Nina, who posted this recent attack piece, does not know the teachings of the Holy Fathers -- especially on the name of God, the essence and energies of God, or other theological topics about which she is so zealous to call her former brethren and loved ones "heretics." Fr. Panagiotes, who wrote the attack piece, DOES have the capability to read the Scriptures and the Holy Fathers in the ancient Greek texts, but he teaches the exact opposite of what those Orthodox texts say.

On the "Awake, Sleeper!" series of articles, written by Metropolitan Ephraim, about which Fr. Panagiotes became obsessed: the Holy Apostle Peter says clearly that our Savior preached the Gospel of life to disobedient souls in Hades. St. Cyril of Alexandria and countless other Holy Fathers taught explicitly that some of those souls -- especially those who were not blinded by their former lusts and idolatry -- obtained God's mercy. But Fr. Panagiotes, in his inexplicable zeal to condemn his former brethren and loved ones, refuses to accept the teaching of the Orthodox Church on this matter. He calls the teaching of the Apostles, Fathers, and prayers of the Church on Christ's destruction of Hades "heresy." In so doing, he has condemned the Apostle Peter, St. Cyril, and countless saints who taught this Orthodox dogma. Fr. Panagiotes even went so far as to endorse and distribute a theological essay that called our Savior's descent into Hades an apocryphal myth! Fr. Panagiotes has lost any credibility that he may have once had on doctrinal matters. What he is very good at is slandering the people he once considered brethren and once loved. Worse, he has condemned the teachings of Christ's Church. Fr. Panagiotes is no longer a serious man. No one can take him seriously. Especially on issues of Orthodox dogma, since he knowingly refuses to accept what the consensus of the Holy Fathers says on the issue of Hades.

Fr. Panagiotes is equally wrong on the issues of the name of God and the essence and energies of God. The Synodicon of Orthodoxy teaches that the essence and energies of God are distinct but not separate. Fr. Panagiotes, in his zeal to call his former brethren "heretics," has somehow managed to teach two completely opposite heresies: First, the heresy that the essence and energies are the same; and, Second, that the essence and energies are separate. The first heresy was taught in a theological paper that Fr. Panagiotes endorsed that was entitled "What a Name-Glorifyer Is." The second heresy is found in the writings of Fr. Maximus Marretta in which he defends the false 1913 Russian statement that separates the essence and energies of God. The Russians who wrote that mistaken statement (with Sergius Stragorodsky as main author, but with Archbishop Anthony Khrapovitsky also, ignorantly, in agreement) can be forgiven because they were ignorant of what St. Gregory Palamas, the Palamite/Hesychast Synods, and the full Greek text of the Synodicon of Orthodoxy actually taught on the essence and energies of God. But Fr, Maximus, Fr. Panagiotes, and the bishops, priests, and monastics of the Kallinikos faction have access to all those writings in Greek and English -- if they care to avail themselves of those patristic texts. There is no excuse for Fr. Panagiotes and his colleagues who hate HOCNA and hate Archbishop Makarios of Athens to teach heresies about the essence and energies of God simply because they want theological "weapons" to attack their opponents. These attackers have zero credibility on Orthodox theology.

In his attacks on the name of God, Fr. Panagiotes plagiarized an article from Wikipedia. The plagiarized passage -- about name-glorifiers allegedly using Plato as an authority -- was laughably inaccurate. But Fr. Panagiotes plagiarized it word for word, with no citation whatsoever. His dishonesty extends from plagiarizing historically-inaccurate content from Wikipedia to attacking Orthodox dogma on Christ's destruction of the power of Hades and Orthodox dogma on the essence and energies of God. Who can take Fr Panagiotes's dishonest propaganda seriously? Not any critically-thinking Orthodox Christian who loves the divine dogmas of the Holy Fathers.

Our Savior spoke of the name of God as the glory and power of Godhood that the Father and the Son share from before the creation of the world (see St Cyril of Alexandria's commentary on John 17). Fr. Maximus Marretta has issued "anathemas" against this teaching. Fr. Maximus Marretta has anathematized our Saviour! Fr. Panagiotes has distributed and endorsed at least one of Fr. Maximus Marretta's un-Orthodox writings on this topic. These people, in their zeal to condemn Orthodox Christians, have anathematized what they find in the Scriptures and Holy Fathers, because they are consumed with a passion to condemn those whom they once loved in the Faith.

Archbishop Makarios has written very capably about the uncanonical activities of the Kiouses/Kallinikos faction. If a person actually cares about what happened among the GOC in Greece, he can read Archbishop Makarios's book and his other writings on this topic. As far as I have seen, the Kallinikos faction does not have anyone who is intellectually capable of writing on Orthodox dogma and canon law in any way comparable to His Beatitude Archbishop Makarios. That is why writers from the Kallinikos faction have a well-established pattern of doing things like plagiarizing from Wikipedia, misquoting and even denying Orthodox dogmas, and, especially, making sleazy accusations. The Kallinikos people have also used the secular government authorities -- in both Greece and the United States -- to harass True Orthodox Christians who do not agree with their uncanonical and un-Christian behavior.

I, personally, commend Archbishop Makarios for cooperating with new calendarists and other citizens in Greece to oppose new laws on IDs that many citizens sincerely believed went too far and could be used to deny the right to full religious freedom for the True Orthodox Christians. The Archbishop is an educated man who can cooperate with other Greek citizens over concerns for religious freedom. He deserves our praise for this.

The attacks against His Beatitude are hatchet jobs. They are uncouth. They deserve to be ignored.

Thomas S. Deretich


  1. Your article is so inaccurate - it's laughable. However, the fact the Father Andrew, a once respectable person, is now associated and is publishing - this bullshit (sorry for the offence, but this is the most accurate word) is a testament to how far the degradation of the Boston Panteleimon cult reach. Many in Toronto were defending Fr. Andrew, saying he's not like Boston. However, I suspected differently. This article and blog proves this.

    I'm ashamed I once called him, family.

    1. First you have not given one example of an inaccuracy in this article.
      Second You do not have the courage to identify your self, making any comments you make worthless.
      Third though I like that article and approve it is not mine. Read the signature.