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Spyridon's parish and the Nativity of the Theotokos parish in Crete = woman who would uncanonically enter the altar, gossip and cause some good parishioners to feel uncomfortable, and in general drive people away from the church = woman who was "scandalized"
The Division of the G.O.C. Into Factions The first division among the Old Calendarists occurred in 1936, when three of the seven bishops returned to the New Calendarist State Church of Greece. The fallen hierarchs were Metropolitan Chrysostom Demetriou of Zacynthus, Bishop Christopher Hatziz of Megara and Bishop Polycarp Liosis of Diaulia. The remaining hierarchs of the Synod of the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece were Metropolitan Germanus Mavromatis of Demetrias, Metropolitan Chrysostom Kavouridis of Florina, Bishop Germanus Varykopoulos of the Cyclades and Bishop Matthew Karpathakis of Bresthena. The second division among the Old Calendarists also occurred in 1936, when the government‐recognized entity of the “Religious Community of the Genuine Orthodox Christians” (a group of laymen theoloigians without any bishops or priests) severed communion with the President of the Holy Synod, Metropolitan Germanus, and also severed communion with all the remaining hierarchs of the Synod, and went off alone, forming a parasynagogue. The third division among the Old Calendarists occurred in September 1937, when Bishop Matthew of Bresthena severed communion with the Synodal President, Metropolitan Germanus, and instead formed his own party, and took over the leadership of the schismatic “Religious Community of the Genuine Orthodox Christians” which had severed communion from the Church a year earlier. Bishop Matthew left for ecclesiological reasons. The fourth division occurred in October 1937, when Bishop Germanus of the Cyclades severed communion with the President of the Holy Synod, Metropolitan Germanus of Demetrias, and instead joined Bishop Matthew. The fifth division occurred in 1942, when Bishops Germanus of the Cyclades and Matthew of Bresthena severed communion with one another due to dogmatic reasons. Bishop Germanus of Cyclades condemned Bishop Matthew for his writings and publications, which included a statement that if it were not for the birth of St. John Chrysostom, there would have needed to be a “second incarnation of Christ,” and another statement that Christ’s teeth were supposedly broken, etc. Bishop Matthew retaliated against this by stating that Bishop Germanus was guilty of blaspheming against King Abgar’s letter to Christ, and the response from Christ to Abgar, and for mocking the “symbols of the Theotokos” that Bishop Matthew had published in his book “Garden of Graces.” The sixth division among the Old Calendarists occurred in 1943, when Metropolitan Chrysostom of Florina severed communion with the Synodal President, Metropolitan Germanus of Demetrias, due to political reasons. In other words, by 1943, there were four Old Calendarist bishops, and four factions! Each of the four bishops was the “president” of his own faction. Unfortunately, these hierarchs managed to preserve themselves from new calendarism, but they fell into the passion of factionalism, a passion that still runs wild among the Old Calendarist hierarchs even today. This is what occurs when bishops are led by their passions, make hasty decisions to condemn their brothers, and make themselves leaders of their own parties. In 1946, this factionalism began to come to an end when Bishops Christopher and Polycarp returned to the Old Calendar and joined the Synod of Metropolitan Chrysostom of Florina. Soon after this, Bishop Germanus of the Cyclades also began meeting with the above three bishops for the sake of reuniting all the factions of the Old Calendarists of Greece. However, he was placed in prison from 1947 to 1949, and it was not until he was released that he joined formally with the Synod of Metropolitan Chrysostom of Florina. The only bishop who remained separated was Bishop Matthew of Bresthena, mainly for ecclesiological reasons, but he was much more open to unity than were those immediately surrounding him. The below photograph is of Metropolitan Chrysostom of Florina and Bishops Germanus of Cyclades, Christopher of Megaris and Polycarp of Diaulia in 1946, when the factionalism began to end and a united Synod began to form again (with the exclusion of Bishop Matthew who did not meet in person with any of the remaining hierarchs). Germanus of Cyclades, Chrysostom of Florina, Christopher of Megaris, Polycarp of Diaulia
Archimandrite Euthymius K. Epiphaniou Faidrou 1‐3‐8 Pakgrati, Athens 1135 GREECE In Athens on October 11, 1991 ENCYCLICAL – EPISTLE of he who relies on the Lordʹs mercy, Euthymius K. Epiphaniou the Cypriot, To the Reverend Clergy of all the parishes, the Monks and Nuns of the Holy Monasteries and Hermitages of the Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece and elsewhere. Brethren, Fathers and Sisters, bless! ʺWhen sin becomes chief, it draws everyone to perditionʺ and ʺWe are guilty for these things, but suffer for other things.ʺ By diverting from these reasonings, God granted and arranged a great winter [suffering] in the realms of our Church for 20 years and more, accelerating recently, with innumerable consequences. This is because, beloved brethren, we displaced the order of the Church, we departed from the line of navigation and tradition of the Holy Father kyr Matthew Karpathakis and we accepted a cheirothesia from the Russians of the Diaspora, the apostasy of eight clergy from the Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians occurred, and the falling away of the reposed Monk Callistus (former [Bishop] of Corinth Callistus), who were all deposed and moreover Callistus with the accusation of rejection and destruction of the icon of the Holy Trinity and for fighting against saints (See K.G.O. October, 1977, page 9). [Here Fr. Euthymius refers to the very tampering and additions he made to the original acts prior to their publication in the official periodical.] This is because, in 1979, the ʺgroup of new theologiansʺ surrounding our Archbishop Andrew, put together a speech and by the mouth of the Archbishop the following blasphemy was voiced: ʺThe presence of the struggle of the Church of Genuine Orthodox Christians, as we are well aware is of the highest importance, equates with the incarnation of the Lord, his Good News, his Crucifixion and His Holy Resurrection, to wit, it is the Church of Christ,ʺ and through the periodical ʺChurch of the Genuine Orthodoxʺ (See the issue for June, 1979) it was circulated ʺurbi et orbiʺ and although many of us protested that this blasphemy be removed, it never happened. [Here Fr. Euthymius refers to his own tampering of the original text and quotes it as ʺThe presence of the struggle of the Church, despite the official clarification that the real text is ʺThe presence of the Struggling Church.ʺ Thus he ignores the three subsequent corrections and explanations given in the official periodical in the following issues: October, 1979, p. 21; April, 1980, p. 31; and February, 1983, p. 57. After a decade since this issue was settled, Fr. Euthymius brought it up again in his present ʺencyclicalʺ simply in order to satisfy his demands that the Genuine Orthodox Church not be identified with the Church of Christ.] This is because the new theologians (according to the opinion and support of our Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians), since they were lacking a means of financial support, they decided to enterprise [the Church] as a bankrupt company, and they renamed [the Church] ʺUninnovatedʺ [Akainotometos], and unfortunately the Hierarchs placed their seal [on this] because the new theologians, instead of correcting themselves and repenting for the damage that they provoked in the Church, they placed a schedule of income for their group and they invented unorthodox ways for various clergy to receive ʺDegreesʺ in theology, they also puffed out the minds of various assisting garb‐bearers [rasophoroi] who have declared a war once more against Orthodoxy. They abysmally war against and reject the tradition of the Church, refusing to venerate the icon of the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), the icon of the Resurrection of the Lord, replacing it with the Descent into Hades, the icon of the Pentecost if our Lady the Theotokos is present in it, and they accept the icon of the Nativity of Christ (with the bathtub and the midwives). And by these means having become iconomachs‐iconoclasts, and deniers of their faith, regardless of whether they are girdled in priesthood. Wearing the skin of sheep, they work towards the destruction of the flock, by writing and circulating pamphlets against the abovementioned holy icons. They impose their heretical opinions upon those that are submitted to them. They create civil splintering and division in the Monasteries. They question various Fathers of the Church, particularly St. Nicodemus of Mt. Athos, and the new pillar of Orthodoxy kyr Archbishop Matthew Karpathakis. They provoke quarrels and disputes like what happened last Pascha at Lebadia [Diaulia] and Bolus [Demetrias] on the day of the Resurrection, and the worst is that they work together for the purpose of placing canons [of penance] on Nuns of the Convent [of the Entry of the Mother of God at Keratea] and Monks, by various Spiritual Fathers, under the accusation that the Nuns and Monks praiseworthily insist upon keeping what the Catholic Church upholds and preserves. They who behave as neo‐iconoclasts are: the Hieromonks Cassian Braun, Amphilochius Tambouras, Neophytus Tsakiroglou, Tarasius Karagounis, and the foreign [incomer] Archpastor of the Holy Monastery of the Transfiguration [at Kouvara] Hegumen Stephan Tsakiroglou, who declares that he is a rationalist. My beloved, by giving in to one evil, ten thousand others follow, and the words are fulfilled to the maximum: we are at fault and for this we suffer, not as persons, but as a Church, and, explicitly, because: 1. we are stained by the iniquity of the cheirothesia of 1971 2. the voiced blasphemy of 1979 remains Let us not be entertained by the evil that has befallen the realms of our Church. It is necessary for us to pray, to censure the paranoia of the newfound iconoclasts, to request from our honorable Hierarchy, as soon as possible, the cleansing [catharsis] from the realms of our Church, these nonsensical iconoclasts and those who are likeminded unto them, [to request] their condemnation, regardless of how high their position is, because these [people] are led astray from the truth, and we must declare in a stentorian manner, that whether alone or with many others, we will champion the saving truth, faithful to what we have been taught, what we have learned and what we have received, adding nothing and subtracting nothing, whatever the Catholic Church contains and upholds undiminished and uninnovated. Do not fall, brethren. A winter [suffering] has befallen our Church. The Lord our God lives, so that he is among us and he is for us. May the prayers of the Confessors of our Faith, the older and the newer, as well as of the newfound pillar of Orthodoxy, ever‐memorable Archbishop Matthew the Cretan, enlighten us, bring us to our senses, and guide all of us towards the path of salvation, which requires truth, faith and invincible struggle. To those who do not correctly receive the divine voices of the Holy Teachers of the Church of God, and what has been fittingly and manifestly explained in [the Church] by the grace of the Holy Spirit, and attempts to misinterpret them and rotate them, they are the curse, and the wrath is upon their shoulders. Farewell in the Lord, my beloved brethren, The least among all ‐ brother and concelebrant, Archimandrite Euthymius K. Epiphaniou
FROM THE PRAYERS OF PREPARATION FOR COMMUNION REGARDING “WORTHINESS” OF THE HOLY MYSTERIES In the prayers for preparation for Holy Communion, written by several different Holy Fathers, we find the repetition of this belief in utter unworthiness for Holy Communion, whether one has fasted or not. Note also, that among the Fathers who wrote these prayers are St. Basil the Great and St. John Chrysostom, the greatest luminaries among the Anatolian‐Cappadocian Fathers. Yet these most awesome and splendid examples of sanctity, whether they fasted “in the finer and broader sense,” as Metropolitan Kirykos calls it, by no means considered themselves “worthy to commune.” For it is not abstaining from foods that make one worthy, but rather abstaining from sins, and all men have sinned save Christ who alone is perfect, and save Theotokos who is the purest temple of the Lord from her very childhood, but was hallowed, sanctified and consecrated by God at the hour of the Annunciation. The rest of us are sinners, even the saints, but their holiness is owing to God’s mercy upon them due to their purity of life, and their theosis is owing to the grace of God that overshadowed them, as they lived every day in Christ. The fact that the saints were not worthy in and of themselves, but by the grace of God, can be well understood by reading their prayers of preparation for Holy Communion. For these prayers were written by saints who, in their shortcomings, were also sinners; and they wrote these prayers for the sake of sinners who, just like them, strive by God’s grace to become saints. Thus, in the second troparion in the preparation for Holy Communion we read: “How can I, the unworthy one, shamelessly dare to partake of Thy Holy Gifts?” In the last few troparia in the service of preparation for Holy Communion, we read: “Into the splendor of Thy Saints how shall I, the unworthy one, enter?...” and again “O Man‐befriending Master, Lord Jesus my God, let not these holy Gifts be unto me for judgment through mine unworthiness…” St. Basil the Great (+ 1 January, 397), in his first prayer of preparation for Holy Communion, writes: “… For I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned against Heaven and before Thee, and I am not worthy to gaze upon the height of Thy glory… Wherefore, though I am unworthy of both heaven and earth, and even of this transient life…” In his second prayer we read: “I know, O Lord, that I partake of Thine immaculate Body and precious Blood unworthily, and that I am guilty, and eat and drink judgment to myself, not discerning the Body and Blood of Thee, my Christ and God…” St. John Chrysostom (+14 September, 407), in his first prayer of preparation for Holy Communion, writes: “O Lord my God, I know that I am not worthy, nor sufficient, that Thou shouldest come under the roof of the house of my soul, for all is desolate and fallen, and Thou hast not in me a place worthy to lay Thy head…” In his third prayer we read: “O Lord Jesus Christ my God, loose, remit, forgive, and pardon the failings, faults, and offences which I, Thy sinful, unprofitable, and unworthy servant have committed from my youth, up to the present day and hour…” If in any place in the prayers of preparation for Holy Communion there is a statement of worthiness within man, it is claimed that Christ and the Mysteries themselves are the source of that worthiness. By no means are mankind’s own works, such as fasting, considered to make one worthy. Thus, Blessed Chrysostom writes: “I believe, O Lord, and I confess that thou art truly the Christ, the Son of the living God, who didst come into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. And I believe that this is truly Thine own immaculate Body, and that this is truly Thine own precious Blood. Wherefore I pray thee, have mercy upon me and forgive my transgressions both voluntary and involuntary, of word and of deed, of knowledge and of ignorance; and make me worthy to partake without condemnation of Thine immaculate Mysteries, unto remission of my sins and unto life everlasting. Amen.” St. Symeon the Translator (+9 November, c. 950) writes: “…O Christ Jesus, Wisdom and Peace and Power of God, Who in Thy assumption of our nature didst suffer Thy life‐giving and saving Passion, the Cross, the Nails, the Spear, and Death, mortify all the deadly passions of my body. Thou Who in Thy burial didst spoil the dominions of hell, bury with good thoughts my evil schemes and scatter the spirits of wickedness. Thou Who by Thy life‐giving Resurrection on the third day didst raise up our fallen first Parent, raise me up who am sunk in sin and suggest to me ways of repentance. Thou Who by Thy glorious Ascension didst deify our nature which Thou hadst assumed and didst honor it by Thy session at the right hand of the Father, make me worthy by partaking of Thy holy Mysteries of a place at Thy right hand among those who are saved. Thou Who by the descent of the Spirit, the Paraclete, didst make Thy holy Disciples worthy vessels, make me also a recipient of His coming. Thou Who art to come again to judge the World with justice, grant me also to meet Thee on the clouds, my Maker and Creator, with all Thy Saints, that I may unendingly glorify and praise Thee with Thy Eternal Father and Thy all‐holy and good and life‐giving Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.” St. Symeon the New Theologian (+12 March, 1022) wrote a poem that clearly explains how a communicant must regard himself as utterly unworthy to receive the Holy Body and Blood of the Lord, and entirely hope in God’s mercy: From sullied lips, From an abominable heart, From an unclean tongue, Out of a polluted soul, Receive my prayer, O my Christ. Reject me not, Nor my words, nor my ways, Nor even my shamelessness, But give me courage to say What I desire, my Christ. And even more, teach me What to do and say. I have sinned more than the harlot… And all my sins Take from me, O God of all, That with a clean heart, Trembling mind And contrite spirit I may partake of Thy pure And all‐holy Mysteries By which all who eat and drink Thee With sincerity of heart Are quickened and deified… Therefore I fall at Thy feet And fervently cry to Thee: As Thou receivedst the Prodigal And the Harlot who drew near to Thee, So have compassion and receive me, The profligate and the prodigal, As with contrite spirit I now draw near to Thee. I know, O Saviour, that no other Has sinned against Thee as I, Nor has done the deeds That I have committed. But this again I know That not the greatness of my offences Nor the multitude of my sins Surpasses the great patience Of my God, And His extreme love for men. But with the oil of compassion Those who fervently repent Thou dost purify and enlighten And makest them children of the light, Sharers of Thy Divine Nature… St. John Damascene (+4 December, 749), in his first prayer of preparation for Holy Communion, thus writes: “O Lord and Master Jesus Christ, our God, who alone hath power to forgive the sins of men, do thou, O Good One who lovest mankind, forgive all the sins that I have committed in knowledge or in ignorance, and make me worthy to receive without condemnation thy divine, glorious, immaculate and life‐giving Mysteries; not unto punishment or unto increase of sin; but unto purification, and sanctification and a promise of thy Kingdom and the Life to come; as a protection and a help to overthrow the adversaries, and to blot out my many sins. For thou art a God of Mercy and compassion and love toward mankind, and unto Thee we ascribe glory together with the Father and the Holy Spirit; now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.” In his second prayer he writes: “I stand before the gates of thy Temple, and yet I refrain not from my evil thoughts. But do thou, O Christ my God, who didst justify the publican, and hadst mercy on the Canaanite woman, and opened the gates of Paradise to the thief; open unto me the compassion of thy love toward mankind, and receive me as I approach and touch thee, like the sinful woman and the woman with the issue of blood; for the one, by embracing thy feet received the forgiveness of her sins, and the other by but touching the hem of thy garment was healed. And I, most sinful, dare to partake of thy whole Body. Let me not be consumed but receive me as thou didst receive them, and enlighten the perceptions of my soul, consuming the accusations of my sins; through the intercessions of Her that without stain gave Thee birth, and of the heavenly Powers; for thou art blessed unto ages of ages. Amen.” While waiting in line to receive Holy Communion, the following verses of the Blessed Translator are read: Behold I approach for Divine Communion. O Creator, let me not be burnt by communicating, For Thou art Fire which burns the unworthy. But purify me from every stain. Tremble, O man, when you see the deifying Blood, For it is coal that burns the unworthy. The Body of God both deifies and nourishes; It deifies the spirit and wondrously nourishes the mind. The following troparion clearly expresses with what mindset and manner one must approach the Mysteries. Let it not be thought that a Christian is meant to state the following simply as an act of false humility. On the contrary, the Christian must truly deny any sense of his self‐worth in the eyes of Christ, and must therefore submit himself entirely to Christ’s judgment, praying that the Lord will judge according to his great mercy and not according to our sins. The troparion reads: “Of thy Mystic Supper, O Son of God, accept me today as a communicant; for I will not speak of thy Mystery to Thine enemies, neither will I give thee a kiss as did Judas; but like the thief will I confess thee: Remember me, O Lord, in Thy Kingdom. Remember me, O Master, in Thy Kingdom. Remember me, O Holy One, when Thou comest into Thy Kingdom.” After a few other troparia, the following prayer is read: “Sovereign Lover of men, Lord Jesus my God, let not these Holy Things be to me for judgment through my being unworthy, but for the purification and sanctification of my soul and body, and as a pledge of the life and kingdom to come. For it is good for me to cling to God and to place in the Lord my hope of salvation.” As one approaches the Holy Chalice, one should crosswise fold his hands over his chest, and reflect in his mind the following petition: “Neither unto judgement, nor unto condemnation be my partaking of thy Holy Mysteries, O Lord, but unto the healing of soul and body.” When the priest administers the Holy Communion he announces: “The servant of God, [name], partakes of the precious, most holy and most pure Body and Blood of our Lord, God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins and life everlasting. Amen.” Then, the communicant kisses the bottom of the chalice, thinking of himself as the harlot who kissed the feet of the Lord while anointing them with precious myrrh and her penitent tears, while contemplating the Seraphim who touched a burning coal to the mouth of Isaiah, saying: “Behold, This hath touched thy lips, and will take away thine iniquities, and will purge thy sins (Isaiah 6:7).”
Bouchlas said, “to give a proper burial ceremony to honor and memorialize human remains of unidentified brave Spanish soldiers (conquistadors), sailors, explorers, and royalty who were retrieved from Spanish shipwrecks by using the Holy Theotokos Shrine in Jensen Beach, Florida.” For more info, call San Miguel Treasure Tours at (561) 835-3557, visit www.sanmigueltreasuretours.com, contact Capt.