Friday, August 23, 2019

Archons continue to award contentious figures

In 2010 it was the now disgraced and laicized Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick. In 2016 it was Governor Andrew Cuomo who unabashedly said the pro-life movement "has no place in New York" and lit the World Trade Center up in pink lights to celebrate the passing of an egregious abortion bill (see here). This year it's the uncontentious choice (sarcasm) of Metropolitan Epiphanios of Kyiv and All Ukraine.

(ARCHONS) - Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, together with Archon National Commander Dr. Anthony J. Limberakis, will present the Athenagoras Human Rights Award to His Beatitude Metropolitan Epiphanios of Kyiv and All Ukraine at the New York Hilton Midtown on October 19, 2019. Metropolitan Epiphanios has been a strong advocate for religious freedom and a key defender of the ecclesiastical and canonical prerogatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros hailed the choice: “His Beatitude Metropolitan Epiphanios has been a staunch defender of the religious freedom of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, even as its prerogatives have been challenged and even rejected outright by some, and as it has been placed under tremendous pressure from others. In Ukraine he has already provided the Solomon-like wisdom that was needed to reunify the Church, return to Eucharistic unity, and establish it as an integral member of the group of autocephalous Orthodox Churches worldwide.”

In recognizing Metropolitan Epiphanios’ long record of defense of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, National Commander Limberakis noted: “Immediately after the successful completion of the work of the Unifying Synod which was convened in Kyiv in December 2018 and which chose Metropolitan Epiphanios as the Primate of the autocephalous and newly unified Orthodox Church in Ukraine, His Beatitude contacted His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in order to express his respect and to request the good wishes and blessings of the Mother Church so that his primatial ministry would bear good fruit. This epitomized His Beatitude’s understanding of the canonical position of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the Church, and his deep respect and love for His All-Holiness.”

Metropolitan Epiphanios was elected by bishops from Ukraine’s three divided Orthodox Churches at a unity council on December 15, 2018. Then on January 6, 2019, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew signed the Tomos of Autocephaly for the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, formally establishing the world’s fifteenth autocephalous Orthodox Church.

The Athenagoras Human Rights Award was established in 1986 by the National Council of the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in America. The Award was named after one of the great Church leaders of the 20th Century, the late Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Athenagoras I. The Award is presented every year at the Annual Banquet of the Order to a person or organization that has consistently exemplified by action, purpose and dedication, concern for the basic rights and religious freedom of all people.

Previous recipients include His Eminence Demetrios, former Archbishop of America; His Eminence Iakovos, former Archbishop of the Archdiocese of North and South America; former President Jimmy Carter; former President George H. W. Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush; former Vice President Joseph Biden; New York Governor Andrew Cuomo; Nobel Laureate and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev; Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel; and Mother Theresa of Calcutta.


  1. Holy cow! Is this a joke? This, the head of a schismatic church that has been seizing parishes and property from the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church? This group appears to relish the scandal they are constantly causing.

  2. Anything to spite the Russians and the canonical Ukrainian Church

  3. Unimaginably horrid. Epiphany unashamedly considers himself to be a proud follower of Bandera, and has repeatedly participated in events that seek to erase the memory of the Jews that suffered during the Nazi occupation of Ukraine. He has also repeatedly voiced his intention to erase the ethnic heritage & traditions of ethnic Russians in Ukraine. As well as directly participated in the seizure of churches from the canonical Ukranian church. This is so absurd it would almost be laughable, if not for the fact that Epiphany represents a rising current of anti-semitism and far-right nationalism in Ukraine.

  4. I'm very sad to say that this does not surprise me. The head of a schismatic group is being honored for illegally seizing canonical Churches and beating clergy, women,and the elderly. A humanitarian award! This is insulting. But of course it is expected from the Archons with their history of offering the award to those who champion abortion. The difference this year, is that the EP has decided to weaponize the award. It is should be clear as day to the true autocephalous Churches that they should never recognize the so-called OCU. If the Church of Greece had been having any second thoughts, this brazen act of arrogance should clarify things for them.

  5. I am sure the Fordham group is overjoyed!

  6. I think we would all agree that we are living in troublesome timse for Orthodox Christians. I want to share with you these prayers for the Lenten third hour that helps me through the day.

    Blessed art Thou, O Christ our God, Who hast shown forth the fishermen as supremely wise, by sending down upon them the Holy Spirit, and through them didst draw the world into Thy net. O Lover of mankind, glory be to Thee.

    Glory… Grant speedy and steadfast consolation unto Thy servants, O Jesus, when our spirits are become despondent. Depart not from our souls when they be in afflictions, nor be Thou afar from our minds when they be in tribulations, but do Thou ever go before us. Draw nigh unto us, draw nigh, O Thou Who art everywhere present: even as Thou wast ever with Thine apostles, so also do Thou unite Thyself to them that long for Thee, O Compassionate One, that, being one with Thee, we may praise and glorify Thine All-Holy Spirit.
    Both now… The hope and protection and refuge of Christians, the unassailable battlement, the storm-free haven of the weary art thou, O immaculate Theotokos. But as thou art one that savest the world by thine unceasing intercession, remember us also, O all-hymned Virgin.

  7. "the religious freedom of the Ecumenical Patriarchate"... man.

    1. I think the "Solomon-like wisdom..." quip took the prize ;)