The HOCNA-Makarios Synod Union: A Name-Worshipper Gathering?

Nearing a Post-HOCNA age: Remainder of HOCNA Joins Archbishop Makarios
April 18, 2013
TOC-R Bishop Stripped of Title For Practicing “Witchcraft”
April 23, 2013

The HOCNA-Makarios Synod Union: A Name-Worshipper Gathering?

We reported recently on the union between HOCNA and the GOC-Makarios Synod. With more details, NFTU has learned that at least two of the Bishops of the Makarios Synod are active name-worshippers already.

One of our sources, remaining anonymous, has indicated that between private correspondence between Bp Philaret of France and our source, the name-worshipping heresy was not only accepted formally by some of the bishops of the Makarios Synod as Orthodox teaching, but that they may have known in advance about the HOCNA leadership’s acceptance of the name-worshipping heresy in advance of the recent schism in HOCNA where the majority of the jurisdiction joined the GOC-Kallinikos.

The name-worshipping heresy, or “imyabozhie”, was condemned in the early 20th century by the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Russian Church. Its condemnation was one of the last accepted condemnations synodally in a pan-Orthodox fashion before the rise of ecumenism and Sergianism.

Further, we have learned that one of the Makarios Synod’s younger Bishops, Bp Nectarios (Yashunsky), was in fact an Archimandrite who wrote a monograph about name-worshipping before being consecrated by the Makarios Synod in 2007.

Since we had been given warnings in advance about the HOCNA union, it came as no surprise– however, the depth to which the name-worshipper “faction” in the Makarios Synod has grown, now having orchestrated the adoption into communion of the majority of the small, but deceptive, name-worshipper sect in America, does not bode well.

For the spiritual safety of our readers from entering into condemned heresies and for the sake of common sense, we will shortly remove the Makarian Synod from our national directory. As they only had one mission in the United States before this union, we imagine it won’t be particularly difficult.

  • nicholasi

    Do these people actually call themselves “name-worshippers”, and concede that that’s what they are?

    Or is it that you conclude they are “name-worshippers”, but they would deny it?

  • The Arthur of NFTU is biased. I am part of Hocna and can tell you that nothing has changed in our services. This is a witch hunt. We are not heretics, we are GOOD Orthodox Christians.

    • Ted F.

      Awake Sleepers.

      • Timothy Vargas

        “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.” (Eph.5:14) “Thy dead men shall live, my slain shall rise again. Awake, and give praise, ye that dwell in the dust.” (Isaias 26:19)

        • Ted F.

          Who’s light? Ephraim’s light? You must be delirious.

    • John Collis

      Debbie:

      An important aspect of the Christian Faith is the comemoration of Bishops. If a Bishop preaches heresy, we are instructed to flee. If we remain, then we support that heresy.

      I am sure that you and your kin are pious observant Christians, however, the doctrines you implicitly support are heretical.

      Indeed, much has changed at your services. As any other HOCNA community, in the last two years, you have been sundered from many of your spiritual brethren, locally within your parish, and from entire communities across the continent.

      If your leadership had the same sensibility, to ensure ‘nothing has changed’, then they would have dropped the contentious, divisive, heretical issues presented in “Awake, Sleeper!”, and with name-worshipping. They were asked repeatedly to do so, then to recant afterwards, once it was clear that they had adopted these new positions. Which of us, and particularly any converts, were ever aware of these pillars of HOCNA theology before recent times?

      HOCNA’s bias is to jettison and then deride all those who do not espouse their leadership unquestionably. The NFTU moderator had no skin in the game, and spoke according to his convictions.

      Cheers,

      John Collis

    • Euthymios

      No, you ARE heretics and schismatics. People who lie, mislead, and cover-up for homosexual perverts and heretics make me sick.That HOCNA is schismatic and heretical is irrefutable. You may be sincere, but just deceived.

  • Slavisa Lekic

    Is the rift in the HOCNA the Synod in the in effect, 10.000.000$, that they were looking for who left HOCNA, not ostensibly “worship of the name of God” – “Imebostvo”!?

    • Ambrose

      You are too simple-minded Slavisa. The reason “ALL” of these priests, a bishop and 75% of their synod left is for $10,000,000? Did they receive this money? Can anyone in HOCNA present any type of receipt showing that they received this money? Probably not. Yet, you believe that these people were out to ask for a ridiculous sum of money and somehow believe that the HOCNA hierarchy would just give it to them. Please read the exit letters from some of their most esteemed priest/theologians who left because of this heresy, i.e., Fr. Michael Azkoul, Fr Haralambos (who resided in HTM for close to 50 years.) Sometimes, you need to actually think for yourself in order to come up with logical conclusions.

      • Anonymous

        “Fr Haralambos (who resided in HTM for close to 50 years.)”

        Thought he stayed…where did he go?

        • John Collis

          He is now at the GOC Holy Ascension Monastery in Bearsville, NY. Check it out here:

          http://www.ascensionmonastery.org

          You can spot him under PhotosDaily Life, April 2013

    • John Collis

      Slavisa:

      My understanding was that $1.5 million was promised, but never provided. This was to be obtained from the sale of one of the properties donated to the monastery by a departing monk’s family, previously. The funds were meant to be an aid for the departing monks to setup their own community. This is reasonable after decades of service to HTM. It was also put forth as a peace offering, for a civil separation of the communities. As expected, HTM lied again, never intending to provide the funds, and twisting the details to suit their purposes.

      But if we’re talking about retention and theft of wealth, please review HTM’s corporate charter and how things are maintained by them. Currently, HTM has well over $40 million of assets, including Fr. P’s Athonite-retreat Maine-beachhouse.

      If it was the monk’s intent for a cash grab, the worldy, ‘smart’ thing to have done was for the monks to never depart HTM and sue while still there. While some had suggested this, Bp. Demetrius wisely concluded, “Then they wouldn’t be monks any more”. So they left, prefering peace and separation from heresy, to material ‘wealth’.

      You try spending a winter in a heated barn.

      But if we are speaking of intent, HTM has a standing lawsuit against St. Mark’s, whose parish overwhelming majority decided to leave HOCNA. I don’t believe there has ever been any lawsuit for any funds from HTM by anyone.

      Cheers,

      John Collis

      • Ambrose

        John, you
        literally hit the nail on the head. I could not have stated things better or
        More accurately than you did. People need to wake up to the fact that HTM continues to control millions in properties while the monks who left live a poor existence…and a happy one I might add!

      • Anonymous

        They have not received anything that was promised them?

        • John Collis

          It is he-said, he-said now. Unless we have documents with requests, or receipts for delivery, it is all conjecture. However, I trust the GOC Team more than the HTM Team. The latter represent the entrenched leadership that ‘covered over’ Fr. P’s activities for decades, with lies, deceit, and subterfuge.

          • faithful christian

            John, I see that your comments are plastered all over this site, but you really are dead wrong on most of them. Do you really believe that the monks who left have nothing? Do you know any of them personally?

            I know the departing monks very well, having grown up with some of them all my life! I can assure you that 2 of the departing monks have more personal wealth from family inheritance than you would ever see in your lifetime. And they merely have to just ask for it and it’s theirs for the taking.

            And who are you to judge Fr. Panteleimon? Were you a witness to these activities that he has been accused of? Were you a witness to the synod and clergy meetings that took place when these accusations surfaced? Do you know exactly what was said and in what context? No!

            We are Orthodox Christians! Even if the allegations are true, we are not to judge! Only God knows the truth in every man’s heart and He will pass judgement! We are supposed to love one another just as God loves ALL His children. The way you ramble about on this site passing judgement is not good for your soul. You may be advanced in your years on this earth, but as a convert you are still a baby in Orthodoxy!

            And don’t think for a minute that there haven’t been allegations against the priests at St Nektarios. You just haven’t been around long enough to witness any of those!

            My advice to you… You really need to know your facts before you continue talking.

          • John Collis

            faithful christian[sic],

            Christ is Risen!

            Thanks for your response. Hello. If you’re someone who knows me, and in Toronto, let’s get together for a coffee – I am away for a month, but July would be good.

            Please accept my detailed response.

            >>So you really believe that the monks who left have nothing?

            My understanding is that they left with very little other than their personal effects. While I don’t have a detailed catalog of what they moved with, I know that they didn’t leave for the “money” as was asserted here.

            >>Do you know any of them personally?

            No. Do you know any of the monks that were molested? If so, how are they doing, if now outside the church? How can you so easily look over Fr. P.’s actions against the molested, and those enablers who allowed the deeds to perpetuate?

            >>I know the departing monks very well, having grown up with some of them all my life! I can assure you that 2 of the departing monks have more personal wealth from family inheritance than you would ever see in your lifetime. And they merely have to just ask for it and it’s theirs for the taking.

            I didn’t know that monks could receive inheritances, but bully for them if they use it to build a prosperous monastic community.

            >>And who are you to judge Fr. Panteleimon?

            Nobody. I am not judging a sinner, as I am one too, but the sin that was committed because it had devastating impersonal effects. It lead HOCNA into schism and heresy, endangering many souls and destroyed the salvation of many of those molested. I hope for Fr. P’s salvation, yours, and everybody else I have ever spoken about – I mean this sincerely. If you know me, and my heart, you know this is true. My ‘plastered’ comments are written with the hope that we will all rejoice together again in this world, or at least in the afterlife.

            You have touched on two key tenets of the HOCNA’s responses:
            1) Judge not, lest ye be judged; and,
            2) The Faithful will be very few in the end times.

            Let me begin to address (1) with someone else I knew. Let’s call him JD. I met him in New York in the 90’s. He was attending HTM and Fr. (now Makarite Bishop) Anthony Gavalas’s parish in Astoria – he was receiving communion at both. When I visited his place, I found a shelf with Orthodox Christian literature and another shelf with gay literature. Last decade, he died of AIDS and was given an Orthodox Christian burial. I was sad to hear of his repose, but rejoiced that he had received a proper end to his life. His personal sins, struggles and decisions were between him, God, and his Father Confessors. I never judged him, and I have always maintained that the sin of homosexuality is an abomination.

            Now returning to (1) and (2). They have given the Faithful comfort and perspective for millennia. However, they have also been used for self-justification by almost every heretical, schismatic, and cult group we know. When we are told “not to Judge”, it means “not to condemn” and “not to hate”. When ‘plastered’ around to mean “not to discern”, “not to think”, and “not to hold anyone to account” we are entering into cult territory.

            There were judges, guided by the Holy Spirit, who gave the church its canons. They judged that the penalty for monks committing sodomy was servere – an extended period of time without Holy Communion, and especially, a prohibition from serving Holy COmmunion. The enablers of what happened at HTM chose to completely disregard these canons. We see what the fruits of their ekonomia have borne, now finally.

            >>Were you a witness to these activities that he has been accused of?

            No. Were you? If so, couldn’t you have cleared your throat, or rung the bell for the trapeza, anything to stop it? We know that 40 monks have departed HTM, an unprecedented number for any monastery; many have written very detailed testimony of what happened. Those that remained in the Faith, even as tonsured monks, can also atest to what happened. With everything else that has happened, what else would it take for you to accept and appreciate things?

            >>Were you a witness to the synod and clergy meetings that took place when these accusations surfaced? Do you know exactly what was said and in what context?

            No. However, the details have been documented. The HOCNA trial was a kangaroo court – every witness discredited, so that none could appear. At the time, I believe that many involved were acting sincerely. Are you aware of the canonical trial called against HTM members by ROCOR, deftly avoided by schism a few days later? Or the investigations by Bps Akakios & Gabriel that lead to HOCNA’s separation from them? Or the answers that Bp. Maximos was seeking later?

            >>We are Orthodox Christians! Even if the allegations are true, we are not to judge! Only God knows the truth in every man’s heart and He will pass judgement! We are supposed to love one another just as God loves ALL His children. The way you ramble about on this site passing judgement is not good for your soul. You may be advanced in your years on this earth, but as a convert you are still a baby in Orthodoxy!

            I don’t see myself as a convert. I am 48, was baptized a new Calendar Orthodox Christian, and started attending St. Nektarios when still young. Yes, I have a lot to learn, and I am a sinner. I may love the bus driver of a school bus, but if his drunkenness had harmed many in the past, and would continue to harm others, I would point it out to him for his own sake and to the children and parents for their own safety’s sake. I would become angry with his continued denial of drunkenness, the harm done to others, and the passengers doting on the driver ignoring their peril. Hatred of the bus driver or the disillusioned passengers is bad for my soul; concern for the wrong that continues is not. The sin we speak of isn’t personal but casts a wide nefarious net. My understanding, and personal experience, is that many in the Toronto HOCNA community are having nothing to do with their former fellow parishioners, which hurts; I miss their love. Even our convert priests maintain communication with members of the Faith they departed – why is HOCNA so afraid of speaking to us?

            >>And don’t think for a minute that there haven’t been allegations against the priests at St Nektarios. You just haven’t been around long enough to witness any of those!

            I have never believed ANYONE is beyond reproach. If the accusations against the priests are weighing on their souls alone, I pray for their salvation. However, if their actions are endangering my salvation, or those around me, I am concerned. Do you understand the difference?

            Cheers,

            John Collis

          • Ambrose

            Faithful “C”hristian,

            Christ is Risen!

            Are you sure you’re not Fr. Isaac? Your message sounds eerily familiar. I could almost hear your voice in my head while reading your response to John. If this isn’t you, then it must be someone who reverences you enough to quote you verbatim. I won’t use the word “robot” because then I would be passing judgement. I already know your position regarding Orthodox Christians and passing judgment on others. You should have probably followed your own example when responding to John. I must admit that I do enjoy reading his responses because I find them to be factual, while exuding true Christian love. You probably forgot what that’s like.

            I used to always hear negative remarks about the Toronto clergy. Sadly, the only people spewing these slanders were the same people that reside in your house. God is finally bringing everything to light for your own salvation. The deception and lies must come to an end. Our Saviour suffered and died on the Cross for both of our sins. Our Saviour is the Way, the Truth and the Life…not your Elder! He, and only He is the path to the Kingdom of Heaven. I pray for you daily with my whole heart.

          • faithful christian

            Ambrose,

            Truly He is Risen!

            It’s funny how you think that Fr Isaac and I are the same. The fact is, you have no idea who I am!

            John Collis is someone that I recognize here in Toronto and neither you or him know the Toronto priests as well as I do. What John presented were not facts, but his opinion on events on matters that he was not part of. But, it’s funny how you quickly defend him when you have no idea about the priests in Toronto.

            Do you know any of the priests? I grew up in that church and know them very well. Would you like me to air their dirty laundry with facts? Trust me, they would not like it knowing that certain information comes out on them. And it wouldn’t be hearsay, but actual facts with proof!

            I’m just tired of every who jumped on the Kallinikos bandwagon hurling insults and having an opinion on matters that they have no idea about.

            It’s not just about the Toronto priests either. Would you like me to air out the dirty laundry of some of the monks who left?

            The point is, you left! Go on your merry way and leave Hocna alone. You joined a synod that openly gives communion and allows marriages with New Calendars! You joined a synod who uncononically left Arch Bishop Auxentios, only to lift the anethemas years later because they don’t have true succession. You joined a synod who do memorial services on Sunday and reverence the Trinity icon. You joined a synod who re-ordains bishops as a blasphemy!

            Bishop Demetrius believes that new calendarists have grace, I’ve heard it with my own ears. He married a couple last weekend and the groom was a New Calendarist. Bishop Demetrius was at the reception halls of both his cousin’s wedding and his neice’s wedding. And stayed well into the dancing of it… what kind of Bishop does that? Oh… it must be of the same kind of Bishops that are at St Markella in New York that had a band and dancers at their Vasillopita dinner this year… lots of pictures of that! I see how Christian that is. Should I continue???

            Point is, you left. Enjoy your new synod and find your salvation.

          • Ambrose

            So you know, I was being facetious about you being Fr Isaac. What you don’t understand faithful Christian is that I have heard everything you stated in your message directly from the horse’s mouth. The horse in question was dear to my heart for most of my life until the spirit of slander entered his heart. The difference between you and I faithful Christian is that when he told me about these slanders I didn’t just accept them the way you did. I asked the horse very specific questions. I continued to ask the horse about things that he stated about these priests that were inconsistent and at times unreasonable. The more I prodded, poked and questioned, the more the story would change. I sadly recognized that someone so dear to me was no longer capable of truth. If he is your source faithful Christian, he lacks all credibility. Actually, all of the Hocna hierarchy lack credibility. I have had numerous conversations with many of them. My decision was an easy one. When esteemed clergymen and Bishops cannot keep a story straight, the spirit of God is not present. When these same people keep changing their position to you regarding various topics, the spirit of God is not present. When they boldly state one thing and then weeks later tell you that this isn’t what they said, the spirit of God is not present. You don’t know what steps I took before severing ties with the synod that nurtured me (I later discovered deceived me) throughout my life.

            Sadly, you have been infected with the spirit of slander and revenge. It’s in your words. You follow the Hocna model to perfection. Refusing to discuss theological or dogmatic issues, instead focusing on personal attacks and slander. Before I departed Hocna, I kept trying to get answers to certain theological questions. Instead of getting answers to my queries, it always became about personal attacks against certain priests.

            You can post all you want about the priests of Toronto and the monks who left, but your proof is just hearsay and you and your sources lack all credibility in the eyes of every person who reads this outside of Hocna. These monks that you grew up with were put on a pedestal by both Fr. Isaac and Fr. Panteleimon. I was even told that they were the future of the monastery…until they disagreed. Now faithful Christian, they have hidden secrets, accusers, etc. Almost overnight, they went from the pedestal to the manure pit. Fr. Haralampos went from being the chief theologian in the synod to now being senile in his old age. I really hope that you are hearing me.

            You talk about fact checking, but fail to follow your own example.

            “I’m just tired of every who jumped on the Kallinikos bandwagon hurling insults and having an opinion on matters that they have no idea about.”

            It was actually the Hocna bishops who unanimously legitimized Archbishop Kallinikos as the head of the Church in Greece in 2010. At that meeting, Metropolitan Makarios of Toronto stepped down as locum tenens if you recall. I can post the minutes of the meeting if you need them for reference.

            “Do you know any of the priests? I grew up in that church and know them very well. Would you like me to air their dirty laundry with facts?”

            Yes I do know them. Don’t you find it odd that the priests of Toronto are all clumped together and vilified as if they are all one and the same person? You don’t find this bizarre? Really?

            “You joined a synod that openly gives communion and allows marriages with New Calendars! You joined a synod who uncononically left Arch Bishop Auxentios, only to lift the anethemas years later because they don’t have true succession. You joined a synod who do memorial services on Sunday and reverence the Trinity icon. You joined a synod who re-ordains bishops as a blasphemy!”

            Archbishop Makarios of Athens who you are now in communion with (you know the guy who served at your church last week) venerates the Trinity icon and his churches in Greece are adorned with it. He also permits communion to New Calendarists, (see St Cosmas in Toronto who is now affiliated with you. They will actually commune anyone who says that they are baptized Orthodox.) Archbishop Makarios does more than just commune New Calendarists. See video below.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fHZP5XKYYY

            He actually makes openly ecumenistic statements. Is this what you signed up for when you chose to follow your hierarchy? Did they even do their research on the Lamian synod? The fact is that they don’t care. They know that people like you will follow them regardless of their open hypocrisy. Metropolitan Ephraim kept writing articles against the union with GOC-Kallinikos on the basis of the Trinity icon, communion to New Calendarists, and espousing ecumenism. He then joins a synod that preaches all of the things that he didn’t join GOC-Kallinikos over. He even refers
            to Archbishop Makarios as his holiness. This doesn’t at all concern you? In addition, they didn’t re-ordain Bishop Demetrius or Metropolitan Moses. That is another lie coming
            out of the mouths of your leaders.

            Last, but not least, Fr. Isaac admitted to many of us that Fr.
            Panteleimon did in fact commit these sins. He also admitted that he and Metropolitan Ephraim covered it up for decades all the while allowing it to continue to the present day. I have been told by many friends still in Hocna that he is now saying the opposite. He also openly admitted to many of us that we went into schism from Rocor, which represented the body of the Church at that time, in order to protect Fr. Panteleimon. He essentially put yours and my salvation at risk for the sake of a man. Where was God or the true faith in all of this? Do you not see a disturbing pattern here?

            I could go on faithful Christian, but I don’t see the point.

            I will no longer respond to your replies. It is bad for both of our souls. I will pray for you and ask that you pray for me. I don’t know your real name, but the Lord will know.

            Christ is Risen!

          • HmkEnoch

            Christ is Risen!

            Hi John,

            You said:

            “Fr. (now Makarite Bishop) Anthony Gavalas.”

            I think that should be “Fr. (now Matthewite Bishop) Anthony Gavalas.” Bp. Anthony is in the Synod of the GOC under the presidency of Archbishop Nicholas of Athens.

            Just a minor correction.

            Christ is Risen!

            In Christ,

            Fr. Enoch

          • Ambrose

            HmkEnoch,

            Is Fr Anthony Gavalas a bishop now? I always understood that he was a married Matthewite priest with children.

            Truly He is Risen!

          • HmkEnoch

            Ambrose,

            I believe his wife reposed some time ago.

            http://nftu.net/toc-nicholas-fr-anthony-gavalas-named-bishop-of-new-york/

            I believe his dear wife passed away in October/November of 20.

            Here is a consecration photo:

            http://nftu.net/consecration-photo-of-bishop-anthony-gavalas/

            In Christ,

            Fr. Enoch

          • Ambrose

            Thank you for your response Fr. Enoch! May God preserve you!

  • Kiki Vagianos Kochergin

    @google-c387634dfa025980471833f4303f8968:disqus and Ambrose, perhaps a little more time spent in prayer and a little less time spreading malicious gossip about HTM/HOCNA would be beneficial to your souls.

    • Ambrose

      Christ is Risen Kiki!

      I’m confused. How are stating facts about my personal experiences malicious gossip? I express these experiences in the hopes that former brothers and sisters will also see past the haze. You should probably be directing your comment towards faithful Christian who posts slanderous comments filled with malice. John and I are merely stating facts that you choose to ignore. Malicious personal attacks are Hocna’s way of diverting attention away from dogmatic issues, i.e., the name-worshipping heresy, which was formally condemned by Russia and Constantinople. As Orthodox Christians, it is our duty to uphold the decisions of these councils (local and ecumenical.) Telling someone to pray more is Hocna-speak for “leave us alone, we choose to ignore the real issues at hand.” Maybe you should pray for enlightenment during these tumultuous times. Salvation is through Christ Kiki, not men (who we have grown to love for forty plus years) who reside in a monastery, regardless of how much good they did for us. When their confession of faith changes, and they worship Christ differently, we are “forced” to separate. It isn’t an option. If we truly love these men, we pray for them, we don’t enable them. We cannot just accept what they tell us when huge theological debates arise. We have to read for ourselves and question actions that are contrary to Orthodoxy.

      It’s funny that you bring up prayer. It was through prayer that I was given the strength to make a life-altering decision. I can only hope that prayer does the same for you. Forgive me if I have offended you. Please trust that my intentions are good.

      In Christ,

      Ambrose

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