Patron of the Phanar: We were deceived in Archbishop Elpidophoros

Spyros Spyreas and head of the Phanar. Photo: ekirikas.com

A Greek-American businessman said that Archbishop Elpidophoros is mired in deceit and lies, also misleading Patriarch Bartholomew.

In an interview with the National Herald on July 28, 2022, Dr. Spyros Spyreas, who is called the "great benefactor" of the Phanar and the Greek-American community, said that he was deceived in Archbishop Elpidophoros.

According to Dr. Spyreas, a businessman, founder and owner of the large pharmaceutical company Sigmapharm Laboratories, most of his wealthy Greek Orthodox friends and acquaintances belonging to the Phanar Archdiocese in the United States are dissatisfied with the practice of Archbishop Elpidophoros.

“My thoughts are aggravated by commotion and concern for the future of our Church and our homeland in America. I am alarmed and amazed at the actions and tactics of Mr. Elpidophoros, which we have been learning about lately, and which are inappropriate for a Christian hierarch,” said the Phanar philanthropist.

He also noted he could not believe “that so many people were mistaken in thinking at first that this up-and-coming, cultured and young hierarch could be the one to lead our Greek Orthodox Church in America to the better. On the contrary, with great heartache, I now understand that all of us, optimists, were mistaken."

Dr. Spyreas felt the first serious disappointment on October 8, 2020, “when using his underground and premeditated methods, Mr. Elpidophoros not only managed to illegally abolish the Rule of the Archdiocese and turn himself into an unaccountable monarch of our Church here, but also to muscle out the Metropolitan of New Jersey, one of the most ardent supporters of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and one of the most influential hierarchs of our Church in the United States.”

“In my humble opinion, this was one of the worst days in the 100-year history of Greek-American Orthodoxy!” Spyreas stressed.

“The second disappointment came when Mr. Elpidophoros went to the opening of the Turkish House in New York on September 20, 2021 and joined in the celebration and flourish around Erdogan… I believe that on that fateful day, the Archbishop of America put the greatest and most vile affront ever on the Greek American community and the Greek nation.

“As if these blatant offences on the part of Mr. Elpidophoros were not enough,” said the philanthropist, “literally last week we found out about his new ‘feat’, which not only outrages and offends me personally, but also confuses, numbs and disorients Greek Orthodox community. It is unthinkable that a Christian hierarch, notably an archbishop of America, would hide the full truth from another fraternal Christian hierarch of another Church in order to obtain his permission to baptize two children in his metropolis,” Spyreas said, referring to the baptism of the children of a gay couple in Greece by Archbishop Elpidophoros.

“The one who deceives others is not blessed by the Divine Grace. In addition, as the popular proverb says: ‘Whoever tells a lie drowns in blood, but whoever speaks the truth enjoys God’s help.' I believe this misleading act of Mr. Elpidophoros is a fundamental mistake on his part and a completely inappropriate deed not only for a Christian hierarch, but in general for a righteous and virtuous person,” the businessman emphasized.

“The question certainly arises whether this was the only occasion, the only unfortunate moment, when Mr. Elpidophoros lies about himself. I am afraid that the answer to this question reveals his character very well and, unfortunately, greatly upsets us and our future.”

He said that at their recent meeting with Elpidophoros, the hierarchs of the Archdiocese of the Phanar in the United States accused him of falsifying and signing the minutes of the meetings of the Holy Synod of America without the knowledge and approval of the members of the Synod, which allowed Elpidophoros to "uncontrollably mislead the Ecumenical Patriarch personally and the Holy Synod of the Phanar."

“How can a Christian hierarch behave like this? How can a Christian hierarch be mired in deceit and lie to himself? Where are we going? Where is this person taking us? Did he mislead even the patriarch of the nation (Bartholomew – Ed.)? How many injustices has he caused? How can we trust him with the future of our homeland? Does it lead our Greek Orthodox identity astray? God knows! This is really discouraging!” exclaims Dr. Spyreas indignantly.

He also noted that, in the vast majority of cases, wealthy Orthodox Greeks and their friends and acquaintances “think likewise ... They all feel confused and numb and boil with me in the same cauldron of disappointment, anger and, above all, affliction.”

In this regard, Dr. Spyreas stated that he and his like-minded businessmen have terminated financial donations for the US Archdiocese in general and the New Jersey Metropolis in particular. He believes that if Elpidophoros does not stop his practice, then he should be removed from the post of archbishop of America.

Dr. Spyros Spyreas is a chief actuary (physician) of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, a member of the charitable organization "Ηγεσίας των 100", whose money is directed to the development of various Phanar projects, and one of the founders of the "Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew's Foundation", to which he contributed significant material resources.

Earlier, the UOJ wrote that Archbishop Elpidophoros, head of the Phanar Archdiocese in the United States, baptized two children of a same-sex “family” during his visit to Greece. This situation caused a scandal in Greece. The Greek Church undertook to file a complaint with Patriarch Bartholomew, since Archbishop Elpidophoros did not tell Metropolitan Antonios of Glyfada that the parents of the children are sodomites.

Later Phanariot theologian John Chryssavgis stated that "it is time to talk about sex and gender in the Church."

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