November 20, 2021

Explanations and Clarifications of Ecclesiastical History and the Deontology of the Ukrainian Issue (Part 12)

 ...continued from part eleven.

* By the late Germanos Verykopoulos, a Bishop of the Old Calendarists, was ordained the late Elder Ephraim of Katounakia, a submissive of two zealots of Mount Athos, but of the stature of the venerable Joseph the Hesychast. In the 42 years of his priestly life, he always saw with his sense of sight divine Grace cover over the Holy Gifts (only once he did not see it). When, with the help of God, they returned to communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate and commemorated the Patriarch, he began to see more clearly this mystery of the perceptible presence of divine Grace. Previously, as long as he was attached to the zealots, he saw it dimly, as he himself said and catechized.

And in fact, at the enthronement of the late Ephraim the abbot of the Monastery of Xeropotamou, Papa-Ephraim of Katounakia co-liturgized with Bishop Chrysostomos of Rodostolos and confessed that he saw the mystery of the sensible presence of divine Grace more intensely on the liturgizing Bishop.

* Gerasimos of Abydos was an Auxiliary Bishop of the United States, uncle to the late Stylianos Papadopoulos, the Professor of Patrology, who became at the end of his life a monk at Docheiariou. His grave is in the courtyard Holy Cross School of Theology (miracles have been testified by pilgrims at his grave).

The Bishop came from the Hermitage of the Kartsonaious of the Skete of Saint Anna, this is where he started. He was once invited to the feast of Saint Anna. His presence, however, because he was seen with only a shortly trimmed beard and hair (as is the case abroad), scandalized several monks, who throughout the vigil commented on him unfavorably! He stood on the throne without being disturbed, however, accepting of course the reverence of many humble monks. From Karoulia came also Elder Gabriel, who was full of grace, ragged and poor as he wandered. He asked, "Who is the Bishop on the throne?" "Ah! Do not reverence him. He is a Franco-priest,” said some. At the end of the vigil, the ascetic said: “I, my fathers, do not know if he was a Franco-priest. I saw two things tonight at the vigil. First I saw the devil dancing in the katholikon, and I also saw the Holy Spirit standing like a dove on the head of this Bishop!"

* Let us also look at the issue of a faction of the current Autocephalous Ukrainian Church. The leader of the smallest faction, for whom so many accusations have been made about him and whether he is being ordained by canonical Bishops, is Makarios. He therefore clearly emphasized that, before proceeding to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, he was in dialogue with the faction of Onufry of the Muscovite Ukrainian Church, in order to be receive by them through ordination!