Orthodox Pundits and Priests Up in Arms Over Greek Orthodox Church’s Award to “Pro-Abortion” Vice President Biden

By on October 6, 2015

Pundits and priests alike from throughout the Orthodox world are up in arms over the selection of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden to receive the highest award bestowed by the Greek Orthodox Church, the Athenagoras Human Rights Award.

The honor will be given at the annual banquet of the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, an all-male organization whose mission is to “defend and promote the Orthodox Christian faith and tradition.”

Many leading Orthodox clerics and writers have expressed outrage that such a high award will be given to a politician known to be a defender of the pro-choice movement that supports abortion rights in America.

George Michalopulos, head of the popular Orthodox blog Monomakhos, told LifeSiteNews, “I am appalled at how the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese is so slavish to hear the praises of the marketplace, that they would bestow an award on the vice president of the most Anti-Christian administration in history.”

Author Patrick Henry Reardon, senior editor of Touchstone journal and author of Christ in the Psalms, said, “It is a disgrace and a scandal that any group, especially an organization claiming adherence to the Orthodox Church, would give a human rights award to Vice President Biden, who has shown consistent indifference – not to say, hostility – to the lives of unborn infants during his whole political career.”

Dr. Alexander F. C. Webster, a retired Army chaplain and Orthodox priest in Stafford, Virginia noted that “”Vice President Joe Biden deserves thanks of every Orthodox Christian … for his staunch defense of the fundamental rights of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.”

“But,” Webster continues, “the vice president does not merit such an august, unique honor from the Ecumenical Patriarchate as The Athenagoras Human Rights Award. … Mr. Biden’s ‘human rights’ record on abortion, the most important moral issue in the last forty-two years, is indefensible.”

Father Seraphim Holland, a well-known Russian Orthodox priest in Texas, lamented that some Orthodox leaders are “infected with the stupidity that is unique to the world, vain, and ambitious.” Referring to the honoring of the vice president, Holland commented to LifeSiteNews, “These kind of anti-Christian activities should be brought up in church assemblies, until security tosses out the brave priests who actually show they are men and not cowards.”

Holland concluded, “I do not want to deal with those that have blood on their hands.”

Such controversy is nothing new for the Archons of the Greek Orthodox Church, an organization known more for the prestige and status of its members and the money they bring to the table, rather than its Orthodox Christian principles.

Author Peter A. Papoutsis commented that, “There are many rank-and-file Greek Orthodox that do not approve, and never have approved, of stunts like this.” Papoutsis concludes, “The Archons care more about the Ecumenical Patriarch and his turf than the Gospel of Christ. This is how it has always been. Money controls, not Christ. Political power controls, not the Gospel.”

Numerous indicted criminals were at one point Archons, like convicted fraudster Christopher Fekos from Pittsburgh, who was eventually removed from the organization and Chicago banker James Regas who served in high positions in the organization while defrauding a bank for his personal interest and eventually going to jail and paying almost $1 million in restitution.

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