George Demacopoulos

Is it Time to Relinquish Liturgical Greek?

by George Demacopoulos

Every religious tradition in the United States is seeing its membership decline.  But according to the most recent Pew Study, few Christian traditions are seeing their members head for the doors as quickly as the Orthodox—only 53% of adults who were raised in the Orthodox Church still identify as Orthodox.

Professional statisticians will note that the sample size of Orthodox in the Pew study is small, but the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese’s own published statistics on marriages and baptisms over the past forty years suggests that the retention of its younger members is falling dramatically.

Is our parochial use of Liturgical Greek part of the problem? Continue Reading…

Putin’s Unorthodox Orthodoxy

by Aristotle Papanikolaou and George Demacopoulos

Yesterday, the New York Times published an essay exposing and critiquing the ways that Vladimir Putin is exploiting Orthodox Christianity in order to project international significance.  In the summer of 2014, we raised these issues in an op-ed piece we wrote for a blog hosted by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and examined why both Orthodox and Western audiences readily consume a flawed understanding of Orthodox teaching. We have reposted our original piece below.

Pundits from both America and Europe have recently ascribed religious motivations to the actions of Vladimir Putin. Is Orthodox Christianity to blame for his militant incursions, reactionary policies, or anti-Western rhetoric?

Absolutely not.

The notion that the Ukrainian crisis has religious causes is both factually wrong and religiously offensive. What’s worse, it is politically foolish, playing directly into Putin’s preferred narrative of a culture war. Continue Reading…

Innovation in the Guise of Tradition: Anti-Ecumenist Efforts to Derail the Great and Holy Council

by George Demacopoulos

The documents approved by the Primates of the Church for the Great and Holy Council are not particularly controversial. They are the product of consensus, negotiated over decades, that often repeat previous declarations rather than addressing the more challenging questions that face the modern Church.

The one possible exception is the document Relations of the Orthodox Church With the Rest of the Christian World, which seeks to clarify the purpose of the Orthodox Church’s engagement in the ecumenical movement. Because the document censures ecumenical obstructionists, it has seen the lion’s share of criticism from certain self-described traditionalists. – Continue Reading…>