George Athanasiadis

George Athanasiadis – proud to co-celebrate with non-Orthodox

Dear readers,

A recent trend seems to have developed on our Facebook page of accusing the Orthodox Church and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia of being “ecumenists” and “pope lovers”.

This is extremely ironic, for two reasons: First of all because we are apparently being criticised for following the commandment of our Lord and loving our enemy & trying to bring them to Orthodoxy. But secondly (and most importantly) because people that make such accusations do so to justify their separation from the canonical Orthodox Church – and yet, they have an arch-“ecumenist”/modernist among them.

George Athanasiadis is a former priest of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese who was defrocked for questionable practices (pocketing money for wedding certificates without actually legally registering the marriages with the Orthodox Church or with the Victorian Government). Since being defrocked he has become somewhat of a freelance “Greek Orthodox” priest – offering his services to co-officiate at weddings, funerals and baptisms in non-Orthodox Churches. He even went so far as to send a letter to a bunch of non-Orthodox priests advertising his services. He also has his own website advertising his services and is listed on a civil celebrant’s listing web site and in the Yellow Pages.

As he himself admits in his letter, the practice of co-celebrating mysteries/sacraments is strictly forbidden by the Orthodox Church. It is exactly the kind of thing that anti-“ecumenists” would criticise (and rightly so) as being against the canons of the Church.

Where would such a former Orthodox priest go after being defrocked? To the so-called “Autocephalic Greek Orthodox Church of America and Australia” – the organisation that gets all the Orthodox Church’s rejects. As their own page says, he is now the priest at St Spyridon’s, Clayton (Melbourne), Victoria. In other words, one of Christodoulos’ priests.

Christodoulos, Prokopios, Petros: before you criticise the Ecumenical Patriarchate or the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese for being “ecumenist” or “pope loving”, make sure you have a word to your own fellow pseudo-priest and get him sorted out.

A transcription of the letter follows below (see here for the original):

George S. Athansiadis
Protopresbyter

Indepented [sic] Greek Orthodox Minister – Civil Marriage Celebrant A13157

9-2-10

Dear Father.

For many years now I’ve had requests from couples wanting an Orthodox minister to co-officiate at their marriage in a church of another denomination.

As you may know, the official Orthodox Church forbids it and thus has created an obstacle to their well-founded wishes. Personally, I believe that there is no scriptural or doctrinal reasons to support this prohibition and can only attribute it to superseded practices of long past. In my 34 years with the Church, I did confront this time and time again with my superiors, however, my representations were in vain.

In 2002 I left that jurisdiction and have been acting as an independent Orthodox Minister. I am also an authorised civil and religious celebrant and can now offer my services to couples wanting to celebrate their wedding at your church with the participation of a Greek Orthodox minister.

I would like to ask you, if you feel it appropriate, to pass this information and my details when couples inquire about the availability of the services I’m offering.

I hope that this information will assist you in your ministry.

Yours in our Saviour

8 CLIFTON GVE, COBURG VIC 3058 – 0410 323 558
fr.george_athanasiadis@hotmail.com

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