LETTER TO PRESIDENT TRUMP by Metropolitan Nicolae (Condrea)

With joy we share Metropolitan Nicolae’s response to the topic of our Open Letter to the Church: The Humanitarian Crisis at the US-Mexico Border. (We continue to accept signatures for the Open Letter.)

Întru mulţi ani, Stăpâne! Many Years, Master!

Archbishop and Metropolitan
5410 N. Newland Ave. Chicago IL 60656
tel: 773.774.1677; fax: 773.774.1805;
http://www.mitropolia.us; email: contact@mitropolia.us

ips-nicolae-aprilJune 20, 2018

Mr. Donald J. Trump
President of the United States of America
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

The issue of immigration policy has been a central discussion point in our nation for many years. The proper balance and compromises necessary have eluded us. Previous Presidential Administrations have found ways, some more satisfactory than others, to execute policies that have kept the difficult but necessary decisions at bay, at least for a time, but without resolving them. However, in these past months Attorney General Sessions announced that the immigration policy would change to zero tolerance. Without entering into a discussion about the nuances of this policy, suffice it to say many opinions have been advanced as to the soundness of his, and your, decision. On June 14, 2018 Mr. Sessions reinforced this position of your Administration by citing the Holy Apostle Paul in his letter to the Romans. This misuse of the Holy Scriptures has compelled us to respond. Read More


We share with gratitude Metropolitan Nathanael’s statement addressing the issues raised in our Open Letter to the Church: The Humanitarian Crisis at the US-Mexico Border.

Εις πολλά έτη, Δέσποτα! Many Years, Master!

Statement Regarding the U.S. “Zero Tolerance” Policy on Unlawful Immigration

+ His Eminence Metropolitan NATHANAEL

 Presiding Hierarch of the Holy Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago

MetropolitanNathanaelRecent reports regarding the brutal treatment of families who have arrived at U.S. borders without prior authorization have prompted sharp criticisms by faith leaders and people of good will across our nation. As we learn more and more details about these practices and reflect on their impact upon both those who are directly involved and upon all of us as citizens, my heart aches and my conscience is restless.

The current “zero tolerance” policy on unlawful immigration being enforced by our federal government, which separates children from their parent(s), violates moral norms that we, as Orthodox Christians, hold sacred. It represents a practice that goes beyond differences between political ideologies, and transgresses basic human rights and foundational Christian convictions. Thus, remaining silent is, I believe, an unacceptable response for those of us entrusted with bearing witness to the Christian Gospel.

Affirming that every person is created “in the divine image” (cf. Gen 1:26), and that all of us are children of God (cf. 1 Jn 3:1-2), our tradition unequivocally teaches that every human being should be treated with respect, recognizing his or her inherent dignity regardless of age, race, ethnicity or gender, and regardless of any transgressions they or their family members may have committed. Read More


On June 18 we wrote to Metropolitan Tikhon of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), as well as to many other Orthodox hierarchs and clergy, to bring to their attention our Open Letter of the day before. To the best of our knowledge, His Beatitude is the first Orthodox hierarch—writing on behalf of the entire Holy Synod of Bishops of the OCA—to take up the subject of our letter with President Trump. You may view the PDF of the original here.

We especially applaud His Beatitude’s emphasis on what it means to be truly pro-life:

As Christians, we are called to defend all life, be it the life of a fetus in the womb, the life of a child at the border, or the life of a mother fleeing violence and seeking a better life.  Every one of these immigrants is a child of God.

Eis polla eti, Despota! Many Years, Master!

Letter of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon to US President Donald Trump
Concerning the Separation of Families
June 19, 2018

met.tikhonThe President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

I write to you asking compassion for the children and their parents now being separated and confined in detention centers as a result of the Administration’s zero tolerance policy.  On behalf of these children—some of them infants and toddlers—and together with all the bishops of the Orthodox Church in America, I ask that you reconsider this policy and allow families to be kept together while the immigration courts are considering their cases.

This past January you proved to be a champion of life when, addressing those gathered in Washington D.C. to proclaim the sanctity of life, you offered the following words: “Under my administration, we will always defend the very first right in the Declaration of Independence, and that is the right to life.” As Christians, we are called to defend all life, be it the life of a fetus in the womb, the life of a child at the border, or the life of a mother fleeing violence and seeking a better life.  Every one of these immigrants is a child of God. Read More

THE NEW COLOSSUS by Emma Lazarus


Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she

With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Read More


To sign this letter send an email to editors@orthodoxyindialogue.com with your full name and city, state/province, and country of residence. You need not be Orthodox or reside in the United States to sign. Clergy are asked to designate their ecclesiastical title, e.g., Protopresbyter, Archpriest, Priest, Hieromonk, Protodeacon, Arehdeacon, Deacon, etc., as well as the jurisdiction to which they are attached.
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To the God-Fearing Episcopate, Presbyterate, Diaconate, Monastics, and Laity of the Holy Orthodox Church in the United States of America, faithful servants of the Gospel of our Lord, God, and Saviour Jesus Christ: 

We, the undersigned, feel now more than ever that the time has come for our Holy Church to speak and act urgently as one body possessing one mind. Thus may our very deeds confess and glorify the Holy, Consubstantial, Life-Creating and Undivided Trinity unto ages of ages.

The crimes against humanity perpetrated by the US government—on US soil, against fellow Christians, babies and children, mothers and fathers—cry out to heaven for redress. If we, who are the very body of Christ, fail to speak as His mouth and act as His hands and His feet, we face a harsh day of reckoning at His Dread Judgment Seat, as He Himself assures us:

For I was hungry, and you fed me not.

I was thirsty, and you gave me not to drink.

I was a foreigner, and you welcomed me not.

I was naked, and you clothed me not.

I was sick, in prison, a child locked in a cage, not knowing where my mother and father were…and you did nothing. 

On such a fundamental issue as this there can be neither left nor right, neither liberalism nor conservatism, but solely Christ and His Gospel.

We strongly urge the following and similar immediate actions:

Read More


farleyPredictably, Father Lawrence Farley of Langley BC has set his superior and infallible understanding of Tradition against the “downward path” that he claims to have witnessed in Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) over the course of many years.

You can read Father Farley’s “Metropolitan Kallistos and The Wheel” of June 13 on his No Other Foundation blog. We readily acknowledge that, to his credit, his tone is more measured than usual on the topic of same-sex love: in this he distances himself from Chris Banescu’s descent into utter irrationality. He writes, “I should say in advance that it would be unfair to characterize his stance as pro-gay. And much of what he says in the piece is quite good….” At the same time, Father Farley barely masks his patronizing condescension towards one of our Church’s most venerable and esteemed senior hierarchs. 

We include here some of the more salient excerpts from Father Farley’s post:

As well as following his upward path of ecclesiastical promotion, I have also followed what I consider to be his downward path away from Orthodox Tradition…. Of late he has written about homosexuality, publishing the Foreword for The Wheel, a publication whose stated purpose…is actually to de-construct the current Orthodox Tradition and offer what St. Paul would have called “another Gospel.” Read More


Orthodoxy in Dialogue has proposed that a few Orthodox priests co-author an open letter on the humanitarian catastrophe taking place on the US-Mexico border, which other clergy and hierarchs would be invited to sign. While awaiting a response to this proposal we are profoundly grateful to Father Martin for his voice.

On such a fundamental issue as this, servants of the Gospel cannot find themselves on the side of the “left” or the “right,” the side of “liberalism” or “conservatism,” but solely and squarely on the side of Christ.

If two or three of our priests would like to initiate an open letter, speak to one another and then contact us by email—making sure to cc one another—to discuss parameters before you start.


You know that feeling of anger when you read about children being taken away from their parents at the border in your government’s name?

You know that awareness of deep injustice when you realize the immoral path our country is taking? What is that?

It’s your conscience speaking to you. That’s how it works.

Sometimes we say, “Why isn’t God doing something?” “Why isn’t God intervening?” But the main way that God intervenes in human history is by rousing people’s consciences. This is the Holy Spirit speaking to us, inspiring us, telling us to do something.

In other words, the main way that God intervenes is through us. So what can we do? Read More