Metropolitan Athanasios of Lemesou (Cyprus) on visit from the Pope

Christ Pantokrator of Sinai
This article was originally posted here.
Met. Athanasios of Lemesou (Cyprus) Speaks Out of Upcoming Visit of Pope to Cyprus

Met. Athanasios of Lemesou (Cyprus) Speaks Out of Upcoming Visit of Pope to Cyprus

In an interview published today, May 23, 2010 in the Cypriot Newspaper “Phileleftheros” the Metropolitan distances himself from the Archbishop’s decision to host the Pope in Cyprus.
The following are excerpts from the interview:

“For us Orthodox, the Pope is a heretic, outside of the Church, and, hence, not even a bishop”.

“He [the Pope] has been outside of the Church for ten centuries now, he is not a canonical bishop, he has no relation whatsoever to the reality of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church of Christ. It is one thing to receive him as a canonical bishop and quite another to speak to him as [being] a heterodox in order to reveal to him the truth of the Orthodox Faith and Tradition.”

“Dialogue is not a bad thing when it is carried out based on correct presuppositions. However, it is wrong to say to these people that we recognize them as a Church, that we recognize the Pope as a Bishop, as our brother in Christ in the priesthood and in [the] faith. I cannot accept this, because we are lying [when we say this], since all of the Holy Fathers teach exactly the opposite. Papism is a heresy and the source of many other heresies which trouble the entire world today. A contemporary Saint of the Church, Saint Justin Popovich, said that in the history of the human race there have been three tragic falls: of the first-formed Adam, of the disciple of Christ, Judas, and of the Pope, who, when he was the first Bishop of the Church, fell from the apostolic faith, was cut off from the canonical Church and lured away a host of people with him until today.”

“God is one and the Church of God is one, and that is why we say in the Symbol of Faith [that we believe] “in One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.” This is the Orthodox Church, there do not exist many Churches.”

“When I say to the other that it doesn’t matter that you are catholic and that we all belong to the same Church, I am playing with him [or mocking him] since all of the Holy Fathers teach that the Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ is one.”

“The Orthodox Church preserves the faith of the Apostles and the experience of the prophets unshakeable up until our own days. The Papists, unfortunately, from the time when they were cut off from the Church added many heretics dogmas to their [confession of] faith, changed the Symbol of Faith [the Nicene Creed] and above all elevated the Pope to the level of being the eminent and unique representative of God on earth.”

“When you add things to the Symbol of Faith that the Holy Fathers did not write, and many other false teachings, this is heresy. This is the reality of things.”

Question: How does the Orthodox Church encounter/deal with heretics?

“With much love. We love the Pope, we love the papists just as we love every person; we do not despise them, we do not reject them as persons, but we do not accept [their] heresy, we do not accept the false teachings, we do not accept [their] delusions. Because we love them we must tell them the truth.”

Question: Do you think that the Dialogue can produce results?

“It can, if it is done properly and based on the right presuppositions. Unfortunately, as it is carried out today, it does not produce results, and that is why they have carried on discussions for so many years without coming to any conclusions.”

“Frankly and before all I disagree with the coming of the Pope to Cyprus and I say with my whole soul that the Pope is a heretic, he is not a bishop, he is not an Orthodox Christian and this is what the Holy Fathers say. If I am wrong, I am ready to be corrected, but on the basis of the Holy Fathers, not based on the mindset of globalization. Just because I disagree does not mean that I am being disorderly and am outside the Church [as some have claimed].”

“The Pope always speaks in a formal manner, says things which are customary [to his position], as he will say now that he will come to Cyprus, but he will do nothing of essence, because he is not the leader of the Church but a political person who cannot come into conflict with the political establishment and system. Did the Pope every speak up for the Orthodox Church?…But I am not returning back [to the distant past]. The reasons I am reacting today are purely theological. When I was consecrated a bishop I pledged to preserve the Orthodox Faith.”

Question: The Pope said that he wants to make a pilgrimage following the steps of the Apostle Paul.

“With the exception that the Apostle Paul didn’t travel using a bulletproof car which cost 500,000 euros, which, I read, the Cypriot government has bought for the Pope to travel around Cyprus for the two days he will be here. I was personally quite scandalized by this news and said that a bulletproof car does not fit the Vicar of Christ. For the people to have to pay such a price in the midst of an economic crisis…”

Question: The announcement from the representatives of the Pope says that he is coming to Cyprus in order to promote human and Christian values and principles, and that he wants to walk in the steps of the Apostle Paul and in a spirit of the brotherhood meet the Orthodox Church with a good disposition.

“I do not doubt his good will – may it be that this is the case. May it be that he resembles the Apostle Paul and that he encounters the riches of the Orthodox Church. We pray that he return to the Orthodox Church and becomes once again an Orthodox Bishop as he was before the schism. This alone is the proper path to unity.”

Question: What do you think is the hidden agenda?

“The Vatican does not take steps thoughtlessly nor naively. Every tour of each Pope has as its aim to present him as the worldwide leader of Christianity. At this point, however, he is neither a canonical Bishop, nor Orthodox, such that he is in no place to present himself as having the first place among bishops.”

Question: Are there hidden political interests at stake here?

“I don’t know; I think that we [the Cypriot people] have nothing to gain politically from the visit of the Pope – only a lot of expenses and great upheaval in the consciences of the faithful.”

Question: The Archbishop said that all those who disagree will place themselves outside the Church.

“I am not aware of the Archbishop’s statements, but I don’t think that whoever disagrees with the coming of the Pope places himself outside the Church. I disagree and I say it boldly and frankly and I am not outside the Church.”

To read the entire interview, click here:

You can read another great article (originally published on here on Lessons from a Monastery regarding the Patriarch and Pope’s recent meeting in Jerusalem. 

against false union

2014-05-26 20.28.46


St. Mark of Ephesus

“These people admit with the Latins that the Holy Spirit proceeds and derives His existence from the Son. Yet, with us, they say the Spirit proceeds from the Father.

The Latins imagine that this addition to the Creed is lawful and just, but we will not so much as pronounce it. They state that unleavened bread is the body of Christ, but we dare not communicate it. Is this not sufficient to exhibit that they came to the Latin council not to investigate the truth, which they once possessed and then betrayed, but simply to earn some gold and attain a false union?

Behold, they read two Creeds as they did before. They perform two different liturgies – one on leavened and the other on unleavened bread. They perform two baptisms – one by triple immersion and the other by aspersion; one with Holy Chrism and the other without it. All our Orthodox customs are different from those of the Latins, including our fasts, Church rites, icons, and many other things.

What sort of union is this then, when it has no external sign? How could they come together, each retaining his own?”


+ St. Mark of Ephesus

New Book for Orthodox Tweens/Teens: Voyage to the Rock {giveaway}


Xristos Anesti! Christ is Risen!


One of the most difficult thing as a parent to a tween boy that loves to read is finding books that are on his reading level yet still has appropriate content.  I feel like we’ve gone through most of the good series that are out there and we recently began dipping our toes into other book series.

[Read more...]

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! { in The Washington Post}

Extra! Extra!

Adventures of an Orthodox Mom is in The Washington Post today!

I was recently contacted by Bonnie Benwick, food editor at The Washington Post about lenten cooking.  She asked lots of great questions like why we fast, if the kids fast and if they know why the do, etc.  I thought it was really neat that she was interested in finding out more about lenten meals, and more importantly, why we cook them.  It was a pleasure chatting with you, Bonnie!  [Read more...]

be yourself.

never try to be something you're not.

i was cleaning out some of my bookmarks this morning and i ran across this video from a few years ago.  there is inspiration everywhere if only we look!

never try to be something you’re not.

never try to be something you're not.

that one little difference may make all the difference.

stand apart.

i think this is an adorable reminder to be yourself and feel confident about who you are, especially even if you’re unlike everyone else around you.   we were all created for a
special purpose, so find yours and live it!

thank you to wendy nguyen for this awesome little video.  hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

goals, plans & dreams for 2014



I realize I’m a bit late in posting my resolutions for the new year but I took a little internet hiatus and enjoyed it more than I anticipated.  As much as I heart being a blogger, it’s nice to just live without the fuss of having to document every little thing, ya know?  Seriously, if I didn’t blog I wouldn’t touch a social media network with a ten foot pole…not even Pinterest.

However, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking about my site, this little place that I love so much.  This blog is like my little getaway, my happy place, and it’s been a pretty exciting journey so far but in order for it to reach it’s full potential, I realize that sometimes means stepping out of my comfort zone and making some necessary changes. [Read more...]

Tune in to The Dr. OZ Show this Friday to watch me make Avgolemono Soup!


Early last month I received an email from one of the producers of the Dr. Oz Show asking if I’d be interested in filming a segment for one of their upcoming episodes.  At first, I thought it was spam, but DH told me to call the number listed at the bottom of the email to see if it was legit.  So I did.  And it was!

In all honesty, if it was for any other show I probably would  have declined but I really do love Dr. Oz (who said Greeks & Turks would never get along?)  and even though we don’t have cable at home, I am constantly on his site checking out his latest recommendations, perusing through the Today’s Top Stories and watching old episodes.  Actually, it was on his show that I first discovered Shaun T and started exercising again and I’ve used countless recipes from there as well.   His Banana Ginger Energy Smoothie is one of my favorites.

He really is the only celebrity medical professional that I trust, mainly because he really does say what he believes, even when he has to take heat for it.  Remember the apple juice debacle?  He consistently encourages people to seek natural and more holistic approaches to healing themselves and while so many doctors continue to push various forms of medications for pretty much everything, I feel like he really tries to help people heal themselves vs. just treating symptoms.

So, I agreed to do it and they emailed over all the details.  They wanted me to film myself making my Yiayia’s avgolemono soup, which of course, I thought was awesome.  You all know how much I treasure family recipes and traditions.  Instead of taping it at home, I packed up the van and drove over to my Yiayia’s house so we could film at her house.  She is obsessed with Dr. Oz, so this was really exciting for her.  They even asked for photos of me, my mom and her, so she may even be making her daytime debut as well, lol.


My brother-in-law does professional video work, so he met me there and did all the filming for me.  He’s so good behind the camera and I was really glad to have his expertise, not to mention this let DH off the hook.   You rock, Georgie Porgie.  :)

I think we laughed more than we filmed though.  I can’t stand the sound of my own voice or seeing myself on camera, so every time George asked if I thought a clip was ok, I just busted out laughing.  Even Lucky got a kick out of it.

Filming for Dr. Oz

We had a great day and I’m grateful to have been able to share the experience with my yiayia and add this experience to my book of memories.

The episode airs this Friday so tune in!  Check your local listings for show times.  (I’ve always wanted to say that…)  ;)  I’ll be linking to the episode once it’s posted on the Doctor Oz site, so if you miss it check back here for a link.  Have a great day everyone!

Christ is born! Glorify Him!


Wishing you and yours a blessed feast of the Nativity. May the love and peace of our precious newborn Lord fill your hearts this day and always.

From our family to yours, Merry Christmas! See you next year!


A few of my Favorite Things {gift guide}

My Favorite Things 2013

I’ve been meaning to post a list of some of my favorite things for weeks now but haven’t had the chance until now.  Since today is the 13th of December I’ve chosen thirteen of my very favorite things.   Some I already own and love and others are on my revolving Christmas list.  <3

[Read more...]

Buy Mint Merry Soap and support The Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry!

mint merry soap

I love supporting companies that contribute their earnings to worthy causes.   That’s why I was really excited to try this Mint Merry Soap  made by the fathers of Hermitage of the Holy Cross monastery.  The soap is scented with mint, rosemary and lavender which makes it smell so wonderful and perfect for not just Christmastime but all through winter.

This year, when you purchase a bottle of soap, the monastery is donating 10% of it’s proceeds to the Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry.

The thought of helping this ministry really struck a cord with me because it made me realize how seldom I even think about prison ministries.  [Read more...]