3 Greek priests leave Constantinople for ROCOR

Author: Staff
Date Published: 07/15/2019
Fr. Spyridon Bailey (left), Fr. Emmanuel Hatzidakis (center), Fr. Ioannis Maridakis (right)
Fr. Spyridon Bailey (left), Fr. Emmanuel Hatzidakis (center), Fr. Ioannis Maridakis (right)

New York, London, July 15, 2019

Last November, Fr. Mark Tyson left the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese (ACROD), a jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in America, and joined the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) due to his concerns over the Patriarchate’s invasion of Ukrainian Church territory. He was soon followed by Fr. Nectarios Trevino.

Two parishes left Constantinople’s Archdiocese of Russian Orthodox Churches in Western Europe in October and January, also moving into ROCOR. In the meantime, the Patriarchate suddenly revoked the Archdiocese’s exarchate status, leaving its clergy and people to search for a new home, with the Moscow Patriarchate as the most likely candidate.

In March, OrthoChristian reported that ROCOR opened a new mission parish in Lubbock, Texas to serve several families who left the local parish of Constantinople’s Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

Now, another three priests have left the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in order to join ROCOR.

Fr. Spyridon Bailey, formerly of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain, is now a priest of the ROCOR Diocese of Great Britain and Western Europe, assigned to St. Elisabeth’s in Wallesey, England, according to the diocesan directory.

He is known as the author of several books, including Orthodoxy and the Kingdom of Satan, The Ancient Path, and Journey to Mount Athos, and runs a popular YouTube page with a number of edifying videos.

“My decision to move to ROCOR was as a result of a number of factors. I have, for some time, been concerned about the growing modernist and ecumenist trends in Constantinople. However, the actions in Ukraine convinced me that I had to leave,” Fr. Spyridon commented to OrthoChristian.

On July 13, St. Anthony the Great Monastery (ROCOR) in Phoenix announced on its Facebook page that Fr. Emmanuel Hatzidakis, formerly of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, and Fr. Ioannis Maridakis, originally from Crete, have also joined ROCOR.

Fr. Emmanuel is also known as the author of several popular books, including The Heavenly Banquet and Jesus: Fallen? The Human Nature of Christ Examined From an Eastern Orthodox Perspective. He is also the founder of Orthodox Witness, an organization dedicated to uniting clergy and parishioners of all Orthodox jurisdictions in evangelism. He was received into ROCOR by its primate His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York.

The monastery’s post says that Fr. Emmanuel has been assigned to a church in Texas, though his son Tony comments that this information is incorrect.

Fr. Ioannis is a married priest with grown children who moved from the island of Crete to America in order to leave Constantinople and join ROCOR, although he does not know English. On July 8, he was assigned to serve as assistant priest to the abbot of the Monastery of St. Anthony the Great, Schema-Igumen Anthony and will handle house visits, sick calls, and some confessions.

He is also the caretaker of a traveling portion of the True Cross and has visited America with the precious and wonderworking relic many times, and will continue to travel with the relic as a blessing to the faithful.

A collection of miracles worked by the relic of the Cross can be found on the website of the Holy Virgin Cathedral “Joy of All Who Sorrow” in San Francisco.