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Must Read - Matthewite Timeline History

June 1923 - Patriarch Meletios IV convenes a “Pan-Orthodox Congress” to switch Orthodoxy to the new calendar! All Orthodox Churches reject it. Meletios IV, however, switches Constantinople to the new calendar, with prior notification by Chrysostomos (Papadopoulos), Archbishop of Athens, that the State Church of Greece would agree with the change. No orthodox church breaks communion with Meletios.

March 1924 - Archbishop Chrysostomos (Papadopoulos) institutes the new (papal) calendar for use in the Church of Greece. The pious Orthodox Christians of Greece, choosing to use the traditional calendar sanctioned by the holy fathers, refuse to accept the change, and are persecuted.

1910 -1927 - Priest monk Matthew (Karpathakis) leaves the Holy Mountain, Athos in disobedience, without a blessing from his spiritual father. He becomes a vagabond priest, an Athonite priest at large which is against the holy canons. (Canon 15 of the Holy Apostles, Canon 15 of 1st EC, Canon 6 of the 4th EC). He eventually settles in a convent in Keratea, 30 miles south of Athens.

1927 - The Convent of the Entrance of the Virgin in Keratea, Attica, is founded by Priest-monk Matthew and the Abbess Mariam Soulakiotou, a former factory worker.

October 1934 - George Paraschos and Basil Stamatoulis, the president and secretary general, respectively, of the Community of Genuine Orthodox Christians (the Greek Old Calendarists), appeal to the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky), to consecrate bishops for the old calendarists and take them under his omophorion. Metropolitan Anthony and the ROCOR had taken the public stance that the innovation of the new Menaion was a serious error and a violation of the holy canons, but not of such magnitude as to cause an actual schism yet, and the ROCOR still recognized and had communion with the new calendarists as being part of the same Orthodox Church as the ROCOR.

May 13/26, 1935 - Seeing that Abp. Chrysostom (Papadopoulos) will not reject the new calendar innovation, three metropolitans leave the State Church. The Synod of the “Genuine Orthodox Church” (G.O.C.) is formed by the following three Greek bishops in the presence of 25,000 faithful who leave the State Church: (President) Met. Germanos of Demetrias, Met. Chrysostomos of Florina, and Met. Chrysostomos of Zakynthos. They also make an official pronouncement that the new calendarists are schismatics. Over 800 parishes are established all over Greece.

May 1935 - Fearing imminent arrest, the 3 G.O.C. metropolitans hastily consecrate 4 new bishops: Germanos (Varykopoulos) of the Cyclades, Christophoros (Hatzis) of Megara, Polykarpos (Liosis) of Diavlia, and Matthew (Karpathakis) auxiliary-bishop of Bresthena. G.O.C. has seven bishops now and makes the notable pronouncement that the new calendarist churches are schismatics.

June 15, 1935 - Under government persecution, Metropolitans Germanus, Chrysostomos, and Bishop Germanos were exiled to distant new-calendarist monasteries, while Vicar-Bishop Matthew was allowed to stay confined in his convent in Keratea on account of his poor health.

September 1937 - Bishop Matthew of Bresthena demands and doesn’t receive a written reply from Met. Germanos of Demetrias clearly stating that the Mysteries of the new calendarists are without grace; he breaks communion with him, calling him “the former Bishop of Demetrias,” as if he had already been accused, tried, convicted, and deposed. Bishop Matthew, at this point, becomes the first schismatic of the Greek old calendar movement.

1944-1949 - In this period Vicar-Bishop Matthew, suffers a stroke that paralyzes half of his body on the whole right side.

August 26, 1948 - Bp. Matthew (Karpathakes) of Bresthena is “authorized” by his Church assembly, led by the Abbess Mariam and Protosyngellos (Protopriest) Evgenios Tombros, to elect and consecrate bishops by himself, an uncanonical act, prohibited by the Apostolic Canons and the whole sacred canonical law of the Church, declaring “that our most Reverend Bishop Matthew of Bresthena should proceed to the consecration of new bishops, insofar as the other pseudo-bishops of the True Orthodox Christians neither understand nor confess Orthodoxy, nor unite with us, nor even agree to make consecrations. We grant him the authority to proceed both to the election of people and to their immediate consecration, in accordance with the divine and sacred canons and the opinions of our canon law experts, and in accordance with the practice of the whole Church of Christ, which has accepted, in case of necessity (as is the case today) such a dispensation [oikonomia], as we have just heard from our protosynkellos, Protopriest Evgenios Tombros, who explained the validity of the consecration of one bishop by one bishop in accordance with the law of our Orthodox Church!” They had deceived themselves to believe that Matthew was the only Orthodox bishop left in the world. Furthermore, the idea that the laity and lower clergy can give a bishop (vicar-bishop) authority denied to him by the holy apostles and holy councils is Protestantism.

September, 1948 - Vicar-Bishop Matthew (Karpathakes) of Bresthena consecrates Bishop Spyridon of Trimython (Cyprus). Bishop Matthew was half-paralyzed, so that his paralyzed right hand had to be lowered and held onto the head of the ordinand in the altar by Abbess Mariam! This consecration was uncanonical, not only because it was carried out by one bishop only (Apostolic Canon 1), but also because Matthew himself was a vicar-bishop – and vicar-bishops can ordain nobody higher than a subdeacon without the permission of their metropolitan (Canon 10 of Antioch). This action scandalizes many of Matthew’s clergy who witnessed this act and left him.

Oct 29, 1948 - In a pastoral letter, the three Florinite bishops Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina and Bishops Christopher of Megara and Polycarp of Diavlia denounce Matthew’s ‘consecrations’ as an “indescribable impiety which makes Bishop Matthew guilty before God.” Matthew is labelled a “false teacher” who consecrated new bishops as “only in order to fulfill his own personal interests.”

1949 – Villagers around the convent in Keratea complain about screams coming from the convent. Passersby reported screams and moaning from the compound but officials did nothing as even doctors were not permitted on the grounds by the order of the abbess.

May 1950 - Vicar-Bishop Matthew of Bresthena dies, leaving a synod of uncanonically ordained bishops. He leaves behind a church named after him (Matthewites) founded on the breaking of the holy cannons.

November, 1950 - Government officials in Attica, Greece, receive many accusations and reports of inhumane treatment of children occurring in the Matthewite women’s convent in Keratea.

December 4, 1950 - 85 government officials and police officers at 6 o’clock in the morning invade the Matthewite convent in Keratea. They find 36 children, boys and girls, stunted in growth, pale, and frightened. They are all transported to the children’s hospital in Lavrion. Accusations abounded by neighbors of screaming sounds within the convent, of the the torturing of children and their disappearance only to know later that they died of tuberculosis and buried on the convent property. For many years the Abbess Mariam had for bidden any doctors from entering the convent.

1952 - Abbess Mariam of the Matthewite Keratea convent along with other nuns and monks are arrested. It was learned that Mariam had amassed a fortune of some $150,000 by embezzling the dowries of Greek woman who join the convent.

January 1953 - After one year of investigation, the trial of Mariam Soulakiotou, abbess of the Keratea convent, along with other nuns and monks, begins. The first trial lasts for 12 days. 41 witnesses denounce the gruesome details of life in the Keratea monastery. At one point the prosecutor interrupts a witness and says, “Keratea is a disgrace for all of Greece. The hairs of my head are standing up. Just think: 150 girls with tuberculosis died there.” Indeed the revelations that proceeded from the trial shock the nation of Greece. Abbess Mariam and another nun were sentenced to 10 years in prison and another nun was given a three-year sentence and a Matthewite bishop received one year prison sentence for extortion, embezzlement, fraud, and other offenses.

1953 - The trial of Abbess Mariam is reopened. It will take three trials to cover all the charges. She is arrested now on 23 charges, including murder, fraud, embezzlement, abduction, and assault. She is sentenced to 16 years in prison. According to sown medical testimony at the trial, it was shown that as a result of the severe beatings abbess Mariam imposed, at least 177 known inmates died at the “convent of horrors” in the town of Keratea.

1954 - Abbess Mariam Soulakiotou dies in the Averov Prison at the age of 71. She has become known as the worst mass murderess in modern Greek history. She and her elder Bishop Matthew (the prince and princess of prelest) had brought shame upon the old calendar movement in Greece. All the gruesome details of the merciless Mariam, the murders, the torture of innocent young boys and girls hung upside down naked and beaten to unconsciousness, inflicting tuberculosis on innocent young people, caging some like animals, resorting to starvation, homicide, fraud, forgery of wills, extortion, financial scandals, brainwashing, all in order to be sent “to paradise without sin”, to purge the new recruits of their “demons”, because she taught and practiced religious beatings on her followers as the only means of obtaining salvation.

All the repulsive accounts are not written here but they are all readily available in many many Greek newspaper reports from that time.

What is the lesson we learn from this history of the Matthewites? All that has started with disobedience and continues with disobedience ends in death.

+Archbishop Gregory

December 2018

Archbishop Gregory
Dormition Skete
P.O. Box 3177
Buena Vista, CO 81211-3177
Contact: Archbishop Gregory
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