Fr. Panteleimon Metropoulos’ (MA) Relationship with Elder Joseph the Hesychast and his Disciples:

NOTE: Although Fr. Panteleimon Metropoulos is not a part of Geronda Ephraim’s family, there are many overlaps between the two lineages, not to mention Fr. Panteleimon claims to have been a disciple of Elder Joseph the Hesychast.

Fr. Panteleimon Metropoulos.
Fr. Panteleimon Metropoulos.

Brief chronology of Fr. Panteleimon’s relationship with Elder Joseph the Hesychast and his disciples

• 1956: When Fr. Panteleimon was 21-years-old, he met Elder Joseph in 1956 and the newly tonsured rassaphore monk stayed with the Elder for 2 weeks at New Skete. From that point on, Fr. Panteleimon started calling himself a disciple of Elder Joseph (before visiting the Elder, he was a disciple of the abbot of St. Panteleimon’s Monastery, Mt Athos, where he was tonsured). It is uncertain if the fathers at New Skete knew that Fr. Panteleimon was under the authority of the abbot of St. Panteleimon’s Monastery and thus technically stealing a monk. The fathers say that Elder Joseph encouraged Fr. Panteleimon to leave the Holy Mountain.

Fr. Panteleimon visited him for about two weeks in 1956.
Fr. Panteleimon visited him for about two weeks in 1956.

• 1958: Fr. Panteleimon returned to the USA, a 22-year-old self-made “elder,” a new “disciple” of the Elder Joseph, and with the title of a monk and a new name “Fr. Panteleimon.” It is also believed Bishop Athenagoras Kokkinakis, dean of Holy Cross Seminary in Brookline, MA, ordained him to the diaconate.

Bishop Athenagoras Kokkinakis is believed to have ordained Fr. Panteleimon a deacon.
Bishop Athenagoras Kokkinakis is believed to have ordained Fr. Panteleimon a deacon.

• 1958: During this period Fr. Panteleimon received a letter from the Elder Joseph. The Elder Joseph exhorted him in this letter to pursue the virtue of purity. He talks about purity more than once and tries also to encourage the young man to love God first in his life. Only 3 of Elder Joseph’s monks started monasteries (Frs. Haralambos, Ephraim, and Joseph the Younger); these three monks lived with Elder Joseph for many years and were under blind obedience to him. What makes Fr. Panteleimon somewhat unique is the fact that he started a monastery, but was only a disciple of Fr. Joseph via having visited for two weeks, not as the others who lived with him for many years. Fr. Panteleimon states that Elder Joseph gave him a blessing to start a monastery.

Fr. Panteleimon Metropoulos called himself an elder in his early 20's.
Fr. Panteleimon Metropoulos called himself an elder in his early 20’s.

• 1959: Fr. Panteleimon wrote a letter to Elder Joseph informing him on his intention to return. Elder Joseph replied in April and told him not to come to Mount Athos. The Elder Joseph reposed on the feast of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary on August 28/15, 1959.

 The millionaire Pateras family from Athens was a benefactor to the fathers of New Skete.
The millionaire Pateras family from Athens was a benefactor to the fathers of New Skete.

• 1961: Fr. Panteleimon visits the Holy Mountain, and since the Pateras family from Athens was a benefactor to the fathers of New Skete, Fr. Panteleimon was directed by those fathers to extend their gratefulness to this family, and thus he became associated with them. (Note this is the same family that would later be involved in the Christine H. Coryell scandal: https://scottnevinssuicide.wordpress.com/2014/12/29/mother-evgeniki-myrtidiotissa-christine-h-coryell-newspaper-articles-from-1968/ .)

Holy Transfiguration Monastery/Brookline
Holy Transfiguration Monastery/Brookline

• 1962: Richard Stockton of Harvard University and former professor of Holy Cross Seminary was convinced by Panteleimon to purchase a house in Jamaica Plain, MA. The house became Holy Transfiguration Monastery. The young monk, Panteleimon, in his 20s, calling himself an Elder, found that people had difficulties being obedient to him who had never spent even one year under obedience himself.

In 1963, Fr. Panteleimon was tonsured a great-schema monk at New Skete by Elder Arsenios, the co-struggler of Elder Joseph the Hesychast.
In 1963, Fr. Panteleimon was tonsured a great-schema monk at New Skete by Elder Arsenios, the co-struggler of Elder Joseph the Hesychast.

• 1963: During a visit to the Holy Mountain, Fr. Panteleimon was tonsured a great-schema monk at New Skete by Elder Arsenios, the co-struggler of the Elder Joseph. The Church however, ordains that a man should remain a novice for three years of testing before he is tonsured into the Great Schema. The Fathers on the Holy Mountain made use of economia in this case since they tonsured someone they really did not know, except for the fact that he was a disciple of the Elder Joseph by correspondence.

Elder Arsenios and the Fathers of New Skete. John Adondakis (Fr. Isaac of Brookline, MA) is on bottom right.
Elder Arsenios and the Fathers of New Skete. John Adondakis (Fr. Isaac of Brookline, MA) is on bottom right.

• 1964: Around this time, the young 29-year-old monk was ordained a priest. It is said that the millionaire abbess, Mother Maria Pateras, paid Metropolitan Vasilios of the Jerusalem Patriarchate—one one of the many bishops of the Jerusalem Patriarchate who lived with a concubine—to ordain Fr. Panteleimon a priest.

Mother Maria Pateras paid Metropolitan Vasilios of the Jerusalem Patriarchate to ordain Deacon Panteleimon a priest.
Mother Maria Pateras paid Metropolitan Vasilios of the Jerusalem Patriarchate to ordain Deacon Panteleimon a priest.

• 1965: Up until 1965, Holy Transfiguration Monastery was under the Greek Archdiocese. It would most likely have stayed that way for years to come had not the fathers of the Holy Mountain strongly recommended that the monastery be taken to the Russian Church Abroad, under the confessing bishops of that Church. The young “elder” did not have the spiritual discernment to make this move on his own. It was only when they, the monks of New Skete and St. Paul’s Monastery told him that if he did not leave the Greek Archdiocese, they would sever whatever connection they had with him.

• 1967: Fr. Panteleimon was caught and arrested for smuggling while attempting to return from a visit to Greece. He was incarcerated and the abbess, Maria Pateras, used her influence to have him transferred to her home under house arrest. Shortly afterwards, he obtained his passport and Abbess Maria immediately bought him a ticket for the next plane to Boston.

The Russian Convent in Lesna, France, where Father Panteliemon was caught attempting to steal a portion of their relics.
The Russian Convent in Lesna, France, where Father Panteliemon was caught attempting to steal a portion of their relics.

• It should be noted that almost all the relics that are at Holy Transfiguration Monastery have been smuggled out of Greece. These relics and reliquaries came from the Holy Mountain and more specifically from the monastery of St. Panteleimon. The Russian monks there at that time, when they understood that Fr. Panteleimon was in the Russian Church Abroad, gave him many relics to smuggle from the Holy Mountain and smuggle out of Greece to America.

Geronda Ephraim calls Fr. Panteleimon Metropoulos a spiritual brother in a homily.
Geronda Ephraim calls Fr. Panteleimon Metropoulos a spiritual brother in a homily.

Geronda Ephraim mentions in a cassette homily On the Old and New Calendar that he had visited Fr. Panteleimon Metropoulos in Boston and talked with him:

“…And I, with Fr. Panteleimon, who is in Boston, America. Namely, Fr. Aresenios, the little old man that we have today, as you know, is the next after Elder Joseph, he took as a great schema, and I read as the chaplain in the skete where we were. Fr. Panteleimon removes the ordination of deacon by Athengoras of Thyatira. You know, the one who left history as a non-Orthodox in London—he was the first bishop in Boston and afterwards became bishop of Thyatira, England. Then, Fr. Panteleimon came as a deacon and we co-liturgized below. In the meantime, Fr. Panteleimon was with the New Calendarist Thyatira when he was in Boston, with the church of Iakovos. Then he became a priest in Jerusalem, by the Jerusalem Church, which is perfectly understood to be with the entire Church and is not with the Old Calendarists. He received the ordination from there, too right from both sides. But now he believes that there is no salvation nor…well, to us it is clear I believe it.

When I asked him then, “Father, are you with the Old Calendarists?”

He told me, “No. I’m neither with the Old Calendarists or the New Calendarists.”

Anyway, he has his own firm line and he says that there is no salvation except on his onw side, and he doesn’t commune or confess to people of the New Calendar. Of course, this happened in front of me and no one can tell me that I am wrong. When I went to Boston and went to his monastery, these things happened in front of me and I know them. Certainly, we are spiritual brothers and we have love, etc., but we utterly disagree in these respects. My own geronda told him, amongst other things, that, just as you believe him to be a saint and you have his holy relics and you do miracles with the relic of Geronda, so our Geronda died in the Church, we are ordained by the Bishop, who was in the Church and even then when we were ordained, we commemorated the Ecumenical Patriarch—who was Athengoras then—and Geronda was sanctified in the Church. Now how can we say that this Church, which sanctified Geronda, is heretical? It is terrible! …Better with the error of the calendar in the Church than to become a super-Orthodox and be found outside of the Church by dogmatizing that the mysteries are invalid and men are not saved…”

Geronda Ephraim calls Fr. Panteleimon  Metropoulos  a spiritual brother in a homily.
Geronda Ephraim calls Fr. Panteleimon Metropoulos a spiritual brother in a homily.

• It should also be noted that there are some interesting similarities in the founding of Greek monasteries in America. Almost 3 years after Fr. Panteleimon started a monastery in Massachusetts (1962), he left the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and joined ROCOR (1965). Almost 3 years after Geronda Ephraim started a monastery in Pennsylvania (1989), he left the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese [and Ecumenical Patriarchate] and joined ROCOR (1991); though he returned to the EP/GOA less than a year later. Almost 20 years after joining ROCOR, Fr. Panteleimon broke communion with all churches and started his own exclusive church. Almost 25 years after leaving ROCOR, there is serious talk among Geronda Ephraim’s monasteries of breaking communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the GOA. Fr. Panteleimon was caught stealing relics from a monastery in Europe that he would have brought back to display in his own monastery. Geronda Ephraim was not caught stealing relics from a monastery in Europe (i.e. Elder Joseph’s skull from Filotheou Monastery, etc.) to bring back for display at his own monastery.

The monks of Mount Athos have recently released a 130 page document concerning Ecumenism:

https://lessonsfromamonastery.wordpress.com/2014/12/15/athonite-fathers-release-important-and-timely-70-page-document/

https://lessonsfromamonastery.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/cf80ceb5cf81ceb9cebfceb4ceb9cebacf8c-ceb1ceb3ceafcebfcf85-cf8ccf81cebfcf85cf82-pdf.pdf

SOURCES:

A Brief Biography of Fr. Panteleiomon Metropoluos: http://www.hocna.info/FrPanteliemonBiography-Part1.shtml

• Geronda Ephraim of Arizona, Concerning the Old and New Calendar:

Audio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHgtM4KizXM

Text: http://www.impantokratoros.gr/7DAC5285.el.aspx

Elder Joseph encouraged Fr. Panteleimon to go to America, Elder Arsenios gave him the great schema...
Elder Joseph encouraged Fr. Panteleimon to go to America, Elder Arsenios gave him the great schema…

Arsenios Death to the world

Mother Evgeniki Myrtidiotissa [Christine H. Coryell] (Newspaper articles from 1968)

NOTE: Though this story has nothing to do with Geronda Ephraim’s monasteries, it does involve a monk who was a “disciple” of Elder Joseph the Hesychast and who Geronda Ephraim has described in the past as a “spiritual brother”: Fr. Panteleimon Metropoulos. As well, one will notice a similarity in patterns of manipulation and brainwashing with some of the ex-monastic stories from Geronda Ephraim’s monasteries: In 1968, a year after an emotional breakdown, an emotionally unstable 23-year-old female convert goes to a convent in Greece for a “spiritual retreat” and she never leaves. A couple months later her father goes to Greece, visits the convent, sees his daughter in “dire mental condition, who refuses to leave out of fear of losing her soul.” Despite the cooperation of the Greek government, Greek Orthodox Church officials and the U.S. Embassy in Athens, the father was unable to get his daughter released from the Convent. The daughter is moved around to undisclosed locations, etc. Not much is heard of afterwards, but according to her father’s obituary in 2010, she was still alive and still a nun with the name Mother Evgeniki Myrtidiotissa. The following are some newspaper articles from 1968 about the incident:

Christine Coryell in Greek Convent

Coach Claims Niece held Against Will (Eugene Register-Guard – Jan 13, 1968)

WASHINGTON (UPI)—The despairing efforts of a Seattle family to free their daughter from a convent on a remote Greek island were described Friday by Don Coryell, the girl’s uncle and head football coach at San Diego State College.
Coryell charged the girl, Christine H. Coryell, 23, had been “brainwashed” and coerced into staying in the I.M. Evangelismos Convent on the island of Oinoussas, Khios, Greece.
The California coach said his brother, George C. Coryell, was still in Greece trying to get his daughter released from the convent which she entered last August for a 10 to 15 day “spiritual retreat.”
Coryell said the girl needed medical treatment because of a history of emotional instability but her father had been unable to get her released despite the cooperation of the Greek government, Greek Orthodox church officials and the U.S. Embassy in Athens.
Coryell broke down and had trouble speaking at times as he described conditions reported at the convent during a news conference held in the office of Sen. Thomas H. Kuchel, R-Calif.
Coryell said the abbess was a Mrs. Patera, who was wealthy and apparently had great influence on the remote island a few miles from the coast of Turkey.
“You can’t have the girl,” Coryell quoted her as telling his brother. “The police are mine and the judges are my friends.”

“You can’t have the girl. The police are mine and the judges are my friends.” - Mother Maria Pateras
“You can’t have the girl. The police are mine and the judges are my friends.” – Mother Maria Pateras

Both Kuchel and Sen. Warren G. Magnoson, D-Wash., have taken an interest in the case, and Kuchel has asked Greek Orthodox Church officials in this country to look into the matter.
Miss Coryell termed the account given in Washington by her uncle Friday as “nonsense.”
Contacted from Athens by telephone, she said her uncle’s story was “completely inaccurate.”
“It has been entirely my own decision and I have made it without any coercion. It has been a free decision and I have no intention of changing it,” she said.

Eugene Register-Guard – Jan 13, 1968.
Eugene Register-Guard – Jan 13, 1968.

‘SPELL’ CHARGED: Seattleite Said Convent Captive
The Spokesman-Review – Jan 13, 1968

WASHINGTON (AP)—A 23-year-old Seattle woman has been held since August in a convent on a Greek island despite the efforts of her family to free her, her uncle reported Friday.
Don Coryell, football coach at San Diego State College, said Christine H. Coryell apparently has been brainwashed and is under the hypnotic spell of the convent abbess, a Mrs. Patera, identified as a member of a wealthy Greek shipping family.
Coryell said authorities of the Greek Orthodox Church, both in the United States and in Greece, have tried to help but claim to have no jurisdiction over the non-affiliated convent.
He said the women’s father, George C. Coryell, Seattle, has been in Greece nearly two months seeking Christine’s release. He said the father visited the convent and found his daughter in dire mental condition, afraid to leave the convent for fear of the loss of her soul.
The uncle related the story at a news conference in the office of Sen. Thomas H. Kuchel, R-Calif., after an appeal to Greek Orthodox Church authorities in New York.

Retreat Planned

Christine, he said, became converted to the Greek Orthodox faith while studying Russian as a language major at the University of Washington, where her mother is a counselor.
Through a Greek Orthodox priest in Seattle, he said, Christine became acquainted with a Boston monk, Father Panteleimon, and worked for him as a secretary for two months last spring at the Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Boston.
As a result of correspondence with Father Panteleimon during a trip through Europe last summer, Coryell said Christine decided to make a 10-to-15-day spiritual retreat at the convent in Oinoussa,, Chios, in August.
Coryell said her visit to the convent was prolonged to await a visit to the convent by the Boston monk.

Fr. Panteleimon Metropoulos called himself an elder in his early 20's.
Fr. Panteleimon Metropoulos called himself an elder in his early 20’s.

The family became alarmed, Coryell said, by letters from acquaintances of Christine and reports from a girl who had been in the convent about the conditions there.
Coryell said the abbess had already once defied a court order obtained by his brother for Christine’s release, and had implied influence over local police.
Coryell said he had discussed the case with the State Department, which he said had offered suggestions but disclaimed power to exert pressure.

Pacific Stars and Stripes January 15, 1968.
Pacific Stars and Stripes January 15, 1968.

Battle Brewing
Reading Eagle – Jan 15, 1968, p. 2

The wealthy abbess of a Greek island convent accused of holding a 23-year-old Seattle girl prisoner has vowed never to let her return to the secular life. “I have in my hand a diamond of great value. In order for anyone to get that diamond, they have to cut off my arm,” she was quoted as saying. The abbess’ words were repeated by the Rev. Neketas S. Palassis, the Greek Orthodox priest who converted young Christine Coryell to the faith three years ago. He said he believed she had voluntarily become a nun in the convent at Oinoussa on the tiny island of Chios. Mrs. George Coryell, the girl’s mother, charged that Christine was being held “virtual prisoner” in the convent. She believed her daughter was “brainwashed and intimidated” with threats of Damnation.

“I have in my hand a diamond of great value. In order for anyone to get that diamond, they have to cut off my arm,” Mother Maria about Christine.
“I have in my hand a diamond of great value. In order for anyone to get that diamond, they have to cut off my arm,” Mother Maria about Christine.

Meeting Arranged
Reading Eagle – Jan 28, 1968, p. 17

The widowed founder of a Greek island convent says her 23-year-old American convert, Christine Coryell, has retired to “an unknown place to meditate” but will meet with her father in Athens next Wednesday. Miss Coryell’s father George, of Seattle, Wash., said Thursday he had filed suit against Mrs. Katingo Pateras, the wealthy widow, complaining she unduly influenced Christine to enter the convent. The Seattle girl joined Mrs. Pateras’ “Evangelismos” convent last August during a visit to Greece. Her father has been in Athens since November trying to persuade his daughter to return home. Miss Coryell said earlier this month she had made her own decision of her own free will and would remain in the convent on the isle of Oinoussai “for the rest of my life.”

Christine’s mother, charged that she was being held “virtual prisoner” in the convent. She believed her daughter was “brainwashed and intimidated” with threats of Damnation.
Christine’s mother, charged that she was being held “virtual prisoner” in the convent. She believed her daughter was “brainwashed and intimidated” with threats of Damnation.
Daily Aster, Tuesday, January 30, 1968, p. 1.
Daily Aster, Tuesday, January 30, 1968, p. 1.

Coryell’s Niece Leaves Greek Convent
Daily Aster, Tuesday, January 30, 1968, pp. 1 & 2

Christine Coryell, 23-year-old niece of SDS football coach Don Coryell, has left the island convent where she has allegedly been held captive since last August.
Her father, George Coryell of Seattle, Wash., thinks she is still a captive, however.
He told Associated Press in Athens that his daughter left the “evangelismos” convent on Friday afternoon (Jan. 19) and left the island the next day.
Coryell, who has been on the island of Oinoussas, Chios Greece, for two months trying to get his daughter released, said it he saw Christine “fleetingly from a distance as she was boarding a ship in Chios under furtive circumstances in company of Mrs. Pateras and others of the convent.”

Mrs. Pateras is the 56 year-old heiress of a Greek shipping fortune (estimated at $220 million) who founded the convent.

Coryell said it was impossible to follow his daughter.

Miss Coryell, who converted to the Greek Orthodox Church three years ago, went to the convent for a short retreat after the death of a close friend from Cyprus.

Religious Scandal

Her father has been unable to obtain her release through the Greek Orthodox Church because it doesn’t recognize the convent.

Msgr. Chrysostomos, the metropolitan of Chios, told reporters in Athens that the convent is a “religious scandal.”

Msgr. Chrysostomos, the metropolitan of Chios, told reporters in Athens that the convent is a “religious scandal.”
Msgr. Chrysostomos, the metropolitan of Chios, told reporters in Athens that the convent is a “religious scandal.”

The State Department has also been unable to act because Miss Coryell had said she was staying at the convent of her own free will. The civil officials in Greece also couldn’t get Miss Coryell released for the same reason.

Coryell has filed a complaint against Mrs. Pateras with the district attorney of Chios Island charging that Mrs. Pateras “influenced Miss Coryell to remain in the convent.”

He said she was ordered to appear before the magistrate in Chios.

Court Rule on Girl

Coach Coryell said here that the magistrate ruled that Miss Coryell was being held “under the influence and control of Mrs. Pateras.”

He also said that the Greek government ordered his niece deported when her visa expired last Tuesday.

One Greek girl, Folo Bakatselou, 18, escaped after a four-month stay at the convent by stealing the keys.

Miss Bakatselou described how the mail addressed to the members of the convent was censored and of seeing the abbess tearing up Miss Coryell’s mail.

Drugs

“We had to take two types of pills or medicine every day. When we asked the abbess what they were she laughed at us and gave no answer. Christine told me many times she wanted to leave but they talked and talked to her and broke her will and kept changing her mind,” said Miss Bakatselou.

She also said the girls had to kiss the mummified hand of Mrs. Pateras’ daughter, whose partially decomposed body was kept in a glass coffin.

The girls had to kiss the mummified hand of Mrs. Pateras’ daughter, whose partially decomposed body was kept in a glass coffin.
The girls had to kiss the mummified hand of Mrs. Pateras’ daughter, whose partially decomposed body was kept in a glass coffin.

Miss Coryell was apparently persuaded to visit the convent by two women she met in Boston through a Father Panteleimon, elder of the 10-man Holy Transfiguration Monastery there. Father Panteleimon recently called charges that Miss Coryell was being held against her will “preposterous” and asserted he never knew her or corresponded with her.

Mental Condition

Miss Coryell’s doctor said her release was absolutely imperative because she had an emotional breakdown a year ago and could be easily influenced by mental “suggestion” and her “mental process subjected to control by other persons.”

UPI recently reported that Miss Coryell had said in a telephone interview that she was not being held against her will. Christine’s mother, commenting on the interview, said she wasn’t sure UPI had actually talked to Christine and that if they had Christine wasn’t really speaking her true feelings.

Chicago Tribune January 13, 1968 (p. 1)
Chicago Tribune January 13, 1968 (p. 1)
"Greek Abbess is Accused of Brainwashing" Chicago Tribune, January 13, 1968
“Greek Abbess is Accused of Brainwashing” Chicago Tribune, January 13, 1968

Mysterious Nun Faces Charges
Ellensburg Daily Record – May 14, 1968, p. 3

ATHENS (AP)—A young novitiate nun from America whose family claims she was held captive in a Greek island convent was reported today to be staying somewhere in Athens in the care of the convent’s abbess.
Her lawyer denied reports that the girl, Christine Coryell, 23, of Seattle, was under arrest.
She faces charges of insulting authority. Her trial, which was due to start Monday before a military tribunal, has been postponed because of a court ruling that she had not been summoned in time.
No new trial date has been fixed, her lawyer said.
The charges were filed after two gendarmes went to the monastery and told her she would have to leave Greece because her residence permit had expired last February. The police claimed Miss Coryell allegedly insulted them.
If convicted, she could get up to three years in prison.
Miss Coryell was one of 10 nuns in the convent of the Annunciation on the tiny islet of Oinoussai, off the Turkish coast.
Her family claimed she was being held in the convent against her will and under the influence of abbess, Mrs. Pateras, a 56-year-old member of a well known shipping family, founded the convent after her only daughter died.

Mother Maria Pateras and her daughter, Irene.
Mother Maria Pateras and her daughter, Irene.
"She's Captive in a Convent" Chicago Tribune, January 14, 1968.
“She’s Captive in a Convent” Chicago Tribune, January 14, 1968.