Met. Hierotheos Vlachos: Texts of “The Holy and Great Council” Distinguished by “Creative Ambiguity” and Other Flaws

[T]he final text is...distinguished by its “creative ambiguity”...imbued with baptismal theology and the branch theory...and moved slightly, but consciously, away from the principle of exclusivity and towards the principle of inclusiveness. [I]t is strange for a Hierarch to invoke former professors and not the Prophets, the Apostles and the Church Fathers, which is what he confessed at his ordination as Bishop. — Met. Hierotheos Source: AOIUSA Original Text in … [Read more...]

Pilgrimage to Russia: Part V–Nizhni-Novgorod

NIZHNI-NOVGOROD Nizni-Novgorod was out of the way. Most tours go straight from Moscow to St Petersburg, that is to say in a northwest direction. Nizhni-Novgorod is to the east and somewhat south of Moscow. This was necessary because this city was a stopping-off point for Diyeyevo Convent. The name Nizhni-Novgorod means "Lower Novgorod." During the Soviet period it was called Gorky, in honor of Maxim Gorky, one of the founders of the Bolshevik state and who happened to be born there. … [Read more...]

“You’ve Got Mail!”

I'm sorry, but I'm having too good a time with all this. Really, it's so hard for me to wrap my head around all the complexity that all I can do is sit back and laugh. So when I saw this parody over on Instapundit, I had to go with it. I'll fill in the blanks later. (You can too for that matter.) Let's just say for now that it looks like the reason Loretta Lynch didn't indict Hillary is because Hillary's got the goods on Obama. In the meantime, grab the popcorn or whatever … [Read more...]

The “Illiberalism” of Putin’s Russia

For years now, we have heard that Russia is a retrograde state. In my opinion it's mainly because it has not bought into the West's ideas about homosexuality. And of course, there's Vladimir Putin, authoritarian, thug and general all-around bad-ass. Or so we are supposed to believe. Reality however is more complicated. Please take a gander at the map. If you're a progressive and anti-Semitism, xenophobia and racism are your primary concerns, you would have to admit that Russia is on … [Read more...]

More Deplorable Stuff

Check out the flag above her right hand. My guess is that she was visiting Bill's dorm room where she subjected him to Alinskyite ravings before allowing him to have his way with her. All I can say is it's sure getting crowded here in our basket. I expect the Crybullies (aka Social Justice Warriors) to go on a rampage any moment now. I mean, let's not be hypocrites now, capiche? It's the least they could do since they took The Dukes of Hazzard out of circulation. To think I'll never … [Read more...]

American Psychological Association Course Correction: Sexual Orientation and ‘Gender Identity’ Not Fixed After All

I just saw this over at AIO and asked for permission to reprint it here. The comments above the essay are by Fr. Hans Jacobse. I endorse what he wrote especially this: Closer to home apologists for retooling the Orthodox moral tradition such as Fr. Robert Arida and Fr. Christopher Calin need to reconsider their positions. Fr. Hans Jacobse writes: In what could be called a stunning reversal, Dr. Lisa Diamond, a top researcher of the American Psychological Association (APA) and … [Read more...]

It’s All So Deplorable

As a card-carrying member of The Deplorables, it's getting rather crowded in our, er, deplorable Basket. But look who else is fixing to join us! I mean, how deplorable is that? Why, it's sexist, racist and xenophobic all in one! It's foreign girls who work in those Haitian sweatshops. Too bad they're not Moslem or lesbian, then she would have hit the trifecta! Really, what more can be said? She has tin ear for politics that's second to none. It's one thing to call your opponent a … [Read more...]

Things Just Got Interesting

In an already interesting political season, things got even more caterwhampus yesterday. Following are some random thoughts: 1. By now, you've all seen the videos of Hillary Clinton stumbling into her SUV. Not good. And this coming on the heels of her "basket of deplorables" speech before a group of elitists. (I was going to comment on that but this story just got pushed off the front pages for the time being.) 2. To my mind, her manhandling by the Secret Service was an apt metaphor … [Read more...]

Remember, Remember, the 11th of September!

On my way to church but I've decided to break a rule and blog something. As you know, today is the fifteenth anniversary of the attack on the Twin Towers in New York City. Now in my fifties, I was old enough to remember exactly where I was and what I was doing. I'd dropped off the kids to school and came back to whip up a quick breakfast for myself before I went to work. Bored, I turned on the TV, it was ABC and Peter Jennings who had told us that a plane had crashed into one of the two … [Read more...]

Pilgrimage to Russia: Part IV –Departure to Nizhni-Novgorod

DAY FOUR: LAST DAY IN MOSCOW Fr Ilya told us that we needed to pack up our belongings because today would be the last day in Moscow. Among the highlights would be Ss Mary and Martha Convent and the Tretyakov Gallery. Our hotel actually packed us all a sack lunch because we wouldn't have supper (or so they thought). How thoughtful! SS MARY AND MARTHA CONVENT This was a delightful step back into Edwardian times. The convent was founded by Grand Duchess Elizabeth Fyodorovna Romanova, the … [Read more...]

Sodom: Russia Resists the Rise of the Homosexual Cult

Every now and then, things get hot and heavy on Monomakhos when certain topics get brought up, especially those having to do with cultural issues and how they impact society and/or the Church. Homosexuality is definitely one of those topics. Personally, I'm a live-and-let-live type of guy. Always have been, always will be. Unfortunately, the growing acceptance of homosexuality has not been reciprocated. For all intents and purposes, we are in the grips of a totalitarian cult that not … [Read more...]

Time for Another Time-Out

Every so often, Your's Truly has to send in the referee to break up a fracas. Or simply to set a reset. Even chart a new course. This is one of those times. However, it's not because of the intensity of the commentary (I like that) but the volume, the sheer number of comments that is to say. Usually on Monomakhos, I have a manageable number of comments greeting me at the end of a long workday. Not anymore. The number of comments has exploded and a lot of things get lost in the … [Read more...]

I Wonder What This Is all about?

It's rather curious, but there is a whole contingent of people in the Orthodox Church who are rather exercised about Orthodox hierarchs giving their blessing to armies and navies.  They are particularly vexed when they see Serbian priests blessing the weapons of Serbian militias and when it comes to Patriarch Kirill blessing new Russian naval vessels --well, don't get me started. Let's just say that the screaming and caterwauling can be deafening.  Something about "Orthodox jihadism" if … [Read more...]

Who’s Minding the Store?

A few years ago, during the unpleasantness of Metropolitan Jonah's defenestration, I made a prediction that if Jonah was removed from office, then the OCA would never amount to much. I stand by this. That's not necessarily a bad thing however. The OCA, under the maladministration of Syosset needs a break. Sometimes no news is good news. Still, the modernist mindset has never really gone away. Oh sure, their brain trust took a hit with the self-removal of Protodeacon Eric Wheeler. … [Read more...]

Pilgrimage to Russia: Part III–Sergeiev Posad, Radonezh, the Killing Fields

AUTHOR'S NOTE I appreciate everybody's patience. My mind is still swimming from all the memories and my notes are a jumble of orthographic poultry-glyphs. In addition, I find that my memories are dynamic giving my writings regarding this pilgrimage a stream-of-consciousness type of narrative. Thoughts and observations interject and I sometimes feel the need to insert them. This means that the flow is not entirely chronological. Forgive me. FIRST NIGHT: THE ARBAT Anyway, the first night … [Read more...]

Pilgrimage to Russia: Intermezzo

Brethren and Sistren, I haven't forgotten about my pilgrimage updates, to which I'll return early this week. In the meantime, I'd like to post recollections from our tour leader, Fr Ilya Gotlinski. (Fr Ilya is planning a tour to Georgia this Fall for those interested. If I hadn't used all my vacation time I'd certainly want to go!) The photo is of our group while on the island of Valaam. See if you can spot Your's Truly. Next: Part III: Sergei Posad, Radonezh, Butovo My … [Read more...]

The Russian Orthodox Church As An Instrument of Soft Power in the Balkans

Before I get back to my travel journal, I'd like to post something that came my way from one of our many readers. It's about Russia and its confrontation witNATO. It delves into a cultural element that quite frankly, escapes the modern, deracinated mind of Western men. Truth be told, I was going to hold it until after my journal was complete but recent events between Russia and Turkey have made it timely. Needless to say, I am intrigued by the masterful subversion of Turkey by Putin. … [Read more...]

A Harbinger of Things to Come

Things are getting hot and heavy. Politically, institutionally and culturally, we're on the edge of a collective nervous breakdown. There is no doubt anymore in my considered opinion that our Elite believes that Traditional Christianity needs to be brought to heel. This thought first came to my mind last year after the San Bernardino atrocity, in which an "American" couple slaughtered 14 of their co-workers in cold blood. What iced it for me was that this couple had turned their home into … [Read more...]

The Decline of American Empire

Events in recent times have taken an interesting turn (to say the least). My own recent visit to Russia expanded my horizons substantially. Simply put, much of what we are being told about that country is neither fair nor accurate. The steady drumbeat for war we hear is not warranted by any stretch of the imagination. The question is why? Why do we continually hear over the decades a call to "spread democracy" throughout the Arab world? Why does this call mandate the removal of secular … [Read more...]

Pilgrimage to Russia: Part II–Moscow & Environs

[EDITOR'S NOTE: My recollections are based on notes and will be sketchy and hurried at times. I don't want to bore you so I beg your understanding.] MONDAY: JULY 19: DONSKOY MONASTERY, THE KREMLIN AND RED SQUARE The sun rises in Russia early in the summertime. I caught glimpses of daybreak around 4:00 am. I wished I'd taken the sleep mask with me as I am very sensitive to sunlight. Once I see daylight, I find it very hard to get back to sleep. Denny on the other and sleeps like a … [Read more...]