Why We Shouldn’t Have Unnecessary Councils

You see, it's stuff like this that tees me off: http://orthochristian.com/109353.html His Eminence, Hierotheos Vlachos, Metropolitan of Nafpaktos was basically brutalized by his brother bishops while attending the Council of Crete. As he told the story, the pressure on him was so intense that he had to barricade the door to his hotel room with chairs so they wouldn't break in and continue to harass him. This is not an example of a sterling Christian witness in any way, shape, manner or … [Read more...]

Errata

This morning, while publishing comments, Your's Truly accidentally deleted a very poignant comment regarding one poster's visit to a homeless shelter. I can't remember who it was that posted it but it was very dramatic. Please forgive me. I can't honestly remember which one of you was the poster. If you could, could you please post it again? I promise not to delete it again. Thanks! --Monomakhos … [Read more...]

Losing the Culture: An Example of a Perfect Storm

Every now and then events collide and give the lie to the proglibs who think those of us who are conservative are overheated in our concerns. Even better, a comment is made on this blog which is then buttressed by an incident which comes out of nowhere. By way of example, a fairly new poster wrote something very profound (in my opinion) about mandated government schooling. I'm sure it will cause consternation in some circles. There are many reasons to oppose government schooling and the … [Read more...]

Church and State: An Alternative Understanding?

Recently, there has been a lively discussion about the respective roles of Church and State and their necessary separation. The predominant opinion is that unless they are separated, the detriment to the Church is always deleterious. In other words, the State will eventually deform the Church and make it do its bidding. Like most Americans, I've always thought along these lines, being as that we've long been taught that this was the case. This is simplistic however. Upon closer … [Read more...]

Pilgrimage to Russia: 2018

A few of you have noted that I had written that I'd be going on a pilgrimage to Russia this July and have expressed an interest in coming along. It's the centenary of the death of the Tsar-martyr Nicholas II and his wife and children. Those going on this trip will visit the various places associated with the Romanovs, beginning in St Petersburg and ending in Yekaterinburg (where they were shot). Needless to say, I'm excited. Rather than answer all the questions addressed to me … [Read more...]

The Frankie Horror Picture Show

There is an old Russian saying: "it is better to see something once than to read about it seven times". The American variant is "one picture is worth a thousand words". You get the picture. Literally. I seriously don't know what possessed the Roman Curia to come up with his "Nativity Display". It's wrong on so many levels. I still haven't been able to process it completely. Maybe y'all can help. Regardless, I really wanted to start of the New Year with something upbeat. … [Read more...]

Did Somebody Just Let the Cat Out of the Bag?

We here at Monomakhos are greatly encouraged by the level of discourse here. We're also gratified by the quality of many of our correspondents and the information that they bring to the table. Lately, one in particular, a Mr Greatly Saddened has provided us with a lot of information that we would not be privy to and for that, we thank him. Of especial interest, is something that he posted the other day. I'm sure many of you read it but in case you didn't (and I highly recommend that you … [Read more...]

The Queen’s Speech: An Oldie but Goodie

Last year The King's Speech, a movie about England's King George VI, garnered most of the Academy Awards and deservedly so. It was a magnificent picture filled with superb performances and wonderful dialogue. But there was something more profound at work, what we could call an unapologetic Christian subtext which I believe was responsible for its popularity at the box office. In this sense, it was somewhat similar to Mel Gibson's epic The Passion of the Christ, although much more understated of … [Read more...]

The Long Cold Civil War: Part III –The Puritan Insurgency

INTRODUCTION: THE DEMOGRAPHIC DIVISIONS IN MODERN-DAY AMERICA First of all, I apologize for my overdue discursus on the subject of American demography. It seems that I can only do about one sequel a year. Also I ask for forgiveness for the length of these pieces. Anyway, as you can probably tell, I'm fascinated by demographics and genetics, which I view as two sides of the same coin. And, as most of my readers are American, I've long been interested in what makes America tick. It is my … [Read more...]

What “Consensus” Is Pope Francis Talking About?

Well, they're at it again. Ordinarily, Yours' Truly likes to take a two to three day breather after publishing an essay or posting a news-story on Monomakhos. It gives everybody a chance to catch up on things, think about them and engage in a conversation if they feel so inclined. I especially like doing so after posting a piece that is educational, especially if it has something to do with history, Patristics or Scripture. Unfortunately, something broke which I believe to be … [Read more...]

The Septuagint vs the Masoretic Text: Which is More Authentic?

For decades now, I've been fascinated by the Septuagint, the Old Testament as it was written in excellent Attic Greek. The story goes that King Ptolemy II Philadelphos had gathered seventy Jewish sages and gave them all the resources they needed to translate the Hebrew Scriptures into ancient Greek. One reason of course was because Hebrew was essentially a liturgical language mostly unintelligible to the majority of Jews. That and the fact that those Jews who lived in Egypt and northern … [Read more...]

Another City: An Early Christmas Present

Finally, some good news to report on the Orthodox front! Another City, a new Orthodox journal was just launched and in my humble opinion, may very well prove to be one of the better internet journals we've seen in a while. I'm very excited at its prospects, believing as I do that it will be a bracing antidote to what we find in non-traditionalist media such as Public Orthodoxy and The Wheel. Now is not the time for Orthodoxy to conform itself to the world but to shine the light of … [Read more...]

Things Aren’t Any Better in the Great White North

Well, this is definitely not good. Thanks to Greatly Saddened, one of our more prolific commentators, it has come to our attention that there is a scandal brewing in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Canada. You can read it for yourself here: www.torontosun.com/news/local-news/mandel-greek-community-of-toronto-lawsuit-claims-unholy-pilfering-by-greek-orthodox-church. It's tawdry to the extreme and it plays to the worst stereotype of Greeks. When I was growing up, if something … [Read more...]

Victory in Syria?

Well, this is interesting. RT reported yesterday that President Vladimir Putin is ordering the withdrawal of some Russian troops from Syria. http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2017/12/11/putin-russian-troops-withdrawing-syria/ This brings up a whole lot of questions. First of all, I can't imagine this happening if the Christian minorities were still in peril. I'm sure that Patriarch John X of Antioch must have given him positive information while he was in Moscow recently. Of … [Read more...]

Meanwhile, Over in Moscow…

...you can see something really wonderful. The primates of several autocephalous Orthodox churches recently concelebrated the Divine Liturgy at Christ the Saviour Cathedral. The chief celebrant was His Holiness Pope Theodore II, Patriarch of Alexandria and all-Africa. Conspicuous in his absence was His Holiness, the Ecumenical Patriarch. We can talk about the inside baseball aspects of this gathering, for my part, I take comfort and great joy in the magnificence of Orthodox worship. … [Read more...]

Can This Archdiocese be Saved?

Buckle your seat-belts because there's more awful news coming out of 79th St. The Pappas Post revealed today that the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese has defaulted on the payments to Skanska, the construction company tasked with building the St Nicholas Shrine at Ground Zero. (You can read the story for yourself here: http://www.pappaspost.com/archdiocese-defaults-payments-construction-company-work-st-nicholas-halted/) As of now, Monomakhos doesn't know how much has been lost on the project … [Read more...]

Orthodoxy and Government

INTRODUCTION: THE NECESSITY OF THE STATE OK, this is my long-awaited (by some at least) essay on government and the Orthodox Christian response to it. It's by no means exhaustive or complete and I'll wind up adding more as time and circumstances permit. As such, I ask for everyone's forbearance in this matter. But first, some caveats. First of all, it should not be surprising that we who are Orthodox view reality through a spiritual lens. This is at it should be, mainly because a … [Read more...]

Another Bad Day at Black Rock (I Mean 79th Street)

In a previous essay which I published several years ago, when the tenure of Metropolitan Jonah Paffhausen was still in doubt, Yours Truly made a prediction that if the Syosset apparatchiks succeeded in removing Jonah from the primacy, then there would be very little left to write about regarding Orthodoxy in general. At least of a positive nature. Some questioned me as to why I didn't single out the OCA (which was the offending jurisdiction). Honestly, I don't know why I made my prediction … [Read more...]

What Would C S Lewis Say about Our Present Moral Panic?

Just when I think that we've ventured into new territory and that there is no going back, or that things presently are so hysterical that we will never return to normalcy, a gift (in the form of a YouTube) finds its way onto my playlist. The gift in question comes from C S "Jack" Lewis, the foremost Christian apologist of the mid-twentieth century. In this discourse, Lewis is talking about a sex-addled society. (Believe it or not, this was given back in 1942!) Now, some might object that … [Read more...]

The Turning of the Tables

It's all rather astounding to me. I'm old enough to remember when the United States was a force for good in the world. How many people behind the Iron Curtain used to look to us for whatever meager protection they could get as they trudged about their daily lives. Consider the story of the Archimandrite Alipius of the Pskov Cave Monastery as related in Everyday Saints and Other Stories. Shevkunov (the author) describes a time in the early 1960s when the Communist Party pulled out all the … [Read more...]