Another Indication that Crete is Withering on the Vine?

Recently, the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church issued a decree in support of the Council recently held in Crete. It is clear from the plain text that Bucharest is in favor of the proceedings. Unfortunately, it is equally clear that the Romanian church will brook no opposition.

Ironically, it trots out Christ-like brotherly language and twists it in order to quell dissent. To my mind, this is at best indelicate. You can read the text for yourself here (courtesy, Byzantine, Texas): http://byztex.blogspot.com/2016/12/romanian-church-issues-declaration-on.html

Now, I’m not going to take it upon myself to critique only one or two of its points. I’m sure that its draftsmen were highly educated theologians. I am not. And I concur with their opinion that there should be unity within the Church, especially its doctrine.

But as St Augustine said: “In dubious things, diversity; in essential things, unity; in all things, charity.” What I feel is missing from this encyclical is charity; there is certainly no generosity in spirit. In fact, it’s rather heavy-handed.

I want to comment on that briefly before adding more specific critiques, and what I believe it portends for the future.

Bucharest, for whatever reason, has made its peace with the “primatial way of doing things at an Orthodox council” (for want of a better phrase). Rather than reverting to the time-honored way of “one bishop, one vote,” the Pre-conciliar commissions have saddled Orthodoxy with a clunky “one church, one vote” mechanism not dissimilar to the old Articles of Confederation. To my mind, this was one of the dangers of the Cretan council and one reason I have fought vociferously against its eventual ratification, either presently or by a future council.

Fortunately, Antioch, Bulgaria, Georgia and of course Russia chose to abstain, thereby depriving Crete of its “pan-Orthodox” pretensions. And anyway, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand the hidden, modernist agendas burrowed deep in Crete’s recesses.

At this point, I ask that you permit me to offer a critical observation or two regarding some of the verbiage.

First of all, the idea that those who wish to dialogue with other Christian bodies are in favor of a “lucid ecumenism” whereas those who eschew ecumenical dialogue qua dialogue are somehow “retrograde” or “fundamentalist” is incorrect. To those who throw this criticism our way, I respectfully ask: why not engage in “lucid ecumenism” right now in the things that matter? There are more than enough avenues of inter-denominational cooperation pretty much everywhere. Think of the culture of death (which was first promulgated by Pope John Paul II), the destruction of the family, or societal suicide?

No one is stopping you. As an Orthodox Christian in perhaps the most conservative diocese of the OCA, I have witnessed the close cooperation between Christians of all stripes in the pro-life movement. One of the Venerable Dmitri’s (of thrice-blessed memory) last instructions to us as a parish before his retirement was that we should do everything within our power to partner up with other Christian denominations for this very purpose. March, pray, contribute to crisis-pregnancy centers –the list is endless.

I’m sure one could think of other examples in which Christians of all stripes can get together to make their corner of world a little better. I prefer to call this “the ecumenism of the trenches.” Perhaps a little too martial for some, but there you go.

Secondly (and this is the more subtle danger, deriving as it does from the first criticism), I have seen such soothing words used to bring the camel of heresy into the tent of the Church in several of the mainstream denominations on far too many occasions.

I’m old enough to vividly remember how in 1976 the Episcopal Church of the USA (ECUSA) first sought to ordain women. First as ordinands (readers, deacons, etc.) then as priestesses. It took another three decades but this same “tolerant” and “inclusive” language was trotted out to ordain open homosexuals. Then women, then homosexuals were elevated to the episcopate.

Now, I’m not foolish enough to believe that the ordination of priestesses and open homosexuals are in the cards as far as the Orthodox churches are concerned. I’ve said this before, I’ll say it again, it’s not our business model. That doesn’t mean that heterodoxy per se is off the table, or more specifically, Uniatism. I learned a long time ago that when I hear such smooth and soothing words, I usually reach for my wallet to make sure it’s still there. (Poor metaphor but you get the point.)

Publicly, the Ecumenical Patriarchate has chosen to ignore valid criticisms of Crete by looking the other way. Its spokesmen in the West continue to drone on arrogantly about how it is binding on all Orthodox churches, regardless of whether they were there or not. This of course is a sign of weakness. Kind of like going into a negotiation and proclaiming to all parties that you’re already king of the hill. It’s not good, it’s not Christ-like, it’s not practicable and anyway, nobody is going to believe you.

What to do then? Call up any reinforcements you might have. Enter therefore the Romanian Orthodox Church, and hope that that puts everybody back into line. Or at least hope that they can whip their dissenters into shape.

Unfortunately, this won’t work either. Unlike Patriarch Bartholomew’s startling letter to the Archbishop of Greece (which was supposed to be kept secret) the Patriarch of Romania decided to put all his cards on the table from the get-go. As you can see from the letter, he bold-faced certain very harsh passages.

As a negotiating tactic this fails on several fronts: First, it gives away the game in that you are openly telegraphing what is that is important to you. Second, it assumes that the Patriarch has all the cards. This can’t be true as there would be no reason to put out such an encyclical in the first place. (Besides the fact that it flies in the face of Orthodox synodality.) Third, it presumes that there is no validity to opposing points of view. Lastly, it betrays a stunning ignorance of the historical record, that is to say, the Charismatic dialectic that allows the people of God to arrive at the Truth via duly-constituted councils.

This is crucial: unless Bucharest has all its ducks lined up in a row, it risks a humiliating loss at the hands of its own clergy and people and a possible schism.

So why is it doing this? My feeling is that the heavy hand of the EU/NATO is behind this power-play. We saw inklings of this immediately before Crete convened when the Serbian Orthodox Church said that it was not going to attend. Supposedly cooler heads in the government prevailed upon the Serbian delegation and they showed up anyway but only after much foot-dragging. Word on the street was that the Serbian government was leaned upon heavily by NATO to “make it happen” and so the Serbian church went, albeit reluctantly.

Make no mistake: such recalcitrance on Serbia’s part gave the lie that Crete was going to be Bartholomew’s great kum-ba-ya moment. Unfortunately for the Phanar, Bucharest’s latest encyclical will not put the toothpaste back into the tube.

If you will permit me a secular digression: I’ve noticed that the closer we get to Inauguration Day, the more flailing about I see, both here and abroad.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s letter to Athens and Patriarch Daniel’s encyclical strike me as rather odd, all things being equal. There’s an urgency about them. One could almost say an unseemly urgency. I don’t know, maybe I’m reading too much into them but I’ve learned to listen to bells and whistles when they go off.

If anything, these broadsides may be another indication of the last gasps of dying New World Order. (Another one is the rebellion that Pope Francis is facing from four cardinals regarding his latest encyclical Laetitia Amoris.) For a secular example, think of all those stupid, pathetic PSA’s put out by has-beens and wannabes in America in anticipation of the dreaded Trump Order.

That doesn’t mean that the drums of war can’t be heard on the horizon. What is at stake here is larger than Crete. To put not too fine of a point on it, the Trotskyite wing of the American Oligarchy will do everything in its power to derail any possible peace attempts between Russia and these United States. Today, at this very minute no less, our politicized intelligence agencies are telling the Senators who finance their livelihoods fabulous stories about ten-foot-tall Russians and how they magically stole Wisconsin from Hillary. In my mind’s eye I can easily picture John McCain holding his blanket and sucking his thumb as Lindsey Graham soothes his forehead telling him that Trump’s election was just a nightmare from which he’ll wake up soon.

“There, there, America will always be ruled by a Bush-Clinton dynasty. Now go back to sleep, Sweet Johnny boy.”

But I digress. As Orthodox Christians we should be wise to the situation, both the nonsense of Capitol Hill and the very real threat of schism that the Cretan council portends if allowed to go to its logical conclusion. As always, it is the Orthodox churches will be caught in the cross-hairs in this great civilisational conflict.

I am afraid that that is what is at stake.

Comments

  1. Outstanding, George!

    It’s all connected, as you surmise.

    For me, the vital date was 12/19. That was the day the electors cast their ballots and were covered by the news agencies. No surprises. After that, any attempt to interfere with the transition of power would be met by many Americans with armed insurrection. I cannot stress that enough: The country has more guns than people.

    So I don’t think they will dare. If they do, well, if God is with us, who can stand against us? If He did allow a leftist takeover, it would be just judgment for the sins of America. But I doubt it will happen.

    I don’t know what to make of Romania. I know there are many Romanians who are viscerally hostile to Russia and Russians due to the Soviet period. It’s a shame because one of them, Vlad Tepes, was a fierce adversary to would-be Muslim conquerors. Bram Stoker’s Dracula was based on him, though I think Stoker made him Hungarian, if I recall. What I mean to say is, they have a history of defending the Faith.

    They seem to be arguing among themselves. What I mean is, the local churches that signed off on Crete seem to be arguing among themselves about its relevance. The rest of us have already written it off as a robber council and moved on. I suppose they have the “right” to self-determination.

    They should just let us know if we should continue in communion. Other than that, they can settle it among themselves.

    I mean, we know where the Church is.

  2. George said:
    “Now, I’m not foolish enough to believe that the ordination of priestesses and open homosexuals are in the cards as far as the Orthodox churches are concerned. I’ve said this before, I’ll say it again, it’s not our business model.”

    Are you sure about this George? Constantinople is currently doing a tour to promote the “re-introduction” of the ordination of women to the Diaconate. They claim that the Diaconate should not be limited to men. They claim that Christ was radical…..and so they need to push their radical agenda. Archdeacon Dr. John Chryssavgis is heavily involved. This is not going to end well. It is good that they are showing all their cards so that we can find a secure home far away from them. Here is a link….make sure you read the brochure:
    http://orthodoxdeaconess.org/

    • George Michalopulos says:

      Mikail, good retort. Upon further reflection, I stand by what I said (predicted?) regarding these not being in our “business model”. That is why try as the Phanar might push the whole fem/sod agenda, it will fail. The Holy Spirit will see to that.

      • It is presumptuous, even sacrilegious, to say what the Holy Spirit will or won’t do.
        Just… Be still and know that He is God.

    • Michael Bauman says:

      I remember reading Chrysagavis’ book, The Shattered Image many years ago and being amazed at the secular views promoted in that book about men and women and the environment. It shocked me.

      Not long after it was suggested to a planning committee of which I was a part that Chryssavgis be invited to be the keynote speaker at an annual event my parish held as an attempted outreach to other Christians. I was adamant in opposition. With clear, non-personal reasons. I think our Catherdal’s Dean who chaired the meeting understood my objections. Others on the committee did not but no one was really invested in inviting Chryssavgis.

      By God’s grace, He did not get invited. Our assistant priest who had not been in the meeting did not understand my opposition because Chryssavgis was a nice guy and he meant well. I tried to explain, but I was never sure my assistant priest understood.

      That priest is a wonderful pastor, his family have likely been in the Church since Apostolic times. I was barely 15 years in at the time. That priest has his own parish now. I know he has grown and might not take the same stance today, but man, it was sooooo obvious that what Chryssavgis wrote was not in accord with Holy Tradition and was aimed at over turning it.

      If Chryssavgis and I met in person and he said hello, I am afraid I would be tempted to check my billfold so to speak. Even more tempted to say impolite things not exactly proper when addressing clergy. With out exception reason I will never read another word the man writes because it would rile my soul.

      Lord have mercy.

    • Sean Richardson says:

      I’m a little confused by your statement, Mikail: “The re-introduction of women to the Diaconate … is not going to end well”. Are you suggesting a return to an ancient tradition of the Church is not a good idea? I’m wondering what you would then propose, if this is indeed your suggestion, that we avoid the traditions and practices of the Church in the first centuries? That we pick and choose?
      If this is the case, then I agree, it’s not going to end well.

      • Sean,

        If, in fact, a return to the ancient tradition (the re-introduction of women to the Diaconate) occurs there will be no problem at all. The problem is the fact that those pushing this have no intention of returning to the ancient tradition.

        There were, in fact female deacons in some places during certain periods of history. They were consecrated for their role as servants of the Church (whether in the Alter or not – frankly, who cares?). They served close to, although outside, the Alter as Cantors and keepers of order. They assisted the bishop in the (naked) baptisms of women. They brought the Eucharist to home-bound women. They were consecrated, celibate women ‘of a certain age’ whose primary service was to lead and to care for women in the Church on behalf of the bishop.

        However, the vast majority of those pushing for the restoration of the female diaconate have no interest in this ancient tradition. They have little or no interest in celibacy or service. Their primary interest is in ‘recognition’ and twisted modernist notions of equality of the sexes. If you read the works of most (not all) of them this is quite evident.

        Is anyone preventing women from being consecrated to a life of celibacy (as these ancient deaconesses were) or even from being leaders of orders (i.e., Abbesses)? Is anyone preventing women from serving the Church? Is anyone preventing women from singing in – or even leading – a choir (which, unlike those times, in our modern parish settings typically includes leading the male singers as well), as they say these deaconesses did? Is anyone preventing women from leading and serving the women of the Church, as they say these deaconesses did? Is anyone preventing women from serving in leadership roles on parish councils – a leadership role which these deaconesses did NOT have. (Parish Council members, by the way, are also prayed for and consecrated for the task, as they say these deaconesses were for theirs.) Is anyone ‘keeping women down,’ not allowing them to pursue theological studies, etc.? Are these women who are arguing for an entirely new and previously unheard of female diaconate flocking to the monasteries in droves for the ‘validation’ they claim to be seeking from serving the Church? No. They are not.

        And if this restoration/revival of the order of deaconess were to occur precisely in the manner that some of the more honest among their own scholars say it once existed in some places, it could easily be predicted with a high degree of accuracy that the vast majority of those now arguing most strenuously for the revival of the office would be among the first to eschew it as being beneath their dignity, incompatible with their level of personal sexual commitment – and, above all, beneath their ambition.

      • Hi Sean,

        If you are interested in “going back to the ancient traditions of the early Church”……I hope you are the first one to crawl down the center of the Church on your knees crying out your sins to the entire parish for your confession. The early female diaconate was instituted for very specific needs of women. The current proposition is merely a Trojan Horse to introduce female ordination. However, if you like this idea, you have freewill to participate in such nonsense. I have freewill to attach myself to a jurisdiction which rejects such nonsense.

        I believe Constantinople is out of control.

        I hope this has allayed some of your confusion.

      • Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

        Making women deacons or deaconesses was a local custom, popular for a time in the East but unknown in Egypt and resisted in the West. The whole Church has never had a tradition of women deacons, but the whole Church has had, for many years, a tradition of not having them.

        • M. Stankovich says:

          Adding to what Pdn. Brian indicates, that the female diaconate was “tradition” is some parts of the Church, is insufficient argument for its restoration. I distinctly recall Fr. John Meyendorff respectfully responding to a woman who made this same argument that it became a “tradition” in Constantinople for young boys, dressed as angels, to be swung on ropes by an ornate pulley system during the Cherubic Hymn. That the emperor and others seemed to enjoy the practice would not be justification for restoring this “tradition” per se. It seems quite obvious to me that history would suggest that the question is not one of “legitimacy,” but rather among the very questions a psychiatry resident is taught to pose: “Why now?”

          • Gail Sheppard says:

            As Michael says, why now and I would add, what’s next? It’s always the “what’s next” that gets you in trouble.

            • Why now?

              Because never before in the history of the Church has humankind flourished in its realization that men and women are totally and completely equal. For as Saint Paul said, “We are all one [and the same, in our view] in Christ Jesus. This is the spirit speaking through him. We like that! [the other stuff not so much – it reflects his bigotry and sexism] The Church is only now beginning to recognize her corruption and is emerging from her long period of darkness and ignorance into which she fell early, after her initial purity.

              What next?

              Why the priesthood, of course! It only makes sense since we are all the same! Then the episcopate…and then? Who knows what glories of enlightenment and change will come of our finally being open to the moving of the spirit? Why just look at what the Methodists, the Episcopalians, and the other great, progressive, spirit-led branches of the Church have achieved! Why can’t we be more like them?

              As the Valley Girls used to say, “Gag me with a spoon.”

              • “Because never before in the history of the Church has humankind flourished in its realization that men and women are totally and completely equal.”

                Ah, yes, but we’re not. That is the devil’s lie, not God’s truth. God did not make women equal in authority to men. Just the opposite, He made them subservient. It was the devil who introduced the idea of equality. It is evil.

                That is why we have abortion, single (female) parent families, high divorce rates, cycles of poverty and a gangsta culture of violence. These are all the consequences of and reactions to an illegitimate feminist matriarchy of women’s equality.

                God created women before the Fall, before evil was introduced into the equation, to be worthy assistants to men – not equals. Equality is the problem.

                • Michael Bauman says:

                  Misha, there is a difference between being equal and being the same in an egalitarian fashion.

                  Men and women do not share the same authority any more than do the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

                  But in marriage we are one flesh and we are equally human. Women are not a sub-species.

                  The synergistic manner in which we are created demands integrated partnership of the ontologically equal but functionally and hierarchally different people. Other wise we could not fullfil the commandments in Genesis to dress and keep the earth.

                  It is our sacramental co-operation in marriage and in community that allows for the fullfilment.

                  Your statements that assume a worldly subjugation of women to men are simply wrong, horribly wrong.

                  • Michael,

                    No, you are dead wrong and I can tell you exactly why:

                    Man was created first and woman was created to be a worthy assistant to man. That is not an equal relationship. There is not a shred of equality in that “partnership” and the very idea is diabolical because a house cannot have two masters and you are a fool if you believe otherwise.

                    That is how men and women were created before the Fall, when there was no sin in the world, so that is a particularly good deal, the best that they can expect before the General Resurrection.

                    But after the Fall, God cursed women to be ruled over by men, explicitly subjugated:

                    “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” Genesis 3:16

                    Now, so long as women are willing to obey men, we can operate under a more loving hierarchy as was originally intended. But unless I’m missing something, we still live in a fallen world.

                    So don’t presume to tell me the time of day unless you know what you are talking about, which you obviously do not.

                    Grow up, quit being a feminist idiot and enabling them:

                    John 16:21
                    A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.

                    1 Corinthians 11:3
                    But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

                    1 Corinthians 14:34
                    Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.

                    1 Timothy 2:13
                    For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

                    1 Timothy 2:15
                    Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

                    Ephesians 5:22
                    Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

                    • George Michalopulos says:

                      Misha, I must disagree with you here, or more accurately, agree with Michael Bauman instead. I believe that you are confusing “equality” with “sameness.”

                      Men and women are equal in the eyes of God as human beings but they are not the same. While I agree that the male has the greater burden it does not point to a domineering relationship. The key (to my mind) is Jesus’ admonition to His disciples: serve, be last, don’t lord it over like the gentiles do.

                    • http://www.bostonherald.com/news/columnists/adriana_cohen/2017/01/adriana_cohen_fast_track_first_daughter

                      Sorry, George, the devil’s not done yet. I’m sure he will use the women close to Trump.

                      Believe what you like.

                      I’m actually dispassionate almost to the point of indifference to it at this point because I can see what a long, difficult spiritual journey it will be for most American men to switch from being “beta males”, witting or unwitting servants of the evil one, to being alphas. It’s possible, but I’m not very confident that American males have it in them anymore absent some severe shared trauma like a devastating attack on American soil. That might do it.

                      Other than that, I just watch the wheels turn . . .

                      . . . I mean, if the reprieve is rescinded I will be on the first plane out with no love lost and not looking back.

                    • Michael Bauman says:

                      Misha, stop with the intimidation/humiliation crap.

                      That gets no one anywhere but in the ditch with wounds.

                      I know a whole lot more than you think I know. I know enough to realize that the synergistic relationship between men and women is a deep and abiding mystery that is sacramental in quality.

                      I know enough to know I don’t know much. I know enough to say however that your approach is not the way to go. While there are elements of reality in what you say, your conclusions are off base. My knowledge is not theoretical.

                      I am required by God to love my wife as Christ loves the Church. The Cross is central to that. I am required by God to build up my wife and offer her and our marriage to God so that we both can be transformed and transfigured. That is a priestly function that only I can do as the man and head. That is a joyous and fruitful endeavor. Without me and my Godly wife’s demand that I be head, there is no offering. Without her reception the blessing is not Incarnated. There is no fullness. My wife BTW is a beloved one of Jesus. He gave her into my care. Such a gift should not be mangled as you suggest.

                      Besides I tried your way with my late wife. It left a lot of anger pain and tears that I am now involved in healing by God’s grace. Despite my over-weaning pride and abject failure God is merciful.

                      So, I respectfully and playfully invite you to stuff it. The words you use do not mean what you think they mean.

                    • George Michalopulos says:

                      Profound. You are a true poet.

                    • Christopher says:

                      George says:

                      “…I believe that you are confusing “equality” with “sameness.””

                      Not only that, Misha is assuming that an equality of nature or personal “authority” is necessarily an opposition, as in:

                      ” the very idea is diabolical because a house cannot have two masters and you are a fool if you believe otherwise.”

                      If that were the case, then there could not be three persons in one nature/essence (Trinity), or two natures in one person (Christ).

                      It is an old problem of dialectical reasoning, and one that leads directly to heretical understandings (monothelitism, as just one example). Misha’s mission, should he accept it, is to think about how multiplicity does not = opposition necessarily as in a formulaic, calculating way…

                    • M. Stankovich says:

                      Don’t blame me.

                      Then [Moses] said, male and female He created them (Gen. 1:27) to make known that Eve was inside Adam, in the rib that was drawn out from him. Although she was not in his mind she was in his body, and she was not only in his body with him, but she was also in soul and spirit with him, for God added nothing to that rib that He took out except the structure and the adornment. If everything that was suitable for Eve, who came to be from the rib. was complete in and from that rib, it is rightly said that “male and female He created them.” (St. Ephrem the Syrian, Commentary on Genesis, I, 9)

                      Continuing,

                      When the Sadducees once argued against the doctrine of the resurrection, and brought forward, to establish their own opinion, that woman of many marriages, who had been wife to seven brethren, and thereupon inquired whose wife she will be after the resurrection, our Lord answered their argument so as not only to instruct the Sadducees, but also to reveal to all that come after them the mystery of the resurrection-life: “for in the resurrection,” He says, “they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; neither can they die any more, for they are equal to the angels, and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection Luke 20:35-36 .” Now the resurrection promises us nothing else than the restoration of the fallen to their ancient state; for the grace we look for is a certain return to the first life, bringing back again to Paradise him who was cast out from it. If then the life of those restored is closely related to that of the angels, it is clear that the life before the transgression was a kind of angelic life, and hence also our return to the ancient condition of our life is compared to the angels. Yet while, as has been said, there is no marriage among them, the armies of the angels are in countless myriads; for so Daniel declared in his visions: so, in the same way, if there had not come upon us as the result of sin a change for the worse, and removal from equality with the angels, neither should we have needed marriage that we might multiply; but whatever the mode of increase in the angelic nature is (unspeakable and inconceivable by human conjectures, except that it assuredly exists), it would have operated also in the case of men, who were “made a little lower than the angels ,” to increase mankind to the measure determined by its Maker.
                      (St. Gregory of Nyssa, On the Creation of Man, XVII, 2)

                      Who to believe?

                      Whence, after all, did he come to know that there would be intercourse between man and woman? I mean, the consummation of that intercourse occurred after the Fall; up till that time they were living like angels in paradise and so they were not burning with desire, not assaulted by other passions, not subject to the needs of nature, but on the contrary were created incorruptible and immortal and on that account at any rate they had no need to wear clothes. “They were both naked,” the text says, remember. “and were not ashamed” You see, while sin and disobedience had not yet come on the scene, they were clad in that. glory from above, which caused them no shame… (15) even in this early instance you may grasp God’s surpassing love displayed in regard to human kind in granting them from the outset an angelic life… [and] he intended man should pass his days on earth like some terrestrial angel. Accordingly, whenever I consider all these things, I am amazed by the Lord’s loving kindness for our race and by man’s lack of response, as well as the devil’s envy; the evil spirit, after all, could not bear to see an angelic way of life in a human body.
                      (St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on Genesis, III, 12)

                      And imagine this:

                      (XVIII, 12) “Now, Adam had intercourse with his wife Eve.” (Gen. 4:1) Consider when this happened. After their disobedience, after their loss of the garden, then it was that the practice of intercourse had its beginning. You see, before their disobedience they followed a life like that of the angels, and there was no mention of intercourse. How could there be, when they were not subject to the needs of the body? So, at the outset and from the beginning the practice of virginity was in force; but when through their indifference disobedience came on the scene and the ways of sin were opened, virginity took its leave for the reason that they had proved unworthy of such a degree of good things, and in its place the practice of intercourse took over for the future. (14) Now, Adam had intercourse with his wife Eve.” the text says, “and she conceived and gave birth to Cain. “‘I have gained a human being, thanks to God.” “It was not nature,” she is saying, that presented me with the child; instead, “grace from above has given him to me.”
                      (St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on Genesis, XVIII, 12)

                      After Moses spoke of Adam’s expulsion from the garden, of the cherub and of the sharp sword by which Paradise was enclosed, he turned to write about the birth of Cain and Abel and about their offerings, saying Adam knew Eve, and she bore Cain and she said, “I have gotten a man,” [ἐκτησάμην ἄνθρωπον] not by Adam who knew her, but by God [διά τοῦ Θεοῦ] (Gen. 4:1) Who had formed him in the womb.

                      (St. Ephrem the Syrian, Commentary on Genesis, III, 1)

                      Either the Fathers are fools and enablers, or someone has built a tenuous house of cards. But this:

                      So don’t presume to tell me the time of day unless you know what you are talking about, which you obviously do not. Grow up, quit being a feminist idiot and enabling them

                      is epic, beta faggotry.

                    • Peter Millman says:

                      Greetings Misha,
                      My friend, you are too funny. If the reprieve is rescinded, you’ll be on the first plane out of here with no love lost. My my! How patriotic and loyal of you! This is coming from the ultimate alpha male or should I say,”ultimate meatball?”

                    • M. Stankovich says:

                      In all of this bluster and tantrum over the “re-assertion of the alpha-male” in the natural order, blah, blah, blah, it strikes me that something is amiss. While, in my opinion, Michael Bauman has made admirable attempts to describe the male role in marital relationships – specifically identifying “a priestly function that only I can do as the man and head” – his comments were ignored or labeled “ignorant.” Looking back at Fr. Han’s site, I was reminded of my comment in a discussion of masculinity and “maleness,” and homosexuality:

                      My contention is that, while homosexuality is a direct consequence of the fall of our humanity, so is the fall of our male gender and what we perversely term our “masculinity.” It seems the predominant theory is that “boys” necessarily must be “masculinized” over a course of developmental actualization, modeled by “masculine men” (e.g. father, siblings, male friends) who awaken innate, but otherwise dormant appropriate gender roles. Deficits in this modeling could predict “weak­ness in male con­fi­dence” and is dan­ger­ous to our “devel­op­ing” male chil­dren – inca­pable of dis­cern­ment – leaving them some­how “vul­ner­a­ble” to per­sua­sion, all of which “are major uncon­scious fac­tors in the devel­op­ment of same-sex attrac­tions.” Now, is this some “psycho-babble” from the fringe? No. This comes from the August 2011 edition of a prominent Roman Catholic medical journal The Linacre Quarterly [Kle­po­nis, PC and Fitzgib­bons, RP. ”The dis­tinc­tion between deep-seated homo­sex­ual ten­den­cies and tran­si­tory same-sex attrac­tions in can­di­dates for sem­i­nary and reli­gious life.” Linacre Quar­terly. Vol­ume 78, Num­ber 3. August, 2011. pp. 355–362.]

                      So, you have to think, according to the last census, more than 50% of all first marriages in the US end in divorce, nearly 50% of all “new” marriages in the US are the 2nd or greater marriage, and less than 50% of custodial mothers receive the court-ordered child supported to which they are entitled. Single-female head of household families among African American and Hispanic are widely described and we need not go there. I mention all these things for one reason: the likely absence of the father’s phys­i­cal pres­ence. Certainly, some boys are role-modeled by “proxies,” but there is no evidence whatsoever that a “paucity” of gender role-modeling affects gender or sexuality. If it were the case, we would inundated with homosexuality, yet the prevalence remains virtually unchanged. And you want to be stunned by “role-modeling,” I recommend Prof. George Barriois, friend of Fr. Florovsky, and author of Jesus Christ in the Temple from SVS Press, who wrote with such delight of “He Who was God before the ages,” seated as a child (Ἰησοῦς ὁ παῖς) in the Temple at the feet of elders, “listening to them and asking them questions” (Lk. 2:4 ff) of the very words He had spoken to them in the Scripture! Imagine!

                      But in my mind, the greatest tragedy is the loss of fraternity among men. Essential, loving, non-sexualized fraternity. We need and we desire affection, warmth, love, support, and fraternity from same-gender relationships. But somehow in this corrupted, twisted brokenness of our fallen world, the action of Ham (Gen 9:22) has played out as a “psychodynamic” abhorrence for the intimacy that we desire; that Metropolitan Anthony Bloom described as, “we can no longer imagine a state of innocence growing into a state of holiness… and rather than want­ing to under­stand and to know the world from within [our] com­mu­nion with God,” we attempt to “under­stand and to know the world and [our­selves] by our own means.” The “cringe,” the discomfort, the fear of “being observed” as affectionate, the display and sharing of emotions, that Middle Eastern and Slavic men kiss one another on the mouth, that David would say over the dead Johnathan, “your love to me was won­der­ful, pass­ing the love of women.” (2 Sam. 1:26); or that Jonathan would be described as “bind­ing” with David because he “loved him as his own soul (ψυχὴν ἀγαπῶντος αὐτόν).” (1 Sam. 18:1) is so terrifying as to be “miscast” as homosexuality. But in either case, your presumption that a non-sexualized same-gender relationship like David & Jonathan is a “special capacity that is not given to 99.95% of the rest” is wrong for you as it is for me, as Met. Anthony noted, because of our lack of faith; because of our resistance and reliance on “our own means.” I believe that we, as men, neither admit, nor do we mourn “absolutely no deep human connection with another person” when we perceive no other mechanism of “connection” but sexuality. And when sexuality is not the “ontological link of love with the Head of the Body,” it ultimately results in isolation and darkness.

                      It seems to me that the “alpha-male,” first and foremost, understands their role is derived in context with women, and for this alone they were created. Notions and insistence on dominance, subservience, and all the distortions and false interpretations of what being “the head of one’s wife” (Eph. 5:23) must necessarily be built upon a distortion – a pathological inability to “love one’s self” (cf. “He that loves his wife loves himself.” (Eph. 5:28) And only in first loving one’s self can, as Michael Bauman noted, “build up my wife and offer her and our marriage to God so that we both can be transformed and transfigured.” I would suggest that the idea the “natural order” will be restored when women are returned to being “subservient” rather than a “helpmeet,” – created as complimentary and an essential, ordained context for the role of “head” – is a sorrowfully “diseased” and broken formulation. It may well reflect the broken, fallen creation in which our fallen, disobedient, and willful humanity finds itself, but it does not, by any stretch of the imagination, reflect the Creation, “as it was in the beginning.” Regardless of the “order” of their creation, a man who does not love himself is incapable of loving his wife “as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for it.” (Eph. 5:25) Ultimataely, the only reasonable solution for “feminism” does not source in fixing women, but in men healing men.

                    • All homosexual males, each and every one without exception, has the homosexual/pedophile psychosis of self-hatred/erotic-shaming. They are evil predators, children of the devil himself, and a danger to all males so long as they are allowed to live untreated by reparative therapy and at large. The more dominant ones, the Bruces, especially are prone to full blown pedophilia, but all of them delight in it.

                      Filthy, sick, evil minions of Satan until they are exorcised, cured or dead.

                    • Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

                      Misha, you are going too far and sounding quite hateful at this point. All homosexual males are not “evil predators, children of the devil” or “evil minions of Satan.”

                    • Pdn. Patrick,

                      Yes they are. You are wrong. The devil was a liar and murderer from the beginning. I am not hateful in the slightest. I am telling you the God’s honest truth about a form of psychosis/demon possession. We might call it homosexual/pedophilia syndrome. It begins with a stark, traumatic event like homosexual sodomizing rape of a boy. It metastasizes into homosexual inclination/orientation due to the internal shame and self-hatred it induces. Left untreated, it can develop into dominant homosexual pedophilia where the psychosis is not satisfied with being abused by other males but must inflict the evil of shame and self-hatred on other males and create more such monsters by raping little boys.

                      That is the pathology of it. We need not argue about it. I’m right and I will be proven right as soon as the scientific community gets their heads out of their a**es and quits deferring to PC nonsense and cooking the numbers so as not to upset the perverts.

                      Now, you don’t have to like it. I don’t care. But that’s the bottom of it. That is homosexuality/pedophilia. All of them, each and every one.

                      Deal with it.

                      I don’t hate them. I love them. God does not desire the death of a sinner but rather that he should repent and live. Plagues and a multitude of evils afflict them because of the evil abominations they perpetrate on each other and the innocent. Do not be fooled for a second by their propaganda. Homosexuality is straight from the bowels of hell.

                • Anonymous says:

                  The gangsta culture has little to do with women.

                  Why do so many blacks live in the inner city?
                  What are the jobs in the inner cities?
                  Has the job climate in the inner cities changed?
                  Did women or men promulgate the thug culture?

                  You are a bit confused Misha. The women are too weak to stop it. And you want women to be?

                  Weak.

                  • Idiot,

                    The gangsta culture has everything to do with women, aka “ho’s”. Black men instinctively know, as do whites, that a feminist matriarchy is diabolical and seeks to steal their sense of manhood. They are more sensitive to it than whites because of the history of slavery and segregation. So they know that the dominant culture which has been operating out of Washington, advocating “equality” and funding the lower classes through mothers is illegitimate. It gives power to the wrong gender – females. Gangsta culture is simply a predictable reaction to that. Black men are just trying to maintain their manhood in the face of white American women and beta males who intend to deprive them of their honor and self respect. Hence the violence and the resort to drugs to escape the omnipresent reality of the feminist matriarchy.

                    It is not the fault of black males. It is the fault of the servants of the devil: Feminist women, beta males and homosexuals. All women who do not obey and submit to their men are feminists. All males who would defer to women are betas. Homosexuals are just psychotic minions of the evil one.

                    Any more questions?

                    • Anonymous says:

                      Lord have mercy.

                      I will respond if a priest does.

                    • Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

                      Misha, there is some sense to what you say, but again you are going too far in excusing black males and blaming only your top three “servants of the devil.”

                    • Pdn Patrick,

                      I do not excuse black males. But I do understand that the culture that they created is a natural, albeit fallen, reaction to the feminism matriarchy. The feminist matriarchy must be destroyed. That is not negotiable. In Russia, though there are remnants and twistings, they are more realistic about the situation than we are here in America. God will not stabilize us and bless us to battle Islam if we don’t mercilessly eradicate the Fem/Perv Whore of Babylon.

                      It may take a while to get it down, but that’s what’s for breakfast.

                    • Anonymous says:

                      I am only following up because I said I would if a priest responded. Deacon is close enough. Anecdotal evidence I have suggests weak matriarchs are a key problem in the black culture. I sold a property to a black woman. She was so weak; the men who partied in the lower level spit on the walls. Had she been a self respecting, dignified, educated feminist, she’d have kicked a few of them out. Sadly, her combination of poor leadership, weak will, perhaps even like for the ‘bad boy’ resulted in far worse than my re-receipt of the property. You don’t want weak women.

                      Furthermore, the gang culture is what happens when young men are idle. It is a byproduct of kids giving up on hard work.

                      Concubines won’t help this situation.

                      Strong Mom’s will. Sorry, but weak matriarchs are horrible for society. A young man who listens to his mother is not a beta. And gays have nothing to do with the gang culture, no matter how hard you twist it.

                    • George Michalopulos says:

                      Wise words but only up to a point: strong fathers cannot be left out of the equation.

                      In reality, there is no differnce between “weak” matriarchs and “strong” matriarchs because there matriarchy is untenable in and of itself. You might as well say that there are “good” convicts and “bad” convicts (and there may very well be) but at the end of the day they are all convicts because whatever culture they possess in prison is made possible by the hard work of taxpayers.

                    • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lion_of_Judah

                      MM,

                      Yahweh is a Lion, the Lion of Judah. When a male lion conquers a pride, he goes and kills all the cubs of the prior male. The lioness will harass him and try to hamper him, but she will never, ever stand directly in front of him and challenge him.

                      She knows he would kill her without hesitation.

                      God’s always making more lions and lionesses.

                      That’s the point. Be fruitful and multiply.

                      But a lion is fully aware that he is in charge.

                    • The feminist matriarchy is the source of a legion of demonic consequences. Homosexuality is from the devil, not God.

                      Deal with it.

                      Now, we can discuss the details and professionals, once they get their heads out of their butts, will be able to map the whole thing out in detail. It is just too PC at this point for honest research and review to occur.

                      Cages are only for those who have full blown dangerous psychoses, the end stage homosexuality/pedophilia, as demonstrated by their actions. Rule of law is critical, without it, it’s a real mess.

                      Same with Islamic terrorists. There is nothing wrong with screening people from countries on the terrorist watch list and in deporting those that pose a danger if that is established under the law by a court of competent jurisdiction or under administrative law if the process has been established that way under the Constitution.

                      I’m sure America can be righted under our current Constitutional framework. It will just take time and patience.

  3. Peter A. Papoutsis says:

    Excellent article George. The EP and others can say what they want, but the Crete Council is a robber council and all Orthodox know it. I reject it, as will never accept its heresy. Go Trump and let’s start the long road back to sanity and stability.

  4. Troubles will come, troubles will pass. I have to believe our Lord will fill the Holy Spirit into the majority of our Bishops to do the right thing. Note, even the Patriarchs who did not attend the so called robber council, have not openly condemned the council, as most of us here on Monomakhos have. Please remember, we will never truly know how previous historic councils were conducted. and assembled. Nor will we ever truly hear the voices of dissent of some Bishops of our past councils. We tend to view our Fathers of the past councils, with rose tinted glasses. The internet has pulled back many veils, in regards to our world leaders, and for that matter all topics, and privacy, that were shut in the past. All in this fallen world are a negotiation, and a compromise for all to hear see, and partake in conversation over the internet. We must be patient, and pray our Lord’s will, will be done. In the spirit of this blessed day of Theophany, we should alway have hope that every day, we can renew ourselves, and become clean again!

    “Israel treaded on the sea’s swelling billow, which had been rendered once again into dry land. Then the dark waters concealed all the Egyptian riders together, as a tomb laid in water, by the mighty strength of the right(hand) of the master.”-Matins Hymm of Theophany

    • George Michalopulos says:

      Excellent perspective.

    • Gail Sheppard says:

      And also on the upside, Dino, I have a friend whom I’ve never met who is a Wall Street attorney helping me with some legal stuff. I often talk to him about all of you and he is fascinated by our exchanges and how we can disagree but still care. He has a RC background so he is amazed that we have the freedom to explore ideas. He’ll ask me what I’ve been up to from time to time and I’ll tell him “Oh the usual; I’m just saving the world!” – What happened in Crete fascinated him so he started reading about it. He recently started a conversation with a priest where he lives and went to his first liturgy this morning. He was practically in tears. He says he has “come home.” God is always working, isn’t he? You all will love interacting with him because he’s not obnoxious (kind of flippant in a funny way), but incredibly intelligent. He’s done so much reading about the Church. That’s all he wants to talk about now. His name Rob. – Can he just get on this site or does he have to go through you, George? He would be a great addition, I promise you. (I’m a bit punchy from being up all night working so forgive me if I’m incoherent!)

      • Gail! What a great opportunity our Lord gave and you seized upon it. Truly a blessing for both Rob, and you. Shall we now call you, Gail, the fisherwoman of men?

        • Gail Sheppard says:

          I don’t know, Dino, I have enough trouble without adding something like this to my resume: “Yeah, there’s ol’ Gail out there fishing for men, again!” This is too funny. Remind me not to select you for my press secretary. 🙂

          • So long as the right person is reading the resume. Another check for the well done side, in my opinion Gail.

  5. anonymus per Scorilo says:

    This is crucial: unless Bucharest has all its ducks lined up in a row, it risks a humiliating loss at the hands of its own clergy and people and a possible schism.

    Of course it has all the ducks lined up in a row. There is a grand total number of zero bishops and zero parish priests in the whole Romanian Orthodox Church who have protested against the council. The only clergy who stirred up protests are some guys who came from Greece and a Romanian-speaking bishop in the Russian Orthodox Church, who is not even commemorating Patriarch Kyril because he thinks he is too much into ecumenism…

    Romanians are very familiar with the Peter and the wolf story, and I think many people see little reason to waste ammunition and to cry wolf for something that was little more than a platitude-repeating lame-duck photo operation. Plus the guys who are trying to whip up a frenzy against the council have all some hidden dead ducks insides their closets.