The Curious Council

I believe it was FDR who said “there are no coincidences in politics.” The older I get, the more inclined I am to believe it.

A few months ago, Vice President Joe Biden was awarded a humanitarian award by the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. “Hmmm…” I thought. That’s curious. Even for the leadership of an ethnic group that is obsequious as the GOA, this was a bridge too far, given the fact that the Obama regime is the most pro-abortion/pro-sodomy in memory. “There must be something more to this” I said to myself.

Well, thanks to Orthodox England, we now know what is going on behind the scenes. And it doesn’t bode well for the upcoming Great and Holy Council.

Please read for yourself.

council

Source: Pravoslavie

By Archpriest Andrew Phillips

The Inter-Orthodox Council, with a token number of bishops from each of the fourteen Local Churches and supposed to take place in May 2016 to discuss administrative issues,is looking increasingly troubled. First, there is the schism between the Patriarchates of Jerusalem and Antioch.Then there were rumours after contacts with top US officials that the US State Department was trying to set the agenda, specifically regarding homosexuality. Then there was news from the Russian Orthodox Church that delegates from several Local Churches, notably the Russian, the Romanian (the second biggest) and the Georgian, had failed to agree on the contents of several points in the seemingly US-determined agenda.

Hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church then expressed popular concern that the Council was taking place at all. After all Constantinople had not long before sent schismatic representatives of the Ukrainian Church in Canada (the fraction under Constantinople) to Kiev for reasons which the Ukrainian Church naturally found sinister. After this came the news that the elderly Patriarch Bartholomew had erected a statue to himself and that he would never recognize the Carpatho-Russian Met. Rostialav as the representative of the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia. Then came the Patriarch’s visit to Bulgaria when he insulted the Bulgarian people and a diplomatic incident followed and the Bulgarian Prime Minister refused to meet the Patriarch. Some even asked if Patriarch Bartholomew’s behaviour was designed to sabotage his own Council.

After this the Synod in Constantinople sacked the hierarch appointed only two years before for the modernist Paris Jurisdiction, Archbishop Job. Next came the shooting down by Turkey – some say at US instigation – of a Russian airplane. The result of this is that the Russian delegation felt unable to attend the next preparatory meeting in Istanbul for the future Council. Indeed, the question was asked if the Council could even take place in Istanbul, as had been proposed. Some have suggested, as we suggested in our booklet, ‘The World Council of Orthodoxy’ in May 2007, that any future Council take place at the New Jerusalem Monastery outside Moscow, where alone a politically free Council could take place.

Next came the Pope’s welcome for the Council –in effect compromising it, making it appear just to be a cheap copy of the Vatican’s disastrously divisive and US-Protestant-style Second Council of 50 years ago.Then came the Pope’s greeting to Patriarch Bartholomew on the Catholic St Andrew’s Day, looking forward to the day when Catholics, without repentance,would be in full communion with Constantinople. Then came the news that a joint commission of the Russian and Bulgarian Churches had agreed that there were no objections to the canonization of the much revered archbishop Seraphim (Sobolev), the archbishop in Sofia of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia who was the hero of the Moscow Council of 1948, which denounced ecumenism.

Now news has come that Archbishop Jerome of Athens, the head of the Church of Greece, will not attend the next preparatory meeting in Istanbul. There is speculation that this is connected with the imperialist and meddling claims of Patriarch Bartholomew to Greek territory. And also the news that Rome and Constantinople are celebrating(!) the 50th anniversary of the highly controversial (and some would say meaningless) lifting of the 1054 anathemas between Rome and Constantinople does not help. As Patriarch Alexis I of Moscow pointed out at the time this event has no importance whatsoever for the mass of the Orthodox Church as a whole, since it is an event that concerns only the tiny Local Church of Constantinople and Roman Catholicism. Even so the event was rejected at the time and is still today rejected by the devout and politically free of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

It can be concluded without hesitation that the Patriarchate of Constantinople is looking increasingly isolated from mainstream of the Orthodox Church and its Council project, at least in its old form, is looking increasingly in doubt. As has been said throughout christian history: man proposes, but God disposes.

Comments

  1. Send in the clowns, don’t bother, they’re here.

    • Peter H.Dragonas, M D says:

      It is about time that the original disciples of Jesus Christ speak to the Community of World Christians to Return to the original mission to spread the “Good News”. Where there are politicians, money lenders, lwayers, false prophets, in the words of Travis Smiley, “Expect The Unexpected”. Western post Judiciary Religions all carry a chalk board with ample erasers of all sizes and an endless supply of chalk or erasable ink, to
      suit the writing surface. Why do religions keep changing thier messages?
      It is all about money. Now Jesus tells St. Paul(definitely not St. Peter) to accept financial help from persons of the faith needed for a sustainable life to spread the “Good News”. The churches have become investment banks, untaxable. The Vatican, alone, could rescue the Greek debt. None if their blood money has value. Their assistance to Hitler, Et al, to decimate the Merchants of Venice brings the smell of vomits to me. As a leader on the Board of Trustees at the Greek Orthodox Seminary & College, Brookline, Massachusetts, I saw and continue to see the change of mirrors daily. The sane us true with the Roman Catholic and Episcopal Churches turning “Other Sexual Predators, Men & Women) in a leadership position to Shepard our Youth. The open birders if tons ofvDryfsb to destroy our youth and the place in tomorrow’s leadership.is a true anathema. Obama’s eyes allong with his non PatriotHenchman Advisor have cast a deliberate blind eye to the transport and an open eye to the GDP cash flow bolstering the borrowing frenzy. Not his fault, he inherited it from Bush(Busch) #1, and forward to the Day the Bush #2 & Cheney Oppressors, past a botched Leadership onto a New Boy on the Block who continues to find which duke is leaking by the minute. Even, most of us are critical, he could end up as a Harry S. Truman, #2.
      The churches. Temples, Mosques that live in the West need to spare the money and become “Disciplined Disciplinarians” to themselves first, and to their constituents who pay “into”, 2ndly.
      Failure to do so and to acknowledge realities with cave them in, as have many religion are undone in history. They must stop ” Selling Condominiums in Paradise”. The Eastern Orthodox Churches must unite with a Council of Two, 1 church and 1 lay person, for each Patriarchs tell and representatimes from each Monastery. God survives, humans are here as Shakespeare tells in in MacBeths, Act 5 Sc. 5, “…the poor player who steps & frets upon the stage of Life; and, then is heard no more…”. The clergy clergy knows it well. Yet, they still make money on an after life
      table of fortune, absorbing billions for entry fees to “Paradise”.
      Panagiotns H. Dragonas, M D, H X, and Awarded of Patriarch Diidoros of Jerusalem In Greek, “I e r o”, which means: all holy + “s a l e m, which means, “peace” =Place of ALL HOLY PEACE. I have said for years after trips there, it could be a World Headquarters for the United Nations. Definitely , not New York or Geneva, too gradiose.

  2. I saw this article some time ago and didn’t take it too seriously. There have always been problems with the development of this council and I’ve doubted from the beginning if it would take place. As to the rest of the piece by Father Andrew, I’m not sure it actually sheds much light on the actual intentions being contemplated by the various parties, only their respective sometimes entertaining and inexplicable actions.

    Inasmuch as there seems to be agreement that all decisions will be taken unanimously, I’m not sure if anything other than administrative housekeeping can possible come out of it, if it even occurs in the first place. The only reasons I can see for a council would be to resolve the issues of ecumenism and the calendar. Since there is nothing approaching unanimity regarding these points, I wonder what it could be other than a photo op.

  3. Michael Warren says:

    Generally, no reason for holding it, and if it does happen, the Eastern Rite foil hats will be mainstreamed with bonafide issues of contention.

    Indications were this assembly has the intention of:
    1). Ratifying the New Calendar.
    2). Rubber stamping Istanbul’s pretensions on the diaspora and in the issuance of autocephaly.
    3). Putting forward an ecumenically friendly ecclesiology which melds well with two lungs branch theory.

    Where further sessions on canonical, liturgical and disciplinary reforms would take place which would be open to new understandings of human sexuality, hierofeminism, papal primacy, filioque, unia, Non Calcedonian intercommunion, second clerical marriages, married episcopate, fasting, antimonasticism of all kinds.

    In short the Renovationist robber synod St. Justin (Popovich ) warned us about.

    • Peter H.Dragonas, M D says:

      They do not get it right, because they impose an unhealthy narcissistic persona. Assumption of what your constituents need is a bogus way of scripting what the communicate, really, want. Theological language and
      Script is Byzantine-Serpentine. By the time Theological non Clergy and we’ll read communicate decipher the rhetoric & written, the average person is practicing the new dogma. Where are you St Paul?

      • Michael Warren says:

        Sobornost needs to be reinvigorated to rid the Church of the Zizioulases, the Wares, the Alfeevs, the Kishovskys, and the Jillions in our midst. It is about time to remove a calcified and apostate, liberal elite.

  4. Patrick Henry Reardon says:

    Queried many times on the coming synod, I have always commented: There have been hundred on meetings of bishops over many centuries.

    Of these meetings, we are sure of seven where they got it right.

    • Michael Warren says:

      Issue is where they got it wrong and at what cost.

    • Patrick Henry Reardon says:

      Over the past three weeks, George, 170 people gave a pollex versus to my frivolous witticism about the seven councils where the bishops “got it right.”

      Goodness, such gravity!

      Do we dare hope that the bishops themselves, when they gather next year, will not take themselves so seriously?

      • anonymus per Scorilo says:

        Over the past three weeks, George, 170 people gave a pollex versus to my frivolous witticism about the seven councils where the bishops “got it right.”

        No, it is just two or three people who have figured out a way to put votes through multiple servers, thus fooling George’s website filter. The problem could be resolved if the filter rejected votes coming within a few seconds of each other, but then the trolls could figure out a way to program their computers to send these votes at a few minutes from each other, with a randomized timer. So there is no way to win the battle – you will just have to ignore the votes.

        • Patrick Henry Reardon says:

          you will just have to ignore the votes.

          Thank you, per Scorilo.

          • Michael Warren says:

            It always puzzles me how certain people blame anything but their ideas, ie their self importance, when things don’t go their way. That more than anything else on an institutional level is why a council like this is such a peril.

  5. I bet he believes in Loch Ness, UFO’s, Saskwatch and that the US was responsible for 9/11. These types of people who see a conspiracy behind everything cannot be trusted.

    • Michael Warren says:

      Like the conspiracy of thrice deposed Meletios Metaxakis managing to displace the rightly consecrated Patriarch of Constantinople and stage a similar “Pan Orthodox Council” in 1923?

  6. Right on, Fr. Andrew !

  7. Kirill Berinov says:

    The sooner the Orthodox world is rid of Pope Bart, the better for everyone. But this has been apparent for a decade or more.

    And are there any worthies in the wings, waiting to receive the mantle? Perhaps the old adage applies here: “Better the devil we know, than the one we do not know.”

    • George Michalopulos says:

      I particular am concerned about Met Elpidophorus Lambrianides and his blatant neo-papalism.

    • Michael Warren says:

      Personally, don’t find much encouraging about the EP aside from Mt. Athos. But honestly +Demetrios might be a moderate successor which keeps the Orthodox world from turning its back on Istanbul.

    • Isa Almisry says:

      We know the devil we don’t know, and he’s even worse. He has been speaking of primus sine partibus for some time.

      The sooner this boil can be lanced, and the antiseptic of Orthodoxy applied, the better.

      • George Michalopulos says:

        Nail, meet hammer. Unfortunately, the Phanar has devolved into being a “boil.” How sad, when instead it could have been a sterling witness of martyric steadfastness.

  8. Carl Kraeff says:

    There is a chance that it will not be well attended. Here is a report from Ukraine:

    “On December 28, in the Refectory Church of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra a diocesan meeting of the Kyiv Diocese was held under the chairmanship of the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) Metropolitan Onufriy. Participants of the meeting received information from the Head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate on probable refusal to participate in the Pan-Orthodox Council, the correspondent of Religion in Ukraine reports…However, he continued, the process of decision-making in the Council causes distrust. In his view, it may happen that the one version of the document will be voted for and a different one will be submitted for signature, and therefore, Metropolitan Onufriy said, there is an idea to refuse from participation at all… The head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church said that according to his information, the Greek, Antioch, Russian and probably Serbian Churches may refuse from participating in the Pan-Orthodox council.”
    (my emphasis)
    http://risu.org.ua/en/index/all_news/orthodox/orthodox_world/62079/

    Strangely enough, no mention of the nefarious US plot to queer the whole world.

    • Michael Warren says:

      Still wondering where “kyiv” is to be found. St. Vladimir founded the Russian Orthodox church in Kiev.

      • Hmmm . . . well, MW, for someone who fancies himself a linguist, you seem to be unaware that the Ukrainians spell Kiev “Київ” and, in fact, that “Киев” is pronounced “Kiyiv” even in Russian. But I would not presume to educate you on such matters, all knowing one.

        • Michael Warren says:

          Which iteration of “Ukrainian” is that and which Russians are you talking to?

          In the Primary Chronicles the name is written “Kiev,” the name being an almagam of the names of the brothers “Ki, Schek, and Khorev.” Notice no second “i” and no “yi.”

          In Slavonic, Old, Middle, and Modern Russian, as well as Old and Middle Ruthenian (the linguistic, literary ancestors of what some call “Ukrainian”), it is considered ungrammatical to follow the consonant “k” with the vowel “bl” (in Mova H) which transliterates as “y.” Thus, the quack, fatuous spelling of “Kyiv” from the get go is illiterate, illegitimate.

          Skovroda, Kotliarevsky, Gogol, Schevczenko, Kostamarov and Dragomanov all write “Kiev.” Even Mazeppa wrote “Kiev.”

          So where is “kyiv” and how did it come to be? Kulish’s orthography (which he at the outset said was dubious grammatically!) funded by the Austrian secret police and forced to do quack revisions of phonetic spelling by Austro Hungarian political adventurers creating a quack nationality. St. Alexis of Wilkes Barre has a few pieces written on the absurdity of phonetika. It has never been really standardized and updates itself every 18 months.

          Talking about pidgin! You just said that Ebonics is a legitimate notion to consider when addressing the issue of spelling historic names. Mova or Ukrainian is an artificial language based on the premise that linguistically oppressed Ruthenisn seeds who were deprived of their own cultural literacy came to embody a distinct and legitimate cultural and linguistic ethnicity. Ebonics!

          In other words mova is phoneticized, quack nonsense and its spellings are illiterate, illegitimate. Moreover, Surzhyk itself reflects a range of Polonization, from little to absolute. The whole artifice of mova is quack, asinine buffoonery.

          Just as we don’t spell Missouri “Massurah” or Mexico “Mehico” or “Sean” “Syawn,” we don’t literarily spell “Kiev” “Kyiv” or “Kiiw” (an alternate mova spelling) or “Kiqqqqzzsdtzw.” No, Galician Uniate chimpanzees are not entitled to rewrite history using contrived spelling rules of what constitutes Russian Ebonics.

          There is a morphology of the vowel e or “ye” in Russian. In the South it can harden into “eh” or even become “yi” or even “i” depending on where stress is placed on which consonanant as you travel West toward the Carpathians. But what you are talking about is Surzhyk and phonetics, not spelling, not literacy. In literary Russian, the name is ” Kiev.” Its literary spelling is “Kiev.” And this spelling goes back to Kievan Rus” which didn’t know a “Kyiv.” A millenium never witnessed a “Kyiv.” In fact, until the American installation of a banderofascist regime, most Kuevans didn’t recognize a “Kyiv.” So you and your Galician, Uniate mutants can contrive whatever fanciful Ebonics spellings you want, but there is no historical place known as “Kyiv.” K-I-E-V.

          ROCOR hubris seems to be terminal. When will you cool hats ever grow up or at least get therapy?

          • Michael Warren says:

            The vowel “bl” in Kulish’s orthography is replaced with “H” with a slanted tine but still reflects a pronunciation of “bl” which is not “i” and transliterates as y.

            BTW, what kind of literary language takes from 1830 to 1970 to decide whether its proper ethnonyms are “Ukraine/Ukrainian” or “Vkraine, Vkrainian”?! Seems to be a profound linguistic dissonance whose only explanation is POLITICIZED, SEMILITERATE, ETHNOGRAPHIC QUACKERY.

            “Ruthenisn seeds” should be “Ruthenian serfs.” “Kuevans” should be “Kievans.” “Cool hats” can be “foil hats,” but either works for me.

            Why isn’t ROCOR literature using the quack spelling of “Kyiv”? When will ROCOR begin to discipline and educate its presumptuous children?!

  9. Tim R. Mortiss says:

    “– some say at US instigation–” Do they, indeed? Who are “some”?

    How does Biden fit into this? Not that he doesn’t; it just isn’t obvious to me.

    • Biden, humanitarian (!), actually there was some small news item when there was that Kim Davis (Chief clerk of a county who refused to issue gay marriage licenses big news story) thing that took place and Biden I think did speak to that and need of protection of religious liberty as in the Constitution, vague recollection of that story however it did surprise me a bit, he was still then thinking about getting into the race.

  10. Obviously a scare piece written by someone who doesn’t want the council to happen.

  11. Kirill Berinov says:

    What ever happened to the time when we could respect Bishops?

    What happened to the day when Bishops and hierarchs cared more about holiness and the lives of their people, than about playing power politics and social agendas?

    Little wonder that Bishops today must be second-guessed with a jaundiced eye, just like politicians.

    • Sean Richardson says:

      Kirill, I wish that it was so in the past, but a reading of history would suggest that many bishops in the past were far from laudable, and there was contempt for bishop, priest and churches shown on too many occasions. Peasants were known to burn their churches, bishops were driven out of the cities, and priests disrespected.
      We must be careful not to romanticize the past.
      While there are many brilliant stars there are also areas covered in darkness. All we can strive for is a humble Christ-like life, serving Him and His Holy Church.

    • That time never existed. Read what Chrysostom wrote about the bishops of his day–not vey flattering. Remember Arias was a bishop.

    • anonymus per Scorilo says:

      Fallen human nature is fallen human nature and power almost always corrupts. The only difference between the good old times and now is the absence of mass media that could spread the news of a bishop’s power plays and bad actions.
      But if you read a bit of history you will find that very often the corruption at the high power levels was much worse than now – it is just that very few people knew if a bishop did something bad, and those knew preferred to keep things secret in order to be able to blackmail him and gain some advantages.

  12. John Skatakoulis says:

    You know, the first thing Istanbul has to do is stop lying to itself and everyone else. The Bishop of Istanbul is just that and nothing more. He doesn’t have authority outside his elected area and areas around the Black sea. “First among equals” only means he ran the meetings when he and the other Patriarchs met. He would mediate disputes among the Patriarchs and keep records of these meeting. That’s it! The term “Ecumenical Patriarch” may have made sense during the Byzantine Empire when the Bishop of Constantinople was the Emperor’s bishop, but not today. The Orthodox do not have an Eastern Pope nor do all the Orthodox Churches worldwide take their orders and lead from Istanbul. Recognizing that Istanbul may have only 1,000 Christians left in its boundaries, Istanbul is only a relic of the past and world Orthodoxy’s center is really NYC. Moscow is isolated unto itself with parochial views of Orthodoxy and the world. So, who should lead in NYC? An autocephalous Synod of Bishops who choose their own head without any foreign influence. This is Orthodox Canon Law.

    • George Michalopulos says:

      True that.

      • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says:

        RE: “Moscow is isolated unto itself with parochial views of Orthodoxy and the world.”

        George, do you regard that dismissive statement as “true”?

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

          I do not. Like most memes it is what it is and they are always false. Even the EP has more that 1000 adherents in Turkey, especially among the Crypto-Orthodox Christians that are under his Jurisdiction as well as the adherents outside of Turkey.

          Further, the ROC and ROCOR are a very powerful and holy Church with a powerful infrastructure in Russia and the world wide. I do see the ROC/ROCOR resurgence, as well as that of Fr. Ephraim, as the hope of Orthodoxy. The rest of these memes I am trying to ignore.

          Now that is not to say that the EP is not infected with Modernism/Ecumenism and so on, or the MP with corruption, and blinding allegiance to the current government, but let’s put things in perspective and understand that Christ’s church is filled with both saints and sinners and, at the end of the day, is not bound by nationalism or where a particular Bishop was born. The great majority of the time the Church worldwide proclaims the Gospel, feeds the hungry, shelters the homeless, clothes the naked and saves souls the best it can by pointing to HIM WHO SAVES US ALL – Jesus Christ!

          in the end all power plays are false and heretical against the Gospel, but our Bishops do like to play them and their interlocutors like getting on blogs cheering their home team on instead of cheering on the ONE TRUE CHURCH as a whole for the salvation of all, but then again that wouldn’t be any fun now would it.

          Black Bart, the Moscow “Rolex” Patriarch, the JP “Fire Worshiper” are much more “dignified” than Vladyka or your Holiness. May God have mercy on us all.

          Peter

    • Igumen Joseph says:

      We have that. It is the Orthodox Church in America.

    • Patrick Henry Reardon says:

      Istanbul is only a relic of the past and world Orthodoxy’s center is really NYC.

      Respectfully, I think you may mean Pittsburgh.

    • anonymus per Scorilo says:

      Istanbul has much much more than 1000 Christians left in its boundaries. But they are mainly Russians, Romanians, Bulgarians, and not Greeks.

    • Yes, the “Green Patriarch,” Bart, has tremendous delusions of grandeur. Unfortunately for him, this is A.D. 2016, not 1016. Constantinople’s glory days are long behind it. So the Ecumenical Patriarchate focuses its attention on petty power grabs within the Orthodox world — when it’s not playing “divide and conquer” games within its own sphere, like it did when it carved up its exarchate in the Western Hemisphere and elevated all of its U.S. bishops to the rank of Metropolitan, so as to ensure that Archbishop Iakovos’ successor would be weakened and pose no threat to its pretensions and agenda. Pathetic. Has anyone ever bothered to read any of Bart’s encyclicals? The “green encyclicals” are absolute drivel fit for bird cage linings. And the rest are pure spiritual mush. I found former Pope Benedict’s encyclicals far more edifying.

      • As new as I am to Orthodoxy, I have decades behind me in reading history of all kinds, theology both West and East, science, etc. I have a couple of non-English reading languges available also, including German.

        As a pre-catechumen (visitor?) last year, I checked out one of Patriarch Bartholomew’s books from the local library. I read the Conclusion first and followed by trying to make my way from the beginning of the book through to the end. It was…ah…very general and poorly presented/argued.

        Give me Pope Benedict XVI’s Regensburg statement in all its clarity any day.

    • Texan Orthodox says:

      Pope St Gregory the Great (“the Dialogist,” 540-604 A.D.) *hated* the term “Ecumenical” Patriarch and wrote about how this term can inappropriately be used to illegitimately elevate one bishop “over” all the other bishops. The irony that a Pope of Rome, Orthodox as he was, writing these words is remarkable, given the Latin Church’s actions hundreds of years later which continue to this day.

      In any event, I have always wondered how much of the “Ecumenical” Patriarch’s presumed power grabs over the rest of his brother Orthodox bishops have to do with him trying to become an “Eastern Pope,” versus the Western media/press constantly referring to him as the “Leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians” and him just going along with it. The modern Western mind does not understand Orthodox ecclesiology, and virtually all think that the Orthodox Churches are merely a “more conservative” form of Roman Catholicism who look different, speak odd languages, and have different style worship.

      Most reporters/press don’t bother to learn nuances. Heck, they are not even interested. Thus, the “Ecumenical Patriarch” becomes the “Leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians.” It’s easy, and it fits with the way the Western mind understands things. The Patriarch of Constantinople, being marginalized and isolated in his native Istanbul as he is, buys into this framework, which elevates his stature. I’ve never read about the Patriarch of Constantinople correcting press reports; can you imagine? “Wait, wait, please. I am merely ‘first among equals’ in the case of a church council. I am not the ‘Leader of the Orthodox Church worldwide.’ Jesus is the Leader of our Church. Please stop referring to me as such. If you did your homework, you’d realize that Patriarch Kyrill’s church has many, many more faithful than mine does.”

      Though I feel for the Istanbul Church’s predicament, for years I’ve been in favor of the Patriarch leaving Turkey and going somewhere else: Mount Athos makes the most sense, or Geneva, or New York. The Patriarch of Antioch hasn’t been in Antioch for centuries. Patriarch Bartholomew could leave a strong bishop in Istanbul to care for the small amount of Greek Orthodox faithful there.

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

        Does anybody have any head-up on this new publication:

        Primacy in the Church

        Peter

        • Scott Arbuckle says:

          Peter:

          I’m concerned when the published praises for the book are coming from Rowan Williams and Hans Küng. Both of these men were architects of destruction in their respective churches. Williams brought about women priests & bishops in the Church of England. Küng was stripped of his ability to teach by Pope JP2 in 79 and was a staunch supporter of the novus ordo Mass.

          Scott

          • Arimathean says:

            Regarding the ordination of women in the C of E, you are incorrect. That was instigated by +Rowan’s predecessor, +George Carey. I was in England at the time. Driving back to Salisbury after an afternoon at Stonehenge in 1992, I heard on the BBC that the C of E had approved the ordination of women to the priesthood. Carey himself turned up the pressure to get it passed.

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says:
    • Michael Warren says:

      Moscow by itself represents 70%+ of the Orthodox world. An additional 10-15% subscribes to its historical and patristic brand of orthopraxis. So if anyone is parochial and not representative of Orthodoxy, the organ grinders on NYC are at the top of the list.

      Primacy in the Orthodox Church has passed to Russia.

      • MW:

        Moscow by itself represents 70%+ of the Orthodox world. An additional 10-15% subscribes to its historical and patristic brand of orthopraxis.

        Mark Twain:

        Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: ‘There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.’

        • Michael Warren says:

          Then there are Russophobes without a point.

          • Isaac Crabtree says:

            “The ground was consecrated by their blood, and the air by the passing of their souls to heaven. Yea, holy art thou, O Russia! He was right who wrote of old that thou art the third Rome, and a fourth shall not be. In thy firm stand in the Orthodox faith thou hast excelled the Rome that baptized thee, and thou wilt be unexcelled to the end of the world. Only the Land that was consecrated by the earthly life and suffering of the God-man is holier than thou art in the eyes of the Orthodox. Shake off the sleep of indifference and laziness, ye sons of Russia! Look at the glory of her martyrdom and be clean, wash away your sins’ Strengthen yourselves in the Orthodox faith, so as to be worthy to live in the house of God and to ascend His holy mountain! Arise, stand up, Russia, thou who hast drunk of the cup of the Lord’s anger from His own hand! When the sufferings are ended, thy truth will go with thee, and the glory of the Lord will accompany thee! The nations will come to thy light and kings to thy radiance. Then raise up thine eyes and look about thee: for thy children come to thee from the west, and the north, and the sea, and the east, blessing in thee Christ forever.”
            – St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco, February 1963

      • Isaac Crabtree says:

        “Because the Old Rome has collapsed on account of the heresy of Apollinarius, and because the second Rome, which is Constantinople, is now in possession of the godless Turks, thy great kingdom, O pious Tsar, is the Third Rome. It surpasses in devotion every other, and all Christian kingdoms are now merged in thy realm. Thou art the only Christian sovereign in the world, the master of all faithful Christians.”
        – Tomos Granting Autocephaly to the Russian Church, signed by Ecumenical Patriarch Jeremias of Constantinople

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

        I have said this before and I will say it again, The Ecumenical Patriarch is NOT a stand alone instutution. The United States Government, via the U.S. State Department, has and continues to use and work with the Ecumenical Patriarch in support of U.S. Vital Interest as well as the EP allowing itself to be used for its own interest. This is why I have said and continue to say do NOT underestimate the power the EP has because it comes from the U.S. Government. I am not saying I like it or that it’s right I am saying do NOT underestimate it. If you do you do to at your own peril. Read below:
        _______

        Not that long ago, American presidents understood that Washington’s active support and defense of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople was not only consistent with the principle of religious freedom but was also an important, global resource for highlighting and communicating American values in the twin arenas of international relations and Great Power diplomacy. The history surrounding this official view of the Patriarchate as a unique partner for emphasizing democratic ideas abroad and for advancing humanitarian objectives throughout the world has, however, largely eluded public awareness while being steadily eroded from the institutional memory of this country’s foreign policy elite.

        Recently declassified State Department documents reveal a fascinating story, an alternative narrative, of American interest in, and engagement with, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople during perhaps the most critical period in US foreign policy history. Under President Harry Truman, the containment doctrine against communism—inaugurated in Greece in 1947—emerged as the defining paradigm governing the US’ role in the postwar world. Containment defined Washington’s priorities, determined its international relationships, and dictated its actions abroad.

        Often underappreciated by many historians is the fact that containment under Truman, as well as Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy, had a strong religious dimension, which operated in two ways. First, it helped define the lines of the global struggle against communism by dividing the world into “moral, God-loving nations” to be led by the US, and the forces of atheism and irreligion controlled by the “Godless Soviet Union.” Second, religion not only provided a valuable instrument in containing the expansion of communism, it encouraged the internal collapse of the Soviet Union. Indeed, Truman saw religion as a powerful tool to undermine faith in the Soviet system and to bring about its eventual downfall.

        Because the dominant religion in the Soviet Union and much of the East Bloc was Orthodox Christianity, the American foreign policy establishment developed for the first time an active interest in the Orthodox Churches of Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. However, since the Orthodox Church in Russia was captive to the Soviet state, Truman necessarily had to look elsewhere to enlist Orthodoxy in his initiative for a pan-religious coalition against communism, an effort that actually went beyond the rhetorical level to the operational level with the participation of the Anglican Church and the Vatican by late 1947.

        It is remarkable, and perhaps intriguing, that at the moment the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople became the centerpiece of Truman’s plan to bring the Orthodox world into his pan-religious coalition, an American citizen became Patriarch. On November 1, 1948, the Church’s Holy Synod in Constantinople elected Athenagoras, the Archbishop of the then Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America, to become the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. A longtime personal friend of President Franklin Roosevelt, and someone who had also forged a close relationship with President Truman, Athenagoras’ candidacy for Patriarch had enjoyed the active support, and some new evidence suggests possible involvement, of the Truman administration.

        In a June 1949 communication to State Department officer Myron Taylor (the senior US diplomat who, while officially serving as the president’s representative to the Vatican, was actually responsible for coordinating the secret anti-communist pan-religious coalition in Europe and the Middle East), Truman singled out Patriarch Athenagoras I for special praise: “It is well that the forces of Christianity and democracy have such a staunch advocate and defender as he. He is indeed in a position to exercise great influence in his exalted station in Istanbul.”

        One of the most popular vignettes in Greek-American history that speaks to the disconnection between enduring myths and accurate historical understanding relates to the end of Athenagoras’ tenure as Archbishop in the Americas and the beginning of his primacy as Patriarch in Constantinople. In January 1949, Athengaros was flown to Istanbul aboard Truman’s presidential airplane to assume his position as Ecumenical Patriarch. Despite the popular, almost folkloric, account and interpretation of this event, Truman’s extraordinary gesture was not a function of his sentimentality or respect for Athenagoras, both of which, incidentally, were genuine.

        Instead, this was a measured action taken by a president who viewed Athenagoras and the Patriarchate as influential and crucial partners in the furtherance of US international interests and humanitarian values in the world struggle against communism. Truman’s unprecedented display of presidential goodwill was not intended merely as a personal expression of mutual friendship and regard for Athenagoras, but as a clear indication of Washington’s value of and support for the Patriarchate—a strong diplomatic message Truman sought to send to both Ankara and Moscow.

        President Truman often emphasized the pro-American convictions of Patriarch Athenagoras and the importance and influence of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, along with the Greek Orthodox community in the US, as vital to American foreign policy objectives. Indeed, Truman saw the Patriarchate and Athenagoras as crucial to bolstering the pro-Western resolve of both Greece and Turkey, as well as to promoting stability in the Middle East.

        Indeed, the Truman administration was especially alarmed by the apparent inroads Moscow was making with Orthodox populations throughout the Middle East. As a result, Washington viewed the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople as an important counterweight—given its revered position among the other three ancient Eastern Sees of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem—against radicalization in the Arab lands. Truman’s foreign policy valued and deliberately emphasized the ecumenical status of the Patriarchate of Constantinople—as the first Patriarchal See among equals, enjoying spiritual aegis over all Orthodox Churches—as a means to foil Moscow’s politically-driven efforts to project the Church of Russia as a global rival to Constantinople.

        It is remarkable that in today’s post-Cold War landscape some of these same issues, but now in different and more complex incarnations, continue to challenge US foreign policy in the Eastern Mediterranean and Russia. Although, it appears that effective responses to these problems are more illusive than ever, this seemingly intractable condition could be mitigated if Washington were to once again recognize the important international and constructive moral role the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople has played in the past and, if freed from Turkish persecution, could play in the future.

        Dr. Alexandros K. Kyrou is Professor of History at Salem State University, where he teaches on the Balkans, Byzantium, and the Ottoman Empire.

        http://blogs.goarch.org/blog/-/blogs/truman-athenagoras-and-world-orthodoxy-an-historical-alternative-to-current-us-relations-with-constantinople-part-two?p_p_auth=seKu41cA
        ___________

        We saw what the U.S. Government/State Department did in Georgia and what it did in Ukraine. Are we really so confident that NO proxy wars are being fought between Russia and the U.S. through THEIR, NOT OUR, Respective Patriarchs (EP & MP)?

        It is just warfare by other means.

        Peter A. Papoutsis

        • Michael Warren says:

          No offense to genuine Greek Orthodoxy and the historical achievements and fidelity of a Constantinople which has passed into history: I am heavily influenced by Mt. Athos and the Greek State Church. But the USA is in a moribund state, terminal, and fading as a global power. Istanbul was only ever a stupid pet tricks sideshow used by England and the British crown. Only Russia or the EP relocating to Athens (or Mt. Athos) and cleaning house in its diasporan archdioceses, qv +Archbishop Spyridon, can save Istanbul. Just this week, the trade deficit with China alone was $365B, that’s a direct transfer of US GDP to China. Couple that with $20T in Obama debt. The US is doje, and that will shortly become apparent as a great, economic emergency sets in in the West. So being backed by Uncle Sam Uber Alles is actually an albatross today in the Orthodox world.’

          The US will lose in the Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia and Central Asia will be a bust. Even the Baltics are on shakey ground.

          • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

            I agree with you that the EP needs to clean house and return to a genuine form of Orthodox, AND I do believe it needs to move. I didn’t always believe that but given the state of affairs in the world, especially in Turkey and the rest of the Middle East, I have come to believe that it needs to move and move fast.

            Unfortunately, while I agree with you, the EP is so infected with modernism and its own personal Chauvinism that it will not move or change. I also have come to believe that the EP and Rome have a joint agenda to NOT just unite the two churches, but enter into a religious synchronicity with each other AND other world religions that it will pose not only a real and existential threat to Orthodoxy, but to our very understanding and knowing God Himself.

            Take care Michael.

            Peter

            • Michael Warren says:

              Well, it either can matter or it won’t. The State Church of Greece represents a better model for Greek Orthodoxy.

        • Peter,

          This actually confirms mine and many others’ view of Constantinople, but not in the way you intimate. We tend to view Constantinople as an American State Department, CIA puppet see. It is not at all that the patriarchate is powerful in the least. It is simply an agent of American (and Catholic) interests. The US is the power, not a patriarch whom the Turks have attempted to assassinate at least seven times and who tramples relentlessly on Orthodox doctrine.

          We have nothing whatsoever to fear from Constantinople. We should simply keep tabs on those who pull Bartholomew’s strings.

          • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

            I agree. What bothers me that this could also be true of the other Patriarchates as they are being controlled by their respective governments. I have a sneaking suspicion that the Qatar affair that has brought division between AP and the JP may have more to do with politics than with the canons. The JP would never have invaded the canonical territory of Antioch if not allowed to. The EP would have gotten much more involved to broker a settlement, but he did not.

            The MP is, I believe, a different situation. Although under the Soviet state MP was completely controlled by the State, the current Russian Federation has given it a certain freedom to do and act as it pleases. So far the interests of the RF and the ROC are aligned. Not will they be always? That remains to be seen.

            I know the Patriarch Krill wants to keep some distance between the Church and State opting for a more “Symphonia” model, but I am not worried about the ROC as the Russian Church is fine and getting stronger every day as it should. It’s the Russian state that worries me.

            For now the RF is the ONLY check we have against the Western Globalists/NWO types and for that I am eternally grateful to Almighty God.

            However, two issues have come up that I wonder if you could comment on:

            1. Putin recently met with Henry Kissinger. Putin and Kissinger have had a long relationship over the years. It is rumored that Russia currently is in a position to bail out the various banking systems in the west, especially through BRICKS.

            2. Saudi Arabia is mobilizing 350,000 troop for a so-called exercise with military equipment. Many think they will invade Syria. Do you think IF THIS HAPPENS will Putin use tactical Nukes?

            Let me know your thoughts.

            Peter

            • Peter,

              I see the conflict between the US and the RF as a classic case of cat people and dog people in conflict, exacerbated by economics and military ordinance.

              Americans are cat people. Try herding cats. It ain’t easy. We thrive on disagreement and disharmony as a nation. In the Federalist papers it is assumed that factionalism is not a problem but rather a permanent condition of the body politic. The split personalities we project to the world are perfectly natural to us here. It’s how we roll.

              Much of the rest of the world is not that way, to say the least. Russians in particular (but not the “mercurial Ukrainians”) are dog people. Everybody is either looking to follow alpha or be alpha. Russians are uncomfortable without alpha. It’s dangerous. Especially given Russian history.

              I’m a hybrid and can see both sides.

              Putin has won elections. He has a 90% popularity rating. Even Levada confirms this. It is no sh*t. Now, is Putin a “nice guy”. Hell, no. First of all, “nice guys” don’t rise to head countries. Even Jimmy Carter was not really a “nice guy”. Just ask his political enemies.

              Does Putin have people whacked? Maybe. But I don’t think he is as sloppy as some people might imagine. In fact, I think he is very, very bright. What is more likely to me is that over the long course of his service in KGB/FSB he has made a lot of friends who have “been there and done that”. Many of them love him. And many of them are loose canons given the economic realities that followed the Soviet collapse. Nuff said, but, of course, I’m sure he’s not mourning or lighting a candle if and when his political enemies get “sent to Sochi””.

              Putin will act in the best interests, as he calculates them, of the Rodina (Motherland). He wants a secure Russia with a buffer zone in their near abroad and he will create and exploit frozen conflicts anywhere he needs to in order to realize that objective.

              1. I’ve heard about the BRICS thing. It’s probably true, but I haven’t gone in depth on it yet. Too much other stuff on my plate. But at this point I think they are eager to see a rise in oil. What someone needs to do is get America to freeze production at current levels and let the Saudis and Russians set the price of oil for the next 6-12 months to relieve this anemia. Then everyone would have more room to work and negotiate.

              2. I doubt that Russia would use tactical nukes for any reason other than to defend the Rodina. They are winning in Syria and have no reason to do so there. If the Saudis invaded, I will admit that it is a possibility, but I think they would use every last conventional means at their disposal before even considering that option.

              3. What is of concern to me is the Turkish shelling of the Kurds inside Syria. Russia floated a resolution against this which France quashed. Russia is defending Syria/Assad, essentially, against all attackers. Yet Turkey is NATO and downed a Russian plane recently. You want a trigger, there it is. However, the US is communicating its troop movements to the RF and cooperating at a certain level. I doubt that Russia would take the bait given that the Syrian rebels are ready to come to the table, hat in hand.

    • JS:

      Recognizing that Istanbul may have only 1,000 Christians left in its boundaries, Istanbul is only a relic of the past

      Let’s face facts. ORTHODOXY is only a relic of the past.

      • Michael Bauman says:

        OOM: only if you deny the incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension of Christ which given you many comments, it appears that you do.

      • Terry Myles says:

        OOM, Your comment may be more telling than you intended.

  13. Sean Richardson says:

    My suspicion is that this is the way many councils have happened throughout the history of the Church, it is just that we hear little or nothing about those councils that didn’t happen, or that came together with no beneficial outcome. They didn’t have social media nor an effective print or broadcast media centuries ago (not to suggest that the ones we have now are all that effective) so we hear more today than ever before. What we hear isn’t always positive, but at least we hear some of the news.
    I suppose this is where we derive the phrase: “Byzantine intrigue”.
    May our Lord be with us all.

  14. Yes, it keeps getting “Curiouser and curiouser!” (Alice in Wonderland, Chapter 2), “The Curious Council” .. apropos title for this article.

    Actually though, likely there is going to be a finger to the wind and they are going to try and see how much they can chip away at the tenets of the Orthodox Faith and move towards “Unia” with Roman Catholicism. Eucharistic communion as mentioned in the article and then of course the Bishop of Rome first in commemoration. Issues with “gay marriage” and if some liberal “churches” in Orthodoxy start seeing some of that in some small little pockets of their jurisdictions and if that will be allowed without breaking communion.

    Recently I was reading only a small booklet printed in Jordanville and don’t even know the author however it goes back to the 1970’s or 80’s and the interesting reminder there that the M.O. of the devil in Eschatology was that he was going to be subtle, mix truth with lies deliberately of course and aim to deceive. Anti-christ actually is going to try and look like Christ in most ways: he will appear on the scene suddenly out of nowhere, will be extraordinarily handsome looking (about Christ we do not know that) and at first, very charitable and highly likable. He will oversee the construction in Jerusalem of the Third Temple of Solomon (it won’t already be there according to this author). Likely the ‘real’ “Mark of the Beast” will be something like an “unction” emanating from there that people will accept not forcefully however of their own free will, worldwide, attesting to anti-christ, all kinds of “christians” following the heresy of ‘Chiliasm’ the “Thousand Year Reign of Christ” which in fact is actually now, our current age, which has lasted 2 thousand years however the “thousand” mentioned in Revelations only representing symbolically a “long period of time.” And we have all these years .. A.D. 2016 .. Ok, thats my basic layman’s Eschatology from my booklet .. with this council in May lets see what they come up with and I should have a roll of aluminum foil for hat making just in case as previous commentator here on this story sees tinfoil possibly getting “mainstreamed” with bonafide issues of contention, well put, new calendar, EP autocephaly decision making authority and the “two lung” theory of pope and patriarch, if all I got is foil in these ‘Times’ I will make hat keep myself dry.

    • My small claim to fame, I was out of 16 altar boys the last, Pascha, Old Cathedral, either ’63 ’64 ’65 or all three serving with St. John Maximovich. My only actual personal visual memory of him would be when he would come
      to the russian school class, and you would see his imposing small figure in the doorway. Then the buddy in russian school class I had St. John favored and not me, he shrugged his head and ruffled him and then hand him one of those old silver half dollars or who knows what maybe a Peace Dollar rare date. St. John always kind of only gave me a priest blessing. But I have had dreams of him. He visited my sister in the hospital two times when she had serious illness and prayed at length. My folks strongly opposed his commemoration of the Moscow bishop Stragorodsky in China when all communication lines were down, I think Vladika Ioann was just thinking he has to have a “church” decision to make, us White refugees already considered anything Moscow all .. and Vladika Ioann did commemorate the soviet/communist bishop my grandfather and dad at that point considered him a traitor, a judas. St. John did later on pardon my dad and grand dad saying you know, they were or had they’re heart in the right place, even though their small ring dragged him through American judicial court. I know St. John is a great saint however most of the things that I know about him are savant things, like my mom had a friend and she asked St. John’s permission to separate, he was carted off to the Soviet Union and she was with us, he said, OK. Then he told her, you will see him again. 27 years later somewhere by accident, she saw him.

      • what I was trying to remember, in the Wizard of Oz, the Tin Man. Judy Garland was the Virgin Mary figure. The Lion had to be the Jesus figure. The scarecrow represented the Apostles. Tin man probably just your average christians, all very Orthodox, squeaky. The wicked witch of the East is Rome, the nun.
        The other real; good movie is “High Noon” Garry Cooper saved a town of bunch of undeserving social democrats. Great movies .. Grand Hotel .. poor characters however a young Joan Crawford, would have liked to buy her what she would like in those days, Vermouth Martini, and as far as Greta Garbo and Lionel Barrymore also another Vermouth Vodka .. Grand Hotel MGM .. and .. the first Terminator movie . I would have loved to see Terminator shoot up those communists in moscow lubyanka .. those worthless communists ..

        the latin term for communists is: homo-sovieticusa kind of designation that indicates the neo cortex is underdeveloped and the primitive brain stem exerts too much energy over the thinking brain.

        • Cyacteristics says:

          What most people do not understand. Controlled Demolition is a ‘super modern’ science, no two are
          alike. Each one is custom, like all those mafia hotels in Vegas. But share similar characteristics.

          WTC 7 on 9/11 Julian 8/29 went down classic demolition style. Crink at the Penthouse, collapse.
          Telling us fires caused demolition collapse? See, I know when liars lie straight in my face and I tell
          them you do not know .. the difference between .. name it.

          The pilots had barely passed Cessna School? Boxcutters, me, myself, I know Tai-kwando block punch
          I would have hit their rib cage with a clear fist, then like Bruce Lee, punched them in the head.

          In John Gospel can’t remember if the devil is a liar first then the murderer or other way around.

          Jesus told Peter, if I don’t pray for you the Devil sift you like wheat. And so you have to pray too so
          Jesus pray for you.

          Thats my favorite Gospel passage, have to pray or devil sift you like wheat.

          • Estonian Slovak says:

            Excuse me, we pray to Jesus as the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. We don’t ask HIM to pray for us. Surely you are not suggesting the Son is inferior to the Father. That would be the Arian heresy.

      • Boris Jojic says:

        What do you mean, a”priest” blessing? As opposed to what?

        • Boris Jojic says:

          Look, that’s what Cy said.Had he made his post more coherent, I wouldn’t ask the question. How does the individual blessing of a priest differ from that of a bishop?

          • Cyacteristics says:

            A bishop at times uses both hands to bless, in the Liturgy after washing his hands e.g. A bishop has apostolic succession and is an extension of the original apostleship. So the blessing in that way is a
            blessing closer to the Apostles next to Jesus. Like St. Seraphim said, we are always dealing with the
            powers and principalities, not modern psychology, blessing of a bishop clears the demons out better.

            • Estonian Slovak says:

              I don’t know if you and “Cy” are the same person. Every Orthodox should know that a bishop blesses with both hands, but NOT when imparting an individual blessing. I guess Cy was implying that St. John favored his friend over him. Still, “kind of only gave me a priests blessing” sounds odd to me. If any bishop normally blesses the individual coming up to him for a blessing with both hands, I’d be obliged if someone could cite an example. And if you are “Cy”, you need to brush up on your English.

            • yes

    • I think it is safe to say that with the recent terrorist attacks in Istanbul (today’s being the latest) this Meeting will be postponed using safety as the cover.

      But the real reason is that the well is just to poisoned right now between Constantinople and Moscow for a meaningful meeting to take place. Sad to say we Orthodox can look pretty petty to each other and obtuse to the rest of the world.

    • Cy, you accept the eschatological interpretation of “someone” from Jordanville Monastery as absolute truth? Sounds like the ideas of Pantelimon, of Holy Transfiguration in Boston, who was in ROCOR at the time. I think a broader Scriptural/Patristic interpretation would be appropriate.

      • Agreed. As Orthodox we are “thy rational flock.” We live in modern times. There is a Bible interpretation book by if I’m correct off top my head Blessed Theophylact and he is an Orthodox Saint and he considered the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans the greatest destruction event ever of all time and that could be. He did not see the A bomb. What about 911 seminal event, in Revelations I read Bp. Averky with Fr. Seraphim Rose on Apocalypse can’t quite see it there yet though Gospel Scriptures has a passage about collapsing tower. September 11 Gregorian date is Julian date August 29th Feast Day of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist. That is how I have heard that day described by just the media, a “beheading.” Old Testament prophet Daniel spoke about a “time” and a “time” and a “half” with each time being surmised as 1000 years and he wrote that 2500 years ago so that is ballpark our .. modern times .. you don’t take a Jordanville monk’s interpretation too literally necessarily though we are admonished to pay heed to the signs of the times. In Mathew Chapter 24 last verse: I recently looked up, about the “Carcass” and where that lyes that is where the “Eagles” shall be gathered, always wondered what that means, have to find my Blessed Theophylact book on Mathew, though now, maybe that makes me think our Church Abroad and all the MP bishops, the eagles aka vultures. Thanks for your reply, you got 48 likes I think tops for 2016 so far, I will add one to make it 49, go Forty-niners! (Chip Kelley will get Collin Kaepernick to scramble 50 yards a game minimum)

        • Cyacteristics says:

          120 dislike and 0 like. Well my cat just jumped on the table, let me point the cursor. I had pretty good blog debate with guys believing in the “rapture.” And they linked me to their Revelation(s)-bible guru Chuck Missler.
          Yes, they think they will disappear into thin air. I said you are not going to vanish in thin air. I told them Chuck Missler is not holy, they responded what..? lol. They think this worldly guy is ‘holy’ i guess. I know he has a 401k well funded and also “eats, drinks and makes merry” like me and everyone else. About the rapture, that is linked to the old heresy about the “1000 year of Christ” and if you don’t get raptured (maybe did not give up 10% or 50% of your net income to the ministry) you maybe survive tribulation and enter the period of “1000 year of Christ.”

          Thousand year reign of Christ. Did not Jesus tell Pilot this world is not His kingdom, if it were He would send in his angels and Archangels and they would wipe out everyone principalities included save his followers.

          Thousand Year reign of Christ commenced at Pentecost. It’s today. 2016 A.D. Anno domini day of our Lord.

          The reference to the “1000 year reign of Christ” in Revelation is symbolic, not literal. Like most things in Revelation, metaphoric. It means “a long period of time” according to Church Fathers who then in response to this old heresy, wrote into the Nicene Creed, Article 7, “And shall come again,with glory, to judge both the living and the dead; Whose kingdom shall have no end.” .. (no end, much longer than just 1000 years)

          There is not going to be any “earthly reign of Christ” for 1000 years.” That will be the Antichrist. Set up shop in Jerusalem, Third Solomon Temple, all the protestant and jaded orthodox catholics will bow down to him.
          Jewish Temple is obsolete. Christians worship in “Spirit and Truth” the eucharist anywhere on the planet.

          Mathew 24 warns, you hear that the “christ” is in one place or some other, don’t believe it, for when Christ comes
          it will be sudden like thunder or lightning. Everyone will know.

  15. Rymlianin says:

    Constantinople’s dream of world hegemony is just that: a dream. The EPs interpretation of canon 28 is seriously flawed, because it speaks of “barbarian lands” with the specific meaning of lands lying outside of the “ecumene”; the borders of the late Roman empire. Since the Roman Empire no longer exists, such an interpretation is , at best, anachronistic. Today, Turkey is about as barbarian a land as you will find. The EP’s claim therefore to have jurisdiction of the lands outside the borders of the Roman Empire does not fly. Nice try, Bart, but no cigar.

  16. Nicholas wrote: “Sad to say we Orthodox can look pretty petty to each other and obtuse to the rest of the world.”
    When you consider our global, numerical weight, I don;t think the world is paying too much attention to us: I believe we make up about 2.75% of the world population. Hmmmm

    • Abbouna Michel says:

      Kudos to frd+. Many participants in this blog seem to think the rest of the world, esp. the Christian part, hangs with bated breath on every statement from, and action by, the “Orthosphere.” Gimme a break. To the extent that there is any interest, imho, the impression created is exactly that articulated by Nicholas.

      That’s especially true in the good ‘ol U.S. of A. And is it any wonder? Jurisdictions piled upon jurisdictions, constant internecine warfare (“byzantine” isn’t a adjective for nothing!), and mindless phylitism are what folks see. What they don’t witness are all the great Orthodox universities, the Orthodox hospitals serving the poor, the massive Orthodox social service organizations striving to transform American society according to Gospel values. That’s ’cause, mostly, there aren’t any: those are the province of the evil Catholics and benighted Prods.

      What if the Great Council does happen? Does anyone really think that, milleseconds into it, someone won’t get torqued, walk out, and put a public face on what pretty much everyone knows; viz., that Orthodox unity is a Potemkin village?

      Contexts really ARE important here, and unfortunately, mostly they don’t favor Orthodoxy in its current manifestations. And all the bloviating won’t alter that a whit!

      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

        Inadvertently opened Monomakhos and read “Abbouna Michel’s remarks. Many thanks. Here is something relative to “what folks see.”

        “The city of Flint, Michigan, is grappling with a shocking water crisis. Republican Governor Rick Snyder’s administration tried to save money by selling polluted Flint river water to the residents of Flint instead of using Detroit’s water sources, and ended up poisoning a hundred thousand people with lead. Now that he’s been exposed, the governor is suddenly extremely concerned about the situation that he was aware of but allowed to fester, only declaring a state of emergency and begging for help from the federal government after the whistles were blown.

        Americans all over the country are joining together to send clean water to Flint in an inspiring show of compassion and unity. The Muslim community of the neighboring city of Dearborn has collected over 30,000 bottles of water for the Red Cross through an organization called “Who is Hussain?” Organizer Dr. Aziza Asakari said that “we saw what needed to be done and we decided to do it. We reached out to schools, neighbors, friends, mosques, anyone and everyone to help us by donating a case of water, or money towards a case.”

        Resident Mohammed Almawla shared his sentiments: “Prophet Mohammed (عليه السلام) taught us ‘Your neighbor comes before your own household.’ As a resident of Detroit this is not only a Flint problem this is a Michigan problem and I feel obligated to help to the best of my ability.”

        The London-based group’s curious name refers to the story of Imam Hussain ibn Ali, a grandson of the Prophet who died of starvation and thirst in the desert after refusing to give his allegiance to a cruel tyrant who was depriving his citizens of their rights and freedoms. The group has made water distribution a key part of their mission to honor his memory, demonstrating a side of Muslim values that the media never shows.

        It is very inspiring to see American Muslims coming together to fix a horrific crisis caused by Snyder – a man who closed his state border to Syrian refugees after the Paris attacks. These people are showing him the how one truly embodies the values of charity and communal support that he should have shown for the women and children fleeing unimaginable terror – showing the people of Flint the compassion and care that the criminal Snyder should have shown for the people he ostensibly represents.”

  17. John Skatakoulis says:

    What all Orthodox Christians must understand is that Orthodox Church organization is “LOCAL.” The Canons consistently refer to each “local church.” Each local church runs it’s own churches with it’s own bishops without any foreign bishop or synod influence. This is clear from Orthodox Canon Law. Rome operates totally differently. Everything comes from Rome to all of its churches worldwide. “Centralization” or “Decentralization.” The Apostolic format is “decentralization.” This Pat. Bart Council is his way to try and change Orthodoxy to a “centralization” format that is NOT Apostolic. At this council in Istanbul on Pentecost 2016, Bart’s agenda is to establish that only he and his synod can determine 1) who can become an autocephalous church 2) the Diptychs become the permanent structure for Orthodox Church Organization around the world. The reason for insisting on the Diptychs, which were never meant for organizing ANY “local church,” is so the Greek bishops, reporting to Bart, have primacy over all other bishops. This would be key in the U.S., Mideast, etc. Furthermore, Orthodox Canon Law does not outline who can or cannot grant “autocephaly.” (Bart is still harping on this since the ROC granted its daughter church in America, the Metropolia, autocephaly to become the OCA). The “seal” of worldwide Orthodoxy of acceptance of any autocephalous church is INTER-COMMUNION with all other churches. The OCA has inter-communion with all Orthodox churches worldwide and therefore, total acceptance. (Note: Constantinople did not recognize the autocephaly of the ROC for over 100 years even after it fell into heresy signing at the Council of Florence in 1438.) Bart’s Wonderful Adventure is establish himself as the “Eastern Pope” and those attending this council to coronate him.

  18. To George and All Monomakhos readers:

    First of all, I want to apologize for the tone of the things that I have said here with respect to the following persons and institutions: Each and every one of the Orthodox jurisdictions, but especially Goarch, it’s archbishop and it’s patriarch. Many years to them both and to all of you.

    Also, I apologize to Michael Stankovich, Vladyka Tikhon, Isa, Francis and anyone else I may have inadvertently forgotten, for basically the same reasons. Brothers and sisters, we seek the truth together and though I was honest as I could be, my tone was at times harsh.

    Christ is Born!
    Glorify Him!

    • I accept.

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

      May I apologize to you as well Misha for the same thing, especially my comment towards Holy Russia, ROCOR and the MP, and to all others for my harshness and rude tone. Let us go forward as brothers together in Jesus Christ. I also echo:

      Christ is Born!
      Glorify Him!

      Peter

  19. John Skatakoulis says:

    Today, the Ecumenical Patriarchate issued its communique on the synaxis (assembly) of the primates of the Local Orthodox Churches to be held at Chambesy, January 21-28. The English text has just been posted athttp://www.amen.gr/article/communique-of-the-ecumenical-patriarchate-about-the-synaxis-of-the-primates-in-geneva .

    As you can read, all of the primates of the 14 Local Orthodox Churches will be attending except for Patriarch John X of Antioch, Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece, and Metropolitan Sava of Poland. The latter three churches will be represented by delegations. Presumably, the eleven primates who will be attending will have delegations as well. Although health is given as the reason for the non-attendance by Patriarch John, one imagines whether the cessation of communion between Antioch and Jerusalem over the Qatar jurisdictional dispute might also be a motivating reason.

    • Michael Warren says:

      This is a farce. The participants in this nonsense will live to regret it. Because the Orthodox people won’t stand for the Renovationist, Neo Papalist, Uniate agenda of Istanbul. This is a modern day Brest Unia in the making.

      • Nikolai Sokolovskii says:

        Our holy father is a great leader; he reconfigured the agenda to excise all of the silliness. Who knows where we’d be without his interventions. We should also be thankful for the people he strategically placed in Little Russia, especially the oligarchs. Those silly fools in the rabid Ukrainian diaspora will never get their way now. Hopefully the bear will cut off the natural gas soon, too, let the Little Russians freeze, maybe they’ll come to their senses. Even the bishops who speak that silly hillbilly “language” will crawl back to us like the slaves they have always been. H.B. Met. Onufry is teaching them the blessings of proper obedience to His Holiness; all slaves need a head slave. And the Orthodox army in DNR and LNR is doing a great job of ridding the world of those silly nationalists. Let’s hope they march on Crestwood next!

  20. John Skatakoulis says:

    January 20, 2016
    New SVS Press publications explore primacy, conciliarity
    YONKERS, NY [SVOTS Communications]

    Amid global discussions regarding the Great Council of the Orthodox Church in 2016, Saint Vladimir’s Seminary Press recently announced two soon-to-be-released publications that explore issues related to primacy and conciliarity.

    Both volumes are compilations that feature the work of expert scholars. Primacy in the Church: The Office of Primate and the Authority of Councils (Volume I) was edited by the Reverend Dr. John Chryssavigis, Archdeacon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, while the newest issue of St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly (Vol. 60, No. 1–2) was edited by Dr. Paul Meyendorff, the Father Alexander Schmemann Professor of Liturgical Theology at Saint Vladimir’s Seminary.

    Primacy in the Church will be formally released at the seminary’s 33rd annual Father Alexander Schmemann Memorial Lecture, to be held on the seminary campus at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 31, 2016. The editor of the volume will deliver this year’s Schmemann lecturer. His topic will be “Toward the Holy and Great Council: Retrieving a Culture of Conciliarity and Consensus.”

    In the first volume of Primacy in the Church, Father Chryssavigis examines the development and application of a theology of primacy and synodality through the centuries, and addresses what is arguably the most significant and sensitive issue in both inter-Orthodox debate and inter-Christian dialogue—namely, the authority of the primate and the role of councils in the thought and tradition of the Church. The editor draws together original contributions from prominent scholars today, complemented by formative selections from theologians in the recent past, as well as relevant ecumenical documents.

    The second volume, to be released this spring, will explore how such a theology can inform contemporary ecclesiology and reconcile current practices.

    “The editor and contributor of four articles, Father John Chryssavgis, is to be commended and congratulated because he managed—in cooperation with Saint Vladimir’s Seminary Press—to place at the disposal of Church authorities and theologians a valuable resource on a crucial issue,” said His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

    Commenting on the special issue of the Quarterly, Dr. Meyendorff said, “In this special double issue, some 20 scholars—primarily Orthodox, but also Protestant and Roman Catholic—reflect on the chief issues the upcoming council will (or will not) address, as well as their desires and hopes for its outcome. Reflecting a broad spectrum of perspectives, the contributors clearly demonstrate the multiple challenges that face contemporary Orthodoxy, both internally and also in relation to other Christian churches.”

    SVS Press is offering a pre-publication discount on Primacy in the Church (Volume I) through January 31, 2016. It may be purchased here. The special double issue of Saint Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly may be purchased here.

    Since its inception in 1968, SVS Press has been integral to the seminary’s mission to serve Christ and His Church through theological education, research and scholarship. Its books, music and lecture CDs, and children’s titles provide spiritual and intellectual nourishment to Orthodox Christian faithful and those around the globe seeking information about the Orthodox Church.

    • Michael Warren says:

      I find myself lamenting ever more that +Metropolitan Leonty’s and Fr. Florovsky’s vision for St. Vladimir’s was hijacked. Some excellent publications aside, St. Vladimir’s has become a distiled think tank of Renovationist adventurism with liberal superlative triteness regaling its blighted image. When the money becomes available, house will be cleaned at St. Vladimir’s and it will end its preposterous vocation of becoming a salon for Istanbul led Renovationism.

    • Fr. Thomas Hopko’s reflections on reconciliation will be a welcome addition to this. He wrote a paper one what it would take to reconcile which I thought was magnificent.

  21. The “center” of the “Orthodox World” is … NYC?!?!?! 😅😅😅😅😅 I’ve heard it all now! Any “Synod” gotten together here in the US would be Ecumania II. The thought of an “Autocephalous American Church” is almost as ludicrous as an Autonomous American Church under the Vatican East (Istanbul). And, not interested in the “exploration” of ANYTHING by SVS … except perhaps relocation to Patagonia …

    • Michael Warren says:

      There IS an autocephalous American church, the OCA. The Mother Church says so. It is about time for you all in the white government in exile land of ROCOR to talk less, help more, obey canonical authority and get with the program.

      • ROCORthodox says:

        Michael, if what you claim above is the position of “The Mother Church”, why did the Mother sign an “Act of Canonical Communion” which clearly ignores the OCA Tomos?

        Point blank from the Act:

        1. That the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, conducting its salvific service in the dioceses, parishes, monasteries, brotherhoods, and other ecclesiastical bodies that were formed through history, remains an indissoluble, self-governing part of the Local Russian Orthodox Church.

        http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/synod/engdocuments/enmat_akt.html

        Michael, please note that “The Mother Church” officially breached the Tomos by recognizing that ROCOR remains an indissoluble, self-governing part of the ROC. How so? Because the OCA Tomos states that the ROC can only retain the parishes listed within OCA territory, spelled out in that document! IOW, by recognizing ROCOR as remaining an “indissoluble” part of the ROC, “The Mother Church” just expanded her dioceses, parishes, monasteries, brotherhoods, and other ecclesiastical bodies within the OCA territory laid out in the Tomos.

        Indeed,”The Mother Church” breached the Tomos by no longer honoring the strictures of that document.

        • Michael Warren says:

          Have you been reading Lewis Carol lately or are you just a Tim Burton fan? Surreal alternate universe nonsense that’s just ROCOR wishful thinking. At the same time ROCOR was being received out of white exile, foil hat schism, negotiations were being held with Syosset and a similar commission on restoring Communion with the OCA, your canonical church in America, was held. The result of it was that as part of restoring Communion with the Mother Church, you restored Communion with us. The Tomos allows the Mother Church to establish parishes and monasteries in North America after negotiating with us and receiving our agreement. I don’t know what you think you are trying to say, but our primate when visiting Moscow receives the SAME honors when he concelebrates as the primate of the autocephalous church of Greece does, for he is considered the head of the Church in North America. Your Metropolitan is treated with about the same protocol as the head of the Mother Church’s Sourozh Diocese, and certainly not with the same respect as the autonomous heads of the sees of Kiev and Minsk are. So talk less, get whatever psychotherapy you need to get off of white government in schism syndrome, get with the program and start building up your canonical local church and obey the Mother Church! No one has the patience to put up with your schismatic, white government in exile nonsense anymore. If the shoe were on the other foot, we all know what you megomaniacal ersatz oberprocurators would be shouting and what kind of submission to your authority you would be demanding because we have witnessed your hamhanded delusions of grandeur of yore. A polite nudge is just that. Less propaganda, no schism, commemorate your canonical primate in North America, and start helping out in building up the North American mission. Because I can assure you that Istanbul will treat you with less tolerance than it did Pangratios & CO. You all are stuck on schism to borrow with literary license from General Honore. Wake up and be Orthodox. The 39th. Canon of the Sixth Ecumenical provides for a temporary, autonomous administration so that the diocese (s) in question transition into becoming parts of the local churches in which they find themselves. You all said as much in Yugoslavia in 1936 when you agreed to begin becoming part of the Serbian church. Get with the program.

          • ROCORthodox says:

            Michael Warren’s one statement that actually addressed the above post::

            “The Tomos allows the Mother Church to establish parishes and monasteries in North America after negotiating with us and receiving our agreement.”

            ROCORthodox: No, the Tomos does NOT say what you claim; it says the MP will NOT establish any more entities in OCA territory and can only retain those listed in paragraph 3.

            Read the Tomos and observe for yourself how it’s being trampled by the MP, specifically these paragraphs:

            7. The Autocephalous Orthodox Church in America shall have exclusive spiritual and canonical jurisdiction over all bishops, clerics and laymen of the Eastern Orthodox confession in continental North America, excluding Mexico, and including the State of Hawaii who are presently part of the Metropolitanate, or who shall later enter the Metropolitanate; and over all parishes which now belong or later shall be accepted into the Metropolitanate, excepting the entire clergy, possessions and parishes enumerated in Paragraph 3, points a,b,c.

            ** BREACHED BY MP IN 2007 AND IGNORED TO THIS DAY**

            8. The Moscow Patriarchate shall not lay claim to either spiritual or canonical jurisdiction over bishops, clergy and laymen of the Eastern Orthodox confession, or over parishes mentioned in Division 1, Paragraph 7, and by the present yields to the Metropolitanate, all jurisdiction to which she has laid claim on the above mentioned territory (Paragraph 7); excepting the entire clergy, possessions and parishes enumerated in Paragraph 3, points a,b,c.

            ** BREACHED BY MP IN 2007 AND IGNORED TO THIS DAY**

            https://oca.org/history-archives/tomos-of-autocephaly

            Sorry Michael, “the Mother Church” ignored the Tomos and blatantly broke that agreement by reestablishing Canonical Communion with ROCOR and thereby expanded the ROC within the OCA territory. It doesn’t matter that you don’t like it; it’s the reality we are living in SINCE 2007.

            • Michael Warren says:

              Actually READ THE TOMOS. It is on the OCA website. Don’t lie to people with redacted propaganda.

              Your existence and presence here was negotiated per the Tomos, clause 9, and established under the special circumstances set forth by the 39th. Canon of the Sixth Ecumenical Council which allows for a TEMPORARY, autonomous administration. That means it will come to an end, CANONICALLY MANDATING YOUR ABSORPTION INTO THE LOCAL CHURCHES WHERE YOU MAINTAIN YOUR PRESENCE.

              This is Grabbe-esque pathetic schism.

              • I am an attorney and have read the tomos in great detail. It grants very little but the empty title of autocephaly and the right to control the OCA parishes then in existence. It states that only those parishes, etc, of other jurisdictions which later choose to unite with OCA would be under its jurisdiction. Read the discussion between Isa and me from earlier in 2015.

                Besides, it’s all moot now:

                http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/90320.htm

                If this process is applied retrospectively to unilateral actions of the past, the OCA’s alleged autocephaly is no longer defensible.

                Welcome to the Russian Orthodox Church.

                • Michael Warren says:

                  Well, I would not hire you as an attorney, because it grants autocephaly and negotiates its implementation in North America, explaining the Mother Church’s declaration, support and open advocacy.

                  But in ROCOR fantasy land, that is “nothing.”

                  Yeah, we were the Russian American mission, the sole canonical Orthodox adminstration in North America. That’s why we became the autocephalous, local church, on whose canonical territory you find yourself.

                  I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. But the punchline is ROCOR so it’s just par for the course.

                  • ROCOR is an integral part of the Church of Russia (the OCA”s mother church) on the alleged canonical territory of the OCA. Recently, in case you missed it. Pat Kirill agreed that autocephaly should not be granted unilaterally and is not valid until agreed to by the other autocephalous churches.

                    https://mospat.ru/en/2016/02/02/news127693/

                    * * *

                    Patriarch Kirill: Any unilateral actions in granting autocephaly should be excluded

                    “Among the topics considered in the preparation process for the Pan-Orthodox Council, are autonomy and the way of granting it, as well as autocephaly and the way of granting it. In his report to the Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia introduced the bishops to the progress of pre-council preparations.

                    He noted in particular that the agreed draft document on Autonomy and the Way of Granting It reconfirms the right of each autocephalous Church to grant a particular degree of autonomy to her particular part, except for the diocesan structures located in the Orthodox Diaspora regions.

                    Speaking in detail on the topic of ‘Autocephaly and the Way of Granting It’, His Holiness said, ‘Our Church, just as a number of other Local Churches, has repeatedly insisted that the elaboration of this topic should be completed and the draft document should be submitted to the Pan-Orthodox Council. The Inter-Orthodox Preparatory Commission reached already in 2009 an agreement in principle concerning the procedure for granting autocephaly. In the first place, the consent of the Mother Church shall be obtained to be followed by pan-Orthodox consensus. After that, the Tomos of Autocephaly shall be issued, signed by the Primates of all the existing universally recognized autocephalous Churches’.

                    The only item that remains unresolved is the order of signing the Tomos. Patriarch Kirill is confident that ‘certainly, this issue can be agreed just as well if the study is continued’.

                    He said that in his opinion it is important that there is already a common understanding of the need for consensus among all the Churches, excluding any unilateral actions in granting autocephaly.”

                    Information Service of the Bishops’ Council

                    DECR Communication Service

                    * * *

                    Don’t know how to break this to you dude, but ROCOR just received a whole other church into it while your alleged autocephaly is hanging by a very thin thread.

                    Добро пожаловать в РПЦ!

                    PS: As far as hiring me as an attorney, you probably couldn’t afford me. And I would not ask directions from you, brother o mine, because you don’t even know where you’re at now.

                    • Michael Warren says:

                      More ROCOR foil hat schismatic nonsense. How did you pass the bar? No where is anything written in what you provided even hinting at rescinsion of the Tomos. What you think you provided as proof that Moscow is rescinding the Tomos states that the issuance of autocephaly cannot be undertaken “unilaterally” or MORE IMPORTANTLY ***rejected unilaterally.*** OCA autocephaly was not a unilateral initiative, because it has been recognized by other Orthodox local churches. If anything, to help you with your rudimentary deductive skills, the Patriarch is talking about obtaining universal recognition of autocephalous local churches, not rescinding the autocephaly of your canonical, local church, the OCA. Meaning neither Istanbul, nor your ball room cathedral on 93re Street in Manhattan can unilaterally refuse to recognize autocephalous, Orthodox local churches.

                      How do we know this is what is meant? Well, BECAUSE THE PATRIARCH COMMEMORATES +Metropolitan Tikhon in the diptyches with the heads of other local churches as the PRIMATE OF THE CHURCH OF NORTH AMERICA.

                      Again, what the document about autocephaly does say which is important is that granting it is not a matter of Istanbul’s prerogative, meaning most probably that when the final document on autocephaly is penned, the authority of Moscow in issuing it will be clearer and less encumbered. That’s why Istanbul has a problem with the document.

                      So, no, if what you just wrote is an example of your deductive skills, I couldn’t afford to hire you as an attorney to provide you charity, because you are sure to lose any given case due to ineptness.

                      Paper mill law degrees aside, you are stuck on schism living in a fantasy land where no one else thinks as you do. You don’t speak for the Mother Church. No need for further statements from the Grabbe compound.

                      BTW, we were the Russian church when you brought your schism to this continent. Sober up. We welcomed you into her fold. Here you are just regurgitating the same old, ridiculous, White government in exile schismatic party line.

                  • I will say this for you, MW, having perused some other threads here, you are well versed in firearms and I have to respect that.

            • Michael Warren says:

              You missed clause 9, and it has been understood to mean that the Mother Church may only establish new parishes and institutions on our canonical territory with our negotiated consent. The basis of your autonomy boils down to a negotiated agreement per the Tomos and the special circumstances of the 39th. Canon of the Sixth Ecumenical Council which permit a TEMPORARY, AUTONOMOUS administration. Hence, a negotiated, agreement within the framework of the Tomos for a temporary administration.

              The fact that you presume to state schismatically that your special case autonomy abolished the Tomos, which no responsible party in their right mind has hinted at, only ensures that your temporary autonomous adminstration will be briefer than you all would like. There are a host of canons anathemizing those “who would set up second altars, incite rebellion against canonical authority, create unlawful assemblies, propagate schism, vagante bishops and their ordinations, etc.” And your schismatic rants will provoke these condemnations if your ridiculous white government in exile institutionalizes for itself your foil hat, schismatic nonsense. Gone forever are the pretensions of the days of ROCOR “speaking as the free voice of the enslaved and persecuted Russian church.” You all WILL honor and recognize the Tomos, which the MOTHER CHURCH has not rescinded, because your autonomy is much easier to rescind, and you know it. Nor are you worth the hassle to the Mother Church. Foil hat schism will no longer be tolerated and Vagante, Ofiesh-esque jurisdictions on our canonical territory have no future.

              9.The changing of jurisdictions by parishes which are in the canonical care of the Moscow Patriarchate after the proclamation of the Metropolitanate’s autocephaly shall occur on the initiative of the parishes themselves and after bilateral agreements in each concrete case between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Autocephalous Church in America.

        • ROCORthodox says:

          I would like to add that if I am incorrect on the above, please somebody correct me by explaining my flawed assessment.

      • Terry Myles says:

        The Soviet Orthodox Church is our Mother?????

        • Michael Warren says:

          So you are a Russophobe stuck on discredited, heretical ecclesiology redacted by politics?

  22. John Skatakoulis says:

    Dear Woerl: In the U.S., most all the hierarchs of the Orthodox Churches are located in the NYC area. Furthermore, the theology & leadership in World Orthodoxy won’t be found in Moscow, Istanbul, Damascus or anywhere else. The U.S. is not “stagnated” like these other places. The problem is that the foreign bishops have kept all the Orthodox divided against themselves. Even + Bart’s current initiative will go against Orthodox Canon Law where foreign bishops have no authority beyond their own territory. Neither Istanbul, nor Moscow, nor Damascus, etc. have any authority in America. What began by them as “missionary activities” has turned into permanent dioceses AGAINST CANON LAW. The Ass. of Bishops must become an autocephalous Orthodox Synod for America without any foreign intervention. And then all of these bishops elect their own head – this is Orthodox Canon Law. And of course, this center will by in NYC!

    • Michael Warren says:

      Orthodox Tradition is not stagnation. The Renovationism and utter lack of Orthodox maturity in an American church still searching for a focus, even a common liturgical language, not to mention finding a fidelity to Orthodoxy makes this utterly preposterous and hatefully so! The ultimate test of Orthodox identity is martyrdom and sanctity. In that your NYC doesn’t have anyone in the race, and is not only calcified stagnant, it is hyper calcified and nominal. How dare you for one moment assert that a band of renegades in NYC whose brand of Orthodoxy is pews, organs, crypto-unia, papal pedophile lounge suits, antimonasticism and every innovation they can contrive, say that this group of miscreants who fight over who will get the most of what’s put in the plate on Sunday in hand to mouth ad hoc churches is in any way representative of the Orthodox world?! By itself, Russian Orthodoxy represents 70%+ of the Orthodox world. It doesn’t want your American Mos Isley space port heretical mutation of Orthodoxy. The Russian Federation defends another 25% of the Orthodox world which shares the orthopraxis and piety of the Russian church. That leaves a 5% which still is not too keen on your McOrthodoxy. When and if NYC grows up and actually produces a NATIVE Orthodoxy faithful to the Church it might be welcome at the table. But for right now you have a bunch of unchurched, puerile hooligans unsure about gay rights, hierofeminism, monasticism, what is Orthodox Baptism, whether or not it is OK to celebrate the LORD’S Nativity together with the other Orthodox Christians in the world, whether or not Priests should wear beards and cassocks, whether or not Holy Friday services are insensitive, whether or not Holy Canons have merit, whether or not the Holy Fathers are relevant, whether or not the MIND OF CHRIST guides the Church. Then they term anyone who rejects their lack of piety, sobriety, maturity and fidelity as “backward, fundamentalist, Russophile and/or schismatic” despite the fact that this mob of ersatz Eastern Rite poseur reformers represents less than 1% of the Orthodox Church and is unfaithful to her. NYC’s Renovationism could be conciliarly condemned (and should be) and its clerics conciliarly disciplined (and not by fax machine). NYC Renovationism is totally Eastern Rite Protestant and sectarian, non normative of Orthodoxy. There are Melkite Uniates in North America more faithful to the Orthodox Tradition. Your idea is an irresponsible and contrived, sectarian banality. Then there is the fact that the US is an antiOrthodox neo-pagan Sodom. The Orthodox world is represented by its witness (martyria) and its sanctity. The choirs of martyrs and saints of the Russian church from just the last hundred years pray steadfastly for us and for the absolute majority of Orthodox Christians who demand ORTHODOXY and not some contrived pew and organ Eastern Rite Protestant Renovationist counterfeit excelling in nothing but nominalism and apostasy. Be Orthodox first before putting on a crown you don’t deserve! Because right now the crown you would wear has Burger King printed on it. Primacy in the Orthodox Church has passed to the See of Moscow because fidelity is not stagnation but the witness of theosis and that’s why Russian piety and orthopraxis represents a super majority of Orthodoxy, 90%+, a supermajority which rejects NYC Eastern Rite Protestant Renovationism.

      In that I affirm the OCA as the sole, canonical North American ecclesiastical administration seeing in it the nucleus of a bona fide future native, local church, where today the various ethnic churches should be forming synodeias under her omophorion where they can be faithful to their local customs and ancestral churches receiving guidance and where we with the guidance and aid of the Mother Church can do the same thing while reconciling differences to arrive at a distinct and faithful and patristic native piety and fulfill the Tomos of Autocephaly (the canonical reality in North America), becoming a full blown and effective missionary Church for America and for the West. But from that to leap to Orthodox primacy is something only Mel Brooks can envision. Orthodoxy in North America is not satire and we need to live it finally here, not institutionalize a pastiche of it as a comedy skit. Let’s stop losing generations first and stop producing agnostic archons. Then let’s have one language and a model of fidelity. Let’s mature in orthopraxis, martyria and theosis and stop terming it “stagnation” or “fundamentalism.” Let’s be faithful to the Church and stop having people who have been Orthodox for eighteen months teach us to “learn Orthodox with a liberal education”: Orthodoxy is a Patristic school of life in a personal relationship in CHRIST and as a community of the Kingdom of GOD as the Body of CHRIST.

      • ROCORthodox says:

        Michael, I salute your enthusiasm but nobody – not even “The Mother Church” – recognizes the OCA Tomos for the reasons I stated above. A new agreement would have to be created to fulfill your “mostly good” vision above.

        • Michael Warren says:

          That’s just foil hat nonsense which hasn’t gotten the message that the VHF/UHF bands are defunct. The Mother Church recognizes +Metropolitan Tikhon as the head of the autocephalous church of North America, the OCA. And that is how he is commemorated in the diptyches along with the other heads of autocephalous Orthodox local churches. Now reread that three times. There it is. Take the foil hat off, detox, strong coffee. Talk less, end schism, help build the Church in North America and submit to canonical authority, the OCA.

          Because right now you are just broadcasting reruns from the Grabbe compound dated 30/17, September, 1981 with the ink stamped signature of +Metropolitan Philaret. You are channeling HOCNA.

          • ROCORthodox says:

            Michael, I just quoted above the very paragraphs from the Tomos that ROCOR/MP breached in 2007 – and continues to breach – in real time!

            • Michael Warren says:

              In other words, you haven’t read the Tomos and the proviso for the Mother Church to establish parishes and monasteries on our canonical territory with our consent…

              Instead, you are channeling the Grabbe.

            • Michael Warren says:

              You missed clause 9.

              9.The changing of jurisdictions by parishes which are in the canonical care of the Moscow Patriarchate after the proclamation of the Metropolitanate’s autocephaly shall occur on the initiative of the parishes themselves and after bilateral agreements in each concrete case between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Autocephalous Church in America.

        • Michael Warren says:

          Reads like the character Lucifer from PARADISE LOST. “Non servum! Non servum! Non servum!”

        • Michael Warren says:

          So you are endorsing the NYC model of primacy, but from your white government in exile ballroom – Cathedral on 93rd. Street in Manhattan being the center of your ersatz circus? In fact, you believe your own propaganda so much you are speaking for the Holy Synod and the Patriarch now?!

          Alas, they are unaware of your unilateral rescinding of the Tomos, nor have they endorsed your self proclaimed authority. Guess it doesn’t bode well for your alternate Grabbe universe, does it? Or do you have ink stamped signatures on documents like HOCNA too?

          I suggest you talk less, help more, get with the program and integrate into the canonical North American church, the OCA

          Schism dies hard in the mythological land of Catacomb Russian aristocrat wannabe popes of “authentic Orthodoxy” and white emigre pretenders to the throne of All the Russias.

          • ROCORthodox says:

            Michael, every ROCOR parish under Met. Hilarion Kapral, existing in OCA territory since 2007 is a breach of the OCA Tomos. That’s not an alternate universe from 1981; that’s a cold, hard fact here and now resulting from the Act of Canonical Communion.

            Also, it’s an established fact that ROCOR demanded during the negotiations for the Act of Canonical Communion that there would be no reuniting with the MP if it required ROCOR recognizing OCA autocephaly. The MP agreed to this demand.

            Yes, ROCOR is now in full communion with the OCA but ROCOR is in no way under OCA direction or authority.

            In fact, after the Act of CC, a Synodal commission under the chairmanship of Bishop George of Mayfield was put together to examine the relationship between OCA and ROCOR.

            Conclusion: ROCOR will have full communion with OCA but will NOT submit to the OCA as the autocephalous church in the Americas. That’s the reality we all live in, like it or not.

            As such, you should be complaining to the OCA and MP hierarchs and asking them why they allowed this to happen.

            Report back when you get the answer!

            • Michael Warren says:

              Knock, knock, and, no, this is not a joke.

              If you have ever read the Tomos, you would know that it allows the Mother Church to open new parishes and monasteries on our canonical territory by negotiating with us and receiving our approval. Hence, you were received on American soil back into Orthodoxy from white government in exile, foil hat schism with dual commissions, one with us, and one with the Mother Church. There was no violation of the Tomos, neither is your autonomy some fanciful exception to it, nor was such negotiated. We never suspended our canonical territory, neither did the Mother Church. But, yes, the Mother Church was far too generous with you in light of your divisive and schismatic presence and history, BUT you all agreed to repent of it and start cooperating and getting your house in order canonically.

              Just more Grabbe-esque nonsense.

              And you reestablished Communion with us recognizing our status as established by the Mother Church, but in an existence akin to the patriarchal parishes (an expanded notion of their presence on our canonical territory) due to our largesse. Now say thank you.

              Moreover, your autonomous existence is temporary! (And the patriarchal parishes will also eventually merge into YOUR canonical, local church, the OCA, us.) You predicated your existence on the 39th. Canon of the Sixth Ecumenical Council. Read it. Then read the canonists’ interpretation of it. It allows for a TEMPORARY autonomy only. It calls upon the bodies using it to assimilate into the canonical territory of the local church in which they find themselves. Since your parishes in North America exist on our canonical territory, AS ESTABLISHED BY THE MOTHER CHURCH, the math here is not rocket science.

              Again less foil hat, schismatic propaganda, which you all agreed to abandon and condemned, more cooperation and respect for your canonical, local church, the OCA.

              Start working out your path to a full fledged, canonical existence by working out a model as a Russian exarchate on our canonical territory. Start cooperating in building the American church. And stop dividing Orthodox Christians. It isn’t cute. No one recognizes your white messiahship, and the schismatic nonsense really is on the last nerve of everyone’s patience.

              The White immigration is long gone, and the Vlasovite DPs have almost all passed away. Tsarstvie im Nebesnoe. There is no further need of a special diocese for displaced children of the Russian church. The 39th. Canon of the Sixth Ecumenical Council has all but expired for you all, and, no, the canon doesn’t exist to serve a “permanent diaspora.”

              • Riddle me this, MW: Given that Pat. Kirill has agreed that autocephaly, to be valid, must be signed off on by all the autocephalous churches, and given that he agrees that no unilateral grant of autocephaly by a local church into the diaspora is valid, when do you expect that Pat. Bartholomew will sign a tomos for the OCA and hand over all of GOARCH to the OCA?

                It’s snowing and pretty cold where I am right now, but I suspect that a blizzard will have to inundate the infernal regions before the above scenario transpires.

                • Michael Warren says:

                  Because the document speaks about Istanbul’s pretensions to be the sole issuer of autocephaly and REJECTS THEM in speaking of a CONSENSUS, REJECTING UNILATERAL REJECTIONS OF THE ISSUANCE OF AUTOCEPHALY AND ISTANBUL’S pretensions to its issuance.

                  Savvy? Now savvy this: OCA’s autocephaly has been recognized by other churches meaning it is not unilateral. Oops. One more thing, the Patriarch continues to commemorate +Metropolitan Tikhon as the PRIMATE OF THE AUTOCEPHALOUS CHURCH IN NORTH AMERICA. Strong coffee. Throw out the Grabbe koolaid from 1978, because you at this point ofer nothing but schismatic, crazy talk. Have prayers read over you. Maybe that will get rid of the unclean spirit of the grabbes.

                  Istanbul on its current course, the GOA in this country, will be a minor player in 15 years. They don’t matter. Yes, they will probably commit apostasy before doing anything else.

            • Michael Warren says:

              From the Tomos regarding the Mother Church’s establishment of new church’s on our canonical territory:

              9. The changing of jurisdictions by parishes which are in the canonical care of the Moscow Patriarchate after the proclamation of the Metropolitanate’s autocephaly shall occur on the initiative of the parishes themselves and after bilateral agreements in each concrete case between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Autocephalous Church in America.

      • Many of the comments illustrate what’s plaguing the Orthodox Church in this country, and the rest of the world for that matter: “my jurisdiction is bigger (or better than) your jurisdiction.” The OCA is the “legitimate” church in the Americas. No, Moscow and ROCOR are. No, Constantinople is. And so on and so forth. Petty, almost juvenile squabbling. And it’s ten-fold worse when you consider the bickering from the Church’s senior hierarchs, who are behaving like juveniles with beards. The Patriarch of Antioch is having a hissy fit because the Patriarch of Jerusalem established a church in Qatar, which it considers its “historical territory”; a few years ago, Patriarch Bart orchestrated the overthrow of the Patriarch of Jerusalem because the latter set up parishes in America; and so it goes. Eastern Christianity is on the verge of extinction in the Middle East from the Islamic fanatics, but our hierarchs are preoccupied with their schoolyard tussles. So sad.

        • Michael Warren says:

          I hate to break it to you, but the OCA IS the canonical NorthAmerican, autocephalous, local church
          I too agree let’s end the squabbling and unite under her omophorion.

          • You really ought to look at the discussion that Isa and I had about this. The OCA tomos is utterly irregular and full of holes. It was doubtlessly approved by the Soviet government and written by a church under the captivity of militant atheists. And that’s why everyone including the OCA ignores it as a practical matter.

            Get over it. What you are suggesting is simply not going to happen.

            • Michael Warren says:

              Spoken like a true foil hat schismatic. The Tomos is the canonical reality in North America. Get your brain off schism, obey the Mother Church and stop acting like a protestant demanding your own denomination.

        • ROCORthodox says:

          This whole “legitimacy” argument is a strawman and a big distraction. If you are a canonical jurisdiction in the USA, in communion with everyone else in the USA, then you are legitimate. Squabbling over territory is silly in this country. We are all here now and in communion with each other. That’s what we should be highlighting. When God wills a genuine autocephalous Church in America, He will arrange it. Not until then.

          • Michael Warren says:

            We are the local North American church and as such, unity on our territory is not an option while canonicity not a possibility without becoming a constituent part of the OCA.

  23. John Skatakoulis says:

    THE HOLY AND GREAT SYNOD WILL TAKE PLACE IN CRETE IN JUNE 2016
    JANUARY 24, 2016 1 COMMENT

    Source: MYSTAGOGY

    The Holy and Great Synod of the Orthodox Church will meet in June this year, according to the Athens News Agency-Macedonian Press Agency (ANA-MPA).
    A decision was made as the Primates are gathered in a Synaxis at the Orthodox Center of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambesy, Geneva, whose work is done under the presidency of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

    Of course, for the Holy and Great Synod of the Orthodox Church to meet in June, during the period of Pentecost (06/19/2016), the Primates in Geneva must definitely choose the themes and regulations.

    The decision to convene the Holy and Great Synod of the Orthodox Church in Crete, rather than at the headquarters (Constantinople) of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, was dictated by the “exceptional objective circumstances” (i.e. the recent Russo-Turkish crisis), which basically prevents the Moscow Patriarch Kyrill and his delegation from visiting the City. That is why this Synaxis of Primates is meeting in Geneva and not in the Phanar, as originally planned.

    The gathering in Geneva involves eleven of the fourteen Primates, with their delegations. Three are missing: Patriarch John of Antioch, Metropolitan Savvas of Warsaw and All Poland for health reason, and Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece for personal reasons. The work of the Synaxis will continue until January 28th.

    The convocation, “barring the unexpected,” of the Holy and Great Synod of the Orthodox Church this year in Constantinople was decided in March 2014 at the Synaxis of the Primates, which had gathered at the Phanar.
    The themes of the Holy and Great Synod of the Orthodox Church includes the following ten topics:

    1. The Orthodox Diaspora.
    2. The manner in which Autocephaly is assigned.
    3. The manner of the administration of Autonomy in semi-independent Churches within the limits of Autocephalous Churches, such as the Orthodox Church of Finland under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
    4. The Diptychs. This is the order of the Autocephalous Churches, according to honor and ranking, by which the Primates are commemorated. The order of the Churches may change. (For example, the Church of Cyprus, although it is one of the most ancient and was recognized by the Third Ecumenical Synod in Ephesus in 431, is tenth in the order, having been surpassed by Patriarchates, which have been granted Autocephaly in recent times by the Ecumenical Patriarchate and not by an Ecumenical Synod.)
    5. The issue of a common Calendar. Some Orthodox Churches still use the Old Julian Calendar (such as the Patriarchate of Russia and the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, etc.), while others have adopted the Revised Julian Calendar (such as the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Patriarchate of Alexandria, and the Churches of Cyprus, Greece, Albania, etc.). The Synod should promote a common practice.
    6. Canonical marriage impediments, especially in the case of Inter-Christian marriages.
    7. Fasting. Ex. Should the canons for fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays be changed?
    8. The relationship of the Orthodox Churches with the rest of the Christian world.
    9. Orthodoxy and the Ecumenical Movement.
    10. The contribution of local Orthodox Churches in the prevalence of Christian ideals of peace, freedom, brotherhood and love among people and removing racial and other discrimination.

    Of the ten issues, only eight have been approved by Pre-Synodal Pan-Orthodox Conferences, while the two concerning Autocephaly and the Diptychs have not yet been approved. Together with this the regulations for the Holy and Great Synod of the Orthodox Church must be discussed these days in Geneva and the final decisions are critical. Some Churches are asking to postpone the Holy and Great Synod of the Orthodox Church.

    The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, in his introductory speech at the opening session of the Synaxis in Geneva, stressed that “the great responsibility belongs to us now, without further delay, to convert this vision [of the Holy and Great Synod of the Orthodox Church] into a reality.”

    * Update: According to the latest reports, it seems like the issues of the Diptychs, Autocephaly and the Calendar will be postponed for another future Pan-Orthodox Synod.

    • The calendar should be left alone, Period, other than that, it’s supefrllous, but ok.
      s

    • Michael Warren says:

      To add to what is known so far, sober sources from within the Moscow Patriarchate have indicated:

      1). The deliberations for this robber synod have been intentionally kept secret to insure that the faithful not rise up and prevent it from occuring. There are things penned in closed rooms which openly contradict Orthodox ecclesiology and violate several canons.
      2). The Moscow Patriarchate was reluctant to acquiesce to this robber synod but pressure was brought to bear upon it: 1). The government of the Russian Federation was threatened with further sanctions from the US/EU. 2). The Vatican gave assurances that it would speak out against the Russian Federation and rally Catholics and whomever else would listen against it. 3). The church in Istanbul threatened to begin a rash of schisms in Czechoslovakia, the Baltics, Hong Kong, Korea and East Asia, even threatening to regularize the Renovationist banderofascist so-called “kyivan patriarchate.”
      3). +Patriarch Kirill called for the council to be held on Mt. Athos.
      4). The EP is insisting on some degree of Vatican participation and Rome is pulling strings in Istanbul.
      5 ). The general sense of many hierarchs is IF the Orthodox people rise up against this robber synod, they are prepared to even publicly disavow it. Istanbul in turn has “reassured the gitters” by stating that it will excommunicate and “deal with schismatics.”
      6). Istanbul not only insists on UNIVERSAL adoption of the New Calendar (to which +Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk agreed!) but also a NEW PASCHALION so that a common date for Pascha can be celebrated with Rome, to which +Patriarch Kirill flatly said no.
      8). Branch theory, two lungs and the Vatican as a “sister church” are all ecclesiological revisions the future “council” will be making. The WCC, ecumenism, and the “invisible church” language of ecumenism is set to be the new ecclesiological model, where Orthodoxy will be redefined as a “constituent of the Church comprising its unity” but NOT as “The Church.”
      9). Istanbul’s pretensions to authority over the “barbarian lands,” which will be defined with more sensitive language, will be rubber stamped.
      10). Istanbul’s role in recognizing autocephalous churches will be broadened to a neo-papal degree.

      Renovationism 101, people. This is Eastern Rite Protestant Robber Synod land. This Council will be a betrayal of Orthodoxy. I would like to be one of the first to say that I am opposed to it, resist it and will work within the Church to have it overturned. That is my firm anaxios. GOD’s will be done.

      • Michael Warren says:

        The Mother Church, the Moscow Patriarchate, has now clarified that decisions on the calendar will be non binding and that the Russian church will not be adopting the New Calendar, but will retain the Patristic Old Calendar. HOWEVER, use of the New Calendar by other Orthodox local churches and missions will probably be legitimized and agreed upon.

        The council will leave itself presumably then to addressing impediments to marriage, liberal definitions of human rights (where social justice may not be brought up!), discussing possible changes in fasting regulations, and approving an ecumenically friendly ecclesiology, which will affirm two lungs branch theory and set the stage for ratifying documents on historical papal (and Constantinopolitan) primacy.

        This gathering can still do much harm and will if allowed to coast into Crete on its current inertia.

        +Patriarch Kirill is insisting documents no longer be embargoed as has been the case until now, that all Orthodox Christians been made aware of what is being discussed and drafted, and that the voice of all believers be given a forum, be heard and respected. It is, thus, our obligation to speak out against ecumenism and raise our concerns to be voiced and heard regarding Renovationist understandings of fasting, marriage and “sensitivity to sexual minorities” AKA gay rights.

        • Michael Warren says:

          A cursory reading of the document on ecumenism as drafted tells us:

          1). Participation of the Orthodox Church in the ecumenical movement and in bodies like the WCC and NCC will become mandatory and canons prohibiting joint prayer with heretics will be revised.
          2). The Orthodox Church is not defined as THE Church, representing the fulness of Truth.
          3). Dissidents protesting ecumenism will be prevented from debating the document.
          4). Istanbul, in a power grab, will oversee joint theological commissions with heretics, will implement their decisions, and will be the sole arbiter of when the Orthodox Church may suspend dialogue with any given body.
          5). Ecumenism as “dialogue to promote mutual understanding” is advocated in the place of being a vehicle of witness.

          • Gregory Manning says:

            Father Theodoros Zizis “On the Great and Holy Council”. A video posted by Father Andrew on his site. I found this refreshing. Not because Fr. Theodoros had all the answers but because this Emeritus Professor of Patrology speaks so plainly.
            All of us can come up with the drawbacks of the internet but, to the extent it allows us all to hear and read in near real time different points of view, I am altogether an enthusiastic supporter. Imagine where we would be if all that goes on in the various seats of power and influence were unknown to us. I am gratified to be able to hear and read all that is available–the good and the bad; the wise and the looney. Glory to God for all things.

      • If that is the case, then they can all burn in hell as far as I am concerned. However, I doubt that is true.

        • Michael Warren says:

          It is what the document says.

        • Estonian Slovak says:

          Misha, calm down! Even if it IS true, Our Lord promised us that the gates of hell cannot destroy HIS Church. Of course, if it turns out to be true, I’ll make good on my threat to go to the Greek Old Calender Church. I’m all for obedience, but not blind papal obedience.

          • ES,

            I assure you that I am quite calm and that the comment was made in all sobriety and sincerity. However, as I said, I do not believe that such a document will be adopted by the council. I have been assured by someone I know who has the ear of upper management in the ROC and ROCOR that there will be no surprises. I am satisfied with that.

            On the other hand, if some choose heterodoxy and decide to leave the Church, that is their affair, not mine. As you said, “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

  24. John Skatakoulis says:

    Interestingly enough, the OCA is all on board with this council. I think someone should ask, “Who’s been paid off and how much?” Exactly what secret deals were made with who to move the OCA forward on this. Maybe someone should check retirement accounts?

    • Michael Warren says:

      Well, agreed. But that was the point of getting rid of +Metropolitan Jonah and clamping down: “going back to the future.” Our church is not a monolith and Syosset is really in a bubble where it is becoming increasingly distanced from the reality on the ground.

  25. I, like a few others out here, am to the ‘left’ of most of you on many questions, but I’d bet most of us on either side of those issues have some of the same questions regarding the agenda above and the order of the items: how can a Church professing a universal creed have a ‘diaspora’? Compare 2-5 to 10–I sure hope infigfhting and adminsitrative matters don’t trump brotherhood and love. Does a calendar really matter–shouldn’t each jurisdiction be afforded some independence to allow responsiveness to the ‘grass roots’ in the pews?

    • Michael Warren says:

      The calendar is a sign of visible unity of local churches in common love and worship. It is a catholic expression of temporal, liturgical unity, ie an icon of time.

      The whole issue of diaspora is really a benefit. Because we have at our disposal the rich deposit of all Orthodox local churches, examples on which we will all eventually coalesce and form a native piety. The Americanizing party for decades railed against the concept of diaspora doing everything on their part to disparage heritage. America is not an Orthodox nation, does not have an Orthodox culture and in and of itself does not accomodate an Orthodox model. The concept of diaspora provides rallying points for examination of heritage and Orthodox formation. When the various diasporas coalesce, that gives us a melded model of local Orthodox practice.

      Orthodoxy in the West cannot emerge out of a vacuum and remain viable, because it needs to have a subcultural existence. Otherwise nominalism sets in leading to further secularization. Moreover, Orthodoxy without a subcultural presence, becomes a hobby, and as we have witnessed since the Americanizers began persecuting heritage 40 years ago, people in our times choose other hobbies. The greatest rebuttal to the Americanizers is that they turned their back on their heritage, shamed people for being who they are, distilled Orthodoxy into a dumbed down and nominalized Protestant template while never even trying to understand what orthopraxis is in local churches, how diasporas preserve it, how it enriches and creates an Orthodox subculture, how it can unite disparate Orthodox groups, and how it must be the basis of a local Orthodox maturation.

      Instead, the Americanizers offer onion domed, three barred, ethnic churches stylized with pews, foreign composed music and power trips calling them American while in actual fact, offering nothing but assimilate, nominalist post ethnicity. Americans see the Americanized churches as foreign and ethnic just the same and they don’t understand or appreciate the services much better in English translation.

      An American Orthodox religious model already has to have its own diasporan Orthodox ethnic nucleus: an Anglo American one. There was an Orthodox West and an Orthodox Britain, and that is the elephant in the room laughing at the Americanizers, who hate their real heritage, yet are totally ignorant of what the Anglo American religious heritage is, and offer nothing but a dumbed down, Renovationist counterfeit in its place as a hobby, emerging from no where with no rootedness and, hence, no vision going forward except obsolescence.

      Diasporas are a building block, BUT nostalgia and ethnocentricity can also be a trap. Heritage is a vantage point to appreciate our foundation but cannot become an escape, a nominalist model of worship, worshipping nostalgia and engaging in historical reenactments. We must live Orthodoxy ourselves and not vicariously through our ancestors, but we cannot distill piety and worship into an unrecognizable and heterodox mutation. Orthopraxis is a foundation of Orthodox identity. Without it, all we get is an Eastern Rite High Church pretender to Anglicanism.

  26. Gregory Manning says:

    Michael,
    I’m hearing a mixed message. You write “Our church is not a monolith” but earlier you wrote “the OCA IS the NorthAmerican, autocephalous, local church.” Sounds monolithic to me. Then you wrote that we should all “unite under her omophorion.” An omophorion you characterize as being “really in a bubble where it is becoming increasingly distanced from the reality on the ground.” Why would anyone want to unite under that?

  27. Gregory Manning says:

    Another update from Fr. Andrew/ Excerpt:

    “Having seen the Russian draft texts for the first four of the approved items of the agenda, we believe that where they are not controversial, they are at best expressions of the obvious, at worst spiritually flat and mostly expressed in the secular language of administrators and bureaucrats, and not in the theological language of the Holy Fathers and of the dogmas of the Seven Universal Councils. Where, however, they are controversial, especially the draft text on ‘The Relations of the Orthodox Church with the rest of the Christian World’, they will cause disturbing division. This will lead even more in the Orthodox world which believes in the Church of the Seven Councils, which defined the Faith for all time and made any ‘Eighth Council’ completely unnecessary, to call for this June meeting to be cancelled before it causes open schism.”

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

      Amen. This council should not take place. If it does schism is sure to occur. The GOAA will be the first to break against the rocks of modernism.

      Peter

  28. I want to make few remarks about this “Council” which I would prefer to refer to as a “synaxis”. That seems to be the term in the official invitation from His Holiness Bartholomew. It is well chosen.

    Now down to cases. I want to say some things but I don’t want to say them in any aggressive or disparaging manner. So bear with the verbiage. It is a bad idea to upset large numbers of Orthodox Christians. We all know that there have been and are wars fought, vicious wars, over religious doctrine. But the Orthodox in particular can be volatile. We have no just war theory. This does not mean we are pacifists. Just war theory is a restraint on Christian warfare, not a license.

    Let us examine a few examples: Serbian armies in the Balkans, the Greeks in WWII (Churchill said something like, “No longer will it be said that Greeks fight like heroes, but that heroes fight like Greeks.”, the Russians in Chechnya, the Romanian Prince Vlad Tepes, etc.

    Now, I will cut to the chase. I once went to a New Year’s Eve party at a house rented by a fraternity brother of mine and his best friend. I got there and came in the door and right at the entrance I could see a beautiful short hair grey cat sitting about 5 steps up the interior staircase. His name was “Sailor”. It was providential appellation given his character.

    I love cats (and dogs too). So naturally I was moved to pet this one. My fraternity brother Chris was turned away and when he turned back and saw I had reached out to pet this animal he grabbed my wrist and stopped me. “Sailor just lives here. He’s not a pet.” I laughed. He showed me a scar from his elbow up to his wrist. I quit laughing. He said, “I’m not joking. He was here when we got here and he will be here when we leave. DO NOT GET TOO CLOSE TO HIM. I think he has been mistreated in the past and when his comfort distance is breached, he will growl, then hiss, then light into you like you were prey.”

    Now we all have cats. And we all know that they like to wrestle and use their little claws and sometimes give us little scratches, even drawing blood on occasion. But domestic cats think of us as something like a parent or God. They normally don’t go at us full tilt boogie. A feral cat can and will HURT you if you get too close. Bet your life on it. He knows you are bigger. He knows he might lose and maybe killed. HE DOESN”T CARE.

    Feral cats and cats like Sailor made a decision long ago in their little minds regarding death before dishonor or capture or whatever. It’s instinct and unless a cat is raised domestically, those are its terms. Also, domestic cats like Sailor who have been abused are essentially on the same program.

    Let those who have ears understand.

    Now, we hear a lot of talk about “responsibility” for this or that from our hierarchs. This is perceived as the hierarch asserting a “right” rather than a “responsibility”.

    Now is the time for our Orthodox leaders to be very careful. Don’t pet the cat.

    • Misha:

      Now, I will cut to the chase. I once went to a New Year’s Eve party at a house rented by a fraternity brother of mine and his best friend. I got there and came in the door and right at the entrance I could see a beautiful short hair grey cat sitting about 5 steps up the interior staircase. His name was “Sailor”. It was providential appellation given his character.

      I love cats (and dogs too). So naturally I was moved to pet this one. My fraternity brother Chris was turned away and when he turned back and saw I had reached out to pet this animal he grabbed my wrist and stopped me. “Sailor just lives here. He’s not a pet.” I laughed. He showed me a scar from his elbow up to his wrist. I quit laughing. He said, “I’m not joking. He was here when we got here and he will be here when we leave. DO NOT GET TOO CLOSE TO HIM. I think he has been mistreated in the past and when his comfort distance is breached, he will growl, then hiss, then light into you like you were prey.”

      Now we all have cats. And we all know that they like to wrestle and use their little claws and sometimes give us little scratches, even drawing blood on occasion. But domestic cats think of us as something like a parent or God. They normally don’t go at us full tilt boogie. A feral cat can and will HURT you if you get too close. Bet your life on it. He knows you are bigger. He knows he might lose and maybe killed. HE DOESN”T CARE.

      Feral cats and cats like Sailor made a decision long ago in their little minds regarding death before dishonor or capture or whatever. It’s instinct and unless a cat is raised domestically, those are its terms. Also, domestic cats like Sailor who have been abused are essentially on the same program.

      Let those who have ears understand.

      WERE YOU ON ANY ALCOHOL OR ILLICIT DRUGS WHEN YOU THOUGHT UP THIS LITTLE ANECDOTE?

      • No, it actually happened in Lexington, KY at a fraternity brother of mine’s house just after college. It just seemed like if fit the circumstances. Oh, I’m sure I was drinking on New Year’s Eve, of course.

  29. I was just over on Igumen John Hoffman’s site and offered up the following idea in the course of a conversation there:

    1. Get rid of the title Ecumenical Patriarch
    2. Relocate the primacy from Constantinople to Jerusalem (Is there a holier site than the Church of the Resurrection?)
    3. Give Theophilos III his choice of patriarchates or bishoprics, or to retire.
    4. Let Pat. Bartholomew be the first, well, try this (but it should be in Aramaic, our Lord’s language, to avoid all the language and ethnic battles):

    Patriarch Bartholomew of Jerusalem, First Hierarch of the Orthodox Church

    or

    5. Let Kirill do it or let them elect somebody.

    And show some askesis, will ya? I know it’s a low rent area, lotsa conflict, but it’s always been that way and well, you did swear to give your lives for this faith. Also, it would be good for the neighborhood. Give something back.

    • Michael Warren says:

      Then reality sets in and you actually start counting that 70% of the Orthodox world is the Russian church, that it is supported by the world’s Orthodox super power, ie New (Third) Rome, and that a good 10 – 20% of the Orthodox world looks to it for protection and/or leadership.

      But hey musical chairs on Istanbul’s Titanic ignoring reality seems to be your thing.

      • MW,

        I think you have me confused with someone who believes in the Constantinople party line. I do not. And what you say about the ROC is true as well. So why bait the Greeks?

      • Arimathean says:

        About 30% of those supposedly-Orthodox Russians claim not to believe in God. I don’t take their claim to be Orthodox very seriously. Another 30% or so are Ukrainians, most of whom are ready to have done with Muscovite overlordship as soon as they can engineer it.

        As long as the ROC remains under the thumb of the Chekist regime, the rest of the Orthodox world will remain rightly wary of it.

        • Michael Warren says:

          Firstly, I know of only one jurisdiction which has official members in its laity in leadership roles who are openly atheist and/or agnostic: Istanbul’s AHEPA dominated Greek Archdiocese. One of Istanbul’s hierarchs – I believe it was Archbishop Stylianos – offered some rather confused teachings regarding Lucifer: Mitt Romney may approve? We don’t have that in the primary Orthodox Church in the world, the Russian Orthodox church.

          There are 100 million+ Orthodox Christians in Russia. There are nearly 36/58 million in the Ukraine, of which 28 million select the Church founded by St. Vladimir in 988 AD in Kiev, ie the Russian Orthodox church. This majority in what is currently the Ukraine does so in the face of persecution, violence, subterfuge, Uniate and schismatic banderofascist atrocities and crimes against humanity. So, no, without GODLESS CIA/MOSSAD/Mi6 and Vatican backed sergianism, the Russian and Ruthenian peoples (there is historically no such thing as a Ukrainian ethnicity) of the Ukraine would not leave their historical Russian Orthodox church. And people like you know that. That is why you have no problem with violence and ethnic cleansing being used to propagate banderofascist Uniate and schismatic religious counterfeits! If you had the numbers you wouldnt falsify deeds, buy judges in the courts, use pogroms, imprisonments, lynchings, late night executions to propagate your quack and fascist Ukrainian vision of reality. You would allow the free choice of the people to happen. Instead, your kind are literally murdering people to see your vision of religion (or lack of it) happen AKIN to the Chekists (using US and Vatican based sergianism) as your template to assault the Church and history. Your kind will swing at a Nuremberg of the future for the crimes you commit today.

          “Chekists in cassocks” who promote Orthodoxy and Orthodox civilization. Or “American lovers” who promote sectarianism, violence, ethnic cleansing, gay rights, all manner of anti Orthodox hate. Russia vs. America. And you who stand with America and Rome are the real spiritual successors of said Chekists. RED, WHITE AND BLUE UBER ALLES!!! (Even if it leads straight to hell).

          If one takes any given Catholic populace in the West and asks any given poll, 70%+ will be at odds with mysteriology, mariology, Catholic moral teaching, etc. In any given Western nation 40%+ of papists can statistically be shown to be agnostic or atheist.

          18-20% of the total population of the Russian Federation today is officially agnostic or atheist. 70%+ of the population professes Orthodox Christianity. After 75 years of godless atheist propaganda and secularization. 80%+ of the population of the Russian Federation confesses faith in some concept of a Creator. 85% of the American population does. Roughly 78% of the American population is Christian. 72 – 75% of the Russian population is Christian. Apples to apples, considering the militant godlessness suffered by Russians, the only thing people YOU SUPPORT, Western secularists, achieved was nominalism in religious observance but you could not achieve Western (your American goal) atheism in Russia. While in your America today, secular humanism and atheism are among the fastest growing religions. A Christian America is denied as a political liability, even called an absurdity. Who in the world do you think you are to preach to anyone?!

          Your lies don’t hold up. Your condemnations regale you as a hypocrite. Your russophobia shouts your ignorance. And your advocacy for the fascist hate of Ukrainian banderofascist ethnogenesis calls your humanity into question and sparks debate among evolutionists about whether subspecies are really intermediate forms. Yes, you win a Darwin award.

        • Chekist? I’m amused.

  30. George, I have lost faith in you. It has been several days since you updated your site. I don’t need you and you don’t need me. Goodbye.

    Misha

    • George Michalopulos says:

      Misha, I hope you’re being tongue-in-cheek. You should never “put your faith in princes or the sons of men.”

      Seriously, things have been beyond hectic at work. It’s bad enough working a 13 hour day but when your (precious few) days off are consumed with going to the worksite and taking care of busy-work then things get harry. (Nights I’ve been working on a big thought-piece about the upcoming election and the Trump phenomenon.)

      I imagine that the next few days will largely be silent as well as I’m going on pilgrimage to an Athonite monastery.

      • I apologize, George. I over reacted. I’ve had a lot of hell in my life the past week and it pushed me to the brink. You are a good man. Keep up the good work and I will be here.

        Your friend,
        Misha

      • Michael Warren says:

        The midnight hesychast service is a must. Wish you the best, Sir.

  31. And this is a great relief. Take a deep breath now:

    http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/90324.htm

  32. Moreover, the diaspora question seems to be settled. Status quo with the Assemblies:

    http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/90339.htm

  33. George,

    YOU MAY NOT WANT TO POST THIS ON YOUR SITE:

    Watch Erdogan.

    turkey

    Google “fana erdogan god”.