A Brief Word Regarding the Current Robber Council . . .

You all know how we here at Monomakhos feel about the situation in Ukraine. What the EP has done in nothing less than catastrophic, on so many levels.

We will go into them in due time. For my part, I did not want to comment on it as I felt that it would give it a respect that this unholy conventicle did not deserve.

At this point, I will only say that no good will come of this. Given the fact that only 2 of the 98 bishops of The canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church attended, the auguries do not look good.

In addition, the actual verbiage in the upcoming tomos is decidedly underwhelming. The Ukrainian church will have less autonomy than the canonical Church under Moscow. This will not sit well with those who take their faith seriously.

This is not autocephaly, it’s not even autonomy. This papalist action by Patriarch Bartholomew makes a mockery of Orthodox ecclesiology. Of course, he is not alone in this travesty. The Ukrainian nationalists are a party to this schism as their ultranationalism has led them to trod on this unfortunate path. I imagine that the more idealistic among them will feel much chagrin when they read the actual tomos.

We shall see. In the meantime, all other local Churches (including my own, the OCA) have called upon their faithful to pray for the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Let us redouble our efforts.

Pax vobiscum.



  1. Gail Sheppard says

    You’re right, it is not autocephaly. It’s kind of like saying to your daughter, “Yes, you can go to the prom, kick up your heals, and have fun BUT you have to wear your sister’s old dress, let Dad take you in the family station wagon and be home by 8:00.”


    • Interestingly, with acquiring 5 thousand parishes in Ukraine, EP will more than double its size. American Greeks will be in the second place.

      • But can the Ukies give at the same rate as the Archons in the USA? One wonders!

        • Nikos stone says

          What you have when u strip away the pseudo piety and rest, is a failing firm in istambul, been given some cash and investing abroad, spreading out it’s cash holding so it can tell it’s Turkish creditors, ‘See I’m a big boy with big friends and do not mess with me ‘, quite where the Ukrainian people or Christ come in this is not known, but then been a case in the Church and THIS blogs, for some time.

      • Look the head office has got it that greek America is withering on the branch with Chicago situation pretty common if Parish books get a ‘Troika’ examination!
        B knows the USA cash COW drying up.. AMERICA FIRST GENTS! So. Look elswhere and those devout peasants in old Europe look a good bet

  2. A high-ranking hierarch of the KP spoke with Vesti and expressed the growing discontent in his confession.

    “It turns out that there is a serious discrepancy between our understanding of ‘autocephaly’ and the Phanar’s understanding. The Greeks give autonomy only on a number of issues, with control over all the important processes going to Constantinople,” the hierarch explained.

    They cannot say they weren’t warned. Everyone was saying this – even the phanar which unilaterally redefined the word ‘autocephaly’ in every public communication throughout this process, rendering the term completely meaningless.

    Autocephaly (/ˌɔːtəˈsɛfəli/; from Greek: αὐτοκεφαλία, meaning “property of being self-headed”) is the status of a hierarchical Christian Church whose head bishop does not report to any higher-ranking bishop.

    Autocephaly (redefined by the EP): The gift of submission to me.

    I find this dictated statute particularly telling.

    The Bishops’ Council of the church must contact Constantinople on all global matters, and Constantinople will inform the Council what to do.

    So now, instead of being pawns of Moscow, as the nationalists perceived themselves to be, they are now pawns of the EP.

    Thank you, sir.

    • Billy Jack Sunday says


      “So now, instead of being pawns of Moscow, as the nationalists perceived themselves to be, they are now pawns of the EP.”

      The Ukraine has been double crossed

      Pun intended

    • Greeks BEARING GIFTS, as a greek just saying ?

  3. May God bless and protect the canonical Church and Metropolitan Onuphry, and may God repay the Heresiarch Bartholomew for his crimes against the unity of our faith. #NoEasternPope

  4. Fr. Peter Dubinin says

    On which calendar will newly formed Ukrainian Orthodox Church celebrate the Nativity of our Lord, and will they have the blessing of the EP to do so? Discuss.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Interesting question. Any thoughts?

      • Billy Jack Sunday says

        George Michalopulos

        It is an interesting question

        My guess is that it will be on the Revised Julian Calendar

        I also wonder if there is, therefore, any significance to the proposed choice of issuing the tomos on January 6th?

        Didn’t the EP just claim:

        “The beginning of the Orthodox Church is the Ecumenical Patriarchate,” and adding his own play on Scripture, he stated: “In this is life, and the life is the light of the Churches.”

        Is there a subtle message here, or am I reading too much into this?

        With all the goofy claims recently, one can hardly be blamed for wondering

        • Fed up and disgusted says

          Possibly Jan 6th was chosen in honor of the sham/fake hierarch of the new protestant-pseudo-Orthodox-Ukrainian church, “Metropolitan Epiphany,” as he’s being called in the Western press (Epiphanios). After all, Jan 6th is the Western “Epiphany.”

          Come on OCA, have some guts. Is Metropolitan Tikhon going to start commemorating this interloper “Metropolitan Epiphany” at the commemorations of the heads of the other autocephalous churches?

          Big shocker here — at his first liturgy as “head of an autocephalous church,” this cheat and Alexandr-Vvedensky-figure “Metropolitan Epiphany” did not commemorate Patriarch Kyrill when he was commemorating the hierarchs of the other autocephalous churches.

          Yeah, like I would want to go to this guy or any of his clergy for confession.

          Just do it, OCA. Offend the Greeks — come one, they don’t care what you think or do anyway. Call out “Metropolitan Epiphany” (and “Patriarch Bartholomew” for that matter) as a fakes and schismatics (or heretics) and issue a public, no-holds-barred condemnation of this Vvedensky figure “Metropolitan Epiphany” and issue public, complete support of Metropolitan Onuphry. “Epiphany” and “Bartholomew” make a mockery of Christ and of our holy faith. Anaxioi!!!

          How long do we have to wait for the OCA leadership to act like men?

          • Dear Metropolitan Tikhon:

            You cannot stay silent on this issue. Take a stand! Stand for righteousness! Do not be lukewarm.
            So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. (Rev: 3:16)

          • Nikos stone says

            A long time. Last time Orthodox bishops acted like Men, (as they are all Men so not sexist line) was probably in Ww2 and in 1920s etc USSR.

        • “Is there a subtle message here, or am I reading too much into this?”

          He made his PhD in canon law in Vatican.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            I picked that up, too, Martin. I think Metropolitan Emmanuel (France) who frequently speaks for the EP attended the Sorbonne in Paris, before continuing his studies at the Catholic Institute. At some point, the Orthodox Church and the RC are going to intersect.

    • (Tongue in cheek)

      One might surmise that the Nativity will be celebrated on November 30th, the “Feast of the Throne” of Constantinople. This would be the day that the Ecumenical Patriarchate that was “in the beginning” became flesh and dwelt among us as the “light of the Churches.”

      • Billy Jack Sunday says


        He claims the Church of Constantinople is the light of the Orthodox Church

        Yet, he should mind his own beeswax

  5. The time has come to do more than just pray for the UOC. The time has come for all the Local Churches to immediately call a council say that they may break communion with the EP.

    Mr. Bartholomew is out of control.

    • Billy Jack Sunday says


      I predict things will change come January 7th

      • I don’t know about January 7th….but things will definitely change. It is time to wash away the gray area. Constantinople has joined with schismatics and thus have become schismatics themselves. They had the president of Ukraine, a uniate (or perhaps atheist?) sit with the CP hieraerchs in front of the Royal Doors to preside at the “Council of the Wicked.” This is shameful! The other Local Churches cannot stay quiet and/or passive. It is time to excommunicate Constantinople. It has been a long time coming.

        • Billy Jack Sunday says


          You said:

          “The other Local Churches cannot stay quiet and/or passive. It is time to excommunicate Constantinople. It has been a long time coming.”

          I quite agree

          The silence has been deafening

          Why I said January 7th is because the tomos is planned to be issued on the 6th

          My guess is that the heirarchs of the other autocephalous Churches have been confronting Constantinople about this, but have done so out of the public eye

          I believe their strategy has been to leave room for the EP to save a bit of face, if he were to agree and retract from all his actions – thereby not spurning him to act out of spite

          If this is indeed the case, it may very well have been a poor strategy

          Silence isn’t always the best. In fact, when it comes to the EP, I believe silence and maybe even turning a blind eye by many have only made things worse

          Otherwise, the silence is quite discomforting- if it’s been only apathy all along

          I do think that this is most likely been the case, though. And I suspect that’s why Antioch and the OCA recently revised their electronic communications policies

          I do think that if/when the tomos is issued, statements will come out quickly across the board

          We will see, though

          • Gail Sheppard says

            I don’t care if I ever step foot in a Church under the EP again but I am heartbroken over the monasteries and Mount Athos. How are we supposed to live without them? Many of us find this unthinkable. That’s why there has to be a Council.

            • Exactly!

            • Sad to hear you are such the militant, Gail. We still pray for you, in our “un-canonical” “schismatic church.” Of course you know what’s best for you, but what if Mount Athos and the Greek monasteries still after consuls, not see things your way as well? Will you still think you know better?

              • Gail Sheppard says

                That’s OK, Dino. You probably shouldn’t waste your prayers on a “militant” like me. Wishing you and yours a Blessed Nativity.

                • Gail if you are a militant so am I! All four grandparents were Greek immigrants. Born, baptized and until now in the GOA. No more for me until Black Bart repents of his schismatic ways. And I lament I will no longer be united with Holy Athos. Although I suspect much of the Holy Mountain has also had its full of Black Bart.

                • Prayers are never wasted, and will always continue, Gail.

                  The point was missed. My hope is our flawed leaders should not separate us minions from remaining in communion with one another. The meek and humble will speak up soon at our monasteries. Open and peaceful hearts shall in inherit Peace, Love, and The Kingdom.

                  I await the lead of true monks, not false kings. Not militant bishops more concerned by national parity, and earthly kingdoms, with shameful crowns of sin. The profit of Judas will be their reward.

                  Our True Great High Priest does not concern Himself with such earthly matters that the sub-divides us, only the evil one does. These are troubling times indeed, when brothers and sister are so quick to schism, and excommunication.

                  Thank you for your prayers, and a Blessed Nativity to you and yours as well. Merry Christmas!

  6. Matthew Panchisin says

    Dear George,

    With the E.P’s blatant disregard of the opinions of the Orthodox Churches a unia as you have mentioned before might have been the plan from the very beginning of the E.P.s’ travesty. We will wait and see.

  7. Matthew Panchisin says

    Dear George,

    Call Reince, he is Greek and it sounds like he might care. You could suggest basic human decency as the foundation for a request to Trump not to allow Poroshenko and Bartholomew(he’s not Greek he is a Turk) to seize, harass etc. the Canonical Orthodox Christians in Ukraine.

    Reince Priebus served as President Trump’s chief of staff until July 2017. (Andrew Harnik / AP)
    Reince Priebus has a new job.

    President Trump’s first chief of staff has been selected to join the Navy as a reserve officer after his application was helped by a recommendation letter from Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, according to a memo obtained by the Washington Post.

    The 46-year-old former chairman of the Republican National Committee, who served in Trump’s white house for about six months at the beginning of his term, said he was encouraged to enlist after he met with the family of Senior Chief William Ryan Owens, a 36-year-old Navy SEAL who was killed in Yemen during a special operations raid in Yemen.

    “At that moment, the gravity of every action we take in the West Wing rushed down upon my shoulders,” Priebus wrote. “Everything suddenly became extremely real and raw. As some time passed, a few other senior aides joined me in the Cabinet Room and we discussed the consequences, harsh realities and weight of what we do every day.”

  8. Asking for clarification here: Who exactly has formed this new “autocephalous” Ukrainian Orthodox Church? Every western media outlet that’s run this story has made it seem like every bishop in Ukraine is now under this new “metropolitan”, but I find that hard to believe.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      John, take a look at the attached link. The maps are a bit dated, but you will see that the presence of the canonical Church (UOC-MP) and the presence of the largest schematic church (UOC-KP) overlap in Ukraine. The total number of communities belonging to the UOC-MP is almost three times higher than the number of communities belonging to the UOC-KP. Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) is the largest religious institution in Ukraine with the largest number of communities in all regions, except Galicia.

      The parliament in Ukraine voted to ask the EP to grant autocephaly to the schismatic churches. Poroshenko spearheaded the effort (it is believed) to boost his popularity in the coming election. The EP capitulated.

      Moscow objects to any bishop, including the EP, interfering in their region. They are also concerned that the government will seize some of their 12,000+ parishes and 250+ monasteries and reassign them to the newly formed autocephalous church. The traditionalists in the Orthodox community fear that if Moscow loses their numbers in Ukraine, the MP would not have sufficient numbers to protect us from a future Crete. The new Church also has concerns because according to the charter the EP drafted, they won’t have the autonomy one normally associates with an autocephalous Church.


      • Thanks, Gail! Very helpful.

        • George Michalopulos says

          This map should give the lie to the nationalist narrative. UOC/MP far outstrips KP/schismatic ecclesiology. Thanks, Gail.

      • Joseph Lipper says

        Gail, you are referencing the narrative of the MP. Yes, the MP has more properties and church building “communities”, but there are now more Orthodox Christians in Ukraine under the Ecumenical Patriarchate than under Moscow. Especially since Moscow’s annexation of Crimea, Ukrainians have been leaving the MP in droves.

        • Mr Lipper: “there are now more Orthodox Christians in Ukraine under the Ecumenical Patriarchate than under Moscow.”

          Actually it is not true, but it does not matter. There was a moment in 1920s when Ecumenical Patriarchate in cooperation with Bolsheviks took over buildings and faithful in Russia/Ukraine/Belarus. But soon the churches got empty as the faithful fled.

          In Estonia EP managed to take over Russian Church, but while it got most of the buildings, the majority prays elsewhere.

          It is like chasing the wind. Using an analogy liberal Protestants inherit buildings but people do not follow. It is very hard to own someone’s else conscience as Papacy learned in 1517 and Orthodox are united by common Faith, not by administrations.

  9. Well, you folks have it wrong. 1st, and foremost, Ukrainian oligarchs paid Istanbul a $25mm down payment to RECOGNIZE the Ukrainian autocephaly. There are no canons stating who can or cannot GRANT autocephaly, only recognize. 2nd, the canons are clear, there can only be one autocephalous church in a “territory.” Russia is one territory; Ukraine is another. So, canonically, the bishop of Istanbul is correct in recognizing the Ukrainian autocephaly. Now, Russia’s insistence of control over the Ukraine is plain stupid. Both churches can have autocephaly and work together – they are all cousins. Furthermore, the canons also state that a bishop’s authority (patriarch) is only within his own territory. Moscow has no claim in the Ukraine, N. America, Europe, etc. Same with Istanbul, Antioch/Damascus, etc. There should be NO churches in N. America under any foreign bishops; this is non-canonical. We have an autocephalous Orthodox Church in America and ALL orthodox should be under its umbrella as SCOBA decided in 1961.

  10. Gail Sheppard says

    5 Dioceses Declare Loyalty to Canonical Ukrainian Church and Met. Onuphry