An Open Letter


From the Burning Bush Brotherhood

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“Gird yourselves with sackcloth and wail you priests.

Mourn, you who serve the altar” Joel 1:13.


Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

We write this letter in anguish and pain of heart, carrying a burden we have borne in silence for too long. Today we write with boldness, a boldness that is found not in ourselves but in our desire to hold fast to the Holy Traditions of our beloved Orthodox Faith—the true medicine of the world. We write as a brotherhood of clergy in America not bound by jurisdiction or diocese. The fires of current trials have brought us together, and our brotherhood has been forged in tears, brokenness, and prayer. It is in the ashes of what this past year and a half has wrought that we have felt the disruption of the Church at many levels, but have found like-minded brother priests whose resurrectional joy, silent suffering, and confessor-like endurance kept the spark of zeal ignited. Sadly, because of the nature of our testimony, we cannot publicly disclose ourselves, but we judge our voice to be a necessary voice crying in the wilderness out of love and pain for the Church. We are keeping anonymity not on account of cowardice but for the reason we have been silent for many months: we have deep concern what may happen to our flocks if we are identified. Truly, a lamentable predicament to be in! It is the suffering cries of the laity and our flocks, however, that have inspired us to speak out with a necessary tone of repentance and healing. We will address the laity whom we have neglected, exhort our brother priests to awake, and exhort our beloved fathers and chief hierarchs to fervent apostolic witness.


Firstly, to the faithful. The past year has revealed much in our hearts. It would be easy to place the blame on some outside circumstances or some other person—society at large or authorities in the government or in the Church. Yet we acknowledge that, above all else, sin starts in our own hearts. Above all else, we are personally responsible for the shortcomings and failings that the Lord has laid bare. It is He who has allowed the many tribulations and temptations of the past year on account of our many sins. These trials are for our chastisement and healing; they are for the turning of our hearts back once again to the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe, as the saints testify, “Because of your sins the Lord has allowed this trouble to come upon you, because you keep forgetting God” (St. John of Kronstadt).

As clergy, we take responsibility for the many stumbling blocks set before the flock of Christ the Lord, especially in the turbulent year 2020. We acknowledge that, in many ways, we, the clergy, acted out of weakness and ungodly fear. We humbly ask for forgiveness. We know that the actions of clergy made dire prophecies ring true. “The time will come when we will not find even a tiny piece of antidoron, and we will say to ourselves, ‘Where can I get a little antidoron? I used to have it every day. I took and ate it by the handful. Where are you my little antidoron, that I might partake of you?’ The time will come when we will not have either antidoron or holy water.”[1]

Forgive us for not sounding a clear call to repentance. Forgive us for closing churches in a time of deep spiritual need. Forgive us for limiting services and restricting attendance. Forgive us for turning the people of God away from Church and the Holy Mysteries in a time of profound need, effectively “not allowing those who are entering to go in.” Forgive us for allowing the altering of the mode of Holy Communion for fear of the spread of illness, such as the use of multiple spoons and the wiping of the communion spoon in a disinfectant. Forgive us for refusing in-person holy confession during a time of great crisis. Forgive us for forbidding the proper veneration of icons held by the Holy Fathers of the 7th Ecumenical Council, a veneration our forefathers and mothers shed blood for. Forgive us for making face-masks a requirement for entering the Holy Temple of our Lord. Forgive us for placing secular narratives above the teachings of the Holy Orthodox Faith.

Forgive us, for we should have served more services. We should have had public repentance, prayer and fasting. We should have had processions with holy icons and fervent supplications. We should have served the service of blessing of holy water and the sprinkling of the people of God therewith. We should have served Holy Unction, for the healing of soul and body. We should have called, in both word and action, the people of God first and foremost to a hope, trust, and faith in God above all else. We should have shown forth steadfast courage and faith in the holy things of the Faith. Forgive us for failing to walk in the way of our Holy Fathers. Forgive use for blurring the divine lines of the Holy Liturgy with the dark ink of fleshly reasoning and justification.

Forgive us for neglecting your children and reversing their catechism, asking them to experience God through a screen and forcing them to conceal their angelic faces behind an iconoclastic mask. We did not heed the words of our Savior, Who calls your children to Him, and we allowed the millstone of directives to drag us into the dark depths of a burdened conscience. We beg for your forgiveness and for theirs, seeking the life giving breath of repentance.

We firmly resolve never to abandon you or your families again, no matter the circumstance or the cost—to the shedding of our blood.


Secondly, to our brother priests and deacons. We must confess, in the words of the New Hieromartyr Peter, “But this is our grief – we have invented all the wrong means by which we think to be saved from this terrible sickness that has mercy on no one. We try to utilize various serums and vaccines … and the vast majority of people almost completely leave out the spiritual starting point in a person—his soul.” We started from externals and not from the spiritual starting point. Our weakness and sin, manifest in the past year, are but symptoms of a more profound ailment, one that surpasses COVID in gravity and it appears has infected a large amount of people.

We have led Orthodox Christians to reason more according to the spirit of the fallen world than by the Life and Spirit of Holy Orthodoxy. Our hearts have gradually grown accustomed to worldly thinking rather than having the mind of Christ. The past year was not the ailment, it but revealed in a more acute light the ailment already afflicting us. When, as priests, we received the Holy Body of our Lord into our unworthy hands at ordination, we pledged to preserve it whole and unharmed until our last breath, acknowledging our accountability at the Second Coming. How have we slipped so far as to forget our promise before God and become so foreign to the ways of our holy fathers who served worthily before us?

We have permitted a humanistic ecumenism to supplant the Divine One Holy Catholic and Ecumenical Church, which is the very Body of the Theanthropos. The predominance of our placing faith in the resolutions of men reveals that we have begun, in the words of St. Justin Popovic, “to replace faith in the God-man with a belief in man, to replace the Gospel of the God-man with a gospel according to man, to replace the philosophy of the God-man with a philosophy according to man, to replace the culture of the God-man with a culture according to man. In brief, they [we] seek to replace life according to the God-man with life according to man.”

In many places we allowed our liturgical life to cease, depriving the world of the sacred power of the divine liturgy which restrains the power of the evil one. “Do you know how much this guards us? An elder once told us that when a person carries the Gospel with him, it protects everyone in the surrounding neighborhoods. Just imagine then, the power of Christ’s sacrifice that happens every day.”[2] Today, clergymen stand in awe at the evil that has escalated over this past year but have neglected to see the cosmic significance that our vocation plays in it. “The Divine Liturgy is the way we know God and the way God becomes known to us,” says St. Sophrony. It is the Church’s greatest mission, and we laid it aside! In this great work, the Lord’s work, the same Saint says, “We feel His Divine presence within us, outside of us, at the highest grandeur of the universe, in the face of man and in the radiant intellect. And in the hours that the unwaning light illumines, our hearts we realize we will not die.” However, many of us allowed the divine presence of God that is imprinted on the dear faces of our people to be concealed under a mask and abandoned them to be pursued by the jaws of wolves without participation in divine services. Furthermore, we let down the world and ceased to sanctify it, allowing evil to unmask itself and act more openly.

Much of this was done under the guise of love—but it was not Christian love. It was a “love” defined by politicians and slick spokesmen who also advocate for the “right” to murder unborn children, who bomb our Orthodox countries on Pascha, and who will not even lift a finger for the poor of their own cities. Some of our people died without the Holy Mysteries, without the faithful by their bed, without proper burial. Others withered away in loneliness, battled thoughts of suicide, and were lost to the clutches of this world.

Open and common prayer with heretics and schismatics, contrary to the canons, has become all-too common. And this sad sin has widened its wound now to encompass prayer with non-Christian groups. “What harmony,” we ask, “has Christ with Belial? Or what portion has a believer with an unbeliever.”[3] Blatant rejection of the clear Orthodox teaching on morality is permitted in broad daylight, bareheaded, and those who uphold the Orthodox Faith remain silent. The broad and easy path of compromise is continually sought and the healing traditions of the Holy Fathers are neglected.

For these things, we ought to offer the world our public repentance. We have forgotten God by trusting more in the powers of this world. The world now needs priests and deacons who are confessors, men of prayer, and who strive for an austere life of asceticism. If we are lukewarm, not only will we be spit out by our Lord, but also by the world—for it knows all too well the wretched stench of a compromising clergyman.


Lastly, to our beloved shepherds, the bishops. Often when we look back upon the deep wounds experienced by the Church throughout history, we see the abnormal break between the people and their shepherd as the cause of that wound. We, as a brotherhood of your priests whom you endearingly call sons, have now experienced such a break and suffer feelings of orphanhood. The biggest anguish this year has brought is the absence of courageous apostolic shepherds.

The voice of your fatherly guidance and protection became to us the voice of a stranger, for no longer did we hear the consoling voice of the Lord, the Holy Fathers, or the healing medicines of the Church, but the voice of the world, corrupt politicians, and medical advisors that are now profiting off a dire situation. The wolves in politicians’ dress co-opted Christian morality, and the same that teach our women to murder their children in their womb pontificated “love for neighbor”—and the hierarchy parroted this shamelessly. “Love for neighbor” became not burying our dead properly and isolating our flocks to the point of suicide. It contributed to the escalating rise in household abuse, and more. Fear and this pseudo “love for neighbor” led our bishops [you!] to instruct us not to allow our people into the temple for healing. All of us in this brotherhood began to realize that your voices had become foreign worldly, full of fear, and not the voice of Whom we pledged our lives to serve—our One Good Shepherd.

We love you and we long for your care, but if you continue to be strange voices we cannot do anything but heed the One True Voice that leads us to the pastures of life. We do not see this path as disobedience, but the ultimate obedience to our Lord and His Bride—the Holy Church. For, under the guise of obedience, we were told to follow this strange new path that is unprecedented in our history as a people of God. In many cases, we have silently resisted this new strange voice that we have heard and have led our people as best we could—struggling on our own in silence. In heartache and despair, we have watched our shepherds become drunk with the drink that this world offers and uncover themselves; we have labored to hide your nakedness from your sheep. They love you—they thank you in their prayers for not shutting them out, not forcing masks upon them, not changing the method of communion, etc., when in reality you told us to force these deadly ideas upon them. Forgive us, but we had to find the Voice of the Master and in grief we had to resist the strange path we have seen you sadly forge because there is no life in it—all we saw in the parishes from these worldly measures was spiritual death.

Please return to us once again as loving shepherds with the Voice that brings us life. We have felt orphaned, without apostolic guides, and have suffered the unnatural severance between father and son. Whether you have been silent or have outright supported the deterioration of our parishes through worldly mandates, you have grieved us and have shaken the innermost depths of our hearts. We cannot fully express in words how this betrayal has affected us—you saw the wolf and ran, you have scattered the sheep, but there is time to return to care for the flock. In great sadness we have watched you now pat yourselves on the backs, congratulating yourselves and boasting that the impositions over the past year were right and correct. Yet, when your people for long months were deprived of the medicines of the Church, were pushed to the brink of darkness, were seized in the clutches of the children of hell, and forced to participate in the liturgy through a screen like starving children watching a feast through a window, you must admit that this truly was not a victory.

As your sons, we must tell you that we cannot be obedient to the voice of the murderous spirit of this age and that we have found it coming from your chanceries in the form of mandates, sermons, political conferences, and zoom meetings. We have great love for you and reverence your office, but sadly cannot follow you down a foreign road so we beg you to return to bold apostolic speech. We know that obedience is discriminate, not indiscriminate, from both our Holy Fathers and the divine Scriptures, for both speak of true and false shepherds. We know the holy examples of St. Maximus the Confessor and the erring hierarchy who aligned with the impious Emperor. We remember St. Athanasius and the heretical presbytery who opposed him. We recollect the faithfulness and boldness of St. Mark of Ephesus and how the compromising hierarchy were shamed by the laity on the docks of Constantinople. We are inspired by the recent boldness of the Russian martyrs who were imprisoned and suffered under Sergianism and its allegiance to an atheistic regime. The path of schismatics is riddled with disaster, and this path we will never take, but we discern in the lives of these holy ones the painful path of blessed disobedience. “Obedience makes the subordinate one with the one he obeys. The Holy Writ says: ‘and the flocks conceived before the rods’ (Gen. 30, 39) […]. One may say: the subordinate’s faith can replace the elder’s inadequacy. Wrong! Faith in truth saves. Faith in lies and in diabolical deceit harms!”[4]

St John of the Ladder writes, “Above all, you should leave the integral faith and the pious dogmas as a legacy to your children, so that not only your children but your grandchildren too will you manage to guide towards the Lord by walking the path of Orthodoxy.”[5]This is the legacy that is not foreign, and in these times it is impossible to be silent as a shepherd in the face of treachery. Teach us, lead us, and leave us the legacy of Truth and Life. St Paisios warned us saying: “If Christians don’t begin to witness their faith, to resist evil, then the destroyers will become even more insolent. But today’s Christians are no warriors. If the Church keeps silent, to avoid conflict with the government, if the Metropolitans are silent, if the monks hold their peace, then who will speak up?” Truly, we must recognize that it is because of the Church’s silence that evil has all the more prevailed in these times.

Speak, beloved hierarchs! Speak out against the mandates that have deprived us of spiritual life, speak out against the immoral agendas of the LGBTQ movement that publicly seeks to snatch your children, speak out against false unions! Embolden your priests and do not deprive us of shepherds for the sake of ease, of legal immunity, or out of indifference. We are the prey of this current age, save us! We feel as the prophet wrote, “As I live, saith the Lord God, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock. Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I shall visit the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock…”[6] Return to feed us, your poor priests and people.


To all, in humility before God, we vow not to return to the strange path of the past year that so many have experienced and are still suffering under. We will not return to practicing the following.

  1. We will not deprive the people of the life-giving sacraments of the Church out of fear.
  2. We will not change the method of Holy Communion.
  3. We will not limit the occupancy in the Temple of God.
  4. We will not deprive the faithful of the veneration of holy icons, relics, and other holy objects or vessels.
  5. We will not require the iconoclastic masking of our people.
  6. We will not urge or require our people to inject themselves with experimental injections, especially those manufactured and/or tested on aborted fetal cell lines.

We therefore resolve to uphold the Holy Orthodox Faith of our Fathers and we call upon all faithful Orthodox to do the same. First and foremost, this is a call to deeper repentance and spiritual resolve. We all have a responsibility to identify ­the sickness of the modern age and to heal it by calling on the sweetest name of our Lord Jesus, saying, “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.”

Your Servants,


July 31st/July 18th P The Year Of Our Lord 2021

[1] Gerondissa Makrina Vassopoulou, Words of the Heart, pg 504. She said these prophetic words on the 19th of December, 1992.

[2] Gerondissa Makrina Vassopoulou, Words of the Heart, pg 504. She said these prophetic words on the 19th of December, 1992.

[3] 1 Corinthians 6:15

[4] Saint Ignatius Brianchaninov, op. cit., tome I, pp.141.143.146ff

[5] Saint John of Sinai, On the Shepherd 97, edition Holy Monastery of Paraclete, Horopos Attica,

1946, p.402 (PG 88, 1201A).

[6] Ezekiel 34, 8-10 (KJV)


  1. No words, this is amazing. Axios

    This is what we the faithful have been waiting on for over a year. Glory be to God

  2. Athanasia says

    Dear Burning Bush Brotherhood,
    Talk is cheap. Email me a parish to attend where I can receive the Holy Eucharist on the same spoon as everyone else. That has not been sanitized in Everclear nor handed to the priest in a gloved & masked Altar server. Where the Holy Epistles are chanted from the center of the Nave. Where my lips can touch a cloth and not a disposable paper napkin, like the Body and Blood of Christ is a tainted substance. Where the priest will pray, not just for those who have reposed because of covid, but, because of the covid vaccine.

    Until then, this blowing in the wind.

  3. Thank you
    Thank you
    Thank you

    Love love love it 🙂

    If only this had been written a year ago.

    George, I appreciate that the brotherhood must be anonymous for now, but does it number 5 clergy? 10 ? 20 or more?

    Now maybe the brotherhood can be emboldened to tell the OCA leadership that no Christian man in his right mind intends to take his family or himself to the hotbed of lawlessness (and one of the BLM capitals) in Baltimore (of all places) next summer for the AAC. Baltimore? After what’s happened there over the past year? For real?

    I realize you want to have it on the East coast near most of the OCA parishes – but Baltimore? So we can get mugged and shot at by day and by night? No thanks.

    Have it at a monastery. St Tikhon’s – or if you need it to be in Maryland, at St Nina’s in Union Bridge. There’s also Met. Jonah’s wonderful skete of St Demetrios in northern Va. But – ahem – maybe you’ve burned too many bridges with him?

    In the venerable old days, all church councils were at churches, cathedrals, monasteries, or holy places. Not at these awful, sterile, impersonal hotels in the middle of rioting cities.

    Honestly, what neophytes are in charge of planning this stuff? Yet someone in senior leadership must’ve said “yes, good idea.” What, were central Minneapolis and the south side of Chicago already taken? What about the CHAZ in Seattle? (The lawless CHAZ is directly across the street from the ROCOR cathedral in Seattle, by the way.)

    But kudos on the letter. Many thumbs up. Love it. And thank you.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      This was given to us by one of our commentators so we don’t know. It’s on all the blogs. Powerful, isn’t it?

      • Gail,

        It is quite powerful. I have only one question:

        Where is John Hancock?

        If such a brotherhood truly intends to defy the episcopate, there is no reason to remain anonymous. Simply accept martyrdom.

        Or leave the words of bold men to . . . bold men.

        PS: Are they concerned for their flocks or for themselves? Unless there is a vote of the parish council to support some acts of disobedience, why would the bishop or synod take it out on the laity? They would simply can the priest. Laity can vote with their feet.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          If I had to guess, I suspect they’re worried that if the bishops ferret them out, the laity would be left alone.

          They may have opened a path for us. Let’s see where they’re leading. They certainly have our attention.

          • Very well said Gail

          • I can’t take it the least bit seriously. No letter is necessary. Just do it, publicly, and accept the consequences. The notion that they are going to make good on their resolutions at the same time as remaining anonymous is ludicrous. As it stands, it just gives the lower clergy some cover from the laity on the assumption that “something is being done”.

            Nothing is being done until something is being done and it can’t be anonymous.

            It’s bs.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              Do what exactly? Piss off their bishops and be thrown out without a release so they could never work as a priest again?

              Frankly, I don’t blame them for doing it like this. Why should they call themselves out if we aren’t prepared to circle the wagons and support them?

              Instead, we ask for more, and “we want what we want and we want it now.”

              If they don’t sign their names, it’s not enough.
              If they don’t haul out their bishops into the street and remove his miter, it’s not enough.
              If they don’t do what, exactly. . .? (What would satisfy all of you?)

              In the meantime, ask yourselves what we are doing? If we were doing enough, maybe they wouldn’t be in this position.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Gail, when you get your Irish up, then things become pretty black-and-white!

                • At the end of the day, it’s the bishops. In the Orthodox Church, all the laity can do is pressure the clergy. We are not the decisionmakers. That is why I suggest that contempt is the best response. Their mysteries have grace, but their judgment is worthless – much like the Metropolia and the ROCOR treated the MP under Soviet slavery.

                  Priests can disobey them, laity can abandon them for other jurisdictions, but in the end, it’s the bishops who call the shots. We can influence them, but ask yourself how much power, other than inspiration, the letter exudes?

                  They are either going to make good on their resolutions at the end of the letter and defy their bishops, suffering the consequences, or they are going to do nothing and give the false impression that some secret cabal is somehow battling the bishops when nothing is changing.

                  Which do you think it is? And before you answer, consider if men too cowardly to sign their names will actually defy their bishops.

                  They have no power to do anything whatsoever other than defy their bishops which terrifies them or they would not be anonymous. Neither do the laity have the power to do anything but vote with your feet. Do not attend parishes where the Covid restrictions are enforced. Leave and do not look back lest you be turned into a pillar of salt. Find a parish that ignores Covid, except regarding those truly at risk, and if you cannot find one in your area, consider changing jobs and moving.

                  I do not say that lightly. I’m currently about two hours from a traditional parish and I intend to move as soon as I can afford it, all other considerations being secondary. I would not consider attending a parish where the clergy is faithless.

                  • Gail Sheppard says

                    You’re right: It is on the bishops. It’s on them but I’d hate to think we’d allow them sweep this under the rug because we wanted something more.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Misha, Gail, you are both correct. Misha is correct that ultimately, it’s on the bishops. (Left unsaid is that their share of the judgment will be greater.)

                      Gail is also correct in that the laity are not powerless. In fact, I think that the laity is the ultimate backstop to preserve the Church. It was laymen who resolutely ignored the Uniate bishops upon their return to C’pole first
                      , then Moscow.

                      Where did they go for services? Honestly, I’d like to know. This might be the resolution to the contradiction between episcopate and laity.

                      At the end of the day, we are still left with a quandary: is the Open Letter valid? Are its words true?

                      Everything else is commentary.

                    • “Where did they go for services? Honestly, I’d like to know.”


                      In ages past, the laity resorted to kinetic “self help” in these circumstances. It is something I do not encourage today, though would not condemn.

                  • The idea that the bishop has unlimited power and that we must submit no matter what is not orthodox and not historical. In the 1400s the laity ran the bishops out of Constantinople when they united with Rome. The people are the ultimate guardians of the faith.

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  It’s a German head and Irish heart sort of thing. It just takes over.

              • Well said Gail.

              • Gail, I agree with you. I sent the letter to the Assembly of Bishops, simply asking them if they will respond. I also sent the letter to my bishop here in Canada.

                I was excommunicated today by my priest. It was a difficult discussion. The reason given for the excommunication is that I evidently do not understand how the Orthodox Church functions. I was baptized three months ago, and admit that I have a great deal to learn about the Church. My priest, after telling me that I was no longer in communion with the Church, then suggested several times that I should probably consider going to another parish. But he also said I will be readmitted to communion after proper instruction.

                To tell you the truth, it was a confusing discussion. I have asked for a document that details grounds for the excommunication.

                The decision to remain anonymous on the part of the Brotherhood I think is a wise one.

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  I’m shocked by what you just said. Seriously shocked. Did he give you any idea what he meant by “proper instruction?” I get the feeling when he suggested you go to another parish it was to give you a way out of this. Would you mind sharing with us the jurisdiction?

                  • Sure. OCA.

                    No, he did not, apart from saying that I need to be instructed in what the Orthodox Church is and how it operates.

                    My parish is 2 1/2 hours away. I actually moved to the city last winter for several months so that I could be catechised in the faith. At that time, my priest said that we could have question and answers after liturgy. I am recuperating from a truck crash. After trying that a couple of times, I didn’t have the focus and stamina to remain after liturgy, and asked if we could have dedicated time every week for instruction for the catechumens.

                    He said no.

                    I brought that up during our discussion today, perhaps unwisely, saying that the winter when I was in the city would have been a good time to have been properly instructed in the faith.

                    Needless to say, things didn’t go very well after that. That is when he started recommending that I go to another parish.

                    As a former (Baptist) pastor, I am surprised at the lack of discipleship during the year that I was a catechumen. In addition, I simply don’t know how to compute why I was excommunicated for simply sending the letter to the Bishops (including my bishop) and asking if and how they would respond.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      A friend put this on FB on 2/9. You should be catechized by the guy who posted this. He is ABSOLUTELY, WITHOUT A DOUBT Orthodox. 😉

                      * * *
                      FrSavvas Anastasiou
                      FetbSrgSponsuragrsSoyroaae afda9 ·
                      Should we get vaccinated?
                      by Bishop Sofronie of Suceava

                      This question is asked by millions and millions of Christians, frightened by this invented pandemic.

                      “Fearful people do not inherit the Kingdom of God,” says St. Paul the Apostle.

                      After our church took note of the danger of vaccination through the mouth of His Eminence, our Metropolitan Vlasie Mogârzan, we have communicated our position both from a spiritual point of view, but also from a medical and moral point of view.

                      However, after countless requests questions raised by Christians, many unanswered, we owe some clarification.

                      Beloved Christians,

                      Even now, after they permanently put your muzzle on, don’t you realize that this is not regarding a virus?!? Screening has started! The separation of the wheat from the weeds has begun! Those who will accept Mammon’s number in the flesh will choose the bread, and those who will not accept Mammon’s number will choose the CROSS, they will die for the world, but they will live forever in Christ!

                      “When one does not resist in a timely fashion, he gradually becomes incapable of ever resisting again.” You need to understand that they will not stop here, they will not give up their evil plan to ensnare us, to divide and enslave us, but all these must happen because that is how it is written.

                      “They will find a disease for which they will make a vaccine, which will be mandatory, and which will be the beginning of the sealing” – Paisios of Mt. Athos (Spiritual Awakening).

                      This plan of sealing has begun at least 10 years ago, but it was not possible to be done from the beginning because they did not have their own people in all the governments across the world. In the meantime, they instated their people. Almost all the politicians in the world are theirs, with their souls sold, small servants without personality, who make their dirty games, as they are and just in time. However, there are many voices that criticize them, not necessarily Christians, but normal people in their head, who understand the conspiracy, but even though the plan still goes further.

                      We would like that part of the Clergy who was not sold out, to fight more for the awareness of the Christians, the Priest who does not speak in his sermons about the danger of ecumenism and sealing, wastes his time in vain, and those in Monasteries who do not confess the truth lose everything.

                      “The silence of the Clergy is Atheism,” said St. Gregory of Palamas.

                      I was telling you that this is just the beginning, they will soon impose the vaccine mandatorily through all kinds of ways, such as you can’t walk free, you can’t buy, you can’t get hired, you can’t send children to the school, and other treacherous ways. We must be strong, many and united, and especially with hope in our Christ the Savior, who will not forsake us. You need to understand, Brothers, that Christ is much more powerful than the whole crowd of Antichrist’s servants.

                      They will soon invent viruses and diseases, in animals and plants, so that you will no longer be able to raise animals or grow plants freely, therefore you will need to buy them. Where from? From their stores.

                      Whoever controls the food, controls the population.

                      Returning to the vaccine, true specialists around the world clearly tell us that a flu virus can never be vaccinated because a vaccine is made in about 5-8 years and these viruses undergo mutations, even twice a year. Then what do they want to introduce in our body? If this vaccine is so good why don’t we find it in pharmacies, why is there need for the army and the police? Why is the vaccine for free and these useless masks cost money?

                      We must resist by continuously praying, fasting, confessing, and receiving Holy Communion: the Body and Blood of our Savior. Only in this way will we escape unsealed. Never can a Christian who receives Holy Communion be subdued (defiled) by their satanic plans. That is why the Orthodox Church is their mortal enemy, it is the only stronghold in the way of the establishment of the kingdom of antichrist. In fact, their plan has begun, as per the prophecies, with the union of religions into one, and they are desperate because they have not succeeded in their entirety, as this conservative and stubborn Orthodox enclave does not renounce so easily from the salvific religion in Christ the Savior.

                      They will come with other plans and persecutions, much more evil and darker, as the devil does not accept the Orthodox Christians, he does not accept Holy Communion, because Christ is within them (Orthodox) and they are in Christ.

                      “Get thee behind me, Satan,” says the Lord.

                      The more they will persecute, us who believe in Christ, the sooner our Lord will come to judge this world of Satan, the apocalypse does not mean the end, but a new beginning for those who believe in Christ and pray to Him.

                      How long do you think that you will trample underfoot our Church, our family and the freedom that God has given us as humans created by Him in His image and likeness. We do not hate you as you hate us, we pray for your souls, as the Lord teaches us “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you and pray for those who harm and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in Heaven. ”

                      “Everyone is under the influence of a power that masters the mind, the will, and all the powers of the soul. And this power is cunning, because its source is the devil, and his tools are cunning people. Through them work the Antichrist and his forerunners. The Apostle said, “Because of that, God delivered them into the spirit of delusion, of deception, because they did not accept the love of the truth”. Something dark and scary is coming over the world. The human will stay more or less under his mastery, and the more the power of that cunning one has on the human under his mastery, the less the human will be aware of what he is doing. – St. Barsauphius.

                      “The time will come for true confession of the Faith! All those who will confess, will be alone and persecuted!” St. John Maximovich.

                      Beloved Christians,

                      Christ says, “Don’t be afraid of those who kill the body, for the soul cannot be killed.”

                      We must fight, we must not lose our patristic spirit, because spiritual happiness is not outside of us, it cannot be influenced by their threats, Christ is with us, for which reason no disease, no trouble will come without His consent.
                      Even the acceptance to wear this useless mask is proof of ignorance of God, proof of fear and obedience to something non-existent, something imposed, without name, without identity, something dangerous, which, they tell us, exists somewhere and lurks after us….

                      Have you seen on any television or media, true specialists, call to discern the origin and action of this “deadly virus”? Have you seen a committee of specialists appointed to research everything that concerning virus, symptoms, treatment, vaccine, etc.? No, because they know that it’s a big bluff, and their program to be followed is toward indoctrination, fear, world order, embedded microchip, and, finally, modern slavery, much more dangerous than the one in the past. This slavery will be, unlike the other, a slavery not only of the flesh but also of the soul, a slavery to the Antichrist and implicitly to Satan, for whom work these unhappy future masters of slaves.

                      Do you realize that the mortality from this seasonal flu is less than 1%, and the serious side effects of this vaccine far exceed this figure? These are the predictions of some specialist doctors I have consulted with.

                      This vaccine, not only does not cure us or save us from any disease, but it surrounds us, it takes our freedom received at the time of creation. Not the rights, but the freedom received from our God, which only He can take it from us, or only us who can offer it, either to our Lord or to Mammon, who leaves us to seal ourselves voluntarily for the temporary good of this world, failing to remember the eternity promised by Christ for a spiritual life lived here in faith, prayer, love, humility, mercy and acceptance.

                      Beloved Christians,

                      Go to Church, to the Divine Liturgy, make confession and take Holy Communion as often as possible, those who do not have a Clergyman, look for one in the right faith as soon as possible, and when they will not allow us in the Church to pray, pray wherever you can and call the Clergyman at your place for your spiritual needs, as God is everywhere.

                      For nothing in the world you get vaccinated, refuse wearing a mask and beware of everything that will be imposed on you from now on, because everything will be for the loss of the soul and enslavement. Give up everything they would offer in exchange for the seal, work, schools, walks, food, etc., and do not let your children be educated and manipulated by them. They all work for the establishment of the medical and financial dictatorship, they are all elected by their masters, they are all sold, lost, and they are all capable of anything to fulfill their program.

                      The wave of persecution is coming fast, but believe me, it will pass just as quickly. God has not lost nor He will lose any battle as they hope. Not long after, the Kingdom of God will master over this world, which Mammon and his servants are temporarily mastering. God will not leave you hungry or homeless, nor will He let them carry out their cursed plan by the end, we must believe in His power and not to deviate from the Holy Canons, falling into the nets of their promises.

                      Wait with confidence for the end of these dark times, let the written things to pass because the Kingdom of Heaven is near and the heads of Mammon’s servants will fall. The times prophesied dozens of times, beginning with John the Evangelist, during these 2,000 years since the Nativity of our Lord are HERE and NOW.

                      Your intercessor to the Lord,

                      Bishop Sofronie Suceava
                      Translated from the Romanian by Elena Calugaru

                    • Jeff,

                      If your priest excommunicates you under these circumstances, it is God shouting in your face that you are in the wrong parish.

                      Everyone who takes the faith seriously has to hold their nose to one extent or another when attending modernist parishes. It’s just the price of doing business. However, the price has become too high. Psychoses tend to grow worse, as does latent heteropraxis and heterodoxy. It has always been just a matter of time since the modernists quit practicing the faith that they quit holding the faith.

                      I encourage you to shake the dust off you feet and do not look back. Find a parish that uses the Church calendar and does not compromise on Covid (ROCOR, the Serbs, etc.). Move if you need to. And leave the dead to bury their dead.

                      World Orthodoxy will survive and be fine. American Orthodoxy is taking a severe pruning which the Lord evidently intends to deeply thin out its visible ranks. He is done with the worthless trash that has infiltrated His Church.

                • What the….

                  What jurisdiction are you under in Canada?

                • Athanasia says

                  Jeff, I am so sorry this has happened to you. Shame on your priest. You will be in my prayers this evening. May God help you and guide you.

                • That’s not really grounds for excommunication…

                  If you don’t understand something, then it’s on your catechist’s head for not instructing you properly prior to baptism. Someone not understanding something is not a reason for excommunicating them! Shameful.

                • Jeff, I’m actually impressed that an OCA priest would excommunicate anyone for anything. Don’t be disheartened though. Communion can always be restored through repentance.

                  • Thanks Steve. I understand repentance.

                    Perhaps it is as simple as that.

                  • Repentance for what Steve? Sending the Burning Bush Brotherhood letter as an email to the Assembly of Bishops, and asking if they will respond. That is the reason given for my excommunication.

                • Sort of confused because, in the true Orthodox Christian understanding, we excommunicate ourselves by our behavior. Our priest or bishop simply acknowledges the fact that we’ve excommunicated ourselves.

                  It’s a very legalistic, Latin-style Catholic understanding to think that excommunication is something that a priest or bishop “does to you” or “comes down from on high” because we “piss them off” or do something improper. That’s a very childlike understanding of it.

                  If I shack up with a chick who’s not my wife, and I refuse to stop and repent (or to be “transformed in the renewal of my nous/mind” as St Paul defines repentance), then I excommunicate myself. My priest simply acknowledges that fact.

                  Using excommunication as a power play to enforce control on a parishioner is an egregious abuse of power. Particularly if the parishioner is lost as to why or to what’s going on. It’s essentially spiritual abuse.

                  Sounds like there’s a ton of communication problems going on here, but if a pastor threatens “excommunication” as a means to control his flock, then God knows, by all means, flee that pastor at once.

      • It is powerful, but it will be meaningless unless these clergy actually stand up and take the ecumenist hierarchs to task and DEMAND cessation of all the pastoral and ecclesiological malpractice of the past decades. An anonymous letter – however well worded and uplifting – is nothing without action. We need these priests to ACT!

        • Gail Sheppard says

          The reality is they would pick them off one by one until they were all gone. – We have to fight for them. All of us.

          • We don’t know who to fight for, with the exception of the very few vocal priests, such as Fr. Peter Heers and a handful of others. If the Brotherhood made itself public, the faithful would flock to them. They would be untouchable and the bishops’ collective hand would be forced.

          • GOA Priest says

            I find the tone rather silly. Also, the ecclesiological approach is episcopal-monarchist, which is why we are in this situation in the first place. The “orphan” language is ridiculous. [As a priest, I can tell you I have never been orphaned by a bishop, since they aren’t my daddy and they aren’t the source of my identity, which comes from our Lord and Savior. Unfortunately the bishops themselves have trained their priests and the laity to understand them as unaccountable despots. I propose a crown burning!]

            The Lord promised not to leave us orphans by sending the Holy Spirit, did He not? Are bishops lords of the Holy Spirit? of divine grace? Apparently, according to this missive bishops alone are successors to the apostles. Bishops ARE priests – the leader of a COUNCIL of presbyters. This letter encourages a wrong understanding of the ecclesial relationship between bishop and priests, and so is nearly worthless.

            Also, why no specifics? Name the individual hierarchs and their misdeeds and demand a response.

            Also, Misha is right they should have signed it if they want to take a role of leadership.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              The letter has nothing to do with the ecclesial relationship between bishop and priest. Forgive me, Father, but it has to do with the thinking that you’re peddling: Just take it and take it lying down.


          • I think that’s what we need though. We need them to stand up and be exiled. St. John Chrysostom was defrocked and exiled. St nectarios was exiled. Lets embrace the martyrdom and reveal the bed of vipers. I’m just a layman but I was willing to defy the mask rules and risk being excluded. Everyone including bishops and priests can take a stand. There are a few priests that are and a few laypeople.

        • The priests can do so much, we the laity must also fight in conjunction with the priests and let them know that we have their back. Throughout Church history the laity have held the faith and fought for the Faith, we cannot just sit idle on the sidelines and make the priests do all of the work…we must fight for the Church and it is our job to fight for the Church.

          • Gail Sheppard says


          • I am new to this but feel compelled to leave my two cents here. First of all I remember last year when this all started that hardly anyone fought when the churches were closed. I and others posted we need communion, we need holy unction, churches to be open, but people posted “the virus is dangerous” “we need to be like St. Mary of Egypt” no one fought, only some who were on deaf ears. So this GOA priest wants to know who wrote the letter? Why is he annonymous, tell us who you are too!!! I remember a letter from an annonymous priest bad mouthing Fr. Peter Heers and it got the bishops attention. maybe this letter will too. And yes we, the lay people or the so called parish counsels have more power then what you think. Why not support your priest if he is fighting, first, that is a start. Many left the GOA/OCA and went to Rocor for instance. Some did fight, but the majority hid. Perhaps this Burning Bush Brotherhood is only one person, but it is gettng action from more laity and priests

    • I think you need to stop watching the Wire for a while. I lived in Baltimore for many years and while the city has great, deep seated problems. I was never mugged or robbed. I do think your description is a tad bit exaggerated. I ;do agree though, having the council at a monastery is a much better choice.

    • George Michalopulos says

      I dunno, I kinda enjoyed the movie Thunderdome. Maybe it’d be fun in real life.

  4. CNN’s Don Lemon says says unvaccinated should not be able to buy food in grocery stores, work, etc:

    GOV. CUOMO of New York: “Private businesses… I am asking them, and suggesting to them, go to ‘vaccine only’ admission.”

    The Biden Administration Goes To War With The “Non-Vacs”: Is Coercion the Answer?

    CDC Director Rochelle Walensky was asked by Fox host Bret Baier “Are you for mandating a vaccine on a federal level?” She responded “That’s something that I think the administration is looking into.” Later she reversed herself by saying “I was referring to mandates by private institutions and portions of the federal government. There will be no federal mandate.” It was a telling response because she was asked about a federal mandate directly. She now says she meant to say a privately enforced mandates is what they are thinking about. The reversal may be a problematic as the original. It would confirm that the Biden Administration is using private companies as a type of direct surrogate for a public mandate.

    Vaccine Religious Exemption- Eastern Orthodox Christian Supporting-Documents:


    • “Vaccine Religious Exemption- Eastern
      Orthodox Christian Supporting-Documents”

      Thank you for this gloriously comprehensive and comprehensible list.
      The only quibble I have is that Metropolitan Seraphim of Kythira
      is a Bishop of the Church of Greece, not the Church of Cyprus.

      But that is a minor point which does not take away from the truth of the argument.

      • Steven J. M. says

        This is indeed a comprehensive and comprehensible list, and should any of us have to use it, let’s hope that it does the job. That said, I came across some advice the other day on a website – about what to do if vaxxes become manadatory at work – and it struck me as being quite good. As the advice relates specifically to religious examptions, the recommendation is to simply leave it at “I’m religiously exempt” without going into further detail, lest the extra information we provide makes it easier for it to be used against us. Assuming there’s some wisdom to that, people might consider this approach first and then resort to the double-barrel Orthodox exemption document, if pressed further. At any rate, the link to the advice I’m talking about is below. Although it’s probably specific to America, I’m sure most of the ideas would be universal.

  5. We should all write the bishops to let them know we support these true shepherds. Grateful to God for their loving and healing words. The paragraphs asking our forgiveness brought me to tears. God help them!!

  6. I’m going to be the odd man out here and say that I’m not impressed with a vicarious apology. Cowardice is the true pandemic. I would have a million times more respect for this if they signed it.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Maybe respect isn’t what they’re going for.

      • George Michalopulos says

        I would add this: when John Jay, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison wrote The Federalist Papers, they did it anonymously, under the pen-name “Publius”.

        My point is this: the plain text, the ipsimma verbi, of any such document should speak for itself. It is either truthful –or not. At any rate, the episcopate cannot escape from its actions (or non-actions). Nor is this vindictive as it is directed to them in a spirit of love. At the very least, we Christians always have a way out: it’s called repentance.

  7. Anonymous II says

    This is a really fantastic article, in which the author makes a case America has become the USSR:

  8. If it is an anonymous resolution to do the listed things and an affirmation of the faith, then it is laudable. Of course, it is completely unverifiable. If a priest takes these steps, perhaps even unbeknownst to his bishop, do we know he is part of the “brotherhood”? Maybe, maybe not.

    La mano nera.

    If this is the theory, my observation is why bother with a letter? Is it for some group of priests to let the laity know they are sympathetic? Is any anonymous resistance truly Orthodox? We all know about ikhthus, drawing half a fish and leaving the other person to finish the image. But that was vis a vis heathen, not faithless bishops.

    And is it even a good thing, in principle, to have a clandestine brotherhood dedicated to thwarting the will of the episcopate? The buck stops with the episcopate in Orthodoxy for a reason.

    I’ll refrain from overt counteractivity regarding whomever this is, but I’m not persuaded this was well thought out. Hiding behind the laity as an excuse for anonymity is a concerning omen.

  9. It’s certainly a well written and valid critique of the policies the faithful have had to endure, but can you really invoke Saint Mark of Ephesus and pledge your willingness to shed your own blood in defense of the Faith and faithful and then hide in anonymity? Who really thinks that our bishops are going to read this and change their ways? Push will eventually come to shove here. It’s inevitable. If you really believe what you write, you might as well stand up and say it in the open, and really shouldn’t you want to?

    “Good morning everyone. Just so you know, today we’re going back to using one communion spoon, but please don’t tell anyone, because I don’t want to get in trouble.” Or “No, don’t get the vaccine because it was tested on aborted fetal cells, but if anyone asks, I wasn’t the one who told you not to get it.”

    Is that really where we’re at? How is it that those on the “left,” the Fr. Aridas of our Church, the Orthodoxy in Dialogue folks, etc are unafraid to spout their nonsense in the open for everyone to hear, while the defenders of truth feel the need to hide in the shadows? God help us.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Oh, they’ll read it. I’m sure a copy was sent to each of them. – You know how St. John the Baptist was known as the forerunner of Christ? Think of the letter like a “forerunner” and be ready to do what you can when you can.

      And before you ask, no, I do not know who these priests are. We were notified of the existence of the letter by one of our commentators, who probably got it from one of the other blogs. We were the last ones to get it up! LOL

      • Yes they’ll read it, but do you honestly believe they’ll change their ways? I can see it now – Metropolitan Sotirios up in Canada – “You know, that Burning Bush Brotherhood has a point. I take it all back,” or Abp. Elpidophoros – “Yes, they’re right. I showed poor judgement in celebrating the Divine Liturgy in a Protestant parish known for its support of the LGBTQ movement.” C’mon.

        As for Saint John the Baptist, whom they (brazenly?) compare themselves to, he didn’t write out his critique of Herod and nail it to the palace door in the middle of the night. He said it out in the open for everyone to hear and willingly suffered imprisonment and martyrdom. As a layman, I would hope that I would be willing to suffer and die for the truth. Should we expect less of our pastors? And if they came out and said these things publicly, what would they really have to suffer?

        I’m sorry. You can’t say: “Look at us – we’re the modern day version of Saint John the Baptist and Saint Mark of Ephesus,” and then hide. I agree with the substance of everything they wrote, but it just seems unbecoming to hide the way they are. It really does seem like cowardice.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          No one compared themselves to St. John the Baptist or St. Mark of Ephesus.

          I said like St. John the Baptist was the forerunner of Christ, perhaps the letter could be seen as a forerunner of something good. I did NOT compare anyone to Saint John the Baptist and Saint Mark of Ephesus.

          There are some things you can exaggerate and get away with it. This is not one of them.

          • In the very first paragraph they write: “we judge our voice to be a necessary voice crying in the wilderness.” Is that not an obvious comparison to Saint John the Baptist? And that fifth paragraph on the section to the bishops: “We know the holy examples of St. Maximus the Confessor…We remember St. Athanasius…We recollect the faithfulness and boldness of St. Mark of Ephesus…We are inspired by the recent boldness of the Russian martyrs who were imprisoned and suffered under Sergianism.” They’re identifying themselves with these heroes of the Faith to justify their potential disobedience while insisting on anonymity…

            • Gail Sheppard says


              In none of these instances do they compare themselves to anybody. They are making the point that the actions they are taking are not foreign to the Gospel or to Orthodoxy.

              We’re not going to quibble about what this anonymous group of people had in mind anymore. I think you’re misreading it.

            • I read those parts exactly the same way and also raised my eyebriws at it in the context of anonymity.

    • PJ, I long ago concluded that the reason “Fr” Arida and the folks at O in D (along with many others) are left alone, is because the Bishops fully approve of them and what they do.

    • How is it that those on the “left,” the Fr. Aridas of our Church, the Orthodoxy in Dialogue folks, etc are unafraid to spout their nonsense in the open for everyone to hear, while the defenders of truth feel the need to hide in the shadows?

      I think, sadly, that in large part the answer is quite evident.

  10. Here we go again:

    These are the Ukrainians under the EP (I believe). Who will be the next to cave…again?

    Let’s hope those priests in the Open Letter were serious.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA is, indeed, a jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

      Never heard the word “must” and voluntary” in the same sentence before. It’s must be one of those mysteries.

    • Who will be the next to cave…?

      In a perverse inversion of what king David replied to the prophet in his hour of discipline…

      “Please let me fall into the hand of the LORD, for His mercies are very great; but do not let me fall into the hand of man.”

      …all indications point to the tragic reality that all (or almost all) of our hierarchs will choose instead to fall into the hands of the CDC. I sincerely hope I am wrong.

  11. I suggest that all of you stay clear of this letter. Many of you do not appreciate how wicked a faithless bishop can be, but you may find out. Those who do not worship God very likely worship power – much like the evil one.

    Do not try to shame them but rather let them rule an empty kingdom.

  12. Fr. David says

    If this is how lay people respond to this letter, imagine how the bishops would respond. Throw a rock into a pack of dogs and the one that gets hit yelps the loudest. This group of priests, perhaps deacons and maybe even a bishop or two has finally given people some hope and all you can whine about is that it is anonymous. Seriously? From their website, this appears to be one post of many more to come. How about thanking God that somebody finally humbled themselves and asked forgiveness for the horrible decisions made by the church over the last 18 months and also have the humility to implore the bishops, with respect, to get their act together. The way things are going with the new wacky Delta scare, the bishops are going to have a chance to demonstrate their courage shortly. Hopefully, they will reverse course from last year. If not, people will be searching…

    • Gail Sheppard says

      I would add only this: “The way things are going with the new wacky Delta scare, the bishops are going to AGAIN have a chance to demonstrate their courage shortly.”

      They demonstrated courage at Archimandrite Gerasim (Eliel)’s consecration; straight-backed chairs, inches from one another, no masks, surrounded by a sizable crowd.

    • Amen Fr! I see both sides on the anonymity thing. It would be great to know who they are so we might rally around them a little more effectively, and it would be nice to know which priests we could place more full trust in. HOWEVER, I agree we need to take what we can get. This is a big step in the right direction. Thank God for them. It seems to me it’s a little hard for us to claim any moral high ground if we don’t extend grace to others just because they don’t do exactly what we think they should.

    • I’m not sure how this is going to help secular materialists (whose fake sheep’s wool has been pulled back to reveal the wolves they are), find faith (perhaps for the first time).

      But good luck.

    • Fr. David,

      Tell me, and please be particular, which of the following can a parish priest do anonymously, undetected by his bishop?

      1. We will not deprive the people of the life-giving sacraments of the Church out of fear.
      2. We will not change the method of Holy Communion.
      3. We will not limit the occupancy in the Temple of God.
      4. We will not deprive the faithful of the veneration of holy icons, relics, and other holy objects or vessels.
      5. We will not require the iconoclastic masking of our people.
      6. We will not urge or require our people to inject themselves with experimental injections, especially those manufactured and/or tested on aborted fetal cell lines.

      • Every parish is different! Some parishes have people who will throw their priest under the bus in a heartbeat (call the Bishop), and that is very sad. Not all parishes are like that. Some bishops are power-hungry but not all bishops are like that. Each priest has to follow his conscience in relation to the canons and care for his sheep. Closing doors, not allowing people to commune, using multiple spoons, and forcing mask mandates is a line that most priests I know will not cross. I believe the key to this current mess is for the laity to rise up and say enough. However, many of the people have been cooked in the ecumenical pot for so long that traditional Orthodoxy is unknown to them. Are the bishops helping us “dig out” of the hole or are they “digging” a deeper hole? I believe that letter was an appeal to help us dig OUT – not DEEPER.

        • Agreed, Fr. David,

          And I don’t want to pooh pooh them too much. I’m skeptical, but with that said, if what they propose catches fire and becomes the norm, alleluia.

          I think like a warrior. I’d rather defeat the enemy without firing a shot but I need to see a clear path, a clear cause and effect. Apart from the threats of disobedience (which are unverifiable as a consequence of the anonymity), the letter is a fairly solid affirmation of the faith.

    • Antiochene Son says

      Fr. David, would you take my confession and absolve me if I listed my sins here in this thread? No, you would not.

      I cannot say “God forgives” and embrace an anonymous person, any more than a priest can absolve someone who doesn’t stand before the Cross and confess in person.

      I have, however, forgiven my priest for the COVID rules he did enforce, because he publicly asked for it.

      • I have, however, forgiven my priest for the COVID rules he did enforce, because he publicly asked for it.

        Wonderful…on both counts.

  13. Jesse Dominick says

    Gail, just so you know, that Romanian Bishop Sofronie of Suceava is from the schismatic Old Calendar Church of Romania. I’m not commenting on the content of what he says (actually haven’t read it all yet), but just be aware of who he is.

    • I’m getting a little confused. Should we be catechized by schismatic bishops simply because they tell us what we want to hear about vaccination?

      • Gail Sheppard says

        No, we should be catechized by a bishop, priest, or person who understands what it means to be Orthodox. You should read the piece. It’s quite edifying.

      • “Should we be catechized by schismatic bishops simply because they tell us what we want to hear about vaccination?”

        If things continue to progress as they have, I’m not going to be care what a canonical bishop has to say, unless he’s in the concentration camp alongside me.

      • Steve, thank you for admitting that you are confused.

  14. First of all, God has allowed this breakdown in the Church. Why? we might ask.

    Second, the description of leadership that Jesus gives in Matthew 20:25-28 does not match the type of leadership the Church has allowed to develop. Or to put it another way, the Church has developed a system of leadership that does not match the words of Jesus.

    5 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. 26 Yet sit shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

    What is the history behind the great change from the above description of leadership given to us by the founder of the Church to what we have now: men dressed in fancy expensive clothes wearing crowns and behaving like emperors.

    Jesus said, in John 113:16, Truly, truly, I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.

    When Jesus came to earth how did He dress and how did He act? And what did He teach us? Our lives should be patterned after what He said and did if we are to be followers and disciples of Him.

    Otherwise it seems, we are following a different gospel.

  15. Wow, what a whiny self important item by pompous clerics. Glad to have missed them, I hope they have good health insurance against the day they might get sick from a virus, any virus. But they won’t need it. The virus isn’t real, right? Have you ever seen a virus? All rumors.

    • Aside from the monastics and hierarchs who have been killed by covid, its worth noting that Holy Cross monastics are now dealing with this disease.

      Honestly this sounds like an anti life, anti human pharasaical cult. I would venture to guess an inordinate percent of what is hopefully a small number of misguided individuals are evangelical converts.

    • Lord have mercy on you, sir.

  16. I have had it! says

    When does Barth Vader (Patriarch BarthaloYUCK), The Elpster (Arch Elpidophoros), ALL of the Metropolitans, ALL of the Bishops, and the Priests who are breaking the church rules and being a hypocrite get busted? (All of you know who you are!!)

    When does the corruption get corrected and stopped?

    These are the important topics that need to be tackled and solved.


    Everyone has had it and wants these rule breakers and hypocrites OUT!!! Everyone wants reform in terms of who and how the church is run!!

    Sick and tired of the horrible leadership

  17. Gregory Manning says

    Though it seems to have received little notice, St. Jonah Church/ROCOR, reprinted a very interesting survey of (some) Orthodox churches responses to the recent episode of the Covid “pandemic”. I don’t much read surveys; they make my eyes glaze over but I did read this one and was completely fascinated by the findings. Survey geeks can no doubt find whatever faults might be hiding “in the weeds”. Still, it’s worth a read. I cite it only because I can’t help but wonder how jurisdictions will respond in the future based on how they reacted in the past. The results may surprise some but not others The link is to a PDF produced by

    • Gregory,

      That is amazing. It certainly vindicates what we have been saying on Monomakhos. This is worth saving for future reference.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      I really like the survey, as well, and it is consistent with what Geroge and I hear behind the scenes. Too bad the Antiochians refused to participate.

      Some of the responses about how the priests were “creative” within the bishop’s directives is a nice way of saying, “We did what we had to do and by God’s grace, we weren’t found out.” I saw the directives and George and I heard from a lot of priests who hid people out of sight of the camera and snuck out to give communion when people were ill. What else could they do? They’re priests! Thank God for them.

      However, as a Church, we have outgrown our bishops. They speak with authority but they don’t have the authority because God has withdrawn it from them. Even their threats don’t work anymore.

      Notice how the OCA and the GOA had the worst outcomes. Like only 20% of the OCA parishes continued through the pandemic without interruption. ROCOR was 67%.

      45% of the OCA clergy reported that they seriously considered leaving the ministry at least once. 33% doubted they were even called by God. – The GOA wasn’t far behind. Talk about being beaten down.

      With regard to the change in the number of people attending in-person worship services now (going to Church) vs 2019:
      An 85% decrease in the OCA and an 88% decrease in the GOA.

      ROCOR was off the charts in completely the opposite direction. I suspect the Serbian and Georgian jurisdictions were in the opposite direction, as well.

      • 88% decrease in the GOA.

        The GOA was on life support prior to covid (if you remember the previous article showing a 100K member loss), I shudder to think what the GOA looks like now.

        I pray that the huge spike in attendance at the ROCOR parishes are Orthodox leaving their former parishes and not leaving the Faith all together.

    • Antiochene Son says

      I have it on good authority that the bishops ARE reading this survey and it’s making waves.

      • It what way is it making waves?

        • Antiochene Son says

          They are paying attention to it with concern, which is creating some conflict with COVID true believers. I don’t want to overstate it though.

  18. We dont want any reforms, God forbid, that is protestant way and is happening in OCA for a long time and especially these days as the Bishops implement innovations to tradition with no mercy. We need Bishops to read Life of Saints every day in due respect and with fear of God but OCA ones might not even know what is that about.

  19. A refreshing bit of good news:

    I have just been advised that, at least for the time being (and admittedly contrary to what I expected), our local bishop who had lifted all restrictions and restored the normal method of Communion at the point in time when the CDC said that the vaccinated need not wear masks, has decided not to impose any restrictions in spite of the news of the last couple of weeks.

    I realize this could change, but perhaps there is a glimmer of hope that at least some bishops will not revert – at least not entirely – to the ways of the last year or so.

    In any case, I am grateful. Thank You, Lord!

    • Gail Sheppard says

      They’ve got to be catching up on what’s what at this point. If they are good men, they will continue to look for the truth.

  20. Angela Sinzianu says

    See the fruits of a persecuted church and people. How glorious! Scroll through the first video at this link: Blessed feast of the Holy Transfiguration (for those of us still on the new calendar). Thank you for this blog. It has been a great source of information, resources and links for us.

  21. Christine says

    Prayers please for our Orthodox monks and nuns at St. Herman’s Monastery and St. Xenia’s Skeet in Platina, CA, who have all been evacuated due to the McFarland Fire. As you may know, blessed Seraphim Rose is buried at St. Herman’s. Both of these Orthodox monasteries are very cherished places to Western American Orthodox.

  22. For those who thought we all were crazy to predict the direction this was heading: the first DNA changing vaccine has been rolled out. Coming soon to a mandate near you. Yes, folks, roll up that arm and let the medical industrial complex alter the precious genetic material God created perfectly for you, all in the name to avoid a virus that is 97% survivable and is on track to become like a seasonal flu within a year if the experts are right.

    • From the link:
      How does this vaccine work?

      ‘ … Like other vaccines, a DNA vaccine, once administered,
      teaches the body’s immune system to fight the real virus. … ‘

      And there was me thinking that the body’s immune system
      was able to teach itself how to ‘fight the real virus’;
      and that if it wasn’t none of us would be here…

    • “The three-dose ZyCoV-D vaccine prevented symptomatic disease in 66% of those vaccinated.”

      66% protection against symptomatic disease. How comforting!

      With each passing day I become more convinced that God is mocking the hubris of our ‘science’ (so called).

      Spend your billions or, if you prefer, trillions. Put your trust in potions concocted by the godless and suffer at their hands, if you must. But you will not escape My hand. Like the magicians of Egypt, I will put them to shame, and you shall know that I AM the LORD..

      • Gail Sheppard says

        RE: “The three-dose ZyCoV-D vaccine prevented symptomatic disease in 66% of those vaccinated.”

        So the remaining 34% would have been made up of people who are naturally asymptomatic (80% of any population), as well, which brings the efficacy down to 27%. This is interesting because the FDA won’t issue EUAs unless the efficacy is over 50%.

        Plus we have other treatments available like mRNA. You can’t get a EUA unless there are no other treatments available.

        This 27% must represent the following:

        (1) The unsuccessfully vaccinated during the previous go-around
        (2) Those who have yet to make a choice about the vaccine on moral or health grounds, those who have had COVID and believe they already have sufficient immunity, and those who have no interest in taking experimental vaccines.
        (3) The people who died, possibly from a previous vaccine

        I suspect the 66%, however, is a brand new group of people with no history of taking, surviving, or dying from the mRNA vaccines.

        An argument could be made there is no “science” here. This new Indian vaccine could be a deadly form of vitameatavegamin for all we know. Or the “scientists” charming, traveling, dishonest hucksters whose 170-proof “tonic” provided Aunt Bee a temporary relief from mid-life crisis back in the day.

        (I’m not a racist; just unimpressed and frankly terrified of anything having to do with one of these “George Jetson” vaccines.)

        As with the mRNA, previous DNA vaccines have worked well in animals but not humans. You’d think they’d learn.