Another Open Letter to Metropolitan Gerasimos

Every now and then Yours Truly likes to publish contributions ftom our readers.

Billy Jack Sunday is one of our more popular contributors and commentators. We hope you enjoy his wit as much as we do! (Nothing wrong with a little levity every now and then.)

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  1. Bishop Anaxios says


    Another two snaps up

  2. Shouldn’t that have been Hugh Bris? Or Hew as a sly reference to schism? Unless there’s some reference to color that I’m missing.

    • Billy Jack Sunday says



      A bit of word play

      The Green Patriarch

      Hasn’t anyone who’s an environmentalist ever noticed that the planet is blue?

      It’s a blueberry in space

      • Billy Jack Sunday says


        There are occasions where the common name is spelled as “Hue”

        I mean, what about the guys named Allan?

        Is it



        Get a baby name book, brother!

      • Ah! I’ve seen the Green Patriarch reference before but didn’t make the connection

        • Billy Jack Sunday says



          However, if the EP follows through on my prediction, and relocates the Ecumenical Patriarchate to Bozeman, Montana

          Perhaps we should go with the common spelling of Hugh

          Hugh Brick

          Sounds very ‘tough guy’ American, doesn’t it?

          His popemobile will be a rusty old Ford pickup

          His vestments will include bib overalls, a John Deere hat, and a farmer’s tan (spray-on, of course) for full effect

          He will have copious amounts of Copenhagen in his beard – and will smell of a combination of Jack Daniels, Bengay and Old Spice

          If he wants to use/misuse our money and political influence, he needs to adopt and embrace a few of our particular yet typical American stereotypes for himself

          Of course, this is just one American stereotype he could potentially adopt

          If he relocates to Los Angeles, we could be in trouble

          That could go wrong in many different ways

        • Wayne Matthew Syvinski says

          Why the “Green Patriarch”?

          Green with envy at the power of the Roman Pope. Patriarch Bartholomew gotta get him some of that action!

  3. Very entertaining but very valid letter from a gentleman I enjoy reading as makes valid points with wit.
    But I do not think we need worry. I can see now what the wily old professional uniate Fox in istambul is about.
    Dirty stuff re GOA I cannot say but he has of course acted wrongly but he has not actually as i get it, declared a new church but skillfully stuck his oar into the game being rewarded with as he sees it, power,a spanking big Cathedral in Ukraine for some gravy train bum fluff Constantinople type, and MONEY . He will dangle a future autocephaly over it, not caring what he does to Orthodox world as he is a Catholic anyway. Perhaps a bolt hole if Erdogan pulls the rug…
    As a matter of record, of course at due time the Church should in Ukraine be autocephalous, but the CANNONICAL church not a schismatic body unless it respents and certainly not headed by a married bishop. ?!! I personally am for married bishops but not on a filaret basis!! But at least unlike Kyril, he married his wife.,even if denied his children Nice folks! ( check out kyril’ s life) but getting back to topic.
    As i explained in previous mail apart from historical and part racial ties, the Russian church at this moment needs the Ukrainian church because a good 33% of it’s parishes, let alone historical monasteries,are there. This is due to the 70 odd years of Soviet persecution and 1941-44 German invasion, as behind German lines the people opened the churches ending up with majority of churches in Russian church being in the Ukraine.
    This is changing but will take time. The Moscow church there is self governing and free to be locally Ukrainian and in fullness of time, say generation, would be granted autocephaly as Russian church gets on it’s own feet.

    Sitting here in Bulgaria with it’s own history shall we say, i can only say to all Ukrainian people,”BEWARE OF GREEKS BEARING GIFTS!! ?
    And given that filaret’s gang get rewarded while the poor bulgarian Church spent 70 odd years in wilderness being accused of RACISM. Even the russians did not support them with the beautiful, then Embassy chapel of Saint Nicholas in Sofia, being built in 1914, so ambassador could worship not in bulgarian Church.
    I want to add that yesterday being St Dimitrios day I attended church, and how meaningful to worship in a church free of rigid row of pews and with acapella singing, mostly joined in by congregation and a warm natural spirit during and after. Lessons for you folks hopefully

  4. Fr. George Washburn says

    Ineffective. The wheat to chaff percentage is way off. Lacking in the advertised levity. Another instance of a “hey, look at me” posting.

    • Billy Jack Sunday says

      Fr. George Washburn

      “Another instance of a “hey, look at me” posting.”


      Can you watch me go down the slide now?

      I was reading the comments to my wife

      When we came across that post of yours, that line made her laugh extremely hard

      So, one for you!

      • Billy Jack Sunday says

        Fr. George Washburn

        To be fair, however, she was on pot candy at the time

        Perhaps your posts should come with a two drink minimum?

        Or perhaps we should all take a shot when you refer to me as “BS”

        Thanks for being my number one fan

        You are so attentive to any thing I post, you are sure to jump on it. Even when I interact with other clergymen on the site

        You say that my communications are “ineffective”

        But I’ve got your full attention

        • Fr. George Washburn says

          This man’s stuff has only one #1 fan, and it appears not to be his wife. Or me.

          He illustrates the dilemma of those who see his abundant material ranges from good, or at least OK, to pretty poisonous. If one compliments the OK, it seems to encourage stuff at the other end too. George et. al. seem to have staked out the compliment department.

          In a “hey, look at me world” such as Hollywood, there is no such thing as bad press.

          Looking at “me,” “you,” or the publicans the Pharisee was so glad not to be, completely distorts all it touches and further complicates the impossible task of any sort of redemptive Orthodox internet discussion with the pseudonymous.

          • Billy Jack Sunday says

            Fr. George Washburn

            Your wheat to chaff is way off

            Ever consider the percentage of type griping about pseudonyms vs actually engaging in any real dialog related to any actual topic?

            It seems like your only point of posting on the blog

            It seems to me that both of us have keyboards

            I’m not the one who dresses up in religious garb on Sunday and types nasty grams on Sunday night – with little to no real content other than personal axe grinding

            That’s all you, Padre

            Get yourself a stress ball to squish before you have a John McEnroe vs Gary Busey road rage type melt down incident between you and your computer screen – over my perceived personal character flaws

            Or just dont read my posts

    • I do not know about ‘hey look at me!’, but hey look at the Church.
      There is not much wheat to harvest is there?

      When we should be looking at evangelisation, deepening worship, and in yr american context, dealing with some pretty rough stuff, the Church is caught up in a power struggle.
      With the Catholics it’s Sex and with us power and money.

      As regards the Ukraine, and speaking from Bulgaria, whose church knows a thing or two about this, of course in due time Ukraine should have it’s own church , well it has, agreed still autonomous under Moscow. If we are discussing autocephaly this is the Church the Patrarch should be via Moscow, looking to. But he goes to two bodies outside of the CANNONICAL church, something he officially stated in early 1990s when he become Patriarch and the one body led by a morally dubious man, well known, who declared his own autocephaly when he did not get top billing in Moscow in 1991 due to loss of power of his communist friends. And whose actions towards his clergy are without love.
      All this is fact, as the historical situation from 1991 when due to persecution and re- opening churches under German occupation, that most churches within Russian church as well as historical monasteries were in Ukraine.. This is changing but still needs time for Russian church to grow.

      I am not an expert on the canons and I am no fan of Kyril, whose own life is not the humble life of a monk although I accuse him of no imorality.
      However it is obvious that the actions of Constantinople are an attempt to gain some of the power that has drained from it by a torturous reading of the canons and as if byzantium lives.
      The only thing he should be telling filaret is to
      seek repentance for the breaking of his monastic and spiritual vows and to seek repentance. He is 90, filaret, does he not fear God at least.

      So no I am not drawing attention to me but to sad state of Church

    • Bishop Anaxios says

      Fr. George Washburn

      “Lacking in the advertised levity.”

      How can you say that about this letter?

      I read this letter outloud while eating at Denny’s.

      Although there is some rather seriousness to the letter –

      My wife laughed so hard, she shot milk several feet out her nose!

      My three kids were so embarrassed, they disowned ME

      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

        “Bishop Anaxios,” I had the same reaction when President Trump forcefully gave birth to FAKE NEWS par excellence; namely, he said we are the ONLY (his emphasis)country in the world that grants citizenship to any baby born in it!
        THIRTY (30) OTHER COUNTRIES grant citizenship automatically to any babies born in them. I wonder how Sarah Huckabee Sanders will answer a CNN or other network reporter who asks her if the President knows he himself creates “Fake News”?

        • George Michalopulos says

          Your Grace, the vast majority of countries do not offer birthright citizenship. I believe more actually allow a “right of return” based on ancestry.

          The point of course is that nationality is based on ancestry, which is largely true.

          • Deep Steak says

            the vast majority of countries also suck compared to the usa

            irony would be if the greatest country in the world were the only one with it arguing to get rid of it rather than other lands should do it

  5. Check out hte Catholic Origins of Halloween, like a gargoyle or scarecrow

  6. M. Stankovich says

    I am desperately trying to imagine how, and by what criterion Mr. Michalopulos censored my previous attempt to inquire from you a reasonable “lethality prediction” – you know, pursuant to the whole Robert Frost thing, “Some say the [church] will end in fire. Some say in ice.”: Should we fear more the iceberg of homosexuality, or the EP becoming the “head mahoff?” You seem equally lathered up over both. Actually, it’s as much a wardrobe question as anything.

    • Billy Jack Sunday says

      M. Stankovich

      Richard Simmons could be crowned “Roman Catholic Orthodox Ecumenical Pope of the East and all Outer Space” with a Chiquita Banana headdress

      And you would still make such inquiries

  7. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says


  8. Gail Sheppard says

    The EP and the MP should fight it out like real men. Not sure either of them would win but it might be fun to watch.

    If there is any foul language in here, I apologize. And yes, I know I’m being irreverent. Please forgive.

    • As was I, Gail. My apologies as well to any who might take offense.. Sometimes I just need to laugh. We all do. And we ought to laugh at ourselves as well. Most mornings, about half way through my second cup of coffee, I am reminded that my wife is right about me: I’m just a ‘regular’ guy who’s full of…

    • Gail,

      They are fighting it out like men, that’s what all the hubbub is about.

      As perhaps another commentator noted, this is simply God’s way of separating the wheat from the chafe. There is nothing here to lament at all except that it is too long in coming. Hopefully, it will not be ephemeral and the split will be permanent, excising a malignant cancer (the Phanar) from the Body of Christ, as the practices of excommunication and anathema were intended to do.

      Bartholomew is an Eastern Pope within his little pond, Greek Orthodoxy. It is just that the rest of the Church will not stand for it and are beginning to expel him, as they should have done long ago. That is why he cites the providential leadership of the Greek race as against the Slavs.

      This is actually a happy occasion. I’ve called for the expulsion of the CP since the robber council of Crete when he made his Uniate intentions as plain as day. Neither he nor his synod hold the Orthodox faith but are Eastern Rite Catholics in sheep’s clothing. It is dangerous to look the other way at incipient Uniatism. It is a shame that the MP (and the rest of the Church) had to learn this lesson the hard way.

      • Misha “As perhaps another commentator noted, this is simply God’s way of separating the wheat from the chafe.”

        Same way as “wheat from the chafe” was separated when EP proclaimed Renovationist (modernist) “Living Church” in 1920s Russia to be canonical.

        Many if not most of the clergy followed this schism, while the true pastors did not. After a while the official churches became empty as the faithful followed the later.

  9. Misha,

    This is actually a happy occasion.

    I find it very sad that you, and many like you, are enjoying this moment in time of Orthodoxy’s history. Quick to hold on to a brother,lest he fall, regardless of his short comings, always beating your chests? No! Never! Too busy looking to your own imagined image, and thanking God you are not like the terrible heretics!

    What a short memory you Russian Orthodox have, yet where and what your own bishops have come from, out of the ashes of Communism, the little Greeks welcomed all your bishops back, with open arms, and did not care of their not so hidden, hidden sins.

    Reminds me of a parable…..

    • Billy Jack Sunday says


      I don’t find it a happy occasion either

      As I’ve always said before, I’m in the GOA

      I dont know any GOA member who is alarmed by this

      I feel that the GOA will be found to be on the outside of the canonical Church – and will be quite unaware that it is so

      It is sad, because having been in the GOA – it seems that they teach their families to trust in the Church heirarchs while celebrating their Greek heritage

      Oh and – if you have any questions to ask – don’t.

      “Just pray”

      In other words, just keep asleep do we can do what we want – right in front of you!

      I’m quite serious that I want a square answer to this “Mother Church” business

      • Billy,
        In the GOA your voice might be heard, but it will never be answered, unless your are a millionaire or a politician. So your two choices are leave or pray.

        If I may why do worry so about rules and regulations. Do you believe God does? Is his body and blood no longer in the cup every Sunday waiting for you? Do past and present errors of two old men with crowns from Russia and Turkey change what is in the cup, because they cannot come to an agreement?

        When my father’s family secretly took communion in the Soviet Union do you think they gave rats ass what the Soviet bishops thought what and by who’s authority was in that cup? We’re they heretics?

        Do you think my moms family cared about what every Islamic controlled bishop had to say in Smyrna Turkey. No, they knew the bishops werenot allowed to speak freely. They still went to church and did all they could do. Pray.

        Billy there are lot of good bishops and priests in our church but they are afraid to speak up, not only because of the consequences if they do but also the timing is not right to do so. Our church demands patience it always has. Trust the process be patient and pray for God’s will, it is the only thing that will give you peace .

      • Billy Jack, I largely agree with what you say, but, being in the GOA myself I think you made a typo.

        I think you meant to type “Just pay.” That is what the GOA is all about. Praying does not seem to factor in too much.

        • Billy Jack Sunday says



          Being Halloween and all

          The GOA is the only Church among any churches I’ve heard of charging a cover for a Harvest Party

          And not a buck or two!

          Protestant Churches will have trunks and trunks and trunks full of candy + games and prizes for any and all random kids/families from the surrounding area

          The GOA charges!

          Who charges for trick or treating in America?

          The Greek Church – that’s who!

          • BJS,

            That is so sad. I grew up evangelical, and some of my fondest memories were of the harvest festival at Calvary Chapel Redlands. I remember they had trash cans the Sunday’s leading up to Halloween filled with candy that parents and church attendees would donate.

            The festivals were a safe alternative to trick or treating and were filled with biblical-themed games.

            It was a significant outreach to the community and brought people into the church.

            It is unfortunate that everything we do in the Orthodox Church is for money or ourselves. Bringing people to Christ and his Church is a foreign concept.

            • Billy Jack Sunday says

              Joseph Lee


              I find it strange that when there is any talk of reaching out to the surrounding community, there is often this – “Hey we dont do those ‘seeker sensitive’ things. We’re the Orthodox Church. It’s not about entertainment.”

              Unless, of course, they are charging out the yang. Then it’s a “community event” and fundraising twofer

              Although I’ve known admirable and generous Greeks, they are extremely insular

              They have a completely different concept of community

              It doesn’t include care for the surrounding human environment

              Non-Greeks are viewed mainly as a source of supplemental revenue as customers – not souls in need of Jesus Christ

              The Greeks are so caught up that they are the one true Church, they fail to see that they really struggle with relationships and community

              Personally, I do believe the EP meant the supremacy of the Greek race in Orthodoxy by saying recently:

              “Our Slavic brothers cannot tolerate the primacy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and our nation in Orthodoxy,”

              I’m not Slavic, but all you have to do is hang around the Greeks for a while. You will discover that, although they do not see themselves as racist, they do see themselves as superior

              In Church
              In ethnicity
              In society
              In history

              They are very proud of what they consider their modern accomplishment as an ethnic group in America

              On YouTube, you can find it coming straight out of a heirarch’s mouth

              He outlined how the Greeks have outperformed almost everyone else statistically as a minority in levels of education and finances

              They pride themselves as leaders of business and political influence

              Essentially the statements are that the American Greeks are more successful than pretty much everybody else


              Because of the assistance of certain Greek organizations

              But mainly

              Their “DNA”

              Not figuratively. Literally

              I kid you not

              With statements like that, I’m thinking it may be better for someone to be an elephant man in a snake dancing church that at least loves God and his neighbor from the heart

              This comes from the top

              I have yet to find any care for the souls who are outside the Church from among the Greeks

              Providing an alternate and safe environment for families during Halloween is a great service to people

              For all the distaste for the Protestant evangelical churches, they sure know how to care for everyday people and families far better overall – than the Orthodox in America

              • Billy Jack Sunday says

                *Jacob Lee

                My apologies Jacob – mistyped

                Joseph is the name of our beloved Pope Chiquita Banana

              • Billy Jack Sunday,
                Are Greek and the “bad” Ukrainian bishops not enough ammunition for you? You now need to disparage the Greek laity as well?

                Do Americans not have a superior attitude towards the entire world?

                Russians, English, Germans, and French not feel superior over each other, the rest of Europe, and Africa?

                Japanese don’t feel their culture superior over all of Asia?

                Chinese don’t look down on The Filipino people?

                Of course Saudis don’t think their Sh!t stinks.

                How about the attitude of Jews towards the rest of us?

                The only thing your post proved, is that you are a better Orthodox Christian than the Greeks Orthodox.

                BTW Billy, Everyone knows the really, really, really “nice” and “compassionate” Greeks are the ones who only go to church on Pascha/Easter eve, and gone by 12:15AM. The Greek Sunday Faithful are just a bunch of A$$#0LE hypocrites. Except you of course!

                PS: Yia Yia says we can’t be friends anymore!

                • Billy Jack Sunday says


                  First of all, I’m an equal opportunity disparager

                  Second, I’m in the GOA

                  Third, you never had to fit in to a Greek Church before the way non Greeks do so the problem to you is going to be mostly invisible.

                  Forth, I am telling you, flat out, that all this came from our very top heirarch. It is not speculation or an idea of what I think he thinks

                  It was statements made at a Greek fundraiser

                  Now the Greek EP is claiming superiority in all of Christianity

                  Not only is the Orthodox the one true faith, but the EP has the right to grant or take away autocephaly ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD

                  This Archbishop Job just said that the EP has effectively dissolved the Russian Church (the true canonical Church) in the Ukraine – and has absorbed it into the Ecumenical Patriarchate
                  Claiming millions of souls and around 17,000 churches total – if my count is correct

                  It must be the largest sheep stealing church heist in history

                  He also threatened that if the Russians don’t play along, the EP has the right and the power to dissolve the autocephalous Church of Russia IN RUSSIA

                  This is a complete disaster not only over there but for the entire Orthodox world

                  Why is this happening?

                  Well, you don’t want to believe that forces from our own country are involved

                  Okay, what’s left?

                  An idea that Greeks are superior and have supremacy in Orthodoxy

                  The wealthy successful educated superior Archons supply the EP with status, wealth and major political support of the US

                  Look. I came to your people. You didn’t come to mine. I’m not saying I don’t love or care for the Greeks. I do. I’m in a large and extremely Greek family. Extremely Greek enough that sometimes I have a hard time understanding their speech

                  I’m saying there’s some issues there, dude

                  I’ve put up with a lot of exclusive nonsense. I’ve earned the right to speak my mind on this matter

                  • Billy,
                    I feel as though I know you. Is your wife’s name Fortula?

                    But seriously…

                    The thing that troubles me, obviously troubles Dino, and should trouble every sober-minded Orthodox Christian is the seeming rejoicing over the EP’s supposed/apparent (whatever) downfall/blunder/heresy/ etc. in favor of Moscow’s dominance of ‘world Orthodoxy’ – and this as though they know with certainty that it is God’s will. Many are cheering it on, hoping it happens, ‘fighting’ (as it were) to bring about what they believe to be a long overdue house-cleaning.

                    Now I do not deny that I find what the EP is doing (and has been doing for some time) to be equally and extremely troubling. Even so, no Christian ought to rejoice at the prospect of schism, even if in actuality it is a pruning or a revealing of what has heretofore been largely hidden in darkness. It may be inevitable in the sense that we know it must happen (people do choose perdition over Christ), but no one can share the likeness of Christ and be pleased about it.

                    If indeed as Peter wrote (and many seem to hope)…

                    “…it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household…

                    …I know that no bishop, no patriarch, and certainly no one here (including me) is qualified to ‘judge’ in the sense of knowing how best to clean up the house of God and set it in order. I fear that some in their zeal have concluded that they do know – that they know precisely what needs to be done and are prepared even to go to war (shooting or otherwise) in order to achieve it “in the Name of Christ and Orthodoxy.” What they fail to realize is that there is only ONE judge of His people. And if this judgement, this housecleaning, this pruning that they so desire has begun, they may well be next (as may I).

                    How much better to do as Peter advised…

                    “…commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.”

                    Everywhere one looks there is trouble. As my spiritual father says, “There is danger everywhere.” But the danger of which he speaks is not primarily from the ‘outside.’ It is not from heretics as such, not from unfaithful hierarchs, and not even from the world. It is the ever-present threat of being deceived through our adversary’s manipulation of our own passions, even when they seem to be righteous and good.

                    We have the commandments. Beyond these I suspect that when it comes to His will in terms of His specific plans for his Church in this world, it is best to remain ‘apophatic,’ which is to say that we can know many things it is not, but we cannot know with any certainty precisely what it is or how He intends to bring it about And if we think we know, the odds of our being right are slim to none.

                    This is not aimed at you, Billy (or is it Ian ??). I suppose Dino’s concerns expressed toward many here about being overly enthusiastic (Moscow-good/Greeks-bad) are the occasion for my reply. I think you’d have to agree that he’s not a sycophant for the Phanar, nor is he blind to issues in the GOA. In my mind he is simply saying, “Don’t despise our Greek brothers. There are worldly Greeks and saintly Greeks just like any other nationality of people. Don’t put hope in anyone other than Jesus Christ because they will fail us. And be careful of what we wish for (or hope to provoke) in our zeal to clean God’s house.”

                    I think his cautions are more than worthy of heeding. There is danger everywhere.

                    • Billy Jack Sunday says





                      No one is spiking the football here, dude

                      How can I celebrate such a disaster? I would rather see a full speed reverse and avoid such a catastrophe

                      I never said I was GOA, I said I am GOA

                      You think I write these letters because I’m a Russophile?

                      I think no, Scott

                      I think you haven’t understood a thing I’ve written so far

                      And I think you confuse and convolude my writings with some others

                    • This is not aimed at you, Billy...I suppose Dino’s concerns expressed toward many here… are the occasion for my reply.

                      No confusion, my friend (and I do mean friend).

                    • Billy Jack Sunday says


                      Fair enough

                  • Billy,

                    It occurred to me later that I may, in fact, have misunderstood at least part of what you wrote. When you wrote of having “to fit in to a Greek Church before the way non Greeks do so the problem to you is going to be mostly invisible” and of “Look. I came to your people. You didn’t come to mine…I’m in a large and extremely Greek family. Extremely Greek enough that sometimes I have a hard time understanding their speech” I understood this to mean that you married into a Greek family. If not, the intended the humor (Fortula, Ian) was misplaced.

                    I happen to love that movie. I also love the Greeks I know. Admittedly, most of my Greek friends are faithful Orthodox Christians like Dino who care more about the Church than about being Greek. I am aware of how difficult it can be to be accepted in many Greek parishes when you’re not Greek. To be fair,though, I have also found this to be true of other ethnic parishes as well, albeit to a lesser degree.

                    • Brian and Billy,
                      Liturgy at my Greek Orthodox Church is 95 percent English, yet the majority of the parish is Greek. We all stand eventhough there are pews, because we are encouraged to join in with the choir, all in English. The only Greek you will here is generally a little during The Great Entrance, The Lord’s Prayer in both languages, a little during a memorial, and of course Christos Anesti and Alithos Anesti during Pascha. I repeat Billy, be patient, God works in His time, not ours.

                      Greeks are careful who they bring into their circle, our history taught us that, our history is also one of Philotimo, so once in, you are family, and the weird love begins, warts and all, but best is, you will never go hungry.

                      For the right reasons and the wrong, the Church means everything to Greeks, changes are hard for the ol timers but they will come.

            • Tim R. Mortiss says

              I like good old-fashioned trick-or-treating, which we did as kids, when we had kids, and now as we have had grandkids. Most of the grandkids are now college age and older, but we have a few young ones yet.
              We get pizza and the grandkids fan out in the neighborhood. We have a real good neighborhood for trick or treating; nice old urban neighborhood with houses close together, big trees, and old-fashioned streetlamps. We had about 400 kids at our front door this year.
              Always fun.

    • Dino,

      Actually, the Greeks did not “welcome us back”. They attempted to give our adversaries, the communists, victory by supporting the Living Church, a communist front. Let’s get history straight here, Moreover, after the communists broke the real church in Russia, Constantinople was fine in its relations with the Soviet Church until it proclaimed autocephaly for the OCA. Even then, it did not sever communion.

      As to ROCOR, it never left the Church in any sense so there was no one to “welcome back”. Met. Kalistos has fond memories of concelebrating with ROCOR clergy at the height of the friction in the seventies.

      BJS has a more pragmatic view of the situation. GOARCH is already entrenched in Eastern papism. The laity don’t know anything else. It’s a different ecclesiology than Orthodoxy. When it was simply afflicting the Greek church, the Russians could ignore it. Now that it has invaded Moscow’s canonical space, it can no longer be ignored.

      I feel for the Greek people under the Phanar, but I must say they are uncritical for the most part and simply choose to believe, as loyal Greeks, whatever they are told. That is tragic when a heresiarch is in power. But can you really say they are innocent? The best case is that they have been miseducated so long they don’t know that what they are being fed is bs.

      I will defer to George on this. Basically George has traditional sensibilities though he does not want to appear too radical (which never bothers me, of course). He left GOARCH when he felt the writing was on the wall and it was better for his soul and family in the OCA. That’s a start and taking off the blinders, at least.

      BTW, the Russians are no heroes in all of this, just barely conscientious enough to finally – finally – do the right thing when it is their ox being directly gored.

  10. Linda Albert says

    Billy Jack,
    We already have a wonderful Orthodox parish in Bozeman, Montana, St. Anthony the Great Orthodox Church, OCA. Thank you very much. You must be thinking of another St. Anthony Orthodox parish somewhere else. I believe we favor Dodge hemis here. I’ve not seen many people in bib overhauls but Murdoch’s, the local ranch supply store sells lots of Carhartt pants (we call them tin pants) and barn coats. Ranchers wear western hats, more familiar to you easterners as cowboy hats, farmers now wear brimmed hats to protect the tops of their ears from sunburn induced skin cancer, and speaking of which farmer’s tans are now not so much what with air conditioned tractor cabs and all. I have no idea what ranchers and farmers drink around these parts, though the valley seems to be sprouting craft breweries and distilleries like toadstools after a spring rain. Bengay is now odorless, but Biofreeze out sells it and, shame on you, we run a constant barrage of anti chew PSA’s on the tube, sometimes graphically showing the effects of mouth cancer: “Dip isn’t harmless.” Any who, we don’t want the EP here. There are already been too many cosmopolitan types who have moved here and ruined the scenery.

  11. M. Stankovich says

    A most fascinating take on history. The Greeks supported the “Living Church,” a communist “front.” If I’m not mistaken, the purpose of a “front” is to deceive. And what better time to proffer a “front” promising the restoration of “stability” in an unprecedented time of chaos, particularly when the ROC was providing the financial framework for every jurisdiction at the time. Worse yet, the American courts were ruling the “Living Church” as legitimate and began awarding the assets and properties of the ROC to them. You would hold this against the Greeks in an extraordinary time of calamity? For heaven’s sake, the Russians themselves couldn’t figure it out – between the “Karlovtsy Schism” (ROCOR), the Metropolia, the “Living Church,” and the canonical ROC (WAT?), how were the Greeks (or any other “jurisdiction, for that matter) to determine who was whom?

    “As to ROCOR, it never left the Church in any sense so there was no one to “welcome back”. Obviously, this begs the question of how, after so many years of the identical rhetoric ROCOR used to desparage the ROC in Russia (magnified exponentially by 100) now focused on the Greeks, and breaking communion with pretty much all of world Orthodoxy for maintaining communion with the ROC, ROCOR repented of its schism and returned under the omophor of the Patriarch of Moscow. But wait! Didn’t ROCOR claim to be the ROC for all those years they broke communion with world Orthodoxy? Scott says “ROCOR never left the Church.” Right. They proclaimed they were the Church! My thought: Scott should get on a plane to Nyack, Rockland County, NY, home to the Princes & Princesses, Dukes & Duchesses, the former “royalty” of the Russian aristocracy and the elderly clergy who faithfully served during the long, isolated years of ROCOR’s insistence that they followed the specific instruction of the last legitimate patriarch in an extraordinary circumstance of persecution. They were devastated – and continue to be sorrowful – at the decision of the Synod of Bishops of ROCOR to repent of their “schism” – and that is precisely what they did – and return to the “mother Church.” Any number of times now, Scott would rewrite history to suggest a sort of, “Hey, bro’s don’t worry about; just sign here and its all good.” One can only imagine Pat. Alexii II looking to a few members of the Holy Synod with that look of, “Are you pouring or am I ?”

    “BTW, the Russians are no heroes in all of this…” says the skewed historian. Personally, I would suggest that smell in the air is Calvin Kline Parfum d’Hypocrisie Religieuse. At first it’s an interesting, earthy scent, but after an hour, like unabated sarcasm, it’s bound to make you nauseous.

    • Thank you Misha & Michael Stankovich for your insights.

      I would like to clarify. By saying, “Welcoming back”, I was only referring to welcoming back former Soviet bishops and priests with horrible skeletons, against their flock, and fellow citizens. Nothing to do with the Russian laity, or Churches.

      • But Constantinople was in communion with the MP during the later Soviet period, ever since the Soviets gave up on the Living Church due to the MP’s complete capitulation. The Phanar was in communion with them at their worst.

  12. Billy Jack Sunday says

    My thanks to Greatly Saddened for his most recent post links

    Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew:

    “And in a comparison to the Savior Himself, he writes: “The Church of Constantinople, as the Mother Church, is the incarnation of the free love of Christ, [W]ho does not crucify but is crucified, [W]ho sacrifices His soul for His friends—for all men.”

    As already declared by the EP:

    “And comparing his Patriarchate to the pre-eternal existence of Christ, he stated: “In the beginning was the Word … in [H]im was life, and the life was the light of men (John 1.1,4). 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.”


    -Explaining his Church’s decision to enter the ecclesiastical territory of another Church, he writes: “This great responsibility of the Mother Church, the Holy and Great Church of Christ, certainly has no limits.”

    Is no one else creeped out by this yet?

    I think we are not addressing the really big question among questions here

    Not just our beloved Metropolitan Gerasimos

    Bishop Ilarion, one of the Patriarchal Exarchs to Kiev, made a similar comparison during a meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko last month (during which he also compared Poroshenko to St. Vladimir), saying: “As a good shepherd, the Ecumenical Patriarchate left the 99 sheep and by its decision on October 11, led this one sheep—millions of Orthodox Christians—to unity, realizing its Golgotha-sacrificial mission, which it continues to carry out, contrary to its own interests.”

    Said the guy justifying one of the greatest sheep stealing heists in history

    Reminds me of those cattle rustlers, who, instead of gaining cattle by honest means, they hijack a number of primo cows to start their ranch

    What about the lost people of Turkey?