Are We the Byzantines?

The eminent historian, Victor Davis Hanson, asked this question six months ago.  You can read it for yourself here (and I highly recommend you do so):  Are We the Byzantines? (victorhanson.com)

Hanson a well-known historian, is a Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services.  A full-time orchard and vineyard grower, he was born on his family’s farm, a farm which was in his family’s possession for five generations.  In 1984 he began teaching at nearby CSU Fresno and initiated a classical languages program. In 1991, he was awarded an American Philological Association Excellence in Teaching Award, which is given yearly to the country’s top undergraduate teachers of Greek and Latin.

Hanson is the author of hundreds of articles, book reviews, scholarly papers, and newspaper editorials on matters ranging from ancient Greek, agrarian and military history to foreign affairs, domestic politics, and contemporary culture.  He has written or edited 26 books, three of the most recent books include The Dying Citizen (2021), The Case for Trump (2019), and The Second World Wars (2017).  His books on warfare in ancient Greece —The Western Way of War (1989), Hoplites: The Ancient Greek Battle Experience (1991), and A War Like No Other (2006)–place him in the top rank of modern academics.

His concern is basic:  is America (and the West in general) at that stage of our development where the Byzantines were during the last decades of the Paleologian dynasty?

Consider what he writes about the empire in its latter stages:  

“But the aging and dying empire battled more than the challenges of internal divisions, or an unforeseen but deadly pandemic and the empire’s disastrous responses to it.

“The last generations of Byzantines had inherited a global reputation and standard of living that they themselves no longer earned.

“They neglected their former civic values and fought endless battles over obscure religious texts, doctrines, and vocabulary.”

Contrast this picture of a dying empire with the steadfast virtue, fortitude and realism that epitomized Byzantium in its early days, indeed throughout most of its history:  

“Generations of self-sacrifice ensured ample investment for infrastructure.  Each generation inherited and improved on singular aqueducts and cisterns, sewer systems, and the most complex and formidable city fortifications in the world.

“Brilliant scientific advancement and engineering gave the empire advantages like swift galleys and flame throwers—an ancient precursor to napalm.

“The law reigned supreme for nearly a millennium after the emperor Justinian codified a prior thousand years of Roman jurisprudence.”

As an American, these words give me pause in that I can see the difference between America before and after the inception of the welfare state.  There are of course differences between post Great Society America and Paleologian Byzantium, primarily in the fact that our population has grown significantly and America is still the primary destination for immigration in the world (Russia is the second largest target for immigration).  Constantinople by contrast, had a population of only 50,000 when it fell to Mehmet II in 1453.

That said, while our population is growing, it is only because of massive (mostly illegal) immigration.  Immigrants who have no concept of our foundational values and are proving incapable of assimilation.  If anything, it is worse in Europe, where tens of thousands of refugees are doing what the Turks failed to do after the battles of Belgrade, Vienna and Lepanto, that is to convert Europe to Islam.  

In this sense, we are like the Roman Empire in its latter days, a fact which was reflected in the diminished state of the once-mighty Roman army.  The hordes of Visigoths who sought refuge behind the Roman limes first came as economic refugees, then squatters with no sense of loyalty to Rome.  To be sure, while they did swell the ranks of the Roman army, they had no concept of Roman military discipline or civic virtue, and ultimately, no real loyalty to the state.  

Things were so bad for the army in the West that when they met Attila’s hordes in A,D. 453 at the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains, the king of the Huns told his army that they had nothing to fear from the Romans.  Although the battle was fought to a standstill, it broke the back of the Empire in the West, which fell a generation later to those same Visigoths who had earlier sought refuge in the Empire.  

As an Orthodox Christian, I have an additional concern:  and that is that the Patriarchate of Constantinople has not learned its lessons from history.  Back then, it had a staunch protector in the political sphere, which (at least), was Orthodox.  It’s present patron in the West however, has nothing in common with Orthodoxy, being resolutely anti-Christian. Nevertheless, the Phanar continues to play Byzantine style games, pathetically pretending that it is still living in its heyday.  

This is indeed ironic, in that during its ascendancy, Byzantium was known for its considerable (and successful) missionary efforts.  Contrast this picture with what transpires today, when the Byzantine Church is trying to consolidate its power by actively restricting other Orthodox Churches.  In actuality forcing a schism within Orthodoxy all at the behest of the demonic powers who rule in the West.  

This is all too reminiscent of men who, if they cannot rule a nation, would rather rule over the ashes.

I’d say we live in interesting times.  

 

Comments

  1. Anonymous II says

    I really feel like I’m living in a dream. There’s still people walking around in masks, young people walking around dazed in pajamas, “social workers” passing needles out to drug addicts vomiting on our sidewalk, hordes of blacks rampaging department stores in the cities while our politicians can barely string a sentence together – as if they’re malfunctioning robots.

    See: https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/mcconnell-malfunctions-senate-minority-leader-glitches-hard-shocking-second-incident

    The reality is that we’re living through a cataclysm in slow motion. Supposing Trump is allowed into office – what then? What can he do? More importantly what will he do? Honestly, I want to know your assessment. It looks bleak!

    • AS, it is bleak. But bleakness cannot last forever.

      Consider what you said about “hordes of blacks”. True. But I also see black people rising up and trying to contain the violence –which, let us not forget–is decimating their neighborhoods. Not ours.

      Again, why? Matriarchy. I’ve looked at the FBI statistics regarding criminality (of all races) in the U.S. Before the creation of the Welfare State, there was no matriarchy and criminality was comparatively non-existent, especially in comparison to the present. While it is true that black criminality presently exceeds that of white criminality (and Hispanic and Asian), I believe that the Establishment concentrated their firepower on the black demographic, essentially enabling their cultural collapse. They had the head start (so to speak). Now they are working on doing the same thing with American whites.

      Honestly, they won’t be happy until 80% of all Americans are reduced to utter dependance on the Welfare State. Divide and conquer.

    • Check out that video link indeed. This is the second time that Mitch McConnell’s lights have gone out at the podium. Hello, Kentucky! It’s time to replace your senior U. S. senator. You mustn’t wait until 2026. Oh, and by the way, you might try someone who’s a little less passive-aggressive than McConnell.

      • As much as ol’ Mitch McConnell should be sitting on his mega million dollar Chinese enhanced ( by way of wife Elaine Chao’s family money) veranda drinking mint juleps he’s being propped up by the DC Republican Establishment because the Governor of Kentucky will appoint a Democrat to replace him which will affect the small balance in the senate. .
        Look at Biden~Bidet, if he steps down the Democrats are left with the Kamel ~ Kamala …

    • Hilber Nelson says

      So glad you asked, “What can Trump do?” even if he wins. So far I’ve heard him say: negotiate a truce between Ukraine and Russia, end vaccine and lockdown mandates, prosecute the Biden crime family, restore US to energy independence and secure the border. That said, pulling America from its self-destruct abyss will also take everyday Americans like you and me to put down our remotes, stop wringing our hands and roll up our sleeves. Here’s a link from an Idaho conservative legislator on 110 things citizens can do in their local communities and state. https://mvlibertyalliance.org/110-things/. Welcome to self governance.

      • Not going to happen since their is no political solution to a mathematical problem. As an American citizen my parents adopted country is not even worth fighting for. In fact it would be tyranny to overthrow the elected officials the populace voted into office. It’s not the job of anyone to save a democratic country from its voters and their beloved money printing press. Just enjoy the decline, if you have the ability acquire another legal residence abroad incase of emergency and if your wealthy spread your assets around, Uncle Sam wants it in the name of freedoms and dumbocracy.

    • Zel Dalfirth says

      Look at Mary Pickford sneezing around mask-wearers in the 1919 pandemic in Daddy Long Legs

  2. “What you mean ‘we’, paleface?”

    The New Rome, the second Rome, fell indeed. And there is a certain analogy to be made with the modern West led by the United States. But there is a Third Rome on the horizon with which some of us have already taken up spiritual cause, having abandoned this dying empire in spirit, if not in body.

    Actually, to me, it is more like the famous comedy skit with the two SS officers talking. “Are we the baddies?” America is rotten to the core. It is not only the woke, but their enablers and those quiescent. Revolution is long overdue but you need a decent public with a backbone for that and America lacks one. Americans have been fed bullsh*t so long that they not only believe it but like the taste of it.

    Hard landing on the horizon.

    • Ed Dowd:
      “Rome took a long time to decline,
      but we have technology.”

      WARLORDS WILL RULE: Ed Dowd joins Mike Adams
      with warnings about collapsing cities, dollar debt, vax deaths
      and the macroeconomic demise of western nations

      https://www.brighteon.com/ce5c9586-3e87-4bbc-bad6-70b20ab8b61b

      [Video – 45:00]

      A clear, unsentimental analysis of what is coming;
      and not entirely without hope – in the long term…

  3. A religious or spiritual person sees everything in religious/spiritual terms. That is natural, inevitable and right. The spiritual is the ultimate reality and so what happens on the spiritual plane is of ultimate significance – beyond politics, economics, etc.

    There is a war afoot between Orthodox Christianity and the Western Liberals. It is impossible to deny. The Fanar is a traitor to Orthodoxy and a pawn of the Western Liberals. Many are allied with Holy Orthodoxy: the Chinese, the Indians, Iranians, Saudis, Brazilians, etc. They are allied because of the pro-traditional mindset of the Orthodox Empire, Russia. Russia is uniquely poised in history to be a champion of traditionalism due to its history of relatively peaceful co-existence with constituent minorities in its empire including Muslims and Buddhists. Now, there have been conflicts, to be sure. But Russia has the experience with orchestrating the existence in one empire, though not in one vicinity, of disparate groups. Russia is a patchwork, not a melting pot. Constituent groups have their own regions so they can be fully expressive rather than become castrated by a superimposed culture (like liberalism or Bolshevism).

    There is a Western bloc of countries allied with the US under the banner of Western Liberalism, which is a progressive, fascist oligarchy. The essence of what they represent is fascism. They reject God but do not insist on the state ownership of the means of production. They seek to impose an ideology by force of state power rather than popular acceptance and thus they are non-socialist totalitarians: fascists. Now, they have socialistic elements, to be sure. But they are too enamored of big business, which they have thoroughly infiltrated with their sick ideology, to be considered serious socialists. This is much like the Germans in the 1930’s and ’40’s. They have turned to race, gender and perversion as wedge issues to divide and conquer the public.

    The problem for the Western Liberals is that they have lost the heartland of America, the majority in rural America. They impose a wide net of shamelessly false and unsubstantiated propaganda through all means of the media. The lies are breathtaking. You can’t escape them if you have any media exposure at all. It’s ubiquitous and relentless, comprehensive and exhaustive. Completely Orwellian.

    The amazing thing is that it’s not really working. They still have to steal elections and then impose a propaganda shield denying the same. If the propaganda were actually effective, they wouldn’t have to engage in the Steal. So the Western Liberals have an internal problem that challenges them as well as external enemies who are advancing against them.

    They are being contained and rolled back.

    They are synonymous with the American led West. They are the Establishment and their overthrow or downfall will be a revolution, one way or another. Given the completely twisted and dishonest essence of their ideology, it simply cannot endure in a perpetual war with nature and nature’s God. The rest of the world is not as insane as America has become and will not follow America down the rabbit hole of DEI, LGBT BLM and Antifa.

    And the writing is on the wall . . .

    • Yours is a very thoughtful and concise description of our present situation. The question before each of us is whether we will draw closer to God or be pealed away lessening our love towards God and neighbor while increasing self love. If we keep our eyes on Jesus he knows how to be savior, LORD, and ruler of the universe. I am sure that we will be surprised in seeing how God plays with these self appointed temporal Demi-gods

      • Hopefully, love of self and love of God and neighbor are not mutually exclusive. Christ taught us to love our neighbors as ourselves. Of course, selfish self love, at the expense of others, is self-destructive. That is what I take you to have meant, Father. I only mention this because some take the two things as mutually exclusive and thus fall into the equally diabolical pit of masochism.

    • It is an excellent comment but I noticed

      “A religious or spiritual person sees everything in religious/spiritual terms. That is natural, inevitable and right. The spiritual is the ultimate reality and so what happens on the spiritual plane is of ultimate significance – beyond politics, economics, etc.”

      The problem with this point of view is that taken to its logical conclusion, it denies the significance of Christ coming to us in the flesh, thereby sanctifying the material world.

      To say the spiritual plane is of ultimate significance is to relegate the material cosmos (sanctified by Christ’s Incarnation, Baptism, Transfiguration, Crucifixion, Resurrection and Ascension) to a lesser status. This is not easily distinguishable from Greek or Gnostic dualism.

      Christ, as God and man, infused the material world with the spiritual, we might say. We also in Christ continue the work of the sanctification of the cosmos that Christ through us might offer it sacramentally back to the Father.

      But that wasn’t really the point of the comment, which as I said was excellent. Forgive me for this tangent, I attended the recent “Celebration of Life” of a Protestant relative and the preacher made a point of saying his spirit was in Heaven but his body was nothing. I marvelled and I suppose that it am still marveling that any Christian could make that statement.

      • Yes, I agree. Gnosticism is a bridge too far.

        In the past few days, I have become convinced that, absent assassination, Trump is going to win back the presidency. It has dawned on me that Trump has positioned himself majestically as the anti-war candidate at precisely the right time. Biden is all in. He just made an impassioned plea to the UN to not abandon Ukraine.

        Leave it to Joe to choose poorly.

        Public opinion will continue to sink and the military situation will continue to deteriorate. Another Afghanistan/Vietnam.

        And what has convinced me that Biden will be displaced is that I think the DS can see the writing on the wall regarding the Ukraine. Profits have been made. It’s not a wasted trip from their perspective. But they and the military will want to be pulling out shortly and Ole Joe likely won’t hear of it. Afghanistan could not have originated from anyone but him. Withdrawing troops before civilians was sheer madness, aka a Biden decision.

        Same will likely hold true with Ukraine. In order to get him to break his pit bull bite on fighting the Russians, the DS may very well allow Trump to win. They won’t be happy. But it’s not about being happy at this point. It’s having economic consequences and too many people are going to start asking too many questions about Ukraine for the CIA’s comfort.

        That’s just a guess. Could be wrong. But the WP has turned on Ole Joe and Newsome is behind Kamala. That indicates to me that the DS knows that a cluster f is inevitable and either Joe or Harris will be stuck holding the bag.

        • I admit I could be completely wrong. It’s more of a feeling and goes against some observable evidence since Trump has vowed to gut the DS. It would be a resignation on their part rather than active measures.

          Biden presents a huge problem for them and the Uniparty. His immediate clique is utterly incompetent. This makes him the perfect scapegoat should Ukraine collapse, which is a matter of time. I doubt anyone signed on for the crazy train that’s materialized.

          Something will be done about it and that something is boiling down to Harris or Trump. If they choose Harris, it likely is a choice for Trump by default.

          • George Michalopulos says

            FWIW, Sen Ted Cruz predicted that the Dems will “jettison Biden” and “parachute in Michelle Obama” to replace him before the next election.

            I can see that being a possibility but for this fact: Hillary (or somebody else in the DS) has sufficiently trashed Mdme Obama with the whole trannie thing.

            I do agree with Cruz that Joe will be jettisoned however.

  4. America is in decline, I think everyone can see that. In fact some Americans are actually smarter than their European counterparts knowing not to be married to any specific country and many today seek an international back up plan and look into getting additional legal residences. Youth today will not be fighting any type of world war today in the name of country because such loyalty and cultural bonds today have been weakened through intermarriage and the emergence of cities and financial centers in other parts of the world with less overheating taxation..

  5. John Sakelaris says

    Is it best to say that Byzantium went into decline and then fell? Of course, every society at any point in its existence will have some problems. Still, in its last centuries Byzantium displayed many great accomplishments from theology to art.

    So, I do not like to use the term “decline” for Byzantium. I prefer to instead say that Byzantium was murdered. Actually, it was a murder in two acts, first by the Crusaders in 1204 and then by the Turks in 1453.

    Although I disagree with Hanson’s narrative of Byzantine decline, I nevertheless do see important parallels between Byzantium and the United States. Both entities should be seen as very prosperous and the envy of their neighbors. It was a bitter envy that led to the murder of Byzantium. A similar worldwide envy could bring much of the world down upon the prosperous United States in the future.

    So, the US is a kind of modern Byzantium–with the additional problem that the US really does show serious signs of decline in its education levels and its morale.

  6. My personal armchair cultural observer take on it is that a huge reason for our country’s collapse is the complete lack of mature Christian masculinity in public life here in our country.

    Most modern American men have probably never even seen Christian masculinity modeled.

    It’s like for American men, we’re given two options:

    Either toxic Andrew Tate stuff, or completely passive beta stuff.

    There is another approach – but most American men have never seen it modeled and have no idea what it is.

    Strong, mature Christian men are formed through hardship, where they learn strength and to rely on Christ – and they then teach this model to their sons and to the world.

    In America, we used to have this from Christian men formed through hardship through the Depression, WW2, Vietnam – but they’re nearly all octagenarians now or all dead.

    Our schools have been teaching men since the 1980s that hardship and suffering are stupid – and if you’re suffering, then there’s something wrong with you. Just go drink or use drugs or porn and your sufferings will disappear – what nonsense!!

    Only our Orthodox faith teaches men how to suffer, how to grow in Christ – how to learn how to rely on Him during our sufferings. Literally nowhere else outside of American Orthodox churches can you learn this now in North America. Nowhere else.

    I’m so thankful that I saw it modeled by those hardscrabble “ethnic” Orthodox priests and non-ordained Orthodox men in PA when I was a kid – my priest who spoke with an accent (and who only ever went to St Tikhon’s Pastoral School!) taught me more wisdom about life and love and how I should live than any American university or graduate school ever did.

    I pray that somehow we can pass on this wisdom to some younger American men – we desperately need people to carry on this wisdom to the next generations.

  7. Constantine says

    If we get to be a civilization over 2200 years old then we can start to compare ourselves. Heck, I’ll allow if we get to be over 1000 years. Then again, we are closing in on the millennium of the great schism in 1054. Once could argue our civilization and society that has led us to this moment in the west dates back to Cardinal Humbert shaking the dust off his boots as he walked out of the haghia Sophia after delivering a papal bull from a dead bishop of Rome. Then again we could trace all that back to King Carl of the Franks and his warlord/bishops running havoc over Western Europe 200 years prior.
    I like VDH. But he is still a man of the western bent. He calls remaining Orthodox and True to the Church of Christ “theological obscurities”. He does have a point in his reasonings why men stopped participating in civil society, the reasons they stopped joining the ranks of the army and started receiving tonsures is who would want to fight and die for heretics? The primary problem with the Paleologian dynasty wasn’t tax policy or relations with the Turks. It was their proclivity to seek union with Rome, with a bishopric who never had any honor or Grace. Why fight and die for a leadership who wanted to join with the forces who sacked your city and raped your ancestors? This is where VDH is correct in his thesis. Why fight and die for a government which is not only not Orthodox, but actively promotes wars which kill our Orthodox brothers and sisters? Why fight to promote the gay disco? Why fight and serve under satanic pedophiles? Our ruling dynasty is way worse than the Paleologian. At least they not only died on their feet, but the last Roman Emperor received his crown as a holy martyr. We will be lucky if we have one that doesn’t start any new wars.

    And on a side note, for those of you who do not know that Emperor Constantine Dregases Paleologos is a holy martyr within the local Greek AND Serbian Church, well now you do. He did not die as a Uniate. And I was baptized with him as my patron saint within the Serbian Patriarchate and receive the Holy Gifts at a local OCA parish.

    • William Tighe says

      “He did not die as a Uniate.”

      What is the evidence for this? All accounts that I’ve read state that he received communion on May 28 at a Liturgy in Haghia Sophia at which Cardinal Isidore presided.

      • The Orthodox blogger John Sanidopoulos considers several lines of evidence that support the conclusion that Constantine XI never became a Uniate and came to the end of his life firmly within the Orthodox faith:

        Was Emperor Constantine XI Palaiologos a Uniate?

        • That is an extraordinarily weak case.

        • Antiochene Son says

          He certainly may have repented as the hordes were pouring in, but I agree with Misha that’s a weak case based on his public actions.

          “He was still Orthodox in his heart, it was just for diplomacy.”

          Maybe so, but by that token Prince Philip was perhaps also still Orthodox in his heart. Maybe even King Charles? But what are we to do with a public repudiation of Orthodoxy then? Dismiss it? As if actions and the way one lives means nothing?

    • Yes, Emperor Constantine XI Dragases Palaiologos is a saint of the Church…as is his mother, Empress Helena Dragaš (venerated under her monastic name as Saint Hypomone). And St. Hypomone’s granddaughter Zoe/Sophia (St. Constantine’s niece) married Ivan III of Moscow and so became the mother of the Tsars of Russia (Ivan III himself was the first Russian ruler to regularly use the title “Tsar”). Tsar Ivan IV “the Terrible” was their grandson.

  8. Deacon John says

    Without Christ there is no life.
    Where there is no life, there is death.
    If a nation does not have Christ,
    Than the nation does not have life,
    And than the nation dies

    A sinful person decays and dies
    A sinful nation decays and dies.

    The problem with the country is spiritual in nature.

  9. Col Macgregor offers a pretty comprehensive diagnosis:

    Col. Macgregor: ‘Ukraine Is Being Annihilated’

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KePbmgOLoA

    Timestamps:

    0:33 Biden trying to make it hard for next US President to pull out of Ukraine war but republicans and democrats are both interested in this cash cow.

    3:47 Col. Macgregor lays out three ways this war will end. One is Russia marching to Western Ukraine until NATO comes to the peace talks table

    7:50 European countries worried about going broke by helping Ukraine

    10:35 Mex Blumenthal says contractors in DC fly Ukraine flags but are making millions off this war

    14:20 Crime is out of control and politicians don’t care

    17:00 Th US southern border is a massive crisis that will change America

    18:50 Illegal immigrants are given $2200 a month while American seniors only given $1400 of social security

    20:40 Banks and Wall Street want to own all physical assets and return us to serfs

    23:15 how would Trump or RFK jr end this war?

    26:00 Ukraine trying to pull US military into war with Russia

    29:30 Why was VP Biden using fake emails to communicate incognito?

    32:25 It will take a decade to recover from Biden’s policies and spending

    35:00 USA is falling apart because they aren’t fixing infrastructure in the country

  10. Scott Ritter: “Why, in God’s Name, we’re on the side of the Nazis
    and not on the side of the people killing Nazis, still boggles my mind!”

    Judge Napolitano | BREACHED Russian Defensive Lines in Ukraine?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AK3S0fIHup4&t=113s

    [Video – 33:29]

    Retired American Major forks it into Retired American Generals…

  11. Mark E. Fisus says

    VDH writes:

    Like Byzantines, Americans have become snarky iconoclasts

    The Byzantines were not iconoclasts, certainly not at the time they fell. Some “eminent” historian.

  12. I think I can see what’s developing in the presidential race. In the last few days, Harris has said she’s ready to step in if necessary and Newsome has said that Harris is next in line and that he won’t run against her.

    I think their either going to pressure the old man to step down or 25A him. They may try to have him hang on through his present term, but it likely will be Harris in ’24.

    If that is the case, it makes Trump’s job much easier. One way he can win is if his margin is so overwhelming that cheating can’t overcome it. He may be able to do that against Crooked Joe, but he has an even better chance, at least arguably, against Harris. I say “arguably” because Biden has turned out to be such a dud that it’s hard to be perceived as worse. But Harris, judging by the polling, seems to have accomplished this.

    Bottom line is that she’s a black woman and it will be very difficult to sideline her.

    • Well, they could put Mike Obama on the ticket…

      • Hillary 2.0.

        • Personally, I see Hillary’s fingerprints all over the leaks about Biden and Obama. With Obama it’s (1) the dead chef, (2) Obama’s letter to his former girlfriend about how he “dreams about making love to another man”, and (3) the drip-drip-drip about Michelle being a tranny.

          As for Biden, the constant leaks about his e-mails, the lap-top, the illegitimate granddaughter, etc.

          Yep, I see Hillary pulling some strings here.

  13. Bartholomew sued for using the title “Ecumenical Patriarch”
    https://www-lifo-gr.translate.goog/now/world/minysi-ston-bartholomaio-epeidi-hrisimopoiei-ton-titlo-oikoymenikos-patriarhis?_x_tr_sl=auto&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en

    A lawsuit against Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was filed by retired rear admiral Jihat Yaytzi.

    He is one of the initiators of the “Blue Homeland”. Jihat Yayci argued to the Istanbul prosecutor that he “acted outside the bounds of his jurisdiction” because he uses the title of Ecumenical Patriarch.

    Specifically, according to a publication of the nationalist Islamist newspaper Yeni Akit, in the lawsuit submitted to the prosecutor’s office by the lawyer Tsadas Gyurols on behalf of the “Blue Homeland Global Strategy and Shipping Association” it is stated: “The suspect (sic) Dimitris Archontonis ( s.s. universally named after the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew), Patriarch and Archbishop of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Istanbul, Bartholomew I, is recognized worldwide as “Ecumenical” and is treated as the head of state of 300 million Orthodox. In addition, the suspect, in addition to the phrase “Ecumenical Patriarch”, also uses the title “Archbishop of Constantinople and New Rome”.

    However, Jihat Yayji’s lawyer went one step further, as in his petition he cited the Ecumenical Patriarch ‘s official visits abroad in recent years, his official contacts with heads of state of foreign countries, as well as the interview he granted in 2009 to the American television network CBS and his statement to the journalist in which he said: “we are being crucified and I think I feel the same”, the statement of the former Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias during his visit on December 28, 2019 in which he said: ” In Fanari together with His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew”.

    The lawyer is careful to emphasize that Dimitrios Archontonis with his ecumenical claims questions the Treaty of Lausanne and that all these actions are aimed at “disrupting the unity and territorial integrity of the Republic of Turkey”.

    In fact, according to the relevant publication, it was requested to order an investigation against the Patriarch and Archbishop of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Istanbul Bartholomew I and the Archbishop of the Roman Orthodox Church of America Ioannis Lambriniadis (s.s. reference to Archbishop Elpidophoros by his real name ), who are named as suspects, for the offenses of “Illegal assumption of public office” and “Disruption of the Unity and Integrity of the State”, that their statements be taken, and that an indictment and a lawsuit be filed against them.

    • What goes around comes around, I suppose.

    • Very interesting. Could it be this easy to knock him off his imperial throne? I don’t know about “illegal assumption of public office” and “Disruption of the Unity and Integrity of the State” with respect to Turkey, but this is what he has done in the Church: he has elevated himself above our bishops and has proven to be an enemy of unity within the Church.

      • How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
        For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
        I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
        Isaiah 14: 12-14

      • !

      • I suppose when the Patriarch headed the Rum Millet
        the position was to some extent a public office;
        but surely not under the Republic?

        • You would be correct. According to both the laws of the Turkish Republic, as well as the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, the Archbishop of Constantinople is the primate only of that patriarchate, not the entire world.

          • The question is: What is the boundary
            of the Patriarchate of Constantinople?

            I do not think it extended to the entire world
            under the Ottoman or East Roman Empires.
            I fail to see how it can be so extended now.

      • GShep: “this is what he has done in the Church”
        He has attacked his brethren Patriarchs with the aid of secular power;
        Now, secular power is attacking his throne…
        He still has time to understand and repent…

  14. Fr Chris Moody says

    Thank you, George and Gail, for your diakonia.
    Maranatha.

  15. The ‘slow motion execution’ of Julian Assange
    w/Craig Murray | The Chris Hedges Report

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6x9Bltb7ZYE

    [Video – 31:24]

    ‘ As Julian Assange continues to fight extradition to the United States to face prosecution under the Espionage Act, a growing chorus of voices is rising to demand an end to his persecution. Hounded by US law enforcement and its allies for more than a decade, Assange has been stripped of all personal and civil liberties for the crime of exposing the extent of US atrocities during the War on Terror. In the intervening years, it’s become nakedly apparent that the intent of the US government is not only to silence Assange in particular, but to send a message to whistleblowers and journalists everywhere on the consequences of speaking truth to power. Former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, who was fired for exposing the CIA’s use of torture in the country, joins The Chris Hedges Report to discuss what Julian Assange’s fight means for all of us. ‘

    Craig Murray makes some interesting legal points,
    particularly on the US claim of universal jurisdiction.

    • George Michalopulos says

      “Universal jurisdiction” did you say? Where have I heard that term before?

      • The U.S. has jurisdiction over all the barbarian lands—every country whose government isn’t aligned with NATO or the EU!

        • If you’re looking for the most aggressive predator that ever lived, find a mirror because man is it. It is like trees in the forest, each competing with those around it to spread its branches to catch sunlight. It is a divine imperative to all living things to be fruitful and multiply. Implied in this command, given a fallen world, is control over one’s environment and as much room and resources as possible.

          In a fallen world, conquest is the divine imperative. That is the human story: Five dogs in a pit fighting over a piece of meat – and you’re one of the dogs.

          Thus, as I used to discuss regularly, we have several worldviews competing for world dominance: There is Western, secular Liberalism (both the American progressive and conservative versions). There is secular Chinese Nationalism (essentially a type of fascism). There is Islam, both of the Sunni and Shiite varieties.

          And there is Russian Orthodox Christianity, the last defender/propagator of Christendom.

          Besides these, there are other regional worldviews which do not aspire to world domination: Shinto, Hinduism, Lamaism, etc. And, in fact, Chinese Nationalism is also a regional phenomenon, though it may be better to categorize it as worldwide given the size and strength of the Chinese economy. The Chinese do not seem to have aspirations to territorial expansion outside of East Asia.

          So, really, we’re left with three contenders: Liberalism, Christianity and Islam. Russia has decided to enlist the Chinese and the Muslims on its side against Liberalism, which appears to be the Sick Man of Earth. But make no mistake, human nature is what it is. The imperative, in the words of The Highlander, is “There can be only one.”

          It’s not about what a particular civilization expressly “wants”. Leaders pass and are replaced but human nature endures until the Second Coming.

        • Yes, but as the Assange case shows, this includes the UK.
          Tony Blair made an extradition deal with the US
          whereby the UK must extradite to the US
          but the US need not return the favour.

        • Mark E. Fisus says

          Washington, D.C. is the Fourth Rome, and there will be no fifth, haha.

          • Washington is the first Rome in the fifth century, and though the leadership of the Third Rome temporarily succumbed to apostasy, like Julian of the past, its people never did and it has recovered fully.

            And this galls a LOT of people.