Bart Goes Papal

Phanar: To avoid becoming like Protestants, ecclesiology must be revised

Pat. Bartholomew said that we should revise the doctrine of the Church and admit that in Orthodoxy there is a “First” not only by honour but also “with special powers”.

Orthodox Christians need to subject themselves to self-criticism and reconsider their ecclesiology if they do not want to become a federation of Churches, similar to what is observed among Protestants, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople said in an interview with the “National Herald”, reports “Romfea”.

The head of the Phanar sees the main tasks of his work in ensuring unity in Orthodoxy, the culmination of his efforts for pan-Orthodox unity and cooperation was the promotion of the preparation and the convening of the Holy and Great Synod of Crete. In his opinion, the Cretan Summit promoted Orthodoxy, which “looks into the future and does not passively and nostalgically recall the past”. The Churches that refused to participate in the Council, “will be judged by history”.

“We, Orthodox, must make a self-criticism and reconsider our ecclesiology if we do not want to become a federation of Protestant Churches,” said Patriarch Bartholomew.

According to Bartholomew, the problem of unity can be solved if it is recognized that there is a bishop in the Orthodox Church who is higher than other bishops and has exclusive power.

“Since in our ordination to a Bishop we swear to obey the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils, we must admit that in an indivisible Ecumenical Orthodoxy there is a “First” not only by honour, but a “First” with special responsibilities and regular powers entrusted by the Ecumenical Councils,” said the head of the Phanar.

As reported, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry said whether it is possible to restore communion between the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Russian Orthodox Church.


  1. I think this is the first time I have ever heard him admit the papal ecclesiology in absolute terms. He always permitted his sycophants to do his talking (especially Elpidophoros). Now the mask has been removed. He needs to prepare the soil for his (and Elpidophoros’) next chess move. Can anyone guess what that might be?

    • "Knock it off, will you, Beav': you want us to get hollered at?" says

      Nicæa III in 2025, perhaps?
      preceded by the nullification of the Tomos of Autocephaly of 1970 from the MP to the erstwhilely-so-called Metropolia, and the re-granting thereof – with an IKEA-like long list of well-nigh-unto incomprehensibly confounding terms and conditions pertaining thereto – to the OCA by the only true arbiter of autocephaly, the EP?
      wherein the then-erstwhile OCA will either form a third vicariate within the GOA, or else simply go the way of the OCU in Ukraine?
      and, either way, warrant thereby her rising from the bottom of the Global Diptychs of the Orthodox Church to the very top thereof, thus gaining the respect and prestige that had been due her for a half-century so far, but as yet never so accorded?
      and another Ecclesiastical Renovationist Party in the CIA thus will begin within the territorial borders of this Republic?
      and the Orthodox Church will gain yet another destabilizing agent in the age-old air, sea and ground war of the sons of the kingdom of this world against the Sons of the Kingdom of God, with the ultimate goal thereof being the complete destabilization of the Orthodox Church, in order to remove the final arguable barrier to the ever-patiently-so-evinced plans of the Global Peace and Mainframe Salvation Front to bring about the final glorious Millennial Messianic Kingdom on Earth?
      and a new schism again will begin to cleave the Orthodox Church, as ever pitting the Modernists against the Traditionalists, in the which the Modernists go the way of Judas the Iscariot and the Traditionalists go the Way of The Master on His Sorrowful Way to Golgotha, and to the Empty Tomb on the Third Day?
      Just a wild and manically-opined speculation, mind you;
      For what it’s worth.
      God, it’s not easy being an Orthodox Christian. 
      Comment section habitation on any World Wide Weblog appears to be my downfall, if you will…

  2. The bishop of Istanbul needs a deep reality check. (Or should have his head examined.)

  3. He will make an excellent Papal Protestant. Make haste, Bart, make haste!

  4. And Abp. Chrysostomos another with papal action and thought.  Anaxios.  Prayers for PB, AE and AC  to return to Orthodoxy in the manner described by Met. Onouphry…

  5. Well at least its out there in the open for everyone in the Church to see. Now the other patriarchs have no excuse not to say/do something about it. 
    This accusation Pat. Bartholomew buts forward also seems to be a denial of the Holy Spirit being able to guide the Church and that he is the one that is going to have to do it. Much like old Rome, Istanbul seems to be rapidly cleaving itself from the Church. 
    I wonder if this “papal boldness” has to do with the recent meeting between Patriarch Bartholomew and Pompeo 

  6. And thus Bartholomew admits the old Catholic polemical line that we are all Protestants for not being in communion with the first see… Rome!

  7. All Holy Orthodoxy has a big problem in our world.  It seems that the Ecumenical Patriarch went rogue many years ago.  However, he seems to be getting roguer.  Way too much damage has been done at his hand.  More seems to be in his mind.
    I have a truly sad but very honest question?  How do we, the loving and faithful Orthodox Christians of the World, remove such a Bishop?  God forgive me, and God protect us.

    • “It seems that the Ecumenical Patriarch went rogue many years ago. However, he seems to be getting roguer.”

      The EP has been a problem for a full century now, 1920-2020, starting with the entrance into the Ecumenical Movement and then switching to the New Calendar with the goal of being on the same calendar as the Heterodox, regardless of the refusal of the Russia, etc, to go along with it.

  8. “…need to subject themselves to self-criticism…”
    This seems to be the latest modernist arguement.  You need to be self critical not them.  And changing dogma is never justified, no matter how well intentioned.

  9. Superman was born on Krypton. Then he came to Earth,
    where he has special powers. However, when he is exposed to kryptonite
    (which is his native soil), he loses his special powers.
    Bartholomew was baptised into Orthodoxy. Then he came to the Phanar,
    where he claims ‘special powers’. If he were to be re-exposed to Orthodoxy,
    perhaps he would lose his ‘special powers’.

  10. Fr. Peter Andronache says

    This is a minor thing, but I severely dislike the phrase “history will judge.” Who is this history that is the infallible judge of all things human? Personally, I do not care about the judgment of history – I have another judgment to worry about.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      It’s just an expression.

      • Fr. Peter Andronache says

        Like I said, it is a minor thing and, like you said, it is just an expression, so I will leave it after this comment. My problem with the phrase is that it seems to assume the myth of progress and the competence of humanity to stand as its own judge. So, especially in church-related matters, it just strikes me the wrong way.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          I hear you: “Progress and the competence of humanity to stand as its own judge” is indeed a myth.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Fr Peter, could you please clarify what you mean when you say that “it is a minor thing”?

            • Fr. Peter Andronache says

              Compared to everything else to talk about in the article.

              • Pat Reardon says

                The notion of “history as judge” is certainly not a “minor thing,” and it is emphatically not “just an expression.”
                It is arguably the worst heresy in the past 200 years. Indeed, the human race right now can be roughly divided between those who believe that history will be the judge and those who believe that history will be judged.

        • Good point, Fr Peter.
          History is frequently rewritten.

          • Michael Bauman says

            Brendan, actual history is never rewritten. Stories and view points may change but we are all inheritors of the history that was actually lived.  It is important to retell the stories each generation but that does not mean that all retellings are healthy or covey a proper spirit. In fact, most do not.   

            • “Brendan, actual history is never rewritten.”
              Michael, what is “actual” history?
              And how do you distinguish it from someone else’s “actual” history?

              • Michael Bauman says

                Brendan, by actual history I mean was was lived and experienced at some time previous to our own.  That includes the stories passed down.
                We are greatly impoverished by our reliance on the written word.  That is quite transient. 
                Read Genesis Chapter 5 as if you are sitting around a common fire and the elder gets up and begins to recite the names and connections of your ancestors. 
                That history is literally in our DNA.  
                The actual stories that soldiers tell.  The stories of harvests (full and lean).  
                Stories of personal encounters with our Lord. 
                Of course religious ritual is also a part of real history as an expression of a common encounter with the Divine. “Thine own of thine own we offer unto thee on behalf of all and for all” is not only our devotion but is part of our living history as followers of the Incarnate Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ.  
                The large studies–political, economic, diplomatic also tend to stay rather constant. It is the interpretations done to satisfy publishers, deans and one’s own ego that are insubstantial and malleable.  Those are the “history” that gets rewritten.  
                I know the Scotts have maintained their sense of identity over centuries due in no small part to the stories passed down around the family hearth and in pubs. History.
                The stories are a scrap of the soul of the people. 
                We in the US have none of that to speak of.  Thus, when the US finally collapses, we will quickly pass out of the human story as the ephemeral people we are.  
                God alone endures world without end. To the extent we are connected and allow ourselves to be transformed by Him the true history is and will be written on out hearts. 

                • Will Harrington says

                  I understand your point, but for the sake of clarity, history is not defined as “what actually happened” but as the study of the written record in an effort to understand what actually happened. The fact that you had to write such a long clarification argues that this is an important distinction and both recognizing and expressing the difference between history and truth would be good policy. History is an important, but limited, discipline and, since it consists of the accounts of various witnesses with their own viewpoints, agendas, and biases, there is no such thing as true history, but only a composite and incomplete image of truth. A pretty good analogy of seeing through a mirror darkly. I also must note that the government of the United States is one of the oldest is the world and that the history of the nation began a couple of centuries before that. The story of the people if this country began much, much further back than that. We are hardly an ephemeral people and, regardless of what transpires with the government of the United States or the anticulture called pop culture, the people will be here until the end.

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    Will, thank you for your comment but I had to write a long explanation because:
                    1. I am long winded(forgive me)
                    2. There is little common understanding of history and my approach is outside even that.
                    3. I love it so I get effusive. It gives me joy.
                    4. There is much more there than is intuitively obvious to a casual observer.

                    One of my professors used to define history as: “History is the creation of a past that allows for a future into which can come the ever emerging now”

                    One of my honest concerns is that the history we are creating now does not allow for a future.

                    No question that writing history is a creative process that is why the field of historiography is so much fun.

                    Your implied definition of “people” is intriguing. It seems somewhat acultural to me. I would appreciate it if you could expand it a bit.

                    Nevertheless, there is an actual history that impacts each of us in a deeply personal, if largely unseen way. It is in our DNA. There is also an emotional and spiritual reality over time that shapes us. The sins of the fathers for up to four generations Ex 34:7. Personally, I can only consciously go back 2 generations and even that is spotty. All of it is “meet for repentance” as in Mt 3:8.

                    God can and does give us access to what we need to accomplish our own repentance but if we really are a “people” then there is a repentance as a whole that is also a part of our journey. My bishop touched on that obliquely in his homily yesterday on the Entrance of Mary into the Temple.

                    Just a question: what do you identify as the essential traits of we the people that have allowed us to be here so long and will allow us to “be here until the end”? I am not really grasping your point.

                    As you infer there are plenty of peoples who are no longer here. What sets us apart?

                • Michael, “rewritings” are a species of “retellings”.
                  All are interpretations. All are accepted (or rejected) in Faith,
                  which may be good faith or bad faith.

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    Brendan good point. It is critical to know your sources (basic discipline for a historian). Nevertheless there is a history that is revealed as well and experienced that does not require rewriting. The Church at her best allows us to enter into the reality. I know that to be true.

                    It is contained but not explained in the expostulation and witness Christ is Risen from the dead, trampling down death by death and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!

                    There is a deep historical mystery in that as well as the transcendent. Otherwise, why Incarnate?

  11. “Cyprus hierarch: Abolition by Phanar of 1686 Patriarchal Letter is invalid”–nedejstvitelyna–ijerarkh-kipra

  12. Sigh.
    Patr. Bartholomew has been “papal” for years.  Everyone knows it and has known it, for years.  It’s gotten to the point that even if he were to flat-out say “I am not papal,” no one would believe him.

    Greeks know it, except that there are many “Greek” Orthodox who don’t care about any alleged papalism, they simply want their church to be “Greek” and let others worry about the ecclesiology.  (Some “Russians” or “Serbians” or “any other ethnicity” could likewise be substituted in the above sentence.)
    Patr. Bartholomew is no longer playing footsie.  Similar to how the American main media don’t even bother to pretend to be neutral anymore, Patr B no longer even bothers to pretend to be non-papalist (sorry for the double negative).  But, as Chef Emeril used to say, Patr B is now “takin’ it up a notch!”
    His statements are now a massive challenge to the rest of the Orthodox world — “yeah, I’m papalist.  I’m the Patr of C’ple.  So what. What are you going to do about it?”
    Patr B has found out that the answer to this question is “not much.”  Thus far, the only ones willing to do anything about it are the Church of Russia, which has appropriately severed communion with him.  The OCA continues to play footsie with him, big time. 
    Most Orthodox seem deathly afraid to call him out on his glaringly papalist behavior.  Many Greeks (and many other “Greek Orthodox,” like some in the Cypriot Church and in the Patr of Alexandria) just don’t give a hoot, proving that their “Greekness” matters far more than their “Orthodoxy.” Many of us who grew up in the Greek Church could have informed anyone of this widespread phenomenon among “Greek Orthodox” decades ago.  As long as Patr B keeps the Greek “ethnos” wealthy and powerful in the eyes of the secular West — and as long as he supports Greeks who are striving to make millions in the “American dream,” well that, my friends, is all that matters.
    Patr B loves “President-Elect” Biden, and the “President-Elect” loves Patr B.  Maybe that’s all that we need to know, and the rest of us who vehemently disagree with Patr B are on the “wrong side of history,” as Biden’s former Prez likes to say.  Those of us who are against exporting abortion and LGBTQWERTY “rights” to Serbia, Montenegro, and Macedonia are definitely on the “wrong side of history,” according to these friends of Patr B (may we pray for the repose of the ever-memorable and most venerable Metropolitan Amphiloje!). 
    So we’re on the “wrong side of history.”  Or are we? 

    • Gail Sheppard says

      OK, so this is what I think is going on.

      Like the Bidens, Bartholomew was knee deep in Ukraine. Pompeo came to tell him that the Bidens are going down and he’s going down with them.

      The State Department expected Bartholomew to deliver and he didn’t: Ukraine was NOT cordoned off from Russia, the creation of the faux church was NOT seamless (there WAS violence), the rest of us did NOT get over it, we have NOT rallied around Bartholomew, and we are NOT OK with him joining the Latin Church.

      He is useless to them. They believe he speaks for all Orthodox when he clearly does not.

      The Bidens may have given him a pass. Not Trump. Bartholomew didn’t deliver.

      • Gail, I pray you are correct.

      • Gail,
        Not tracking your explanation on how what you write explains Patr B digging his heels into his papalism? 

        Also, how is Biden “going down?”  Last I saw, our media coronation committee is already measuring the drapes for him at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.  If I had a nickel for every corrupt politician who’ll be “going down once the truth comes out,” I’d be wealthy.  
        Forgive me if the cynical me believes that corrupt Joe since 1972 and his uniformly disliked sidekick COMMA-la will be sworn in on Jan 20, but I don’t see that not happening at this point. Again, sorry for the double negative. 

        • Gail Sheppard says

          I was explaining what I think Pompeo told Bartholomew on his visit.

          Bartholomew’s descent into papalism started (publicly, anyway) back in 2014. Only, I think Bartholomew thought that between the two of them, HE would be the pope when they merged. Maybe they were even talking about having two popes. Who knows. “Diversity with unity” they call it.

          Trump won the election and I believe with all my heart he is not going anywhere. I have worked with software, even designing systems. They can easily do a compare on that software installed in Pennsylvania with the same software in any other state. They will know what, if anything, was loaded that could flip the votes. I don’t why anybody would be worrying about USB sticks or looking “at the cables on the floors,” but what they needed were the servers with the data which they found in Germany.

          They also need the same hardware and software that was installed, which I hope was not swapped out, but they can still see with a given machine what happened, when and why.

          If Dominion was programmed to flip votes in PA or any other state, they’ll know. Forensically, you can determine a lot even if you think you’ve covered your tracks.

          As for Biden going down, I believe it will happen.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Gail, I too would not bet against President Trump.  There are several reasons but I can give y’all one right now which just came over the transom:  the Dominion software problem is exploding in the governor and sec/state of Georgia’s faces –big time.  And they’re Republicans!
            Where do we stand now as an electorate?  PA is in deep freeze and all eyes are gravitating to GA where things will get really horrible, really fast. 
            I believe Wisconsin is in recount.  As for Michigan, articles of impeachment are being drawn up against Gov Gretchen the Evil as we speak.  With her foolish lockdowns, I can easily see the people rising up and demanding that the Legislature certify a GOP slate of electors.

            • George Michalopulos says

              BTW, Raffensperger, the RINO SoS for GA is now trying to displace the blame for his malfeasance onto Sen Lindsay Graham, saying that he “pressured him to not count legal ballots”. 
              I totally believe that. 

              Long story short: GA is exploding. I expect WI and MI to do so in short order as well. This Dominion thing ain’t going away.

              Ironic isn’t it? Hillary and the Dems made up “foreign interference” from Russia out of whole cloth but we not only have China interfering but a Canadian software company which has subsidiaries in Venezuela and –get this–the votes being counted in Spain.

              We’re talking a major Charlie Foxtrot here which is only going to get bigger as time goes on.

              • I expect the next dance will be a mass Foxtrot Oscar.
                Doubtless the Hollywood luvvies know the steps already…

          • Gail,
            I hope you’re correct, in Biden going down. The cynical side of me just doesn’t see it happening, though. 

            Everyone knows this election saw rampant fraud, tampering, ballot switching, etc. 

            What do you do, though, when there’s no longer an effective critical mass of influential people who care to do anything about it?  That’s my concern, that the deep state and legacy “bipartisan” establishment are simply too powerful and don’t care to investigate too deeply into election fraud when they get the result that they want.
            I’m fearful that since they got the result they wanted two weeks ago – indeed, they shut down counting simultaneously in 5 contentious states on election night for what reason other than to collude! (“Russian collusion” be damned! – how many of our tax dollars were spent between 2016-2019 to investigate “Russian collusion”??) – they’ll stick to it.  

            Biden underperformed HRC in every single metropolitan area except for – total coincidence here! – Philadelphia, Detroit, Milwaukee, and Atlanta. Yep, nothing to see here. 

            • Gail Sheppard says

              I understand why you would be discouraged (cynical, is the word you used). So am I. Trump said it best on election night when he said it was a “sad day for Americans.” God is rolling back the curtain, allowing us to see what we’ve only suspected until now . . . and then some. To say I am appalled would be an understatement.

              The lies perpetrated on the American people have been staggering.

              It is incumbent on us to fight back. We need to go after the media with a vengeance and pass legislation to put boundaries around their “free speech,” which they have misused in an effort to shape our reality with lies. I am encouraged to see the American people turning their backs on them.

              What also has become clear, is that we Americans have not lost our sensibilities. Not entirely.

              • George Michalopulos says

                It is a sad day for us Americans but also a clarifying day. Indeed, these last two weeks have been eye-opening in that we can see the absolute rot and corruption that is inherent in our kakistocracy.

                “It is better to have one’s eyes opened, however distasteful the experience, than to continue to live in ignorance.” (If nobody said that, I take credit for it!)

                The Lord in His mercy has allowed us to be humiliated and therefore, stripped us of our American “exceptionalism”. Our people may be good but our Ruling Class is no different from that of the Phillipines, Ukraine or Gabon.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Totally agree, Gail. Big Tech has to be broken up into a thousand little pieces or have their Section 230 protection status stripped from them.

      • Gah, I really hope you are right Gail. Not just about Patriarch Bartholomew, but, also about the Biden’s. Also, if Patriarch bartholomew goes down, that means Abp. Elpidophoros, Karloutsos, etc., are all going down too. 

  13. Solitary Priest says

    I don’t know about Pompeo. He may be an insider who was foisted on President Trump, Wasn’t he the one who met with Metropolitan Hierotheos? Or was that Gregory Pyatt? After a lot of big talk, the Metropolitan reversed his previous position and caved in to the EP. Somebody got to him.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Trump seems to be getting rid of the people who were foisted on him.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Truly. He cleaned out the top tier at the Pentagon. I hear that CIA Director was not present at the latest Daily Intel Briefing. She’s in neck-deep with the Dominion software scandal, as are the GOP governor & sec/state of GA.

        Before she was was disinvited (last Friday), she went to see Senate Majority Leader McConnell (who is also implicated in Dominion). I can only imagine what they talked about. As far as I’m concerned, McConnell has his back against the wall, as he faces three options (should Biden steal the presidency):

        1. Both GA GOP contenders win election on Jan 5. If so, then McConnell becomes the most powerful man in Washington.

        2. Only one of the GA GOP contenders wins. In this case, Mitt Romney becomes the most powerful man in Washington.

        3. The Dems pick up both GA Senate seats. At this point, Joe Manchin becomes the most powerful man in Washington.

        My take on McConnell is that he likes being called “Majority Leader” and he would like nothing better than option #1. So, all things being equal, he needs Trump to whip the flames of political excitement down in GA.

        The correlation of forces therefore would insinuate that McConnell is going to stop any more GOP Senators from getting on the Biden bandwagon.

      • Too little, too late? Let’s hope not.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          My money is still on Trump and more importantly, the people we’ll never hear about behind him.

          • Hopeful about your protection and agree Gail about those behind him.  I am blessed to hear about them from Roman Catholics who knew some of his appointees and I’ve signed up to see what they are doing via governmental notices.  The Office of Civil Rights has a stellar devout RC at the helm and single-handedly is protecting religious freedom while Obama’s agent obstructed it at his direction.  Votes make a difference in real life.  Discerning and choosing  the lesser of two evils according to Christ’s (and the Saints’) understanding of evil  is encouraged for traditional Roman Catholics and Orthodox.    Too many Protestant splinter groups to generalize.  

            • Gail Sheppard says

              They called an emergency meeting at the White House 10 hours ago. Sidney Powell said: “We’ve identified mathematically the exact algorithm they’ve used—and planned to use from the beginning.”

              • I trust Sidney Powell (who almost renews my faith in womankind) and Rudy to rout the enemy and deliver victory.  There is no fixed count of electors at this point, different sources have different totals.  The only ones that matter are those submitted to the Senate after the votes in each states.  There could be two sets from some states if enough fraud is demonstrated (like what is being discussed surrounding Dominion Systems).  

                If there are two or more sets of electors submitted, VP Pence gets to choose which to accept or to reject them all as fraudulent.  If no one gets to 270, it goes to the House to vote, one vote per state and Trump wins.

                It is very early yet.  We are not even in December.  The thing to remember about court cases is that you start at the bottom and work your way to the appellate and then state supreme and then go to the bottom of the federal system, then the appellate, etc.  Some of this may be able to start in federal court, some may have to go through state court first.  All of it will be expedited, of course, given the subject matter, but it does take time.  And there will be setbacks.  But setbacks will mostly be temporary because there is always a higher court to which to turn until you get the answer you want or reach the SCOTUS. 

                As Mick Jagger said, “Time is on [our] side.”:


  14. Summation: Abp. Chrysostomos “I didn’t ask because they would have said no” 

    • Gail Sheppard says

      He says, “Having been operated on, I decided to write the letter to the Ecumenical Patriarch, that I could no longer continue the efforts at reconciliation.” As I recall, Bartholomew had to tell him to stop. I’m sure the stories are still out there somewhere.

      It’s hard to respect someone who is all over the map. Used to be a day when a man’s word could be taken to the bank. Not today. It’s excuses.

    • Abp. Chrysostomos: “If we exclude the four Apostolic Churches
      of the Middle East, the remaining Orthodox churches were “begotten”
      by Constantinople. Indeed, even after the fall.”

  15. Michael Bauman says

    Pompeo was the Congressman for my district before he gravitated up the food chain. He is a creature of the Kochs for good or evil.   
    I have observed him in person briefly a couple  of times when he visited my parish for some charity functions since leaving elective office. 
    The man is fundamentally an intimidator but I would not trust him.  Who he intimidates with what depends on who he is working for (see above).  He is not and will not be a Trump loyalist.  
    But if the President sends him on a mission, Pompeo could easily put the fear of power into whomever he is talking to. 

    • anonsayswhat says

      I wonder why PM of Greece needed to have a conversation with Bartholomew before Pompeo’s visit with him.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        It was reported in the Orthodox Times that: “The announcement of the Ecumenical Patriarchate characteristically stated that such visits demonstrate the significance and standing of the Ecumenical Patriarchate as an institution with a history of many centuries, with an invaluable offering and contribution to global civilization.”

        Ha! No one, least of all the State Department, is that stupid.

  16. Ach, the nasty, nasty behavior I have seen on the parish, as well as on the national and international level in my beloved Orthodox Church! DeTouqueville once said the Americans give themselves far too willingly over to political speeches. Do the Orthodox today give themselves over far too willingly to cowardice in the face of corruption, thinking they are being obedient?
    What Bartholomew and Elpidiphoros are doing is clearly wrong. Do the majority trust to a diaspora, or to isolated cells hiding amongst the main, because it recently helped the Russian Church to survive? Do they trust to God to come forth and smite the evildoers, when God is requiring courage from each of the faithful to come forward and clean house themselves?
    Bartholomew obsesses over power and control. So too his protege’ Elpi. Their minds are overthrown and their souls no longer value or possess humility within themselves. They seek to justify their ‘right’ to rule, nothing more. They abandon the wisdom of seeking the restraint and the fellowship of their brothers in conciliarity. They do not love peace. They seek to reinterpret our wise traditions using various methods, seeking to shame the faithful into believing we are backward, behind the times; mere simpletons, anachronisms.
    We must warn these men by every means at our disposal that they err. That is our duty. If this fails to persuade them, then we are to seek out right-believing bishops in long historical and canonical unity with one another, and the humble priests that serve them, in parishes where the love of God is seen and felt. This also is our duty. Strengthen the right-believing and the right-behaving. We have all known the love of God and of one another at some time, surely. We have our inner compass still within us, seeking.
    As the old saying goes, sometimes the only way you get to Heaven is by backing away from Hell. There are things which you simply cannot do.

    • Well said, Hans. Thank you. 

    • Obedience is not always a virtue; at least
      not according to the Nuremberg Tribunal.

      • Michael Bauman says

        Obedience and “following orders” are as far apart from each other as rape is from loving sex between a man and a wife.  

        • That depends, surely, on what the orders are.

          • Michael Bauman says

            Even then there is a big difference Brendan. It is a matter of the inclination of one’s heart and the reason for doing it.  Ad T.S. Eliot had his character of Becket say in Murder in the Cathedral: “To do the right deed for the wrong reason is surely the greatest treason.”  

  17. Another enlightening post on the topic by Orthodox Synaxis:

  18. Two weeks on from Election Day, here is where things stand:
    1. Biden’s margins in states that he won are well beyond any chance of flipping in a recount. The final EV tally will be 306 Biden, 232 Trump.
    2. Trump’s legal efforts have been a giant fiasco and have failed to establish in court any kind of serious wrongdoing that affected the outcome in any state Biden won.
    3. RLAs and other election validation procedures have already put paid to the notion of some kind of Dominion Software vote flipping conspiracy.
    4. State legislatures are not going to ignore their existing laws governing selection of electors. Nor can they retroactively change the laws regarding the election already passed. The electoral votes will go to the choice of the voters of the state, not the person the GOP wishes had won.

    • Trey Trainer — the chairman of the Federal Election Commission (FEC):

      “I do believe that there is voter fraud taking place in these places,” he said. “Otherwise they would allow the observers to go in.”


      “State law allows those observers to be in there,” he said, adding if the law isn’t being followed then this election is “illegitimate.”

      He said the lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign are “very valid allegations” that need to be “fully vetted” by the court system. He predicts some of the legal challenges will likely end up in the Supreme Court.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Saunca, from where do you get your news? Are you aware that there is a concerted effort regarding the legal challenges by the corporate media (i.e. Fake News Industrial Complex) to “report” the exact opposite of what transpired? For example in PA, it was reported by the Washington Post that the President’s legal team “gave up” regarding the 600,000 votes that they’re challenging. In fact, the exact opposite happened.

        There is a deeper, spiritual problem here and our brother Misha said it best: namely, that under the present political situation, that “colloquy is impossible”.

        That is sad. I as a conservative read and digest news sources from the Left all the way to the Right. And even though it pains me to know that the Left is filled with hate towards America (remember all those burning flags at the BLM riots?) and towards little old ladies (too many presently who have been beaten senseless by Antifa/BLM/Soyviet types), I also see clearly that Trump clearly won the election and that it was stolen at the same time.

        I also know that Pres Harris will have hell to pay, especially if all the “best” people (read: neocons, corporatists, oligarchs) worm their way into her administration.

        • Soyviet? Was this a typo?
          If so, I think you’ve just coined a fantastic new term!

          • Soyviet is the term for soy boy BernieBros, it’s a pretty common term…but if George came up with it thats awesome! 

            • George Michalopulos says

              In all honesty, I first heard this term regarding the late, unlamented CHAZ, which Styxhexxenhammer called the “Soyviet Union”.

            • Surprised I never heard it. I’m going to add it to my lexicon from now on.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Saunca, are you sure this is the rhetorical hill you want to die on?
        Think of it:  all the pro-Biden “glitches” in (so far) two Georgia counties were in large, round numbers.
        Even Yahoo! news has to admit that “Second Georgia county finds previously uncounted votes”.  (Though they then insert their typical weasel-words “it still won’t make a difference” into the body of their report.  

        • Re:  naysayers,

          The matter will not be resolved here.  It will be resolved by Trump’s lawyers, judges, justices and state legislators and electors, etc.  Nothing we say here will have the slightest effect on that.

          However, what we say here can have the effect of raising or dashing the hopes of readers whomever they be if they choose to take the naysayers seriously (which I do not, not even reading them anymore).  Thus, the one and only effect their posts have is to harm the positivity and optimism of believers.

          Were it my site, they would not be allowed here.  And it would not be because they do not have some facts on their side.  It would be because of what they choose to do with those facts.  I long ago jettisoned the Spirit of ’76 and have no interest in hearing from the devil.  For those of you who do not either, I suggest you simply ignore their posts on sight and not engage with them in any way.  Arguing with the devil is a waste of time, it can sour your mood, it delights the screwtapes because, yes, they are that deranged and win or lose it solves nothing because nothing gets resolved here.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            The naysayers (some, not all) are allowed to comment here to serve as a canvas so you can write brilliantly about how they are wrong. We voice comments that depict what people are thinking so you can set them straight. There are others you never see that serve as a distraction.

            That being said, it’s a free speech blog. The only other thing we suppress is stuff we feel is insulting to our guests. Nor am I open to some anonymous yahoo giving me his or her impression of whether or not someone is paying the proper respect to the patristic texts or some other esoteric nonsense the writer cannot properly define.

            At the end of the day, this is about an exchange of ideas among friends. I’m all for adding friends to the blog. But they have to show a willingness to fit in. I’ve learned (from you, actually) that we can vehemently disagree but still love one another because we’re part of the same family.

            I feel that way about all our commenters here. I’

            • Ah, thank you Gail.  That is an interesting approach.  It reminds me of a tactic I used to employ from time to time when I saw the potential for an all out battle royale in the implications of this or that line of comments: 

              You just lob a loaded for bare proposition in there like a live hand grenade, stand back and let the fireworks commence. 
              Good fun.

              I, the worst of sinners (as can be gathered from above), am not capable of setting anyone straight, alas.  I don’t mind the clutter, I just feel for those who take it seriously.

              In that vein:


              Newsmax won’t project a winner until the election is certified.  They brought up the interesting point that Gore did not concede (the second time) until the election was certified pursuant to the court case that decided it in 2000.  He retracted his first concession to fight it out in court.  That ended Dec. 13, 2000.

              The article also explains several different ways Trump could get to 270 or deny the same to Biden, thus sending it to the House.
              Trump is taking a scattergun approach to this.  I have one of these lovely little devices and the beauty and genius of them is that you just point and click, minimal reliance on aiming.  Think of the hand cannon that James Caan’s “Mississippi” character toted in the John Wayne classic El Dorado.

              He’s suing everything that moves in 5 plus states (at least that was the plan Giuliani related on the clip I saw with Maria Bartiromo).  Suits for election fraud based on eye-witness testimony of ballot tampering, violations of election law in admitting or excluding ballots or observers, electronic/statistical evidence of ballot dumping, and assorted blatant thuggery like sheriffs turning away poll workers and polls boarding up windows so no one can see them cheating.  And don’t forget the boxes of BidenBallots™ arriving, from the mists, in the dead of night . . .

              Widespread.  Coordinated.  Open.  Flagrant.  Gratuitous.  Shameless.  Out-in-front-of-God-and-everybody low down, dirty dog cheating.


              That’s not even getting into Dominion and its minions.  That’s Tammany 3.0.
              Systematic, in the millions . . .

              And so . . . they’re denying it.  That’s right, they are saying that none of it is real:


              So, you have to have a sense of humor about all of this.  I actually admire the spunk in a way, just like the old Tammany Hall, take em to vote, then shave em, then take em back and let em vote some more, etc.

              Were it not for the fact that these vermin have just about completely ruined this country and are now seeking to put a silver bullet in its head, I might be laughing along with them.  
              Alas, no can do:


              Also, bear in mind, the courts don’t have to throw out a single vote in order for the state legislatures in these states to look at the cesspool produced in court and deny certification of the election.

              • Gail Sheppard says

                Those who think it “isn’t real” are idiots. Data doesn’t lie. You can discredit a whistle blower and dismiss a few votes here and a few votes there as being inconsequential to the election, but it would be hard (I would imagine) to build a case on the antics of a few. How do you quantify it? How can you measure the impact?

                But Dominion: now that’s a different story. Trump’s people (God bless them, whoever they are) saw this coming and let the left step into their own s#$%. That they collected those servers in Spain and Germany shows they were on top of it. This voter fraud thing, although real, was a sting and it was designed to show the American people just how corrupt these people are. It is also a mechanism to take down some higher level people.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Wouldn’t it be somewhat apropos at this point to ask why all those who lied about the Russian Collusion Hoax (and wasted millions of dollars chasing this wild goose), aren’t now in high dudgeon about all the foreign interference by China in this election?

                  To ask this question is to answer it.

                • Gail,

                  What you do is show the statistical unlikelihood of the change in the trajectories of the counts from pre-4am to, say, post-430am.  There’s a more or less nicely fitting algorithm around which naturally occurring votes clustered until hampers of 100% pure BidenBallots™ were poured into the mix at around 4.  That progression and digression can be traced and quantified by statistical analysis that simply shows the effect of the fraud witnessed in affidavits and the much greater amount regarding which no one ever came forward.  You amplify the testimony with the statistics.  Then you turn to the Dominion and Smart machines and show how they were rigged and to what effect.

                  If they do it right, it will destroy the Democratic Party.  It must have been an open secret in Democratic circles for it to have been this ubiquitous.  That’s why everyone has gone blind at this point.  They sense doom.

                  Only the most devout denizens of the Left would not shudder and balk at the power one party would have if this were allowed to stand.

                  • Gail Sheppard says

                    I guarantee they’re going to do it right.

                    They allowed this to happen! I am sure of it. It was a sting.

                  Here are the abc’s of how one discerns what happened.  The guy writes like a centrist, but you can see the forest given the trees he describes.
                  Either Trump’s going to pull this out or your going to get at least four years of people flying banners, “Sic Semper Tyrannis”.

              • “Widespread.  Coordinated.  Open.  Flagrant.  Gratuitous.  Shameless.  Out-in-front-of-God-and-everybody low down, dirty dog cheating.”
                Misha, can we use this to make T shirts?

    • George Michalopulos says

      Ah yes: blame all apparent criminality on “conspiracy theories”. Nate, ever heard of the Gulf of Tonkin? That was a “conspiracy theory” too. Until it was proven to be an actual false flag.

      Riddle me this Batman: Trump got 10,000,000 more votes this go-around than he did in 2016 (73 million versus 63 million). He doubled his share of the black vote. Yet Biden outperformed Hillary Clinton in four cities only.

      Are you trying to tell me that Biden got more votes 12 million more votes than Obama did in 2008? Obama (who despite his bitterness towards this country), was young, charismatic and handsome and got more votes in 2008 than any other previous candidate in American history?

      Obama, who got 96% of a heavy black vote? Seriously?

      Let’s look at it this way: Trump only got 8% of the black vote in 2016 –and he won. This time he doubled that –and he lost? Are you sure?

      Trump increased his share of the Latino vote. In 2016, 52% of white women voted for Trump. This time he increased it to 54%.

      When all is said and done, Trump got a larger share of the minority vote (30%) than any GOP candidate since 1956.

      And then to add put the cherry on top: the GOP outperformed the Dems down-ballot, not losing one seat in the House and coming within a whisper of removing Nancy Antoinette from her perch. In the States, it’s even better for the GOP, who now control the majority of State houses.

      How do you explain that Nate?

      Here’s how I do it: In the dead of night, in Detroit and Philly, Dem partisans hastily marked tens of thousands of ballots for Biden –and only Biden–in order to get him the requisite number of votes to overtake the legal votes for Trump. That’s why there was such a down-ballot depression for the Democrats, all the partisans were desperately worried about was getting Biden over the top.

      It’s really that simple.

      • Once you understand the things that seem confusing to you, you will know how Trump lost the election. No election fraud is required.
        First off, we don’t yet have accurate figures about demographic shifts in the 2020 election. Preliminary estimates, yes, but more accurate figures take time (probably 18-24 months). Saying Trump improved his vote with minorities over 2016 is correct, but the figures you are touting are suspect. Early estimates I am seeing are nowhere near 16% of the Black vote. AP Votecast puts him at 8% in 2020, compared with 6% in 2016! Edison at 12% in 2020, but the breakdown there is interesting: Black men did vote at 18% percent, but Black women were only 8% percent.
        But the minority vote wasn’t primarily responsible for upwards of 80 million people voting for Biden when all is ultimately tallied. And yes, Biden got more votes than Obama in 2008, because you perpetually underestimated just how many Americans really did not want another four years of Trump. For my part, I underestimated how many people did want another four years of Trump. C’est la vie!
        Among other things, you fail to grasp just how badly Trump lost white suburbanites in 2020 and how that played out in WI/MI/PA. Which is totally on you, because all the warning signs were there in the 2018 midterms. 
        The House Dems had a rough 2020 election, no question. Now the Dems did flip a couple R seats in 2020, just not ones where an incumbent was defending. One thing that will be interesting to learn is just how much ticket splitting occurred. In 2018, the only real protest vote against Trump for many was a vote against a GOP rep. In 2020, suburban voters could vote for Biden and still vote for a GOP rep they might like. That said, a lot of those D House losses were close races. Trump did drive strong GOP turnout and that made a difference in marginal/toss-up seats, despite strong D turnout.
        At any rate, your comments on ‘how I’d do it’ with Detroit and Philly scenarios that have no basis in the reality of the election that occurred just underline to me you haven’t actually read or understood any real district level analysis of the 2020 results. Here’s a link for free, I got lots:
        Oh, as far as Ms. Carone, lets see what a judge had to say about her affidavit: “Ms. Carone’s description of events at the TCF Center does not square with any of the other affidavits. There are no other reports of lost data, or tabulating machines that jammed repeatedly every hour during the count. Neither Republican nor Democratic challengers nor city officials substantiate her version of events. The allegations simply are not credible”.
        So yeah, nothing to see here, except you didn’t actually check if your latest smoking gun hadn’t already gotten laughed out of court days ago.

    • George Michalopulos says
    • Also ironic is that the 306 electoral college votes that President-elect Biden received is the same as Trump’s number four years ago—which he called an all-caps LANDSLIDE. It’s time the GOP enablers realize the show is over, too.

  19. The Patriarch of Constantinople is a modernist tool of anti-Christian globalist forces the same as Pope Francis, of whom he is a huge fan. Patriarch Bartholomew’s attachment to Orthodox – Roman Catholic Ecumenism causes some Orthodox to worry that he will unite with Rome. Were he to do so, of course, some modernist “Orthodox” might follow him. On the other hand, such a move would be guaranteed to create a world-wide schism that would leave him practically alone. On his own, the Patriarch of Constantinople has a native congregation of a few thousand Greeks in Turkey, an island of monks, and some Greek “diaspora” churches scattered around the world. It is hardly a base of power. In fact, the Patriarch’s ability to meddle in other countries is only possible because of the support of secular powers such as the United States. Times change, worldly powers come and go, and priorities shift.
    Let me illustrate, somewhat crudely, how little the Patriarch of Constantinople matters.  Patriarch Bartholomew could marry his homosexual lover on the steps of the Vatican at a “wedding” co-officiated by the Pope and a Satanic High Priest, after which he could pledge eternal devotion to one of the Pope’s spare Pachamama idols – and the practical impact on the Orthodox Faith would be exactly nil. To be honest, the same thing could be said about any bishop, or even a synod of bishops. No one has the power to change the Orthodox Faith.

  20. From a priest on Instagram: 
    “A message from a monk at St. Anthony’s Monastery: 
    We will be doing a three-day strict fast like we do at the beginning of Great Lent starting Tuesday 11/17. So on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we will eat something very light in the evening and then Saturday we will have fish for the Entry of the Theotokos. The other monasteries will be doing it as well, as we try and pray intensely for the state of the world and our own pathetic spiritual state. There have been multiple things that have happened recently indicating that something very bad is potentially close. If there is anyone who you think would like to know feel free to pass it on. Most important thing is to pray pray pray and spread the message of repentance” 

    • Gail Sheppard says

      The last time I heard a message like this from them was when they were warning us about the coming recession. (I’m sure there have been more recent examples.) They started stocking up on staples, as I recall.

      We need to do this to the degree we are able. I’m afraid the left is going to start setting off dirty bombs or something if Trump is successful.

    • I think that such a message would come from the Abbott of the monastery. I’m not so sure a monk would have a blessing to distribute this widely. Having said that, the message is not necessarily corrupt.

      • Please forgive me. I just found out that the letter from the monk at St. Anthony’s is authentic. We all need to be praying and fasting now…more than ever.

  21. Old news, but I wonder how many times he has to say it before the Church excommunicates him?  He’s begging for it.  Do they think he does not understand the implications of his own words?
    This is the hill to stand on, in case someone is still wondering.

    • I’ve been standing on that hill for a long time. I am wondering why the hierarchs are not standing on that hill…in fact…they don’t even see the hill.

    • This, in my humble opinion, is the real test of the supposed condemnation of  ethnophyletism by the ‘Greek’ churches (Greece, Albania, Cyprus, Alexandria, Jerusalem… even Antioch to a degree).  Will they support outright ecclesiological heresy just to remain the superior race?  In many cases, I fear the answer is yes.
      What they obviously fear most is Moscow (whose possible designs on becoming the “third Rome” may indeed be questionable – I don’t know) supplanting them.  Yet their foolishness in tolerating this papal nonsense only serves to further the likelihood of very outcome they fear.  If they would just cease playing this power game and focus on the Faith, any real or imagined designs Russia may have would be neutralized in an instant.  There would be  no need or desire for a “third Rome” if the second remained Orthodox.  Since it hasn’t, one can only hope those who follow it into apostacy enjoy their worldly supremacy while it lasts.

      The rest of us, both Greek and non-Greek, will simply ignore them.

  22. ‘US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo believes that the Patriarchate
    of Constantinople is “the leader of the Orthodox world”.’

    • What does he know? Why does he care?
      Trump needs to pull this guy’s leash in a little tighter.

      • I suspect Pompeo, in the field of foreign policy, has been more
        the heir of Clinton than the agent of the Trump White House.

  23. Metropolitan Nikiforos of Kykkos and Tylliria:
    “…the dissolution of the Eucharistic communion between the two Churches, when it comes to dogmatic reasons or violation of the canons, is not only permitted but also required by the same canons and the age-old church tradition.”–ijerarkh-kiprskoj-cerkvi
    “Accordingly, the Orthodox Moscow Patriarchate acted correctly, being guided by the canons (Apostolic Canons 10 and 11, Canon 5 of the I Ecumenical Council, Canon 2 of the Council of Antioch)…”

  24. What will it take for faithful Orthodox hierarchs, as well as the laity, to condemn the papalist pretensions of Bart, the heretical innovations of Elpi, and the acquiescence of the GOA vis-a-vis Greek ethnophyletism, ecumenism with the Roman Catholic Church, subjugation to global geopolitics, and explicit support for the platform of the Democratic party?

    • Christopher McAvoy says

      Like all great heresies they will eventually die out. It will take suffering the consequences of reaping what they have sowed, a destruction of their communities and their no longer being enough people present to worship besides themself and a few syocphants. Compare the episcopal or lutheran church today for example…they will eventually no longer exist. Certain roman catholic “religious communities” no longer exist and all that survives are their buildings, which are passed on to those which are more orthodox.

      • Michael Bauman says

        Unfortunately, heresies never really die out.  Even if they are no longer dominant, they always skew even genuine belief to some degree.  Arianism for instance is still everywhere.  We just don’t call it that any more.  
        Heresy is like a virus of the soul.  We all have the virus. A particular strain maybe less deadly or dormant but they never go away. 
        Lord, I believe, forgive my unbelief.

        • This is true. Heresies don’t go away….they just re-invent themselves. It is one of the favorite tricks of the Evil One.

  25. What struck me is he said “pray, pray, pray”. My spiritual father is an Abbott of one of the monasteries. Last year when we were going through some difficulties in our church (he knows all parties involved very well), he told me during confession – leave, leave, leave! I know them well enough to know that when they repeat something three times fast, like they are doing……they are trying to assert how urgent the matter is.

    (On a side note, Gail and George – just wanted to mention I am a loyal reader and have commented only a few times under pseudonyms. I realize you encourage folks to use their full names but p!ease understand that this is impossible for some of us to do. My family is part of the clergy and have friends and family on both sides of the issues which read this blog and we wouldn’t want to be publicly debating their views and would rather pray that the Holy Spirit enlightens those who are lost and we try to remain peaceful.)

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Of course we realize that, dear reader. The only time people harp on others for not using their real names is when they post “drive by” stuff. Kind of like a “drive by” shooter and then hide behind an alias. If you post legitimate content, no one is going to question who you are.

      • Thank you Gail. In the area of the country we live, I could easily be identified if I give too much info. We have many Greek and Russian Orthodox believers here and we are friends with both. We are trying to live Orthodox Christian lives, to the very best of our  abilities, with God’s grace. Our families have been in the Russian church for many years. Everybody has their own opinion and vantage point of the current situation in our churches. We just try to remain loving and loyal to true Orthodoxy above all.

        Our spiritual father is a Geronda as I mentioned. As a priests family, we rely on our wonderful Geronda for spiritual guidance, help and absolution from our our sins, hoewever, we do not commune there in obedience to our hierarchs. One of the brothers explained to us regarding a fellow priest who has gone somewhat astray is that he did so because he stopped seeking spiritual counsel/guidance and confessing his sins. Sounds a lot like our current situation in Constantinople and everybody else who is following suit.

        On another note before I end this long post (sorry!) another thing my spiritual father told me recently: they do not plan to stay with the GOA. I feel comfortable sharing this anonymously only because there are many who wrongly judge the GOA monasteries when they only are being obedient and not reactionary. They will make their move when the time is right. We will see mass exodus soon!

        On a complete differnt note – one thing that concerns me is that nobody has mentioned yet (that I am aware of) is the possibility of Metropolitan Amfilohije being martyred. Reviewing the events this past year I certainly would believe it. It would seem we all may be going in that direction. My daughter casually mentioned to me when she was 3 that she wanted to be a martyr when she grew up. We all just may have that opportunity in the near future.

        Thank you Gail and George! I really rely on your blog – it helps me to put the pieces of the puzzle together and make sense of everything we have been witnessing and going through. May Our Good Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and our most holy Theotokos help and save us!

        • Gail Sheppard says

          Well, I’m happy you’re here, Anne. Please do not be scandalized by our unusual group! There is frankly a lot of love here and has been for many years. So if someone says something that makes your ears burn, take it in stride.

          You are the third person who has confirmed for me that the monasteries are making other plans and I am so grateful. If it weren’t for the monasteries, I don’t what we would do.

          I don’t seem like the “monastery girl” type, but since this COVID thing hit, monasteries are like second home to me. We even have monastics coming and going from our home! The young monks are very tolerant of me mothering them, especially when I feed them!

          It’s almost like a riddle: In what sort of world would a mother call her son, Father??? – In God’s world.

          • I don’t at all feel that you have an unusual group and rather enjoy the conversation and view points of others and truly feel the friendship and love for the community you have built here over the years. I am the one who does not want to be the cause of scandal which is why I chose to be anonymous. I rather enjoy that you allow some of the controversial comments to come through so that we can see how folks on the other side may try to attack which only allows us to be better prepared. Besides, after being part of the clergy for many years, you tend to develop thick skin, as I am sure you and George are completely familiar with running this blog for so long. Thank you again, for all of the work you both dedicate to keep us informed and in the loop!
            Gail, I think it’s wonderful that you are acting as Mother to the Fathers and that you have that opportunity.  We are blessed beyond measure to have them here in America and that they are so willing to be close with us and help us in our spiritual struggles.
            I just read this article this morning and want to share with those who may have not seen it yet. Fr. Andrew brilliantly sums up our current crisis:
            Please pray for me a sinner!

            • Michael Bauman says

              Anne, interesting article but I always question the idea of the Orthodox Church ruling the world, at least not the real Orthodox Church.  
              Despite the chaos and death and confusion in and around me I am coming upon a newly discovered joy even though the existential reality of my life and those I love most are quite difficult: physically, emotionally, monetarily, socially.  
              Yet, when I wake up in the middle of the night because I cannot breathe well or am in pain throughout my body, I pick up one of the prayer ropes my late wife crafted that are beautiful in themselves–and use it.  
              The woman who made the ropes reposed in 2004, about 40 days before Pascha.  By God’s Grace I perceived her Ressurection with and by our Lord as we sang Christ is Risen from the dead..trampling down death by death and upon those in the tomb bestowing life.  
              God made me a witness to that glory.  It has taken awhile for it to sink in.  How glorious our Lord is.   I tell people about it and all I usually get are blank stares of incomprehension.   Even devout fellow Orthodox. 
              God is with us! Christ is Risen! 
              Still, as we wait, we must rejoice in fasting as both offering and penance.   
              May God bless and keep you and make you fruitful wherever you are planted. 

          • You are the third person who has confirmed for me that the monasteries are making other plans and I am so grateful. If it weren’t for the monasteries, I don’t what we would do.
            It’s going to be a sad spiritual state when the one thing that was essentially keeping the GOA “Orthodox” will be finding a jurisdiction that is actually Orthodox. I wonder if talks about the departure started a while back when Abp. Elpidophoros had a meeting with all monastics. 

            Will also be interesting to see if parishes start jumping ship after the monasteries leave

            I’m still curious where they are going to go. Serbians, Antiochians? Those would have been my top two. But, I guess ROCOR wouldn’t be out of the question or even the Romanians. 

            • Gail Sheppard says


              • Ah yes! I forgot about the Georgians. Thanks, Gail. I was thinking the Serbian Archdiocese since up here in Alaska the monasteries associated with St. Herman switched from OCA (?) to Serbia  

                • The parishes and monasteries of Saint Herman’s were with an uncanonical group before they were received by the Serbs.

              • Are there any Georgian Churches or archdiocese  here in the states, for the monasteries to go under?
                I been hearing for the past couple years now, that the monastery in Arizona under Elder Ephraim (of blessed memory), has a clause or loophole where the Archdisocses doesnt own their property, so if the situation got bad with GOARCH (and it is bad, GOARCH might as well be eastern rite Episcopalianism ), that the Monasteries could leave? It a good question where would they go? ROCOR?(they were almost under ROCOR back in the 90’s, however the EP threatened them), the Serbs?(could be a possibility, serves have recieved others before from other jurisdictions), the Antiochians(the Antiochians have no monasteries surprisingly here in America), the Romanians(this could be the most realistic option , but the Romanian Archdiocese is so small)
                If the Monasteries leave GOARCH,  GOARCH will just die off slowly, and officially be heretical, there been in the more progressive circles of reviving the female deaconess, open communion for the spouses of Orthodox husbands or wives, crackdowns on the monasteries,  pushing a relaxed approach of LGBTq folks in the church, etc. The monasteries and devout priests, who are affiliated with the monasteries are the only thing holding back the barbarians at the gate in GOARCH. 
                I myself am in a Greek Church, my priest (a romanian) has been a devout follower of Elder Ephraim, and for the most has done things traditionally, yet he is also obedient to his bishop ,our ties with the Life giving spring monastery in Dunlap is strong, Mother Markella is amazing with her devotion to Christ, and the Faith. I question where I should go , if it gets worse in GOARCH? The ROCOR church I went to was a bad experience,  due to feeling not welcomed (others told me the same expirence), other churches are quite a drive.

        • Dear Anne,
          A number of years ago, someone very close to me was having confession with his spiritual father.  Both of them are very patristic-minded Orthodox Christians. My friend was fretting about the state of the this world and the direction it was headed. His spiritual father told him that they both would be on the front lines of martyrdom. Today, this seems prophetic. I believe that many of us will be faced with the decision to stand up for the Kingdom of God…or cower in the abyss of darkness.

        • I’d be interested to hear where they plan on going. I’m sure that you’re probably not free to make such specific details known, so don’t take this as me pushing you. I suppose ROCOR is their only real option, as no other jurisdiction will receive them without a proper canonical release (which Elpi wont give them) and the MP isn’t allowed any more parishes/monasteries in these United States.

          • I would have thought the Serbians or Antiochians, guess I did not realize they needed a canonical release from GOARCH 

            • Clergy, parishes, and monasteries all need a canonical release to go from one bishop to another. The current situation between Moscow and the Phanar, however, has allowed not a small number of clergy from the EP to simply up sticks and depart for greener and more fruitful pastures.
              If the monasteries do, hypothetically, take that route, they will probably find that Elpi will suspend or defrock all the hieromonks and hierodeacons. I doubt they care, though.

              • When they jump ship, everyone will see Elpi’s true colors in plain daylight. He may show that canned smile in every photo, but don’t be fooled for a minute.

                • Mikhail,
                  Your comment brought to mind the Wisdom of Sirach.

                  If thou be for his profit, he will use thee: but if thou have nothing, he will forsake thee.  If thou have any thing, he will live with thee: yea, he will make thee bare, and will not be sorry for it.  If he have need of thee, he will deceive thee, and smile upon thee, and put thee in hope; he will speak thee fair, and say, What wantest thou?…until he have drawn thee dry twice or thrice, and at the last he will laugh thee to scorn. Afterward, when he seeth thee, he will forsake thee, and shake his head at thee.

  26. I do not care about Mr Arkhondonis. He is ridiculous.

  27. “The Cypriot Orthodox Church’s top decision-making body on Wednesday backed the Archbishop’s move to effectively recognize the new Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s independence, overturning an earlier position of neutrality on the thorny issue.”

    • Does this mean the Cyprus Holy Synod no longer exists?

      • George Michalopulos says

        No. Only that it is dysfunctional.

        Look at it this way: three Greek-dominated churches (Athens, Africa, Cyprus) couldn’t get their act together and cleanly recognize the schismatic sect in Ukraine. It’s the peak of halfassedness.


        • Solitary Priest says

          Nor does the OCA recognize said sect. It is bad enough that they maintain communion with the EP. I’m not anti-Greek, nor anti-Ukrainian. I’m anti the EP as she is today. Anybody ever think that Moscow may be having second thoughts about OCA autocephaly? Otherwise, they would require ROCOR to commemorate the OCA Metropolitan, at least those parishes on OCA territory.
                I’m done arguing with apologists of the EP Ukrainian gambit. One EP priest who sometimes posts here said that Bartholomew is finally putting his foot down as far as the Russian church is concerned. What has really happened is that the church in Russia is no longer a slave to a Godless regime. One wonders why the EP expressed no concern over the Ukrainians when that country was under the Soviet heel? Or why Metropolitan Onufry was recognized as the legitimate head of the Ukrainian Orthodox church by the same patriarchate until a few years ago? I guess when you are “first above equals”, you can change the rules as you see fit.

          • ‘I guess when you are “first above equals”,
            you can change the rules as you see fit.’
            ” ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can
            make words mean so many different things.’ ”
            ‘The question is,’ said [Bartholomew], ‘which is to be master — that’s all.’
            [with apologies to Lewis Carroll]

        • George, if even a few of those seven Cypriot bishops went into schism with the Church of Cyprus and formed their own Holy Synod, then all hell will break loose.  The EP would be forced to break communion with anyone that recognizes a “schismatic” Church of Cyprus.  That would probably be Russia. Then all the other churches would have to chose between staying in communion with Russia or with Constantinople.  If that happens, then we might really start seeing divisions within Orthodoxy and on a global scale.  Lord have mercy!

  28. Oh dear:  “Archbishop of Cyprus threatens stalwart bishops
    with defrocking, possible excommunication”
    “Reviewing what caused him to recognize Epiphany Dumenko and his schismatic structure, Abp. Chrysostom repeated his story that when he visited Constantinople in March, he suddenly learned previously unknown information that refutes the view held in common between all Orthodox Churches for the past 330 years, that the Kiev Metropolis was transferred to the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church in 1686, reports Romfea.”
    What this ‘previously unknown information’ is,
    I have been unable to ascertain.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Someone should tell him to stop talking.

    • Link to talk (subtitled) by the Metropolitan of Morphou on the situation in Ukraine and more. This website has very good videos of the Metropolitan talking about his experiences with Saints Porphyrios, Paisios and Iacovos and holy people in Cyprus.

    • …the Synod proved to be split 10 to 7.
      Now that’s consensus!
       Asked what will happen now, given that several hierarchs strongly disagree with recognition of the OCU, the Archbishop said: “They don’t have a say in it. All they can [typo?] is that they won’t concelebrate with me… If I invite them to concelebrate the Divine Liturgy with me, they cannot refuse to do so. When I invite them, the only reason they could not come is if they get sick.
      Something tells me the rate of illness among the Cypriot episcopate on feast days will be  around 41%. 
      The punishments [for not concelebrating] provided for range from reprimanding to defrocking. We can’t just all do whatever we want in the Church of Cyprus (Unless, apparently, you’re the chief hierarch).
      Raw power is the inevitable resort of a leader who has lost all Christ-like  authority. 

      • ” ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can
        make words mean so many different things.’ ”
        “‘The question is,’ said [Chrysostomos], ‘which is to be master — that’s all.’ ”
        [with apologies to Lewis Carroll]

  29. “The Patriarchate of Constantinople and the RCC are approaching a common goal
    of full Eucharistic communion, Pope Francis said.”–glave-fanara-veryu-chto-shagaja-vmeste-pridem-k-jedinstvu-v-jevkharistii
    What does Bart say, I wonder?

    • Gail Sheppard says

      What does Bart say? He’ll say whatever Francis tells him to say. Francis signaled it was “go time” when he gave him the relics of St. Peter.

      It looks like what we began reporting in the 2014-2016 timeframe is coming closer to fruition. I hate to say “I told you so” to our readers, because this would be the one time we would have loved to be wrong.

      If we have been critical of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, this is why. Let’s face it. Bartholomew left the Church when he entered Ukraine. Perhaps NOW the Church will acknowledge there was a schism and take the necessary steps to protect those who might unwittingly go with him.

      It’s weird, because to end the Great Schism of 1054, he is creating an even bigger one. The larger part of the Church won’t follow him to Rome, including some of the bishops who foolishly recognized the OCU. Like Elvis, Bart has “left the building.”

      It’s time the bishops recognize it and call a Council to deal with it.

      Head of Phanar takes part in an ecumenical prayer service in Rome

      The head of the Patriarchate of Constantinople prayed together with representatives of the Roman Catholic Church during an ecumenical prayer service in Rome.

      On October 19, 2020, in the Roman Catholic Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere, an Ecumenical prayer was held in the presence of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who spoke appropriately, reports

      The video and photographs posted on the website show that the head of the Phanar stands in the altar of the temple on a special dais but without liturgical vestments.

      However, it was Patriarch Bartholomew who began the prayer service, exclaiming “In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,” and at the end, together with the Catholic clergy and the laity present, he read the prayer “Our Father” and ended the prayer service with an exclamation in Greek: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all.”

  30. Nate Trost says

    Four weeks on from Election Day, time to check in on things:
    1. AZ/GA/MI/NV/PA/WI have all certified their elections. Biden won the states. Courts are not going to overturn these certifications.
    2. Trump’s political operation has reportedly fundraised more than $170 million since Election Day. Most of that money is going off to PAC-land, I’m sure to be put to use hosting expensive political events at Trump properties. But $3 million of it was set on fire to do a limited Wisconsin recount that resulted in Biden increasing his margin by 87 votes. Money well spent!
    3. The Trump related legal campaigns have gone precisely nowhere, as expected. The only real surprise to the legal world wasn’t at the outcomes, but that the entire affair ended up being even more incompetent and poorly run than anticipated.
    4. Despite ample warnings that people who put their faith in Rudy Guiliani and Sidney Powell were going to look really foolish, people put their faith in them. And subsequently look really foolish.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      This is all conjecture on your part. Putting voter fraud aside for the moment, let’s look at the data points that support Trump won:

      1. Trump received 11 million more votes than he did in 2016
      2. Trump received the highest share of the minority votes than any other Republican
      3. Trump saw a 50% increase in the black vote
      3. Trump increase his share of the Hispanic vote 35%
      4. Trump won the “triple crown”: Florida, Ohio and Iowa
      5. Biden appeared to win by the slimmest majority in history (+4%)
      6. The GOP won every uncontested seat
      7. Trump destroyed Biden in things like voter registration, votes in primaries, enthusiasm, social media, TV ratings, Internet searches, number of donors, betting habits, and voter turnout in rallies

      These metrics have been used in the past to determine who wins the White House.

      Who YOU think won, what YOU think the courts are going to do, what YOU think will be done with the fundraising funds, where YOU think the legal campaigns have gone, or who YOU think is going to look foolish is neither here nor there.

      • George Michalopulos says


         Trump got the most votes of any incumbent, actually raising his share of the vote (something neither Reagan, Bush 43 nor Obama did).

        Of the twenty bellweather counties that always predict the winner, Trump got 19 of them.

        No Democrat can win a presidential election with less than 90% of the black vote.  Obama got 96% and he won.  Hillary got 92% and she lost. 

        a little bit more about the black vote:  Bush 43 got 8% in 2000 and 11% in 2004 (16% in Ohio that year). Trump got 8% of the black vote in 2016.

        No Democrat has won election without carrying Missouri.  Now that’s a reliably Red state but that’s a story for another day.

        And now, it’s proven that they found an internet connection for the Dominion voting machines.

        Have to say something about fake news: we were incessantly told that Trump was a drag/anchor/albatross around the collective neck of the GOP. In reality, the Dems were wiped out down-ballot. If it weren’t for cheating, John James would have won the Senate seat in Michigan and the Loeffler and Perdue won the two Georgia seats. For a grand total of 53 GOP Senators.

        More on the fake news: we were told by Chris “Cuckold” Stirewalt in his homespun, folksy way, that Pelosi would have an extra 10-15 House Democrats. In reality, the GOP picked up at least 12 seats, even a relative neophyte like Nicole Malliotakis was able to unseat a moderate Dem (Max Rosen) in a heavily Democrat NYC district.

        Even the mainstream media is admitting that Trump got 74 million votes. When all is said and done, I am absolutely certain he got well north of 80 million.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          I love a man with hard, cold facts!

        • Nate Trost says

          I post a mixture of facts and informed opinions shaped by both those facts and the analysis of election and legal experts. State certifications? Facts. Courts not going to overturn them? Informed opinion. Wisconsin recount results? Fact. Amount of money flowing into Trump political coffers and the fine print on the fundraising emails and texts? Facts. How it will be spent? Informed (snarky) opinion!
          The fact is, Trump did get 74.1 million votes. But the fact also is, Biden got 81 million votes. While the popular vote does not determine who wins the Electoral College, the mechanics make losing the popular vote by more than 4% and winning the Electoral College unlikely. Biden currently has 51.4% of the vote, the last time a challenger beat that vote share versus an incumbent was FDR back in 1932! And 2020 is not the exception, because the fact is, Trump lost five states that he won in 2020, resulting in Biden scoring 306 Electoral College votes.
          The Georgia election results were audited against paper trail receipts. Nobody won or lost fraudulently. On the order of 95% of the votes across the entire US had some kind of paper trail. Your notion that Trump actually got upwards of 80 million votes is not based in fact. It is fantasy.
          “No Democrat has won election without carrying Missouri?” Obama lost it twice! You are simultaneously getting the facts of recent history wrong (2012 was less than a decade ago), but also demonstrating that random election factoids have no real relevance over an extended period of time due to changes in the nation. Take a look at how alien the 1976 EC map looks though a 2020 lens!
          “These metrics have been used in the past to determine who wins the White House.” I’m sorry, the fact is the metric used to determine who wins the White House is the number of Electoral College votes you get. Your data points, with full context, do not do anything to suggest Trump won the election. I can expand on this in more detail if you like.
          At some point maybe George Michalopulos will have an epiphany that all those ‘hey what about this evidence?’ stories from right-wing rags that promise lurid tales of fraud never actually result in anything that stands up to scrutiny in a court of law.
          What’s your favorite howler in the Kraken lawsuits? I have a hard time deciding between allegations of fraud in a county that doesn’t exist, a plaintiff who didn’t know about being or consent to being a plaintiff, complaining that election officials in one state weren’t listening to the legislature of a different state, but it’s an embarrassment of riches really.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Nate, first of all, I must apologize for a mistake I made re Missouri: you are right in that it has trended Red now for at least three election cycles. However, traditionally, this was the rule of electoral thumb: no Republican won the Presidency without Ohio while no Democrat won it without Missouri.

            You claim that Biden got 81.4 million votes. That sir, is what is in dispute. What is not in dispute (even by the MSM) is that Trump got 74 million votes, 11 million more than he got in 2016 and as Gail and I have posted incessantly, Trump’s share of the electorate broke all previous precedents. To my mind, the very fact that he doubled his share of the black vote proves that Biden’s “overage” was manufactured out of whole cloth.

            Dirty little secret of presidential politics based on post-1980 demographic makeup of the electorate: as long as the GOP candidate holds on to 60% of the white vote, all he needs are negligible amount of the black, Hispanic and Jewish vote. The fact that Trump did this –while increasing his share of these three groups–makes it highly unlikely that Biden outperformed him either in the popular vote nor in the Electoral College.

            This can’t be stressed enough: Bush 43 got 8% of the black vote in 2000 and he won. Trump got 8% of the black vote in 2016. And he won. This year, he got 15% of the black vote. (He doubled his share of the black female vote from 4% to 8%).

            Until the Hispanic demographic overtakes the black population, no Democrat candidate can hope to win if he gets less than 90% of the black vote.

            Also, Trump got the overwhelming majority of the Orthodox Jewish vote, which is the fastest-growing Jewish cohort.

            • Perhaps this should read: What is not in dispute (even by the MSM)
              is that Trump got at least 74 million votes…”

            • Nate Trost says

              The flaw with your ‘doubling the Black vote’ thesis is roughly this: it’s like you are proclaiming it’s impossible for you to starve to death because you’ve increased your food intake by 100%. But that 100% increase was upping your daily food intake from 2 potato chips to 4.
              Look at the numbers. From Pew data, Black voter turnout had a historic drop in 2016, and totaled 16.4 million votes. Also from Pew data, Trump got 6% of the Black vote in 2016, which amounts to just under 1 million votes. But we’ll go with your 8%, which is 1.3 million votes.
              We won’t have more accurate 2020 demographic data (as opposed to weighted exit poll estimates) for a while, but for the sake of discussion we’ll do two things:
              1. Increase Black turnout by 15% over 2016
              2. Put Trump’s share of the Black vote at 15%, and subtract from Biden’s share (reducing to 82%)
              That would mean Trump would theoretically get 2.8 million Black votes in 2020. An increase of around 1.5 million from 2016. But due to the increased turnout, Biden would also an increase of around 0.9 million more votes than Clinton in 2016, even with Trump’s ‘doubled’ vote.
              In absolute number terms, a net gain of around 600,000 in the context of 158,000,000 total votes is not really that much. And frankly, I think the generous 15% estimate is probably way high.
              At any rate, if you’re looking for who to blame on Trump losing MI/PA/WI after winning them in 2016, current analysis looks like you’re going to have to mostly blame white voters.
              You cannot manufacture millions of votes nationally out of thin air. We’ve covered this. Remember when Trump claimed that he really won the popular vote in 2016 and there were millions of fraudulent votes and as President chartered a commission to look into it? And they disbanded without finding anything? Because it is literally impossible to hide that level of attempted fraud from the most rudimentary of audits.
              We have near-final numbers now, at 51.4% vote share x 66.2% turnout = 34.02% of the Voting Eligible Population. Biden is the first presidential candidate to beat ‘did not vote’ in the Voting Eligible Population since 1964. For historical context, Nixon in 1972 was 33.5% (55.1% turnout), Reagan in 1984 was 31.3% (53.3% turnout), and Obama in 2008 was 30.8% (57.1% turnout). That turnout figure is how Biden got to 81.2 million votes.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Nate, you can file this one under “Nothing to see here, move along”:
      Just curious, what exactly do you consider to be “evidence”?  

    • It ain’t over till the fat lady sings.
      And she hasn’t.

    • The Wisconsin thing wasn’t done to get a recount but the mandatory audit for which Wisconsin law provides.  Wait for it.

      December 14th is the day to watch.  Electors gather in their respective states to vote that day and we will know how they chose to do so and if the states’ respective legislatures will appoint more than one set of electors.

      As we’ve discussed before, there are several points that need to be continually made because the vermin are idiots and don’t care about the truth:

      Early on, court rejections mean absolutely nothing other than that the case goes to the next level on appeal.  Lower level courts would never dare touch this new third rail (election fraud) with a ten foot pole.  They leave it up to appellate courts to make history.  An appellate court can overrule the trial court and remand the case for trial on the facts (which normally goes to a jury).  Or, it can find some other expedited way to proceed.  But it is only the decision of the highest appellate court that really matters.

      Trump gets more than one bite at each apple and the MSM is blacking out most all reporting, except anti-Trump, from these states.  Turley, for instance, relies on foreign press with boots on the ground for some of his sourcing.  It could be a court that switches back enough votes to Trump to hand him the election.  It could be a court that invalidates enough ballots for Biden that hands Trump the election.  It could be a court that invalidates enough ballots and enjoins final certification of results which denies Biden an electoral majority.  It could be a legislature which finds such pervasive fraud on the basis of ongoing hearings that it awards its electors to Trump OR sends its own set of electors along with any appointed by automatic operation of the law (some legislatures delegated to this or that other official body).  Pence gets to choose which electors to accept, if any, or declare them all invalid.

      In all the mishmash of the last paragraph, Trump is going to find a path to re-election.  There’s just too much stuff that can go right.  And regardless of the bs being broadcast from the MSM, the impressions which the factual information and eyewitness testimony is making in these swing state capitals is that of horrified disgust at the level of corruption on flagrant display.  And that will move Republican legislators who want to keep their jobs and want a future for their party.  They already know they have none in a country run by AOC.  Can’t make the “moderate” lie stick anymore.

      The statistical evidence is so inarguable that even liberal pollsters are saying that there is something terribly wrong with the numbers coming out of these swing state cities.  Denial by the coastal elites has moved to the level of knowingly lying in the same vein as Baghdad Bob.

      Now, I know to a mathematical certainty that the election has been stolen.  Analysts who have studied the data coming out of these swing state cities agree that the vote dumps recorded have to be illegitimate.

      We’re past that.  Or to put it in liberal terms, the conspiracy theory that the election was not rigged and that the laws of physics ceased to operate magically on election night has been debunked.

      What does that make the deniers?

      Each one is a totalitarian, at the least – someone who would rule you, at their whim, with no right to do so.  They may be internet trolls, or neighbors, or spouses, etc.

      Undoubtedly, they are evil servants of the evil one.

      Of course, sometimes the dragon wins.  We shall see who is inaugurated on Jan. 20th.  I will continue to believe until at least the electors have met and voted that Trump will be elected, the paths being several.  However, in the event that the dragon does win, we are not entitled to lie about what has happened.  Many of us will say, “In the end, the coup d’etat succeeded.”  The one that started before his inauguration.  Because that will be the truth.  The question is not whether we can live with it.  The question is whether the usurpers can.  We have lived under Democratic Party domination since FDR – long before I was born.  But not since the Civil War has half the country believed it was occupied by illegitimate tyrants.  Democrats cease to be fellow citizens at some point and come to be seen as true enemies – “Charlie”.  That point may be on January 20th.

      Good luck herding those cats.

  31. Good facts, Nate. Another good one would be 6. Trump loyalists like AG Barr have come out to say there was no widespread fraud, along with any Repub leaders.. Even stalwart KellyAnne Conway (the lady of “alternative facts”) says the Biden-Harris ticket won. Facts are pesky things.

    • Barr didn’t say there was no fraud.
      He said he hadn’t seen evidence of fraud,
      which he wouldn’t because he turned away from it;
      just like Admiral Nelson at Copenhagen, who could say he saw no signal
      because he had put his telescope to his blind eye.