Big Trouble in Little Russia

Thanks to our friendly neighborhood globalists and their bought-and-paid-for agents in the Phanar district of Istanbul, the situation in Ukraine is spinning out of control. (Please forgive the allusion to the cheesy 1986 movie starring Kurt Russell, one of my favorite actors BTW, but the title seemed apropos, after all, Ukraine used to be called Little Russia.)

The good news is that the storm they have unleashed is exploding in their faces. The bad news is that it is threatening to cause a schism in Holy Orthodoxy.

Now don’t get me wrong, schism between Moscow and Istanbul was part of the original plan. However, the globalists overestimated the power and prestige of Patriarch Bartholomew. They actually thought that the Ecumenical Patriarchate could act with impunity and that all the other Orthodox churches would click their heels and fall into place. Oh sure, Moscow would kick and scream but it would be icing on the cake as far as the State Department was concerned. That was indeed the point.

In other words, schism was a good thing as long as it was the Russkies who were on the outside looking in.

Unfortunately, the opposite has happened. The other Orthodox churches are uniting because of what Bartholomew did but they are uniting against the Ecumenical Patriarchate, not behind it. Instead, they are uniting behind Moscow, or at the very least uniting in their opposition to the Phanar’s ecclesiastical arrogance.

Several churches have already weighed in on this matter. Recently the Churches of Serbia and Poland have issued their own strong declarations against the Ecumenical Patriarchate. (

What makes these two churches’ resolutions especially inflammatory is their insistence that none of their clerics can concelebrate the divine services with clerics under the omorphor of Constantinople. They aren’t even allowed to worship together in the same building. (This falls on the heels of Moscow removing its clerics from any joint meetings with the Roman Catholic Church as long as there are Constantinopolitan bishops in attendance.)

Perhaps even worse for the Phanar is that the abbots of most monasteries of Mount Athos are in an open rebellion to Bartholomew. As mentioned in the story linked above, they have issued proclamations that only Metropolitan Onuphry and the canonical Ukrainian church are to be commemorated during the litanies of their services. This is a huge step.

Why? Because any hopes that the schismatic Ukrainian sects (which have supposedly been normalized by Bartholomew) may have had regarding any possible return to normalcy have been dashed by this drastic move. It’s bad enough that other venerable Orthodox monastic centers such as Valaam, Optina, the Kiev Caves, etc, are resolutely against Bartholomew’s unilateral actions, it’s quite another when a predominantly Greek monastic center joins them.

It’s not hard to see how this is going to play out. But first, we must consider the broader, geopolitical picture: Putin has already told the European Union that under no circumstances will Ukraine be allowed to join NATO or the EU. For Putin (or any successor to him for that matter –even a liberal, pro-Western one), that would be a casus belli. This means that nukes would fly and now that President Trump has pulled the US out of the INF treaty, the threat that Central Europe can once again be a battleground has increased significantly. As far as the Europeans are concerned, it’s “no thanks; we’ll sit this one out”.

On the other hand, President Emmanuel Macron’s nonsensical declaration –that France and Germany will conjoin to create a new European army–is exposing him to be a man-child on the order of Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada. That he is actually talking about a new European “empire” to challenge the United States only furthers this view, casting even more doubt on his sanity. It’s certainly making even hardened Atlanticists cringe with discomfort.

Indeed, the sustainability of Ukraine as it is presently constituted should give the globalists pause. It is effectively bisected at present with the Lugansk and Donetsk regions in the east appending themselves to the Russian Federation. In other words, it’s long-term viability as it is presently constituted is an open question. (For more on this, please see the Vlog below.)

Consider this: as far as the Crimea is concerned, there’s no going back. For all the neoliberal moralists out there who will forever prevent their governments from recognizing the secession of the Crimea peninsula, it doesn’t matter. The globalist community’s protestations to the contrary, there is no higher morality when it comes to diplomacy. After all, the illegal, unrecognized bifurcation of Cyprus is a fait accompli that no one is challenging. And then there’s Kosovo. (Really, don’t get me started on that one.)

Curiously, the statement of the Polish Orthodox Church is worthy of a careful reading-between-the-lines. As mentioned in the article above, the relationship between the Orthodox churches of Russia and Poland has not been an easy one. Given the bad blood that has long existed between the Polish and Russian nations, this should not be surprising. And yet Metropolitan Sava of Warsaw and Poland immediately leaped to the defense of Moscow and in the strongest possible terms.

The question is “why”? It’s totally understandable why Serbia’s patriarch would issue such a pro-Russian declaration, given the positive relations between those two Slavic nations. But it’s very curious that both Poland and Serbia would act in such a concerted fashion. My gut tells me that the Polish nation still hasn’t accepted the forcible annexation of the eastern third of its nation by Stalin after WWII. From what I know about Ukraine, those who reside in the western part of that country are alienated culturally and religiously from the east.

Is Metropolitan Sava a stalking horse for Polish nationalists? Probably not but the possibility that he might be is an intriguing one. And given the reality of the Unia as an irritant in this entire mess (especially in the West), who says that it can’t be used for the purposes of Polish irredentism? Especially if the present Ukrainian state centered on Kiev continues to disintegrate?

Regardless, Bartholomew made a tense situation worse.

And for what? Reducing Ukraine to a stavropeghium of Constantinople because of some arcane (and very self-serving) ecclesiology is not going to fly. It’s certainly not going to please the Ukrainian schismatics who have their own “patriarch” in the person of Mikhail Denisenko. Aren’t they going to ask why not Denisenko? Hasn’t he had the anathema against him “lifted”? Admittedly, the ability of the Ecumenical Patriarch to lift a ban or an anathema against a bishop in another church is another question altogether.*

In any event, notwithstanding the blandishments of the American State Department, Bartholomew runs the very real risk of being left holding the bag. This wouldn’t be the first time that an American ally has been left out to dry. The list is a long one: South Vietnam in 1975, France (after Dien Ben Phu), Britain, France, and Israel (Suez Crisis), Taiwan, the Shah of Iran, etc. Given the fact that the Poroshenko government is doing everything within its power to restrict freedom of religion he is certainly giving the lie to America’s stated principles of “freedom of religion”. Eventually, even Atlanticists will have to admit that the Maidan regime is a neo-fascist one. After the great democratic crusade that crashed and burned in Iraq, it’s going to be particularly hard to sell Ukrainian “democracy” to the American millennials who are going to have to fight and die in that poor, benighted and overwhelmingly corrupt country.

As for the hypocrisy involved, please take the time to listen to my take on Austin Bay’s nonsensical piece on Russian “perfidy”. (You can read Austin’s essay as it’s hyperlinked below.) As always, your comments are requested and appreciated.


*According to the canonical understanding as formulated in the Council of Sardica (AD 344), the Bishop of Rome can only agree to hear an appeal from a cleric or bishop from another church. If he agrees or feels that the case has merit, then a new council must be convened, with at least three bishops from adjacent (or the nearest possible) dioceses acting as judges. Regardless, whatever that council decides is permanent with no further right of appeal. (Since the Great Schism of 1054, this papal prerogative has devolved onto the Patriarch of Constantinople.)


  1. If I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a hundred times. I am looking for to the day when the Patriarch of Istanbul is deposed.

  2. Francis Frost says


    Your words betray you! You declare that the Abbotts of the monasteries on Mt. Athos have declared that “only Onuphry” may be commemorated in their services.

    That, George is absurd. The clergy who serve on the Holy Mountain are presbyters. According to liturgical practice, they only commemorate their own bishop during the divine Services, not foreign bishops! No canonical clergyman on Mt. Athos has ever commemorated any bishop other than the Ecumenical Patriarch, except for the Patriarch himself if he happens to serve there. If you don’t even know that, how can you possibly expect us to listen to the rest of your argument?

    Really, you are embarrassing yourself.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      George isn’t the only one who is saying that “the abbots of most monasteries of Mount Athos are in an open rebellion to Bartholomew.”

      * * *
      “Judging by everything, Patriarch Bartholomew must listen to a lot more criticism. ‘I think the Athos monks especially weaken the position of Bartholomew within the Constantinople patriarchate, much more than individual metropolitans. On the contrary, the position monks of Athos strengthens the position of the Moscow patriarchate in the Orthodox world,’ concludes religious studies expert Roman Lunkin, the director of the Center for the Study of Problems of Religion and Society of the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

      For Athos monks, as for many Orthodox, Patriarch Bartholomew ‘personifies modernism in the Orthodox world,’ which is intolerable for them. And for believers, Athos is one of the chief symbols of Orthodox spirituality

      Formally, the Holy Mountain is subordinate to Constantinople, although its inhabitants have several times openly criticized Bartholomew for violation of the purity of the faith. And their attitude on the Ukrainian question is well known.

      ‘We on the Holy Mount Athos are very sad because of the Ukrainian schism, which Filaret made. . . . If a person is outside the church, no matter how he tries he cannot achieve holiness. Those who have gone into schism must understand that they are outside the bosom of the church,’ said the abbot of the Vatoped monastery, Archimandrite Ephraim.

      It is quite likely that Athos monks condemn the uncanonical actions of Patriarch Bartholomew with regard to Ukraine. ‘The whole Orthodox world awaits what is now being discussed,’ political scientist Arkady Maler argues. ‘Athos has always been famous for being principled in the matter of observing the canons,’ the expert notes.

      And Constantinople puts pressure on monasteries that are located on its territory. The political scientist does not rule out that in the struggle for purity of the faith and friendship with Patriarch Bartholomew, some representatives of Athos monasticism will choose the latter.

      ‘We must understand that Athos is 20 independent monasteries and each represents a different world. If one follows the logic of the history of Athos, it is quite likely that they will cut off fellowship with Constantinople,’ Maler thinks.

      As an example he cited the brotherhood of the Esfigmen cloister, which fifty years ago revolted against the ecumenical patriarch because he met with the Roman pope. Now the monastery does not have canonical fellowship with its neighbors on the Holy Mount and it does not commemorate the ecumenical patriarch.

      In the event of the declaration of “war” by Constantinople, the Athos monasteries might either transfer into the jurisdiction of one or another local Orthodox church or scatter in various ways. ‘There is a Serbian monastery, a Bulgarian, and even a Russian monastery there,’ Maler recalls. . .”

      • Alitheia1875 says

        Many of the monasteries on the Holy Mountain at one time refused to commemorate Patriarch Athenagoras because of ecumenical tendencies, not just Esphigmeniou.

        • Athos has been a soviet spy base since 1839

          • Bro 1839.? The Soviets came into power in November ( October by old calander) 1917. No communist power before that date. And in Soviet times the Russikom on Athos was morobund with very few new monks from Russia and strictly controlled by Greece, as also from other Slav countries.

            In 1839 Russia,or more exactly, the Tsarist empire, was ruled by the strict autocrat, Nicholas I.
            While Russia may have wanted to extend it’s influence by adding monks and prestige to the Russikom, (St Panteleimon monastery) the only evidence of Russian troops was in 1913 when sent to remove the. ‘Name Glorifiers ‘, a group claiming that the actual name of Christ, as a word, was Divine intrinsically. , for which Rasputin and Tsar had some support, at least in treating these people less harshly.

          • Monk James Silver says

            There was such a tg as a ‘soviet spy base’ in 1839? Eighty years before the USSR came into existence?!

          • Is nothing sacred? Why can’t we leave Holy Mount Athos alone? It is the best Orthodoxy has and yet jokers who are at least interested enough to follow an Orthodox blog, and maybe Orthodox themselves, clown the Holy Mountain. More Holy than Jerusalem, without which this entire planet would have fallen into complete collapse and calamity, without her prayers.

            Would we even recognize Christ today? Or crucify him a second time, yet again. At best, I’m sure, jailed or institutionalized.

            I imagine all a bad joke since there were no Soviets in 1839.

      • Joseph Lipper says

        Gail, the quote from Abbot Ephraim of Vatopedi is from March 2015 when Metropolitan Onuphrey visited Vatopedi.

        The quote from the article you reference is used in a way that is embarrassingly out of context as Metropolitan Onuphrey has since entered schism and broken communion with Vatopedi’s bishop, abbot, and monks.

        The quote is used to falsely suggest that Vatopedi’s abbot is now in “open rebellion” against Patriarch Bartholomew. If that were really true, don’t you think there would be much more recent quotes from him available? Abbot Ephraim was just visiting in the U.S. last month. It’s not like he’s hiding under a rock.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          Joseph, these are not MY quotes and those who have been paying attention know that recent events have been brewing for years so it would make sense they would have spoken out about this before. Is it your contention they have changed their minds? If so, it would be much appreciated if you would provide some support for your POV.

          MY point, as I stated, is there is evidence to support George’s contention that the monks are not thrilled with the EP decision to grant autocephaly to a group of schismatics in Ukraine and this is well documented. If you looked hard enough to find *when* these statements were made (even *I* didn’t do that) you cannot possibly come to a different conclusion. – Speaking of Elder Ephraim, is it your contention that he SUPPORTS the EP’s decision? What would make you think that?

          • In the event of the declaration of “war” by Constantinople, the Athos monasteries might either transfer into the jurisdiction of one or another local Orthodox church or scatter in various ways.

            Someone can correct me here, but I don’t think it is the Athonite way to jump jurisdictions. Faithful monks grasp the nature of the Church’s unity (regardless of jurisdiction) and merely keep the Faith, often by refusing to commemorate those who by their own actions place themselves outside her boundaries.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              True. They just exist. I don’t even think of them as under anyone. After all this, it’s possible that the organization of the Church will organically change.

          • Francis Frost says

            Dear Ms. Sheppard:

            You seem to have missed my point entirely. George declared that the monastics on the Holy Mountain declared that ”only Onuphry” would be commemorated during the services in their monasteries. That contention is absurd. During the divine services, the priests commemorate their own primate, and then their diocesan bishop. When a diocesan bishop celebrates the Liturgy he commemorate his Primate and his fellow bishops. It is only when the primate, himself, celebrates the Liturgy, that he commemorates the primates of the other autocephalous churches. Metropolitan Onuphry is the head of an autonomous church, not an autocephalous church. Therefore, he is never commemorated by any clergy but those of his own jurisdiction. There is no liturgical situation in which the monastics of the Holy Mountain would ever commemorate Onuphry or any other Ukrainian bishop. Therefore, George’s argument is absurd on its face. End of story.

            Sadly there is a whole lot of disinformation being batted about, mostly by the Sretensky Propaganda Machine, also known as The SPM so badly misrepresented the letters that Metropolitan Anastasios of Albania sent to Patriarch Kirill, that Metropolitan Anastasios took the unusual measure of publishing those letters in full on the internet. Your readers can find those letters on the Byztex web-site.

            The SMP has routinely mis-represented the position of the Holy Synod of the Georgian Orthodox Patriarchate and his All Holiness Patriarch- Catholicos Ilya II. The orthochristian web-site declared that Patriarch Ilya supported the Russian position in Ukraine. That is clearly NOT true. Even reading the body of the orthochristian web-site’s own article demonstrates that. Here is the real story.

            After the 2008 invasion fo Georgia, in order to decrease tensions, the Georgian Orthodox Patriarchate sent a delegation of three bishops to Moscow with an offer to provide the invading Russian clergy with a canonical fig leaf to cover their crimes; by giving the Russian clergy in the occupied Georgian dioceses the status of a metochion (podvorie). The Russians scoffed at that offer and berated the Georgians for being “ungrateful for all we have done for you”. We had a first hand account of that visit from one the the members of the delegation, Meupe Antony, who is a close friend of our family.

            Of course, now that the Russians want to prosecute the Ecumenical Patriarch for encroaching on ”their territory” in Ukraine; they find themselves in a canonical predicament. They are self condemned by the very canons they want to cite against the Ecumenical Patriarch and they know it . In the past year, Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev has traveled to Tbilisi three times, asking for the Georgian Patriarchate to renew its offer to grant the fig leaf metochion status to the invaders of the Georgian territory. Three times Metropolitan Hilarion has been rebuffed.

            At last spring’s session of the Holy Synod, letters from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Russian Patriarch Kirill and Metropolitan Onuphry were read. After review of these letters, the Georgian bishops decided to “take no action on the matter of the church in Ukraine”. In the press release from the Holy Synod, His All Holiness Patriarch Ilya II stated his personal opinion that “the question of the Church in Ukraine should be settled by the Ukrainians without outside interference and in accordance with the Sacred Canons”. In the same press release, Metropolitan Petre of Chkondidi expressed his opinion that “the Ukrainians should have their own autocephalous church”. Those statements are not casual, nor are they contradictory.

            The real message, therefore, is that if the Russians want to defend their interests by citing the Sacred Canons; then the Russians must actually start observing those same Canons by ending their criminal seizure and occupation of the Georgian Orthodox dioceses of Tskhum-Pitchvinta and Tskhinvali – Nikozi.

            Until the Russians repent of their invasion of the sacred inheritance of the Most Holy Theotokos; until they repent of the mass murder of innocent civilians and clergy, until they repent of the desecration and burning of God’s own house and altar in Nikozi; the Moscow Patriarchate and the Putin regime will remain accursed of God like Cain of old. All of Mr. Putin’s adventures will backfire and Russia will face its own demise as St. Seraphim of Sarov prophesied in 1811.

            You can spin the story however you want; but God is not mocked. “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay says the LORD your God.” This warning is given to us three times in the holy scriptures, once in the Old Testament and twice in the New.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              I see your point, Francis, but I wasn’t speaking to everything George said only that there is evidence that Mount Athos is not pleased with the EP actions. I will look at the byztx website. Thank you.

              One of the problems I see with your argument is you seem to be looking at the present situation in light of the past and you’re confusing the Russian government with the Russian Church. Just because we’re saying the canons forbid the EP from encroaching on Russian territory does NOT mean we’re saying Russia, particularly the Russian government, was justified in anything they’ve done in the past or even the present. That Russia will DEFEND the Church is a blessing because if the MP loses the 12,000+ churches and 250+ monasteries in Ukraine, they will not have the numbers to prevent something like Crete. Like it or not, those of us who do NOT want to expand the word Church to mean any Christian body so the EP can unite us with the RC, NEED Russia to protect the MP’s parishes and monasteries in Ukraine.

              Which brings up another point: people and governments change. Russia before the communists was not like it was during the Soviet Union and Russia immediately after the Soviet Union is not like it is today and yet we (the United States) are operating like we’re still in the Cold War. Russia has been demonized by the media which tells me there is a greater force at work here. Certainly, they are a country committed to their own interests, as are we. Like Russia, a case could be made that the United States is all sorts of places we shouldn’t be. If we accept that it is fine to exert our influence over the Middle East and invade Iraq (what a failed experiment THAT was), what right do we have to judge Russia for going into Georga or Crimea? At least in their case, they invaded places in their own backyard where there was a real threat. That’s what governments do. You have a problem with this and in many cases, so do I. We’re basically in agreement on this.

              But this is the Church we’re talking about; not the Russian government. The canons forbid the EP from going into another’s territory and Ukraine IS Russia’s territory or they wouldn’t have all those parishes and monasteries. What, if any, presence does the EP have in Ukraine? His idea that he speaks for all of us and has jurisdiction over Ukraine and the United States and who knows where else is delusional. I seriously worry he is in a decline due to his age. He is clearly being manipulated. Whatever the reasons, his actions are causing division and very well may spark a war. Frankly, that’s the only thing on the table when it comes to this discussion.

              • I think K it pretty obvious re Mount Athos that what they meant was if they ever had to have commemoration of head of Ukrainian church, if say a Ukrainian bishop celebrated there, for them as for any Orthodox who is not a protestant in church help yrself order,then the head of church commemorated would be Ounouphrey. End of. Regarding Ukraine, yes Moscow not perfect but I have explained modern history re Church many times on this blog. And Ukrainian people deserves own church as Greeks ( why no Patriarch in Athens, Church founded by St Paul, answer that one?) but not like this and not to do Russian church down As for Crimea, never part of Ukraine but taken by russians from Turks in late 18c as and you say with Nato troops an hour away from St Petersburg and with wish to make Ukraine an enemy of Russia, and missle system surrounding it, who aggresses who? And no Russia not perfect but……..
                The British establishment have been hating Russia for centuries and invaded. Crimea in mid 19c with turks and French and British fleet bombarded Pireaus harbour threatening greek support of Russia. Why!? To stop Russian influence in protection of Christians in ottoman empire, with final result what happened to Armenians. And let we be forgetting, same USA uk ignorance led to Iraq and demise of Christianity there. They waiting to do same with Egypt.

  3. John Sakelaris says

    This thread might be the best place to also discuss the latest story. There is talk of war in the media tonight as the result of Russia firing upon and seizing Ukrainian navy ships.

    The dramatic headlines in Britain’s Mirror paper scream: “Ukraine to propose ‘martial law’ as it edges closer to war with Russia” and “Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council (NSDC) met after Russian warships fired on the country’s Navy vessels in the Black Sea.”

    A UN Security Council meeting is set for tomorrow. I must say that the conflicting claims about what happened today do remind me of the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin situation.

    Is this the start of a major war, or will this blow over?

    • Very disturbing indeed. I just read an article with this statement:

      Last month, Orthodox Christian Patriarch Bartholomew I, leader of the Constantinople Patriarchate and “first among equals” leader of all Orthodox Christian churches and of the world’s 300 million Orthodox Christians, announced that the Orthodox Christian Church of Ukraine in Kiev is now independent of the Orthodox Christian Church of Moscow. This move has infuriated Russia, causing them to threaten retaliation. Sunday’s naval crisis may be one step in that retaliation.

      Leader of all Orthodox Christian Churches and the world’s 300 million Orthodox Christians?!? Ha!

      It is very disturbing that the majority of American news media outlets are similar to the old Soviet Union Pravda.

  4. “their insistence that none of their clerics can concelebrate the divine services with clerics under the omorphor of Constantinople.” For the Serbs, at least, the ban on service is with the Ukrainian schismatics, not all those under Constantinople. In other words, our Serbian priests and bishops in the US can still concelebrate with priests and bishops in the GOA.

    • Thank you for pointing this out! In my town, we have a 90% convert Serbian parish, a Greek parish, and the rest are under ROCOR in one way or another. I was saddened when I saw the (thankfully misstated) news that we can’t concelebrate, as it would have put a huge damper on any kind of pan-Orthodox effort with the Greek parish in town.

      This entire business with involving the laity at all is deeply frustrating; it makes me feel like we were maybe creeping forward with some degree of unity in the US and now we have yet another roadblock even on the local level. This is the devil sowing his seeds, and I suppose we just have to keep praying and maintain what fellowship we can within the boundaries placed by our hierarchs.

    • Alitheia1875 says

      If Constantinople is in communion with a schismatic group all who concelebrate with anyone under the omorphorion of Constantinope are themselves in communion with that schismatic group.

      • Joseph Lipper says

        What schismatic group are you refering to? The “Kievan Patriarchate” no longer exists. The former people of that group have since repented of that schism and are now under the protection of the Patriarch of Constantinople.

        • Monk James Silver says

          Apparently, Joseph Lipper thinks that the uncanonical actions of the Patriarch of Constantinople against the Russian Orthodox Church have corrected the self-inflicted schismatic status of the so-called ‘Ukrainian Autonomous Church’ and the ‘Kyiv Patriarchate’. I regret to write that this is not so.

          Now, instead of being two separate schismatic bodies, these two groups are being combined into a new schismatic entity by C-ple, which — by its ecclesially illegal moves — is now itself in schism from all the other Orthodox Christian churches in the world.

          This is not good. In fact, it is a serious sin against the divine gift of unity which is one of the anciently recognized signs of the Church as the Body and Bride of Christ: one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. In patristic terms, this unity is often typified by the seamless robe worn by our Lord Jesus Christ, stripped from Him on Golgotha and won in a crapshoot by a Roman soldier. No one going to win this latest round of gambling over the unity of The Church — we all will lose something here, some of us more and some of us less, but we all will lose.

          C-ple’s arrogance here is beyond words. May the Lord be merciful to them an to us all.

          • Joseph Lipper says

            Monk James, probably there needs to be another Ecumenical Council to ascertain whether or not the Patriarch of Constantinople committed uncanonical actions in Ukraine. The EP has written a clear defense of their actions as being entirely canonical, and I haven’t seen a solid rebuttal yet against the EP. Sure, people are crying “foul”, but there is nothing of real substance yet to back up their cries.

            Probably there needs to be a ruling from an Ecumenical Council to finalize this matter. Until that happens, it is arrogance to make judgement against the God-given authority of the Patriarch of Constantinople. Millions of Ukrainians who were lost in schism are now found to be in full communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The “Kievan Patriarchate” is now defunct. God is merciful.

        • Joseph,

          I can respect a point of view that asserts that..

          The “Kievan Patriarchate” no longer exists.

          But to say that…

          The former people of that group have since repented of that schism

          is ludicrous. They were simply ‘declared’ to be no longer in schism. If you think this is a good thing, fine. But no one repented of anything.

          • Joseph Lipper says

            Brian, the “Kievan Patriarchate” didn’t have to dissolve and submit to the Patriarch of Constantinople. They could have remained in their schism. The KP’s submission to the Ecumenical Patriarchate is a repentance of their schism.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              Actually, the EP submitted to the KP by vote of the parliament. This is yet another reason this mess is concerning. Since when does a secular government put the wheels of autocephaly in motion?

              • Joseph Lipper says

                Government putting the wheels of autocephaly in motion, isn’t that what St. Constantine did when he created Constantinople?

            • “probably there needs to be another Ecumenical Council to ascertain whether or not the Patriarch of Constantinople committed uncanonical actions in Ukraine”

              “Ecumenical Council” called by whom and where? In Serbia, mainland Greece or Russia?

              “The KP’s submission to the Ecumenical Patriarchate is a repentance of their schism.”

              Submission to EP purifies you of all sins. Indulgences next?

            • I note the penitential tone of this press release.

              “We are not in need of repentance. We thank the EP for his repenting of his decision to affirm the un-canonical decisions of the MP.”

              • Joseph Lipper says

                Brian, I couldn’t find that quote in the press release. Nonetheless, repentance goes both ways. A convert entering the church repents, but so does the bishop or priest who receives the convert. It’s a mutual repentance.

                The “Kievan Patriarchate” no longer exists. Those people are now under the protection of the Patriarch of Constantinople. They are now our Orthodox brothers and sisters in Christ.

                • Joseph Lipper. Luther was right about indulgences, neither pope of Rome nor bishop of Constantinople has power to remove sins without repentance and contrition.

                  • Joseph Lipper says

                    Martin Luther! So is Moscow starting a new Reformation?

                    • Joseph Lipper: “So is Moscow starting a new Reformation?”

                      No need. Orthodox Church never was in business of selling indulgences. Although some strays may try.

                      EP tried these things in Ukraine/Russia in 1920s and failed.

                • The “Kievan Patriarchate” no longer exists.

                  Apparently, no one has informed the Kievan Patriarchate of this fact, as the “holy synod” goes about its business apace “with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch of Kyiv and All Rus-Ukraine, Philaret.”

                  We should, of course, hope for the best, but it causes one to wonder what will happen when the terms of this ‘Tomos’ don’t meet with their expectations. They seem already in the process of making their own rules, not realizing that the EP will dictate the rules to them.

                  And if you wonder why I paraphrased in quotes, allow me to quote directly.

                  Satisfaction of the Appeal of the Patriarch of Kyiv and All Russia-Ukraine Filaret to the non-canonical actions taken by him from the Moscow Patriarchate, the recognition of invalid and invalid decisions about him of the Russian Orthodox Church concerning “deprivation of dignity” and “proclamation of anathemas” – is the restoration of the canonical order and justice Since 1992, our Church and, in person, Patriarch Filaret [was he not reinstated as a Metropolitan?] have considered that all these prohibitions are not legal and not valid, because they were imposed for political reasons, and not because of the violation of the dogmas and canons of the Church.

                  I’m sorry, Joseph, but one cannot maintain that “we were right all along” and have it be called repentance. They may, in fact, be called upon to repent, we shall see; but they obviously do not understand what is taking place as requiring any repentance on their part. And I am referring here to the leadership (the “holy synod”).

                  I would never be willing to say with any degree of confidence that ALL those under that schismatic leadership were/are outside the Church. Canons don’t create reality. They reflect it and protect it. Only God knows the ‘status’ of the victims of this schism.

                  And no, this is not what those of the former EOC did. They, in fact, had to renounce their former beliefs and practices (in other words repent). And they did so with the understanding that they had always been outside the Church and were now entering into her. Moreover , their ‘bishops’ renounced their titles and submitted themselves to the bishops of the Church. Some chose not to do so at the time Antioch received most of them. Some did so later through the OCA. Some never did (the EOC still exists as an independent group).

                  Their situation – that is, what was once the AEOM – cannot be called a healing of a schism (unless one chooses to include over 1000 years of multiple schisms that occurred well before any of them were born) since they were never in communion with the Church to begin with. What happened with them cannot rightly be compared to what is happening in the Ukraine.

          • Joseph Lipper says


            I believe our Bishop Tikhon well remembers the large group he received into the Orthodox faith from the non-canonical “Christ the Saviour Brotherhood”.

            Did those people repent of anything? Well, I believe they repented of their non-canonical status. They didn’t, however, rejoin with ROCOR from whence their spiritual leader, Abbot Herman, originated. They were received by Bishop Tikhon into the OCA, and at that time ROCOR was still in schism with the OCA.

            I believe Bishop Tikhon made the right decision in receiving them. Should he have sent them to ROCOR? I don’t think that would have been pastorally wise at the time. I would like to hear his thoughts on this.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              Joseph, are you talking about HOOM (Holy Order of MANS)? I think it was in 1988, AFTER denouncing the heresy involved with their religious movement, they became CSB and then later during the 1990s joined canonical jurisdictions. Not all of them came into the Church, though. CSB is still out there.

              When it comes to accepting irregularity, the OCA accepted Archbishop Lazar.

              Father Herman Podmoshensky was deposed by ROCOR. I wasn’t aware one had to repent because of the actions of one’s previous leader but whether you come in by baptism, chrismation or a confession of faith, the prayers cover it, right? I hope so because I wasn’t asked to repent because I was a former Episcopalian! If what you’re saying is true, a LOT of people may find themselves in the position of having to repent for following the EP.

              This schism business in this country needs to be resolved.

              • Michael Bauman says

                Gail, if I am not mistaken all converts are required to repent of their former delusions in one way or another. Some with more specificity than others.

            • Michael Bauman says

              Joseph Lipper: “Did those people repent of anything?”. Yes, they did. You have no idea. In any case they are not “those people” any more. If you are Orthodox I would think that after almost two decades they would surely be your brothers and sisters in Christ.

              Just for the record some we’re received by the OCA, some by the Patriarchal Bulgarians, those with a monastic calling we’re received by the Serbs. Received is the operative word. They are on good terms with ROCOR and as far as I know all of the other jurisdictions as well. Clergy and laity alike.

              • Joseph Lipper says

                Michael Bauman,

                Did those people of the former “Evangelical Orthodox Church” repent of anything? It’s a rhetorical question. Certainly they repented of their non-canonical status. They were received into the Orthodox Church as the “Antiochian Evangelical Orthodox Mission”. Yes, those people are now our Orthodox brothers and sisters in Christ.

                As for the millions of Orthodox Christians in Ukraine who were recently received into the Orthodox faith by Patriarch Bartholomew… are they not also our Orthodox brothers and sisters in Christ? Yes, I believe they are.

                • Michael Bauman says

                  Mr. Lipper, I had some interaction with a couple of upper eschalon members of AEOM in the early years. Those folks clearly had, overall I cannot say. As to the CSB however I have deep personal knowkedge of that–far more than anyone else here. So, I can say there was a deep personal repentance that went on as they entered into the Church. It was neither trivial nor easy. It is continuing as with us all. It went on for over two years before they we’re received by the various jurisdictions during which time they voluntarily and proactively stopped serving the sacraments.
                  Then a more intensely prior to their actual reception depending on what their bishops required. The CSB “priests” were received as lay people and were ordained on a case by case basis after their reception–at least in the Patriarchal Bulgarian Archdiocese. CSB existed for some years after that as a pan-Orthodox philanthropic and property management corporation. It still exists but in greatly truncated form.

                  In any case, they were received almost two decades ago. I am at a loss as to why such a relatively insignificant event in the life of the Church holds such outsized importance for some even now.

                  They are by every measure our brothers and sisters in Christ bearing our burdens as we bear theirs.

                  • Beryl Wells Hamilton says

                    Michael Bauman, I can confirm that back in his Berkeley days with CWLF, Father Jack Sparks definitely wore overalls! I think an old photo of him in overalls can be found somewhere on the internet. He was one of the finest, most humble leaders I ever knew.

              • Joseph Lipper says

                Michael Bauman,

                Did those people of the former “Evangelical Orthodox Church” repent of anything? It’s a rhetorical question. Of course they did. Certainly they repented of their non-canonical status. They were received into the Orthodox faith as the “Antiochian Evangelical Orthodox Mission”. Those people are now our Orthodox brothers and sisters in Christ.

                As for the millions in Ukraine who were recently received into the Orthodox faith by Patriarch Bartholomew… are they not our brothers and sister in Christ? The “Kievan Patriarchate” is dead. Those people are now under the protection of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Even if we disagree with the EP’s actions in Ukraine, how can anybody say that those people in Ukraine are not Orthodox?

            • Lipper: “I believe they repented of their non-canonical status. ”

              They did not nothing wrong to repent of. They were not apostates, traitors or schismatics. They were genuine truth seekers who were only learning the right ways. Comparing them to fascist schismatics is a grave insult.

              Lipper: “received into the Orthodox faith by Patriarch Bartholomew”

              Like Living Church/Renovationists in 1920s? No this what Pat. Bart offers is not Orthodox Faith.

  5. Saker has a lot of the lowdown on this:

    “Finally, let me address those who might think that Russia somehow over-reacted or should not have used force. First, let me remind you that we are talking about armed and military vessels, not fishing boats. Second, the Ukronazis have been daydreaming about bringing this bridge down even before it was built. So how where the Russians to know that these ships were not packed with explosives? Third, let me remind you that a few months ago the Ukronazis did send a few tiny military vessels under the bridge. That first time, they did ask for permission and even had a Russian pilot on board helping them to cross the narrow passage. Yet the regime in Kiev presented that a major ‘victory’ against the Moskal’s. This time around tried to sneak by without asking. If the Russians had left them pass, what do you think they would have done the next time?” –

    * * *

    “While both Russia and Ukraine have freedom of navigation in the Kerch Strait under a 2003 treaty, there are detailed technical rules on how vessels should pass through the narrow, complex waterway. Because all traffic in the area is controlled by the Crimean sea port of Kerch, every ship should contact the facility, report her route and destination, and receive permission to sail through the Strait.

    The three Ukrainian vessels – the ‘Berdiansk’, the ‘Nikopol’ and the ‘Yany Kapu’ – were ignoring “legal demands to stop” and “performing dangerous maneuvers,” and the Russian warships had to open fire to force them to stop, the FSB says. The ships were then seized and towed to the Crimean port of Kerch.

    Three Ukrainian sailors, injured in the altercation, were given medical assistance by Russian servicemen. Their lives are out of danger. Russia has launched a criminal investigation of the border breach.” –

    Saker, of course, realizes and comments on the fact that the West and Ukraine both knew how Russia would react to the above events before they were set in motion. Poroshenko is in single digit levels of public support with an election on the horizon next March. He is instigating the cause of martial law. Given the threats against the bridge mentioned above, the whole episode is calculated to force the Russians’ hand.

    This is completely contrary to the way this is reported in the West. All of the above facts are usually left out of Western stories because they do not fit the progressive ideological narrative. When Trump says that the press is the enemy of the people, he is not exaggerating in the least. It is literally true. If they do this regarding international events, they are much worse when it comes to domestic events.

    So odds – this makes war considerably more likely, despite the fact that, generally, Ukrainian soldiers are afraid of the Russians (see Saker story). One should not underestimate the effects of a full court press against Russia by the West. Sanctions, isolation, military provocation plus the religious conflict in the Ukraine against the MP churches there – this is all likely to be considered as a whole by the Putin regime.

    When you have such measures taken against you, you may calculate that your best bet lies in making an object lesson (as was done in Georgia). It would not be in the least surprising if Poroshenko is dumb enough to actually escalate tensions against Russian forces in the future.

    I do not think the Russians will put up with much more before explaining the facts of life in stark terms.

    • Beryl Wells Hamilton says

      According to the Ukrainian Navy, at 03:58 (all timestamps EET, Kyiv time) “Berdiansk” notified the coastal post of the Russian border guards service and the seaports of Kerch and Kavkaz of the intended passage via the Kerch Strait. “The information was conveyed, but no reply was given,” reads the report.

      Meanwhile at 04:07 the conversation of Kerch port’s operational manager with Russian Black Sea Fleet’s warship “Suzdalets” was recorded regarding finding the Ukrainian ships. At the same time, the port managers of Kerch and Kavkaz didn’t reply to calls of the Ukrainian Navy ships.

      The Navy reported at 09:04 that the Russian border guard ship “Don” rammed into “Yany Kapu,” damaging its main engine, hull, and guard railing. Russian Mangust and Sobol type boats, border guards ships Suzdalets and Don participated in the attack.

      • Beryl Wells Hamilton says
      • Beryl Wells Hamilton says

        … and this: Russia takes Ukrainian prisoners of war after Azov Sea attack & gets the FSB to extract ‘confessions’

        24 Ukrainians taken prisoner on 25 November after Russia attacked and seized three Ukrainian naval boats are to be ‘put on trial’. At least three of the men are in hospital after Russia opened fire on their vessels, however the others are to be brought to a grotesque imitation of a court hearing in occupied Kerch on Tuesday, with the charges being of ‘illegally crossing Russia’s state border’ (Article 322 § 3 of Russia’s criminal code). This is despite the fact that they are, in accordance with international law, prisoners of war who cannot be prosecuted, and that all democratic countries have condemned Russia for an act of unwarranted aggression.

        The FSB’s imagination is strictly limited, unlike its cynicism, and it has found nothing better than to extract ‘confessions’ from three of the captured Ukrainians that they allegedly entered ‘Russian territorial waters’. While it is unclear what methods were applied to force such statements, the men are all evidently repeating what they have been ordered to say, and at least one looks as though he has either been physically ill-treated or drugged. Volodymyr Lisovy, the commander of one of the naval units, had clearly been given a text to read, and he rattles off nonsense about entering Russian territorial waters, and how they were aware that their actions were of a ‘provocative nature’.

        As has been the case with most of Russia’s Ukrainian political prisoners since 2014, these FSB ‘confessions’ are widely circulated on Russian state media, which, of course, never report the fact that in the vast majority of cases, the men later retract all such testimony as given under torture. Nor do they mention the many occasions where the men have been ‘convicted’ of charges that bore little or no relation to their ‘confessions’.

        With such media entirely uncritical, credibility is not particularly required, and such ‘confessions’ often parrot the already evident Moscow narrative. In this case, the Kremlin and all Russian state-controlled media began assiduously pushing the line that Russia’s aggression on 25 November was in fact an act of ‘provocation’ by Ukraine with Russia’s ‘response’ to this adequate long before the televised ‘confessions’.

        Such claims began within hours of Russia’s firing on three Ukrainian naval boats. A key theme was that this had been ‘provocation’ by the Ukrainian side, with the support of the USA, in the Kerch Strait, and / or that it was aimed at delaying the coming presidential elections. The fact that military rule was suggested by President Petro Poroshenko immediately, and has now, in limited form, been imposed, was used to imply that it had all been a deliberate ploy to help Poroshenko whose chances of re-election at present look thin.

        Lubov Tsybulska from the Hybrid Warfare Analytical Group reported that one part of the first 24 hours of Kremlin-loyal media coverage focused on claims that Ukraine had not warned of its plans and had not heeded warnings, while a second plugged the ‘provocation’ theme.

        None of this can in any way justify Russia’s attack, but it does enable the kind of schizophrenic media reporting in the West which has to report ‘both sides’. While, on the whole, Moscow’s claims appeared to be for domestic consumption and have been dismissed by western governments, it is disturbing that US President Donald Trump’s rather blurred pronouncements did suggest that there were ‘two parties’ involved, without making it quite clear that one of the parties was the aggressor, the other solely the victim.

        The situation could not have been clearer, even if the video footage and intercepted conversations on the Russian side did not make the deliberate nature of the aggression plain. As over 140 Ukrainian human rights and civic organizations stressed in a joint statement, the United Nations have repeatedly expressed their support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and reaffirmed Ukraine’s sovereignty over Russian-occupied Crimea and its part of both the Black Sea and the Azov Sea. What Russia is called its state border is illegally occupied territory.

        Ukraine’s free access to these seas, as well as to the Kerch Strait is not only guaranteed by the bilateral agreement of 2003, but by international law. Russia’s persistent noise about ‘provocation’ cannot change the fact that it had no right to block the Kerch Strait, nor the passage of any Ukrainian boats.

        All of this is emphatically stressed by analysts and by most international structures and democratic countries. For the moment, however, the words are at the level of expressions of ‘deep concern’ which leave Ukraine dangerously alone to face an aggressor with no respect for international law.

        • Russia and Ukraine are effectively at war and Russia would have been justified after the Maidan coup in invading and replacing the illegitimate Ukrainian government. It is true, Russia will not let them evade a letter of the treaty which allows them access to the Kerch Strait, which the Russians had a perfect right to block in the absence of clear, verifiable notice (not just he said – she said):

          “Putin said the incident, which ended in Russia’s seizure of three Ukrainian ships and Kiev imposing a partial martial law in the country, was a ‘dirty game’ by Poroshenko, who needs to suppress his political opponents ahead of the March presidential election. He assured that the Ukrainian side was responsible for the escalation of tensions, since the incident was a deliberate and planned provocation by the Ukrainian Navy.” –

          • Misza: “Russia and Ukraine are effectively at war”

            Actually, they are not at war. The only military activity is occasional shelling of Donetsk city by the volunteer battalions and Donetsk is not in Russia.

            The sea incident is in a way misunderstanding, perhaps intentional. The three small vessels from Ukraine did not follow standard rules of passing through the narrow and shallow Kerch straits. (the same or similar rules were in place when western bank of the straits was under Ukrainian administration)

            • Gail Sheppard says

              Yeah, I don’t know about that, Martin. Russian helicopters are dropping fighter jets and armed soldiers out of the sky (drills) and Ukraine voted to impose martial law. Trump is meeting with Putin this week. SOMETHING is happening over there and it looks a lot like war to me. I’ve been saying this for months. The EP has not only sparked a schism; he has sparked war in a region that could pull the entire planet into the mix. We’re running out of time. The bishops need to meet and handle this.

              • Gail says, “We’re running out of time. The bishops need to meet and handle this.” Gail! How do we stop this? I know! Let’s all write letters to our bishops. Will the anointed listen?

                George M. has said in the past, “Our bishops can barely figure out seating assignments.” I paraphrase, but George speaks truth.

                So! Debate will now begin with the enlightened among us, that schism has brought war to Russia and her dog Ukraine. Hell Maybe WW3! All for $25 mil, and a shrine in NY, and a dash of vanity. God loves a cheerful giver, boys and girls.

                Me thinks! Bishops are not as powerful or influential in world affairs, as all might imagine. Unless of course, the bishop is the Pope of Rome. Now that’s powerful influence! Oh Orthodoxy were is your humility?

                Tin foil hats off. Breakfast served tomorrow, 8AM sharp, if tomorrow comes. See you in the funny papers.

                Hey, anyone hear about the invasion on our southern border?

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  You can be such a cynic, Dino! 🙂

                  God put our hierarchs there to do a job and I’ve got to believe they can do what they’re called to do when it counts. They’re probably getting all their ducks in a row as we speak.

                  I remember how upset many of us were when Crete began. Enough of them pulled together by the end of the day to change the outcome.

                  • “God put our hierarchs there to do a job and I’ve got to believe they can do what they’re called to do when it counts. ”

                    Orthodox bishops should not be in business of politics. Perhaps Latin bishops were, when powerful Church State in the middle of Italy existed (from VIII to XIX century).

                  • Gail,
                    Interesting, I attribute much of my cynicism to Monomakhos, so far as the “organized” Orthodox Church goes. Already a lost cause when it came to nations, patriotism, and governments. I do not believe our bishops roles are to be the sycophants, and deliverers to secular governments.

                    • If I may, one other point. While clutching our pearls over Russia and Ukraine.

                      Here in American we are coming out of the euphoria that The Don was going to preserve and MAGA. The Lithium is wearing off, and conservative Americans are coming to the realization Trump’s numero uno promise, The Wall, will not be built. The real powers that be, will not allow it.

                      Many do not want to admit it, nor face it, but immigration control IS the NUMBER ONE issue for conservative Americans who do not want out country to permanently slip into socialism. Votes matter, as we have witnessed with the victory of Trump. Every single southern border crosser nullifies another conservative vote. All issues important to conservatives will go like dominoes and the Dodo bird if illegal immigration is not controlled. Florida and Texas are going blue soon and forever.

                      After most of us are gone, this nation will be unrecognizable from what we knew of the best humanity could give the world. Yes good and bad, but mostly good.

                      Ironic in the first half of the 20th century the world allowed the wholesale slaughter of men, women and children that a nation deemed undesirable and deplorable. Now nations simply dilute one block of people with another to achieve the their goal. Voter dilution. Talk about playing the long game!

                      Meanwhile Ukraine. I’m sure they lose sleep for us as well.

                • If we were back in 16/17c. the Orthodox in Ukraine would be being forced into becoming uniates with Rome as indeed happened back then.
                  Sadly for west Rome is dying and no one wants to be joined at the… Err vital parts, to paedophiles, or as many as seem to crop up. So we have Constantinople which does very well.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        Beryl, what Misa said, i.e. “. . . the West and Ukraine both knew how Russia would react to the above events before they were set in motion,” is important. You’re going to find both sides saying all sorts of things to make the other appear at fault, but you have to look at who provoked the incident. The situation was tense and these particular actors know each other well so it was no mistake. Just like in a car accident: it is the one who could have prevented the accident who is responsible even when someone else is also at fault. It also happens when you conspire to hurt someone or even when you learn about it after the fact and you hide it from law enforcement. There are penalties for being involved in that which results in adverse consequences and this situation was ripe for it.

  6. “My gut tells me that the Polish nation still hasn’t accepted the forcible annexation of the eastern third of its nation by Stalin after WWII. From what I know about Ukraine, those who reside in the western part of that country are alienated culturally and religiously from the east.”

    It wasn’t really Stalin by himself that was involved in the partition of eastern Poland; that was just part of the deal between Russia and the Western victors over Nazi Germany. The partition also consisted of the separating Prussia from Germany and handing it over to the Poles. The partition can be construed as a trade off, but for the Poles who had to move west, it was very traumatic.

    The partition was even more traumatic for the Prussian Germans who were placed in box cars and dumped off in the middle of Germany. Some historians (hidden ones) estimate that as many as 1.5 million Prussians died as a result of this genicidal move on the part of the West. Interestingly, Great Britian kept a low profile on the partition, but Eisenhower and the European nations involved in the cessation of WW2 all joined in the planning and poorly executed partition of Poland.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Jacksson, our involvement in the post-war period was unconscionable. Close to 12 million Germans were forcibly repatriated to East Germany even though they had lived in Poland, Ukraine, the Baltic nations, etc for centuries.

      It was very much akin to the Trail of Tears with tens of thousands perishing on that march.

      • Tim R. Mortiss says

        Not to mention the Confederacy. The North should never have invaded the South. We’re always making these mistakes! One after another. A wonder anybody even wants to come here….or wants to stay.

        But somehow, they do…..

      • “It was very much akin to the Trail of Tears with tens of thousands perishing on that march.”

        Yes, but to defeat powerful Germany required extreme effort and sacrifice of many countries. There was a fear of a new resurgence and desire to weaken and intimidate her for generations.

        Even now Germany is the strongest country in Europe. It is easy to moralize today, but at that time, George, very likely you would make the same decision.

        • Antiochene Son says

          Neither World War should have happened. Or at least the US shouldn’t have gotten involved.

  7. Tim R. Mortiss says

    Wild stuff! The Patriarch of Constantinople is an “American ally” akin to South Vietnam, the Shah of Iran, Britain, France, and Israel? Far out, man.

    My proposed solution is that we send the guys with the fezzes, calliopes, and little motorcycles into Ukraine. They are, after all, the ones who secretly run the world! They’ll soon have matters sorted out. But, then, don’t they usually operate invisibly behind the scenes? The motorcycles are just a ploy to deceive people that they are a joke.

    Fun to go down the rabbit hole with the other troglodytes, though.

    • It’s no secret that Athenagoras was flown into Istanbul on Air Force One when Maximos V was deposed and that high-ranking US politicians frequently make visits to the Phanar. Why would they pay so much attention to someone who is basically a minor religious figure (at least from a secular perspective)?

      Maximos V was favorably disposed towards the Soviets, so was deposed on grounds of ‘ill health.’ Since then, the Phanar has been nothing but a front for US agencies, much like the MP was during the Soviet era. Just look at all the photos of Bart’s office with his US govt. trinkets proudly on display.

      • Tim R. Mortiss says

        Sure, what can I say?

        I have had lots of amiable discussions about conspiracies with my fellow-parishioners over the last couple of years. Twice, separately, blond blue-eyed Greeks have laughingly told me I talk like a white man! Lots of wry chuckles all around…

        I remember a couple-three months back here at Monamakhos when some poster told the dark tale about the Russian fleet during WWI having the domes and spires of Constantinople in sight, but the British (always perfidious Albion….) fleet wouldn’t let them in. I laughed aloud alone in my kitchen. No kidding!, I thought. Sort of like the Rhodes fishing fleet having the “domes and spires” in sight….

        • Nothing new: the same events occurred in the 1877 war between Russia and Turkey along with British interference.

          What is jingoism?

          The term, jingo, came from the chorus of a popular song sung by G. H. MacDermott and written by G. W. Hunt. The song became popular during the time of the Russian and Turkish War in 1877-1878 when the general population of Great Britain fell in line with the anti-Russian government policy and the song vocalized their beliefs.

          The British public displayed an antagonism towards Russia and this was displayed in a favorite song, Macdermott’s War Song, sung in British pubs and in various music presentations. They sang the chorus of the song as follows:

          We don’t want to fight but by jingo if we do…

          We’ve got the ships, we’ve got the men, and got the money too!

          We’ve fought the Bear before… and while we’re Britons true,

          The Russians shall not have Constantinople…

          The term ‘by jingo’, in this case was an alteration, a substitute for ‘by Jesus.’ The Free Dictionary defines jingo as: “One who vociferously supports one’s country, especially one who supports a belligerent foreign policy; a chauvinistic patriot.” And it is difficult for one living in this modern age to understand why the British public preferred Turkey ruling over the ancient city of Constantinople rather than Russia.

          Later in referring to this popular song known as MacDermott’s War Song, George Holyoake in a letter to the Daily News on 13 March 1878, coined the term ‘jingoism’ in reference to the belligerent attitude of the British government towards Russia. Holyoake, a prominent British political reformer, did not agree with the foreign policy of the Disraeli government towards Russia and to a large degree he was right; the only reason that the British government was siding with the Turks was because they feared the growing power of Russia. As a result of this bit of ‘jingoism’, Great Britain was forced to ignore the actions of the murderous Turkish government; with this ‘stepping-aside’ action of the British government, they more or less were forced to ignore other genocides against the Armenian and Greek populations in Turkey at a later time.

          A thorough study of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878 can be found at Amazon. Right here on HubPages, there used to be an excellent article on how the U.S.A. became the world’s policeman by Frank and Betty Parker. It outlined the political history of the United States of America as an imperial power, a history that actually began with our first President, George Washington and continues right up to the present time with President Barrack Obama. The progression towards this imperialism has been very gradual, but nevertheless actual as evidenced by the current situation where our nation has military forces all around the world enforcing our imperial desires. A recent example that I have researched is the NATO action against Serbia because the Serbs were mistreating the Albanian population of Kosovo; and as a result we wrenched the historic Serbian land out of their hands. But, after the military action, the true reason for the action against Serbia was to make sure that an oil pipeline was constructed across the southern portion of Kosova, an action which the former Serbian government would not approve. That pipeline is now guarded by American forces stationed at the largest American military facility in the world, Camp Bondsteel. The list goes on and on, but the real history facts never reaches the history books.

  8. Polly Pollonium says

    You Pollonium Dawgs should read up on MCloy, von Pappen and Iternment by Michelle Malkin (2004) as you seem intent on your own internment

  9. Antiochene Son says

    What makes these two churches’ resolutions especially inflammatory is their insistence that none of their clerics can concelebrate the divine services with clerics under the omorphor of Constantinople.

    Well, clearly nothing is stopping Istanbul from rescinding their autonomy and sending new bishop lackies to take over.

    The EP has dissolved their ethnic Russians diocese in Western Europe, throwing the future of hundreds of parishes and thousands of faithful into question. I imagine many of them will join ROCOR.

  10. Beryl Wells Hamilton says

    Tomos ante portas: a short guide to Ukrainian church independence

    (Published October 14, 2018)


    This decision is especially important given that Moscow had contested Constantinople’s right to decide on an autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church, arguing that Ukraine “constitutes the canonical territory of the Patriarchate of Moscow” and that, consequently, such an act on the part of the Ecumenical Patriarchate would comprise an “intervention” into a foreign ecclesiastical jurisdiction. Two weeks before the Synod in Istanbul, the Ecumenical Patriarchate had published a detailed historical note with convincing proof for its historical jurisdiction over the Kyiv Metropoly, apparently providing the conceptual base for the decision of the Synod. Moscow had not provided an answer to this note. …

    Telling of the Orthodox Church’s role in Russian geopolitics, on 12 October Russian President Vladimir Putin convened an extraordinary meeting of the National Security and Defense Council, where the “situation of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine” was discussed. This is a revealing slip of the tongue, since to assuage Ukrainians, the UOC MP has been insisting it is independent of Moscow and in no way the “Russian Church in Ukraine.”

    Why is the Ecumenical Patriarch doing all this in the first place?

    When the Ecumenical Patriarchate had its jurisdiction in Ukraine, it passed the Ukrainian church to the rule of Moscow in 1686 under several conditions. Those conditions were not kept, and on 11 October the Ecumenical Patriarchate revoked this decision. This is the formal reason for Constantinople’s actions.

    Another reason is the inability of the UOC MP to solve the problem of the schism on its territory over nearly 30 years. In recent years, the number of self-reported Orthodox faithful in the UOC KP and UAOC grew to be roughly twice larger than those of UOC MP, meaning that most Orthodox Christians in Ukraine were formally schismatic. Apparently, Constantinople decided that Moscow isn’t interested in finding a solution – and rightfully so. …

    One more reason for Ukraine’s church question becoming so acute after 2014 is the Russian Orthodox Church’s ideological support for Russian politics. Had the Moscow Patriarchate not supported the lie about a “civil war” in Ukraine, approved of the Russian occupation of Crimea, and insisted on the old imperial illusion of Russians and Ukrainians being “brotherly nations,” the religious status quo in Ukraine could have lingered for many more years. UOC MP’s tacit support for Russian narratives used in its undeclared war against Ukraine and President Poroshenko’s scramble to boost his chances of being reelected in 2019 were the reason for Ukraine’s official appeal to the Ecumenical Patriarch, which set the gears of autocephaly in motion in Istanbul.

  11. Beryl Wells Hamilton says

    Here is something new:
    “Constantinople finalizes procedure for election of Primate of the Autocephalous Church in Ukraine”

    (Metropolitan Oleksandr (Drabinko) is with the UOC-MP.)

    6 December 2018, 15:36 | Inter-Orthodox relations | 0 | | Code for Blog | |

    Bishops, priests, those who lead monastic life and laypeople will take part in the Unification Council on December 15 in Kyiv. All of them will have the right to vote to form a ballot of three candidates at the unification council.

    This is stated in the invitation to the Council, which was received by Ukrainian hierarchs from Patriarch Bartholomew. Metropolitan Oleksandr (Drabinko), one of the participants of the future Council, posted this letter on Facebook.

    “Taking into account our Patriarchal Letter (No. 1001), dated October 12, 2018, to His Eminence Metropolitan Onufry of Kyiv, we invite your Eminence to take part along with one clergyman and one monk or layman, each of whom will have the right to vote to form a ballot consisting of three candidates at the Unification Council in the historic Church of Wisdom of God (St. Sophia) in Kyiv on Saturday, December 15, 2018, for the establishment of the Charter and the canonical election of the Primate of the Autonomous Orthodox Church in Ukraine as it was previously decided,” the document says.

    The invitation also specifies who will chair the Council.

    “This Council will convene under the chairmanship of our special exarch of the Eminence Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, who will govern the process of the above-mentioned Council in cooperation with our exarchs in Ukraine and in the honorable presence of Petro Poroshenko, the President of your country.”

  12. Beryl Wells Hamilton says

    More news:
    “UOC-KP ready to put aside patriarchal status for new Church, Synod decides
    6 December 2018, 14:28

    The clergy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyiv Patriarchate stand for the patriarchal organization of the new unified Church, but the Kyivan Patriarchate is ready to cede this dignity if circumstances so require. The decision was made today, on December 6, by the participants of the Holy Synod of the UOC-KP.

    “With regard to the status of the Patriarchate for the Ukrainian Church, we consider it to be an absolutely fair, historically grounded and pastorally justified status for our Local Church. After all, its number of faithful, clergy and bishops is one of the largest among the other Orthodox Churches, its history dates back to the sermon of the holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called, and its external conditions and internal qualities of existence are no inferior to those of the Bulgarian, Georgian, Russian, Romanian, Serbian Patriarchates,” said the Synodal decree.

    The hierarchs of the UOC-KP remind that they spoke in favor of patriarchal authority on May 13, 2016, but for the good of the cause, they are ready to abandon this status for a certain time.

    “Given all the circumstances, our Church is ready, if necessary, to postpone for some time the request to recognize it in a dignity of patriarchate, retaining that name within its boundaries and for domestic use,” the participants of the Synod of the UOC-KP said.”

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Wow! How is the EP going to grant them autocephaly (not autonomy) without giving them patriarchial status? I can’t even guess what they might mean by this. When Filaret said he wasn’t going to be the official patriarch but would use the title as an internal “nickname,” my assumption was that the EP (or someone like Archbishop Emmanuel) would be the patriarch. Then the EP calls this Council to vote on names, presumably for patriarchal candidates but if there is to be no patriarchate right now, there would be no need for a Patriarch. If there is no patriarch, why call a Council to vote? NOW, they’re saying they will forgo “the dignity of patriarchate.” If it isn’t clear by now that the EP has no clue what he is doing, I don’t know what it’s going to take.

      Thanks for posting, Beryl!

  13. Methinks Mr. Arhondonis will soon be added to the list of infamous heretics who also parked their evil kiesters on the same throne he currently he so dearly cherishes.

  14. Beryl Wells Hamilton says

    “Patriarch Bartholomew called on the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), Metropolitan Onufriy (Berezovsky) and other hierarchs of this denomination to take part in the Unification Council on December 15. Metropolitan Onufriy can also stand for election as the Primate of the new Church. Constantinople also reminded Onufriy that he would no longer be able to wear the title “Metropolitan of Kyiv” after the Primate of the new Church is elected.”

    • Beryl: “Constantinople also reminded Onufriy that he would no longer be able to wear the title “Metropolitan of Kyiv” after the Primate of the new Church is elected.”

      Phanar/Poroshenko team might “prevail”. They can take all the buildings, grab the relics and icons, recruit weaker clergy and drive the true believers into felonious obscurity. The new “church” might be a weird hybrid of Canadian style Ukrainian nationalism and modernism a la liberal Episcopalians.

      It will not be the first time similar things happens. Union of Brest of 1556 and Living Church established in 1922 (with support of EP):

    • Antiochene Son says

      Since when is the EP concerned about two bishops claiming the same see? How many Orthodox bishops/archbishops/metropolitans of Chicago are there?

      • How many Orthodox bishops/archbishops/metropolitans of Chicago are there?

        I sense material here for Billy Jack…something about light bulbs.

        • Billy Jack Sunday says



          How many heirarchs does it take to change a lightbulb?

          Just one

          If the lightbulb is in the Ukraine

          And you are the Ecumenical Patriarch

          However, he only takes out perfectly good working bulbs

          And replaces them with broken ones

  15. Billy Jack Sunday says

    Antiochene Son

    “How many Orthodox bishops/archbishops/metropolitans of Chicago are there?”