Blessed Are the Peacemakers(?)

According to a Turkish newspaper, the Ecumenical Patriarch just blessed “Operation Olive Branch”, an attack on Kurdish forces on Syrian soil.

Ironies abound. Truth be told, I’m still trying to wrap my head around this entire, bizarre story. For one thing, Erdogan’s stated mission is a direct slap in the face of the United States. The Kurdish forces are the only reliable “good guys” on the ground in Syria and they’ve been working closely with the US. Second, he was given the green light to do this by Russia. Hmmm. Other concerns will be stated in the video below, in which I recite a letter sent to me by a well-placed Greek-American veteran who is concerned about this whole state of affairs

Right now, I’d like to address those Orthodox Christians –especially in America–who adhere to the globalist vision of the State Department and the Ecumenical Patriarch. Especially as regards to the struggle between Moscow and Istanbul. Specifically, the vituperation that is heaped upon President Vladimir Putin because of his own military incursions into Georgia and Crimea.

At the just concluded L100 conference in Miami for example, the keynote speaker was Adm James Stavrides. A former supreme allied commander of NATO (SACEUR), Adm Stavrides is a key player in the American Establishment. He was vetted as a possible running mate for Hillary Clinton and was also interviewed by the incoming Trump Administration. His Russophobic views are clear and are of a piece with those of other American Orthodox Christians who are like him, part of the Establishment.

I’d like to say that that is neither here nor there but I can’t. The fact remains that despite the intricacies, the wheels within the wheels so to speak of this entire morass, the idea that the Ecumenical Patriarchate represents some global force for pacifism as opposed to the supposedly Putin-dominated Moscow patriarchate is now exposed as a farce.

Anyway, below I wish to bring to your attention the concerns of this well-meaning Greek-American. Please forgive the hurriedness of my delivery but as usual, I’m under a time constraint.


  1. Martyr’s Guilt says

    Notice in the picture, on the link that you provided ,George ,that the EP is covering the panagia worn around his neck. Almost like he ashamed, and must cover our Theotokos and Saviour, subconsciously of course. We must not forget the EP served as a soldier for Turkish army.

  2. I’m not sure the Russians are supporting this:

    I have seen that Western or Turkish sources assume or suggest that Russia approved. But I have seen nothing that suggests that from Russian sources.

    Russia moved troops out of the way:

    Stratfor reports that Moscow is simply staying out of the way, weighing the value of its relationship with Turkey higher than that with the Kurds, but not taking sides in the matter. Nonetheless, the Russian press is reporting it critically.:

  3. Joseph Lipper says

    Patriarch Bartholomew has been completely sidelined by Erdogan’s private meeting with Pope Francis, and the Patriarch can’t be happy about this. It makes sense that the EP would send out a clear reminder and message of his support for Turkey, it’s government, and it’s military in prayer. There may be an element of self preservation in this, but it’s also true. We always pray in the Liturgy for our government and military and for the peace of our country, wherever that may be. The EP does in fact represent Turkish Christianity.

    The Patriarch may also be trying to counter the accusation that he is just a tool of the US State Department. I doubt Erdogan is listening at this point though. With this meeting with Pope Francis, it looks like Erdogan has already moved on.

    Erdogan really wants Turkey to be accepted “as is” into the EU with full membership. Erdogan might be led to believe that establishing closer connections with the Vatican will help him in this goal. Whereas Pope Francis is a man of great influence in the EU, Patriarch Bartholomew now appears to be viewed as politically problematic within the EU.

    This is evident in a recent article from World Religion News that casts suspicion on the Patriarchate as responsible for
    “the on-going hysteria about Turkish ‘oppression’ of Orthodox Christians”:

    • George Michalopulos says

      Joseph, that’s a very interesting observation. At first, I thought you were being satirical when you said that “The EP does in fact represent Turkish Christianity.”

      • Joseph Lipper says

        No satire intended. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Patriarch is forced to leave Turkey very soon. It appears now that neither Brussels nor Erdogan really want the EP in Turkey.

        Under the new leadership of “zombie Catholic” Emmanuel Macron, the EU is probably going to want a stronger Vatican presence in Turkey, and Erdogan would certainly have no problem in facilitating this.

  4. Hold on George, stop the presses. Word from Istanbul, His All Holiness (gag gag) has worked a genuine miracle.

    What you ask? He has caused me to actually agree with the Turks on something. Yes I never thought or believed it could happen. But I now agree with the Turks that we should change his title to Fener Patriarch and his jurisdiction should be limited to the 1,800 or so Greeks left in Constantinople.

    This crass and moronic political statement may gain him a little favor with his Turkish masters and Sultan Erdogan but he no longer has the right to call himself the leader of world Orthodoxy. He no longer speaks for me and has show himself to be a leader of nothing.

    This is so disappointing and reinforces for me why we need an American-born Patriarch and Holy Synod for an American Orthodox Church. Until then, the OCA is looking better to me every day than my GOA. I have been waiting to send my 2018 stewardship money and I think this was the last straw I needed. This is so disappointing and hurtful.

  5. What does the Patriarch of Antioch think of this, as his canonical territory is being invaded? Surely there are a few Antiochian Orthodox in Syria whose suffering will be increased from this.

  6. Constaninos says

    Please allow me to be the first poster on Monomakhos to call for much stricter gun control. The AR-15, AK-47, and all other semi-automatic rifles that can be customized into mass killing machines must be banned. There needs to be more stringent regulations on all firearms including the shot gun along with semi automatic hand guns. We don’t need them. If you are a member of the most powerful lobby in the US The National Rifle Association, may I suggest that you cancel your membership post haste?

    • George Michalopulos says

      Nope. You’re entitled to your opinion but I am –and will continue to be–a life member of the NRA.