Folks, this is YUGE. (Pardon the Trumpism.) Anyway, things are getting interesting in ecclesiastical politics. It’s almost as exciting as Game of Thrones.

Here’s the skinny: the Vatican may have pulled out the rug from the Phanar and foiled the plans of the Ukrainian nationalists, all with one stroke. In doing so, they killed the proverbial two birds with one stone.

According to the story below, the Vatican stated that “there is only one patriarchate in Russia, yours”. Essentially, taking away the prerogative of the Ecumenical Patriarch to recognize an autocephalous church. Admittedly, this is worrisome on its own merits but the die is cast.

Remember when Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill met in Havana, back in February of 2016? My gut told me that Francis was signalling that he was not going to come to the aid of the Uniates. This is clearly what is happening.

Now it’s possible that the internal Orthodox situation was getting too hot for Bartholomew to handle and he called on Francis to bail him out. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the real dynamic behind Francis’ stunning announcement. If so, then a case could be made that the Papacy is exercising its own supremacy, simply by foiling the plans of the the Ukrainian nationalists and their Phanariote handlers.

Regardless, this effectively derails the creation of a new autocephalous church in Ukraine and for this we can thank the Papacy. Why? Because the spirit behind it was not pure but based on hatred and acrimony. Moreover, it could have led to actual warfare between the EU and Russia.

I’m sure more will follow. [Couresty Byzantine, Texas]


  1. Joseph Lipper says

    Thank you Pope Francis!

  2. Gail Sheppard says

    It occurred to me that the RC finally consecrated Russia, i.e. “. . . there is only one patriarchate in Russia, yours.” Too bad it didn’t happen before Russia “spread her errors throughout the world,” i.e. the infiltration of communism in Russia, Germany, China. . . even in Western thought. But, as they say, better late than never. We may very well see the “Third Rome” in our lifetime.

    Fatima Prophesy:

    “God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The [First World] war is going to end; if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the pontificate of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that He is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father. To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace. If not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”

  3. Gail Sheppard says

    I posted this under another thread. The EP DID give a speech, which is on his website, but he seems to have been cut out of the video. Looking back on it, there may have been a reason he was cut out of the video. Has he been cut out of the *picture,* as in literally?

    Gail Sheppard says:
    May 29, 2018 at 3:21 am
    Pope Francis was present at the “New Policies and Life-Styles in the Digital Age” conference sponsored by the Centesimus Annus – Pro Pontifice Foundation on May 28. The EP was purportedly one of the speakers but I don’t see him. Could he have spoken and his speech was omitted? I don’t see him sitting with the other speakers, either. (See Video)

  4. George Michalopulos says

    Lot to chew on there, Gail (as always).

    Isn’t it stunning? Leaving aside the internals, what the Russians (in the guise of Metropolitan Hilarion Alfayev) pulled off was nothing less than Kissingeresque, in the sense of Nixon-goes-to-China. It was simply astounding. A total and complete game-changer.

    While there are political considerations to this audacious stratagem, is it possible that (whatever his faults –and there are many), Francis decided to do this in order to preempt the plans of the EU/NATO war party, which is clearly spoiling for a fight over the Ukraine?

    The casus belli has been preemptively removed.

    • Let’s see. A lot in this thread, George:

      1. Never believe any thing papists assert. It is often insincere and manipulative and almost never totally honest regarding their power seeking intentions. Francis is not an exception. He would do anything to achieve a Unia with Constantinople even as he leads his own confession into the most base sort of apostasy (pro-gay statements and liberal, moral non-judgmentalism). He is a secular humanist, not a Christian of any type.

      2. ROCOR was always either in communion with Jerusalem, Serbia or both. The era of our self imposed isolation began only in the early 1960’s (about 1962) when we began limiting communion with ecumenist, local churches (foresighted, no?). Up until that time, Constantinople was fine with us and more or less recognized us as the Free Russian Church. During the period between when the Metropolia broke a second time with ROCOR and its grant of autocephaly from the KGB enslaved MP, it was in a sort of no-man’s land canonically. That was never our problem or our fault.

      3. You will recall, George, that when the Pope and Pat. Kirill issued their Joint Declaration, there was such a stink regarding the heresies included that some bishops and priests ceased commemorating Kirill:
      This spectacle was repeated after Crete, even with Cretan priests ceasing commemoration of their bishops:
      And then there’s our furry friends on Athos, fifty cells reportedly ceasing commemoration of Pat. Bartholomew:

      4. Contrary to some statements on this thread, it is really undeniable that Pat. Bartholomew is in fact a heretic. The full case has been laid out by Fr. Peter Heers:

      As well as by a petition to the Synod of Greece to officially declare him a heretic: [with link to Greek original of petition]

      It is really, however, the entire synod of Constantinople that has fallen into heresy, not just Patriarch Bartholomew. For example:

      “Another very important and significant event that is often ignored not only by the antagonists of the participation of the Orthodox Church in the Ecumenical Movement, but by many Orthodox in general, is the lifting up of the anathemas of 1054 between the Churches of Rome and Constantinople at the end of the Second Vatican Council, on December 7th, 1965. As the Church historian and canonist Vlassios Phidas writes, ‘it is obvious, from a canonical point of view, that this ecclesial situation of the rupture of communion (akoinonesia) is clearly distinguished from the state of an accomplished schism, since, by the lifting up of the anathemas of 1054, we are now standing in the situation we were before their imposition’.[9] Therefore, if the Church of Rome and the Church of Constantinople are now in a state of rupture of communion (akoinonesia), due to historical events and theological disputes, while both sides wish today to restore the full ecclesiastical communion, how can some dare, even through the voice of a local synod, not to acknowledge the Church of Rome as a Church, or to consider her members as schismatics, or even, as heretics?” –

      Anyone who actually understands the significance of the above would have to agree that Arch. Job is preaching bare-headed heresy. To deny the heresy or even schismatic nature of Papism is to embrace its heresies as ones own faith. Reducing the difference to a simple break in communion has the exact same spiritual effect as intercommunion with Rome. This is in spite of the fact that as late as 1848, the Orthodox world was in complete agreement regarding the status of Rome as heretical:

      One ceases trying to count the number of times the encyclical labels Papism “heretical” or in “heresy”.

      I could go on reflecting on the new, heterodox theology of Metropolitan John of Pergamon and others, but why bother?:

      5. One can read the tea leaves and note that a house divided against itself cannot stand. One should not put much trust in the statements of the MP’s Metropolitan Hilarion inasmuch as he has made any number of incorrect statements regarding the Orthodox faith regarding the effect of mysteries purportedly served outside the Church; however, Pat. Kirill has clearly been impressed by the outcry at his foibles, so much so that he made this video regarding his fidelity to the teachings of St. Mark of Ephesus who, among others, considered Rome to be in heresy:

      The MP is a work in progress. They are still to some extent in a state of Western Captivity that was present just before the Bolshevik Revolution. However, they are learning an learning quickly, especially since the Reunification of the two parts of the Russian Church in May, 2007. And the effect is probably that they will be recognized, tacitly, as the leading local church in Orthodoxy. This seemed to be the message sent by the participation of all local churches besides Constantinople (they declined the invitation), to gather at the centenary of the enthronement of St. Tikhon as Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus. Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria was, of course, the lead celebrant. But the event speaks for itself.

  5. anonimus per Scorilo says

    Come on George, do not fall for this Jesuit double-speak. The pope recognizes one patriarchate IN RUSSIA. This means implicitly that he DOES NOT recognize one patriarchate in Ukraine

    • George Michalopulos says

      Could be. But the context was different, wasn’t it?

      • anonimus per Scorilo says

        Anyway, it looks like regardless of Rome, the competition between Russia and Constantinople is in full swing:
        Except Serbia, which came squarely on Russia’s side, everybody else is hedging their bets:

        Georgia refused to take position, one wonders why ? 🙂

        Bulgaria was inclining towards Russia but since Constantinople will probably include autocephaly for Macedonia in the deal there will a huge pressure on them from the population to play on Constantinople’s side.

        And Romania just appointed 2 ruling bishops for dioceses in Basarabia (republic of Moldova), in the past there would have been a huge uproar from Moscow about this, but now all one hears are crickets.

        • It will probably come down to New Calendarists v. Church Calendarists except that Antioch will likely side with the Church Calendarists.

 – Patriarch of Antioch supports canonical Ukrainian Church (MP)

          The Calendar Question really is an excellent proxy to discern faithfulness to Holy Tradition. Look for the break, when it comes, to parallel the lines in the divide of the Church over the calendar (except perhaps Antioch).

          This is as it should be. New Calendarists have been preparing themselves for leaving the Church and embracing the Unia since the times of Pat. Meletios IV.

          Good riddance.

          Everyone who wishes to remain Orthodox should seek out the nearest church remaining with the Church Calendar.

          It’s only a matter of time, now.

          • Joseph Lipper says

            The Carpatho-Russians (ACROD) in North America use the Julian “Church Calendar”. They also commemorate Patriarch Bartholomew.

            And I believe there are Eastern Rite Catholic parishes that still use the Julian “Church Calendar”, and they commemorate Pope Francis!

            • Joseph,

              As far as the Uniates, they have already left the Church so that is no matter. ACROD uses both calendars, like the OCA, which may be the worst possible solution to the dilemma:


              The local churches that use the church calendar (I do not say New v. Old but rather the more accurate Heterodox v. Church) are:

              Poland (since 2014)
              and the Greek Old Calendarists and ROCE


              Though Serbia was present at the Crete debacle, a number of its bishops refused to sign the final documents. Jerusalem has agreed to turn its parishes in the United States over to the loving care of the Phanar. Thus the largest and most substantial of the Church Calendar local churches here are Russia and Serbia, as well as the “Old Calendarist” churches not in communion with “canonical Orthodoxy”.

              One gets a different feeling entering a church abiding in the official calendar of Orthodoxy than one gets in modernist parishes. There is a much more serious air and sense of holy gravitas in these churches as opposed to a much more Western, playing religion, atmosphere in the modernist parishes, at least from my experience.

              • Joseph Lipper says

                If you’re going to include ROCE and the Greek Old Calendarists in your list, then why don’t you also include the Kievan Patriarchate?

                • Because the schismatic Kiev patriarchate would very much like to be recognized by “canonical Orthodoxy” while the other groups despise its ecumenism and therefore refuse communion with it.

                  That is the whole point.

                  ROCE is a bit of a stretch though. Very few parishes and much disorganization. If I were going to refer someone to a jurisdiction which refuses intercommunion with ecumenists, I would be much more likely to send them to the Old Calendarist Greeks.

  6. George Osborne says

    Brother George…..not so sure I agree one hundred percent with your analysis. Here’s an alternate thought: Remember last week when there was a news story about the Major Archbishop of the Uniate Ukranian church making nice about this issue and there being an announcement of an ecumenical service between uniates and KP/UOC clergy? Could this simply be Francis’ way of pulling back on the uniate leash and trying to derail a nationalist Ukranian autocephalous church that might gain the support of the uniates into a consolidated national church independent of Rome? Might not Ukranian nationalism trump (no pun intended…but not a bad one, either!) allegiance to Rome? It has gauled the uniate Ukranians for a long time that the head of their church is only ranked as a Major Archbishop and not a Patriarch like many of the other uniate churches. Maybe this is as much a signal to the uniates to stay loyal as anything else. Just speculat’n.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Quite possibly. Like I said, I wrote this in haste.

      What you say though makes sense. I know first hand how the Eastern Rite Catholics are held in disdain by the Latin rite folks.

  7. Monk James Silver says

    The opinions of the Roman Pope and his Vatican organization need not detain us here.

    We should not read too much into this, but rather wait until Pat. Bartholomew responds to Rome’s position. THAT will bear some serious examination.

    While he Roman pope has unlimited authority over Ukrainian uniats (think Texas :: USA as a comparative to ‘Ukraine::Russia and you’ll see the basic ecclesiological problem) , whatever Pope Francis has to say about the current situation regarding Ukrainian autocephaly can affect only HIS constituents, namely the uniats.

    It’s becoming clear to the orthodox that this pope and his predecessor, John Paul ii, have abandoned their uniats

    But this gives him no authority over the orthodox, although his statements to Met. Hilarion Alfeyev seem to suggest that he thinks he does.

  8. evangelista says

    I think the Vatican has more reasons to play nice with the Russians – it’s easier for them to throw the Ukrainians under the bus.

  9. evangelista says

    I think there is more “art of the deal” rather than Christian charity at work. So… what did Russia have to give up? Allow more RC churches within Russia?

  10. Francis Frost says


    There are three observations to make about your current post.

    First, you have neither facts nor reason to support your discussion. All you have are your own imagined insights into the motives, methods and goals of those you believe are the ‘players’ in your current drama.

    Second, of those you describe as major players; not one is a Ukrainian Orthodox Christian. Not one. You seem to believe that the Ukrainian Orthodox do not deserve a say in the governance of their own church, despite your repeated calls for the Orthodox in America to take control of our church’s future. You don’t seem to appreciate the discrepancy in your own positions. You seem unaware that over 1/3 of the UOC’s parishes and its clergy have already defected to the schismatic groups because they would rather I’ve in schism, than live a lie. You also seem unaware that there are significant voices within the UOC-MP pushing for autocephaly, including the vicar bishop of Kiyv. At least one diocesan bishop has hinted at defection with his entire diocese. The more the Putin regime bullies its neighbor, the more Russia’s neighbors are determined to plot a course away from Moscow.

    Third, the “icon” you chose to grace the headline of this post says it all. Clearly, you regard our Orthodox church as merely an adjunct to empire; a plaything to be batted about by the great powers as part of their “superpower rivalry”.

    What you have demonstrated, my friend, is your own aggressive ignorance and your absolute cynicism regarding the Gospel and the Orthodox faith.

    You know, George, every time your write, you reveal far more about yourself than you do about the church, the world or the Orthodox faith. God help you.

    A blessed fast to you and your readers

    • George Michalopulos says

      Francis, I will answer you when you answer me this question I keep on asking of you: Do you believe that NATO was right to divide Serbia as they did?

      There is no right or wrong answer. A simple “yes” or “no” would suffice.

  11. Gail Sheppard says

    Interesting how ALL of our bishops meeting together last November/December in Russia (with the obvious exception of the EP, who found it more profitable to be in Israel fighting the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital) signaled to the Pope where the REAL source of power is in our Church: In the unity of our bishops.

    * * *
    Pope Francis Wants to Deepen the Dialogue with the Russian Orthodox Church

    Pope Francis is ready for dialogue with the Russian Orthodox Church and Patriarch of Moscow and all the eastern cyrilllic. This statement was made by the Pontiff during a meeting with Metropolitan Ilarion Volokamski and other representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church during a meeting with the head of the External Church Relations Department of the Moscow Patriarchate.

    The meeting was held on May 30, the press service of the Holy See announced today. The Pope has expressed an intention to follow the “path of unity,” which is the only right choice, while “the way of disagreement leads to war and destruction.”

    The Ecumenical Movement is a path to common Christian unity, Francis noted, urging representatives of the ROC to walk along this path. He recalled his historic meeting with Patriarch Kiril, held on February 12, 2016 in Cuba. These negotiations “gave very good results,” and in the patriarch Francis saw his brother. In conclusion, the Pope stressed that the Catholic Church respects the ROC and will not interfere in its internal affairs.

    • Joseph Lipper says

      Next up the Vatican will declare Patriarch Bartholomew as a schismatic troublemaker in the Ukraine and declare a Holy War on “Schismatic Orthodoxy”.

  12. Michael Bauman says

    The Ecumenical Movement is from the bowels of hell.

  13. George Michalopulos says

    Interesting. For all his faults, is it possible that Francis can bring the RCs back into the Orthodox fold?

    I’m still going with my gut feeling: that Rome recognizes Moscow as the Third Rome, that Ukraine (or parts of it) will be reabsorbed into Holy Russia. I now add this addendum:
    the Uniates have been thrown under the bus.

    • Michael Bauman says

      George, really????? The only “unity” that Francis promotes is the hippy-dippy “ecumenical” kind in concord the with UM slogan–Minds so open nothing is process, hearts so open, one cares about nothing. “Its party time!!!” As long as he the folks he is schilling for get the real power and money.

      He is a curse on the real RCs who are still striving to be Christian.

    • Joseph Lipper says

      To the extent that Pope Francis is a tool of the European Union, this could really be more about the EU wooing Turkey’s Erdogan than anything else.

      Now that Erdogan is allied with Russia, it would make sense for Pope Francis, who as the moral spokesperson for the European Union, to portray the both the EU and the RCC as peacemaker.

      By contrast, Pope Francis is making Patriarch Bartholomew look like a troublemaker who is meddling in the affairs of Erdogan’s alliance with Russia. Erdogan is always looking for people to blame. My sense is that Pope Francis is now getting ready to look the other way when Patriarch Bartholomew gets thrown under the bus by Sultan Erdogan.

      • George Michalopulos says

        I don’t disagree. The EP has repeatedy failed to make good on the globalist agenda. His failure at Crete was probably the last straw for Soros and his cronies. We may be looking at gold watch time.

  14. I decided some time ago that the Pope/Papacy will never change its spots this side of global catastrophe. The basic strategy coming out of Rome seems have consistently been something akin to this sort of this maxim: Divide and Conquer. In praising Moscow Francis also diminishes the other “patriarchates” and national churches. What hidden seeds (if any) may be contained in his lionizing the Moscow Patriarchate as “the Third Rome”? Ecclesiastical unity was only one of Rome’s “virtues” in the early days of the Church. In fact, the church never perceived itself in such monolithic terms. It seems to have been the accidents of early church history, the radically fundamental shift to an Anno Domini world view which was thrust upon the post-Christian world such ringing pride-inducing accolades.

    A couple of historical/cultural “facts”/observations: 1- The Early Church never made individual, singular decisions re: the True Faith. “It seemed good to Us and to the Holy Spirit.” 2 – In this context, whenever there Was an important Ecumenical Council (as I recall) the Pope himself never attended but always sent a representative.

    With even these basic ideas in mind, the words of a Pope placing a somewhat negligible Good Housekeeping seal of approval on a Russian Patriarch as a sort of “Eastern Pope”, well it seems more a temptation than a genuine honor. Remember Jerusalem as the birth-place of Christianity. How much power did it have as the Church grew and had to make important decisions concerning Christian Faith & Practice in the early the centuries?

    Rome, Constantinople (now Istanbul)(???), Alexandria (zzz…), Antioch (where are you?), and Jerusalem (Oy Vey) were the 5 Great & Holy Sees. And they determined Christian doctrine for centuries. Where are they now? A Moscow-centric Orthodox Church seems like another temptation. Well, God knows.

  15. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from Saturday on the Orthodox Cognate Page website.

    Uniatism is not the path to walk today” – Pope Francis

  16. Michael Bauman says

    I for one am tired of seeing that the EP is “the spiritual leader of 700 million Orthodox Christians around the world”. That is a lie and a damned lie. Why the other bishops let him get away with it is beyond me.

    • Constantinos says

      Mr. Bauman,
      I’ve noticed you have the tendency to employ hyperbole in your statements. Your comments are over the top. It’s a lie- and a bleep lie. Big deal! So what?

      • Fr. Herman Schick says

        I took it as a nod to the famous quip popularized by Mark Twain:

        “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

        Perhaps you are unfamiliar with it.

      • Michael Bauman says

        Constantinos, I must thank you. You provide a test in my attempt at obedience to a word from my actual spiritual leader, my local Orthodox bishop. I almost failed, but not quite. God is Good.

    • Billy Jack Sunday says


      I totally agree

      I absolutely hate seeing that in print. It’s such a falsehood

      But, you gotta admit, charge over 700 million sounds a lot better than the truth – as recently stated by Dr. Stankovich:

      “THE Mother Church and the glorious City of Emperor Constantine the Great consists of approximately 6-square blocks of run-down buildings in a similarly run-down suburb of Istanbul.”

      • The “Mother Church” was in Jerusalem. Even Rome was an off-spring of the Jewish Church (through Sts. Peter & Paul). From Jerusalem were Athens, Alexandria, Antioch, & Rome in the beginning. Constantine later expanded the Church from Rome to Byzantium. From Byzantium, Cyril & Methodius later brought the Orthodox Church to the Slavs. Did Papal Rome something to do with Russia back then? Even in the time of St. Photios (9th ct.) the Pope was trying to place himself over the whole Church.

    • Jane Rachel says

      Michael Bauman,

      You, personally, sitting in your easy chair in the United States, drinking a bit of elderberry wine, are “tired” of hearing that phrase? So, do you have a solution? Here’s a link to Patriarch Bartholemew’s biography, with the article pasted below:

      BARTHOLOMEW, Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch


      The Ecumenical Patriarchate is the foremost ecclesiastical centre of the Orthodox Church throughout the world, tracing its history to the Day of Pentecost and the early Christian communities founded by the Apostles of Jesus Christ. According to tradition, the “First-Called” of these Apostles, Andrew, preached the Gospel around Asia Minor, the Black Sea, Thrace and Achaia, where he was martyred. In 36 AD, he founded the Church on the shores of the Bosphorus in the city known then as Byzantium, later Constantinople and today Istanbul. St. Andrew is the Patron Saint of the Ecumenical Patriarchate; his Patronal Feast is celebrated on November 30.

      The title “Ecumenical Patriarch” dates to the sixth century and historically belongs to the Archbishop of Constantinople. As Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew occupies the First Throne of the worldwide Orthodox Christian Church, presiding in historical honor and fraternal spirit as “first among equals” of all Orthodox Primates. These include the ancient Patriarchates of Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem, as well as the more recent Patriarchates of Moscow, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria and Georgia. Beyond these, the Ecumenical Patriarch has the historical and theological responsibility to initiate and coordinate common activity among the Orthodox Churches of Cyprus, Greece, Poland, Albania, the Czech Lands and Slovakia, Finland, Estonia, as well as various Archdioceses and numerous Metropolitan dioceses throughout the world, such as in Europe, America and Australia. Moreover, he is responsible for convening pan-Orthodox councils or meetings, facilitating inter-church and inter-faith dialogues, while serving as the focal point and primary spokesman for Orthodox Church unity as a whole. Transcending national and ethnic borders, the Ecumenical Patriarch is spiritual leader to 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide.

      Born Demetrios Archondonis in 1940 on the island of Imvros (today, Gökçeada, Turkey), His All-Holiness Bartholomew was elected in October 1991 as the 270th Archbishop of the 2000-year-old Church founded by St. Andrew, serving as Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch.

      The personal experience and theological formation of the Ecumenical Patriarch provide him with a unique perspective on ecumenical relations and environmental issues. His All-Holiness has worked tirelessly for reconciliation among Christian Churches and acquired an international reputation for raising ecological awareness on a global level. He has worked to advance reconciliation with the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion, as well as other Christian confessions, through theological dialogues and personal encounters with respective leaders in order to address issues of common concern. Closely involved with the World Council of Churches, he has served on its Executive and Central Committees and Faith and Order Commission. Moreover, he has initiated numerous international meetings and conversations with Muslim and Jewish leaders in an effort to promote mutual respect and religious tolerance worldwide, but especially in the Middle East and the Mediterranean, thereby proving a pioneer in interfaith encounters throughout the world. Finally, the Ecumenical Patriarch has presided over the historic restoration of the Autocephalous Church of Albania and the Autonomous Church of Estonia, also providing spiritual and moral support to many traditional Orthodox countries emerging from decades of wide-scale religious persecution behind the Iron Curtain.

      A citizen of Turkey, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew received his elementary and secondary education in Imvros and Istanbul. After completing undergraduate studies at the Theological School of Halki, Istanbul, His All-Holiness pursued graduate studies at the Pontifical Oriental Institute of the Gregorian University in Rome, the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey (Switzerland) and the University of Munich. His doctoral dissertation was in the field of Canon Law; he was a founding member of the Society of Canon Law of the Oriental Churches. Ordained to the Diaconate in 1961 and to the Priesthood in 1969, he served as Assistant Dean at the Theological School of Halki (1968-72) before being appointed Personal Secretary to his predecessor, the late Ecumenical Patriarch Demetrios (1972-90), as well as being elected Metropolitan of Philadelphia (1973) and, later, Metropolitan of Chalcedon (1990).

      Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew holds numerous honorary doctorates, from prestigious academic institutions such as the universities of Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras and Ioannina (in Greece), Georgetown and Yale (in the USA), Flinders and Manila (in Australasia), London, Edinburgh, Louvain, Moscow, Bologna and Bucharest (in Europe). He speaks Greek, Turkish, Italian, German, French and English; he is also fluent in classical Greek and Latin.

      The role of the Ecumenical Patriarch as the primary spiritual leader of the Orthodox Christian world and transnational figure of global significance continues to prove increasingly vital. His All-Holiness has co-sponsored international peace conferences, as well as meetings on the subjects of racism and fundamentalism, bringing together Jews, Christians and Muslims for the purpose of generating greater cooperation and mutual understanding. He has been invited to address the European Parliament, UNESCO, the World Economic Forum, as well as numerous national parliaments. He has organized eight international, inter-faith and inter-disciplinary symposia, as well as numerous seminars and summits, to address ecological problems in the rivers and seas of the world, initiatives earning him the title “Green Patriarch” and the award of several significant environmental awards.

      Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s tenure has been characterized by inter-Orthodox cooperation, inter-Christian and inter-religious dialogue, as well as by formal trips to Orthodox and Muslim countries seldom previously visited. He has exchanged numerous invitations with Church and State dignitaries. His efforts to promote religious freedom and human rights, his initiatives to advance religious tolerance among the world’s religions, together with his work toward international peace and environmental protection have justly placed him at the forefront of global visionaries, peacemakers and bridge-builders as an apostle of love, peace and reconciliation. In 1997, he was awarded the Gold Medal of the United States Congress.”

      • Constantinos says

        Can’t we just call him Pope Bartholomew- spiritual leader of Christianity and all the world religions?

        • Bartholomew is a spiritual disappointment to the Church and to the world. Well, maybe not to the world.

      • Michael Bauman says

        Jane even if all of the things listed in the puff piece were true and righteous (they are not), it would still not make him the spiritual leader of 700 million Orthodox Christians. That is a papal claim. False Ecclesiology. False Ecclesiology always leads to heresy if unchecked and uncorrected because false Ecclesiology is ultimately a false statement about who Jesus Christ is. The EP’s promotion of ecumenical “unity” is resulting in further schism.

        You can ask any Roman Catholic who the worldwide spiritual leader of the RCC is and to a person they will likely say “The Pope”. Ask any Orthodox who the worldwide spiritual leader of the Orthodox Church is and, if they are astute they will say Jesus Christ. If they are less theologically minded they will likely not be able to tell you. Many don’t even know their own Patriarch let alone the EP, nor do they care. That is a good thing.

        The ecclesiological/Christological difference between the RCC, other Christians and we Orthodox is large and is one of the fundamental (there’s that word again) realities that separate us. How could it not?

        I was received into the Church 30 years ago, not once in all that time has any priest or bishop or lay person even hinted at the possibility that 1. We Orthodox have a world-wide spiritual leader; or 2. It is the EP. In my archdiocese we honor the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East but we commemorate in the Divine Liturgy our Met. and our local bishop (should just be our local bishop alas).

        I do have to ask you, What color is the sky? Trying to find something on which we might agree.

        • Jane Rachel says

          Dear Michael Bauman,

          The sky is every color there is.

          I’m not sure why you think we disagree on this. I simply cut-and-pasted from the EP website. I am as guilty as any other spoiled American, as I sit safely in my easy chair, sipping a cup of wine or coffee. Do I – a spoiled, under-educated American when it comes to what is going on in the world – have any right to agree or disagree with the following statement, or with anything else in that article?:

          “The title ‘Ecumenical Patriarch’ dates to the sixth century and historically belongs to the Archbishop of Constantinople.”

          “The role of the Ecumenical Patriarch as the primary spiritual leader of the Orthodox Christian world and transnational figure of global significance continues to prove increasingly vital.”

          What you would like the Ecumenical Patriarch to do? Step down? Quit?

          What are the consequences?

          I wish we would remember and acknowledge what the EP has done in helping the Albanian Orthodox to re-establish and strengthen the Orthodox Church in Albania. The facts are right on their web site. I will post the link again, in case you want to read it. We simply have no idea what it is like to go through what Orthodox Christians across the world have had to endure.

          I’ll repost it here:

          “After the Germans retreated from Albania in November of 1944, Albania came under total control of a communist regime. The Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania suffered under this regime like no other Church in the communist countries. For forty-six years, Enver Hoxha and his regime tried to destroy and eradicate Orthodoxy in our country.

          During the second phase of this persecution (1967-1990), the Albanian state became completely atheist. On the 4th April 1967, orders were given for the absolute persecution of religion. With a decree released on November 22, 1967, Albania was officially declared as the first and the only atheist state in the world and in history, where every expression of religious was constitutionally banned. The Orthodox Church crumbled. At that time, the Orthodox Church of Albania consisted of the Archdiocesan district, three other Metropolises, 19 hierarchical zones, 330 church communities and 25 monasteries (without monastic brotherhoods). The clergy were forced to remove their robes. Terrible crimes, internments, imprisonments, and murders were carried out against the faithful. All the churches and monasteries were violently closed, many of them were razed to the ground, others were repurposed and turned into museums, storehouses, blacksmiths, stables, etc. The Church’s possessions, such as its property, sacred vessels, and archives were confiscated. Even the smallest expressions of religious belief, e.g. owning icons, lighting candles, dyeing Easter eggs etc., were severely punished. For twenty-five years no ordination to the ranks of the clergy took place in Albania, but a most tragic thing was that no bishop survived this great trial. Therefore, when this period of persecution ended, it was impossible to reestablish and reorganize the Church given its internal situation.

          In 1991, when the communist regime collapsed as a result of world developments, the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania was in a very poor state. Terrible trials during the preceding decades had, as massive fires, burnt-down the local Church and left it barren like a desert.

          The initiative for the reorganization of the Church of Albania, which had been granted Autocephaly in 1937, was taken by the Ecumenical Patriarchate. On June 24th, 1992, His Beatitude Anastasios (Janullatos) was elected as Archbishop of Tirana, Durrës, and All Albania. Anastasios, at that time Bishop-Metropolitan of Androusa and Professor of the University of Athens, had also up until that time been the Moderator for the World Council of Churches Commission on World Mission and Evangelism. His election in 1992 was preceded by a year of missionary work, having arrived in Tirana in June 1991 as the Patriarchal Exarch. By the grace of God, the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Albania which began to be directed and organized by Archbishop Anastasios, rose again from the ruins.”

          • Michael Bauman says

            Jane, just trying to find some fundamental point of agreement.

            All the things you say about the EP may be true, it does not make him the “spiritual leader of the Orthodox worldwide”. There is no such person.

            He is especially not that when he keeps twisting the teachings of the Church for ideological reasons.

            • Jane Rachel says

              Michael Bauman,

              Which teachings of the Ecumenical Patriarchate are “twisted for ideological reasons”?

              • George Michalopulos says

                Global warming. The overturning of Ligonuer. The whole first without equals thing.

                • Jane Rachel says


                  1) The EP and “Global Warming.” There is nothing wrong with the upcoming GreenAttica event. Jane Goodall and many others will be there, witnessing Orthodoxy up front and personal, so in this sense Patriarch Bartholomew is reaching out to the world. There are more ways to look at things than through one’s own glasses.

                  3)”The overturning of Ligonier”: Reading through articles and comments on the OCL website, ( I found a very interesting comment made by Rev. Chris Margaritis of Assumption of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Church in Denver, CO, on October 23, 2014 2:28 am.
                  “Be careful what you ask for. I can’t speak for all the ancient Patriarchates, or the divisions and pride that so many cite here. Clearly the Church from its onset copied and followed the divisions and offices of the Roman empire, perhaps wrongly but so. But by the grace of God, that very empire become Christian, and its emperor built the city of Constantinople on the concept of that new faith. There is no other city founded in the name of our faith, no parallel in Christian history of this magnitude. The word “Christendom” has no real meaning outside of the context of Constantinople. For a millennium, Constantinople was considered the “new Jerusalem”. In all that time it was believed to be protected by the Theotokos herself. These are not attempts at ethnic bragging, this is historically how the Christians that fathered us actually thought. Those now under the Patriarch of Constantinople enjoy (prideful or not) primacy in the hierarchy of the Orthodox Church. To abandon this ancient Patriarchate for a new autocephaly would put us at the very bottom of the hierarchical list. I doubt our American pride would take well to that.

                  But all that is academic. To put it in real terms, after 9/11, Osama Bin Laden sent an ultimatum to the USA. Surrender to Allah. Of course we never took that seriously, but our response was hard and violent. Had his attacks continued, we would have responded even more heavy handed. Regardless, lives were lost and considered a worthwhile sacrifice. We would NEVER surrender NYC or the smallest plot of land to such demands. Well, neither will those who remain in Constantinople surrender the last inch of that venerable and historic city and what it represents to Orthodox Christianity without first surrendering their lives. That is a fact.

                  So those of you wanting, praying for and even demanding autocephaly, right or wrong, for better or for worse, should we ever do so we’d soon discover that not only would our voice severely diminish in worldwide Orthodoxy, but we would in effect pass a death sentence on our ancient Patriarchal see, and the man who holds that office…or does anyone really think the Turks or other Muslims of the middle-east would spare them once their American support was gone? Our conscience would forever pang in regret.

                  I understand the needs we face, and the desire to better ourselves, but would we? And at what price? Have we really thought this through? Is the Lord really concerned that we aren’t governed by the likes and power of the papacy…seriously? Those who crave that are in the wrong denomination. It’s not that our pastors are weak, but that our people are strong; hardened by centuries of martyrdom, to this point in millions upon millions. In the wake of that, we are casually debating who is rightfully in charge? [2 Timothy 2:23, Titus 3:9] The answer is clear to any believer. No man. Only the Lord Himself. And while Satan has us bickering and dying from top to bottom, why add to the fray? Must we too now unravel our history any more than the world has already done? None of this debate is even remotely significant by comparison. We point to the pride we perceive in the Patriarchates, but do we see the log in our own eye?”

                  3)”the whole first without equals” thing: As Ecumenical Patriarch, he is the first leader (actually, the only man with that title), and there are no “equals” because no one else has his job. If you take away that title, then what happens to the icon of the Father fulfilled in the bishop? He juggles, he motivates, he incorporates, he moves his influence around in a world where right-side-up has become upside-down, and inside-out has become outside-in. He has a very tricky job.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Jane, I very much respect you but nobody needs to believe their own propaganda. What the Phanar puts out on it’s website is out of date and quite possibly ahistorical.

                    That is no Christian witness. Speak the truth, preach the Gospel. Nothing more is required. If Cpole did that it would be a mighty patriarchate indeed. Instead, it is a curia, a bureaucracy in which every file clerk is a bishop and no metropolitan has a flock.

                    • Jane Rachel says

                      What will happen not only here in the United States, but worldwide, if the EP is dismantled and autocephaly happens in the Americas? Has anyone read the comment from Father Rev. Chris Margaritis of Assumption of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Church in Denver, CO, which I have posted twice now? Link:

                      What a mess the OCA bishops and administration has made of of their autocephaly! We are still shuddering within the aftermath of the havoc wreaked on the Orthodox Church by that debacle. I imagine the OCA became a laughing stock in the worldwide Orthodox arena… Here are two letters from Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko of the OCA: Make of them whatever you will:

                      Letter Number 1:
                      Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko on November 6, 2013 5:19 pm

                      Dear friends,

                      Thank you for all of your good work.

                      My opinion is that the six Old World patriarchates with ecclesiastical “jurisdictions” in North and Central America do not really want a new fully united, completely self-governing Orthodox Church in North (and/or Central) America for all Orthodox Christians. Neither do the overwhelming majority of Orthodox bishops now serving in these jurisdictions want it. With extremely few exceptions, they all want nothing new or different from SCOBA with one exception: the Old World patriarchates will now be completely in charge of everything that really matters in church life, beginning (and ending) with the selection and appointment of bishops. and their relationship with each other.

                      May the Merciful Lord be with us all.

                      Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko
                      Dean Emeritus
                      St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary
                      Crestwood, NY

                      Letter number 2:
                      Dear fathers, brothers and sisters in Christ,

                      Asking your forgiveness on this first day of Great Lent, I beg you to trust, honor and support the Synod of Bishops of our Orthodox Church in America, together with the Metropolitan Council and Chancery staff, in their unanimous efforts to fulfill their duties responsibly, which now most sadly include insisting upon and providing for proper counsel and care for our gravely troubled Metropolitan Jonah.

                      I also ask you to trust, honor and support Mark Stokoe’s continued efforts through OCANews to report, question, criticize and comment on the words and deeds of our Orthodox Church leaders for the sake of securing their best possible conduct of their God-given duties.

                      And, while respecting his right to speak and act as he sees fit, I also ask you not to trust, honor or support Fr. Joseph Fester’s opinions and views since his record hardly demonstrates worthiness of serious consideration.

                      May the Lord forgive our sins and failures. And may He guide and protect us in every way.

                      Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko
                      Dean Emeritus
                      St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    Jane Rachel, have you read anything Jane Goodall believes?. God bless her for her care for apes, but she loves them more than humans. The anthropology of the ideological environmentalists is upside down and backwards — antithethical to ours in every way.

                    The EP had the opportunity to teach and advance the sacramental/jubilee understanding of dressing and keeping the earth. But that requires repentance and the absolute dedication to the revealed truth of Christian marriage.

                    If we lived Orthodox Christian lives in accord with the Gospel, there would be no environmental problem. The combination of ascetical monasticism and chaste Christian marriage and family would allow for a fecundity that the Orthodox marriage service and Psalm 103/104 describe. There would also be justice.

                    Laws and policy, especially of the kind the EP supports will perpetuate the destruction and violation because such law is of the spirit of loving the created thing more than the creator.

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    Jane Rachel, further is that we need a much deeper understanding and function of sacramental community. We are bereft of this right now, all of us, and it is sad. Clearly the Protestant idea of fellowship is incomplete but that does not mean it is wrong and some sort of aloof weekly gathering around the Cup is not sufficient either. We should have both/and…

                    Bishops must have flocks. The icon of the Resurrection is also an icon of a bishop and his flock. One I have witnessed in person within my own community. It cannot be a dispersed flock.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      I completely agree with you Michael. Any “diocese” in which it takes more than a day-trip by car to go to the diocesan seat and back is not a diocese but an archdiocese (that is to say a concatenation of several dioceses.

                    • Linda Albert, says

                      George, we have four / five states (depending on the speed limit and if you observe it) in which it takes more than a car day trip to get from the far corner to the state capital and back. And three of those, Alaska, California, Montana and Wyoming are in the OCA Diocese of the West. Throw in six more large states, Colorado, Idaho, Washington, Nevada, Arizona and Oregon, and car trips are completely impracticable. Nevertheless, due to general population low density, compared to the Eastern part of the country, and a very small population of Orthodox Christians, this area could not feasibly support more bishops and diocesan infrastructures.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      I respectfully disagree. Texas alone support at least 3 dioceses.

                      Why can’t the other large geographic states with 2 cities each have a bishop? Why can’t a bishop be the rector of a church? Bishop Daniel Brum is the rector of the OCA church in Phoenix.

                      Every major metropolitan city in the U.S. should be a diocesan seat

                    • Linda Albert, says

                      George, Montana has six parishes and one mission. Two of the parishes and the mission are OCA, one is Serbian, one is ROCAR, and the remaining two are GOA with, as far as I know, only intermittent services. One of the OCA parishes is in the eastern part of the state; all the others are concentrated in the western half. Are we supposed to have a bishop for two parishes and one mission?

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Why not? St Ignatius was the bishop of a grand total of 20 people in Antioch. Are the present bishops more esteemed than he?

              • Michael Bauman says

                The whole “Green Patriarch” thing. We are commanded to dress and keep the earth without queatuon, but that does not mean giving government control over everything. It doesn’t mean feminism as John Chryssavgis promotes in his book.

                His whole one world approach which plays into the lap dog of Rome persona as well.

                We have to look at the “five ancient Patriarchates” approach to the Church. None of them are eternal. Eventually they will all pass away.

                The Turks have pretty well squeezed the life out of the EP’s.

              • Matthew Panchisin says

                The things that we are hearing these days, ecumenism etc. are a far cry from what we used to hear, so what if we test the spirits? The E.P. the so-called spiritual leader of all Orthodox Christians and bishops by force if necessary) promoting his worldly environment earthly saving agenda that others so easily accept is a prime example and opportunity.

                If we listen, we can hear that such notions are not in accordance with what we hear and see in the Orthodox Church, that is without the commentary and advanced forward thinking of the “New Church Fathers”.

                Not one of them can tell us how these new teachings like the pagan rooted environmental movement (which is based on fear, man destroying the entire planet and expansive worldly minded ecumenical influence etc.) can ever harmonize with the words of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

                Luke 12: 22-31
                And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.

                In Christ,

                Matthew Panchisin

      • Joseph Lipper says

        The trap for Orthodox Christians that Pope Francis is setting up is his narrative that there is no real unity in Orthodoxy, and this is the usual trap that Catholics set up. Pope Francis is taking clear political advantage of the current political disunity that is evident in Orthodoxy and especially in regards to the Ukraine. He says he doesn’t wish to meddle in the conflicting affairs of the Orthodox, but he also points out that there is no such conflict in the “Catholic Church”.

        Catholics will point out that the “Roman Catholic Church” has unity, and it is one, just like in the Creed: “One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church”. And they would say that the visible unity of this is in the supremacy of the Pope.

        The only way for Orthodox Christians to counter the Catholic argument, is to show some unity, or at least show some deference to one another. If we really believe that Orthodox Ecclesiology is true, then we have to make every effort to defer to one another in love.

        If we are “traditionalist” Orthodox, then we have to support the concept of primacy among the Orthodox Churches. This deference to primacy (and not papal supremacy) is the visible sign of unity among the Orthodox Churches.

        Even if we were to believe that Patriarch Bartholomew is a heretic, our continued support for the primacy of the Ecumenical Patriarch shows our Orthodox unity.

        • Antiochene Son says

          I would rather have our problems than Rome’s. Rome doesn’t really care what you believe, as long as you bend the knee to the papacy. For instance, Eastern Catholics venerate as saints men who are condemed as heretics by Rome, such as Sts Gregory Palamas, Photios the Great, and Mark of Ephesus; and all post-unia Orthodox saints too.

          Communion can only take place with those who hold the Orthodox Faith. If the EP is a heretic, no communion can take place. Who cares what the Pope thinks?

          Nobody thinks the Latin communion is a bastion of happy unity. They are intellectually dishonest when the radical leftist German bishops maintain communion with the conservative Africans. It’s like the Anglican communion, which is a joke.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Well said.

            • Matthew Panchisin says

              Dear George,

              Do you think this is a bleep or an example of what a new ecclesiology would look like? Either way it’s a product of the Vatican.

              Pope’s ecumenical prayer in Geneva ‘sign of fellowship’
              Archbishop Job of Telmessos, Eastern Orthodox Patriarch for Western Europe, says the World Council of Churches’ ecumenical prayer, held on Thursday in Geneva with Pope Francis, was “joyful” and “sign of fellowship among the churches”.

              Job of Telmessos is an Eastern Orthodox Archbishop of the Ecumenical Patriarchate who was elected to lead the Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe in November 2013. Wikipedia

        • Matthew Panchisin says

          Dear Joseph Lipper,

          Our long held traditions don’t work that way, that is as sell outs for the sake of some worldly form of primacy and unity. Ultimately we end up respecting the ethos of Bishops like Saint Mark of Ephesus.

          In Christ,

          Matthew Panchisin

          • Joseph Lipper says

            Dear Matthew Panchisin,

            How does primacy and unity manifest itself in the Church?

            St. Mark of Ephesus was a true ecumenist who stood up for the true primacy and unity of the Church, and he spoke out against and rejected the false Council of Florence. This false council rejected the real primacy and unity of the Church, trading it for the false primacy of the pope and the false unity of papal dogma.

            The Ecumenical Patriarchate has now continued to exist after the false Council of Florence and now 565 years after the Fall of Constantinople. The Ecumenical Patriarch is still commemorated by Orthodox Christians all over the world, and is currently commemorated as first among equals by the other autocephalous Orthodox Churches.

            Should the EP have ceased to exist after the Fall of Constantinople? Should the Moscow Patriarchate have ceased to exist after the Bolshevik Revolution?

            • Matthew Panchisin says

              Dear Joseph Lipper,

              “How does primacy and unity manifest itself in the Church?” The best examples seem to always be through humility. We have heard the non-sense that Saint Mark of Ephesus was a true ecumenist before. Your perspective is much different than others.

        • “Even if we were to believe that Patriarch Bartholomew is a heretic, our continued support for the primacy of the Ecumenical Patriarch shows our Orthodox unity.”

          On the contrary, it shows that his heresy is also ours.

          A house divided against itself cannot stand. The same thing that happened in other Christian confessions is happening in Orthodoxy. Two mutually exclusive and irreconcilable “churches” have developed. It is only a matter of time until the whole thing falls apart and each goes its separate way.

          Godspeed to that reckoning.

          • Joseph Lipper says

            So do we rid ourselves of the Ecumenical Patriarchate just because we believe one of them is a bad egg? Haven’t there been heretical Ecumenical Patriarchs before?

            • Michael Bauman says

              Yes, and other Orthodox Bishops called them out. Nestorius repented because he was confronted with the truth. His heresy though lives on.

              The real reason the EP needs changing is because he is patriarch of nothing. That is why they will not let the U.S. go.

              • Joseph Lipper says

                My sense is that for many people on this blog, their main beef with the Ecumenical Patriarch is that he is seen as an obstacle towards the establishment of an autocephalous American Orthodox Church.

                Rather, if people were mostly concerned that Patriarch Bartholomew was a heretic, then people would want him to repent, or possibly be replaced. Instead, there seems to be some sense of relief in the claim that the EP is a heretic, because this seems to somehow give rationale for the possible abolishment of the EP.

                • My sense is that for many people on this blog, their main beef with the Ecumenical Patriarch is that he is seen as an obstacle towards the establishment of an autocephalous American Orthodox Church.


                  The EP is an obstacle, but he is by no means the only obstacle. Other patriarchates, perhaps all of them, are obstacles as well (not to mention many American members of their jurisdictions). The EP takes the brunt of most criticism on the subject of American autocephaly primarily because his GOA jurisdiction is the by far the largest in the Americas.

                  I state this only as a matter of fact and with no axe to grind in terms of autocephaly.

                  I think it is fair to say that most criticism of the EP is only tangentially related to American autocephaly. If the GOA wasn’t in crisis and the EP wasn’t bound up in modernist, globalist, and ecumenical agendas he would be only one among many targets of criticism from those who want a unified autocephalous American Orthodox Church.

                  Instead, there seems to be some sense of relief in the claim that the EP is a heretic, because this seems to somehow give rationale for the possible abolishment of the EP.

                  Perhaps among some, but not in my case. All I know is that heretic or not, abolish the EP or not, the realization of American autocephaly would likely still be as far from becoming a reality as it is today. Those for whom autocephaly is of primary importance will have to move on to the next obstacles…and the distraction from what really matters will continue.

                  • M. Stankovich says

                    It seems to me there is a fundamental dishonesty to all of this quacking about the EP, his significance, jurisdictions, diocese, and all of this business all the way down the line that leads to the front steps of the individual parish. What exactly would autocephaly bring any of us in reality?

                    Is the gift of a new American “self-rule” an opportunity to create manageable, intimate diocese guided by a true “moral voice of leadership,” a guide and director of souls first, impervious to “special requests & favours” and who “serves” rather than seeks to be served? Not with the same landlord who will cite the same Canons attempting to arrogantly hold an entire continent hostage in order to protect his six blocks, but this time engage us in some hokey dialog courtesy of the Who:

                    Come meet the new boss!
                    (Wait, he’s the same as the old boss)

                    Get all your papers and smile at the sky!
                    (Wait, only the hypnotized never lie)

                    The change it had to come. We knew it all along!
                    (Wait, There’s nothing in the street, looks any different to me)

                    And that is exactly how we will get fooled again. Well, not me anyway…

                    Oh, and this just in, because Rachel received a special request to publish massively long, full text articles on this site, rather than links, in order for “people with limited access to the internet” to enjoy what people with access are not reading, Google Analytics has announced that Monomakhos has now passed the Anarchist Cookbook as the third most read site in Chechnya and the Sudan, and the fourth in Samalia. Congratulations, Mr. Michalopulos!

                • Jane Rachel says

                  Joseph Lipper,

                  Thanks for making this statement. Here is an excerpt from the most recent statement by Patriarch Bartholomew concerning Ukraine and autocephaly:
                  “Patriarch Bartholomew says he opposes autocephaly for Ukrainian church

                  “KIEV, June 23. /TASS/. Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople has met with the delegation of the Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church reporting to the Moscow Patriarchate. During the meeting, he said he was opposed to the schism and attempts to create an autocephalous church in Ukraine, Metropolitan Antony of Borispol and Brovary, Chancellor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church reporting to the Moscow Patriarchate, said on Saturday.

                  “Actually, it was stated several times today that legalizing the schism is out of the question. We are currently looking for those medicines, which will help unite and integrate our brothers who have been behind the church fence for a long time,” he told the 112 Ukraine TV channel.

                  “According to Metropolitan Antony, Patriarch Bartholomew ‘is reluctant to interfere in the situation.’ ‘However, as a responsible person, as the first among the equal patriarchs of the entire Orthodox Christian world, he wants to help resolve this complex issue.’ He added that the problem would be handled on the basis of the canonical rules. The patriarch paid particular attention to statements made by some high-ranking officials that the Tomos had allegedly been signed. ‘It was even said that those who say that the Tomos has been written are working against the Church of Constantinople,’ the metropolitan stressed.

                  “Ukraine has one canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which reports to the Moscow Patriarchate and enjoys a very broad autonomy within the general structure of the Russian Orthodox Church.

                  “Alongside with it, the country has two organizations unrecognized by the Eastern Orthodox Christian World – the Ukrainian Orthodox Church reporting to the so-called Kiev Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church.

                  “Since the proclamation of independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, the Ukrainian authorities have been trying hard to create a local [national] Church that would be independent of the Moscow Patriarchate.

                  “In late April, Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (parliament) supported President Pyotr Poroshenko’s request to Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople to grant permission to create an autocephalous Orthodox Church in Ukraine.”


                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Well, this is good news if true.

                    On another note Jane, I’d like to commend you regarding your perceptions of nihilism and how you think it can’t win in the end. You bring up your own experiences as an atheist and that God somehow broke through. That is a magnificent blessing. Grace non-pareil. Most people however don’t have that extreme good fortune. Some know God through the experience of the demonic, others merely trudge along in their life being “neither hot nor cold”.

                    My point is this: for must people, the need exists for polemicist to actively fight the nihilistic impulses of the post-Enlightenment because the temptation to accept the world as it is is simply too great. I think of myself for instance: I was unalterably opposed to so-called marriage, then I reluctantly accepted “civil unions” as a stop-gap. Now it’s like “what the hell? Go ahead and bake the damn cake!”

                    It’s easy to make accommodations to the overall crapitude of life once you go further and further into the abyss. Hence, the need to fight it unequivocally from the start. You know, the frog in the slowly boiling pot thing.

                    • Jane Rachel says

                      George, how can one “know God through the spirit of the demonic”?
                      Why must we “fight the nihilistic impulses” when Christ said, “Go and sin no more?”

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Simple: if one knows that the demons exist then ipso facto, God exists. In the Epistle of James, the Apostle tells us that “…the demons know that God exists, and they tremble”.

                  • George Michalopulos says
                • Jane Rachel says

                  Here’s another reason it’s best to withhold judgment against the Ecumenical Patriarch. Greatly Saddened posted this link elsewhere but the reply buttons have disappeared so I’ll post it here:

                  Linking two thoughts together, the above article shows what destruction the west has wreaked on Iraq and Syria and the importance of two things:
                  1) for Orthodox leaders to meet with world leaders; and 2) for displaced Christians and members of other minority religious to return home in order to help bring stability back to those areas.

                  The “deep state” agenda is behind the terrible state the world is in today, and the same, world domination agenda is in Ukraine and its happenings as well. President Putin is all about a multi-polar world, and the globalists want world domination.

                  The “deep state” agenda is behind terrorism, proxy wars, destruction of whole countries, genocide, instability, the vilification of President Assad and Iran, the so-called “revolutions” and all-out war in the world today.

                  We (the west, our tax dollars and our “allies”) created the situation in Serbia. From what I can find out, Slobodan Milosevic has been exonerated – .

                  The west created ISIS and funds the terrorists in Syria and elsewhere; our money is behind the fighting in Donbass, and is responsible for the situation in Yemen (

                  One of my favorite analysts is Andrew Korybko. In this excerpt, Andrew talks about how the “deep state” seeks to divide and conquer with “Hybrid Wars”: “Hybrid Wars, as he labels them, are when the US meshes its Color Revolution and Unconventional Warfare strategies together to create a unified toolkit for carrying out regime change in targeted states. When a Color Revolution attempt fails, as it miserably did in Syria in 2011, the backup plan is to roll out an Unconventional War that builds directly upon the former’s social infrastructure and organizing methods. In the case of EuroMaidan, Andrew cites Western news sources such as Newsweek magazine, the Guardian, and Reuters in reminding everyone that in the days immediately prior to the coup’s successful completion, Western Ukraine was in full-scale rebellion against the central government and the stage was set for an Unconventional Syrian-esque War in the heart of Eastern Europe. Had it not been for the sudden overthrow of President Yanukovich, the US was prepared to take the country down the path of the Syrian scenario, which would have been its second full-fledged application of Hybrid War.”

                  Given these factors, it seems that if autocephaly were granted to Ukraine, it is probable the situation would worsen as the schism got wider, and would lead to more instability in the area. Not good.

                  Which leads me back to your original thought, Joseph. Our Orthodox leaders are wiser than we realize. Americans have, simply put, been duped.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Jane, a lot to chew on there but you’re right: if autocephaly were granted to the Ukraine, it’d be WWIII.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Also: you are right: we are placing too much blame on the EP. There’s more than enough to go around. Having said that, the EP is unfortunately drawing too much criticism to himself precisely because he (and some of his predecessors) have attempted to turn the See of Constantinople into an Orthodox Vatican. This goes back to the unfortunate archpastorate of Meletius IV Metaxakis.

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    Jane, quite right due to our sinfulness and our falling to the destructive nihilism of the Will to Power.

    • Joseph Lipper says

      Michael Bauman,

      Does not the Ecumenical Patriarch lead the Diptychs in primacy over all the other bishops? This deference to primacy (not supremacy) is what makes the Ecumenical Patriarch the spiritual leader of 700 million Orthodox around the world. This deference to primacy is the sign of Orthodox unity, and this is what makes us “One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church”.

      • Antiochene Son says

        He leads the diptychs because someone has to be first, but while communion with the EP is importtant, it is not the mark of unity unto itself; that would be papism. It is the mutual communion of all the churches that marks our unity.

        At one point in time, ROCOR was only in communion with Bulgaria. Yet no one claims they were not part of the Church; we all recognize St. John of San Francisco.

        • Joseph Lipper says

          Antiochene Son,

          Are you saying that the order of the Diptychs is unimportant? If so, that would indicate a rejection of Orthodox primacy.

          The Diptychs and it’s order gives us a statement of the unity of autocephalous churches and their bishops, and it is read only at the hierarchical Divine Liturgies of the primates of autocephalous churches.

          I don’t believe ROCOR has ever considered herself to be autocephalous. Autonomous, yes, but not autocephalous.

          • Antiochene Son says

            Are you saying that the order of the Diptychs is unimportant?

            By nature everything must have an order, but ontologically yes, it is unimportant. I don’t know if this is the case today, but historically there have been varying different orders of the diptychs. The EP being first is not the mark of unity. Communion is.

            • Joseph Lipper says

              Antiochene Son,

              If we reject primacy, then usually everyone ends up becoming their own primate.
              If everyone becomes their own primate, then we have a monkey zoo.

              Primacy is part of Orthodoxy. We see it in our churches, with our bishops, priests, deacons, in our families with the head of household, and in our prayers for the heads of government.

              We know that the Second Ecumenical Council of 381 stated that, “The Bishop of Constantinople shall have the primacy of honour after the Bishop of Rome, since this city is the New Rome.”

              It was in Constantinople that the very concept of Orthodoxy developed through the Ecumenical Councils. Just because the Turkish government officially changed the name in 1930 to the more informal “Istanbul”, which means “to the city”, Istanbul is still thought of as the City of Constantine by the Turkish peoples.

              In order for Moscow or Jerusalem or NYC to be declared a “Third Rome”, there would have to be another ecumenical council to declare this. Also, I believe there is a Church canon that further states that only the Emperor can call a Church Council. That was always the case in traditional Orthodoxy. It was the Emperor who called the Church Councils.

              So Where’s Darth Sidious?

              Seriously, I believe the Ecumenical Patriarch and the last few remaining Christians living in Turkey are very close to being evicted. I wouldn’t want to stand with the same side that demands their eviction. There’s going to be hell to pay when that happens. War will break out.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Nothing wrong with primacy, never been an issue. It’s supremacy that’s the problem. What the Phanar promotes on its website is nothing short of sheer papalism.

                To say nothing of the ahistorical nonsense.

                • Jane Rachel says

                  Would someone please tell me what is on the EP website that is “sheer papalism”? In fact, the opposite is true. Read the ADDRESS by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew “A Common Christian Agenda for the Common Good” (Vatican, May 26, 2018).


                  George, the one big difference between his speech and the sorry picture you paint in your latest reflection about “Nihilism” is that the EP’s words are grounded in right Orthodox thinking. What a contrast! Eugene Rose was out of his head when he wrote that chapter on “Nihilism.” Take a look:

                  Now, compare to this statement from the speech by Patriarch Bartholomew.
                  “From our Churches’ point of view, the future does not belong to the individual who concerns himself with his own self, but to the overcoming of this self-centeredness. Real freedom is the exit from our own self. As has been properly stated, ‘the door to freedom only opens towards the outside’. The Church, as ‘a communion of relations’, as the foremost space of ‘the culture of personhood’, constitutes a great challenge for the contemporary individual-centric civilization, and for the auto-soteric narcissism of contemporary man and woman. Her ascetical ethos is offered as an alternative proposal of life to the homo habens, who identifies his own eudemonia with ‘having’ and the multiplication of his own satisfied needs. It is imperative and crucial to promote and develop, in action, the social workforce of our Christian faith—the loving relation with our fellow human beings.”

                  Father John Meyendorff:
                  “Fr. John Meyendorff saw the need for the primacy of Constantinople:

                  [The] Patriarchate, for the past many centuries, has been recognized as having a certain responsibility for the entire Church as a center of consensus with a “primacy of honor.” This is why it is called the “Ecumenical Patriarchate.” Misinformed journalists sometimes identify the Ecumenical Patriarch’s position to that of the pope in Roman Catholicism, which is, of course, quite absurd, but it is unquestionable that the Orthodox conception of the Church recognizes the need for leadership of the world episcopate, for a certain spokesmanship by the first patriarch, for a ministry of coordination without which conciliarity is impossible… (“Needed: The Ecumenical Patriarchate,” in Vision of Unity (Crestwood, NY: SVS Press, 1987), p. 133.)

                  “Personally, I see no way in which the Orthodox Church can fulfill its mission in the world today without the ministry of a “first bishop,” defined not any more in terms which were applicable under the Byzantine Empire or in terms of universal jurisdiction according to the Roman model but still based upon that “privilege of honor” of which the Second Ecumenical Council spoke. We should all think and search how to redefine that “privilege” in a way which would be practical and efficient today. (“The Council of 381 and the Primacy of Constantinople” in Catholicity and the Church (Crestwood, NY: SVS Press, 1983), p. 142.)

                  “Meyendorff thus identifies Constantinople’s presbeia in terms other than mere “honor,” but that it fulfills a practical need.”

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Jane, that’s a very rosy view you paint. With the latest editorial by Met Kallistos Ware, the mask has finally come off.

                    It’s now clear that the Phanar’s purpose on the grand geopolitical chessboard is to give the globalist program a Christian gloss.

                    • Constantinos says

                      I really wish people wouldn’t beat on Jane Rachel. No offense intended toward Dr. Stankovich, but she makes some excellent points. She’s a very smart, tough, and knowledgeable. I like to read Dr. Stankovich’s views and Jane Rachel’s as well. I want to reiterate no disrespect is intended toward Dr. Stankovich. They both bring a great deal to the table.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      I like to read her as well. Folks, let’s tone it down.

                    • Jane Rachel says

                      George, Is Kallistos Ware on the Phanar?

                    • Christopher says


                      Realize I am responding only to your one post – coming in the middle as I don’t have the desire to read everything here:

                      I liked that speech Pat. Bartholomew delivered, though the underlying personal/relational theology and ecclesiology rests on Zizioulas “personalism” and Trinitarian theology which contains novel and controversial elements. I also agree with the Meyendorff that the EP, and indeed ALL of our ecclesiology, assumes a Roman/Byzantine polity and culture/world that does not exist anymore and is not going to return.

                      However, it does not follow from the agreement that:

                      “…Personally, I see no way in which the Orthodox Church can fulfill its mission in the world today without the ministry of a “first bishop,”

                      What Meyendorff is proposing here is nothing less than an overhaul – a Reform with a capital R – of our ecclesiology to reflect the fall of the Empire. Nothing but a REAL ecumenical council could do such a thing. Such a reform could still have a place of “first bishop”, but then it might not. I have opinions what such a reform would look like, but they are only opinions and we would not know it until it happened and quite literally, God guided us.

                      In any case, not sure what this has to do with western or eastern “papalism” but you stringing those two quotes together intrigued me.

                      Christopher Encapera

                    • Jane Rachel says

                      Constantinos and George: Oh, pshaw!

                    • M. Stankovich says


                      In consideration of the people with whom I associate, I’d say you would have to raise the roof to offend me. But I will insist that I am always offended by anyone willing to bend and manipulate the truth to meet their own needs.

                      Constantinos, I knew Fr. John Meyendorff for 19-years as my confessor, instructor in Patristics & Church History, and my mentor; he is the reason I studied bioethics at Fordham University, and eventually continued to medical school. Now Rachel, from the google school of theology, will instruct me when she cannot grasp the difference between “primacy of honour” and “primacy?” And she is defending the captive “hostage-by-choice” Ecumenical Patriarch, who is so worried he might offend his Turkish “captor” (who swears to make good on his threat to deport them) that he is a “lamb” who chooses to present no Orthodox moral voice in the world. This, in my estimation, is a matter of serious illusion (and I thank Mr. Michalopulos for allowing to personally film him on his ride to work as this week’s vlog to make my point.

                      Seriously, “All of the Patriarchs all over the world, including the EP, have very a real effect on all of our lives, whether we are Orthodox Christians or not,” “We in the United States suffer from a malady called “clueless,” “(blah, blah, blah) we contribute to the mess, and to the suffering of our fellow humans everywhere.” Oh, hell no! You have lost your mind.

                      Here’s my idea, Rachel, and I’ve mentioned it here before: I have had urges based on my own sense feelings of helplessness – read it again: based on my own sense feelings of helplessness. I called around until I discovered a “therapeutic nursery” in a step-down unit of a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) in a near-by medical center. I called and they were desperate for volunteers to feed, hold, and rock newborns Child Protective Services had taken into custody because they either tested positive for mood-altering or – as the angels weep in the presence of our God – were in need of medically monitored detoxification. I went twice a week, either at lunch or on the way home, and I fed and me some babies, Rachel. Sometimes I sang the Pascha Canon, sometimes (you crack me up, Dino) straight from the human jukebox. But on no days was I affected by the EC, and no, Rachel, don’t you even try to place responsibility on me for his “plight.” You can take my share because you are just that magnanimous.

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      George,where can I find the editorial by Kallistos Ware

                  • Christopher says


                    Realize I am responding only to your one post – coming in the middle as I don’t have the desire to read everything here:

                    I liked that speech Pat. Bartholomew delivered, though the underlying personal/relational theology and ecclesiology rests on Zizioulas “personalism” and Trinitarian theology which contains novel and controversial elements. I also agree with the Meyendorff that the EP, and indeed ALL of our ecclesiology, assumes a Roman/Byzantine polity and culture/world that does not exist anymore and is not going to return.

                    However, it does not follow from the agreement that:

                    “…Personally, I see no way in which the Orthodox Church can fulfill its mission in the world today without the ministry of a “first bishop,”

                    What Meyendorff is proposing here is nothing less than an overhaul – a Reform with a capital R – of our ecclesiology to reflect the fall of the Empire. Nothing but a REAL ecumenical council could do such a thing. Such a reform could still have a place of “first bishop”, but then it might not. I have opinions what such a reform would look like, but they are only opinions and we would not know it until it happened and quite literally, God guided us.

                    In any case, not sure what this has to do with western or eastern “papalism” but you stringing those two quotes together intrigued me.

                    Christopher Encapera

                  • M. Stankovich says

                    Tell me honestly, Rachel, did you actually read Fr. John Meyendorff, or is this a “google-find” of somebody of somebody like Ambrose Mong (Purification of Memory)?

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      Is there any chance you plan to answer this question, Rachel? As you might have guessed, it only reinforces my opinion that google scholars are no scholars and trash the integrity of legitimate debate by obviating context. What is sad is that I knew you didn’t read the books of John Meyendorff you quoted – which would have gone a long way to understanding the theological complexity of the issues under discussion. Instead, you make him out to be a complicit “patsy” in your unexplained obsession to transform the EP into a “good ol’ boy,” who’s just “tryin’ to make a livin’.” It’s never easy….

                      But your “sort of knee-jerk reaction that was directed towards those scholarly contributors” happened to include a man who played such an important and supportive role in my life at a critical time in my life. One of my “jobs” as a student as SVS was to maintain the Bashir Auditorium (i.e. I was it’s janitor). Depending on the semester, Fr. John taught his Church History course on Monday evening, and his Patristics course on Thusday evening, with the point being to allow members of the community to come in and audit the course if they so chose. And indeed they chose. I had to set up extra chairs to accommodate the extra students. I was 18-yrs. old and the delight of my Monday or Thursday was to sit on the floor a few feet outside the door and listen to Fr. John teach Patristics, the writings of the Holy Fathers. Imagine! And simultaneously translate Patralogia Graeca as he spoke. To riff off of Buddy Guy, you can only ask yourself, “what kind of man is this?”

                      You seemingly taunt me below, “He sure gets mad, doesn’t he?” Rachel, Fr. John Meyendorff, who with Fr. Georges Florovsky, was responsible for the neo-Patristic revival in this country; he was a brilliant and gifted theological mind, and was a father of our generation; and to me personally, he was a warm, gentle, and genuinely caring mentor & support. His sudden death, to this day, shocks me and provokes a great sadness. To read in your response to Christopher that your motivation for “cherry-picking” from his books that you did not bother to read was, essentially, motivated by a need to piss me off, Rachel, is shameful and childish. What kind of woman is this?

                    • Jane Rachel says


                      Father Seraphim Rose.

                      I have read some of Father John Meyendorff, but not enough, apparently. Yes, I used the quote after finding it on google, since I don’t have his books at hand. People can make of my posts anything they like, just as they can make anything they like of your posts. “What kind of woman is this?” I’ve worked with, helped, cleaned up, wept over, fed, sheltered, and loved children, adults and the elderly in the United States and in other countries more than you know, and it was no where near enough. I could not care less if you don’t care what happens in Albania. Other than that, you are right, I don’t know much.

                    • Billy Jack Sunday says

                      Dr. Stankovich

                      One must stop and eat the glue now and again between cutting and pasting projects

                      “Why don’t you Yahoo it?” – said no one ever

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      Mystery solved. I kept hearing this subtle rumble. Subtle. Subtle. Rumble. Smells like teen sarcasm. Almost there…

                      You was just a little smaller but you still rolled
                      Got stretched to Y.A. and hit the hood swoll
                      Member when you had a jheri curl didn’t quite learn?
                      On the block, witcha glock, trippin off sherm
                      Collect calls to the till, sayin’ how ya changed
                      Now the whole deal’s changed, and we don’t even kick it
                      Got a big money scheme, and you ain’t even with it
                      Hmm, knew in my heart you was the same bad
                      Go toe to toe when it’s time for roll you got a brother’s back
                      And I can’t even trip, ’cause I’m just laughin’ at cha
                      You tryin’ hard to maintain, then go head
                      ‘Cause I ain’t mad at cha
                      (Hmm) (I ain’t mad at cha)

                      Tupac Sunday. Holdin’ your breath, bro’? Ha! Nah, if you call me because you need help, because someone in your family needs help, my world stops, and I’m on it. Do I want you to praise me for my charity and good works? To stand in awe of my magnanimity? Or worse, put you in my debt? Hardly. I take seriously the message of the Gospel as to who is neighbor. But I’ll say this as directly as I can to someone I can’t name: I am surrounded on a daily basis by punk-assed punks whose goal, apparently, from the moment they get up in morning, is to challenge me, demean me, undo me, and enlist me in their failure. The level and intensity of psychopathy is intense and relentless. I don’t mean to insult, but by contrast, you are hardly a challenge. For the second time in our “relationship” here I say, don’t talk shit to me. You have an issue with me bro’ – and you obviously do – you man up and be direct. Send your email address to Mr. M. and we’ll talk, but I have earned the respect not be the butt of your transparent, unending sarcasm.

                    • Billy Jack Sunday says

                      “Is there any chance you plan to answer this question”

                      Re-read my post now

                      As you’ve said to me before:

                      It wasn’t about you, bro

                      I was actually backing you and a few statements you made

                      Sorry for the confusion


                      Biggie and Tupac’s beef was all based off of misunderstandings and manipulations and was totally unnecessary

                      It was really conflict created by others for their own selfish ends

                      Sug Knight certainly did a lot of copy/paste action. A “Google scholar” in his time

                      And a certain individual certainly seems to want to hold the monasteries by the ankles off a balcony

                  • Jane Rachel says

                    Christopher, thanks. I posted the Meyendorff quote as a sort of knee-jerk reaction that was directed towards those scholarly contributors here who want to move the EP out of Istanbul altogether, who criticize him without backing up their claims, and who are pushing for an immediate, autocephalous Orthodox Church in the USA, without contemplating the consequences. Other than that, interesting comment.

                    • Constantinos says

                      Thank you Dr. Stankovich for taking valuable time from your busy schedule to respond to my post. Reading your post is my brain building exercise for this morning.

                    • Jane Rachel says

                      He sure gets mad, doesn’t he?

                  • Jane,

                    Remember that Pat. Bartholomew was speaking to Catholics. Throughout the speech he presumes they are part of the Church, both in your quote and in this:

                    Today, our Churches are called to function as a positive challenge to individuals and peoples, offering an alternative model of life within the contemporary culture that bestowed humanity with precious gifts, but at the same time seems to push people to live for themselves, ignoring the others with whom they are sharing the same world.

                    “Our Churches resist injustice and all anti-personal powers that undermine social cohesion by putting forth the social content of the Christian Gospel. They exercise critique on the declaration of the rise of economic indicators to the absolute criterion of economic activity and the subordination of the human being to consumerism. In this spirit, the Ecumenical Patriarchate declared the year 2013 as a “year of universal solidarity”. In our Patriarchal Encyclical, we articulated the conviction that the ongoing worldwide economic and social crisis expresses a lack of solidarity. Solidarity with the human being and solidarity with creation are the presuppositions not only of peaceful coexistence, but even the sheer survival of humanity. Our aim was to sensitize individuals and peoples to poverty and the great inequalities that exist in the world. We underlined the necessity for initiatives to relieve those who are needy, and to ensure the right that every human being enjoys the essential goods of life.”

                    The main problem, besides his Eastern Papal pretentions and convoluted ecclesiology, is that he honestly considers the RCC and the Orthodox Church to be “sister Churches”.

                    That is heresy in and of itself. It is the same heterodox spirit which we faced at the Robber Council of Crete – a bare headed and open repudiation of the dogma of “one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church”. It is for this reason, among others, that the Church must excommunicate him sooner rather than later to retain any integrity at all.

                    Personally, I hope he does make an effort to reorganize the Ukrainian Church as he has threatened. I’m tempted to pray that he does. That would leave the MP no choice but to break communion with him and leave the rest of the Orthodox world with a decision to make.

                    • Jane Rachel says

                      Misha, you wrote: “Throughout the speech he presumes they are part of the Church.” That doesn’t make sense. The Ecumenical Patriarch had to make a speech. Was he supposed to tell the Roman Catholics what they already know, which is that “East is east and west is west and never the twain shall meet” No.

                      At what point does Patriarch Bartholomew state that he wants to unite the Roman Catholic Church with the Orthodox Church, or that they are part of each other? That is impossible, and everyone knows it. Does he want us to start taking communion in local Roman Catholic churches, or allow Roman Catholics to take Communion in Orthodox Churches? Does he want us to accept their doctrines and incorporate their doctrines into the straight teachings of the Orthodox Church? Of course not! That can never happen, and no thinking person could ever seek it.

                      Patriarch Bartholomew is dealing with issues far beyond our poor capabilities (we are all spoiled, protected Americans) to comprehend. He is talking here about the clear fact that “Today, we are facing a serious crisis and its social outcomes on a global scale. We regard this worldwide crisis as a ‘crisis of solidarity’, an ongoing process of de-solidarization, which puts the very future of humanity at risk. It is our deep conviction, that the future of humanity is related to the resistance against this crisis and the establishment of a culture of solidarity.”

                      Anyways, it’s a red herring because neither your words nor mine will affect what the Ecumenical Patriarch does. I appreciated this excerpt from the latest article by Christopher Tripoulas, posted on the OCL web site:
                      “Hence, what purpose does a separation from the Phanar really serve? Perhaps it just boils down to controlling all the money… Still, considering the staggering wasted resources and inability to form strategic partnerships taking place in the Archdiocese and wider community, the only certainty about this argument is that penny pinchers in the U.S. worried about the Phanar draining Archdiocesan coffers are “straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel.”

                      Instead of misdirecting public opinion and speaking divisively, critics should contribute to the desperately needed improvement of the Greek-American community’s internal administration. Hellenism has traditionally stood out thanks to its amazing ability to govern itself under any type of regime. From large cities, to settlements in the Diaspora, to the most humble village “in autonomous lands under Turkish occupation,” Greeks manifested this virtue, which consistently produced quality and nobility.”

                    • Jane Rachel says

                      Let’s talk about Albania in the light of your desire to see the EP excommunicated. Here is what has happened in Albania because of the EP. It should bring tears to your eyes:

                      They know nothing of Ephraimite monasteries or their teachings. They know nothing of Seraphim Rose or his nihilism. They only know they are free to worship God in freedom and with joy.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Jane, as for what the Holy Spirit acting through the EP accomplished in Albania, I’m glad of it! It will no doubt resound to his benefit on judgment day.

                      Now if he could’ve allow us to pull off that hat-trick after Ligonier, we’d all be singing his praises.

                    • M. Stankovich says


                      First, I again address your “boldness” derived by the anonymity of the internet. You would create authority of “Father Rev. Chris Margaritis of Assumption of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Church in Denver, CO,” and demand – twice, no less – that his “opinion” is significant because of the virtue of his “office” and his intelligence. Yet, you demonstrate your hypocrisy by referring to an ordained priest and schema monk of the Orthodox Church as “Eugene” and “Seraphim Rose.” Whether you agree with his writings or not – and by the content of your comments, I question whether you even comprehend his writings on nihilism to being – I demand that you show Hieromonk Seraphim, of blessed memory, the respect he deserves by virtue of his “office,” and most certainly by his education and intellectual acumen. Do it now.

                      I would like you to morally justify to me why I should have “tears in my eyes” for Albania when there are nearly 10,000 living, breathing human beings – including infants & children – on the streets of San Diego, homeless, substantially ill and in need of medical care; in varying degrees and stages of mental illness and/or chemical dependency; are preyed upon by the most pathological of their own peers; and loathed and despised by the members of the community they inadvertently “share.” They are forced to urinate and defecate in public areas because the city decided to lock the restrooms in parks and public access areas from 6:00-6:00; Hepatitis A is most often spread when you can’t wash your hands. Since January 1st, we have had 6 unsolved, unprovoked murders by “skaters,” who took them out simply because they were homeless. Why in heaven’s name should I give a damn about Albania when when I can’t go to sleep?

                • Michael Bauman says

                  I agree George.

                  • Matthew Panchisin says

                    Dear George,

                    I read the latest editorial by Met. Kallistos Ware, what a sad read that was. I think the mask has been off for sometime now, the EP’s ecumenical and environmental movements are worldly minded globalist endeavors. In reality, the environmental movement is pagan to the core no matter how they try to cunningly present it. It’s utterly terrible from an Orthodox Christian perspective because the Lord God Almighty is obviously active in creation. In Christ, Matthew Panchisin

              • Antiochene Son says

                My larger point is that I don’t really care about the EP, as it has no real bearing on my life. The only hierarch with immediate and total jurisdiction over me is Metropolitan Joseph of New York, and over him, the Holy Synod of Antioch. The rest is a matter of arranging the table settings.

                I have no problem with the EP sitting at the head of the table, but that is all there is to it. I don’t care where he places his throne either. The Patriarchates are more-or-less completely independent, save for an Ecumenical Council or some lesser form of consensus agreement. We are united in our communion. Anything else is papism.

                The EP is administratively a persona non grata in my church. He cannot even set foot in an Antiochian parish without the local metropolitan’s permission. And in fact, for virtually all of the Church’s history, the Church’s unity was only realized conceptually and perhaps with the occasional exchange of bishops. Societies were not mobile; few Antiochians would ever have an opportunity to commune in a Russian parish.

                I respect the EP’s office, and I honor him as a foreign bishop and patriarch. But he is not really a spiritual leader to me, in the way that my own bishop is.

                • Antiochene Son says

                  (The edit function still is not working.)

                  St. Ignatius said, “Where the bishop is, there is the Catholic Church.” The entire Church is manifest in each diocese. Not with respect to some particular bishop, but with respect to the whole Church.

                  The only place on Earth where the EP has administrative authority is the Phanar.

                • Jane Rachel says

                  Antiochene Son,

                  All of the Patriarchs all over the world, including the EP, have very a real effect on all of our lives, whether we are Orthodox Christians or not. Orthodoxy is the true faith; therefore we are under the spiritual omophoria of all Orthodox Patriarchs. This is the primary reason they all affect all of us. Secondly, the Patriarchs have a real effect on world events. They meet with world leaders, and with one another. You wrote, “My larger point is that I don’t really care about the EP, as it has no real bearing on my life,” which shows an attitude that is singular, and we are not singular, we are all humanity. If we don’t care what happens in other parts of the world, we prove the point that we NEED the Patriarchs everywhere to cover us spiritually, to make up for what is lacking in us, and to participate in peace-making efforts worldwide. Father John Meyendorff was correct with he wrote: “it is unquestionable that the Orthodox conception of the Church recognizes the need for leadership of the world episcopate, for a certain spokesmanship by the first patriarch, for a ministry of coordination without which conciliarity is impossible.”

                  Why? We in the United States suffer from a malady called “clueless.” If we don’t care about the events going on in the rest of the world, and the role of the Orthodox Patriarchs as those events unfold, we contribute to the mess, and to the suffering of our fellow humans everywhere.

                  Imagine what would happen if Americans would listen to the Patriarchs in Syria, instead of to the news media. As Americans, we have contributed to devastation and suffering and monstrosities beyond anything the world has ever known, and that (really) is not an exaggeration. If we only knew… this statement by Syrian Patriarchs sends shivers down my spine and deserves to be added here in full:

                  “We, the Patriarchs: John X, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, Ignatius Aphrem II, Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, and Joseph Absi, Melkite-Greek Catholic Patriarch of Antioch, Alexandria, and Jerusalem, condemn and denounce the brutal aggression that took place this morning against our precious country Syria by the USA, France and the UK, under the allegations that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons. We raise our voices to affirm the following:
                  This brutal aggression is a clear violation of the international laws and the UN Charter, because it is an unjustified assault on a sovereign country, member of the UN.
                  It causes us great pain that this assault comes from powerful countries to which Syria did not cause any harm in any way.
                  The allegations of the USA and other countries that the Syrian army is using chemical weapons and that Syria is a country that owns and uses this kind of weapon, is a claim that is unjustified and unsupported by sufficient and clear evidence.
                  The timing of this unjustified aggression against Syria, when the independent International Commission for Inquiry was about to start its work in Syria, undermines of the work of this commission.
                  This brutal aggression destroys the chances for a peaceful political solution and leads to escalation and more complications.
                  This unjust aggression encourages the terrorist organizations and gives them momentum to continue in their terrorism.
                  We call upon the Security Council of the United Nations to play its natural role in bringing peace rather than contribute to escalation of wars.
                  We call upon all churches in the countries that participated in the aggression, to fulfill their Christian duties, according to the teachings of the Gospel, and condemn this aggression and to call their governments to commit to the protection of international peace.
                  We salute the courage, heroism and sacrifices of the Syrian Arab Army which courageously protects Syria and provide security for its people. We pray for the souls of the martyrs and the recovery of the wounded. We are confident that the army will not bow before the external or internal terrorist aggressions; they will continue to fight courageously against terrorism until every inch of the Syrian land is cleansed from terrorism. We, likewise, commend the brave stand of countries which are friendly to the Syria and its people.

                  We offer our prayers for the safety, victory, and deliverance of Syria from all kinds of wars and terrorism. We also pray for peace in Syria and throughout the world, and call for strengthening the efforts of the national reconciliation for the sake of protecting the country and preserving the dignity of all Syrians.”


                  Here is another example of how important the Patriarchs are all over the world. Following is an excerpt from an article posted on the Bulgarian Patriarchate Website, showing the interrelationship of respect taking place between the Orthodox Church and the government in Bulgaria. “Tsvetka Karaiancheva expressed the behalf of the Bulgarian parliamentarians with honor and respect for the activities of the Georgian Patriarch and his role as guardian of the Christian values in society. She stressed the valuable contribution of Patriarch Ilia II to the strengthening of Christianity and peace.”


                  • Antiochene Son says

                    The patriarchs have their role to play in dealing with the secular world, but those things don’t translate inside the Church. The patriarchs do good things, but only one Patriarch is the head of my church.

                  • I’m late to the party, but still am going to add my 2 cents.

                    Jane, the majority of what you want from “All of the patriarches all over the world …” to “suffering of our fellow humans everywhere.” is unmitigated nonsense. American cluelessness of Orthodox patriarchs adds nothing to the suffering of the world. Let’s use the Serbian Patriarch as an example. The amount of people he has direct influence over in this country is pretty small, and he only has an indirect relationship with other Orthodox Christians in this country. For your average Joe, who isn’t Orthodox, why would anyone expect them to give a second thought to an entity which they don’t even know know exists, much less has little to no bearing on their life? This idea that they are somehow more responsible for this world’s suffering than say someone in Vietnam, who doesn’t even care about any of the Patriarchates, is absurd.

                    As to your point about the importance of Patriarchs in our lives, why do you exalt them so? Why not say Orthodox bishops everywhere? Has it dawned on yyou that your take on the importance of Patriarchs diminishes the importance of the local Church with it’s bishop? You have to look at the whole of the Orthodox hierarchy. Your local Metroploitan, Bishop, Archbishop etc.. probably has more of an impact on your salvation than a Patriarch. When it comes to the local bishop, you are directly under his omophorion, not some vague, overly generalized kind of spiritual omophorion.
                    I do have to give you credit on being pretty red-pilled on the Syrian crisis. That should have fallen to Syria alone to fight. Let them figure it out, and take away any pretense to flood the West with “refugees”

              • Joseph,

                Representatives of Cnople (who embraced heresy) were trying to claim that ONLY the Emperors could call true councils in St Maximos’ time. Here is the reply from his Life:

                Then the saint mentioned how the synod convened in Rome [Lateran 649] by the blessed Pope Martin had condemned the Monothelites, to which Bishop Theodosius responded, “It is the Emperor’s summons that gives authority to a council.”

                “If that were so, the Orthodox faith would have long since come to an end,” said Maximus. “Recall the councils summoned by imperial decree to proclaim that the Son of God is not of the same essence as God the Father. The first was held in Tyre, the second in Antioch, the third in Seleucia, the fourth in Constantinople under Eudoxius the Arian, the fifth in Nicaea, and the sixth in Sirmium. Considerably later, a seventh false council took place in Ephesus, at which Dioscorus presided. All these synods were convened by imperial decree, but were rejected and anathematized, since they endorsed godless doctrines. On what grounds, I would like to know, do you accept the council which condemned and anathematized Paul of Samosata? Gregory the Wonder-worker presided over that council, and its resolutions were confirmed by Dionysius, Pope of Rome, and Dionysius of Alexandria. No Emperor convoked it, but it is unassailable and irrefutable. The Orthodox Church recognizes as true and holy precisely those synods that proclaimed true dogmas. Your holiness knows that the canons require that local councils be held twice yearly in every Christian land for the defense of our saving faith and for administrative purposes; however, they say nothing about imperial decrees.” (St. Dimitri Rostov, Life of St. Maximus)

      • Michael Bauman says

        Mr. Lipper, nonesense, it just makes him chairman of the board.

      • Matthew Panchisin says

        Dear Joseph Lipper,

        What is holy and apostolic about the great apostasy namely the ecumenical and environmental movements?

        Waiting patiently,

        In Christ,

        • Joseph Lipper says

          Dear Matthew Panchisin,

          What is holy and apostolic about Protestantism, the plurality of “churches” not in communion, and the trashing of the planet?

          • Matthew Panchisin says

            Dear Joseph Lipper,

            I have never been a Protestant (have you) nor to any of the WCC meetings, the E.P. has so that means something.

            It’s not really about the trashing of the planet, it’s about global unification. If it really is about trashing, statements like the one below could never be made, at least from an orthodox perspective.

            “Moreover, just as God is indivisible, so too is our global environment. The molecules of water that comprise the great North Atlantic are neither European nor American. The particles of atmosphere above the United Kingdom are neither Labour nor Tory. There can be no double vision, no dualistic worldview. Faith communities and nonbelievers alike must focus on the common issue of the survival of our planet. The natural environment unites us in ways that transcend doctrinal differences. Ecumenical Patriarch”

            • Michael Bauman says

              The problem is not so much with that statement as we are all interconnected with the rest of creation, seen and unseen. But, the problem is that to “save the earth”, which is not our responsibility in the first place, apparently requires a centralized government to force people into actions it deems necessary to accomplish such “saving”. Of course the rich and powerful will be exempt from such requirements. It is the deplorables who will be required to “save the planet”.

              Luke 12: 16-21 comes to mind.

              • Matthew Panchisin says

                Dear Michael,

                Suffice it to say others do see serious misunderstandings with that statement and yours, save laying aside all earthly cares.

                In Christ,

                Matthew Panchisin

                • Michael Bauman says

                  Matthew, I do not understand your point. To expand on mine:. We are commanded by God to dress and keep the earth. That means a lot of things not least of which is caring for others with mercy and compassion; ordering our inter-relationship with one another in accord with God especially members of the opposite sex. It involves repentance and asceticism but most of all it requires a providential approach — not forcing the earth or each other. God will provide abundantly if I rely on Him. Our needs as unique persons and as communities will be met.

                  The power solutions based on human will, heretical faith and ideological science will simply compound the problem since it is simply more rebellion against God.

            • Joseph Lipper says

              Matthew Panchisin,

              The WCC and the “environmental movements” will always be easy targets for criticism for sure. However, both of these point out the huge problem of a fundamental lack of primacy and unity in this world. The lack of an authentic primacy and unity in this world is the result of sin, and sin results in people trashing the planet and a plurality of “Christian” confessions that call themselves “churches”.

              Of course neither the WCC nor the “environmental movements” are really able to adequately address this problem, and I don’t really think anyone is under any illusion about that. At least they all agree that there IS a problem in this world.

              As an Orthodox Christian, I would have to say the problem of a lack of primacy and unity in the world comes down to me, my sin, my need for repentance. Authentic primacy and unity will only come from Christ and His Church.

              Regarding the environment, how do you think if everyone in the world fasted from meat and dairy products on Wednesdays and Fridays and during Lenten periods would make an impact?

              • Billy Jack Sunday says

                Joseph Lipper

                “Regarding the environment, how do you think if everyone in the world fasted from meat and dairy products on Wednesdays and Fridays and during Lenten periods would make an impact”

                I think it would be a wash – no visible change/impact

                Given the typical high amounts of beans, broccoli and onions prepared for fasting meals

                You are just trading cow farts for human ones

                I’m worse for the ozone layer than a pallet of Aqua Net

          • Billy Jack Sunday says

            Joseph Lipper

            “What is holy and apostolic about Protestantism, the plurality of “churches” not in communion, and the trashing of the planet?”


            Therefore, every September, in honor of our fearless ecumenical leader (and his annual environmentalist encyclical distributed to every church in the GOA)

            I visit a Roman Catholic and a Baptist campground

            At night

            And dump some Styrofoam

            • Matthew Panchisin says

              Dear Joseph Lipper,

              Be at peace with us and the environment, Billy Jack Sunday nor anyone I know has any interest in burning Styrofoam at any aforementioned campgrounds day or night. See, we are not all that inconsiderate.

              • George Michalopulos says

                As long as it’s biodegradable, I don’t see a problem.

              • Antiochene Son says

                Burning styrofoam is fun, though, and you can’t make me stop.

                • Billy Jack Sunday says

                  This ecumenical and environmentalism stuff is so dumb, it makes me want to visit various churches and so called churches all over America at random while spreading non biodegradable packing peanuts like a dumpy Johnny Appleseed

                  • Joseph Lipper says

                    Messy Jack Sunday,

                    That’s precisely what people do when they have “ministries” involving speaking engagement tours with books and trinkets to sell.

                    God bless this mess!

                    • Billy Jack Sunday says

                      Joseph Litter

                      Excerps from His All Holiness’ environmental encyclical this last September [pushing enviromentalism, globalism and ecumenicism – combining them neatly all together]


                      Prot. No. 702
                      By God’s Mercy
                      Archbishop of Constantinople
                      New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch

                      To the Plentitude of the Church: Grace, peace and mercy from the Creator of All, our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ

                      Beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord . . .

                      The Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church spelled out with wisdom and clarity the dangers of “autotomizing economy” or separating economy from the vital needs of humanity that are only served within a sustainable environment. Instead, it proposed an economy “founded on the principles of the Gospel”in order to address the modern ecological challenge “on the basis of the principles of the Christian tradition” . . .

                      The Holy and Great Council also emphatically referred to the “social dimensions and tragic consequences of destroying the natural environment” . . .

                      What also becomes apparent is that the solution to the multi-faceted contemporary human crisis –namely, the crisis facing human culture and the natural environment demands a multi-dimensional mobilization and joint effort . . .

                      Do you believe this crap?

                      Because if you do

                      I’ve got bundles and bundles of laminated copies of it for you to “distribute”

                      That way, his message can be read by both the saints and the salmon

                      *single teardrop running down cheek

                      He doesn’t care about the environment – please!

                      It’s about NWO neocon baloney

                      Of course historic Christianity doesn’t purposely dump on the environment

                      How much soot and nuclear waste is coming out of the monasteries?

                      None, dude

                      But are these guys truly enviromentalists? Maybe as much as they are monastics

                  • George Osborne says

                    BJS…… Continuously hitting a home run for Jesus and sliding safe at Home! Am I the only one who appreciates the double entendre of your username?

                    • Billy Jack Sunday says

                      George Osborne

                      If not, one of very few, I think!

                      THIS IS A CHAIR

                      AND THIS IS A BLOG!!

                      [Dramatic poses]

                      I first learned of Billy Sunday a long time ago by a college roommate

                      He had cartoons of Billy Sunday’s dramatic preaching at his workstation

                      THIS IS A CHAIR!!

                      I can still see them

                      Nearly 20 years later I looked him up and found he was pastoring a Pentecostal church in the Midwest.

                      He was very sad to learn that I had become Orthodox

                      He thought that it meant that I had lost the faith and had gone apostate

                      It’s a funny world

            • Antiochene Son says

              This is a wonderful tradition, and I will join you this year. I will try to secure some leaky oil drums and push them into a stream as well.

  17. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from yesterday on the Byzantine, TX website.

    Tuesday, June 5, 2018
    Ukrainian autocephaly discussions continue worldwide

  18. Michael Bauman says:
    June 5, 2018 at 10:12 am
    I for one have become weary of seeing or hearing that the EP is “the spiritual leader of 700 million Orthodox Christians around the world”.

    History does not bear out the legitimacy of a claim that any singular personality is a… The World Leader of “Christianity’. Vatican II even asserted Itself as a sort of spiritual brother of/to the Islamic horde. The Papacy & Its Councils are inspiring a True Reunion of the “Divide” ecclesiastical East & West.

    In my sometimes fundamentalist state of mind I will whisper to myself that, “It was Lucifer who begat the principle of personal singularity in re: to life in this world.” Adam and Eve were a unified duality. Satan succeeded in turning them both into individuals, separated from one another. The Roman West is sometimes a voice, a whisper encouraging this process, that it continue.

  19. Gail Sheppard says

    ROME – Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, will take part in the Bilderberg Conference, an annual private gathering of global political, business and media leaders, taking place this year in Turin, Italy, June 7-10.

    He name is on the participant’s list.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Well this is interesting.

      • Such participation by a well-placed Roman Cardinal makes perfect sense, Quite revealing but not surprising. For the West, “spirituality” tends to be as much about subterranean politics in the context of worldly power than it is a true spiritual unity between “Patriarchs”. This includes the “Patriarch of Rome”.

        I think it’s wise that the Moscow Patriarchate ignore the cunning whisperings and the flatterings of Rome. They are often a subtle Satanic temptation, whose fruit is further division — and not true unity. Though worldly power can be very impressive, even attractive, I don’t always believe that it is able to plumb the true depths of life in this world.

        My apologies for trying to see some of these high-powered interactions in a simpler way. These days I find that the mind seems to be becoming simpler.

  20. Michael Bauman says

    Just another little story:. Over twenty years ago Pope JP II made a push to get faithful RCs to invite any Orthodox friends they to Catholic stuff along with the EPs first overtures to Rome. My late wife and I were good friends with an RC family and it got a little irritating. Finally, I just told my friend that the EP was not an Orthodox pope. Even if he declared union with Rome no one else would follow and the schism would be worse.

    She admitted she did not want that. She did, however, she and her children became Orthodox after what she experienced at the bedside of my wife as she lay dying.

    Her move is the only way to unity-repentance. Unity will never be negotiated. Too many real and significant differences.

    The worst part of “EP as worldwide leader” nonesense is RC’s think that means that all the EP has to do is declare union with Rome and it is a done deal. Anyone who does not follow is no longer of the Church at all.

    • Jon, A Seeker says


      Would you care to elaborate on what you guys experienced with your wife? Forgive me if my question is inappropriate. I’m just an inquirer trying to decide whether to swim the Tiber or the Bosphorus.

      • Michael Bauman says

        Jon, my late wife’s favorite saint is Walburga of Eichstadt, a myrrh streamer. My parish has a small vial of her myrrh. Our priest annointed my wife and our friend saw my wife visably relax. Mostly though was the fact that our priest was there and a chanter with other friends coming and going as my wife died, singing and chanting hymns in the ICU. As we exited the hospital that night together in the elevator she asked me a question that I do not remember. I answered and she was uncharacteristically silent. She told me later that was when she decided to become Orthodox.

        There is no greater difference between the RC and us than how we bury our dead. The Orthodox burial service is incredible for it’s depth, compassion and understanding. It is cathartic and salvific both. I know of several who became Orthodox after attending a friend’s funeral.

        A few weeks later was Pascha. During the Paschal service I saw/felt clearly the Resurection.
        My grief was not attenuated but I knew Pamela was risen too.

        If you want to explore Life and the paradox and mystery of God made man, entering into Him, including as we die, the Orthodox Church is for you.

  21. Michael Bauman says

    Don’t need diocesan infrastructures. The Church is hierarchical that does not require bureauracy. Just need real bishops, appropriate priests and laity.

    • George Michalopulos says


    • Linda A. says

      The bishop needs a residence, an office, an assistant and maybe a secretary, possibly a deacon to travel with him to serve in hierarchical liturgy (small parishes rarely have a deacon in residence) and all these would need airfare for at least half their visits across the state. It simply would take too much time driving. This is infrastructure.

  22. Michael Bauman says

    Linda, one bishop for Montana-all the parishes under him. Multiple jurisdictions not necessary. The bishops would have to get off the coasts and come and tend the rest of the country. Bp Basil could use some company. With Bp Brum there are what, three bishops between the Rockies and the Mississippi? There ought to be 14-15. No wonder it’s crazy. They know nothing of this country.

    • George Michalopulos says

      It’s not just the secular poobahs who think and act “flyover country”.

    • Linda A. says

      Michael, this will be when there is one Orthodox Church in North America? In my personal experience I was told by a Greek O orthodox in Great Falls that I wasn’t really Orthodox because I wasn’t Greek and that Holy Trinity in Butte and St Nicholas in Billings weren’t really Orthodox because they weren’t Greek. With that kind of attitude Orthodox unity is a pipe dream.

      • Michael Bauman says

        Linda, unfortunately the Greek Orthodox in this country are struggling. If the GOA goes down, they may be forced to realize that we are their brothers and sisters in Christ in whom their is neither Greek nor Jew nor barbarian. What God has cleansed, call thou not unclean.

        Until that time they are a bit like the dwarves who refused to come out of their stinky and dark stables who Aslan allowed in the Kingdom anyway.

        The Church is one regardless of the existential resistance.

  23. Joseph Lipper says

    Erdogan denounces Austrian decision to close mosques

    President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday strongly criticised Austria’s move to close mosques and expel Turkish-funded imams, slamming the decision as anti-Islamic and promising a response.
    “These measures taken by the Austrian prime minister are, I fear, leading the world towards a war between the cross and the crescent,” Erdogan said in a speech in Istanbul.

  24. Jane Rachel says

    For heavens’ sake, why don’t we listen?

    “We, the Patriarchs: John X, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, Ignatius Aphrem II, Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, and Joseph Absi, Melkite-Greek Catholic Patriarch of Antioch, Alexandria, and Jerusalem, condemn and denounce the brutal aggression that took place this morning against our precious country Syria by the USA, France and the UK, under the allegations that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons. We raise our voices to affirm the following:
    This brutal aggression is a clear violation of the international laws and the UN Charter, because it is an unjustified assault on a sovereign country, member of the UN.
    It causes us great pain that this assault comes from powerful countries to which Syria did not cause any harm in any way.
    The allegations of the USA and other countries that the Syrian army is using chemical weapons and that Syria is a country that owns and uses this kind of weapon, is a claim that is unjustified and unsupported by sufficient and clear evidence.
    The timing of this unjustified aggression against Syria, when the independent International Commission for Inquiry was about to start its work in Syria, undermines of the work of this commission.
    This brutal aggression destroys the chances for a peaceful political solution and leads to escalation and more complications.
    This unjust aggression encourages the terrorist organizations and gives them momentum to continue in their terrorism.
    We call upon the Security Council of the United Nations to play its natural role in bringing peace rather than contribute to escalation of wars.
    We call upon all churches in the countries that participated in the aggression, to fulfill their Christian duties, according to the teachings of the Gospel, and condemn this aggression and to call their governments to commit to the protection of international peace.
    We salute the courage, heroism and sacrifices of the Syrian Arab Army which courageously protects Syria and provide security for its people. We pray for the souls of the martyrs and the recovery of the wounded. We are confident that the army will not bow before the external or internal terrorist aggressions; they will continue to fight courageously against terrorism until every inch of the Syrian land is cleansed from terrorism. We, likewise, commend the brave stand of countries which are friendly to the Syria and its people.

    We offer our prayers for the safety, victory, and deliverance of Syria from all kinds of wars and terrorism. We also pray for peace in Syria and throughout the world, and call for strengthening the efforts of the national reconciliation for the sake of protecting the country and preserving the dignity of all Syrians.”

    • Michael Bauman says

      We do not listen because our governments are ruled by the spirit the nihilism you say does not exist-the Will to Power and hegemony and suppression of anything unique. We must enlighten and instruct the savages, the herd. If we cannot, they must be destroyed.
      Those that speak otherwise are dupes.

      • M. Stankovich says

        Let me add, Michal Bauman, I have patients dying in shuttered doorways of chemical dependency and co-morbid mental illness, combined with the stupidest cuts and abrasions that have gone MRSA-septic because the struggle to eat normally and bath regularly. And right out the plagues of Egypt, they are dying of a modern day epidemic of Hepatitis A. WAT! Nobody dies of HAV! The city is actually steam & bleach cleaning the sidewalks to stop the spread, and only the immuno-compromised homeless are dying. The absurdity of it all is that these deaths occur within sight and easrshot of our “inner-city” Major League Baseball’s “Petco Park” which sells a glass of beer for $17.

        The Lord bluntly states, “Let the dead bury their dead: but you go and preach the kingdom of God,” (Lk. 9:59) but worse, he continues “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (v. 60). As near as I can tell, charity is above and beyond my obligation. What, then, is my obligation? Wait… Better yet, “Who is my neighbor?” (Lk. 10:29) Many times we liturgically reference the answer found in Matthew 25: “the least of my brethren.” (Matt. 25:40). But we can’t lose sight of a most significant aspect of this exchange between the King and the sheep as He separates them from the goats: “When did we see you, Lord?” “Truly I say to you, inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these my brothers, you have done it to me.” (Matt. 25:40) I am saddened by the injustice and tragedy in Syria, but the Syrian people are not my neighbors. I cannot “see” them – not in the sense of “out of sight, out of mind” – but in assisting me in determining “Who is my neighbor?” I am personally grieved by the tragedy of my patients; I personally am confronted by my own hypocrisy, impotence, & arrogance, asking, like the disciples

        “Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said to them, Because of your unbelief: for truly I say to you, If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you. (Matt. 17:19-20)

        Yet, these are the “risks” one takes in becoming vulnerable to ones neighbor.

        These google-driven festivals of world tragedy – “so simple a 5-yr. old could do it” – does two things: diminishes and trivializes tragedy by over-exposure & desenitization – likened by the commercials during CNN’s evening news, alternating between the ASPCA and several children’s hospitals, “Won’t you please help for only $19 a day?” – and secondly to distract from the obligation to identify one’s neighbor. You can’t win for losing.

        • Jane Rachel says

          Man alive, Michael Stankovich! “google-driven festivals”? How do you know what I do or don’t know, or where I’ve traveled, or how many starving children I’ve fed both in the United States and in other countries around the world, or what death I’ve seen up close, or what I’ve read, or what I’ve been through? “Diminishes and trivializes tragedy by over-exposure”? Very few people in the United States know what is going on in Syria, Palestine, Albania, or any other place in the world; and seem to have almost no idea how important the Orthodox Church is in those countries. CNN is the biggest liar of all. Monomakhos is a public blog. If you don’t like me, don’t interact with me. If you don’t like reading my posts, don’t read them. Sheesh. You can’t win for losing. Best regards. Back. Off.

      • Jane Rachel says

        Michael Bauman,

        Wow. What a thing to say. Where did you get these ideas? What savages? What herd? Who must be destroyed? Who are you to say such a thing?

        • Michael Bauman says

          That Jane Rachel is the nihilist philosophy.

        • Michael Bauman says

          Jane, it is the nihilist philosophy demonstrated by the reality of what Michael Stankovich shows us, the constant destruction of any culture other than the globalist-consumer culture. Demonstrated by the fact that here in the US our government continues to create dependency then pulling the rug. Most recent example the depleation of the Social Security and Medicare monies. It started under Lyndon Johnson and will go broke in parts as early as 8 years.

          The ideological attacks on faith, especially Christianity which includes such genuine Nazi war criminals and economic felons like George Soros.

          It is so much more than the traditional bread and circuses. It is Stalin’s 7 cent solution writ large.

          Since 1870 the world has been almost constantly at war. Abortions, euthanasia, normalization of perversions sexual and others. The banal homogenization life. The list is almost endless an seems to be intuitively obvious to the most casual observer.

          Against all that malestrom of death appearing in seductive garb frequently promising comfort and prosperity if we just follow the leaders.

          Against all that is the Cross, asceticism, martyrdom.

          • Jane Rachel says

            Okay, Michael. Oh, well.. I tried.

            • Michael Bauman says

              Jane Rachel what did you try? I am sharing with you a slice of what the spirit of the age and the fruit of that spirit.

              It does not have real life but it does have existential existence to the extent that we exist in, breath it, think it, act in accord with it whether we want to or not.

              It can not be ignore nor wished into unreality because it has no ontological existence. The source of the dark miasma is satan and his demonic angels–even more the sin in my own heart.

              The Father’s teach that such sinfulness can even darken the eye of our soul so our body becomes full of darkness. It is the death we must fear.
              As was declared by today’s Epistole and Gospel (new calendar- Lord have mercy).

              The way of life for we Christians is the way of the Cross as Jesus Himself declares in John 17.

              In the Cross we are one. That is a shared but unique podvig.

              Through the Cross and Resurection we triumph with Christ-Christus Victor. In the meantime darkness reigns around us and infects us. To be alive we must reject death in all it’s forms and seductions….and the darkness is seductive bidding us to be comfortable and believe all is well just because God is. No reason to acknowledge the darkness. Just go about you life the way you want to. Helping others, saying prayers all is well. You are just fine.

              The other type of seduction is this–you are a mess, everybody will be better off with you dead. God does not care about you.

              That is the struggle and suffering that engaged Fr. Seraphim. I suspect it was with him until he died. But if you have ever seen the picture of him in his coffin, you will know Christ won in him.

  25. Joseph Lipper says

    For all those who have a problem with the primacy and said heresy of the Ecumenical Patriarch, how do you then unravel this primacy? There is always an orderly way to do things in the Church. Is it really an Orthodox solution to just stop commemorating the EP?

    What happened, for example, in the aftermath of the Council of Florence?

  26. Joseph Lipper says

    Let’s say that I wanted to belong to a Church that doesn’t commemorate Patriarch Bartholomew because I am told that said Patriarch is a heretic. What are my options?

    • Joseph Lipper says

      I suppose if I joined the Roman Catholics, then I could be assured that I was no longer part of an organization that commemorated Patriarch Bartholomew.

      • JL,

        For the moment. But if you wait a few years, maybe months, Pat. Bartholomew will drag a rogue element in Orthodoxy to Rome and you’ll be in the same predicament.

        I recommend the Greek Old Calendarists or ROCE, the part of ROCOR that did not reunite with the MP. Neither are in communion with anyone who commemorates Black Bart.

        • Joseph Lipper says

          Misha, I believe the Greek Old Calendarists and ROCE will eventually have to reunite with the Orthodox Church. My guess is that it will happen within the next couple of years. Probably after the next world war.

          As they presently stand, these groups are not part of the Church. They merely represent religious organizations. They may take a stand against ecumenism in the Church, but their response becomes a practical denial of the present existence of the Church.

          Groups who break communion with the Church are usually more concerned about power struggles. Case in point was the Council of Chalcedon. The non-Chalcedonians were more concerned about the overbearing rise of Constantinople and the reach of the Roman Empire than coming to an agreement about the wording of Christological definitions. A very good argument could be made about Rome also. The power struggle between Rome and Constantinople eventually made theological agreement impossible.

  27. Francis Frost says


    I do apologize for my tardy response to your question, which I will address below. Fortunately, some of us have busy lives outside the blogosphere echo chamber.

    With your recent focus on “apparitions” and Jesuit – Masonic plots, you seem to have missed the real news of the past few weeks.

    In recent weeks the Moscow Patriarchate has been attempting to assemble an anti-EP coalition to support its position on Ukrainian autocephaly. Of course, the MP has an Achille’s heel – its own flagrant and persistent violation of the Sacred Canons.

    Two week ago, the MP announced via its web-site that Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev had again, for the third time travelled to Tbilisi to again request that Patriarch Ilya II and the Holy Synod grant the status of a ‘metochion’ to the invading MP clergy. Sadly, the hapless Metropolitan. Hilarion again went home empty handed.

    In other words, should Patriarch Kirill press his campaign against the EP too far, the EP has documented, verifiable grounds to depose and / or excommunicate the entire synod of the Moscow Patriarchate. A decade ago, the Georgians were willing to grant the invaders the fig leaf ‘metochion’ to hide the shame of their crimes against the Christian people. Now, not so much. You can google “Apostolic Canons” for the details.

    And you thought only Russians knew how to play chess! “Shakh mat”, as they say in Persia.

    Also, one of your posters claimed that there could not be more than one canonical jurisdiction in one country. but there is precedent for such. The EP has an Estonian speaking Archdiocese in Estonia; while the MP has its own diocese for those who want to pray in Slavonic. Not to mention the 15 parallel jurisdictions here in NA. So, yes there is precedent for 2 canonical jurisdictions in Ukraine should that come about. -no matter how many hissy fits come out of the Donskoi.

    In other news, the European are now so disgusted by both Putin and Trump, that they have finally grown a backbone. The NATO minsters are now considering amendments to he NATO Charter to allow both Georgia and Ukraine to join NATO despite the Russian occupations. The ‘long game’ just got longer.

    OK, now to Serbia. George your willful ignorance is showing again. Neither NATO, now the US dismembered Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia disintegrated all on its own, as Tito’s careful balancing act was replaced by ethnic self determination.

    Slobodan Milosevic, a lifelong communist and atheist, won re-election in a clearly rigged elections. Serbian students led massive protests against Milosevic, which were brutally suppressed. In order to shore up his waning authority, Milosevic, like so many other tyrants embraced Serbian nationalism and Orthodox identity.

    When the constituent Yugoslav republics began to secede, neither the US nor NATO intervened. Milosevic used paramilitary and regular forces in the Bosnian war. The US and NATO did not intervene. It was only after the shock of the Srebrenica massacre and the exposure of death camps at Banja Luka, that the US carried out air strikes which forced the Milosevic regime to the table to work out the Dayton accords.

    As a result of the Bosnian war, some 100,000 were killed; mostly civilians. Some 30,000 unarmed men and boys were rounded up, and executed with a bullet to the back of the head. A quarter century later, they are still finding new mass graves. A new mass grave was found just last month with 800 more bodies. You can deny the truth but Milosevic, Karadjic and Mladic were convicted in criminal court of war crimes and crimes against humanity. In 1999, the Serbian army moved into Kosovo with the clear intent to carry out another genocidal campaign, and President Clinton again bombed Serbia to prevent one more genocide. You and I may not approve of his decision; but it least had a rationale.

    Of, course your mention of Serbia, isn’t about Serbia, its about Russia’s illegal invasion and occupation of its neighbors. You mention Serbia in order to deflect attention from the fact that Russia has invaded its neighbors and massacred tens of thousands in a sick attempt to resurrect its stinking Soviet empire. You have no answer to that history, so you call up Serbia as a way of saying: “But he did it, too”. My boys knew by the age of 6 that “He did it too” is no excuse. The fact that you use such reasoning at your advanced age (BTW, Happy Birthday) speaks for itself.

    Your posters have been making much ado about ‘nihilism’ of late. Sadly, you all get it wrong. The Gospel imperatives: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” and “Love your enemies, do good to this who hate you” are simple and direct. St. Silouan said that the essence of Christianity was the teaching to “Love your enemies”. As the parable of the Good Samaritan shows us, our neighbor is whoever needs our help. As the Lord said: “Go and do likewise.”

    Our church is in peril – and we all know it is – for one simple reason. Our leaders and our people have forgotten Christ’s saving commandments. All the financial scandals, all the canonical disorder and the steady dribbling away of our posterity are due to the fact that “the salt has lost its savor”.

    Your blog is a daily reminder that our “Orthodoxy” has devolved into a ‘geopolitical ideology game’ and a manic cult of “Nash”. What is needed is repentance, and repentance like charity needs to start at home. But that is the one answer none of you has proposed

    • George Michalopulos says

      So Francis, you approve of the NATO/EU aggression against Serbia and the dismemberment of Kosovo –it’s ancient heartland–from it. Check. I’m sure all the other Orthodox nations of the Balkans (besides the Serbs) will be glad to know that you believe that the ends justifies the means just as long as the West gets its way when it comes to setting the historic Orthodox nations against each other. All the bloodshed, schism and turmoil to follow is fine with you. I suppose when homosexual “marriage”, abortion-on-demand and the entrance of migrants are forced down these nations’ throats you’ll be ok with that as well.

      That’s the end game to be sure and it will be a sad sight but we can always say “But, but, but, Francis and his ilk believe in Federalist No 10! it wasn’t supposed to work out this way?!” Hint, dear brother: Neoconservatism doesn’t look good on you.

      Since I too, have a real life and am ready to go to work, I must add a little levity here however in order to wash away the depressing picture that you desire for historic Orthodox lands. Fortunately, you provided it in your fifth paragraph, when you wrote that
      the EP has documented, verifiable grounds to depose the entire MP synod”. Ostensibly because of canonical violations. Francis, that’s a real knee-slapper. I didn’t realize you had such a sense of humor. Really, you’re approaching Billy Jack Sunday territory here. The trouble is Billy Jack knows he’s pulling our legs, you on the other hand are serious. Luckily for me, I hadn’t reached for my coffee yet, otherwise I would have spit it out in laughter at my computer.

      As for your documentation of Serbian war crimes during the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 90s (hmmm, I wonder what other country experienced war crimes during its own particular breakup back in the 1860s?), your anti-Orthodox/Russophobic bias is clearly showing. You forget that the KLA, was branded by our own State Department as a terrorist organization but for some reason that was quietly swept under the rug when it was clear that an independent Kosovo was necessary for a pipeline to be built. As for the crimes of the Catholic Croats, well, nothing to see here, move along. All Francis and other Western liberals are interested in are whatever crimes can be laid at the feet of Orthodox Christians.

      Uniatism is still an option Francis. Maybe you can join the EP when he announces it.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Regarding your assertion that “the long game just got longer”, that is with NATO looking to edit their own charter regarding which nations (specifically Ukraine and Georgia) can join, you can hold your breath. I’m not.

        If anything, we’re seeing the breakup of the entire, misbegotten, worthless EU project as we speak. Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria are openly defying it, as is England and Italy. Given the absolutely reckless policies that the EU is forcing upon hapless nations like Greece and Italy as well as Germany, the economic engine that keeps the EU going, I imagine that ordinary Ukrainians and Georgians aren’t nearly as enthusiastic as the quislings that rule them about further Americanization.

        Yes, Francis, the game just got longer. The Russians can afford to wait it out. With Trump and his NATO-skepticism at the helm in America and the thorough distaste that neoconservatism has left in the mouths of the American people, I imagine that NATO may go the way of the EU in due time.

        And then, Francis, who will be the hegemonic power on the Eurasian landmass?

      • Francis Frost says


        You are putting words in my mouth! I specifically said: “You and I may not approve…” You really need to read more carefully, and think more carefully. You keep spouting nonsense and embarrassing yourself.

        Everything I have said is in revulsion to the bloodshed. It is the Russian bishops who literally “blessed” the bloodshed, not me!

        As for morality, its more important for people to ‘see’ a sermon, than to hear one!

        If the Moscow Patriarchate can ignore the commandments “Thou shalt not murder. This shalt not steal. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house… Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself”, then what commandments remain valid? No, it is not the outside world or the rationalist West that taught our people ‘situational ethics’, it is our own hierarchs that have done that! If Orthodox bishops can “bless” weapons of mass destruction and their use against unarmed civilians, then what abomination remains that cannot be blessed?

        The truth of the Gospel and the moral foundation of Christian civilization have not been so much undermined by modern society; as they have been betrayed from those within the church. “ A man’s enemies will be those of his own household” Our Lord, has been betrayed by our own leaders, who sold their souls for power and money just as did Judas of old. By their abominable “blessing” of an illegal war the Russian bishops have blasphemed the Holy Spirit, for they have invoked the Holy Spirit, the “Lord and Giver of Life” in the cause of murder, mayhem and the desecration of our Orthodox holy places. By their infernal “blessing”, the Russian bishops have “crucified again the Son of God and put Him to an open shame” Hebrews 6:6.

        And our Orthodox bishops, clergy, theologians and monastics here: have they acted to intervene on behalf of the victims of genocide and ethnic cleansing? No, they have remained “as dumb as fish” in the words of the Akathistos hymn. It is this great sin which remains unreported and unconfessed to this very day. It is this sin which festers like an abscess, poisoning the church from within.

        The sad truth is that our modern day ‘traditionalists’ and Orthodox propagandists are selective in their morality and hypocritical in their presentation. They point the finger at those who sin outside the church; while covering up the horrific crimes committed by those within the church.

        You then, who teach others, will you not teach yourselves? “ Romans 2:21-22

        Without repentance, even greater trials await our people, but who is there to call us to repentance? “The prophets are useless, the Gospel in vain, alike unheeded” as St .Andrew says in his Great Canon.

        If nothing else one might hope that you begin at least to pray for repentance, while there is still time.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Seems like your uniate stooges have more than a little orthodox blood on their hands.

          If I might add, your condemnation of Milosevic as an “atheist” shows your bad faith. What Orthodox bona fides does Poroshenko have when he communes in a uniate cathedral?

    • Francis,

      Srdja Trifkovic has written much to discredit the false Western narrative which you ignorantly repeat here. You might google his name if you want to know the truth behind the situation, but I doubt you do. You deal in the perpetual vomit of fiction which emanates from Russia’s foes.

      Assembling a coalition against Constantinople is easy. It grows every day. Most patriarchs see the threat of C’ople setting up rival local “churches” on their canonical territory. Pat. Bartholomew’s days as “leader of Orthodoxy” are numbered. Today that claim is no longer taken seriously by the majority of World Orthodoxy (which, incidentally, resides in Eastern Europe.

      “Greek” Orthodoxy is barely a blip on the screen.

      Russia’s involvement in the Ukraine is simply a natural response to the illegal coup d’etat perpetrated by Western powers, fascists and Ukrainian nationalists. It is connected with Serbia and Kosovo because it was the West, not Russia, that disregarded international norms by dismembering an existing European state. Russia simply states that what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

      It’s all falling apart, dear Francis. The Transatlantic coalition, the EU, probably even Nato if Trump has as grand a performance at their summit as he did at the G7.

      And not a decade too soon, but rather almost two decades late. What does the “North Atlantic” have to do with Georgia and the Ukraine? Absolutely nothing.

      Our allies realize what is happening and it causes them no little angst. Think of it, they may be soon saddled with responsibility for their own security. This in the face of increasing Rightist opposition to any number of European Elite policies, Brexit, unrest in Italy and other southern EU countries.

      Francis, your way of life is coming to an end. And I, for one, couldn’t be happier about that fact.

      • Francis Frost says

        No doubt , my dear Misha, you expect me to accept unfounded rumors plied by a journalist over the trial proceeding of thee International Trial Court for the former Yugoslavia. Before you answer, I will remind you that the Serbian government has, itself, accepted the jurisdiction and the findings of that court. It was Serbia’s own government that handed Milosevic, Mladic and Karadjic over for trial. If you have a complaint about that, then take it to Beograd, not OKC.

        Have you noticed that it is the attorneys who have the least respect for the law?

        Let’s get real. 30,000 dead bodies do not just of happenstance fall into mass graves with their hands tied behind their back and a bullet in the back of their brains. No, they actually need ‘help’ to do that. Perhaps you have forgotten that after the news of the Srebrenica massacre, the Serbian militias tried to dig up that mass grave in order to hide the evidence. That sure looks like acknowledgement of guilt to me.

        As for Kosovo. I believe it was a Serbian cleric who said. “Kosovo was not lost on the battlefield; but in the abortion clinics of Belgrade”. The Albanian Kosovans outnumber Serbs for the simple reason that they actually bear thier offspring instead of aborting them.

        You all decry the “moral degeneracy of the West” while you conveniently forget that abortion is legal in every “Orthodox” country and that in most such countries abortions outnumber live births! If the Orthodox populations die out, don’t blame the gays, blame yourselves!

        Thanks be to God and our canny Patriarch Ilya II, the birth rate in Georgia increased by 25% over the past 10 years after his offer to baptize every 3th, 4th or higher order child in a family!

        Now, enough foolishness, I have Father’s Day to spend with my family!

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Francis, you say “the Moscow Patriarchate has been attempting to assemble an anti-EP coalition” and in the next breath say the “EP has documented, verifiable grounds to depose and/or excommunicate the entire synod of the Moscow Patriarchate.” The MP brought every bishop in the Orthodox Church to Russia last November, minus the EP. If the EP had ANY power over them, why didn’t he use it? He was clearly boycotting the meeting but no one cared. The reality is the Church is going to move in whatever direction the Holy Spirit dictates and the only way a person can be a part of it is in concert with his brother bishops. The EP doesn’t think he needs his brother bishops and THIS is his downfall. He is being marginalized by them. He can sit on his little throne and say anything he wants but it won’t amount to anything because no one is listening. Not even the GOA is listening. They pay lip service to the fact that he needs to stay but it’s because they’ve weakened him to the point where he has no power. They want a figurehead in case their efforts to right the ship go to “hell in a handbasket” and they need someone to blame. He is not in charge of anyone or anything! People who have money like Huffington are in charge of the GOA. When this scandal hit the fan, I posted an article that landed the problem at the feet of the laity. Greatly Saddened will remember this. I don’t think I was wrong.

      • George Michalopulos says

        It looks like you were correct after all.

      • Francis Frost says

        Dear Gail:

        If you read carefully, you will see that the Patriarchs are playing a chess game as George has alluded. Patriarch Bartholomew has the evidence to depose the Russians but he has chosen to use that as a bargaining chip, much to the consternation of he Georgian bishops. As Deda Nino said: “The whole Orthodox world has abandoned us”. But the Christ’s body is not abandoned by God, no , matter how battered and bruised it may be; and the Georgians know it.

        You see, in 1811 St Seraphim of Sarov wrote to Tsar Aleksandr I, when the Georgian government and the Georgian Patriarchate were dissolved. St. Seraphim wrote to the Tsar to warn him: ” Georgia is the inheritance of the Most Holy Mother of God. Do not grieve the Georgians. Do not make war on Georgia. If you make war on Georgia, God will make war on Russia and Russia will be destroyed. Tsar Aleksandr heeded this waring; but his heirs did not and Tsarist Russia was destroyed. Gorbachev’s Soviet Russia made war on Georgia and it too, was destroyed. Putin’s neo-Soviet state continues its wars on Georgia, and it too, will be destroyed.

        In 1992, St Gabriel Urgabadze prophesied, “If the Russians take Abkhazia, the most Holy Theotokos will never be reconciled to them.”

        The Georgian can afford to “play the long game” ago use George’s phrase.

        There is more one could say; but … I’m going to leave it there. I have better things to attend to.

        As the Apostle Paul said: “There is no one righteous, not even one. There is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is no-one that does good, no, not one. Romans 3:12

        A blessed fast

        • George Michalopulos says

          Francis, surely you jest. Do you honestly believe that the Phanar, a church that has stretched economia to the breaking point, has any “evidence of canonical irregularities” in Moscow?

          Now THAT is a thigh-slapper!

          • George,

            Francis lives in his own fanciful world. Constantinople has nothing on Moscow and Moscow, if it pressed the facts, could obtain the excommunication of the Phanar by “canonical Orthodoxy”. There would be some stragglers, the Greek led local churches, but that is a small percentage of world Orthodoxy.

            What Moscow is doing is trying to force the imperative to break communion upon Constantinople. After all, what can the Phanar possibly do to the MP? What harm is being done to the Church of Russia by the Phanar’s evil antics?

            I would argue that merely remaining in communion with the Phanar calls ones Orthodoxy into question. But most Russians do not see it that way. We tend to live in our own Orthodox sphere, much like the Greeks, and feel we can simply lose the Phanar’s telephone number and not even notice it – like a battleship running over a pesky, menacing rowboat.

            Hard to say who’s right between those like me who urge excommunication and those who simply couldn’t care less what the Phanar says or does, even whether it survives or not.

            I can see Moscow’s point, though.

  28. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Russian Orthodox Church website.

    The Ukrainian Church Schism Legalization to Cut into Parts Body of Global Orthodox Church – Metropolitan Hilarion

  29. Matthew Panchisin says

    Dear Misha,

    Some think it is better to advocate good relationships together. The problem is that the E.P. doesn’t embrace a conciliar disposition hence authority from conciliarity is feigned. So in Crete there are anomalies, they actually tried to impose their decisions on the Churches that did not participate for one reason or another. The M.P. didn’t attend because they thought the Serbs would be a no show, at the last hours the Serbs decided to attend.


      Actually, Antioch had already refused to attend and Georgia, Serbia and Bulgaria had called for a postponement. Along with Russia, Georgia, Antioch and Bulgaria did not participate but the list of “non-signers” is a bit lengthier than that.

      Moscow did not attend because it was utterly apparent before the beginning of the council that it would not even be pan-Orthodox, much less ecumenical. Basically, it was a wash that has resulted in widespread condemnation in the traditional Orthodox world. Bishop Longin of Ukraine went so far as to anathematize it on Sunday of Orthodoxy.

      What Bartholomew did was to lock in a heterodox conception of the Church into pre-conciliar documents approved by the patriarchs. It is unclear to what extent the patriarchs had the ability to amend them at their preliminary meeting but it is clear, however, that they thought that the documents could be amended at the council. It turns out that the rules of the council specified that only unanimous agreement would suffice to allow the amendment of the preliminary documents.

      It was all a pro-Unia setup, to put it bluntly. Bartholomew is a heretic and is seeking to drag the Church into heresy. The sooner he is excommunicated, the sooner the “canonical Church” will regain its integrity, which it has lost be remaining in communion with such an egregious heretic for so long.

      This is how Athos reacted:

  30. Joseph Lipper says


    Your link shows how 60 monks from Mt. Athos reacted back in July 2016, almost two years ago. Do you have anything more current and more representative of Mt. Athos as a whole?

  31. George Michalopulos says

    Looks like the Ukrainian uniates really are being thrown underneath the bus. Thw latest from Byzantine, Texas:

    • Antiochene Son says

      They ought to return to Orthodoxy. By the prayers of St. Alexis of Wilkes-Barre!

  32. Michael Bauman says

    Jane, my lovely wife made an astute observation as usual. She, and maybe you, is what she calls a Yea God!!!! Christian. She met our Lord at age 5 and still retains that attitude. She has a difficulty understanding the more theological approach. Still she works hard on the unseen warfare.

    If you have not read the book you might give it a try. Unseen Warfare edited by St. Nicodemas of the Holy Mountain original work by a RC monk Scapoli.

    The “nihilist impulses” are what the Father’s called the passions and temptations.

    Working to allow the Holy Spirit victory over all these enemies is “going and sinning no more”.

    If you are Orthodox you go to confession to align your heart and will with God’s. Since desire and it’s twisting of the will caused our expulsion from the Garden, in order to partake of the Resurrection we must be healed.

    The three classic states are purification, illumination, Theosis. We are to some degree in all three states all the time.

    It is an ongoing process and indeed Jesus does most of the work. Not unlike Aslan turning Eustace back into a boy from a dragon.

    I am still a dragon but the scales are being removed. Or as the CW song says: “I’m just an ol’ lump of coal, but I’m gonna be a diamond some day.”

    The philosophy of Nihilism is a demonically inspired ideology that is quite seductive to those who lust for power. It has become the dominate ideology of the world’s elite even those who do not know it and think they are doing good. After all it is up to us to “change the world” and make it a better place.

    All that is required as you rightfully point out is metanoia–our nous turning back to God in contrition. In the body however such metanoia is seldom permanent and so the ongoing nature of spiritual warfare for ourselves and others.

    I am deeply concerned that the EP and many others have fallen prey to the demonic urgings to do good from their own will. Met. Philip certainly did. We all do. Thus we need to pray for all of our bishops especially so that they seek and listen to the voice of our Shepard so that we may all be safe in the sheepfold.

    Lord, forgive me a sinner.

  33. Joseph Lipper says

    Regarding the Crete Council, I very much appreciate the conclusion of Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos, a bishop who refused to sign the final documents. His says the documents from this council are not to be thrown out, but are merely in need of more “theological interpretation and refinement”:

    “Vladyka stressed that Orthodox Christians should not go into schism or cease commemorating their hierarchs. The way out of the situation, in Metropolitan Hierotheos’ opinion, is perhaps to hold a “Great Council,” which would give a theological interpretation and refinement to the documents accepted at Crete.”

  34. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Orthodox Christianity website.

    Tbilisi, June 25, 2018

  35. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from yesterday on the Orthodox Christianity website.

    Constantinople, June 25, 2018

  36. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Orthodox Christianity website.

    “OUR EXISTING CANONICAL STATUS IS QUITE SUFFICIENT.”The Statement of the Hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church taking part in the Hierarchical Assembly on June 25 in the Kiev Caves Lavra

  37. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Orthodox Church in America website.

    June 27, 2018
    OCA represented at celebration in Kyiv honoring UOC Metropolitan Onufry

    • George Michalopulos says

      I’d say “stick a fork in the Ukrainian autocephaly project, it’s done”.

      • Matthew Panchisin says

        Dear George,

        The spiritual leader of millions of Orthodox Christians the E.P. (the first among equals) has his equal bishops standing at attention (relative to his comments and potential actions) and when they sit, it’s on pins and needles awaiting his decision or what he might say next.

        It seems that things are not equal and rather strange leadership to me, since we all sadly await his ruling on the matter that he shouldn’t even be considering.

  38. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Orthodox Christianity website.

    Kiev, June 28, 2018

  39. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from Monday on the Interfax Religion website.

    26 June 2018, 19:07
    After Istanbul visit, Ukrainian Orthodox Church hierarchs dismiss rumors of Constantinople Patriarchate’s intention to grant autocephaly

  40. Matthew Panchisin says