Constantinople Reportedly Dissolves Archdiocese of Russian Churches in Western Europe

Editor’s note: This story is not yet confirmed. Given the EP’s papalist designs in Ukraine however, it could portend more than meets the eye.

According to an as yet unconfirmed report from, the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which opened its latest session today, has decided to dissolve the Archdiocese of Russian Orthodox Churches in Western Europe, officially the Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of the Russian Tradition in Western Europe, by repealing the Patriarchal Tomos of 1999. Orthodoxie references its own informed sources.

The Greek news agency Romfea is reporting the same.

The Synod is also expected to announce the date for the long-awaited Ukrainian “unification council” at its current session which runs through Thursday.

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  1. John Sakelaris says

    The Wikipedia article on this grouping states that it is “roughly 100 parishes (more than 40 of which are in France), served by about 66 priests who care for the needs of an increasingly multi-cultural flock, numbering roughly 100,000 strong.” (I wonder if they overestimate their membership like we sometimes do in the US, but I digress.)

    Anyway, they obvious question that arises is whether there are other Orthodox that these people could affiliate with, preferably also in western Europe. There is clearly a lot more to this story.

    If this is a US-sponsored move to go after some Russians, it is worth noting that so far there is nothing on this matter on the Russia Today website (, quite a contrast to Russia Today’s nearly daily coverage of the Patriarch’s actions concerning Ukraine.

    Anyway, I will post this and await more news.

    • anonimus per Scorilo says

      They could clearly join the Romanians, which have more than 500 parishes and a 2.5-million flock, with a large French-speaking chunk and a French auxiliary bishop 🙂
      However, I do not think this is what Constantinople has in mind. In my opinion it is either a way to protect Exarchate churches from falling into Russia’s hands (as it happened in Nice and is happening in Florence), or a reward to +Emmanuel (Adamakis) for faithful service to King and Crown.

      • Dean Calvert says

        Dear Anomimus,
        The Russians can’t stand the Romanians, and vice versa.
        Just FYI

        • Lepas Flidas says

          True. The Romanians want Moldowallachia returned.

          • anonimus per Scorilo says

            a bit of clarification needed:
            Moldowallachia was the name of old Romania, which was made of 2 provinces: Moldova and Wallachia. Half of Moldova (which is the current republic of Moldova, also known as Bassarabia) was conquered by Russia in 1812.
            The other half and Wallachia constituted the kingdom of Romania (to which Transylvania also united exactly 100 years ago).

            So the Romanians cannot want Moldowallachia returned because 3/4 of Moldowallachia is Romania.

            They may wish Bassarabia (the republic of Moldova which is an independent country) to join Romania, though it is unclear whether there is any practicality to this wish, or it is just a political tool agitated before elections to gather some votes.

        • anonimus per Scorilo says

          yes, but the Russians of the Exarchate are fancy Russians from noble families, and not Romanian-hating muzhiks 🙂
          More seriously, a large chunk of the Holy Synod of Romania has passed through St. Serge, and a significant part of the spiritual revival in Romania last century was triggered by White Russian emigrees. So the story is not so simple.

          • sub deacon robert john john klancko says

            however constantinople was the consecration f romania’s new cathedral and not russia does this not send a message?

            • anonimus per Scorilo says

              I think they just went down the dyptich list to whoever was available. And they did not want to invite too many patriarchs, it costs money and the church building is not finished, so the budget is tight. Plus the Russian Patriarch has been there a year ago.

  2. Gail Sheppard says

    I remember seeing this quote when I was in Russia: “This is where I’d like to die. May death visit me in a gallant way.” I saw a picture of the guy who said it but can’t remember his name or the context. Does anyone know? – I wonder why this particular quote is in the middle of the TASS Science & Space page.

  3. Antiochene Son says

    Perhaps our lack of jurisdictional unity in the US is a blessing in disguise. It’s not ideal, but it is a bulwark against this kind of action.

    • George Michalopulos says

      I’m not so sanguine. Given the arrogance on recent display, my guess is that the EP will unilaterally disband every jurisdiction in the U.S. and then claim that they are under him.

      So what’s stopping him? Just this: the refusal of Arb Demetrius to step down. Hence all the talk about the EP wanting him to step down. Once he’s gone, Emmanuel of France will be put in place and then he EP will be able to effect this scheme.

      Will it work? My guess is that it will be widely ignored. Any attempt to enforce it will end in schism.

  4. Antiochene Son says

    Looks like it’s confirmed:

    Message from the Diocesan Office of November 28, 2018
    To the attention of all members of the Archdiocese, the Diocesan Administration reports that on November 27, 2018 the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate decided to revoke the status of the Exarchate of our Archdiocese.

    This decision of the Holy Synod, which has not yet been officially received by the Archdiocese, was in no way requested by the Archdiocese. Vladyka John was not previously consulted about this decision.

    While on a working visit to Istanbul / Constantinople for a scheduled meeting with the Synodal Commission, Archbishop John, accompanied by the Secretary of the Diocesan Council, Nikolai Lopukhin, learned about this decision from the Patriarch during their personal meeting.

    Archbishop John and Secretary of the Diocesan Council will return to Paris soon. The next meeting of the Council of the Archdiocese will be held in the coming days, at which this issue will be considered.

    Meanwhile, as the Archpastor responsible for the parishes and communities of the Archdiocese, Vladyka John asks all clergy and all the faithful to remain calm and remain in prayer so that the Holy Spirit enlightens us all.

    More information will be published soon.

    Wow, they didn’t even consult the archbishop beforehand.

    • George Michalopulos says

      You don’t have to play by the rules or care about niceties when you actually believe that the fullness of the church resides on one episcopate.

      Even if that episcopate is younger than those that were actually founded by actual apostles (like Rome, Antioch, Jerusalem, Athens, Alexandria, Corinth, etc.)

    • Gail Sheppard says

      And here we are, a bunch of “barbarians,” hanging out in the diaspora, waiting for our true and rightful leader to gather us up like chicks under his wings. The EP could never do this on his own. There is a machine with a roadmap behind this man and Ukraine is just the first stop. Where do you think the money to bail out the GOA came from? Got to have an umbrella. What? Missing a few million? No problem. We’ll write you a check. How much do you need to keep the lights on, boys?

      IMAGINE the potential of controlling the Christian world through the legitimate Church. Just as SOON as he takes over, we’re going to be seeing a flood of material on the Learning Channel and National Geographic about how archeologists say (people LOVE anything a scientist says) the Orthodox Church is the true Church. All the disenfranchised Catholics & Protestants will want to join because they saw it on TV. Unfortunately, they will be joining something you might see in Disneyland, i.e. a perfect replica with a fancy facade under the EP. Subtle messages about what we should think and what we should support will come down through their fancy metropolitans in their fancy robes. Care for the environment will be message 1. It will become our Christian duty! – The EP is being manipulated by a MACHINE.

      Don’t talk to me about far-fetched conspiracies. This is happening. It’s unfolding right before your eyes.

      • Tim R. Mortiss says

        Ever since I joined the Orthodox Church, I’ve heard about more conspiracies down the decades and centuries than I ever had heard of in 66 years as a member of the Protestant Ascendancy. I should write a book: From WASP to WASO.

        Joining a minority is a real education! Not at all bad, I hasten to say….I suppose “we” didn’t see conspiracies everywhere because we figured we ran everything, anyway.

        It would be good to see evidence sometime— that dreaded Western term!

        • M. Stankovich says

          ¿Mr. Mortiss?,

          1) I have nominated the above observation for consideration as “Best Post of 2018,” and have awarded you the “comillas” – the quotation marks used in Mexico and Central America – to surround your name.

          2) I have nominated your observation of the “little motorcycles” in the category, “Best Evidence for a Conspiracy,” in the category, “No counselor, the Federal Rules of Evidence do not allow for your “gut feelings” to be admitted as evidence.”

          and finally, for your information,

          3) I personally have nominated you in the category, “I never would have imagined he had a beard.”

          Congratulations on all counts!

        • Friend I am greek and to us life IS a conspiracy, accounting for 1204,1453, 1922 1967, , 1974 and 2010 onwards ( nasty germans, and yes but!!) , to name a few. And yes re 1204 especially, other very guilty western parties, but also our own stupid behaviour opening the door to the thief which without t, much of these events would have been avoided or reduced.

    • Dean Calvert says

      This is the EXACT scenario I’ve been worried about with ACROD for years.

      Answers, from ACROD priests I have asked, “It could NEVER HAPPEN!”

      I’d be worried if I were them.

  5. anonimus per Scorilo says

    apparently it was the second reason (gift to +Emmanuel for services to King and Crown).

    unclear though how many of the parishes will agree.

  6. This is the rue Daru crowd and thus an internal matter for the devil and his minions. It has been under Archbishop Job of recent fame and was the home church of the Paris School.

    Not sure why the MP would bother to comment other than to help those who wish to leave the omophor of Constantinople. Bear in mind, everyone under Constantinople is already excommunicated as of October 15th, including this group.

  7. It’s been confirmed by their bishop – and he was not consulted prior to the decision. It was completely unexpected.

    If this is how the EP treats friends…

  8. Russian Church reminds Constantinople’s Russian parishes in Western Europe about the propose of transition to Moscow Patriarchate

    Moscow, November 28, Interfax – In light of the decision of the Church of Constantinople to disband its Exarchate of Russian parishes in Western Europe, the Moscow Patriarchate has reminded about the idea for these parishes to switch to its jurisdiction.

    “Fifteen years ago, in the spring of 2003, the late Patriarch Alexy II proposed to all bishops and Orthodox parishes of the Russian tradition in Western Europe to unite as part of the self-governing metropolitan district of the Russian Church. It’s possible the time is coming to reconsider this call, which was not heeded by everyone at the time, anew,” Archpriest Nikolay Balashov, deputy head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, told Interfax on Wednesday.

    “Judging by the recent decision of the Russian parish in Florence, the soil for that is maturing,” he said, referring to the parish of Florence’s Church of the Nativity of Christ and Saint Nicholas the Thaumaturge’s recent switch to the jurisdiction of the Russian Church Abroad. The parish switched because it disagrees with Constantinople’s actions in Ukraine.

    The Synod in Istanbul adopted a decision to disband the “Russian exarchate” in Western Europe at its meeting on Tuesday. The Moscow Patriarchate said it was not surprised at this decision.

    “I see no particular reason to be surprised. We saw that they did not ask the episcopate, the clergy, the monks, the laypeople of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Istanbul whether they want to return to the Patriarchate of Constantinople, they just announced that 300 years of their history have been canceled and they are again under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, but will be granted autocephaly soon. And no one cares that did not ask about that as well, that they do not need autocephaly,” the priest said.

    Similarly, the Paris exarchate was abolished without input from the bishop, the clergy, or believers, Father Nikolay said. “They didn’t stand on ceremony with their own subjects! And their tomos is only 18 years old, the ink is still practically wet, they managed to repeal an even older document,” he said.

    He referred to Metropolitan Evlogy, who headed Russian parishes in Western Europe and was taken under the jurisdiction of Patriarch Photious of Constantinople in 1931 temporarily and only due to the plight of the Orthodox Church in the Soviet Union. “The Temporary Exarchate of the Holy Apostolic and Patriarchal See of Constantinople in Western Europe” was founded at the time.

    “This transfer happened without any documents of dismissal from the Russian Church, which has always considered it canonically illegal. However, both Patriarch Photious and Metropolitan Evlogy strongly emphasized the temporary nature of the situation at the time,” the archpriest said.

    The Russian exarchate dates back to 1921, when Patriarch Tikhon of Moscow and All Russia appointed Paris-based Metropolitan Evlogy the official representative of the Russian Church in Western Europe. In 1927, the Karlovici Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia banned Evlogy from performing his duties and severed liturgical communion with him, which caused Russian emigrants to split into those loyal to the Synod and those loyal to the Moscow Patriarchate.

    In 1931, Metropolitan Eulogius, wishing to evade the Soviet authorities’ pressure to sign “a pledge of loyalty,” temporary switched to the jurisdiction of the Constantinople Patriarchate but less than a year before his death was again accepted to the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church by Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia. Nevertheless, the majority of clergy and laypeople, led by the new metropolitan, decided to remain under the jurisdiction of Constantinople.

    The exarchate currently comprises 65 parishes, 11 acting churches, two monasteries, and seven sketes in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, and it has over 100 priests and 30 deacons.

  9. Alitheia1875 says

    The Synod will also probably discuss the status of Archbishop Demetrios of the US although The National Herald reported that he and the Patriarch have supposedly agreed the archbishop would stay until Pascha. However, it’s a good bet that if the Archbishop is successful in raising money to complete St. Nicholas then he would want to stay until the church is finished.

  10. Gregg Gerasimon says

    The St Sergius Institute is apparently going full on board with the Phanar. This doesn’t look like it will be pretty.

    Who wants to bet that Metropolitan Emmanuel of Paris’s next assignment is the GOA in New York? We’ll see how inter-Orthodox relations in America fare after that. The OCA may have less success in trying to maintain neutrality in this Phanar-created mess if Metropolitan Emmanuel claims a Phanar-created Orthodox “throne” in New York.

    Google translate helps if needed.

    C’est pourquoi, l’Institut Saint-Serge renouvelle ce jour par l’entremise de Son Éminence le métropolite Emmanuel, président de l’Assemblée des évêques orthodoxes de France, qu’il s’honore de compter parmi ses anciens élèves, son attachement fidèle à la personne et à l’action de Sa Toute-Sainteté Bartholomée Ier et réaffirme son inscription attentive dans l’esprit d’unité qu’appelle le saint et grand Concile de Crète.

    Paris, le 28 novembre 2018. »

  11. Pere LaChaise says
    • Antiochene Son says

      If they take a similar path, ACROD would be dissolved and its parishes would become part of the regular metropolitan structure of the GOAA.

      And presumably, let the Byzantization commence.

      • ACROD would have no grounds for complaint. If you are under the EP then you are under the EP. If you don’t like it then don’t put yourself under the EP.

        Now could the EP summarily disband all the jurisdictions in the West? Good luck.

        • r j kancko says

          do not forget the ukrainians in canada, then usa and south america –where will they go? for both the ACROD and the Ukrainians most of their parishes are over 80 years old and they are americanized ,, so logicqlly the oca would be their best bet, they can continue what ethnic identity they wish ad would be hellenized, which is a major drawback

      • Greek american byzantium?, … Organs, pews, razor blades and don’t check the books and do we still have a church Chicago?? Oh yes ok there, some wealthy guy stumped up at the pawn shop. Just saying.

  12. This an internal matter for the EP. I don’t see a reason to be bent out of shape about it.

  13. Antiochene Son says

    Prediction: Most of the Western European Russian clergy and parishes under the EP will move over to ROCOR or the MP. The EP will then excommunicate them.


    • Gail Sheppard says

      I imagine Patriarch John would be amenable. He must be most grateful to Russia for helping Assad rid Syria of terrorists and keeping Assad in power (Assad has been very good to the Christians so they can continue to occupy their government posts without fear of another regime changing things up) and helping to rebuild the Churches so Christians have something to come home to. No one does that better than Russia. – One of the things I admire about Putin is he knows how to play the “long game.” We don’t always know what he is doing or why until we look back on things in retrospect.

    • anonimus per Scorilo says

      It all depends on whether the current archbishop has enough guts to write letters of release to all the priests and deacons before +Bart kicks him out. The parishes can move without problem, but not without their priests (most of which have secular jobs and only get a symbolic financial support for their services).

      If he does, then Romania, Antioch and Serbia will gladly accept them and their parishes (both the Romanians and Serbians have very large convert chunks, they are like the Antiochians in the US). And most of the exarchate faithful in Italy are Romanian-speaking anyway.

      If he does not, they can only move to ROCOR or Moscow, which is very unlikely given past and current bad blood.

      • George Michalopulos says

        I imagine that given the shock and awe nature of this latest move, many of these Russian exarchate parishes/priests/deacons/laymen will come to their senses regarding the MP/ROCOR, much as ROCOR did in 2007.

        I mean really, somebody needs to advise the EP that this is not the way to win friends and influence people.

        OK, snark off: I’m gonna try and be charitable. I appears to me –now, more than ever–that the EP is a hostage to the globalist agenda and that if they feel that events warrant such a move, they’ll yank his chain if they have to. Mind you, this is not ideal, but every now and then a false flag, a Gordian Knot, a fait accompli has to be executed what for “the greater good”. The Turks did it in Cyprus in 1974, the Russians did it in Crimea in 2014, the US did it in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1965.

        I don’t believe that the EP wanted to do it this way but he must have felt that he had no choice. Regardless, it’s a bridge too far, even for the Russian Exarchate. I imagine that this is only going to inflame the situation rather than calm it as far as MP/UK is concerned.

        As for the recent incident in the Kerch Strait, I’m rather pleased by how muted the response from the international community has been. My prediction is that rather than whip up nationalist fervor in Ukraine, this will blow up in Poroshenko’s face.

        In any event, as far as the Russian expats in Western Europe is concerned, nobody likes to be blindsided, especially by your friends. —especially by your friends. My guess is that the Russian archbishop is going to be getting writer’s cramps signing all those canonical releases to other jurisdictions.

        • Re: the EP being “hostage to a globalist agenda”. I think, believe that he may have been just as much a hostage to his own personal goals. This current opportunity presented itself and afforded him an open door to take a more universalist tangential agenda and explore his options out on the open market. Yes, perhaps he was cajoled, seduced, persuaded, convinced, and supported but it was a decision he made within himself. I don’t believe he was strong-armed or blackmailed. Well, maybe he was blackmailed.

          Although his flock was numbered in the 10s, the 100s? How can a World-wide, Global Patriarch abide with such a reality? “Yes, I rule over “The Ecumenical Ecclesia!” “Amazing, Your Grace! What might be the size of this your flock?” “Well, here in Stambol it’s, uhh, around around 2,000? Nice talking with you. I have an appointment.”


        Moscow has already responded – a united Metropolia for Western Europe.

        Byztex also reported that his sources indicate something similar coming from the EP for North America.

  14. I imagine that some churches that have charters will join other jurisdictions.

  15. If this is all true, the EP has officially gone rogue. I would keep a healthy distance from him until it’s resolved in a significant Church Council.

    • this is an opportunity to dissolve rocor and bring everything under moscow. this would create a strengthened church organization and hasten the inevitable. in the usa and canada place the moscow exarchate parishes bckm into the oca from whence they came. make st nicholas the representation church in the usa. as far as rocor in the usa and canada goes, individual parishes can join the oca and many of the others will slowly dematerialize. rocor’s market is very small from what i see they are in critical need of funds and prishioners

      • rjklancko: “this is an opportunity to dissolve rocor and bring everything under moscow. this would create a strengthened church organization”

        More centralized does not mean “stronger”, often it means weaker. And strength/power is not the objective of Church.

      • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

        RE: “as far as rocor in the usa and canada goes, individual parishes can join the oca and many of the others will slowly dematerialize. ”

        Mr. Klancko, your personal fantasy (or nightmare, from my vantage point) reveals that you know little to nothing about the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.

        • M. Stankovich says

          Fr. Dean Alexander,

          I am unsure as to how you have taken the Subdeacon’s comment, which I’m presuming to be as a pejorative. Regardless, to outright dismiss his commentary as “fantasy” and “nightmare” begs discussion, while challenging his knowledge of ROCOR (presumably referring to the history) is as provocative as I’ve ever read, yet you make no effort to educate him/us. This would lead a reasonable man to conclude you are mocking. This I find uncharacteristic of you, and perhaps I have responded too early.

          For what it’s worth – and let the Subdeacons correct me – I took his comment to mean that, 1) in consideration of the fact that the autocephaly of the OCA was granted by the Russian Orthodox Church to its former Exarchate on this continent, and (2 the ROCOR had repented of its schism and returned under the omophor of the Patriarch of Moscow, what logical and canonical justification could there be for maintaining a redundant duplicity of “jurisdiction” and sustaining a redundant ruling hierarchy? So the EP has lost his mind, but he certainly has forced attention to the shameful, chaotic disunity which is Orthodoxy in America.

          Either I owe an apology for misinterpreting the “dialog” to this point, or I believe the discussion was unfairly terminated by a subtle form of intimidation.

          • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

            Thank you, Dr. S., for a gracious challenge to my quick reply to rjklancko (who, by the way, I did not know is a subdeacon).

            RE: ‘Either I owe an apology for misinterpreting the “dialog” to this point, or I believe the discussion was unfairly terminated by a subtle form of intimidation.’

            Neither of those options obtains in this case. You owe me no apology for raising good questions. Nor does my reply to Subdeacon Klancko constitute a “form of intimidation,” subtle or otherwise. I simply dismissed his scenarios as lacking any basis in reality and not worth serious consideration.

            RE: “I took his comment to mean that, 1) in consideration of the fact that the autocephaly of the OCA was granted by the Russian Orthodox Church to its former Exarchate on this continent, and (2 the ROCOR had repented of its schism and returned under the omophor of the Patriarch of Moscow,”

            The “autocephaly” of the OCA has been, as you and many on this website know quite well, a bone of contention since 1970. Only several of the autocephalous Orthodox Churches concurred with that decision by the Moscow Patriarchate–at that time, by the way, unreservedly subservient to the Soviet Communist regime. It is ironic that the Ecumenical Patriarchate led–and continues to lead–the opposition to that move for a number of reasons, chief among them the EP’s absurd claim to jurisdiction over the entire Western Hemisphere and its bristling at another autocephalous Church presuming to grant autocephaly to an entity in the EP’s own backyard. Good grief: Ukraine, anyone?

            But your second point above is at once incorrect and, I regret to say, egregiously so. The reunion of ROCOR with the MP in 2007 was by no means an act of “repentance” for “schism.” Quite to the contrary, that remarkable, unlikely, joyous event is more properly described as a merger or, as I said, a “reunion.” ROCOR repented for nothing and did not then, or at any time in its history, allow the term “schism” to apply to the necessary separation of the Russian Orthodox in exile from the morally compromised Sovietized MP in the 1920s. In particular, any hope of reconciliation with the mother Church vanished for almost a century, as it happened, in 1927, when Metropolitan Sergius of Moscow proclaimed in his infamous “Declaration,” “We want to be Orthodox and at the same time conscious of the Soviet Union as our civil motherland, whose joys and successes are our joys and successes and whose failures, failures ,” an astoundingly perverse application of the Apostle Paul’s magnificent description of the Body of Christ in 1 Corinthians 12:26: “If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.”

            I thank God the Holy Trinity for the divine Providence that led to the fall of the USSR in 1991, that finally brought ROCOR and the MP back together in 2007, and that has the Russian Orthodox faithful in the ancestral lands and all over the world united spiritually, morally, and canonically in the present ecclesial crisis in Ukraine precipitated by the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

            I hope that explains why Subdeacon Klancko’s either-or scenario concerning the ROCOR parishes in the USA and Canada is doubly preposterous. I seriously doubt any ROCOR parish would ever consider the OCA as a suitable jurisdiction, and, echoing Christine Fevronia’s comment on this thread, I can assure the audience that ROCOR is thriving everywhere on this continent (including our Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, where we just launched a new Master of Divinity graduate degree program to complement our long-time Bachelor of Theology undergraduate degree program).

            • Fr. Alexander,

              I would only add a few things to your explanation above:

              The Metropolia, too, considered the Soviet Church unfit to lead the ROC during the period before it was granted autocephaly. This one can see clearly from its earlier participation in the ROCOR. It only returned to the MP when it wanted something. After the war, it went to the MP and demanded autonomy, which the MP refused. This is the true character of the Metropolia: Its opinion regarding ecclesiology is dependent upon self interest, not canonicity.

              ROCOR, contrary to conventional wisdom, was always in full communion with Serbia or Jerusalem or both. Moreover, there was never a formal excommunication of any of the other “canonical” Orthodox local churches. There was never even an official declaration of lack of grace in the MP.

              In fact, up until the early 1960’s, ROCOR was widely recognized as a representative body of the Church of Russia. Met. Kalistos (Ware) has fond memories of concelebrating with ROCOR clergy into the 1970’s. The Sorrowful Epistles of Met. Philaret, almost prophetic in character, served to begin the period of practical restrictions on interaction with New Calendarists and Ecumenists.

              The Act of Reunion (2007) and everything around it was spoken of as a reunion of the two parts of the Russian Orthodox Church. There was never any hint of a question of repentance or healing of a true schism, chargeable to one side or the other, simply a restoration of suspended communion (akoinonia). These things happen (see Jerusalem and Antioch re Qatar).

              From 1977 to present all, or most all, of the parish movement has been from OCA to ROCOR.-

              As to ROCOR’s future:

              Yes, in the United States, ROCOR is much smaller than the OCA. But ROCOR has never claimed to be the American Orthodox Church but rather an international body representing the diaspora of the Church of Russia. Orthodoxwiki has ROCOR at 480,000 adherents worldwide. But again, this is simply, literally, the “Russian Church Abroad”; i.e., in the diaspora.

              ROCOR is in no way competing with the OCA and fraternal relations exist, for the most part, between the two bodies. However, part of the Act of Reunion was that the MP had no authority to alter the diocesan boundaries of the ROCOR without the approval of the Synod of the Church Abroad (article six). This is actually somewhat remarkable in that ROCOR is nonetheless considered “semi-autonomous”. Perhaps it is semi-autonomous, but its bishops are cemented in their dioceses as long as they wish to be, qualified only by their own ROCOR synod. I.e., to say, they could not be directed by Moscow to merge with any other ecclesial body.

              “1. That the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, conducting its salvific service in the dioceses, parishes, monasteries, brotherhoods, and other ecclesiastical bodies that were formed through history, remains an indissoluble, self-governing part of the Local Russian Orthodox Church.” –

              In reading this, one is confronted with the fact that the MP accepted the fact that the ROCOR was always a canonical church and this was not an act of repentance and return, but of reunification.

              • M. Stankovich says

                I have been listening to this same polemical interpretation of history, Orthodox ecclesiology, and the ignoring/rationalizing of the Holy Canons for 45-years, Scott. And for what? To “justify” the extraordinary, unprecedented existence of a “jurisdiction” with, literally, no jurisdiction and no authority; bishops outside their own appointed diocese, somehow claiming to retain title of the diocese they abandoned in order for them to continue as “bishops” (a essential contrivance, as the Canons indicate they are only bishops within the context of their own appointed diocese). And further, they in fact claimed to be the Russian Orthodox Church, not a “part” or “aspect” or “sister” of the ROC, but the ROC.

                [There] there was never a formal excommunication of any of the other “canonical” Orthodox local churches… There was never any hint of a question of repentance or healing of a true schism, chargeable to one side or the other, simply a restoration of suspended communion (akoinonia).

                Really, Scott? This would seem to fly in the face of “on-the-ground-reality.” A friend of mine’s father was the long-term chaplain at an OCA charitable healthcare institution in NY, whose board voted to move the chapel of the institution under the jurisdiction of ROCOR. My friend’s father, who had been a Metropolia/OCA priest for more than 40 years, did not agree with the move, nor could he personally agree to leave the OCA, and he was subsequently dismissed. It broke his and his wife’s hearts, after nearly 30-years of service, to leave his parish and home. His wife died within a year, and he was forced to retire, and fortunately, was received as a resident into the facility he had served for so long. When he died on a Palm Sunday, the OCA was not planning to send a bishop for his burial, but Archbishop Hilarion (now Met. Hilarion of ROCOR) graciously offered to serve the Burial of a Priest. But he made it clear that the OCA clergy could not serve, nor could they commune at the Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts. He did allow, however, the OCA priests to assist in carrying the priest’s remains around the church in the final procession to the singing of the Trisagion. I know this much from being there: the years were filled with mutual hostility, resentment, and divisiveness.

                I will end my comments so as to avoid offense, but the facts are these: the terms “diaspora,” “semi-autonomous,” “the church abroad/outside of..” “reunification,” and “restoration of suspended communion (akoinonia)” are complete contrivances and are outside the mind of Orthodox ecclesiology. This is absolutely no historical or canonical precedent for any Orthodox church outside its own jurisdiction with its own appointed diocesan bishops. ROCOR should have concluded at Karlovtzy, the last destination permitted by the extraordinary instructions of the Russian central church administration. After Karlovtzy they were schismatics; they had no diocese or jurisdiction to which they could return other than the ROC, and the Patriarch of Serbia instructed them as such.

                Finally, in three separate but equal statements, those representing ROCOR in this thread speak in a manner that would make Nicolas Chauvain (think chauvanism) blush: “The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, “God, I thank you, that I am not as other men are, extortionists, unjust, adulterers, or even as these people in the OCA. Demographics shows ROCOR monasteries and parishes thriving and growing in the US. The OCA has only an estimated 20,000 members.” (Lk. 18:11) The punchline, Scott: “I tell you, these people in the OCA went down to their homes justified rather than the other: for every one that exalts himself shall be abased; and he that humbles himself shall be exalted.” (v.14)

                • It is true that directly after the MP granted its hollow Tomos to the OCA, the ROCOR excommunicated the OCA. That is the only excommunication I am aware of and its status as a local church was and is debatable. I stand by the rest of my post and remind you that canon law has no force in and of itself. It is not a mathematical equation and is only effective insofar as it is actually applied by the episcopacy. So opinions about ROCOR canonicity are really irrelevant in light of the joint decision of ROCOR and the MP to reunite as separated parts of the one Russian Church. Or we could look to the Phanar for the truth. . . (pause for laughter).

                • Joseph Lipper says

                  “[There] is absolutely no historical or canonical precedent for any Orthodox church outside its own jurisdiction with its own appointed diocesan bishops. ROCOR should have concluded at Karlovtzy, the last destination permitted by the extraordinary instructions of the Russian central church administration. After Karlovtzy they were schismatics; they had no diocese or jurisdiction to which they could return other than the ROC, and the Patriarch of Serbia instructed them as such.”

                  What does ROCOR really stand for, other than a problematic ecclesiology? The Russian Church should be inside of Russia, not outside of Russia.

                  Sure, there needs to be parishes in the U.S. that cater to the many Russians here. However, I’ve attended several OCA parishes with services entirely in Slavonic and also on the Old Calendar. This does not pose a problem for the OCA to do this.

                  As Fr. Alexander Webster has pointed out, ROCOR has not really repented of anything and certainly not of their own problematic ecclesiology of being outside of Russia. And why should they? Vladimir Putin wants the Russian Church to be everywhere possible. ROCOR fulfills the imperial dreams of Vladimir Putin’s Russkiy Mir project. Putin loves ROCOR.

                  • Billy Jack Sunday says

                    Joseph Lipper

                    I’ve been pretty quick to point out where I disagree with you

                    Therefore, I want to be quick here to note an excellent point of yours

                    “The Russian Church should be inside of Russia, not outside of Russia.”


                    At least its honest in name, though

                    It says exactly what it is

                    Unlike the Church of Constantinople

                    That claims the name of a city that no longer exists

                    That applies a misnomer to an empire long gone

                    As notable as ROCOR’s efforts in recent years may be

                    Does it mean that it is okay for them to function as yet another distinct and separate jurisdiction here, there and anywhere?


                    But if I were Russian, I suppose I would justify it

                    Those are hard words for me to type as I do indeed respect some of their efforts

                    It’s just hard to also give the ‘ol “because . . . ” pass

                    Nothings been resolved because of that pass being applied to everyone in different forms and with different excuses

                    • The myopia is amazing. It is as if Christ never uttered the words, “Go forth and baptize all nations . . . ” Briefly, I disagree wholeheartedly with this quasi heretical notion that a local church should never extend beyond its canonical bounds. It is only a problem when it intrudes into the canonical boundaries of another local church.

                      Evangelism is essential and North America is unallocated jurisdictional territory. The Phanar claims it (implausibly) and the OCA claims it (equally implausibly based on a Tomos that grants no exclusive jurisdiction).

                      Thus any local church is free to serve its faithful here. And that is normally what has happened. Churches arise because the adherents are already here.

                      Once upon a time, the Church of Russia was the Constantinopolitan Orthodox Church outside Asia Minor. This process has been repeated throughout Orthodox history:

                      “We find ourselves in strong agreement with a multitude of the sentiments expressed by His Grace, Bishop Daniil of the Bulgarian Diocese in the USA and Canada, in his letter presented to Your Eminence’s Committee and distributed at the recent Assembly. In particular, we affirm His Grace’s statements on the paradigms that exist within the Sacred Canons of the Church (which are our blessed guiding hand in determining every course of ecclesial action) for acceptable means of organizing Church unity in a region which for various reasons cannot follow the otherwise standard paradigm of a purely local structure. These include, for example, the 39th Canon of the Sixth Ecumenical Council, which allowed for an independent ecclesiastical province of the Church of Cyprus in the region of another local Church’s territory (demonstrating that the canons permit, in cases of pastoral need, a departure from the normal localization of episcopal oversight even within the territory of the established Churches); as well as the 2nd Canon of the Second Ecumenical Council, which states ‘the churches of God that are situated in territories belonging to barbarian nations (i.e. where there is no established local Orthodox Church) must be administered in accordance with the customary practice of the Fathers,’ which, according to the ancient explanations of the canons, means the sending forth of bishops from established eparchies to care for them (thus demonstrating that the situation of Sister Churches mutually caring for their flocks in the diaspora and thereby ‘supplying what is missing for a local synod’ is what the canons themselves consider, not an aberration, but the ancient practice of the Fathers).” – Letter from Secretary of ROCOR synod to the Chairman of the Episcopal Assemblies (2014) –

                      All this venting against ROCOR is silly, btw. Don’t demand what you can’t take. The ROC alone would constitute the second largest Christian communion on earth even without all the rest of the Orthodox. They have satisfied themselves with the historical canonicity of ROCOR.

                      Nothing else matters. Opinion are a dime a dozen.

                    • Billy Jack Sunday says


                      The diaspora model of Church planting is not apostolic or practical

                      Yes, missions should be conducted by those who are ethnically foreign to the lands they seek to missionize

                      However, they simply do not seek to establish an ethnic based eparchy colony

                      All such endeavors with such limited focus never truly establish a local Church

                      Speaking of Barbarian lands, you can see how this played out in the Celtic lands

                      The Christians existed in Celtic lands far before St. Patrick – who himself was a Saxon

                      However, when he brought the gospel to the Celts, he did it in a way that they could understand and the gospel was integrated into their culture – not a cultural superimposed on them with the gospel

                      A good grasp of how to establish lasting missions to plant truly local Churches is evidently missing today in the Orthodox Church

                      Which is weird. The wheel does not need to be rediscovered

                      Besides all that, things have changed

                      This isn’t North America two or three hundred years ago

                      I’m not saying that Russians living in America shouldn’t be ministered to

                      However, they hardly constitute a base line for establishing mission parishes exclusively

                      I’m not sure I’ve ever met a Russian who is Russian Orthodox

                      All the slavic persons I’ve met in this country have been either secular or Protestant

                      If they were some Orthodox, I did not know it

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      Pardon me, Scott, do you happen to have the cell phone number for Met. Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Volokolamsk? I would like to know by which specific Canons the ROC justifies including Japan & China within the “canonical territory proper” of the ROC.

                      On 27 July 2013, in an interview on the occasion of the 1125th anniversary of the Baptism of Kiev Rus’, the Chairman of the Department for External Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Volokolamsk, put forward a new vision of the ‘canonical territory’ of the Russian Orthodox Church. In fact, he had elaborated on this subject in 2005, during his tenure as Bishop of Vienna and Austria of the Moscow Patriarchate, when he served as its representative at European international organizations in Brussels. Then he outlined the canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church as embracing thirteen post-Soviet states, namely the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kirgizstan, Tajikistan, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Only Georgia and Armenia were not present in this list, because their Orthodox believers belong to the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Georgia. In his interview of 2013, however, Metropolitan Hilarion also counted Japan and China as part of the Russian Orthodox Church’s canonical territory. He justified their inclusion by reference to history: the first Orthodox missionaries there were Russians. At the same time, the Russian hierarch pointed to the right of his Church to exercise authority outside this expanded canonical territory due to the necessity of giving spiritual and ecclesiological guidance to the dioceses and parishes of its diaspora (Emphasis mine).

                      If I’m not mistaken, the EP pretty much makes the identical argument to justify his little outing into the Ukraine, does he not? “We wuz here first.”

                      Outside the canonical territory, we have parishes and dioceses, but this is already our diaspora. And the canonical territory proper, that is, the territory of the pastoral responsibility of the Russian Church, are these fifteen states. And we are working to ensure that this single space remains one.

                      WAT! Isn’t that the heretical papism of which the EP is accused? Isn’t this entire interview sine qua non the justification for breaking Communion with the EP? “And we are working to ensure that this single space remains one.” Indeed you are. That would explain the consensus of Bishops in Eastern Europe that the ROC should have granted autocephaly to the Ukraine years ago, yet thse Bishops remained silent because they feared the wrath of the ROC. The reality is that the current situation would never have occurred were it not for the fundamental lack of charity and love of the ROC.

                      But a week ago, the contemporaneous, mourning Met. Hilarion <a href="😉 notes, 1) “This is a manifestation of the heresy of papism, which the Orthodox Church has opposed for centuries”; “Patriarch Bartholomew was warned that there would be such consequences, but he continued his line, fulfilling the political order that came to him from the United States of America”; “Patriarch Bartholomew wants to destroy the Russian Orthodox Church, to weaken it as much as possible. Thus, he wants to take revenge on Patriarch Kirill for the failure of the Cretan Council.” Κύριε ἐκέκραξα πρὸς σέ! Who knew they watched Fox News! And to top it all off, Met. Hilarion said, “For the first time in the history of the Church, autocephaly is not asked, but imposed by force.” Bro’, it was begged for and ignored, rinse and repeat.

                      Personally, I pray that someone, a saint of our day and time, emerges and ends this stalemate of soul-destroying pride. Depose the EP? Fool’s gold! Where does that leave world Orthodoxy? In the hands of the largest body of Orthodox Christians in the world, but absolutely no less hypocritical or political. And America? Have you heard those ROCOR monks in TN bungle and stumble their way through Church Slavonic…

                      Full text of interviews:


                      Full text of ROC concept: Orthodox Journal of Hypocrisy

              • Mr. Lipper: “After Karlovtzy they were schismatics; they had no diocese or jurisdiction to which they could return other than the ROC”

                Which ROC? The “Living Church” decreed the only legal by EP and bolsheviks? Or the resisters who were being pushed out and into underground?

                Can you answer this question? Can you?

                • Joseph Lipper says

                  Martin, the other option was to go with Metropolitan Evlogy and set up under the EP.

                  • Mr. Lipper” You evaded a key question in a little strange way – by proposing submitting to the breakaway modernist bishop by the other bishops in exile. Let me rephrase, would the submission to the official EP/Bolshevik “Living Church” be kosher in your eyes?

                    And what is your attitude to the Living Church?

                    • Joseph Lipper says

                      Martin, submission to the “Living Church” wasn’t an option. That’s why the Patriarch of Constantinople allowed for the creation of a temporary Russian Archdiocese in Western Europe under Metropolitan Evlogy. Unfortunately the other Russian bishops at Karlovtzy rejected that canonical option.

            • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

              Fr. Alexander quoted the famous declaration of Sergius of Moscow, which is taught as the definition of “Sergianism:” ““We want to be Orthodox and at the same time conscious of the Soviet Union as our civil motherland, whose joys and successes are our joys and successes and whose failures, failures ,” I feel (correct me if I’m wrong) that this expresses perfectly the principles of Patriarch Kirill’s patriotism: just substitute “Putin’s Russian Federation” for “the Soviet Union.” In fact, I believe Patriarch Kirill refers to “nashe Otechestvo) in his sermons and speeches more than Sergius did!

      • ChristineFevronia says

        Indeed, my ROCOR parish is full of souls who have fled from the OCA, not vice versa, and demographics shows ROCOR monasteries and parishes thriving and growing in the US. The OCA has only an estimated 20,000 members.

  16. Mr Lipper: “That’s why the Patriarch of Constantinople allowed for the creation of a temporary Russian Archdiocese”

    Very clever of EP, with one hand established Living Church in cooperation with Bolsheviks with other hand provided semi-heretical “refuge” under his control.

    No, Russian church in exile remained the free part of Russian Church in spiritual unity with the true Orthodox driven underground in their homeland. They would be fools to submit.

    Do you care for preserving true Orthodoxy, or do you desire modernist neo-papacy to replace Her?

    • Joseph Lipper says

      Martin, the bishops of the Karlovzty Synod abandoned their dioceses. How can you say they had spiritual unity with those Orthodox Christians they abandoned, with those babushka who remained in Russia?

      It was those Orthodox Christians who remained in Russia by God’s providence who actually preserved the true Russian Orthodox faith.

      When Patriarch Alexey II visited America in 1991, did he visit ROCOR headquarters and thank them for preserving Russian Orthodoxy? At that time ROCOR wouldn’t have even opened the door for him.

      • Lipper: “It was those Orthodox Christians who remained in Russia by God’s providence who actually preserved the true Russian Orthodox faith.”

        Yes, so did the countless Russian refugees, who were not abandoned by their clergy and bishops in the exile. A good example were couple millions in China where the church life flourished in Harbin, Shanghai and other places.

        One of their pastors was Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco.

        The monastery in Jordanville was a center where thousands of titles were printed both in Russian and in English. These publications were smuggled to Russia/Ukraine etc and were a great help to the Orthodoxy survival.

        Russian Church abroad was the first jurisdiction that canonized the New Russian Martyrs and condemned the heresy of Ecumenism. The later was a reason of relative isolation from the more liberal jurisdictions.

        • Joseph Lipper says

          Martin, I believe the great spiritual work that ROCOR has accomplished is a blessing for everybody. However, it no longer represents a group of Russian refugees in exile who are unable to return to Russia, and this is the problematic ecclesiology I’m referring to. Instead, ROCOR has now transformed into a political extension of Vladimir Putin’s Russkiy Mir project. Is this really what ROCOR wants to be?

          • Mr Lipper

            You are shifting your accusation. First you said “the bishops of the Karlovzty Synod abandoned their dioceses”. Now you are using reductio ad Putlerum argument.

          • Mr Lipper, you worry so much about horrible Russia, yet you evaded question about EP/Bolshevik Living Church. When you accused Russian bishops of abandoning their sees, did you mean that they should have submitted to Lenin, Stalin and Constantinople, or that they should have gone to the concentration camps?

            • Joseph Lipper says

              Martin, this was a difficult time for everybody. I don’t believe it was neccessarily wrong for the Karlovtzty Synod to abandon their diocese, but I believe it would have been better for them to organize under the Ecumenical Patriarchate like Metropolitan Evlogy eventually did. I wish that Metropolitan Platon had done this too, but I realize that circumstances probably made that an impossibility for him. He was actually battling in American courts against the “Living Church” as they sued for property in America. Perhaps seeking the protection of the Ecumenical Patriarchate would have backfired against him in those court cases.

          • Thank God for healing of divisions says

            “ROCOR has now transformed into a political extension of Vladimir Putin’s Russkiy Mir project“

            Joseph, what the heck are you talking about? You’re insulting to every ROCOR parishioner and to the missionary legacy of ROCOR in America and throughout the world. ROCOR has thriving English-language missions and parishes throughout America, on the east and west coasts and in the heartland. We strive to be faithful to Christ and to spread the Gospel to anyone who is interested. We’re not afraid of pointing out the apostasy of the current church in Istanbul. We include Greeks, Russians, Ukrainians, Romanians, English, Germans, French, Irish, Americans, and everything in between. Like the Moscow Patriarchate, ROCOR is a true multinational church under Patriarch Kyrill.

            I suggest that you visit a missionary, English-language ROCOR parish before making such outlandish, inaccurate generalizations.

            • Joseph Lipper says

              “Thank God for healing of divisions”, when I say that ROCOR has transformed into a political extension of Vladimir Putin’s Russkiy Mir project, I am referring specifically to the fact that ROCOR has broken communion and created a division against the Greek Archdiocese in America, the American Carpatho Russian Orthodox Diocese, and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A.

              What on earth did any of these diocese do to deserve this break in communion? Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe ROCOR does not have any churches in Ukraine, and neither does GOA, ACROD, or UOC-USA. What’s happening in Ukraine has nothing to with diocese in America. And yet ROCOR is weaponizing the Divine Liturgy by breaking communion with other American diocese as some sort of retaliation for what? Yes, let’s talk about the healing of divisions.

              • Joseph, an attack against one part of the Body is an attack on the whole. The Ukrainian issue is not a local problem but affects the entire Church.

                • Joseph Lipper says

                  Basil, the whole Orthodox world is concerned about what is happening in Ukraine. It certainly merits an Orthodox council, an ecumenical council, to decide the matter. That hasn’t happened yet.

                  Most of the Orthodox churches have serious misgivings about the EP’s actions in Ukraine, but how many have broken communion with the EP over this? Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe only the Moscow Patriarchate and it’s various exarchates, such as ROCOR, have broken communion with the EP.

                  Being under the Moscow Patriarchate, I understand that ROCOR probably doesn’t have much say in the matter, at least as long as they want to be part of the Moscow Patriarchate. They are being forced to “toe the line”, so to speak.

          • Matthew Panchisin says

            Dear Mr. Lipper,

            I’m very certain (100%) that for you to make such a statement simply reveals that you are utterly ignorant of the blessed ways of ROCOR.

            • Joseph Lipper says

              Matthew Panchisin, I can assure you that I’ve visited several English language ROCOR mission parishes and monasteries and have been greatly edified by all of them. Since the reunification of ROCOR with the Moscow Patriarchate, my preferred prayer book continues to be the English version published by the Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville.

              • Matthew Panchisin says

                Mr. Lipper,

                You have said:

                “Instead, ROCOR has now transformed into a political extension of Vladimir Putin’s Russkiy Mir project.” For your so-called edification to lead you to the aforementioned conclusion you have articulated herein is telling.

                I think I’m getting to old for this sort of absurdity.

                I sure hope you can do much better on the edification front in the future.

                In Christ,

                Matthew Panchisin

          • …ROCOR has now transformed into a political extension of Vladimir Putin’s Russkiy Mir project.


            You state this as though it was an undeniable fact – an assertion with which, I suspect, members of ROCOR would take issue and even find insulting.

            Is this really what ROCOR wants to be?

            As I am not ROCOR, I cannot speak to your question; but it is more than fair to wonder how even an answer in the affirmative would make the ROCOR any different from the political and cultural activities of many in the GOA.

            Moreover, if one chooses the logic of “problematic ecclesiology” and speak of ROCOR as former exiles who are no longer unable to return to their homeland, one would be compelled to use the same logic and assert that all the Orthodox Churches in America should be restored to Russia’s jurisdiction because she is now free from the Bolshevik yoke that created the problematic ecclesiology here in the first place. But that’s not going to happen; is it?

            To put it succinctly, their is no jurisdiction in the Americas that isn’t ecclesiologically problematic from a jurisdictional perspective. The ROCOR is neither more nor less ‘problematic’ than the GOA, the Antiochians, the Serbs, the Bulgarians, or anyone else. All are free to return to their homelands. But that’s not going to happen either; is it?

            • Joseph Lipper says

              Brian, I believe you are interested in an united American church.

              What’s happening in Ukraine does not directly involve the various ethnic Orthodox archdiocese in America. Yes, there is something happening in Ukraine, but it’s not happening here in America. What’s happening in Ukraine is not, and should not be, a battle between American jurisdictions. So why should ROCOR in America weaponize the Divine Liturgy by banning other American jurisdictions from communion about something that is happening in Ukraine?

              • Joseph,

                What happens anywhere in the Church affects everyone in the Church because the Church is one. This is not a battle of jurisdictions. Nor is it about politics, Church or otherwise. It is an acknowledgement of the truth of ecclesiology regardless of jurisdiction. The ROCOR (and I repeat for the record that I am not in the ROCOR) is not ‘weaponizing’ communion; it is affirming what communion is and not allowing it to be misconstrued as anything but a concrete reality.

                The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.

                There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

                So why should ROCOR in America ban other American jurisdictions from communion about something that is happening in Ukraine?

                For the same reason you are forbidden to commune in your local Roman Catholic Church and they are banned from communion in yours over something that happened in ‘way over in Rome’ over a thousand years ago.

                Just as there can be no truth without love, so there can be no love without truth. In our modern age, a very precious few have enough love to stand firmly in the truth – apart from which there can be no love.

                • Joseph Lipper says

                  Brian, the difference is that no Orthodox Church is in communion with the Roman Catholics. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe it is only the Moscow Patriarchate and it’s various exarchates who have broken communion with the the EP. Who else?

                  There needs to be an Ecumenical Church Council to decide this matter in brotherly love in a conclusive manner. Yes, the Church is One, but the actions of the Moscow Patriarchate do not portray that the Church is One.

                  • I believe it is only the Moscow Patriarchate and it’s various exarchates who have broken communion with the the EP.

                    Thus far. No one wants this to explode and will do everything possible to keep it from exploding.

                    There needs to be an Ecumenical Church Council to decide this matter in brotherly love in a conclusive manner.

                    Agreed. What we have instead is one man who believes it is his divine right to act unilaterally without regard for the other Churches.

                    …the actions of the Moscow Patriarchate do not portray that the Church is One.

                    Excuse me? Whose actions do not portray that the Church is one? That would be the man who essentially told Moscow, “I’m doing this with or without you. And I require neither your permission nor the consensus of the Churches to overrule your judgement.” That, my friend is “problematic ecclesiology.”

                    All the EP has working for him at this point is fear on the part of the other Churches of the potential temporary chaos that could result from their public recognition that the emperor has no clothes, It is sad, really, because most folks are/were content to let him have his title, his historical canonical role (based though it is on an empire that has long ceased to exist), and his few square blocks in Istanbul if he would just bring honor to the Church. I know I was, and I was loathe to criticize him as ‘papist.’ I wish I still felt that way.

                    I empathize strongly with the Ukrainian desire to be free of Moscow. I do not think it is what I would call necessary, but I can understand it. I can even see the logic of asking Moscow to ‘pull back’ (as it were) from the Ukraine and let them be independent. What I cannot stomach is how the EP went about it – unilaterally, without the consensus of the other Churches (whether that consensus included Moscow or not), and with a hubris of claimed authority that would make a Roman Pope blush with shame.

                    • Joseph Lipper says

                      Yes, the EP acted unilaterally. He believes he is right, and probably most others believe he is in the wrong. How then can this matter be resolved?

                      There probably needs to be an Ecumenical Church Council to resolve this, and that can only happen through communion. Breaking communion doesn’t solve the problem, unless one is trying to avoid a council, and it looks like Moscow is trying to do just that, avoid another Ecumenical Council.

                      Why wouldn’t Moscow want this matter to be resolved in an Ecumenical Council?

                    • Friend u have it in a nutshell. None of then care about the Ukrainian people Orthodox or not. I know the greek Catholic church from UK quite well from close friends and that has been moving eastwards in return to Orthodox worship steadily. May be ahead of yr average organ playing greek american Parish. I have a feeling many Ukrainians will move there.
                      I not a Kyril fan either but on balance I support a Church that suffered 73 yrs of often bloody persecution over some istambul bureaucratic get to gether led by a professor of fashionable waffle who realised the GOA is a dying, drying milk COW.

                    • Joseph,

                      Although Moscow has yet (to my knowledge) to call for an ecumenical council, I suspect it is building support and consensus amongst other Churches, many of which have already called for one. However, it is one thing to call for a council. It is quite another actually to call a council. And as it is not in the interest of the EP to call a council, I seriously doubt he would do so. I might regain some respect for him if he did. At this juncture I suspect that the EP would go so far as assert that only he has the authority to call a council, no matter how many Churches call for one. He may force them to call one without him. If so, may God bless him. As the Scriptures so often say, “For the matter was from the Lord, for he sought occasion against him.”

                      The better questions to ask are these:

                      The schism occurred a full 26 years ago. Why is he acting only now? And not only acting for the first time but actually reversing his previous action.

                      When the EP met with Patriach Krill recently in Istanbul about this matter, and they obviously didn’t agree to terms, why didn’t he call a council at that time in order to gain the support of the Churches? He not only didn’t call a council, he didn’t bother even to gain their general support.

                      You wrote, “Breaking communion doesn’t solve the problem,” and I agree. But that is precisely what the EP chose to do by acting unilaterally in direct defiance of Moscow and in utter disdain for the dignity and conciliarity of the other Churches. Moscow is just the first to acknowledge it openly and honestly.

                      None of this is intended to convey that I think Moscow is thoroughly blameless, but events are serving to reveal to the Church catholic just how lawless and full of hubris (or perhaps thoroughly compromised) the EP has become.

                      All the Churches who are not in lockstep with the West now have every reason to be suspicious of his motives.

              • Michael Bauman says

                Joseph, because the Church is one. Those Bishops who place themselves outside the Church, according to other Bishops unfortunately take their folks with them. That you even ask the question indicates to me that your understanding and appreciation of Orthodox eccelesiology is less than robust.

                • Joseph Lipper says

                  Michael Bauman,

                  Besides the Moscow Patriarchate and it’s various exarchates, what other Orthodox churches have broken communion with the EP? It appears to me that Moscow is acting in a unilateral manner by breaking communion with the EP. Yes, the Church is one. Tell that to Moscow.

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    Mr. Lipper, I don’t care. It has nothing to do with my salvation one way or another. Whether they do or do not I still have to fast, pray, give alms, repent, forgive and give thanks — mostly reoent. Whatever burdens I have to bear will become evident.

              • Billy Jack Sunday says

                Joseph Lipper

                You said

                “What’s happening in Ukraine does not directly involve the various ethnic Orthodox archdiocese in America.”

                First, if you believe that the Orthodox Church is truly one Church, then what affects it anywhere affects it everywhere

                On top of that, the GOA in the United States is directly affecting this whole scenario through its funding of the EP and all the convoluted governmental politics and influence

                So your statement is quite off the mark

                You also said:

                “So why should ROCOR in America weaponize the Divine Liturgy by banning other American jurisdictions from communion about something that is happening in Ukraine”

                That is nothing but pure rhetoric

                The reality is that the rest of the entire Orthodox world will be forced to excommunicate the Church of Constantinople for its anti-Orthodox ecclesiology and actions

                If things don’t change, and it’s looking like it won’t – that unfortunate action will reluctantly have to be taken

                Otherwise, the entire Orthodox world wont be faithful to it’s own ecclesiology

                And that can’t happen

                What is happening is truly dreadful and no other jurisdiction relishes this inevitable outcome

                This is why there is so much reluctance on the part of the rest of the Orthodox world to cut off the Church of Constantinople

                They are giving it every last chance to return to acting in good faith according to Orthodoxy

                But if and when the time comes, actions will be decisive to distinguish true Orthodoxy from what this neo-papal Church on steroids is doing

                Our Church will suffer yet another devastating separation

                How can you possibly think this is just a bit of isolated Church politics in a podunk corner of the world?

              • I think this merits discussion says

                “What’s happening in Ukraine does not directly involve the various ethnic Orthodox archdiocese in America.”

                Not so sure that I agree with this. Besides the fact that there are some American parishes that have jumped jurisdiction to the “Kievan Patriarchate” (like the old St Nicholas Orthodox Church in Philadelphia, formerly OCA but as of 2017 part of “Patriarch Filaret’s” jurisdiction, or whoever heads it now after the “unification council”), I think that what the Church in Istanbul is doing in Ukraine certainly does affect American Orthodox.

                My personal opinion is that what the Church in Istanbul is doing in Ukraine is so inflammatory and so egregious — not to mention that it’s not at all Orthodox Christian — that in no way should any faithful Orthodox be affiliated with the Church in Istanbul if he/she is aware of what’s going on. The fact of the matter is that if you are supporting your local GOA or ACROD or UOCofUSA parish in America, then ultimately you are also supporting the Church in Istanbul, which (my opinion) I don’t think is consistent with being a faithful Orthodox Christian.

                I realize that not everyone thinks this way. We are free to make our own choices and decisions. If you’ve gone to the same GOA parish for 30 years and feel like it’s a good spiritual home, should you leave? That’s a tough situation, but I think one is fooling himself to think that supporting his GOA parish in California or Florida or wherever is not also supporting the Church in Istanbul. How many of the GOA or ACROD bishops in America have spoken out against the Church in Istanbul’s actions? If you’re supporting a parish in America, you’re also supporting the GOA/ACROD/Ukrainian bishops in America, all of whom support the Patr of Istanbul.

                It’s already happening that the fake churches in Ukraine, along with the Ukrainian government, are persecuting the faithful Orthodox Christians of Ukraine under Metropolitan Onuphry. Patriarch Bartholomew is directly responsible for stirring up the hornet’s nest and driving these persecutions, and there probably will be blood shed over this issue as well.

                I think this is a topic meriting discussion. Most (including Ancient Faith Radio) conveniently ignore it. How can they?

                How long can people legitimately claim “neutrality”? It’s so egregious that claiming “neutrality” on this one is more akin to saying “I’m not going to think about it because I’m afraid of where that road will take me, and I don’t want to go there.”

                If a faithful Orthodox Christian of GOA or ACROD has no clue what’s going on in Ukraine and what evils his hierarch in Istanbul is stirring up there, then fine.

                But once you’re aware, my opinion is that you can’t pretend that it doesn’t matter. “I’m not going to think about it because I’m afraid of where that road will take me, and I don’t want to go there” is a cop-out, a weak-kneed way of not addressing what needs to be addressed.

                God commands us to deal with reality.

                • Joseph Lipper says

                  It’s like the people who tell me, if you buy coffee at Starbucks or shop at Home Depot, then you are supporting “gay marriage”.

                  I’m sorry, sometimes I just need a cup of coffee or a light bulb, and I’m not really interested in taking a “political stand” by boycotting the politics of either store.

                  We can all certainly disagree with the EP about many things, and that’s fine. The situation in Ukraine is certainly alarming. However, the matter needs to be decided at a council. Until that happens, breaking communion does not solve the problem.

                  • Tim R. Mortiss says

                    Exactly. It has to sort itself out. I’m not going anywhere from my GOA parish.

                    • Billy Jack Sunday says

                      Tim R. Mortiss

                      Just another bump in the road – eh, Tim?

                      Hope those pews of yours got seatbelts

                      GOA is going off-roading

            • George Michalopulos says

              Brian, very well said.

              The MP would be wise to use ROCOR in its overseas missionary activities.

              • Billy Jack Sunday says

                George Michalopulos

                “The MP would be wise to use ROCOR in its overseas missionary activities.”

                This is where you and I disagree

                How is this consistent?

                Now that the Russian Church is no longer under persecution (thus its special dispensation no longer needed or justifiable), hasn’t this made ROCOR a bit of an oxymoron when it comes to territorial ecclesiology?

                If we disagree that the EP has the right to be everywhere it darn well pleases, why should the MP be given that right?

                Especially if some unfortunate element infects ROCOR?

                Let alone all the implanted cultural and political baggage?

                It will be deja vu all over again

                ROCOR does not plant local Churches. It plants Russian Church colonies

                No thanks

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Billy Jack, I must respectfully disagree on this point. I have seen with my own eyes (and resorces) ROCOR plant parishes that are non-Russian missionary efforts very close to me. One such mission was specifically designed as an evangelistic outreach to the Indian Nations here in northeastern Oklahoma. (Alas, it failed because its priest decided to go rogue and into the Kievan Patriarchate. This explains some of my personal distaste for the KP.)

                  • Billy Jack Sunday says

                    George Michalopulos

                    That is so lame

                    I wonder where the Orthodox Church in the United States would be today if the Russian mission was never derailed and there had been successful mission endeavors to all Native Americans throughout the US –

                    And if they had become the real first American converts all across North America – and not mostly just Alaska?

                    A ROCOR priest left that mission for the KP?

                    Out of his mind for several reasons

                    And beyond all that – theres been many who say, “how does anything happening in the Ukraine have anything to do with us?

                    Yet another stunning example

                    As much as I respect the endeavors of ROCOR, I still have reservations

                    No pun intended

      • Thank God for healing of divisions says

        “the bishops of the Karlovzty Synod abandoned their dioceses.”

        This is an OCA talking point from the 1960s-1970s which I believed at one time as well, since I didn’t know any better, but which is not true once one learns and understands the history.

        Throughout the world, in places like London and Paris, even at the height of the Russian church divisions, the local ROCOR bishop/archbishop was always considered the free representative of the Russian church by other church hierarchs and state leaders, as late as the 1960s-1970s.

        Regardless, thank God those times are in the past. ROCOR and the rest of the Russian church have been in full canonical communion for more than a decade now. ROCOR and OCA full communion was restored in 2010 (thanks in no small part to the work of Metropolitan Jonah; we all know how he was repaid for this).

        With the EP’s disastrous, insane, and childish “non-leadership” as of late, a benefit of dissolving the rue Daru exarchate hopefully will be to reabsorb the rue Daru exarchate into the bosom of the Russian church, where it rightfully belongs — a further step in the healing of the many Russian church divisions from the 20th century that came about due to bolshevism and the revolution. God’s work can overcome the stupidity of men.

        ROCOR produced many saints and holy people. To argue that ROCOR was illegitimate is to ignore the reality of their holiness. And now, with the healing of these old divisions, the entirety of the Church benefits from ROCOR’s steadfast holiness.

        Feel free to live in the divisions of the 1960s-1970s if you want. But most of us are well past that and don’t want to, giving thanks to God for the healing of these divisions.

        • M. Stankovich says

          Indeed, thanks to our Lord who has walked about His Vineyard to facilitate this process of healing. My point has not been to castigate or chastize ROCOR, nor to live in questions or arguments of the 60-70’s. My point actually was to emphasize the painful, as well as embarrassing and shameful fact that this reconciliation is incomplete. As long as there are “parallel” entities which include infomercials as to the “reality of holiness” from one “Russian” jurisdiction to another, we are neither healed of divisions nor fully reconciled. Personally, I see absolutely no effort – in fact no interest – in healing the shameful and uncanonical divisions among Russian-derived churches that exist in America. I am astounded that you are “well past the divisions” when there is a Metropolitan Tikhon and a Metropolitan Hilarion. It seems to me they stand as the antipathy of reconciliation and healing.

        • ROCOR Matushka says

          Well said “thank God for healing divisions”

          And that folks is exactly why the Kursk root icon abides with ROCOR. The Mother of God herself appeared the day that Tsar Nicholas abdicated the throne (by force) and said no nation is worthy to protect our faith at that time and she would personally protect our holy church until Russia has fully repented.

  17. Francis Frost says

    The eminent Fr. Alexander F. C. Webster, PhD wrote:

    The reunion of ROCOR with the MP in 2007 was by no means an act of “repentance” for “schism.” Quite to the contrary, that remarkable, unlikely, joyous event is more properly described as a merger or, as I said, a “reunion.” ROCOR repented for nothing

    Exactly. The “reunion of the ROCPOR and the MP was a political act with no ecclesiastical or spiritual significance., what-so-ever. Let us not forget, that the reunion was engineered by none other than KGB chief Vladimir Putin.

    ROCOR Matushka points to the the salvific work of the ROCOR producing numerous saints. As I recall, the ROCOR has only ONE saint in America, St John Maximovitch. Perhaps the good matushka, is unaware that St. John begged his fellow bishops to end the schism between ROCOR and the Metropolia, and that St. John was threatened with depositions from the episcopate if he persisted in that request?

    One could debate for days on end about the ROCOR’s justification for its unique extra-territorial definition and congregationalist organization. We can state with certainty, however, that ROCOR’s monastic foundations: Holy Transfiguration in Brookline MA, Christ of the Hills in Blanco Tx and St. Herman’s in Platina CA have been fountains of scandal and embarrassment for the Orthodox faith in this country. Yes, we all know that ROCOR’s bishops claimed to have “no knowledge” of what transpired in their own monasteries. That, however, does not excuse the ROCOR bishops from their inalienable DUTY “as overseers of God’s house” to know what was going on in their monasteries; a duty that they clearly failed to fulfill.

    It is no secret that the ROCOR spent 80 years in schism from most if not all of the Orthodox Patriarchates.

    During their time “in exile” the ROCOR bishops created and ordained bishops for schismatic “traditionalist” groups on the canonical territories of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Church of Greece, the Bulgarian Patriarchate, and the Georgian Orthodox Patriarchate.

    The ROCOR’s schismatic and uncanonical “daughter jurisdictions” have since splintered into nearly a dozen “True Orthodox” churches, “Synods in Resistance”, traditionalist organizations etc. Even today, an off-shoot of the “Cyprianite” branch of the “True Orthodox Church of Greece”, maintains a ramshackle shanty town ‘monastery’ in the wilderness beyond the lands of the legitimate St. Ioane Zedazeny monastery outside of Mtskheta on the territory of the Georgian Orthodox Patriarchate. This ‘monastery’ is run by a Russian “elder” Fr. Borya (diminutive for Boris), who enthralls ignorant villagers with apocalyptic “messianic prophecies” and tries to lure the unsuspecting away from the canonical Orthodox Church.

    While the ROCOR – MP “Act of Reunification” consigned all outstanding controversies between the ROCOR and the MP to “oblivion”, it did nothing to correct the ROCOR’s canonical aggression against the other Orthodox Churches. To put it bluntly, if the children are illegitimate, then what is the mother?

    And now, the Moscow Patriarchate, claims to be the victim of canonical aggression. What bold faced hypocrisy! The Moscow Patriarchate has itself repeatedly and flagrantly violated the Sacred Canons and Our Savior’s saving commandments for the past 25 years. Not just one canon; but multiple canons. Not just in one instance; but persistently over the course of the past quarter century.

    Since the Republic on Georgia gained independence, the leaders of the Russian government have engaged in a continuous violent campaign of military invasion with attendant acts of outright genocide and ethnic cleansing in the occupied territories. The Moscow Patriarchate has not only failed to condemn these criminal acts, the MP has capitalized on them and directly participated in them.

    In South Ossetia, nearly 100,000 ethnic Georgians were expelled from their homes in 1991, while Russian “peacekeepers” armed and protected the Ossetian militias during the fighting.  In Abkhazia the Apsua (Abkhazian people) with the help of the Russian army and their allies in the “Union of the Mountain Peoples of the Caucasus”, a Muslim confederacy, all but exterminated the Georgian community in Abkhazia. Nearly 47,000 Georgian Orthodox Christians were killed, and nearly 250,000 were driven into exile.

    After the 1992-93 invasion of Abkhazia, the Russian Orthodox Church created a schismatic “Abkhaz Orthodox Eparchy” on the ruins of the legitimate Orthodox Diocese of Tskhumi and all Abkhazia. The “leader” of this schismatic church is the de-frocked Archimandrite Vissarion Apliaa. Despite the obvious schismatic, un-canonical nature of this so-called “Eparchy”; the Moscow Patriarchate has ordained and assigned clergy to this diocese, and has funded its work.

     In the “Orthodox Occupation” television documentary, the Russian Bishop Panteleimon of Karabadino-Adyghe is shown con-celebrating with the schismatic Vissarion Apliaa, and officially awarding him the Order of St Seraphim of Sarov on behalf of the Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate. This demonstrates the direct involvement of the Moscow Patriarchate in the creation of the schismatic “Eparchy”
    Following the 2008 invasion of Georgia, this same Vissarion Apliaa led the forces that expelled the last legitimate Orthodox clergy from the newly occupied Gali and Kodori districts in eastern Abkhazia in April 2009.  Vissarion Apliaa was received into the ranks of the clergy by the Moscow Patriarchate without a canonical release; and Patriarch Kirill personally con-celebrated with this renegade monk in violation of the Sacred Canons of the Orthodox Church.

    During the genocidal campaign of 1992, Hieromonk Andrea Kurashvili and the Subdeacon Giorgi Adua ,who were restorers and guardians of the Shrine of the Repose of St John Chrysostom, were brutally tortured and martyred. You may read the their Life and Martyrdom on the Mystagogy web-site.

    In August 2008, the Russian bishops, Panteleimon of Kabardino-Adyghe and Feofan of Saratov accompanied the invasion forces onto the canonical territory of the Georgian Orthodox Patriarchate and publicly “blessed” the weapons used to attack civilian populations. These “blessings” were televised first in Russia and then in Georgia. You may watch the video with your own eyes as it is included in the “Orthodox Occupation” video on You Tube. These infernal “blessings” are also included in Andrei Nekrasov’s documentary “Uroki Russkogo” (Russian Lessons), which debunks the Russian government’s propaganda campaign of justification for its invasion of Georgia. Mr. Nekrasov’s documentary is also available on You Tube in 12 segments, some with English sub-titles for those who do not understand the Russian language.

    On August 8, 2008, the missiles “blessed” by Bishop Feofan were used attack the ancient Ghvrtaeba Cathedral and the Shrine of the Protomartyr Razhden in Nikozi. On August 9th, the Russian military and their Ossetian allies looted, desecrated and burned this ancient House of God.

    The 2008 documentary “Orthodox Occupation” has been re-released and posted on You Tube at the following url:

    Portions of this documentary plus additional footage are now available with English voice over, titled “Orthodox Occupancy Part 1 and Part 2” at the following urls:

    A television documentary on the destruction of Ghvertaeba and the work of reconstruction carried out by Metropolitan Isaiah may be viewed at:

    The Moscow Patriarchate has uncanonically seized by violence two entire dioceses of the Georgian Orthodox Patriarchate.

    Apostolic Canon XXX. (XXXI.)
    If any bishop obtain possession of a church by the aid of the temporal powers, let him be deposed and excommunicated, and all who communicate with him. Canon XIV. Canon XXX. (XXXI.)

    The Moscow Patriarchate received into its ranks without a canonical release the renegade Archimandrite Vissarion Apliaa. Canon X. (XI.) Canon XI. (XII.) Canon XV. Canon XVI. Canon XXXI. (XXXII.) Canon XXXII. (XXXIII.) anon XXXIII. (XXXIV.)

    The Moscow Patriarchate established on the territory of the Georgian Orthodox church a schismatic “Abkhaz Eparchy”. The Moscow Patriarchate funded, and ordained clergy for this schismatic body. Canon XXXV. (XXXVI.)

    During the 2008 invasion of Georgia the Moscow Patriarchate sent two of its bishops into the territory of the Georgian Orthodox Patriarchate to literally bless the weapons used to massacre civilians; used to destroy 15 entire villages, and used even to bomb desecrate and burn the sacred altar of God in the Ghvrtaeba Cathedral in Nikozi,

    The canonical prescription for any one of these infractions is either deposition from the clergy or excommunication. If we wish to apply the strict interpretation of the canons, Patriarch Kirill and his entire synod of bishops deserve to be defrocked and or excommunicated.

    So , who is “canonical” now ?

    Despite the enormity of these crimes, His Holiness, Patriarch Ilya II and the Holy Synod of the Georgian Patriarchate have followed the apostolic example of long-suffering and conciliation. “When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we try to conciliate.”  I Corinthians 4:9.  

    The irony here is that while the Georgian bishops have exercised incredible long-suffering patience for decades, the perpetrators of these execrable horror are now invoking the very canons they themselves violated and demanding ecclesiastical justice! How very sad for all..

    One Russian bishop declared. “There is only one solution to the crisis in Ukraine – repentance” Of course he was right, if only he and his fellow Russians were capable of repenting themselves.

    We have Fr. Alexander to thank for reminding us that neither the ROCOR, nor the MP has ever repented of anything! And that my friends is the whole problem !

    Without repentance the can be no salvation; but our Russian friends have refused to repent, and continue in their defiance of God’s law. The crisis in Ukraine is just the current manifestation of God’s judgment. There is much more to come.

    • George Michalopulos says

      I worry about you Francis. What you don’t understand is that the saints of the Church are human and subject to the foibles and imperfections that all of us are afflicted with. That’s what makes their sainthood so stupendous.

      I also worry about the fact that if we’re discussing the weather, you have to find some way to bring Georgia into the mix. This reminds me of something William F Buckley, Jr said some decades ago about men who graduated from Harvard. They’d always find a way to inject Harvard into any conversation.

      Kinda like this: “Bob, the weather today is rather nippy, don’t you think?” “Why yes, Bill, it’s rather brisk. It reminds me of autumns in Cambridge, when the leaves would gather on Harvard Yard.”

      • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

        George, when I saw Mr. Frost’s usual logorrhea, I chose to read only the first two and last two paragraphs. As it happens, that’s all I, or anyone, needs to know about that post.

        Only in Mr. Frost’s fevered imagination is this statement true: “the reunion was engineered by none other than KGB chief Vladimir Putin.” Mr. Frost apparently knows less about ROCOR than he thinks, mistakenly, he knows about the Moscow Patriarchate, which is quite an achievement.

        And then there is this conclusion in the penultimate paragraph: “We have Fr. Alexander to thank for reminding us that neither the ROCOR, nor the MP has ever repented of anything!” (boldface in the original post) Only a mendacious, Russophobic ideologue like Mr. Frost would turn my original comment in response to a previous statement of Dr. S that ROCOR “repented” in 2007 of its “schism” with the MP into an imaginary claim by both ROCOR and the MP of general sinlessness in no need of repentance.

        Perhaps Mr. Frost needs to sing more than merely one song over and over again on this blog. Or you, George, could substitute this weblink for each of Mr. Frost’s tedious posts beginning immediately:

        Now that is one song by Ray Charles that I can listen to over and over again!

        • George Michalopulos says

          I will take it into consideration Fr. Like you, Francis’ logorrheatic output is fast approaching Ashley Nevins Territory where it does no good. (Unless you like listening to a braying mule.)

      • Carthago delenda est, WHAT’S the time. Can i have a coffee and by the way Carthago delenda est, Georgia on my mind!! ?

        I hope u all Latin educated but for all it’s Carthage must be destroyed if you know the story of every roman senate speech by that roman senator whose name I forget but u get the point. Me? I got Georgia on my mind.

    • Matthew Panchisin says

      Dear Francis,

      You have mention much including, “Exactly. The “reunion of the ROCPOR and the MP was a political act with no ecclesiastical or spiritual significance.,”

      George can’t you just delete the detached from reality commentary of some of your posters?

  18. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

    I feel this sentence is incredibly irrational: ” Mr. Frost apparently knows less about ROCOR than he thinks, mistakenly, he knows about the Moscow Patriarchate, which is quite an achievement.” Surely someone here can analyze/criticize RATIONALLY what Mr Frost has written? KNOWING LESS about anything is “an achievement?”

    • Constantinos says

      Your Grace,
      Speaking of irrational statements, you once said that Donald Trump was “only” elected President of the US due to the vagaries of the Electoral College, apparently being unaware that the President has always be elected this way ever since the first Presidential election when George Washington became our nation’s first Chief Executive. Perhaps, you are unaware that this country is a constitutional republic, not a true democracy. As a wiser person once said,” democracy is the worst form of government because it leads to tyranny.”
      I don’t know if you aware of the fact( since US history is not your strong suit) we do not vote for the President of the US, we vote for his electors in the Electoral College. When we voted for Donald Trump, we actually voted for his supporters in the

      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

        Constantinos, I, like Thomas Jefferson, feel the Electoral College is a mistake. I don’t know, Constantinos. where you vote, but wherever I’ve voted there are no provisions on the ballot that even mention electors. I have been voting since I turned 21—I’m now 85. A minority of American voters cast there vote for Mr. Trump. while a big majority of American voters cast their vote for Mrs. Clinton. I have never in my life voted for any elector. Do not equate a result with an identity—that is known as “rationalization”, Constantinos! It’s not clever–on the contrary!

        • Michael Bauman says

          Your Grace, I thought Jefferson was just another dead, slave owning, white guy who’s thought should be rejected. Even with the electoral college a candidate only has to win 12 states to become President. If the Democrats ever flip Texas, there would be no reason for me to even vote in a Presidential election, even less reason to give any creedance to the Federal government.

          If you want to hasten the collapse of the US as we know it–get rid of the electoral college.
          Jefferson was a Virginian and any right thinking person of his time knew that the Virginia elite should rule just like Californians do now. Had he prevailed, the South’s sesession would likely been recognized.

        • Constantinos says

          I appreciate your opinion, but you are mistaken.We do not directly vote for the President of the US; we vote for his electors. Only when Congress counts the Electoral College votes, and certifies them, do we have a new President- elect.
          President Washington (the greatest American in US history) never ran for President; the Electoral College elected him to serve in our nation’s highest office.
          The reason for the Electoral College is because in their infinite wisdom, the Founding Fathers in their wisdom didn’t trust the people to vote for the President.
          The political system is severely broken in our country. We get bombarded with political ads, endless debates, and vast sums of money spent by hack politicians. Seriously, the Executive branch, Congress,and the Judiciary are all corrupted by incompetent hacks. Please, how can you even mention Hillary Clinton? The slimy Presidents we have nowadays have no respect for their office. Bill Clinton had a sleazy affair with Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office, groped Kathleen Willey in a nearby room in the White House. Barack Obama would put his feet up on the furniture in the Oval Office. When is the greatest man in US history when we need him? You know, the man who never told a lie. The man whose birthday was a national holiday when he was still in office.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Your Grace, I am glad that you are in agreement with the esteemed Thomas Jefferson, but on this point, I feel that I have no choice but to disagree with both you fine men.

          I not only want the Electoral College to remain intact but the 17th Amendment to be repealed.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Was it Aristotle –the first, and greatest political scientist–who said that, Costa? Possibly. Regardless, it’s true.

        Personally, I’d have no problem with direct democracy on the state level provided that only stakeholders could vote. That is to say those who are not on the dole. Let us remember that in ancient Athens, only free-born men who supported themselves and served in the army (or navy) could vote.