When Your Mother Says “Don’t Forget How to be Orthodox” But Then She Does

I’ve been a bit under the weather lately and haven’t been paying as much attention as I probably should have to what’s been going on with the Russian Archdiocese Parishes in France, but it is fast becoming impossible to ignore.  

You see, Archbishop John of Chariopoulis, who heads the French parishes of the Archdiocese of Russian Churches in Western Europe, is slated to chair a pivotal meeting with the General Assembly on Saturday, at which time the Archdiocese hopes to figure it’s way out of the mess Patriarch Bartholomew created for them back in November when he instructed the Russian-tradition parishes to move under their local Greek metropolitans.

But Bartholomew wasn’t done.  He decided to throw yet another monkey wrench into the mix.  He unceremoniously dismissed Archbishop John, who did not request a canonical release, and replaced him with Metropolitan Emmanuel of Gaul, “who has the gall” (yes, indeedy) to insist the Russian Churches in Western Europe commemorate him, instead of John, as their ruling bishop this week at the General Assembly!  This isn’t Orthodox.  This is a chess game where bishops are reduced to pawns.

Seriously folks, if this isn’t further proof that the Ecumenical Patriarch has thrown all caution (as well as canons, ecclesial order and just plain common courtesy) to the winds, then nothing is.

What else can be said but this: Bartholomew, the so-called first without equals has forgotten how to be Orthodox. And there is nothing “maternal” about such actions.

(Thank you to our brothers in Christ at OrthoChristianity for the following article.)


“Metropolitan Emmanuel (Adamakis) of Gaul of the Patriarchate of Constantinople is demanding that the French parishes of the Archdiocese of Russian Churches in Western Europe commemorate him as their ruling bishop, reports the French outlet Orthodoxie.

His order comes after the Patriarchate of Constantinople released His Eminence Archbishop John of Chariopoulis, the ruling hierarch of the Archdiocese. As Abp. John explained, he had never even requested a canonical release, and the decision came as a surprise to him, just as had the Synod’s November decision to revoke the Archdiocese’s exarchate status, with instructions for the Russian-tradition parishes to move under their local Greek metropolitans.

“This dismissal underlines the fact that Archbishop John has no relation to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the communities of the former Exarchate. His Excellency Archbishop John no longer has any spiritual or administrative authority over the communities for which he was previously responsible,” Met. Emmanuel said.

“Therefore, from this day and in accordance with the decisions taken by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, I ask you to commemorate my name as your hierarch during the liturgical services,” he instructed.

However, Abp. John still intends to hold the upcoming General Assembly on Saturday, at which the Archdiocese hopes to decide its future. The Assembly originally was to have discussed the possibilities of restructuring itself as an autonomous body, of restructuring itself within the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and of joining the Moscow Patriarchate, which has offered to receive the Archdiocese as is.

However, in light of Abp. John’s unexpected dismissal, the Assembly will discuss only the option of joining the Moscow Patriarchate, though it is not a given that all the clergy and laity will support this option although Abp. John openly supports this course.

Met. Emmanuel, however, has preemptively dismissed any results of the Assembly: “As for the extraordinary meeting of the Western European Exarchate on September 7 … if this meeting takes place, know that it cannot have any authority to make decisions.”

He himself intends to convene the Diocesan Council soon to take stock of the situation.

The clergy of the Cathedral of St. Alexander Nevsky in Paris have announced that they will serve a moleben tomorrow for Abp. John and for a good outcome to the upcoming Assembly.”




  1. So I have a question. When the Assembly is called to order, and they decide to go under Moscow, and Moscow accepts them, but the CP says the Archbishop and the Assembly is null and void….what happens next?

    • Gail Sheppard says

      It was a strategical error on the part of Bartholomew to put them in this position. I don’t know what the issues are but if they were interested in autonomy, he should have given it to them to avoid having them choose Moscow. This upcoming meeting is going to be very uncomfortable and Bartholomew may be left with egg on his face. I imagine he’ll spin this as another example of Russia taking what is his. On the plus side, it may embolden Greece.

      • The latest Fener provocations are anything but a misstep, because Black Bart and Manny know how weak the resolve of the French Orthodox really is, how they lean on fictions of writ much more than active Christian ministry — how closely the rue Daru resembles and depends on the Fener.  The assaults on the rue, only words though  they be, unenforceable within the boundaries of France or any European nation, still carry a potency among those they target. The effect is to undermine the legitimacy of the Diocese and Abp. Jean. Do not underestimate the sway of the Fener over that spiritualized, timorous group. 

        • Gail Sheppard says

          Claes, as you may have rightly assumed, I don’t know much about the French Orthodox other than what happened to them last November. If “spiritual correction” was needed, this is not what they received. Bartholomew descended upon them like a thief in the night so he could gain control of their assets. This reeks of his involvement in Ukraine where he made a bargain with Poroshenko: “Take what you can get out of the MP’s hide and give me my fair share.”

          Bartholomew walked away from the Church years ago; in 2014 to be exact. If he was in the Church, would he ignore all his brother bishops? No. For him, the canonical Church is now a means to an end. His sole focus is to take what he can so he will have a dowry to present to his bride when he unites with Rome. In his mind, he is “the Church.” He has said as much. We should believe people when they reveal themselves.

          In June, when Pope Francis gave Bartholomew the relics of Saint Peter, he was announcing their engagement. It might as well have been an engagement ring. He literally gave Bartholomew the hand of Peter.

          A phrase oft-repeated by Pope Francis these days is, “Unity With Diversity.” They had to come up with a catchphrase when they knew they would not be able to broker a “one size fits all” approach. It means the two can join as one, bringing all their differences into the marriage. There will be a pope. There may be two. This new “Christianity” will be recognized and leveraged by entities like our State Department and NATO. (Think “Episcopalian” on steroids, where anything and everything is accepted.) It’s no accident we’re seeing people like Oprah Winfrey, Marianne Williamson, Morgan Freeman, and even Bill Maher catapulted to the front to reimagine “God.” People within our midst are on board, as well, as evidenced by the LGBTQrstuvw meeting this year and in recent years past.

          As fantastic as all this sounds, I cannot be the ONLY person who sees this.


          • As a former Roman Catholic, I can see it very well
            My question is, when this does occur then how many people within the PoC (diaspora included) actually follow him? I am familiar with the Athonite monasteries in the U.S and I would be utterly shocked if they went. I am also aware of many GOARCH parishes, mostly in the South, who would not go for it. 
            If Bartholomew wants to leave for Rome and take the Ukrainian schismatics with him and poison Rome more than it already is, then so be it.

            • George Michalopulos says

              It would be especially delicious Menas if Bart went ahead and crossed the “bridge” he built in Ukraine to take his patriarchate over the Tiber.

              For one thing, his See would be in even more shambles than it already is today. In fact, it’s moral authority will be completely gone. Simply look to the GOA and its continuing acquiescence to the homosexual agenda. That’s a good indicator for us all, btw.

              For another, I don’t see the RCC rising from the ashes of the sodomy scandal anytime soon (or ever). By 2025 (projected date for reunion), I see institutional, mainstream Christianity as being completely inert. When Bart swims the Tiber it will mean even less in estimation than it would mean, say, 15 years ago, when Benedict XVI was still pope.

        • r j klancko says

          in my opinion black brat bart,,,seems like children playing in a sandbox with no supervision,,,,,,as on notable antiochian cleric once commented,,peter the great was no fool, by abolishing the partiarchate he removed alot of the squabbling,,,,,the inmates seem to be running the asylum–where is napoleon XIV when you need him

    • Mikhail,
      From what I have gathered from past reporting (at the time the CP originally placed them them directly under the CP’s episcopate), their constitution grants them legal autonomy under civil law.  So it seems that regardless of the ‘canonical’ questions involved, they are just as free to remove themselves from the CP’s jurisdiction as they were when they chose to be under them long ago.
      In this sense, Emmanuel’s warning that “… if this meeting takes place, know that it cannot have any authority to make decisions” is an empty statement.
      Ironically, the CP now seems to find itself in a situation very much similar to that of the MP when it had to deal with Philaret’s insubordination.  They could censure him, defrock him, and excommunicate him; but they couldn’t stop him for lack of legal (in the civil law sense) remedies.
      I fairness to the CP, what should a bishop under the authority of a synod expect to happen if he speaks openly of the possibility of his flock leaving the jurisdiction?  Not saying I blame him/them for wanting to leave or even that I think they are wrong to do so; only that it’s not surprising. 
      This is what happens when authority (so-called) consists of nothing but raw authoritarian power.  When love and trust have vanished, authoritarians  resort to fear, and that’s when you can be sure that whatever true authority they once had has crumbled to dust. 

      • Gail Sheppard says

        In their defense, had the Ecumenical Patriarchate decided not to dissolve the Exarchate, effectively abolishing them and claiming all their parishes and property in the process, there would be a lot less tension. As my grandmother used to say, “When the Archangels back you into a corner you’ve got to come out fighting.”

      • Brian: “This is what happens when authority (so-called) consists of nothing but raw authoritarian power. When love and trust have vanished, authoritarians resort to fear, and that’s when you can be sure that whatever true authority they once had has crumbled to dust. ”

        Rehoboam: “My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist. My father laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.”
        Israel: “What share do we have in David, what part in Jesse’s son? To your tents, Israel! Look after your own house, David!” So the Israelites went home.”

      • anonimus per Scorilo says

        This is a poisoned pill for Moscow, and there is no coincidence the decision to dissolve the Exarchate was taken around the same time as the one to recognize the Ukrainians. 

        If Moscow accepts the suspended Abp. John and the Exarchate parishes, Constantinople will blow out all its trumpets saying: look, Moscow is stealing our parishes.

        But the deeper message would be: we stole (legalized the stealing) of Moscow’s parishes in Ukraine, now Moscow is stealing our parishes, they are at the same playing level as us.

        And this would greatly undermine the superior moral stance that Moscow has had so far in the Ukrainian dispute.

        • George Michalopulos says

          ApS, not even close. For one thing, Moscow is offering the Exarchate a way out. It is not standing in the way of Romanian or Serbia (for instance) taking them in. Cpole simply dissolved the canonical Ukrainian Church and reconstituted it under unordained charlatans. The new sect under Dumenko is devoid of grace.

          Secondly, Dumenko’s outfit was a naked creation of political actors, one of whom had his ass handed to him not that long ago. (Not that this matters.) There are no political players involved in the dissolution of the Exarchate and its reconstitution under Cpole. This was all clearly a machination of Cpole from soup to nuts.

          • anonimus per Scorilo says

            If Black Bart and his merry men defrock and excommunicate Abp. John (which I can easily see them doing if he decides to take all the Exarchate churches away from the E.P.) then it will appear as tit-for-tat: Constantinople legitimized and took in a defrocked and excommunicated guy in Ukraine. The Russian would do the same in receiving Abp. John. 
            I am not saying the actions of Moscow and Constantinople are equivalent. I am saying that they will be presented and perceived as equivalent. Especially by churches which do not have a bone in the fight. 

            • anonimus per Scorilo,
              yes,unless Abp.John is a holy man like St.Chrysostom and goes to exile, or St.Nektarios of Aegina and  remains a simple monk in a monastery and writes an interesting biography. 

            • I’m not sure that PB can defrock or excommunicate Abp. John, given that he has cut him loose.

        • anonimus per Scorilo: “Constantinople will blow out all its trumpets saying: look, Moscow is stealing our parishes.”
          Not really. Phanar has stolen those parishes from the Russian church, about the same time, when it sided with Bolsheviks in creating fake Living Church in Russia.

          • anonimus per Scorilo says

            with all due respect, maybe you should read a bit of history before making such assertions and correlations

            • Brute from bygone ages says

              Evlogius was jurisdiction shoping at large scale. I don’t want to badmouth his memory but it’s simple fact. He was siding with Karlovci Synod (ROCOR), when he got in conflict with them, he switched to Metropolitan Sergius, after Bolsheviks demanded from Sergius to depose him, he switched to Constantinopolitan jurisdiction. Patriarchs of Constaninople were supoorting Renovationist so called “bishops”. In end Evlogius returned to MP.  

            • anonimus per Scorilo: “with all due respect, maybe you should read a bit of history before making such …”
              You assume too much, I read plenty about Paris/Evlogy /ROCOR split. The link below, written by the way favorably to the Evlogians, is a good start. There is no reason now why Phanar may cling to those parishes. They should return to where they belong.

              • anonimus per Scorilo says

                Thanks for the link. I just do not see how it supports the claim that Constantinople stole the Paris group from Moscow.
                It is more that they were stuck between the Bosheviks who were pressuring the patriarch Sergius and the Whites who were pressuring the ROCOR and they asked to be received under Constantinople.

        • Moscow stands on no superior moral ground in Ukraine, if you believe Metr. Hierotheos Vlachos https://www.romfea.news/proposal-for-dealing-with-the-ukrainian-issue/
          You see, children, says the wise Greek bishop, all you need to do to be happy is recognize the plenitude of power invested in the Ecumenical Throne, that overcomes all their problems exercising love and compassion for Orthodox people everywhere irrespective of trifles like national boundaries and especially fictions like ecclesiastical jurisdiction of other autocephalies, because everything derives from and comes back to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, at the little Greek Church of St. George in the Istanbul neighborhood of Fener, near that really large Mosque. You really must drop in for a Patriarchal Divine Liturgy sometime and stay for coffee.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          To anonimus per Scorilo, RE:  “If. . . Constantinople will blow out all its trumpets saying: look, Moscow is stealing our parishes.”

          Constantinople already blew this trumpet when Moscow went into Korea.  http://orthochristian.com/117710.html

          To Russia, Bartholomew doesn’t exist.  He has placed himself outside the Church.  His presence, anywhere, has become immaterial. From Asia News:  “The Metropolitan of Singapore Sergij (Chashin), of Russian obedience, writes an open letter to the metropolitan of Seoul Amvrosios (Zografos), linked to Constantinople. There are not two “parallel churches”, but the traditional Russian mission in Asia. The patriarchate of Moscow increasingly proposes itself as the true orthodox  church of ‘universal’ jurisdiction.”  http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Moscow-and-Constantinople-clash-in-Southeast-Asia-47859.html

          I think it’s significant that none of the Local Churches (to my knowledge) have objected to the intrusion of Russia, as perceived by Constantinople.  Like an Orthodox Etch A Sketch, Bartholomew is slowly erasing himself. No one did this to him or wanted it.  His brother bishops, including Russia, begged him to stay out of Ukraine until a consensus could be reached.  But when you see yourself as first without equal you don’t need your brother bishops. In his mind, everyone should just get over it and he has said so many times.     

      • George Michalopulos says

        Brian, agree with you totally.
        Gail, I too see this as a strategic error on Bart’s part.  What he should have done is consult with Arb John and his vicars years ahead of time asking if they would be ok with something like this.  Instead, the Exarchate went along as it did for 100 years, thinking not a thought in the world and then BAM! Bartholomew yanks the rug right out from under them.  
        Very foolhardy and completely not in the spirit of Christian servant-leadership.

        • It is important, I believe, to connect the two events: PB’s actions vis-a-vis Ukraine, and PB’s actions concerning the exarchate of Russian Churches in Western Europe.
          In the case of Ukraine, one could at least come up with a sort of fig leaf of an argument to justify or rationalize what PB did, to make it seem not to be a “power grab” but something he felt compelled to do.
          But in the case of the exarchate, there is no such fig leaf.  It looks like a naked power grab, as was his changing of the structure of the Greek Church in the Western Hemisphere.
          These two events are not unrelated.  The events concerning the Western European Exarchate illuminate PB’s motivations with regard to Ukraine.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            And, blimbax, to add to your point: BECAUSE it is clear that the Western European Exarchate was a power grab, as was the Greek Church in the Western Hemisphere, I think it is safe to assume that Ukraine may have been the same. Is there any other conclusion? The schematics are not better off, as they are NOT in the Church if no one recognizes them, tensions in Ukraine have not dissipated but increased, and then there is that nasty bit of him going into another bishop’s territory uninvited. (He wasn’t just uninvited, he was TOLD by his brother bishops NOT to do it.) Who is better off as a result? I can think of only one.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      I hate to say this, but this could be another “Sidebottom case.” When a Church starts brining in attorneys and establishing “Legal Risk Committees,” it can mean the Church got itself into some trouble and in order to avoid a huge payout, agreed to make some changes.

    • Susan, thank you for this post. I am always wary of petitions in that they usually present an unbalanced depiction of an issue. My attempts to find any further information on the ” Committee for defense of the Serbian Orthodox Church” resulted in nada. For all we know, this committee may consist of only one person. Anyway, if someone is yelling, “the sky is falling”, I plan to at least step outside and look up before I launch my anti-particle laser blaster and head for the bunker.

  2. The exarchate needs to go under the MP if it is to survive in any way resembling its current form. They are already hemorrhaging parishes due to the length of time it has taken for them to actually do something about this (almost a year!), including some that went to ROCOR, some to the Romanians, and some to the  Serbs. Their main monastery at Bussy-en-Othe has already declared its loyalty to the EP’s Metropolis of France and the St. Serge seminary accepted the EP’s decision almost immediately.
    Failure to properly resolve this issue by the end of the meeting will probably lead to the compete dissolution of the exarchate and the parishes being spread to the four corners of the ecclesiastical world.

  3. He is the head of more than just the French parishes, so the following statement is not entirely correct: “You see, Archbishop John of Chariopoulis, who heads the French parishes of the Archdiocese of Russian Churches in Western Europe.”

  4. @Susan… Greek Orthodox Churches and parishioners in America used to be under the Archdiocese of North and South America. Now we have Metropolitans and Metropolises. Hasn’t been the same since.  

  5. If anyone wants to read this drivel on “bad Moscow” “poor Bartholomew who is never at fault”…enjoy

    • George Michalopulos says

      Sounds like someone is crying “Uncle”.

    • How sad. I have read so many of his books and had such great respect for his adherence to the Patristic phronema.
      Now suddenly, he is referring to Cretan Robber Council as if it was an important gathering.  His articles have become polemical and decidedly anti-Russian. Something is awry! He claims that a pan-Orthodox Council cannot be called without the CP.  Is this true?

      • Gail Sheppard says

        An emperor can call a Council and some have suggested Putin could do it.

        It’s hard to take Metropolitan Hierotheos seriously when he can’t even accurately state the problem. He says the issue was the result of the MP, “. . . punishing those who proclaimed the Ukrainian Church to be an Autocephalous Patriarchate by deposing them.” In Filaret’s case, he ignored the May 27, 1992 decision of the Bishops’ Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church by continuing to celebrate the Divine Liturgy, ordain deacons, priests, and even bishops when he had no authority to do so. That was the reason Filaret was deposed and we see the same stubborn temperament in him today.

        Frankly, beginning with Crete (perhaps before) Metropolitan Hierotheos has been all over the map leaving more the one person going, “Huh? What’s up with that guy?” I’m not even clear on who he is speaking for. It seems strange to me that he would publish something like this. He clearly wants us to believe he is doing it on his own initiative and was not prompted by Bartholomew. Maybe Bartholomew is floating the idea to see if he can garner some support. If so, it would be ludicrous for him to think it’s going to be this easy. We all love the Church and schism is the worst possible thing that can happen to it but it happened and unlike all the examples Hierotheos mentioned, it can’t get more serious than this: Bartholomew went into another bishop’s territory and gave unrepentant schismatics a vehicle to undermine and pillage their Church. This could have happened anywhere, but it happened to the MP, whom Batholomew sees as his enemy. Check out Wikileaks. He complained bitterly to the State Department and virtually every dignitary who would listen, that Russia was after his ecumenical throne. Even if this were true, what he did to the MP was unconscionable and no one is going to be able to make this go away by showing “brotherly love.”

        • Estonian Slovak says

          Putin isn’t an emperor. He wasn’t annointed as such. I would like to see annointed monarchs in Russia and all the Orthodox countries.
                The problem with the Metropolitan is that he is interpreting the canons as though they somehow have a life of their own. He condemns the MP for the OCA autocephaly. Here, he neglects to mention one thing. A delegation of the then Metropolia(former name of the OCA) appealed to Patriarch Athenagoras for his intercession. He told them.” You are Russians. You must normalize relations with your Mother church. When they did just that, and received autocephaly, that was unacceptable.

          • The problem with the Metropolitan is that he is interpreting the canons as though they somehow have a life of their own.
            So true, ES.  Lots of folks do this.  There is nothing wrong with agreed upon ‘rules of order,’ but many speak of these rules of order as though they were on par with immutable dogma.  As such (and only as such), they have become for some the sort of “traditions of men” that Christ condemned.

        • I agree, Gail. 
          I see the veil being removed. I see the grey areas becoming black and white. Those who align themselves with Bartholomew will follow him to his ultimate goal…the continuing descent into modernism, ecumenism, and post-patristic chaos. It is a cleansing of sorts. We will be able to see a clear line of demarcation between the heterodox…and the Orthodox. Constantinople is sponsoring LGBTQ conferences, constantly preaching about climate change, pushing for the “restoration” of the female diaconate, giving awards to supporters of abortion…and the list goes on. But the last straw was the demonic recognition of a group of unrepentant schismatics who confiscate Churches and beat the elderly and women. It is finished.
          Now we will patiently await for a holy bishop to come forth to guide us…another St. Mark of Ephesus.

          • Michael, your purified Orthodoxy will brook no members who want to conserve the climate of the planet God  us as the abode of our flesh? Should any who use their God-given reason to  discern degradation of our shared natural environment be anathematized?

            • Gail Sheppard says

              You know, I care about the environment but unless something is going to affect my salvation, I would prefer our hierarchs not bother me with their opinions.

              • Michael Bauman says

                Gail, we are commanded by God to dress and keep the earth but we are not commanded by God to embrace wild-ass ideological nonsense.  
                Consumerism makes it quite difficult. 
                It is not about global solutions.  There is no such thing.  Just as our personal sin effects everyone and everything so too does our acquisition of personal virtue.   
                As we struggle for our salvation our land will be healed. We are promised that.  To separate the “care of the environment” from the natural course of our struggle is wrong  
                But to think that the environment in which we live is immaterial to our salvation is just as wrong.

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  The earth is God’s creation and it will remain intact until He rolls it up like a scroll. Isaiah 34:4 Hebrews 1:12 Revelation 6:14

                  I do not need a hierarch who spends the better part of his time lobbying for environmental concerns in the political arena. Politics has nothing to do with the salvation of anyone.

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    Gail, that is true. The “solutions” promoted by politics will often make the problem worse. There is no sense of the sacred in any political solution. Fast, pray, give alms with a merciful heart, participate in the Mysteries of the Church.  In those activities is the healing of the environment.

              • “The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, And the time of the dead, that they should be judged, And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, And those who fear Your name, small and great, And should destroy those who destroy the earth.”
                -Revelation 11:18
                Caring for earth was among the first commandments given to man.  It does affect our salvation.
                But this is something entirely other than “climate change,” which is more along the lines of a secular, impersonal ideology, however true it might be in terms of scientific measurement.  Assuming ‘we’ can control man’s destruction of the earth (even if, on a personal level, we actually can by lifting creation into communion with God) is the same as assuming we can control the sins of mankind.  It’s just another delusional, coercive, corrosive ideology.
                Is the earth warming?  It seems so.  Is it due to man’s sin?  Probably.  But as you, Gail, and others of our age may remember, when we were young the scientists were warning of a coming ice age.
                The Church ought, indeed, to speak with a prophetic voice about our intimate connection to all creation and our responsibility towards it as it ‘keeper.’  But hopping on the popular bandwagon of secular ideology is a hollow distortion of that prophetic voice.  And alliances with those who seem to share our vision (but whose own vision is essentially godless) are a fool’s errand for a Christian.

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  Actually, God told Adam to care for the garden. If we’re going to go back to the beginning we should absolve Eve of all responsibility.

                  But seriously, Brian, I don’t need a hierarch to tell me about climate change. I can learn all I want to learn about it through secular sources.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  I personally remember very well in college (some 4 decades ago) that we were on the brink of a new ice age.  We were told this with a straight face. 

                  • GSV So Much For Subtlety says

                    Ironically at the time, scientists at some of the big oil companies knew a new ice age wasn’t in the cards and the opposite was happening, but it was kept secret.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Now who’s the conspiracy theorist?  
                      What you posit is absurd:  Science and its attendant research is –and has been–so decentralized for so long that nobody could hold certain key data hidden for long. 
                      This includes government funded science as well.  Think of Trofim Lysenko, Stalin’s favorite biologist.  He posited a theory of evolution that when applied to agronomy, caused 7 million Ukrainians to starve in the Holodomyr.  Meanwhile, even though we had a Depression here in America, there was no starvation because we didn’t buy into his genetic theories. 
                      And this was during a time in which Communism was “the wave of the future”.

                    • GSV So Much For Subtlety says

                      I can’t decide if you are being disingenous or just dense. Other scientists were also coming to the same conclusions, it wasn’t that Big Oil had a monopoly on the emerging models and theories. However, at the time they kept the work to themselves. Which private companies do!
                      It’s less a matter of they kept key data hidden that nobody else had, but more a matter of, they spent a lot time attacking the validity of external science that their own internal studies had warned about years or decades ago. Except that part only came out relatively recently. 

                  • Tim R. Mortiss says

                    If ‘they’ were wrong then, are ‘they’ wrong now?

                    • Tim,

                      Is this a question or a rhetorical question?

                    • Tim R. Mortiss says

                      Both. Just a question of logic.

                    • GSV So Much For Subtlety says

                      “are ‘they’ wrong now?”
                      Sadly, probably not. The science has of course advanced in the past 40 years, and not only is the data better now, the historical data is better able to be analyzed. 
                      Everything is trending very, very grim. Basically all the new surprises and unexpected developments in the field are unpleasant ones with bad implications.

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      “They” are always wrong.  “I” am always right. “You” are questionable.  That is the logic of all ideological reasoning.  A reasoning that GSV seems to be subject to. 

                    • Tim,

                      Personally, I don’t question the measurements. What I question is the speculation as to what the measurements mean in terms of the future and/or the degree of power we humans have over any of it.

                      Is man destroying the earth? Yes. Can man save the earth? NO. Moreover, our destruction of the earth is, in my opinion, the result of our unwillingness to see creation as the gift of God and our refusal to give Him thanks. Creation has thus become a ‘thing’ that has no meaning other than our consumption – devoid (not of it’s own will, but because of us [Romans 8:22]) of the life-giving ‘Eucharistic exchange’ that creation was created for, wherein we recognize creation as God’s gift, offer it to Him in thanksgiving; and He, in turn, fills it with His life.

                      “Many rulers have destroyed My vineyard,
                      They have trodden My portion underfoot;
                      They have made My [c]pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.
                      They have made it desolate;
                      Desolate, it mourns to Me;
                      The whole land is made desolate,
                      Because no one takes it to heart….

                      “For the land is full of adulterers; For because of a curse the land mourns. The pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up. Their course of life is evil, And their might is not right.”

                      “And He said unto me, In the beginning, when the earth was made, before the borders of the world stood, or ever the winds blew, Before it thundered and lightened, or ever the foundations of paradise were laid, Before the fair flowers were seen, or ever the moveable powers were established, before the innumerable multitude of angels were gathered together, Or ever the heights of the air were lifted up, before the measures of the firmament were named, or ever the chimneys in Sion were hot, And ere the present years were sought out, and or ever the inventions of them that now sin were turned, before they were sealed that have gathered faith for a treasure: Then did I consider these things, and they all were made through Me alone, and through none other: by Me also they shall be ended, and by none other.”


                    • George Michalopulos says

                      TimR, it is clear that GVSQVED is not only a troll but has actually no understanding of science, or perhaps I should say “real” science, that science which can be tested and verified.

                      Science is never “settled” and it’s always falsifiable. That’s why all the Climate Change mumbo-jumbo is ridiculous. Mainly because it’s not falsifiable. In the febrile minds of the New Totalitarians, it explains everything. That is the exact opposite of science.

            • Claes,
              I cannot understand what you are trying to say.

    • I don’t fault the man for trying, but there are numerous assumptions that, in my opinion, are simply not true.
      “…in order to decide to call a Pan-Orthodox Council, there has to be serious preparation and a proposal on which the majority of Orthodox Churches agree, and which, of course, the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Church of Moscow accept.”
      This is the most impersonal and unlikely to succeed approach that I can image.  Nothing beats a face-to-face personal encounter when achieving reconciliation is the goal. 
      “A Pan-Orthodox Council or a Meeting of the Primates of the Orthodox Churches cannot be convened unless the Ecumenical Patriarch convenes it, and unless the issue is ripe for a solution.”
      Says what canon?
      “There must, of course, also be discussion with the political leadership in Ukraine..”…  “I mention political figures as well, because even in the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils, the decisions were always imposed by law by the Emperors.”
      It should be obvious to anyone, except perhaps one who lives in Greece, that this persistent notion of Byzantine ‘symphonia’ no longer exists anywhere – except, perhaps, in Greece.
      “Discussion between the representatives of the Orthodox Churches should be based on agreeing and ratifying the two texts that had been prepared for submission to the Council held in Crete in June 2016…”
      And what, according to the good Metropolitan, was the primary issue that prevented its submission and ratification?  
      “…the document for granting the Tomos of autocephaly to a Church had been agreed at the Pan-Orthodox conferences, but there was a disagreement, for which the Church of Moscow is responsible, about who would sign this Tomos.”
      So the question of the emancipation of a member of my family can be decided by my neighbor?
      “…which I would describe as dysfunctions of the synodical and hierarchal regime of the Church, such as the theory of “the Third Rome”, which aim to overturn the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils.”
      This assertion of Moscow’s “aim” is offered without any supporting evidence.

      • George Osborne says

        I’m surprised that no one has asked what the position of the Patriarch of Alenandria’s Position in all of this is. One of his titles is “Great Judge of the Ecumene” and if you notice his vestments, he wears a second priestly stole over everything else in token of his position. It would seem to my poor little brain that the Great Judge of the Ecumene ought to convene a court of the Ecumene and sort this mess out. Call or a council or what have you, but someone without a dog in this hunt needs to step up!

      • Brute from bygone ages says

        No Oecumenical Council proclaimed Constantinopole New Rome. They only statednthat since Constantinopole is new Rome, it’s bishop should have same honour as Rome’s bishop.
        As far as all Third Rome talk, it was mainstream thinking in Russia from XV century up to Old Believer schism. From then it was not used in theological circles at all. Some minor political circles would mention it, but it wasnt used by Church. When Metropolitan writes about this issue he demonstrates that his knowledge of Russian ecclesiastical history, and his understanding of modern Russia is rather lacking. On top of that, he misinterprets decisions of Oecumenical Councils, for the sake of political dispute. 

    • Joseph Lipper says

      Metropolitan Hierotheos proposes a way forward:  the two topics of autocephaly and the dyptchs need to be revisited and agreed upon between Moscow and Constantinople. 
      These were topics addressed and prepared by pan-Orthodox assembly leading up to Crete, but then were dropped just prior to the Council.  He notes that if these topics had been addressed at Crete, then the current problems would never have materialized.  If Moscow and Constantinople can come to some agreement regarding these two topics, then the other Local Churches could join in their support.  This could then be the pretext for calling a pan-Orthodox Council to ultimately resolve the issue.

      • IMHO the reason why these were taken off of the discussion list is bc it would more than likely  lessen the authority that Constantinople currently has. The Byzantine Empire has not been around for centuries and Constantinople (Istanbul) is now Islamic, there is no reason the PoC should even have authority. 
        Not to say that authority has to go to Moscow as they have said quite a bit that they are not close to being a Christian empire.  I am personally more in favor in the “first-among-equals” going to Jerusalem as it is the Mother Church of all Christianity and houses the Holy Sepulcher.
         I would imagine the majority of Churches realize that Constantinople has an almost non-existent flock, which will quite literally not exist by mid-century if not a little later, and if it were not for the diaspora Churches that the PoC clings to then it would probably not exist at all. What should be done is to dissolve the Patriarchate of Constantinople and merge/move it to Greece like Antioch did with its territory 
        All of this sounds a bit harsh I’m sure, but, it’s delusional that we are letting the PoC boss people around and cause these problems in the Church, it’s like a tiny high school freshman trying to beat up seniors on the football team (bad analogy but you get my point) 

        • For another analogy, how about a law firm (or accounting firm) with 8 partners, of whom 4 are founding partners and several were added over time. So one of the first group starts going senile and giving irrational orders and unilaterally firing the staff support of other partners. What are the other partners to do? He can’t be fired as a partner, and there is no legal basis for doing much of anything to prevent his harmful actions. Does the firm have a future?

        • Exactly Menas,
          and if I may provide another bad(?) analogy,

          it looks to me like the final years of “Apartheid” in S.Africa,
          when the minority of the Whites tried desperately to hold on to their IMAGINARY ultimate power over the greater millions of natives.  Of course the result of their desperation is now having catastrophic repercussions for us “All-Most-Powerful” Whites. 

          BTW, the name of that game was “Power”,
          ours is called “Christian Love”!

          I hope and pray that Bartholomew see the facts:

          Canon 28 applied ages ago when (as explained in the Rudder by St.Nicodeme),

          Cple was the “basileuousa” ie reigning ie Capital City with the government.

          AND (2)
          That country had the most Orthodox Christians and their local Bishops went to the Capital to get assistance from the King. (Rudder, by D.Cummings, p.273)

      • George Michalopulos says

        Joseph, what you write is correct as is what Vlachos proposes.  Nothing controversial but eminently debatable.  Here’s the caveat:  but only if all parties are debating in good faith.
        And everything about Crete –from top to bottom–screamed bad faith.
        In any event, what we have seen in the aftermath of Crete, particularly the last year-and-a-half as regards to Ukraine, is that the Phanar cannot act in good faith and that its words even when reduced to writing are moot.  They literally make things up as they go along.  In addition, we have seen that the principle players in the Phanar engage in magical thinking.  Worse, their collective delusion, i.e. that they really are New Rome, grows greater by the day. 
        There can be no honest dialogue with such people.
        In American Gothic literature, there is the trope of the crazy aunt in the attic.  Every now and then people downstairs can hear her moving furniture around or moaning something or another.  Otherwise, she is never mentioned and only quietly acknowledged, hoping eventually she’ll go away.  Likewise the crazy braggadocious uncle whom everybody in the extended family must put up with (but otherwise ignores) at the annual Thanksgiving feast.
        Those examples are the best, possible gloss I can put on the Phanar’s continued interference in the Orthodox world.

        • Joseph Lipper says

          George, sure, Crete was a problematic council, and perhaps some of the most notable criticisms of that council were by Metropolitan Hierotheos himself.  One of his criticisms was how the two topics of “Autocephaly and the manner of its declaration” and the “Diptychs” were both dropped.  As Metropolitan Hierotheos points out, these topics pertain to “serious ecclesiological questions that refer to the unity of the Orthodox Church”.
           So now we have a “crisis of unity” in the Orthodox Church, and these two topics pertaining to the “unity of Orthodox Church” are still unaddressed.  Since both these topics have already been part of the pan-Orthodox preparatory commissions over the years, notably by both Moscow and Constantinople, these are still both ripe for revisitation.  These topics are unfinished business and neutral ground for further discussion and can be the pretext for an Ecumenical Council to resolve the situation in Ukraine.  As Metropolitan Hierotheos has pointed out, the Ukrainian crisis would never have been allowed to happen if these topics were addressed at Crete.   
          Is it any wonder then how this present “crisis of unity” has followed from an ecclesial avoidance of those topics that specifically refer to the unity of the Orthodox Church?
          In other words, if we don’t want to discuss the topics regarding unity, then how can we expect unity?

          • Brute from bygone ages says

            So, other Churches don’t want to accept wierd ideas of Constaninople (that only them have right to grant autocephaly, and that Church of Cyprus precede Moscow, Peć, Sofia and Tbilisi),and they are responsable for actions of CP where he 1) entered someboy elses jurisdiction, after 20 years of repeating it’s not his jurisfiction. 2) restoring unrepented schismatics 3) “restoring” people without valid ordination 4) answering “appeal” of man who regularly commune in Roman Catholic Church 5) demanding bribes for holy myrrh… Etc

          • Joseph,
            I agree in principle with what you have written here.  But this is another issue that highlights why the whole concept of predetermined outcome ‘councils’ like that of Crete are so problematic.  When the rule is that problems with ‘preconcliar documents’ cannot be hammered out, but only rubber stamped, it makes a mockery of the purpose of coming together in order to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit.  And this ‘rule’ was unilaterally set forth by… guess who?  Talk about “ecclesial avoidance” in the truest and most literal sense of the words.
            You will recall, of course, that Met Hierotheos himself also was pressured (with violence) to rubber stamp a document that his conscience would not allow, but I don’t hear him complaining (and rightly so) that he is therefore responsible for severing the unity of the Church.
            “…the document for granting the Tomos of autocephaly to a Church had been agreed at the Pan-Orthodox conferences, but there was a disagreement, for which the Church of Moscow is responsible, about who would sign this Tomos.”

          • The Church is already one. People who act in ways that seem to break that unity are actually just showing that they and those who follow them are not in the Church, like the third of the angels who followed Satan into perdition. When the abomination of desolation appears in the holy place, as it sometimes does, one must flee to the mountains, those who still remain clearly part of Christ’s body through the holiness manifest in their prayer and life and deeds. The gates of hell cannot prevail against His church, so the administrative issues will sort themselves out over time, as those who love God withdraw themselves from the false assemblies of the apostates. He who perseveres to the end will be saved. There is nothing to fear, though much to weep over.

        • N.B. the increasing frequency of phanariot recourse to ‘Third Rome’ trope, which Moscow itself only used when it was appropriate ‘back in the day’ and which term was an actual component of the Tomos of Autocephaly signed by the Ecumenical Patriarch himself creating the legal basis of the Moscow Patriarchate. Since the fall of Tsar Nikolai II the term has been shelved and it is only brought out by agents of the Fener at this juncture as a polemical weapon, a red herring.
          Third Rome at this point is only a projection of phanariot jealousy over their own imagined status as some kind of potent New Rome, indeed a case of magical thinking  whereby an incantation by Bart and the Synod of Stamboul could somehow make Ρωμαίος  relevant to Orthodox people worldwide. 
          Perhaps Archontonis should invest some of those Ukrainian hrivny now flowing fulsomely into Fener accounts at Vakıfbank for the commission of renowned SF author Michael Moorcock to compose a novel featuring the adventures of the Fener team in an alternate universe where New Rome never died, along the lines of his excellent ‘Roma Aeterna’ collection of tales. 

          • Joseph Lipper says

            Patriarch Jeremias II appears to be referencing the writings attributed to Elder Philotheos of Pskov from 1511 when he addresses Tsar Feodor:
            “In truth, pious tsar, the Holy Spirit dwells in you, and this thought is from God, and will be realized by you. For the Old Rome fell to the Apollinarian heresy, and the Second Rome, Constantinople, is in the possession of the grandsons of the Hagarenes, the godless Turks: but your great Russian kingdom, the Third Rome, has exceeded all in piety. And all the pious kingdoms have been gathered into your kingdom, and you alone under the heavens are named the Christian tsar throughout the inhabited earth for all Christians.”
            It’s very probable that Patriarch Jeremias was coached by the Russian bishops in how to approach the Tsar, and that the term “Third Rome” came from the Russian bishops who were familiar with the writings of Elder Philotheos of Pskov.   Since Patriarch Jeremias had also come to Moscow to raise money, perhaps it should also be noted that he received 30,000 pieces of silver from the Tsar when he arrived in Moscow, and then another 30,000 pieces of silver when he left in 1589.
            There was no tomos of autocephaly ever granted to Moscow, but rather it was recognition of the Moscow Patriarch and his place in the diptychs.  The Ecumenical Council of 1590 later issued a tomos of this recognition by the other Patriarchates. 
            When Patriarch Jeremias elevated Job as the Patriarch of Moscow in 1589, it was made clear that the new Patriarch should always commemorate Constantinople as first, and that the Patriarch of Moscow be commemorated as fifth.  This placement in the diptychs later became a point of contention.   Tsar Feodor was dissatisfied and felt that the Patriarch of Moscow should be commemorated as third (as in “Third Rome”), after Alexandria, and before Antioch and Jerusalem.  He sent a delegate in 1591 to Constantinople to make the case.  He was unsuccessful. So, the placement of Moscow as fifth in the diptychs was again confirmed in the Council of 1593.

  6. Joseph Lipper says

     “An emperor can call a Council and some have suggested Putin could do it.”

    Patriarch Alexey I and Joseph Stalin did it in 1948:
    “In July 1948, an international meeting of Orthodox churches was held in Moscow. The historian of the Russian Church, Johann Chrysostomus, commented:[38]

    “The Moscow Conference of the Orthodox Churches was to demonstrate the leading role of Moscow in world Orthodoxy. On this question the wishes of the Patriarchate and the Soviet government coincided, and both sides attached exceptional importance to the holding of this conference. Although the conference addressed a letter to Christians throughout the world, the attention of the conference organizers was centered on world Orthodoxy. It was to show itself as the moral force on which the Eastern bloc rested, contrary to other churches in the countries of the free world.”


    • Brute from bygone ages says

      That wasn’t Church council… But conference, where even non Orthodox sent guest atendees, like Armenians. 
      Btw, Johann Chrysostomus is Mozzart’s baptismal name. 

    • Estonian Slovak says

      Why, Joseph! You are the one who defended Vladimir Putin not kissing Metropolitan Laurus’s hand, when the two met at the ROCOR cathedral in 2003. Your reasoning was that at that time, ROCOR was not in communion with World Orthodoxy. 
             The proof you submitted about the MP working with the Soviets vindicates ROCOR’S position of not submitting to the MP. Furthermore, why didn’t Constantinople assert it’s rights back in 1948? Also, why now in 2019, did Metropolitan Hierotheos suddenly change his tune, after an important US official visited him? Incidently, my source for much of this information is not some Russian propaganda outlet, but a clergyman of the EP. He remains under the EP up until now, but is very concerned about the direction it is taking. 
            It would appear that the behavior of Metropolitan Hierotheos is worse than that of Patriarch Bartholomew. The Patriarch is being himself, following in the footsteps of his predecessors, but even more so. Metropolitan Hierotheos is going back on his own teachings.

      • Brute from bygone ages says

        For all his faults or virtues, Putin is Orthodox Christian. Any concerns he might have about Ukraine or Western European Exarchate would be legitimate, same for every Orthodox layman.
        On other hand what Geoffrey Payet have to say on any issue? He is heterodox, and servant of imeprialist regime, enaslaving Ukraine. Why most emunent metropolitan of Navpatos and St. Blasius have to meet with such odius person? 

      • Joseph Lipper says

        Estonian Slovak,
        I have no doubt that Metropolitan Laurus will eventually be canonized a saint.  Still, I don’t see how you can blame Vladimir Putin for merely following the protocol of the Russian Orthodox Church before communion was restored with ROCOR.  Was ROCOR wrong to wait so long to restore communion?  I don’t know.  Patriarch Alexey II was absolutely blocked from entering the ROCOR headquarters when he visited the U.S. in 1991.  The ROCOR hierarchs could have at least come out and shook his hand.  That would have been at least courteous.  

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Oh, geez, Ioannis, this meeting is going to be SO uncomfortable, I wouldn’t even want to be a fly on the wall! Do you think Metropolitan Emmanual is going to show up? Is he going to try to wrestle the microphone out of Archbishop John’s hand? I have been praying for Archbishop John all week. Whatever his flaws, he didn’t deserve this. Bartholomew is just making it up as he goes along. I think it’s interesting that people have gone from referring to him as the Ecumenical Patriarch to the Patriarch of Constantinople to Bartholomew to Constantinople and now to Black Bart. For those who are paying attention, this is significant.

      • John Sakelaris says

        There are still many of us who refer to him as the Ecumenical Patriarch or as Patriarch Bartholomew.    And certainly not as Black Bart.  

        • Gail Sheppard says

          According to George, people have been calling him that for years behind the scenes. I certainly haven’t but I don’t call anyone names.

          • John Sakelaris says

            Almost all of the people on this blog are a self-selected sample of dissidents, not a valid representation of the typical Orthodox Christians of the US.  

            • Gail Sheppard says

              I’ve got to disagree with you here, John. This blog attracts more than 5500 people per day and they spend a good amount of time on the blog (last I looked the average was 24 minutes). These aren’t dissidents. Many of the people are priests and bishops. I have actually seen words that were posted here used as a justification for why a bishop goes in a certain direction. Our hierarchs do care about what we think.

              • John Sakelaris says

                Readership statistics prove nothing. I regularly read lots of web pages that I disagree with.  

                What I actually see here are anti-Greek Orthodox Archdiocese postings from only about a hundred people, maybe less.   Many are not even using a valid and complete name.    You will not overthrow a church leadership with this.  

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  John, you’re entitled to your opinion, but could we move on? You have made your point that all 5000+ of us who read and/or contribute to this blog are not representative of anything. So noted.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    John, you’ve made your point. Let’s move on as events are heading in other directions.

            • John,
              it remains to be mathematically/statistically proven what exactly the “typical Orthodox Christian of the US”  is.

              Until then , let’s make life a bit easier, shall we?

              The important thing is NOT what the typical O.Chr. is
              BUT RATHER,
              what “typical O.Chr.” does Christ want us to be?

            • John Sakelaris: “not a valid representation of the typical Orthodox Christians of the US”

              How many of typical Orthodox Christians have you met?

            • Solzhenitsyn was a dissident. I am honored, though not worthy, to be grouped with him. 
              Dissident: “a person who opposes official policy, especially that of an authoritarian state.”
              If being a dissident means opposing authoritarian C’ple, then I’m all in. 

          • r j klancko says

            because of recent events re ukraine for example,,, it unfortunately has morphed into ‘brat black bart’.  our public image has certainly taken a mighty hit,,,no wonder our youth leave us,,,,,where is the christian love and charity

          • I first heard the epithet ‘Black Bart’ back in the mid-90s. Archimandrite  Hilary Madison of blessed memory, who was my neighbor called him that in light of Bart’s very recent, at that time, scotching of the project of unifying the disparate jurisdictions of Orthodox churches in  North America.
            Black Bart indeed he is rightly called for the deadly effect he has wrought on our church even from the early years of his bitter reign! I will leave the most stinging epithets for the good Bp. Luke to wield with the precision only a Zaporozhian may!

            • Excuse me Monk James,
              What lie are you accuse me of stating? I can’t prove my story to you — you weren’t there and you don’t know me. But I lived next door to dear Fr. Hilary for a year before he went back to St. Tikhon’s when he was ailing.
              I was a neophyte and ignorant of Orthodox history and culture. Living next to Fr. Hilary was a crash course in the lively culture of Orthodoxy in Chicago and Texas.
              I came into the Church shortly after the erasure of the victory of Ligonnier and Fr. Hilary’s salty humor — not indiscretion — provided a trenchant summary of  Archontones’ ill effect on our Church life.  

              • Monk James Silver says

                There is no way of excusing you, ‘Claes’, because of your outrageous lies here, so I won’t indulge you in your delusions

                Did Fr Hilary Madison tell you that the Orthodox Church in America became autocephalous because it was somehow complicit in an exchange of money? I doubt ii. I was there with Abp John Garklavs and FrHM in Chicago , and I got it all from the source. What you wrote is a lie, and you should retract it before you get sued for libel.

                Since you asked, I am accusing you of lying here on ‘Monomakhos’ about the way in which the Orthodox Church in America received its autocephaply, canonically granted by the Russian Orthodox Church ,You wrote here eariier to say just such a libelous thing, and you haven’t yet retracted your lies

                You asserted that this was a financial transaction, and that everyone in the Greek Orthodox Archdioces of America knows this and so makes fun of the OCA because of it.

                That was a lie, too, and George Michalopilos joined me in challenging you to prove your assertions and to withdraw your libels before you get sued in civil court.

                But you haven’t done that, so I remain incredulous of anything you write here.

                As a result of your mendacious representations here, I choose not to believe anything else you say, regarding Fr Hilary or anything/anyone else.

                s far as I can tell, you are a liar, and your reporting of events is unreliable

                Of course, u can always retract your lies about the OCAs movements toward autocephaly, and we can then correspond more cordially.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Monk James, I’m with you on this one. I have no agenda here but the truth. If the OCA got its autocephaly in the manner in which Claes say –that “everyone in the GOA” knows this to be the case–then kindly provide us with names and documents. And then I will publish said documents and try to interview those who are named. Then the matter can be cleared up once and for all.

                  • Monk James Silver says

                    I am most grateful for your support, dear George.

                    Were I among the editors of your blog, I would block ‘Claes’ from writing here again unless and until he either retracted his earlier lies, or offered documentable support for them as truths.

                    God bless you for all your good work!

          • Estonian Slovak says

            I believe you, Gail. As a foolish young man, I might have called people names. Now, I feel it’s counterproductive. I will refer to the EP as Patriarch Bartholomew. But I don’t support what he is doing, especially regarding Ukraine.

            • Monk James Silver says

              Yes.  ‘Estonian Slovak’ has touched on a subtle point here which seems to have escaped the notice of many:  It is childish to call people names.
              In adult discourse, people who use such epithets undermine their own credibility, and in The Church, we must never be disrespectful of our elders and superiors, even if we disagree with them publicly and out loud. 
              Consider St Paul’s apology after he unknowingly insulted the high priest (Acts 23:1-5).

          • Monk James Silver says

            Archimandrite Hilary Madison was the hegoumen of my monastery, and I knew him well.  After he left Kansas in 1982, we remained in contact until his death in 2005 at St Tikhon Monastery..
              While he was given to an occasional lapse into irresponsible humor, I never heard FrHM use such a phrase, and I have no more reason to take ‘Claes’ at his word here than I do to believe his lies about the process of the OCA’s  receiving its autocephaly from Moscow in 1970.

      • anonimus per Scorilo says

        I think Black Bart is just a funny nickname. People also call the patriarch of Romania Snow White 🙂 (use google images if you do not see why)

      • George Osborne says

        Gail, in love and respect, an Orthodox Christian should not even swear by proxy…especially if it’s blasphemous.  The term “geez” is commonly and historically been recognized as a proxy for Jesus.  A lot of us (including myself) use this term but is one of those things we should strive to lay aside and repent of.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          I’ll keep that in mind, George, but in the vernacular of the 50s when I grew up, “geez” had nothing to do with Jesus. It is a mild expression of surprise or annoyance, as defined by Merriam-Webster.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Yeah, we said it all the time. Especially “geez louise”.

          • George Osborne says

            That was really my point, Gail and George, we are so used to these “innocent” phrases that we use them routinely without thinking. Just because somethings common doesn’t justify it. 

        • Tim R. Mortiss says

          How about the ‘louise’ part?

          • Gail Sheppard says

            That’s right! I left off the louise, part! In 1950’s vernacular, it was a perfectly acceptable thing to say. As I recall, my grandfather used to say it. The only thing I associated with it back then (or ever) was our housekeeper, Louise! I googled the phrase . . .


            Question From Movie Trivia Quiz: Think of a man with a straw boater and a French accent and coming up with the answer will be a breeze. From the 1929 film, “Innocents in Paris”. Can you fill in the blank? Archie could. “Every little beat that I feel in my heart, Seems to repeat, What I felt from the start, Each little sigh Tells me that I adore you, _____.”

            Answer: Louise [name of the song] – Geez Louise [answer], the song was written by Leo Robin and Richard A. Whiting. It was in the movie “Innocents of Paris”. The man in the straw hat was Maurice Chevalier. It was one of the top songs in 1929, anecdotally, since Billboard didn’t exist.

            Louise had nothing to do with the actress Louise Brooks, who starred in “Pandora’s Box”. The movie was the inspiration for the Alban Berg opera “Lulu”. “Lulu” had nothing to do with the comic strip “Little Lulu”.


  7. Any updates the the Rue Darue meeting today? 

    • English page from (a presumably pro-EP web-site) :



      The General Assembly of the Russian Archdiocese held today September 7 at the Cathedral of Saint Marina in Paris under the chairmanship of Archbishop Ioannis.

      58 representatives of the Extraordinary General Assembly of the Russian Archdiocese (formerly the Patriarchate of Constantinople) voted in favor of accession under the patriarchate of Moscow. representatives. Voting was secret by the use of ballots.
      The proposal for the Russian Archdiocese to enter the Moscow Patriarchate did not garner the necessary two-thirds of the votes of members of the General Assembly. However, sources affiliated with the Moscow Patriarchate claim that a simple majority is enough to make a decision.
      Immediately after the vote, Archbishop Ioannis declared that he accepted the decisions of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and announced his departure.
      However, at the same time that Archbishop Ioannis invited participants to obey the decisions of Patriarch Bartholomew, which many in attendance took as his refusal to join Moscow, he again took up his post at the Bureau. of the Russian Church.
      Archbishop John was surprised when a representative informed him that there was a bailiff in the room – and a French government official who carefully documented all violations of the Archdiocese’s charter. This means that if violations of the Charter have been committed during the proceedings of the Convention, any decision on the part of the Assembly will be null and void and a court case will be brought.
      Orthodox Patriarchates

    • Brute from bygone ages says

      Acoording to spzh.news proposition of Russian Orthodox Church did not gather enough votes to be accepted.

  8. The latest, not from their own site but pravoslavie’s: 

    Paris, September 7, 2019

    “… of 186 delegates present, 185 voted. 6 turned in blank votes, and 104 (58.1%) voted in favor, and 75 (41.9%) against.
    “However, according to the Archdiocesan statutes, the Assembly’s deliberations require a 2/3 majority to pass (Article 35)…”
    They really are cheese-eating surrender monkeys. 

    • This translation and its source are sketchy:
      “Immediately after the vote, Archbishop Ioannis declared that he accepted the decisions of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and announced his departure.“However, at the same time that Archbishop Ioannis invited participants to obey the decisions of Patriarch Bartholomew, which many in attendance took as his refusal to join Moscow, he again took up his post at the Bureau. of the Russian Church.”
      So did Abp. Jean throw in the towel after this vague sign of no confidence among delegates of his church? Are they just going to lie down and die?

  9. From Google Translate: 
    Today was held in Paris an extraordinary general meeting of the Archdiocese of Russian Orthodox Churches in Western Europe. The discussion was lively and the various opinions could be exchanged. The question asked was: “Do you accept the canonical act of attachment of the Archdiocese to the Moscow Patriarchate as presented in the published document? The assembly counted 186 voters. There were 179 votes cast, six whites and one draw. The “yes” vote received 104 votes, or 58.1% of the votes cast, the “no” 75 votes, or 41.9% of the votes cast. We are waiting for the official communique of the Archbishop who will inform about what will be done.

    • Brute from bygone ages says

      I am guessing representatives from UK decided outcome. There is few parishes from there, who got transfered from MP after death of Metropolitan Antoniy of Surozh. 

  10. It’s vital to note that the vote was to directly answer this question posed to the Rue Daru group by its Archbishop: “Acceptez-vous l’acte de rattachement canonique de l’Archevêché au Patriarcat de Moscou tel qu’il est présenté dans le document publié?”…. “Do you accept the act of canonical reattachment/reconnection of [our] Archdiocese with the Patriarchate of Moscow, as it is presented in the published document?”

    58.1% voted yes, 41.9% voted no. However, this most certainly does not mean that 41.9% of the rue Daru group who voted no love C’ple and want to stay with them. It simply means that 41.9% don’t want to realign with the MP at this point.

    Important to remember that the rue Daru group is comprised of some folks who are as-Protestantized-Orthodox-as-they-come, who really don’t want to be under anyone. Many of them view themselves as the as-yet-unrecognized pioneers of an Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Western Europe. So of course these folks would not want to go under Moscow, but they don’t like C’ple much either. They were OK with C’ple as long as C’ple gave them canonical legitimacy and left them alone.

    The only reason that the rue Daru group has lasted so long under C’ple is that C’ple largely left them alone for decades, until last year. My guess is that the more taste of C’ple they get, the less and less they will like them. Like many others, I foresee a splintering in the rue Daru group: C’ple will now force its hand on top of them, and the majority (58.1% at least) will break and go with the MP. The 41.9% others will stay with C’ple and either become fully secularized ‘Orthodox’ Roman-Catholics under C’ple, or will grow to see their delusion and will return to the traditional Orthodox faith, or will leave the Church altogether.

    It appears that the rue Daru era instituted by Met. Evlogy is closing. A positive is that the Orthodox splintering we had in the communist era is healing. I only pray that St Alexander Nevsky cathedral goes with the MP — I love that place. A must-visit for me anytime I am in Paris, which isn’t often. It has services in French with genuine outreach to the community. I shudder to think what C’ple will do to it.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Some of that 41% maybe wanted to go to Serbia and/or Romania as well (in my estimation). Overall though you’re right: most of the Rue Daru 41% are perfectly on board with the modernism they see Cpole spearheading.

  11. George Michalopulos: “most of the Rue Daru 41% are perfectly on board with the modernism they see Cpole spearheading.”

    Many years ago I read a ROCOR text on Paris split. If I remember correctly, they said that the reason was the presence of several modernists and even some outright heretics around Paris School community. The Synod wanted to investigate and to make some corrections, so they asked metropolitan Evlogy to help. In response Evlogy bolted out to start his confusing jurisdictional wanderings.

    Right now I did quick search and this link came first:


    Perhaps MP will be better off without this wild bunch?

  12. Peter A. Papoutsis says

    Food for though to calm everyone s passions and keep the Church unified no matter what Constantinople, The U.S., Moscow, the Russian Federation and the Ukranian Nazis are doing to divide the Church.

    Watch “Can a heretical bishop defile the Church?” on YouTubehttps://youtu.be/CH5ZHXg4q-s


  13. Peter A. Papoutsis: “calm everyone s passions … no matter what Constantinople, … Moscow, the Russian Federation and the Ukranian Nazis are doing”
    Equaling Constantinople, Moscow and Nazis is your way to “calm everyone’s passions”?

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      All players yes, equal? No. That’s all on you. Glad you missed the point…not.

  14. Brute from bygone ages says

    Interesting, Ivan Zorya, who in his free time pretends to be bishop, was visiting Paris today. He with assistance of some priests of Gaulish Metropolitanante, had performance, in Saint Stephan’s Cathedral in Paris.

  15. Russian Orthodox churches in Europe on path to rejoining Moscow
    SEPTEMBER 11, 2019

    Russian Orthodox churches in Europe are preparing to reconnect with Moscow after nearly 90 years under the protection of Constantinople. An extraordinary General Assembly of 186 members met in Paris Sept. 7 to…


  16. Communiqué of the Office of the Archbishop of 14 September 2019
    The Archbishop
    Protocol number : 19.046
    Beloved in Christ Fathers, Brothers and Sisters,
    Since the decision of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople of 27 November 2018 repealing the tomos signed in 1999, which granted our Archdiocese canonical link with the Ecumenical Throne, I have never ceased to protect our communities of “canonical subjection” (Act of 12 January 2019) which removed purely and simply the Archdiocese as created by the Metropolitan Euloge of blessed memory.
    This decision has shaken our Archdiocese, which lived peacefully from nearly 90 years under the omophorion of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, where I myself grew up and celebrated until today.
    For the past ten months, we have been looking together for a future for our Archdiocese, and a very clear mandate was given to us by the Extraordinary General Assembly of February 23, where 93% of delegates chose not to dissolve our Archdiocese. We worked tirelessly, but after the EGA of September 7th, which left us in a state of shock with regard to the violence and the destructive mood of some of us. I humbly think that we have to admit : we went astray.
    I looked again at our statutes. These statutes organize the life of our Archdiocese and protect us. However, it must be said here, that they are not the foundation of the Archdiocese. The purpose of our Archdiocese is the exercise and coordination of worship in accordance with Orthodox Greco-Russian rite in respect of the holy canons of the Orthodox Church and the specific rules of the Russian tradition, in accordance with the decisions of the Council of Moscow 1917-1918.
    Our statutes organize and thus make possible our pastoral activity. They rule the essential and organic problems of the functioning of our clergy, its composition, its resources, the election of bishops, its assemblies, its organs of control, and its eventual dissolution. However, they do not regulate pastoral care, and they remind us that the sacramental link between the Archbishop and the Archdiocese is intrinsic.
    Dear Fathers, beloved Brothers and Sisters, We cannot bring a legal answer to a pastoral question. We cannot “twist”, or rather deflect our statutes that are silent on the question of whether a general meeting can decide on a canonical attachment. If the assembly can change the statutes, it cannot settle the pastoral question of canonical attachment. In sister churches, it is the bishop who alone decides such a question. In our Archdiocese the conciliarity that guides us. However, I must remember here, it bestows to your Archbishop the heavy responsibility of deciding as a last resort. Is it not the Archbishop who, in our statutes, confirms all decisions, and who definitively settles all the disputes, whether these appear within the Council of the Archdiocese, or in our general assemblies ? This is so because the Archbishop exercises and is the guarantor of the pastoral ministry.
    Dear Fathers, Brothers and Sisters, this moment of decision has come, and I presently have all the necessary elements for this choice. I am going conciliarily explain it to you.
    First of all about who we are : Our Archdiocese was not created by the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and I believe that this is fundamental in the current situation. It was created under the auspices of the Moscow Patriarchate in 1924 as « Union Directrice Diocésaine des Associations Orthodoxes Russes en Europe Occidentale » wanted by the Metropolitan Euloge of blessed memory, in respect of the holy canons of the Orthodox Church, following the Russian ecclesial tradition, and in accordance with the decisions of the Council of Moscow 1917-1918.
    In 1930, an ukase was issued against the activities of Metropolitan Euloge because he prayed for the persecuted Russian church and thus became “doubtful”. His activity has been then considered as “a crusade against the Soviet state”. He was accused of “putting himself at the head of a confabulation and having caused a schism “. On January 28, 1931, the Diocesan Council emphasized the political and not ecclesiastical character of this ukase.
    Due to this tension, Metropolitan Euloge asked the Ecumenical Patriarchate to place his “metropolitan province” under his omophorion on January 17 1931. On this occasion, he received a synodal letter granting him the temporary status of « Exarchate of Russian parishes in Western Europe”. This welcome within the Ecumenical Patriarchate was then subject to statutory changes which were endorsed by the General Assembly of the « Union Directrice Diocésaine des Associations Orthodoxes Russes en Europe Occidentale ».
    I believe this precedent has all its importance. I will add that Metropolitan Euloge said on this occasion : “In entering this path, it is obvious that we are not separating from our Mother the Russian church … We make the commitment, when time comes to submit to our free tribunal of the future all our acts (…). In addition, we continue to remain in communion of faith of prayer and love with the patriarchate of Moscow ” (Irinikon, 8, 1931, 365). It is this text that allowed me to draw the strength of resisting the violence of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and approach the idea that a return to the Moscow Patriarchate after the pure and simple dismantling by the Ecumenical Patriarchate in November 2018 would undoubtedly be the canonical way most respectful of our Founding Fathers.
    Our Archdiocese lived like this until 1965, when the Patriarch Athenagoras on the pretext that it was « provisional » abolished its status. The Archdiocese spent a period of canonical latency from 1965 to 1971, when its status was restored by the “patriarchal letter of January 22, 1971”.
    Archbishop Serge of blessed memory made it his duty to negotiate a new Tomos. The latter, granted by the Ecumenical Patriarchate in 1999, no longer mentions the “provisional” character, which at the time reassured the clergy and the flock, and finally gave everyone a sense of canonical stability within the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
    This brutally ended by the decision of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople of November 27, 2018, repealing the 1999 Tomos and the “Act of Canonical Submission” to the patriarchal metropolises of January 12, 2019. These decisions have irrevocably led us to seek a path that would put an end to the dangerous peregrinations imposed by the Ecumenical Patriarchate. They made us take our future in hand and entrust me, as previously to Metropolitan Euloge with the heavy responsibility of guiding you. Dear Fathers, when I returned from Constantinople in November, I consulted you conciliarly, and on December 15, 2018, you expressed the wish to remain united in the adversity that had just struck our archdiocese again.
    I convened with the Council of the Archdiocese an EGA on February 23 concerning the dissolution of our Union Directrice in order to choose to carry out the “Act of Canonical Submission” of January 12 2019. This assembly, by an overwhelming majority of 93%, refused this dissolution, and you, dear Fathers, asked me in particular to look for a canonical solution since we have recorded the rupture by refusing the requirement of the Holy Synod.
    With the Council of the Archdiocese, and at the price of important financial sacrifices, we met the Russian Church outside Russia, which did not respond to our expectation for autonomy, the OCA, which has ruled out any possibility of canonical link with us. We entered into a dialogue with Metropolitan Joseph and the church of Romania, which, too, did not respond positively to our request. I wish to insist on this point because at our last meeting, it was argued that the Church of Romania would always be a solution for our Archdiocese as a whole. This is incorrect. Metropolitan Joseph has made it very clear to us that he would not have the possibility of canonically welcoming our Archdiocese, but only the churches and parishes that would wish it, separately. In a second step, these parishes where appropriate, could be grouped according to outlines to be defined. This implies the death of our Archdiocese. We received a clear mandate to preserve it. Until the day before our last General Assembly, I stayed in this dialogue with Metropolitan Joseph. But there is no way to preserve our Archdiocese in the Church of Romania. This way is definitively closed. Concerning the Ecumenical Patriarchate, a delegation from the Council of the Archdiocese went twice to the Patriarchate of Constantinople to tryt to get a review of our situation. This delegation was told that the Patriarch and I could raise the issue to try to find a solution. I met Patriarch Bartholomew on August 17th. But he did not mention any other solution than the one decided on January 12 2019, namely the dismantling of the archdiocese. This was once again confirmed, just before our last general meeting. Once again, our mandate is that of preserving the Archdiocese.
    Finally, following a first contact with the Moscow Patriarchate, which was showing a keen interest in the situation, a joint commission worked on a draft of canonical attachment to the Moscow Patriarchate establishing a special autonomy statute guaranteeing our specificity, our way of operating, and ensuring a future, thanks to the possibility of quickly electing new auxiliary bishops. The “Request for Attachment Project” developed jointly with the Moscow Patriarchate, which was presented before the Extraordinary General Assembly of September 7, 2019, allows the preservation of our Archdiocese by guaranteeing and even by extending its autonomy. This is the only project that allows us to remain who we are. Fathers, beloved Brothers and Sisters, We have explored all the ways and I have to remind you that we are not in a particularly favourable environment, where we would have plenty of time for reflection, since attempts of destabilization, like the ukases of the past, have increased against us, with the sending of a canonical leave concerning me that I had never asked, and the appointment of a locum tenens that nobody had asked for, in conditions totally irregular. That is why Father Ashkov, who made a proposal for a revision of our statutes that I see as a necessity for the future, has considered that the time of this overhaul was not – for now – given.
    Being aware of these pressures and tensions, I convened the EGA of September 7th. I did not “play” the emergency. There was, and there is urgency. I convened this Extraordinary General Assembly as the continuation of the February meeting because at the end of the assembly we had started discussing on our future, and I promised you to continue that discussion. Certainly, after the vote ( I will not repeat here that it cannot have a statutory value because the decision of change of canonical obedience falls within the pastoral), there was a lack of fifteen votes for a two-thirds majority agreeing with the proposed solution. However, it must be said that among those who spoke vehemently last Saturday against the project of attachment, there were clerics who had asked me and sometimes even got a canonical leave and who had not left in order to be there or to vote.
    Even then, more than 58% of the voting delegates asked their Archbishop to leave the Ecumenical Patriarchate and join the Moscow Patriarchate. Moreover, among the 41% who voted against this project of attachment, we should honestly ask ourselves how many actually wanted to stay in the Ecumenical Patriarchate. How many have been diverted by a desired outcome that was not one ? Since this assembly, I am challenged every day, by our clerics, our pastors and our flock, so that I should settle this pastoral question. It’s my responsibility now to decide, because my pastors in their very great majority ask me not only to leave the Patriarchate of Constantinople, but to join the Moscow Patriarchate under the conditions we have negotiated.
    We cannot continue to commemorate the Patriarch with whom, at the latest on September 7, the majority of our Archdiocese broke the canonical bond. This situation is simply untenable, and I promised you that we would not attempt any adventure of ecclesial autonomy because it is not canonical. Unlike 1965, we cannot go on as we are, as the canonical link with the Ecumenical Patriarchate is broken since the voices of our members, those of our communities, to which I must give my full attention, tell me that we must seek another canonical link that has been designated. Those who tell us that we can stay as we are, deliberately ignore that voice, which is the voice of conciliarity.
    It is my duty to find a way of peace, and our assembly obliges me.
    Therefore, in the absence of an Episcopal Committee so far, but after consultation with the deans and many priests, as ex officio president of our archdiocese, I decided today to put myself, as well as our Archdiocese, under the canonical obedience proposed by the Moscow Patriarchate to meet the needs of the communities that compose our Archdiocese. I will commemorate His Holiness Patriarch Cyril of Moscow this Sunday, and I invite all clerics to continue to commemorate me.
    I know and understand the historical reluctance of some. I am thinking in particular of many of our dear fathers, brothers and sisters in the United Kingdom. The wounds are deep. They are also among our communities in the south of France because of legal disputes. Legal disputes that I have worked from the beginning to put to an end. Nevertheless, the time has come not to forget, but to move forward.
    I promised you not to give up. I keep my promise and humbly ask you to carry me in your prayers, and I ask forgiveness to those who will be hurt by the decision that I take, in my soul and conscience, as guarantor of the pastoral ministry.
    † JEAN, Archbishop Head of the Union Directrice Diocésaine des Associations orthodoxes russes en Europe Occidentale
    Paris, September 14, 2019


    • anonimus per Scorilo says

      Yeah, right, except that the decision was taken rather unilaterally and without much calculation by Abp. John, and as a result the members of the archdiocesan council decided to take over the French legal association behind the exarchate.
      There was a communiqué yesterday  of some of the members of the council, (which in the meantime has been taken down from the exarchate.eu webpage) in which they argued that since Archbishop John left for Moscow the position of Archbishop is now vacant and hence the council is in charge. And the guys who signed it are the majority (7/13) now that Archbishop John has left. 
      the facebook page 
      still contains the link but the link does not work.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Well, those who don’t follow Arb John have two choices:

        1. Allow the dissolution of their exarchate and report to the local Metropolitan (which is what the Phanar wants), or

        2. Go rogue. Examples would include:

        a) ask to be brought in to other jurisdictions (e.g. Romania, Serbia, Antioch), or
        b) become congregational quasi-Orthodox.

        I simply don’t see any other way.

        • anonimus per Scorilo says

          I do not see why going under Serbia or Romania mean going rogue.
          Lots of ex-exarchate priests and faithful are converts, and the Serbians and Romanians in France have been most open to receiving them. Just check out the names of the priests from

          • George Michalopulos says

            In this sense: the Exarchate voted overwhelmingly to remain intact, whatever they do. That’s probably not realistic at this point, is it? Pretty much everybody was horrified by what the Phanar did and have reacted as one would if a grenade had been lobbed in the middle of them.

            • Brute from bygone ages says

              They didn’t ask to be recieved in the SOC. SOC would not accept the Exarchate. Some individual parishes in Scandinavia were recieved by our bishop, but it’s something different. 
              First, Serbian Church wouldn’t want to have any open issues with Russian Church. Serbs are, genneraly speaking, Russophiles. 
              Second, they wouldn’t like it here. Our clergy is rather conservative. Average Exarchate parishioner belongs to heavily assimilated fourth generation of Russian exiles, from upper middle or high class. Serbian emigrants are mostly skilled workers, who left their villages in Serbia or Bosnia. They are politicaly pro-Russian Government , while said emigrees mostly support Russian “liberal opposition”. Verry bad match, indeed.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Thanks for the correction.

              • anonimus per Scorilo says

                Sure, this is why around February, in the middle of the crisis Metropolitan Amphiloquius of Montenegro came to Paris under the pretext of giving a talk at his alma mater (St. Serge) – the Serbians tried to subtly court the exarchate but were not successful.
                And please, Mr. Brute, take a look at the website of the Serbian church in France and see how many of the priests serve ethnic parishes of hard-working guys from the village and how many are French converts who do not speak a word of Serbian and in some places probably still celebrate the Liturgy of Saint Germain.
                The situation on the ground is oftentimes more subtle and does not fit textbook-level historical platitudes.

                • Brute from bygone ages says

                  First, we are the Serbs. Not Serbians. Second, Metropolitan Amfilohije’s alma mater is either Orthodox Theological Faculty in Belgrade, or Orthodox Theological Faculty in Athens. At first he graduated, at second he got his PHD degree. He was teacher at St. Serge. What’s so strange that former professor gaves lecture at school where he used to teach? Maybe some talks were mentioned, but why would anybody from Serbian Church go and antagonize Russian Church in moment we need Russian support? Metropolitan Amfilohije’ is dependant on Russian diplomatic support more than most Serbian hierarchs… Montenegrin Government is expelling priests, tries to appropriate Church buildings… And Metropolitan of Montenegro goes to offer some dealings to Russian Exarchate? It doesn’t sounds logical.
                  Anyway, you don’t know a lot about Serbs in Francr. They are waste majority of parishioners, and they are quite different than average Exarchate parishioners. French convert parishes are tiny. 

                • Brute from bygone ages says

                  Btw, French priests in our diocese of Western Europe are mostly from UOCRO (Western Rite splinter group which changed few jurisdictions from ROCOR to Romania and finaly to us). I don’t quite get wat you were trying to poibt with them… They are tiny in numbers, and I don’t think they are close in mrntality to Exarchate parishionerers, except French fluency… You have few Orthodox Converts of Serbian Church, like Larchet too, but he has sound Orthodox Theology unlike Exarchate members. 

      • anonimus per Scorilo,

        “Yeah, right, except that the decision was taken rather unilaterally and without much calculation by Abp. John”

        I have the impression that Abp. John has learnt from the recent “sudden” decisions by Bartholomew.

        • George Michalopulos says

          And so ApS, this is how the chickens come home to roost…

        • anonimus per Scorilo says

          There is a difference between sudden and being miscalculated. Black Bart does take sudden decisions, but almost never miscalculates.

          Abp. John took the decision without having the majority in the Archdiocesan council. Which can now use French law to prevent the transfer of the Rue Daru cathedral to Moscow.

          If he had waited for the next assembly to replace the members of the arcdiocesan council whose terms end in 2019  (http://exarchat.eu/spip.php?rubrique43) with pro-Moscow people, he could have done the transition to Moscow much more smoothly.

          • George Michalopulos says

            I must disagree. The whole Ukrocephaly thing was a massive miscalculation. He not only thought that everybody would get on board but as of this point, not even the Greeks are on board.

            • I don’t see evidence of miscalculation on the part of the CP with regard to Ukraine or the Russian Exarchate. 
              Sometimes the easiest way to rob a house is to set fire to the barn.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Tanya, I like your allusion! Quite funny yet pathetic at the same time. Regardless, what a horrible way of doing things. Not even canonical.

                What the EP doesn’t understand is that the ends don’t justify the means. Whenever Orthodox bishops have done this in the past (Council of Lyon, Ferrara-Florence, the Unia in Ukraine) always blows up in their faces. We should not forget that it was a Byzantine prince which forced the Fourth Crusade to veer off from Palestine and go to Cpole instead. In his mind’s eye, it was a good idea and it would reunite the Churches.

                It didn’t work out well.

          • anonimus per Scorilo says

            anyway, if you google translate 
            you will see from his letter that Abp. John completed miscalculated the situation. He does not have the majority in the council and according to the current statutes is no longer even a member of the council.
            Now he wants to call a meeting to the priests to change the statutes to retroactively support him. But since from a legal point of view he is no longer in the head of the French legal entity he cannot do that. 
            So whatever he does next, from a legal perspective he is toast, as there is no way such manoeuvres will hold water in any court of law. Unless Putin and Macron strike a deal on gas or Syria or Iran something else and the letter will press his finger on the balance of the notoriously impartial French justice system and give the cathedral to Putin to sweeten the deal.

            • 6 of the 13 members of the standing council (not including Archbishop Jean, who is the director of the council) signed that letter, which was later removed from the official website of the archdiocese. 6 out of 13 is not a majority of the synod. Plus, the Cathedral of St. Alexander Nevsky’s fate is ultimately governed by the will of the parishioners of the cathedral, as was the case with the church in Nice. It is most likely that the cathedral will stay in the hands of the Archdiocese, as headed by Archbishop Jean, as the parishioners of the cathedral overwhelmingly support Archbishop Jean in his endeavors, as evidenced by this Sunday’s liturgy. What happens in different parishes is a different story, but I know that the parishioners of St. Alexander Nevsky love their archbishop dearly, and trust his judgement immensely.

              • anonimus per Scorilo says

                From a legal perspective I do not think there is any other “association cultuelle” in rue Daru except the archdiocese.
                Last time when I saw the letter of the council, before it was taken-down from the website (in the name of transparency and freedom of information of course) it had 7 signatures so, unless one member withdrew, there is still majority. Also, the other 6 did not sign, but there is no evidence all of them support Abp. John’s decision.
                All this propaganda, both in your message and on the website:  “love their archbishop dearly” \ “trust his judgement immensely” \ “overwhelmingly support” \ “extremely devoted” sounds hollow. I have seen enough soviet propaganda to recognize it in religious garb.
                Now that he supports Moscow, the propaganda machine claims Abp. John is a saintly man. When he fought against Moscow after the Nice affair or when he stood silent and enabled Abp Job’s abusing clergy back and forth he was the evil Russian-hating Constantinople-loving monster.
                The truth is that he is just a weak and unsuspecting person (that’s why Black Bart appointed him in the first place) who can be manipulated at ease by both the pro-Moscow and the anti-Moscow groups.

                • If “love their archbishop dearly” \ “trust his judgement immensely” \ “overwhelmingly support” \ “extremely devoted” sound like “Soviet propaganda” to you sir, then I guess I am a Soviet propagandist, because those words were not those of the archdiocese nor those of “pro-Moscow” forces as you put it, but were my own. I personally describe him that way because just last July I attended a liturgy at St. Alexander Nevsky cathedral, and personally saw the loving devotion the parishioners had for their Archbishop. That particular Sunday there was a 40 day blessing service for a baby who had been born to one of the parishioners. Everyone gathered around the family and the Archbishop approached the mother with an angelic smile. The way that the mother thanked the Archbishop and lovingly handed over her child to him was nothing short of saintly in my eyes. The way Vladyka Jean held the baby and blessed him in front of the iconostasis was astounding. The service there was probably one of the most profound religious experiences I have ever had. I have not read of Archbishop Jean’s handling of the Nice situation, but I know from personal experience that the parishioners of St. Alexander Nevsky cathedral are extremely devout, and love their bishop. Many of whom I would assume considering him to be their spiritual father.

                  • anonimus per Scorilo says

                    I hate to break the nice balloon of joy and spiritual brotherhood you message conveys about Abp. John and his flock.
                    First, these ethnic cathedrals cannot be compared to a parish in the classical sense. There are a bunch of guys going there each Sunday, a bigger bunch going once a month or so, a much bigger bunch going during lent and a huge bunch going at Pascha and baptizing their kids. 
                    Second, Abp. John  don’t speak no Russian or Romanian (Moldavian), and most of the guys attending services upstairs are not fluent enough in French to have a meaningful conversation with him. So they see him as a nicely-dressed doll, not as a spiritual leader.
                    Third, Abp. John is not the flaming beacon of outreach somebody else portrayed him to be. Before becoming a bishop he was a priest for many years at a tiny pocket church in Switzerland, which has remained to this day a tiny pocket church.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      APS, what you describe are essentially mission parishes. In any event, it doesn’t seem to me that you’re all that familiar with parish life here in the USA.

                      Remember what Churchill said about Atlee? he was a modest man who had much to be modest about.

                      We too have much to be modest about.

                    • Do you feel good about yourself anonimus? Are you glad that you have pointed out the sins of others so brazenly? Why do you seem so sure the parishioners at the cathedral are nothing but passive observers, devoid of love for their bishop? Why wouldn’t they love him as a spiritual father, is the holy spirit bound by language? Earlier you were pointing out that most of the members of the modern rue daru church aren’t Russian, now you are mad because Archbishop Jean (supposedly) doesn’t speak the Russian language? Who gave you the authority of a church synod condemning this bishop for actions you have no connection to? When we speak of the fanar and it’s recent Godless actions, we must not condemn individuals like a state accuser, but speak the truth in love and reveal the ineqities in their actions that hurt the faithful, acknowledging our own sin. Truly I am the worst sinner, more terrible than all the schismatics and liberal fanar-devotees combined. I see no reason to condemn such a Godly and humble bishop as Archbishop Jean, he was entrusted by the church to lead his flock in the truth and the light, and by his actions he has fulfilled that call, even if he may or may not have made mistakes in his ministry in the past. 

                • The dissenters from the rue are most likely the British clergy formerly of Sourozh diocese of ROC who wanted Metr. Anthony Bloom’s successor Bp. Basil Osbourne to contravene the late Metr.’s cession of the Dormition Cathedral in Ennismore Gardens, London to the ROC and out of some twisted loyalty to the hierarch of blessed memory ruined the good Bp’s tenure.
                  The ‘never moscow’ crowd entered the rue Daru after quitting Sourozh en masse. I suspect their purpose now is to complicate Abp. Jean’s efforts to steer his archdiocese to the only safe shore, Moscow.

                  • anonimus per Scorilo says

                    The 7 members of the council which took control of the “association cultuelle” following Abp. John’s move to Moscow are:
                      Archdeacon Vsevolod Borzakovsky
                      Priest Christophe d’Aloisio
                      Alexis Obolensky
                      Elizabeth von Schlippe
                      Archpriest Serge Sollogub
                      Alexander Viktorov
                      Didier Vilanova
                    Can you point out which of them is from the “British clergy formerly of Sourozh diocese of ROC” you mention in your email ?

          • anonimus per Scorilo: “can now use French law to prevent the transfer of the Rue Daru cathedral to Moscow”
            Maybe, if French say that a majority less that 67% is not enough.
            And what will Phanar  do with an empty building? Change it into a fancy hotel or casino?

            • anonimus per Scorilo says

              who said the building would go to the Phanar ?

              and who said it will remain empty ?

              unless of course you believe the soviet-syle propaganda from
              about the joyous atmosphere and the wholehearted approval of the workers and peasants – oops, I meant faithful, following the pro-Moscow move by Abp. John.

              • anonimus per Scorilo: “and who said it will remain empty ?”
                Who would go there?

              • Where exactly do you get your information about the parish like of St. Alexander Nevsky cathedral from, anonimus? From Credo press? Because If so I would guess that yo have never actually set foot in St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. The parishioners are extremely devoted to their bishop there, and do not want to lose him (rightfully so), as Arch. Jean is a Godly, kind man who cares for his flock immensely. I would say that taking hearsay and conjecture at face value over the info published on the official website of the cathedral itself is a bit foolish. 

            • I’ve read that the Fener wants to give St Alexander Nevsky on the rue Daru to the OCU, the Ukrainian schismatics. Hopefully the faithful there would fight this to no end, but also hopefully this won’t happen.
              Per French law, the cathedral belongs to the parishioners, not to C’ple.  I know that in years past the former Russian exarchate in Western Europe was full of anti-monastic and anti-bishop protestantized-“Orthodox”, but hopefully now their influence is much less dominant and the beautiful cathedral in Paris will stay under the omophor of Abp Jean and the Moscow patriarchate, where it (and he) belong. 
              C’ple can have their Greek-speaking St Stephen cathedral in Paris with Met. Emmanuel and his “entourage,” where, unlike rue Daru, they’ve never bothered to do any outreach to the French speaking community in Paris (big shocker there). 

              • anonimus per Scorilo says

                wow, such a deep knowledge of French law !!!

                Maybe you should read some history as to how the Romanian communist state, which was recognized by French law as the OWNER of the Romanian church in Paris, could not kick out from this church the anticommunist “association cultuelle” despite trying multiple strategies (including sending lots new “parishioners” with Bucharest sympathies) for more than 50 years. 

                • George Michalopulos says

                  ApS, the problem is not the minutiae of the secular law, but the lawlessness of the Phanar.

                  • anonimus per Scorilo says

                    Sorry but in this situation the pro-Moscow guys are the lawless ones. 
                    Abp. John did not get the vote he needed to move under Moscow. Period. And as a result decided to force the move anyway. What was the purpose of the vote then ? He is behaving the same way as the British political class after the brexit referendum: “democracy is good only if I agree with the results”
                    Also he swore allegiance to Black Bart when he was ordained bishop. He broke his oath. For the same penalty Moscow defrocked and threw an anathema on Filaret. It is hard to argue that Abp. John’s action is less lawless than Filaret’s…
                    One then has to be consistent: either we condemn and defrock and anathematize both for breaking their oath, or we celebrate both as heroes who liberated their flock from the tyranny of the oppressor.

                    • Monk James Silver says

                      , It made some sense to me that the Russian-tradition Western European Exarchate (not being inside of Russia) would regroup within the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (the ROCOR), rather than come into the Patriarchate of Moscow directly.

                      Did I miss something? Or is Moscow pretty much pulling the plug on the ROCOR?

                    • By that same logic St. Maximos the confessor moving to Rome & ceasing to commemorate the Patriarch of Constantinople would be worthy of anathema. Philaret did not transfer Jurisdiction from one canonical church to another, he schismed from the canonical UOC, and created his own uncanonical self-consecrated religious structure. The two situations bare no similarities. Even from the POV of the EP, what Archbishop Jean did is technically permissible, as he was given a “canonical release” by the EP’s synod, the text of which specifically mentioned Archbishop Jean’s ability to move to another Jurisdiction. This doesn’t make what the EP did right, the point is that Archbishop Jean did what was best for his flock. Just like when St. Maximos was alive, the EP has become rotten, and restoring himself a d his flock to eucharistic unity with the fullness of the Orthodox faith was the absolute best decision Archbishop Jean could have made, and none too soon.

                    • anonimus per Scorilo says

                      They tried the ROCOR, but they were too rough-and-tough for them. According to the documents on the website, the ROCOR wanted the old calendar in most places, etc.

                      They also tried the OCA and the Romanian patriarchate, but they were too chicken and too afraid to incur the wrath of Bart and the wrath of K combined.

                      When a similar situation happened many many summers ago between the Romanian church in Paris and the Romanian Patriarchate, Abp. Nathaniel at least had the courage to grant canonical cover across the ocean to the Romanian church in Paris, until the tensions were solved and they WILLINGLY joined the Romanian Patriarchate.

                      Nobody has such guts in the OCA or the Romanian Patriarchate leadership nowadays 🙁

                    • Absurd comparison! Abp. Jean’s leadership is illegally impugned by Fener and it’s his duty to LEAD his diocese out of difficulty, not abandon it. I’m not an expert on the bylaws of the rue Daru but he did get a majority ‘yes Moscow’ vote; after which the bylaws state (from what Abp. Jean wrote to the diocese) another vote garnering 4/5 majority is needed, failing which the RULING HIERARCH MUST ACT. This is exactly what he did and the dissenters are free to reaffiliate if they don’t trust his judgment.  

                    • “Also he swore allegiance to Black Bart when he was ordained bishop. He broke his oath. For the same penalty Moscow defrocked and threw an anathema on Filaret. It is hard to argue that Abp. John’s action is less lawless than Filaret’s…”

                      Huh?  You write as if Orthodox bishops operate under a Roman Catholic ecclesiology.  Every Orthodox bishop is equal, and their allegiance is to Christ and to His Church and the fullness of the Orthodox faith, not to whoever ordained them, as far as I am aware (someone please correct me if I am wrong).  

                      C’ple’s novel adoption of Roman Catholic ecclesiology notwithstanding, blind obedience is not how Orthodox bishops operate. (Newsflash to Abp Elpidophoros: it’s “first among equals,” not “first without equals.”)

                      Every bishop is responsible for the souls within his diocese and will have to give an account to God for such.  Abp Jean needs to do what is best for his flock to maintain their spiritual health and Orthodox Christian faith.  He does *not* need to blindly obey C’ple.

                      Many clergy have left the C’ple jurisdiction over the past year due to what they believe is C’ple no longer professing the Orthodox faith, even though they have not received “releases” from C’ple to do leave that jurisdiction.  Their allegiance is to Christ and to His Church and to the integrity of the Orthodox faith, not to one bishop who happened to ordain them.

                      This is why Anglican orders are not considered valid by Orthodox ecclesiology: yes, some Anglican clerics may be able to trace back apostolic succession, however the other cornerstone of valid apostolic succession is maintaining the integrity and fullness of the Christian faith, which Anglicanism abandoned a long time ago.  Thus Anglican orders are invalid even if an Anglican/Episcopalian cleric can trace apostolic succession back to when Britain was Orthodox, because Anglicanism/Episcopalianism no longer professes or holds to the Christian Orthodox faith.

                      Every C’ple/GOA bishop will some day need to give an account to God on how they cared for the souls given to them for their protection in their diocese.  (Though, sadly it often seems as if these bishops believe they will need to give an account to God to how much they upheld the “glory of Hellenism and supported the ‘Queen of Cities’.”)

                      Abp Jean’s situation is not even comparable to “Patriarch Filaret,” who threw a hissy fit when he was not elected Russian Church patriarch in 1990 to succeed Patriarch Pimen.  “Filaret” could not fully grasp that the old Soviet system had collapsed and that the state would not meddle with the Patriarchal succession in 1990 as it had done in the past; his KGB friends could no longer help him with his ambitions.  Remember that “Filaret,” prior to 1990, publicly said that Ukrainian was an inferior language to Russian and publicly belittled the Ukrainian people when he felt that this kind of behavior would help his image and his ambition among Russians.

                      After not becoming Russian Church patriarch, he suffered a severe narcissistic injury and should have gotten psychological help.  Instead, he created his own “church” so that he could be Patriarch of something.  Doing this may have helped soothe his ego, but it drastically harmed his soul.  The suffering Ukrainians and the Orthodox Church as a whole, to this day, continue to suffer from the aftereffects of “Filaret’s” emotional maladaptations.  

                      Abp Jean’s leadership of his flock is not even comparable to “Filaret” and the collateral damage that “Filaret” has caused and continues to cause.

                      And the Russian Exarchate situation is not even remotely comparable to Brexit.  In Brexit, the majority of the UK population voted to “Leave”; the British elite don’t like this result and are desperately trying to not allow it to happen, though I hope that it does.  I pray that the UK is out of the EU by Oct. 31, as most Britains voted to get out three years ago.

                      In the Russian Exarchate, most (though not 67%) voted to join the MP.  It was certainly more than 50%.  Abp Jean exercised his episcopal duties and leadership in taking the Exarchate to the MP, which was also consistent with the will of the majority.  In Brexit, the UK political elite is trying desperately to *not* do the will of the majority.

                      Any member of the Exarchate who does not want to go the MP is free to leave, just as any Orthodox Christian can exercise his free will and choose to (unwisely) leave the Church, or to join “Filaret’s” jurisdiction.  God gives man free will, which often times man exercises in a stupid manner.  History demonstrates this phenomenon repeatedly.

                    • Monk James Silver says

                      anonimus per Scorilo (September 19, 2019 at 2:30 am)says:

                      They tried the ROCOR, but they were too rough-and-tough for them. According to the documents on the website, the ROCOR wanted the old calendar in most places, etc.
                      They also tried the OCA and the Romanian patriarchate, but they were too chicken and too afraid to incur the wrath of Bart and the wrath of K combined.

                      I wasn’t wondering so much about the Western European exarchate’s history or feelings on the matter, but rather about Moscow’s apparent inconsistency in observing the difference between being inside and outside of Russia.  Moscow’s behavior in this matter asserts an ecclesiology which gives them responsibility outside of Russia, over areas previously determined to be the purview of the ROCOR.

                      When a similar situation happened many many summers ago between the Romanian church in Paris and the Romanian Patriarchate, Abp. Nathaniel at least had the courage to grant canonical cover across the ocean to the Romanian church in Paris, until the tensions were solved and they WILLINGLY joined the Romanian Patriarchate.

                      I was unaware of this apparently temporary arrangement, but it strikes me as odd and without clear canonical parameters.  At the same time, I recall that the rather experimental ‘Gallican Church’ (an attempt to revive western-rite Orthodoxy in France) was given canonical legitimacy by the Church of Romania, which eventually felt compelled to withdraw its support.  I don’t know what has finally happened to ‘L’Eglise Catholique-Orthodoxe de France’ (ECOF).

                      Nobody has such guts in the OCA or the Romanian Patriarchate leadership nowadays ?

                      Abp Nathaniel’s unusual move notwithstanding, the Orthodox Church in America has not ever established exclaves of canonical responsibility outside of North America.  The OCA’s metokhion (‘representation church’) in Moscow is not the same sort of thing. 
                      I rather doubt that the OCA could come up with a canonical way of justifying any involvement with the Western European exarchate, and Romania’s assistance in the matter is just as unlikely.  For both churches, it seems to me to be an issue of canonical propriety rather than of  ‘guts’.

  17. I have a question.  Can anyone explain to me the difference, in the Russian Church, between Помазывание Елеем (which involves anointing only the forehead) and Соборование Таинство (which involves anointing the forehead, hands, etc.)?  Are they both sacraments?

  18. Matthew Panchisin says

    Dear Blimbax,
    Yes, they are both mysterion.
    “The holy mysteries or sacraments in the Orthodox Church are vessels of the mystical participation in divine grace of mankind. In a general sense, the Orthodox Church considers everything which is in and of the Church as sacramental or mystical.” (orthodoxwiki.org)
    Within the Orthodox Church there are always blessed connections, we can participate in the All-Night Vigil and then the Divine Liturgy, theology in action. “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over”.
    The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul; He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.
    Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.