Abused parishioner of the canonical Church. Courtesy of spzh.news.

For those not up on their Russian, dyadka means “uncle”. It’s not necessarily a term of affection. Sometimes, a stranger is called this term, simply as a sign of respect for somebody older. Think of it this way: in America, we say “Sir” or “Ma’am” to someone we don’t know, not “Hey you”.

Such confusion of terms can work in reverse as well. There are men who are not our real fathers whom we call “father”. Priests for example. Whether he’s your parish priest or some clergyman from another parish, the decent thing to do is to call him “Father.” Even if one does not belong to that particular denomination, protocol demands that we call those clergymen by that honorific.

But if we have a real father –or father-figure–and call him “uncle”, that’s not a good thing. That would be rather standoffish, don’t you think?

And so it is with Patriarch Bartholomew. Many people in Ukraine do not view the Patriarch of Constantinople as a father-figure. And so some have taken to calling him dyadka. Like Matushka Juliana Taborovets, the wife of a priest whose church was seized by Ukrainian schismatics. https://orthochristian.com/137788.html

It appears that things have gotten so bad for some of the canonical churches that several of the priests and laity participated in a congress at the Kiev Caves Lavra last February to discuss the alarming situation.

Matushka Juliana cut right to the heart of the matter: According to her, Patriarch Bartholomew “will soon go to God and look [Him] in the eye. What will you say then, ‘dyadka,’ . . .  Matushka asks?”

“I say “dyadka,’ because I don’t consider him a patriarch, because he violated the canons. He himself became a schismatic once he recognized the schismatics . . .”

“[Matushka] explained that [her husband’s] church was seized as were so many others –first by a vote of the people who had no connection to the church, including Baptists, Pentecostals, and people from other villages.

After that there were four attempts in a month to physically seize the church, but the people prayed incessantly, and the priests served numerous akathists.”

Unfortunately, the issue was not settled peacefully. According to Matushka Juliana, her “husband, Archpriest Sergei, and others were repeatedly beaten and spat upon. . .”

“In the end, they seized the church, the parish house, and the cemetery chapel, leaving the Orthodox faithful to pray in a shack.”

The violence meted out to Archpriest Sergei and Matushka Juliana was not a one-off. As noted above, an actual congress was assembled at the Kiev Caves Lavra on February 22nd. Some 338 clergy and faithful attended from fourteen Ukrainian provinces. According to Fr Alexander Backhov, part of the canonical church’s legal department, there have been “about 500 cases of violent seizure or illegal re-registration of parishes.”

The canonical church is not taking this lying down. According to Backhov, ” about 400 lawsuits have been filed thus far, and about 250 criminal proceedings ahve been opened.”

This does not appear to be over. When all is said and done, I wonder how Patriarch Bartholomew will be able to reconcile this violence and mayhem with Christ’s Great Commission?


  1. ‘Patriarch’ Bartholomew will surely get his just reward someday. May the Lord have mercy on his. . . soul.

    • “Grant me to see my own sins and not judge my brother or sister.” In addition to the prayer of St. Ephraim, we need to keep the message of the Publican and Pharisee in mind and heart.

      • Oh please, come on. Judging my brother does not mean that I cannot use my brain to discern that he or his leadership is something that I should not follow.

        A man or woman robs a bank. I certainly don’t judge them to eternity and do hope they get help — however no way in hell do I ever let them house sit for me while I’m away. This is called discernment.

        The Prayer of St Ephraim calls us to not judge our brother. It does not call us to live in pretend, daydream la-la-land and behave irresponsibly.

        For serious Orthodox Christians, following Patriarch Bartholomew is an incredibly bad move and highly irresponsible. To discern that a serious Orthodox Christian must avoid Patriarch B at all costs is not “judging him.”

        How did this insane claptrap of equating healthy discernment with judging ever become so commonplace in our culture? It’s everywhere. I just don’t get it.

        • It’s the result of taking ‘inclusiveness’ as an absolute.
          For example: (a) racial discrimination is bad;
          (b) sexual discrimination is bad;
          therefore (c) discrimination is bad.

          When I worked for Scotrail, I once sat through an excruciating training video in which the Managing Director informed us that as Scotrail was a fully inclusive and non-discriminatory company, discrimination of any kind whatsoever will not be tolerated and will be liable to summary punishment up to and including dismissal.

          At the end of this nonsense, when our trainer asked if we had fully understood this, I said: “We are a transport company – and being such, we discriminate between people who pay their fares and people who do not pay their fares. So, must we stop this discrimination and let everyone travel free? Or must we continue to discriminate?”

        • And what is the conclusion of your “discerning” logic? That no seriously minded practicing Orthodox Christian would “follow” Patriarch Bartholomew. Not sure what “follow” means, but after all, we are only followers of Jesus Christ. There is a fine line between holy discernment and judgment, and we can easily fool ourselves to think we are exercising discernment when we have fallen into judgment. I certainly have and need to be on guard. The disparaging name-calling and language used on this site is not reflective of either “healthy” or holy (to which we Christians are called) discernment. I remember many years ago my spiritual father telling me something I will never forget when I was struggling with a person in my life whom I found difficult to relate to and who was treating me disrespectfully. He told me never to pray with judgment, never to ask God to change the person, as God knows what that person needs and I do not know her heart. He told me simply to pray, “Lord, grant …your peace and love.”

          • Gail Sheppard says

            Parable: The Emperor Has No Clothes
            By Mattimore Cronin
            Origin: Hans Christian Andersen (1837)


            Many years ago there was an Emperor so exceedingly fond of new clothes that he spent all his money on being well dressed. He cared nothing about reviewing his soldiers, going to the theatre, or going for a ride in his carriage, except to show off his new clothes. He had a coat for every hour of the day, and instead of saying, as one might, about any other ruler, “The King’s in council,” here they always said. “The Emperor’s in his dressing room.”

            In the great city where he lived, life was always gay. Every day many strangers came to town, and among them one day came two swindlers. They let it be known they were weavers, and they said they could weave the most magnificent fabrics imaginable. Not only were their colors and patterns uncommonly fine, but clothes made of this cloth had a wonderful way of becoming invisible to anyone who was unfit for his office, or who was unusually stupid.

            “Those would be just the clothes for me,” thought the Emperor. “If I wore them I would be able to discover which men in my empire are unfit for their posts. And I could tell the wise men from the fools. Yes, I certainly must get some of the stuff woven for me right away.” He paid the two swindlers a large sum of money to start work at once.

            They set up two looms and pretended to weave, though there was nothing on the looms. All the finest silk and the purest old thread which they demanded went into their traveling bags, while they worked the empty looms far into the night.

            “I’d like to know how those weavers are getting on with the cloth,” the Emperor thought, but he felt slightly uncomfortable when he remembered that those who were unfit for their position would not be able to see the fabric. It couldn’t have been that he doubted himself, yet he thought he’d rather send someone else to see how things were going. The whole town knew about the cloth’s peculiar power, and all were impatient to find out how stupid their neighbors were.

            “I’ll send my honest old minister to the weavers,” the Emperor decided. “He’ll be the best one to tell me how the material looks, for he’s a sensible man and no one does his duty better.”

            So the honest old minister went to the room where the two swindlers sat working away at their empty looms.

            “Heaven help me,” he thought as his eyes flew wide open, “I can’t see anything at all”. But he did not say so.

            Both the swindlers begged him to be so kind as to come near to approve the excellent pattern, the beautiful colors. They pointed to the empty looms, and the poor old minister stared as hard as he dared. He couldn’t see anything, because there was nothing to see. “Heaven have mercy,” he thought. “Can it be that I’m a fool? I’d have never guessed it, and not a soul must know. Am I unfit to be the minister? It would never do to let on that I can’t see the cloth.”

            “Don’t hesitate to tell us what you think of it,” said one of the weavers.

            “Oh, it’s beautiful -it’s enchanting.” The old minister peered through his spectacles. “Such a pattern, what colors!” I’ll be sure to tell the Emperor how delighted I am with it.”

            “We’re pleased to hear that,” the swindlers said. They proceeded to name all the colors and to explain the intricate pattern. The old minister paid the closest attention so that he could tell it all to the Emperor. And so he did.

            The swindlers at once asked for more money, more silk and gold thread, to get on with the weaving. But it all went into their pockets. Not a thread went into the looms, though they worked at their weaving as hard as ever.

            The Emperor presently sent another trustworthy official to see how the work progressed and how soon it would be ready. The same thing happened to him that had happened to the minister. He looked and he looked, but as there was nothing to see in the looms he couldn’t see anything.

            “Isn’t it a beautiful piece of goods?” the swindlers asked him, as they displayed and described their imaginary pattern.

            “I know I’m not stupid,” the man thought, “so it must be that I’m unworthy of my good office. That’s strange. I mustn’t let anyone find it out, though.” So he praised the material he did not see. He declared he was delighted with the beautiful colors and the exquisite pattern. To the Emperor, he said, “It held me spellbound.”

            All the town was talking of this splendid cloth, and the Emperor wanted to see it for himself while it was still in the looms. Attended by a band of chosen men, among whom were his two old trusted officials-the ones who had been to the weavers-he set out to see the two swindlers. He found them weaving with might and main, but without a thread in their looms.

            “Magnificent,” said the two officials already duped. “Just look, Your Majesty, what colors! What a design!” They pointed to the empty looms, each supposing that the others could see the stuff.

            “What’s this?” thought the Emperor. “I can’t see anything. This is terrible!

            Am I a fool? Am I unfit to be the Emperor? What a thing to happen to me of all people! — Oh! It’s very pretty,” he said. “It has my highest approval.” And he nodded approbation at the empty loom. Nothing could make him say that he couldn’t see anything.

            His whole retinue stared and stared. One saw no more than another, but they all joined the Emperor in exclaiming, “Oh! It’s very pretty,” and they advised him to wear clothes made of this wonderful cloth especially for the great procession he was soon to lead. “Magnificent! Excellent! Unsurpassed!” were bandied from mouth to mouth, and everyone did his best to seem well pleased. The Emperor gave each of the swindlers a cross to wear in his buttonhole, and the title of “Sir Weaver.”

            Before the procession the swindlers sat up all night and burned more than six candles, to show how busy they were finishing the Emperor’s new clothes. They pretended to take the cloth off the loom. They made cuts in the air with huge scissors. And at last, they said, “Now the Emperor’s new clothes are ready for him.”

            Then the Emperor himself came with his noblest noblemen, and the swindlers each raised an arm as if they were holding something. They said, “These are the trousers, here’s the coat, and this is the mantle,” naming each garment. “All of them are as light as a spider web. One would almost think he had nothing on, but that’s what makes them so fine.”

            “Exactly,” all the noblemen agreed, though they could see nothing, for there was nothing to see.

            “If Your Imperial Majesty will condescend to take your clothes off,” said the swindlers, “we will help you on with your new ones here in front of the long mirror.”

            The Emperor undressed, and the swindlers pretended to put his new clothes on him, one garment after another. They took him around the waist and seemed to be fastening something — that was his train-as the Emperor turned round and round before the looking glass.

            “How well Your Majesty’s new clothes look. Aren’t they becoming!” He heard on all sides, “That pattern, so perfect! Those colors, so suitable! It is a magnificent outfit.”

            Then the minister of public processions announced: “Your Majesty’s canopy is waiting outside.”

            “Well, I’m supposed to be ready,” the Emperor said and turned again for one last look in the mirror. “It is a remarkable fit, isn’t it?” He seemed to regard his costume with the greatest interest.

            The noblemen who were to carry his train stooped low and reached for the floor as if they were picking up his mantle. Then they pretended to lift and hold it high. They didn’t dare admit they had nothing to hold.

            So off went the Emperor in procession under his splendid canopy. Everyone in the streets and the windows said, “Oh, how fine are the Emperor’s new clothes! Don’t they fit him to perfection? And see his long train!” Nobody would confess that he couldn’t see anything, for that would prove him either unfit for his position, or a fool. No costume the Emperor had worn before was ever such a complete success.

            “But he hasn’t got anything on,” a little child said.

            “Did you ever hear such innocent prattle?” said its father. And one person whispered to another what the child had said, “He hasn’t anything on. A child says he hasn’t anything on.”

            “But he hasn’t got anything on!” the whole town cried out at last.

            The Emperor shivered, for he suspected they were right. But he thought, “This procession has got to go on.” So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn’t there at all.

            When a leader surrounds himself with “yes” men, it often leads to absurd and embarrassing results. It is far better to surround oneself with honest people who are unafraid to ask questions or to point out deficiencies as they see them.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Yup. One should never believe one’s own press clippings.

              I didn’t want to say this, especially since this is Lent, but somebody has to tell the Phanar that all these fancy titles and misunderstood canons, are not befitting the episcopal dignity.

            • There are appropriate and inappropriate ways of asking questions and pointing out what we see as deficiencies with humility and love.

              • Gail Sheppard says

                I apologize to FTS.

                I should never have let your previous comment go through. For the record, we don’t allow pejorative comments about other posters. To suggest someone is not a “serious-minded practicing Orthodox Christian” is as inappropriate, as it gets.

                To say pejorative things about our site. . . well, that’s just bad manners.

                • The bar to “pejorative” statements seems rather arbitrary, given what long-time posters that happen to align with the blog’s viewpoint tend to post and “get away with”. I’ve reread Papman’s posts and detect no malice, or such bent that could be offensive to any reasonable person. Makes one think about how many “questioning” comments never see the light, I hope the owners of the blog realize that the dissenting voices are almost most important than the chorus of supporters they seem to seek.

                  • Gail Sheppard says

                    I never said there was malice. I didn’t say anything about the person of papman. But then I had a good upbringing.

                    I’m not going to have my guests insulted in my house. These aren’t “arbitrary rules.” They’re my rules and they are non-negotiable. papman was clearly calling out another poster. That you didn’t have a problem with it is not the point.

                    There have been more than a few “long-time posters” whose names you don’t see anymore. There is a reason for that.

                    Oh, and I’m the owner of the blog. You can reach me through my husband’s George’s email address.

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      Gail, I have been a participant longer than anybody currently here. As I have said recently it is rowdy at times but that is a good thing. It is your house so I try to respect that as we all should. For my own sake, I try to be less confrontational than I used to be.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      I think you’ve been here longer than I’ve been here!

  2. I have a question for you and for this site’s readers. What are you all planning to do to commemorate the Triumph over Orthodoxy tomorrow? Who will tune into the special Sunday scheduled broadcast of the CDC’s latest news conference — being first well masked at home, of course, and making sure to Lysol the keyboard before signing on?

    The GOA’s domestic ministry department has generously offered some helpful ideas to assist the faithful in understanding and experiencing this new tradition in the Church. The piously compliant are encouraged to cover the faces of their icons at home with round spot bandages, to add a hagiographic representation of Anthony Fauci (PBUH) to the home’s prayer corner, and, of course, to “bend the knee” as a family unit when Richard-Rachel Levine begins his-her oration on Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity for the event’s anaphora. I’ve even heard that Archdeacon Georgios Georgioupolis will proudly announce that Nike has agreed to contribute a significant capital donation to the St. Nicholas Shrine project — and moreover that the company has graciously offered to supply massive LED screens for the shrine’s interior walls so that the project won’t have to spend money on iconography. The screens will broadcast positive messaging about matters of social, racial, and environmental justice (interspersed with brief communications from the project’s sponsors). I can’t wait! I wish you all a thoughtful Triumph over Orthodoxy Day!

    • Jane Tzilvelis says

      Well stated. I will not be attending the devil’s event.
      The Lord is my Shepard.

    • This post is just mean, not at all in line with the Gospels and the Christ I worship. If this site purports to espouse true Orthodoxy, which begins with the love of God in Jesus Christ, and this type of comment is not challenged, all I can say is, “Lord have mercy.”

      • I beg to differ. It is not ‘just mean.’
        It is satire; satire which is intended to stimulate thought
        on just where it is that the Church is headed today.

    • Michael Bauman says

      Praise God, today was wonderful. I was surrounded in the pews by my fellow parishioners. One young woman right behind me whom I did not know sang beautifully. 60 -70 children processed with icons. At the end of the service our priest invited everyone to come forward and venerate the ancient icons used on just this Sunday. Most did.

      Then my lovely wife went to spend the rest of the afternoon with her daughter having a mother-daughter day.

      Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn what the [GOA is] doing.

  3. Jane Tzilvelis says

    Ukraine on fire!
    Entire world on fire!
    PRAY ☦️


  4. Broaden the context. The history of Christianity is overwhelmed by violence and murderous acts and events, wars and assassinations, from the beginning, from within and without, even by those held up as Saints equal to the Apostles (Constantine) and in all jurisdictions East and West.

    This example seems inconsequential in the totality of things–whatever it’s merits. All changes and struggles, wrong or right, bring violence (Christ could have offered salvation without being murdered but he chose to be violently slaughtered like the Lamb).

    American Christians are now on the cusp of this phenomenon and are next in line.

    • George Michalopulos says

      That’s a good insight American but the violent incidents of the past do not justify how we are to act today. They don’t even justify the acts of the past as they happened for that matter.

      Your point however should be addressed to those who are aiding and abetting these violent acts in the Ukraine and who opened up this can of worms.

      If however this type of mayhem is normative, then why should we American Orthodox not engage in it in trying to establish our own autocephalous Church? Should mobs of OCA congregants start confiscating GOA, Serbian, ROCOR, etc properties? It would seem so given the insouciant appraisal of the matter you paint.

      • I’m okay with a few broken windows, human ropes of resistance civil disobedience, and left hooks in the pursuit of jurisdictional religious independence in the US. The Ukraine religious battles precede the founding of America, I have little interest. Over here, we face extinction and , without independence ,we can kiss it goodbye. Direct action is required, not more petitions and meetings or blogs.

        • George Michalopulos says

          American, while I want a genuine, united, and territorial autocephaly here in the States (not the ukrocephaly which Bartholomew has “given” to the Ukraine), I don’t see a need for violence.

          In fact, I categorically reject it.

          Why? Because it’s not genuine or organic. And thus it won’t work. Anymore than it will work in the Ukraine.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          Ukraine’s religious battles will become up close and personal if they drag us into a war with Russia.

          For Orthodox, there is the bigger problem of one bishop going into another bishop’s territory, not to mention installing yet another Metropolitan of Kiev and all Ukraine by issuing a tomos to an unrepentant schismatic group.

          • George Michalopulos says

            That will be a big problem, won’t it? This is all to Satan’s merriment.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              I assume you’re asking a rhetorical question, my love. It already is a “big problem,” both geopolitically and to the Orthodox world. You and I have been saying this since 2016 and we’re just a couple of bloggers.

              I think the world at large knows what a big problem it is. The question is, what are we going to do about it. Russia has shown considerable restraint; however, we can’t count on them to be patient forever.

              Joe Biden could be the one who sets the match. Fortunately, Ukraine has some control over his son and his son has some control over what comes out of his father’s mouth.

              Such poses as a workable détente these days. (Did I just say a schism and the potential for world war over Ukraine depends on Hunter Biden? I believe I did.)

              • George Michalopulos says

                Good Lord in Heaven! If this is down to Hunter, then we need to build a bomb shelter.

    • “Christ could have offered salvation without being murdered”

      Salvation isn’t the same as redemption. If you have any Orthodox sources that say Christ could’ve redeemed humanity without His death on the cross, that are older than 20th century, please share.

      • try Leviticus 17:11 For the life of all flesh is in its blood, and I give it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for its blood makes atonement for the soul.

        Jesus shed his blood so that we no longer have to slay an animal to atone for our sins.
        Apparently God considers sin costly.

        • “try Leviticus 17:11 For the life of all flesh is in its blood, and I give it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for its blood makes atonement for the soul.”

          Animal atonement didn’t wash away, it only covered, which is why everyone from Adam, Abraham, Moses, Daniel, etc, where all in a comfortable part of Hades, until Christ’s death and Resurrection. They were “saved,” but they weren’t redeemed. It isn’t any type of proof text for a certain type of “pop” Orthodoxy, such as:

          “Christ could have offered salvation without being murdered”

          Which introduce way more problems that the one (a need for the cross) that they think they’re solving.

    • “Christ could have offered salvation without being murdered….”

      I have no theological degree, only my prayers, listening, and reading as I’ve tried to be actively Orthodox for the past 30 years or so. Anyway, I most certainly do not think that this statement is accurate when it comes to Orthodox theology/spirituality/teaching.

      Christ could not have conquered death without dying Himself. Recall that He descended into Hades (witness the Holy Saturday services) and destroyed death. He beat the devil at his own game. This is the critical reason that for all faithful Orthodox Christians, death no longer exists. The Paschal troparion: “Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death….”

      Remember, Orthodox Christianity is very different from western Christian confessions. Too often we get lumped in with them, particularly in North America, but what the protestants teach about Christ’s passion is quite different from what we teach and profess and how we worship.

      To be blunt, they are flat out wrong. Calvinists and many modern protestants deny that Christ even went to Hades. They do not believe that He did anything at all during the time of the Crucifixion, being in the tomb, and then the Resurrection on the Third Day. They are Flat Out Wrong, and they need to be told so.

      Sadly, many western confessions have used Christ’s Crucifixion as a reason to persecute Jews… as in “they killed my Savior.” Sorry, but this makes no sense from an Orthodox perspective. Our faith is founded on Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection – and of course, God allowed Himself to go to the slaughter. He easily could have stopped it or have called thousands of angels to pummel those who were crucifying Him. But He loves us – His people – so much that He gave us His Son to destroy death and, being the new Adam, thereby allowing us to be reunited with Him through His Son. If anything, God used the Jews who crucified the God-man His Son to execute His (God’s) own will.

      So no, I don’t think Christ could have offered Salvation – in the Orthodox sense of the word, i.e., of being reunited with God, of being able to live in Communion with God (how wondrous is that!) – without dying on the Cross and destroying death.

      But yes, I suppose if we view salvation in the silly, superficial protestant sense (as modern, vapid American culture views it) as a “bus ticket to Heaven,” then yes, God could have just e-mailed us all bus tickets to a locality called “Heaven.” But that’s not salvation.

      Anyhoo, this is my 2 cents, FWIW. Happy restoration of the holy images day! Another thing that the protestants (and Muslims) need to learn from our faith experience – the holiness of divine images. Blessed Great Lent to all.

      • http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/christcross.aspx

        This lecture linked above is quite good on the subject and I recommend it to all.

        * * *

        St. Gregory Palamas sheds more light on this question. He says that God could have found other ways of saving man from sin, mortality and servitude to the devil. But He saved man in the way He did—by coming to earth, dying and resurrecting—because this was according to justice and righteousness. [20] As the Psalmist says: God is righteous and loveth righteousness … and there is no unrighteousness in Him (Ps. 11:7, 92:15). Death was the just penalty for sin, and Christ paid that penalty. But because He was sinless, His death was unjust. Therefore, He justly destroyed death. This was God’s economy, completely in accordance with His righteousness.

        * * *

        At His death, Christ broke down the barrier of sin. But there was one barrier left: death itself. This Christ broke down at His Resurrection. As in Adam all die, writes St. Paul, so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man according to his order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming (I Cor. 15:22-23). Through Christ’s Resurrection, all mankind has been made subject to future resurrection: physical, bodily resurrection. Those who receive Christ’s gift of salvation are resurrected unto eternal life, as He says; while those who reject it are resurrected unto damnation (cf. John 5:29). Once again, this is because human nature is one. St. Paul affirms: For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead (I Cor. 15:21).

        * * *

        Now, there is language in Scripture which could be construed into PSA; however, what is absent is God the Father as Executioner. Christ’s offering of Himself was voluntary as a sacrifice to reconcile God and man:

        * * *

        The devil thought He could destroy Christ by inciting people to put Him to death. But Christ’s death proved to be the devil’s undoing because, unlike every other person who had ever lived, Christ did not deserve death. St. John Chrysostom offers us a vivid image to highlight this teaching: “It is as if, at a session of a court of justice, the devil should be addressed as follows: ‘Granted that you destroyed all men because you found them guilty of sin; but why did you destroy Christ? Is it not very evident that you did so unjustly? Well then, through Him the whole world will be vindicated.” [21]

        * * *

        The real problem with Western Christianity is that it totally misses The Point, one should not separate the Crucifixion and Resurrection.

        * * *

        St. Symeon the New Theologian writes: “God, Who is incomparably higher than the visible and invisible creation, accepted human nature, which is higher than the whole visible creation, and offered it as a sacrifice to His God and Father…. Honoring the sacrifice, the Father could not leave it in the hands of death. Therefore, He annihilated His sentence. [18]

        Why did the Son have to offer Himself in sacrifice to the Father? Why did God sacrifice Himself to God? Here we get at the crux of the mystery of Redemption. St. Gregory the Theologian urges us not to try to conform this mystery to human logic, not apply to it human conceptions that are unworthy of God. He says: “The Father accepts the sacrifice not because He demanded it or felt any need of it, but on account of economy,” [19] that is, to fulfill the Divine plan of our salvation in accordance with the Divine ordering of creation.

        * * *

        The Point is deification. “Salvation” is deification. “The Kingdom of Heaven” is deification. “The Pearl of Great Price” is deification.

        “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” – Matthew 6:33

        God moves everything in His direction by whatever means He finds convenient.

  5. On this Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodox not just over the iconoclasts but of all heresies, let us remember to pray fervently for Patriarch Bartholomew and all others who attack the Orthodox faith, pray for there conversion and repentance. We should never want a soul to be lost.

    • Has anyone here ever read Matthew 23?

      • Are you referring to Verse 12?
        “And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased;
        and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.”

        I have no doubt Metropolitan Onuphry has read it.
        But has the First Without Equals ?

        Even to ask the question points to the answer.

  6. Baptist and Pentecostals assalting Orthodox churches in Ukraine? How is that?

  7. Elderly woman brutally beaten outside church in Australia,
    man with icon attacked in Greece, elderly man attacked in Ukraine


    While Bartholomew may not be to blame for all the above,
    he bears some responsibility for at least one of them
    Whatever, all the victims need our prayers.

  8. Austin Martin says

    Don’t worry. Any day now the metropolitan bishops of the EP will stand up to Bartholomew and force him to respect his boundaries and do everything synodally. They will denounce the violence and the intercommunion, and they will appeal to their own autonomy as metropolitan bishops when asked by what authority they criticize the patriarch. Then just as Reagan and Pope Saint John Paul II tore down the Berlin wall, they too will tear down the St Nicholas Shrine. Methodius and Evangelius will return like Aragorn upon a white steed at the dayspring.

    • Any day now the metropolitan bishops of the EP will stand up to Bartholomew and force him to respect his boundaries and do everything synodally.

      Hmmm… We’ve had a new, young EP-diasfora metropolitan for a year or two now that I’ve been getting to know. He did his stint immediately in the fanar’s standing synod (whatever that is and whatever it’s called). I wish your prediction were prescient but I can say that instead I’ve have been getting the most extraordinary feeling from him: that I am back in my own past, fifteen-twenty years ago, back in the Roman Catholic (Franco-Latin, whatever-you-want-to-call-it) Church, before I had transitioned to and joined the Orthodox Church. It’s a really bizarre, surprising feeling to have. I seriously feel like I may need to transition away from whatever he is offering, and find the Orthodox Church again, wherever it might be? And by the way, I like your taste in motor vehicles.

      • Are you in these here United States or elsewhere?

        Surely there’s other jurisdictions around which run a tighter ship.

        • Thanks for seeing the problem and making a suggestion. I’m outside of the US of A. It may be that seeking a tighter ship is an answer, but for now there remains another option: staying put. Our EP metropolitans come and go in pursuit of their clerical careers. Our location is well known as a first stepping-stone for ambitious, wannabe Church administrators. But I have some kryptonite: I don’t mind being censured! An errant bishop can censure, suspend, but he cannot block my Christian life: a Christian remains a Christian even if an errant bishop eeroneously suspends worship, censures or blocks anyone. So you see, I don’t try to please myself immediately in the matter, nor do I unnecessarily confront someone who is in an erroneous position, but rather I wait, wait, wait… but I will not agree to any sin. First place is given to my Lord, second place is given to my conscience, and third place only is given to my bishop. BTW, apart from his observable pro-Eastern Papist position and tactics, there are his pastoral homilies – these latter are further things that bring back the RC sentiments to me. No repentance, no tradition, merely a bland psycho-social, feel-good, wishy-washiness. It’s really bizarre to be experiencing it again.

  9. Michael Bauman says

    Gail, you are correct. I have been a part since George launched it and seen the formation and changes in its personality. The new energy and approach you bring was a bit of a shock at first. Took some getting used to but I adapted. A good thing.
    The many different voices, sometimes discordant, I find unique. That has challenged me to go more deeply within myself. Personally, people can call me anything they want. Likely to be at least some degree of truth in what they say. I do appreciate the difficulty of moderating such a bunch. I thank you for your work and the heart you have in doing what you do. Tell George to give you a big hug and kiss. You deserve it.