Ever Defiant, the Serbs Respond

The Orthodox Patriarchate of Belgrade and all-Serbia just issued a statement regarding the actions of the Church of Greece:

“The schism was not started by the Russian Orthodox Church, but only by the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and for it’s eventual deepening and prolonging, responsibility will be carried by the Orthodox Church of Greece, which, after some resistance, has given in and has acted according to the instructions of Phanar, Washington and God knows who else.

“It is still not too late: Archbishop Jeronime [sic] of Athens still has maneuvering space to stop and not to add to even greater and more severe schism in the Orthodox Church. Never, and not even now, [it] is not redundant to remind ourselves and others about the words of the holy fathers who teah that the sin of schism cannot be washed away even by the blood of martyr[dom].

“If Archbishop Jeronime does not wake up at this last hour, he will bear responsibility before God, Church and history together with the Patriarch Bartholomew, who, unfortunately, forgets that he is firstly the bishop of Constantinople, today Istanbul, and that the title ‘Ecumenical Patriarch’ actually refers to being the first bishop of the Byzantine ‘Ecumene’ [i.e. Universe], which was part of the official ideology of the Roman or Eastern-Roman Empire, this does not mean that he is the bishop of the whole Ecumene (Universe), meaning planet Earth, as they are trying to present it in this new, modernistic –we will be frank–heterodox church-political ideology of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Phanar, or however People wish to call it.

“The position of the Serbian Orthodox Church has been formulated by the Council of Bishops, it remains unchanged: unrepented Ukrainian schismatics –we do no recognize as members of the Church, even less as the canonical autocephalous Orthodox church.”

–His Eminence Bishop Irenaeus of Novi Sad and all Backa, spokesman for the Orthodox Patriarchate of Belgrade.


  1. Wow..well said words from the good Serbian Patriarch. If we could get the other patriarchates to use similar wording that would send a very clear message 
    What he fails to address in his letter is that these men do not fear God, for if they did then they would not do such things 

    • AH how this shows up the others as moral.cowards,  self seeking and weak.  What clear  simple words.  Whst difference it would have made from day one if all the Patriarchates had spoken like this. 

      • Message from OrthoChristian.com on their facebook page states that : “Facebook has placed a limit on our page until next Friday, for reasons unknown to us. Our posts will not be sent to its news feeds”
         Russian version of site ( pravoslavie .ru)  states they suspect this is due to site’s  position on Ukrainian Church.
        FYI: youtube recently blocked  well  known  Fr. Georgiy Maximov channel after Ukrainian sect leader ( not related directly to OCU though who knows) filed complaints against  him .

        • That’s terrible, Fr. Georgiy Maximov is an amazing speaker and posts great videos. Hopefully he gets his channel back or moves to a more accommodating platform.

          • Sadly all his posts are in Russian only.  I speak English, Spanish, Greek and German; but not Russian. 

  2. Bravo!

  3. Monk James Silver says

    Source, please?

  4. George…where did you find this?

  5. Thank you Lord for the Serbian Church who tells it like it is! “The position of the Serbian Orthodox Church has been formulated by the Council of Bishops, it remains unchanged: unrepented Ukrainian schismatics –we do no recognize as members of the Church, even less as the canonical autocephalous Orthodox church.”
    Yes!  This!
    OCA, where is your statement like this?  Stop playing footsie with the schismatic GOA/C’ple! The GOA/C’ple cares not about you, nor your faith, nor all the work that you’ve done for centuries bringing Christ and His Church to North America!  OCA, make haste to issue a statement à la what the Serbian Church has done!  Through the prayers of St Herman of Alaska, just do it!!
    Just like the West will never break the Russian Church, the West will never break the Serbian Church.  The Greek Church hierarchy, aaah, so sad, they were another story.  May God forgive the Greek church leadership for their schism, but as the Church Fathers wrote, even the blood of martyrs cannot cleanse the stain of schism.  Frightening, but that shows how serious this stuff is.
    What terrible times for our persecuted faith!  Makes me so ashamed of the actions of my country’s leadership, since we all know that the American State Dept is driving all of this. I can only say, “God forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

    • Ann 2 like u as a greek  and believer ντρέπομαι,  but our Church and country is in captivity but even in captivity, there can be dignity and truth .. Sadam if u recall, as about to be hanged,  give him credit, kept his dignity .   Ieronimos ANAXIOS.  And rest. 

  6. Boom! Go Serbia!!

    I assume Patriarch Kirill celebrated the Divine Liturgy yesterday.  Do we know whether or not he commemorated Ieronymos?  What about the faithful bishops of Greece, like Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus?

    I really do appreciate this clarity – how refreshing and comforting! – and so ask my brothers several honest questions: 
    Has anyone confirmed whether Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos speaks in free accord or under duress? I mean, it wasn’t long ago we received reports of him literally dragging furniture and boarding himself against the council robbers. 
    Has Fr. Theodore Zisis released any statements regarding this mess?
    What are the likely consequences of the Church of Greece’s actions, and those of the EP, on Elder Ephraim’s monasteries? 
    Anyone else see parallels between the Amazonian Synod and the Cretan ‘Council?’

    • Estonian Slovak says

      I see a parallel between His Eminence’s change and/or silence and Tony Soprano’s “getting” to a juror, when his uncle was on trial for racketeering charges. Granted, the second example is fiction. Some recent pictures of Metropolitan Hierotheos suggest that something isn’t right .Could someone have “gotten” to him?
           I cannot know what may have occurred. However, I find it difficult to think that a man of his intelligence could have been unaware of what he was likely to meet at the council. Could he not declare refugee status in Russia, perhaps?

      • I can see it now…Met Hierotheos flees to Russia, Putin calls a council, and St. Joseph the Hesychast appears to the EP…stranger things HAVE happened. God knows! The reason WE don’t know is, we can be sure, it isn’t profitable for our salvation. 

        • In addition to tossing the monastics a bone, I think Bartholomew moved forward with canonization of St. Joseph et al. in part so the Rus would not do it before him, since they were already moving to glorify him and he doesn’t want to be upstaged… https://orthochristian.com/119497.html 
          And from the words of one of those newly-canonized:
          I went to my cell and prayed, asking Christ to inform me what Ecumenism is. I received His reply, which was that Ecumenism has a spirit of wickedness and is dominated by unclean spirits.”

  8. Clear, unambiguous statements like this are what we need from every Orthodox Hierarch. 

  9. Here’s one source:
    Also, it seems actions of Abp Ieronymos of Athens are less categorical than press reports indicate.  Abp Ieronymos himself did not commemorate Dumenko, nor evidently has Dumenko been added to the CoG’s diptychs: 

  10. Meanwhile, the GOA “honors” Dumenko at a lavish dinner with Greek-Am moneybags:

    • I think I just threw up a little bit in my mouth reading the speech of Elpi, the bearer of schism.  Did he really say that the Patriarch of Constantinople maternally gave birth to the entire Ukrainian nation?  
      I don’t know what these nutballs are smoking but maybe they should pass some around so the rest of us can also be out of our minds when we have to listed to this crap.

    • Solitary Priest says

      Is there a video of Dumenko’s acceptance speech?  I understand he is fluent in Greek. Or he may well have spoken in our imperial tongue. 

      • I don’t know but most of the “Archons” probably would not have understood it if the speech were in any language other than English.

  11. Bravo to the Serbs. But they too are not out of the water. The Serbian Church have been under strong pressure from the Euro-Atlanticists. All their media is western foreign owned. The media, their government, and the euro-atlanticists constantly shame them for being on the losing side of Kosovo, they have indoctrinated the Montenegrin serbs to consider themselves a different nationality and thus the balkanization of the church can continue. 

  12. God bless our brother Serbs!  Axios Axios Axios Patriarch Irinei!
    I had the privilege of meeting and kissing the right hands of his predecessors Patriarch Germanos and Patriarch Pavle, both of blessed memory.  I pray God gives me the privilege to meet Patriarch Irinei so that I may bow low before him and thank his for defending the fronema of our Church and our dear persecuted faithful hierarch Metropolitan Onuphry, lawful and canonical bishop of all Ukraine.
    To the Greek bishops and especially the Primate.  Stop you games and intricate dances. Why do you place the good order of our Church below the interest of the State Department?  Your blessed predecessor as Archbishop of Athens fearlessly started down a Nazi governor and his firing squad in the name of what is just.  What kind of successor are you?  There is no threat to your life but you still spit on the one true Church for reasons we your flock cannot comprehend.
    Grow some spines and stand up for Orthodoxy and your long suffering brother Onuphry.  If you do not soon come to your senses neither history nor the One Just Judge shall judge you favorably.

    • Dear Michael, filika, can we dare to presume how the Just Judge will judge a hierarch of the Church or anybody for that matter?

      • Hopefully theodore we may hope to think how God will judge the  hierarchs  who sold the Church for earthly power and money and comfort.  The cowardly if they repented, He may forgive. 

      • Priests and elderly laypersons are being beaten and dragged out of the churches in which they have worshipped for decades, if not generations. A saintly Metropolitan Onuphry is being persecuted to give rise to an unordained pseudo-priest who openly glorifies Ukraine’s Nazi past. God’s canonical Church is being persecuted. And Black Bart is doing this for bribes of gold and God only knows what else. Yes I dare to presume how the Just Judge will judge the persecutors of is True Church, because He Himself has told us this through the voices of his saints. Even the blood of martyrdom will not wash away the stain of schism. And Black Bart is much to impressed with himself to even go near the risk of martyrdom. he hasn’t preached the Gospel in Turkey in all his decades there. Why would he start now?

        • Michael, Again filika, did not the Lord say “Judge not and you shall not be judged, Condemn not and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven” Luke Ch6 v37 . And regarding “persecutors”, “Love your enemies” v35. I would think that condemning someone would not be an act of love. I’ll stop here as I guess you will have a retort to this but I think you may be on shaky ground when you put yourself in God’s place as a Judge of other persons. Again filika, Theodoros

  13. AH how this shows up the others as moral.cowards,  self seeking and weak.  What clear  simple words.  Whst difference it would have made from day one if all the Patriarchates had spoken like this. 

  14. Beautiful TRUTHful statement!  I would only quibble with the title…not “defiant” (because not defying anyone in authority over him).  Just re-stating the Truth a little more loudly to brothers in Christ including PB who seem deaf to repeated quieter correction. I pray that any hierarchs frightened by political or psychological pressure will remember Christ’s words: “Be of good courage; I AM. Cease being afraid.”  

  15. There is great misinformation about the Patriarch’s visit to Mount Athos. .(Semi-automatic translation)
    It is reported on various websites that it is alleged that “Mount Athos, as one body, welcomed Patriarch Bartholomew”.
     The truth is completely different: The Holy Community of the 20 Holy Monasteries did not accept the invitation of the Xenophon Monastery to attend the patriarchal funeral on Sunday, where the Patriarch commemorated Epiphany. Only 7 abbots (Monasteries of Vatopedi, Hiliandari, Dionysius, Simonopetra, Iberos, Stavronikita and Pantokratoros) concelebrated, although the monastery invited all the abbots in an attempt to show that the whole of Mount Athos is here.
    At the reception of the Patriarch in Karyes the abbots of the monasteries Karakallou, Xiropotamos, Agios Pavlos and Constantinou were absent. In fact, Constantinou Monastery did not send any representatives. However, the websites write: “Mount Athos, as one body, welcomed Patriarch Bartholomew – All 20 Monasteries present.” Instead, there were 100 police officers present, with trained dogs.

  16. Christopher says

    ““The schism was not started by the Russian Orthodox Church, but only by the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and for it’s eventual deepening and prolonging, responsibility will be carried by the Orthodox Church of Greece, which, after some resistance, has given in and has acted according to the instructions of Phanar, Washington and God knows who else.”
    More divisive rhetoric in a rhetorical and propaganda war.  There is no communication at all.  Just the old Greek/Slav cultural conflict.  No doubt many here are thrilled, despite the implications for anything like a “Ecumenical” Church…to the extant that a “One, Holy, Catholic…” Church of the East has actually existed for the last 1000 years…

    • George Michalopulos says

      Christopher, as a Greek, I am not thrilled nor wish to participate in the “old Greek/Slav cultural conflict”.

      Indeed, what you are promulgating is the old bait-and-switch method of argumentation and assuming something in evidence which is not there. The Phanar is employing these rhetorical fallacies specifically to inflame ethnic tensions where there are none

      • Greetings from Cyprus! As a Slav who is a Philhellene I am absolutely horrified by the idea of a Greek-Slav conflict. There is enough Slav-Slav conflict as is, this whole problem started because the EP got involved in a Slav-Slav conflict to begin with. 
        Just the other day I was talking to a secular Greek woman in Thessaloniki. She asked me “Is it true that the Russian Patriarch is trying to take over the Greek church?” My eyeballs almost popped out. It’s amazing how such disinformation has creeped in, to the point where projection has become the main strategy of the EP. The entire idea of “Hellenism is under attack” has been born by team Bartholomew. Personally I see nothing wrong with Hellenism, I see a group of people trying to use Hellenism as a pretext to support political agendas, just as Stalin attempted to use pan-Slavism during the Soviet times to smooth over eastern bloc interrelations (Stalin was artful that way, he was fully willing to do whatever he needed to do get a job done). 
        Sad times we live in, but we should be very careful about counterreacting in an unproductive and damaging way. Anyone who takes the bait of a Greek-Slav conflict is playing right into the Bartholomew trap. 

        • Solitary Priest says

          Agreed. Hellenism is not the problem. I’m a Slavophile who is pro-Greek. The EP is the problem and I suspect it stands largely on the two pillars of Masonry and Sodomy.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Regrettably, Fr, I believe you are on to something.

            Beware of “[a] double-minded man he is unstable in all his ways” Epistle of James, 1:8.

          • Sodomy for sure as told me by my Godmother’s son who was priest in patriarchate and went to istambul to how shall I  say this, HAVE A GOOD TIME, this  clean shaven monk priest. I was a kid then and more trusting in authority and the Church.  I can tell u now that  modernist Athenagoras Kokkinakis, (+1979) was gay and had a coterie around him. All I know from my own observation and Godmother’s son.  They were kicked out by Methodios Fuyas who himself was moved after Anglican pressure to put in the decent but weak Grigori who just has been retired to have Niketas from USA. At St Sophia in London they have a nice little business going. 
            This has  only got worse.Now we have the Manuella and bulgarian stallions.  Surprised they have time for anything else.  Corruption,  financial and other, is destroying the Church.  Why would the current generation want any part in this crap??  

            • If they were ACTIVELY heterosexual would be just as disgusting as they are meant to be, freely entered into,  they have a choice, Celibate monks. 
              They deceive and abuse the faithful who give and give and posture behind their stupid byzantine get up. 

      • George as a greek living in Slav Bulgaria I have no wish to  face any Greek- Slav conflict  that Phanar and now  CoG. is encouraging. They must take the responsibility.  
        From elpidophoros speech it obvious they do not care and expect all to fall in line ,  damage irrelevant.  
        They they doing all this as a power and money play is so evident behind the pious crap. The archons,  small people feeling big in a decreasing pond.  What future Orthodoxy in USA and west.? Let alone nearer home?  Ieronimos should be using his energy to sort out the declining  mess the Greek Church is in. 

        • George Michalopulos says

          Niko, the game for the GOA/US is not over yet. It appears that four of the monasteries that are under the leadership of Elder Ephraim of Arizona did not greet the EP or serve Liturgy with him during his recent earth-shaking visit to Mt Athos.

          • George thank God for that.  Let us hope.   U know I get asked by  bulgarian students about all this as in news .  I try and play it down as do not want to destroy faith, it’s hard enough for me,  but I can’t lie and they can google!     God bless. 

          • George, what do you mean, “four monasteries that are under the leadership of Geronda Ephraim?” How can monasteries on Mt. Athos be ‘under Geronda Ephraim’?

    • …to the extant that a “One, Holy, Catholic…” Church of the East has actually existed for the last 1000 years…
      This guy is a Roman catholic and out of his depth.  Better he attend to the syncrotism in his own back yard.

    • Michael Bauman says

      Christopher, you raise a crucial point, although in a sarcastic and demeaning manner. What is the Church? That is the question which we have been dealing with throughout our entire history, even before the Incarnation.

      Clearly the most straight forward Scriptural indication of the Church, that Christians love one another is mostly missing, or so it seems. However, the Scripture also tells us that we must look for the Church and that it is often hidden to worldly eyes and sin encrusted hearts.

      The Church is also of the Holy Spirit who many times it seems follows a path similar to Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. If we try too hard to pin Him down, we loose the reality of wholeness.

      The fact that there is sin does not mean the Church is not present. Sin should be expected in the Church as illness should be expected in a hospital or clinic. What we are seeing, I think, is the Body reacting to a massive and possible deadly disease, a disease that has been festering for a long time and has now erupted. Unfortunately, to cure this disease, surgery may be required. God forbid. It is unthinkable, given Scriptural promises, that the Church will succumb entirely to the disease.

      The giver of Life will see to it that the Church remains whole and eventually healthy even if a long recuperation is required. Where two or more…

      Nevertheless, it is a trying and often discouraging time because we are each infected with the same disease. The healing begins at a cellular level. The more I actually follow the teachings and the disciplines of the Church, the stronger the body becomes.

      From the moment I was Chrismated, I had the Holy Spirit sealed in me–body and soul. But only one is not sufficient for the fullness of the Church. Ideally the smallest number would be five: One bishop, one priest, one deacon, one monastic, on lay person. Together they would allow for the full and complete expression of the wholeness of the Church in earth. However, only two will do by the grace of God.

      Lord have mercy on us.

    • Christopher: “Church of the East has actually existed for the last 1000 years…”
      Are you a Latin rite Roman Catholic or a Uniate?

      • Bart Deplin says

        The eastern CHurch came up through Antioch, while the western Church through Carthage. They only had a unions of Constantinian convenience between the fifth to ninth centuries, agreeing to disagree on matter like celibacy, original sin, leavenin gof communions and so on

    • Brute from bygone ages says

      There is no “Old Slav/Greek cultural conflict”. Russians and Greeks were trasitional alies. Rssia started a war with Turkry to support Greek insurgents. They were allies of Serbs and Russians in Ottoman wars, Balkan wars, World wars… 

  17. A courageous defiance by “Greek theologian to his GOC primate:  I cannot possibly take Communion with you”
    I keep hoping to hear something wonderful from the Monks of Mt Athos, whenever the time is right.  

    • Meanwhile, take a look at this:
      “Tuesday, 15 October 2019

      Constantinople, Orthodoxy & Unity – Lecture, 1 November 2019


      His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira Inaugural Lecture as Orthodox Patron of the Society “Constantinople, Orthodoxy and Unity” at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family,Duke Street (corner of Weighhouse Street), Mayfair, London W1K 5BQ

      • George Michalopulos says

        Yet another nail in the coffin of Orthodoxy.

        I guess the silver lining here is that if you scroll further down, you can read Pope Francis’ letter to Pat Bartholomew, whom he calls “Your Holiness”. Looks like the EP got demoted.

  18. Wow, a bishop with cojones, a rare but welcome sight!

  19. BlueHorseshoe says

    If true as presented, Patriarch Bart is a very small and petty man

  20. My Archdiocese is continually surprising me with it’s unwavering fervor in conforming to Orthodoxy when it comes to the Ukraine issue. While Arch. Elphodiophoros was saluting and concelebrating with a Ukranian schismatic raider, Archbishop Joseph was concelebrating with Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk. Metropolitan Joseph, during the ending homily reaffirmed the Archdiocese’s “gratitude to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill and in his person the fullness of the Russian Orthodox Church, as well as the leadership of Russia and the entire Russian people for the continued support of the Antiochian Orthodox Church and the entire Syrian people in the trials that have befallen them in recent years.” 
    As I have, and always will say to Metropolitan Joseph and Metropolitan Hilarion; Axios! Axios! Axios!

  21. Hi George – This is totally off topic, but I was wondering if you had seen this, especially since it’s in your neck of the woods:
    A couple of points.  Dad didn’t get conservatorship, and the reporter assumes that in this case, mom is getting it.  The reporter may very well be right, but there’s also the option that the court would grant conservatorship of the children to a “neutral” guardian-ad-litem. There was one assigned to this trial, and it seemed like he was roughly tracking what dad was saying; that the “wait and see” approach would probably do less damage in the long run.
    Or… mom may have gotten custody and/or conservatorship, but with restrictions.
    Or…  This is all as bad as it seems at first blush.  
    In all this push to make “evil” acceptable, a lot of the ploy is to discourage those who do cling to the good, to make us give up hope.  One of the issues here is that there are no laws in any states prohibiting or putting any limitation on parents who wish to “transition” their children to another gender.  We believe that despite everything, God is with us, and that He can bring about wonders even in the worst of situations.  Take the story of Joseph, for example.  In any case, I have to wonder if the attention this case has gotten may be the impetus for states to start looking at laws and regulations concerning this.  
    Dad here is Orthodox, and wants the kids to grow up in the Church.  Mom is Greek, apparently was part of an Orthodox church and what have you up until a couple of years ago, at least.  You have to wonder what her priest thinks about this all.  The case has garnered a good amount of interest in Russia, it seems; there were three news outlets covering the trial – LifeSiteNews, The Texan, and Russia One.   
    Perhaps this is an odd thing to ask – and this comment certainly doesn’t need to be published, and I’d actually rather you not – but if you would, please ask Archbishop +Dmitri for his prayers in this case.  Somehow I feel it’s important because he’s local… and I ask you, because you have a connection with him.  (My husband is ‘rescuing’ items from the house in Chicago he grew up in which his mom recently sold.  One of the items is a chess set that Archbishop +Job gave him 25 years ago…  It is odd how just having the chess set here now really brings a little bit of his spirit here, if you know what I mean.)  
    In any case, forgive me for my ramblings so late at night.  God be with you!

  22. Courtesy of Fr Andrew Phillips from his wonderful “Orthodox England” blog. 
    This is a must-read. Patriarch Kyrill is certainly a wise archpastor and is on to something. The atheist, secular forces that are aggressively maneuvering against Christ and our Holy Faith and Church are truly demonic. 
    Pat. Kyrill is obviously correct: this is not a Greek vs Russian thing. It’s a Christ vs anti-Christ thing. Είς πολλά έτη, Δέσποτα!
    Patriarch Kyrill, the 18th Sunday after Pentecost, 20 October 2019
    The existence of Russia is of a great spiritual and cultural value – not only for you and me, but for all humanity. And we are calling for the preservation of the people of Russia, for the birth of our new compatriots, not only and not so much because these people are needed by the country, but also to a great extent because this country is needed by people. Russia must exist and play its irreplaceable role in our destiny with you, in the destiny of our descendants and throughout world history.
    The special value of Russia, its special vocation is to be a stronghold of Orthodox Christianity. To preserve the Orthodox faith, Orthodox tradition and culture, Christian moral principles intact. Maybe that is why the powers that be are so ganged up on the Russian Orthodox Church, wanting to tear away the Greek Orthodox world from the Russian Church, wanting to destroy the unity of the Orthodox Church. We possess reliable information that everything that is happening now in world Orthodoxy is not an accident, not just the whim of a religious figure whose mind has become clouded. This is the implementation of a very specific plan that aims to tear the Greek world away from Russia. According to the perpetrators —I cannot describe these strategists in any other way — the Russian Church appears to be some kind of “soft power”, through which Russia influences the world around it. But why can’t Russia share its spiritual gifts? Is it criminal? This can be criminal only in the view of those who seek to weaken, and if possible to destroy the influence of Russia. In this whole story related to the problem of recognition or non-recognition of Ukrainian schismatics by the Local Orthodox Churches, there is something that is not declared, but which is the main goal of the forces behind the scenes that unleashed this schismatic activity. We in the Russian Church understand this clearly, but today our brothers in Greece and other Orthodox Churches also understand this. We are being asked to resist, not to flinch, to continue the struggle to maintain the spiritual independence of the Russian Orthodox Church from all these centres of world influence, and most importantly – to maintain the unity of Universal Orthodoxy.

    • Joseph Lipper says

      “We are being asked… most importantly – to maintain the unity of Universal Orthodoxy.” – Patriarch Kyrill. 
      I believe this is a new and different proclamation.  WHO is asking the Russian Church “to maintain the unity of Universal Orthodoxy”?  And WHAT does he mean by this?

      • George Michalopulos says

        Well, somebody’s got to do it. It sure ain’t Istanbul.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        I think you’re right, Joseph, this is new. He hasn’t met with Pompeo yet so it’s not the United States government. (Kidding)

        It could have come from Antioch through Metropolitan Joseph. What choice do we have but to unite? It’s either that or be absorbed by the GOA, something many, many, many of us don’t want. Even the GOA doesn’t want it. We’re not Greek!

        • Joseph Lipper says

          It sounds very close to a papal pronouncement.  He hasn’t actually proclaimed Moscow as “the unity of Universal Orthodoxy” yet, but it’s definitely sounding like it’s geared in that direction.  What’s next, the coronation of a Russian Tsar? 

          • Gail Sheppard says

            Then, Joseph, what do you think about this:

            “Patriarch Bartholomew presented Abbot Alexios of Xenophontos Monastery with the gift of a cross during the Patriarchal Divine Liturgy at the monastery on Mt. Athos on Sunday.

            According to the Constantinople-friendly Greek outlet orthodoxia.info, the cross is one that Patriarch Kirill of Moscow previously gifted to Pat. Bartholomew.

            Pat. Bartholomew placed the cross around Archimandrite Alexios’ neck, saying, “You unite those who are divided.https://orthochristian.com/124863.html

            • Joseph Lipper says

              Fr. Alexios, as an Athonite Abbot and in very simple obedience to his Bishop, received representatives of the OCU at his monastery and also attended the installation of Metropolitan Epiphaniy in Kiev.  Because of this, Fr. Alexios accepted to personally share in the same cross that Patriarch Bartholomew carries of being excluded from ROC communion. 

              This gift, a pectoral cross that is worn close to the heart and originally from the Moscow Patriarch, appears to me as a poignant reminder to pray for the Russian Orthodox Church, to pray for Patriarch Kyrill, and in this way to unite those in Orthodoxy who are divided.   Patriarch Bartholomew has not stopped commemorating Patriarch Kyrill in Divine Liturgy, and I believe the visible unity of the Church is preserved in this action.  There is no schism between Constantinople and Moscow.  Rather, there is only a division.

          • Joseph,
            You are a decent man, but you’re getting very tiresome. 
            Every other word out of Bartholomew’s and his supporter’s mouths speaks of nothing but “loyalty to the Ecumenical Patriarchate,” and you think nothing of it.  Yet when Kyrill speaks of the unity of  Universal Orthodoxy (that with which even faithful Greeks agree), you dare to accuse him of Papism.
            Who has divided the Church in Ukaraine?   Who has divided “world Orthodoxy”?  Who has divided the brethren of Mt. Athos?  And who has now divided the Church of Greece?
            Do you really believe that Greeks (of all people!) can somehow be divided by Russian propaganda?

            • George Michalopulos says

              That’s called special pleading, Cpole. It’s a logical fallacy.

              Rome is even older.

          • Antiochene Son says

            The unity of Orthodoxy is found in the primates who are in communion, “of one mind and one heart” with one another. Russia is in communion with everyone, and as of now, of one mind with all the other primates except Constantinople on account of Constantinople’s actions.

            • Joseph Lipper says

              Yes, there is still unity, except for this current division of Moscow no longer acknowledging Constantinople.  That’s because everyone else still pays lip service to Constantinople’s primacy. 
              Does anybody really believe the “Greek Churches” will all voluntary give this primacy among the Local Churches to Moscow?  I doubt they would all even agree to give it to Alexandria.  

              • Antiochene Son says

                Constantinople forfeited their primacy, as far as I’m concerned, when Bartholomew refused to mediate between Antioch and Jerusalem over the Qatar issue, when both were asking him for it. And then turned around and accused Antioch basically of schism for not attending Crete, when they agreed to attend on the condition of a meeting.
                Some leadership!

          • Joseph to unite around a hierarch preaching Orthodox Christianity, might u know,  FOR ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS BE A GOOD IDEA, THAN FOLLOWING A CATHOLIC GLOBALIST MODERNIST. And i am not talking Francis!! 

          • Solitary Priest says

            Absolutely! There will be an Orthodox Tsar in Russia, sooner or later. And hopefully, an Orthodox Tsar in Bulgaria, and Orthodox kings in Greece, Romania, and Serbia. Maybe even a Hetman in Ukraine. Your Ukronazi pals can whine and gnash their teeth.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Fr, I actually pray for this outcome in my morning devotions.

            • Joseph Lipper says

              There’s nothing wrong with Russia having an Orthodox Tsar, and I agree it could be a good thing depending on the circumstances.  Yet if a Russian Tsar is appointed for purpose of establishing Muscovite primacy in the Church and calling an Ecumenical Council, then I believe this would be problematic.  I’m just speculating on where Patriarch Kyrill is going with his “maintain the unity of Universal Orthodoxy” reference.  
              As I’ve pointed out before, Orthodox Christianity has become a central pillar of the Russian Federation’s national security along with their nuclear armament.  So for reasons of their national security, it’s necessary that Orthodoxy be defined and controlled primarily by Moscow, not by any outside source.  So it appears their Patriarch might be compelled to push the envelope and establish this. Yet a Muscovite primacy would be problematic for any Orthodox Christians living outside of Russia as their Orthodoxy would then be identified as a threat intertwined with Russian nuclear armament and with Russian national security.

              It would mean making the present crisis we see in Ukraine into the same type of crisis everywhere.

          • Joseph,

            “It sounds very close to a papal pronouncement. He hasn’t actually proclaimed Moscow as “the unity of Universal Orthodoxy” yet, but it’s definitely sounding like it’s geared in that direction. What’s next, the coronation of a Russian Tsar? ”

            haven’t you yet realized that:
            the whole idea of the special function of the Arch-bishop of Constantinople as per canon 28 (and interpreted by St. Nicodeme)
            and ignoring Jerusalem (“Hail Holy Sion, mother of Churches…”,  Tone 8),
            was because Constantinople THEN  was the Capital of the empire with the Head of State and the Parliament and it could offer assistance  to remote bishops (and there is nothing dogmatical or holy about it, but purely political/governmental)?
            If you do know of another reason please mention it here and prove it.
            If you don’t know of another reason, then why can’t you see that in the course of history other cities may have that function (Capital of the largest Orthodox country). Why cant you realise that nowadays the de-facto function was to MP, whilst (as you ask: ” What’s next?”) it is not impossible that, in the future,  this function may go to the capital of China or India?
            Now Joseph, this is a very BASIC decision. If you choose to tacitly bypass it now, I am afraid I’ ll have to remind you again  later. 

            • Antiochene Son says

              Very well said.

            • Joseph Lipper says

              There’s canon law, and then there’s the accepted tradition of how canon law is received and interpreted.  For some 500 years now, the primacy of Constantinople has been accepted by the Local Churches, even though no political empire remains.  It’s become an accepted norm.  And as long as it didn’t interfere with their own geopolitical interests, the ecclesial primacy of the Ecumenical Patriarch was also accepted for centuries by the Russian Tsars and the Russian Orthodox Church, even despite the fact that no Byzantine empire existed.  So, if that’s the tradition, then why break with it now? 
              It appears to me that Moscow is just hoping and praying the EP will unite with Rome in heresy.  What a lousy sentiment!  It’s like hoping and praying my neighbor will die so that I can take over his house. And once the EP is out of the way, then Moscow can finally take over the house, and proclaim itself as Third Rome.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Joseph, of course you are right about canons and how they are accepted or implemented. In like manner, the transfer of the Archdiocese of Kiev to the Patriarchate of Moscow was “accepted” by all involved, even Cpole.. Actually, it was more de jure than de facto but you get the point.

                What you expose here is the egregious double standard that the EP and his partisans are executing re Ukraine. “What’s yours is mine and what’s mine is mine”. It does not look pretty nor is it indicative of a Christian spirit.

              • Joseph, this is really unbelievable! 
                There is no piece of evidence, there is nobody in the world to convince you! Amazing!
                I do not know what is the closest American proverb for the Greek one: “You can’t convince me even if you convince me!”
                Your way out of the wrong uncanonical application of a canon is to call “tradition” to help!
                By way of illustrating my point, you appreciate, in an extreme, far fetched case, if for 500 years pass  people have been legally able to marry …a dog, this will become a “tradition” and …”why change it”! 
                By pure coincidence, I just found a document by the famous Fr. George Metallinos, Professor of Theology, a pious and humble man, I am sure you know him. 
                I have actually prepared this semi-automatic translation of an extract  of Fr.GM’s to reply to a  colleague of yours who very recently appeared here to kind of relieve you: 
                “The Archbishop of Constantinople gets his “power” not from his personal superiority, but from the City, where his throne is located. Thus the Patriarch (that is, bishop) of New Rome-Constantinople has, since the days of the 3rd and 4th and Ecumenical Councils, the “seniority of honor” ( is not about the “seniority of authority”, as in the West after the Schism), because he is bishop of the capital of the State. That is why he is “first in the order” on the scale of the other Patriarchs and Autocephalous Archbishops, and their meetings are chaired by him. Similarly is the case of the Archbishop of an Autocephalous Church, who is President of its Session, because he is a Bishop of the Capital and not because of his superior qualifications (eg scientific titles).After all, what is important in the jurisdiction of a (Arch)bishop is not some “primacy of authority”, which, if claimed, proves an internal fall and a sinful bossiness, but the” primacy of truth “, which is linked to the bishop’s orthodox phronema (and every priest’s), i.e. with his faithfulness in the apostolic and patristic tradition.With this condition, the humble Saints Spyridon and Nicholas, who were bishops of small towns, had the “primacy of truth” at the First Ecumenical Council (325 AD). Also in the 3rd Ecumenical Council (Ephesus, 431) the heretical bishop of Constantinople Nestorios did not have the “primacy of truth” , but many Orthodox clergy and monks, as well as lay people, and most notably the Archbishop Alexandria Kyrillos.Great and First in Orthodoxy is the one who remains faithful to the Orthodoxy of the Ecumenical Synods and all the Saints, beyond fabricated “post-patristic theologies” and metaphysical inventions of unillumined intellect, but who dare appear as a continuation of patristic theology and tradition whilst constituting her flagrant refusal.This “primacy” is known by the Apostolic/Patristic Orthodoxy, and in this “primacy” the Orthodox will remain faithful. Because wherever and whenever there is the “true primacy”, then the “seniorities of honor” – canonically established and inviolable in Orthodoxy – are made by clergy and lay people, with an orthodox phronema, respectfully and unrevoltingly. On the contrary, disobedience to any “primacy-maniacs” is for the faithful Orthodox a sacred and inviolable duty.”


                • Joseph Lipper says

                  Ioannis,  have you read Fr. George Metallinos’ book UNIA: The face and the disguise?
                  Here’s an excerpt where he describes Unia as:
                  “the  instrument  of  a  secular-political authority,  which  is  focused  on  expansionism  and  increasing  its  influence.   As  for  today’s  coincidence,  which  has  united ALL  the  Orthodox  in  the  confronting  of  the  Papist  advance  with  Unia as  its  vehicle,  it  is  a  true,  God-sent  opportunity  to  re-examine  the  problem  of  the  essence  (of  the  ecclesiasticity,  that  is)  of  the  “Latin  Church”-Vatican,  so  that  the  theological  Dialogue  (if  the Vatican  continues  to  desire  it)  might  be  evaluated  anew.    We  furthermore  believe  that  the  Ecumenical  Patriarchate,  with  its  new,  enlightened  Leadership,  just  as  the  other  Leaderships  of the  Orthodox  Churches  of  other  places,  would  never  refuse  to  address  the  problem  of  the  ecclesiastic  character  of  the  “Roman  Catholic  Church”,  but  also  the  theological  Dialogue  with Rome,  on  the  proper  basis.   And  we  should  not  allow  the  opportunity  to  be  lost.   Already,  there  have  been  reports  of  secret  deliberations  in  both  the  ecclesiastic  and  political  wings,  for  the smoothing  out  of  relations  with  the  Vatican  –  which  is  striving  to  hurdle  negative  impressions.  Unia  however  continues  to  exist,  and  damage  has  already  been  wreaked  within  Orthodoxy  in Eastern Europe. Therefore, every retreat on the part of the Orthodox will be tantamount to a crime.”
                  I get the impression from this that Fr. George Metallinos is very supportive of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

                  • Joseph, thank you for your kind reply.
                    You will now, no doubt, understand how much it has helped us all here to sort out our questions/doubts about Bartholomew nowadays:
                    (1) “I get the impression from this that Fr. George Metallinos is very supportive of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.” (all highlighting mine).
                    In that case Fr.GM cannot be blamed like a Russian troll or bot as your expert colleague implied about myself. So, do listen to Fr.GM and not to me!

                    At long last we have found somebody who may convince you Joseph, after all!

                    But I ‘ve got bad news for you:

                    The above original book by Fr.GM (in Greek) was written in 1992, literally a few months(!) after Bartholomew’s enthronement!
                    Bartholomew was then still feeling his way and was carefully planning his future course. He had not yet condemned (in absentia) and  excommunicated the famous Theologian N. Sotiropoulos and he had not yet started his ouvertures like gifting the “Holy Quran” which rejects the Holy Trinity, the crucifiction and the Resurrection of Christ.
                    To get an idea what Bartholomew did in 1992, here is an extract from Chapter 9 of the same book you quoted:
                    ” Even the new Patriarch Bartholomew in his address to the Papist envoys during the enthronement ceremony on the day of  Commemoration of Saint Andrew (30 Nov. 1991) had outspokenly expressed the danger involved, not only in the postponement but also the aborting of the Theological Dialogue, if the activities of Unia were to continue. “
                    Now compare that to what Bartholomew says nowadays about his beloved Unia. He has nowadays turned around, backwards, 180 degrees U-turn (just like in Ukraine)!
                    Here is a another extract about Fr.GM opinion, not from the year 1992 (as you quoted) but rather recent:
                    “”According to several theologians, the bishops who consent to the heretical resolutions of the “Council” (especially the one recognizing the heterodox communities as “Churches”) are just as culpable as those who voted for them, since the acceptance of heresy for a bishop is equivalent to teaching heresy. This point has been made by well-known theologians and academics, including Fr. Georgios Metallinos, Professor at the School of Theology at the University of  Athens;” Source: THE “COUNCIL” OF CRETE (2016):https://katanixi.gr/2019/07/17/the-council-of-crete-2016/ 
                    BUT if, as previously, you are still not convinced, here is another  proof of what Fr.GM believes:

                    ” The clergy of the Greek Church published an open letter on the “Ukrainian issue” urging its hierarchs not to recognize OCU contrary to the position of other Churches.

                    On September 11, 2019, 179 representatives of the clergy, monkhood and laity of the Greek Orthodox Churchpublished an open letter on the “Ukrainian issue” to Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and hierarchs, reports vimaorthodoxias.gr.
                    September 2019
                    High Priest Georgy Metallinos, Professor Emeritus of Theological Faculty of Athens, Athens……”


                    • Joseph Lipper says

                      Ioannis, I still get the impression that Fr. George Metallinos is very supportive of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, although as you correctly point out, he is critical of the EP in both the Crete council and in granting Ukrainian autocephaly.

                      In my opinion, the problem with this “Open Letter on the Ukrainian Issue” that Fr. George signed along with other clergy from the Church of Greece is that it fails to mention the war in Ukraine. This is a major ommision. It is the war in Ukraine that precipitated the EP’s change of position regarding jurisdictional rights, and it is the war in Ukraine that gave the EP impetus to apply extreme economia. By omitting this reality and context of war, the approach of this “Open Letter” is unfortunately too narrowly academic and appears to be dominated not by a spirit of love, but rather by a spirit of fear, and not a fear of God, but rather by a fear of “rocking the boat” so to speak.

                      I remember reading a story about some Orthodox Christians imprisoned in a concentration camp. They all expected to die.
                      Imprisoned with them was a bishop who decided to serve Divine Liturgy in the concentration camp, but of course he had no bread and wine. All he had was an apple core, but undaunted the bishop said, “If I say this is the Body and Blood of Christ, then it is so.” So the bishop prayed over the apple core and said “This is the Body and Blood of Christ.” In faith the other Christians present received this Holy Mystery. Now a person reading this story might easily say, “No, that wasn’t the Body and Blood of Christ. How dare this bishop violate the canons!” Yet such protest of the bishop’s extreme economia would deny the very context of the story. There are good reasons why extreme economia is applied.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Joseph, I’ll let Ioannis answer for himself, but in mentioning the war in the Ukraine, you are indulging in the logical fallacy known as “special pleading”. The war, such as it is, cannot mitigate against the canons which deal with ecclesiology per se.

                      Having said that, the civil war which is ongoing in the Ukraine is sporadic; you can go in any major city in that country and most cities for that matter and not see any bullet flying. The areas in contention are likewise quiescent for the most part. For instance, Crimea seceded peacefully without any violent altercation pro or con. All military action that took place in this civil war was in the Donbass area in the east and now, thanks to Russian intervention (yeah, I know illegal) is equally quiescent.

                      Worse (for your argument) HH Bartholomew injected himself in this conflict without once mentioning that there was a civil war and that the canons mandated that he do so in order to calm the national situation. It was all merely “thank you for holding on to this archdiocese for 3 centuries now if you don’t mind, I’ll take it back”. This is nonsensical on its face and has made a mockery of Orthodox ecclesiology.

                      Let us put our cards on the table: Bartholomew’s Ukrainian gambit has shocked every local Church to the core –even the Church of Greece, which to this day, cannot, will not, make up its mind about recognizing this brazen attempt. Even if the ends were good (debatable) the means by which Bartholomew executed it are not.

                    • Joseph,
                      “Ioannis, I still get the impression that Fr. George Metallinos is very supportive of the Ecumenical Patriarchate”
                      OK Joseph everybody is entitled to have his own impression, to me it may be red hot, to you ice cold.
                      But please read some more extracts from Prof. Fr. G. Metallinos and please think again:
                      .(1)THE SUBMISSION – UNION OF THE GREEK CHURCH WITH THE ANTI-CHRISTIAN ECUMENISM, Protopr. George Metallinos:“And it became the common cup, because Fanar wants it, and the bishops tolerate it, and secondly the the faithful.
                      If he did not tolerate it, if he did not promote it “diplomatically”, it (Fanar) would have reacted to those complaints. Such as
                      It (Fanar) interferes in the administrative matters and in the papist way removes archbishops or punishes other clergy, in the same way
                      it (Fanar) would interfere to these most important matters of Faith. But the “common cup” is a fact. Simply
                      waiting for the circumstances to “ripen” a little further. The let the orthodox conscience ripen, they beat it, lile the fisherman beats the octapus to become edible and digestable, because when it is genuine it cannot be digested.”Source: https://xristianorthodoxipisti.blogspot.com/2013/08/blog-post_5210.html?spref=bl
                      Book: “the Dialogues without a mask” By Fr. G. Metallinos, Dean of Theol. School of the University of Athens
                      “And the Ecumenical Patriarchate follows the path etched by Patriarch Athinagoras († 1972),
                      without the possibility of self-criticism and self-control……This explains the Vatican’s insistence on saving the institution of Unia in every way, while at the same time
                      the spirit of “mutual recognition” was cultivated (the peak of the Balamand meeting in 1993 and the
                      uncharacterized text about Unia, signed by nine Orthodox Churches, the first being the Ecumenical
                      Patriarchate). When the blessed Father Ioannis Romanidis complained about all this and especially about the acceptance
                      of the Unian method, he was rebuked in letters full of rage (the are saved …) and was indirectly threatened with removal.
                      (He was never able to reconcile that attitude, which led him to death faster).……(April 2) and a hyper-denominational liturgy and prayer service took place at St. Peter’s Cathedral,
                      in which everyone prayed in their own language and according to the form of their religion.
                      The urge was to coexist in the worship of the same God. But this is a faithful application
                      the Masonic method of transcending every ideology and belief, to achieve unity, and indeed under
                      lord of this world. According to the available promotional material, present in these gatherings were Orthodox representatives, and Seb. Metropolitan of Silybria, lord Emilianos of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, who is now in Aigion and is a member of the “International Temple Committee”.Source: https://www.oodegr.com/oode/oikoymen/proswp1.htm…………….

                      (3)In one of the numerous videos by Fr. G.Metallinos, I heard him say:
                      “I say what I believe is the right thing and I wouldn’t be surprised if I receive my excommunication one of these days “ I watched that video about 1 year ago, but I am afraid I didnot put down its address, unfortuantely I did not foresee that I would need such detailed information for your benefit.
                      Now Joseph, if after this additional evidence , you still 
                      ” get the impression that Fr. George Metallinos is very supportive of the Ecumenical Patriarchate”,
                      please explain to me what that strong support includes,
                      e.g. is this a kinda “blind” trust in every thing Fanar does or what?

                    • Joseph Lipper says

                      George,  are not all instances of economia examples of special pleading?  It’s only a fallacy if it can be shown that special treatment is not actually merited or needful.  In Ukraine, the EP’s economia was a decision based primarily on the war.  Patriarch Bartholomew has said as much, that his viewpoint on Ukraine completely changed after Russia annexed Crimea and war in Donbass broke out. 
                      With an estimated toll of 13,000 dead and 30,000 wounded, there is still no end in sight.  A timeline for every single day of this war in these past two months of September and October may be found here:
                      In the five years between when the war started and autocephaly was granted, attendance within the UOC-MP was diminishing while attendance in the schismatic “Kievan Patriarchate” was increasing.  The Moscow Patriarchate had no viable plan of reunifying Ukraine other than the perceived message of  “repent or die”.  That message wasn’t working, and it was only aggravating and making the situation much worse.  For millions of frustrated Ukrainians, the EP’s intervention and economia was warranted. 
                      Meanwhile, the EP still fully recognizes as Orthodox Christians those Ukrainians who have chosen not to accept autocephaly and who wish to remain with the Moscow Patriarchate.  Alas, those sheep were not lost.  Rather, this was only a mission to save the sheep who were lost.  

                    • Joseph Lipper says

                      Ioannis, OK, you seem to have provided sufficient proof that Fr. George Metallinos is critical of Patriarch Bartholomew.  I will accept this.

                    • Joseph,
                      Statements by Fr. Georgios Metallinos on the involvement of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Ukraine problem.Transcript of a video.
                      (Semi-automatic translation of extracts)(All highlighting mine)
                      “I think… the Ecumenical Patriarchate was able not to rush to the Autocephaly of the Church of Ukraine, which, according to the calendar of the Church of Greece – open it, you will see – that (the Church in Ukraine ) belongs to the Church of Russia. We Greeks admit it too.
                      So it should not move now because we are in a troubled time. We returned to the war, to the cold one – or warm soon – between East and West. The two world powers are in this conflict. In such a situation, I believe, the Ecumenical Patriarchate fell victim, hastening to fulfill the wish of one part, one great power, and to clash with the other great power.
                      As said in case with the pseudo-synod in Crete, the Orthodox Church today is in awful schism. When we say that four Churches, Antioch, Russia etc did not accept (it), they are the largest number of Orthodox. Let’s go populationwise, let’s do it numerically. So, in my humble estimation, – I am certainly not directing (these) things –  it should not have happened at this moment of the great conflict when the situation is changing from one moment to another. A new president has been elected, who follows a policy that is contrary to the policy of his predecessor, and we are in a – let’s say – chaos  Ukraine. “The mother loses the child and the child loses the mother” as we say. Therefore, the Ecumenical Patriarchate should not have proceeded at this time.
                       I read in texts of the Ecumenical Patriarchate until today, that the new Church of Ukraine is called daughter church“. Here is a complete denial of itself  (the Ecumenical Patriarchate). In 1850, very dogmatically, theologically, it says that the Greek Church, from the moment she receives the Autocephaly, ceases to be a “daughter” and she is a  “sister” Church . She is of the same honor and same authority as all the other Orthodox Churches AND THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE, if Ukraine received a canonical Autocephaly. She is of the same honor and same authority like in other Autocephalous Orthodox Church.”
                      Joseph, do you still
                      get the impression that Fr. George Metallinos is very supportive of the Ecumenical Patriarchate”?
                      In what way, then?
                      Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKVwucVsjKY
                      (Search code: LipperIoannis)

                    • Joseph Lipper,
                      “Ioannis, OK, you seem to have provided sufficient proof that Fr. George Metallinos is critical of Patriarch Bartholomew.  I will accept this.”

                      Thank you Joseph, you have proven to be a very strong man because you have defeated …yourself. I read this in the sayings of an elder. He said, “Ourself is an enemy worse than Satan”
                      Unfortunately because of the time difference, I saw your message AFTER I had sent you another reply. In fact, I spent the whole day, first searching for the text, then for a google-translate which was full with errors, and finally for correcting that to more readable English, although not beautiful.
                      You might want to completely ignore that additional reply of mine, or indeed include it in your collection of Metallinos-related texts.
                      Thank you again. 

                      I am glad it so happened that I cannot blow up my pride, because the texts belong to Fr.G.Metallinos, to me one of the very best clergy now alive in Greece, in ALL respects!

              • Solitary Priest says

                Nobody “hopes” that Constantinople unites with Rome in heresy. They seem to be headed for that all by themselves, without any help from Moscow. Joseph, since you seem to be an expert, could you at least present your credentials? Have you a Doctorate or a Master of Theology degree? I have neither, but at least I did receive a Seminary education. The Seminary I attended wasn’t accredited when I graduated, but since has become so.
                       As for taking over somebody’s house, your so-called OCU is doing exactly that. You insult probably the entire episcopate of ROCOR, at least those North American bishops that I know, when you say it “appears” to you that Moscow is just hoping and praying the EP will unite with Rome in heresy. Do you not know that ROCOR Metropolitan Hilarion is a Canadian born Ukrainian? Unlike me, both his parents came from Ukraine. His Eminence spoke Ukrainian probably before he spoke English, and certainly before he spoke Russian. I’ve known His Eminence for over forty five years, since the time when he was the novice Igor.
                      You need not believe this, but as recently as 2017, I actually applied for parishes in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA. I rejoiced when I was able to actually serve in Ukrainian in their parishes. You think I ENJOY not being able to serve with them anymore?? I look at their website and want to weep. I grieve that for the sake of “Ukrainianism”, they betray the Cossack heritage of Ukraine. Had the Poles not created the cursed Unia of 1596, and not forced it on their Ukrainian subjects, who knows? Perhaps, Ukraine might have remained part of Poland to this very day.
                       Taking over houses, you say? Actually, here is an analogy. Suppose I covet your fine house?Suppose I help myself to it, because I have the support of the local law enforcement and the thugs who run the government? The EP did just that in Ukraine. The Patriarch went back on his own word and turned against Metropolitan Onufry, whom he supported until relatively recently. Yet, as I mentioned before, Metropolitan Onufry has greater autonomy than ROCOR, where the Patriarch of Moscow must be remembered at every service.
                     It seems to me that you are living in some fantasy world, where Patriarch Bartholomew is a new Mark of Ephesus, a defender of the Faith. If only that WERE the case. The Turks might actually respect him more, if he really did stand up for the faith against Rome.  I really can’t see the point in arguing with you anymore. You “Always EPers” remind me of the “Never Trumpers”. It seems that the EP is never wrong NO MATTER WHAT. The “Never Trumpers” appear to be willing to let our country collapse, rather than accept the will of half of the US voters.

                • Joseph Lipper says

                  I actually really like Patriarch Kyrill.  For example, it was reported that he was terribly distressed by Russia’s annexation of Crimea, probably because all his work to reunite Ukraine, up until that point, went down the drain.  I just see him as stuck between a rock and hard place, as the geopolitical concerns of the Russian Federation have once again taken primary importance.  Although it’s my opinion that he’s in lockstep with the interests of the Russian state, I also believe he serves his country extremely well.    
                  Yet when he says, “We are being asked… most importantly – to maintain the unity of Universal Orthodoxy”, then I have to wonder who is asking for this?  These words mirror the same kind of language used by the Ecumenical Patriarchate to “maintain the unity of Universal Orthodoxy”, and it suggests the Russian Holy Synod is looking at undertaking this primary responsibility.  It is not a new ambition for the Moscow Patriarchate either, as this was similarly attempted after WWII.  The difference now is that the national security of the Russian Federation has become intertwined with Orthodox Christianity, and so the Russian state can’t afford to have Orthodoxy defined or controlled by an outside source.  I say “hoping and praying the EP goes into heresy”, because this would be an easy solution to their dilemma of an Orthodoxy that conflicts with the Russian Federation’s own national security.
                  Solitary Priest, while I can appreciate that ROCOR bishops and clergy like yourself have remained with the Moscow Patriarchate, I have to wonder if things continue to escalate, then how much longer can ROCOR remain with the MP?  Ultimately it’s the ROCOR Holy Synod’s choice, and it’s your choice, and I respect that.  Yet I don’t believe it’s fair to blame the EP for yourself not being able to serve with the UOC-USA anymore.  

                  • Solitary Priest says

                    First of all, where have I indicated that I am a ROCOR priest? My parish is OCA. I wonder if you read my posts, or just skim through them, looking for things to nail me with. Thus, I DO NOT commemorate Patriarch Kiril, except when I’m a guest priest in ROCOR parishes. It stands to reason that at proscomedia, I remember Metropolitan Tikhon and the diocesan bishop. Afterwards, I remember those ROCOR bishops that I know personally.
                    But I notice you never answer questions about your qualifications; whether or not you have any theological education, whether or not you can speak or at least read, Ukrainian and Russian. I read both, though English is my native tongue. Futhermore, George, Ioannis, and many others who post here, can read Greek and therefore, can read what Patriarch Bartholomew and Greek Hierarchs write in the original.
                    I maintain that, based on what you write, you appear to believe that the canons have a life of their own. Or else you believe that they are in force only when Patriarch Bartholomew decrees them to be. So when he prays with Jews, Moslems, and pagans, it is legitimate. You cite an eminent Protopresbyter of the Church of Greece by quoting what he said in 1992, when Patriarch Bartholomew had just been enthroned as EP. But you neglect to mention that the same priest in 2019 opposes the Patriarch’s Ukrainian gambit.
                    I cannot tell George how to run his blog, but like Francis Frost, your posts have become repetitious. If you cannot at least cite your qualifications, I see no point in dialogue with you any longer. If George wishes to indulge you, it’s on him. I can think of more profitable things to do than read your alternate reality. May God grant you salvation!

                    • Joseph Lipper says

                      Solitary Priest, thank you for your prayers and please forgive me.  Somehow it was my impression that you are a priest of ROCOR currently serving in an OCA parish.  However, if you are a priest of the OCA, then I believe there is no prohibition for OCA clergy to serve with the the UOC-USA.  If you would like to, then perhaps you could explain this.  
                      My understanding is that you disagree with Patriarch Bartholomew even though he is Patriarch, has a doctorate in canon law, and is fluent in Modern Greek, Classical Greek, Latin, Turkish, Italian, German, French and English.  You ask for credentials, and yet what more credentials or qualifications could you possibly ask for? If you disagree with Patriarch Bartholomew who has many credentials, then what difference do credentials really make for the sake of argument? 

                      This is a forum that only requires an ability to type and to “speak your mind” with some civility.  In my opinion, I’m  barely able to meet those minimal requirements.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      Since the UOC-USA is a jurisdiction under the EP in South Bound Brook, NJ, I’m guessing you’re right. I’m not sure this means they would serve with the newly formed autocephalous church in Ukraine. I don’t know.

                      I don’t think anyone disagrees with every decision Bartholomew has made, although I think it’s fair to say most disagree with his decision in Ukraine. His credentials may be important because his doctorate came from the Pontifical Institute in Rome, a Catholic institution established by and directly under the authority of the Holy See and the disagreement over Ukraine has to do with the interpretation of canon law.

                    • Solitary Priest ,
                      “I cannot tell George how to run his blog, but like Francis Frost, your posts have become repetitious. If you cannot at least cite your qualifications, I see no point in dialogue with you any longer. If George wishes to indulge you, it’s on him. I can think of more profitable things to do than read your alternate reality. May God grant you salvation!”
                      If I may drop in,
                      speaking from my experience, it sees to me that one’s formal qualifications do not mean much in matters of faith. If we were discussing medicines then certainly George is the expert here! In matters of faith I may be e.g. a Bishop but an old illiterate village woman may have much more faith than me. (Actually this happened LITERALLY in Greece, some years ago, where and old yiayia in the street told the Bishop that he was wrong and he admitted it!).  Or take your qualifications and compare them to Bartholomew’s, no use!
                      On the other hand I do agree with you that many of Joseph’s posts are repetitious (I assume he is reading me here).
                      This may be due to mental fatigue, I forget things too.
                      But, I agree with you, and it is for me an exhausting job to start all over again to convince Joseph about something which I did soe months ago. I would beg him to be a bit more cooperative and punctual in his replies so as to get some real results from them. I do not think he is a Bartholomew  troll, and I trust he will want to do something about it.
                      Please forgive me, both of you, If I have gone too far!  

        • Antiochene Son says

          The main opposition to a united North American Church has been GOARCH themselves, or concerns about GOARCH’s presence on the part of other churches.

          Maybe it is indeed time to go ahead without them, and carry on the ethnic sub-jurisdictions for pastoral reasons on the OCA model. (Frankly, that is how it has always been in North America. When the Russians had jurisdiction, they established St. Raphael as the bishop particularly of the Arabs, and there’s nothing wrong with this in the context of a larger singular church structure.)

          With the recent 125th anniversary of St. Raphael, much has been made of the Russian-Antiochian history, with many icons to be seen featuring Sts. Tikhon and Raphael together. Damascus is concerned about losing the American source of income, especially in the midst of civil war, but that can be worked out among Kyrill, John, and Tikhon. Maybe something is in the works there.

          And if the Greeks want in later, that’s up to them.

          • George Michalopulos says

            AS, not a bad scenario. Give the GOA another generation to come along. The rest of us –unite.

            • Antiochene Son says

              Yes, and I think that would be a good counterpoint to the EP’s program of dividing the churches. The Episcopal Assembly model is also perpetuating the divisions of the churches.
              If Moscow can manage to unite the churches instead, that will show true leadership, the kind that doesn’t require dead titles.

      • Joseph Lipper says


        We don’t hear from the Patriarch of Antioch or the Patriarch of Serbia, etc., describing a duty to “maintain the unity of Universal Orthodoxy” without also acknowledging and commemorating the EP’s own traditional primacy.  The visible unity of the Church is maintained in it’s traditional hierarchical primacy, even amidst various divisions that may arise.  Without the primacy of the EP, any attempt to “maintain the unity of Universal Orthodoxy” is an attempt to usurp the whole Church, and that’s what it sounds like the ROC might try to do.
        No, it’s really not accurate to suggest that Patriarch Bartholomew divided the Church in Ukraine.  It was divided when the UOC split in 1992 over the issue of autocephaly.  Patriarch Bartholomew officially recognized this division in 2008 when he visited Ukraine and exhorted Patriarch Alexei to resolve the matter.  Unfortunately that exhortation didn’t go anywhere, and the situation became even worse. 

        The only reason that any division exists now is because of a refusal to recognize the Ukrainian autocephaly recently granted by the EP this year.

        • Joseph. Rubbish, but let’s run with yr reasoning and acceptance of papal powers of Phanar.  
          Why has bartholomaios notgranted genuine autocephaly but in addition has grabbed considerable real estate and money in Ukraine?. 
          Why does He not grant autocephaly to GOA.?   Oh sorry Joseph, u lot a load of Ba ba ba ba BARIANS!!  ? living in barbarian lands.  Sorry I forget.  
          spare me the post byzantine crap and hypocrisy. 

          • And above all that u ignore every time.  Why has Phanar introduced non ordained lay Men as bishops into church with a signature.  
            Any one can play.  Dress up as bishop and get yr bread and wine and away.  What a tragedy and travesty.  

        • Joseph do you understand Orthodox ecclesiology and above all church order and THE SACRAMENTS.???. Sacramental VALIDITY???   I hate to break it to you,  but we  Orthodox are NOT  protestants!!!!.  But  I see  you obviously do  not. Totally not. 
          I am too  bored to go through it all again.  I just wish you and yr Ageing Efendi padihshah in the istambul tarted up  SLUM would creep away  to Rome, take yr USA satrap with you and get on with it. Καλό ταξίδι και,  παρακαλώ,  μη γυρίσεις,   ευχαριστώ.  

        • Antiochene Son says

          This ROC/EP schism concerns grave spiritual matters, not just anger about some territory being taken.
          If the clergy of the “UOC” don’t have valid holy orders, then aside from schism, they are committing the grave sin of simulating sacraments, giving their laity false sacraments, and leading them to perdition.

          • Exactly re sacramental VALIDITY..  Have you noticed how they ignore this? I am afraid they are like a stuck needle.

          • Joseph Lipper says

            I don’t know if Archbishop Lazar Puhalo and Bishop Valaam Novakshonoff still serve Divine Liturgy for reasons of their health, but nonetheless they did so for many years after their reception into the OCA with retirement status.  Was the approval of the OCA’s Holy Synod combined with God’s grace not sufficient?  When they served the Divine Liturgy in the OCA, were the Holy Mysteries somehow “invalidated” because of their questionable ordinations?

  23. Apparently, during Bartholomew’s visit to mount Athos, a 3.5 magnitude earthquake hit mount Athos. I will leave others to discern what this means, but I will say one thing. “God is not mocked”.

  24. I just throw this out. But I do believe Bartholomaios believes in his role and sees 10c byzantium as role model for today’s Church with Him and his successors as BOSS. This too corresponds to how the World runs and how  the secular world sees the Church, in as far as it sees it at all. Most times we are invisiable or an excentric curiosity for visiting tourists.  
    But without the papal new Vatican, how is the Church to give united witness?  Well with today’s  IT world that should hardly be a problem to arrange conference calls etc. And of course travel is  easy   and there should be regular, say every three yrs, two day meeting of heads of churches to discuss issues and give common witness.  
    The role of a ‘ Pope ‘ is redundant.  The head of the Church is Christ. Do we fear that?  

  25. Constantinople. says

    You know for a country with 7,000 troops and 3,500 reserves, two Greek infantry divisions would do short work of  the entire Albanian province in a matter of days. So, keep dreaming Albanian. This is not Kosovo. This is Epirus Vetus.

  26. Our friend Joseph Lipper and our new friend “Constantinople” are free to speculate about the motives of the MP.  I will even go so far as to concede that some of their speculations, straight from the playbook/paranoia of the CP though they are, may contain some degree of truth (in the minds of some Russians at least).  I will also concede that some of those who comment here apparently dream of a “Third Rome,” though I myself am not among them.
    Personally, I find “Constantinople’s” comments quite enlightening.  Although he/she refers to “Tradition” and “faithfulness to our history,” it is apparent that in his/her eyes the divisions we are witnessing are nothing but a power struggle.  Apart from the two canons that give limited prerogatives (now far exceeded) to the See of Constantinople, the truth and the things that work for the salvation of souls and the unity of the Church catholic bore no mention.
    Be it known that there are those among us who actually do care about the truth.  We also care about the canons, including those concerning the prerogatives of the CP that remain heretofore unchanged by any council, and have no particular desire to see them overturned.  Had Pat. Bartholomew and his synod done (most of) the things he has done with the consultation and conciliar blessing of the Churches, virtually everyone would have been content, and there would be no controversy or division.  Moreover, had he acted in a conciliar fashion and if the MP had then chosen nonetheless to be obstinate against the will of the Church catholic, your contention that Russia is the aggressor and divider would now be evident in eyes of all the other Churches.  But Pat. Bartholomew foolishly chose instead not to submit himself to what Joseph rightly called “the obedience of primacy” among the Churches.  He (and his synod) acted alone, brazenly asserting his ‘rights’ and his ‘authority’ despite repeated pleadings and warnings from almost every other Church, including many in the Church of Greece.  While claiming to speak and act on behalf of the LIVING Church of Jesus Christ, her Spirit and her wisdom, he ignored the same, preferring his own.
    My oft repeated question is this:  If Bartholomew is so confident that he is on the side of truth and if, as Joseph (probably rightly) tells us, the other Churches have no desire to tinker with the primacy of his office (understood as first among equals), then surely he has everything to gain and nothing to fear from a council that would check the MP’s (supposed) ambitions once and for all while also restoring peace to all the Churches.   If he is acting truly and in a truthful manner, he will surely be vindicated by what seems good to his brethren and the Holy Spirit; will he not?  And the peace among the Churches will be restored.  Why, then, does he not call a council, be vindicated, and restore peace?
    “Constantinople’s” words, if true, are revealing in this regard. 

    “But we are Greeks and our schemes are rather Byzantine. As you can clearly see with the annexation of Ukraine.” 

    And so it is that in order to preserve the mere memory of a long gone Byzantium, division must of necessity be sown in all corners of the Church…

      “…No matter what the cost.”

    When canons (rules of order) that were intended by our fathers to order the Church and preserve her unity are employed selfishly with the manifest result of sundering her unity, one can be certain that the interpretations offered in justification of the same are sorely lacking in both the Spirit of the Tradition and Grace.
    And all this for the sake of what?  The maintenance of a crude counterfeit of canonical ‘power’ that corresponds to nothing of true power in the Christian sense of the word.  A power that is increasingly being ignored by the Churches because it is alien to Her spirit and because it has been – and continues to be – exercised in a non-conciliar (and therefore un-Orthodox) manner in defiant disobedience to the tradition of primacy.  Having been entrusted with true power in the Christian sense word, he has exchanged his inheritance for the mere illusion of power in which the powerful of this world are immersed.
    Say what you will.  No amount of Russian aggression, whether real or imagined, can justify this.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Brian, I couldn’t have said it better myself.  Clearly, the EP has something to fear from a Council.  Of course, the State Dept is going to buttress him for the time being as they both have interests. 

      But yesterday was a game-changer, was it not?  Did we not see President Trump at a masterful press conference declare victory in Syria and begin the pullout of all American troops from there?  Did he not reiterate to the diplomatic and Pentagon Deep State that we have wasted much American blood and treasure in the “desert” and the “sands” of the Middle East?  Are we not also seeing the incipient destruction of the Democrat Party in the plains of the Ukraine?

      Yes, the Deep State is hopelessly in love with the idea of the incessant provocation of Russia.  But something tells me that Ukraine is now becoming a tar-baby and the Left will wish they never brought up that phone call with Zelinsky.  Is it possible that the entire misbegotten sect that was created by the EP and Poroshenko will in due time become an orphan in the Orthodox world?  Not even like the OCA which at least five local Churches recognize as autocephalous and all fourteen recognize as fully canonical?  (Even the EP and his minions?)

      I believe it was Kissinger who said “It is dangerous to be an ally of the United States but it is fatal to be a friend”.  This would not be the first time in history in which the See of Cpole would be left to twist in the wind by the West.

    • Amen.  Thank you, Brian, for speaking so respectfully and truthfully!

  27. “The best defense is a good offense”.
    If you think that invading the jurisdiction of another Church and creating an “autocephalous Church” from a group of unrepentant anathematized schismatics who proceed to seize Churches and beat parishioners of the canonical Church while claiming to be first without equals…is “a good offense”…then you have a better imagination than me.

  28. Isa Abdalmasih Almisry says

    Long Live the Serbs! Ever vigilant defenders of Orthodoxy!

  29. Original text is here http://www.spc.rs/sr/crkva_jelade_priznala_pravoslavnu_crkvu_ukrajine
    What was presented here is translation of about 70% of original text. 
    Missing part is at the beginning and here is online translation:
    On Saturday, October 19 of the current year, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and Archbishop Jerome of Athens officiated the Bishops’ Liturgy, with the worship of several bishops and clergymen, in the ancient Temple of the Untouched Face of Christ in Thessaloniki (Ahiropiitos).
    On that occasion, the Archbishop of Athens, in his capacity as President of the Holy Synod in Athens (since the Greek Church has no Primate, since Constantinople never even acknowledged true and full autocephaly), practically recognized the so-called Orthodox Church of Ukraine, concluded by Ukrainian schismatic groups, without consulting the canonical Church. led by Metropolitan Onufri, by referring to the Epiphany Dumenko, the false Metropolitan of “Kiev and all Ukraine,” in the Holy Liturgy as one of the leaders of the Autocephalous Orthodox Churches, that is, his name was introduced into the diptychs of the Greek Orthodox Church.
    This process is the final step before the abyss of an even deeper and more dangerous schism in ecclesiastical Orthodoxy. For, as the Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate has already officially announced, the recognition of the Ukrainian schism as the Church by Athens will result in the deletion of the name of the Archbishop of Athens from the diplomas of the Russian Orthodox Church and the interruption of communication with all the bishops of the Greek Orthodox Church who adopt the Archbishop’s position and serve the schismatics from Ukraine who do not actually have any clergy or belong to the Orthodox Church at all. The signer of these lines, knowing how much responsibility, sobriety, reasoning and patience the Moscow Patriarchate has shown since facing this terrible challenge, assumes that she will not make her decision – in principle and publicly announced – until Archbishop Jerome of Athens allows himself to serve with Mr. . Dumenko, the false metropolitan of Kiev.

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