Finally, Some Good News!

As you all may know, things are tense throughout the world.  In fact, one could say that they never have been worse, at least in our lifetime.

What’s even worse is that things aren’t much better in the Orthodox Church and haven’t been for the last several years, the most egregious of which has been the continuing martyrdom of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.  

Despite these seemingly dark circumstances, the Lord has not abandoned us.  In fact, we bring you exceedingly good news (courtesy of our friends over at Orthochristian).  As of today, the rupture between the patriarchates of Antioch and Jerusalem has been healed!  You can read the statement for yourselves here: 

Let us be thankful for this wonderful news!




  1. Shared trauma.

  2. This is so very nice to hear! Glory be to God!

  3. Glory be to God for all things!

  4. Antiochene Son says

    Glory to God!

    I hope this news will be announced from the pulpits, as the severance of communion was.

  5. Thank God!

  6. About time. Sometimes it takes suffering for people to do the right thing. Frankly, if we here in the US can get along with overlapping jurisdictions, which we do just fine, so can they. Something they can learn from us for a change.

    And it’s very enjoyable. I live in an urban area with lots of jurisdictions, it’s fun to visit the different parishes, get a feel for the different nationalities, and the priests all work together and help each other. Excommunicating over a territorial dispute is ridiculous!

  7. Thanks be to God!

    Good to see something like this come out of a terrible situation. Hopefully they are able to get the parish in Qatar worked out. But, more importantly it’s good to see the reconciliation.

    Maybe now that Antioch & Jerusalem are back in communion that will make things easier to get a council together to fix the situation between Moscow-Constantinople.

    Thanks be to God that in the past year we have had 2 out of 3 major schisms in the Church healed: Macedonia and now Jerusalem-Antioch. Now to fix Moscow-Constantinople.

  8. Conclusions of 1st Bioethics Conference – Suggestion to become an annual event

    Got to be honest, this wasn’t as much of a train wreck as I thought it was going to be, especially considering it was put on by the EP. There’s still some things I’m not sure about, namely #4.

  9. On a very unfortunate note, it seems as though the head abbot of Vatopedia on Athos has concelebrated with schismatics.

    • Oh, no!

      • George Michalopulos says

        As if he didn’t learn enough from his heart attack.

        Oh well, the schism within Greek Orthodoxy will go right through Athos itself.

        • I’ve been trying to figure out how these seemingly “orthodox” hierarchs can willingly accept Barts decision on the OCU, and I think I’ve figured it out, and it’s partially the Church of Russia’s fault. This is a very truncated version:

          –> When the Church of Russia receives Roman Catholic clergy, they do so with economia by vesting (and possible renunciation of errors). There is no re-consecration, etc. The Church of Russia focusing on the validity of OCU ordination imho is a mistake, they’re essentially saying they accept Roman Catholic ordination as valid while not accepting a group of previously Orthodox clerics (even though they had been defrocked.

          –> The clerics of the OCU (the various cobbled together groups) had previously received ordination by bishops of the Church of Russia who had been defrocked/anathematized.

          –> They (& Poroshenko) reached out to Constantinople as a court of appeals, which
          to it’s credit is technically the prerogative of the EP
          , asking to be received back into the Church.

          –> Using the same economia that the Church of Russia uses when receiveing RC clergy, the EP used it’s rights to restore clerical orders to the OCU and to receive them back into the Church as a dependency of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

          As I understand it (and I could be wrong), the OCU is technically valid, BUT, illicit. Bartholomew going against the wishes of his brother bishops was also very much unwise and hurt his chances of recognition. If the OCU had been reconciled with the UOC like the Macedonians were with the Serbians then I don’t think any of us would bat an eye.

          Even though I am no fan of Bartholomew, in the Orthodox Church the EP does indeed have certain prerogatives as the first among equals and does indeed act as a court of appeals. If the OCU was not able to be reconciled with the canonical Ukrainian Church or the Church of Russia, would it have been better to remain in schism or to come under the EP? I’m not sure, I guess history will be the judge of that.

          I’m not saying that I agree with the above, though to be honest it is decently theologically sound. Clearly the other local Churches have issues or else they would have recognized them quickly as they did. As it stands, if the OCU is indeed not schismatic, but technically valid/illicit, then technically Bart, Thedoros, etc., whoever has concelebrated with them is not schismatic but in a highly illicit and ill advised.

          The above is how I think these bishops are seeing it, and to be fair some of it does make sense. There have been messy times all through Church history, look at the Church of Bulgaria, ROCOR, the Macedonians, all of whom were out of communion with some Churches and in communion with others.

          • RE: “The clerics of the OCU (the various cobbled together groups) had previously received ordination by bishops of the Church of Russia who had been defrocked/anathematized.

            The OCU received an illegitimate ordination by an uncanonical church. The problem is they don’t want to fix it. They refuse to be properly ordained. Like feral cats, they remain outside the Church and avoid all contact with the canonical Church. Why? Because the canonical Church includes the Russian Orthodox Church.

            RE: “They (& Poroshenko) reached out to Constantinople as a court of appeals, which to it’s credit is technically the prerogative of the EP, asking to be received back into the Church.”

            The “court of appeals” aspect of the Ecumenical Patriarchate is to resolve disputes within the Church. These people were not (and still are not) in the Church. The bishops don’t accept them.

            RE: “Using the same economia that the Church of Russia uses when receiveing RC clergy, the EP used it’s rights to restore clerical orders to the OCU and to receive them back into the Church as a dependency of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.”

            In this case, Russia is the ONLY one who can fix their status. The OCU has to go to Russia, repent, and ask for forgiveness. No bishop, including the EP, can go into another bishop’s territory and do it for them.

            Bartholomew knows that and that’s why he pulls out these pieces of paper, that reality has long since rewritten, and claims they are still valid. In his mind, Kiev and all of Ukraine are still his territory because at one time they were under the EP. That scenario became null and void when the EP, himself, recognized Russia as over Ukraine.

            But none of this should surprise anyone. He puts metropolitans over places that no longer exist and tells everyone who will listen that he speaks for the entire Church! Not only does he NOT speak for the Church, he has caused a major schism; the largest schism since 1054. He has alienated 80% of the Church. He is so far afield of the Church, I am beginning to think he is mentally ill. – And now he thinks he’s going to unite the Church with the Catholic Church and their weird “synodality synod” stuff. That’s just 18 months away.

            So what does the Church do with a mentally ill bishop over the ecumenical patriarchate? Whatever it is, I wish they’d do it soon.

            Economia is for the Church. The OCU is outside the Church, by choice. –Being vested is just a shortcut to being ordained. The OCU doesn’t want to be ordained. Had they allowed it, I think more of the bishops would have accepted them. But now it’s too late.

            So, the problem with their “ordination” is they don’t have it and they don’t want it. They are men playing dress-up in their make-believe church.

            • Yes. While I can certainly appreciate that apostolic succession isn’t necessarily legalistic and ‘linear,’ it cannot be justified in this case because it was not done to create peace and reconciliation. On the contrary, it was done against the expressed wishes of the UOC
              (not just the MP alone) with the predictable fruit of even further division that the EP has no interest in resolving amicably in a conciliar way.

              Just as “…the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” So the fruit of unrighteousness is sown in discord by those determined to create conflict.

              The tragedy for all involved is that this could be resolved, but the EP is determined to fight instead of using the proragatives of his office to make peace – peace with his brethren and peace in Ukraine. And in his stubbornness over preserving what he believes to his ‘rights’ he has almost completely destroyed the credibility of the office he claims to be preserving.

              “He who would be first among you must be the servant of all.”

            • Yep, and I totally agree. I’m just trying to think in my head how these bishops can possibly fall for whatever Bart is selling. That’s the only way I can see it…other than the fact that $$ talks.

              If the Church would finally get together and fix this situation that would be great…

              The good news is, Bart has fallen out of favor with the majority of the Church. The majority of the Church has refused to recognize the OCU. Even within the Churches that have accepted it, it’s a minority of bishops who have done so.

              Because of all of the above, Bart is not going to be at all successful in his Unia with Rome. Will he personally go? Yes, but, other that Theodoros I’m not sure any other head of a local Church will follow him. IMHO even Ieronimos & Georgios are iffy, when it comes down to brass tax I imagine they wont go because they know they will be kicked wholesale out of their Churches.

          • I reject the MP reception of Papist clergy at least by those interpreting it as evidence of “valid” ordinations. This practise though is leniency guided by canon 8 of Nicea:

            Concerning those who call themselves Cathari, if they come over to the Catholic and Apostolic Church, the great and holy Synod decrees that they who are ordained shall continue as they are in the clergy. But it is before all things necessary that they should profess in writing that they will observe and follow the dogmas of the Catholic and Apostolic Church….. Wheresoever, then, whether in villages or in cities, all of the ordained are found to be of these only, let them remain in the clergy, and in the same rank in which they are found. But if they come over where there is a bishop or presbyter of the Catholic Church, it is manifest that the Bishop of the Church must have the bishop’s dignity; and he who was named bishop by those who are called Cathari shall have the rank of presbyter, unless it shall seem fit to the Bishop to admit him to partake in the honour of the title. Or, if this should not be satisfactory, then shall the bishop provide for him a place as Chorepiscopus, or presbyter, in order that he may be evidently seen to be of the clergy, and that there may not be two bishops in the city…

            What the EP did is literally grant Autocephaly to the wrong damn church altogether! It’s no different than a patriarch with dementia mistakenly handing T. D Jakes megachurch a tomos of Autocephaly proclaiming him archbishop of Washington DC and all America and then continuing to promote it and forcing other churches to accept it. In fact the Phanar is declaring that the reality of apostolic succession does not even exist! That regardless of their beliefs or whether an autonomous church already exists in a given territory he can, by the magical waving of the wand raise up new synods rivaling each other and all can be canonical. This has never happened before. The Phanar along with all his other shenanigans with ecumenism is clearly saying apostolic succession is an early church fiction with no salvific reality.

        • Maybe Mr. Bartholomew is joining up with the RC because the RC pays better. Old Mr. Bartholomew will be able to have access to the RC bank as well. Also maybe he feels like that joining up with the Pope will finally help him reopen that seminary in Turkey.🤷‍♂️


    Interesting that he specifies “Fanar” rather than Orthodoxy or “Greek Orthodoxy.” Im guessing he knows the only one who will join with Rome is just that, only the Fanar.

    • Interesting. He always is. He’s got that going for him.

      (We still didn’t receive anything. Try

      • Good deal, sent it over to your email. At this point there is so much more that could be added to that letter, things move fast in a week

    • It is interesting that he will tell the RCC
      what the conditions for unity are,
      but he doesn’t tell us.

    • Antiochene Son says

      So dialogue is an end unto itself, not the means to an end.

      Sounds like the Synod on Synodality. Gotta hand it to Bart, he’s great at sucking up.

      It’s not about deciding things, it’s about endless talk. Endless talk is how the Protestants have ended up where they are.

      • Yes, but they get to go to lots of meetings
        and conferences in lots of nice places…

      • Bart can dialogue all he want to, but, he only speaks for himself or his patriarchate, he does not speak for the whole of Orthodoxy.

        In contrast, Francis does speak for his whole communion so the synod on synodality is much worse for them because it affects the entire system.

        • “Francis does speak for his whole communion”

          I don’t think he speaks for Viganò.

          • I can’t figure out how is able to speak out as he does. He must be taking a terrible risk.

            • He’s retired, doesn’t have any actual power. Though is said to be in hiding since 2018. But the Catholic world has cooled a bit toward him, some conservatives have questioned if it’s really him writing, given how the tone has changed and become more political in recent years (and more erratic and aggressive). I really liked him at first, but more recently have wondered if it isn’t a bit of a psyop or controlled opposition, keeping people all stirred up. Nothing would surprise me anymore.

              • This is a pretty big psyop. He’s received by groups all over.

                • It wouldn’t be the first time. Not saying he’s not for real, I just saw this kind of thing a lot when I was RC. I don’t invest in it since becoming Orthodox, and it’s a relief.

                  • There is no way you could have seen this kind of thing “a lot” in any context. You would have to understand it to see it. And if you understood it you would know where it comes from.

                    • I think (guessing) that the reason Theo might think its a pysop is bc in Roman Catholicism, traditional voices usually get silenced, especially if they go against the modern RC zeitgeist.

                      Example: Cardinal Burke, Cardinal Sarah, Athanasius Schneider.

                      So it’s a bit “sus” that Vigano is allowed to say the things he does freely, however correct they might be, without any seeming repercussion.

                      Having been in Roman Catholicism (like Theo), Roman Catholics, and ESPECIALLY tradcats, will use half-truths, sophistry, and outright lies to justify Roman Catholicism. Or, they will go straight to Fatima, LaSalette, or any other apparition to “prove” whats going on in RC’ism. It’s honestly not dissimilar from Islam and how their religion allows them to lie for the sake of Islam.

                      Is Vigano a deep fake? I have my doubts since his polemics usually go against modern RC’ism. I’m just trying to guess the reason behind what Theo is saying. Either way, Vigano is a Roman Catholic cleric and is a product of the same Roman Catholic & Vatican 2 theology that has produced Francis and every other RC cleric.

                    • Gail, I was Catholic for a very long time. There is a pattern I have seen repeatedly with charismatic figures who attract tons of attention by saying all the right things, and then later turn out to be frauds (tons of that in the GOP too, Paul Ryan was the first I was aware of).

                      I don’t know if Vigano is one of them, but the change in his tone in recent years has made me wonder. I could tell you several very bad stories of others whom I also admired and enthusiastically listened to. So now I am much more careful about who I put my trust in.

                      What I’m suggesting here is to take things with a grain of salt. I know how the Catholic Church works, and assuming his intentions are the best, Vigano is nevertheless not a threat and powerless to change anything. Better to focus on Christ and prayer than Catholic firebrands.

                    • Not sure what being Catholic “for a very long time” has to do with anything but thanks for the information.

                      We are a geo-political blog. Our focus is on the Church and country in the context of the broader world.

                      We get excited when we hear of someone who stands up for the traditional values of the Church, as it is exceedingly rare. Vigano is not just talking to the Catholics. He has a lot to say about our culture, as well.

                      No one is focusing on Vigano’s person so his change in “tone” is not something we’d notice. We read specific things he writes and when it resonates with our traditional values, we draw attention to it. Vigano is like a C.S. Lewis. It’s unusual for people outside the Church to articulate Orthodox teaching.

                      But no one is seeing Vigano’s face in a piece of toast or anything so you needn’t worry! We’re not here to encourage people to be Catholic either.

                      As far as I can tell, Vigano is not a “threat” to anyone, except maybe to people who are uncomfortable with the truth. People who lean to the left often lean so far over they are practically lying on the ground. Everything they don’t agree with makes them uncomfortable and becomes a “threat.”

                      In terms of the blog, we’re going to forge ahead and share our opinions regardless.

            • Though he is a very brave man,
              I expect he watches what he eats.

  11. Well, it looks like Barack Hussain Obama has been taking lessons from Hillary. Obama had a black eye and injured hand, and was on the scene when his chef (who was “carrying on” with his daughter Sasha) drowned in just 7 feet of water.

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