How’s This for Freedom of Religion?

One of the shibboleths that we, as Americans like to constantly spout off is “freedom of religion.”  We especially like to throw this in the mix in order to justify foreign military interventions.  

That’s not the only one, mind you; the Alphabet People agenda is pretty darn near the top but as a traditional trope, it trumps most others.  

The Ecumenical Patriarchate, along with its hangers-on in the Archons/L100 class are always waxing lachrymose about “freedom of religion” (but only when it suits their agenda).  They even have an  award which they give out to celebrities every year which they label a “human rights award.”  It’s all contrived and anybody with a higher than imbecilic IQ can see right through it.

Now it’s obvious that most Americans who don’t even know where Ukraine is on a map.  So this tiresome old trope –i.e. freedom of religion–is being trotted out to justify sending the cocaine-addicted Clown of Kiev billions of dollars in aid.  Billions which we don’t have, but which are needed to rescue the “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” from the clutches of Moscow.  “Independence” is a heady word for we Americans since our own country was birthed in a burst of  rebellion from an oppressive empire.  Ironically, this becomes the only rationale needed to conquer other countries or destroy other cultures.   

For those of us who are Orthodox on the other hand, we know that this is a crock of hooey, at least when it comes to the whole OCU/UOC narrative.  For us, it’s clear that Constantinople violated every canon known to man so in order to achieve the birth of this uncanonical travesty (and travesty it is).  But it looks the other way and mouths the necessary platitudes in order to salve whatever remains of its conscience.

Platitudes like “freedom of religion.”

OK, so let’s play this game.  How does the following video look like “freedom of religion”?  (Spoiler alert:  it doesn’t.)

For a sober assessment of what this atrocity means, especially for the Orthodox Church, please take the time to watch this short, 16 minute video by the Duran, wherein Alex and Alex talk about what this means for the future for Orthodox churches in the West:


  1. George Michalopulos says

    Well, I guess we know which side God is on (this schismatic died while trying to assail a priest of the UOC):

    • m. Cornelia says

      Not only that, his boss, who sent him to close the church, died very soon after this in a terrible car accident.

  2. George Michalopulos says

    How’s this for rich? Metropolitan Onuphriy is accused of having two passports. He only has one –a Ukrainian one.

    I wonder how many passports St Zelensky has?

  3. Prayer for Christian Martyrs
    Lord, so great is our love for you
    That even though we walk in a world
    where speaking your name can mean certain death
    Your faithful still speak it
    And speak it all the louder.
    Help us work for a world where all may speak their creeds
    And pray their prayers
    Without fear of violence.
    Hear the prayers of those who abide with you
    in dangerous times
    and in dark valleys,
    And who die with your name on their lips.
    Draw them quickly to your side
    Where they might know eternal peace.

  4. The Jerusalem Post reports that the Kyiv City Council is in the process of renaming a street that is currently named for the renowned Russian geographer Nikolai Przhevalsky:

    Kyiv to name street for Ukrainian Nazi collaborator after public vote

    Problem is, the leading candidate to be the street’s new namesake is Volodymyr Kubiyovych (1900-1985). Besides being a Ukrainian geographer, Kubiyovych was a leading collaborator with Nazi Germany and was the founder of the Galician Division of the Waffen-SS. (Among other things, this division was notable for the integrated presence of chaplains from the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and Ukrainain Autocephalous Orthodox Church within its ranks, and for the fact that it was more anti-Bolshevik and less dogmatically pro-Nazi than other SS divisions.)

  5. Anonymous II says

    Ukraine war: Leak shows Western special forces on the ground

    The UK is among a number of countries with military special forces operating inside Ukraine, according to one of dozens of documents leaked online.

    It confirms what has been the subject of quiet speculation for over a year.

    The leaked files, some marked “top secret”, paint a detailed picture of the war in Ukraine, including sensitive details of Ukraine’s preparations for a spring counter-offensive.

    The US government says it is investigating the source of the leak.

    According to the document, dated 23 March, the UK has the largest contingent of special forces in Ukraine (50), followed by fellow Nato states Latvia (17), France (15), the US (14) and the Netherlands (1).

    The document does not say where the forces are located or what they are doing.

    The numbers of personnel may be small, and will doubtless fluctuate. But special forces are by their very nature highly effective. Their presence in Ukraine is likely to be seized upon by Moscow, which has in recent months argued that it is not just confronting Ukraine, but Nato as well.

    Key takeaways from leaked Pentagon documents
    How secret files appeared online, then began to vanish
    In line with its standard policy on such matters, the UK’s Ministry of Defence has not commented, but in a tweet on Tuesday said the leak of alleged classified information had demonstrated what it called a “serious level of inaccuracy”.

    “Readers should be cautious about taking at face value allegations that have the potential to spread misinformation,” it said.

    It did not elaborate or suggest which specific documents it was referring to. However, Pentagon officials are quoted as saying the documents are real.

    One document, which detailed the number of casualties suffered in Ukraine on both sides, did appear to have been doctored.

    UK special forces are made up of several elite military units with distinct areas of expertise, and are regarded to be among the most capable in the world.

    The British government has a policy of not commenting on its special forces, in contrast to other countries including the US.

    The UK has been vociferous in its support of Ukraine, and is the second largest donor after the US of military aid to Kyiv.

    US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the Department of Justice had opened a criminal investigation and he was determined to find the source of the leak.

    “We will continue to investigate and turn over every rock until we find the source of this and the extent of it,” he said.

    • This leak is huge, another Pentagon Papers type of thing. At first, I thought it was disinfo. Now, after listening to Larry Johnson, Ray McGovern and others, it looks like it’s the real thing.

      It could be an inside job by White Hats in the Pentagon to derail escalation or failing that, a great big CYA on the part of those who want to end our involvement in the Ukraine.

      • Let’s hope there are saner heads that are prevailing at least somewhere in D.C before they take us to oblivion. Also of note was Lindsay Graham calling for boots on the ground in Taiwan should China “invade,” which is defacto WW3.

        If this is news to us now I’m sure Russian intel has already known about this for a while which is probably why they have previously stated that the current battle is not Russia v Ukraine but Russia v NATO/Collective West. With Russia strategically disarming both of them.

        Which brings me to my next point..

        With Finland joining NATO (a huge mistake BTW), if they choose to mount an attack, or I should say if they are coerced into mountain an attack on Russia, what weapons are they going to use, NATO is divided and has run out, or is already out, of ammo. Same applies to Poland, if Poland is being forced into the battle like the two Alex’s have suggested then what exactly are they going to fight with? Given the amount of restraint that Russia has shown in Ukraine (relatively) due to the commonality of Russians/Ukrainians, I think it would be a mistake to assume that Russia would show even remotely the same restraint should they come under attack from Poland, Finland, Latvia, etc. As a side note, that also applies to China, they will not show restraint.

        • Speaking about Poland, it’s even worse than that. According to most estimates, there are over 3 million Ukrainians living in Poland and they are making life difficult for the Poles. In many towns, the only languages being heard on the street is either Ukrainian or Russian. Besides Poland being a homogeneous culture, crazy talk about merging (or erasing the boundaries between) Poland and the Ukraine is going to effectively destroy Poland as a unitary state. It will also do “wonders” for their Catholic identity.

          Now, some Polish nationalists feel that by annexing/merging with the Ukraine, they can revive the Intermarium (the Land between the Seas), i.e. their Medieval Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. This is fanciful however, back then they could get away with being feudal overlords over ignorant Ukrainian serfs but those days are gone.

          And then there’s the fact that the western Ukrainians had a very special hatred for the Poles, exterminating close to 100,000 of them in the waning days of WWII.

          • Johann Sebastian says

            I rather like the idea of a Ukrainized Poland. Abolish the Roman Catholic Church there, set up a Ukrainian Orthodox metropolitanate in Krakow “for Lechs of the Roman Rite.”

            Give them a taste of their own medicine.

            • RE: “Give them a taste of their own medicine.”

              What does THAT means?

              • Johann Sebastian says

                The Ukrainian idea is something artificially imposed on the Ruthenian people by the Poles in order to cleave a wedge between them and the Great Russians. Political enticements via the szlachta system and the invention of the Uniate church: all things designed to erode the Orthodoxy and unity of the Ruthenians with the rest of Rus’.

                By giving them a “taste of their own medicine,” I mean doing what they did to us—not in a contemptuous and vengeful way—but by encouraging them to repent of Papalism and by encouraging them to accept the truth of Orthodoxy while allowing them to retain the use of a Western liturgy that has been expunged of Papal errors.

                • Joseph Lipper says

                  Johann Sebastian, look, basically all of the Orthodox churches that Moscow hasn’t yet excommunicated have good relations and unity with the MP. The unity of the Church is expressed through the communion of the autocephalous Local Churches. So the “Ruthenians” don’t have to be under the MP to have unity in the Orthodox Church. It’s no longer an either “Rome” or “Moscow” proposition for them.

            • Except for the area of Ukraine that Poland would be annexing is largely Uniate or OCU schismatic.

              Not sure about the Ukrainians who have fled to Poland? But, I would imagine that many of them will be absorbed into the Polish Orthodox Church. I actually would be curious to know more about this, it’s not something that I’ve seen discussed a lot

          • Poland doing that would be a massive mistake (obviously), since the area of Ukraine they will be annexing or merging with is essentially where the majority nz’s reside. Probably the only thing they have in common with that area is that its a majority Uniate area, though hyper nationalistic, while Poland is Roman Catholic.

            As for the Ukrainian Orthodox in Poland, and the OCU schismatics, I see different possible scenarios:

            1. Laity of the UOC being absorbed into the POC

            2. Laity of the OCU being absorbed into the POC after a period of penance and being formally received via whatever method the POC chooses. Let’s not forget that the Polish Church is an avid supporter of Met. Onuphry and the canonical Church.

            3. The UOC sets up parishes in Poland, not sure they would, or could, currently do this.

            4. The OCU sets up parishes in Poland but remains not in communion with the POC and instead starts communing with the RC’s and Uniates.

            One or all of those could be a possibility.

            I’ve been to Poland, it’s a beautiful country with amazing people. I’ve had the opportunity to visit the Metropolitan Cathedral for the POC as well, also very beautiful. It’s a shame that Poland has decided to follow the U.S down the primrose path, which was and is a massive mistake.

      • Hi George! I saw this earlier today:

        Did I get it right that according to this the leak was made by an online gamer trying to win an argument vs. his competitors, all of whom had also expressed interest in Orthodoxy?

  6. Jeff Moss says

    It happened! The Ukrainian Orthodox Church has consecrated Holy Chrism today in Kiev.

    A blessed Great and Holy Thursday to all.

    • Joseph Lipper says

      Yes, the UOC made chrism, and that looks like freedom of religion to me. In contrast, if we look at the areas of Donbass and Crimea that have been annexed by Russia, the Russian government has already expelled the OCU there and instituted their policy of arresting Jehovah Witnesses and sentencing them to prison. Even other Protestant groups are now being targeted in Russian-controlled Donbass:

      “The priest of the Protestant church “Dobra Novyna” in Slovyansk city (Donetsk region) in an interview to the media mentioned that people who believe in religion and live in areas outside of Ukrainian control are unable to openly gather for their spiritual needs. Instead, they are forced to meet secretly in underground gatherings where they pray, sing, and listen to religious teachings. If Russian soldiers discover these gatherings and only members of the church are present, they may be subjected to disciplinary measures. If a pastor is leading the gathering, they may face imprisonment for up to 10 years.”

      Yes, local governments in Ukraine have taken actions against the UOC that are probably illegal by their Federal Ukrainian government. It seems their Federal government is mostly targeting individuals, at least for now, on suspicion of collaboration with Russia. However, if the Ukrainians were more like the Russians, the whole UOC hierarchy would probably already be on an outgoing train.

      • RE: “Yes, the UOC made chrism, and that looks like freedom of religion to me.”

        To me it looks like they’re carrying on with our traditions under extreme duress. Being evicted from their homes, pummeled on the ground, dragged through the mud by the chains on their crosses, while their parishes are bulldozed in front of children making them cry, made for a difficult week for them. That and knowing the “champions of religious freedom guys,” of which you speak, were shaking down their primate about the number of passports he had made it all that much more worse.

        Any of this ring true for you, Joseph?

        But they did this beautiful thing anyway.

        When the metropolitans came out in the beginning of the video and saw the cameras, they seemed a bit spooked. Rather than walking by, more than a few turn to look. They have to be hypervalent these days.

        If they’re feeling religious freedom, it sure doesn’t look like it. What I see is grace under fire, which says everything about them and nothing about the aggressors that the Ecumenical Patriarch thought prudent to unleash on them.

        Joseph, there are two wars going on here. Had the Russians never entered Ukraine, the war between the faux church and the real Church would have still happened only it would have been even more grievous, as all that Nazi attention would have come their way instead of being syphoned off to be used toward the Russians.

        The Russians saw this aggression toward their people up to and after the Minsk Agreement. The situation was unsalvageable. We all knew Bartholomew was unleashing the Nazi on the canonical Church. He signed their death warrant, assuming HIS church would take it’s place.

        The result has been derision, divisiveness, loss, tragedy, and the utter suffering of the canonical Church. Let’s hope my judgement of his actions (not his heart which I cannot see) is not share by Christ.

        • Joseph Lipper says

          Gail, yes, the UOC is under fire. Angry Ukrainians are attacking UOC parishes. They are taking their anger and frustration over the war out on the UOC. Often times the local governments and police side with these angry Ukrainians.

          Rules and laws don’t always work, especially during wartime.

          There were some UOC clergy that collaborated with Russia, but probably most are already in annexed territory of the Russian Federation, such as in Donbass and Crimea, which now makes them no longer part of the UOC. Yet because of this, the UOC still has a bit of a credibility problem with many people in Ukraine.

          • You missed my point which is the Russian war has taken the brunt of what would have been released on the UOC had it not happened when it did. I imainted that factored into Russia’s decision, as well.

            Russia didn’t have a choice with NATO intend to move in, the western war machine “all in,” and the biolabs. Did you know that labs like this have been erected all over the world? We’re fortunate that they’re not on our front door (we don’t think.)

            The war in Ukraine has done a number on us, as well. I remember mentioning on the blog that I spent $9.99 a few months ago on orange juice. It used to be half that. It’s now gone up to over $l7.50. Inflation is out of control and we’re still trying to drag ourselves out of the hole we dug due to COVID.

            Out of the $76.8 billion we’ve spent on Ukraine, a county 6.14% the size of the United States, $46.6 billion (61%) went to Ukraine’s military, $3.9 billion (5%) to humanitarian needs, 26.4 billion for emergency food assistance, health care, refugee support, and other humanitarian aid (this all sounds like humanitarian aid but they separated it out).

            Note: Aid has primarily been provided through appropriations bills. This only covers aid to Ukraine and so does not include all U.S. spending related to the war.

            • “You missed my point…”

              He didn’t. He ignored it.

            • Joseph Lipper says

              Gail, I’m not sure I understand your point about the Russian war taking “the brunt of what would have been released on the UOC had it not happened when it did.”

              What I see is that things got much worse for the UOC after the Russian invasion. Metropolitan Onuphry at the Bishop’s Council last summer had a long list of reasons about how the Russian invasion has been such a tragedy for the UOC.

              Am I to understand you that it would have been worse if Russia had not invaded?

              I don’t think Metropolitan Onuphry would share that opinion. He condemned the Russian invasion from day one, and he keeps pointing that out:

              “I condemn Russia’s war against Ukraine and consider it a disgrace to angels and men, but I am deeply grateful to those Russians who accepted me when my Ukraine turned its back on me. I am grateful to God that in Russia I met kind, sincere and God-loving people, whom I still want to be like today. The world lives on such people. I know that even today in Russia, as in Ukraine, there are many kind and wonderful people who don’t profiteer on the war, but sincerely condemn it as a phenomenon that doesn’t bring people closer together, but rather divides them.”


              • Joseph, dear Joseph, the OCU NEVER intended for the UOC to survive in Ukraine! They said they wanted a NATIONAL church. When you have a national church, there can be but one. You cannot have two national churches. It’s not possible.

                If Russia hadn’t gone into Ukraine when they did the Nazis (I’m not being insulting here; that is the symbol they wear) would have unleashed their fury on the UOC full throttle. But they didn’t have that opportunity because they had to fight Russia. So, no, it would not have been worse if Russia hadn’t gone into Ukraine when they did.

                And what was Metropolitan Onufriy supposed to say? Viva la Russia?! He was protecting his people, Joseph, and Russia knows this. You can’t just announce your independence without your Mother Church denouncing it. But Russia isn’t going to call any negative attention to Metropolitan Onufriy. They know he and the others are in harms way, which is why I wrote that article about him being like Jeremiah Denton, the POW who couldn’t say what was going on because he would be killed.

                Metropolitan Onufriy genuinely loves Ukraine and he loves Russia. No one is trying to take that away from him. But that he’s caught in the crosshairs, is a given. – I would also argue the Nazi are NOT representative of the Ukrainian people. Not at all. Before Bartholomew came into the picture, it was the canonical Church that represented the greatest number of parishes and monasteries n Ukraine. Perhaps still do. The Kiev church was barely a distant second until Bartholomew put them on the map.

                Now that we are seeing the war coming to a close, we’re also seeing the OCU amp up their deadly intentions toward the UOC. The caves, the beatings, the bulldozing of the Churches, taking over little parishes, desecrating their alters, the crying children . . . Joseph, they are going to get rid of the UOC come hell or high water unless Russia kicks a%^ before they leave Ukraine. Every last one of those Nazi need to be gone for the UOC to have a chance of surviving what Bartholomew unleashed on them.

                The OCU nationalists will kill them, Joseph. Literally. Their wartime atrocities are legendary so they will probably maim and torture them first.

                Do you know why all those bishops were dressed up in their finery? It wasn’t to make chrism, although that was the occasion they chose which was bittersweet. They dressed up in their finery and pulled out all the stops because this time together may be their last. Did you see the faces on the faithful? They knew this. Their expressions were heartbreaking. Not what you would expect to see at a festive occasion. EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THEM KNEW AT ANY MOMENT IT COULD BE OVER. When you’re going out as a warrior of God, you’re going to put on your best. This is what saints do. This is why we remember them. We remember them because they went out with courage and in glory.

                Why can’t you see this?

                This isn’t about the Russian invasion! That may have happened anyway, when all peace talks were exhausted, but the timing of when Russia went in had everything to do with Bartholomew and only Bartholomew. He knew who these Nasi people were. He blessed their intentions. To their credit, the Nazis were VERY clear about all of it. They said they were going to destroy the canonical Church and they meant it. They even presented Bartholomew with an icon depicting a sword being thrust into the heart of the the double-headed eagle which we’ve talked about on the blog before. The double-headed eagle was adopted by the Russian tsars in the 15th century and represented the country of Russia and her Church, as the two are inseparable. If the nationalists had been talking about the country of Russia and not the Church, the icon would have been a ludicrous display, as no band of brothers in Ukraine could take out a world power like Russia nor was that the option being offered to them by Bartholomew.

                It was about her Church. The Russian (canonical) Church. Bartholomew betrayed them. Why? Because he is jealous of the Russian Church and fears it will one day encroach upon his ecumenical throne. You really do need to go find those Wikileaks that document him incessantly talking about it with the State Department, Hillary, Biden, et al.

                Bartholomew hurt the Church, Joseph. That’s why he is slinking away and that’s why Mt. Athos has come out against his chosen Epiphany. If the canonical Church is to survive in Ukraine, Epiphany needs to be gone. No one is going to commune with him. It’s not even his fault, really. He is who he is. It’s Bartholomew’s fault for bringing him into the Church in the first place.

                As I’ve said before, there was no time for further peace talks when cooler heads might have prevailed. The OCU’s lust for the blood of the UOC would have left them victims. That’s why Patriarch Kirill told those soldiers that if they died in battle for their countrymen (read for their Church), it would mean something to Christ because they were risking their lives for His Church. This comment didn’t come from Putin, the leader of their country. This comment came from Patriarch Kirill, the leader of their Church.

                Pray fervently for the UOC. They could easily be dressed in their finest for their funerals. Please God, protect them.

                • Jeff Moss says

                  Hungary (where I lived for a year) semi-officially acknowledges three népegyházok, i.e. “people’s churches” or national churches: the Catholic, the Lutheran, and the Reformed.

                  But none of them is a national church in an Orthodox sense: the Church of the Hungarian people. Historically, Hungary had a true national church under King St. Stephen I (crowned King of Hungary on the Feast of the Nativity in AD 1000). King Stephen is recognized as a saint in both the Orthodox and the Catholic Churches, but after the Great Schism and especially the takeover of Hungary by the Austrian Empire, allegiance to the Catholic Church was more complicated and then became fragmented at the Reformation. Even the Hungarian Protestants tried and failed to achieve unity, as the Lutherans and Calvinists just couldn’t come to agreement.

                  So it’s possible to have multiple “national churches”—but maybe not for an Orthodox country?

                  • Though it may be possible to have two national Orthodox Churches in Ukraine (I don’t know as it’s never happened before to my knowledge), this was never presented as a possibility.

                    Unlike the OCU, the churches in Hungry have a long history. The OCU was a new animal, created by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, who granted them autocephaly which means they’re completely independent of even Bartholomew.

                    On 15 December 2018 a unification council founded the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. On 5 January 2019, Patriarch Bartholomew signed the tomos of autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

                    Who gives autocephaly to a church that is less than a month old when there is already an existing Church that began in 988 A.D?

                    • Joseph Lipper says

                      Christ is Risen!

                      Gail, all of the Orthodox bishops in Ukraine were invited to receive the autocephaly from the EP. It’s been given to all of them. It just hasn’t been accepted by most.

                    • Truly He is Risen!

                      If it wasn’t accepted by “most” how was he able to give it to them?

                    • Bartholomew gave them autocephaly,
                      provided they accept that their particular cephas
                      is to be the autos of Bartholomew…

                      Equō nē crēdite, Teucrī! Quidquid id est,
                      timeō Danaōs et dōna ferentēs.
                      (“Do not trust the horse, Trojans! Whatever it is,
                      I fear the Danaans, even when bringing gifts.”)

                      [Virgil: Aeneid]

                  • What the government recognizes is one thing. Many countries recognize multiple official religions and so on. In Orthodoxy there cannot exist two official parallel synods of the one church. In the 4th century there were parallel bishops of Antioch but each local Church only recognized one. Rome recognized the churches under Paulinus while the east recognized Meletios. In America the GOA recognized the ROCOR as the official Russian synod in America until 1969 when they dropped them for the OCA . The Creed makes clear there is one not two apostolic churches. There has never been a time in history (until now) where the Church abandoned itself and stabbed itself in the back in order to recognize a vagante sect to replace itself with.

          • ” They are taking their anger and frustration over the war out on the UOC. ”

            They were attacking UOC for a long time, even before 2014. Now they feel empowered.

            • Joseph Lipper says

              The UGCC was also empowered around 1989-90 when they were allowed to take back churches in Ukraine. These would be churches that formerly belonged to them, but were taken away by Joseph Stalin’s “Council of Lviv” in 1946 that abolished the UGCC and handed their churches over to the Moscow Patriarchate. It was a nasty matter for the UGCC in 1946, and it was a nasty matter again for the MP when those churches were taken back.

              The UGCC doesn’t want to be connected with Moscow. That’s the main reason for themselves being in schism. Most Ukrainians no longer want to be under the MP either. So having a singular and autocephalous Orthodox Church in Ukraine makes sense. The pathway to getting there, though, is unclear. The Ukrainians have to figure that out.

              • R: “Most Ukrainians no longer want to be under the MP either.”

                That’s not true! If that were the case, how do you explain so many more parishes that belong to the MP? It is the OCU who wants the MP out of Ukraine and, unfortunately, when you introduce bullies into a situation you have to say and do what they want to live another day.

                Ukraine has ALWAYS been widely populated by MP parishes and monasteries. The UOC declaring independence does not mean Russia has granted it. It means they have allowed Metropolitan Onufriy to separate to save their lives.

                In a sermon just days after the split, Patriarch Kirill said he was praying that “no temporary external obstacles will ever destroy the spiritual unity of our people.”

                After Russia takes over Ukraine completely, which is there intention, they will start rebuilding in Ukraine (no one can rebuild like the Russians) and Ukraine will go back to being Ukraine, minus the West who used it as a toilet for their their money laundering and trafficking.

                Soon, the Ukrainians will be able to return to newly built homes and to new jobs that will be created due to the rebuilding. MP parishes will again repopulate the landscape, as it was the case before Bartholomew blackened their door. Metropolitan Onufriy may be formerly granted autocephaly (which he does not yet have), but that may not be what the Ukrainians want. It may not be what he wants after the war comes to it’s conclusion. He’ll want what Ukraine wants and it’s not going to be the OCU.

                You don’t speak for the Ukrainians, Joseph. Their history speaks for them and historically (for centuries) they have chosen to be part of the MP. What the UGCC wants is immaterial to the Orthodox Church as long as they remain in full communion with the Holy See and the rest of the Catholic Church.

                Bartholomew’s plans to unite us to Rome in 2025 are fast going up in smoke. It appears as if Pope Francis (if that’s even him) is on his way out of this life and onto the next. Life has a way of catching up to you.

                • Joseph Lipper says

                  Gail, if the rest of Ukraine wanted to be part of Russia, then they would have already laid down their weapons and been “liberated” like in the Donbass. Putin made a generous offer to any Ukrainians who wanted Russian citizenship a long time ago.

                  Yes, I think most Ukrainians want to have better relations with Russia. Likewise, I believe the Orthodox Churches of Poland, Czech Republic, the OCA, and Georgia all have better relations with Russia as a result of their autocephaly.

                  • Joseph, in terms of the Church, the Ukrainians had an excellent relationship with Russia and did for hundreds and hundreds of years. This is not something “new.” Ukraine was a region of Russia. It was called “Little Russia!” In many cases, there aren’t even borders between them. Again, this is nothing new.

                    And there is no “autocephaly.” That would have to be granted by the Russian Church. To date, it has not been granted.

                    Metropolitan Onufriy announced the UOC’s independence from Russia, for the reasons we’ve discussed. This does not constitute “autocephaly” anymore than Macedonia’s announcement of independence constituted autocephaly back in 1967 which you know they’ve only recently received from their own Mother Church.

                    Under the circumstances, it’s highly unlikely Metropolitan Onufriy is going to run to the Ecumenical Patriarchate to bypass Russia’s options! (Not that he has the authority; that fantasy has passed.) – It’s up to Russia. Metropolitan Onufriy may not even want it when the danger is over. It will depend on what the Ukrainians want and what Russia thinks is best moving forward. The rebels, of course, won’t matter as they will be gone.

                    At the very minimum, there is likely to be a substantial cooling off period to give the Ukrainians an opportunity to settle back into their homes before addressing anything like this, but that’s just my guess.

                    The OCA has been to Russia many, many times. They have even attended their Council of Bishops. Their relationship with the MP is just fine. Why would you imagine it will change?

                    • Joseph Lipper says

                      Gail, please forgive my clumsy writing. Yes, the Orthodox Churches of Poland, Czech Republic, the OCA, and Georgia all have better relations with Russia now, I believe, as a result of the autocephaly they were granted from Russia. For example, what the pre-OCA Metropolia went through was awful. Not only was the Metropolia considered schismatic, but they also had to fend off lawsuits from Russia over church properties. As you mention, the OCA now has a much better relationship with Russia.

                      I believe the Ukrainian Church has opportunity for even better spiritual unity with Russia as an autocephalous church, just like the others I have mentioned do.

                      Wishing you and George a blessed Pascha! Thanks for putting up with my comments. I appreciate the dialogue.

                    • Thanks, Joseph. You, too!

  7. Here’s a new look at another war:

    Mike Konrad | The American Civil War: The Celts’ Last Stand

    ‘ In April, 1865, General Lee’s troops surrendered their arms at Appomattox. The Civil War was almost over. It is ever fascinating, and ever more horrible to look at. Recent historians have noted that the death toll was larger than originally estimated.

    But in 2011… [an] in-depth study of recently digitized census data concluded that a more accurate estimate of Civil War deaths is about 750,000, with a range from 650.000 to as many as 850,000 dead. — History

    Not only has recent examinations of the casualties resulted in higher numbers, but a look at immigration patterns in the United States indicates that the America might have been more ethnically diverse than many realize, and that this difference might have been sharper than previously suspected, and contributed to the nature of the Civil War.

    In fact, this war might have been the last stand of a civilizational war, one that was not recognized until recently.

    If one looks at the settlement in the North of the United States, one notices a pattern. One sees the Puritan stock of East England — essentially descended from Anglo-Saxons, who themselves primarily came from Denmark and the areas of northwest Germany adjacent to Denmark.

    These were North Germanic peoples.

    Other Germanic peoples also settled in the North. The Dutch had been in New York since the beginning of European colonization. Starting in the 1820s, Scandinavians started coming to America.

    Then there were the continental Germans proper. These had been concentrated in Pennsylvania and upstate New York, such as the German Flatts, since before the Revolution. Another prominent second wave of Germans came over in the 1840s after the failure of democratic revolutions in Europe.

    One might add the English-speaking mislabeled Scots-Irish (originally from Lowland Scotland). Despite their name, these were often descended primarily from the English who had drifted into southeast Scotland, along with Vikings, Danish, and Normans (the descendants of Vikings). Another Germanic people group.

    The only significant outlier in this primarily Germanic group were the Irish-Catholics. They had been in America since before the Revolution (in small numbers), but the potato famine drove roughly two million over in the 1840s — the vast majority to the North, and this may be critical, as we shall see.

    These Irish Catholics were Gaels… Celts, but between 1840-1861, most had been absorbed — with a degree of social friction — in to the urbanizing North. Apart from that, the North was primarily a pan-Germanic group. Again, this may be critical.

    Originally, the South was considered by historians to be similarly settled, chiefly by the English. However, the South was not affected that much by the Dutch or later Scandinavian/German immigrations.

    While historians note a large Scots-Irish immigration to the South, even that has come under re-examination. This has produced surprising insight. The South was not quite as Anglo-Saxon as it claimed to be.

    There is North Carolina, which was settled by Highland Scots, Gaelic Celts, after failed rebellions in the 17th and early 18th centuries. They have Highland Games annually.

    The Louisiana French were heavily descended from the seafarers of Brittany who themselves descended from Celtic Britons (precursors to the Welsh) who had fled the Anglo-Saxon invasions of Britain in the 5th – 8th centuries.

    Louisiana was not so much classic French as heavily Breton Celt. The South’s General P.G.T. Beauregard, who was also part-Welsh, came from Louisiana.

    The historian Grady McWhiney noticed that a large part of the indentured servants who went South, where there was a demand for field hand labor, came from Ireland. And these were not merely plantation settlers from Ulster of English descent. Rather, they had Gaelic names.

    Simpkins and Roland highlight a recurring problem in Southern scholarship: The automatic labeling of any non-Irish-Catholic Southerner whose ancestry derives from any part of the British Isles as ethnically and culturally Anglo-Saxon. To do so means not only that an unreservedly anti-English, Scots-Irish family like that of Andrew Jackson would be lumped under the cultural heading Anglo-Saxon but so would Scottish Gaelic and Welsh speakers and any recent “converts” from Irish Catholicism to any form of Protestantism. — Celts in the South, p. 34

    It seems that many Gaelic Irish left Ireland from Ulster, only to be mislabeled as members of the Anglo-Ulster plantation. Moreover, it was a common practice for the English to “enslave” young waifs and ship them off as indentured servants to the tobacco fields of the South. A large portion of these would be Celtic Gaels or Welsh, who, after being released from indentured servitude, may have adopted the surnames of their English masters.

    [T]he basic cultural patterns of the South were in place roughly by the beginning of the nineteenth century, and the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century immigrants from Ireland, Scotland, and Wales came from lands in which the majority of people were fluent in a Celtic language… — Celts in the South, p. 34

    A lot of coincidences start creeping up.

    By the 19th century, it was fashionable to claim an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and so Southerners did so, many of them unwittingly — maybe unawares that their surname came from a Celtic ancestor indentured to an English master.

    But recent scholarship is starting to show that if the North was heavily Germanic in ancestry — and it was — the South may have been primarily Celtic, much more so than previously thought.

    Because there was a plantation aristocracy among the slaveholders, which were descended from the English, and because the slaveholders (the Fire-Eaters) fomented the rebellion, it was erroneously assumed that the rest of the South was as English as the plantation owners.

    Yet, anyone who has heard country music will immediately recognize it as the offspring of Irish and Scottish Celtic music.

    But what about the mislabeled Scots-Irish? Aren’t they actually Germanic from Lowland Scotland?

    Well, yes, many are. If they came from the eastern Lowlands.

    However, the Lowland Scots were further split. While those on the east were Germanic, genetically Anglo. Those on the west coast of Scotland were descended from Gaels, and should have been labeled Highlanders.

    It turns out that in 1641, when the Irish revolted against England’s colonization in Ulster and tried to drive out the Ulster Plantation Settlers, they preferentially went after English speakers. However, some of the Plantation Settlers were Gaelic speakers, descended from Scottish Gaels, who had converted to Presbyterianism, and these were often left alone.

    This resulted in the targeting of English settlers in 1641, with some recorded instances of the Scots also taking an active part. However, when order was restored, it was the Irish who suffered, while the Scots would simply acquire extra land left by the absent Irish and English. — Irish Origenes

    It turns out that the issue in Ulster was not religion — as the English like to claim for justification — but nationality. The rebel Irish wanted the English out, but cut some slack with fellow Gaelic Celts, even if Scottish Gaels.

    So while the Lowlanders who went to Ulster were heavily Germanic, many of those who stayed on in Ulster were of Gaelic stock, and from these came a large part of the Southern Scots-Irish.

    The North was heavily ethnically and culturally Germanic — except for recent Irish Catholic arrivals.

    The South may have been considerably more ethnically Celtic than it realized. Because of indentured servitude, and forced language acquisition, a lot of Southerners who fancy themselves Anglo-Saxon may be more Gaelic, Welsh, or Breton than they know.

    The Celts were famous for their music, their love of alcohol (the Romans thought the Celts were drunks), clan feuding, and their religious fervor. The Gauls were frightfully pagan. The Irish were super Catholic, while the Scots were extreme Presbyterian. Also the Celts were famous for strong women (Boudicea and Grace O’Malley). The Celtic God of War was a goddess.

    And what do we see in Southern Culture: Celtic music, a love of whiskey, clan feuding, the Bible belt, and strong women.

    Some scholars dismiss this as fanciful, as did I at first. After all, much of the leadership of the South was descended from English Cavalier stock. But those were the elites, and a small group at that. It turns out that the base population were indeed descended from Scottish Gaels, the Welsh, Irish Gaels, and the Bretons — many of whom may have adopted English names and be unaware of their true ancestry.

    If one doubts this, look at this recreation of the Battle of Bull Run from the movie Gods and Generals. The Southerners seems to be staging a Highland Charge.

    Putting this all together, it turns out that the American Civil War may have been the last stand of Celtic civilization. The Celts were tragic warriors who won every battle except the last, and lost every war, Between the Romans, the Germans, and the English, the Celts were overrun.

    The American Civil War may have been a tragic echo of that pattern. ‘

    Well, wasn’t it the Cornish/English/Scots-Irish Mark Twain who blamed Sir
    Walter Scott for creating the Southern character which led to the Civil War?

    • Brendan, thank you for this brilliant expose!

      As a Greek-American, I had intuited from an early age something “peculiar” about the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia (i.e. the “Stars and Bars”): that it looked like the Cross of St Andrew. And later, upon manhood, I found out that this was indeed the case. The State flags of Alabama and Florida have the “Cross Saltaire” as well. In Arkansas, they’ve used those same bars but in a diamond shape.

      When the South becomes Orthodox, St Andrew will be its patron saint.