If the EP Joins with Rome How Will It Affect the Church?

I don’t have an answer for this question.  If the EP joins with Rome, would his decision be binding on the whole Church? 

He has long said he is “the spiritual leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide.”  He has said this at least as far back as 1992 when every one was in communion with him. 

And now he says he’s no longer “first among equals,” but “first without equal.”  This is how papalism started, with Jesuitical nonsense such as this.

If we don’t commune with schismatics because of their practices and beliefs, wouldn’t the inverse also be true?  By communing with someone, aren’t we acknowledging that we accept their practices, in word and in deed?

Because that’s what I think happened.  By remaining silent, a horrible precedent as been set.  

Although it is common knowledge throughout the Church that Bartholomew can only speak for his patriarchate, none of the Local Churches have officially disputed his claims that he speaks for all of us. 

Different individuals have spoken out against it, but the Church as a whole has looked the other way.  People have tried to discourage him, but he remains undeterred.  He has forged ahead making these claims in his biography, on his website, in materials disseminated from his patriarchate, in opinion pieces, at Crete, when he went into Ukraine, etc.

Virtually all the time, in every place, in recent memory.

Going into Ukraine was particularly problematic and yet he did that, too, because he thought he had the authority to do so.  (He knew he didn’t but made up a flimsy excuse anyway.)

What a mess this has been.  It was especially difficult for the Ukrainian Church as they had to stand by and watch their parishes and monasteries be looted and occupied.  Kiev has now banned the canonical Church in that country altogether.  Honestly, if the hierarchs had gotten together and defined his role, he wouldn’t have been able to go into another bishop’s territory and Russia wouldn’t be in Alexandria’s territory.  It’s like it’s every man for himself these days.

This is not Orthodoxy.  The Church was not supposed to operate this way.  It’s ironic that bishops far and wide could get together centuries ago to hammer out the canon of Scripture but in this day and age, when communication is instantaneous, they can’t address this issue.    

We wouldn’t be in this position if the Church had collectively sanctioned Bartholomew before and after Ukraine, rather than saying nothing as the CHURCH, individually choosing whether or not to commune with him.  

How much more clear can Bartholomew be with regard to his intentions?  He has exchanged the holy kiss with Pope Francis!  The holy kiss is an “essential part of preparing to partaking in the Eucharist.”  Shouldn’t this be addressed? 

Let’s say Bartholomew does decide to cross the Tiber, how will it impact the greater Church?  For one, it will put the laity at odds with one another.  It already has.  It is not the fault of the GOA, for example, that the greater Church has not felt it necessary to correct one of their brother hierarchs.  The Greek Church has always been Orthodox.  Do we now cut out their members because something wasn’t handled by those with the authority to do so? 

Talk about the sins of the fathers. . . 

It’s easy to say, “Just write them off and forget about them.”  But is it fair to expect a father, like George, to write off his sons’ legacy in the Church?  Their grandfather was a pillar in their parish (as was their great-grandfather).  He spent more time there than at home.  And what about the rest of his family?  Are we to take the Orthodox Church away from them?  Where is the responsibility of the hierarchs in all this?  By not acting, they are putting us in an impossible position.  

A Church-wide conciliar statement on this issue should be made before Bartholomew suddenly announces we have merged with Rome.  He says it’s his intention to do so.  It’s lunacy not to take him at his word.  As one body, it affects us deeply because I don’t want have to stand up before Christ and explain why I had to turn my back on other Orthodox Christians. 

When someone shows you who they are, I think it’s prudent to believe them.  Bartholomew is going to unite with Rome if it’s his last dying breath.  He says he is going to do this and has shown us every indication he means what he says.  I’ve got to give him credit for that.  He says what he means.  It will be another Ukraine, only worse, if that’s even possible.

When is the Church going to act?  After the fact is too late. 

There is already a fissure in the Church due to Bartholomew’s actions.  If he goes to Rome, as he has stated he will, the Church will be fractured beyond repair.  

Comments

  1. Gail: “I don’t have an answer for this question.
    If the EP joins with Rome, would his decision
    be binding on the whole Church?”

    The short answer is “No.” A previous EP joined with Rome.
    St Mark of Ephesus did not regard his decision as binding.
    After some time, the Church agreed with St Mark.

    • isn’t it time we cleaned our own house first? What about the episcopi vangantes? the non canonicals? the old calendaists? the ethnocentics? etc. We are not an united church, we are far from being on the same page liturgically, theologically, administratively, linguistically, operationally, etc. So, what does black bat bring to the table? wasn’t his see tired 600 years ago? in reality he is no pope francis, yet pope francis cannot control the old catholics, or the polish national catholics, etc. and the eastern rite catholics, who are considered to be the second team, are an anamoly, an embarassment, and an irritance to him. so to quote our great theologian Bugs Bunny,, “What’s all the hub bud, bud?” Dememntia is an ailment of many pseudo leaders,isn’t it?

    • Indeed! There is truly nothing new under the sun.

      There have been schisms and heresies for as long as the Church has existed. They will only cease when the Lord returns.

      The Church is indefectible and cannot be “irreparably damaged.” Only those who persist in heresies and schisms are “irreparably damaged.” Always remember that.

  2. Solidarity Priest says

    The Patriarch doesn’t have the authority to make a decision binding on the whole church. That’s why I have an issue with the priest whose status we are no longer allowed to discuss here. At the recent Uncut Mountain Conference, said priest was asked by someone who was concerned about the EP’s direction if changing jurisdictions was a good remedy. The answer was “no, because you are still in the same church.” With respect to said priest, I dispute that.
    It didn’t start with Bartholomew and Francis. The push for unity started with Athenagoras and Pope Paul VI back in the sixties, when you and I were teens. Back then, many God-loving Greek Americans found refuge in ROCOR. There might have been more, had it not been for the HOCNA scandal. Two of my late spiritual fathers, Hieromonk Kallistos(Pazalos) and Archpriest Stavros Rousos, were Greek Americans who died as ROCOR priests.
    I myself left the OCA for ROCOR, not only because I was against the relationship with the MP( at that time controlled by the Soviets), but also because they were in communion with the EP. I’m back for the time being, since ROCOR and the MP have reconciled and I became convinced that the MP has the freedom to confess the faith.
    I’m no theologian, but if I believed in the papacy, I would join the existing Uniate churches. I recall reporting here once that a Serbian deacon glibly told me that the Greek Old Calendarists are outside the church. I should have thought to ask him if he thinks the Pope is IN the church, because it sure seems that Bartholomew does. For what it’s worth, neither my spiritual father( ACROD), nor my dean(OCA) share the deacons view. Are some Greek Calendarists extremists? Absolutely, but if the EP hadn’t pushed the unnecessary calendar change in the 1920’s, there would be no Old Calendarists.
    Tomorrow is the Feast of St. Nicholas. He was a model of meekness, but he wouldn’t tolerate wolves attacking the flock. Through his prayers may God preserve us!

    • Perhaps what was meant was that changing jurisdictions now won’t matter a great deal because the various jurisdictions are in communion with each other and none are in communion with the Pope. Jumping ship to joint the Old Calendarists out of fear of a future union with the Pope has no basis in the canons or patristic teaching. If the EP were to unite with the Pope and the latter remained in heresy, the Lord who said the gates of Hades would not prevail against the Church would lead some bishops to reject such a false union, and it would then be our duty to unite with those bishops who remain faithful.

    • Perhaps what was meant was that changing jurisdictions now won’t matter a great deal because the various jurisdictions are in communion with each other and none are in communion with the Pope. Jumping ship to join the Old Calendarists out of fear of a future union with the Pope has no basis in the canons and patristic teaching. If the EP were to unite with the Pope and the latter remained in heresy, the Lord who said the gates of Hades would not prevail against the Church would lead some bishops to reject such a false union, and it would then be our duty to unite with those bishops who remain faithful.

  3. Joseph Lipper says

    Here’s the video of the Russian Patriarch exchanging the kiss of peace with Pope Francis:

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/news3lv.com/amp/news/nation-world/pope-patriarch-sign-declaration-on-unity

    • That was seven years ago! I have a feeling they would not choose to be in the same room together today.

      • Stefan Kuznetsov says

        Yet that kiss wasn’t liturgical unlike Bartholomew.
        Considering the recent statements that Frankie gave about Russians I doubt that there’s ever going to be a repeat.

  4. Hilber Nelson says

    ‘’The Church is universal and one of her primary tasks is to spread Christ’s faith among those who do not yet know the Truth. … The gates of hell shall not overcome the Church, in spite of all heresies and schisms, in spite of the unworthiness and apostasy of many ministers of the Church, even of those in high positions.”
    St John Maximovitch (San Francisco)
    That said, this article still begs the question: When our patriarchs act like politicians, when our shepherds act like sheep, what does God expect of the faithful? Continue to look away, fall in line, pray but not act? At what point does our crippling silence become a form of people pleasing dressed up as “obedience”? Fortunately, we have only to turn to the lives of the saints and ecumenical councils for examples of courage under the fires of heresies and schisms, if we dare. I am sooooo ready to join hands with those ready, willing and able to take action. Problem is, how can the faithful connect, organize and act effectively? Example: I signed a petition on Change.org to protest Met. Joseph’s unjust ouster. The higher ups at the Antiochian Archdiocese threatened to discipline the priest who posted it. Petition caput. Any other ideas?

    • Truth!

      When our patriarchs act like politicians, when our shepherds act like sheep, what does God expect of the faithful? Continue to look away, fall in line, pray but not act? At what point does our crippling silence become a form of people pleasing dressed up as “obedience”?

      • Hilber Nelson says

        Agreed! But by what means and/or mechanism. Please advise.

      • Matthew 25:31-46

        ὥσπερ ὁ ποιμὴν ἀφορίζει τὰ πρόβατα ἀπὸ τῶν ἐρίφων

        as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats

        Why is it muslims, jews and christians all call their clergy goats?

    • Antiochene Son says

      Follow the parable of the widow and the unjust judge: keep making noise until they do listen to you. If our bishops are going to be politicians, use political tactics to influence them. That is how the sweeping societal changes (most of them bad) in recent memory have happened.

      In your example, toss the online petition. The answer would have been to flood the Board of Trustees with letters and phone calls — both collectively and individually. Those who lived near the members should have sought them out to talk in person. Call and write to the bishops and to your priest. Politicians, especially weak low-caliber ones, give in when the response to their positions become unmanageable.

      The online petition was fine, but it’s not nearly enough. The biggest change has to be in the minds of those who want to create change. Filling out an e-form or posting on social media and then sitting back and saying “I helped” is not going to change anything. It takes a lot more work than most people realize and are willing to put in.

  5. James Crondile says

    Very simple, without the Greeks Orthodoxy will be nothing but Oriental Despotismm hence irrelevant!

    • With Rome, it will be Occidental Despotism.
      Is this a desirable improvement?

      • James Crondile says

        That is not what the western world believes. And that is all that maters. That is why his All Holiness got his doctorate in ROme.

        • “Has he signed?” asked the Pope.
          “No” he was told, of Bishop Mark of Ephesus.
          “Then we have failed. It was all for nothing.”

          This is what really matters.

      • George Sarakos says

        Are you guys effing real? Our folks were repelled by smelly unwashed hippies and their music but now you extol urine-scented hippies called monastics? You extol Dixie? Have you read Solonick on how the ignorance of the Confederacy cost them the civil war? Have you read conservative Thomas Sowell on southern ignorance. What happened to the Orthodox who were the most educated Americans in the 1980s? Have you read Friedlander’s Paradise Besieged on your beloved Athos, where he stayed. Where did you cretins crawl out from under?

        • George Michalopulos says

          Mr Sarakos, this assessment you make of monastics is not only uncharitable, it is quite ignorant? Do you know any monastics? From the looks of your writing, I’d say not. I have known quite a few. So has my lovely wife. No monk (or nun) we know fits your description.

          As for the South, they did make mistakes. (After First Manassas, Beauregard should have marched onto DC when he had the path open. Why didn’t he? Because the CSA was not fighting a war of conquest but of independence. Oh well.) So did the North. In every war that has ever been fought, from the dawn of time to Armageddon, both sides have made mistakes. As for Thomas Sowell, who I deeply respect as an author and economist, I would have to read what you say he said about “the ignorance of the Confederacy.”

          • Geooge Sarakos says

            1) Huey, John. “The Atlanta Game Against All Odds: This Sunbelt Hustler Snagged the Olympics by Selling Itself as a Third World City and the Biggest Lie It Ever Told Turns Out to be True.” Fortune. July 22, 1996.

            2) Sowell, Rednecks says southern blacks are hampered by being southern not black. As late as the 1940s and 1950s, he argues, poor Southern rednecks were regarded by Northern employers and law enforcement officials as lazy, lawless, and sexually immoral. This pattern was repeated by blacks with whom they shared a subculture in the South.
            https://books.google.com/books/about/Black_Rednecks_and_White_Liberals.html?id=QIu5AAAAIAAJ

            3) Matthew R. Lee, Shaun A. Thomas & Graham C. Ousey (2009) Southern Culture and Homicide: Examining the Cracker Culture/Black Rednecks Thesis, Deviant Behavior, 31:1, 60-96: “Thomas Sowell (2005) recently argued that some southern blacks were also influenced by “cracker culture,” leading to the emergence of a “black redneck” phenomenon influencing homicide among blacks. Using county-level data circa 2000, this study empirically evaluates the merit of the cracker culture/black redneck thesis. Negative binomial regression analyses for a full sample of counties suggest that a measure of southern cracker/black redneck culture is an important factor affecting contemporary rates of argument homicide among both whites and blacks. When counties are divided into south and non-south sub-samples, the results are also consistent: a cracker/black redneck culture effect is evident for both racial groups in the south, and is also apparent outside of the southern region.”

            4) Hierarchs in Greece (esp Larrisa-Turnavus) have repeatedly complained the anti-vaccine stupidity is going to Greece from the ignorant American Southeast.

            • Antiochene Son says

              4) Except virtually everything that has been written against the COVID vaccines has been vindicated. Where have you been for the last two years?

  6. I think what we are looking at is a complete implosion / collapse of virtually everything in the coming years, along with the corresponding chaos and confusion. Don’t be fooled by Elon or Trump, either. Anyone looking for large scale changes to fix things from leadership anywhere will be fooled. There will be future spin off organizations, like ROCOR, that will preserve the faith in extraordinary times, like they did through the USSR communist times. Look to this to be the model for the rest of the world, while we see our leaders sell out like Sergius for self preservation. We will continue to be amazed at the things to come. Review the prophecies…remember how it was said we would have to travel 250 miles to find a real priest? How will we get to that point? It is unfolding before our eyes….

    • All the churches are imploding. Globalist Plan: Infiltrate Christianity. It was all part of their plan to infiltrate all Churches, not just Orthodox Christian ones. As for Musk and the gang- bread and circuses continue as the empire falls.

      • No the churches are collapsing because the kids are sick of bigoted, backward, angry, smelly old fools.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Mr Webley, what is your solution? Define what you mean about “bigoted, backward, angry, smelly old fools?”

        • Actually, the churches are collapsing because they’re not having enough kids.

          Nor does a gospel of liberalism help. Liberals know that they don’t need a church to do what liberals do. It’s a recipe for shrinking into insignificance.

        • God made men.
          Sam Colt made ’em equal.
          Joe Webley says they’re disfunctional.

    • So many candidates for the role of Antichrist right now… I feel like there will be an unveiling ceremony at any minute.

  7. If the EP Joined with Rome How Will It Affect the Church?

    My guess: It will cause a schism in all of the Greek-speaking Churches – minus Antioch, Jerusalem, Albania – and the rest of the Churches, well they’ll go on as normal. Bartholomew’s only sphere of influence is the Greeks and for whatever reason the heads of the Greek Churches will follow him to perdition like the Pied Piper.

    But I have very serious doubts that the majority of the people in Greece and Cyprus will follow them, there’s no precedent for it and they don’t strike me as especially open to it. As you mentioned we can’t, and shouldn’t, write off all Greeks because of who they are stuck with, I know there are many who are just as upset about this as we are.

    If he goes to Rome, as he has stated he will, the Church will be fractured beyond repair.

    I see it more of the Church healing itself of a virus, that I’ll refer to as Bartholomism, the Church will remain intact with those schismatics removing themselves from the Church.

    We wouldn’t be in this position if the Church had collectively sanctioned Bartholomew before and after Ukraine, rather than saying nothing as the CHURCH, individually choosing whether or not to commune with him.

    Completely and totally 100% agree. And what’s going to happen when the next Cypriot Archbishop starts communing and concelebrating with the OCU? Will they still say nothing?

    • Bartholomism

      I take this back, I really liked whoever on here (?) coined the term NATOdoxy lol.

      It’s much more appropriate. Bartholomew and his ilk are NATO/State Department stooges and once NATO crumbles so will the paper Tiger that is the EP

    • I largely agree with Petros on this. Frankly it is not unprecedented and to many of us seems long overdue at the same time as only having marginal relevance.

      Russia effectively gained its autocephaly when the Fanar apostatized after the Council of Florence. She had to choose and install her own metropolitans. Since then, the MP has become, by far, the largest Orthodox local church. In fact, many estimate that it accounts for the majority of the Orthodox on earth.

      If you lose all the Greek local churches that have so far recognized the OCU, you are still talking about less than 10% of Orthodoxy. That is not insignificant, but it is not any epic disaster either. Really, it would just be par for the course.

      And if the remaining local churches actually regained some courage in the aftermath and collectively denounced the calendar fiasco, it would be an opportunity to reconcile the Old Calendar Greeks and other groups. And that would certainly be the more positive development. I mean, if I had a choice of retaining the Greeks who embraced the OCU vs. regaining the Greeks who retain the Old Calendar, I’d choose the latter, hands down, as the more pious bunch.

      I’m less than sentimental about such matters. I was received into the Greek/Fanar church and held my nose at the ecumenism and modernism for far too long. I would never consider returning to a modernist church, let alone a Fanariot one. I still love the people there, but there must be lines if we are to have any integrity at all. It can’t just be held together by ethnicity like a country club.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Very well said, Misha. As Gail wrote, as an Hellene, this is painful to me on a personal level. Still, I continue to imbibe the powerful narcotic hopium.

        Seriously, I have a strong instinct that the best laid plans of Frankie and Bart are going to go kablooie in their faces. Falling short of that, I fully expect that if their plans go forward, things will settle out this way for the Greeks: 1/3 will go along with the unia, 1/3 will attrit out of the Church, and 1/3 will leave for the other jurisdictions.

        • At some point, George, there is a “why bother?” factor that kicks in with the prospective great merger. Greek Orthodox may commune in RCC churches according to RCC rules if they approach requesting it. The “Unia” may be as subtle a policy change as allowing RCC’s to do the same in Fanariot churches. But inasmuch as Francis and Bartholomew are on the same political page, why bother doing anything other than acting like co-believers at every opportunity?

          I mean RC’s are going to prefer the Roman rite. Greeks are going to prefer whatever it is that is done in Greek churches these days (an abbreviated version of the liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, most of the time). So no one’s beating down the other’s door to be let in on any significant basis.

          It’s all a shallow photo op.

          What I mean is that neither confession takes itself or the other or anything else that seriously anymore, so at some point it all just disappears down the same rabbit hole that ate the mainline Protestant churches. Who cares what, if anything, they believe or who is merged with whom? Progressive country clubs don’t warrant serious attention.

    • Yes, they will still say nothing.

    • Lenny Zerihas says

      There are 85,000 in GOA (8,000 in Flushing; 7,000 each in Astoria, Bay Ridge and two parishes in Charlotte NC; about 7,000 scattered in parishes on the Jersey shore and 3,000 on eastern Long Island), 45,000 OCA (mostly Pennsylvania), and 25,000 Antiochians. The bulk of ROCOR is in NY State, parishioners in Manhattan, monastics upstate, no more than 5,000 altogether, They all are irrelevant.

  8. Seems to me that if the EP wants to become RC, that is his personal decision. But taking the whole Orthodox Church with him, including autocephalous dioceses, is another matter.
    But in this day of doing what you want to do, and constitutions and rules and customs are thrown to the wind, who knows. Church membership is volunteer. Volunteers can pack up and move. Church property is another matter, Clergy are in a pickle of a mess.

  9. There will be a schism in the Catholic Church before antipope Francis gets to unite with antipatriarch Bart. The Vatican just defrocked the most prominent pro-life priest, Father Frank Pavone. It won’t be long before we see similar purges by the EP/GOA against any brave and faithful priests in their jurisdiction. I doubt there are many left, or else they would have stood up against the corrupt and demonic hierarchs already.

    • George Michalopulos says

      R, this is how it will shake out in the GOA/EP: trad parish priests will have their wings clipped. Something along the lines of not being allowed to hear confessions or be spiritual fathers.

    • The Vatican just defrocked the most prominent pro-life priest, Father Frank Pavone

      Wow….I didn’t know this. What was the reasoning?

      Him, Cardinals Burk, Sara and Athasios Schneider are wasting their efforts in RC’ism, they should join Orthodoxy.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Here’s info on that injustice from Return to Tradition, a TradCat blog. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qd3i8yQ38ME

        • Here Is What the ‘Blasphemy’ Charge
          Against Fr. Pavone Is All About

          https://rumble.com/v21glyk-here-is-what-the-blasphemy-charge-against-fr.-pavone-is-all-about.html

          • Gail Sheppard says

            What’s interesting about this situation is the bishop dismisses the priest because he got angry on Twitter which is far less grievous (in my mind) than getting rid of a priest in anger over an expression he used and turning it into something that wasn’t intended.

            Bishops shouldn’t be able to arbitrarily get rid of priests with the wave of their hand. It can be extremely traumatic for the laity when this happens, which appears to be the case here.

            Before a priest is dismissed, the priest and the bishop should be able to state their case before another bishop who would serve as an arbitrator. (The church could have a pool of qualified bishops to perform this role.) These arbitrators would be committed to healing the situation if the relationship was salvageable or find some other way to deal with it.

            Accusing a popular priest of blasphemy is not the way to go. It’s not good for the bishop. People won’t forget it. It will undermine his authority going forward.

            It’s obviously not good for the priest, and more importantly it’s not good for the church. (Too bad we can’t ask Peter and Paul to weigh in. They’d have a thing or two to say about this!)

            We need a little more of Solomon’s wisdom in these cases and less shootouts at the OK Corral.

            The solution in my mind is for the priest to become Orthodox, but that’s my solution for everything. There is a lot of freedom in the Orthodox Church. You can be frank with just about anybody and nobody is going to hang you for it.

            But having said all that, I’m not entirely sure what is said to have happened is the whole story or even the most important part of the story. A priest we trust sent us the following: https://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/father-pavones-last-stand/?repos=6&subrepos=0&searchid=2259230

            Because what I just posted has nothing to do with blasphemy, which I believe was the charge, it’s unclear to me what’s really going on. The Twitter fiasco is the least of it. Perhaps the bishop should have been more specific and not tied everything to one comment if there were other legitimate concerns. – A very interesting case.

            Something else that’s interesting is that Pope Francis has weighed in and supports the bishop, which of course he would do because he doesn’t want to alienate the Bidens and Pelosis of the world. This is no surprise. – We have not heard the end of this case.

            • Michael Bauman says

              Gail, Fr. Pavone was defrocked because, it appears, he put (the wrong) politics before God and was disobedient.
              Weather any of that is actually true, I do not know.
              The temptation to put politics before God when abortion is the topic is extreme. Like when the biggest abortion provider in Wichita was shot and killed attending church right across the street from St. George.
              If anti-abortion is turned into a passion as ir was for Tiller’s murderer and to a lesser scale as 8s frequently said of Fr. Pavone, the evil one can wreck havoc.

              Tough one because Tiller, the Baby Killer as he was affectionately called likely deserved death but he became a martyr for the abortion cause and abortions have not been reduced.

              Still….. Before I was Christian I would have seen nothing wrong with abortion. By God’s Grace I was not tested.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Gail, that’s a brilliant summation of what happened and an interesting take on how to prevent something like that from happening again.

              The problem however is deeper: frankly, I think the institutional Church (RC in this case) is irredeemable however. Especially given the fact that the Pope is 100% committed to the globalist agenda (sound familiar)? In other words, a standout like Fr Frank has no chance against such powers-that-be. (I am under no illusions about Constantinople for that matter.)

              After having read Dr Taylor Marhsall’s book Infiltration, I’ve come to the conclusion that the RC “system” (i.e. the Curia, hierarchy) have been completely infiltrated and corrupted. Now I know for a fact that there are good, decent and saintly men in these positions but the fact that there are just enough rotten apples neutralizes them. In other words, injustices will continue.

              All this stuff about his “politics”, his “stridency”, his “refusal” to take a rural parish in Texas is just window-dressing, nothing more. Even if he had toned things down or taken the parish assignment, they would have found another reason to oust him. Something stupid like he forgot to eat fish on Friday.

              Remember that post we did about the Fordhamite infiltration of the Orthodox Church? One of the RC priests at Fordham proudly admitted that he was “a priest, a black man, and a gay man”? Yet he still has his assignment. Fr Frank, who defends tradition (and unborn babies) is tossed out on his ear. Because of “blasphemy.”

              In the secular sphere, we see things like this with the weaponized FBI: it will haul off soccer moms at PTA meetings because they are concerned about all the bvllsh!t their kids are taught but if you’re a member of antifa, you can burn down all the buildings in Portland you want.

              I’m sorry this happened to Fr Frank as he’s clearly on the side of the angels.

              But, like the optimistic 8 year old who sees a pile of horse manure at the base of the Christmas tree, gleefully starts rummaging through said pile of manure exclaims: “Surely there’s a pony under here!”

              Rhetorically asking: is there a pony under here?

              Yes, I believe so and that is this: a system that is so corrupt, so blatantly in-your-face unjust –whether religious or secular–cannot sustain itself. It’s only a matter of when, not if.

              As far as I’m concerned, that doesn’t mean any of us have to accept it. I for one, will punch the nose the guy who’s pissing on my leg and telling me it’s raining. And if he’s lucky, that’s all that will happen to him.

              • The more they purge decent Christians, the more decent Christians there will be looking for a new home . . .

              • Michael Bauman says

                George, Misha: The evil one will get to most if there is not a community of repentance. The habit of blaming others, whomever they are and even if what is preached is not only heresy but direct evil, leads to the evil one’s lap.
                It is tricky. We are all called on to recognize heresy and denounce it. But if not done with at least a foot in the Kingdom of God, it is futile.
                In the early chapters of Matthew and throughout the Holy Scriptures, esp Mt 4:17 Jesus makes it clear “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (referring to Himself).

                John, the Baptizer says the same thing in directing folks to follow Jesus.

                The kindest, most upright Christian I have ever met was a Greek priest. But because he was the way he was he completed his life if service worshipping with us at St. George. His widow is still with us.

                Many years ago there was a dynamic young Greek priest and his family here at the small GOA parish here in Wichita. Problem is he loved his altar boys physically.

                He was arrested and the GOA defrocked him. But a priest was needed for the parish despite the fact there three other non-Greek parishes in town with each of them considerably bigger than the Greek.

                The GOA asked the man of whom I am speaking to come out retirement in Florida and come here to fill in. No problem. He and his wife did so gladly.

                Trouble is that new permanent priest was found they told the 80 year old priest and his wife they would not be reinstated on the GOA retirement–they were on their own. (In their 80s).

                Bp. Basil and some of the more affluent families then put together a support package for the wonderful man and he was in the altar every Sunday after until he reposed about a year ago. As I said, his widow is still with us.

                It was that time I washed my feet of the GOA. I will never willingly worship in a GOA parish again.

                We under Antioch are certainly in our own mess. We need at least three bishops. The last time our Holy Synod elected a Bishop it turned out to be Bishop Basil despite all prognostication he would not be voted on. He was on the ballot because they needed one more man.

                Met. Philip was incensed, Fr. Basil mortified and the rest of us blessed.

                The only Greeks I have ever met have all been crazy except the few who are members of my home Antiochian parish where we were first called Christians.

                IMO thoroughly bias opinion we do not need any of the Greek structure to survive and thrive. But I will be offering up that hard heartedness in Confession Sat.

                Please pray for me, a sinner.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Michael, despite the fact that I violate what St James the Just said about the efficacy of my prayers, beginning tonight, you will be on my prayer list.

  10. The bishop of Istanbul is basically recreating the ‘Living Church’ that existed in Russia during the early years of Bolshevik power. Though, even the ‘Living Church’ of that time period didn’t recognize homosexuals, same sex marriages, nor believe in abortion. Bartholomew is upping the ante on those guys and creating his own ‘Living Church 2.0’ in order to close out his dismal legacy.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Alex, that is a very startling comparison!

      • Sarah Karcher says

        Fr Turbo Qualls at St Marys in Kansas City, in his podcast series The Royal Path, has been tactfully hinting at this as well. As a cradle Orthodox to another, I recommend it to you. I think converts will benefit too but he hits on some things that I think cradles especially need to hear, if we are ready. I don’t see eye to eye with 100% of what he says. But he is REAL and I have really benefitted from his observations and continued calls for repentance.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      This would explain a lot.

    • Alex,
      Correctamundo. It’s also important to remember that the C’ple Church did the exact same thing 100 years ago….. in 1923 Patr Meletios Metaxakis officially recognized the ridiculous Vvedensky “Living Church” as the official Russian Orthodox Church from the perspective of the Patriarchate of C’ple, thereby throwing Patriarch (and later recognized as Saint) Tikhon and his brutally persecuted Russian Church under the bus.

      The C’ple Church unfortunately has a recent history of preferring the approval of London, Washington DC, and of getting western $$ and earthly power, rather than cultivating oneness of mind with its Slavic and Russian Orthodox brothers and sisters.

      About 20 years later in the 1940s, Vvedensky’s laughable “Living Church” fizzled out of existence because it had no parishioners. No one went to it, no one wanted it.

      When the SHTF, when life hurts (which is often), when we are deeply, truly, seeking from the heart, when we hit a bottom… we want authenticity, we want Truth, we want what’s real. Only that will heal. Years ago that’s what drove me to tears praying at the relics of St John of S.F. in the Geary Boulevard cathedral — thanks be to God that He has granted to us Americans that St John’s relics rest in our country. For me, the rest is history. I try to no longer pay any attention to non-serious Christianity (including non-serious Orthodox Christianity) which seems to seek the approval of men rather than the approval of God. I’d rather go have coffee at Starbucks on a Sunday morning than go worship in such a place.

      The Ukraine War is terrible, but take the war and nascent Ukrainian nationalism out of the picture, and this ridiculous fake Ukrainian Church is in the same boat as the “Living Church” was 100 years ago…. laughable, comprised of leaders who are “playing pretend,” and will be completely devoid of parishioners once militant Ukrainian nationalism fades from the foreground.

      “Metropolitan Epifany” will be entirely forgotten about, minus a small Wikipedia entry, like the Living Church’s former delusional leader Alexander Vvedensky has.

      Serious seekers and serious Christians want depth…. we want a Church that touches deep into our soul. We want a Christ who wants All of Us — indeed, before Whom we need and want to prostrate ourselves, worthy of a King — but Who in return gives us Life itself and the peace and love that surpasses all understanding.

      Sadly, it seems to me that the leaders of the Constantinopolitan Church don’t have this sort of depth of faith any longer. Perhaps their Cross is too difficult for them to bear, and rather than reaching out for help, they transition to pride? I don’t know. But when I need to pray to Orthodox Saints of the Greek tradition, I go to St Paisios, St Cosmos Aitolos, St. Chrysostomos the new martyr of Smyrna, and the saintly Abp Damaskinos of Athens (WW2 timeframe). All of these amazing Greek Orthodox saints would find the current crop of C’ple leaders and the C’ple Church’s shenanigans over the past few decades embarrassing, pathetic, and completely ridiculous, not to mention that they’d never, ever consider union with a homosexualized and floundering Latin Church to be a good thing. May God help us. I pray daily for discernment.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        I wonder if there was ever a time when the EP ushered in a schismatic church, decided to move forward without the Russian Church or promised to take us all to Rome. That’s a lot to swallow.

        It begs the question: Do we still need the Ecumenical Patriarchate?  They have caused so much trouble and when Bartholomew passes from this life there will be a number of other metropolitans vying for the same role. 

        They do not serve the purpose they once did.  They are hanging by a thread in Turkey where they are not wanted.  They are paranoid and reckless when it comes to protecting their “throne.”  They have a minuscule number of Orthodox Christians and a laundry list of metropolitans who have names and titles over places that no longer exist.  The only Councils they’re interested in calling are their own.  They refuse to be part of the Orthodox Church, preferring instead to be over the Orthodox Church and they have given every indication they intend to united with Rome.

        Why do we put up with this?  Why can’t the bishops decide to be done with them and give the GOA the option of continuing to be Greek under another jurisdiction.  Many of them would be happier with this solution, as they don’t like being yanked around either.  If the GOA wants to send them a little money, they can do that.  However, the whole patriarchate needs to be retired so they cannot continue to cause havoc in the Church.  It is simply not fair to the rest of us.

        I may call up Erdogan and suggest he relocate the patriarchate to an island or something. If they were to leave Turkey, it would solve a lot of problems. They would just be another patriarchate then, which they should be. Not “first among equals” (give that to Jerusalem), not “first without equals” (retire that for all time).

        Perhaps they could move the patriarchate to Ukraine so they could be over the Ukrainian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church (UOGCC). That would work.               

  11. No human is deciding my spiritual future except God. They can all take a hike. They have shown their colors. Every church has shown its colors. Clergy certainly have shown us they do not stand up!

    • Michael Bauman says

      Jane, you do not think it relevant that Jesus is “fully human” that is everything that constitutes our humanity.
      Except for sin. So sin is going to be involved even if it is only yours. Sin can, and does, mess up one’s own understanding of God. So, I cannot trust even my own perception by myself.

      The main directive Jesus gave us before the Crucifixion, echoing John the Baptist, was to Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.

      Trying to follow that directive, with the approval of my priest and my spiritual Father, has begun to create Joy in my heart because as I repent, I am learning to forgive, pray for those who despitefully use me, etc.

      One cannot be Orthodox and deny the Church has authority even in the midst of worldly sin. I can only see the Truth if I repent.

      Forgive me, the sinner. That is one way of praying the Jesus Prayer. There are days, like the last two for me where that makes sense.
      Jesus receives anyone who repents. Even judgmental blowhards like me. Frequently with a big smile and a hearty laugh along with the Joy.
      Why borrow angst and heart ache. I know only my own temptations and that it is impossible to overcome any of them on my own without prayers, guidance and blessing.

      This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!

  12. Gail, thank you for being direct and not mincing words.
    The government has much to do with the chaos taking place in Orthodox Christianity as well as other denominations. Globalists don’t give a damn about God. This should be obvious to everyone.

  13. Gail Sheppard says

    A true defender of the Faith. Thank you for posting this.

  14. “If the EP Joins with Rome How Will It Affect the Church?”

    It stands to reason that the visible Church will then be a bit smaller, minus the flock that C’ple and its associated jurisdictions (who are blind enough to follow it) take to the homosexualized Latin church. The formerly venerable steadfast Latin Church of the West exists no longer.

    Just sayin’….. it’s not rocket science.

    • Zengas Kazatrlas says

      Funny, I seem to recall in the Orthodox Liturgy we pray “For the Union of All”.
      Consider https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13253a.htm

      Just before he died in 1825, Alexander I, Emperor of Russia, was converted to the Catholic Faith
      https://catholicism.org/russias-catholic-tsar.html

      • Here is a quotation from your first source
        which casts some doubt on your second:

        “There are Catholic writers who affirm that
        Alexander I and his consort became Catholics;
        but there is no documentary evidence in support of this.”

      • Nonsense, Alexander I died as the holy elder Feodor Kuzmich.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Basil, the saga of Elder Feodor Kuzmich is a fascinating one, isn’t it?

          • Absolutely. They could make a movie out of it. Even secular historians are favorably disposed towards this explanation now, or at least some are. If anyone doesn’t own the collection Pious Kings and Right-Believing Queens, which has the lives of both Alexander I (Feodore Kuzmich) and his father, Tsar Paul I (who remains officially uncanonized), I highly recommend they order a copy.

      • Antiochene Son says

        Praying for unity means all coming into the Orthodox faith, not just declaring that differences don’t matter.

  15. Vaughan Edward Robbins says

    2025. Bartholomew has written it.

  16. 2025. 1700 years since Nicaea. They will both lift the anathema and concelebrate.

  17. The EP leaving for the Unia would make everyone’s eyes open and see that the old calendarists were right all along. The only reason they are not a majority in Greece today is because the governments of Europe use the calendar as a symbol of western unity and with Greek persecution pushed to minority status, together with this came the extinction of head coverings and other traditions we Greek new calendarists no longer hold to.
    Bart can claim all he wants that he’s the leader of 300 million Orthodox but unfortunately there aren’t more than 190 million Orthodox in the entire planet and 1/3 are Russian.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Exactly. How do you move “forward” and commemorate people who are effectively unordained, and cut off 1/3 of the Church in the process???? Moving “forward” should include Russia.

  18. George Michalopulos says

    Just how stupid and reckless is the Greek government?

    This stupid: Now we have to keep in mind this unfolding story*:

    “Russia would consider a Greek plan to provide Ukraine with S-300 air defense systems previously acquired from Moscow to be an “openly hostile act,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Sunday. Greece has mulled sending such Soviet-era arms to Kiev if the US agrees to replace them with MIM-104 Patriot systems. “That would be a gross violation of…Russian-Greek…agreements on military and technical cooperation,” Zakharova stated, adding that both the 1995 and 2013 treaties signed by Moscow and Athens in this field “explicitly forbid Greece to re-export the military equipment supplied by Russia without Moscow’s consent.” “Trampling on its commitments under the treaties is bound to have consequences,” the ministry’s spokeswoman warned. Such a move would also conflict with the position of most Greeks, she said, adding that 70% of Greeks oppose “pumping Ukraine with arms” according to polls.

    “I am going to abstain from commenting on the moral side of the issue, but, again, read my lips–Europe is US’ bitch and she will do as told, period. Whether people like it or not, I warned about this for years and Saker wrote an excellent piece on this recently. Europe IS being de-industrialized and will be poor, also in progress, and a cultural wasteland. And don’t tell me that I didn’t warn you. This is your Monday primer.”

    Forgive Andrei Martyanov’s salty language. And forgive the Greek people who want nothing to do with this idiocy. But, he’s right. Most EU capitals are indeed –you know what they are.

  19. CYPRIOT FAITHFUL VOTE FOR PRIMATE: METROPOLITAN ATHANASIOS OF LIMASSOL IS CLEAR FAVORITE

    Parishioners of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus cast their votes on Sunday for the next primate of their Church.

    The former primate, Archbishop Chrysostomos, reposed in the Lord on November 7, having served at the head of the Local Cypriot Church for 16 years.

    In the Cypriot Church, the faithful first cast their votes for the next primate, then the Holy Synod chooses from among the people’s three favorite hierarchs.

    According to the final tallies, His Eminence Metropolitan Athanasios of Limassol is the clear favorite, having received nearly as many votes as the next two candidates combined, reports Romfea.

    The three hierarchs who are moving on the next round are Met. Athanasios (35.68%), Metropolitan Georgios of Paphos (18.39%), and Metropolitan Isaiah of Tamassos (18.10%).

    Metropolitan Vasilios received 14.79% of the votes, Metropolitan Neophytos of Morphou received 9.8%, and Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Kyrenie received 3.24%.

    The Holy Synod is expected to choose the next primate by the end of the year.

    Among the three, Met. Georgios is ideologically the closest to the previous Archbishop, though Met. Isaiah has also turned in that direction in the past few months, notably completely changing his stance on the so-called “Orthodox Church of Ukraine.” Whereas he once opposed the recognition of unordained schismatics, he now wholeheartedly stands behind the Constantinople’s intervention in Ukraine.

    Met. Athanasios is also known for his public stance against the recognition of the schismatics, though he has also stated that if chosen as the next Archbishop, he will continue the commemoration of Epiphany Dumenko of the OCU, though his stance seems to be more one of obedience to the Holy Synod rather than a personal conviction that the OCU is a true Church.

    More: https://orthochristian.com/150042.html

  20. Mark E. Fisus says

    You write:

    And now he says he’s no longer “first among equals,” but “first without equal.”

    But wouldn’t this undercut the conjecture that the EP is about to join with Rome? It is unlikely Rome would accept anyone else who claims to be the “first” anything.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      I suspect he sees himself as the Pope of the East. Francis calls it, “unity with diversity.”

      • My own opinion is that when/if this “merger” happens (God has other plans I’m sure), I’m assuming that the deal they have worked out is that Francis would be the Pope of Latin Catholicism and Bartholomew would be “pope” of Eastern Catholicism (Melkites, Maronites, Ruthenians, etc). I really don’t see this coming to fruition. On a small scale, sure, on a major scale, not a chance.

        As an aside, even in his own territory Bartholomew is massively outnumbered by Russians & Ukrainians. Have a look at this article from Romfea (have to put it through Google Translate):

        https://www.romfea.gr/oikoumeniko-patriarxeio/54558-plithos-piston-eortasan-ta-xristoygenna-stin-i-m-pisidias-foto

        The relevant bit:

        This year, following the massive arrivals of Orthodox in the region, whose number exceeds 50,000 Russians and 18,000 Ukrainians according to the Regional Governor of Antalya, two Divine Liturgies (one midnight and one morning) were held in the churches of Antalya and Alanya, the which were crowded with believers.

        This means there are about 40X more Orthodox Russians just in Antalya than there are EP Greeks in Istanbul and the whole of Turkey. This doesn’t even count the thousands of Orthodox Arabs in Antakya who are under the Antiochian Patriarchate.

        Bartholomew is irrelevant on a Church-level…even in his own country.

        On a geopolitical level, as Turkey seemingly pivots East and has a more favorable relationship with Russia (for the time being) I would say that Erdogan will cater to Russian Orthodox in Turkey as Russia does seem to prioritize building Churches for their diaspora.

        IMHO Bartholomew’s days are numbered. Here on the domestic front, I’m getting the sense that the Antiochians will be putting in a pro-Russia Meteopolitan, this will only galvanize the GOA more on the Assembly.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          You and I are on the same page with this. Not going to happen.

        • In light of your comments about Orthodoxy in Turkey…this was interesting to see!

          The Feast Day of Christmas at the Inter-Orthodox Community of Ankara

          “With the blessing of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the Orthodox Community of Ankara celebrated Christmas on Saturday, January 7, 2023, according to the Julian calendar….

          “The Divine Liturgy, which was attended by Orthodox faithful from various countries…was celebrated in both Slavic and Turkish. Also, prayers and hymns were sung in Gagauz, Ukrainian, Russian and Georgian. At the end of the Divine Liturgy, Christmas carols were sung in these languages.”

          Slavic languages, Georgian, Turkish, and a Turkic language (Gagauz) spoken by Orthodox peoples of Moldova and Ukraine…Greek isn’t even mentioned! And they celebrated on the Julian Calendar…

  21. Thank you for sharing. That is most edifying and encouraging!