Is the Pope Catholic?

It used to be a rhetorical question along the lines of “does a bear defecate in the woods?” The answer is always “yes” because you know, the Pope has got to be Catholic, otherwise, he couldn’t be Pope.  Not necessarily a tautology but pretty darn close.

Well, considering all the hub-bub regarding the Pachamama idol, the old rhetorical question has become more pressing and if you read the Amazon Synod Report, you’ll have your answer why.

A few weeks ago, Yours Truly wrote something entitled “Tradcats”. It’s about that growing legion of Catholics who consider themselves traditionalists. Not necessarily fundamentalists or pre-Vatican II normies or the Ultramontanists (and certainly not the Sedevacantists) but by their own lights (little-O) orthodox Catholics. The Papacy is their lodestar and as long as you had a little-O orthodox Pope at the pinnacle, then things were OK for the most part.    

The question today however is: is the present Pontiff orthodox (according to the accepted definition). As far as I’m concerned, to even ask that question is to answer it.

You’ll find their likes on YouTube channels like The Vortex and Taylor Marshall. They are invariably well-spoken and their content is topnotch. I usually find something new and interesting whenever I listen to them and I rarely go by a week without watching them.

So rather than me go on and pontificate about Francis’ orthodoxy, I ask that you take the time to listen to the following podcast by Dr Taylor Marshall. It’s 15 minutes in length but it’s profound. Personally, after I listened to it last night, I came to only one conclusion: I’m glad I’m not a Catholic.

The broader question for us Orthodox (and one Orthodox bishop in particular) is: why would we ever want to hitch our wagon to this lumbering behemoth? Seriously, I can’t see how it will ever be righted, especially when you consider that Francis has appointed 52 percent of all the cardinals. He’s basically stacked the deck.

If you do nothing else today, please, please, please, take the time to watch the following podcast by Dr Taylor Marshall. Then ask yourself this question: do all roads really lead to Rome? For all our problems, I rather like the one that we have been on for the last two thousand years. Let us hope that the Bosporus does not get diverted.


  1. Gail Sheppard says

    Interestingly, we’ve now got the Church of Greece calling a Pan-Orthodox Conference to study the “pastoral treatment of the contemporary diverse delusion,” i.e. “Aspects of the mystery of iniquity. Αnti-Trinitarian – Occult – Neopagan beliefs about God.” 

    Guess they didn’t get the memo that Francis has this all worked out.  Falls under the category of “When in Rome . . .”  In other words, when in the jungle, if they want to worship fertility goddesses, it’s A-OK.


    • Monk James Silver says

      To tell you the truth, I think that this is some sort of hoax.

      There was an anti-Orthodox Christian book written about twenty years ago titled ‘The Mystery of Iniquity’. It was full of mistakes.

      As far as I know — which isn’t very far, but it counts for something — there isn’t any such authority as is described in the article linked here.

      We might have been punked.

  2. Monk James Silver says

    The link brings me to g-mail rather than to the Taylor Marshall video.

    What does that mean?

    • Gail Sheppard says

      It means George screwed up! Here’s the link:

      • Monk James Silver says

        Thanks, dear Gail.

        I watched just a little of it but understood it all.

        God help them, and us, too.

        May the Lord make us Orthodox Christians worthy to be the safety net into which all these Catholics must inevitably fall.

      • George Michalopulos says


        • Easy to do just getting the generic email link.  I’ve done it loads of times!!!

          • Susan Peterson says

            I have never been able to believe that you guys are The Church.   After all, The Church can call councils and decide things. The Church can say contraception is not right.  Even when I fell in love with your liturgy and spent ten years as a Byzantine, I could not believe you are The Church and that Rome is therefore, NOT.    The antics of this pope and his cronies make me wonder if we are, either. I could never be a Protestant.  I can’t really stop believing.   But Christ without A Church makes no sense to me.  I can only wait for God to fix it, to rescue us.   I think it might not happen before I die.  This is really scary.  

            • George Michalopulos says

              Susan, I believe it was St Cyprian of Carthage who said “He who does not have the Church for his mother cannot have God for his Father”.

              I will pray for you, Sister.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              The Church doesn’t require anyone to believe in it to be true. It just is.

              Susan, there is the Church, and then there are the people in the Church. It’s hard to keep them separate but you almost have to. The Church is of Christ and you can see the beauty of it even if everyone around you is making noise and doing the exact opposite of what you think they should be doing. If the noise around you gets too loud, disengage. Go to Church with your spiritual headphones. Bring the Church within. I’ve known people who have lived their whole lives this way. They don’t pay attention to anything around them. They don’t feel the need to act. They trust Christ to take care of His Church which, of course, He will and does, because God keeps His promises.

              Frankly, I live for the day when I am spiritually mature enough to do what I just told you to do. – Don’t be scared, though! “If God be for us, who can be against us?”

            • Michael Bauman says

              Susan, may seem to be disingenuous, but “we guys” are not the Church. The Church is the living presence of the Incarnate Lord, God and Savior following the Holy Spirit in a particular form of which those who have been Chrismated and remain in good standing with a canonical Orthodox bishop and through regular attendance on the sacraments, including confession are the most visible part. We are in union with the Church which is a mystical/physical whole expressing the union of God and Man in the Incarnation.

              That reality is one of the key witnesses against both Protestantism and Roman Catholicism as well as a testament against what the EP is doing. Each of those three assume they are the Church (The Pope as Vicar of Christ, etc; the Protestants — each their own little popes; and the EP as “First without Equals”).

              A good friend of mine recently commented that the Orthodox Church seems to move with the speed of Ents (from Lord of the Rings). It is not about what actions taken, rather it is about, as Gail said, what is.

              To over simplify–as we partake of the Body and Blood of our Lord, we become one with Him and therefore “of the Church”

            • Sister Susan,
              we are part of the Church BUT the Head of the Church is Jesus Christ.
              And he promised to remain with us unto the ages af ages.
              So, then, pray to Him, sing to Him, indeed talk to Him and tell you the very problem you told us. And he will certainly reply to you!
              This is no theory, but practice.

      • Nathaniel Adams says

        Ironically, if this guy publicly condemned the Pope even 200 years ago the way he’s doing so in this video, he’d at the very least be heavily fined or even imprisoned in some European countries for blasphemy.

        Here’s what I don’t get: according to the doctrine of papal infallibility, the Pope himself can be the most despicable person on the planet and believe all sorts of weird things, yet the Holy Spirit protects both the integrity of the office and the Pope himself from uttering anything that contradicts established dogma whenever he does so “ex cathedra”, or in an official capacity.

        Also, let’s say the Pope does make an official statement. Technically, according to the doctrine of development, he hasn’t invented any new theology or contradicted anything said in the past. He’s merely articulating something the Church has always believed by implication.

        Assuming I’ve understood the doctrines I’ve described above correctly, why do the traditionalists get all worked up? If God’s still in control, why throw a tantrum? Why not just slap the proverbial thigh and ride the wave?

        • Gail Sheppard says

          Thank you for clearing that up! I’m glad I’m not Catholic.

          I think Bartholomew thinks he’s infallible and nothing he’s doing is in conflict with the past.

  3. Monk James Silver says

    The problem here, as often happens, is that people are not asking the right question.

    The ‘tradcats’ might wonder if their present pope is catholic, but they’re actually asking if he adheres to the standards to which they’ve become inured over the last thousand years or so. Clearly he doesn’t, but even if he did, it wouldn’t solve their problem.

    But that’s not the main issue. The basic ecclesiological problem is that the ‘reforms’ emplaced by Pope Gregory vii in the mid-eleventh century basically arrogated to the pope of Rome the authority to single-handedly exempt himself and his constituents from the decrees and canons of the seven ecumenical synods.

    In a word, Gregory vii, by his own actions and answering to no other authority in The Church, caused the Great Schism of 1054.

    If the ‘tradcats’ want to get back to being catholic in any real sense, they’ll have to go back and see how they were expected to believe and behave before the pontificate of Gregory vii.

    On the other hand, they could save themselves a lot of effort by simply coming into the Orthodox Church. — an authentic Orthodox Church, not a wannabe schismatic pseudo-church.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      They wouldn’t have to look all that closely to see that the guy who says he speaks for us is very much like the guy they want to escape. Sadly, we’re not a very good fit for them at the moment.

      • Monk James Silver says

        These are two very different issues, dear Gail.

        The Catholics must solve their problem, and we must solve ours.

        A clear-eyed view of history would do both Rome and Constantinople a lot of good, but I fear that neither of them is willing to take an honest look at history.

      • Gail,
        I hear you but the difference is that despite +Bartholemew’s claims he is relatively powerless.  Outside of those countries controlled by the West he really can’t do much and even within, such as here in the US, he will not get far.  We don’t have the problem of nowhere to go.  In our case we look for an Orthodox Bishop regardless of his ethnicity etc… even in the face of mass apostasy. 
        In the case of the TradCats they are stuck because the dogmatized the position of the Pope of Rome and I don’t see them letting go of bad dogma from the past thousand years.  I think you will see them run an insurgency and or go Sedevancatist (whose logic would make an Old Calendarist look like a neophyte) eventually.

  4. Fr Patrick B. O'Grady says

    As one who was raised in the Roman Catholic Church (through the 1950s and 60s) and who never experience the meltdown of Tridentine (which is to say, formalized and traditional) RCism, I feel only intense pity for these “trads” who are now facing up to the endgame of apostasy, now entering the Vatican itself.
    There is only one path: as I did in a more roundabout manner, they must trace back to the chaos which began with the so-called “Reform Papacy” and realize that Christianity in the West (the region of the ancient Roman Patriarchate) has suffered spiritual malnutrition for centuries.
    Thank God for Orthodoxy! I especially am thankful for the Church of Antioch in which I have found a steadfast home. If any of you wish to talk about this offline, I am glad to help. You can track me down through the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. I’m well known, they’ll get your message to me.

    • Fr Patrick  I am greek living in Bulgaria.  Maybe for some here on blogg I count as a liberal. Their problem not mine. I am totally Orthodox but not a fanatic lost in trivia as extremes can be. I am not saying that is the  stance of folks here because in main it consists of fine,  thinking, concerned believers, from whom I learn much and George always brings cogent, informed, reasoning to his views, even where sometimes,  i cannot agree. 
      But I totally, utterly oppose Phanar at every level and am saddened at the moral cowardness I see from our bishops. Especially from those of the  Church of Greece. God help us if  they had to deal with a Lenin or Stalin or ”christian ‘ Hitler. 
      I am not going to repeat all the various arguements here.  It’s all been said and clear.  But what worried me is the totally negative affect all this is  having  on the young who if they were still interested, see just a worldly, corrupt, body masquerading as the Church. 

    • Try to wrap your head around this: I was raised sixteen years as a Roman Catholic and attended an all-boy’s Catholic high school in Kentucky. It was here my homosexual religious education teacher, atheist history teacher (who taught us self-hypnosis), and Jewish English teacher (he attended synagogue)encouraged me to explore Buddhism.
      I considered – for a long time – both monasticism and the priesthood in Roman Catholicism. The most traditional of the monasteries I visited encourages Sufism, Buddhist meditation and paganism. These are Trappist monasteries selling copies of the Koran, Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita where seventy-year-old monks wander around in t-shirts and jeans attending poetry readings in downtown Louisville inspired by Thomas Merton.
      American seminaries, as we may know, are vampiric cabals preying on young men. It’s horrific. My parents still attend a ‘traditional’ Roman Catholic parish somewhere on the east coast. The priest here no longer serves communion wine, only the wafers, and these wafers are distributed by masculine-looking women. Can a body survive without blood present?

  5. Speaking of “hitching our wagon to this lumbering behemoth,” just saw THIS from the Wheel, and it skillfully ties Bartholomew and Rome together:
    ‘The Orthodox Church in Dialogue with Judaism: Toward an Official Document?’ 
    Some excerpts:
    1) “One of the risks at the heart of Orthodox Christianity is a tendency to idolize the fathers, turning a blind eye to their negative teachings about Jews and how these teachings have infiltrated catechetical and liturgical texts – and, through those texts, culture and history at large…”
    2) “Another point to consider is that, classically, the Orthodox have affirmed that the Church has replaced Israel, substituting itself for Israel, thus revoking God’s covenant with his people and transferring his promises to the Church. Then there is the stumbling and embarrassment cause by the language the Church uses concerning Jews and Judaism in general…”
    3) Are there verbal excesses in the patristic texts? If so, what has the Church done to assure that they are not in any way taken out of context or held up as “divine words” for our time? Is it acceptable to keep using passages in our liturgical services, particularly during Holy Week, that are disrespectful to the Jews? Can we really pray to the one who created us all in his image while incriminating those who transmitted to us the essence of revelation?
    So, the Wheel’s answer ties Bartholomew to Rome with self-professed Jewish superiority.


    • Black Bart and his cronies better not sell out our Holy Fathers and liturgical texts for a mess of Jewish pottage!
      If we were living in sensible times, it would be UNIMAGINABLE for an Orthodox bishop to retreat even one step on our teaching that we are the new and true Israel, but, then again, we are not living in sensible times.

    • George Michalopulos says

      LonelyDn, I’m glad you brought this up as I am preparing a monstrously long excursus on the Church and the Jews from a historical perspective. (For the record, I’ve submitted it to Jewish friends ahead of time for correction and insight.)

      Regardless, let me take these points seriatim:

      1. The Fathers. The Church Fathers were writing at a time in which Jewish-gentile relations were absolutely horrible and from the Christian perspective, unfair. In the ante-Nicene period, Jews were exempt from Roman restrictions on religiosity. Christians –who viewed themselves as practicing the Judaism of Jesus–were not. And they were horribly persecuted for it. A huge double-standard from their perspective.

      In addition, from AD 66 to 135, there were three very violent Jewish wars in which hundreds of thousands of gentiles were ambushed and slaughtered in a messianic frenzy. The Romans of course did put them down, very violently. It is estimated that up to 2 million Jews all over the Mediterranean Littoral were killed (along with perhaps 3/4 of a million gentiles) when all was said and done. Gentile suspicion of Jews was understandable. (In their day, the Jews were viewed as we view Moslems today.)

      2. The Church is God’s Israel. To believe otherwise means that Jesus’ claims to sitting on His ancestor’s (David’s) throne eternally is nonsensical. Either Jesus is the eternal king or there is another Davidic line existent somewhere and from this line, the true Messiah will arise. If you believe the latter, you subscribe to some Anglo-Israelism or the Merovingian nonsense peddled by Dan Brown.

      As for God’s covenant with the Jews, it is not “annulled” or “transferred” to the Church but instead expanded to the world, of which Jews are apart. Otherwise, Jews have to remain apart, which makes them either eternal victims or elites. In St Augustine’s view, the separateness of Jews (until the Eschaton) was to serve as a reminder to the Church that they were a type of historical Cain who slayed his righteous younger brother Abel. In any event, they were not to be molested, as he said “Slay not the Jews”.

      3. The “excesses” in the Patristic texts are to be viewed in the above historical and theological light. In any event, they are not nearly as scatological or abrasive as what is found in the Talmud and what it says about Jesus and the Theotokos.

      One of the results of Vatican II was the excision of liturgical phrases which called for the conversion of the Jews. Another was the “dual covenant” theory which states that the original covenant that God gave to Abraham was still operative separately to the Synagogue. There were secret discussions with Jewish leaders during that convocation and when Catholics suggested that perhaps the horrendous views of Jesus which were found in the Talmud could be excised and/or revisited, they were told that the Catholics’ concerns would be addressed. They never were.

      • Martin Ross says

        George, I have taken you to task a few times. But your response here is one the most measured and informed pieces you have written. Kudos!

      • I will add this: 
        I often hear extreme criticism about St. John Chrysostom regarding his writing titled, “Against the Judaizers” (some people mis-translate the title to read “Against the Jews”).  The language used is very harsh. Many people think it is a prejudiced document condemning all Jews. In reality, St. John had no tolerance for the practice of the Jews of his time, who would target Christians who had converted from Judaism, and convert them back. As far as the harsh language, Fr. Thomas Hopko once told me that it was a common practice of St. John’s time to use a writing and speaking style called, “invective rhetoric.”

        • Antiochene Son says

          Yes, any serious reading of “Against the Judaizers” can understand that he is condemning their ways of causing Christians to stumble. I don’t think he would have cared about the Jews at all if they had left the Christians alone.
          But, isn’t that how it always goes. At least in 109 countries since AD 250.

  6. George big topic but even yr quick thoughts here very good. I awaiting with interest yr ‘ tome’   I lived amongst the hassidic jews of Stamford Hill North London as student.  God forgive me now but made me quite anti semitic as what i saw as horrendous separation, abuse ( later working I dealt with sexual abuse from this quarter to children) and an arrogant anti goyim attitude.  No this does not excuse anti semitism, and I am not anti – semitic and this was just one small sect and I had many Jewish colleagues. But this is part of the truth.  
    The texts ARE REALLY MILD AND ARE TO READ IN CONTEXT.AND will they remove the anti -Christian references in Talmud?  I think not.  As with most inter- faith dialogue  it’s one way, their way.  
    No. I am totally for respecting others. And we have often fallen down  on that, but as that may be,today   I am asking for a level respect – giving playing field.

    • George Michalopulos says

      For what it’s worth, the Talmud excuses child molestation.

      • Antiochene Son says

        It also says Christians exist for the purpose of being slaves to the Jews, because we are animals (it seems they still believe this today, considering our mass debt enslavement). Not to mention we are children of the devil who are fit only to burn in hell.

      • Monk James Silver says

        George Michalopulos (October 30, 2019 at 8:41 am) says:

        For what it’s worth, the Talmud excuses child molestation.


        That’s a rather bold statement, just the sort of thing which might incite a persecution.

        . Sources, please?

        • George Michalopulos says

          Will do. The second century BC rabbi Simeon ben Yohai said that “a proselyte who is under the age of three and a day can marry a priest” (Yebamoth 60b). As a qualifier, the 1936 edition of the Talmud stated “Marriage of course, was then at a far earlier age than now” (Sanhedrin, 76a).

          I could go on but it must be said that we are almost always talking about marriage here, albeit of an involuntary sort. In the Middle East, this was not uncommon. Mohammed’s last wife (Aisha) was six when he married her and nine when he copulated with her. The Talmud and the Hadiths of Islam are very earthy texts in places and are not shy about talking about sexuality in all its variegated forms.

          Needless to say, I do NOT encourage persecution of anybody. In any event, whenever gentile populations did engage in pogroms, it was almost never in regards to inter-ethnic dalliances (i.e. a Jew seducing a Christian girl) but almost always because of economic conflict.

          • Monk James Silver says

            Thanks for responding dear George.

            This seems to be an indirect citation, but I’ll deal with it as you present it.

            In no way can this be seen as a talmudic approval of child molestation, and you should retract your assertion as the error it is, lest you words be used as a weapon against the Jews. You just don’t understand what’s going on here.

            The first instructive point of this section is that men of priestly families may not enter forbidden marriages if they would succeed their fathers in the priesthood.

            The second point is that men of priestly lineage may not marry non-Jews if they would keep their priesthood..

            The third — and most relevant — point here is that a girl (and whose family) became Jewish before she turned three would be considered Jewish enough to be betrothed to the son of a priest, and so not put his priesthood in question.

            After attaining age three, that girl is thought by the rabbis to have absorbed so much of her previous non-Jewish culture as to make her unsuitable to be the wife of a priest.

            Now, underlying all of this is the very ancient, even pre-Jewish practice of families coming to an agreement on the betrothal of their infant children, who — obviously — had nothing to say about the people whom they would eventually marry.

            In ancient times, and in ways reflected in Jewish law even now, marriage wasn’t usually anything like a ‘love match’ between adults (although that certainly happened then and even now) — it was an agreement between families.

            As a result, there was never anything like an adult man’s taking a three-year-old girl as his wife. That’s a very serious misunderstanding on your part, dear George, and you really must retract it and attempt to repair the damage you’ve done by your words.

            We do and must disagree with the Jews on many points, but this isn’t one of them.

            • “when a grown up man has intercourse with a little girl it is nothing, for when the girl is less than this, it is as if one puts the finger into the eye. i.e. tears come to the eyes again and again, so does virginity come back to a little girl under three years.”
              Kvetching inbound.
              At least 109 countries indeed. I wonder why?

              • Monk James Silver says

                The daf which George Michalopulos referred to is concerned with lawful priestly marriages, and whether women who are converts to Judaism are eligible to marry a priest.  Our correspondent ‘Basil’ seems not to have noticed that, but instead got stuck on the notion of a girl’s being  ‘age three years and one day’, just like the author of the article to which he directed our attention.

                The explanation I provided is the correct one.  I highly recommend that anyone with other ideas consult a talmudic scholar.  Phone a local yeshiva and ask to speak with one —  they’re usually very kind and welcoming.

                The article linked here by ‘Basil’ was clearly written by someone unqualified to comment on this somewhat limited text which is not only presented in a poor translation, but is obviously being used as a weapon against Judaism rather than a support for Christianity.

                Whatever the author’s expertise is in, it’s clear that he hasn’t been trained in understanding mishnah or gemarah.  Notice that only selected comments appear here, not the levitical law which is under examination.  This is an invalid method.

                He’s way out of his depth, and his misplaced zeal will not redeem him from his aggressive ignorance.  I wonder what sense he would make of the original text in Aramaic.

                Altogether, this jesus-is-savior website is full of heterodox, heretical bunk, and they haven’t even scratched the surface of Catholicism and Orthodoxy.  You should read what they have to say about Orthodox Christian Russians and Greeks:  they think that these are two different religions, and that Russian Orthodoxy is a ‘cult’.  Their explicit hatred for Roman Catholics, largely bolstered only by their misunderstandings, is disgusting and shameful.

                And we’re supposed to believe what they say about the Jews?

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  I’m glad Basil shared this and that he did it here. It’s important to have this kind of feedback. Thank you, Father, for educating us and thank you, Basil, for sharing it.

                • Kvetching received.
                  The images posted on that site are scans from the English translation of the Talmud. Make of them what you will.
                  Look, if this stuff isn’t real, then why, as Nikos has pointed out, is sexual abuse such a big problem in the Orthodox Jewish communities?
                  You can claim that the site has an ‘invalid method,’ but just saying ‘muh bad translation’ or ‘they’re not trained scholars’ is equally invalid.
                  I suppose the numerous videos online of Rabbis in Israel and elsewhere saying these kinds of things are also invalid. There’s clips of the head rabbi of Jerusalem openly stating that the goyim are soulless subhumans.
                  Willful ignorance is a sin.
                  … no one, especially me, is saying that all Jews are evil people intent on destroying everyone else. HOWEVER, the ideology of the Talmud is very clear in its condemnation of the goyim and the superiority of the Jew, and those that follow this ideology are very dangerous people, especially when they have such massive influence in the corridors of power.

                • Plus, you never even addressed the fact that the text I quoted mentioned NOTHING of marriage. It is quite clearly about sexual relations with a ‘little girl.’

                • Monk James Silver,An interesting post.Please allow me to make a few remarks, not in the sequence of importance, but in the sequence in your post::”Our correspondent ‘Basil’ seems not to have noticed that, but instead got stuck on…”I do not see any other correspondent here to always put the sole christian name of the correspondent in inverted comments, like “Basil”. I know, you have explained that you do that because you are not sure about the real name,however it is STRIKING that nobody else is doing that here. I wonder why that is!:Instead of the formal/neutral “corresponent Basil”, brother or friend might be friendlier one..”The explanation I provided is the correct one”. Yes, everybody says or implies that, unless denoted otherwise.. “I highly recommend that anyone with other ideas consult a talmudic scholar.”What do these scholars say about Jesus Christ, e.g. whose son is He?And we’re supposed to believe what they say about other things?.”…yeshiva… and later on, …mishnah or gemarah…”How are supposed to know what these mean? I kindly ask you to explain these in the your posts..Having said all the above, I repeat it was an interesting post, and food for thought,which brings me to my last question::Monks in Greece are not allowed to go on the internet and surely not participate in forums etc.How is it that you have a lot of freedom in this respect? Is it a special monastery or what?

      • George as i found out. It was hidden for a long time by the community  The saddest thing was to see the children dressed like little  men and woman ,all in black, and all looking so  pasty faced. 

    • Not a surprise. Just look at Hollywood.
      Interesting case in point: the movie industry nearly went bankrupt throwing their money into sound and color. To recoup their money, and continue their  culture war, Jews began releasing pornographic films. Yes, this is a culture war: Israeli soldiers broadcasted pornography into Palestinian homes as a means of psychological warfare:
      This goes back to the French Revolution. When that culture was being threatened to implode, the Marquis de Sade suggested naked women be paraded in the streets. This is the equivalent of luring a woman of the night into a prize fighter’s trailer the evening before the game. But they came up with a problem. You fill a huge theatre with the population, and not everyone can see the pornography, so the number of direct hits against the moral order remain low. And if you DECREASE the size of the theatre, so everyone can see the pornography, again you don’t have enough people in the seats. What to do?
      The motion picture was invented. 
      So here is a sensible and admirable response: the Motion Picture Production Code from about 1930 to 1968. Protestants and Catholics boycotted Hollywood negotiated a truce in the culture war:
      But for a variety of reasons – the truce was broken and the culture war continued. It was as if the Pale of Settlement opened here in America. Perhaps Joseph McCarthy tried as best he could. Now the technology has changed, and the theatre is in our pocket. Pandora’s Box is open. 

      • George Michalopulos says

        LonelyDn, that’s kind of an oversimplification if you ask me, that is from the French Revolution to the motion picture industry.  I see your point however about the debilitating effects of mass-eroticism.

        Pornography of course has always existed (as has erotica) and I concede your point that before modern times, the exposure to illicit images was very constrained.  To be frank, when the Hayes Code was overridden X-rated movies were produced but to see them one had to go to the seedier side of town where the theaters were of low quality.  That was a limiting factor. 

        As for pornographic magazines, they were not cost-effective to produce in bulk because they could not be mailed because of obscenity laws, i.e. they had “no redeeming value”.  Hugh Hefner decided to include stories and articles in order to get by these laws and Playboy actually did have some excellent writers (William F Buckley, Jr, Gore Vidal, Ray Bradbury, et al). 

        Once the Supreme Court struck down these laws, then it made no difference whether there was anything redeeming about the publication.  Now of course with the internet, it’s hard to escape it.  Quantity has overtaken quality.  

        To blame Jews as a whole for the increase in pornography is unfair in my opinion.  The single most important catalysts for the sexual revolution were the gentiles Dr Alfred Kinsey and the aforementioned Hugh Hefner.   Both were Old Stock Americans who came from devout Methodist backgrounds (although they both became atheists).  And the Supreme Court (which was likewise made up almost exclusively of men from Old-Stock Americans), did their damage by overturning these laws and other such laws which enriched the American polity.  

        • George, I don’t solely blame Jews as a whole for increase in pornography, but they are the most important catalysts for sexual revolution and remind us of Reuben Sturman, Al Goldstein and Wilhelm Reich.

          Reich, a Jew from Spain, was a student of Sigmund Freud and Karl Marx – both Jews – and tried to marry these quintessentially revolutionary Jewish ideologies.
          Reich wrote THE book on sexual revolution and Reuben Sturman, the Russian Jew and the self-professed ‘Walt Disney’ of porn, lived by it. According to the US Department of Justice, throughout the 1970s, Sturman controlled MOST of the pornography circulating in the country. Then there’s Ron Jeremy, and the less said about him the better.

          But we cannot ignore Al Goldstein, credited as THE figure of normalizing hardcore pornography. Perhaps we might call him the Steve Jobs of porn. He was best friends with Larry Flynt and in his tellingly titled book XXX-Communicated: A Rebel Without a Shul, Luke Ford wrote about a conversation with Al Goldstein, in which Ford asked Goldstein why Jews are dramatically overrepresented in the porn industry.

          The answer?

          He said, “The ONLY reason that Jews are in pornography is that we think that Christ sucks. Catholicism sucks. We don’t believe in authoritarianism.”

          Ford then asked, “What does it mean to you to be a Jew?”

          To which Goldstein responded, “It doesn’t mean anything. It means that I’m called a kike.” Ford also asked, “Do you believe in God?” Goldstein said, “I believe in me. I’m God. Screw God. God is your need to believe in some super being. I am the super being. I am your God, admit it. We’re random. We’re the flea on the butt of the dog.”

          So, I must humbly disagree: it seems the single most important catalysts for the sexual revolution were Jews.

          • Go hunt own the book Merchants of Sin; it has everything you need to know about Jewish over-representation in pornography and smut.
            Welcome, LonelyDn, enjoying your contributions so far.

            • Is that the Merchants of Sin book written by Benjamin Garland from the neo-Nazi site The Daily Stormer? Or are you referring to a different book?

              • George Michalopulos says

                To all: I will publish my piece tomorrow however, I will only entertain comments and/or questions that are historically germane. I will NOT publish comments which are ad hominem against the Jews as a people, Israel as a state or Judaism as a religion.

                We must remember that all peoples, races, ethnicities and institutions have deficits and are subject to stereotyping. My critique will likewise be based on this paradigm and not hatred.

                Thank you.

                • Looking forward to that piece, George. Thanks.
                  And for whatever it’s worth, my usage of the term Jew reflects the definition given through St. John the Evangelist, St. John Chrysostom, and the Church. This is to say, not racially but ideologically, culturally. Case in point: ‘Fear of the Jews’ doesn’t refer to the Theotokos, or Christ, or any of the Apostles.

              • If you find gold in a sewer, it’s still gold. Attacking the source is not addressing the content.

          • Antiochene Son says

            Well said.

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      I do hate to rise to the bait of posts about the Jews, but as with the occasional weird outbursts about Masons, I can’t help it.
      Jews are sort of Presbyterians who don’t believe in Jesus. That is the point of view created by my upbringing.
      I never encountered anti-Semitism growing up, though of course I read about it in books in high school. I’ve never grasped it, except as a clear expression of an inferiority complex amongst its practitioners; people with intangible resentments and grievances.
      As for my line about the Presbys, when as a kid I asked my folks who Jews were, that’s basically the answer I got. And so it proved. Mine was a one-synagogue town, the merger of a Conservative and a Reformed congregation. It had the same groups as in my Presby church- local docs, lawyers, teachers, businessmen, and so on. 
      Their kids were in my Boy Scout troop, I had several as friends in high school that are still friends, and I’ve been law partners and business partners with Jews for decades, along with Greeks, Croats, Italians, Scandinavians, and the usual WWII movie platoon types, adding Cambodian and Chinese to the mix.
      My salutary maxim: take each person on his own terms and as an individual; then novel facts emerge, and digestion flows like a wide river.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Of course.

        • The accusation of anti-Semitism is used too often as a means of silencing moral, spiritual and political criticism in the same way accusations of homophobia are used to silence moral, spiritual and political criticism. Just look at the poor, faithful people dedicating their lives for the protection of Christ through the Oberammergau Passion Play:
          This begs the rhetorical questions, what exactly does anti-Semitism mean? Are the Gospels anti-Semitic? The Church Fathers? Lenten liturgical texts? 
          The organizations who literally invented the term hate speech, the ADL and ACLU, are explicitly Jewish organizations. So, accusations of anti-Semitism and hate speech are two heads of the same dragon. 

          • Gail Sheppard says

            I think it’s time for George to publish his piece.

            • I’ll be honest, I am already nervous to read the response.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Don’t be Michelle, it’s a purely historical review. No animus or reference to actual anti-Semitic material.

                My own pro-Judaic bona fides are well-known.

          • Antiochene Son says

            It’s anti-semitic to notice unusual things, I have learned that. Such as a minority of 2% having a firm grip on all the major levers of power, and using it to their in-group’s benefit, and to even notice this is to be called a racist nazi.

  7. There is a such a compounding of issue when confronting the West.  If only there were the reforms of Pope Gregory to wade through it would be formidable to have dialogue.  With the rise of scholasticism the West had a different goal of Theology. Our Orthodox teachings are primitive and elementary to them.  Our apostolic Theology boils down to but two teachings, the revelation of the community of theTrinity and That God desired to become man and thereby make man to be god. Trinity and Duality that is all.   The new and western approach of theology was about how much man knew God and controlled the concept,  and teachings about Him.  This made man like God without actually knowing God.  The Western Church substituted know God and having experience with Him for know details about Him even if that meant speculation and fantasy.
    Further complicating this new way of doing theology Rome added  the Lateran reforms, the reforms of the counter reformation, the reforms of Vatican I, and then the mother of all reforms Vatican II.  Each of these evolved away from the two doctrines of the Apostolic Church and changed teaching and worship that were moving them further and further away from the Orthodox.  Long before Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, or Knox, Rome was committed to semper reformationius.  Each of these reveal efforts of reformation by Rome further divided the church and people committed to her and has resulted in 60,000 denominations in the West.  Rome for 1000 years has been committed to always changing and ever evolving.  Talking to Rome of reconciliation is like nailing jello to the wall.  In dialogue we have to wonder which age of doctrine and worship practice we are referencing.  This organization is amebic. At the same time this organization is like the Borg, “we will assimilate you.”   These traditionalists  that George is referencing are looking at but one age or period of time as their reference point for the ideal Roman Church but until their reference point is the unchangeable Church they will just remain one of the older protestant groups.  
    As a former Lutheran pastor I will tell you that all protestants and catholics are united in their belief that the church to which they adhere must change; back to something it use to be or forward to something new.  We Orthodox must be committed to hand forward exactly what we have received From the Holy people and our Holy God through the ages.

  8. I am sure that God is sorting all this stuff out.  It is His Church. 

    Meanwhile we must be very discerning about what He is trying to destroy within the Church and not try to prop it up.   I suppose that most of us would not recognize the early Church.   Here in the USA especially we are too comfortable.  For several years I lived among people who trusted God for their next meal.  Worship was a totally different experience. 

    As far as so called pagans are concerned,  we must be careful. God is working on the paganism within all of us.   He is rooting out all sorts of stuff in order to make us a new creation fit for His kingdom.

  9. Antiochene Son says

    The latest:
    TLDR; Apostate head of the Latin Church, Jorge Bergoglio, places vessel of earth honoring demonic god Pachamama upon the high altar of St. Peter’s Basilica.

  10. Monk James Silver,
    An interesting post.
    Please allow me to make a few remarks, not in the sequence of importance, but in the sequence in your post:
    “Our correspondent ‘Basil’ seems not to have noticed that, but instead got stuck on…”

    I do not see any other correspondent here to always put the sole christian name of the correspondent in inverted comments, like “Basil”. I know, you have explained that you do that because you are not sure about the real name,however it is STRIKING that nobody else is doing that here. I wonder why that is!:
    BTW, instead of the formal/neutral “corresponent Basil”, brother or friend might be friendlier one..and would encourage a better …climate in the forum.

    “The explanation I provided is the correct one”.
    Yes, everybody says or implies that, unless denoted otherwise..

    “I highly recommend that anyone with other ideas consult a talmudic scholar.”
    What do these scholars say about Jesus Christ, e.g. whose son is He?
    And we’re supposed to believe what they say about other things?

    “…yeshiva… and later on, …mishnah or gemarah…”
    How are supposed to know what these mean? I kindly ask you to explain these in the your posts..

    Having said all the above, I repeat it was an interesting post, and food for thought,which brings me to my last question::

    Monks in Greece are not allowed to go on the internet and surely not participate in forums etc.
    How is it that you have a lot of freedom in this respect? Is it a special monastery or what?

    • Monk James Silver says

      These questions — most of which are based on mistaken ideas — — have been asked and answered here well before now.

      As far as I know, their answers remain firmly in place, and I don’t feel obligated to go through them again.

      Anyone with more time than I have, and good intentions, too, can reply to them.

      It should be known that every monastery in Greece and in Athos is on the Internet, as are many monks and nuns as individuals all over the world.