Is the Pope Catholic?

Saboteur of the moral and cultural foundations of Europe.


Cardinal Godfried Danneels
Saboteur of the moral and cultural foundations of Christendom

Ordinarily, this is a rhetorical question along the lines of “does a bear [defecate] in the woods?” The obvious answer in both cases is “yes.”

Or so it was.

Much has been written about Pope Francis recently—on this blog as well as others. Your’s Truly has been taken to task for his criticisms, some of which were sarcastic. Duly noted, snark and/or sarcasm is not becoming in any discussion regarding the Pontiff and for this I beg forgiveness from those offended.

 

The Troubles with Pope Francis

Nevertheless, much of Francis’ papacy is troubling. His speech before the Congress left many traditionalist Catholics (and others)—how shall we say it?—underwhelmed. He made some serious polemical mileage after siphoning some of Patriarch Bartholomew’s greenhouse gases to the great joy of the globalists. Next to immigration, I’d say that’s the only thing that’s been talked about by the legacy media.

At the same time his oblique references about the ongoing destruction of the family and of innocent children in the womb seemed to invite nothing but silence from these same quarters. Even worse, Francis was silent about the barbarity of selling the parts of babies born alive. If this does not cry out to the Lord for judgment, nothing does.

At times like this tI miss John Paul the Great’s robust defenses of Catholic moral teaching or Benedict XVI’s Regensburg Address.

In addition, his generalizations about religious fanaticism deflected from the horrible reality that it is not Buddhists or Quakers who are beheading religious rivals throughout the world but Muslim fanatics. Perhaps if he were as concerned about Christians in the Middle East as he is about economic migrants crashing our borders, I’d be more impressed.

To be sure, His Holiness does have a pastoral, humble mien. It’s obvious and it speaks volumes about his personal piety. I can respect that. But as somebody commented on this site, he is not an “amiable moron” or a “huggy-bear” kind of guy. One does not rise to the top of such an international institution unless he knows how to play the game.

Internecine Plottings

And now we have confirmation. Last week, Monomakhos received information about this pope and the direction he wants to take his church from two of my correspondents, which they in turn received (I assume) from Rod Dreher, on The American Conservative website.

What Dreher describes is deeply troubling: we are talking about nothing less than a conspiracy which removed Benedict XVI from the throne of Peter from almost the first days of his papacy. This is not supposition or rumor but stated fact which were told to a reporter by one of the conspirators. I encourage everyone to read it for yourself rather than take my word for it.

What is Dreher describes is nothing short appalling. It bodes ill for the future. Dreher’s source for all this is Edward Rentin, the author of an upcoming, authorized biography of Cardinal Godfried Danneels. You read that right. This is the authorized biography, not the stuff of rumor or innuendo; nothing here is on deep background and off-the-record: it is all on the record.

In a nutshell, Pope Benedict XVI was removed in a carefully orchestrated coup by a cabal of liberal prelates. This conspiracy began almost from the outset of his papacy. (This may sound familiar to long-time readers of Monomakhos.) The leader of this cabal was Cardinal Godfried Danneels of Belgium. Among his collaborators were Basil Hume of Great Britain, Walter Kasper of Germany, the Jesuit Carlo Maria Montini of Italy and Adriaan Van Luyn of the Netherlands. According to Rentin, these men openly described themselves as “a mafia club [sic] that bore the name of St Gallen.”

All of them were in the progressive camp of the College of Cardinals and had tried to elect Bergoglio in 2004. Unfortunately for them, Joseph Ratzinger was elected instead, thus confounding their plans to make the Church more “inclusive” and “attractive” to the world. When it became clear that Benedict was perfectly happy with a smaller but more resolutely orthodox church, the long knives came out.

Now, as Dreher has noted, each of the above named men preside over dying or moribund churches. This is not insignificant. Danneels himself has preached many scandalous things, including advising the King of Belgium to legalize abortion back in 1990, endorsed parochial(!) sex education that was explicit and spoken in favor of homosexual marriage. As if this wasn’t enough, he advised a victim of clerical sexual abuse to “keep quiet.”

Now, we all know that cabals exist in ecclesiastical institutions. Divisions and factions happen; that’s inevitable. On the other hand, what is not par for the course is the open bragging about such conspiracies. Francis himself has given Danneels a significant position in next month’s Synod on the Family—perhaps a coded “thank you” for getting him elected. If nothing else, it’s definitely a signal as to what is going to be “discussed” and “resolved.” We can expect to hear much about “inclusiveness” and “diversity,” how homosexual couples have “gifts” to bring to the raising of children. And so on.

If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that the fix is in.

Rentin released this information ahead of the book’s publication, perhaps as a means to alert the more orthodox bishops as to what is going to transpire at this Synod. That seems to be Dreher’s hope as well and for whatever it’s worth (given that we’re Orthodox), it should be our hope as well.

The Decline of Roman Catholicism?

My heart is heavy. As Orthodox Christians, as well as conservative believers of all stripes, we don’t need to see the Catholic Church became a 1 billion strong mirror image of the Episcopalian Church, the ultimate joke congregation in America. I’m not anti-Catholic and have never been. My family has directly benefited from Catholic institutions and if it weren’t for John Paul the Great and Ronald Reagan, the Iron Curtain would still be standing.

Unlike Francis however, John Paul was under no illusions about the incipient depravity that was starting to seep into the West. He called it nothing less than the Culture of Death. Moreover, he saw a “light from the East,” a prophecy which is being played out as we speak. Despite all our problems, it is not the Orthodox East which has been ravaged by the twin pillars of nihilism—feminism and homosexualism. Given the level of degeneracy here in America, it’s hard to see how we are now the Shining City on the Hill, a beacon to a world yearning to breathe free.

A little humility is in order. And a lot of prayer. If Catholic believers can’t derail the upcoming Synod (and I don’t think they’ll be able to given Francis’ massive popularity), then we Orthodox need to redouble our efforts to make sure that such conferences don’t take place in ours. The trial balloon that the Phanar had floated at the last Chambesy pre-conciliar conference was one too many.

Let us gird our loins as we prepare for battle.

Comments

  1. Daniel E Fall says

    You are dooming yourself for a real battle against evil from within George. Don’t do it.

    Pope Francis is a good Pope.

    Nothing wrong with disagreeing with part of his words, but a few of them might change your opinion on at least say immigration. The right has carried the change nothing torch and its burning out to the send them back torch which is political suicide the left loves.

    • Any pope who prefaces a statement with “This might be heresy…” is not a good pope.

      Pope Francis: It may be a heresy, but I agree with the devil that all Christians are one?

      I’m fairly confident that somebody like Pius X would have excommunicated Francis.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        Steven,

        Pope Francis is speculating that all Christians are the same and we’re speculating that they aren’t; why would either position be heresy? In both cases it is speculation.

        “We know where God is, but we don’t know where God isn’t.”

      • Steven:

        I’m fairly confident that somebody like Pius X would have excommunicated Francis.

        I’m fairly confident that nobody really cares what Steven thinks about Pope Francis.

        • George Michalopulos says

          You know OOM, it seems that your standards are so much more elevated than ours. Could we possibly interest you in joining a church that’s much in tune with your views? Since you seem to know so much about what Pius X would have thought about Francis, why don’t you join Francis’ church? Nobody here will miss you and I’m sure you’ll feel more comfortable being among our betters.

          • Michalopulos:

            Could we possibly interest you in joining a church that’s much in tune with your views?

            Your premise, that the Orthodox church is “not in tune with [my] views,” is dead wrong. I am quite comfortable in this progressive church of ours. I have given evidence on this blog that the American Orthodox church is just as liberal, spiritually, politically and socially, as both the American Catholic church and that favorite straw man of yours, the Episcopal Church in the USA. It is YOU and your fundamentalists-with-icons ilk who don’t belong, as I’ve suggested repeatedly.

            So allow me to return the favor of giving a bit of advice: I suggest you join your “traditional Catholic brethren” in the SSPX. With all your whingeing, fault-finding, and phony “traditionalism,” you will fit in there just fine. (I know those people firsthand.) You can continue to bash American Orthodoxy AND Pope Francis among fellow-travelling haters.

            • George Michalopulos says

              OOM, OK, now I know you’ve gone completely off the rails. Or you’re just being funny. I can’t tell.

              Despite all the liturgical travails that many of us have experienced, all of the modernist architecture, and even having to put our weapons down every time we hear some blather about “inclusiveness” from the likes of Fr Arida, this is nothing at all like what we see in the RCC every since Vatican II. (Forget ECUSA, pretty soon they’ll be sacramentalizing bestiality.)

              As the father of two parochially-educated sons, I have attended so many masses that I stopped counting. I can think of two or three times that I sensed any solemnity at all. For that I had to attend a Uniate liturgy which was far more Byzantine than what I was used to in the GOA and the AOCNA. (BTW, things are getting better in this regards.) To give you an idea how the Latin hierarchy felt about the tiny Uniate congregation, they were given space in the basement of a largely African-American parish on the north side of town; not a very salubrious area if you get my drift. Now that their priest has reposed, that congregation has gone defunct with no plans to resurrect it.

              As for the horrid architecture that has been inflicted on my Catholic brethren, I’ll pilfer an excellent description from Rod Dreher: “the Our Lady of Pizza Hut aesthetic.”

              • Is OOM Stan Drezhlo? It certainly sounds like him/her/it.

              • Michalopulos:

                For that I had to attend a Uniate liturgy which was far more Byzantine than what I was used to in the GOA and the AOCNA. (BTW, things are getting better in this regards.) To give you an idea how the Latin hierarchy felt about the tiny Uniate congregation, they were given space in the basement of a largely African-American parish on the north side of town; not a very salubrious area if you get my drift.

                Why is it that you will take the side of the “Uniates” – but apparently only when it serves the agenda of wiping the eye of the Romans? And what makes you an expert on why space was given by the hierarchy to the “Uniates” in that particular church? Perhaps to you, it’s not a real church if it’s in a bad part of town, especially one where African-Americans live. Or was it that the “Uniates” griped to you about having to share with the darkies, and it just comes naturally to you to take the side of the whingers?
                Michalopulos:

                Despite all the liturgical travails that many of us have experienced, all of the modernist architecture, and even having to put our weapons down every time we hear some blather about “inclusiveness” from the likes of Fr Arida,…

                Come off it. Just because you don’t like these things doesn’t make you some kind of victim.

                Michalopulos:

                ….this is nothing at all like what we see in the RCC every since Vatican II

                You may not like the post-Vatican II RCC, but it has been wildly successful worldwide. The RCC is evangelizing vast geographical areas in Africa and Asia. The Orthodox like to crow about the fact that they’ve poached a few thousand Guatemalans from the RCC – how pathetic.
                The vast majority of American Catholics are quite content with the changes that have taken place, and many would like to see further liberalization. To the extent that American Catholics have left the church, that’s only indicative of an overall decline in religiosity in the U.S.A. that has hit other churches just as hard – including, especially, Orthodoxy!

                Michalopulos:

                (Forget ECUSA, pretty soon they’ll be sacramentalizing bestiality.)

                There you go again.

                • re putting the Uniates in the basement of a church in a part of town where crime is endemic: boy, you really don’t get it! You don’t strike me as stupid, are you then naïve? You must be, either that or ignorant; especially if you don’t know how the American Latin hierarchy feels about the Eastern Rite Catholics. (Hint, it’s not much better than the days of St Alexis Toth.)

                  • geomich:

                    re putting the Uniates in the basement of a church in a part of town where crime is endemic: boy, you really don’t get it! You don’t strike me as stupid, are you then naïve? You must be, either that or ignorant; especially if you don’t know how the American Latin hierarchy feels about the Eastern Rite Catholics. (Hint, it’s not much better than the days of St Alexis Toth.)

                    Geomich, we all see things differently. Is that so hard for you to understand? It so happens I live among a large community of Ukrainian “Uniates” and we discuss their church. By and large they have nothing bad to say about the RCC. Some of the older Ukies attend mass at the nearby Roman church on weekdays. So, I speak from personal experience. I am aware that there are whining complaining troublemakers in every church. They are attracted to blogs like this as flies are attracted to dung.

                • The Vatican II church has been an unmitigated disaster. Africa is a success story because the African bishops are the only ones adhering to tradition.

                  For all the laudation of Francis, where’s the beef? Mass attendance is down, confessions are down, and vocations are only in as good of shape as they are because of Summorum Pontificum.

                  Francis is killing the Latin church for the sake of worldly praise.

            • Estonian Slovak says

              Newsflash, Herr Hotshot! It is you renovators who would leave if you were honest. At least, give Martin Luther credit for one thing; he didn’t stay within the Papal church and try to reform it into what he thought it should be. He “rolled his own”, to use a modern idiom. The Church, as my late spiritual father used to say, is not a beggar of souls. The Church doesn’t need us; we need the Church!

        • You are correct. Nobody should care what I think. But having spent over 30 years in the RC and the last decade attending SSPX chapels I do have some knowledge regarding pre-Vatican II theology and the encyclicals of previous popes such as Pacendi and the Syllabus of Errors wherein Pius X and Pius IX enumerate the same errors which Francis now proudly boasts.

          Perhaps educating yourself would be a better use of your time rather than being snarky.

          • Steven,

            That is true. The RCC has actually officially condemned a fair amount of what it is now adopting. People have no sense of history. If they did, they would have a much more wicked sense of humor!

            • Misha:

              People have no sense of history. If they did, they would have a much more wicked sense of humor!

              Who needs a sense of humor about historical ironies? There’s nothing as laughable as a post from Misha!

          • Steven:

            But having spent over 30 years in the RC and the last decade attending SSPX chapels I do have some knowledge regarding pre-Vatican II theology…

            I knew it! Who else but a demented Catholic traddie would invoke the name of Pope St. Pius X to trash the current Pope? I look forward to hearing your feelings about the Jews… If you’re lurking around this blog, maybe it’s buyer’s remorse about Orthodoxy? Most of us are quite normal, average, live-and-let-live types, you see.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          OMM,

          I’m fairly confident that YOU don’t know what the hell you are talking about. I DO care what Steven said about Pope Francis or I wouldn’t have bothered to comment on it. Don’t shut people down. It only makes YOU look bad.

    • He may be a good man, but I think that it is way too early to declare him a good pope. OTH, what I have seen so far is somebody who is inclined to accommodate the world, rather to call the world to holiness.

    • “Pope Francis is a good Pope.”

      You just like his new progressive-rock album.

      https://soundcloud.com/believedigitalitaly/wake-up-go-go-forward/s-DONtr

      Lord have mercy!

      • Daniel E Fall says

        I like the Pope for his focus on the poor.

        Simply because he said climate change is enough reason for lotsa right wing shuddering.

        If Francis said men need wives and priests can and should marry tomorrow; I’d really like him.

        Then if Orthodox could become bishops if married; I’d applaud again.

        The status quo is not always best…sorry.

        Not all change is great either.

      • Patrick Henry Reardon says

        “progressive-rock album”

        Cute pun, Mikail

  2. The problems in the RC go much deeper than just Francis. I believe Francis is the culmination of the Revolution that broke out at Vatican II. The previous popes since Vatican II look orthodox in comparison to Francis but were also modernists. From Paul VI destroying the venerable Roman Rite of Mass to John Paul the Not at all Great allowing pagans to use Catholic churches to perform their satanic rituals at the Assisi meetings and kissing Korans. Benedict XVI was a liberal periti at Vatican II and was solidly in the Van Balthasar, Louis Boyer and Joseph Jungmann camp which successfully trashed the traditional Roman Rite.

    In a way I am thankful for Francis. I pray that more Catholics finally see that the issues with the RC go much further back than Vatican II or Vatican I. More and more are seeing that the Orthodox Church is the Church with the much better claim to being the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. As for myself, Francis was the last straw in my becoming Orthodox since it forced me to take a good long look at the roman claims.

    • You are correct Steven. The RC problems go much deeper than Francis (although he is facilitating the problems at lightning speed). They have been in apostasy for a very long time. There are millions who will embrace the continued dismantling of any semblance of Tradition in the RCC. But there are many others who will have their eyes opened……and come to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church……the Holy Orthodox Church.

    • Steven is close to the mark. I applaud Francis’ papacy. The RCC deserves him and what he will do to their church. Long live Francis and may he succeed beyond his wildest dreams! If he does, there will be little more left of the RCC than there is of the Episcopal Church. Christians can then move on.

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      Here’s a question that I don’t think I’ve ever seen a comment about: how many converts to Orthodoxy come from Roman Catholicism?

      I’ve never met one, myself. On the other hand, I’ve met a great many from Protestantism, of course. Who are these “more and more”?

      • There are quite a few. There are more from Protestantism, but then, there are a lot more Protestants in America than there are Catholics. There are other reasons, as well, for there being fewer converts from Catholicism, but I daresay that with the advent of Francis we may be seeing more — as long as we don’t go all “Francis” ourselves.

      • Teena H. Blackburn says

        Hello, I am a convert to Orthodoxy from Roman Catholicism. There’s actually a Catholic convert to Orthodoxy FB page. Fr. Theodore Pulcini, Rico Vitz (philosopher), Macrina Walker (was a Cistercian), Fr.Placide Deseille (monk), Fr. Gabriel Bunge (monk), Fr. Seraphim, the head of the Hermitage of the Holy Cross in West Virginia….there’s a short list.

        • Teena H. Blackburn:

          Hello, I am a convert to Orthodoxy from Roman Catholicism. There’s actually a Catholic convert to Orthodoxy FB page. Fr. Theodore Pulcini, Rico Vitz (philosopher), Macrina Walker (was a Cistercian), Fr.Placide Deseille (monk), Fr. Gabriel Bunge (monk), Fr. Seraphim, the head of the Hermitage of the Holy Cross in West Virginia….there’s a short list.

          What about the billion or so Catholics who have not converted and never will convert? There’s the LONG list.

          • Teena H. Blackburn says

            I’m not sure what your point is. I responded to a gentleman who said he had never met a Catholic convert to Orthodoxy. Just saying, “Hey, here are some.” Obviously, I didn’t give an exhaustive list. I’m sure someone can pull out a list of Orthodox converts to Catholicism.

      • Hello, just wanted to check in, heard you’re looking for converts to Orthodoxy from Catholicism. Oh, and my girlfriend also. And the 10+ testimonies that helped to convince us that we weren’t the only ones and that we were on the right path. And then there’s Abbe Guettee in the 1860’s, Bishop Paul de Ballester in the 1950’s, and this Archimandrite:
        http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2010/05/26/letter-to-a-roman-catholic-friend-by-fr-gregorio-cognetti/

      • Personally, know many RCs who converted to orthodoxy, including several RC priests (a few Jesuits among them) and I’ve been greatly privileged and highly blessed to advise and assist several of them.

        Over the last several decades, the Chevetogne monastery in Belgium consistently kept losing men to orthodoxy and so was put under some sort of restrictions by the Vatican.

        On the other hand, I’m unaware of many OCs who’ve converted to the RCC except when they married in that church, where their faith and catechesis is probably just as weak as it was while they were among us.

        I’m also unaware of many orthodox priests who turned catholic. A couple who recently turned muslim (ouch!) but not catholic, at least not since the days of Bp Stephen Dzubay at Graymoor nearly a century ago. Oh, and also Fr Stephen Muth in Kansas City, who fled the Simonos-Petros monastery in Athos and returned to the US looking for a bishop to ordain him. Naturally, no orthodox bishop would touch him without a blessing from his hegoumen, Fr Aimilianos (which was not forthcoming), so he sold himself to a uniat bishop.

        • Monk James:

          Personally, know many RCs who converted to orthodoxy, including several RC priests (a few Jesuits among them) and I’ve been greatly privileged and highly blessed to advise and assist several of them.

          Over the last several decades, the Chevetogne monastery in Belgium consistently kept losing men to orthodoxy and so was put under some sort of restrictions by the Vatican.

          Converts to Orthodoxy from the RCC or “Anglicanism” tend to be highly committed to their new faith. They are running away from the old as much as they are embracing the new. Hence the misplaced idealism, the fanaticism of some, the completely unrealistic assessment of true Orthodoxy as it actually exists.

          Monk James:

          On the other hand, I’m unaware of many OCs who’ve converted to the RCC except when they married in that church, where their faith and catechesis is probably just as weak as it was while they were among us.

          I know a couple of instances where OC priests’ children have been married in the RCC and couldn’t be bothered with Orthodoxy thereafter. That could hardly be the result of weak catechesis. And why ASSUME that someone’s faith is “probably just as weak” in the new church?

          • Teena H. Blackburn says

            I would note you really don’t know the motives of people who convert. It’s a bit much for you to think you do.

            • Teena H. Blackburn:

              I would note you really don’t know the motives of people who convert. It’s a bit much for you to think you do.

              We’re speaking in generalities here. It is reasonable to assume that they who convert to a new faith are “weak” in the faith they leave behind. Why else would they make the change? What is unreasonable is to assume, as Monk James does, is that former Orthodox who convert to Catholicism are also “weak” in their new Catholicism. That goes against common sense. The great thing about converts – which can also be the worst thing – is that as a general rule, they are very “strong” in their new faith, regardless of what that new faith is.

              • Tim R. Mortiss says

                When you convert in old age— or, shall we say (to put a positive spin on it), while in sight of the near shores of old age— you may not have the famous “zeal of the convert” that is not uncommon among younger people.

                I have heard more than a single person over the years wonder if they can convert and just become “an ordinary [Catholic, Orthodox, etc.]”…..

                In my case, converting at 65 after thinking about it for 35 years, and doing lots of “fellow traveling” during those decades, I found the conversion to bring a deep sense of joy and, indeed, relief. On the other hand, the controversies, including but not limited to jurisdictions, etc (and I don’t mean so much latter-day controversies, but ancient or at least old ones), have receded greatly in importance to me. I used to love to read and think about them. Now, not so much. I need the time for other things.

          • ‘It’s always the cobbler’s children whose shoes need mending.’

            — folk saying

        • Monk James says

          I forgot to mention Fr Chrysostom Frank in Denver, who left orthodoxy and became a catholic priest 10-15 years ago for reasons completely unknown to me. Even so, he represents an almost insignificant statistical index compared to the number of RC priests who have converted to orthodoxy even in the USA.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        I don’t think there are many of them. The only Catholics I’ve known who have come into the Church are priests. I know of one person from the Church who became Catholic, which I thought was pretty unusual.

        When you’re told that you are in the One True Church, I think it’s pretty hard to leave, even if the situation is fraught with difficulties.

        I have a friend who was raised Catholic. Her brother, Matt, also Catholic, married an Orthodox woman. When Matt and his wife were expecting their first child, they could not reach a decision on how to raise their children. It came down to an argument where the wife said, “If I’m right, I win. If you’re right, you win.” She lost! Matt pointed to her stomach and said, “Catholic.” – We live in interesting times.

      • Mark E. Fisus says

        This is a glorious video of a Catholic priest converting to holy Orthodoxy:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9ksr6Sb_2A

      • My godson converted from the RCC, and my parish presently has a RC catechumen.

  3. Peter A. Papoutsis says

    Well its not getting any better for the Pope:

    The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope

    Ivereigh: I am confident of the veracity of my account

    Well boys and girls it looks like the Orthodox are going to be the only kid on the block after the Catholics fall.

    Time for us to get ready.

    Peter

    • George Michalopulos says

      BTW, thanks for alerting me to this story (along with Gregory Manning) last week. And also for the additional information. It seems to have “legs.”

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says

        You are welcome George. We now need to be alert as to what may happen in our church.

        Peter

  4. “More and more are seeing that the Orthodox Church is the Church with the much better claim to being the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.”

    Really? More and more? Can you provide evidence please?

    • I speak from my own experience as a RC convert and the fact that several members of my parish have come over from traditional Catholicism since Francis has been pope. Looking at the chit chat on traditional Catholic forums also seems to indicate that more are starting to openly wonder if Orthodoxy is the answer.

      After Francis gets done with what is left of the RC, traditional Catholics will have little choice but to either embrace the outrageously illogical and laughable sedevacantist thesis or embrace Orthodoxy.

    • There’s a website, Journey To Orthodoxy, that compiles testimonies of converts to Orthodoxy from all faiths and cults. The Roman Catholic section is pages and pages long. You can also read there about Mormons, Rastafarians, Pentecostals, Jehovah’s, Atheists, Wiccans, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, and Baptists who came to Orthodoxy. The Rastafari section contains a little know account of Bob Marley’s being baptized into the Ethiopian Tewahedo Church shortly before his death.

  5. Tim R. Mortiss says

    How do you make a Pope resign? Or do I have to read the book first?

  6. I remember chatting with a Greek friend not long after Francis was elected, and he told me that the GOA bishops “loved” Francis. I was pretty confused, since this friend and I were in agreement that Benedict was as close in spirit to Orthodoxy as we were likely ever to see in the papal chair. I asked him, “didn’t they love Benedict?” He responded, “yes, but for different reasons.”

    I personally never connected with JPII — I appreciated what he did in helping Reagan bring down the Iron Curtain, but reading his theological writings just left me flat and deflated. And that was when I was thinking that I, as a traditional Anglican, was going to need to convert to Roman Catholicism eventually.

    Benedict, however, wrote things that touched me deeply. As anti-ecumenist as I am, I actually had some hope for Catholic-Orthodox dialogue with him in charge of a “leaner, meaner” and more orthodox Catholicism. As soon as he retired, I smelled a rat — thank you, George, for providing evidence that my suspicions were not ill-founded.

  7. As a former Roman Catholic, and now an Orthodox catechumen, I am more than a bit dismayed at the “support” the Roman Catholic “Church” receives in various comments here. If you are Orthodox, be Orthodox! and speak with the voice of the True Church, with the voice of St. Mark of Ephesus, the voice of St. Photius, the voice of Justin Popovich! While it is true that Catholic Institutions do much good, the Catholic Church as such is not in good shape, and has not been since the separation and the various heresies.

    This is but the culmination of the “mystery of iniquity” that has been festering within the Roman heresy for almost a thousand years. Time to go read Fr. Seraphim Rose, I suppose.

    Francis is a freemason, and this is beyond any doubt. Please go read Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus’ letter to Francis to learn the facts.

    My reasons for leaving the Roman “Church” were manifold (the Rothschilds being the benefactors of the institution, for instance), however what pushed me over the edge was Benedict’s resignation, and then the First Jesuit Pope taking his place, walking out after his election proudly displaying the Masonic Hidden Hand. All my doubts were vindicated at that point. I had felt like a dirty sinner for searching out the cobwebs and filth within the church I had grown up in, but at that point I knew I had been seeing things for what they were.

    The talk of “orthodox” and “non-orthodox” Roman Catholic Popes and Cardinals is close to nonsense. Anyone who sees the Assisi Gatherings and John Paul “the Great’s” call for a “new world order” (straight from his lips in the video posted below) as anything but apostasy and heresy is NOT orthodox.

    Roman Catholics need the Orthodox Church to speak the unabridged truth, please!
    As a former member of that organization I implore you to speak the truth and only the truth!
    Most young Roman Catholics are dismayed by the false face of Christ they are presented with there, help them to discover Orthodoxy, and give up the efforts of trying to vindicate heresy and pseudo-orthodoxy.

  8. As a former Roman Catholic, and now an Orthodox catechumen, I am more than a bit dismayed at the “support” the Roman Catholic “Church” receives in various comments here. If you are Orthodox, be Orthodox! and speak with the voice of the True Church, with the voice of St. Mark of Ephesus, the voice of St. Photius, the voice of Justin Popovich! While it is true that Catholic Institutions do much good, the Catholic Church as such is not in good shape, and has not been since the separation and the various heresies.

    This is but the culmination of the “mystery of iniquity” that has been festering within the Roman heresy for almost a thousand years. Time to go read Fr. Seraphim Rose, I suppose.

    Francis is a freemason, and this is beyond any doubt. Please go read Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus’ letter to Francis to learn the facts.

    My reasons for leaving the Roman “Church” were manifold (the Rothschilds being the benefactors of the institution, for instance), however what pushed me over the edge was Benedict’s resignation, and then the First Jesuit Pope taking his place, walking out after his election proudly displaying the Masonic Hidden Hand. All my doubts were vindicated at that point. I had felt like a dirty sinner for searching out the cobwebs and filth within the church I had grown up in, but at that point I knew I had been seeing things for what they were.

    The talk of “orthodox” and “non-orthodox” Roman Catholic Popes and Cardinals is close to nonsense. Anyone who sees the Assisi Gatherings and John Paul “the Great’s” call for a “new world order” (straight from his lips in the video posted below) as anything but apostasy and heresy is NOT orthodox.

    Roman Catholics need the Orthodox Church to speak the unabridged truth, please!
    As a former member of that organization I implore you to speak the truth and only the truth!
    Most young Roman Catholics are dismayed by the false face of Christ they are presented with there, help them to discover Orthodoxy, and give up the efforts of trying to vindicate heresy and pseudo-orthodoxy.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-ZETt77tuQ
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDpXchPd0_c

    • Mom of Toddler says

      As a Protestant convert to Orthodoxy of nearly 5 years (that attended Catholic high school), thank you for writing this comment! I also read the writing of Blessed Father Seraphim Rose and find they bring much clarity to the times we are in. Thank you!

  9. Mary E. Lanser says

    Orthodox commentators and critics who depend heavily on the work of Catholic dissenters in order to make their cases always fade into oblivion…where I think they belong in the first place. Weak calls upon weak.

    • Mary:

      Orthodox commentators and critics who depend heavily on the work of Catholic dissenters in order to make their cases always fade into oblivion…where I think they belong in the first place. Weak calls upon weak.

      Mary, what causes you to disparage George Michalopulos and so many of the other regular contributors at Monomakhos like that?

    • It is not only the “Catholic dissenters” who are making the case against Catholicism. Francis and his sycophants are doing a pretty good job all by themselves.

  10. Gregory Manning says

    I am pleasantly surprised at the number of former RC’s being received into the Orthodox Church. My spiritual father was received into Orthodoxy from the RC back in the seventies. We had a conversation about all this back in the nineties and he wasn’t optimistic. He said that when he was exploring Orthodoxy and was all but ready to ask to be received into the Church he felt paralyzed. He had no doubts that the Orthodox Church was the Ark of Salvation. If it were only that, he would have made the leap more quickly. But for his generation, loyalty to the Pope superseded all else. It wasn’t until he realized that his devotion to the Pope was tantamount to a cult of personality and nothing more, that he was able to make the move. He emphasized that this powerful devotion to the person of the Pope was more deep seated than those outside the church realized and that it would always be a major stumbling block for disaffected Catholics.
    I have pasted a comment I came across somewhere on the net about a year ago. I saved it as a PDF with, alas, no link. The comment was written by a Roman Catholic layman and it reflects the exasperation and frustration this poor man feels as he attempts to uphold Catholic teaching only to have the Church, in the person of the Pope, pull the rug out from under him time and again.

    “Pope Francis is enabling the persecution
    of Christians
    I know he thinks that his watered-down, softened-up version of Catholicism is making it easier for us,
    but the real effect is quite the opposite, and this is easy to understand.
    As all of you know, disapproval (or even insufficiently-enthusiastic approval) of homosexuality is
    becoming a punishable offense throughout the Western world. Failure to go along with the emerging
    consensus can, depending on one’s line of work, lead to being fired or facing fines for violating antidiscrimination
    laws. And yet modern man still claims to believe in freedom of belief and respect for
    conscience. How does he resolve the contradiction? He says that moral opposition to homosexuality
    isn’t really a belief. It’s not even a mistaken belief (since, as a good liberal, he knows that the state may
    not discriminate between sects on the ground of truth or falsity). It is just groundless emotional animus
    disguising itself as a belief. It can thus be punished. Error may have rights, but animus has none.
    Now, actually I agree that the state has no sacred obligation to respect my right to annoy and insult
    groups of people that I dislike for no reason. However, I obviously don’t think that groundless dislike
    is what drives opposition to gay marriage. After all, distinct gender roles have been from time
    immemorial a central part of how we organize our families and fashion our identities; they are certainly
    not a post-facto excuse to slight the minority with abnormal sexual urges.
    Anyway, suppose I had some kind of job in which somebody might ask me to perform a function that
    effectively involved approving homosexuality. I say “No dice. That would violate my beliefs.” At this
    point, the other guy will say “You bigot! You’re just saying that because you hate gays. I’ll sue!”
    What is my defense? I must argue that my beliefs are not hostility-based. I’ll say “I don’t hate anyone
    in particular, but after having considered the arguments and evidence, I have come to believe in the
    truth of a certain set of beliefs about the world, our place in it, and the proper way to live. My set of
    beliefs is called ‘Roman Catholicism’, and I didn’t choose it for its opposition to homosexuality. I
    became convinced of its truth for its answers to more general questions about the human condition.
    Nevertheless, these beliefs do have consequences for sexual morality, and among them is that sex is
    only licit for a married husband and wife.”
    Thanks to Pope “Who am I to judge?” and Cardinal “Bravo!”, this defense no longer carries any water.
    If I say that the Catholic worldview forces me to condemn sodomy, my prosecutor can point to Francis
    and Dolan to show that apparently it doesn’t. (And, to be clear, any obscure orthodox statements we
    could dig up from these men will do nothing to offset the public impression created by their celebrated
    statements of indifferentism.) There are now two Catholicism’s: Catholicism A (the pope’s) and
    Catholicism B (mine), and my judge or HR officers can fairly think they’re being very generous if they
    grant my take on Catholicism equal weight as the pope’s. How do Catholicism A and B differ? I
    suspect they differ in everything, but I can’t prove it, because officially Francis and Dolan still believe
    in the Trinity, creation ex nihilo, apostolic succession, and the rest; they just don’t “obsess” over sexual
    sins. So sexual morality is the main definite difference between Catholicism A and B.
    How then do I justify my adherence to Catholicism B rather than A? It can only be because of my
    irrational animus toward gays, right?
    “But…but, the Bible!” I cry, “and Sacred Tradition, and natural law…” That’s no good. Francis and
    Dolan say they accept all of those things just as much as I do, and yet they didn’t reach (or at least seem
    to the world not to have reached) my “hateful” conclusions. They offer themselves to the world as
    proof that Catholics can ignore (or, at least, appear to ignore) Jesus and Saint Paul when it comes to
    sex. By claiming for themselves every principle of Catholicism while refusing to visibly stand by its
    moral consequences, these princes of the Church have left me with nothing to which I can appeal when
    I refuse to betray the Faith myself. To prove that my beliefs are not a cloak for anti-gay animus, I must
    argue that he Catholic hierarchy is misrepresenting Catholicism. My situation is hopeless, and my
    guilty verdict is assured. And yet it is true! The hierarchy does misrepresent the Faith to promote their
    own private popularity at the expense of the faithful.
    Thanks a lot, jackasses!”

  11. Ian:

    My reasons for leaving the Roman “Church” were manifold (the Rothschilds being the benefactors of the institution, for instance), however what pushed me over the edge was Benedict’s resignation, and then the First Jesuit Pope taking his place, walking out after his election proudly displaying the Masonic Hidden Hand. All my doubts were vindicated at that point. I had felt like a dirty sinner for searching out the cobwebs and filth within the church I had grown up in, but at that point I knew I had been seeing things for what they were.

    Rest assured, Ian, you have come to the right place. Here in the Orthodox church, you will never hear any wacky conspiracy theories about Masonic influence on the hierarchy; not a single Orthodox has ever felt like a dirty sinner; and there are of course no “cobwebs and filth” anywhere, ever, in the Orthodox church. Welcome home, brother, it’s great that you’ve left all that other stuff behind you.

  12. Tim R. Mortiss says

    I’ve always had a lot of respect for the Roman Catholic Church, despite what’s been done to it in my time and generation. On the other hand, I never had the slightest temptation at any time in my life to join the Catholic Church, notwithstanding that we were married in it, and my wife was raised Catholic. She remains a nominal Catholic; very nominal.

    I was born in 1948. I first met a lot of Catholics when I met the girl whom I eventually married, in 1964. The Church was still pre-Vatican II in its daily practice. Back then, when you went into a Catholic home, you knew you were in one. Crucifix, Sacred Heart, Immaculate Heart, etc. Very impressive to an Presbyterian lad!

    Each and every week, a Catholic made it clear to the community that he was a Catholic, if only on Fridays when he ate fish. In other words, Catholics in the millions were serious about their faith. Missing Mass was not an option. The other holy days weren’t optional. “Fish on Fridays” wasn’t optional.

    Gone with the wind, and I’m sorry about that, Orthodox though I may be. (A poor and weak one, without doubt.)

    I remember how excited they all were back then about Pope John XXIII, my wife’s parents and extended family among them. Within a decade or so they were out of the Church…..along with uncounted millions of others.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Tim, you bring back wistful memories. Many decades ago, I fell hard for a pretty young lass in high school who was part Italian and Irish but devoutly Catholic. Like me, she was of a working class background but her’s was more lower-working class while mine was slightly more prosperous (my dad always had two jobs: one full-time and one part-time and my mother could stretch a dollar like it was nobody’s business). Anyway, even though her circumstances were modest, her parents made every effort to send their children to Immaculate Conception parochial school (K-9; we met at Central High School.)

      Her house was exactly as you described it and her parents salt-of-the-earth type people.

      I was touched by her piety and her knowledge of the Catholic Catechism (I hardly knew anything about my faith). She didn’t go to college but married and raised four children. Her circumstances never got higher than the ones in which she was raised. Yet she continued to be a gracious wife and mother, devout Catholic and all-around good person.

      Over the years, we kept on bumping into each other at odd events (the annual Greek festival, the pharmacy where I was working, etc.) and we would reminisce. We had mutual friends I found out, one of them a Greek-American attorney with whom she worked. This attorney (we’ll call him Bill) was also a great guy but was staunchly liberal. The whole nine yards: pro-abortion, pro-amnesty, pro-gay marriage, you name it. Reflexively liberal. If Nancy Pelosi told him to eviscerate cats and eat them, he’d do it.

      And yet Bridget (not her real name) could shame Bill on the abortion question in no time flat. Her knowledge of natural law put him to shame. She could quote Aquinas and knew the distinctions between Augustine and Pelagius. College-educated Bill couldn’t respond to her arguments and was usually left sputtering. Truth be told, her knowledge about natural law put me to shame –and I agreed with her.

      My point? The good sisters at Immaculate Conception did a wonderful job teaching those poor white kids in their parish. Not only were they literate and learned, they were pious and given their constrained circumstances, were able to rise out of their surroundings. The Papacy was for them a touchstone.

      Even though I’m Orthodox, I miss that. My heart breaks for her nowadays because I imagine like most humble, pious Catholics, she doesn’t know what to make of the present Pontiff. I dunno, if I run into her I’ll ask. But based on what I see and hear, I’d be surprised if she wasn’t genuinely conflicted.

      Lord have mercy.

      • Tim R. Mortiss says

        As I was casting my mind back last night on this subject, I remembered another little-remarked detail: Catholic women then always wore head coverings in church. There were no exceptions either within or between congregations.

        These could be hats or scarves, but mostly I remember the small lacy “doily”-type pieces that most seemed to wear; these were quick to pin on.

        Another thing that existed for centuries, then was gone virtually overnight….

        • Tim, maybe you missed it, but the OCA, GOA, CarpathoRussians and the Antiochians all have dispensed with head coverings (in general) for the womenfolk. Even matushki in those churches do what would be considered shameless if not downright sacrilegious in the old country. You are an American, right? That’s just one of the more visible ways that the spirit of Vatican II made its way into the American Orthodox Church. Three cheers for Giovanni XXIII!

          • George Michalopulos says

            You’re blanket statement regarding women’s head coverings in the GOA is false. Go to any of the 19 Athonite monasteries (all of which are in the GOA) and you will see dozens, if not hundreds of women wearing head coverings (and a lot more for that matter.) I have a feeling that a lot more GOA parishes will stop looking like Project Runway in the near future.

            • We know all about the holier-than-thou types at the monasteries. They are of course “more Orthodox” than the vast majority in the normal parishes, right?

              • George Michalopulos says

                Your judgmental attitude never ceases to astound me.

              • If headcoverings are an ancient Orthodox tradition…and the monasteries enforce this tradition… then they are indeed being “more Orthodox”, at least in this particular sphere. I’m sure we can find other areas as well.

                • It’s in the Bible and has been practiced practically everywhere in the Christian world until perhaps the middle of the 20th century.

                  I Corinthians 2-10:

                  “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you. But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.”

                  It is Holy Tradition. And it is not that the “American custom” is not to cover. It was the “American custom” to cover until very recently in most all Christian churches here, as it was in all Orthodox countries. There is one and only one reason it is not practiced here by some – feminism, an ideology foreign to Orthodoxy and antithetical to Holy Tradition. The same ideology which has claimed the lives of over 50 million unborn in America in the last 40 years. The same ideology that has led to high divorce rates, the explosion of out of wedlock births, cycles of poverty, low rates of reproduction, not to mention the promiscuity and licentiousness of the “sexual revolution”. That is what is being affirmed and endorsed when women do not cover their heads as the Apostle Paul commanded.

                  • You know, Misha, it’s a bit of a stretch, even for you, to get from what people wear in church to the prevalence of abortion. I’d ask you to explain the logic, but there is none. Btw, in European Russia where no woman would be caught dead without her head covered in church, the abortion rate is multiples of times higher than it is in the “degenerate” West. And we know what the apostle wrote – or is supposed to have written. Some Orthodox just don’t want to accept the fact that contemporary Orthodoxy is just as much a result of Vatican II – and modernity in general – as is Catholicism, the ECUSA, etc. Our churches are not walled off from one another.

                  • Indeed. Not that any should judge the heart, but our iconography, as well as the Scriptures, serves as a guide – not only to what has been, but to what glorified men and women shall be.

              • Peter Millman says

                Speaking of holier than thou. Your posts are snarky, condescending in the extreme, and full of self righteousness, my Episcopalian friend. No doubt, you fancy yourself the smartest guy in the room
                Lord, have mercy!.

            • George,

              What gives you the feeling that a headcovering revival is on the horizon? I attend a GOA parish and visit others, no one is thinking or inquiring about coverings. I think even the priests have given up encouraging their use, likely because they weren’t worn in the parishes they grew up in. Generally, the only women who have coverings in So. Jersey GOA parishes are those of Slavic descent.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Maximus, this morning when I responded to OOM, I was being predictive. In other words, I was taking the long-term. I still stand by this prediction. I’m under no illusions that most GOA parishes (as well as other ethnic jurisdictions –btw, I don’t consider ROCOR ethnic) aren’t enforcing modesty rules upon women.

                And then I went to a GOA parish this morning. A very large one. And lo and behold, I actually saw three women of varying ages wearing a headscarf in the traditional style. Now, I imagine there were over 100 women there total so that means that there were no more than 1-3% of the women so attired. Still, that’s not nothing. This is a very large, modern parish I’m talking about. It has two services btw, I went to the earlier one.

                Also, I noticed that during the Great Procession, several people who were in the aisles tugged on the priests’ phelonion. I’ve never seen that in a GOA parish. Never. (BTW, I’m seeing prayer-ropes at all kinds of Orthodox parishes, not just ROCOR.)

                And then during the sermon, the priest praised the religious revival in Russia while lamenting the active persecution of Christians (including the US) elsewhere.

                Were these outliers only? Perhaps. Then again, it’s possible that there is more of a traditionalist piety emerging on the horizon. Take these observations for what they are.

                • God grant it George!

                • Michalopulos:

                  This is a very large, modern parish I’m talking about. It has two services btw, I went to the earlier one.

                  Two “services” ? Surely you don’t mean two divine liturgies?

                • I’m all for traditional practices, certainly I’m an old-fashioned “women with head-coverings, men wear long sleeves and don’t show off their chest hair” kind of guy — and my wife feels even more strongly about that stuff than I do.

                  But I must say that in traditional Russian practice, only monastics carry prayer ropes in church. We ordinary faithful are supposed to be attending to the words of the services — the concept of being able to pray the Jesus Prayer while simultaneously attending to the words of the service is something that is pretty advanced. With even the most traditional ROCOR priests that I have seen I’ve not seen them sitting or standing back in the altar fingering their prayer ropes unless they are monastics. Only occasionally a bishop — who is, of course a monk by definition — is sometimes seen using a prayer rope during a service.

                  I was actually “raised” in my personal experience in the ROCOR tradition that it is somewhat ostentatious and even distracting for others when laymen use prayer ropes during church services — especially when someone is using a giant 300 or 500 knot rope, which one unfortunately sees from time to time (the little tiny ones are much less distracting). I was “raised” to use a prayer rope every day, but only at home in one’s private prayers “in the closet with the doors closed” to make a Scriptural allusion.

                  Touching the priest’s phelonion during the Great Entrance is a Greek practice — I’ve never seen it amongst the Slavs, but this is in part a function of the fact that the Slavs do a very short procession that stays on the solea. It is a pious tradition that has many Scriptural allusions (the woman with the issue of blood, people being healed by having the Apostles touch handkerchiefs that were then sent to the ill…) but it is very important not to put the priest in any danger whatsoever of dropping the chalice and paten in the course of having his vestments pulled on by zealous parishioners. What I have usually seen in Greek tradition are the faithful barely touching the edge of the phelonion without tugging or pulling. The same is even more true of the Slavic practice of kissing the chalice after communing — I’ve seen some enthusiastic kisses that made me nervous and the priest even more edgy. I prefer the Greek custom of not kissing the chalice for that reason.

                  Funny but true story: at a ROCOR parish I attended many years ago, the priest did away with the practice of kissing the chalice for the very reason of avoiding the risk of a spill. I thought it was great. So my next parish was a Greek parish, and part-way through my first year there, the priest announces just before communion one Sunday: “The Slavs have this very beautiful tradition of kissing the chalice after communing — I would like us to begin to do that here.” So I went from a ROCOR parish where we didn’t kiss the chalice to a Greek parish where we all did. You can’t make this stuff up.

              • Maximus:

                George,

                What gives you the feeling that a headcovering revival is on the horizon?

                Answer: wishful thinking. What “Tim” apparently never knew, and what George conveniently ignores, is the fact that in the pre-Vatican II Catholic AND ORTHODOX churches, ALL women covered their heads. Just because George frequents the Athonite monasteries where the fringe Orthodox maintain this otherwise defunct practice, and just because his eyes pop out of his head when he notices a couple of babushki at the earlier “service” (Orthros?) at the Greek church last week, does not make it some kind of trend. “That ship has sailed,” as they say.

                • Prior to, say, 1960, women pretty routinely wore hats in church in Anglican and other Protestant churches, although the reasons for why women wore hats on Sunday but not at other times when they dressed up were often lost in the mists of time…

                  Headcoverings are routine in ROCOR parishes and pretty ubiquitous in the more traditional dioceses of the OCA, in my experience (I understand it also isn’t at all unusual in many of the more conservative Antiochian convert parishes, but I have no personal experience to back that up), but I have to agree with you that only if one is looking ahead a very long ways is it realistic to think about headcoverings making a comeback in GOA parishes. There was one ancient grandmother who wore a tiny scarf at our GOA parish, and the others were women who had come from Slavic traditions. And this was a parish were a lot of parishioners visited a nearby Ephremite monastery quite a bit. They wore headcoverings there, but never in their parish. That’s just how it was.

                  • Mom of Toddler says

                    For what its worth, I have been in the Orthodox Church for 5.5 years…I have been to four churches mostly due to moving (just started at the fourth). The Antiochian churches were about 30% to 50% head covering of regular female attendees, one OCA church was about 50% at least. My current OCA mission parish church is about 80% headcovering and almost all attendees are American converts. I have never personally heard a priest speak of headcovering. Three of the churches were in Southern California, my current church is in the “Bible Belt.”

                    At the first Antiochian church, it started out just a few women wearing headcoverings including myself. When I visited the church about 2 years ago, it seemed like most of my former parish friends were now wearing headcoverings.

                    I could be wrong on the exact percentages since I didn’t count but it “felt” like that many to me…

                    • Mom:

                      The Antiochian churches were about 30% to 50% head covering of regular female attendees, one OCA church was about 50% at least. My current OCA mission parish church is about 80% headcovering and almost all attendees are American converts. I have never personally heard a priest speak of headcovering. Three of the churches were in Southern California, my current church is in the “Bible Belt.”

                      Mom, everyone knows that converts are MORE ORTHODOX than everyone else.

                  • Tim R. Mortiss says

                    I hardly expect it to come back; with the RCC, as with most things, when it’s gone, it’s gone. It’s a lot easier not to change things than to change them back…..

                    Edward, I have personal experience of your “Antioch convert parish” remark. As I may have mentioned before, notwithstanding my long-time fellow-traveling with Orthodoxy as a Protestant, for some reason or another the Evangelical move to Orthodoxy with Peter Gilchrist’s group, et al, had completely passed me by. I knew nothing of it, and nothing of the Antiochians when, 2 1/2 years ago during Lent, while in Yakima on business, I sought an Orthodox church for Vespers, and found Holy Cross. Lovely new building; from the look and feel (no pews) I assumed it was OCA, and when the service proved to be in English, I assumed further. But I noticed all of the women had headscarves, which definitely caught my attention. Afterwards, in talking with folks, I found out about the recent history and the Antiochians, etc.

                    Within a few months, I went to a service at St. George’s, the Antioch parish in east Portland, Or. Also a beautiful new church, but a really magnificent one. But very different: pews, and no headscarves, for a couple of things. I’ve told the story before, but still find it most interesting! And the churches not much more than a hundred miles apart….if that.

                    But I am very grateful. That visit to Holy Cross led me by a few short steps to join up at last….

  13. The church of Rome will survive as long as it remains capable of reinterpreting its tradition into oblivion. But it will become a hideaway for neo-Gothic aesthetes and aficionados of 19th century Gallican pietism. That is to say, thar be schism.

  14. Michael Kinsey says

    Is the Pope an authentic Christian? The answer to this is as obvious as the answer to a bear defecating in the woods is. Nope’ not yes. He is part of the great falling away predicted in the Holy Scripture. He serves 2 masters, satan and Jesus Christ . No one can do this. He is entered into the great whore, and leads his church riding the beast into perdition. The defense of the unborn is the only authentic Christian teaching that gives Catholicism any credibility. Can you anyone who can read, continuing to follow someone approving abortion and claiming to serve Jesus Christ. He has to support the Right to Life or his church would collapse.He who is guilty of one part of the Royal Law is guilty of the whole Law. That’s everybody on the planet. But, Wisdom is justified of all her children, one of whom is Jesus Christ, a son of man, and thank God, the Son of God. The Royal Law has stood all eternity, invincible against all evil attempting to destroy the absolute perfection of the Holy Creation of the Holy Trinity. All Authority is given to the Son of God. Rejoice Daughter of Zion, Rebbecca( Wisdom), you are Justified by the Perfection of the Royal Law which now stands in time, but not apart from eternity, by the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross. It is fulfill, it is done. His last Words before He died. The demonic is totally defeated in time, as well as Eternity. It’s just a matter of time, before the Victory of the Lord Jesus Christ manifests fully in time. Then creation will rejoin eternity, in a twinkling of an eye.

    • Michael:

      Is the Pope an authentic Christian? The answer to this is as obvious as the answer to a bear defecating in the woods is. Nope’ not yes.

      Michael, I urge you to reconsider the answer to the “bear pooping in the woods” question.

      • Michael Kinsey says

        I would like you to consider the actions and fruits of the Jesuit order over these past centuries and consider the super richness of the Catholic institution, as focused on enriching itself at the expense of people starving to death. These are not the works and fruits of authentic Christianity. By their works and fruits ye shall know them. Your plea, that I reconsider my opinion , for my own good, is a call for me to ignore the obvious, and be content with a sloppy sentiment of piety that has nothing whatsoever to do with Truth or Righteousness. Not in this lifetime!

        • Michael:

          I would like you to consider the actions and fruits of the Jesuit order

          Often and often have I considered the actions and fruits of the Jesuits, having been educated by them. To get back to the more important point, when someone asks you “Does a bear poop in the woods?”, you’re supposed to think “Yes.” You’ve got it the wrong way round. Capisce?

  15. Peter A. Papoutsis says

    Here you go RCC. One of many progressive hit pieces: http://www.refinery29.com/2015/09/94698/catholic-hospital-denying-tubal-litigation-aclu-lawsuit

    You evil Catholic Hospital. You will not give my wife a tubal ligation and therefore die!

    Also, notice the ACLU as the Hero of the piece. I love propaganda!

    Peter

  16. Patrick Henry Reardon says

    Two cheers for Pope Francis!

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      It would seem that Fr. Reardon may have good cause for his two cheers towards Pope Francis.

      https://gma.yahoo.com/exclusive-kim-davis-recounts-secret-meeting-pope-francis-110716349–abc-news-topstories.html#

      Very Impressive. It would seem that this Pope maybe playing us all. Let’s just wait and see.

      Peter

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      Well, well, well, look at this. The communists/Progressive rag “The Huffington Post” has just denounced Pope Francis as a “Sinister Politician” for embracing Kim Davis: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michelangelo-signorile/pope-francis-kim-davis_b_8221090.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592

      Silly Progressives the Pope IS Christian!

      Let’s hope that his 9/11 religious synchronization love fest was all for show as well.

      In support of Fr. Reardon I second his two cheers for Pope Francis.

      Peter

      • Patrick Henry Reardon says

        Peter says, “In support of Fr. Reardon I second his two cheers for Pope Francis.”

        I offered those two cheers before they released the news that the Holy Father also met with Kim Davis and the Little Sisters of the Poor.

        In response to this new information I add one more half-cheer.

        • Fr. what to make of the walk-back this morning? That Francis was “blindsided” by Kim Davis?

          • Tim R. Mortiss says

            They like to keep the spin spinning. The meeting says a lot more than today’s (or tomorrow’s) spin.

          • Peter A. Papoutsis says

            PR damage control. That’s all. The Vatican is still political.

            The reason I say this because his meeting with Kim Davis dovetails perfectly with what he said about religious freedom on his plane back to Rome.

            Peter

          • Patrick Henry Reardon says

            Father Jacobse asks, “That Francis was “blindsided” by Kim Davis?”

            Not on your life. Poor Mrs Davis was sandbagged by that Vatican spokesman.

        • Thomas Barker says

          And let us subtract a half cheer for il Papa’s private meeting with same sex couple Yayo Grassi and his lover Iwan. It’s a tricky business, this arithmetic of cheers.

        • Dear Fr. Patrick,

          Since the Vatican walked back the Kim Davis visit….and the gay couple visit was emphasized……I say minus five cheers. So your +2.5 and my -5 gives us a total of -2.5

        • People turned back on him after they found out he met with Davis, so now the Vatican is saying it “wasn’t a real audience” that she had with him.

          It’s all PR, no sincerity. Everything a pope ever does is calculated and its amazing to see that some people think otherwise.

          • This is nothing new. Rome can be “conservative” on abortion and birth control and “liberal” on the death penalty and social justice. Though some of the “liberalism” goes against the edicts of former popes, it is all perfectly understandable if you look at it from the perspective of Peter’s pence. Maximize the number of contributing Roman Catholic faithful. You do that by giving everyone a piece of what they want that they can hang on to. They can then love the “church” with all its warts and look back to happier times (conservatives) or look ahead to changing the “church” from within (progressives)

            Substance is not the point, preserving and maximizing the shearable herd is the point. This happens also to a lesser extent in Orthodoxy. Yet, since Orthodoxy is not centered in the West, the calculus does not err so far in the direction of progressivism, usually.

        • Patrick Henry Reardon says

          Since learning that the Pope met with a homosexual couple, I subtract three-quarters of a cheer.

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      What Millennials need is the Real Jesus of the Gospels and the Nicean Creed, which means Orthodoxy.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christian-chiakulas/churches-millennials-if-they-just-did-this_b_8215846.html

      Political action instead of Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving, and scripture reading. Political Action instead of the REAL Jesus. I feel so sad for this young man that all he can get out of religion is so-called Political Action.

      This is how we fail these precious souls when we in-fight with each other.

      Peter

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      It keep getting better and better now Esquire hates Pope Francis.

      http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a38405/pope-francis-kim-davis-visit/

      The Communist/Progressives are having a complete and utter meltdown over this. I love it.

      Look at what this Pope just did. He has one meeting that he kept under wraps until he left and then he let that little bomb explode right when he left. Perfectly played, yes, perfectly played.

      Peter

      • George Michalopulos says

        Two cheers indeed! Still, I wish that this had been more public and announced ahead of time: think of the impact that would have had! Oh well, there’s always a glimmer of hope…

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          George, the media is having a complete fit over this. Now they are claiming that the Pope really did not know who Kim Davis was: http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a38440/pope-francis-swindled-kim-davis-meeting/

          That’s it the Pope was fooled! The Pope was tricked! Phew! That was close we Progressives almost lost “Our” Pope. I wonder though how will they spin his religious liberty comments that he said on the plain back to Rome? Hmmm?

          Like I said before, I just love the propaganda.

          To get the REAL perspective on this issue read this:http://wdtprs.com/blog/2015/09/pope-francis-meets-with-kim-davis-the-left-melts-down/

          Peter

          • Tim R. Mortiss says

            Peter, just to suggest; the link button on the posting box will link citations directly, which makes them a lot easier to go to for the reader. When you are ready to cite the link, hit that button and copy it into the little box that pops up.

            I’d like to follow your links and those of others, but it’s not nearly as easy….

            • Peter A. Papoutsis says

              I know. I just mess it up all the time. Can you highlight and hit the open link command? However, I will try to use the link button again. Sorry for the hassle.

              Peter

              • Tim R. Mortiss says

                The link function is a little different in that it names the link for you, but that is fine. That is to say, instead of a highlighted http link, you’ll find that it has highlighted a sentence in your post, as you see in my post about the Pope’s meeting with Kim Davis. That disconcerted me at first, a bit, but it works fine.

                When you are ready to post the link, hit the link box. Then a narrow line box will appear. Paste your link into that, and hit it. Then you’ll find that your link has been posted via a highlighted part of your posted text.

            • I have tried numerous times to explain to the frequent offenders how the link function on this blog works (about as simple as it can be, except for on certain smart phones) — take my advice and give up now, my friend, things never change. Ironically, it is those who are least interested in learning how to do links properly who seem to be the most determined to share innumerable web pages with us.

              • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                Ha Ha Ha! That was snarky! I love it! Way to go Edward. That’s the spirit!

                Peter

                • Putting links into a user friendly fashion is just good internet manners, especially when ones host has spent the resources on a user friendly system — its not like some forums where your have to lean html code. Making people have to cut and paste the link is not good manners. It is simple etiquette. Snark arises when people won’t take subtle hints. In fact, snark in the face of willful bad manners is actually within the bounds of good internet etiquette.

                  • Good manners!!!?>? Some of us aren’t on the computer much and are very busy . . . parden us if we don’t meet your manners requirements!

                    • It takes perhaps an extra 5 seconds to do a link right. Maybe you just have a much more important and pressure packed job than I do.

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          Oh by the way, check out this love filled article on Pope Francis:http://www.dailynewsbin.com/opinion/pope-francis-had-better-start-explaining-his-cardinal-sin-of-meeting-with-kim-davis/22650/

          The honeymoon is well over at this point.

          Peter

          • Lola J. Lee Beno says

            Do NOT, do NOT put two “:” within an unit because that will render the link unclickable. Here’s the offending section: Francis:http:

            Why? Because the “:” is what makes the line that starts with “http” a link.

            Solution . . . put a space BEFORE “http”.

  17. As a sophomore in high school (1969) I attended my first RC Mass with a friend who was Catholic (before we would go out on Friday night, I had to sit a wait for his family to finish praying the rosary). When everyone lined up to receive communion, I (not being a believer) sensed that there was something very holy going on. I did not know what to make of it but the people seemed to take this all very seriously and that moment has never left me. Spring ahead 40+ years and I had grandchildren who attended RC school. I was always invited to grandparents day and I dutifully attended Mass. Two things shocked me: a) how PROTESTANT the RC church has become (they do 70’s – 80’s choruses and hymns like How Great Thou Art) and how CASUALLY the entire MASS was celebrated. I always left there thinking: if I was RC I would flee. We have an older couple in our parish who couldn’t take it any more and were received into Orthodoxy within the last two years. Attending those Grandparent Day Masses helped me understand WHY they were fleeing.

  18. Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

    Last Thursday, September 24, I was privileged, together with a young Roman Catholic layman, to stand among the throngs who gathered on the U.S. Capitol Lawn for the appearance of Pope Francis on the west balcony of the Capitol following his speech in the House of Representatives. Alas, his “prayer” failed to mention our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ or the Holy Trinity and could have been offered by a Unitarian minister:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/pope-francis-crowds-capitol_56041a1de4b00310edfa477b

    Having prayed in public–consistently and without fail–in the name of the Father, and the Son, and Holy Spirit during my entire 24 1/2 years as a U.S. Army chaplain, despite frequent pressure from superior officers to be more “inclusive” or “nonsectarian,” I was astonished that Francis, Pope of Rome and self-described successor of St. Peter the Apostle, chose the politically correct path of least resistance at the U.S. Capitol. I guess that makes me, a Roman Catholic from infancy but Orthodox since 1975, still more Catholic than the Pope.

    • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says:

      I guess that makes me, a Roman Catholic from infancy but Orthodox since 1975, still more Catholic than the Pope.

      MORE CATHOLIC THAN THE POPE, MORE ORTHODOX THAN GOD!

  19. Thomas Barker says

    It is noteworthy that the Pope chose to describe Thomas Merton in glowing terms in his speech to Congress. Merton’s name appears five times in the transcript of that address. Here are some quotes:

    “He remains a source of spiritual inspiration and a guide for many people.”

    “Merton was above all a man of prayer, a thinker who challenged the certitudes of his time and opened new horizons for souls and for the Church.” (emphasis mine)

    “…the fruit of a faith which becomes dialogue and sows peace in the contemplative style of Thomas Merton.”

    Merton’s contemplative style, if I am not mistaken, was to have one foot firmly planted in the mysticism and practices of eastern, non-Christian religions. Merton seems an odd choice for such reverence.

    ref. http://www.scribd.com/doc/282588617/Pope-s-speech-before-Joint-Meeting-of-Congress

    • “Merton seems an odd choice for such reverence.”

      Not half as odd as the choice a certain retired Metropolitan and Hierarch of the Orthodox Church made to reverence Merton back when he was an abbot supposedly enlightening the Orthodox clergy and laity of his diocese about Orthodox monasticism.

      • Patrick Henry Reardon says

        Edward speaks of “Merton back when he was an abbot.”

        Merton was never an abbot.

    • Regarding Merton, here’s a powerful letter written to him by Blessed Seraphim Rose of Platina.

      http://deathtotheworld.com/articles/a-letter-to-thomas-merton/

      • Thomas Barker says

        Ian, I have not seen this letter before. Thank you!

        To Merton’s “A world government must be established” and “We live, perhaps, on the threshold of the greatest Eucharistic era of the world—the era that may well witness the final union of mankind,” Fr. Seraphim responds, “To Christians, who possess the word of Christ and His Prophets and Saints concerning the last days, I do not see how there can be any “perhaps” in the matter. The political union of mankind, however legitimate it may be as a political goal, can only end in the reign of Antichrist; the Church, beyond all doubt, will be crucified after a good many of the faithful have betrayed Her through the deceptions of the Antichrist.”

  20. Tim R. Mortiss says

    Front page of NYTimes this morning: the Pope met with Kim Davis (the “marriage license” county clerk), privately at his instigation while on his US trip:

    Extraordinary article!

    “Francis gave her rosaries and told her to ‘stay strong’.”

    • Davis is not Catholic. He had no reason or obligation to visit her, unless he wanted to support her and her cause . . .

  21. Anybody catch Francis’ quote where he tells the press that his favorite painting is Chagall’s White Crucifixion?

    That alone says a lot…

  22. wwcaterson says

    And what exactly does “that” say? It’s a moving and disturbing painting, layered with meaning. For a wonderful exploration of this work (and Pope Francis’ appreciation for it) check out this First Things article written a little over a year ago:

  23. wwcaterson says

    And what exactly does “that” say? It’s a moving and disturbing painting, layered with meaning. For a wonderful exploration of this work (and Pope Francis’ appreciation for it) check out this First Things article written a little over a year ago: http://www.firstthings.com/article/2014/04/the-christ-of-marc-chagall

  24. cynthia curran says

    Well, I think one can get obsessed about immigration. I understand Francis position being that he is from South America he is going to supported Mexicans in the US. Unlike, George I have a two way system on immigration not all of it is beef the border or fine companies. I supported Mexico selling its oil off to foreign companies to try to bring their production up and to create more better blue collar jobs so less of their people want to come to the Us. George is more of the Pat Buchanan and Donald Trump take back the companies like Ford that left the US for Mexico and beef up the border.

  25. M. Stankovich says

    It strikes me as disconcerting somehow that the last harbinger of the Truth, specifically entrusted, as Fr. Florovsky so beautifully details, with the Patristic and Scriptural mind: “You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatever you shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” (Jn 15:16) should worry ourselves, or be troubled over the RCC.

    It has never been the concern of the Church to determine where holiness is or where is not not, “The Spirit moves as He wishes”. All we need to know is where it is, in the One ,Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. And St. Paul is very clear:

    Be you not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness? And what concord has Christ with Belial? or what part has he that believes with an infidel? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? for you are the temple of the living God; as God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.Why come out from among them, and be you separate, said the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, said the Lord Almighty. (2 Cor. 6:14:18)

    In 1978, it was my student job to serve “Special Meals” (Board of Trustees, etc.) and a Papal Legate & entourage came for Vespers & dinner. The Legate sat at the head of the table jawjacking to Frs. Schmemann & Meyendorff and the faculty – what a role they would play in the reconciliation of the two churches – when the very distinct throat clearing of Professor SS Verhovskoy led to his comment, “God is our Father and the Holy Spirit goes where He wishes, but this will never happen because Pope has no inclination to repent. None. I hope you have enjoyed your dinner. Michael, may I have some tea.” Muffled laughter from all the faculty and stunned looks from the the Legate et als. Fr. Schmemann said, “Michael, please bring the chilled Smirnoff.” 37 years later and Orthodoxy remains the Light and Life of the world.

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      Amen.

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      I say again AMEN!

    • Would that everyone replied like this when the topic of “reconciliation of the ‘sister’ churches” comes up…

    • M. Stankovich:

      In 1978, it was my student job to serve “Special Meals” (Board of Trustees, etc.) and a Papal Legate & entourage came for Vespers & dinner. The Legate sat at the head of the table jawjacking to Frs. Schmemann & Meyendorff and the faculty – what a role they would play in the reconciliation of the two churches – when the very distinct throat clearing of Professor SS Verhovskoy led to his comment, “God is our Father and the Holy Spirit goes where He wishes, but this will never happen because Pope has no inclination to repent. None. I hope you have enjoyed your dinner. Michael, may I have some tea.” Muffled laughter from all the faculty and stunned looks from the the Legate et als. Fr. Schmemann said, “Michael, please bring the chilled Smirnoff.”

      Your point being that Verhovskoy was capable of treating his guests rudely?!?

    • So now we know where Reverend Hopko learned to discern whither the Spirit blows. Verhovskoy taught him that trick.

    • M. Stankovich:

      In 1978, it was my student job to serve “Special Meals” (Board of Trustees, etc.) and a Papal Legate & entourage came for Vespers & dinner. The Legate sat at the head of the table jawjacking to Frs. Schmemann & Meyendorff and the faculty – what a role they would play in the reconciliation of the two churches

      The more interesting point is what prompted the legate to say such a thing. It was entirely within the spirit of the times on the Catholic side to expect a reconciliation. And – judging from what the people who knew him tell me – it was entirely within the character of Schmemann, with his gigantic ego and sense of self-importance, to lead someone like a papal legate to believe that he was capable of taking care of the Orthodox side of the bargain. Perhaps the cup-bearer M. Stankovich was not privy to that part of the conversation.

  26. Well….I too was almost fooled by the Pope’s visit with Kim Davis. But as it turns out, the Vatican has released a statement that the visit did not mean that Francis supports the actions of Kim Davis. However, Francis also visited his good friend, Yayo Grassi, who lives in a gay “marriage.” He is very supportive of him and his husband.

    Par for the course.

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/02/us/pope-gay-washington/index.html

  27. Gregory Manning says
    • Gregory:

      The plot thickens !

      http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2015/10/bombshell-secret-parallel-synod-papal.html

      Gregory, are you aware that the title of that page is: “BOMBSHELL – SECRET PARALLEL SYNOD: Papal Post-Synod Document ALREADY being drafted by Jesuit group to allow communion for divorced and other aberrations”? Are you aware that what is shocking to the Catholic traddie conscience as expressed by the rorate caeli blog – giving communion to divorcees – is de rigeur in the Orthodox church?

  28. Gregory Manning says
    • Would any other Orthodox clergy or laity care to proclaim cheers for Francis now?!?

      Jesuit heterodoxy is shining bright!

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says

        The Pope is heterodox from the point of view of The One True Church. Although I still believe the Vatican is playing politics, unfortunately very fast and loose politics, and will not change any of of its moral teachings and practices per se, as Orthodox we must always keep in mind what our brother Michael Stankovich has said above and just stick to that.

        In the end, like I said before, the Protestant churches are either dead or dying. and now the RCC is quickly coming to its demise. We Orthodox must continue to be what we have always been – THE TRUE CHURCH!

        This is a wonderful time, even with our administrative disunity, to show our witness to the world of what true Christianity looks like.

        Peter

      • Heracleides says

        The cheering of the Supreme Pontiff by the clergyman in question should not be a huge surprise – he has in the recent past done the same with the Grand Mufti of Damascus.

  29. Tim R. Mortiss says

    Kim Davis is despised. She is unattractive. She has had four husbands. The US media has been busy explaining to the Vatican that she is despised; somehow the Pope must have missed that….at most, he should have met with some smooth bishop known for elucidating the Church’s stance against same-sex marriage, not this harridan who has been whipped in the media for weeks.

    Of all people, he shouldn’t be talking to her! Makes me think of the Samaritan woman at the well. She had five husbands, and the fifth wasn’t even her husband. The disciples told the Lord he shouldn’t be talking to her! Yet we read of her faith 2,000 years later….

    My guess is the Pope knew exactly what he was doing, and precisely the message it would send. Let the heathen rage….as they are raging!

  30. Whatever the RCC is becoming, we Orthodox need to be mindful that the Pope is occasionally commemorated in the Phanar.

    http://youtu.be/WgXCCkzLe9A

    Lord have mercy.

    • Links are your friend.

      But hey, don’t say anything critical about this. Everybody just sing Kumbaya and hold hands…

      • The deacon referred to Benedict as Pope in the litany. SO WHAT?

        • OOM,

          If you don’t understand the significance of the Pope of Rome being commemorated in an Orthodox liturgy, then the link is not applicable for you.

          • Maximus:

            OOM,

            If you don’t understand the significance of the Pope of Rome being commemorated in an Orthodox liturgy, then the link is not applicable for you.

            Maximus, do you realize that the video is not of a divine liturgy? Do you understand what it means to “commemorate” in a divine liturgy? Are you Orthodox?

        • So what???? Seriously, OOM — you who recently had one of the championship posts of all time on this subject have to ask that question?

          The problem, OOM, is that it was Fr. Schmemann’s job to negotiate an Orthodox union with Rome, not the EP’s. Bartholomew may think he’s important, but last I heard, Schmemann didn’t leave him in charge of things when he died.

          Seriously, though, the point is not whether it is technically acceptable to pray for the Pope of Rome in an Orthodox litany (just as one can pray for any non-Orthodox Christian, from what I understand — certainly outside of the context of a Divine Liturgy). The issue, really, is what they call “optics” these days. Something of the magnitude of rapprochement with Rome should properly be done only in consultation and agreement with other Orthodox local churches. But I will stop there, lest I be accused of Greek hatred…

          • Edward:

            So what???? … Seriously, though, the point is not whether it is technically acceptable to pray for the Pope of Rome in an Orthodox litany (just as one can pray for any non-Orthodox Christian, from what I understand — certainly outside of the context of a Divine Liturgy). The issue, really, is what they call “optics” these days. Something of the magnitude of rapprochement with Rome should properly be done only in consultation and agreement with other Orthodox local churches.

            You seem to be making the point and missing it at the same time.
            It is perfectly acceptable to pray for a pope (or anyone else) in the litany of fervent supplication – especially when he’s standing there, in the patriarch’s church, at the invitation of the patriarch, in liturgical vestments! That prayer signals NOTHING WHATSOEVER about rapprochement or the restoration of communion. Are you too uninformed about Orthodoxy to understand that? It just means praying for the head of the largest segment of Christianity and according him the dignity of referring to him by his ancient titles. THAT is the optics. Would you have preferred that +Bart have the deacon refer to him as “Josef Ratzinger”? How absurd. Just because some ignoramus takes exception to what occurred and posts a youtube video, as if some kind of ecclesiastical outrage had taken place, doesn’t make it so. What the heck are you people smoking?!?

            • To invite the pope into your church, and to invite him to wear liturgical vestments (something Orthodox observer bishops don’t do at the installation of a pope, for instance) is an act of rapprochement in and of itself. Vesting together is not Holy Communion, but it is an act of unity that is significant in the Orthodox liturgical tradition. I’m surprised I need to explain that to you. That’s what I meant by optics. didn’t say that it was wrong to pray for the pope.

              • There has never been a Church Council condemning the Catholic Church as heretical, and since the mutual lifting of the 1054 anathemas, 7 December 1965, the two churches find themselves in the position they held before 1054: that is, sister churches in disagreement, having suspended intercommunion temporarily. The Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches, since 1979, are in discussion via an International Commission for Theological Dialogue with the goal of resolving their differences in order to re-establish full communion.

                The Pope was wearing his pontifical stole, the sign of his office; he was *not* wearing full liturgical vestments for the celebration of an eucharistic liturgy. Nor was the patriarch, for that matter, who was simply wearing the sign oh his office. They were two bishops praying together, and being prayed for together.

                • “There has never been a Church Council condemning the Catholic Church as heretical, and since the mutual lifting of the 1054 anathemas, 7 December 1965, the two churches find themselves in the position they held before 1054 . . .”

                  No, this is not true. First, many Orthodox saints (St. Mark of Ephesus, for example) and a synod of the Orthodox churches of Constantinople, Antioch, and Jerusalem (1848) explicitly condemned Roman Catholicism as heresy.
                  See: http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/encyc_1848.aspx

                  and this:

                  http://orthodoxchurchquotes.com/2013/08/25/st-mark-of-ephesus-the-latins-are-not-only-schismatics-but-heretics/

                  and this:
                  “In the second place, one can, if forced to do so, demonstrate that St. Gregory Palamas included the Roman Catholic Church, its chief See, and, logically, its chief prelate in his accusations of heresy against the Latins. In several places, he is very clear about this. To “the Church of the Latins,” he attributes, in his second essay on the procession of the Holy Spirit (“PerÜ t°w ƒEkporeæsevw toè „AgÛou Pneæmatow, Lñgow Bƒ”), a “failure to return from heresy, …although it was the greatest and the leader of the Patriarchal
                  Thrones of outstanding eminence” (Chrestou, ibid.,Vol. 1, p. 183). Eminence and honor notwithstanding, he considered the Latin Church and its Throne to be in heresy. ” – http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/qasgpp.pdf

                  Even Met. Kallistos in his book, The Orthodox Church, admits that that is the “majority” view. Actually, it is the Orthodox view.

                  Constantinople alone purported to revoke the anathema of 1054. It received much criticism for doing so. Yet that does not mean that Rome is not heretical, just that it is no longer “accursed” by the See of Constantinople. The RCC and the OC are not “sister churches”. There is one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church which is the Orthodox Church, and it alone.

                  • Tim R. Mortiss says

                    The idea of lifting anathemas, i.e. withdrawal of “accursed” seems to me one that could profitably be more widely employed.

                    Anathematizing doctrines makes sense. Anathematizing individuals, except really notorious heretics such as Arius, seems to me to have been too often employed in the past. I think of Chalcedon– there might conceivably be reconciliation over dogma, but it’s pretty hard when many of your saints have been pronounced anathema.

                    Just my personal musings….

                  • The fact remains that neither the decisions of local synods, nor the rhetorical opinions of eminent leaders– such St Mark of Ephesus, St Gregory Palamas– bear the authority of the proclamation of heresy by a Council of all the Churches, such as that, say, against Arius. There has never been such a Council to declare the Roman Church heretical.

                    The RCC and the OC are not “sister churches”. There is one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church which is the Orthodox Church, and it alone.

                    The “sister churches” of the Orthodox are those mentioned in the Diptychs. That those in the list decide to eliminate one or another from said list signifies disagreement between them but not the ontology of the eliminated sister. The plural style “churches” is as old, at least, as Nicaea.

                    • Wuddzit, I guess the (insert Protestant sect) are not heretics either because an Ecumenical Council has not condemned all their heresies. An Ecumenical Council doesn’t need need to be convened to to proclaim the obvious; that another church is heretical. As if there can be multiple faiths and multiple bodies of Christ. Come on man, get real.

    • He was commemorated at the Litany of Fervent Supplication. Petitions for literally any purpose can, and should, be inserted there. Fr. Hopko of blessed memory speaks at length about this in his (sadly unfinished) podcast series about the Divine Liturgy.

  31. Catholic Observer says

    With the exceptions of Father Reardon, Tim Mortiss, and OOM (and perhaps a few others I’ve missed), this is the most inanely anti-Catholic thread I have encountered in a long time. Y’all make Jack Chick look like an ecumenical teddy bear.

    So much ignorance, so little time.

    And oh yeah, the Great Jesuits-Are-Evil canard. Channeling Dostoevsky in his cups, are we?

    “and now the RCC is quickly coming to its demise” — Do you have any remote clue how often this prediction has been confidently made in the course of the past 2,000 years? If I had a dollar for every instance, I would be a gazillionaire.

    As for all those Catholic hordes supposedly pouring into Holy Orthodoxy: Hahahahahahahaha! LOL!

    The Online Orthodox: incapable of praising their own communion without, in the same breath, bashing everyone else’s — and especially Catholicism. So tiresome.

    • Catholic Observer,

      Now what pathetic excuse could a Roman Catholic have for getting on an Orthodox website just to say that? Seriously, though, It is a shame what is happening to your church. I won’t rub it in. If you’re happy there, ride on. I’m sure it will get very interesting if you have the stomach for it.

      • You are correct Misha. Those traditional catholics who have not yet left Catholicism…..will surely be seeking a new home. Those who remain will be joining the new age reiki nuns on the bus tour.

        • Mikail,

          I’m not exactly optimistic, though, about a flood of Roman Catholics crossing over to Orthodoxy. That would surprise me. The reason being that for all the talk of ecumenism and much overlap, Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy are actually quite different in practice and in spirit. I suppose one or more jurisdictions could beef up their Western rite Orthodox infrastructures but I think that the only Roman Catholics of a conservative bent who are left in the RCC are those who are used to losing.

          You saw something similar with the Anglicans. The ones with serious consciences about the antics of the Episcopal Church left around 1976-78. A few later. Those who remained, for the most part, were willing to sleep with the devil. In the end, there was another schism of moderately conservative Anglicans who took a couple of whole dioceses with them. However, they practice women’s ordination and so they have simply set the clock back within their jurisdictions and will eventually end up where the EC is. It will just take them longer.

          Probably the same is true with any major schisms within the RCC. Potential breakaway groups would likely be nowhere near as principled as Traditio, St. Pius X and the sedevacantists. You may see some individuals or parishes coming over to Orthodoxy, but I would not expect some great exodus.

          And that is probably a good thing. We don’t need more cafeteria Orthodox.

          • Isa Almisry says

            Yes, I’m afraid that most of the Vatican’s flock who desire to follow the Gospel for the most part have painted themselves into a corner with the Vatican’s misinterpretation thereof through “Pastor Aeternus.”

            If the “Great and Holy” council gets around to getting the diptychs regularized, one point of business should be officially reaffirming that Old Rome is off the top of them.

            • But Isa, that would require the New Rome’s (i.e., the Phanar’s) assent.

            • Isa:

              If the “Great and Holy” council gets around to getting the diptychs regularized, one point of business should be officially reaffirming that Old Rome is off the top of them.

              Isa is writing the agenda for the Great and Holy Council. Who knew that Isa was so important?

          • Michael Bauman says

            Not to mention the incredible hold the idea of the Papacy has on many and not just in the RCC.

            • No question about it, many Orthodox admire the papacy and the pope as much or more than many Catholics!

    • George Michalopulos says

      CO: methinks you doth protest too much. If anything, I have always been deeply in awe of the Catholic Church (or at least of the totality of its institutional memory). No hatred here. Just immense sorrow.

      What happened to Benedict was unconscionable, no two ways about it. The sorrow is both towards the man as well as the church itself. Given all of Francis’ winks and nods to the libertines it’s clear which way the moral teaching is going to go. Here’s what causes me even more sorrow: once the toothpaste is out of the bottle, there’s no way it can get back in.

      Which leads me to my ultimate sorrow and concern: now with Protestantism effectively over, there is no place for Orthodox Christians in the West to turn to for succor but each other. There are no longer to be any co-belligerents in the wider Christian tradition.

    • If the Assisi apostasies aren’t a sign to you that something is seriously wrong in the Catholic Church, then you are welcome to continue talking about how “anti-Catholic” this thread is, because your opinion is of little worth.

  32. CO:

    The Online Orthodox: incapable of praising their own communion without, in the same breath, bashing everyone else’s — and especially Catholicism. So tiresome.

    CO, it is insecurity about their own faith that causes them to put down other faiths. Among some Orthodox I find a definite inferiority complex when it comes to Catholicism.

    • Isa Almisry says

      “I find a definite inferiority complex when it comes to Catholicism.”
      It is always amazing how those who persist in something find what they are looking for.

      By “Catholicism,” I take it that you are ignoring the fact that Orthodoxy=Catholicism, and mean the Vatican.

      • Isa:

        By “Catholicism,” I take it that you are ignoring the fact that Orthodoxy=Catholicism, and mean the Vatican.

        In referring to the RCC as “Catholicism,” I ignore nothing. My native language is English, and that’s just standard usage. I know what the creed says.

        Isa may not like it, but the RCC conceives itself to be orthodox – with a small “o.” And yet Isa won’t find any Catholics (followers of the Vatican) who object to people like Isa calling himself “Orthodox,” as if he had exclusive claim upon that term. The inferiority complex of the Orthodox like Isa is most apparent when he makes the silly pedantic claim to be the only true “Catholic.”

        • Isa Almisry says

          You want to be a propagandist for the Vatican, just don’t expect me to join you in peddling your wares.

          “Isa may not like it, but the RCC conceives itself to be orthodox – with a small “o.” And yet Isa won’t find any Catholics (followers of the Vatican) who object to people like Isa calling himself “Orthodox,” as if he had exclusive claim upon that term.”
          I don’t have the slightest interest in the Vatican’s objections on anything. Stop projecting your need for validation from others.

  33. James Denney says

    What is even more disturbing to me is that His Eminence, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, first among equals of the Bishops of the Eastern Orthodox Church, unfortunately is parroting the Bishop of Rome’s parroting of the progressive climate change/global warming nonsense, a purely political position dressed up in and hidden by His Eminence in the language of Christian Stewardship of the environment.
    He has bought into completely these false claims, based on discredited computer models and not on science, of the climate change/global warming alarmists. It is incredibly upsetting to me that the leader of my Church is being so politicized, and has deviated so far from Orthodoxy.
    The video at this link is of Ted Cruz explaining, through a grilling of the President of the Sierra Club, why this is a false theory based on junk science, and has been politicized.
    https://youtu.be/Sl9-tY1oZNw

    • George Michalopulos says

      I’ve critcised him before, but Cruz is off-the-charts brilliant when it comes to argumentation. A real Sir Thomas More for our times.

  34. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

    Someone here recently made a crack about Detroit and Dearborn:
    They’ve said it dozens of times on the air at Fox News: “Why aren’t Muslims protesting against ISIS?” The rhetorical question is asked as though the foregone conclusion is that Muslims in fact all support ISIS, or simply don’t see the terror group and self-described “Islamic State” as a real problem that needs to be confronted.

    This line of Neo-Conservative rhetoric is further meant to underline just how unfairly the person posing this polemic question believes Israel is being treated by Muslims. The implication is that Israel is the sole target of Muslim outrage, while ISIS is given a free pass.

    Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Even though the hawks continue to ignore such protests and statements against ISIS, they are very real throughout the Muslim world, including in the West. Last week, a massive demonstration in Dearborn, Michigan, a city which is home to one of United States’ largest Muslim populations, the Islamic community united in one voice to denounce ISIS as “enemies of humanity.”

    The local Detroit Free Press reports that “Muslim leaders gathered Monday on the steps of Dearborn City Hall to strongly condemn ISIS, saying the militant group in Iraq and Syria doesn’t represent Islam or Muslims.”

    Furthermore, they continued, Dearborn anti-ISIS activists described the terror group as “crazy criminals who are abusing our religion,” according to Imam Mohammed Elahi of the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn Heights. “You’re a bunch of gangsters,” he continued, “you’re not Islamic.”

    The rally included remarks by local imams, Osama Siblani, publisher of Arab American News in Dearborn, Dawud Walid, director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and Steve Spreitzer, president and CEO of the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion.

    So where was the mainstream, corporate media during all of this? They were editorializing, claiming that rallies like this don’t exist, and that Muslim leaders aren’t speaking out against ISIS, who Siblani described as “”the enemies of humanity.”

    This was not the only protest of its kind. In Dearborn alone, there were at least two other major demonstrations against ISIS early this summer.

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

      So far, SIX Monomakhos types DISLIKE Muslims protesting against ISIS! What does that tell us?

      • Thomas Barker says

        My guess, Your Grace, is that a few Monomakhosians are aware that a protest by Muslims, against Muslims, is little more than propaganda engineered by the mullahs.

  35. Thomas Barker says

    The implication here is that the “mainstream, corporate media” are involved in a vast conspiracy of silence on this issue. Let’s add this one to the list that includes the mafia killing Kennedy and US astronauts not landing on the moon.

  36. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZ-QX8LuKHA

    a video recording what is happening in Europe with Muslim immigration.

    • Thomas Barker says

      The video you post is a good one, Colette, and a revealing introduction to the brutal mindset of the extreme Islamists in the west. We need an updated documentary to show the violent chaos that is erupting currently in the government-run immigrant camps in Germany.

  37. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

    Here’s something for the Pope Francis bashers of Monomakhos: “The Pope has halted the canonization process for Aloysius Stepinac, the Croation Catholic Archbishop of Zagreb from 1937 until his death in 1960. Pope John Paul II had beatified the fiercely anti-communist archbishop, who spent many years in prison and under house arrest in Communist Yugoslavia, in 1998. The archbishop’s actions during World War II, however, especially his ties to the Nazi-aligned, murderous Ustaše regime, have raised criticism not only from the Serbian Orthodox Church but also from other victim groups.

    Pope Francis has now halted the all-but-complete process of canonization for Stepinac and established a commission of Catholic and Serbian Orthodox experts instead, which will look more closely into the archbishop’s actions during World War II.”

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      Attendance at the commission’s meetings would be interesting!

      During the 1970s, my wife had a professor of history at a local private liberal arts university; a good school with a sound regional reputation. He was Croatian, as is she; the difference being that her grandparents came here in the “nineteen-teens”, and he had been a young teenager in Yugoslavia during WWII.

      He told her somewhere along the line that he trusted nobody, scholars, “intellectuals”– nobody, from Yugoslavia (as it then still was), Serbian, Croatian, whatever, who had been an adult during the War. They came as visiting professors, refugees, immigrants, whatever. He said they were all compromised, all had crimes to hide, and impenetrable rationalizations.

      He taught English, not Balkan, history.