Den of Iniquity

Patriarch Bartholomew, “first without equal” [my new title] over the unrepentant and schismatic, wasn’t able to charm Macedonia and pull her away from the Church. 

Had Bartholomew realized, earlier, that Serbia was talking to Macedonia, he probably would have beaten them to the finish line.  In this race, however, he came in dead last.

Perhaps he was too busy ushering in a defrocked archimandrite to notice.  Bartholomew is seemingly fond of entering into relationships with defrocked and suspended clergy because they will be beholden to him in the future and, of course, will have to pay the requisite fees to have the honor of being in the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

This particular archimandrite, Alexander Belya, is a known forger and his family has been implicated in human trafficking.  Belya was laicized (as a monk) by ROCOR and the issues remain unresolved.  Without a release, he continued to serve as if he was part of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.  He’s even sued members of the ROCOR in a civil court!

But no matter.  He is scheduled to formally join the den of iniquity known as the Phanar on July 30 when he will be consecrated as a hierarch for Constantinople’s Slavic Vicariate (under the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America).

Some may remember getting Alexander Belya confused with his younger brother, Ivan Alexandrovich Belya, as they were both in the news a few years ago.  Purportedly, Ivan is the alleged human trafficker.  

In any event, Macedonia dodged a bullet.  Had they first gone to Bartholomew, hat in hand, they could have ended up in a faux church like Ukraine under the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which is beginning to resemble a seedy hotel on the old Las Vegas strip as they struggle to remain relevant; their glory days, having long since passed.

Serbia stepped in just in time.  After mending old wounds as a condition of moving forward, Serbia granted autocephaly to Macedonia, in record time, thus preventing Bartholomew from sealing a questionable deal he thought he made with them in May.  

That Serbia had to rush to the finish line is concerning.  It shows just how little confidence we all have in Bartholomew.  Protecting his assets and doing favors for politicians in exchange for who-knows-what, result in wannabes being brought into the Church with little to no interest in how things are to be done. 

That he is taking credit for healing the schism should come as no surprise.  

I think we’re going to see a lot of autocephalous Churches “birthed” by our Local Churches in an effort to circumvent the Phanar.  Excluding the OCA, we now have 15 Local Churches and any one of them could grant autocephaly as long as the other Local Churches agree.  My guess is they are collectively going to waste no time healing riffs and bringing communities back into the Church, the proper way, so no one falls off the map, or worse, ends up under the Phanar where they will be forced to commune with unordained, schismatics. 

Macedonia is now an independent Church, but Bartholomew is still trying to keep them to the terms of a previous agreement, adding some requirements in the process.    

Constantinople purportedly accepted the hierarchy, clergy, and laity of the MOC into communion under the name of “Ohrid.”  This was to protect Bartholomew’s rule over what he considers to be his diaspora, although the MOC has dioceses and hierarchs in North America, Europe, and Australia.

The answer to the question “Diaspora or Church?” must be unequivocally “Church and not Diaspora!” In America, in other places where Orthodox Church lives in “territories not historically Orthodox,” and in the historic centers of Orthodoxy there is today no greater need than the need to live Orthodox faith in full faithfulness to the true ecclesiology of the Orthodox Church. This is the way to deter or overcome divisions and schisms. This is the way to bear credible witness in the world and among other Christian bodies. This is the way to offer the members of Christ’s Body the joy of ecclesial experience and good pastoral care, equipping them to a life in service to the Gospel of Christ.  (The International Theological Conference of the Russian Orthodox Church  “The Orthodox Teaching about the Church”)

A final solution remains to be seen.  The Macedonians, for their part, have no qualms about using the name Macedonia, nor does the rest of the Church, with the exception of the EP.

I imagine the good people in the GOA are starting to worry that Bartholomew is going to undo every good thing they’ve ever done with the acquisition of one outlier after another.   Since the OCU, it almost looks as if he has been coveting defrocked schismatics, ushering them back into the Church, minus the healing. 

Macedonia repented of their own volition.  Though Bartholomew didn’t require it.  He credits himself with healing the schism.  I guess we shouldn’t be surprised.  If true, he is waving his magic wand, again, deviating from the practice of the Church which requires healing and repentance before one re-enters the Church.  

The Local Churches seemingly have found a way to circumvent Bartholomew and fix things before he can insinuate himself into the process, which always ends up the same; he takes whatever he can get.  Just ask Jerusalem and Antioch.  They go to him for arbitration and he ends up acquiring all the parishes between them. 

Kudos to both Macedonia and Serbia for righting the ship and doing it without cutting corners in record time.  It was such a wonderful gift seeing them embrace and move forward as brothers.  

Bartholomew, however, is having trouble coming up to speed, pretending not to notice the agreement he thought he reached with Macedonia on May 9 is now a bust.  He has a lot to lose if Macedonia defaults on whatever understanding he thought they had, specifically with regard to territory.  I’m curious how this will play out. 

Macedonia no longer has to meet anybody’s terms. I’m sure they would like to be in good standing with Constantinople, but it’s not an imperative given their new status.  I suspect the Local Churches will support Macedonia’s autocephaly either way.  Again, it’s not about territory.  It’s about the Church.

What’s interesting is the agreement with Serbia talks about the need for Macedonia to obtain approval from the other Local Churches.  No mention was made of getting Constantinople’s approval; although, they all know Bartholomew is on a different page which Macedonia needs to address. 

The Phanar was the first stop they made after the excitement with Serbia settled down.  

True to form, Bartholomew received them with conditions.  He has no claim on an autocephalous Church, yet he imagines they owe him something.  Instead of acknowledging their autocephalous status, he made an announcement that he would bring Macedonia back into “communion” on a conditional basis, omitting any mention of their new status, while he was communing with them.  

The reality is that it is God’s imperative to bring the Church together in the cleanest most straightforward way.  The squabbles of the past seem small given the state of the world today.      

Bartholomew has been saying for a while now that only an EP should be able to grant autocephaly.  I suspect his brother bishops are telling him if he wants a privilege like that, he has to call a Council and run it by his brother bishops.  In the past, they may have acquiesced but that was then and this is now. 

Since Ukraine, there has been a significant shift away from the Phanar doing what it wants without their input. 

Bartholomew cannot be trusted.  He no longer listens to his brother’s bishops.  He operates as a free agent on his own behalf, which flies in the face of what it means to be Orthodox.       

Bartholomew is in a catch-22.  The last thing he wants to do is call a Council, as it would likely call his own actions into question.   He banked on the fact that the Local Churches would “get over” Ukraine.  They didn’t, nor will they ever. 

The game is over for the Phanar.  He is not (never was) the head of the Church and it has now become obvious to the rest of the world.  The Church is moving forward without him.  If the GOA were smart, they would be putting some distance between them as I know they are trying to do.  He’s an old man tilting at windmills at this point.  Hate to be so harsh, but he set himself up.  He wanted too much for himself and this was the result.   Mrs. M

[Note:  We inadvertently published a draft rather than the final document.  Our apologies.  The content hasn’t changed to any great degree, but it probably reads a little better. –  Edited 6/22/20.]


  1. I think it’s quite okay if we start referring to Bartholomew as the bishop of Istanbul now. He’s more than had his chance to make amends!

    • Gail Sheppard says

      We maintain he walked away from the Church when he ignored his brother bishops and went into Ukraine. That’s why we demoted him to just Bartholomew.

      • Verily, Gail. Verily!

      • Joseph Lipper says

        I don’t think any of his brother bishops have actually demoted him to “just Bartholomew”. Can you name even one bishop who has done this? Breaking communion (which only the ROC has done) is not the same thing as demoting a bishop of his episcopal rank.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          I said “we” Joseph, as in George and me on this blog. This has nothing to do with the clergy.

          • Joseph,
            it is very clear that you love Bartholomew very much, may be too much. If there is a new negative comment about B. you, very often, come to “rescue” B. and re-establish his Glory. I guess because of your excessive love for B. , you sometimes miss some key part of the initial negative comment, in this case the word “we”.
            I write this in all Christian love and I would like to remind that if we care for the Glory-only of our favorite clergy then we actually damage their salvation! And I think you do no want to damage B’s soul, or indeed the church of Christ.

    • I say we start referring to the errors of Bartholomew as Bartholomisim and those who go along with it Bartholomites.

      Arianism, Nestorianism, Donatism, Sergianism: Heresies are named after the people who started them and associating a heresy with a name is part of the process of addressing the heresy.

      A lot of this started with Metaxis but Bartholomew is the current personification so I say we put a name to the heresy.

      • Petros,
        you mean of course Metaxakis (the freemason).

        • i am getting tired of the freemason sniping. From what i see is that those of our bretheren who joined became leaders. The masons taught them the basic skills of leadership that our church sorely needed. of course with the laity educated and skilled this threatened the bishops who were/are still living in the deluded premise that the byzantine empire and its caste system still prevails. If the masons are so bad why was AHEPHA moseled after them? When we can match them with our charity and outreach to the communities in which we exist, then can perrhaps question – remember judgement is the Lord’s not ours. just look at thr hospitals they run, the nursing homes they run, how they have a system of providing assistance to the needy, etc. And what do we do, we pat ourselves on the back that the aniochian house of studies is now accredited – wow! holy cross, st vlads, st tikhons, st sophiaas, holy trinity, christ the savior, st savas, etc Like we need another semianary program,, but where is the four year college for our young people? Where is our wing at St. Judes, or better still, where s ojr St. Vladimir’s hospital to match just one of the masonic/shriner hospitals? Don’t we have blinders on? Sme times we just make ourselves look so out of it! Time to stop sniping and to start doing. As for me I will keep donating to the Shriners crippled childrens hospitals and iIchallenge you to.

          • Forgive me if I’m misunderstanding, but I believe your comments on freemasonry demand attention, so here’s a statement of the Church of Greece (1933):

            The Official Statement

            The Bishops of the Church of Greece in their session of October 12, 1933, concerned themselves with the study and examination of the secret international organization, Freemasonry. They heard with attention the introductory exposition of the Commission of four Bishops appointed by the Holy Synod at its last session; also the opinion of the Theological Faculty of the University of Athens, and the particular opinion of Prof. Panag Bratsiotis which was appended thereto. They also took into consideration publications on this question in Greece and abroad. After a discussion they arrived at the following conclusions, accepted unanimously by all the Bishops.

            “Freemasonry is not simply a philanthropic union or a philosophical school, but constitutes a mystagogical system which reminds us of the ancient heathen mystery-religions and cults—from which it descends and is their continuation and regeneration. This is not only admitted by prominent teachers in the lodges, but they declare it with pride, affirming literally: “Freemasonry is the only survival of the ancient mysteries and can be called the guardian of them;” Freemasonry is a direct offspring of the Egyptian mysteries; “the humble workshop of the Masonic Lodge is nothing else than the caves and the darkness of the cedars of India and the unknown depths of the Pyramids and the crypts of the magnificent temples of Isis; in the Greek mysteries of Freemasonry, having passed along the luminous roads of knowledge under the mysteriarchs Prometheus, Dionysus and Orpheus, formulated the eternal laws of the Universe!

            “Such a link between Freemasonry and the ancient idolatrous mysteries is also manifested by all that is enacted and performed at the initiations. As in the rites of the ancient idolatrous mysteries the drama of the labors and death of the mystery god was repeated, and in the imitative repetition of this drama the initiate dies together with the patron of the mystery religion, who was always a mythical person symbolizing the Sun of nature which dies in winter and is regenerated in spring, so it is also, in the initiation of the third degree, of the patron of Freemasonry Hiram and a kind of repetition of his death, in which the initiate suffers with him, struck by the same instruments and on the same parts of the body as Hiram. According to the confession of a prominent teacher of Freemasonry Hiram is “as Osiris, as Mithra, and as Bacchus, one of the personifications of the Sun.”

            “Thus Freemasonry is, as granted, a mystery-religion, quite different, separate, and alien to the Christian faith. This is shown without any doubt by the fact that it possesses its own temples with altars, which are characterized by prominent teachers as “workshops which cannot have less history and holiness than the Church” and as temples of virtue and wisdom where the Supreme Being is worshipped and the truth is taught. It possesses its own religious ceremonies, such as the ceremony of adoption or the masonic baptism, the ceremony of conjugal acknowledgement or the masonic marriage, the masonic memorial service, the consecration of the masonic temple, and so on. It possesses its own initiations, its own ceremonial ritual, its own hierarchical order and a definite discipline. As may be concluded from the masonic agapes and from the feasting of the winter and summer solstices with religious meals and general rejoicings, it is a physiolatric religion.

            “It is true that it may seem at first that Freemasonry can be reconciled with every other religion, because it is not interested directly in the religion to which its initiates belong. This is, however, explained by its syncretistic character and proves that in this point also it is an offspring and a continuation of ancient idolatrous mysteries which accepted for initiation worshippers of all gods. But as the mystery religions, in spite of the apparent spirit of tolerance and acceptance of foreign gods, lead to a syncretism which undermined and gradually shook confidence in other religions, thus Freemasonry today, which seeks to embrace in itself gradually all mankind and which promises to give moral perfection and knowledge of truth, is lifting itself to the position of a kind of super-religion, looking on all religions (without excepting Christianity) as inferior to itself. Thus it develops in its initiates the idea that only in masonic lodges is performed the shaping and the smoothing of the unsmoothed and unhewn stone. And the fact alone that Freemasonry creates a brotherhood excluding all other brotherhoods outside it (which are considered by Freemasonry as “uninstructed”, even when they are Christian) proves clearly its pretensions to be a super-religion. This means that by masonic initiation, a Christian becomes a brother of the Muslim, the Buddhist, or any kind of rationalist, while the Christian not initiated in Freemasonry becomes to him an outsider.

            “On the other hand, Freemasonry in prominently exalting knowledge and in helping free research as “putting no limit in the search of truth” (according to its rituals and constitution), and more than this by adopting the so-called natural ethic, shows itself in this sense to be in sharp contradiction with the Christian religion. For the Christian religion exalts faith above all, confining human reason to the limits traced by Divine Revelation and leading to holiness through the supernatural action of grace. In other words, which Christianity, as a religion of Revelation, possessing its rational and superrational dogmas and truths, asks for faith first, and grounds its moral structure on the super-natural Divine Grace, Freemasonry has only natural truth and brings to the knowledge of its initiates free thinking and investigation through reason only. It bases its moral structure only on the natural forces of man, and has only natural aims.

            “Thus, the incompatible contradiction between Christianity and Freemasonry is quite clear. It is natural that various Churches of other denominations have taken a stand against Freemasonry. Not only has the Western Church branded for its own reasons the masonic movement by numerous Papal encyclicals, but Lutheran, Methodist and Presbyterian communities have also declared it to be incompatible with Christianity. Much more has the Orthodox Catholic Church, maintaining in its integrity the treasure of Christian faith proclaimed against it every time that the question of Freemasonry has been raised. Recently, the Inter-Orthodox Commission which met on Mount Athos and in which the representatives of all the Autocephalous Orthodox Churches took part, has characterized Freemasonry as a “false and anti-Christian system.”

            The assembly of the Bishops of the Church of Greece in the above mentioned session heard with relief and accepted the following conclusions which were drawn from the investigations and discussions by its President His Grace Archbishop Chrysostom of Athens:

            “Freemasonry cannot be at all compatible with Christianity as far as it is a secret organization, acting and teaching in mystery and secret and deifying rationalism. Freemasonry accepts as its members not only Christians, but also Jews and Muslims. Consequently clergymen cannot be permitted to take part in this association. I consider as worthy of degradation every clergyman who does so. It is necessary to urge upon all who entered it without due thought and without examining what Freemasonry is, to sever all connections with it, for Christianity alone is the religion which teaches absolute truth and fulfills the religious and moral needs of men. Unanimously and with one voice all the Bishops of the Church of Greece have approved what was said, and we declare that all the faithful children of the Church must stand apart from Freemasonry. With unshaken faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ “in whom we have our redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our sins, according to the riches of His Grace, whereby He abounds to us in all wisdom and prudence” (Ephes. 1, 7-9) possessing the truth revealed by Him and preached by the Apostles, “not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in the partaking in the Divine Sacraments through which we are sanctified and saved by eternal life, we must not fall from the grace of Christ by becoming partakers of other mysteries. It is not lawful to belong at the same time to Christ and to search for redemption and mora1 perfection outside Him. For these reasons true Christianity is incompatible with Freemasonry.

            “Therefore, all who have become involved in the initiations of masonic mysteries must from this moment sever all relations with masonic lodges and activities, being sure that they are thereby of a certainty renewing their links with our one Lord and Savior which were weakened by ignorance and by a wrong sense of values. The Assembly of the Bishops of the Church of Greece expects this particularly and with love from the initiates of the lodges, being convinced that most of them have received masonic initiation not realizing that by it they were passing into another religion, but on the contrary from ignorance, thinking that they had done nothing contrary to the faith of their fathers. Recommending them to the sympathy, and in no wise to the hostility or hatred of the faithful children of the Church, the Assembly of the Bishops calls them to pray with her from the heart in Christian love, that the one Lord Jesus Christ “the way, the truth and the life” may illumine and return to the truth who in ignorance have gone astray.”

          • Been reading “rjklancko” support Masonry on this blog for years! It’s sort of become entertaining.

            “If the masons are so bad why was AHEPHA (sic) moseled (sic) after them?”
            Because those who pioneered the framework/model of AHEPA were wrong.

            But you’re absolutely correct, rjklancko, that we 100% need Orthodox Christian schools, hospitals, philanthropic organizations, etc., in this country — but we can (and will) do all of that without heretical freemasonry.

            It’s not that hard. Those who are Masons are not bad people. God loves them as much as He loves everyone else. But Freemasonry is antithetical to the Orthodox Christian faith and life. You can’t be both a Freemason and an Orthodox Christian. End of story.

            If it’s allegedly been done in the past, it’s been a lie, and the poor saps involved have either been deluded or were purposefully trying to be deceitful. If bishops/clergy have supported Orthodox Christians in the past or present becoming freemasons, they were and remain gravely wrong.

            Not that tough to grasp. I didn’t make this up – it’s just the way it is.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              True. “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”

            • Great comments FTS! Thank you!

          • “When we can match them with our charity ”

            One should distrust those who brag about their charity.

            • “One should distrust those who brag about their charity.”

              I will add, when I hear such bragging, the mafia movies come to my mind 😉

  2. Joseph Lipper says

    Who else right now, besides Serbia, recognizes the autocephaly of the “Macedonian Orthodox Church”?

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Well, I guess we’ll have to see.

    • We will need to wait and see. However, I would not that the Russian Orthodox Church’s patriarchal website states:

      23-24 мая Святейший Патриарх Сербский Порфирий в сопровождении иерархов Сербской Православной Церкви посетил Македонскую Православную Церковь. 24 мая, в день памяти равноапп. Мефодия и Кирилла, по окончании Божественной литургии в кафедральном соборе свт. Климента Охридского в Скопье Святейший Патриарх Порфирий объявил, что Архиерейский Собор Сербской Православной Церкви 15-21 мая «единогласно и единодушно пошел навстречу ходатайству Македонской Православной Церкви — Охридской Архиепископии и благословляет, принимает, одобряет и признает ее автокефалию».

      5 июня в кафедральном храме Архангела Михаила в Белграде Святейший Патриарх Порфирий и Блаженнейший Архиепископ Стефан возглавили Божественную литургию. По окончании Литургии Святейший Патриарх Порфирий торжественно вручил Блаженнейшему Архиепископу Стефану Томос, подтверждающий автокефалию Македонской Православной Церкви — Охридской Архиепископии

      Roughly translated:

      On May 23-24, His Holiness Patriarch Porfiry of Serbia, accompanied by the hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church, visited the Macedonian Orthodox Church. May 24, Memorial Day Equal to App. Methodius and Cyril, at the end of the Divine Liturgy in the Cathedral of St. Clement of Ohrid in Skopje, His Holiness Patriarch Porfiry announced that the Council of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church on May 15-21 “unanimously and unanimously went towards the petition of the Macedonian Orthodox Church – the Ohrid Archdiocese and blesses, accepts, approves and recognizes its autocephaly.”

      On June 5, His Holiness Patriarch Porfiry and His Beatitude Archbishop Stefan led the Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral Church of the Archangel Michael in Belgrade . At the end of the Liturgy, His Holiness Patriarch Porfiry solemnly presented His Beatitude Archbishop Stefan with a Tomos confirming the autocephaly of the Macedonian Orthodox Church, the Ohrid Archdiocese

      Not exactly sure that a reference in the organizational structure at counts as “recognition,” but the public-facing ROC bureaucrats always have a reason for doing what they do.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        What does this mean, Alex II? I don’t understand the arrangement.

        Bartholomew says: “According to the new statement, Constantinople accepts the hierarchy, clergy, and laity of the MOC into communion under the name of “Ohrid,” thus “healing the wound of schism.” According to Constantinople, its canonical territory is limited to the state of North Macedonia, although the MOC has dioceses and hierarchs in North America, Europe, and Australia. The word “Macedonia” or any variation of it may not be used in the name of the Church.” – (The EP cannot put restrictions on a Local Church, can he? They’re autocephalous now and their territory is whatever the Serbians and Macedonia agreed to, right?)

        The Serbs say: “Porfiry solemnly presented His Beatitude, Archbishop Stefan, with a Tomos confirming the autocephaly of the Macedonian Orthodox Church, the Ohrid Archdiocese – (Why would they mention an Archdiocese? Are they dictating he can only have one, i.e. the Ohrid Archdiocese? Doesn’t an autocephalous Church make decisions about how they are going to be organized to best meet the needs of its people? Of course, they can’t go into the territory of another bishop but that’s true across the board. Although I admit, that doesn’t stop some bishops from doing it anyway.)

        • Where to start … ?

          The Serbs have declared the Macedonians autocephalous, without any restrictions. No restrictions on name (though it urges the MOC to sort that out with the Hellenes), no restrictions on “diaspora” (I hate that word), no restrictions on making chrism, proclaiming saints, consecrating bishops, electing Primates, or anything else.

          I have not seen an official translation of the text of the Tomos. It is oddly unavailable on the internet, that or my technological ineptitude is even worse than I thought. (OrthoChristian published a translation provided by an Australian MOC bishop that went from Serbian to Macedonian to English that is a bit awkward.) But, as I understand the Tomos, it states in part:

          … after which the Serbian Patriarch will officially and publicly announce the above Synodal Decision, sign the corresponding Tomos, and submit it to all sister autocephalous Churches for adoption, because the SOC is not the only factor for autocephaly, but rather the fullness of the Orthodox Church, which is why the reception of other Orthodox Churches is also needed.

          So, as I read it, “we Serbs have declared the MOC autocephalous, will treat her as such, and asks the plentitude of the Church to accept it as such.” I’ve been wrestling with whether the SOC sees this as some two step process. I dunno.

          If the translation is correct, the MOC is properly termed a “sister church,” not a “daughter church,” and the Serbs do not refer to themselves as the Mother Church:

          the SOC warmly recommends His Beatitude the primate and the Holy Synod of the new sister autocephalous Church resolve the issue of its official name through fraternal dialogue with the hellenophone and other Local Orthodox churches.

          Also, the MOC Primate appears to continue to go by the title “Archbishop.” I have not seen him adopt the title “Patriarch,” but then again, neither have Tikhon (OCA), Rostislav (Czech Lands), and Sawa (Poland). I’ve always thought that Arhondonis’ use of “His Beatitude,” as opposed to “His Holiness,” when referring to non-Pentarchy Patriarchs is purposefully derisive.

          Based on the Arhondonic Ecclesiology, and corresponding panic induced Act of Canonical Recognition, the MOC is a canonical amalgamation of bishops. In its haste, the Ghetto did not think this through and was caught flat footed when the SOC took the extra step and declared the MOC autocephalous. I’m guessing if the Ghetto’s “canonists” were pushed, they’d come up with some silliness about simply accepting their apostolic succession and retroactive sacramental validity of a subset of the SOC.

          As I said elsewhere, the best Ghetto can now do is ignore the SOC’s Tomos to the MOC, and the MOC’s request for some proclamation of autocephaly from the Ghetto, just as they have ignored the ROC’s invite to accept the autocephaly of the OCA.

          Things will get very interesting — and become the logical inverse of the situation presented by the Uki Clown Show — if Local Churches one by one start accepting the SOC invitation, and add the MOC to their diptychs. That’s what made the ROC web site’s publication about the MOC — listed as a subset of the SOC — so interesting. I suppose the real proof in the pudding would be to listen to the batting order Kirill announces at a Great Entrance when he serves. (As the PA announcer at Wrigley Field used to say a million years ago, “Attention, attention. Keep your pencils and scorecards ready for today’s starting lineups.”)

          On the reference to the Ohrid Archbishopric, this is peculiar to the history of the geography and history of the Church there. Skoplje was where Serbian Emperors were crowned, which I think was technically the Ohrid Archdiocese. (Somebody here will likely correct me on this.)

          Back to that awkward translation of the Tomos:

          .. which today is called the Macedonian Orthodox Church, which is the successor of the ancient and glorious Ohrid Archbishopric, and due to which its title includes its honorary name, and which covers the canonical space of the previous and so-named autonomous Church of our Serbian Patriarchate of 1959.

          It also may be backfilling to include the “Archbishopric of Ohrid” structure that the SOC created after the Macedonians backed out of the Nish Agreement, which “His Beatitude Archbishop Jovan” headed. Note further that the technical moniker of the Serbian Patriarch is “Archbishop of Peć, Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovac, and Serbian Patriarch,” given the history of the Church in this part of the Balkans. While the Serbs often talk about the 800 years of the autocephaly of the SOC, it is a bit of an overstatement and not exactly accurate. It has been in and out of autocephalous or patriarchate status for much of that time. It was only “restored” in 1920 as the “Serbian Orthodox Church.” Finally, the SOC often refers to itself as the “Patriarchate of Peć.”

          One penultimate thought. Is an “autocephalous church” meaningfully something different from a “patriarchate”? For example, the technical status of the Church of the Sinai has always confused me. The Ghetto’s canonists may find something there, or the way they treat Finland.

          My last thought on this topic, a topic that makes my brain hurt. I wonder what Christ and His tent-making fishing buddies would think about their successors 2000 years on getting this caught up with the micro-parsed nuances of ultimately stupid titles, grossly overstated self perception of episcopal privileges, and arrogant assertions of authority.

          Methinks it would be something along the lines of, “forgive them for they do not know what they do.”

          • Gail Sheppard says

            Fabulous answer. Thank you! As messed up as it is, I’m hoping for “Local Churches one by one start accepting the SOC invitation, and add the MOC to their diptychs.” I think this would show Bartholomew how powerful he isn’t. May bring him to his senses.

            • Took the words right out of my mouth Gail! When/if (hopefully when) the other Churches accept the autocephaly of Macedonia they specify it was Serbia who granted the autocephaly and ignore Bartholomew.

              • Gail Sheppard says

                Yes, he needs a “time out.” It’s not good to be a mover and a shaker all one’s life. You run the risk of believing your own hype.

                The Church is supposed to be his family but he treats people like pawns.

                At his age, children should be flocking to him and when he walks into a room, everyone should be smiling, especially him. He should say, “Forgive me if I offended anyone. I am retiring and looking forward to enjoying the rest of my with gratitude.” –It’s called “aging well.”

      • Joseph Lipper says

        Archbishop Stefanos of Ohrid concelebrated with the EP last weekend at the Phanar, but he was not recognized as the primate of an autocephalous church there. There are probably some conditions that need to be met in order for the EP to grant autocephaly, such as the MOC stop using “Macedonian” in their name and closing down any foreign parishes.

        Apparently the MOC wants a tomos of autocephaly from the Ecumenical Patriarchate though, and that’s only being smart. The tomos of autocephaly from Serbia does not by itself serve to build up the unity of the Orthodox Church, and it won’t grant anything close to universal recognition either.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          Macedonia doesn’t have to meet the EP’s conditions any more than the other Local Churches do. Macedonia doesn’t need the EP to grant autocephaly because they already have it. What Macedonia wants is for the EP to accept their autocephalous status. If the EP does this, it will make their transition into the Church easier, especially with Greece, Cypress, and Alexandria.

          If he doesn’t, Serbia may stop communion with him. Let’s see, we now have 16 Local Churches. None of them were happy with Ukraine or the tension caused that ended in a fight.

          Bartholomew has only 3 of the 16 in his pocket. Some will commune with him but not with the OCU. At some point, they’re going to have to realize that if Batholonew communes with the schismatics, it makes Bartholomew a schismatic, and any other Church who communes with Bartholomew is guilty, as well.

          This has become a problem for us in America. We don’t want to commune with the Greeks if they go along with Bartholomew on this. They need to distance themselves from him. The question is, will they?

          • This has become a problem for us in America. We don’t want to commune with the Greeks if they go along with Bartholomew on this. They need to distance themselves from him. The question is, will they?

            This is a big problem here in the States, so far it “technically” only affects ROCOR & GOARCH but schism will eventually touch all jurisdictions if it continues. I get the feeling the Antiochians are mighty close to disassociating with the GOA.

            It’s a shame, I have many friends still in the GOA and when I travel I usually go to GOA parishes because they are usually the most numerous, but, since I’m in ROCOR I can’t commune there. This extends to the monasteries as well.

            I actually heard from a friend “in the know” who frequents St. Anthony’s that Fr. Peter Heers is starting a ROCOR mission near St. Anthony’s with the blessing of the monks….interesting.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              Last I heard, he moved his family to Greece. Maybe he’s coming back. He used to teach at a private school out there so he has the experience. — So he’s ROCOR. Could never find anyone who knew. Well, good for him!

              • My buddy lives next to St. Anthony’s and he said that Fr. Peter is back in the States and living in the area around the monastery, he’s seen him a few times.

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  I checked on this. He is not with ROCOR and it would be extremely unusual to say you’re with ROCOR and get permission to open a mission from a Greek monastery.

                  Has anyone asked him directly? If so, what did he say?

                  What we’ve been told is he is under Bishop Luke (Murianka), the Bishop of Syracuse Vicar of the Eastern American Carpatho-Russian Diocese.

                  He and Fr. Peter are connected, academically, at Holy Trinity seminary where Bishop Luke is the Rector (CEO) and Associate Professor of Patristics.

                  I think it’s important to know who you’re following, though. I can’t tell you how many times someone has said to me, “Yes, but Fr. Peter Heers said . . .” I never hear people say that about anybody else and it concerns me.

                  I understand his theology is pretty sound, but so is the theology of many priests.

                  • He’s mentioned in one of his videos that while in Greece he was under ROCOR, not sure what his status is in America, I would assume the same. I’ll reach out to my friend today and get some clarification.

                    From my understanding he wasn’t getting a canonical blessing from the monks at St. Anthony’s to start a ROCOR mission since Fr. Peter isn’t in the GOA, more so it was out of respect since he is close to the monks at the monastery.

                    The monastery wouldn’t be on the grounds of St. Anthony’s but in Florence.

                    I’ll find out more info and pass it along!

                • Petros, do you mean recently?
                  I live in AZ, about 75 minutes from St. Anthony’s.
                  Fr. Peter being back in AZ is certainly news to me.
                  I can tell you that there is a parish in Florence. The Priest is Fr. Earl Cantos.

                  • Yea I was aware of Fr. Earl’s mission, it’s under the GOA. That’s actually where my friend goes.

                    I’ll ask to ask him again to clarify but he did say that Fr. Peter was back from Greece and living in the area, unless he misspoke and meant he was only visiting. Fr. Peter was recently at the funeral of the Orthodox inmate that was put to death in AZ.

    • For me something smells rotten (as usual) in so called canonical Orthodoxy. Where is Archbishop Jovan? Is he still alive? Was he sent to exile? Why is no bishop asking about him? Why does no bishop even care about a brother bishop who seemingly has vanished? According to canon 8 of Nicea this Macedonian archbishop cannot usurp the position of Jovan the real and only bishop of Ochrid:
      But if they come over where there is a bishop or presbyter of the Catholic Church, it is manifest that the Bishop of the Church must have the bishop’s dignity; and he who was named bishop by those who are called Cathari shall have the rank of presbyter, unless it shall seem fit to the Bishop to admit him to partake in the honour of the title. Or, if this should not be satisfactory, then shall the bishop provide for him a place as Chorepiscopus, or presbyter, in order that he may be evidently seen to be of the clergy, and that there may not be two bishops in the city.

      • Where is Archbishop Jovan

        If I remember correctly, Archbishop Jovan stated during the process of the Church of Serbia/Macedonia reconciling that he would be retiring. I would imagine that he is at a monastery or something.

      • Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid: Serbian-Macedonian Church
        reunion is the greatest spiritual joy | Belgrade, May 20, 2022

        ‘ Yesterday’s reconciliation Liturgy between the primates and hierarchs of the Serbian and Macedonian Churches was a great event of the highest joy, His Eminence Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid exclaimed in his words to the gathered faithful.

        “I don’t know when my joy was greater: when I received the tomos on the autonomy of the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric from Patriarch Pavle of blessed memory, or today when full liturgical communion is established with all archbishops, clergy, and faithful people of the Macedonian Orthodox Church-Ohrid Archbishopric,” Abp. Jovan said.

        “If I had to choose, I would prefer today’s joy, because today at this Eucharistic communion a complete Eucharistic communion has been achieved with those brothers with whom we have not been in Eucharistic communion until today. Therefore, as on Paschal, let us sing the famous verse from Psalm 117:24: This is the day which the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it,” the hierarch joyously exclaimed. …

        According to, Abp. Jovan has agreed to retire for the sake of Church unity and due to poor health, which was exacerbated by many years of imprisonment. The other hierarchs who served with Abp. Jovan will reportedly be given administration of a monastery or dioceses in North Macedonia. Thus, there won’t be overlapping dioceses within the state of North Macedonia.

        God is one, the Church is one, and the Eucharist is one, Abp. Jovan explained at yesterday’s Liturgy, and, “Therefore, when entering into Eucharistic communion with the Serbian Orthodox Church, all the sacred Mysteries and prayer services that were celebrated in the Macedonian Orthodox Church-Ohrid Archbishopric all this time until it was in unity with the Serbian Orthodox Church, and through it all the Orthodox Churches, are recognized retroactively.” …

        The hierarchs of the Macedonian Church deserve recognition and respect for “withstanding unreasonable and anti-Church pressure” in North Macedonia, believes Vladyka Jovan.

        Likewise, the hierarchs, clergy, monastics, and faithful who served and labored in the Archdiocese under Abp. Jovan are also deserving of respect and honor. “All of them endured not only difficult conditions for worship, but also difficult conditions of existence, under the threat of persecution and imprisonment, but when that sacrifice was for the unity of the Church, they gladly endured it. That’s why I can’t but thank them, because it’s precisely because of their 25-year sacrifice that we have reached unity today,” the Archbishop affirmed. …

        Abp. Jovan concludes with the joyous exclamation: “Unity is established! May God bless it, and may we have responsibility as something that is most important in the Church, to preserve unity and never repeat such a meaningless schism in the Serbian Orthodox Church and the entire Orthodox Church.” ‘


      • Archbishop Jovan was at the Divine Liturgy when the MOC concelebrated with Patriarch Porfirije for the first time. He said it was the happiest day of his life. I guess he will retire or be given another diocese, and his parishes in Macedonia will either go under the MOC or become some kind of stavropegial parishes under the Patriarch.

  3. Perhaps one thing has nothing to do with the other, but it seems suspicious that this “election” (“selection” would be more apropos) of Alexander Belya has taken place while ROCOR Met. Hilarion’s body is still warm in its grave at Jordanville. The late metropolitan was a saintly man, so one couldn’t imagine him expressing any vindictiveness at the elevation of this Belya character. Nonetheless, does anyone else find the GOA’s timing a tad coincidental?

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Not really. This is an old story and unfortunately, there has been no healing.

      • Let me rephrase. Making Mr. Belya a GOA bishop may be perceived as a spiteful action at a sensitive juncture. It may only serve to add insult to injury, widening the gulf between the GOA and ROCOR at a time when the latter is still mourning the response of its beloved metropolitan. Am I overthinking the issue?

        • Gail Sheppard says

          I don’t know. I think it has less to do with what you’re suggesting than Bartholomew wanting anyone he can get to puff himself up even if they’re schismatic. Acquisitions motivate him because his region is shrinking with respect to Christians and he knows Russia has Erdogan to open an exarchate there for Russians.

          I’ve never known him to be insensitive when people pass. But maybe I just didn’t see it.

          Bely wanted to be under the EP for years now. e even started commemorating the EP way before Metropolitan Hilarion passed. He never managed to get a release from ROCOR because of the cloud over him. Bartholomew doesn’t care at this point. He will take anyone under any circumstances.

          Just like the pope selecting 21 cardinals around the world whether or not they are cardinal material.

          They are globalists who have been told to “break the system” (especially, the Church), so they can usher in a one-world religion.

          They see traditionalists, like us, as obstacles. The South seems to be drawing a lot of attention because of our Church attendance and the fact that tradition is extremely important to us. We’d rather focus on Scripture and the Church’s teachings than hear lectures on the environment. That’s why Fordham picks at us or anyone else who will fight to keep the true Church alive.

          Bartholomew and the pope want to bring the Church down. They are crucifying good priests like Trenten (there are many) and bishops like Pat. Kirill, Metropolitan Onufry, and Archbishop Vigano.

          Instead, they are scaping the bottom of the barrel to elevate schismatics and the inexperienced; not particularly stand-out, choices for cardinals. Some of the selections are downright ridiculous. These people have no experience with the Vatican. When they vote for the next pope, they’ll vote for whomever is most liberal.

    • GOARCH has no shame.

      • George Michalopulos says

        True that.

        In reply to Lawrence Wheeler, I too, have the suspicion that the “election” of Mr Belva to the episcopate in the Church of Istanbul was a rebuke to the MP/ROCOR.

        Not that it matters much. Like Epiphony, he has the mien of a charlatan.

        • I live not far from St Maltrona’s and it is a very odd place . They actually have armed guards around the property. It was catering to the Russian diaspora but I have no idea what it is like now.

  4. Just ask Jerusalem and Antioch. They go to him for arbitration and he ends up acquiring all the parishes between them.

    Will you please explain this history?

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Oh, there is so much to say.

      It was over a tiny place called Qatar that I believe had a single Church that wasn’t being used. (Going by memory, may have this wrong).

      They let Jerusalem use the Qatar parish and before they knew it, Jerusalem assigned a metropolitan over the area. Antioch was angry and complained to the EP.

      This little place called Qatar had blossomed into several parishes in America under Jerusalem, which Antioch believed should be theirs, as they also felt they could best serve Arabs in America and didn’t want to compete with Jerusalem.

      Jerusalem, however, did want to give up its parishes in America.

      Plus, there was something about benefiting from land sales, as I recall.

      Antioch and Jerusalem agreed to let the EP arbitrate and Bartholomew decided to move everything under him so he took their Qatar assets and moved them under him.

      Neither Antioch nor Jerusalem were happy with the solution, as you can imagine. For years, they avoided breathing the same air and they both carried major grudges against the EP. For Antioch’s part, they wouldn’t even attend Bartholomew’s great and holy council.

      It is my understanding that Jerusalem and Antioch have met in Cypress within the last year or two to try to come up with a solution on how to move forward and recoup their losses. At this point, their beef is primarily with Bartholomew.

      Again, these are my recollections. I’m happy to be corrected.


      • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

        During my last five years on active duty as a U.S. Army chaplain, I visited Doha, Qatar, four times (on my way home from Afghanistan) to minister to Orthodox Christian military personnel there as well as a dozen or so civilian Arabic-English translators working at CENTCOM.

        Otherwise, Qatar was and is not “worth a mass.”

        • Gail Sheppard says

          I’ve always been baffled by its importance to each side, although I realize it’s not simply about the spot on the map. I have NEVER met anyone who has served there. Never thought I would!

        • Not Paris then…
          (Sorry: Not Paris, France) 🙂

  5. Gail Sheppard says

    It looks like Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has invited Russia to deploy its armed forces in the country “for humanitarian purposes.”

    Mexican US military intelligence say the troops are already there along with a contingent of Chinese special forces.

    The Alliance is beginning to take shape.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Interesting. Goose, gander, sauce.

    • A synopsis of Putin’s speech at St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        Thanks, Misha! I think he’s referring to the “Great Awaking” (as opposed to the “Great Reset).” He practically quoted what others have been writing about it.

  6. Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says


    However, I’m not sure about Paris, France, either.

    But I’m not King Henri of Navarre.

  7. Bishop Luke is from the Eastern America Diocese of ROCOR, not ACROD.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Thanks, Basil. I know. I asked George to look at it and he said it was correct. It wasn’t. I trashed it.

  8. Word on the street is that the Church of Bulgaria has apparently recognized and entered into communion with the Macedonians, if it is indeed true thanks be to God.

    Another slap to Bartholomew and the OCU.

    • Joseph Lipper says

      This is not actually a slap to the EP. The Church of Bulgaria has only entered into communion with the MOC, and not yet recognizing their autocephaly. There is still some dispute over the name. Greece has a problem with the name “Macedonia”. Bulgaria has a problem with the name “Ohrid”. If the MOC wants to be recognized by both, then some agreement has to be made.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        Bulgaria is the first of the Local Churches to recognize Macedonia. Hopefully, more will follow. All of this is happening apart from the EP.

        Bartholomew wanted to change their name and bring them in under him but Serbia beat him to the punch. They normalized their issues with Macedonia, brought them in, and then gave them autocephaly. – You know, the RIGHT way. Not the way it was done in Ukraine. As a result, the Local Churches will have less of an issue with recognizing them, as Bulgaria has demonstrated.

        Bartholomew was bamboozled. He thought by communing with Macedonia he was getting them to honor whatever agreement he thought they had from May 9.

        Only they didn’t come to him as an ostracized church; they came to him as a legitimate Church, looking for the support of their autocephalous status and he inadvertently gave it to them by communing with them.

        Now they have the acceptance of the EP and Bulgaria with more to come.

        But Bartholomew is insisting they change their name. I’m not sure anybody cares at this point. If they had wanted to change their name they could have done so and come in under him. They didn’t.

        • Joseph Lipper says

          Gail, you may remember when Patriarch Bartholomew concelebrated with Metropolitan Tikhon of the OCA a few years ago. That wasn’t a recognition of the OCA’s autocephaly. This recent concelebration with Archbishop Stefanos wasn’t either.

          Bulgaria has restored communion with the MOC, but there’s no indication that their autocephaly is yet recognized by them. This means that Bulgaria (and Patriarch Bartholomew) still view the MOC as an autonomous branch of the Serbian church.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            Communing with the OCA was recognition, which is why he did it. He knows how much they’ve wanted to be recognized by Constantinople and he was throwing them a bone so they would be open to coming under him. But again, Bartholomew waved his magic wand and denied it.

            Only in Bartholomew’s world do hierarchs commune with each other when they have no relationship.

            It’s like a boy saying to a girl, “Yeah, I kissed you at the party but you’re not my girlfriend.”

        • Thank you for summing that up Gail!

          In a bit of side news, looks like the EP mouthpiece Orthodox Times has now turned on the Patriarchate of Jerusalem for supporting Patriarch Kirill:

          They they now don’t like the actual Mother Church lol

        • Meant to add to my previous post, when the OCU was recognized by Bartholomew not only did the entire Church tell him not to do it, but it was met with much consternation within “internet Orthodoxy”

          In contrast, the recognition of the Macedonians by the Serbians has been met with the complete opposite and many “Axios’”

          This is a modern way of the Church as a whole accepting one situation and rejecting the other, much like Crete is largely ignored and is a nothinburger, the OCU is largely ignored.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            The reason they don’t want to recognize the OCA is because if they do, they are acknowledging that North America is the territory of the OCA. Bartholomew wants to claim America for himself.

        • George Michalopulos says

          An excellent analysis, my dear!

          “Beware the double-minded man, he is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8).

          Or put another way: the duplicitous man will eventually be hoist upon his own petard. This is what happened to Bartholomew. He now recognized the legitimacy of a local Church granting autocephaly under its own steam.

          The question now before us is, will Greece, Cyprus and Alexandria recognize Macedonia?

          • I think Cyprus is the most likely of the three.

            I’ve heard barely a peep out of Alexandria lately

        • The Greeks and Bulgarians can cope and seethe. There will be no name change from the MOC. Now, I don’t believe for a second that these Slavs are of the same stock as Alexander the Great, but whatever.

          • Is that the objection, that the Greeks think the Macedonians will steal the glory of Alexander from them? How quaint! There was a Macedonian family at the Greek church I used to attend. Very nice people. The language seems to be closely related to Bulgarian. South Slavic, like the original Slavonic.

          • Macedonia is also the name of a prefecture in northern Greece with it’s capital Thessaloniki. Aside from many Greeks thinking this is an usurpation they also feel its cultural appropriation.
            Personally I think it’s idiotic to give every microstate an autocephalous church. How many are there in the Balkans now? Soon we will have to add Montenegro as soon as the west finishrs balkanizing the Balkans. It’s also unlikely these microstates will exist more than 200 years. Just as the ancient Patriarchate were named after cities this church should be called Church Ochrid. Historically these fyom Macedoniaan adopted this name in the 19th century as a way to galvenize the various nationalities living there into accepting a new free state. Thus the Bulgarians, Albanians, Serbs, Greeks and Vlachs living there woukd simply call themselves Macedonians after the ancient name. All the nationalities rejected this except for the hardcore adherents that really wanted to create a new state mostly Bulgarian stock. only thing this name will create is another phyletist based sect in the Balkans. By naming it after a city or province with jurisdiction it eliminates any phyletism, it’s based on geography not nationality. Example it’s called the Church of Antioch not Syria and still in this jurisdiction that little bit of now Turkish soil is still Antiochan territory etc. This should also be a lesson for America. All those calling for a single American church Ukraine and Yugoslavia will be it’s future.

            • I’m still waiting for the (canonical) Holy Orthodox Patriarchate of Austin and All Texas to come into existence. Maybe someday!

            • Good points. I’m curious, though. Why, then, the Church “of Greece” (and not Athens) the “Serbian OC,” the Russian OC. Etc.?

              • The Church of Greece is probably a goid case not to call a church by the state. The Athens archbishop is called “archbishop of Athens and all of Greece”.
                But it’s not. Crete has a semi-autonomy from the EP and a total autonomy from the Athens state church. The north of Greece are called the new lands and are jointly presided over both EP and Athens, Certain islands and Athos is directly under the EP. Heck the Church of Greece is not even autocephalous, their saints must be approved by the EP, they cannot consecrate their own chrism and we even found out that it must agree with whatever the EP says!

                • I still think the Church of Greece and Constantinople should be merged and the seat moved to Thessaloniki or something. Antioch has done something similar by moving to Damascus by escaping political persecution in Antakya.

                  I get holding onto nostalgia but it’s obviously not doing any favors for Bartholomew

                  • Once you realize that Arhondonis is a heretic hell-bent on careening a group of bishops into massive schism and heresy, it’s a boatload easier on your soul and psyche.

                    Before he is anathamized, before he is excommunicated, before he is laicized, before he is defrocked, he and his fake assertions of authority should be ignored by each of the local churches.

                    We’re – they’re – getting there. But not fast enough.

                    We as humanity, as a country, as dioceses, as parishes, and as individuals are unmitigated disasters.

                    I’m way behind in fixing my soul. And worrying about the idiocracy running the Ghetto gets me no where, and in all likelihood, sets me back even farther.

                    It’s been an interesting couple of weeks focusing on and tracking the day to day developments of the direction of global Orthodoxy prompted by the SOC/MOC reconciliation, but it’s time for me to let it be and start ignoring the heretic Arhondonis and the rest.

                    Say a prayer for Archbishop Jovan and his fellow bishops who shepherded their flocks in Macedonia for all those years. He is a good man who deserved to be treated far better than he has been these last 20 years or so.

                    Thanks for hosting and entertaining the catharsis.

                    Keep on fighting. Alone and together. Eventually the morally compromised hierarchies and civil authorities will be called to answer.

                    God bless and Godspeed.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Hence the ridiculousness that is foisted upon Greek Orthodoxy by these interminable gaymes.

            • “By naming it after a city or province with jurisdiction
              it eliminates any phyletism, it’s based on geography not nationality.”

              Spot on, Kosta. Alexandria is not the Church of Egypt.
              and Constantinople is not the Church of Rome,
              though it is the Church of New Rome
              and neighbouring provinces,
              of which Ukraine is not one…

              • Or, we rename them like NYC schools.

                Patriarchate No. 5; Autonomous Church 22.

                Wait, that won’t work. You-know-who will want to be Patriarchate 1, because as we all know the number 1 has always been Greek and ascribed to a city that hasn’t been Greek for soon to be 600 years.

                Sorry. Bad idea.

      • The more Local Churches recognize Macedonia and not the OCU is the slap in the face.

      • Joseph,

        Because you are the resident apologist for the goings on in the Phanar, please tell me according to the announcement, with whom has Arhondonis entered into communion?

        Has he entered into communion with an “autocephalous” church?

        Has he entered into communion with a “self-governing” church, assuming that is something different than an “autocephalous” church?

        Has he entered into communion with an “autonomous” church, assuming that is something different from an “autocephalous” or “self-governing” church?

        Has he entered into communion with the Ohrid Archbishopric, an entity that he heretofore deemed an integral part of the SOC? (If so, what’s the need to make any announcement?)

        Has he devised and proclaimed a new entity, heretofore unknown in Orthodox ecclesiology, the You Know, the Thing that We Will Call Something When We Panic and Don’t Know What To Do Church?

        Has he entered into communion with a group of previously “schismatic” bishops who sit around a campfire and talk shop?

        Other than the decided “no” on autocephaly, he and the figment of his imagination ecclesiology are tied up in a knot and have no meaningful answers. His apologists will bob, weave, bend, contort, and yada-yada-yada their way to conclude that Arhondonis is His All Intergalactical Unequalness and that being a Hellene is more important than anything else, because, of course the pile of rocks, trees and dirt that is today’s North Macedonia is Greek, QED!

        The heretical joke that Arhondonis was, is, and henceforth will forever be, will soon be realized by even to the most ardent of his sycophants.

        It may be on the eve of a Pontifical Mass in St. Peter’s Square, among the splendor of Rainbow Flags, and in the prayerful presence of Green Peace, the Dali Lama, the Witches of Eastwick, their Most Esteemed Excellencies the Right Honourable Archons, Swiss Guards, and Dukes of Earl, with the Posthumous Blessings of Phillip and Alexander, accompanied by the Mighty Evzones, and concelebrated with Epiphany and their Most Exalted Daughter Church the US State Department Orthodox Church, but anyone with half of a properly functioning synapse will eventually figure it out.

        But then again, maybe not.

        • “the resident apologist for the goings on in the Phanar”

          What a miserable job, if you ask me. It’d be like being Biden’s press secretary – or like being a professional gaslighter-in-charge.

        • No one can stop those Dukes of Earl!

  9. Looks like that is true:

    Днес на свое заседание, пълен състав (прот. №2), Св. Синод разгледа писма на Вселенския патриарх Вартоломей и Сръбския патриарх Порфирий във връзка с каноническия статут на Православната църква на Северна Македония, и след проведено гласуване реши:

    Българската православна църква – Българска патриаршия с благодарност към Бога и духовна радост приветства решенията за вдигане на схизмата и влиза в канонично и евхаристийно общение с Православната църква на Северна Македония. Въпросът за името на Православната църква на Северна Македония предстои да бъде разгледан

    Roughly translated:

    Today at its meeting, full composition (prot. №2), St. The Synod considered letters from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Serbian Patriarch Porphyry regarding the canonical status of the Orthodox Church of Northern Macedonia, and after a vote decided:

    The Bulgarian Orthodox Church – Bulgarian Patriarchate with gratitude to God and spiritual joy welcomes the decisions to raise the schism and enters into canonical and Eucharistic communion with the Orthodox Church of Northern Macedonia. The name of the Orthodox Church in Northern Macedonia remains to be considered.


    • Gail Sheppard says

      Why would the name be in question? The EP may not like it, but autocephaly was given to Macedonia.

      • Looks like the Churches of Greece, Alexandria and Cyprus are going to be between a rock and hard place soon. If they refuse to recognize the Macedonians, even after accepting the OCU, and more local Churches recognizes Macedonia the Greek Churches are going to have to give an explanation. I have to wonder if Bartholomew was accidentally goaded into communing with the Macedonians.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          Indeed. This may cause them to break rank. The situation has become untenable. They felt they had to support the EP but I don’t think they have any intention of going down with the EP.

          Frankly, I don’t think anyone wants to hurt this man, including Russia. They just want him to understand that they have no intention of letting him hurt the Church.

      • The larger question is why the Greeks care so much about them using the name Macedonian in the first place. It’s not as though Alexander was a Christian Saint or even saintly.

        It’s all nonsense that has nothing to do with the Church, and everything to do Greek ethnic pride.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          True but Bartholomew is afraid if they use the name Macedonia they will be able to lay claim to the “diaspora” because Macedonia has Churches in North America, Australia, etc.

          • Enough of this colonizing! I say let there be one Orthodox Church in each country, however small. One and only one.

            Allow the mother churches to establish missions for their various diaspora, fine, but only with the promise of one uniform sunset date by which time their parishes and monasteries will come under the authority of the local bishop of the one Church. Let there be one autocephalous American Orthodox Church organized by a sure date in the near future, and let all parishes and monasteries that linger outside of the AOC (unfortunate acronym!) be found to be in schism.

            For ecclesiastical reasons, this new AOC should perhaps be germinated from the autocephalous OCA, but expanded and reorganized with appropriate stakes granted to all existing jurisdictions according to their American populations. There will be one national/local Church with one college/synod of bishops recognized by all of the local Churches of the mother countries. This resolution should be ratified by a plenary session of all of the bishops of the world met in ecumenical council.

            The same model should be applied to Australia and the African nations, et al.

            • Lawrence,

              You make too much sense. Until something like what you describe comes to be, I propose that the Orthodox Church in North America be designated as, “DATMOC,” short for “Diaspora ATM Orthodox Church.”

              With Arhondonis’ recent Eastern Papal Bulls, long-standing historical anomalies, and the Cretan Great and Holy Paper Shuffle, the current ecclesiastical structure in Orthodoxy as it is understood and applied a laughingstock.

              If someone out there in the blogosphere – including this echo chamber – disagrees with that proposition, please explain why it is not.

          • Gail, I find it ironic that Bartholomew wants to lay claim/control of the Macedonian parishes in North and South America, Australia, etc., when he doesn’t even have claim/control of all the Ukrainian parishes outside of Ukraine. And, when I say this…I know for a fact the there are still parishes floating around that belong to the ‘Kievan Patriarchate’…several of them being in the Chicagoland area. It’s quite humorous. One of these parishes even claims to be under the ‘omophorion(s)’ of both Epiphanius and Philaret at the same time. Now, that’s bizarre!

            • Gail Sheppard says

              It’s the territory in the diaspora he is concerned about. It’s not about the parishes. The diaspora is a lot more important to him than Ukraine because of the GOA and the desire to remain in the role of a patriarch in the region. This is going to be a sticky widget.

              The Future of the Church of Ohrid, the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Church of Serbia
              By Dimitrios Keramidas*

              The Ecumenical Patriarchate (EP) and the Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC) by their synodical decisions (on May 9 and 16 respectively) made known their decision to put an end to the schism that has existed for almost half a century due to the non-canonical existence (since 1967) of the so-called “Orthodox Church of Macedonia”.

              Indeed, both the EP and the SOC restored the Eucharistic communion with the Church of the Republic of North Macedonia (CNM) and brought it back from a schismatic state to ecclesiastical canonicality.

              The EP acted on the basis of its right to receive appeals (see Canons 9 and 17 of the Fourth Ecumenical Council). Thus, it accepted the request made to the Ecumenical Patriarchate by the hierarchy of the CNM and restored Eucharistic communion with it. Accordingly, the SOC proceeded to the normalization of its relations with the CNM, apparently following the acceptance by the latter, following bilateral discussions, of the ecclesiastical regime of 1959, that is, the autonomy granted to it by the SOC at that time.

              In addition, the EP stated that the CNM will not have as its title the term “Macedonia” or any other derivative thereof (as agreed in writing by the CNM). On the contrary, the SOC did not make this a prerequisite for the regulation of its relations with the CNM.

              More specifically, the EP stated that the CNM would use the name [Archdiocese/Church] “Ohrid” as its official designation, while the SOC appeared less clear, as it stated that the name of this Church would be decided after a fraternal dialogue with the other Orthodox Churches, including the Church of Greece.

              Of course, one can reasonably assume that the Church of Greece will never recognize another Church named “Macedonia”. Perhaps the stance of the SOC is also due to the objections that the Bulgarian Church could raise to the use of the title “Ohrid” because in the past this Archdiocese extended to the geographical area of the current Bulgarian State.

              However, if the SOC wishes the decision on the title of the CNM to be taken through fraternal dialogue, then the designation ‘Macedonian’ should de facto be excluded. In any case, the EP seemed to have a clear position on this aspect, unlike the SOC which followed a different logic.

              As regards the jurisdictional boundaries of this new Archdiocese/Church, the EP clarified that these should not extend beyond the territory of the Republic of North Macedonia. Again, the SOC appeared less clear in this respect, as it stated that it was not bound ‘to restrictive clauses on the extent of the jurisdiction of the [CNM] within the country and on the diaspora’.

              This may also be due to the fact that the SOC believes that the faithful of the Greek diaspora will be included in the ecclesiastical structures it maintains. For its part, the EP could not deny its rights around the exclusive administration of the Orthodox diaspora communities under Canon 28 of the Fourth Ecumenical Synod.

              In our view, the limitation of the CNM within state boundaries is also intended to avoid future territorial ambitions on the part of the CNM that could affect other ecclesiastical jurisdictions. If this risk can only be avoided by agreeing on the title of the new Church (as the SOC sees it), for the EP this is a question that also requires a territorial demarcation.

              The EP did not specify the ecclesiastical status of the CNM, although it implicitly indicated it. Thus, the EP Synod instructed the SOC “to regulate administrative matters between itself and the Church of North Macedonia, within the framework of canonical order and ecclesiastical tradition”. In other words, the EP did not state whether the new Archdiocese/Church should be autocephalous, autonomous, or semi-autonomous.

              Of course, it is not difficult to assume that the EP would never grant another Church its right to grant autocephaly. For its part, the SOC stated that the status of the CNM would be that of ‘the widest possible autonomy, i.e. full internal independence’. Therefore, the solution implicitly proposed by the EP as the only canonical status of the CNM is autonomy, which was mentioned in the communiqué of the Serbian Synod of May 16.

              From the above, it is clear that the interventions of the two Churches have elements of convergence. But there are also some deviations. For example, in its communiqué, the EP did not refer to the Patriarchal Tomos of 1922, nor did it refer to the SOC as the “mother” Church of the CNM, although it asked the SOC to regulate its administrative relations with the CNM and thus recognized its right to finalize, at least in executive terms, the solution of the schism.

              On the other hand, the SOC did not refer to the decisions of the EP Synod (although it responded indirectly to the issues raised by the latter, such as the issue of the name and jurisdiction of the new Archdiocese/Church), nor did it state that it would consult the EP or implement the decisions taken by the Phanar. In other words, the SOC acted as a Church that considers itself capable of providing a canonical solution independently of the EP, thus showing that it does not perceive itself as the executive arm of the decisions taken by the Phanar.

              It can be argued from what has been said that:

              a) The EP set the general framework of the ecclesiastical status of the new Archdiocese (name and limits of jurisdiction).

              (b) The SOC, without formally taking into account the decisions of the EP, did not make final decisions on the name of the CNM, nor set its canonical limits.

              Of course, one cannot help noticing that the tone of the two synodal decisions is peaceful, that the aggressive spirit is absent – even through this… silence of the two sides – while, as mentioned, there is room for consensus around the name and the canonical status of the new Church.

              Another issue is whether the EP should proceed with the resolution of the schism without prior consultation with the SOC. In other words, the question is whether the EP has the right to resolve ecclesiastical issues concerning the canonical territory of other Churches. Of course, the EP has left the SOC to determine its exact administrative relationship with the CNM. In other words, it acted within the framework of the privileges that the “first” Church has in Orthodoxy in terms of resolving Orthodox differences, without acting with “exclusivity” in terms of providing administrative solutions, although this act may not be embraced by the SOC.

              Finally, if not less importantly, one should not ignore the role of the CNM itself in the acceptance of the synodal decisions of the two Churches. In an effort to restore communion with the other Orthodox Churches, the CNM appealed to the EP and at the same time entered into discussions with the SOC (previously also with the Bulgarian Church).

              Therefore, it can be argued that to the extent that the CNM will accept the canonical solution offered to it – taking into account the guarantees it gave to the EP regarding its name (the non-use of the name “Macedonian”) and to the SOC regarding its ecclesiastical status – it will show its willingness to fully integrate into the society of Orthodoxy around the world.

              Therefore, one can only rejoice that the Eucharistic communion between an individual Church and the other Orthodox Churches has been restored, at a time when Orthodoxy is suffering from various tensions.

              As we have seen, the general context of the ecclesiastical identity of the CNM has been largely determined by the synodal actions of the EP and the SOC. If there are still some open questions, such as the cases in which the EP can intervene in intra-Orthodox cases and how its interventions are accepted by the other Churches or how the pan-Orthodox consensus is expressed (to the extent that consensus is a criterion for the unity of global Orthodoxy), the problem of the CNM seems to have been solved without causing further ruptures in the wounded body of the Orthodox Church.

              At least these were the indications, until the request submitted by the President of the Republic of North Macedonia to the Ecumenical Patriarch to give autocephaly to the CNM, along with the announcement made by Patriarch Porfirije of Serbia on May 24 on the recognition of the autocephaly of the CNM. During the Eucharistic co-liturgy at the Cathedral of Skopje, Patriarch Porfirije of Serbia said that “the Holy Synod of the Church of Serbia responded unanimously to the appeals of the Orthodox Church of (Northern) Macedonia and accepted and recognized its autocephaly.”

              Initially, this statement could be understood in the context of the Synodal Decision of the SOC of May 16 on the Status of 1959, namely that of ‘the widest possible autonomy’ and ‘full internal independence’. But one is “internally” independent when one exists within a larger entity to which one belongs.

              Finally, rather in contrast to the published decision of the Serbian Synod of May 16, on June 5, Patriarch Porfirije handed over “Tomos of Autocephaly” to Archbishop Stephan of the “Macedonian Orthodox Church – Ohrid Archdiocese”, invoking the 34th Apostolic Canon (!) “blessing, granting and recognizing” the canonical status of an autocephalous Orthodox Church. The Tomos will be submitted for approval to the other Autocephalous Churches because the SOC considers that it is not “the only factor of autocephaly”, but this concerns the completeness of the Orthodox Church, which is why the acceptance of the other Orthodox Churches is required.

              The autocephaly granted by the SOC is ‘complete’, i.e. complete independence from the SOC without territorial restrictions.

              Furthermore, the SOC considers that the new Church “is the successor of the ancient and glorious Ohrid Archdiocese, because of which its title includes its honorary name, which covers the canonical space of the previous and homonymous autonomous Church of our Serbian Patriarchate of 1959”. The Tomos does not set jurisdictional limits within the State of the Republic of North Macedonia but recognizes the jurisdiction of the CNM in the diaspora as well.

              Finally, the SOC recommends that the CNM resolve the issue of its name through a fraternal dialogue with the “Greek-speaking” and other Local Orthodox Churches.

              Rather, this means that the CNM will not have ‘internal’ autocephaly within the SOE, but that the SOC has created a new ecclesiastical entity. But what will be the reaction of the SOC if a Tomos of Autocephaly is issued by the Ecumenical Patriarchate? Can a volume be granted without a solution to the sensitive issue of the name, asking the other Churches to discuss the title of the new Church?

              For the time being, on the day after the concession of the Tomos of Autocephaly by the SOC, the CNM stated in a press release that “we express our pan-Orthodox ecclesiastical hope that in the future, that is, when it is decided, the finalization of our ecclesiastical issue will begin with the publication of a globally recognized Tomos by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, in accordance with his canonical and historical privileges.” Therefore, it seems that the Hierarchy of the CNM does not want its ecclesiastical existence to become the cause of a new conflict between the Orthodox, but to integrate smoothly into society with the rest of the Orthodox world.

              One realizes that the next few days will be crucial for the development of this issue that affects global Orthodoxy in different ways.

              Dimitrios Keramidas is a Professor at the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas “Angelicum”, a member of the Center for Ecumenical, Missionary and Environmental Studies “Metropolitan Panteleimon Papageorgiou”

              • This guy is a joke.

                Like I said, yada, yada, yada.

                CRN, there’s one for you. He should be the proud Kumbara of this new church with a name no one has ever proffered.

                This is so sad. So very sad.

              • There are some younger Macedonians that belong to my parish. And, the reason that they’ve been attending is because they didn’t like the ‘canonical limbo’ that they were in. (As they didn’t feel legitimate.) But this may change things for them. There are several Macedonian parishes in the Chicagoland area, belonging to the American-Canadian Macedonian Orthodox Diocese (ACMOD). I doubt very much if Bartholomew will get his claws on them.

          • As does every other autocephelous church he himself recognizes. Woopdedo! He’ll get over it or he’ll huff and he’ll puff, as wolves are prone to do, while life in Christ and His Church goes on.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              Yeah, I don’t know. He doesn’t want to lose his status in America. He’ll pitch a fit if he doesn’t get his way on this. He is practically insisting on it by saying they are going by the name, Ohrid, and their boundaries exclude the diaspora. That’s why HE wanted Macedonia under him in the first place but Serbia beat him to it and then released Macedonia (practically the same day) making them independent.

              What’s going to happen is that Serbia won’t say or do anything. Macedonia will give lip service to being “Ohrid” but will still call themselves Macedonia. The EP will continue to say they’re not! And so it goes.

              It has kind of thrown a monkey wrench into the foregone conclusion that all of America will unite under the Greeks.

              If Macedonia lays claims to the territory, that may not be the case. At least that’s the way I see it and that’s why I think Bartholomew is so insistent on the name change.

              • To borrow a phrase from Jeff Foxworthy…

                If you’re the only one who knows you rule the world, you just maaght be the ecumenical patriarch.

              • It has kind of thrown a monkey wrench into the foregone conclusion that all of America will unite under the Greeks.

                He doesn’t want to lose his status in America

                That was never going to happen anyway, GOARCH itself is the biggest stumbling TO unity in America (Met. Joseph’s words). Especially now since no one trusts Elpidohphoros or Bartholomew.

                He doesn’t want to lose his status in America: I didn’t even know he had a status outside of the “Archon” crowd lol

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  Good point, but we’re speculating what’s in Bartholomew’s mind and it’s really weird in there!

                  • I think ‘creative’ is the preferred adjective…

                  • Yep.

                    In a way I do feel bad for him. He lives in an ethnic ghetto in a Muslim city in a Muslim country and is beholden to the Muslim government and is trying to survive.

                    There are other patriarchates in a similar situation, Antioch & Jerusalem being the top 2. However, both of them have exponentially larger flocks in their home territories.

                    Where Bartholomew looses me and looses my sympathies is how he has gone about trying to survive. Rather than relying on God, the Church and his fellow Patriarchs he has chosen to seek “salvation” from secular authorities and he has been playing the “good and faithful servant” to them in order to save his throne.

                    When you put your faith in secular authorities you crumble like a house of cards, and the current situations within his patriarchate are showing that. He had an opportunity to truly be a First Among Equals and heal schism in the Church but he chose the opposite and tried to subjugate the Church….and what has happened…the Church is leaving him behind in the dust and his patriarchate will continued to be choked off like the ancient Churches of Asia Minor who had their lamp stands put out. Pride cometh before the fall.

                    Would he repent and admit he was wrong, I have no doubts that the Church would receive him back with open arms. And I truly think he knows this.

                    The question is, will he do it?

                • Petros,

                  He has status in the US amongst more than the archons. He does, after all, hold honorary doctorates from both Fordham and Notre Dame universities. He was also awarded the Medal of Freedom by our government.

                  These speak…well…ahem…volumes; do they not?

                  • Good point. But I was meaning more of status within the Church here in America, of which he has none except in the upper echelons of GOARCH.

  10. Zell Pernits says

    Moscow patriarchy was attained by insulting and virtually imprisoning patriarchs, Joachim of Antich in 1586, and Jeremaih of COnstantinoplr in 1566-89, after having been out of communion with them over the Council of Florence. THis despite the czar marrying a uniate Greek Paleologue. Under Peter, Kiev had 14 thousand Polish nobles but only 1 thousand Orthodox, and was, and still is under the suzerainty of Cossack hetmanate of Crimea. In 1830 Kiew, was half Polish, half Jewish. The Russians take to andecdotal but inumerate delusions of their people being everywhere, just like the Greeks also do.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Gee, I hope my great-great-great-great-great-grandparents weren’t running around “insulting or imprisoning” everyone. Just think of the embarrassment! I could never show my face again.

      • Zell Pernits says

        See Serhii Plokhy, Lost Kingdom, it’s all in there, first chapter, I believe, debunks all the Moscow church and Ukraine myths. They jailed their emissary to Floremce, so they could have their fellow mongols, the Ottomans, guaranty Russian access to the Dardanelles.

        • Zell Pernits says

          Srhyi Plohyi, Los Kingdom” Thus, according to Muscovite sources, Joachim
          responded that he thought it appropriate for Muscovy to have
          its own patriarchate but would have to speak with the other
          patriarchs, who would make a decision with the Ecumenical
          Council. He promised to lobby for the patriarchate once he
          returned to his see. Tsar Fedor sent Joachim off with rich gifts
          for him and the patriarchs of Constantinople and Alexandria.
          The vision of Muscovy as successor to Byzantium and the
          only remaining Orthodox empire on the face of the earth was
          first developed in the early sixteenth century. That vision,
          centered on the figure of the Muscovite tsar, was incomplete
          as long as the country remained without a patriarch of its own
          —the tsars had to keep turning for spiritual support and
          legitimacy to the Eastern patriarchs. Ivan the Terrible had
          appealed to the patriarch of Constantinople for recognition of
          his tsarist title. In 1581, after the death of his son and heir
          apparent, Tsarevich Ivan—contemporaries claimed that the
          father had killed the son in a fit of rage—Ivan the Terrible sent
          emissaries to the Orthodox East, asking the hierarchs to pray
          for the repose of his son’s soul… The Union of Florence offered the ambitious ruler a perfect
          pretext to cut ties with Constantinople and assume the right to
          appoint metropolitans to the Moscow seat. In 1448, a council
          of Orthodox bishops elected Vasilii’s candidate, Iona, to the
          metropolitan throne, and the Muscovite church broke all ties
          with Constantinople. Even before the fall of the Byzantine
          capital in 1453, the metropolitanate of Moscow would become
          autocephalous, or self-governing—an isolation from the rest of
          the Orthodox world that lasted almost a century and a half… In the summer of 1588, two years after
          Patriarch Joachim V of Antioch left Moscow, Tsar Fedor’s
          court received an indication that its lobbying of the patriarch
          had had its intended effect. Smolensk officials reported a
          meeting with a new visitor from the East, Patriarch Jeremiah II
          of Constantinople. The tsar sent a court official to greet him
          and inquire about the decision of the Ecumenical Council on
          the proposed Moscow patriarchate. The Moscow officials were
          in for a disappointment, as Patriarch Jeremiah knew nothing
          about their request and had brought no council decision with
          him. The sole purpose of Jeremiah’s mission, as it turned out,
          was to collect alms to improve the patriarchate’s finances and
          build a new headquarters and patriarchal church, as the
          Ottoman Turks in Istanbul, the former Constantinople, had
          taken over the old ones.
          Although the Muscovite authorities arranged for Jeremiah’s
          solemn entrance into Moscow, the welcoming party did not
          include the metropolitan. The patriarch was not summoned to
          the tsar’s court until eight days had passed. He was brought
          there mounted on an ass, supposedly a reenactment of Jesus’s
          entry into Jerusalem, but the tsar walked only half the previous
          seven-foot distance to greet the new guest: either the
          Muscovites were uncertain that Jeremiah was a true patriarch,
          or displeased that he had brought no news about their request.
          The tsar did not invite Jeremiah to dine, asking instead that he
          meet with the court advisers, who inquired about the situation
          of the Orthodox Church in the Ottoman Empire. After that,
          Jeremiah was sent back to his quarters and told to wait.
          The patriarch was now a prisoner in all but name. “In the
          place where they held Jeremiah, they would not let anyone
          from the local people come to see him, nor would they allow
          him to go out. Only the monks, if they so desired, would go
          out with the people of the tsar into the marketplace, and the
          Muscovites guarded the monks until they returned to their
          quarters,” wrote a member of Jeremiah’s party. Whereas
          Patriarch Joachim had spent less than two months in Moscow,
          Jeremiah was there for almost a year, from July 1588 until
          May 1589. He eventually did what the Muscovites wanted,
          creating a patriarchate and presiding over the consecration of
          the new patriarch of Moscow.
          The consecration of a candidate elected by the local
          Orthodox council took place in early February 1589. To no
          one’s surprise, it was Metropolitan Iov of Moscow. In May of
          that year, Tsar Fedor let Jeremiah go with a generous reward,
          given his original mission of collecting alms. But the price of
          his release had been the unintended creation of a patriarchate
          in violation of all existing church ordinances”

    • Cossack hetmanate of Crimea…?

  11. Boris Johnson’s Ministers start jumping ship…

    ‘ [Mp Chris] Pincher served as an Assistant Whip and Comptroller of the Household in 2017, before he resigned after being implicated in the 2017 Westminster sexual misconduct allegations, having been accused of sexual misconduct by Tom Blenkinsop and Alex Story. Two months later, in January 2018, he was appointed by Theresa May as Government Deputy Chief Whip and Treasurer of the Household. After Boris Johnson became Prime Minister in July 2019, Pincher was appointed Minister of State for Europe and the Americas. In the February 2020 reshuffle, he was appointed Minister of State for Housing. In February 2022, he returned to his former role of Government Deputy Chief Whip and Treasurer of the Household. But he resigned in June of that year and was suspended by the Conservative party after allegations that he had groped two men while drunk.

    In an interview with BBC’s Chris Mason, on 5 July 2022,
    Johnson admitted appointing Pincher to a government position
    despite having been told about a misconduct complaint against him.
    Johnson said he had made a “bad mistake” by not acting on the information.
    Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Secretary of State
    for Health and Social Care Sajid Javid resigned minutes later. ‘

    Sunak and Javid have known about Pincher for years,
    but he gives them a convenient excuse to cover
    doing what they were going to do anyway…

  12. Before his upcoming political demise,
    Boris sends new British weapons to Ukraine:

    That’ll learn Putin!

  13. Lord Michael Heseltine: If Boris goes, Brexit goes

    ‘ Lord Michael Heseltine has said that ‘if Boris goes, Brexit goes’, as he urges the next Conservative Party leader to renew ties with Brussels.

    The former Deputy Prime Minister said Boris Johnson’s departure will likely lead to a shake-up in relations with the European Union, as it was the key policy he nurtured.

    He also warned that “extreme anti-Europeanism and right-wingism” would be a “suicide course” for the party.

    His comments come after a turbulent week of walkouts by Mr Johnson’s top team, with dozens of MPs saying they could no longer serve under his leadership.

    “I’m absolutely clear that we need a deputy Prime Minister to act in the interregnum before a new Prime Minister is chosen,” Lord Heseltine told Sky News.

    “It’s quite obvious that Boris Johnson, if he were allowed to stay, is going to try to procure a range of policies that will bolster his position. So that’s unthinkable.

    “The critical thing here is that Boris is associated with one major policy, and that is Brexit. I coined the phrase ‘if Boris goes, Brexit goes’.

    “To me, the big and interesting dilemma is the way in which Keir Starmer has been wrong-footed in making these anti-European speeches, as he has, on the basis that he was going to fight Boris Johnson.

    “Now, of course, the Tory party is going to have to find a new leader. My belief is that there will be a return to sanity towards our policies about Europe which will make Keir Starmer look, I think, rather foolish.”

    Lord Heseltine said a new leader must be appointed very soon to prevent Mr Johnson “maneuvering and manipulating power in the dying days of his premiership.”

    He said he didn’t think the next Prime Minister would try to take Britain back into the EU, but would seek to establish a “more positive relationship with Europe”.

    If they do not, he said the Conservative Party risks losing seats to the Liberal Democrats, which wants to rejoin the EU.

    Public opinion is that Brexit was a “disaster”, he said, adding: “Extreme anti-Europeanism and right-wingism is a suicide course for the Tory Party in the context of the economic circumstances we are facing.”

    He said Boris Johnson had been “a disastrous Prime Minister in the conduct of the nation’s affairs” and has “trashed” the reputation of Britain and the Conservative Party.

    “I think his colleagues should have acted more decisively and earlier,” he said. ‘

    It was Heseltine who stabbed Thatcher in the back, but failed to inherit.
    “I coined the phrase ‘if Boris goes, Brexit goes’.” The modesty of the man!
    ‘Public opinion is that Brexit was a “disaster”, he said…’ No it isn’t.
    The disaster is the squandering of the opportunities offered by Brexit
    to pursue sanctions and war which are destroying both the UK and the EU.

    • George Michalopulos says

      The loss of Brexit would of course be horrible. In tossing BoJo under the bus, it might very well be the British Establishment’s doing; their way of maintaining British membership in the EU. That would be an outrage. However, the silver lining is that the EU is not long for this world. Their suicidal sanctions policy against Russia will be their undoing. Quite possibly NATO’s as well.

      • However, the silver lining is that the EU is not long for this world. Their suicidal sanctions policy against Russia will be their undoing. Quite possibly NATO’s as well.

        From your mouth to God’s ear, George!