Meanwhile, Over in Moscow…

…you can see something really wonderful. The primates of several autocephalous Orthodox churches recently concelebrated the Divine Liturgy at Christ the Saviour Cathedral. The chief celebrant was His Holiness Pope Theodore II, Patriarch of Alexandria and all-Africa.

Conspicuous in his absence was His Holiness, the Ecumenical Patriarch.

We can talk about the inside baseball aspects of this gathering, for my part, I take comfort and great joy in the magnificence of Orthodox worship. We have our problems to be sure but liturgy isn’t one of them.

The Primates in question (besides the Patriarchs of Alexandria and Russia) are: Theophilus III of Jerusalem, Irenaeus of Serbia, Daniel of Romania, Chrysostom II of Cyprus, Anastasios of Albania, Sawa of Poland, Rastislav of the Czech and Slovak lands and Tikhon of the OCA.

Please take the time to watch this ten-minute video snippet. I think you’ll enjoy it. I know I did. [Courtesy of Byzantine, Texas]


  1. Greatly Saddened says

    GM … thank you so much for the video. It is truly beautiful. God bless you and everyone on this Monomakhos blog.

  2. I wasn’t surprised that the EP was absent (didn’t even send a representative as far as I can tell), but I would have expected the Church of Greece to send someone.

  3. Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?

  4. GOA feeds Bart.
    Putin pulled this financial crisis off to punish Bart for his
    Cretin synod not supporting Putin over Ukraine.
    You can save your churches from Putin by returning to Rome. Comoe to Pope now –
    Listen to Bart!

  5. r j klancko says

    have you seen the recent pew study on orthodoxy, one question was about the support of moscow, vis-a-vi the phanar, and the phanar lost in every case among the churches — and now look at the mess in new york — times they are a chinging

  6. I see my patriarch, John of Antioch was not there nor any representative of ours. Sadly, that is likely because of the problem with the Jerusalem Patriarchate overstepping his jurisdiction. Truly sad.

    • Joseph Lipper says

      He was there. Here’s Patriarch John of Antioch’s speech from the concelebration:

      • !His conclusion, after expressing his appreciation for the actions of His Excellency Vladimir Putin and the Russian Army:

        “The ‘resurgence of holy Russia is a gift from heaven’ to our world today. May God grant us, through the prayers and intercession of the new martyrs, confessors, ascetics, and shepherds, whose fame in the course of the years of persecution spread in Russia and throughout the Orthodox world, to bear witness to the joy of His Resurrection.”

        !المجد للمسيح

  7. Prophecy of Elder Ambrose of Optina

    My child, know that in the last days hard times will come, as the Apostle says, behold due to poverty in piety, in churches the heresies and schisms will appear”, and as the Holy Fathers foretold, than on the thrones of hierarchs and in monasteries, there will be no men tested and experienced in the spiritual life. Wherefore, heresies will spread everywhere and deceive many. The enemy of the human kind will act skillfully, if possible, leading the chosen ones to heresy. He will not begin by discarding the dogmas on the Holy Trinity, divinity of Jesus Christ, on Theotokos, but will unnoticeably start to distort the Teachings of the Holy Fathers from the Holy Spirit – the Church teaching itself. Cunning of the enemy and his “tipics” will notice a very small number of those most experienced in spiritual life. Heretics will take over the Church, everywhere will appoint their servants, and the spirituality will be neglected. But the Lord will not leave His servants without protection, and in ignorance. He said “by the fruits you will recognize them”. And strive to distinguish them from real pastors; those spiritual thieves who are snatching the spiritual flock, do not enter through the door into the sheepfold, but cross in the other place” as the Lord said it, that is, they will enter in illegal way, with force(violence) destroying God’s order. The Lord calls them the criminals.

    Truly, their real duty is persecution of true pastors, their imprisonment, for without that the spiritual flock may not become captured. Therefore, my son, when you see in the Church mocking of the Divine act, teaching of the Fathers, and God-established order, know that the heretics have already appeared, even though for some time they might hide their evil intentions, or will unnoticeably deform the divine faith, to better succeed by deceiving and tricking the inexperienced .

    They will persecute not only the pastors, but also the servants of God, for the devil who is directing the heresy cannot bear living in Divine order. Like wolfs in sheep skin, they will be recognized by their vainglorious nature, love for lust, and lust for power – those will be betrayers causing hatred and malice everywhere; and therefore the Lord said that one will recognize them by their fruits. The true servants of God are – meek, brother-loving and obedient to the Church (ed: order,traditions).

    At that time, monks will endure great pressures from heretics, and the monastic life will be mocked. The monastic families will be impoverished, the number of monks will reduce. The ones remaining, will endure violence.

    These haters of the monastic life, who merely have the appearance of piety, will strive to draw monks on their side, promising them protection and worldly goods(comforts), but threatening with exile to those who do not submit. From these threats, the weak at heart will be very humiliated (tormented).

    If you live to see that time, rejoice, for at that time the faithful, not possessing other virtues will receive wreaths merely for standing in faith, according to the Word of the Lord “everyone who confesses Me before men, I will confess before My Heavenly Father”.

    Fear the Lord, my son!, don’t lose the received wreath, not to be rejected by Christ into the utter darkness and eternal suffering.

    Bravely stand in faith, and if needed joyfully endure persecutions and other troubles, for than the Lord will stand by you…and holy Martyrs and Confessors with joyfully watch at your struggle.

    But, in these days, woe be to monks tied to possessions and riches, and who for the sake of love of comfort agree to subjugate themselves to the heretics. They will lull their conscience saying: we will save the monastery, and the Lord will forgive us. Unfortunate and blinded, they are not even thinking that through heresies and heretics, the devil will enter the monastery, and than it will no longer be a holy monastery, but bare walls from which Grace will depart from forever.

    But God is more powerful than devil, and will never abandon His servants. There will always be true Christians, till the end of time, but they will choose lonely and deserted places. Do not fear troubles, but fear pernicious heresy, for it drives out Grace, and separates from Christ, wherefore Christ commanded consider the heretic as let him be unto thee as a heathen man and publican.

    And so, strengthen yourself, my son, in the Grace of Christ Jesus. With joy hasten to the confession and enduring the suffering, like Jesus Christ’s good soldier who said: “BE FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH, AND I WILL GIVE YOU THE WREATH OF LIFE”

    To Him, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, honor and glory unto ages of ages. Amen.

    St. Ambrosy of Optina “Last times and now” collection of writings

    • So George you mentioned in previous article you were a Master Mason initiated
      into the ranks. Were you taught the “handshake.” Or does that come at some further degree? I don’t know. I would guess that small bone in the forearm “tibia” is it or “tibula” not sure but the Masons figured out how to get it recognized into a handshake that would be my guess not knowing much. I read your synopsis about the original Masons the skilled journeymen and then the speculative class. Obviously the Masonic “Grand Architect” is not the Trinitarian Lord in the theology of the Apostle John. The symbology? When the Regicide of the Tsar and his family took place in Ekaterinburg inscribed on the walls in their blood was Masonic symbols so to say masons killed the tsar. Then in 1918 God’s wrath Spanish flu.

      • George Michalopulos says

        The handshake and the “distress signal” and the secret word were taught upon being raised to the 3rd degree.

        As part of my decision to leave the Lodge for reasons of conscience, I wrote the powers-that-be that I had been gratified to know them, that Masons as a rule were stalwart men of good character (they were) and that I bore no animus to them. Also, that I would not reveal the secrets that had been imparted to me as I made my way through the first three degrees. That’s the least I could do.

        • Wisdom begins with fear in the Lord. Secret number two. That the Devil can sift you like wheat. Secret 3 prayer. St. John of Kronstadt can give you a thousand reasons but he said, if none of those work, just do it as a Duty to God.

        • Constaninos says

          This post right here shows that you are a man of sterling character George. I commend you for your integrity, honesty and class. You set a wonderful example for the rest of us to follow.

  8. r j klancko says

    patriarch john was there at the meeting, he did not celebrate with jerusalem but he did participate,,,,the only ones missing were black bart and greece

  9. Gail Sheppard says

    George, I thought this would interest you. It’s Putin talking about his faith. I was surprised and encouraged.

  10. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find two articles from today on the Ortho Christian website.

    Moscow, December 21, 2017

    24 new churches opened in Moscow in 2017
    Moscow, December 21, 2017

  11. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from November 20th in The Moscow Times.

    Head of Russian Orthodox Church Warns of the ‘End of History’
    Nov 20, 2017 – 19:01
    Update: Nov 24, 2017 – 6:16

  12. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from Friday’s The Moscow Times.

    Moscow Greenlights Huge Statue of Orthodox Patriarch Kirill
    Dec 22, 2017 – 16:00
    Update: Dec 22, 2017 – 13:04

    • George Michalopulos says

      I’ll say something: no statue should ever be created to honor any man still living. That goes for schools, streets, stadia, anything.

      Please note, I have no problem with statuary per se, only the timeliness of it.


      Moscow Times is not exactly pro-Putin. I suspect that the memorial is for all nominal patriarchs of Moscow. The number mentioned would be right. Kirill is simply the last known patriarch at this time. I’m not sure that I like statues to living persons either, but I assume that is the rationale and the ROC synod did not object.

  13. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Ortho Christian website.

    Gorlovka, Ukraine, December 27, 2017

    • George Michalopulos says

      I saw this break yesterday on FOX news. It was the scrawl below.

      My immediate impression was that the Eastern Ukraine is now being recognized as a de facto secessionist state. (Compare to Lincoln who even in the darkest days of significant and frequent Union losses never recognized the CSA or treated with it on a formal or informal basis.)

      My second impression is that as this prisoner exchange was done by the Patriarchate of Moscow, then Moscow has increased its profile as some type of good-faith actor and/or guarantor of Orthodox unity.

      Here’s my third impression (and it’s very speculative): in making this prisoner exchange happen under its own auspices is the MP facillitating the secessionist movement of the Eastern Ukraine with an eye towards its outright annexation into the Russian Federation (a la Crimea). If so, would it accede to the formation of an autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church centered around Kiev?

      Again, very speculative and too many contingencies in play but I’d keep the eye on this ball.


        There was an Islamic attack in Petersburg yesterday. I don’t call them “terrorist” attacks anymore because terrorism is a tactic, not a party. I harbor no qualms about using terrorism against the “terrorists”.

        Putin is running for re-election and his actions in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine are the centerpiece of his campaign. He has about 80% approval rating. That rating is fairly accurate, by most all accounts. Navalny, who is also mentioned in the article, has been the most notable opposition figure to Putin but Navalny carries himself and is seen as a Western progressive liberal, Russian style, and this simply does not sell that well regardless of the impediments thrown in his way. His party’s platform calls for the decentralization of Russia and withdrawal of the government from media activity. That would be a red carpet for Soros, NGO’s, etc.

        The Minsk II Agreement that would ensure the autonomy of Novorossiya does not have the votes in the Ukrainian legislature to assure passage and has been tabled since 2015. Under that circumstance, Russia behaves as if there is a de facto autonomous region in Donbass and Lugansk, recognizing their documents, etc.

        This is basic humanitarian aid. Otherwise, many people there would be effectively stateless given the situation.

        Meanwhile, in Greece:

  14. George I think Russia will not tolerate an unfriendly state on what many Russians perceive as the heart of the ancient Russian lands. I expect that early next year Eastern Ukraine up to and including Kiev will be its own state with an Eastern orientation and West Ukraine will be its own state with a Western orientation. May be best in the long run. The current Ukraine is a failed corrupt state.

    • George Michalopulos says

      I think you’re right. The Lugansk and Donetsk secessionists states are de facto part of the RF now and I don’t honestly see how the Maidan govt of Kiev can extend its writ there. Like the Ukrainian polity itself, there’s simply been too much water under the bridge thanks to Stalin and his henchman Kaganovich (who orchestrated the Holodomyr).

      The question is, will these secessionist, pro-Moscow tendencies seep into the Kievan region itself? Hard to say. My take is that the globalist-sponsored orc invasion of Europe has been stopped by Brexit and the election of Trump. Thus, Poland and Hungary –and by extension, Ukraine–have been spared the worst excesses of feminism, faggotry and assorted Western-sponsored idiocy.

      Had they succumbed, then Ukraine would have as well, thereby drawing more of them into Russia’s traditionalist orbit. As it is, the former East-bloc states have been granted a stay of further contamination. Still, things could change.

  15. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the RT News website.

    Vatican & Russian Orthodox Church should team up to preserve Christian values – envoy
    Published time: 28 Dec, 2017 10:28

  16. Saker has a couple of Putin soliloquies online about it:

    It’s very strange. The Western media tries to depict Putin as “afraid” of this, that or the other – Navalny in particular:

    Yet if you read between the lines, what is the real story the NYT is telling? The NYT story admits repeatedly that Navalny would garner only a few percentage points of the vote at best. They make a big ruckus about Putin fearing this.

    But the only people who are talking about Navalny are in the West. He’s not a story in Russia, or a priority of the vast majority of people. Nor would any but a few percentage vote for him.

    This is manufactured news. There is nothing to report if your story is that a man convicted of embezzling half a million dollars in lumber from a government agency was refused permission to run as a candidate on the basis of what we would call being a felon, and said candidate, if he were allowed to run, would only garner about as much vote as the Green Party candidate in the last American election.

    This is the bat they use to club Putin?

    No wonder he’s generally in a good mood.

  17. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Pappas Post website.

    A New Schism in the Orthodox World Growing as Moscow Seeks Supremacy Over Constantinople
    written by Gregory Pappas December 31, 2017

  18. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Ortho Christian website.

    Moscow, January 2, 2018

    • George Michalopulos says

      I’m hoping that this will all be wrapped up before July, when I intend to go on pilgrimage there for the centenary of the Tsar-martyr’s death.

  19. Michael Bauman says

    The centuries of forced, required simony under the Turks followed by Metaxakis and other nonsense and the lack of parishes further eroded any claim to spiritual leadership.

    Why anyone in the Orthodox world lends credence to them is a mystery.

  20. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The Tablet.

    02 January 2018 | by Jonathan Luxmoore

  21. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

    Galina, In my current issue of “ARMY” magazine, to which I’m subscribed as a Life Member of The Association of the United States Army, I found the following to possibly be of interest to you: “The Regular Army and Army Reserve officer, unlike the enlisted soldier, does not swear an oath ‘to obey the orders of the President or of the officers appointed over me.’ The Regular Army and Army Reserve officer oath, and Army Civilian Oath, are solely to support and defend the Constitution.” The same holds true for the oath of appointed cadets to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

    • Greatly Saddened says

      Your Grace … Thank you for your service to our great country as an officer in the US Army, as well as a Hierarch in the Church. Eis Polla Eti Despota!

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Your Grace, I think you meant your post for me as we have had prior discussions about this. So noted. Thank you. (I am not “Greatly Saddened,” although the author of these news bites might be a Galina, too! )