Now Who’s Putting the Screws On?

Recently, Patriarch Bartholomew said some ungracious things about Patriarch Kirill.  By “ungracious” I really mean risible, bordering on the obscene.  

The predicate for his unfortunate words was Russia’s conflict with Ukraine.

As unfortunate as this war is, and with Orthodox Christians being called to find a way to make hostilities cease, Bartholomew does the opposite.  That is to say, he inflames the situation with his scabrous words, inspired as they are by his intense hatred for Russia.  Worse, he has chosen to criticize Kirill for the actions of the Russian military.

This of course is extremely disingenuous (to say the least).  Consider the fact that President Erdogan of Turkey has again decided to invade Syria, a country with a Christian minority, as well as the site of one of the four ancient patriarchates.   As noted, this was not the first time that the Turks chose to conquer Syrian territory.  (If so inclined, please take the time to watch the video by The Duran below.)

Yet in neither case did Bartholomew see fit to criticize the President of Turkey.  In other words, we hear nothing but crickets chirping.  And yet he deigns to criticize his Russian brother for (supposedly) not doing the same thing.  

The richness of this hypocrisy is compounded by his inactions, not only in this particular instance but in others as well.  Last year, Hagia Sophia, the most venerable temple in all Christendom, was turned into a mosque.  Just last week, an amazing laser-light display was conducted (with Hagia Sophia as a dramatic backdrop) on the anniversary of the Fall of Constantinople.  On neither occasion was anything said by His Holiness.  Again, crickets.  

Then there is the fact that the theological school on Halki continues to remain shuttered.  And an ancient monastery in the Pontus turned into a discotheque.  The hits just keep on coming.

And yet, somehow, the Russian Orthodox Church is to blame because of the invasion of Ukraine.  Never mind the fact that the Russian-speaking population of Ukraine had been undergoing incessant military reprisals by the Nazi-inspired regime in Kiev for over eight years now.  Or that forty civilians were burned alive by Ukronazi bands in Odessa in 2014.  Or that the Pentagon had set up several dozen biowarfare labs, most of them near the Russian border.  In other words, Bartholomew has chosen to view the Ukrainians as innocent victims, choosing to ignore the fact that perhaps the Russians were responding to incessant aggressions for almost a decade.

No, instead, he chooses to elevate his own qualities in contrast to Kirill’s.  Bartholomew laughingly assures us that were he, Patriarch of Russia, he would condemn Russia’s Special Military Operation and even “go to jail” if need be.

Given the tenor of the men who inhabit the Phanar, this is not only risible, it’s ridiculous. 

He can ameliorate his hypocrisy if he marches over to the Presidential Palace in Ankara and condemns President Erdogan to his face.  Not merely because of his aggression against Syria but because Erdogan stands resolutely with Putin in regard to the present conflict in Ukraine.  Indeed, Erdogan has also promised to veto the accession of Sweden and Finland into NATO, a move that significantly enhances Russia’s geostrategic position vis-a-vis the West.   

So I will say it flat-out:  if Patriarch Bartholomew is truly offended by Russia’s Special Military Operation, and if he truly does not fear for his own safety, then the best thing he could do is condemn Erdogan.  But he won’t. Instead, he’ll continue to take cheap shots wherever he can.  

Turkey makes moves in Syria. Remains firm on NATO vote – YouTube


  1. Joseph Lipper says

    When political leaders make claims or pretensions to being Orthodox Christians, then the Orthodox Church has full authority and responsibility to judge their actions.

    It’s the nature of all political authority that it is given by God. For example, Christ’s words to Pilate, “you would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above.” We can see that Christ was fully obedient to Pilate’s command, and obedient without any resistance, even unto torture and death, recognizing that Pilate’s earthly power was ordained “from above”. Since Pilate wasn’t Jewish, and made no such claims or pretensions to be so, Christ didn’t even reprimand him.

    With Erdogan also, there is no pretension whatsoever. The man is a muslim. No claims to being a Christian are coming from him. Therefore, it wouldn’t really be appropriate for Patriarch Bartholomew to even reprimand him.

      • And sadly this is why Orthodoxy is nothing more than a regional eastern European religion. It’s obvious no other peoples or nation can numerically or politically surpass the Greeks in the Orthodox sphere. So we will never see a China or a Nigeria or a Vietnam or even an America become majority Orthodox. The old world patriarch will go out of his way to dismantle such an Orthodoxy as it would threatens his mini ortho- hegemony.

        • “It’s obvious no other peoples or nation can numerically
          or politically surpass the Greeks in the Orthodox sphere.”

          Numerically? Russia. Politically?
          Once it was Jerusalem that was first…

    • With Erdogan also, there is no pretension whatsoever. The man is a muslim. No claims to being a Christian are coming from him. Therefore, it wouldn’t really be appropriate for Patriarch Bartholomew to even reprimand him.

      Yet, he felt he had to write a letter of support for Erdogan’s invasion of Syria…

      • Gail Sheppard says

        RE: “Therefore, it wouldn’t really be appropriate for Patriarch Bartholomew to even reprimand him.”

        Since when has that stopped him?

      • Joseph Lipper says

        Operation “Olive Branch” was basically muslims fighting other muslims though. While that’s never a good thing, it’s mostly outside the competence of a Christian religious leader to intervene in any meaningful way. While it’s true that Patriarch Bartholomew could have been silent, in this particular case and with Erdogan’s government, perhaps silence could have been self-jeopardizing for the EP.

        Patriarch Bartholomew’s letter in support of Erdogan is still consistent with an Orthodox Church recognizing that the oversight and military protection received from a non-Christian government is itself ordained by God.

        Also to be expected, Christian religious leaders in Syria denounced the military invasion of Turkey and showed their support for Assad’s mostly non-Christian government and military:

        Again, this is a major reason why we have autocephalous churches, as opposed to a papacy that has Christians all over the world commemorating a First Hierarch who lives in a foreign land.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Joseph, let’s be honest. Even if Istanbul was really Constantinople and the president of that republic was an Orthodox Christian who ruled a Christian Anatolia, neither Bartholomew nor any other Orthodox patriarch would stand up to the legitimate authority. It’s simply not in the C’politan DNA.

          At least since the Fall in 1453, the fabulously wealthy Greeks who inhabited the Phanar district in Cpole were very careful to groom poor boys who were effeminate mediocrities and/or bootlickers for the priesthood/episcopate. Consider the fact that in over 500 years, they hardly ever sent one of their own sons into the clerical orders.

          They did this because they had privileged positions within the Sublime Porte and they didn’t want any resolute Christian preacher to upset their applecart.

          • Joseph Lipper says

            George, yes, let’s be honest. Not just a few of the Constantinople patriarchs were declared saints. Many of these saintly patriarchs rebuked the Christian political leaders of the Byzantine Empire, and even suffered deposition and exile for doing so.

            Visitors to the Phanar today will notice the closed gate at the entrance. This was the gate where the sainted Patriarch of Constantinople, Gregory V, was hung, martyred by Turks in 1821 as retaliation for the Greek War of Independence. The patriarch was completely innocent of this war too, having personally condemned the revolutionary activities of the Greeks. Patriarch Gregory V was nonetheless blamed for the war and martyred for being a Christian. Ever since, that gate has remained closed in honor of him.

            • True, Joseph, but lets not forget that some of the worst heresies in Church history also came from that same See.

              Not just a few of the Constantinople patriarchs were declared saints.

              As for Bartholomew being an agent of the SD, I’ll reiterate what I previously posted:

              With Turkey’s seeming to move further away from the West/NATO bloc and more towards the Russo-China sphere I would bet Bartholomew is getting mighty nervous.

              The more Erdogan and Turkey become more hostile to Western powers the more the Phanar is going to increasingly feel isolated, more-so than it already is.

              If it’s true that the president of Turkey has a hand in picking who the Ecumenical Patriarch is (correct me if I’m wrong) then that would partially explain why Bartholomew was picked in 1991, when I believe Turkey was in the process of “Westernification.” Bartholomew was western educated so he spoke the language so it would have been advantageous for Turkey to have him.

              Now, when Bartholomew reposes, or goes into schism, and seeing that the pendulum seems to be swinging the opposite direction, will we see Turkey approve a new Ecumenical Patriarch that is more aligned with Russia?

              With the approval of Erdogan will Russia be officially setting up a Exarchate in Turkey?

              I watched the video from The Duran and it will be interesting to see how Russia deals with Turkeys incursion into Syria and like Alexander said “Erdogan always overplays his hand.” So we shall see.

        • He praised it because he is a servant of the State Department. There was a chance the operation might get TR back more firmly with NATO and against RU.

        • “Perhaps Silence could have been self jeopardizing for the EP”

          And yet he would have been willing to go to prison to condemn the Russian SMO.

          Uh huh. Sure he would. I might believe in his ‘Christian courage’ if he ever once takes a firm stand against any Western power’s political interest.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Generally speaking, I don’t consider men who use the term “generally speaking” to be courageous.

            Especially when it comes to baby-killing.

            • Joseph Lipper says

              Paradoxically, if he had said Orthodox Christians are generally speaking pro-choice, that statement could just as easily be confirmed by the fact that abortion is currently legal in every polity with a majority Orthodox Christian demographic.

              Is it at least some relief that he didn’t say, “Orthodox Christians are generally speaking pro-choice”?

              • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

                RE: “abortion is currently legal in every polity with a majority Orthodox Christian demographic.”

                That is correct, Mr. Lipper. It is also true that the number of abortions in most, if not all, of the historically Orthodox nations has declined significantly since the early 1990s when their Communist regimes succumbed to peaceful revolutions–a miracle in itself.

                Nonetheless, the governmental support for abortion today (even when polls indicate opposition to the practice by some Orthodox majorities in those countries reveals clearly that the moral rot of abortion introduced by the former Communist regimes in the 20th century and perpetuated to the present is still deep. Unless those Orthodox populations rise up and end
                that abomination as a national policy (as the USA is on the verge of doing via the imminent U.S. Supreme Court decision, the collective spiritual stain on those Orthodox populations will remain as a scarlet letter (A).

                I suggest that you pray for a positive outcome in accordance with our Orthodox moral tradition instead of trying every which way to avoid your own moral duty concerning this paramount issue.

  2. There are Russophiles who feel that hell was made for Bartholomew and his minions. This gives him far too much credit and consideration. Bartholomew’s only power comes from the Phanar’s status as an agent of the American Deep State, loyally doing its bidding. This goes back many decades. The actual historical territory of Constantinople only contains a few thousand Greeks. In fact, at least before the war, there were more Russians in Turkiye than Greeks.

    His cash cow is GOARCH – and whatever he gets from DC. Apart from the ancient title of first among equals and these other factors, he is powerless. He has no moral authority among traditional Orthodox, only a cafeteria section of the modernists. Everything he is doing indicates he intends to depart for a Unia with whomever will follow.

    Which brings us to Black Hole 404, aka the Ukraine. Bartholomew has invested a lot of gravitas in creating a pseudo-church there. Yet it is being slowly overrun by the Russians. Of course he’s as mad as a wet hornet. What is his little cult over there going to do when the Russians break the Ukrainian army decisively and they occupy and/or control the whole country? Will the new sheriff in town be tolerant of the schismatics? I think not. In all likelihood all their churches, not just the ones they have stolen, will be turned over to the UOC. And that will be that.

    So of course he’s cursing the name of Patriarch Kirill. Bartholomew told the Russians what he would do and they heard him. Now they’re showing him what they will do and he will feel it.

    • His cash cow is GOARCH – and whatever he gets from DC. Apart from the ancient title of first among equals and these other factors, he is powerless. He has no moral authority among traditional Orthodox, only a cafeteria section of the modernists. Everything he is doing indicates he intends to depart for a Unia with whomever will follow.

      As the finances, and parishioners themselves, continue to rapidly siphon out of GOARCH you have to imagine that the utters on that cash cow are increasingly drying up.

      The authority that Bartholomew has is only as much as the Church as a whole says that he has and the Church seems to have resoundingly said over the past couple of years that he indeed has no power or moral authority to tell anyone what to do. Outside of the Greek Churches he appears to be largely ignored.

      If he officially goes into Unia in 2025, which seems like it was the plan, then ciao see ya later, the Church will outlast him as it has every other heretic or schismatic. But, 2025 is a long way off and God can have other plans. The Russian SMO has changed the world dynamic so who knows what that will hold.

  3. The hits just keep on coming for Bartholomew.

    With Turkey’s seeming to move further away from the West/NATO bloc and more towards the Russo-China sphere I would bet Bartholomew is getting mighty nervous.

    The more Erdogan and Turkey become more hostile to Western powers the more the Phanar is going to increasingly feel isolated, more-so than it already is.

    If it’s true that the president of Turkey has a hand in picking who the Ecumenical Patriarch is (correct me if I’m wrong) then that would partially explain why Bartholomew was picked in 1991, when I believe Turkey was in the process of “Westernification.” Bartholomew was western educated so he spoke the language so it would have been advantageous for Turkey to have him.

    Now, when Bartholomew reposes, or goes into schism, and seeing that the pendulum seems to be swinging the opposite direction, will we see Turkey approve a new Ecumenical Patriarch that is more aligned with Russia?

    With the approval of Erdogan will Russia be officially setting up a Exarchate in Turkey?

    I watched the video from The Duran and it will be interesting to see how Russia deals with Turkeys incursion into Syria and like Alexander said “Erdogan always overplays his hand.” So we shall see.

  4. This is interesting.

    Gonzalo Lira noticed that Rossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, mentioned in a talk at Davos that the Ukrainians had enough fissionable material at Zaporozhie at the beginning of the war to make several nuclear bombs. Rossi simply said it in passing but the Ukies jumped all over him about it, apparently. It hasn’t been reported in the West. However, he had specific amounts and details of refinement.

    Now, if you put that together with Z’s remarks in Munich about pulling out of the treaty where Ukraine agreed to forsake any nuclear weapons program, you get the picture that the Russians may have been quite concerned about this, among other matters, and that this was one impetus for the invasion.

    • George michalopulos says

      Yet another wrinkle.

      The whole thing becomes curiouser and curiouser if I may say so myself.

      • George,

        Well, the Ukie troop concentration for the Donbass assault, the weapons biolabs targeting ethnic Russians, and Z’s repudiation of the Bucharest Memorandum together with stockpiling weapons grade fissionable material (which is no accident) – they all point to the Ukraine being a toehold, forward base for NATO aimed at conquering and dismembering the Russian Federation.

        The thing is that you cannot believe anything at all coming out of Washington. They are lying constantly, as is the press, and they say one thing and do another as a matter of policy. They never state, except by accident, what they really believe and what they really intend. It is, indeed, as Putin described it: An Empire of Lies. I believe that this is a result of the infantilization of higher education (probably, at least partially, as a result of feminism) and thus the mindset of the political class.

        In any case, consider this, also from Gonzalo. He makes essentially the same point that I have since the beginning of the war in February. Europe is going to undergo a change of management as a result of the economic warfare. And the new managers are going to have to make peace with Russia and break with the US in order for Europe to survive. Because it turns out that Europe cannot survive without Russian energy and grain, but Russia can get along fine without Europe at all. All the power in a relationship lies with the one who cares least.

        Consider this the soft conquest of Europe by the Russians, who have been playing 3-dimensional chess to the US/NATO’s tic tac toe.

        If Gonzo is right, it will take time, but not much. Winter is on the horizon. And winter has indeed been a faithful friend to Mother Russia. My own guess is that it will take longer to achieve political change in the EU and that it will be a rough winter but, sooner or later, continental Europe will end up in the Russian camp as a matter of survival.

        • I don’t think he likes being called ‘Gonzo’.
          He mentioned it in his takedown of Scott Ritter.

          Anyway, for what it’s worth, I agree with both of you.
          Europa will crawl away from Uncle Sam
          into the embrace of Mother Russia – or she will die.

          But what will become of Airstrip One?

          That is another question…

          • Brendan,

            Yeah, I saw that after writing the above. Seems like a natural contraction to me, but that’s up to him.

      • PS:

        While the above comment suggests how the economic war between the West and Russia will likely end, we also have some indication now how the war in Ukraine will end. The recent “demands” for a ceasefire by Washington from Russia may signal the way that hostilities eventually conclude. Once the Russians have all the territory they want, they can say to the Ukrainian government that they are willing to agree to a ceasefire along the then existent lines. This would not be a peace treaty, nor would it be an official concession of territory by Ukraine’s government – merely a ceasefire. If the Ukrainians refused, Russia would continue gobbling up Ukrainian territory until they reconsider and then the ceasefire would be along the new lines.

        Then, things would have a chance to cool off. Russia would be satisfied with the territory it then controlled. Ukraine would be satisfied that at least, by letting the ceasefire stand, it would no longer be losing territory or men. Bear in mind, the Korean War remained settled by a ceasefire for decades.

        • Misha,

          What are your thoughts on this:

          It looks like the diocese in Crimea, Donetsk & Lugansk have been asked to be received directly into the ROC.

          As Russia continues the it’s SMO and continues to move towards Odessa do you think we will essentially see Eastern/Southern Ukraine absorbed into Russia and those respective diocese received into the ROC? I would imagine what is left of Ukraine after that will still fall under Metropolitan Onuphry.

          This may explain the decisions of the UOC in their meeting from 5/27.

          What are your thoughts?

  5. Anonymous II says

    See the world’s double standard? Not a peep. In fact, it’s ‘antisemitic’ to sanction and publicly question much about it…

    Israel Warns It Will Use “Right To Self-Defense” To Keep Nukes Out Of Iran

    In a meeting with IAEA chief Rafael Grossi on June 3 in Jerusalem, Bennett accused Tehran of deceiving the world about its atomic activities. Bennett “expressed Israel’s deep concern regarding Iran’s continued progress toward achieving nuclear weapons while deceiving the international community by using false information and lies,” his office said in a statement.

    The Israeli leader “emphasized the urgent need in mobilizing the international community to take action against Iran, using all means, in order to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons.”

    Bennett’s warning comes amid stalled efforts to revive a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers aimed at preventing Iran from developing atomic weapons. The landmark deal lifted most sanctions in exchange for Iran’s curbing its nuclear activities.

    The deal collapsed after President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the agreement and reinstated biting sanctions on Iran.

    Efforts by the administration of President Joe Biden to revive the deal began in Vienna in April last year but have since fizzled out.

    Grossi’s visit came after the global nuclear watchdog on May 30 said it still had questions that were “not clarified” despite long-running efforts to get Iran to explain the presence of nuclear material at three undeclared sites.

    Bennett said Israel prefers diplomacy but “reserves the right to self-defense and to action against Iran in order to block its nuclear program should the international community not succeed in the relevant time frame.”

  6. George Michalopulos says

    A brilliant insight from Dmitri Orlov (courtesy of The Vineyard of the Saker):

    “The strategy of blaming it all on Putin has backfired grandly in both the Ukraine and in the West and will continue backfiring, eating away at the social fabric and demoralizing the population. But that’s not all! This strategy is also immensely helpful to Russia. Ignoring the obvious thought that anything that is detrimental to the West is automatically beneficial for Russia, there is another, much more significant benefit that this strategy provides to Russia directly: it works to raise Russia’s, and Putin’s, prestige in the rest of the world, which is already much more important to Russia than the West will ever be again.”

    • George,

      Consider what happens when China (and India) become dependent on Russian energy. Let us assume that things will go the way we have been commenting in Europe and that they will figure out, sooner or later, that they need Russian energy and grain to survive. Yet in the interim, Russia is increasing its exports, oil in particular, to China and India. As these countries become ever more accustomed to relying on Russian oil, etc., their industrial infrastructure will increasingly adjust itself to steady Russian import, just as Europe did over previous decades. This entails solidifying flows that originate in Russia and foregoing flows from other sources and structurally shutting down those avenues.

      Now, ordinarily, you would think China and India would be wary of creating the same situation in their countries as Russia did in Europe. But what is the downside for them if the Russians are on the same page with them with respect to the political nationalism which dominates all three countries? They are not trying to control Russia as Europe has been.

      Yet, there is a question of who leads the Troika. China has more economic power and India is simply along for the ride due to its anti-colonial sentiment. But Russia has the military power of a vast nuclear arsenal and now its economy will be firing on all cylinders. What I think is likely is that its role of oil supplier to China and India will give Russia the leverage to counter any Chinese advantage stemming from its stronger economy.

      Of course, it is not a burning question so long as China and Russia agree. But nuclear (including tactical nuclear) superiority combined with the economic advantage of being the Troika’s gas station puts Russia in the driver’s seat, so long as it does not become arrogant. But of course, it has no ambitions in South Asia and the South Pacific, unlike China.

      I can see these three being the first iteration of Huntington’s regional hegemons in their respective spheres, but with Russia being the “first among equals”.

      • Unlike the idiot UK and USA ‘leaders’,
        I do not see Russia trying to outsource its manufacturing;
        to then rely on a ‘service’ economy (ie: taking in washing).
        That ceases to be profitable when others can provide services cheaper…

        Thatcher was warned of this decades ago,
        but the Lady was not for listening…

  7. Μωλον Λαβε says

    Apparently RF recovered 30 tons of plutonium from the Zaporizhzhia power plant – which was not reported except for the fire that was supposedly started by RF. I found reference to this in the comments section of an article by Gonzalo Lira on “” but I cannot confirm. v=Egpkp9BlFyc”>
    It was also mentioned that the Hanover plant in Washington has only produced 60+ tons of plutonium in the last 20 years or so. Did this plutonium originate before the last plutonium production plant in Russia shut down in 2010 ?
    Every gram of radioactive material has a distinct signature and can be traced back to where is was originally developed.
    Vewy, vewy interdasting. The level of obfuscation in the media is dizzying.

    In other non-verifiable news and wild-ass guesses….. I think most of the EU leaders are hearing galloping horse hoofs and are trying to negotiate back-room deals with Russia hoping to get an approving nod. Once Russia turns off the gas (a favorite ploy by KGB, FRS in the past to suppress grumbling) cold and hungry people marching on the presidential palaces and seats of government are the last things that politicians want to see before they are dragged off to “la guillotine”

    If I may be so bold as to propose a prediction (as I affix my magic turban)…..
    US military presence in Europe (and elsewhere) and NATO will be dismantled once the US economy implodes. One has to cut losses somewhere – something like the guns OR butter economy – not both. Either way, the US will have a major problem, perhaps recall all troops back to the US to suppress any insurrection or the natives getting restless and meanwhile losing their global hegemony on the rest of the planet.

    Yes, vewy, vewy, interdasting.

    Keep reloading, keep praying. it will be GO time soon my precious.

    • Hanover plant or Hanford plant in Washington?

      • Μωλον Λαβε says

        Perhaps Hanford ? I may have been in error.
        I have read where this plant had a dismal safety setup. I’m not sure if the Westinghouse plutonium came from this plant but I read that this plutonium was of inferior quality to be used by the Russian or Ukrainian nuclear power plants. – Again I read this from comments on “”


    This is an interesting turn of events.

    Met. Hilarion Alfeyev has been removed as the head of the DECR and is being moved back to Hungary to head that diocese, that’s quite the step back for him.

    • ‘…quite the step back for him.”

      Not necessarily. Perhaps he would rather
      run a Diocese than a Foreign Office…

      • George Michalopulos says

        Interesting. The headline indicates that this was a rebuke. Having said that, Hungary (as well as Turkey) have stepped up to the plate and done some major solids for both the RF and the ROC.

        This may be a way of Moscow strengthening ties with Budapest.

        • Maybe Viktor Orban wants to bring his people back into the Church and Metropolitan Hilarion has been given that responsibility. Papist Hungary will repent and be reconciled to Christ in the chilly waters of the Danube, with Patriarch Hilarion of Budapest and All Hungary presiding and Saint Stephen looking down from heaven.

          • Protestant Orban + Catholic Hungary + Met. Hilarion = Orthodox conversion?

            Hey, stranger things have happened.

            I’m sure we will eventually find out why he was moved, you don’t just move from the head of the DECR to a country with a handful of parishes for no reason.

            I’d love to see it, I love Hungary and Budapest is one of my favorite cities. St. Stephen cathedral is amazing.

        • Somebody else is on the way out – the UK PM.
          Boris Johnson was guaranteed the ‘loyalty’ of thepayroll vote
          (about 120 Ministers, Junior Ministers, Parliamentary Private Secretaries etc).
          If they didn’t resign before the vote (and they didn’t) they all voted for him.
          Therefore, of the Backbenchers in the House of Commons
          about ninety voted for him as against 148 who voted against him.
          He is a general with officers but whose footsoldiers are in revolt.
          The Good Ship Boris may still be afloat (for now)
          but she is holed below the waterline and taking on water.
          Soon the men in the grey suits will come and advise him to quit.
          They did it for Theresa May not long after she ‘won’ her confidence vote;
          and she got a bigger majority than Boris did.
          And if he doesn’t resign, his Ministers will
          and then he won’t have a government.
          Boris is finished.

          • George Michalopulos says

            It’s ironic isn’t it? The massive sanctions placed against Russia, with the purpose of driving Putin from office are having the opposite effect, are they not?

          • Agreed. HIs nay votes were too high for him to survive. It may be August or later though before the Conservatives manage to elect a new leader and he is formally replaced as PM. But he is definitely a lame duck. And that will send reverberations throughout the EU. Now, both the UK and Estonia will have been destabilized by the sanctions blowback. The German govt’s days may also be numbered.

            • There is no obvious replacement,
              so he will stagger on for a while,
              authority leaking from his wounds day by day
              until nothing is left but the empty husk of a PM;
              who once had a massive majority in the House,
              but wasted it completely on lockdown, sanctions and war…

    • If the Orthodox Times article is accurate as to causation, it is a demotion for cause.

      I’ve never been fond of Met. Ilarion of Volokolamsk. Too western minded. I suspect that there will be a cleaning out of overly westernized elements within the govt (though some have already left) and the ROC due to this turning away from the West. All in all, that is a positive development.

      • Speaking of Orthodox Times, it looks like the Macedonians are trying to get two Tomoi of autocephaly?

        One from Serbia and one from the EP.

        I guess this may signal which camp the Macedonians are in, but I could be wrong

        • A tomos from Serbia would make Ohrid
          autocephalous with Ohrid as its head.
          A tomos from the EP would make Ohrid
          ‘autocephalous’ with the EP as its head,
          just like the ‘autocephalous’ OCU…

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says

        Huge loss for the ROC. Very big mistake. Krill messed up and if he did this along with the Holy Synod is no different and no better than the EP and his Holy Synod. God will not allow his Holy Church to be controlled by securely forces. God is neither Greek or Russian. God is God and He will not be mocked.

        Peter A. Papoutsis

        • I don’t think the ROC is controlled by security forces. The problem seems to have been that Met. Ilarion was downplaying and undermining the excommunication of those Greek churches which recognized the pseudo-church schismatic entity which Pat. Bartholomew attempted to normalize. Doing so without proper consecrations and against the will of its mother church from which it is in schism is completely unorthodox.

          There is a dichotomy – or was a dichotomy – in Russian thought, both within the Church and within the government regarding the West. There are those who have tended to be more deferential to the West and those who have seen more clearly that the West simply does not have Russia’s best interests at heart (to put it mildly). With the West’s current antics in the Ukraine, the pro-Western faction has collapsed or converted, by and large.

          The Phanar’s involvement in the Ukraine is primarily political – it is a functionary of the US State Department. Undermining Russia’s stance regarding the Ukrainian schismatics is a 180 degree about face for the Phanar which apparently did so out of visceral hostility to the ROC, prompted by DC.

          But you are right, God is neither Greek nor Russian and He will not be mocked.

          • Peter A. Papoutsis says

            If you actually think that the MP is NOT controlled by the Russian Federation then we have nothing more to talk about. I will leave you to your fantasies. God love you.

            Peter A. Papoutsis

        • I agree with Misha on this one. Metropolitan Hilarion was a weak link in the MP’s hierarchy. He might be a brilliant and gifted individual whose books are generally pretty good, but he has a whole host of bad takes on ecumenical and social issues. If he truly was in line to be the next patriarch, then it’s a good thing he got dropped. This opens up doors for better, more traditional, candidates like Metropolitan Tikhon.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            Plus, he has said: “The Russian Orthodox Church warned that those who refuse to be vaccinated against COVID-19 are committing a sin they will have to repent for the rest of their lives.” That’s not true.

            Speaking to TV channel Russia-24, the head of the Russia Orthodox Church’s Department for External Church Relations, Metropolitan Hilarion, explained that his parishioners regularly repent to him for not being vaccinated.

            They come and say, ‘How am I supposed to live with this now?’ And it’s hard for even me to say how to live with it,” he explained. “All your life, you have to make up for the sin you committed. . .

            “The sin is thinking about yourself instead of thinking about other people,” the metropolitan said. “We are responsible – each of us – not only for ourselves and not only for our loved ones, but also for all those who come into contact with us.”


          • George Michalopulos says

            As much as I admire him (and he is bloody brilliant), this take-down might be what is necessary for his own salvation. And the future of the Church in Hungary.

            In the end, it could very well be a win/win.

            • George,

              For those who think the MP is a puppet of the Russian state, take a look at the latest anti-sodomite propaganda law proposed in the Duma:


              So who’s wagging what dog? It appears that the Church is in the driver’s seat regarding the culture propounded by the state. What does Putin or the upper echelon of the ruling elite care about LGBTQ+, except insofar as they are influenced by the Church? It is rather a concern of the Church and the wider Russian culture.

              Abortion is another example. Abortions in 2021 were down to 400,000 and the govt intends to halve that by 2025.

          • Peter A. Papoutsis says

            I completely disagree. He was well balanced and a gifted cleric. We break communion over heresy not canonical disorder. Lord haver mercy Petros!

            Peter A. Papoutsis

            • Gail Sheppard says

              I think you meant Basil, not Petros. Canonical disorder is heresy.

              • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                I respectfully disagree. Love you.

                Peter A. Papoutsis

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  Like in court, it’s more a matter of the strength of your case.

                  This is the definition of heresy: “Heresy is any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs or customs, , in particular, the accepted beliefs of a church or religious organization. The term is usually used in reference to violations of important religious teachings, but is also used of views strongly opposed to any generally accepted ideas.”

                  This issue is strongly at variance with established customs and the accepted beliefs of the Church because it involves succession.

                  In Pat Kirill’s case, he said and did nothing, publically. This was his crime! We have no idea what he may have said to Putin about scaling back on the war. Nor do we know Putin’s response. Putin, the leader of the operation, on behalf of Russia, may have ordered him to keep his opinions to himself.

                  We are asked by the Church to respect the wishes of our civil authority. If Putin told him to be quiet, he would have had to comply.

                  That Met. Kirill failed to meet the expectations of the Ukrainians to champion their side in a political campaign involving the ruler of his country, is not a reason to stop commemorating him. If Ukraine stops commemorating him, they interrupt the diptychs which are very much part of our tradition and belong to all of us, unconditionally.

                  No hotheaded Ukrainians are going to be allowed to change the Church.

                  If they have a problem with their bishop, the normal course of action is to take it up with him. If he does not listen, they are to go to his brother bishops on the synod. If the synod feels he is out of line, they can take him to spiritual court.

                  What you can’t do is refuse to acknowledge him! This is not done in the Church, and frankly, it’s just plain unChristian! That it was allowed, temporarily, out of economia, is understandable given their was a war going on, but it is not something that one expects to continue.

                  ROC rearranged things so they could more quickly bring order back to the Church. I commend them for the sacrifices that were made by Metropolitan Onufriy and Patriarch Kirill and those who supported them.

                  But this changes nothing. The laity does not get to make decisions for the synod. They can make recommendations. They can express how they feel. But no priest is expected or allowed to act on the whims of the people in his parish with respect to how he commemorates his bishop whether the laity likes it or not.

                  If they don’t like it and refuse to take the proper steps to address it, they are free to leave the parish. But it’s not fair to the rest of the Orthodox Church to take latitudes that negatively impact the order of the Church, because it doesn’t fit nicely with their political agenda. No one has that right and if a priest goes along with it, or encourages it in any way, he should be sanctioned by his bishop.

                  • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                    Ok here it is:

                    I believe in one God, Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

                    And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages; Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten, not created, of one essence with the Father through Whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became man. He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried; And He rose on the third day, according to the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father; And He will come again with glory to judge the living and dead. His kingdom shall have no end.

                    And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Creator of life, Who proceeds from the Father, Who together with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified, Who spoke through the prophets.

                    In one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.

                    I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

                    I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the age to come.


                    Point out the heretical violations that caused communal break between the Greek Church and the Russian Church? Between Jerusalem and Qattar? Between Serbia and Macedonia? I can’t but if you can let me know because NO ONE has violated the Nicean Creed in any of these situations. Unless that happens it’s not heresy and communal break is not warranted by anyone.

                    Again God is not Greek or Russian but simply God and neither Greek and Russians Churches shou6be listening to their secular rulers but only to God. Unfortunately neither do and judgment will be passed by Almighty God on this matter.

                    Peter A. Papoutsis

                    • We’re not Nicene minimalists, friend. There’s another 1700 years of Church history, councils, canons, and experience to build our judgements on. After all, the heretical monophysite “churches” adhere to this exact same creed.

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      Basil says
                      June 10, 2022 at 9:47 pm
                      We’re not Nicene minimalists, friend. There’s another 1700 years of Church history, councils, canons, and experience to build our judgements on. After all, the heretical monophysite “churches” adhere to this exact same creed.

                      REPLY: Greeks and Russians, and Serbs and Macedonians and Jerusalem and Qattar Monophysites??? Heavens Basil almost everyone is a heretic according to you! Lord have mercy!!!

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      The creed is very important.

                      But it’s like being accosted at the mall by an earnest teenager asking you to read off a 3X5 card that you give your life to Jesus so you can be “saved”.

                    • Peter… George holds you in high regard for your work in many fields, and I agree with him. I’m going to guess you’ve had a few sleepless nights or something, because you seem to have difficulties comprehending what is going on here.

                      Re-read what I posted and you’ll eventually figure out that I’m not talking about the Greek, Russian, Serbian, Macedonian, Antiochian, or Jerusalemite Orthodox Churches, neither of which are monophysite.

                  • If you want a rundown of the canonical basis for the ROC’s excommunication of the Phanar, you will find it here. But the issue with Met. Ilarion is only indirectly related. Undermining the seriousness of the Phanar’s schismatic conduct (let alone the sine paribus heresy which inspired it) is disloyal conduct to the ROC and UOC-MP. The reassignment should be seen not so much in light of the uncanonical sins of Bartholomew, et al., but in light of Russia’s pivot away from the West and toward the East.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      Agreed. This is an excellent summary. Thank you! I bookmarked it.

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      If you can tell me where the heresy is I will listen. So called Encroachments on canonical territory is nit heresy. Basically what you are all saying, and I get plenty of sleep Basil, that when I stand before Christ to be judged he will condem me or anyone for that matter, for a canonical encroachment or canonical violation that had NO BASIS in renouncing the Gospel, Divinity of Christ, His Resurrection, etc., is that correct??? Ok you stick with that. I’ll stick with the Gospel and the Creed. I bid you peace.

                      Peter A. Papoutsis

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      OK, we’re done with this discussion. No fruit is possible here.

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      BTW, Misha and Basil, here is the other side of the story just to make sure we all understand proper Orthodox Ecclesiology and who really broke communion (i.e. the MP) and why.


                      I have and continue to criticize the EP but I also criticize the MP as well as he also deserves the blame. No one is clean here. No one!

                      Peter A. Papoutsis

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      Do you know who puts out this website?

                    • When your enemies are busy destroying themselves, it is a good policy to stay out of it and thank God.

                      The Democrats are mismanaging America to such an extent and degree that they are threatening their own existence as a viable national party.

                      Bartholomew is mismanaging his patriarchate to such an extent and degree that he has already incurred the excommunication of the largest Orthodox church on earth, representing around half of world Orthodoxy. His schismatic cult in Ukraine will also go the way of the dinosaur shortly as Russia extends its control of Ukraine. Lastly, he is alienating the Greek local churches – the Church of Greece and Alexandria – from the rest of world Orthodoxy on the way to proclaiming a Unia with Rome in 2025 (where he belongs), thus officially leaving the Church and apostatizing.

                      So, from the Russian perspective, there is no cause for alarm at all. Everything is working out by the hand of Providence.

                    • Misha,

                      Thank you for your thoughts. I think that you are exactly correct.

                      I enjoy reading your thoughts and wisdom here – it is reassuring and centering! Thank you for posting here.

                      Happy Pentecost!

                    • You flatter me, FTS. You’re more than welcome. If I didn’t get some satisfaction out of it, I wouldn’t do it.

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      Misha says:

                      “Bartholomew is mismanaging his patriarchate to such an extent and degree that he has already incurred the excommunication of the largest Orthodox church on earth, representing around half of world Orthodoxy. His schismatic cult in Ukraine will also go the way of the dinosaur shortly as Russia extends its control of Ukraine. Lastly, he is alienating the Greek local churches – the Church of Greece and Alexandria – from the rest of world Orthodoxy on the way to proclaiming a Unia with Rome in 2025 (where he belongs), thus officially leaving the Church and apostatizing.”

                      Ha! Russians always think they are the center of the Orthodox Church. . . Besides Moscow broke communion thus The Russian church is the official schismatic!

                      Has the rest of the Orthodox Church broke communion with the EP? Church of Greece? Church of Serbia? Albania? Antioch? f I remember correctly it was ROCOR that was schismatic for many, many years!!! Oh the Russian propaganda Misha is thick!

                      . . . the EP did wrong but was not heretical. Russia just got pissed off and threw a hissy fit and broke communion. So what??? You think this will some how make the the MP the defacto Ecumenical Patriarch, which is what he wants because of all the 3rd Rome BS. Misha the Orthodox Church is not Russian nor Greek its Orthodox and Christian. . . .

                      Peter A. Papoutsis

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      Do you know how much I hate editing comments?

                    • I thought this conversation was over? Peter keeps making the same assertions (“you’re calling everyone heretics” “Russia is the real schismatic” “Russian propaganda”) over and over again, without actually engaging with anything anyone is actually writing here. This is really tedious and is not going to go anywhere unless he actually responds to what we write, and not what he thinks we are writing.

                      I used to enjoy his input but my respect for him has plummeted these past few days. Attempting to reduce our entire tradition to the Creed is a borderline Protestant approach to the Church. As I wrote earlier, there are 1700 more years of historical development within the Church, more safeguards erected against heresy, and more canons promulgated against malpractice. To ignore any of these is ignorance at best, sheer folly at worst, and a sure-fire way to have absolutely no basis for properly comprehending what is actually going on in the Church right now.

                    • I haven’t directly addressed Peter since he said he had nothing more to say to me if I didn’t agree that the MP was controlled by the Russian state (I don’t). I replied at that time “So be it.” and have not aimed any comments at him. He is simply playing the troll at this point. Which is fine. Who cares?

            • I don’t deny that he was pretty well balanced and extremely gifted – I prefer his theological works to those of Hierotheos of Nafpaktos, for example, but he flirted too much with extreme ecumenism and made some, quite frankly, borderline heretical statements at times.

              Canonical disorder may or may not be heresy in an exact sense, I will leave that up to others to decide, but it’s the beginning of heresy at the very least. Dioscorus wasn’t deposed for heresy but for canonical disorder, after all, but look what that led to.

              • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                Pay attention Basil and Misha:


                • Gail Sheppard says

                  The Church is not the Antichrist.

                • Peter, you shared a link from a group that is actively trying to destroy The Church.
                  You ought to quit while you are WAY behind.

                • Powerful words from Fr. Rose.

                  “Mere correctness in Orthodoxy without a loving Christian heart will not be able to resist antichrist, and in fact even those who recognize (intellectually) antichrist will bow down to him if their hearts are cold…

                  “We must develop in ourselves the right Christian feelings and instincts and put off all our fascination with spiritual comforts, the spiritual comforts of the Orthodox way of life, these external things which are good in themselves — but are secondary.

                  “Or else we will be — as one discerning observer of present-day converts has observed — we will be Orthodox but not Christian.”

          • LonelyDn says

            Metropolitan Tikhon of the OCA?

          • Met. Tikhon (Shevkunov) would be an excellent successor to Kirill as patriarch.

  9. I guess we can now say with some confidence that he probably won’t be the next Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia. This seems like an exile.

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      Or maybe a blessing. God is still working in His Church.

      Peter A. Papoutsis

  10. Petros,

    I assume that all of the Donbass and probably all of Novorossiya (along the southern coast) will be absorbed by Russia pending referenda in the various political units there. Probably a number of the UOC dioceses there will follow Crimea and request to come directly under the MP.

    As I remarked several days ago, it is possible to see the recent decree of the UOC synod as allowing MP friendly dioceses to go their own way (aka, abide by the former charter). Given the uncertainty in the new borders and territory of the Ukrainian state (if any), the situation is fluid. I expect that Ukraine will continue losing territory and as it becomes ever clearer which way the wind is blowing more dioceses will seek refuge with the MP.

    My guess is that the Russian military will continue destroying the Ukie military and gobbling up territory until it has taken the entire Donbass region, Zaporozhiye, Kharkov and, to the south, Odessa all the way over to Transnistria. Likely then it will offer a ceasefire but, if the ceasefire is refused, it will continue pushing west. I also think it is likely that disarmament and the turnover of nz’s will be part of any offer of a ceasefire.

    Theoretically, the Russians could push on to Kiev and Lvov. Once the lion’s share of the Ukrainian army is destroyed or decommissioned in the Donbass, there is precious little to resist any subsequent Russian advances. But I think the West is getting cold feet and will pressure Zelensky to agree to some type of negotiated settlement. The sticking point will be that the Russians are not going to give up the territory they have taken in Novorossiya (the southern coast). They’ve already committed to annexing this territory. You can tell by the replacement of the ruble as the new currency and the Russian flags over the government buildings.

  11. George Michalopulos says

    Looks like the Ukrainian lands are going to be incorporated directly in the RF and the dioceses contained therein are going directly under Moscow as well.

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      Yeah that was a forgone conclusion. The West should never have provoked this war. A lot of blood is on the West’s hands. Lord have mercy.

      Peter A. Papoutsis

  12. Abp. Viganò: Pope Francis has chosen
    his new cardinals for their ‘corruptibility’

    ‘ … It is therefore not surprising that an authority that is based on blackmail surrounds itself with people who are vulnerable to blackmail, nor that a power exercised on behalf of a subversive lobby wants to guarantee continuity with the line that has been undertaken, preventing the next conclave from electing a Pope rather than a vaccine vendor or a New World Order propagandist.

    I wonder, however, which of their eminences who dot the foul-mouthed press with their colorful nicknames and the burden of financial and sexual scandals would be ready to give their lives – I do not say for their boss in Santa Marta, who would of course himself take good care not to give his life for his courtiers – but for Our Lord, assuming that they have not replaced him in the meantime with the Pachamama. … ‘

    Dogmatic disputes (etc) aside,
    can you imagine this man as EP?
    What a three weeks that would be…

    • Gail Sheppard says

      There are rumors that he is going to retire like Benedict. Supposedly this week. I guess there will be 3 popes when he retires, not that that guy is the pope. He’s no more the pope than Biden is Biden. I don’t know what’s going on, but these people are different.

  13. Russia throws “nuclear weapon”: It takes away
    the recognition and independence of the three Baltic states!

    From now on, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia will be designated as
    “Former Soviet Socialist Republics” and Russia will have rights over them!

    ‘ Russia responds with a real “nuclear weapon” in the diplomatic field to the anti-Russian hysteria of the Baltic states, their refusal to accept and understand the defense of the rights of Russian-speaking Ukraine, but mainly to NATO expansion to Finland and Sweden. as independent democracies of the three Baltic states!

    And so it calls into question their membership in the alliance, while acquiring the right to intervene in their territory.

    The State Duma, ie the Parliament of Russia, has submitted a bill to denounce and withdraw the recognition of Lithuania’s independence, which means that now Lithuania, with its strong Russian-speaking community of about 40%, must return to the Russian state!

    We remind you that Lithuania left the USSR in 1991. with the 1991 decree of the USSR State Council “On the Recognition of the Independence of the Republic of Lithuania”.

    The bill was tabled by a member of parliament from the United Russia party, Putin’s party, Yevgeny Fedorov.

    The specific MP considers that the decision of the State Council of the USSR was illegal, since it was taken by an unconstitutional body and in violation of the requirements of a series of articles of the then Constitution.

    In addition, the bill states that the law “On the process of resolving issues related to the secession of a union democracy from the USSR” was violated , as Lithuania did not hold a referendum on secession from the USSR and did not set a transitional period to the issues at stake.

    “Thus, in view of the fact that, according to Article 67.1 of the Russian Constitution,” The Russian Federation is the legal successor of the USSR in its territory… “the resolution of the State Council of the USSR No. “OS-1 is subject to cancellation,” the bill said.

    The bill now calls for the repeal of this decree,

    Next are the smaller democracies, Estonia and Latvia.

    With the approval of the bill, Russia will no longer recognize the independence of these states, will not recognize its passports and borders.

    In Russian official documents it will appear as the territory of the former Lithuanian SSR.

    In order to achieve this process legally, some secret protocols were signed, which were signed in 1991 and referred to acts and actions that the Baltic democracies should have avoided if they did not want to cancel the recognition of their independence from Russia.

    Thus, the State Duma of Russia tabled a bill repealing the resolution of 6 September 1991 on the recognition of Lithuania’s independence.

    Russian media had reported a few days ago that if the Recognition is lifted, ” A new term will appear in the Russian official documents – the territory of the former Lithuanian SSR. The idea is quite precise and comprehensive, characterizing the quasi-state formation, which is modern Lithuania “. That was the case in the case of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, FYROM,

    And they add:

    ” Ultimately, Russia must realize, first of all for itself, that the recognition of the independence not only of Lithuania but also of the other Baltic republics was another mistake made in the heat of the collapse of the USSR by interests fighting Russia.

    Yes, more than thirty years have passed. Yes, all these years we have somehow interacted with the official agencies in Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn. There were talks on borders, diplomatic contacts, and even high-level meetings. ‘

    Of course, if it were Churches rather than Countries,
    claims would lapse after thirty years.
    Oh! Wait…


    Looks like Bartholomew is still peddling his filth, this time on Athos. Surely these monks are more well informed.

  15. Just realized today is the Feast of St. Bartholomew, the EP’s name day.

    Wonder if we will have a surprise rainbow liturgy with Elpidohphoros at St. Barts in Manhattan….or….maybe last year was such a PR disaster they won’t touch that with a 10’ foot pole again.

    Also, according to Helleniscope it looks like GOARCH will be re-adopting the 2003 Charter, not sure what all that entails, but, there are some interesting tidbits in that article and it seems to allude to some, including clergy, being fed up with Elpidohphoros and this will be brought up at the Clergy-Laity Conference next month.

  16. Μωλον Λαβε says

    What is happening with the various Orthodox “flavors” are just roadside distractions. All works of the old bastard. The Lord has the matter at hand. Just continue praying and communion with Our Lord regardless of which Orthodox liturgy you attend, The Lord is present.
    Focus on what you can do here and now on the matters you have some conrol over and let The Lord take care of the rest. We can all sit at the same table, break bread and give thanks.

    • It’s critical to understand that he who communes in a parish of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese partakes of the same cup, by extension, as Abp. Elpidophoros and Pat. Bartholomew. The communicant thereby reaffirms in a tacit manner that he is in full Eucharistic communion – quite literally – with those two hierarchs and that he is ultimately under their authority. Not only that, he gives quiet ascent to the heresy of primus sine paribus, the errant idea that Constantinople has special powers that allow him to trespass into foreign ecclesiastical territories like Ukraine and divide the one Church. If Gail is right in declaring that Bartholomew has ipso facto left the Church by his schismatic actions, then that puts GOARCH’s legitimacy into question. Let’s not fool ourselves, shall we? Rather, let’s take our thinking to its logical conclusion and act accordingly.

      Today is the feast of Pentecost. The Holy Ghost is certainly capable of overruling a rigid theology. He may indeed be present in the temple and cup at GOARCH liturgies, but I for one do not have the faith to affirm that hope beyond a doubt. Some informed believers may live in the hinterlands where there is no Eucharist of another canonical jurisdiction of which to avail themselves, so we can only hope that the Holy Spirit grant an indulgence of grace to those who know better than to darken the doors of a Greek parish but have no recourse within a reasonable distance.

      • Lawrence,

        I agree. Here in Texas our archbishop Peter has allowed us to go to the wonderful Holy Archangels Monastery in Kendalia because there are no other significant monasteries around – and he has allowed our faithful to be buried there – but it pains me that Holy Archangels and the other Elder Ephraim monasteries in America remain in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese with its terrible leadership. The monks are wonderful and I love the monastery. If only it would leave the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.

        It also pains me that my beloved church in Pennsylvania in the Carpatho-Russian diocese where I first encountered God all those decades ago, it still remains in the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

        With time, things will play out with more clarity. Yes, it does seem that the Patriarchate of Constantinople has been and still is moving away from Christ’s church. But it is painful to live through this and to experience it in real-time. But I think that God wants us to feel the pain and to be aware of it so that we go to Him for comfort. I don’t think that he wants us to numb out from it or to pretend that the pain does not exist.

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          Yeah EP is not going anywhere. Not that stupid. May not like what it does but it’s not going anywhere.

          Peter A. Papoutsis

      • Μωλον Λαβε says

        The Lord knows his own. These distinctions between the “Orthodoxies” are made by men. If these are a manifistation by Our Lord I don’t think we have discerened clearly yet and need to humbly strive harder to be one in the Holy Spirit.
        As for myself, I choose to accept the Holy Communion at any Orthodox liturgy rather that turn my face away from God because of man-made differences. The Lord is the only and final judge.

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says

        yeah but Moscow actually broke communion so technicly Mocow is the schismatic.

        Look the EP precipitated this fiasco, but Moscow could have been the bigger man in this and was not. Now Moscow is the official schismatic so there you go.

        Not excusing the wrongs the EP did but The MP didn’t have to play into the EP’s hands. They both screwed up. Now the rest of the Church will have to clean up their mess. A council, local or ecumenical, will resolve this. Lord have mercy on us all

        Peter A. Papoutsis

        • Mr. Papoutsis,

          Having spent a few recent years in a Greek Orthodox parish, and having served on the parish council, I have to reject the moral equivalence that you imply. Constantinople is the party in the wrong. Abp. Elpidophoros is a gracious man, but his doctrine of primus sine paribus runs counter to Orthodox conciliarity. The damage that this thinking has done in Ukraine is inexcusable.

          There is a secular spirit that pervades the Greek Archdiocese that is inimical to the humble obedience to Tradition that should characterize an Orthodox jurisdiction.

          The abandonment of public worship by whole parishes during the so-called pandemic was a cowardly capitulation to the propaganda cranked out by Tony Fauci and the public health bureaucracy. I called it “religious Covidianism”, i.e., the notion that 1. Obedience to the local magistrate is more important than faithfulness to Tradition, and 2. One’s physical health was more important than the salvation of one’s soul. That was an object lesson that set a poor example for our youth and drove thousands out of the Greek parishes.

          I could go on, but I’ll stop there. Please, sir, I have witnessed the decimation of the Episcopal Church of my rearing both here and in her sister Nippon Seikokai in Japan, due to the onslaught of secular humanism. As FTS has expressed above, it is painful to watch this happen to one’s own jurisdiction as it becomes tainted and to not be able to do a damned thing about it other than to pray and complain. You have said that a council would fix the problems that Constantinople has caused, but the current occupant of that throne refuses to call one. Meanwhile, Moscow will increase its holdings overseas and the schism will metastasize.

          I came to the decision that I would not prostitute myself any further by continuing to support the Greek Archdiocese, so I left in protest and switched to a parish of another canonical jurisdiction. If I had stayed, I would have allowed myself to succumb to sloppy thinking and a misplaced loyalty. It’s my opinion that those who stay in the GOA are doing the same. In time, they too will be tainted by the zeitgeist if they aren’t already.

          • It is a savage indictment of the Orthodox immigrants who have largely and almost completely failed to pass the Orthodox faith to their children. What would their ancestors think when they see their unrecognizable grandchildren and great grandchildren, who have not only abandoned Orthodox Christianity but Christianity in general? Would they have still come, knowing that their Christian heritage would be lost faster here that under the Turks or the Communists? Or that our Christian “Leadership” would be so powerless to stop it? It’s depressing, the people that are keeping Orthodoxy alive are the Converts.

            Mr. Papoutsis – I live in NJ and remember when virtually every Greek diner had at least one icon by the cashier. NOW THEY ARE ALL GONE. How about that for a legacy?

          • I definitely agree with Lawrence.

            One’s lived experience is a good and valuable teacher. When I wanted to be with Christ but saw the GOA parish turn into a carnival at festival time with amusement park rides, funnel cakes, clowns, etc. — it’s plainly just not right. I get it that some view these festivals as important fundraisers but seems that much of their justification is to avoid tithing and instead turn the church into a carnival, to get local townsfolk to pay for the parish while it’s used as an amusement park.

            I realize that probably not all GOA parishes do this, but it’s downright silly for those who do. Bishops should not permit it.

            It’s been described to me that, to a certain extent, the GOA experience is similar to the Jewish-American experience in that some view the point of the religious body is to provide support to Greek-Americans as they pursue the American dream. This is how many American synagogues operate for American Jews. The point is not to convert people to Judaism, but to support Jewish Americans as they work to make money in America.

            The Orthodox faith is supposed to be different — our Christian faith is universal, meant for everybody. Everyone is meant to meet and live in Christ. There’s a clear evangelism purpose to our churches that Jews do not have (the only missionary faiths in the world – where spreading the faith is a clear part of it – are Christianity and its heretical offshoot, Islam).

            I get how this reality can be triggering for some Greek-Americans, but Peter, it is what it is. True, for those in the GOA who care, it’s a noble effort to try to clean one’s own house if that house is able to be saved. But many traditional Episcopalians did not find that their house could be saved and thus got on a lifeboat to elsewhere.

            I don’t know what the outcome will be with the GOA, but as of late many forces have suggested that the GOA and the Patriarchate of Constantinople have hitched their wagon to the forces of western secularism and modernism and are not interested turning from this course. They seem to prefer to trust in the US State Department and in NATO rather than in their brothers in the faith. The Church cannot persecute itself, so when Constantinople persecutes the saintly Met. Onuphriy’s canonical Church in Ukraine (which its fake church creation has done for the past 3 years or so), well, one side is in the Church and one is not. We are not stupid and can figure it out. It’s not hard to discern these truths.

            I would love to be incorrect about this, but regardless, it is painful and sad.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              I think when Bartholomew passes, the schism will be buried with him.

              I don’t mean to be indelicate, but the reality is the Russians have no beef with the people in the Greek Church. Their problem is Bartholomew.

              After his reign passes, we’ll go back to being one Church and the schismatics will have theirs. It’s not like this is the first time a church has claimed they are the True Faith when they’re not.

              • I don’t mean to be argumentative, Gail, but my experience of my former Greek Orthodox parish would indicate that the problem is much deeper than old Bart’s schism. That’s assuming that my parish was representative of most, and I may be totally wrong. It’s a secular spirit that makes light of the Faith while it takes the worldly authorities too seriously. A ROCOR priest that I know well spent a recent year in Greece. He admired the spirituality of the Church there, but he doesn’t have the same regard for the GOA.

                As a former Episcopalian like me, you surely can understand the apprehension that I feel when I pick up the current vibe in the GOA. I have a hypothesis that serves as a rough barometer for spirituality, i.e., frequency of confession and severity of penance. Some GOA priests may require regular confession, but that was not my experience, and I have my doubts about the majority. Again, I may be wrong. ROCOR priests, on the other hand, have a stricter policy and use it to guard access to the chalice. In other words, they set a high bar, not out of vindictiveness, but out of concern for the soul of the communicant and obedience to holy Tradition. I’ve found the level of piety in ROCOR to be in stark contrast to that in the GOA. I am generalizing from my own experience, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

                The observations of the secularizing trend by Gene B and FTS above are statements with which I concur. Bart’s schism may go away when he goes away, but the tendency to laxity and heresy will remain in the GOA after his passing since it has inherited his spirit. And, if Elpi is coronated as his successor, I don’t see any reason that the schism will go away. I hope that I’m wrong, but I have an uneasy feeling that I’m not.

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  I can’t speak to the myriad of problems in the GOA, but nobody but Bartholomew wanted to bring in the OCU. Few recognize it and those who do are only recognizing it because of the hold Bartholomew has on them. Most ignore them and I think that will continue only more so without Bartholomew.

                • My experience with the GOA is different than that, I’ve had very good experiences. There are of course secularists in every parish whether it be ROCOR, Serbia, Antiochian, etc., and the GOA is no different.

                  It may be a geographical thing but here in the Southern U.S they seem to be top-notch, at least the ones I have been to. One of the best parishes I have ever belonged to was in the GOA and conversely one of the worst parishes I’ve lived near was Antiochian.

                  My problems with the GOA have never been on the priest/parish level, they have always been on the bishop/patriarch level.

                  I will comment that is is crazy to me how GOARCH is so drastically different from the Churches of Greece & Cyprus in general and the Greek Archdiocese of Australia in particular. I have some misgivings about Archbishop Makarios but as a whole the GOAAustralia is much, much better than GOARCH.

  17. The political fallout of the war against Russia is beginning to build up. Not only do we have inflation, even rationing, exacerbated by the Western sanctions together with a downward spiraling economy in Europe, but now the political stability of govt’s is starting to be affected. The Estonia govt collapsed. Boris Johnson and the conservatives in the UK are on the ropes. He did not prevail by a sufficient margin in his confidence vote to maintain the viability of his government. There is increasing instability in Bulgaria. And, finally, in France, parliamentary elections appear to be depriving Macron of a working majority, though they have only completed the first round.

    Bear in mind, Russia has not begun to retaliate economically at this point, but only insisted on a gas for rubles arrangement to bolster the ruble. It has only cut off those countries who do not comply. My guess is that the Russians want to get the war to a point of stability before they unleash economically on the West. Winter is coming. And many contracts will expire before the end of this year. Will they be renewed? On what terms?

    Meanwhile, contrary to almost all Western expectations, Russia’s economy is doing just fine. The ruble is considerably stronger than it was when the war began (then in the 70’s, now in the 50’s). Interest rates have been lowered in the past week or so down to pre war levels (9.5%). And even McDonald’s is reopening under new management and name.

    The West didn’t think any of this through, obviously.

    The same holds true for Bartholomew and Co., assets of the State Department and CIA. They are seeing the country they tried to turn against Russia being gobbled up steadily by the Russian army. The MP has excommunicated them and much of world Orthodoxy has sided with the MP insofar as the canonicity of the UOC is concerned and the uncanonical nature of the OCU. The Amman synaxis was the occasion at which most of world Orthodoxy (the seven local churches of Jerusalem, Russia, Serbia, Czech Lands and Slovakia, Romania, Poland and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church) affirmed the sole jurisdiction of the UOC in the Ukraine and the place of Metropolitan Onuphry as Ukraine’s primate. Initially, Antioch accepted the invitation but then pulled out due to the dispute over Qatar and heavy Phanariot lobbying. Nonetheless, Antioch too does not recognize the OCU. The fact that the rest of these churches have not excommunicated the Phanar is a matter of remarkable economia, not canonical order.

  18. George Michalopulos says

    For too long, we have been fed a line of horse-sh!t about how Russia is “a gas station with nuclear weapons.”

    Well, this is bogus:

    “If you have labored under the false narrative that Russia is an economic midget trying to play with the so-called “first world big boys”, these facts show that you have been fed a massive, false narrative. Russia’s natural resources exceed those of Ukraine. A united Russia and Ukraine represents a true economic powerhouse. Those two countries actually make things and have the internal resources necessary to produce them. The United States and Europe do not. And there are no stashes of alternative supplies in other countries capable of replacing what Russia and Ukraine mine and harvest. This is why the United States and Europe are desperate to weaken Russia. The writing is on the wall for all to read.”

    • George Michalopulos says

      Also, go here:

      The question is why is Ukraine the poorest country in Europe when it could be the richest?

      Answer: Oligarchs.

    • Unfortunately, the downside to all this is that we live in the West and are going to have to suffer, to one extent or another, for the foolishness of our elites. Gas is exorbitant, energy costs are rising, we have shortages of baby formula and feminine products, and the night is young.

      I too take some comfort in the failure of the West to conquer Russia, but the attempt will cost us all.

      • Agreed, I’ve been storing food and seeds getting ready for the winter, just in case. As we saw with Covid all it takes is for people to start panic buying before everything runs out. Luckily that hasn’t happened yet, at least in my area, but I wouldn’t be shocked if it did.

        I keep thinking about Elder Ephraim’s prophetic words on why he built monasteries in America as a spiritual refuge for when America collapses, or something to that effect.

  19. Looks like we are approaching a new dynamic on this. According to Intel Slava Z posts on Telegram, the Russians have 1) started converting the local currencies to Rubles 2) Cancelling Ukrainian debts, 3) opening offices to offer Russian passports and 4) have transferred the Orthodox Dioceses to the MP in the territories they are taking. It seems to be moving fast – they are not giving those territories back. Of course, nothing in the western press.

    • Gene,

      Yes, the West has essentially acknowledged that the Russians have won and it only remains to be seen how far they will go. Virtually no one in DC or the UK is talking about Ukraine winning anymore but about propping them up to aid in settlement negotiations. The Russians are not going to give up an inch of Russian speaking territory that they have occupied – and they are expanding.

      Biden recently started hurling criticism at Zelensky. This may be the preface to a coup. DC has signaled that it is now up to Ukraine to decide to exchange territory for peace but Z is not getting the memo or else ignoring it. The nz thugs around him probably do not want to contemplate any such thing. DC may end up getting rid of the whole kit and kaboodle of them, installing a new government that they can direct to negotiate an effective surrender. The Dems want no part of another humiliating defeat in light of their already dismal prospects in November.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Misha, that would assume that the Dems are not clinically insane. Yes, they’re terrified of the shellacking they are going to get but they are so inbred that they don’t know where the brakes, the clutch or the gearshift on the car is.

        That’s what decades of living in The Swamp will do for you.

        • This is true, George. Few of us would have predicted that they would behave as foolishly as they have so far.

      • DC may end up getting rid of the whole kit and kaboodle of them, installing a new government that they can direct to negotiate an effective surrender.

        That’s if the Russians don’t beat them to it. I’m assuming that’s the plan for the Russians as well but could be wrong.

        If this is the plan the U.S has, I’m not sure they’ll get the new president installed and set meetings before the Russians take Odessa, and at that point I’m sure they won’t even care.

  20. George Michalopulos says

    It looks like Patriarch Theophilus of Jerusalem has thrown in his lot with the Russians: