Patriarch of Constantinople’s Letter to Archbishop of Greece: Defrock & Sever Communion with those Opposed to our Council in Crete

Source: Orthodox Ethos

Troubling and Divisive Intervention into the Internal Affairs of another Local Church latest show of Papal Pretensions

In divisive fashion the Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew, is demanding that the Archbishop of Athens and the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece depose and excommunicate leading hierarchs and clergy of the Church for their opposition to the “Council” of Crete and its innovative organization and decisions. The Patriarchal letter names first of all, the one-time representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Protopresbyter Theodore Zisis, professor emeritus of Patrology, as the supposed “ring leader,” but also implicates “those under him” who traveled with him to the Churches of Georgia, Bulgaria and Moldova before and after the Cretan gathering. The Patriarch demands that, in the event of their persistence in rejecting the “Council” of Crete, they be defrocked and excommunicated, according the canonical akriveia

The Patriarch goes further and states that similar action be taken also against two well-known bishops, the Metropolitans of Piraeus, Seraphim, and Kalavryta and Agialeias , Ambrose (or Amvrosios), for their exposure of the Cretan “Council” as innovative and unorthodox in its decisions. If the Church of Greece refuses to act accordingly, the Patriarch informs the Archbishop, he and his synod will “sever ecclesiastical and sacramental communion with them .” This last statement is perhaps the most significant aspect of the Patriarchal letter, for it would be unprecedented for the Holy Synod of a Local Church to cease communion with particular hierarchs of another Local Orthodox Church. It would raise serious questions as to status of communion between the two Local Churches and the reach of the canonical authority of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Furthermore, it may also actually serve to isolate not only the two hierarchs in question but rather the Ecumenical Patriarchate itself, depending on the reaction of the Church of Greece and other Local Orthodox Churches. If early reports are indicative, which has the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece deciding not to respond at all to the Patriarch’s demands, resistance to these Papal pretensions, and the Patriarch’s further isolation, have already begun.

The Letter of the Patriarch

Most Eminent Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, our Lowliness’s greatly beloved brother in Christ and concelebrant IERONYMOS, President of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, embracing Your Venerable Eminence brotherly in the Lord, we greet you most-warmly.

It is confessed by all that our Holy Orthodox Church—the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church—has determined and declares its dogma and polity in Holy Councils, local, more-wide, Greater, or Great and Holy, and in Ecumenical Councils. The synodical decisions arrived at through the descent of, and in the Holy Spirit represent a single voice as the Holy Chrysostom declares writing that, “there ought to be but one voice in the church always” ( Homilies on First Corinthians .36.[9]).

We recall this ecclesiological and canonical principle–that matters are to be examined and decided upon synodically–which is the cornerstone of the life, saving mission, and witness of our Orthodox Church in the world, for both Your Very Beloved and Most-Diligent Eminence and the Most Holy Church of Greece, and, in light of our responsibility as Ecumenical Patriarch and President of the Holy and Great Council which assembled in Crete, and as guardian of the dogmatic and canonical order of the Eastern Church, we call Your attention to the following serious issue which troubles us personally together with the Synod of the Mother Church.

Information from a variety of sources comes to our Ecumenical Patriarchate and to our Lowliness personally each day telling us that through the internet and other means of information, and by visiting other sister Orthodox churches, Protopresbyter Theodoros Zisis along with those clergy and laity who are of like mind with him are calling brother Primates and pastors, and particularly the devout Orthodox faithful, to rebel against and question the decisions of the Holy and Great Council of our Orthodox Church which assembled blessedly and successfully in Crete, where the contribution of Your Dearest Eminence and of the delegation of the Most-Holy Church of Greece was foundational and instrumental in this success.

As if the unholy work of this small number of clergy and laity–injurious to consciences and provoking scandal–within the Most-Holy Church of Greece was not enough, we have received information (which as of today has yet to be disproved) telling us that a delegation under the aforementioned clergyman has visited the Most-Holy Orthodox Churches of Bulgaria and Georgia, as well as the ecclesiastical diocese of Moldova, where it stirred up the faithful and was unfortunately received by the brother Primates and Hierarchs of those churches. Moreover, according to this information, this group presented itself as conveying the consciousness of the Church of Greece during its visit to Georgia.

Surely Your Eminence and the Holy Synod of the Most-Holy Church of Greece agree that those things deliberately and irreverently spread and circulated by these clergy and laity are, in the words of Saint Basil the Great, “…poisonous drugs for souls…and as drunken brains…” the speakers of these words “…cry out full of fancies from their condition” ( Letter 210: To the Most-Eloquent citizens of Neo-Caesarea .[6]). Moreover, “…[in order] to rend asunder the Church, to be ready for rivalry, to create dissension, to rob oneself continuously of the benefits of religious meetings–these are unpardonable, these do demand an accounting, these do deserve serious punishment” (Saint John Chrysostom, Against the Jews .3.[13]).

Unfortunately, through the stance they have adopted, even brother Hierarchs of the Most-Holy Church of Greece–for example the Most-Holy Metropolitans Seraphim of Piraeus and Amvrosios of Kalavryta and Agialeias–have, through writings circulated seasonably or unseasonably, and above all through their objectively extreme words spoken both prior to and following the Council, conspired with this well-known group against the canonical Church and the decisions of the Holy and Great Council which met in Crete. They who act in this manner surely forget that, “…those matters which have been considered and decided upon synodically are better and more sure than those conclusions arrived at on one’s own” (John of Kritos, Answers to Constantine Kavasalis, Archbishop of Dyrrachios).

We therefore beseech Your Eminence and the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece which participated in the Holy and Great Council of Crete, and which collaborated in its decision and co-signed all the conciliar texts, to enforce the decisions of that Council which decreed that these texts are binding upon all Orthodox faithful—clergy and laity alike (See The Canonical Organization and Operation of Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church, 13.[2]). We ask you to take appropriate measures and to issue the necessary admonitions to the aforesaid clergy and to the specific roots of this group that they might cease from their anti-ecclesiastical and uncanonical activities, cease from scandalizing souls “for whom Christ died,” and cease from causing problems in the united Orthodox Church.

It is well known to all that, “Nothing so provokes God’s anger as the division of the Church” (Saint John Chrysostom, Homilies on Ephesians. 11.[13]) like those that are occurring on account of the conduct of the aforesaid persons. We do not doubt that Your Eminence and the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece wish to do what is right, what is in accordance with canonical akriveia , and to make the appropriate ecclesiastical exhortations and admonitions to the aforesaid clergy and laity, threatening with deposition those who do not comply as is enjoined by the Divine and Holy Canons for the curing of wounds caused in the body of the Church by such conduct, thereby leaving no room for “scandal.”

Likewise, connected with this, we fervently beseech Your Eminence to turn his attention in particular to those brother Hierarchs of the Most-Holy Church of Greece who have provoked turmoil amid the people of God through their actions and encyclicals, such as the aforementioned Metropolitans of Kalavryta and Agialeias and Piraeus, saying that if they should not stand aright and come to themselves, the Ecumenical Patriarchate will respond to the problem which has arisen by severing ecclesiastical and sacramental communion with them, invoking the shared responsibility and obligation of all Orthodox shepherds to safeguard the unity, peace, and the unified witness of the Orthodox Church.

We denounce the above with pain of soul and grief in our heart, before the bounds of the right to freedom of expression and constructive criticism is overstepped and this unholy work becomes worse and more difficult to cure. We entrust what we have said to the conscience of Your Love and that of the reverend Hierarchy of the Church of Greece, and we close with deep love in the Lord and exceptional honour.

18 November 2016

The Beloved brother in the Lord of Your reverend Eminence, Bartholomew of Constantinople


    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      Today is the day the EP officially became the Eastern Pope. Schism is now a matter of when not if, and the Greek Old Calendarist Church will not only swell with new members, but as the years have passed, and now today, the Old Calendarists have been vindicated.

      They suffered, bled and died, but this Greeks knew what was coming. The Old Calendar was the symbol of resistance, not the main issue. They have preserved Orthodoxy and their mysteries have grace. To say otherwise now flies in the face of facts and reality.

      I am utterly ashamed and scandalized by the EP’s behavior. Completely way out of line. We cannot be forced to accept a council that is false and was disgrace to Orthodoxy.

      May God have mercy on us all. What an incredibly sad day.

      Peter A. Papoutsis

      • Peter, I suspect you have already left the GOA and joined an Old Calendar church, if not, your statement is rank hypocrisy. I trust you will enjoy the grace present only in the Old Calendar Churches.

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          but I do not talk to anonymous people so reveal your name and we can talk. Otherwise there will be no discussion.

          • Peter,

            No worries. Johnkal is just slinging poop, it’s a Vatican thing.

            God’s in charge.

          • Peter. Is Helga, and Jim of Olymp, not anonymous, yet you communicate with them? Umm, never mind. I’m sorry I guess I’m off limits too?

            Sincerely yours,

            • Peter A. Papoutsis says

              Cowards hide Dino. I leave it up to each individual to find their spine and communicate in the open. I ask once and even twice, but after that I stop communicating as it encourages them.

              • Trust me Peter, I’m no coward, but more than that I am not a fool. This blog is great, but nothing is greater than the safety of my wife, and children. Even a one percent chance of putting them in harms way is not worth a conversation with you. No disrespect to you, but I will never post my last name.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              Dino, they could CREATE an incident and I’m not sure they wouldn’t go that far to get their way. Trump’s election has huge ramifications across the entire globe.

              • Gail, ask yourself who is “they”, once you figured that, ask yourself can whoever they are, do it without, exposure. Short of God forbid an assassination, Trump will be our President in January. Legally there in nothing anyone can do. The left will always attack Trump, just simple politics.

          • Of course, when it is convenient you don’t respond but when it is convenient you do respond. Don’t tell me you never respond to anonymous posts because you do. In this case your hypocrisy is obvious. Based on what you say you should be in an Old Calendar Church. I am curious which of the many Old Calendar options you would choose. The Old Calendarists are as divided as the many Protestant sects in the USA. Maybe you should join the Pantelimon group/sect in Boston.

            • Peter A. Papoutsis says

              This will be the last time I respond to you as you will not reveal yourself and are nothing but a coward. So reveal your name and I will talk to you. Otherwise, buzz off. There will be no other response to you.

              • Peter don’t know if I was to buzz off or Jonkal, but as a fellow Greek you know family comes first. As much as I enjoyed your posts, i will never post my last name. Not you, but some nut job might knock on my door because he’s not into my views. Again sorry, as I truly enjoyed communicating with you via Monomakhos. Merry Christmas, and Xronnia Polla.

                Yours in Christ,
                Constantino, but my friends call me Dino

                • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                  It was for Johnkal.

                  I understand. I disagree as that can happen at anytime during the day we express our views. However I understand.

                  Take care Dino.


            • George Constantine Michalopulos says

              As moderator of this blog i can tell you that Peter always uses his name. Often at great detriment to himself I might add.

              • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                This is true. However I know of no other way to live but in the open. It has been and always will be a matter of honor with me. Although I am very glad of certain guardian angels that protect me from time to time.for this I am eternally grateful.

              • George, I get it. I simply don’t want my wife or child opening the door to some fruit loop with an axe to grind with me. How Peter conducts his business is his own, I respect his, as he should mine.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Absolutely. I wasn’t taking you to task for remaining anonymous/pseudonymous. I was taking Peter’s critic to task for accusing him of something he hasn’t done. That’s all.

                  As long as anon/pseudonymous posters keep it real and non-inflammatory, they’re welcome to comment to their heart’s content.

                  • Not really truthful. You are like a news organization and pick and choose the winners and losers by who gets to speak. Even the best intended comments get tossed by you George. This is an echo chamber.

              • And I can confirm that “often at great detriment to himself” part. What’s up with this fresh approach to blogging at Monomakhos — some of you have begun stating things that are actually true. Very disorienting. Especially from you, George! But keep it up, please! I’ll cope!

      • St. Gregory the Theologian

        Disagreement motivated by piety is superior to concord held together by sentiment. (Oration 6.11)

        Hieromonk Seraphim of Platina

        “In a way, we welcome this robber-council, for it will perhaps be so obviously anti-Orthodox that some will see it and withdraw from that ruinous path. That is another reason for the True Orthodox Christians to be not fanatical but moderate, holding a path of true Orthodoxy and not sectarianism in the face of such temptations.”

        • What is more damaging to our churches?Should we rush into schism against the EP, and those who who follow him? Or find a peaceful, and prayerfully reached conclusion with him. Those who rush into war or schism within our churches will no doubt regret it.

          Many our leaving our churches, why rush into schism, giving the laity one more big reason to leave?

          If schism occurs, and our secular world continues on the dangerous paths with no solutions in sight, perhaps this generation or the next will be the last. Blessed are the peace makers………..

          • George Michalopulos says

            Wise words Dino. But Bartholomew’s power grab must be repudiated. The question is how? My guess is that the Church of Greece should just round-file his startling letter.

            • Ted Treadwell says

              The key is the MP. He must stand up and say, “Russia has the most Orthodox while Istanbul has maybe 1,000. I, Pat. Kirill, am assuming the role of ‘First Among Equals!’ We will be holding a Universal Orthodox Council at Christ the Savior Cathedral on Pentecost 2017 to affirm this and discuss Orthodox unity!”

              • Anyone self proclaiming themselves the leader is never a good idea, Ted.

              • Ted,

                No, no, no. One does not “assume” the role of first among equals. One is granted that role by ones brother bishops in council. All bishops are created equal. There is no higher charisma in the Orthodox Church. The protos is an administrative position, essentially. Someone has to call, lead, set the agenda, etc. Each synod has one. Constantinople has the designation at this point due to the fact that Rome left the Church in heresy. If Constantinople were excommunicated, the protos would fall to Alexandria.

                The only way for the Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus to assume that position would be for a Great Council to change the order of the diptychs.

                I would suggest that the way forward might be for the Church of Greece to take the lead in the resistance to the acceptance of Crete. The Archbishop of Athens could simply politely refuse to do as he was advised by Patriarch Bartholomew. Then the impetus would fall to the Phanar to excommunicate whomever they wish. Then GOARCH or the eparchies or parishes constituting it would have to decide if they wish to remain under the Phanar or Athens.

                I should state the obvious: If the Phanar is in this mindset regarding the two bishops of the Church of Greece, then it is a foregone conclusion that they intend to excommunicate all those who refuse to accept Crete including Antioch, Russia, Bulgaria, Georgia, etc.

                What else could possibly be the case? The die is cast, apparently.

                Let them begin hurling anathemas and excommunications. It makes them look bad. I assume that is what Russia is thinking. Perhaps it should be what Athens and the bishops in question are thinking, as well as Met. Hierotheos.

                Patriarch Bartholomew is making this easy.

              • Mark E. Fisus says

                Trump’s election would make the climate more friendlier for such an assumption of leadership by Moscow.

            • I agree 100% George. Perhaps the EP can retire in the same fashion, he had the Archbishop Iakovos retire. True Karma, that would be! They should put his letter in the circular file, I agree as well. Most importantly, and without much fanfare, a vote of no confidence should reached by our church leaders, and ask for his retirement.

              Thankfully or not, not sure? Most of our laity does not know what’s happening in our local churches, let alone our EP’s lack of leadership. More big bad press, about our church is the last thing we need. Quietly retire the EP, and let’s move on building our church to the true glory it deserves!

              • Dino, your post seems to infer that this blog can dismiss, or force into retirement the EP. Right or wrong most of the laity in the GOA, and I suppose those in the other canonical Orthodox churches, endorse dialogue with the RC Church. Most members of the Orthodox Church don’t care about the calendar and can worship our Lord in Spirit and In Truth in an old or new calendar church

                • Johnkal, I do not believe this blog, or the GOA general laity can force the EP into retirement. A vote of no confidence would have to come from our Bishops. No doubt our Wealthy donors, Archons, and Leadership 100 members could also put pressure on our Bishops, and some Archbishops. Sadly our leader’s attention seems to only fall on wealthy donors.

                  I’m sure there are many luke warm laity member in the GOA who would think it cool to be in communion with The Roman Catholic Church. Perhaps it would make them feel more American , I don’t know.

                  What I do know is the Orthodox Church would go into schism, and splinter in many different directions. A new type of protestant reformation would occur, for us Orthodox Christians, while the the Roman Catholic Church would grown in numbers, as their members are devoted to their Pope. IMHO

              • Saunca, Most of what you say is true, except change has never come from the laity in general. I can only give you a GOA perspective. I personally know what deaf ears our Bishops have. Even our priests will fall on deaf ears most of the time. Not to mention most priests don’t want to rock the boat with their Bishops/Bosses. UNLESS! One is well connected, or wealthy, and I don’t me rich, I mean really wealthy, and of course our Archons, or Leadership 100 members, they are the only laity members that have any power to influence our Bishops. Unfortunately many of our Bishops only seek Wisdom from deep pockets.

            • I would prefer to let the Greeks deal with the Greeks. Moscow may want to stay out of this and just carry on with more important business. If Constantinople makes any demands of Moscow or ventures into the Ukraine, that’s another thing entirely.

      • Jim of Olym says

        The Patriarch of Constantinople proves himself to be an expert at proof-texting the Fathers of the Church! Along with setting himself as the Pope of the East!

      • Old Calendarist schismatic churches are not an option for any Orthodox Christian! The EP’s letter is awful, but betraying the canonical Church on his account would put your soul in peril.

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          For Greeks there are. It was the EP that pushed them to it and if schism occurs in the GOAA over this where do you think the mass of Greeks will go? Also what they separated over seems more and more correct or do you like the ecumenism and modernist heresy?

          I am still in the GOAA and will remain unless and and until the hammer of schism is dropped, but to say the Old Calendarists are not an option is wrong.


          • It is probably accurate to say that the Old Calendarist Greek Churches are simply in a state of akoinonesia with the “canonical Orthodox” rather than broken away from the Church. This type of rupture sometimes happens as it has between, for example, Antioch and Jerusalem (regarding Qatar) or Constantinople and Athens (regarding the administration of four provinces in Northern Greece). That is how I tend to think of the breach between the MP and ROCOR after the Bolshevik Revolution. Some of the Greek Old Calendarists accept that the New Calendar local churches have grace but nonetheless believe they need to separate for the sake of right belief and right practice. That has always been Abp Chrysostomos of Etna’s position.

            Though I eschew all New Calendar churches, the Antiochians do not seem to be decisively compromised at this point. It is hard to say regarding the OCA but I know that the Diocese of the South has a more or less pro-traditional aura, with reservations. I can’t say regarding their new bishop, however.

            Difficult times.

            Russian traditionalists have a practice called “walling” that served well in difficult times. I assume that it will be reinstated where it has been relaxed in response to modernist shenanigans.

            • Peter A. Papoutsis says

              Yes, I agree. Perfect.

              • I always emphasize moderation to Old Calendarists/True Orthodox, especially owing to the fact that the Old Calendarists of Greece trace their succession to a New Calendarist Romanian bishop in ROCOR named Theophil Ioanescu. Yes, ROCOR had New Calendar dioceses in the past. I likewise emphasize moderation to New Calendarists, because if the Old Calendarists are graceless schismatics then many of our Saints and jurisdictions have erred grievously. For instance:

                “on March 13, 1956, the Greek Old Calendarist Archimandrite Petros sent a petition to Metropolitan Leonty requesting that St. Markella’s parish be accepted into the Metropolia. He began the petition by pointing out that some of the autocephalous Orthodox Churches had accepted the New Calendar, but that “part of our people, like our parish, refuses to accept this New Calendar and deems it to be one of the methods of Roman Papism tending to the final goal of conquering the Autocephalous Eastern Churches and integrating them into Western Roman Catholicism.” Petros continued, “We know, that the Russian Orthodox Church of America keeps faithful to the Julian Calendar in the same way as we do.  Therefore, we ask your Holiness to accept our humble petition. Last year our venerated Archbishop Chrysostomos [of Florina] closed his eyes in Athens, and we are left without a Bishop’s guidance and blessings. We are aware that it is necessary to have a Bishop in order to keep the Holy Apostolic Faith.” The matter was referred by Resolution No. 602 of the Great Sobor of Bishops to Bishop John of Detroit and Cleveland for investigation. Bishop John followed up on this action on June 8, 1956, when a meeting was held between him and the now five petitioning parishes… That the Council decided that since the petitioning Church was with the Julian Calendar that the Metropolia deemed it advisable to help these churches in some possible manner.” This decision was officially confirmed by Bishop John on October 29, 1956, via Resolution No. 13894.   Soon thereafter, on November 27, 1956, Archimandrite Petros was made a mitrophore, via Resolution No. 13998. Hudson, Anastasios (2014-07-29). Metropolitan Petros of Astoria: A Microcosm of the Old Calendar Movement in America (Kindle Locations 418-441). . Kindle Edition.

                Oh the horror, the Metropolia/OCA accepted a group of graceless schismatics! On 31 December 1969, ROCOR recognized the legitimacy of Greek Old Calendar episcopal elevations. ROCOR canonist Andre Psarev is on record stating that St John Maximovitch belonged to the so-called “zealot party” in ROCOR, which sought union with Old Calendar Greeks. He and other ROCOR hierarchs are pictured with them in this link, btw.

                New Calendarists Greeks also frequented and communed at the Old Calendarist cathedral of St Markella’s.
                Photios Kontoglou held that there was no hardened schism since people in the know realize that things aren’t as simple as they are made out to be:

                “I saw what struggles you are going through, and with justification, over Church matters. But do not fear. There is faith among our people. The Old Calendarists truly are the most genuine Orthodox. However, I think that there is no schism; simply a division. May the Lord make ‘the rough ways smooth.’ “(Letter dated March 1957) Elder Joseph the Hesychast held a similar view:

                “While I was praying, I saw a brilliant, beautiful church. It had a small exit on the side, and everyone was coming out of the church. In the courtyard, they were arguing. One person shouted, ‘I am right!’ Another person shouted, ‘I am more right!’ And a third person, ‘I am the true church!’ This reveals that although they were arguing, they all belonged to a single church. They have dogmas in common, and they have grace, but they were arguing because they don’t have an open mind and haven’t achieved sainthood. (My Elder Joseph the Hesychast by Elder Ephraim pp. 502, 506. The Calendar Issue)

                I’m not attempting to get anybody to join the Old Calendar Greeks but Peter has a point that many have shared.

            • Yes it’s ridiculous to call the Greek Old(er) Calendarists with the Etna group not Orthodox. They may not be in canonical communion, but they are certainly Orthodox. They are probably more advanced on the sanctity/theosis spectrum than many in the GOAA.

              They are certainly Orthodox, yes, most definitely.

              I have heard that about 10% of the population in Greece remain on the older Calendar.

              You cannot equate old(er) calendar with “schismatic.” That is completely crazy and typifies such a western-centric, modernist view of things. Most Orthodox in the world (more than 70-75%) follow the old(er) calendar. More than half of the world’s Orthodox Christians are in the Church of Russia, which is of course on the old(er) calendar. So for an Orthodox Christian, it is actually odd/an anomaly to follow the newer/revised Julian calendar.

        • Helga,

          Are we indeed canonical? Perhaps we should examine ourselves to see if we are in the Faith. (2 Cor. 13:5) We’re aligned in anti-canonical “jurisdictions”, phyletism is openly confessed and practiced; many of our highest ranking bishops perform services and pray with the heterodox and non-Christians. I’m not excusing the True Orthodox, they’ve got their own set of problems but so do we.

          Fr. Alexander Schmemann

          No term is used—and misused—among the Orthodox people in America more often than the term canonical. One hears endless discussions about the “canonicity” or the “uncanonicity” of this or that bishop, jurisdiction, priest, parish. Is it not in itself an indication that something is wrong or, at least, questionable from the canonical point of view in America, that there exists a canonical problem which requires an overall analysis and solution? Unfortunately the existence of such a problem is seldom admitted. Everyone simply claims the fulness of canonicity for his own position and, in the name of it, condemns and denounces as uncanonical the ecclesiastical status of others. (The Canonical Problem, An Uncanonical Situation)

  1. I have been feeling that something like this was going to occur. I am surprised it took this long. Patriarch Bartholomew has indicated as to the extent he will go in order to push the decisions of the robber council down the throats of all Orthodox clergy and faithful. Now is the time for the clergy and the faithful to speak out about the injury that has been committed against the Holy Faith. Now is the time for Mt. Athos to staunchly defend Holy Tradition with one voice. Now is the time for the Churches of Russia and Antioch to join their brother clergy from Bulgaria and Georgia to denounce this papal-like action. Now is the time for the faithful Orthodox Christians everywhere to stand for the truth in love!
    Our shepherds in the Church of Greece are being persecuted…..and they will receive many blessings for refusing to compromise the faith. Let us stand with them!!!!!!!!!

    St Mark of Ephesus pray for us!

    • George Michalopulos says

      Whereas this whole missive is most troubling, the next-to-the-last paragraph contains seeds of papalism in my opinion.

      Consider: the EP is stating that he will sever communion with two bishops of another local church rather than the local church to which they belong in entirety. While this is a clever divide-and-conquer stratagem, it is unprecedented in Orthodoxy (I believe). What it implies is that the EP can sever communion with individual bishops and clergy thereby by-passing the normal chain of command. It means that the Church of Greece is subservient to Istanbul –which it is not.

      Bartholomew wants it both ways: the Arb of Athens is a brother primate but his suffragans are subject to another brother primate (in this case Bartholomew).

      Does anybody else see this as well? Please advise regarding the propriety of the EP’s actions in this regard, specifically.

      • George, or anyone know what exactly was written by those the EP wants defrocked?

      • George,

        What in the world is this man thinking? Whiskey – Tango – Foxtrot

        Let’s play this out:

        Phanar severs with the two bishops. Athens either ignores or reacts. If it ignores, much ado about nothing until something further happens. If it reacts, Phanar is isolated with whomever wants to get in the boat to cross the Tiber.

        Does this help the Phanar?

        Maybe he sees an angle, a plus here. He may simply be tired of the disfunction regarding the direction in which he wants to take the Church. He’s “leading” but they’re not following.

        And why now, right before Christmas? Does he think something momentous is going to happen in the immediate future? Something that favors the Progressive/Obama/Rome side of this? Something before Trump is inaugurated?

        What are they telling him that has got him so wound up?

        Is Obama planning to leave the Oval Office peaceably?

        Look at the headlines today

        I hope we are all able to stay in contact. I’m not sure what’s going to happen on or before January 20th, if anything. But people are behaving in a way that they would if they were about to challenge the legitimacy of Trump’s election. I.e., a coup.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          Were Obama to declare martial law, would it prevent the inauguration?

          • No. Obama’s term expires at 12 noon on January 20 and there is no means to extend it without suspending the constitution, which is impossible.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              So, Ages, did I read that you were a millennial? You’ve got a good head on your shoulders, you write well and you have wisdom. Are you married? I would really like to marry my daughter off to a good guy. She’s gorgeous! Just ask George. LOL

              I need every one of you to look for a guy for my 24-year-old daughter and I’m only half kidding. She likes tall skinny boys for some reason. If you can find a tall, skinny Greek man, I would be most grateful.

          • Gail! If Obama declared martial law, in hopes of delaying Trumps swearing in, short of a natural disaster happening, all the secret service, and gates surrounding the white house could not contain the riots. Not going to happen. Perhaps you and Misha should get together and write a thriller of a novel for us.

            • George Michalopulos says

              I’d like to think you are right but the grips of delusion that engulfs the modern left is profound. No different than the cuck/neocon alliance that thinks there are no consequences to baiting the Russian bear.

              • Their delusion is profound, but they have nowhere to really go with it, except the streets. The Democrats now in power don’t have the balls to go that far with Obama, against Trump. They saw what happened to Clinton, even with the MSM, and Obama’s support. They are now in a position of weakness, and don’t want to rock the boat. They are relieved they did not lose their seats, and will be quiet, until any tide might turn against Trump. For now Trump holds all the cards. Enjoy our victory, and pray Trump prevails in his plans.

                The left and the neocons need to remember we had to pinch our nose, with Bob Dole, Romney, and McCain, which resulted in Bill Clinton and Obama and now the cuck/neocons wanted to spring another Bush on us! No way and now they both got what they deserve. So, now if they don’t like it, they can pinch their up tight noses as well.

            • Michael Bauman says

              Dino, even if you are correct, that in itself will not prevent them from trying. At the very least, the attempts to delegitmatize Trump’s Presidency will continue unabated as long as he is President.

              • George Michalopulos says

                True that, but nobody’s listening to the MSM anymore.

                Worse for them, I’d say about 80% of Obama’s legacy can be undone by Executive Order. Trump and his cabinet appear to have the economic winds at their backs at this moment. If the economy continues to improve then all the screaming and caterwauling about Russians hacking the election will fall on deaf ears.

                Look how quickly the WN/MI/PA recount fizzled into nothingness.

                • George,

                  You know, Trump may have been way ahead of them on their attempt to delegitimize his election.

                  I mean, he of all people knew that he was going after the Electoral College rather than the popular vote. That much is clear. So a smart strategest would ask himself what could go wrong with this approach. The answer, of course, has to do with the role of electors. Many of them are not even bound. That’s a wild card.

                  Now the fact that it hasn’t gotten played in the past is no guarantee, especially in light of the desperation of the other side and the spectacle that was Bush v. Gore. But getting to electors would be like getting to jurors, very risky business. No, the way you would have to influence them is to create the impression that there was something wrong with the electoral process. Hence the present Democratic strategy.

                  So, assuming Trump and Conway were savvy enough at chess to foresee something like this – and it is foreseeable if you just play out devil’s advocate scenarios – what would be the best way to combat such an effort? I mean, it is a real reach to attempt something like this, but just to be sure, what do you do?

                  I submit that he is and has been doing exactly what you would want to do to combat such an effort from the moment he was declared winner by the AP and HRC’s concession. He has been acting presidential, giving everyone the impression of inevitability to his inauguration, creating an overwhelming context where the public is constantly hearing about his victory tour, his cabinet appointments, his dealings with foreign leaders, his back and forth about putting his investments in trust and eliminating conflicts of interest. I mean, he’s even operating out of Trump Tower. Think about that for a minute. Say, worse case scenario that Obama went rogue, told the CIA or FBI to allege that Trump had conspired with the Russians to commit election fraud and had a warrant issued for his arrest. He’s in downtown Manhattan in full public view in his own building guarded by his own security people. He would likely have time, like Yeltsin when a coup was attempted against him, to rally public support in his defense.

                  Everyone can obviously see that he is the President-elect – each and every day on TV. It’s loud and it’s public and “everybody just knows it, duh”.

                  A different scenario occurred in one of Tom Clancy’s books when Jack Ryan found himself suddenly President by default after an attack on Congress that killed the President and much of the high level government. He had been nominated Vice President, the former VP had resigned in disgrace, but the former VP decided he wanted to challenge the Ryan presidency.

                  Ryan’s strategy was similar, simply make it obvious, act like the President, do Presidential stuff, give orders and have them obeyed and train everybody by habit of thought and action to accept the obvious.


            • Gail Sheppard says

              Dino, they could CREATE an incident and I’m not sure they wouldn’t go that far. The military ramped up their training for martial law about the same time Trump came on the political horizon. Trump’s election has huge ramifications around the globe. He is becoming the “tipping point,” and they are scared. They’re going to go to Plan B, whatever Plan B turns out to be.

              * * *
              Ages, I fear they could suspend the inauguration and until he is inaugurated, he would not be able to assume office.

              • Gail, Given the choice I believe the military would stand down. Our military respect Trump overwhelming over Obama. Our military can’t wait for Trump to assume office.

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  Dino, not if a real and/or perceived emergency presented itself. I told you all about the bizarre stories in 2015 and 2016 when Russian bombers (somebody, I think, said these weren’t even Russian) purportedly wiped out the systems that control the flight patterns at LAX. I thought this was very strange and it happened twice. Then there is that Jade Helm 15 stuff. How easy would it be to have planes run into each other over LAX and to blame the Russians? The perception would be that we are under attack. Perhaps it would happen before the 19th when the Electors voted, as Ages has assured me that nothing like this would stop the inauguration.

                  Yes, I DO have an imagination, but I just can’t shake this feeling that something is going to happen.

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    In that case it would depend on the military. Would it respond to an illegal order or simply respond appropriately and not obey the order and then take the false President into custody.

                    With all of the generals in Trumps Cabinet I think it is unlikely that any such illegal order would not be acted upon.

                    Still does not mean it won’t be tried.

                    Don’t buy Pepsi. All the workers there, according to the CEO, are just so upset over the election they can hardly work.

                    • Gail, Michael,

                      Sometimes we just have to be still and know that God is God. The power of the devil is often overestimated. He certainly did not arrange the election of Trump. If He were not on duty, Trump would have lost the electoral vote. If He were not on duty, you would not have so many voices calling the MSM and the Dems paranoid sore losers who are advocating treason.

                      I have been reading some of the online papers besides the NYT and WP such as the Washington Times, New York Post and the WSJ. There is a steady and widespread resistance to the narrative that the Progs are trying to project. They seem to be unable to get the traction they would need to avoid a coup resulting in political suicide for their cause. It is true that some contrived emergency could do it. Also, some inexplicable turn of the electoral college might do it. However, the electors votes also must be confirmed by the states they represent.

                      Anything is possible, of course. I’m watching it on a daily basis until after the electoral college votes and we know the actual official score. If that comes back with Trump still the clear victor, then the Progs would face violent revolution at the state and local level as well as a revolt of the military if they tried anything.

              • The president can be sworn in by anyone authorized to administer an oath—so any judge, or even a notary public. In their absence, it could be argued that he could simply state the oath in public or before witness(es).

                I would even argue that the new president assumes office (at least as acting president) automatically upon the strike of noon, just as an heir becomes monarch instantly, before a coronation takes place.

                Regardless, Obama’s term ends on January 20, and there is no way on this earth to change that. I don’t think Obama likes the job enough to try.

            • Even if there was a natural disaster that prevents the inauguration, Obama would cease to be president.

              There was one president (I can’t remember which) who refused to take the oath of office on January 20 because it happened to be a Sunday. So, for about 18 hours, the US simply had no president.

              The length of the president’s term is absolute and there are no means of extending it. If a former president decided to hole up in the White House, the new legal president would simply order him removed.

              • Gail Sheppard says

                Ages, the Electors meet in their state and vote on the 19th. Could martial law interrupt this process?

            • Dino,

              Better safe than sorry. Heads of US intelligence are disputing the CIA’s assumptions as lacking evidence. There is simply no trail and its all based on “who benefited”; i.e., exactly as Trump has indicated in his responses.


              Not that it should matter.

              In the end, the thing that will prevent them from interfering in his inauguration is not that they believe he was legitimately elected. Krugman and the Times made it clear that they cannot accept that fact.

              It must be very hard to look in the mirror and know that the only reason you are not rising up to stop a “fascist put in power by a thug” is that you can’t stop shaking or wetting your pants.

              Well, don’t have to worry about them tripping over their little thangs.

              • Gail, ask yourself who is “they”, once you figured that, ask yourself can whoever they are, do it without, exposure. Short of God forbid an assassination, Trump will be our President in January. Legally there in nothing anyone can do. The left will always attack Trump, just simple politics.

              • Misha, and Gail, sorry my reply for Gail came under Misha’s post. Misha even if Russia admitted they hacked and leaked the emails, who cares. Trump is not guilty of any crimes. The leftist can scream all the way until the 20th of January. Trump will be sworn in. If anything the leaked emails did all Americans a great service, and revealed what scum the socialist elitists truly are.

                • Misha. Let me be clear. I am not happy that Russia or whoever were able to breach, supposed secured info on Clinton and her circle of demons, not for Clinton sake. What concerns me is that they may have breached others in Obama’s cabinet office , that they won’t leak. Dangerous times indeed. Cyber security, another Obama failure. Counting the days to January 20th!

        • Welp. Are we to suspect that Mr. Misha is beginning to sense the first dim dawnings of a clue? The beginnings of some faint glimmering of contact with Reality? Good.

      • George Kohen says

        Mr. Michalopoulos, Your analysis of the situation sounds reasonable enough, however my interpretation is slightly different – I don’t know if it’s correct, but different. You start by the assumption that this may be a bullying tactic by the EP, however considering that the Phanar is only breaking communion with two of the hierarchs and not the whole church of Greece, as you pointed out, raises some interesting questions.

        To the best of my knowledge, these two particular hierarchs are the ones who have been the most vocal. In fact, I don’t recall reading any criticisms of the Cretan council by anyone other than these two coming out of the Church of Greece, which leads me to conclude that they don’t represent the consensus of the Church of Greece, rather they are the only ones among that hierarchy that feel that way and have chosen to express it publicly. Thus, the Phanar’s problem only with these two. The fact that the Church of Greece did participate and did sign signifies their compliance with the decisions of the council. These two bishops then can be interpreted as being “rogue” against the general consensus of the Church of Greece.

        My second point is this. Who is this Father Theodore Zisis? Who (what Bishop?) appointed him to form a delegation and go to various autonomous churches to secure their rejection of the Cretan council? Did these churches invite him? Of all the professors and theologians in Greece, why him? The only conclusion I can come to is that he was sent by no one and requested by no one. This was his own personal little pet project. Do you see any bishop standing up to defend him and saying “I sent him to xyz Autocephalous Church in order to protect the Church?” Crickets. Thus he was acting on his own authority and traveled into Churches in a foreign territory and involved himself (and by extension, implicated the Church of Greece) into the internal administrative affairs of another Church. Do the hierarchs of the Church of Greece oppose the Cretan council? Clearly not. Does the Church of Greece secretly reject the council? Then why sign? It’s not like it is Nicea in the early church. There’s no threat of prison and loss of life and limb (like many defenders of the Orthodox Church endured at that time under the tyranny of Arius and his cronies). Really, I mean what is the Phanar going to do, stop their internet access? Oh the horror!!

        No Mr. Michalopoulos, I don’t believe it is as sinister as you make out. It is about keeping proper and good ecclesiastical order.

        If someone knows information as to how Fr. Zisis travelled to other churches (at their invitation?) I encourage them to post links or documents…otherwise we must assume that he is a rogue.

        Just to drive the point home, I would like to mention that of those great Saints and Fathers of the Church that we commemorate with such proper affection and adoration, those tremendous defenders of the One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, not a one of them acted of his own volition. They were summoned or sent and suffered great physical, emotional and spiritual torments (Saint Mark of Ephesus, St. Maximos the Confessor, Saint John of Damascus and so many others!).

        • George K,

          To respond to some of your points:

          “To the best of my knowledge, these two particular hierarchs are the ones who have been the most vocal. In fact, I don’t recall reading any criticisms of the Cretan council by anyone other than these two coming out of the Church of Greece, which leads me to conclude that they don’t represent the consensus of the Church of Greece…”

          An entire conference was held in Pireaus, Greece on March 23, 2016 to provide a critique of the council. The Metropolitans in attendance were Seraphim of Pireaus, Hierotheos of Naufpaktos, Paul of Glyfada, Seraphim of Kythira and Jeremiah of Gortynos.

          The hierarchs within the territory of Greece who did not sign the controversial ‘Relations’ text in Crete were Hierotheos of Nafpaktos, Chrysostomos of Peristeri and Anthimos of Alexandropolis.

          “The fact that the Church of Greece did participate and did sign signifies their compliance with the decisions of the council. These two bishops then can be interpreted as being “rogue” against the general consensus of the Church of Greece.”

          The signing of the texts on the part of the Church of Greece is a strange thing. The Synod had decided in May that its representation at Crete would not accept the ‘Relations’ document unless the language in a particular area of the text would be amended to the following: “The Orthodox Church recognizes the historic existence of other Christian confessions and communities that are not in communion with Her.” However, the majority of the Greek delegation ignored the directive from the Synod and accepted text without the required amendment. So in essence the Greek representation acted in disobedience to its Synod.

          The fact that only a delegation attended rather than the entire body of bishops was also problematic as was the fact that some Greek hierarchs, such as the Metropolitan of Florina, Theoklitos, flat out refused to attend.

          “My second point is this. Who is this Father Theodore Zisis? Who (what Bishop?) appointed him to form a delegation and go to various autonomous churches to secure their rejection of the Cretan council? Did these churches invite him? Of all the professors and theologians in Greece, why him? The only conclusion I can come to is that he was sent by no one and requested by no one.”

          Fr. Theodoros Zisis is among the most knowledgeable contemporary Patrologists. He previously taught Patristics at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and also worked as a researcher for the Patriarchal Institute of Patristic Studies. He has represented the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholics and he also had the responsibility of writing encyclicals for Patriarch Demetrios. It’s fair to say that he’s qualified in matters of theology and ecclesiology in particular. I consider him to be one of the most outstanding catechists that the Church has today.

          “Thus [Zisis] was acting on his own authority and traveled into Churches in a foreign territory and involved himself (and by extension, implicated the Church of Greece) into the internal administrative affairs of another Church.”

          That’s not what involvement in the affairs of autonomous jurisdictions means. That would have been the case had he been there without the local hierarch’s blessing. Everywhere he went, he had the authorization of the local hierarch.

          “Do the hierarchs of the Church of Greece oppose the Cretan council? Clearly not. Does the Church of Greece secretly reject the council? Then why sign?”

          Even bishops make mistakes. There could be lots of reasons why the Greek delegation at Crete violated the directives of its Synod. For one thing, some hierarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate applied the full court press on them. Other times it just comes down to somebody giving in to a persistent friend. Is that how it works? Unfortunately the answer is sometimes, yes.

          “Just to drive the point home, I would like to mention that of those great Saints and Fathers of the Church that we commemorate with such proper affection and adoration, those tremendous defenders of the One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, not a one of them acted of his own volition. They were summoned or sent and suffered great physical, emotional and spiritual torments (Saint Mark of Ephesus, St. Maximos the Confessor, Saint John of Damascus and so many others!).”

          I don’t believe that the witness of these saints helps your case:

          St. Mark Evgenikos was the lone bishop who did not sign the agreement at the pseudo-council of Florence. Thus he was the rogue bishop of his time, who went against the general consensus of his brother bishops, which is something that you consider to be a bad thing.

          In the case of St. Maximos the Confessor, when the imperial magnates told him that he alone did not recognize the heretical Monothelite Patriarch of Constantinople as legitimate, he famously replied: “If even the whole universe should begin to commune with the Patriarch, I will not commune with him. For I know from the writings of the holy Apostle Paul that the Holy Spirit will give over to anathema even the angels, if they should begin to preach any other gospel, introducing anything new.” And this though he was not even a priest but a mere monk.

          • George Kohen says

            DBG, First off, thank you for your thoughtful and well written comments. You gave me something to think about and I am always grateful when someone provides an intelligent, well thought out response.

            Second, you mentioned in this response and in your other response to me that Father Theodore Zisis was sent with the blessing of his local hierarch. Are you certain? I am not. If he was sent with the blessing of his hierarch then the Phanar has no issue and nothing will come of the attempts to silence him.

            Third, I’d just like to make clear that I do not support or agree with decisions made at the Cretan council. However keeping proper ecclesiastical order is important.

    • Your remark: “papal-like” is demeaning and most inappropriate. Smacks heavily of the bigotry that unfortunately exists among some members of the Orthodox Church – Metropolitan Hilarion of the Russian Church is a prime example.

      • Hi Paul,

        I see that the Phanar is acting like a pope of the Orthodox Church. Hence….I say papal-like. You don’t see it that way… have free will to reject my observations. The EP has drawn the proverbial line in the sand……and now we will act according to our conscience.

      • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

        “Paul,” if you wish to drop a bomb like “bigotry” on Metropolitan Hilarion (I presume you mean Alfeyev), you owe it to him and to those who attend to this website to explain precisely what you mean and to offer specific citations. Otherwise I invite you to retract that drive-by smear and, in the spirit of the Nativity season, ask forgiveness of Metropolitan Hilarion.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Agreed. I for one am tired of assertions of “bigotry,” etc. Name them: date and place for starters.

  2. Sad day indeed, but at least for once, the EP’s message is clear. Now Orthodox Christians must choose. A line has been drawn.

  3. The EP’s actions simply confirm the accusations of his power-grab by those he is attacking!
    The “Patriarch” protests too much , methinks. Greece should sit tight and let the EP make the next move.

  4. Bartholomew and his clan should be defrocked and excommunicated.

  5. I told you so.

    For all those who thought I overreacted to the designs of the Phanar implicit in the Council documents and the intrigue which surrounded it in asserting that Patriarch Bartholomew was essentially trying to force a Unia, well, this should resolve your doubts.

    He is a heresiarch.

    Now, what is to be done? He is making it easy, slava Bogu. The question is where the new lines will be drawn. Who will follow Bartholomew into a Unia and who will remain Orthodox?

    The danger is with the lukewarm who will avoid making a decision. The front lines have moved. Rome has decisively taken the Phanar and those local churches which affirm Crete. The only question is who will acknowledge what has happened and act accordingly.

  6. Master of the Obvious says

    Given the political tidal wave that has washed over Europe and the USA, one can understand such a letter from a political viewpoint. The EP and his sinecure staff bet big on the European Union and the continuation of Leftist political regimes. Now that fantasy is falling apart and we see that the EP is ill-equipped to respond. So instead he will now try to smear anyone who disagrees with the Cretan council or holds traditional views as a racist or bigot. That includes clergy in other Churches.

    The Green Patriarch is still running his campaign to be accepted by the elite progressives of the Western World. But its getting more and more desperate.

    Would anyone be surprised if the narrative in the coming months is “Progressive Patriarch in Constantinople confronts powerful bigots in his own Church” ?

  7. It is well known to all that, “Nothing so provokes God’s anger as the division of the Church”

    Oh good Lord! This comes from the one threatening excommunication!

  8. Michael Bauman says

    “Unity” without truth is not unity.

  9. Greek/Russian Chess says

    And when the Russians receive these “excommunicated” Greek clergy under Pat. Kirill’s omophorion, will the EP dare to sever ties with the largest local Orthodox church?

    • They have done it before. In the 1990’s there was a period when the EP and the MP were out of communion with one another.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        Good point, Eric, but there is something different about this because what he is saying is this: What was presented in Crete must be followed by EVERYONE. He said it then and he is saying it now. He slapped the hands of a few to make sure it is understood that there will be repercussions for those who try to get in his way. The terms of Crete include being more inclusive of other Christian faiths, primarily the RC. THIS IS HIS END GAME.

        I want to go on record, right now, that I OPPOSE HIM and will not accept any directives that came out of Crete, because the jurisdictions whose input was required, including mine (Antioch), were rebuffed.

        Please understand, I desperately want the RC to become Orthodox, but they have to renounce their heresies and accept the tenets of our Faith. Until they do, I will oppose having any relationship with them and I will do it with everything I have.

        BE WARNED: There will be a huge backlash from the laity if the Hierarchs don’t resolve this. This isn’t a threat; I really believe this will happen, as we are also accountable for the Church before God and we take that very seriously.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Gail, you see clearly, I think I do now as well: the “End Game.” It is clear to me now that this is a power grab by the EP.

          Not good.

  10. A New Age version of the Sergian Declaration in 1927 in the Soviet Union.. But, what muscle does the EP have to enforce this? The soviets used troops and checka to round up the Faithful Orthodox clergy.New Myarters of the Russian Yoke. I suspect there must be some dire consequence that the EP can wield. The astounging hutsba could be just genuine mindlessness. I suppect there is a Jesuit somewhere licking his lips. as they will ally with the EP. The statement is too bold to be a faint.

    • “But, what muscle does the EP have to enforce this?”

      Maybe his enforcers will be the “Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.” Ooooh, they are scary. But wait, I just heard the Archons are too busy counting their money to be bothered or to care.

      I agree, that the Constantinopolitan church has probably been counting on the victory of liberal western modernism and was blindsided by the outcries against heresy at the “Cretan council.” The modernists in Istanbul and in the GOAA don’t know what to do, much like Podesta, Jennifer Palmieri, and the entire media establishment were blindsided after Trump beat their gal and don’t know what to do.

      I tell you one thing, though, ACROD needs to high-tail it out of the EP’s jurisdiction, and fast. Metropolitan Orestes of blessed memory would be turning over in his grave in Bridgeport, Conn., if he only knew how cozy the jurisdiction that gave him refuge has been lately with the Latins and Jesuits who persecuted him so. A man who brought his diocese back to the truth of our Orthodox Christian faith from Rome — like St Alexis Toth did with his faithful into the Russian American missionary diocese — and now his beloved ACROD diocese is in a jurisdiction that wants to abandon Orthodoxy for Rome. Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think. And tragic all around.

      • Braun Lūdavič says

        Mr. Oh Man,

        What do you mean that the ACROD is cozy with the Latins and Jesuits? If I am not mistaken, the Ukrainians headquartered in New Jersey are also affiliated with the ACROD.

        • Estonian Slovak says

          Yes, the Ukrainians are situated in New Jersey. They are, however, a separate jurisdiction under the EP, as is ACROD.

  11. Wayne Matthew Syvinski says

    The EP’s demand brings to mind a line from The Hunt for Red October: “(Expletive-deleted) thing’s made to start a war.”

  12. Gail Sheppard says

    I think the EP is going to become Catholic and he will take a 4th of the Church with him. He and the Pope will declare unification. He’ll try to take all the assets under his control. – This is going to be a huge mess. Whatever the Church does to get rid of an EP should be done now.

    • George Michalopulos says

      The trigger should have been pulled long ago, perhaps after he forced the GOA bishops to repudiate their signatures on the Ligonier Document. I imagine that the trigger will be pulled in due time.

      Still, it’s not something we should look forward to. Lord have mercy.

    • Gail, that will never happen! He would be forced to retire, if even a hint of that was whispered by the EP.

      • Peter Millman says

        Hello Dino, my Greek brother,
        I don’t think there’s any question that the Ecumenical Patriarch deeply desires reunification with Rome; something along the lines of the first century. Personally, I don’t see why Orthodox Christians are so averse to reunification considering the fact that schism is a great sin against the faith. The Great Schism never should have happened in the first place. Personally, I have a great deal of respect for the Catholic Church. Don’t forget they have produced some incredible saints since the Great Schism. Can anyone doubt that many more miracles from God occur within the Catholic Church than the Orthodox Church? Why is there no gift of healing in the Orthodox Church when it is so clear that healings and miracles must always accompany the proclamation of the Gospel?

        • We’re not averse to the concept of reunification, but we don’t honestly expect the Pope to rescind the post-schism so-called ecumenical councils that the Roman church holds to. Of course, that is necessary if we are going to claim to espouse the same faith.

          As to Rome’s claimed sanctity, we cannot judge either way. I’m not sure on what basis you pass judgment on ours.

        • Peter Millman, are you serious or just messing with me? Regardless I will try not annoy you, and simply say. If the Pope wants to demote himself to Bishop of Rome, and accept all our cannons. Not to mention renounce The Roman Catholic Churches additions during and after the great schism. He is more than welcomed into our church.

          • George Michalopulos says

            IMHO Dino, if he did so, he could still be Pope, n’est pas? It’s all the accretions post-1054 that are troubling in my book. After all, it was the “azyme” controversy that so vexed the East for a century or two before the Schism, not the nature of the eternal procession of the Spirit. And we lost the azyme controversy, realizing that it wasn’t all that big of a scandal at the end of the day.

            • George, n’est pas/is not? Sorry that went completely over my head. Wafer or bread(body of Christ) no biggy to me at least, as long as it’s with our lord’s blood. But there are so many more issues, the creed, celebrate priests,etc. Plus I don’t understand If his title remains Pope, how anything changes with us.

              This would cause so may new schisms, not just with our church, but think how Traditional Roman Catholics would lose their mind as well.

              My point is this, Healing the Great Schism of 1054, will no doubt cause a dozen more schisms within the Orthodox, and Roman Catholic Churches. Plain and simple just not worth it, I would hope the Pope, and EP can see that!

            • George,

              You had me for a second – satire. Very, very good.

          • Peter Millman says

            Hello Dino,
            Yes, I’m serious. I apologize for offending you. Actually, I like you; we just disagreed on one topic which surprised me. As far as the Dale Carnegie book was concerned, I intended that to be funny. I try to be creative and funny in my insults, but it’s not personal to me. ” Tell Mike I l always liked him; it was nothing personal, just business.” Merry Christmas.

          • . . . If the Pope wants to demote himself to Bishop of Rome, and accept all our cannons. Not to mention renounce The Roman Catholic Churches additions during and after the great schism. He is more than welcomed into our [sic] church [sic].


            Dino, you’re seriously confused again. Can you explain why you think the Bishop of Rome and his communion ought to be held hostage to a prerequisite for intercommunion that not a single one of the ‘canonical’ Orthodox churches, or the literally uncountable schismatic sects and bizarre vagante cults, or the various heretical collections also posing falsely as “Orthodox” “churches,” adheres to: first, you gotta “accept all ‘our’ canons.”

            All “our” “canons.” Let me fill you in on some things, Dino, since the very wording of your pretentious demand betrays that you know nothing central and germane to the issue you’re blabbering about so ridiculously.

            First, I’ll presume you understand an elementary prerequisite of initiating and sustaining a rational, meaningful and pointed dialogue: when you say or write something, using words, anyway, it’s best to know a) the conventional meaning of the words you’re using and b) what they actually refer to, concretely, substantively, in the real world apart from linguistic or conceptual representation. (Best to avoid getting lost at this point in thickets of metaphysical distraction re: nominalism, realism and conceptualism, all those ancient controversies in scholasticism and related squabbles among Aristotelians and Platonists and so forth — y’all Orthodox are generally allergic to that stuff, so I won’t go there.)

            On the basis of this presumed agreement, I have a question for you: Who, pray, does ‘our’ refer to? And who among the “Orthodox” accept all “our” canons? I’m all ears for that one. (Never mind the separate, even more fraught, question about which canons you’re referring to.)
            The tautology you’ve conjured up reminds me of a ouroboros, incidentally. One hopes it’s a merely linguistic one. I guess we’ll see about that.

            I won’t keep you in suspense about the answer to this key question you’ve innocently begged: ‘our’ is empty rhetoric, hollow verbiage, there’s no there there, the pronoun has no antecedent, there’s nothing real to it. No substance. Your parrot is deceased. Please desist.

            The question your rhetoric begs here is closely analogous in many ways to asking a mathematician how to divide by zero — the answer is that the question is undefined and undefinable, meaningless.

            IOW, your comment is absurd. I’m wondering why you would dare to shackle the potential union, in truth, of Christ’s Church to an absurd and meaningless prerequisite that none of your own churches complies with, or could comply with? Hypocrisy on steroids.

            What’s wrong with you? The very language you use to state your arrogant, presumptuous demand is defiled by lots of nothingness. This blog is a venue of nada. This ain’t good.
            Nearly all the chattering and ignorant blustering on this thread is absurd and unseemly. Y’all are silly at best.

            My advice: Get a grip first of all on understanding (much less obeying) the 10 Commandments, and then the Sermon on the Mount. And Christ crucified.

            I’m afraid all “your” “canons” are so much straw by comparison with that. Recall that you are what you eat. Some of y’all sound at risk of turning into straw incarnate. Not a good plan.

            • Peter Millman, I accept your apology, and apologize as well. No Harm done. Merry Christmas, Philo.

            • Mike Myers, I just realized that George PUNKED me. But you just got Punked by me, and It wasn’t even my intention . Mike you need to relax, you take things way too serious. Not good for your health. I enjoy this blog, it’s educational, entertaining, and quite humorous at times. George is not perfect, but who is? If you don’t care for this blog of “nada” why do you frequent it so often? Change the channel Mike, your rude behavior won’t be missed, at least by me.

              For the record, I do not want the great schism of 1054 healed. I like things the way they are, for the most part. Healing the great schism would only cause many more new schisms. Second how I express myself on this blog, is exactly how I would speak to someone face to face sitting at a bar , and enjoying a beer. I’m not here to impress you.

              Here is some advice. Read the post that you wrote to me, out loud while looking in the mirror, are you impressed? I’m not!

              • Dino, impressing y’all just isn’t high on my agenda. Most of what I write here is primarily directed way over your heads and has been ever since I got an unmistakeable whiff, years ago, of the vanguard of seditious fifth columnists hiding out in Orthodoxy, and in the “Christian” Right more generally, here and in Europe — and what’s behind it. We in the Center see clearly how certain elements in the RF support the synergistically disintegrative forces operative on the far left and the far right, here and in Europe. Fortunately, it’s evident to me now that awareness of their subversive strategy is expanding, and that where it matters most! After dealing with this crisis, I suppose there will be leisure to diagnose more accurately and then treat the spiritual pathologies that are mostly domestic in origin. I assume that is God’s will at this juncture.

                Kakistocracy, kleptocracy and idiocracy don’t represent our notions of good government in Judaeo-Christendom. FYI. Because I seriously doubt such perversions of statecraft are God’s will, either, I have reason to hope that y’alls strong delusion about God being on your side is set to undergo a certain sea change. If so, good luck with that! I hope we’ll assist you by humanely managing the dire consequences, to the extent we can.

                So anyway, I get that my painstaking attempts at approaching unassailable accuracy in analysis of the tactics and propaganda employed by these agents of chaos may displease some of y’all’s clumsy ears and crass sensibilities, used, as you are, to dog and pig whistles and lies from the outer darkness. But I’ll continue to patiently if sometimes pedantically deconstruct the madness of the pseudo-phronema y’all ooze. Try to grasp that my imperfect style of combat with “useful idiocy” is clinical, not personal or homely. Way too far gone for pleasant interpersonal luxuries like that, or so it seems to me. I’ll just add that those more conscious of what they’re up to present another problem altogether, of course. But dealing with them is none of my business. I thank God for that.

                Have a blessed and fruitful season of the Nativity!

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Mike, I thought you were gone. Did I misunderstand you?

                  • Tying up a few loose threads. The deranged atmosphere of your blog is toxic to the spirit of the Advent/Nativity Season, so I’ll be taking off for some fresh air soon, yes.

                    Was that a rhetorical question?

                  • George, misunderstood is Mike Myers middle name. Mike Myers, I’m, sorry, and please forgive me, but I’m done with you. May you also have blessed and fruitful season of Nativity.

                  • *

            • Peter M,

              Will it never sink in to you all that the faith of the Orthodox Church is that it, and it alone, is the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church and that the Roman and Protestant confessions are not and are not joined to the Church in any way?

              We have been trying to make that clear to you: the non-Orthodox are simply outside the Body of Christ. There is nothing whatsoever to unite other than the instances of akoinonesia within the Church between, for example, the Church of Greece and the Old Calendarist Greeks. That is indeed unfortunate but it is the only lack of communion within the Church and that is a temporary anomaly, not a longstanding matter of heresy like the falling away of Rome and the Protestants.

        • Peter Millman! At last, a post that’s not entirely without substance, not just puerile trolling! But then I would think that since I’m Catholic, and therefore biased in favor of this substance. Gifts of healing and other charisms of grace do still occur in the Catholic Church, as you say (and among Protestants), but I’m honestly quite surprised to hear your assertion that none are observed among the Orthodox.
          Is that really true? I find it hard to believe; would others confirm this alleged absence of healing grace in Orthodoxy?

          • I’m confused about these strange assertions regarding healing grace. I hear reports of miraculous healings in the Orthodox Church, often in connection with venerations of a saints relics or in connection with anointing by holy chrism upon the direction of a starets.

            It’s fairly common in traditional circles. See the documentary on St. John of Shanghai for examples of such miracles associated with his life an veneration.

            Not sure where this crap is coming from but its baseless.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            Mike Myers, you won’t get me to confirm an absence of healing grace in in the Orthodox Church! That is blatantly ridiculous. Peter Millman is way off base in this regard, which is why it is imperative that if we unify with the RC Church, they renounce all their heresies and accept the tenets of the Orthodox Church, as is. I look forward to that day. I think we all do.

        • “Why is there no gift of healing in the Orthodox Church when it is so clear that healings and miracles must always accompany the proclamation of the Gospel?”

          Mr Millman, what on earth are you smoking? Read the lives of many of the 20th century Orthodox saints to get an idea of the healing and miracles God performed through them. St John of Shanghai and San Francisco, St Nectarios of Aegina, St Luke of Crimea, the thousands of the new martyrs in the former communist lands, just to name a few. Of course, most miracles never even become public knowledge, how I have no clue how you could keep a “running tally” of who has more, the Catholics or the Orthodox.(!)

          As for reunification, we all know that the only way it would ever happen is for the Orthodox to become Catholic or for the Catholic Church to return to the Orthodox faith. God can always perform miracles in this regard, but he will never (can never) do it against man’s free will. No Orthodox Christian believer will ever accept the “changes” to the faith (as if the faith can change) that the Catholic Church has made over time. And we don’t see it very likely that the Catholic hierarchy will return to the Orthodox faith. If anything, many high-ranking Catholic bishops/cardinals seem to be going the way of modernist Protestantism. Why on earth would the Orthodox faithful want to climb onto that boat? It’d be like joining the ECUSA — why jump on a sinking ship, which in the ECUSA’s case, actively promulgates heresy and satanism.

          We hate to see the Catholic church going down that road, but for some reason Western/modernist Catholics seem hell-bent on doing just that. We are doing our best to prevent our modernist Orthodox brethren from going down that path too. It’s hard, but the fact of the matter is that God can never act against man’s free will. We don’t believe that Calvinist garbage/heresy of “irresistible grace.” Man can certainly reject God and has done so/continues to do so too many times throughout history.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        Well, Dino they better force him to retire immediately, because this is the end game.

  13. Greek/Russian Chess says

    Videos and Letters from Fr. Theodore Zisis

  14. So far the pope hasn’t excommunicated Biden, Pelosi and etc , prominent RCs who have gone against the grain. To me he is acting more like an emperor. Off with your head!

  15. Good grief with some of the comments here: exhonoration of the Old Calendarists (which of the different ones among them?), calling th EP an “eastern pope,” accusing him of violating the “chain of command” (a double standard here with the clergy in question), etc.

    This situation is not as easy as Fr Peter and others on line and here might make it appear. To begin with we lack some information that could be crucial to the whole affair.

    But if I may say a word about the canonical situation at hand with the information we have, in my opinion, the Patriarch is riding a very fine line here because one of the perogatives of the EP among other related things is “to initiate correspondence on one or more important problems of inter-Orthodox, inter-Christian, or secular nature” (…), yet he does not have jurisdiction outside his territory.

    The thing is, it appears, certain clergy of the Church of Greece have been involving themselves in very questionable (to be generous) affairs from a canonical point of view. Among their very questionable activities is they were leaving their canonical bounderies to foment unrest beyond their canonical bounderies. They are, in fact, on a crusade against the “ecumeniism” of the Church and have been making accusations and declarations of heresy because of it. The problems with this are at least twofold: 1) A much more canonical approach would have been for them to stay within the bounderies of their Church and appeal to the primate, the Archbishop of Athens and once conving him, he (the primate) can discuss those matters with the EP and perhaps other primates. Instead, these lower ranking clergymen pretended to be representatives of the Church of Greece and went on bypassing the Archbishop into territories clearly outside their bounderies. 2) They were involving themselves in statements of heresy against the ecumenism that is agreed upon by all Churches (except Bulgaria), including the Church of Greece as a whole. This again, is very questionable (to be generous) from faith and canonical points of view.

    So, the Ecumenical Patriarch was bound to respond somehow. He decided to start by appealing to the Archbishop. If the Archbishop failed to respond, he declared he would break communion with those clergymen, refusing to concelebrate with them as long as they were in that error.

    It is a very fine line he is riding here because he is obviously trying not to meddle into the internal affairs of the Church of Greece. He only advises and does not pretend to depose or be directly inolved in consequences within the inner Church of Greece for the clergy in question (those kinds of things would be for the Archibishop to do). But at the same time, the nature of the conflict is of pan Orthodox character and so is within the scope of the EP. The solution he came up with seems to be as a sort of bridge between not interfering directly in the internal affairs of the Church of Greece, yet still addressing the pan Orthodox character of the conlfict is to do what is clearly within his bounds: just break personal communion with those clergy.

    • Is there a precedent for a patriarch breaking communion with only particular bishops outside of his church?

      The EP has no authority to meddle in dioceses beyond his own. If the Church of Greece appealed to him for his opinion, fine, but he should not be sticking his nose in it otherwise.

      • I think the more important question is not one of precedent, but what are the ecclesiological issues at stake behind the EP’s threat. Are particular bishops in fact “under the jurisdiction” of their archbishop or metropolitan/patriarch? If so, what does this say about the EP’s current theory of primacy? If not, then why cannot the EP break communion with them?

    • Meeting with the Patriarchs of Bulgaria and Georgia at their invitation to update them on the situation is uncanonical? That the Greek clergy that made these trips “pretended to be representatives of the Church of Greece”?? Eric’s post is either uninformed or otherwise wins the award for most outstanding lie of the Nativity season.

      • George Michalopulos says

        A lot of overreach here, DBG, resulting from desperation on the EP’s part, if you ask me.

      • George Kohen says

        DBG are you certain they were invited? Do you have a source for that information. If they were invited that’s an entirely different situation. I was under the impression that they weren’t invited but reached out to the Patriarchs in question.

        • George K,

          No, I’m not aware of an official invitation given by those two Patriarchs nor do I know who reached out to whom. At first I struggled to think of how to respond because I did not understand why it would be significant to you as to who reached out. After all, the Church of Greece did not object to the trips that Fr. Thedoros and others made. But then when I read your comment from your other post (“…not a one of them acted of his own volition. They were summoned or sent…”), I understood your perspective better.

          I would respond that our duty as Christians is to do the will of our Lord. This does not mean that we negate our own will to the point where we do not take any initiatives. There is absolutely nothing wrong with what they did. Had the Greek delegation traveled to Bulgaria, Georgia and Moldova without the blessing of the local hierarchs then such an action could be deemed as uncanonical but that was clearly not the case as they were received in a loving, Christian manner wherever they went. So I think that trying to make a distinction based on who reached out to whom is foreign to our tradition. Though the Church is hierarchical, it is not governed in an autocratic, clericalist way that robs the rational sheep of all volition.

          It is tragic that the ecumenist clergy expect that they can do their own will and break with Orthodox tradition* by joining in prayer with heretics for example and then complain that those who want to guard the faith of our holy fathers are being disobedient to them. It doesn’t work that way. If our hierarchs will be obedient to Christ, then we will be obedient to them. If they invite us to join them in “ecumenical” prayer with an Anglican priestess, then we must disobey.

          *see the quote that I provided in my other post from St. Maximus the Confessor or St. John of Damascus: “We do not change the boundaries marked out by our Fathers. We keep the Tradition we have received. If we begin to lay down the Law of the Church even in the smallest things, the whole edifice will fall to the ground in no short time.”

    • Eric,

      You wrote:

      “The problems with this are at least twofold: 1) A much more canonical approach would have been for them to stay within the bounderies of their Church and appeal to the primate, the Archbishop of Athens and once conving him, he (the primate) can discuss those matters with the EP and perhaps other primates. Instead, these lower ranking clergymen pretended to be representatives of the Church of Greece and went on bypassing the Archbishop into territories clearly outside their bounderies.”

      A bishop is welcome anywhere he may be received by his brother bishops or the local church. All bishops are created equal and there is no higher chrism in the Orthodox Church than the episcopacy. If the hierarchs in question wished to travel and discuss matters of faith, they are free to do so. The Archbishop of Athens does not seem to have objected. If they were sent as a delegation of the Greek synod, there would be a letter or some communication from the Abp and synod to that effect, if not, they are merely expressing their own opinions regarding theological and ecclesiastical matters.

      “2) They were involving themselves in statements of heresy against the ecumenism that is agreed upon by all Churches (except Bulgaria), including the Church of Greece as a whole. This again, is very questionable (to be generous) from faith and canonical points of view.”

      I take your words literally here and can only offer that the Church of Russia and other local churches were not present at the council of Crete and though some foolishly signed off on preparatory documents that do not reflect the mind of the Church, only the Church meeting in a full council can be considered to be ecumenical. It is not even that not all bishops attended. Not all bishops were welcome. The texts were prepared by the Phanar in such a way as to ensure that other Christian confessions would be recognized as “churches” in clear contradiction of the Creed of the Church which speaks of one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.


      There were other problems with the texts regarding baptism and the theology of the “person”, which have also caused alarm.

      What the Phanar did was get the patriarchs to sign off on draft language which could not be changed except by unanimous consent. This is unfortunate because the Holy Spirit does not work solely through the patriarchs, or by fax. God is real and the Holy Spirit works in a council rightly called of bishops, many of whom (hopefully very many) have acquired noetic prayer and therefore are in “direct contact”, so to speak, with the Holy Spirit. This is how a council knows that its decision “seems good to the Holy Spirit . . .” Acts 15:28

      Of course, the Holy Spirit was not present at Crete. Not in inspiration. But there are noetic bishops in the Church of Greece and other local churches. I don’t know of how many, but I’m sure some of those who have sought the Kingdom have been granted it.

      I mean, that has been the caution of recent fathers of the Church that a contemplated council would not be graced with true theologians, not academics, but those who have acquired the Holy Ghost. Archimandrite Justin Popovich, Archbishop Averky of Jordanville, Archbishop Theofan of Poltava, etc. cautioned us against such a robber council:

      St. Theodore of Studios on Valid Councils:

      Letter to Magister Theoctistus (Ep. I.24):

      “[The Church of God] has not permitted anything to be done or said against the established decrees and laws, although many shepherds have in many ways railed against them [cf. Jer. 10:25] when they have called great and very numerous councils, and given themselves to put on a show of concern for the canons, while in truth acting against them.”

      • George Kohen says

        Misha, and others,

        You wrote:

        “A bishop is welcome anywhere he may be received by his brother bishops or the local church. All bishops are created equal and there is no higher chrism in the Orthodox Church than the episcopacy.”

        The Bishops are not accused by the Phanar of leaving their diocese. Father Theodore Zisis is. Again, I ask which Bishop gave him the authority to form his delegation and to travel to the Georgian and Bulgarian Patriarchates? Again, was Father Theodore Zisis actually invited? The Phanar appears to be under the impression he was not. This is the complaint of the Phanar. If he was invited or sent then the Phanar doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

        • If Fr. Theodore Zisis under the omophorion of Constantinople? If so, the Phanar’s objections matter. If not, they are whistling in the wind. The Church of Greece is autocephalous. It’s head is the Archbishop of Athens.

          Some people are missing the point here: Patriarch Bartholomew is demanding that the Archbishop of Athens, the head of a local autocephalous church, excommunicate some of his own for resisting a council which has no authority – a council which the vast majority of the Orthodox on Earth have no intention of recognizing.

          That is the news. With whom else is the Phanar about to break communion?

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          The EP never had a leg to stand on to begin with.

          Fr. Zisis did all his activity in the open. Did the Church of Greece censer him? Did Bulgaria and Georgia tell him to leave because he was acting in an un-canonical manner? No and no.

          Is Fr. Zisis spreading heresy or the EP. That’s the question. Your getting bogged down on procedure. I care about the true and the truth is on Fr. Zisis’ side on the EP’s.


      • Gail Sheppard says

        Looking at who should or shouldn’t have done this or that, to me, is less important than the fact that the EP intends to: “enforce the decisions of the Council” and make it “binding upon all Orthodox faithful—clergy and laity alike.” He will cut off those who oppose him. He has said that and is doing that.

        Per the Encyclical, the Orthodox faithful include the “fourteen local Autocephalous Churches, recognized at a pan-Orthodox level. . . the Episcopal Assemblies in the Orthodox Diaspora, comprising all the recognized canonical bishops, who in each area are appointed to their respective assembly, and who remain under their canonical jurisdictions.”

        He insists he is speaking for all of us. . . again. WE know he doesn’t, but the rest of the world doesn’t. If we oppose him, the world will think were a bunch of episcopi vagantes. It will create one holy nightmare when it comes to witnessing to potential converts. Already, it’s like navigating a minefield. It’s hard to tell someone, “That church on your corner says they’re Orthodox, but they’re not really, so you need to drive another 45 minutes to get to the right one.”

        To me, THIS is what is important now.

  16. The consul of Crete approaches the Sergiabn Declaration issued by Locum Sergian on behalf of Leninist Soviet Russia as a fight it out to the death scenario. I expect there is some Jesuit licking his lips, at an dire option he has in mind. The EP is too bold and weak in influence to enforce this. There is another option, having to do with getting angry with Greece. Something the Prophet Daniel wrote, which starts a great war. This pope says he thinks this might be the last Christmas. If you want to feel real creeped out, take a look at the photos of Obama and Pope Francis lying like crazy to each other.
    The only position I can surmise that might be able to cause all great and small to receive a mark of the beast is head of the UN Security Consul. This is a post Obama illegally holds, and may well keep after he steps up to the world stage. No more paltry US President. Lord have mercy.

  17. Peter Millman says

    Hello Mike,
    I completely reject the notion that there is no grace in the Catholic Church. As far as the Great Schism is concerned, I honestly don’t know who was right or wrong, although I lean more in the direction that the Orthodox are the schismatics. This is a great sin against Christ’s charge that we all be one.
    I’m reading a book Saints Who Raised The Dead: 400 True Resurrection Stories. Many of the post- schism Catholic saints performed astounding miracles such as raising the dead which can only come from the hand of God; bilocation, levitation, healings, and the working of great signs and wonders in their lifetimes.
    For all intents and purposes, it seems that the Orthodox Church is a cessationist church unless Myrrh streaming Icons and the controversial Holy Fire in Jerusalem are miracles. I looked at the healing prayers of the Greek Orthodox Church and they seemed extremely weak to me. I don’t know of one Orthodox Christian who presently has the gift of healing, while there are many in the Catholic Church who have this gift. By the way, prayer for healing in Jesus name is not prelest; it means the Kingdom of God has come upon you. I don’t know of one exorcist in the Orthodox Church. The proclamation of the Gospel must be accompanied by divine healing, miracles and signs and wonders; otherwise it is not the gospel. From what I have observed the Catholic Church has God’s grace in abundance. Perhaps, one of the reasons the Orthodox Church is moribund, weak and all but dead is because of Orthodox triumphalism.

    • Ever read the line-up of Catholic Saints Popes? According to them. Pre-schism most of the Popes were Saints, most. After, reverse opposite. When the Roman Catholics in 1054 declared that the Holy Spirit “proceeded” from the Son as like the Father they equated the Son to the Father in terms of “Divine Property” that both Father and Son have the Holy Spirit emanate from Them. That then “equated” the Son and the Father. If the Holy Spirit “emanated” from the Son then how would it be at Pentecost that the
      Son would “send” the Holy Spirit? “NO NEED” .. both Father and Son then are co-equals in that regard, actually Jesus’s procession of Holy Spirit in this diagram is superfluous.

      What Catholic heresy has done here is actually “homogenized” the Holy Trinity made it more looking like Judaism and Islam just one “MONO” lord. Ecumenism.
      Jesus “sent” the Spirit at Pentecost. If the “Spirit” “proceeded” from Him why would He have to send it? It be there all along unless He was “withholding it.” .. Well i bet at the Catholic bookstore you can find some Western Theologian explaining all that. Pope Francis
      mentioning some accolade to the author. .. “FAKE THEOLOGY”

  18. It’s also possible that this:

    has been going on more widespread than we may have imagined.

  19. Peter Millman says

    What I have been trying to say is that the Orthodox Church is in dire need of correct teaching about wonder working and the gift of healing. I was on an Antiochian website that was discussing healing. They said that the most important priority is the healing of the soul. Wrong!! The essence of the gospel is the healing of the whole person- body and soul.
    I’m sorry, Misha, I’m just not impressed with healings from icons of long since departed saints. I want to see the gifts of healing and wonder working completely restored to the Orthodox Church. This ministry is not the purview of the unbelieving clergy; it is the right of every Christian . However, the Orthodox Church has a history of quenching the Holy Spirit. If the Orthodox Church continues along this unscriptural path, they are headed for the dustbin of history. I reiterate; I want to see the gifts of healing and wonder working restored in the present time with the full participation of the clergy and the laity. There should be a healing ministry after every Divine Liturgy by clergy and laity alike. The Orthodox Church needs to be renewed big time and reemphasize the gifts of the Holy Spirit for every believer. Otherwise, kaput. The Orthodox Church does not preach the kingdom of God with power. Let’s get to it.

    • I certainly would agree that parishes should do more, including regular services specifically for healing. I know of several parishes in my area that offer these already, and priests who are active in ministering to the health of their parishioners.

      However, gifts of wonderworking are not given to every believer. Never have been. It sounds like you are overly influenced by Protestant faith healing movements, which are beyond Orthodox tradition and we cannot vouch for.

      The fact is, the saints and relics and icons ARE conduits of grace and you can’t cherry-pick what means of healing you personally prefer. And oftentimes God, in his providence, does not heal people. That doesn’t mean the Church doesn’t have power and authority. Even Christ didn’t heal everyone.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Peter M., I think one of the reasons it appears as if there is more wonder working and gift healing in the RC is because they bring attention to it and go to extraordinary lengths to find it. They are almost Pentecostal in their approach. Even you expressed a desire to “see it!”

      We aren’t ones to look for images of the Theotokos in toast and we don’t have websites that are devoted to “happenings” like the RC does. That’s just not our way. (

      We accept, on faith, that God is always at work, often in ways we can’t see, and we are extremely cautious because we know manifestations don’t always come from Him. When we see things that are obviously good, like healing, for example, we say “Praise God” and that’s about it. We document such things in the lives of the Saints where you’ll read story after story. We talk to one another. I have heard personal stories from just about every Orthodox I know. We don’t call the press nor do I think we are particularly surprised because it’s such an everyday event. Miracles happen all around us all the time.

      • Michael Bauman says

        Yes Gail miracles happen all the time. The Eucharist indeed all of the Sacraments are healing services.

        Christ’s work is often hidden.

        Sometimes the healing allows for a good death.

        Encounters with saints, the Theotokos and our Lord Himself through icons happen all the time, or so I am told by my priest.

        It is only the fog in which we walk that prevents us from perceiving it.

        The demand to see is unhealthy. It is the playground of the demons

        • Peter Millman says

          Michael Bauman,
          Unfortunately, I feel it is incumbent upon me to respond to your post. You have taken out of context and misconstrued my comments. I find your last comments extremely offensive and ignorant: ” The demand to see is unhealthy. It is the playground of the demons.” You may want to seriously consider retracting those comments. Be very, very careful about attributing the work of the Holy Spirit to demons. Yes, I want to see evangelism, healings and miracles in the proclamation of the gospel. If you have problems with that, then you have very serious problems, my friend.

          • Michael Bauman says

            Peter, we see what God reveals by the Holy Spirit and what we can receive.

            Not all spiritual phenomena are of the Holy Spirit. Demanding such experiences in a particular way is indeed the play ground of demons. They are quite pleased to provide us with well made fakes. That is exactly why when a weeping icon first manifests a bishop or priest will approach it by rebuking Satan.

            Since I am not attributing works of the Holy Spirit to Satan either in general or in your life specifically I have nothing to apologize for. I do ask your forgiveness for the offense I caused.

            Have a Merry and blessed Christmas.

      • Peter Millman says

        Hi Gail,
        I respect, appreciate and enjoy your posts. In my humble opinion, you are a shining example of a deeply committed, Christ loving, Orthodox Christian. You have a very kind way about you. Merry Christmas.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          What a lovely thing to say. I will cherish it. Thank you, Peter (Millman). I wish you a wonderful Christmas, too.

    • I’m amused, Peter, at your Pentecostal fervor. I think you will be disappointed by the Orthodox Church. We don’t have glossolalia or faith healing. You may want to see them, but unless the Holy Spirit decides to express Himself that way again, you won’t.

      You may find people babbling incoherently and charlatans aping shamanist healing – if that’s what you’re into. But God is real, He does what He does when He does it. It’s not a show for us to put on.

      Nor is it an arena for demons to parade. I have heard of Greek speakers visiting Pentecostal churches only to be horrified that some of the glossolalia they heard was in Greek talking about all manner of abominations involving the Theotokos.

      We Orthodox are happy with the prayer and healing that occurs and with hesychasm. God does as He wills.

      • Peter Millman says

        I really have said all I have to say. I’m out. Ninety nine percent of the sins I commit are done on this website by saying unkind things to fellow posters. To everyone I have offended, I ask your forgiveness. Merry Christmas to all.

      • M. Stankovich says

        Peter Millman,

        I was looking for a comment about “Crete” and came across this discussion, which I missed entirely. For what it’s worth, as a “healthcare provider,” of frequent frustration and disappointment, I would offer you my own comment about this matter of healing in the Church.

        First, I agree with the comments that healing and miracles occur in the Church – and at least from my perspective – God mercifully and selectively reveals and hides them for our salvation lest we, for example, vainly imagine our “effectiveness,” directly or indirectly, in such matters; or that we would come to anticipate God’s direct intervention, rather than our call to the ascetic life and to the church as the healer, and become cynical at the “lack of data.” Case in point, the story provided to us in the Gospel of St. Matthew.

        We are told of a “certain man” who fell before Jesus, asking that his son might be healed (Matt. 17:14ff), unusual only for the fact that he reports to the Lord, “I [already] brought him to your disciples, and they could not cure him.” This fact provokes an exceptionally curious response from the Lord: “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you? Bring him here to me.” And the account concludes with the report that, “the child was cured from that very hour.” The narrative, however, continues later with the disciples – whom you must assume were, at the least, embarrassed by the event – asking why they had failed. The Lord says quite emphatically, “Because of your unbelief” (the Greek word is ὀλιγόπιστος – a combination of ὀλίγος, meaning few/little/scant in number, and πίστις, faith/trust/confidence, or similarly, guarantee/pledge/assurance]: “If you had faith [πίστις] as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it shall move; and nothing shall be impossible to you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

        We could post-fact complicate this extraordinarily simple message of the Lord with plenty of mouth-breathed “theology,” but the fact of the matter is that my inability to stretch out my hand to the man or woman sleeping on the sidewalk, rolling & tumbling in a battered wheelchair on 16th Street, or frighteningly engaged in a tormented dialog with themselves, is my lack of faith, πίστις, that should make everything possible. And while St. Paul specifically lists the “gift of healing” among the gifts of the Holy Spirit (cf. χαρίσματα ἰαμάτων, 1Cor 12:9, 12:28), the Lord does not appear to be making such a commentary, and I have not found a commentary of the Holy Fathers that suggests this narrative speaks to any issue beyond that of faith.

        I personally do not see how it could be said that the church could be “happy,” satisfied, or much of anything but grieving at such a symptom – in fact, an indictment – of the state of faith. Certainly, we follow the strict admonition of John the Evangelist:

        Believe not every spirit, but try [δοκιμάζετε – put to the test] the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know you the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof you have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (1Jn. 4:1-3)

        but the immediate urge to disparage healing and miracles outside the Orthodox Church strikes me as shortsighted as it is foolish in attempting to contain the Holy Spirit Who will not be contained.

        Your point is well taken, Peter, and I hope this was helpful.

        • Peter Millman says

          Hi Michael,
          It was extremely helpful. Many thanks for your insight and illumination.

    • Peter, add spirit, heart, and nous (mind, loosely) to soul and body and I’d completely agree with your point about serious problems in Orthodox teachings that obstruct healing of the whole human person. Don’t forget the first three, because they’re key. (I think your instincts about such expressions of Mr. Misha’s proud imposture are sound. For some reason he strikes me as the type of contrary diehard who’d possess and venerate an icon of Rasputin.)

      I want to see the gifts of healing and wonder working completely restored to the Orthodox Church. This ministry is not the purview of the unbelieving clergy; it is the right of every Christian . However, the Orthodox Church has a history of quenching the Holy Spirit.

      The Catholic Church isn’t innocent in that quenching, either.

      My opinion is that one of the greatest obstacles to healing in Orthodoxy is all of her confusions having to do with ecclesiology. Wouldn’t intercommunion in Christ, in the Truth, be the most direct way to increase all manifestations of the charisms of the Holy Spirit? That may mean, communion of all people of good will in the mystical Body of Christ. All of them. Which is, in potential anyway, probably a whole lot more than many Orthodox seem to think, wandering aimlessly as they can tend to do in the pseudo-phronema of sectarian narcissism, hypocrisy and self-righteousness, and intoxicated by all its strange, rotten fruits. On a road to Nowhere, as you note.

      • It is probably the case that morality is being defenestrated in the liberal Protestant confessions and Rome because their mysteries convey no grace. I don’t think we wan’t in on that. I assume that the more conservative Protestants have been spared this moral apostasy only to the extent that they hold firm to the authoritative nature of biblical morality.

    • Estonian Slovak says

      I’m sorry , but you are full of it. You would reform the Church like a latter-day-Luther. Please. There are existing Eastern Rite Catholic churches, including a Greek one. If you desire union with Rome, join one of them, but leave us out of it. That’s what I would do if I believed like you. Here we are slamming the Old Calendarists for objecting, but the EP gets a pass. Please.
      I agree with Peter P. The issue here is not Grace nor the lack thereof. The issue is ERROR. Instead of the Church reinventing itself, we need to go back to what we have. English services certainly, but most parishes aren’t doing Matins , either in the morning or as part of a Vigil the night before. Thus the faithful never hear the canons read, so they aren’t exposed to the teachings of the Church. We’ve let the world into the Church enough.

  20. So Bartholomew is really a “fake” bishop looks of things.
    Like a dumb democrat, intellectual, “zeal not according to
    knowledge.” He and Francis probably know the actual
    stuff Russians had that “meddled” and “interfered” on
    American Elections effecting the loss of Hilary Clinton
    according to 17 CIA agencies and all they can say is
    “meddling” well what, “meddling how” asshole liars?
    CIA that whole agency is like old cobwebs old fake
    intelligence, I mean seriously if they call themselves
    “central” and “intelligence” then of course that is important.
    Turns out CIA is worthless garbage. A bunch of asshole
    fuckfaces worthless bitches in office FBI needs to rout
    they’re like all a bunch of queens from NY Queens.
    I have been switching from beer to white wine to lose
    weight, going good,

  21. Peter A. Papoutsis says

    Just in case people are interested in what the Greek Old Calendarists thought of the Cretan Robber Council:
    ENCYCLICAL concerning the Ecumenist gathering in Crete

    Republic of Greece

    Church of the True Orthodox Christians of Greece

    Holy Synod

    Kanningos 32 (3rd floor)

    106 82 Athens

    Tel. 21038 28 280–Fax 21038 47 365


    Protocol No. 2483

    To be read in Church on the Sunday after the

    Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos



    Beloved Presbyters and Deacons in Christ;

    Divinely beloved Flock of our Most Holy Church

    of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece:

    May Grace and Blessings from God be with you all!

    As is well known, the so-called “Holy and Great Synod of the Orthodox Church,” which the secular media hailed as an especially important and historic event, was convened a month ago in Kolymbari, Chania, in Crete.

    For almost a century, and particularly during the past sixty years, the Patriarchate of Constantinople pursued an initiative to convoke such a synod, though on un-Orthodox grounds and with the intention of imposing innovations, as envisioned both by the Patriarchal Proclamation of 1920 and by the soi-disant “Pan-Orthodox Congress” of 1923, under the notorious Freemason Meletios Metaxakes.

    The change in the Church Calendar handed down to us by the Fathers, which was audaciously undertaken—wholly uncanonically—in the following year, 1924, in implementation of ecumenist and Αntichristian mandates, opened the “sack of Aeolus” and unleashed the winds of captivity and “ecumenization” on the local Orthodox Churches.

    The founding of the World Council of Churches in 1948 and the so-called Lifting of the Anathemas with the Papists in 1965 demonstrated for all to see that the unionist or uniate course plotted by the Patriarchate of Constantinople was not according to God, since it betokened an inadmissible admixture of truth and falsehood and directly contravened the ninth article of the Symbol of Faith: “In One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.”

    For, as far as the heresy of ecumenism is concerned, there are no heresies or heretics, since the Church supposedly has unlimited boundaries, in which all those baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity are included, all of them together constituting the common Body of Christ. Theological differences are allegedly “different traditions,” constituting legitimate expressions of the same Faith, which have no negative repercussions on the mysteriological grace and fabric of the sundry “ecclesiastical communities” of the heterodox; indeed, by way of ecumenism, all of these ideas have become acceptable and have been proclaimed for decades, being experienced and expressed in many ways and at many levels.

    It has, however, always been the desire of those who are Orthodox in name, though in essence heretical ecumenists, that all of the foregoing ideas gain “pan-Orthodox synodal” endorsement and confirmation, so as to be legitimated and to form an obligatory element of their official credo.

    In this context they also wanted to resolve other longstanding problems that beset them at a local level and at a broader geographical level.

    For this reason they proceeded hastily and impetuously, despite differences that persisted until the last moment, and even in spite of the manifest abstentions of several local Churches, to hold their aforementioned synod, at the insistence of Constantinople, the prime mover in this vision, through its head, Patriarch Bartholomew, and his staff.

    However, for reasons substantive and procedural, it had already been emphatically demonstrated that this was not going to be a truly “Holy and Great Synod,” but a “synodal innovation” and a “synodal coup,” the “apostate Synod of Chania,” or, more precisely, a “uniate, ecumenist, and pro-Papal pseudo-synod.”

    All of these resoundingly negative, but very true characterizations were evaluatedbothby us beforehand, in our “Message of Vigilance,” issued by our Inter-Orthodox Consultation two months ago, and by sober and impartial critics after the convocation of this essentially false synod in Crete.

    From a sense of confessional responsibility, as Shepherds of the Church, with “the edifying of the Body of Christ” and “the unity of the Faith” (Ephesians 4:12, 13) as our foremost duty, we affirm that the ecumenist gathering in Kolymbari, Chania, did not constitute a continuation of the truly Holy Synods of the Orthodox Church, for instead of condemning heresy and heretics, it endorsed the heresy of ecumenism and cautiously, albeit clearly, accepted communities of heretics as “heterodox churches” and their representatives, to whom it issued official invitations, as “observers from Sister Churches”!

    Only the Primates of the so-called official local Churches that participated had a vote, and they acted, as has been correctly pointed out, as “collective popes,” while their hobbled episcopal delegations did not have the right to freedom of speech and expression, since, as some of them disclosed, they were pressured and even insulted in cases of disagreement! Whether they signed or did not sign the approved documents was something devoid of essential significance. Their Primates signed, on behalf of their Churches, the prepared documents on six topics, to which some merely cosmetic emendations were made, in such a way that it appeared that there was “synodal agreement” on their ratification, according to an artificial, pre-planned, and well-nigh compulsory agreement.

    The principal object of interest was the document “Relations of the Orthodox Church With the Rest of the Christian World,” whereby the heresy of ecumenism, institutionalized and rendered official, won the day (prevailed). The proposed emendations on the part of the New Calendarist Church of Greece, which pertained more to terminology, did not alter the meaning of this unacceptable document and did nothing to avert the introduction of false teaching.

    However, all who “resist the truth” and are “reprobate concerning the Faith” (II St. Timothy 3:8) and in error (I St. Timothy 6:21), who are not following sound doctrine and who are reckoned as “deceivers and deceived” (II St. Timothy 3:13)—“such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 16:18), and are for this reason cut off as destroyers of the unity of the Faith of the Church.

    Therefore, those Bishops who did not sign the aforementioned document or any other document at that assembly are not “confessors,” as some proclaim, so as to deceive themselves and one another, since they did not dissociate themselves by denouncing false doctrine and disavowing it and its misbelieving exponents, who merit excommunication.

    The same holds good for disquieted clergy and laity from the New Calendar Church, who endeavor to prove what is already well known, namely that it was not a Holy and Great Synod; they do this, however, in order to convince themselves and their followers that it was something invalid and therefore not binding or applicable, and that they can, in any case, uninterruptedly continue in communion with those who are demonstrably cacodox. This artful expediency, which probably happens without their realizing it, is deceptive and condemnable.

    Equally naïve is the expectation of certain others that the four local Churches that did not take part are supposedly preserving their Orthodoxy and will convene a synod in order to invalidate the pseudo-synod of Kolymbari! It is, after all, well known that the Patriarchates of Antioch and Moscow participate actively in ecumenism, while the declarations to date of those Churches that did not take part in the pseudo-synod contain not a trace of condemnation thereof, save only that they do not regard its decisions as binding for them, since they did not themselves take part, and the principle of mutual agreement was thus violated.

    The remaining problems concerning the gathering in Kolymbari—that is, whether it was an event expressive of internationalism, whether prodigious sums were expended, whether worldliness and behind-the-scenes or secular diplomacy were factors, whether the presence of police was intolerable, whether the geopolitical goals of the major Western powers and of the globalist new world order were served—are the side-effects that one would expect of what was, on the surface, an ecclesiastical event, but which, devoid as it was of Divine benediction and approval, naturally gave rise to divers deviations at many levels.

    Apart from everything else, it was obvious that this gathering did not deal with issues of immediate concern, such as the re-evangelization of a world prone to sinful passions, the rectification of the liturgical division of the Orthodox over the calendar, nationalist schisms (those of Macedonia and Ukraine, et al.), deluded beliefs and false prophecies, the inundation of occultism and Satanism as signs of the end times, eschatological anxieties, issues in bioethics, a decisive confrontation of the persecution of Christians worldwide, etc., as well as a prophetic and charismatic call to humanity to repent and return to the Church.

    In the wake of all these illustrative facts, only a very few have undertaken to break communion with the cacodox ecumenists, in accordance with the canonical Tradition of the Church, and still fewer have threatened to cease commemorating them, with uncertain results. As is evident, the habituation of many, for decades, to direct or indirect communion with heresy has fuddled their judgment and dulled their consciences to such an extent that, at the decisive hour and moment, they have failed, as a consequence, to be receptive to the gift of true Confession, in theory and in practice.

    In the face of this deplorable situation, the Holy Synod of the Hierarchy of our Church calls its children to persistence and toinvigoration, so as to maintain the treasure of the Faith unadulterated and to be able to transmit it to posterity. All who believe in an Orthodox manner and do not succumb to the temptation of direct or indirect communion with the misbelieving ecumenists, and who also live in repentance and strive to preserve their faith in the conduct of everyday life, will receive mercy from our Savior, Who loves mankind, in these evil days of apostasy through which we are passing. May the good example of the children of our Church attract many who are caught up in the bonds of error and heresy to the liberty of God’s Grace!

    At an ecclesiastical level there is a need for sober assessment and information, and also to come to grips with the misbeliefs of ecumenism. To this end, as well as for the preparation of a truly Holy and Great Synod of our Genuine Orthodox Churches, our Holy Synod has already appointed a special Hierarchical Commission.

    We must admit, even so, that the author of evil, the enemy of our salvation and unity, stirs up many impediments, exploiting the weaknesses of human beings, and even of the Shepherds of the Church. Nevertheless, urging all, clergy and laity, to contribute their prayers, we hope that our Lord, the Bestower of gifts, the Head of the Body of the Church, will maintain us steadfast and united to the end, will uphold us in the Grace of Confession, and also in the declaration thereof at an Orthodox Synod as soon as possible, and will vouchsafe us the eternal Kingdom of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen!

    In the Year of Salvation 2016, on the 18th of July,

    Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the Holy Œcumenical Synods


    The Archbishop

    † KALLINIKOS of Athens

    The Members

    † AKAKIOS of Attica and Diavleia

    † ATHANASIOS of Larisa and Platamon

    † JUSTIN of Euripos and Euboia

    † GERONTIOS of Piræus and Salamis

    † CHRYSOSTOMOS of Attica and Boiotia

    † GREGORY of Thessalonike

    † PHOTIOS of Demetrias

    † MOSES of Toronto

    † DEMETRIOS of America

    † AMBROSE of Philippi and Maroneia

    † CYPRIAN of Oropos and Phyle

    † AMBROSE of Methone

    † MICHAEL of Nora

    † SILVANO of Luni

    † KLEMES of Gardikion

    † AUXENTIOS of Etna and Portland

    † THEODOSIOS of Bresthena

    † CHRISTODOULOS of Theoupolis

    [signed and sealed as a BONA FIDE COPY]

    The First Secretary of the Holy Synod

    † Photios of Demetrias

    • Well, don’t hold back. Tell me what you really think.

      Yeah, that about sums it up in spirit at least. As to where they draw lines, I’m a bit more generous. I do not suggest that grace has left the New Calendar churches at this point in time, but it certainly seems to be late for the door with respect to the Church of Constantinople and those eparchies led by the bishops who signed off on Crete.

      That being said, I encourage everyone who can do so to set sail for a jurisdiction that operates on the Church (Julian) Calendar. It’s not an infallible litmus test, but generally you can feel safe there. Again, Antioch and parts of the OCA, despite being New Calendar, do not seem to be signing on to Crete. Some in the OCA did exhort attendance to Crete and that will have to be worked out in their synod.

      It’s a hot mess.

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says

        I agree that the New Calendar Churches have grace, but when the time comes to leave the GOAA because of it’s heresy and compromises with this sinful world, and unfortunately it will happen, my wife and I have already made plans to go to an Antiochian Church in our area. It was recommended by Fr. Pat Reardon.

        I know people don’t understand why I am staying in a sinking ship like the GOAA, but it is simply because of Fr, Ephraim’s monasteries and the great Priests at my parish that are solidly Orthodox.

        Yes, Bishop Demetrios of Mokkissos and Metropolitan Iakovos are not, IMHO, Orthodox as they should be and must be, and they are more place holders than anything else, and that’s putting it lightly, but until I lose my priests and Bishop Demetrios goes full heterodox, in the Episcopal/Anglican way, which may very well happen, I’ll stay and raise my kids in the church they were Baptized in and try to ignore the nonsense out of the EP, 79th Street and my own local Bishop and Metropolitan. They are irrelevant to me in my walk and my family’s walk towards sanctification/Theosis.

        In any event Merry Christmas to all. I’m going to take a break from the blog until the new year, a new and next chapter of my life is starting next year, a happy one, so I will see you all next year after Christmas and the New Year. Until then God bless and live Orthodoxy.

        Peter A. Papoutsis

        • Good points, Mr. Papoutsis. Wasn’t the Bishop even reprimanded for accepting the “gifts” connected to the Annunciation Church scandal? Lost track of this drama and wonder if he ever returned the cash. Lots of news about him trying to rebuild his reputation, though, with the EP, with trips back and forth. Happy Christmas.

  22. George, sounds to me like this where you belong.

  23. Michael Woerl says

    The EP has finally gone off the deep end. “What should we do? What should we do?”
    2 Corinthians 6:15-17
    15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
    16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
    17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.

    Heresy is heresy. “Go in schism against the EP?”

    -He already went into schism from the Church! Might be ready to clear the house on Athos, too. Just saw news that monks of the Romanian Prodromou Skete have possibly been ordered out.

    So, Bartholomew will be head of the Eastern Rite. Good for him! And, with a NEW First Without Equals! No surprise, the EP has been on the road to Rome since 1920.

    • Yeah, pretty much.

      I’m glad he’s making it easy for the other local churches to simply not follow him. I assume he will then excommunicate them and that will be that – cancer removed.