Why Not? Might as Well at this Point

Fresh off of his pyrrhic victories in Greece and Alexandria, Patriarch Bartholomew is going all-in as far as Rome is concerned. Here, in some Catholic church in Belgium, our wannabe pontiff is sitting on the Bishop’s Chair.

And this at a time when the Roman Church is at its nadir. We are actually living in a time in which we can see the Roman Pontiff openly praying to heathen idols. (When has that happened?) One would think this would be a good time for an Orthodox primate to back off and say, “Tell you what Paco, let’s dialogue a little bit more, oh –I dunno, in a couple of decades or so? And then I’ll get back to you.”

Sometimes you can get a feeling of buyer’s remorse before you actually purchase a clunker. Someone should to tell His Holiness to back off a bit and possibly rethink some things before continuing his leisurely swim across the Tiber. Not every local Church is itching to get on his bandwagon by the looks of things. (Even Greece and Alexandria had to be dragged on board.) Oh sure, the Archons talk a good game with their bogus “human rights award” and their fancy dress-up balls at the Ritz-Carlton but that’s all they ever do. Nobody really takes them seriously. It’s all for show.  Bartholomew could learn a thing or two from them.  He is taking himself way too seriously

Anyway, that’s my advice. That and 50 cents can buy you a cup of coffee.

About GShep

Comments

  1. It’s very telling that, as you pointed out, that while the Roman pope (and cardinals) are openly praying to pagan idols, the EP is STILL going headlong towards them. In contrast, Moscow/Serbia/Antioch have all recently been fostering better relations with the Oriental Orthodox who are much more “Orthodox” than Rome..really telling of the mindset between the two groups, one more modernist and the other more traditional.

    If the EP wants to hitch its wagon to the sinking behemoth that is Roman Catholicism, let them and their followers go ahead. With all of the missionary work, and it actually is very well done and successful, the Russian Church is doing, I feel pretty confident Russia and those aligned with her will far outlast the EP and his patriarchate and others that are following him into oblivion. This is only because Russia seems to genuinely care about mission work, and Jerusalem/Antioch/Serbia., etc, care greatly about Orthodox unity, not being Greek 

  2. As I have stated many times. I would love to see him unite with Rome…tomorrow! And let any Hierarch, clergy, and monastic…from any Orthodox Church…who agree with him…follow him into communion with Rome. Then we can all be at peace knowing who remains Orthodox. Let’s clean up the grey areas!
     
    Hey, one can dream, eh? ?

    • Alitheia1875 says

      From Vladimir Moss, first a quote and then his commentary.
      Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev on Catholic sacraments: “To all intent and purposes, mutual recognition of each others Mysteries already exists between us. We do not have communion in the Mysteries. but we do recognize each others Mysteries. If a Roman Catholic priest converts to Orthodoxy, we receive him as a priest, and we do not re-ordain him. And that means that, de facto, we recognize the Mysteries of the Roman Catholic Church”.
       Is the next step full communion? I don’t see why not….the MP, as well as being sergianist and ecumenist, is now de facto uniate.
      Only the quarrel with Constantinople could spoil the party. The Pope has to decide on his sleeping partner: Moscow or Constantinople. Both of them are fighting like wildcats to have the privilege of sleeping with the whore of Babylon. Who will win?
      It would be strange and ironical, though, if Moscow enters in to union with Rome while being in schism from Constantinople.
      __________
      Wow! Both for Hilaron’s  quote and Moss’ commentary. We’re in it deep now!!!

      • This might clear things a little:
         
        http://fatherjohn.blogspot.com/2015/01/stump-priest-valid-sacraments.html
         
        https://mospat.ru/en/2010/10/06/news27421/
         
        Metropolitan Hilarion’s statements are somewhat fluid at times, bu I think the 2010 interview above makes it quite clear.

      • It’s true both the EP and Moscow are looking to unite with everyone.  This was made clear in WIKILEAKS where the EP complains to american diplomats that Mp is trying to take over their role in Ecumenical Dialogues!!! 
        As for the vatican, only unity with them is all that’s required just like in Antioch where monotheletes (maronites), melkites and Syriac monophysite uniates are all seperate but unified by papal recognition. 
        ROCOR should reign in on MP globalists like Alfeyev. The Greek Phanarites on the other hand are already doing Beta Testing on possible reunion. We are just too stupid to realize it. Athonite abbots concelebrate with Latins this past week and crickets from Athos. Can you imagine if this was the Athos of the 60’s or 70’s? In parishes in Europe, latin cardinals are handing out antidoron and the sheeple without questions asked are kissing his hand. In America Elpidoforos is preaching at the Astoria cathedral that heretics do not include non-Orthodox Trinitarians only old calendarists!!! In my own GOA parish when my nephew was baptised and half the crowd were Hispanic Roman catholics he made clear that there is no difference between latins and Orthodoz, just that we are all christian is all that matters etc.  The Phanar is already doing beta testing to see how fast to proceed.

        • Pere LaChaise says

          My feelings about Abp. Elpi ought to be well known here, so any defense of his pastoral words should be seen as balanced and fair, like your favorite Fox News*. 
          When a pastor speaks at a funeral, he does not engage a polemic of akribeia. He soothes broken hearts. Anyone out of their tender years would not judge such speech on strict theology.  Likewise kissing the sacramentalizing hand of a Roman cleric is just good manners for an Orthodox as his priesthood is a dogmatic fact, as much as you would like to object to it. Involving that cleric in Orthodox services though is a mistake and confuses the people. 
          I stand with the tradition of the Russian Orthodox Church that Roman Sacraments including Ordination are real and recognizable, and that when the Bishop of Rome reposes a Pannixida for him is sung immediately in the Moscow Patriarchate. We must not forget to recognize each other’s Churches, though we must not overlook our very real differences. I trust the Russian perspective and strategy on this matter much more than the historically inept and compromised unia worked out by C’ple over the centuries. Each effort betrayed the Orthodox faith, something the Phanar seems particularly well suited to achieve. 

  3. Apparently, Pope Francis has approved the construction of a monument to “Human Fraternity” uniting Islam, Judaism and Catholicism with a mosque, a synagogue, and a Roman Catholic church symbolically united on one foundation. Lord have mercy.
     
    This isn’t without criticism, however: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/abp-vigano-decries-pope-approved-plan-to-build-abrahamic-religious-site-with-muslims-jews
     

    • I’ve never understood this idea that monotheistic religions are sacred in of themselves. In fact one thing I like about christianity is that we are the only monotheistic religion that’s not Abrahamic through the flesh. Say what you want but I’ve never been comfortable with being “an abrahamic middle eastern religion”. Monotheism for me is not special just because its monotheism or that its derived by the offspring of some guy living in the desert thousands of years ago.

      • Exactly.  Evangelical Protestants etc are crypto jews really in mentality but at more primitive intellectual level.  I may offend some but is true. 

        • Michael Bauman says

          My confessor wrote a book that said  the Evangelical Protestants are in the Bible.  They were the folks who turn away when Jesus said “Unless you eat of my Body and drink of my Blood you have no life in you

          • Antiochene Son says

            Well said. 
             
            It’s hard for me to grasp how someone, even one drawn to Orthodoxy, can see this as a stumbling block when it’s so incredibly plain in John 6. 

    • Did not the French have a monument to human reason at revolution??  Join the crap club!!
      I live in peace with Muslims, other christians. , other faiths,  humanist and atheist and respect all. I don’t have any intention to worship with all, or to deny Christ or God. 
      Christians in roman empire were asked to do this.  Not deny Christ exactly but drop a little bit of incense  in the bowl for the emperor and  Zeus.  They refused and suffered. 
      What this Pope is doing and his ilk IS PLAY ACTING FOR THE GALLERY. Virtue posturing.  Just let them ask him to give up his papal authority and watch mask drop. 

    • Antiochene Son says

      It’s all so tiresome.

      • Totally tiresome, like a failing business desparately trying new unthought  out lines and offers to get the punters back, AND MERGERS!! 

  4. As they say in baseball,  “T’row  da Bum out !”

  5. Antiochene Son says

    Bartholomew will engage in masturbatory dialogue with Rome all day long, but as soon as someone suggests talking about the issues ripping apart the Orthodox Church—oh no! We can’t do that.
     
    And like a petulant child, Jeronimo of Athens has rejected engaging in any dialogue not initiated by Constantinople. https://orthochristian.com/125790.html

    He will, however, collude with any State Department official who walks through his door.

    • Alitheia1875 says

      The Archbishop just met with US ambassador to Greece Pyat to discuss, among other things, Ukraine. So, is the US interested in the ecclesiastical issue and the Archbishop in the political issue, or any combination of the two? Or, what?

    • In my eyes the + Hieronymos’s statement about Constantinople being the only one allowed to call a gathering of bishops actually makes it sound like a pontifical See. 
      Acting according to this nobody could question or challenge Constantinople’s views in an authorative way as there’d be no way to call a council to do that. So Constantinople would basically be untouchable and infallible, since no one could question it. It could simply declare itself to be right and say that we wont allow a council to question us even when they are in error. Wait a minute! It seems that this is what it’s already doing. 
      It is hard for me to believe that this is the way the Church really functions. No local church, synod or bishop can claim this sort of power. This is essentially papism in my eyes..

      • Correct, Basileios,
        you know what, I am almost sure there is some canon about that.If Bartholomew does not want, there must be another way!

      • Nestorios was removed…

      • If only Constantinople can call a council then how do they explain the 3rd ecumenical council at Ephesus which depised the bishop of Constantinople. Geronimo also has forgotten Dositheos bishop of Jerusalem held a pan Orthodox council in 1672. 

      • Prior ecumenical councils were called by the eastern Roman emperor (i.e., Byzantine emperor).  
        This is the problem that occurs when the Byzantine empire is gone but the ecclesiastical entity that was part of it thinks that it should continue to exist and now fancies itself as the successor to the emperor. 
        The “Patriarchate of Constantinople” was non-existent until Constantine moved the Roman Empire capital to Byzantium.   The Patriarchate existed with and because of the “ecumene.”
         
        With the Eastern Roman Empire gone, the Patriarchate of Constantinople has no reason for existence. Which is why it now invents on a day-to-day basis “reasons” for its existence. 
        There should be a small exarchate of the Church of Greece in Istanbul to care for the tiny number of Greek-speaking Orthodox Christians in Istanbul and Turkey. That’s it.  The “Patriarchate of Constantinople” should be defunct, as the eastern Roman Empire ceased to exist 550+ years ago. 

        • Michael Bauman says

          Unfortunately, the Ottoman Empire made the Patriarch of Constantinople the head of the Christian Rum–bribes and all.  

          • Michael,
             
            that’s exactly the satanic idea of the Turks, to have central control of the Orthodox, via one man.

            • Pere LaChaise says

              Not a mere idea, but the working plan of day-to-day operation. Greek loyalism is their secret key to partial control of all these churches. 
              The parallels between the corruption of the Phanar and the trump presidency* are appallingly precise. I am not saying this to imply that the latter has any real control over the former but the patterns of criminality and perversion of mission are striking. 

      • Monk James Silver says

        Basileios (November 22, 2019 at 11:11 am) says:

        In my eyes the + Hieronymos’s statement about Constantinople being the only one allowed to call a gathering of bishops actually makes it sound like a pontifical See. SNIP
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        And writing with Roman Catholic vocabulary such as this doesn’t make ‘Basileios’ sound like an Orthodox Christian.

        • Monk James Silver
          “And writing with Roman Catholic vocabulary such as this doesn’t make ‘Basileios’ sound like an Orthodox Christian.”

           
          Since you like absolute accuracy,
          It would be more accurate to say:
           
          “And writing with Roman Catholic vocabulary such as this doesn’t make ‘Basileios’ sound like he knows the correct  Orthodox Vocabulary but he surely sounds Orthodox.”
           
          And if you wonder how that can be, I’ll offer two possibilities:
           
          (1) Basileios’s First Language  (like mine) is not English, and he does not know the absolutely perfect vocabulary. 
          (2) You know there some Greeks in the US who become protestant or papist and some of them later return to Orthodoxy but they have learnt the wrong theological/ecclesiastical vocabulary. 
          (3) Other.
           
          Of course if Basileios is in both (1) and (2) then there is a double explanation for the vocabulary.

          BTW, it is a pity to leave the main problem with Hieronymos
          in the background.
           
           

          • Monk James Silver says

            I wrote what I meant as I wrote it, merely as a sort of parallel to what ‘Basileios’ had written.

               No matter what people’s first language is, it’s possible for them to learn Orthodox Christian vocabulary in English- –  if they’re learning English —  rather than heterodox vocabulary, which is usually going to be more difficult since it will rely on linguistic roots not familiar to non-native speakers,  lat east those from Orthodox Christian backgrounds.
             
            I’m confident that my personally not addressing ‘the problem with Hieronymos’ will not cause other well informed correspondents here to ignore it.

            • To add yes it was,Basilios you responding to and me to you, not antiochan son directly,  so just mentioning it as i know you will.  I meant not to be rude but honestly all he said is totally accurate.  
              We are not playing parlour games here.  The Church is in deep EXISTENTIAL CRISIS with what it means to be Orthodox in modern world.  NOT JUST IN DIASPORA ( yes is not Term I like but will do) but in it’s hearlands such as here in Bulgaria.   
              The truth is while there was communist power we avoided the issues just as Ottoman power had same action. 
              What we see today was beginning a hundred yrs ago but communist power meant the Church,even in West, went on survival mode for 70 odd yes. 
              Now the ice has melted,  the cupboard door is open and everything exposed, the good with the bad.  And above all trying to run the Church behind a byzantine facade of delusion.  I used to have pride calling istambul, Constantinople.   Now I refuse to.  Istambul the reality for me now.  
              The Phanar is plain, openly,  papal in it’s self understanding and the satrap in USA even more so.  The poison is finally public. Let’s thank them for that. 
              A few yrs yrs ago a greek priest in Thessaloniki who left the Church, George Miskos,  wrote a book called Shock and Awe ( ΣΟΚ ΚΑΙ ΔΕΟΣ)  in which he called out the pretensions and pretense of a Church that was not seriously looking at itself or able to communicate. 
              Although he says he left because he no longer believes, but is not an atheist, It is actually clear that before that stage it’s was all that we mention here that killed his spirit.  Perhaps the truth is he was TOO DECENT TOO GOOD,  and HONEST. He was a civil engineer by profession and gave alot of his money into the Church and founded monastery. Slowly the system killed him spiritually. The hypocrisy.  
              It would do us all good to read this book. Sadly may only be in greek. 

          • Absent Basileios’ later explanation, I would have selected Door No. 3, “Other,” from Ioannis’ suggestions.  I originally took his use of the words “pontifical” and “infallible” as deliberate and ironic, meaning that Hieronymos’s statement about Constantinople displayed an attitude on H’s part that assumes that Constantinople claims and has the attributes of Rome.  I thought it rather clever, but I’ll accept Basileios’ explanation.
             

        • Pardon my clumsy language Monk James Silver. As Ioannis anticipated English is not my first language so expressing thougts in this specific context is not the easiest task. 
          Although not a theologian I am a chrismated Orthodox Christian.

        • Antiochene Son says

          I am not sure how you arrived at that conclusion. 

      • Antiochene Son says

        I’d like someone to ask His Beatitude how an EP could be deposed (as has been necessary many times in history) if only the EP himself can call a council.

        Besides, the JP is not even calling for a “COUNCIL.” Just a meeting of primates to TALK. It is shocking that these CIA assets in cassocks won’t even do that.

        • There really is no way to depose an EP unless his synod decides to.  And the only way to do that is to bribe his bishops like in Ottomon times and guarantee Elpidoforos he will succeed him, so that’s a no go.. Perhaps it’s also possible if the clergy and laity of Greece turn on him but that too will not happen especially under this Geronimo fella.  The only thing that can be done is for each individual church cease to recognize him and just make pretend he and his entire synod does not exist.

        • Antiochene Son
           
          “It is shocking that these CIA assets in cassocks won’t even do that.”

           
          Exactly!
          That’s why such people are USUALLY put in such posts!

  6. SatisfactionGuaranteed says
    • Johann Sebastian says

      What an abject mess

      • Pere LaChaise says

        Reading that post last night it occurred to me that Metr. Nathanael might also have said to his clergy that they are still free to question individuals as the approach the Chalice. While I disagree with his extant words as reported, since they seem to ban priests from teaching sacramental piety, I do not believe any bishop has the power to ban the private dialogue a pastor might have with a member of his flock (or stranger who doesn’t know any better). BUT a large congregation lining up for Communion in a big Greek church will not really allow for much face-to-face questioning about matters of conscience. 

    • Is this a reputable site? If this information is accurate then the Goarch has become a graceless sect. the diminishing of grace in the GOA has been apparent to anyone whose been there for more than 30 years.

      • CustomerNotSatisfied says

        They have strong sources and it’s backed up with insider documents. We need to push Nathanael out quicker than the EP is willing to acknowledge or act.

      • As a priest friend told me, the modernist elements of the GOA/Constantinople (which, unfortunately, is a lot or even most of it) represent a different faith altogether – it’s not even Orthodox Christianity. 
        Is the GOA going to go back to telling its flock what it used to tell us in the 1960s & 1970s — i.e., if you can’t find a Greek Orthodox parish to go to, attend a local Episcopal church – it’s pretty much the same anyway (!).  
        In a healthy church, the brother clergy/bishops – or the “episcopal assembly” ! — would rise up and correct Met. Nathaniel.  The fact that he gets away with this kind of “preaching” with no correction whatsoever shows what an unhealthy group we have in America.  
        Where are the OCA, Antiochian, ROCOR, Serb, and other Orthodox leaders rising to correct him?  There are many Orthodox bishops in Chicago. At this point, we’re flat out not even expecting the GOA to do anything, or to even care. 

      • Just to add, some of the comments on the above linked blog about the GOA [question his fitness for episcopal office] and that it’s no secret.
         
        Alas, sigh. 
         
        Once again, a healthy church would depose him ASAP – for his own salvation’s sake – if this is indeed true.  If this is true, it certainly does explain why he’s a vocal advocate of “open communion” with no questions asked.  Sigh once again.
        Reason #3426 to leave the GOA now, as if anyone needs any more reasons. 

    • This man,  Nathanial does not even have the guts to say so openly.  It’s open Communion. Then we must all assume thst for last 2000 yrs the Church has been in wrong. He is jesuitical,  it is in the Dna of the service that we approach with fear and love and in Slav tradition especially Russian much clearer with the priest saying  before Communion, ‘ that we be not like judas and give Christ a kiss. 
      It is the duty of priest to state the teaching in a non Orthodox society where heterodox will be present. 
      We know that in today’s world people will go to an Orthodox church and take Communion COS ITS THEIR RIGHT!!  
      Truly we see a failed AKA 1960s western church, business,  grabbing at being trendy to get the punters in.  Reality is the world has moved on and does not give a monkey’s.  Indeed not even in it’s radar.  
      Why does he not just get on with closing the next church.?  ANATHEMA BUT BE PLEASED, THEY FINALLY SHOWING THEIR TRUE COLOUR ( YELLOW) OPENLY. We need to thank them for that. 

    • Just like the Catholic Church. Priests are not allowed to turn anyone away from communion for any reason. Priests have even been removed for so doing in recent times.

  7. Antiochan son. Yes I as a greek am ASHAMED at a spiritual level as a Orthodox Christian but also as a greek. 
    We are due to go to Thessaloniki in mid December before Christmas, to see family there, travelling from here in Bulgaria where we live .  We will not attend liturgy but will venerate the relics of St Dmitri but not ask for prayers.  Very Very sad. 
    Ieronimos is a patsy..A Malakas! Commonly translated as A WANKER. Excuse my language.  If only the former Archbishop, Christodoulos was still alive. 

    • Nik- Ta λες σωστά. You actually summed up exactly as I feel.  Right down to how I would like to visit Thessaloniki for a prolonged period of time but cannot attend these compromised churches. 

  8. Aren’t you (or our brother Vladimir) over-reacting, Alithea?  Isn’t what is lacking in some mysteries performed by the heterodox is supplied by repentance, Chrismation and partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ in Holy Communion.  What Met. Hilarion is quoted as saying here is not that new.  We don’t always re-baptize, re-marry, or re-ordain converts.
    Christ is in our midst,
    lexcaritas+

  9. AnonSaysWhat says

    I can’t help but be extremely saddened by all of these events occuring, but then I am reminded of the stressed message of our new Saints of our Church, which is repentance. The lack of repentance is the greatest complaint of our Christ and our Holy Panagia and the Saints. One should listen to how Saint Iakovos spoke to Saint John the Russian in Eboia about the catastrophic events that await us in Greece (not only though). It seems that only extreme pain will awaken in us the need for repentance. 
    When we Greeks have in this modern age embraced every junk aspect of western civilization and pushed our duties aside as Christians, what should we expect? When we Greeks have roughly 40-45% of the population declaring themselves to be atheist, what should we expect? Good leaders? Maybe these are our rewards?
     

    • George Michalopulos says

      Anon, somewhat apropos of your observations, I was watching Netflix’s third season of The Crown. Episode 4 deals with Princess Alice (the Duke of Edinborough’s mother) and is filmed in Greece (or at least a very good estimation of Greece).

      I was struck by a wave of nostalgia and sadness for what we as Greeks have lost. As for Princess Alice herself, what a remarkable woman! Extremely pious, she ran an orphanage in the Neo Iraklio section of Athens and pawned her jewelry to keep it running. Jane LaPoitre, the actress who plays her does an amazing job. What struck me was the religiosity of Alice and her sisterhood. When she was taken to London by the Queen (the Colonels had taken over the government and she feared for her mother-in-law’s life), there were a couple of scenes of Princess Alice in her bedroom, privately in prayer when no one was looking and doing a full prostration while doing so.

      I just can’t imagine such piety existing in the Greece of today. She was 82 years old and had been treated horribly her entire life (born deaf, thought to be mentally retarded, incarcerated in an asylum, treated by Freud, etc.). Yet her love for God was manifest and she didn’t let these tragedies afflict her.

      OK, I’m rambling, but as a Greek, the ambience of that episode was one of purity of heart. For Alice of course but it bespoke of a more innocent, pious time for the Greek people as well. Anyway, that’s my two cents.

      • George I feel the same. I am not saying such piety does not exist and we must keep in mind state of Russian church in 1917!( dire mostly with Rasputin creatures in charge)  but it was this Church that faced the bolsheviks.  
        The Greek church is in crisis. There is forming as in western Europe, totally unchurched generation.  I met greek student here who had not been baptised and knew nothing about the Church. Others who turn up for ten minutes on Pascha night. Yet the bishops mostly are lost in a byzantine world and nice cars  and salaries. DEAD DEAD DEAD. 

      • Also re yr comment George,  when u see modern Greek congregations in Greece sitting in their chairs, not even a mildly better pew, but chair, motionless,  you understanding what is already dead.  Only old grannies at front who recall the chair less churches of up to early 1970s,  ((although plenty of stasidia  around walls etc) still bowing and Crossing themselves. 
        Interesting to note that the ‘chairing’ of greek churches then came with the first  ‘new wave’  of westernization after the  initial  early 20th. century Mexatakis et al efforts, that were exported to USA, well they  happened with Zoe organization bishop brought in by junta in 1967, Ieronimos by name, ha!  ( katsonis) in place of legal archbishop who was deposed illegally .. Katsonis was a westernizer.   I recall attending liturgy WITH  ORCHESTRA IN 1970S as kid, yes ORCHESTRA,  better than organ actually!! and the first almost shaven clergy.  He was deposed and sent to a monastery where he died when junta fell and Seraphim was appointed
        . The modernist wave has been knocking at door of Church for some time, and up to now doing it’s work in diaspora as easier there, but now seeking to come centre stage. 
        DO NOT MAKE MISTAKE, THAT THIS SPIRIT WILL NOT  BE FOUND IN ALL THE NATIONAL CHURCHES INCLUDING RUSSIA, INDEED WAS FIRST MANIFEST THERE IN 1900s and then in revolution.  
        Sadly most lay people as in rc church will DO NOTHING OR QUIETLY GIVE IT UP. 

        • Re Greece I recall my Godmother, whose son was priest, shaven and in Uk under then arch USA modernist ( the Church has windows and doors but no walls bilge, and ‘ Turkish grown wearing and hair growing ‘ I guess in uncivilised contrast to Civilized Vatican suit and dog collars wearing!!)  Athenagoras Kokkinakis,(1963-1979 uk archbishop)   anyway she telling me as kid how wonderful were Catholic clergy and how dirty were our monks etc. With their hair. 
          She also said when attending St Panteleimon church ( huge new church) in Archarnon, Athens,  where they lived that it was just old ladies like her and who would come after?  So seems this a perenial phenomenon.  My Pascha memories of that church are of wonderful services with stupendous chanters.  

        • One question I have. What in the world are these rails maybe communion rails installed in  front of the iconostasis of Churches Greece? What’s their purpose? They are like security rails a barrier between the people and priest.

        • Guy yes it’s a western mentality. I have often thought long and hard WHY IS IT WE GREEKS( and sadly now Albanians and koreans under Phanar) BUT NOT THE SLAVS, no matter how they may have digressed at times, who fall for altar rails, rows of rigid chairs, harmonium etc.?
          Is it that over many centuries the Slavs were exposed to western Culture, often to good things as well as bad, and developed immunity and ability to discriminate, while we greeks with our more eastern tradition, had none and were like amer – Indians falling in droves to common cold

  10. It seems to me Orthodoxy has been in a similar case in the past. Instead of running around in circles screaming “Oh! What can we do?”, why don’t we look for an example in those who negotiated such difficulties in the past? What did St Mark of Ephesus do when the Patriarch and all the metropolitans had signed up to their Union? I know he refused to recognise the Union, but what did he do in his daily and liturgical life? Did he communicate with them, while still proclaiming the Truth? Did he sever all ties? What? And what did the people do? Did they follow the Patriarch and the Emperor and all the other bishops? Did they follow St Mark? What happened? Surely there is hope for us yet, if we ask the right questions and follow the right road?

    • Brendan, today you will be called a zealot and as a layman to just keep quiet. I make my voice heard in various groups. If the group is like minded I’m preaching to the choir. OTOH If not,  to give you an idea, in the past week I’ve been called a slav-troll. A fake greek who gets paid by Moscow. A graceless old calendarist schismatic. A brainwashed fool living in the russian propaganda bubble, and even that I’m on the wrong side of history and fighting against the Holy Spirit etc.
      In the past the Fathers wrote entire treatise and apologetics. They ceased commemoration and communion, they wrote to the emperor to convene a council. They wrote to other bishops to get endorsements of their views etc. 
       
       

      • Gus, thank you for your response – particularly the last paragraph. The game is only over if we admit defeat. Athanasios stood contra mundum in his time, as did Markos Eugenikos in his. They are now both Saints in the Orthodox Church. Where are their opponents?

    • Brendan thank u for yr comments because this is the issue. What do we do?     Sadly as with old believers in Russia and old calandarists in Greece, the danger is to become a  fundamentalist sect seen as strange, as not confirming and psychologically the need to conform is deep in us ,  especially the young. Is there nothing more conforming  than a non – conforming younger generation??  
      I do not have answer except spiritually we are in for dark times. OH, IT WILL SEEM BRIGHT, VERY BRIGHT. 

  11. What is the Orthodox laity to do in and about Church ~ as the waves from the Ukraine schism begin to hit our shores? Fr John Whiteford’s excellent blogpost addresses our dilemma:
    https://fatherjohn.blogspot.com/2019/11/ukraine-schism-what-is-layman-to-do.html

    • Thank you for this, Nicole; and thanks to Fr John for a first-rate exposition of the problem, along with much historical information to back it up – and perhaps a workable way forward.
      Gus Langis (above) also has good advice. There is much that all of us can do to testify to the truth while still remaining in our parishes. However, the time may come when the EP and his Patriarchate swim the Tiber. If they do, then the Volga and (perhaps) the Jordan will remain for the Orthodox to swim.
      For the moment, I believe we must at every opportunity invoke St Mark of Ephesus’ dictum that the Pope, if he be Orthodox, is as one among the Patriarchs and nothing more; and supplement this with a new question: ‘How can the Patriarch of Constantinople be more than this and remain Orthodox?’
       

    • Gail Sheppard says

      The thing I like best about Father John is his ability to articulate the truth clearly and succinctly. Frankly, were it not for his book Sola Scriptura, I would not be Orthodox. – I know what I need to do. I need to spend far more time in Church and work on establishing an even closer relationship with God. When all is said and done, that may be the only thing I have to hold on to. – We need to bring the Church so far within ourselves nothing can touch it.

  12. “One thing I think we all need to avoid, is allowing anyone to paint this crisis in terms of it being just a matter of Russians vs. the Greeks. This is not about ethnicity, this is about Orthodoxy. This is not Russian vs. Greeks — it is Orthodoxy vs. heresy and schism. I know too many Greeks who are standing for the Faith, and know enough Russians who are not, to see it in those terms.”
    Fr John Whiteford from his blogpost:  “What’s a Layman to Do?” In the face of Ukraine…

  13. The photo in the initial article by George does not explain the whole problem. In the following link, some of the monastics in the picture are abbots from Mt. Athos and the problem is worse than we are led to believe from just looking at the picture.
    “From its sources, the UOJ learned that in addition to Patriarch Bartholomew, the hegumen of Athonite Monastery Xenophontos, Archimandrite Alexy, and Hieromonk Theophilos from Pantocrator Monastery took part in joint vespers in the above Catholic monastery.”
    https://russian-faith.com/news/ecumenism-mount-athos-elders-catholic-monastery-praying-patriarch-bartholomew-and-roman?mc_cid=3ea48bdfe0&mc_eid=19e7b7147c

    • In 1970 several Athonite Monasteries including 2 bishops from the new lands ceased commemoration with Arhenagoras for alot less. On this day when Athos remembers the Latin slaughter of the Xenophontos monks for resisting union, they are taking their predecessors memory and spitting on it.

      • Xenophontos was responsible for crafting the Church dividing tomos for the Ukrainian schismatics. They are nothing more than an extension of Bartholomew.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      That’s very discouraging.

  14. Here are two statements. Compare and contrast:
    The first is from Archbishop Elpidophoros of GOA America: “…the refusal to recognize primacy within the Orthodox Church, a primacy that necessarily cannot but be embodied by a primus (that is by a bishop who has the prerogative of being the first among his fellow bishops) constitutes nothing less than heresy.” http://fanarion.blogspot.com/2019/05/blog-post_12.html#more
    The second statement is from the Encyclical Letter of St Mark of Ephesus: “And for us, the Pope is as one of the Patriarchs, and that alone—if he be Orthodox”. https://orthodoxethos.com/post/the-encyclical-letter-of-saint-mark-of-ephesus
    If Elpidophoros is correct, Saint Mark was a heretic – unless Constantinople can be shown to have inherited more rights than Rome ever had before Rome ceased to be Orthodox.
    If however Saint Mark is correct, Elpidophoros’s opinion is not only nonsense, it is nonsense on stilts.

  15. Wow. A Heartfelt Letter to Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria from Metropolitan Agafangel of Odessa, calling him to revoke his support of the “OCU:”
     
    https://orthochristian.com/125793.html
     
     
     

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Truly impressive. I wonder, is it too late for Alexandria to change their position? This letter suggests this might be possible.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Actually, Gail, it’s not “too late”. The way that the Pat of Alexandria and the CoG “recognized” the schismatic Ukrainian sect was anything but elegant or canonical. It was a Charlie Foxtrot all around, hence the option to “revisit” these decisions is at least, technically, feasible.

        Realistically however, both primates have too much personal prestige (and other things) to lose. “In for a penny, in for a pound”.

        Still, we can hope that at least one of them would do the right thing.

  16. Already a good friend in Uk who attends a Russian Parish in Southampton, but just once monthly, as priest has two other parishes now! And who on other weeks attends the Greek church there, now has stopped attending the greek church.
    I make no judgement on those who do not know, which is most. It is their false shepherds who stand condemned. But we who do know, have no such luxury. Phanar clearly and openly preaches papal dogma of a type not even pushed too openly in Rome now.

  17. To get a sense of how fierce EP defenders can be, check out the Facebook page called “Greek Orthodox Christianity.” This was the page that reacted to something I had posted by saying I was a brain-washed pan-Slavic racist. BTW, this reaction was to a post where I simply stated, “My. My. My.” https://www.facebook.com/Greek-Orthodox-Christianity-101756021237612/?__tn__=%2Cd%2CP-R&eid=ARBjGDsuKBPGjOpMcOixLk7BAb_XNiUPSftnNoUQz8pmg6bVC1Y88XbEq4DQi_8LyswNyaoxulJ–5bJ
    I don’t believe I have read anything on this post that reduces the GOA to a “pseudochurch” as this site consistently does when referring to the Russian church.

    • I don’t think “fierce” is the right word. “Rabid” comes closer.

    • Wow, it’s like a cross between an open sewer and an echo chamber.

      Although they criticize the “Moscow pseudochurch propaganda sites,” I have never seen such vitriol anywhere else.

  18. Susan- I’ve had my run in with the owner of that page. He cant think outside the box. He attacked a fellow Greek on the GOARCH Fb as a Russian troll for being critical of an ecumenical gathering the archdiocese participated in. In other words he does not know what ecumenism even is, and how it has nothing to do with the Ukraine situation. Another FB group called “Orthodox Faithful” is run by another greek charlatan. In both instances these are Greeks who dont know the canons or even the Christology of the Church. These guys are the quintessential representatives of the disease of Greek New Calendarism (who to this day attack greek women that still where headscarves as foreign throwbacks).. There attention though is now turned away from them attempting to stomp out any tradition they view as “old calendarist” to attack those who’ve rejected the Phanarites superiority claims.

  19. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald.
     
    Patriarch Theodore and Antonis Diamataris honored The Thronal Feast of the Church of Constantinople
    By Theodore Kalmoukos 
    December 4, 2019
     
    https://www.thenationalherald.com/272137/patriarch-theodore-and-antonis-diamataris-honored-the-thronal-feast-of-the-church-of-constantinople/

  20. Jerry Hionatis says