Pope Tells Russians to “Be Proud of their Heritage”

It looks like Pope Francis has gone off-script as far as the anti-Russian/NATO script is concerned.

<–The Russian Military Cathedral, “Resurrection of Christ”, now that’s  something to be proud of!

According to Zerohedge, “Pope Francis is once again under fire, this time for telling ethnic Russians that they should be proud of their heritage”.  (Click here to read the entire story:  https://zerohedge.com/geopolitical/pope-francis-under-fire-telling-young-russians-never-forget-their-great-heritage.)

Ouch.  That’s gotta hurt NATO, the American Deep State, and all the goodthinkers who still have Ukrainian flags in their avatars.  

I mean, how dare he?  What do the Russians have to be proud of?  I mean, what have done for literature, other than Tolstoy, Pushkin, Chekhov, Dostoevsky and Turgenev?  Or the sciences, besides Lemsonov, Mendeleev, Pavlov and Sakharov?  Surely they can’t be proud of their accomplishments in music, except for Tchaikovsky, Borodin, Glinka, Rimsky-Korsakov, Mussorgsky and Balakirev.

Oops.  Never mind. 

I guess I was wrong.  The Russians do have a lot to be proud of as far as their heritage is concerned.   Looks like Pope Francis was right after all!

No doubt this is going to throw a wrench into all the anti-Russian propaganda that the West has been churning 24/7 for well over  year now.  Whether it does any good is anybody’s guess.  I imagine not, given that Blackrock, Vanguard and State Street basically controls the corporate media and they want their oligarchic buddies back in place.  

Still, you gotta give Francis props for speaking the truth.  Who knows?  It may cause one or two (or more) cooler heads to prevail in the West.  That shouldn’t be too hard in light of the fact that the vaunted Ukrainian counter-offensive is flailing.  Also, given the daily leaks appearing in the mainstream press regarding Ukrainian losses, I imagine some Western leaders are looking for an off-ramp right about now. 

Nevertheless, leaders in Kiev and the West reacted angrily to the Pope’s remarks.  Surprisingly, the Vatican held firm, “…[it] rejected the criticisms from Kiev and Western officials, defending [its] comments…”  

Good for the Vatican.  

I’d like to explore the deeper meaning of this statement.  Is the Pontiff extending a personal olive branch to the Kremlin?  Is he representing the few sane, remaining voices in the Western capitals?  Or is he trying to make nice to Patriarch Kirill ahead of his upcoming visit to Moscow?  Perhaps he is undercutting possible aggression by the West and in doing so, hoping to avert a world war?  If so, then we should pray that he succeeds.  

It could be any of these or a combination of two or three.  Perhaps there’s something else going on behind the scenes.  I for one wouldn’t discount the Chinese orchestrating the Pope’s upcoming meeting, given that they’ve made significant *ahem* “contributions” to the Vatican lately.  

All that being said, we can be sure that there is one particular faction allied with the West that isn’t too happy right now.  And that would be the academic mediocrities, time-servers, and assorted sycophants who sit on the so-called Patriarchal Court in Istanbul.  As usual, they are late to the game.   

Let’s be honest:  their relevancy has only existed at the sufferance of the West and only because they had a perceived usefulness as a locus of opposition to Moscow.  Given their failure to deliver the rest of the Orthodox world to the West’s anti-Russian program, their usefulness may be coming to an end.  I expect to be getting e-mails from certain Archons fairly soon, telling me how wrong this all is.  

Regardless, the Pope is correct.  The Russians do have a lot to be proud of.  


  1. You forgot Rachmaninov 🙂

  2. Father Nicholas Young says

    I would like to add Aleksander Ostrovsy, the playwright, and Ilya Repin, the painter, to the list of “greats”. Somebody could point out that Repin was born on Ukrainian territory, but cuturally I do not see how he was anthing other than Russian. The first Duke of Wellington, who was born in Ireland, said something like : “Because a man is born in a barn doesn’t make him a horse”! (We also have the case of the writer Nikolai Gogol who was Ukrainian. but who wote in Russian.) In any case, this is the kind of foundation nations should build upon, and not wish to rule the world : the surest foundation always being Jesus Christ!

    • I know, I just scratched the surface.

      Fire away!

    • King James was born in Scotland,
      but his bible is written in English.

      • To be fair, I don’t think he was exactly fluent in Gaelic.

        • Indeed not. Jamie Saxt (James VI & I), the Great British Solomon, had
          a complicated relationship with the Gaelic language and peoples;
          partly due to the memory of the Macdonald Lordship of the Isles
          and partly due to the ongoing Plantation of Ulster, where
          the MacDonnells (Macdonalds) of Antrim were a major force.

          It was fear of the revival of a Macdonald polity in the Isles
          that led to the Statutes of Iona in which it was ordained for:

          ” …the haill chiftanes and principall clanit men of the Yllis,
          that thay and every ane of thame send thair bairnis,
          being past nyne yeiris of age, to the scoolis in the Inland,
          to be trayned up in vertew, learning, and the Inglish tung,
          and ordanes that no personis quhatsomevir in the Yllis
          salbe servit air to thair father or utheris predicessouris,
          nor ressavit nor acknowlegeit as tennentis to his Majestie,
          unles thay can write and reid and speake Inglishe. “

          The Inglishe they would be taught in the Lowland schools
          was the King’s Inglish – which in this context meant Scots.

          There were no Gaelic Scriptures in the time of Jamie Saxt.

          • PS: For a scholarly discussion of the Statutes , see:

            MacGregor, M.D. (2006) | The statutes of Iona: text and context

            • William Tighe says

              Probably James IV (d. 1513) was the last King of Scots who could understand and speak Gaelic, like all of his predecessors (with the possible exception of James I)

              • James V very likely had some Gaelic.
                He made a naval expedition to the Isles in 1540
                where he held Justice Ayres to dispense Royal Law.
                Also in 1540, Irish chiefs offered him the Kingship of Ireland;
                which might suggest he had a certain knowledge of Gaelic.

                The young Prince James (James I – heir to Robert III)
                very probably had some Gaelic before the age of six
                when he was taken prisoner by the English in 1406.
                After 18 years as a prisoner in England, it is likely that
                he would have forgotten most of it by his return in 1424.
                Nevertheless, during his thirteen years of direct rule
                he had an active policy towards the Lordship of the Isles,
                presiding over a Parliament in Inverness in 1428 at which
                Alexander, Lord of the Isles and Earl of Ross, was arrested;
                which would suggest that James maybe had the Gaelic as well.

                Anyway, James couldn’t make it stick. To prevent the Highlands
                and the Isles dissolving into anarchy he had to release Alexander.

                It took till 1493 before James IV felt strong enough confiscate
                the Lordship from John, Lord of the Isles and Earl of Ross.
                Even then, it took a century and a half of rebellion and war
                before the Macdonalds accepted the end of the Lordship,
                essentially on the death of Alasdair MacColla,
                the last warrior strong enough to try to resurrect it.

                Ní h-Éibhneas gan Chlainn Domhnaill
                There Is No Joy Without Clan Donald


                Giolla Coluim mac an Ollaimh (probably a professional poet of the MacMhuirich dynasty) composed this lament on the forfeiture of the Clan Donald Lordship of the Isles sometime in or after 1493.

                The following text was translated by Michael Newton from the edition in Watson, Bardachd Albannach, 90-5, using emendations from Osborn Bergin and Angus Matheson.

                § 1. There is no joy without Clan Donald; there is no strength without them; the best clan in the world: every good man was one of them.

                § 2. The noblest clan ever born, who personified prowess and awesomeness; a people to whom tyrants made submission; they had great wisdom and piety.

                § 3. A brave, kind, mighty clan, the hottest clan in the face of battle, the most gentle clan among women and most valorous in war.

                § 4. The most numerous clan when gathered together, whose honor and esteem was highest; a clan who did not make war on the church; they feared being dispraised.

                § 5. The bright pillars of verdant Scotland, the hardiest clan who were ever baptized; theirs was the victory in each land; the hawks of Islay in warfare.

                § 6. The greatest and most excitable clan; the most elegant and level-headed clan; clan most expansive of heart for the best generosity and restraint.

                § 7. The sons of kings who never earned dispraise, who took most seriously the bonds of kindliness; men who are fierce, noble, high-spirited, greatly magnanimous.

                § 8. The clan best for service and protection; the clan best for heroic deed; I hate how Fate spun such a short existence for them.

                § 9. They were not bad men with deaf ears, nor were they weak and feeble men; when entering into the place of conflict, they were harder than the craigs.

                § 10. They are a clan who are not pompous or tyrannical, who take only the spoils of warfare; their nobility were high-spirited and their peasantry were resilient.

                § 11. Pity those without their troops or who have departed from their camaraderie; there is no other clan like Clan Donald; they were a noble clan of strong mind.

                § 12. Their bounty could not be measured, their gifts could not be counted; the honor of their nobles was without beginning, end or bounds.

                § 13. In the front line of Clan Donald, education was entrusted; and in their rear-guard there was service and honor and moral standards.

                § 14. I have given up erudition and learning because of sorrow and mourning; I have given up everything for them: there is no joy without Clan Donald.

                § 15. Tyrants sounded a loud blast [of war] against that clan, that was prudent and strong; even if they are dishonored today, there is no joy without Clan Donald.

                § 16. The best people in the world, for their exuberance, their excitement, and their excellence; there is no benefit without them: there is no joy without Clan Donald.

                § 17. May we yield to the [Christ] child so that He may deliver us from every tribulation; although He is true to us, there is no joy without Clan Donald.

                For a bardic performance, see:
                There Is No Joy Without Clan Donald

                • The Isles of Scotland

                  The Monastery of All Celtic Saints is the first Orthodox Monastery in the Isles of Scotland in over a thousand years.

                  Mull Monastery – THE ORTHODOX MONASTERY OF ALL CELTIC SAINTS

                  Pilgrimage House – Mull Monastery
                  Kilninian – Mull Monastery
                  Organised Pilgrimages – Mull Monastery
                  Mull Monastery – YouTube

                  “The Monastery has been running week-long summer pilgrimages to the Celtic Isles since 2015. We have introduced over three hundred people to the holy sites of these amazing Isles and the extraordinary Saints who lived here. Most of our pilgrims come from the United States, Canada and Australia.”

                  “Please note that these are spiritual pilgrimages, not touristic opportunities. The focus of this experience is prayer and developing a personal relationship with the Saints of the Isles.”

                  “We visit some of the most remote and authentic places connected with early Celtic Christianity in the Scottish Isles. Some of these places have been uninhabited for centuries, with no touristic or religious routes linking them to other destinations. The pilgrimages organised by the Monastery are the only way one can visit some of these isles.”

                  “Among many other places, we shall get to the Isle of Iona (Iona Abbey, Martyrs’ Bay, the Nunnery, St Oran’s Chapel, the famous Celtic High Crosses, St Columba’s Bay, the Hill of the Turning Back to Ireland, the Marble Quarry and the Machair); the ruins of St Kenneth’s monastery and the ancient hermit cells; St Brendan’s monastery on his uninhabited Isle; and some of the great Celtic Christian places on the Isle of Mull (The Nuns’ Cave, the Carsaig Arches, Kilninian etc). The schedule depends on the weather and the state of the ocean.”

                  “We aim to make sure that, once you arrive to Mull, there is nothing else for you to worry about for the entire week. This way, we may focus on the pilgrimage itself, on personal prayer and communion with one another. If you need help with any aspect of the trip to Mull, we are here to advise and help you.”

    • There was no ukranian territory at that time, the ukrine did not exist. Don’t perpetuate the propaganda

      • Interesting enough, the overwhelming majority of Ukrainians (i.e. Eastern Slavs) identified as Russians for the most part of their history. Especially if they were in close proximity to the various minorities that made up the Ukraine (i.e. Hungarians, Bulgarians, Jews, Greeks, Armenians, etc).

        • Johann Sebastian says

          I just had an exchange with a Ukrainian online about this and made the same point. As a Rusyn, I am perfectly content to call myself Russian (as my mother and grandparents
          and everyone that came before them did). The word “Ukrainian” is not only artificial and awkward, but also carries very strong political and religious connotations that are not very happy.

          Anyway, this person started accusing Russians of denying Ukrainian identity and language, and when I brought up the Rusyn question, she proceeded to do the very same thing that she accuses Great Russians of doing. I told her, “don’t demand things that you yourself are not willing to grant to others.”

          Years ago I remember a discussion about the Ukrainian question on alt.religion.christian.east-orthodox and someone told a story about an elderly Belarusian couple that visited a Ukrainian church and were terrorized by the parishioners who were quite insistent on preaching Ukrainism to them. Apparently the couple left the church grounds crying.

          For my part, being a Rusyn, the Ukrainians have always been welcoming toward me but also quite aggressive with their nationalism. Back in the late ‘90s, I even went to see Black Bart when he visited the UOC-USA compound in Bound Brook, NJ while I was a student at Rutgers. But going to Ukrainian churches always felt a little strange. People yelling «Слава Україні» instead of «Слава Ісусу Хрісту» always felt a bit…dirty to me. And the fact that of all the Slavs—even the heavily Latinized Ruthenian Uniates—only the Ukrainians insisted on using their vernacular in the services instead of Slavonic. I know things have changed now with the Serbs and Bulgarians, but I remember one could go to any non-Ukrainian Slavic church—Orthodox or Uniate—and hear the Liturgy in Slavonic.

          • Yes, exactly, Johann S.

            To most people who are not familiar with the Orthodox Christian world in the United States, 100 years ago virtually all of the “Russian Orthodox” churches in America were populated not by what most people think of as “Russians” today (that is, people from the country of Russia), but rather by Rusyns, or who might be called western Ukrainians.

            The vast majority of the Slavic Orthodox immigrants to United States 100 years ago were Rusyns. “The people from nowhere” as Andy Warhol termed his people – the people without a country.

            Yes, Russians from Russia often comprised the American Orthodox leadership – that is, the bishops and seminary professors – but the overwhelming majority of the Russian Orthodox American faithful were not from Russia – They were Rusyns from the trans-Carpathian mountains.

            And yep – as you said, they were perfectly happy being called Russian, because that’s what they considered themselves. They were a type of Russian. Just like a Texan, Californian, and a Mainer are different kinds of Americans, they all consider themselves Americans.

            The story of Saint Maxim Sandovich, a wonderful Orthodox Christian saint, is an excellent example of this… He was obviously fully Rusyn, yet considered himself fully Russian also. He probably did not spend time emotionally vacillating on how he could balance these two realities lest he offend the Austro-Hungarian empire…. Indeed, he didn’t care if he offended them.

            This is not a hard concept, but it’s one that current American cultural leaders purposefully refuse to see or acknowledge… for political purposes. Current tyrannical American cultural leaders push back and silence those who point out realities they don’t like.

            • FTS, one of the insights I get from your comment is that our leadership is 180 degrees out of phase with the people. Worse, as a society, we are in the draconian phase of regime politics. The draconian stage being the next-to-last before systemic collapse.

              • Yes, George, I agree.

                They say that in the last years of the Soviet Union, it was a shell of a system that no one believed in anymore and that everyone knew didn’t work. Only die-hard commie ideologues still believed in it.

                It doesn’t escape me that we seem to be in a similar stage now in 2023 America. No one believes that the American system works anymore, except a few ideologues in our feminized gerontocracy who run it — and they essentially corrupt the system to make it work for themselves.

                Things like this make millions of Americans realize that much of what is put on in American leadership is entirely pretend and fake – it’s as if we’re in a grand production of the Truman Show.

                Problem is that few know what’ll replace it when our system collapses. A good friend of mine thinks it’ll be either rightist authoritarianism (like a Latin-style caudillo leader) or leftist totalitarianism.

                I hope it’s the former. Either way, old American “liberal democracy” is dead in the water.

                • FTS, last year, in sharing a burger with my younger son, Michael (31 at the time), in talking about my father/his grandfather; he said something profound: “You know, Dad, it’s amazing how an unemployed Greek immigrant could come to America, buy a house and raise a family.” To which I responded: “And his wife (my mother) stayed at home, raising the kids, keeping the house.” He then said: “now, both Maddie and I are MDs and we both have to work”.

                  This arrangement was beyond my capabilities even though I was a health professional. Don’t get me wrong, we had a fairly comfortable, middle-class existence. The point is, the American Way existed –wworking man, stay-at-home wife–and it worked for the overwhelming majority of Americans my father’s generation, less so for my generation, and out of the question for my sons’ generation.

    • Galatians 3:29 Context

      26For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

      Bible Verses About Inheritance

      Bible Verses About Heritage

      What is the real meaning of heritage?
      noun. something that is handed down from the past, as a tradition: a national heritage of honor, pride, and courage. something that comes or belongs to one by reason of birth; an inherited lot or portion: a heritage of poverty and suffering.

      1. property that is or may be inherited; an inheritance.
      “they had stolen his grandfather’s heritage”

      Similar: inheritance, birthright, patrimony, legacy, bequest, endowment, estate, bequeathal
      devise, hereditament

      2. ARCHAIC
      a special or individual possession; an allotted portion.
      “God’s love remains your heritage”

      • George Michalopulos says

        IMHO, the idea of honoring one’s heritage (and not pride) is granted biblical warrant by the Fifth Commandment: “Honor thy father and thy mother”.

        • Johann Sebastian says


          The memory of our forebears and respect for the things they taught us—even if we are not totally in agreement—is also how I’ve understood this.

  3. Reading the many comments after the article , I can’t believe there are so many intelligent and moral people still to be found on this Earth !! Thank you all for a breath of fresh air !
    dVL , whose parents are Russian from Kharkov

    • Matthew Panchisin says

      They are very intelligent and moral here. Many years ago well before the drag queen trans movement for kids was introduced these good people of God saw the writing on the wall, The extent was not known because things like mutilation for kids had been unthinkable. I recall people saying things like I think they are coming after the kids next, we just don’t know how etc. They are very discerning and often correct with one exception, american politics but that’s not a moral subject matter.

  4. This is an encouraging piece of news from Rome!

    It was stunning when I visited the Tikhvin Cemetery (named for the wonder-working Tikhvin Icon of the Theotokos) in St. Petersburg, located on the grounds of the St. Alexander Nevsky Lavra, and realized that pretty much everyone of significance in the modern history of the arts in Russia (a slight exaggeration…) is buried there at the monastery. One of the first burials after the cemetery’s opening in the 1820’s was a holy fool, Monk Patermufy, but he was joined by the writers Karamzin and Dostoyevsky, the composers Mussorgsky and Tchaikovsky (along with most of the other renowned Russian composers of the 19th century), great poets and playwrights and more. The last person to have been buried there was the Russian/Georgian theater director Georgy Tovstonogov, who rehabilitated Dostoyevsky in Soviet theater and brought his rich Christological fiction to the Leningrad stage in the midst of the Khrushchev years. Tovstonogov’s 1989 grave is dominated by a huge sculpture of Christ on the cross.

    So in Russia, if you want to see the great artists, you have to do so under the shadow of Christ crucified, the Mother of God, and St. Alexander Nevsky.

    • Jeff, I’ve been to that cemetery twice. It’s an astounding site to see all those artists (e.g. Rubenstein in addition to the ones you named). The only other place that compares is Westminster Abbey.

      With God’s grace, we will be able to go again.

  5. Be cautious about Francis. “A liberal is a person who refuses to take his own side in an argument.”

    Nonetheless, the truth is always welcome.

    • You have a point. Personally I don’t find it surprising at all. This pooe is South American and knows full well the machinations of the west and their appetite for colonialism, meddling and destabilizing regions. Not to mention all the regulations, disclosures with threats of sanctions the U. S.. and EU demand of banks including the Vatican bank.
      As far as I’m concerned America and Europe screwed themselves over believing their own hubris.

  6. The Bart has spoken ….
    “Unfortunately, this effort of unity and cooperation has been destroyed in recent years by a new ecclesiology, which comes from the north, and a new theology, the theology of war.


    • Did I see smoke coming from pants?

    • George Michalopulos says

      So much for “conciliarity”.

      • Joseph Lipper says

        I believe the last church to receive autocephaly by conciliar decision was the Church of Cyprus at the Council of Ephesus in 431.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Joseph, you’re correct about that. You’re missing the point however: all other churches to receive autocephaly were granted that status from their respective mother church.

          In addition, I believe you missed the snark in the EP’s reasoning. That’s what was especially troubling.

          • Joseph Lipper says

            Even the Ukrainian Greek Catholics view Constantinople as their mother church:


            The UGCC is certainly a wayward daughter though.

            • “Ukrainian Greek Catholics view Constantinople
              as their mother church”

              …unlike The Catholic Church in Greece
              which thinks the same of Rome.

              Well, what’s in a name?

            • George Michalopulos says

              Joseph, seriously? We are supposed to look to schismatics for moral authority? This is special pleading.

              No one here denigrates Cpole’s claim to being the mother church of several of the autocephalous churches (e.g. Albania, Greece, Romania, Russia, etc) only its hallucinatory claim that it is the “mother church” of all Orthodox churches. That’s a ludicrous claim (at best) and an outright lie (at worst).

              Do we need proof? OK, here goes: Antioch, Alexandria, Rome, Cyprus, Georgia, and of course, the true Mother Church, Jerusalem.

              • Joseph Lipper says

                George, it is my impression that “mother church”, as it’s being used here, has to do with Constantinople being the “Mother Church of Ukraine”, just as you rightly point out that Constantinople is also the Mother Church of Russia, Romania, Greece, and Albania, etc. I don’t get the sense that it’s being used in this context to say that Constantinople is “mother of all the churches” or something like that.

                Metropolitan Onuphry has made the special pleading that Constantinople is not the mother of the “Ukrainian Orthodox Church”. While it’s true that the UOC received her autonomous status and “Ukrainian Orthodox Church” title, not from Constantinople, but rather from the Russians back in 1990, yet both the autonomy and title are now being taken away by Patriarch Kirill in the territories conquered and being annexed by the Russian Federation. We can see that in Crimea and in parts of Donbass, the UOC has ceased to exist. In those parts, while we can assume that Patriarch Bartholomew would be arrested and imprisoned if he set foot, now I doubt that Metropolitan Onuphry would be welcome there either. If the Russian Church is indeed the “Mother of UOC”, then it is now aborting her infant.

                Metropolitan Onuphry’s flock are now forced to defend themselves, not only from the Russian Federation, but also from the Russian Orthodox Church. Even despite all the dramatic controversy and accusations of “church seizures” and “persecutions of the UOC”, it is ironically Constantinople, not Moscow, that is bending over backwards to protect the infant. From the Judgement of Solomon, we can see who the true mother is.

                • The UOC did not receive her autonomous status from the Russians back in 1990. Nor is it being taken away by Patriarch Kirill, as it has yet to be granted.

                  The Ukrainian Orthodox Church has not ceased to exist. It was and continues to be the legitimate Orthodox Church in Ukraine.

                  Russia is at war with Ukraine. It is not “at war” with Met. Onufry.

                  Why would you “assume that Patriarch Bartholomew would be arrested and imprisoned if he set foot in Ukraine?” There is absolutely no basis for this statement.

                  Met. Onufry’s flock is NOT being forced to defend itself against anyone other than the Ukrainian government. And by “defend,” I mean plead their case that they are, and continue to be, loyal Ukrainians. They are not “at war” with anyone. They are being persecuted because they have the legitimacy the national, schismatic church under Bartholomew doesn’t have and will never have.

                  Bartholomew, has not shown the slightest interest in protecting the UOC. He has literally stood by and watched as it’s being fed to Moloch. The UOC wants nothing to do with Constantinople.

                  It is intellectually dishonest and unworthy of this blog to make such outrageous statements.

                  • Solidarity Priest says

                    Gail, I don’t understand your first paragraph. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church IS autonomous, that’s why Metropolitan Onuphry has the title of “His Beatitude”. A wise ROCOR bishop stated that Metropolitan Onuphry has not requested autocephaly from Moscow. This was stated before the Russian invasion occurred because of the dirty little war against Orthodoxy by the West ( yes, I’m looking at you Joseph Lipper, Tim R. Mortis’s, et al).

                    • I have no explanation. All I can tell you is what I know.

                    • Is there some mixing of terms here? It’s commonly said that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was formally granted autonomy by the Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church in October 1990. As the leader of this church since 2014, Met. Onuphry bears the title “Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine.” (However, OrthodoxWiki cites a document from the Russian Orthodox Church to note that the status conferred on the Ukrainian Church was not strictly “autonomy” as defined by Moscow—maybe this is what Gail meant in your first paragraph?)

                      It seems that Met. Onuphry has used the title “His Beatitude” since his enthronement as Metropolitan of Kyiv, and he was congratulated under that title by Patriarch Bartholomew at that time. So this term does not, in and of itself, reflect a claim to autocephaly (much less to Patriarchal status, although it is used by Patriarchs)—but it does at least indicate that he is the Primate of a national Church, does it not?

                    • Thanks for this, Jeff!

                    • Jeff, interestingly enough, Metropolitan Onuphriy is the only primate of an autonomous church who is called “His Beatitude”. Ordinarily, this title is given to the primates of autocephalous churches.

                      Anyway, Bartholomew stepped in it back in 2018 when he invaded Onuphriy’s territory.

                    • Interesting… The short Russian-language Wikipedia article on the term “His Beatitude” (Его Блаженство) notes that in Russian usage, it is the title of the primates of “some Local Churches” (others are called “His Holiness”), while in Greek usage, it is used by the primates of all autocephalous Churches except Constantinople.

                      And then the last line of the article notes: “The primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (MP) bears the title ‘Beatitude’ [literally in this case: “Most Blessed”], although he is not the primate of an autocephalous church (full title: ‘His Beatitude Metropolitan of Kiev and all Ukraine’).”

                      There does seem to be something distinctly Ukrainian about the use of the title “Beatitude” for a Metropolitan who leads a non-autocephalous church. Metopolitan Ilarion (Ohienko) is titled “His Beatitude” in notices about his death in 1972; he was born in the Kiev Governorate in pre-Revolutionary Russia, and served for the last 21 years of his life as Metropolitan of Winnipeg and Primate of the Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church of Canada. Also, Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky), the founding First Hierarch of ROCOR, was awarded the title “Beatitude” by the Synod in 1931—but then, he had served as Metropolitan of Kiev and still maintained that title even in exile! And an article on pravmir.com refers to Met. Hilarion (Kapral) of Eastern America and New York as “His Beatitude”—but does this have more to do with Met. Hilarion’s role (like Met. Anthony) as First Hierarch of ROCOR, or with his Ukrainian roots?

                      Is there any information out there about other Orthodox hierarchs (Ukrainian or not) using the title “His Beatitude” although they are not primates of autocephalous churches?

                      (None of this is meant to argue for or against the position that Met. Onuphry’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church is now autocephalous. In any case, before 2022 it was not.)

                    • Again, it is still not autocephalous as the Church defines the term. As you pointed out, the term autonomous is closer to the mark. It was the UOC who announced their independence. The Russian Church is not going to argue the point in a war. When the war is over, it might make sense for the UOC to strengthen its ties with the Russian Church for a period of time so they can help them rebuild. Russia is extremely good at that. – The UOC is like the flower you see poking up out of the concrete during the heat of the day. God is preserving it. No one, least of all Russia, is going to quibble with how that has to be done.

                  • Solidarity Priest says

                    Rereading the exchange between yourself and Mr. Lipper, I see that my earlier response might not appear to make sense. Let me just say that I support Metropolitan Onuphry as the head of the only Canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church. I commemorate him at the Great Entrance right after the OCA hierarchy and civil authorities. I have said it before and will say it again, if the OCA ever does recognize Mr. Dumenko’s bogus church, I will leave. With or without the parish.

                    • Thank you, Father. You have indeed made your feelings known and I commend you for standing so solidly on the side of the truth.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      I think Fr you hit the nail right on the head, especially with your last sentence. I too, can see many leaving the OCA should the Holy Synod do something so foolish. Fortunately, from what I can gather, that’s not on the horizon. (It would have been a possibility were the late Fr Kishkovsky still running the OCA’s office of External Relations.)

                      Hopefully, I will not be proven wrong.

                    • Solidarity Priest says

                      No need to commend me; I risk almost nothing in comparison with the confessing bishops and priests in Ukraine. Some OCA churches have been targeted, so far no incidents here.

                  • Fr. Seraphim Bell says

                    Thank you for this reply Gail. Your patience with his constant distortions of the truth amaze me.

                • Joseph: “…it is ironically Constantinople, not Moscow,
                  that is bending over backwards to protect the infant.”

                  But which infant is Constantinople protecting?
                  Is it the canonically legitimate child? Or is it
                  the b*stard that emerged the cuckoo’s egg?

                • Fr. Seraphim Bell says

                  Joseph I find it very difficult to understand your slanders against Russia and the ROC. No Joseph, we cannot “assume that Patriarch Bartholomew would be arrested and imprisoned if he set foot” anywhere in Russia. Do you actually believe such an ignorant idea? And while you may “doubt that Metropolitan Onuphry would be welcome there either,” the fact is, he would be most welcome to come and meet with the Holy Synod should he wish to do so. He doesn’t come because he dare not leave Kiev to visit Moscow. Ukrainian authorities would arrest him on his return and accuse him of spying for Russia, as they have accused other bishops and priests of the UOC for simply possessing traditional prayer books in Slavonic. I wish you would come over to Moscow and we could sit down at the the Ukrainian Cafe, order some Ukrainian food served by Ukrainians, listen to Ukrainian music and talk about this. But we can assume you won’t take me up on that invitation as it would put the lie to your false narrative. You write “Metropolitan Onuphry’s flock are now forced to defend themselves, not only from the Russian Federation, but also from the Russian Orthodox Church.” That is an outright lie. While Metropolitan Onuphry has remained silent about the persecution of bishops, priests, parishes, monastics and monasteries in Ukraine by the fascist Ukrainian government, Patriarch Kyrill and the ROC have repeatedly protested against this persecution. They have registered their protests with the United Nations and other organizations. But of course they have not been listened to as that would upset the narrative. Shame on you Joseph for your persistent anti-Russian and anti-ROC statements.

              • Actually, George, I’m not sure this is correct. When a Church becomes autocephalous, it becomes its own “Mother.” It achieves total canonical and administrative independence.

              • Yes, if there is one true Mother Church, it is Jerusalem.

                Constantinople brought Orthodoxy to the Slavs, however, Russia became autocephalous, de facto, when it had to replace its ranking metropolitan during the Constantinopolitan apostasy of the Council of Florence. It was later accepted by C’pol but that’s how it happened. Basically, it was orphaned.

    • Yes, he’s definitely a papist, his decisions being above the other churches.

    • He’s just butthurt that no one wants to join in his impending apostasy to Rome, or whatever Frankenstein structure he’s trying to create.

      The vast majority of the Orthodox world, both in terms of population and number of patriarchates, is not on board with Bart.

      The exception is of course the Greek speaking Churches, but even then it’s not the majority of those Churches, clergy or laity, who are going along.

      • Mark my words, an overwhelming number of Greek (whether in Greece or in the diaspora) will not go along with Bart’s plans. Truth be told, they aren’t going along with them at the present. That’s the only way I can explain Elpi’s failures so far.

        • Agatha Mutton says

          Oh, I do hope you’re right. As a former Catholic who came home from Rome over 30 years ago, I’ve been in knots over the plans for 2025.

          • The other Orthodox Churches won’t go along with it. IMHO the OCU was a litmus test to see who would follow Bartholomew to Rome. Other than the Greek-speaking Churches, no other Orthodox Church has recognized the OCU, and none probably will.

            But, as I stated above even the Greek-speaking Churches aren’t wholly on-board.

            Again, IMHO, there isn’t really a schism/split in world Orthodoxy, instead it would be more correct to say there is a split or a developing split in Greek Orthodoxy. At the end of the day though, I agree with George, with the vast number of Athonite monasteries, regular monasteries and the general piety among the “rank and file” clergy and laity of the Churches of Greece and Cyprus, I don’t expect them to follow Bartholomew. In terms of Alexandria, I believe if it came down to brass tacks, all of the non-Greek Sub Saharan Orthodox would leave the Patriarchate.

            Having said all that, I would be willing to bet that Ieronemos, Theodoros and Georgios of Cyprus, and of course Elpidophoros, will all apostatize with Bartholomew. I pray I’m wrong but I would be more shocked if they didn’t.

          • As a Greek I’m certainly not as optimistic as George. The Greeks would become Brahmans if the EP lead them there. I always find it funny when people talk about “when” St Anthony in Arizona will break with the GOARCH. Wishful thinking controlled opposition is all they are.

        • Agreed.

          And now that Bartholomew has definitively stated that he will not be calling a council or synaxis to deal with the OCU, we will see if the other Patriarchates will finally take matters into their own hands. If not we will remain in limbo for the foreseeable future.

          If the Churches start to break off communion with him that would be a start. It would also be very helpful for the Church of Russia to release their document from the recent Synod going over the errors of Constantinople.

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          You got that right. Most Greek are not going along with Elpi nor Bart. Good for the Pope saying g what he said. Finally!

          Peter A. Papoutsis

    • Antiochene Son says

      He won’t hold a synaxis because he won’t put his decisions to a review. So he admits no one agrees with him. Not even the ancient sees.

      • George Michalopulos says

        By Jove, I believe you hit the nail squarely on the head! I’m surprised I didn’t catch that!

  7. Broken clock is right twice a day. Francis is a leftist through and through so don’t be fooled.
    However, he is correct, Russians should be proud of their history, just like we all should.

    Since his comments have caused a collective meltdown throughout the Ukrainian government (and others) it will be interesting to see if the Ukie regime will now begin a crackdown on the UGCC, lest they be too “pro-Russian.” Im sure we are nearing the point that the Ukrainian government/UGCC/OCU are all going to start cannibalizing each other as the end is nigh.

  8. Matthew Panchisin says

    Interestingly, BRICS seems to be structuring in a consensus way.

  9. Mark E. Fisus says

    I think everyone is misunderstanding Pope Francis.

    His point is that the Russian civilization is an old and venerable one, and not to let Putin or his actions define what it means to be Russian. It was meant as a diss against Moscow. This reading is consistent with Pope Francis’ past remarks, including saying that Patriarch Kirill should “not be Putin’s altar boy.”

    • Indeed. The commandment: “Be proud of your heritage”
      does not necessarily include: “Be proud of your present.”

    • Johann Sebastian says

      That may be, but let’s not be deluded into thinking that the West has any respect for anything Russian—past, present, or future.

      Your average American hates anything having to do with Russia, and has a memory and attention span that doesn’t extend beyond 1956.

  10. [Istanbul/C’ple’s] relevancy has only existed at the sufferance of the West and only because they had a perceived usefulness as a locus of opposition to Moscow. Given their failure to deliver the rest of the Orthodox world to the West’s anti-Russian program, their usefulness may be coming to an end.

    That’s precisely correct. Sad to say but the history is pretty clear… without the West’s propping up C’ple for the past 100 years, it’d simply now be one Orthodox Church among many…. With that humility in place, it’d likely be far more respected in the Orthodox world than it is today !

    Self-aggrandizement (pride) ruins everything.

    With respect to Russian greats, obviously in theology and in the spiritual life, there are millions. I’ve always been deeply drawn to Russian Orthodox spirituality, even though I’m fully American. I see no conflict there, never have, never will.

    One of our modern Russian Orthodox saints, St Luke (Voyno-Yasenetsky) of Crimea and Simferopol, was an incredibly prominent physician/surgeon for the Russian people – he was also known worldwide and was well published in medicine and surgery. Reportedly his most famous work is “Sketches of Purulent Surgery” – still used in places today as a manual for surgeons.

    Everyone knows he was exiled and imprisoned repeatedly during Soviet times. Probably the only reason that Stalin didn’t execute him was because he needed his surgical skills.

    When St Luke reposed in the early 1960s, the commies tried to prevent a public funeral, but the people who loved him so much as their bishop wouldn’t have it – tens of thousands flocked in the streets to carry his body in funeral procession. Formally canonized in 1996.

  11. Anonymous II says

    Excellent and interesting article: A Dire Warning: The US Plan To Make Ukraine Into Europe’s ‘Big Israel’

    See: https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/dire-warning-against-us-plan-turn-ukraine-europes-big-israel

    • “The object of terrorism is terrorism. The object of oppression is oppression. The object of torture is torture. The object of murder is murder. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?”

      ~ George Orwell, 1984

  12. This from Tom Luongo is particularly good.

    I have had the feeling for some time, call it hypervigilance if you will, that what we are witnessing in the world, both on the international and domestic front, is an SVR/GRU operation of sweeping proportions.

  13. Also, this from Paul Craig Roberts is gold.

    It’s a bit annoying at first because it consists of clips of the interview with fades in between for too long. But that gives you an idea of what comes later.

  14. George Michalopulos says

    Putin speaking about his family:


  15. Antiochene Son says

    “The true progress of a nation is not gauged by economic wealth, much less by investment in the illusory power of armaments, but by its ability to provide for the health, education and integral development of its people,” Francis said at the house.

    (Francis in Mongolia)

    The RCC is truly the world’s best decorated NGO and little more.

  16. Nick Shahood says

    No one needs to guess at what Pope Francis meant through his message.Unless you find RT as specious (or more) as Western media!


    • It appears he stepped in it. When I was getting my second degree in Russian Studies, I happened to use the description “of Great Russian heritage” about someone I interviewed. I was told to strike it by the director of the department since it was “politically incorrect” (her verbatim words).

      You see, if you use the description “Great Russian” it implies that there is a “Little Russia” and using that term to describe the Ukraine is taboo in liberal circles. Now, I don’t think that was the main thing that the Ukies, et al. were objecting to. Any praise of Russia in any regard is treated with them as an excuse to put you on the Mirotvorets kill list. However, there is no doubt when they heard “great Russia” it pinged their historical sensitivity.

      • For what it’s worth, the reason England, Scotland and Wales are called “Great Britain” is because Brittany was called “Lesser Britain” at one time. Same thing with Asia Minor (Little Asia) as opposed to Asia.

      • Johann Sebastian says

        The term “Little Russian” is an endearing one. Guess the Banderites have little man syndrome.

  17. Anonymous II says

    Well, this is inspiring!

    Who’s Afraid Of An Alternative For Germany?

    See: https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/whos-afraid-alternative-germany

  18. George Michalopulos says

    Looks like the Chinese just slapped Biden in the face by refusing to go to the G20.


    This is huge.

  19. George Michalopulos says

    Another huge slap in the face to the West. It looks like Erdogan ate enough crow and decided to pay tribute to Putin:


  20. George Michalopulos says

    In the meantime, please take the time to read this excellent speech by our friend, Jim Jatras, which he recently delivered:


    • I like Jatras and he is insightful. He is also somewhat of a pessimist. What is clear to me is that America, and the West, are caught in a spiral of self-destruction – an Age of Shiva, if you will. Having created a great civilization with the creative faculty, Western humanity has turned to the critical faculty in what may be a cyclical pattern. The unbridled critical faculty is a truly ponderous and monstrous phenomenon.

      The silver lining is that as we have become cruel, we have become stupid, self-defeating, delusionally arrogant and self-destructive. And this serves as a natural backstop for the rest of humanity to contain our virus of liberalism.

  21. Yesterday was the Nativity of the Theotokos (NC) and the Meeting of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God at Sretenski (OC).

    Should read: