Ecumenism of the Trenches

In our last story we talked about how Bartholomew was yet again bashing traditional Orthodox Christians and heaping scorn on traditionalists from other Christian confessions. 

Mind you, no one is accusing of him of intentionally doing so, or wanting to do so, although this could definitely be the case.  At this point, however, what difference does it make?  Given all the moral squalor that has descended upon us here in the West, that he would choose this particular moment to throw in his lot in with the wrong side of the coin shows how oblivious he is to the realities of the world.

But it’s a magnificent “self-own” on his part, in that it exposes him as the globalist that he is. 

But talk about poor timing.  Someone should have told him that the Rainbow Marxists are going full demonic right now in America.  The optics aren’t good.  Even the liberals are appalled.  

Hot off the heels of what Archbishop Elpidophoros did at St Bartholomew’s on the 10th of Pride, His Holiness actually sought to outdo his North American exarch when it comes to extolling the wonderfulness of *cough* *cough* of diversity and inclusivity. 

Just weeks ago Elpidophoros was doubling down on the Fordhamite agenda and now we are seeing Bartholomew do the same.  We no longer have to wonder where the eparchies of the Ecumenical Patriarchate stand.  Both Bartholomew and Elpidophoros are standing on the side of the globalist or “good thinker” who believe in the woke, Fordhamite agenda.  

This, during a time when the Globohomo (global +‎ homogenization) agenda is upon us, where genital mutilation is the “be-all, end-all” of all that is decent and proper.  I imagine some of the more well-heeled mainstream churches will be having ceremonies for such rights of passage soon.  On the Catholic side of the ledger, Fr James Martin, SJ, will be giving speeches about how wonderful it is. 

And if you dare to object, you’ll be labeled a “hater.”   

A Rainbow juggernaut is what this is.  We can’t turn the clock back to the days of Ward and June Cleaver, however, that doesn’t mean that we can’t stand up to this evil.  We can and we should.  In fact, we must —even if we don’t succeed.  One of the better quotes I’ve ever read is, “our duty is not to succeed but to remain faithful.”   

And Gail and I will continue to remain faithful.     

For what it’s worth, Estonia just legalized “gay marriage”.  Is that the reason that the  Ecumenical Patriarch chose to give his speech there?  This in contrast to the address he gave to the Estonians ten years ago, in which he roundly condemned gay marriage:

What a difference a decade makes.  

And for those of you in Greek-speaking Churches, you know which way the wind is blowing so there’s no use beating a dead horse at this point.  Instead, I want to speak out against Bartholomew’s seeming hatred of conservatives and traditionalists within the Orthodox Church and other Christian confessions.   

As the putative “spiritual father” of Orthodox believers, he should be using irenic words instead of building ridiculous strawmen; a terribly obvious way to highlight one’s moral superiority.  If I had to guess, I think he is realizing how tenuous his hold on the “ecumene” is, otherwise why would he have singled out Evangelicals with such scorn?  

Every Evangelical I’ve ever known (and because I live in the “Buckle of the Bible Belt,” I have known many) has always been gracious to me.   Even gracious to the Orthodox Church; some giving thousands, if not millions of dollars, to the Church. 

The same is true for the Catholic contingent.  Although they continue to believe in submission to the Roman Pontiff (with the extra ecclesiam, nula salus and all that*), they are far more pleasant than the John MacArthur crowd, all things being equal. 

And since we’re going down this road, there are more than a few Orthodox traditionalists who can “see them and raise them” in the “you’re a heretic” department.  But the people who hold these views do so sincerely, with no malice in their hearts.  They believe it’s their duty to inform others about the Truth, as a person’s eternal salvation could depend on it.

And there are enough reasons, apart from the canons, to eschew ecumenism.

That doesn’t mean that we can’t look in each other’s eyes and see the image of God.  And it doesn’t mean that Edward Evangelical, Carl Catholic, and Oliver Orthodox can’t come together to fight against injustices like abortion, infanticide, child sex-trafficking, and transgenderism.  I boldly and without reservation call for the support of ecumenism of the trenches and will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with like-minded people.  If that offends some of the more rigorist among us, so be it. 

Unfortunately, Patriarch Bartholomew’s conception of ecumenism is a horse of a different color.  In fact, it’s the type of ecumenism that the canons expressly condemn.  It’s self-serving.  It is an excuse to not engage in evangelism, as properly understood.  It’s also a ruse to justify inaction, especially when it comes to the culture wars. 

It reminds me of the Parable of the Good Samaritan.  The Priest and the Levite ignored the wounded victim by using the Law of Moses to justify their inaction.  I’m no theologian but if I had to guess, I’m pretty sure that it will be the Samaritan who will give a good account for himself on Judgment day.  The other two, maybe not so much.    

Unlike the normal, everyday Christians who man pregnancy crisis centers or give out food at soup kitchens, the type of ecumenism our leaders put on display in Davos and Tallinn, is one that can’t be bothered with mundane issues like human suffering.  Instead, these well-heeled academics gather with the intent to signal their virtue to any and all who will listen.       

What’s particularly worrisome is that Bartholomew doesn’t seem to be able to grasp this.  Instead, he criticizes honest Christians who are rightly horrified by the state of the world and he does so in a most uncharitable fashion.  That people are looking to Russia to serve as the bulwark against the New World Order horrifies him.  Nor does he want the Russian Orthodox Church to steal his ecumenical throne by pushing him out of the limelight.      

Seriously, this is getting rather tiresome.  If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that Kirill and the entire Slavic race lives rent-free in his head. 

Now as far as the blog is concerned, you needn’t worry.  Gail and I are on the traditional side of the fence and will remain.  We don’t believe in ecumenism, at least not as practiced by the Ecumenical Patriarch and the other mainstream church leaders.  But we are firmly behind ecumenicism in the trenches.  Monomakhos welcomes all sincere readers and commentators.  We’re Christians and we try to look at those who expound Christian values as sincere brethren.  We hope others view us in an equally charitable fashion.  We need each other, especially now, when the leaders of other traditions are actively subverting the Gospel.

The day is dark and the laborers are few.  So let us not heap unnecessary burdens upon others.  We can work shoulder-to-shoulder, holding open the door to the Orthodox Church, welcoming all who choose to enter.  I can’t imagine that God would look too kindly on us if we did not.  If they join us, fantastic.  If, on the other hand, they are unwilling to take that step, but remain willing to make common cause with us in order to shed light on the darkness, we’re more than OK with that.  We’re most grateful.  

‘Nuff said.


*”Outside of the Church, there is no salvation”.  



  1. Well said, George!

    I’m still waiting for the mass ‘exodus’ of GOA laity that were supposed to come into the OCA, AOCA (and ROCOR) by now. I’m hoping that this will be the defining nudge. (Thank you former EPC Bartholomew!)

    • Not going to happen. They can be lead by their bishop to Theravada Buddhism and the Greeks will go especially if the rich ones say it’s for Hellenism. If your waiting for St. Anthony’s to do anything don’t hold your breath.

      • Veras Coltroupis says

        Well, the Greeks didn’t notice or respond to Kazantzakis blasphemy and Buddhism for decades until the RC raised their hackles, then the Greek clergy followed. Which is ironic how Kazjax Anafor admired the red cardinal over the black goat. A lot Greek diaspora this century is in Asia, both India and China.

  2. I think this sermon was posted on this blog not to long ago. I found it reassuring.

    Stop the Luciferian Lockstep

  3. Who in our Church actually listens to this stuff?

    I was in anguish for abit over all this, but then it occurred to me: The majority of HAH Bartholomew’s audience are his detractors. Like a Heel in wrestling, it has reached cartoonish proportions.

    I went from angry to sad. HAH is like a teacher who has lost control of his classroom, but he stubbornly continues the lesson, even with nobody listening (except those who want to mock him). Meanwhile:

    Pan-Orthodox unity is alive and well. The Holy Spirit continues to work. The Church is moving forward. The Archons and Fordham live in a rapidly shrinking bubble. Father Barnabas Powell, St. Anthony’s et al. more represent the GOA, I think.

    Politician bishops are a Greek tradition are they not? What did the faithful do through the centuries? SNIP.

    Smile. Nod. Ignore. Proceed/Pray.

    God’s will is not thwarted. Orthodox EP laity around the world are sheltering in place, praying and seeing what happens, supporting their priests and Bishops (who need our love and prayers) That is the royal path, as getting ahead of the Church in speaking of schism is also disasterous. We may yet be surprised.

  4. I witnessed this dynamic occur with the Anglicans. The problem is that those who stay in the problematic jurisdictions not only enable their apostasy but also harm their own souls by engaging in the never ending battle which they cannot win in order to pull the jurisdiction toward Holy Tradition.

    Once it is lost, it is lost. Fighting from within accomplishes nothing but fixating your own soul on a battle with the devil when your soul should be eschewing the devil and seeking theosis. Do not go forth in search of monsters to slay but rather say, “Deliver us from the evil one.” and avoid them.

    The correct response to all of this is ostracism, not continued engagement. Turn away, shake the dust off your feet, and think no more of the apostates but seek holiness. And you will have peace in your soul rather than the constant, futile torment of a Sisyphan and Quixotic task.

    • Misha, I see your point. I used to be an Anglican who tilted at windmills and watched as the windmill spun out of control. There was nothing that I could do about it, complain as I might. It was an exasperating business.

      Nevertheless, if each of us were content to simply seek the salvation of his own soul in quietude, then none of us would bother to read this blog or add his own comments in defense of Orthodoxy. We would pray, but we wouldn’t write articles or write to our hierarchs.

      No, we’ve found this and no other to be THE Church. She’s our last hope. If the Bart and Elpi’s GOA goes to hell, then the enemy is truly at the gates, isn’t he? We need not “go forth in search of monsters to slay” if the monster has come to us. Who’s next after the GOA? The OCA? Where do we take our last stand? Or should we just say to hell with the whole Church and live our lives out as hermits hoping against hope to be saved in the end? Having read all of your astute comments in recent times, I hardly believe you truly think that way.

      • What I think, and have never been shy about stating, is that it is time for any faithful remaining to leave the modernist jurisdictions (New Calendar), shaking the dust off of their feet and not looking back. At a minimum, leaving the GOA seems imperative.

        I’m not addressing the liberals in these jurisdictions but rather those who value Holy Tradition. It is not that you will and have been corrupted, which is always a danger. It is that you are fighting the clique that controls your local church in futility. It does not help them or you. They are evil and you financially support them and legitimize them.

        Never try to teach a pig to sing. It is a waste of your time and it annoys the pig.

        Yes, I am explicitly advocating abandoning the New Calendarists to the devil. It is not a winnable fight insofar as they are already compromised by modernist practices which they have no intention of changing, whatever their other good intentions. Staying with them (and I did, for far too long) is foolish at best.

      • Of course, I know that many people aren’t ready to hear that. It’s really just a matter of, “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

        And, after all, patience is a virtue.

      • I think, Lawrence, that you have the rights of it.
        Constantinople has fallen before – at Florence.
        Did the people fall with it? I don’t think so.
        Did they stop attending their own parishes?
        Did St Mark of Ephesus tell them not to attend?
        As I understand it, the faithful continued as before;
        and in time the Lord restored the Orthodox hierarchy.
        I expect the same happened during the iconoclasm.

    • Illumined says

      Except we aren’t the Anglicans, we’re not an apostate church of another apostate church setup by a king who couldn’t control his lust. We’re God’s church. Leaving a bad parish is one thing, leaving a jurisdiction because some of it’s leaders went rogue is quite another. God will hear our sighs, just as He always had.

      • Ad hominems against Henry VIII really don’t cut it. None of the LGBT or feminist stuff was on the table back then. He even kept the Latin Mass for twenty years after the separation. They were much more pious than Hellenism, Inc., simply because normalizing that degree of debauchery never occurred to them.

        • Illumined says

          His entire stated reason for breaking away from the Latins was because he wanted to be able to divorce and the Papacy to their credit didn’t allow him to. So, it very much cuts it. Protestantism inevitably would lead to lawlessness and secularism because it makes everyone their own Pope and takes a very worldly outlook, Anglicanism was a part of that. Remember, it took a thousand years to get from the Filioque to the Sparkle Creed, the devil works little by little, only occasionally taking leaps and bounds.

          Furthermore there’s an important detail here, the Anglicans are headed by the King (or Queen) of England. The Roman Catholics are headed by the Pope. The Eastern Orthodox are headed by God. That matters because God will allow people like Elpidophorus as a temptation. He’s not the first, he won’t be the last. God will set things straight within His church according to His providence.

          • “God will allow people like Elpidophorus as a temptation.”

            James 1:13 [KJV]
            Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God:
            for God cannot be tempted with evil,
            neither tempteth he any man:

            • Illumined says

              I never said God is the one doing the tempting, I said God allowed it because nothing happens without God’s permission. Demons can’t even possess swine without God’s permission.

        • Veras Coltroupis says

          Please do not assign the ad hominem misinterpretation of ad hominem to ad hominem. You meant ad personam, which is a subset of ad hominem. Ad hominem, in fact, means “As everyone knows” or better remembered as “As every hominid knows”. Ad personam is personal attacks. pp110-111 Perelman, New Rhetoric, Notre Dame 1969,1958

          • No, “ad hominem” means “toward the man”; ie, as opposed to the argument itself or issue. I used it correctly as per the standards of English usage.

        • Hear! Hear!

    • Veras Coltroupis says

      You are more likely to have a Zionist reform evangelical style breakaway or Orthodox like, Mike Pompeo’s Evangelical Presbyterian Church. A lot of American Greeks outside the ghetto are repelled by Arabic and Slavic people showing up in their churches and are appalled by the antisemitism and antiamericanism found amongst Orthodox of all ethnicities. Especially after Putin offered bounties to the taliban for American soldiers.

      • “…Putin offered bounties to the taliban for American soldiers.”

        Do you have a source for this?

        • Mr Coultroupis, this was proven to be another anti-Trump canard as well.

          In fact, during our Afghan campaign, the Russians allowed overflight rights for American jets and air-evacuation for wounded soldiers.

  5. I think discernment is the key. If someone is in an EP community that is Orthodox (the vast majority) then why leave? Most of the blowback that the Archbishop and HAH has received over this stuff has come from in house. Just because the dirty laundry isn’t bring aired in public doesn’t mean that nothing is happening. Obviously if someone is in a parish infected with rainbow ideologies, they have a decision to make, but things like Prudence and discernment are all too often lost.

    Schism itself is a grave sin, which is why it shouldn’t be thrown about as just another option, and why nobody is pulling the trigger. We are a conciliar Church, which is why HAH Bartholomew is still recognized and Epiphany Dumenko is not. Too many unilateral decisions and disregard for brother Bishops is what got us here in the first place.

    The parish is actually an excellent barometer for Church health. If in the parish, you are having “battles” of that magnitude, then you leave. If not, stay.

    I think when we look beyond our circle of responsibility, we get into trouble.

  6. Bartholomew was yet again bashing traditional Orthodox Christians and heaping scorn on traditionalists from other Christian confessions.

    Bart is just parroting what his Catholic overlord Francis is doing. Chiding “traditionalists” and “rigorists” the “who am I to judge” attitude, buying into the GloboHomo religion of the West. All of this is just a necessity for Bart to go to union with Rome.

    Notice his timeline of changing his tune. Around Francis’ election. Bart was more “traditional” when there was a traditional pope, Benedict. Now he’s changed his time to match the current Roman Catholic zeitgeist.

    All in preparation for 2025.

    • That’s a very good insight, Petro. I’m surprised I didn’t pick up on it.

      • Just something I’ve noticed, having formerly been RC I see Bart give the same old talking points that Francis and other RC hierarchs give.

        I also recently saw a video on Instagram of the Metropolitan of Nicea (in Turkey) celebrating Mass with a Roman Catholic priest, or that’s very much what it looked like.

  7. David,

    I am not intending by this comment to contradict you. There is much wisdom in what you have written that ought to be heeded. We should exercise patience (although not compromise) in these matters when it comes to expecting quick resolution at the level of the episcopate.

    However, as I was reading Misha’s comment, the one to which you are responding here, a passage from the Wisdom of Solomon immediately came to mind. From Chapter 1:


    3] For perverse thoughts separate men from God,
    and when his power is tested, it convicts the foolish;
    [4] because wisdom will not enter a deceitful soul,
    nor dwell in a body enslaved to sin.
    [5] For a holy and disciplined spirit will flee from deceit,
    and will rise and depart from foolish thoughts,
    and will be ashamed at the approach of unrighteousness.

    In my experience (and I suspect there are many here who have had the same experience), one can engage in fruitful ‘dialogue’ with those who are merely ‘tempted’ (as it were) to be accepting of perversity because the Holy Spirit remains in them, and they thus remain open to His prompting.

    However, those who know (or once knew) the truth and willingly reject it (deeming themselves wiser than God) have already rejected Him, separated themselves from the only source of wisdom, and have caused His Spirit to flee. This latter type of person is beyond hope of reasonable and fruitful dialogue and should, I believe, be avoided. Such people can only be left to God. Devoid of the Holy Spirit and having deemed themselves wiser than their Creator, there is no boundary they will not cross. Having slandered God and being willfully deceived, neither will they hesitate to use deceit and slander (with an ungodly, sickening air of smug ‘reasonableness’) until their unbridled pride has been fully satisfied.

  8. I’m not in favor of “dialogue” with anyone. “Dialogue” is the word of sophistry and boring powerpoints. I let my head get spun up far too much about this nonsense, and it negatively affected my spiritual life, trying to square a round peg (making “sense” of the Ukraine disaster, finding technical defenses of the EP’s actions, etc).

    Our job is not to “fight these battles.” We exist on the parish level. That is where real life is, and where 90% of our attention should be. If the state of your Diocese is terrible, it will filter down to your parish and you’ll know pretty quickly what is happening. Some parishes are compromised by anti-Orthodox ideologies. For those people, their decision is simple (certainly not easy). For everybody else, who see things at the episcopal level they don’t like, it is murky. Even those who revere tradition are not immune to identity politics on the right flank, where correctness and having “the right bishop” (or right calendar) is a temptation.

    In short, my argument is this: Be. Be where you are. Be aware. I’m not in the Phanar or in Moscow, so why the heck am I worried about what they are doing? We aren’t Catholics (thankfully). The parish is an organic community, of which we ideally are integrated. It isn’t a Burger King where we get the Mysteries our way. American culture has warped our sense of “Church,” and that is something I hope our Bishops address more forcefully in the future.

    With that said, the decisions of our hierarchs do affect the laity. That is where discernment comes into play. According to the Fathers, Schism is one of the most terrible and grave sins one can commit. I think in our country we have lost the sense of that gravity because of the uncanonical mess here.

  9. “I imagine some of the more well-heeled mainstream churches will be having ceremonies for such rights of passage soon.”
    The Anglican Church in Canada has done just that:

    • ‘ The Anglican Church of Canada’s General Synod authorized
      “Pastoral Liturgies for Journeys of Gender Transition and Affirmation”
      June 30, but added the provision “where authorized by the ordinary.” …

      Bishop Sandra Fyfe of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island said,
      “I hope these liturgies will save lives.” … ‘

      Liturgies for mutilation and castration…!
      Whatever next…?

      • From the article:
        “The 2015 General Convention authorized the use of marriage rites for same-sex couples in the United States, with the approval of the diocesan bishop. More than 90 Episcopal bishops granted approval, while eight did not.

        At the following General Convention in 2018, the bishop’s veto power was eliminated after emotionally charged debate. Conservative bishops thereafter could ask another bishop to provide oversight for same-sex weddings, while continuing to advocate for the traditional view that marriage should be a covenant between a man and a woman.

        The change touched off a struggle lasting more than two years between the church and the single bishop who continued to prohibit same-sex marriages. Bishop of Albany William H. Love left the Episcopal Church in early 2021 after a church court found he had violated the vow of obedience he took at ordination.”

        The irony that a senior Anglo-Catholic bishop was given the left foot of fellowship for hewing closely to Scripture and Tradition is a rich thing, indeed! The devilish Episcopal Church eats its own — even its own bishops. As an Anglican priest transferring from Japan, I experienced the same sort of cannibalism by the Episcopal Diocese of Hawai’i in 1994/1995 over my objection to the ordination of women, the ordination and “marriage” of homosexuals, and the abortion of the unborn — all of which were still controversial issues at that time.

        Mark my words: The Anglican Church in Canada will allow diocesan ordinaries (ruling bishops) to block the use of these freakish “gender-transition” blessings for a time. But, before you can say, “Butch is a girl!”, the national Church will pass a resolution against such tolerance and the conservative ordinaries will be persecuted, as will the priests and laymen who support them.

        Australian Anglican Abp. John Hepworth once said, “There’s nothing as illiberal as a liberal.”