Saturday Evening Post: Feb 16 Edition

So now we come to the conclusion of another week!  Anyhoo, did anything momentous happen this week? 

I’d say!  For one thing, an actual journalist actually committed journalism!  Kudos to Tucker Carlson, the avatar of Obi-wan Kenobi (“If you strike me down, I’ll become more powerful than ever!”)   How does A Tale of Two Presidents (1:12) sound?

This one’s clocks in at about 27 minutes, so I ask your forbearance; I felt that I needed extra time to answer some of our esteemed commentators.

Lots to talk about.  So, let’s get right to it, OK?

Prime Minister Mitsotakis, are your globalist masters happy, now?  (4:05) Sir, you and your government will have the blood of Christians on your hands.   In retrospect, the Church of Greece didn’t go far enough.  

Nikki Haley continues to bite the dust (6:00).  Badly.  I mean, she lost to “none of the above.”  That’s gotta hurt.  

Speaking of King Theoden of Rohan, Ron DeSantis has found his voice.  Seriously, DeSantis not only looks rested but he’s speaking with a confidence that he lacked while on the campaign trail.  Paul Ryan played the part of Grima Wormtongue in case you didn’t know.  (8:00)

As for Resident Biden (10:00), the Democrats have themselves on the horns of a dilemma.  Allow me to explain, especially the intricacies of the 25th Amendment (13:20).

Toby Keith, RIP  (14:12) https://www.theamericanconservative.com/toby-keith-american/

Before his post-9/11 anthems made him into a cultural flash point, the self-described “oil field trash” and former semi-pro football player was a key figure in the neotraditionalist revival of 1990s Nashville. Keith’s debut single, 1993’s “Should’ve Been a Cowboy,” was a runaway hit, reaching number one on the charts and becoming the most-played song of the decade. The song is filled with references to Western culture that would have been widely familiar to a previous generation of Americans: Marshal Matt Dillon and Miss Kitty of “Gunsmoke”; singing cowboys Gene Autry and Roy Rogers. 

Also, a special condolence to the family of Carl Weathers, a great actor, whose most memorable performance was as Apollo Creed, of Rocky fame.  If for nothing else, he will be remembered for this iconic role in an American film which became a cultural touchstone.  

Comments (15:26).  Replies to Just a Dad, rj and David.

And last but not least, a special anathema to the pseudo-church of the Ukraine, which decided to decanonize St Alexander Nevsky.  If there was any doubt that this horrendous contraption lacked all grace, it should be erased by now.  

 

Comments

  1. Joseph Lipper says

    The OCU removed St. Alexander Nevsky from their official calendar. That’s all they did. They are not disputing his sainthood. You won’t find him in the liturgical calendar of the Greek Archdiocese either.

    St. Alexander Nevsky belongs to the lowest category of saints, the “righteous” or “right-believing”. He is a national hero for Russia and is really more of a local saint for the Russian Church.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Joseph, that’s Jesuitical reasoning. Allow me to explain:

      1. there are tens of thousands of saints who are not on the various synaxaria. The local Churches don’t “make” saints, God does.

      2. Local Churches are concerned with local things. I can’t stress this enough. While a particular saint may not be in the synaxarion of a particular Church, said saint is often recognized in inter-Church communications and/or events.

      3. The idea of “lowest category of saints” is a tendentious argument, either one is a saint or he/she isn’t. Personally, I find hierarchs who engage in such specious argumentation to be doing so from a level of inferiority.

      4. Kiev is no mere “local Church” (especially not the false contraption created by the State Dept and headed by Epiphony). It is the “Mother of all Holy Rus'”. It is to that civilization what Plymouth Rock and Jamestown are to the American nation.

      5. Lastly, St Alexander Nevsky is no mere “local” saint of a “local” Church. He is, and always has been, the premier saint of all of Holy Rus’, that includes not only Great Russia but Byelorus and Malorossiya (i.e. the Ukraine).

      If however, the ultra-nationalists/neo-nazis/pseudo-Aryans that presently govern Kiev want to keep on going down their present path, then not only will they embrace the neither-fish-nor-fowl contraption known as uniatism but then entire Skittles agenda that is presently destroying the formerly Christian West.

      If so, they can have at it.

      • Joseph Lipper says

        St. Alexander Nevsky is a Vigil rank saint for the Russian churches, but other churches might not even include him in their menaion.

        Similarly, St. Alexis Toth might be a Vigil rank saint in the OCA, but not in Russia. The ranking of saints simply has to do with their importance to a local church.

        • To paraphrase St Paul:
          “There are neither Upper Saints nor Lower Saints.
          All are one in Christ Jesus.”

        • That said, St Alexander Nevsky is and always has been considered a warrior-saint par excellence as have Ss George, Demetrius, Theodore, et al throughout the Orthodox world.

          The schismatic charlatans who head the sect set up by the State Dept and their phanariote puppets are only hurting themselves as they continue along the primrose path of secularism. The last thing any Christian should do is allow their religion to conform itself to the world.

    • Sure Joseph, whatever you say. (I just knew that you couldn’t resist this one!)

    • No, Joseph, that’s not “all they did.”

      These monsters desecrate churches and relics, spreading heresy and violence against good priests and their faithful.

      These monsters hold monks and nuns hostage at gunpoint, and join themselves to the very globalists who tried defeating Russia and Eastern Europe under the banner of ‘communism’ whereby 60 million Christians were martyred.

      We shouldn’t make light or trivialize the Church’s sworn enemies. In doing so, we excuse the sins of a heretical, demonic gang.

      St. Alexander pray for us!

  2. Thank you for the reply. I think I will start with your point that it is a defensive act on the part of Russia, and that they “don’t want to conquer Ukraine.”

    Russian bombs are killing Ukrainians, and their cities are being destroyed. From the Ukrainian POV, Putin’s motives are irrelevant, and are even salt on the wound. Innocent people are dying. MP partisans like to bring up Donbass, but the UOJ article thoroughly smacks that argument down. The UOC protested the ATO (the same type of ugly euphemism as SMO) from the beginning, and Metropolitan Onuphry’s refusal to stand to honor ATO “heroes” was a great act of courage. Russia’s justification is that they had no other choice. The same argument we used. I think history and the truth will show otherwise, and of course by then the news cycle will have “moved on.” People will wring their hands, maybe some muted Mea Culpas will be written in obscure publications nobody reads, but at the end of the day, all of those people will still be dead. The “bio labs” stuff smells like Yellow Cake, secret bunkers in the Iraqi desert and other hokum (Colin Powell looked good on TV, right?). With all due respect to you, I hope you can understand why I remain skeptical and hostile to such reports.

    It’s always the same. An ugly game of Risk, with moral or religious grandstanding used as garnish (we play the game, too). My focus is on the spiritual aspect of it all, and the Church’s role in it. The Moscow Patriarchate has chosen to bless this war. That act has profound consequences on the spiritual field. The MP can no longer pastor or shepherd in Ukraine, in any way, shape, or form. The Baltic states are also breaking away as a result of the MP’s actions. You can’t blame all of that on NATO. “Holy Rus” is being torn apart, for what?

    I’m not impressed with Putin. Caesar is Caesar. If he does what the warrior-kings in our tradition do, and gives up power to take the Schema, then that would be something.

    St. Alexander Nevsky took the Schema. St. Constantine postponed his baptism to the very end. Why is that? Because being Caesar gives one much to repent of (probably more than anything else). To be Caesar is to have blood on your hands. Killing in war is penanced, because War is sin.

    One can argue a war’s necessity (because we are fallen). One can argue its inevitability. But no one can argue its “goodness.” Ask a soldier with PTSD about their “noble cause.” War wounds the soul of those who survive it. How can it be called good? The triumphalism I see on the Russian side is disgusting to me, and the cheerleading of the OCU for “Ukrainism” is equally horrid.

    • George Michalopulos says

      David, thank you for your reply. Please allow me to answer some of your responses.

      First of all, the Russians are not bombing civilian targets indiscriminately. In this sense, they are fighting war in a “just” manner. The Kiev regime however is not. Not only have they targeted non-combatants (e.g. Daria Dugina, Gonzalo Lira, Scott Ritter, Tucker Carlson, etc.) but they they have targeted civilians in the Donetsk/Lugansk regions.

      In fact, they have been doing this for 8 years, beginning in 2014. That’s a fact.

      They have also used civilians as human shields, placing them in basements of buildings in Mariupol and Bakhmut, to prevent the Russian air force from flattening those (otherwise) abandoned buildings. That is a war crime.

      As for war being a noble enterprise, I am of the opinion of Fr Alexander F C Webster who in his book The Virtue of War argues that it is not a “necessary evil” but a “lesser good”, especially if it is fought in a justifiable manner.

      That said, I of course agree with you regarding the sequelae of military actions, veterans very often return with shattered lives. Cities can be destroyed and farmland devastated. To say nothing about the deaths that have occurred. All true and then some. Hence my agreement with Churchill that “it is better to jaw-jaw than to war-war”.

      My question therefore is: why did the West provoke this war? Why did they not engage in diplomacy? I’m sorry but the blood of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians as well as the devastation of that land is laid at the feet of the collective West.

      I could blame the Ukrainians as well for rising to the bait of the West but I won’t go there for this reason: in electing Zelensky as president in 2019, they did so in order to prevent war. We should not forget that he was the “peace candidate” and he won by 73% of the vote. Not only did he win overwhelmingly in the Russophone East but garnered a majority in the Russophobic areas of the Ukraine. Regardless, 73% is a supermajority anyway you cut it.

      As to your broader point, that Orthodox warrior-saints delay baptism and/or take the holy orders as they approach the end of their lives, I cannot disagree. However there are warrior-saints who died in battle protecting their lands. Just as Dysmas, the Good Thief never had a chance to receive baptism or live a sacramental life, Jesus assured him that his sins were forgiven and that he would be “with me today, in Paradise”.

    • David, I agree this war appears necessary and inevitable but certainly not good. You’re right to infer the opposite of war isn’t peace, it’s communion.

      Russia wanted peace. They proposed peace and continue to propose peace negotiations. They also seek communion.

      However, the degenerate Jewish comedian who was installed by the same globalists who installed Biden reject peace and communion. They fight for the Antichrist. This is clear, isn’t it?

      How do you expect good men to respond?

  3. The main issue with Biden is if he is too incompetent to stand trial for stealing classified documents, then the 25th amendment needs to be invoked. If the 25th amendment isn’t invoked, that must mean he is mentally fit to be charged and stand trial for his crimes. Of course the left won’t do either and get to have their cake and eat it too, since we are being ruled by an installed junta and not a duly elected president.

    This is why I doubt Biden will be replaced on the ballot. The deep state will try to steal 2024 just as they stole 2020 from Trump. They would rather have a dementia addled Biden who will “sign off” (they just need a bib to catch the drool) on anything they want, than someone like Newsome who is just as bad, but may act somewhat independent every now and then.

    • George Michalopulos says

      I know where you’re going with this Anthony and all things being equal, I can’t disagree. The problem is that the word on the street is getting louder as to replacing him. I received a tweet from Roger Stone last night saying something to the effect: “Biden is done, Obama has spoken.”

      What leverage do the Obamas have? Only this: that if he goes, they will call off the dogs of the DoJ should Mike be coronated at the convention. (“For the good of the country”.)

      If he stays in and loses to Trump, then all bets are off. The Dems foolishly broke ~250 years of political tradition and went after a political opponent (Trump). Now he can do the same.

      Personally, I hope he stays in and continues to drool and/or defecate in public.

      • Antiochene Son says

        Biden will be removed sometime after Super Tuesday, when he has enough delegates locked up to make any challenge before the convention irrelevant, and to prevent Kamala from being the heir apparent should Biden drop out sooner.

        The DNC will settle on someone, probably Gavin Newsom, and he will get Biden’s votes at the convention.

        “Word on the street” is right. The idea of replacing Biden has now gone from fringe to mainstream conversation.

        And I am sure the White House and his campaign are in on it. They have kept him locked away for months, and they choose NOW to let him do a press conference, without any of the usual scripting or whatever drugs they’re giving him? They send him out at 8pm (after his sun-downers has set in) to rant and rave like a literal dementia patient?

        The fix is in, and really Jill Biden is to blame. Her husband is going to be utterly humiliated from now until the convention. Like Edith Wilson she is propping him up, but unlike a century ago, it can’t be hidden away.

        • AS, I thank you for fleshing out the minutiae. There are still some loose ends. Specifically, the fact that the Dems broke 250 years of tradition and went after a previous president. Not good (to say the least). This has set them up for going after Biden after he’s removed by his successor. If it’s a Dem (e.g. Newsome) then he doesn’t have to worry. If however, Trump wins, then all bets are off.

          While Biden may be exempt, because the Special Counsel says he’s demented, that doesn’t mean that “Dr” Jill, his brothers and Hunter will be left off the hook.

          Perhaps I’m overthinking this. Regardless, we live (as the Chinese say) in “interesting times”.

        • Don’t forget that the court recently acquitted Biden because he’s too “old a feeble” to know that he had secret documents hidden away and that he can’t recall any of the events….yet he’s somehow able enough to run our country?

          I think that’s a huge indicator that they are getting ready to oust him.

          Problem for the Dems is: Gruesome Newsom is very unpopular and he will be eviscerated by not just Trump, but Musk and Rogan for his covid policies and economically decimating California. Not to mention the mass exodos out of the State.
          Then we have Kamala who makes Newsom look like Little Bo Peep.

          Biden, Harris, Newsom & anyone else the Dems run is going to be a complete and utter train wreck. Trump also has an axe to grind so he will show no mercy. Same with RFK JR.

          Makes you wonder what the deep state/dems/etc., are going to do about it?

          Crash the economy?
          Hot war with Iran/Russia?
          New pandemic?
          Civil War?

          I have long thought that they will use the same means to stay in power that they are currently telling Zalensky & Netenyhu to do: War

          False flag attack (a la 9/11) -> Hot war -> Executive Order to stay in power

          • Well, I predicted they’d replace Biden at the convention with Hillary. John Kass has stated that it would be Michelle Obama. (Her betting odds have shot up btw.)

            Then again, Col MacGregor and others have speculated on the election being called off.

            • Michelle has no political background but will play the race card and probably pick Newsom as her VP. If they get elected, well, I think we all know what the future of the “United” States will be.

              As for Hillary, I would honestly love to see her go up against Trump again, that was hilarious. She’s probably the most unpopular Dem though, even among Dems. She’s not likable at all. If she gets elected then I would look for a hot war with Russia, China, Iran, and anyone else she can get her hands on. She’s as Neocon warmongering as they come, maybe besides Haley at this point.

            • Easiest money in the world is taking it from people willing to bet Michelle Obama is going to run for president. Get in on that action while you can. No, I’m afraid it’s going to be Biden v Trump the rematch in November, unless one (or both!) of them die. And yes, there will be an election in November. This year. I’m not taking bets on whether there will be elections in 2028 if America is stupid enough to elect Trump again in 2024.

              • And electing Biden –who has brought us to the brink of WWIII–is brilliant?

              • It’s not often that I agree with Nate, but on this point (and this point alone) I agree.

                “Easiest money in the world is taking it from people willing to bet Michelle Obama is going to run for president.”

                The notion is nothing but a distraction. Michelle herself could easily and quickly put this idea to bed, but she doesn’t. Why? Because the distraction serves a useful purpose, as in “Look over here so you won’t notice what’s over there.”

                • Personally, I’ve never believed all the nonsense about Michelle being Princess Di 2.0. She has a chip on her shoulder that screams “I’m not a people person!” I’ll even go farther and say that should she take Biden’s place at the top of the ticket, she’d lose the black male vote. (Note, I did not say the black vote, she will get the black female vote.)

                  • I’m not sure she would. The Obama years produced bitter fruit. Not at all what anyone was led to believe. – Wouldn’t it be great if we could move beyond all this? If the white & black vote were the same?

          • Who else waits in the wings?
            What about Killary?

          • Antiochene Son says

            I don’t think it will be Michael/Michelle Obama. I don’t think she has political chops or frankly the desire to be in politics, and she has said as much. Maybe she could be talked into it with no other options, but even facing 4 more years of Trump, I’m not sure she would do it.

            I don’t think Hillary is in the running either, she has plenty of baggage and has lost to Trump once already. There are a lot of one-time Trump voters who weren’t happy with his admin and I think that’s what cost him the election, but against Hillary many of them would be motivated to vote again.

            Gavin has been bad for CA but with his movie star looks and COVID in the rearview mirror, I’m not sure low-information types would care. I just can’t imagine the Dems running what appears to be a normal white guy with a normal white family. It would be a stealthy option if they can obfuscate his record.

            Gretchen Whitmer is being thrown around, but she has the same terrible COVID policies as Gavin, the same cheating on her own rules, and she’s kind of a lightweight. If the Dems decide to throw in the towel on this election and focus on building a bench for 2028 (which would be the wise thing to do) I could see picking her.

    • He’s our version of Boris Yeltsin…only worse. Same folks behind the curtains, too. Perhaps, even, our country will see the same end.

  4. Caitlin Johnstone | The US Keeps Bombing People
    While Saying It Doesn’t Want To Fight

    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2024/02/no_author/the-us-keeps-bombing-people-while-saying-it-doesnt-want-to-fight/

    ‘ One of the weirdest things happening in the world today is the way US officials keep insisting that they are not at war with the groups they’re dropping bombs on in the middle east, and that they do not seek conflict with the people they are attacking.

    Shortly after another massive round of attacks on Houthi targets in Yemen, Pentagon Press Secretary Pat Ryder told reporters on Monday that the US is not at war with the group.

    “We don’t seek an escalation with the Houthis. We’re not at war with the Houthis. We’re not seeking to go to war with the Houthis,” Ryder said.

    The day before, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told CNN’s State of the Union that “the United States also is not looking for a wider war in the middle east,” even as he refused to rule out direct attacks within Iran, and even as the US-backed war on Gaza has expanded to US bombing campaigns in Yemen, Syria and Iraq.

    This is just days after President Biden released a statement saying “The United States does not seek conflict in the Middle East or anywhere else in the world” while the United States was in the process of dropping bombs on multiple middle eastern countries.

    It’s just so surreal. It’s like someone running up to you and slinging punches at your face while screaming “I DO NOT WISH TO FIGHT! THIS IS NOT AN ASSAULT!” They wear a plastic smiling mask and pay lip service to peace while operating the single most aggressive and murderous power structure on this planet. … ‘

    We’re tough on terror
    Tough on causes of terror
    Tough on lots of stuff…

  5. Seems as if followers of Jesus are back where we started 2000 years ago. We are under the domination of the Jews.

    So what are we going to do now?
    We can reason all we want, but Jesus says to call on Him. Prayer works wonders.

    I’m starting through the psalms again and this morning learned that David called upon the Lord early in the morning. Maybe we should do a bit more calling. Early in the morning.

    • Early in the morning is often when
      the still small voice is best heard.

      I Kings, 19:11-12 [KJV]
      11 And he said, Go forth,
      and stand upon the mount before the Lord.
      And, behold, the Lord passed by,
      and a great and strong wind rent the mountains,
      and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord;
      but the Lord was not in the wind:
      and after the wind an earthquake;
      but the Lord was not in the earthquake:

      12 And after the earthquake a fire;
      but the Lord was not in the fire:
      and after the fire a still small voice.

      13 And it was so, when Elijah heard it,
      that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out,
      and stood in the entering in of the cave.
      And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said,
      What doest thou here, Elijah?

  6. PS. We pray for our armed forces in every liturgy. What is the difference between us and the ROC.

    • …and among the intentions of our prayer
      should be that the armed forces do enough,
      but no more, to maintain/restore the peace.
      Aggressive war should never be supported.

  7. There are varying views on war in our (military/veteran) community. “Lesser Good, Necessary Evil, and Evil Evil” is a good generalization of the spectrum (Oliver Stone would be an example of the “Evil Evil” camp). I’m not a pacifist (“Necessary Evil group”), but I’m the guy who avoids victory parades. I wore my uniform and did my duty (and has no regrets), but it is in mothballs and will never see the light of day again. My view is that sometimes the sword must be wielded, but that we should rend our garments first, and then when it is over, drop the bloodied sword and rend our garments again (and more). I acknowledge the “lesser good” argument, and met a few down range (I even had a guy tell me he loved deploying—-I didn’t understand that at the time, but now I do, even if I don’t agree with it).

    The West and Russia bear blame for this war. I’m not letting Russia off the hook. It is clear to me, that the wounds of the Soviet period were not adequately addressed or healed. Metropolitan Neophytos said as much, strongly rebuking the MP for not granting autocephaly to Ukraine years ago, and failing to understand the situation on the ground in Ukraine (and foresee what the West was up to). The former Eastern Bloc ran into NATO’s arms, because of what the Russians did during the Soviet period. “We were victims, too!” wasn’t the right response to their pain and hatred (which is often mixed together). The only thing the MP had to offer was gaslighting and canonical strictness.

    The break up of the Soviet Union, although done without shots fired, was far from peaceful. These unresolved issues remained under the surface, and festered. The West egged it on, but it was there and virulent before the Americans even got there. Anti-Russian propaganda, yes…but why was the ground so fertile for it to take root? The West isn’t all to blame here.

    The Donbass was happening (the exact figures and truth of it is obscured by propaganda from both sides—-the truth will come out later), but Russia had a number of options they could have done. They chose to go to the mattresses. Maybe that was the right response, geopolitically. But I refuse to pretend that it is a good thing, and the Church shouldn’t be blessing it, either. Praying for peace and our armed forces is not mutually exclusive.

    • Imagine this: What if TX went it’s own way, succeeding from the nation, becoming friendly with Iran. Iran then begans to weaponize TX with biolabs and bonafide Nazis who are particularly brutal toward Americans.

      If TX started building up a prolific weaponry intended to be used against the U.S., under the direction of Iran, would you think it would be out of line to tell TX if they don’t back off, there will be problems?

      If TX told you they had no intention of following a treaty like the Minsk agreement and then say to your face they never intended on following through with it to begin with. They are liars. One cannot deal with liars in a peaceful way. They are incapable of reaching (satisfying) fair agreements and they admit it. In other words, they tell you they played you while they continue to brutally murder thousand and thousand of expats of the U.S. just because they speak English. – This is what Russia is dealing with.

      Under these circumstances, even our country, outside of TX, would obviously have to do what Russia did in Ukraine. And we would have no problem doing it.

      Your problem, if I may be so bold, is that the world you see in your mind doesn’t exist. Governments have to protect their people. They don’t have the luxury of “rending their garments” to see if that works. The world is run by people who do not think like you. If making the first move protects your people you have to do it and that is what Russia did. All Russia wanted was for Ukraine to remain neutral. Having NATO move in was too much of a risk for Russia’s population given the proximity of Ukraine and it is their intent to carve Russia up in 5 pieces and take it over. This is their neighbor we’re talking about! There are places along the border where they don’t even have a fence between them.

      You can’t have your enemy move next door unless they genuinely agree to stop trying to hurt you.

      Russia repeatedly asked Ukraine to remain neutral and recognize the separatists which they were supposed to do under international law. However, at this point, it isn’t about Ukraine. Ukraine is occupied territory. It ceased being about Ukraine a long time ago. Russia is not alone in this fight against the West. The whole world is fighting against them. No one likes or trusts our present leadership, especially Americans.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Davjd, thank you for these insights. Personally, I thank you for your service to our nation. (I will talk more about America’s military adventurism in a future podcast.)

      I must disagree with your assertion that the breakup of the USSR was “violent”. Far from it. Perhaps some things (like borders) were “unresolved” is certainly the case.

      The Ukraine (for the most part) has always been part of Holy Rus’. If you’ve been following this blog for any time, you will see that I have put a map of the Ukraine showing its borders throughout history. That is far from a settled matter. Poland, Hungary and Romania all have irredentist claims to parts of the present Ukrainian polity.

      As to the present, that Moscow should have have granted autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, I won’t disagree. Having said that, that same –canonical–Church was always autonomous. The only tie it had to the Moscow patriarchate was that its primate (the Metropolitan of Kiev) had a permanent seat of honor on Moscow’s holy synod.

      I will say this however: the future of the legitimate Ukrainian polity is far from resolved. As we see in the Crimea and the entire South and East, we are seeing the reconstitution of Novorossiya.

      • As to the present, that Moscow should have have granted autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, I won’t disagree.

        I have to wonder if this is something that will happen when the SMO is over? But, Putin did mention in his talk with Tucker that the Russian & Ukrainian souls are one, you have to wonder if the MP will keep the UOC tied to it for that reason. Who knows?

        You have to wonder if the OCU will be the “state church” of whatever is left of Ukraine after the SMO and the UOC will be the “state Church” of actual Ukraine.

        I have to be honest it’s hard to figure out what the Russians are doing in regards to the UOC & OCU. To date the Russian state has done very little to help the UOC, but maybe that’s by design because it will cause further persecution. I’m not really sure.

      • Thank you for your kind words.

        That is the key issue: They don’t want anything to do with “Holy Rus” anymore. They view it as Russification with Icons. Whether that is a fair sentiment or not is irrelevant to the simple fact that this is how they feel, and how they perceive things. When it comes to human relationships, “fair” often has nothing to do with it. These feelings are deep, and they permeate the culture and space, political, spiritual, social, you name it. Who can pastor and minister to those people? Not the Moscow Patriarchate. That is the simple point I have been making. Telling them they are wrong to feel that way, and gaslighting them has not resolved the crisis. Maybe Ukraine should have been partitioned in 1991, but that didn’t happen. The Church has to deal with present realities. Russia’s geopolitical position towards Ukraine has exacerbated those tensions, and this War has made “the Galician Problem” a Ukraine wide problem. One can spit and curse NATO and the West for “turning Ukraine against Russia,” but we are where we are. I think the Russia-haters didn’t need much prompting from the West, and that is the reality that Moscow denies, or delusionally think they can reverse through “re-education” and political maneuvers. How Soviet. Completely contrary to the Gospel, but it makes sense from Caesar’s perch.

        • David, I don’t disagree with you in the main. However, it can’t be forgotten that the Ukraine is an artificial construct. Even if we accept the validity of a Ukrainian identity, the fact remains that there are several million “Ukrainians” who consider themselves to be part of the Russian civilizational realm.

          It is a tragic situation. But I’m going to lay this out here: just as God used Joshua to chastise the idolaters –a fact which wasn’t pleasant for said idolaters–I also believe that God is using Putin to chastise those Orthodox nations which are succumbing to the sinful siren song of the West. By this I mean the Georgians as well as the Ukrainians.

          • Ukraine is a European example of the horrible consequences that result from arbitrary borders (a legacy that still haunts and hurts Africa, among other former colonial regions).   

            God has allowed this war to happen.    For what reason I don’t know, and I think it is dangerous spiritually to speculate too much.    As far as Putin being the hand of God:

            https://youtu.be/5y2FuDY6Q4M?feature=shared

            “For you don’t count the dead, when God’s on your side….”

            I think the explanation for the “hate” is much more simple.   The people who lead us were formed in a world where our entire geopolitical force was to contain Russia.   What is Batman without the Joker?   As dangerous as all of this is, for those of us who remember the Cold War, it is oddly comfortable.   The world “makes sense again.”   The American Empire needs Russia to be the enemy.   Old Russians too, can slip back into old habits.   Cloak and Dagger in the Third World, a new Second World (with China, BRICS countries, et al) and of course the arch-rival “First World.”   James Bond can have classic adventures again!  Playing games with the “non-aligned” countries and boycotting each others events.   That old red batphone in Moscow and Washington was dusted off and given a shiny new glass cover.   Those old hardliners in the Kremlin who still sport their Soviet era medals proudly are just as happy as their counterparts in Washington are.

            It is a new golden age of retired Lt. Colonels with an opinion on TV.   Lord, have mercy.

            • RE: “Putin the hand of God.”

              Huh? Who said that? – This kind of talk reminds me of Christmas trees in the 50s and 60s. People would get tired halfway through and just starting throwing everything on the tree. Tinsel was the worst. It managed to get all over the house in seconds.

              Diarrhea of the of the tinsel is kind of like diarrhea of the mouth. It doesn’t help anything. You need to know when to stop talking. https://www.kellyelko.com/tinsel-covered-trees/

              Clarification:

              1) We are not in a cold war. A cold war is a state of conflict between nations that does not involve direct military action but is pursued primarily through economic and political actions, propaganda, acts of espionage or proxy wars waged by surrogates.

              2) We are in the midst of several kinetic wars where missiles are physically engaging the targets.

              And our entire geo-political force was never to “contain Russia!” Russia was already contained by the USSR. Our mission was to thwart communism. That was the whole purpose of NATO which begs the question why do we need it now?

              This is real life. It’s not a Batman/James Bond movie. And it’s not about hate either. It’s about survival.

              • Gail, the “hand of God” was a reference to George’s comment comparing Putin to Joshua, a Judge of Israel (who as we know, acted as the Hand of God on a few occasions).

                My comment about Batman and the Joker and James Bond was to illustrate that we are falling back into “old habits,” because our leaders, for whatever reason, want it that way. It’s comfortable. When Russia was the enemy, Americans were “the good guys,” so why not give our Greatest Hits record another spin? It is madness, but they think it’s a good idea. As we know, “Russia” and “USSR” were used interchangeably during the Cold War. NATO after 1991 was a solution in search of a problem. Well, they got what they wanted.

                Putin says it’s about Russian Survival. Perhaps he really believes it. I don’t believe it, just as I don’t believe that Putin is the 2nd coming of Hitler. I think we have to be more discerning, and reject any and all propaganda, even if it is coming from a friendly face (IE, someone who prays like we do). What is propaganda? Anything that comes out Putin and Biden’s mouth. Maybe they are telling the truth, but it is just as likely they are lying. The information space has been weaponized and carpet bombed. Truth and Lies share the same air. When one doesn’t know which is which (and honestly, we can’t know for certain), people often pick “the facts” that dovetail with their personal ideology or beliefs. Sometimes it turns out right, sometimes it is a terrible mistake. I think with the increasing misinformation out there, the Christian response is less clear.

                • How many states have been bombed, burned and overturned
                  by Russia in the past thirty years? How many by the West?
                  While you may be unable to detect a qualitative difference,
                  you should at least be able to notice a quantitative one.

                  • There is certainly a difference in that respect.    Much blood has been shed in the name of “Democracy.”   I think even in the face of that, we should be wary of any self-proclaimed “liberators.”    Geopolitics is devoid of morality, and focused on “interests.”   Sometimes those “interests” run parallel to a Christian response, but more often than not, they don’t.    My concern about the Moscow Patriarchate (and others) is that they are not showing this discernment.   Too many seem to be caught up in the “rebirth of Russia” narrative, which risks repeating the mistakes of the past.  Where has the introspection and self-awareness of the Russian Exile generation gone?    

                    Some say that Russia has changed.   Others say that the change is on the surface, but there remains much evangelizing work to do (and lament the political climate, which threatens to undo that work).    I don’t question the eyewitnesses of people who have been to Russia and seen good things.   I think the terrible state of Western society is a temptation for people in anguish over it, to seek a political champion.   The disillusionment of the Bush years gave rise to the Tea Party, which morphed into the MAGA movement.   That translates to the spiritual sphere, with many Orthodox online, I have seen the praise of Putin’s Russia as “a stronghold of Orthodoxy.”   I think there is a great danger there, in that the lines between Church interests and Russian geopolitical interests are blurred (in some quarters intentionally).   This blurring of lines can lead to partisanship, which threatens our spiritual ties to our Orthodox brothers and sisters in other countries (and jurisdictions in America), who have different historical memories of Russia (and as a result disagree on Russia’s role in things).   It is an alienating spirit.

                    My approach is one of sobriety and caution.   That sobriety has already been almost completely abandoned in American public life.   My prayer is that Church relations are not poisoned in a similar fashion.

                    • The Church will be just fine. In fact, I guarantee it. Some remnant will survive.

                    • It isn’t a question of the Church being “fine.” Christ Himself has promised this. We want that “remnant” to be as large as possible. The margin for principled and legitimate disagreement is larger than partisans on either “side” will admit, and I think the caution I mentioned will do much to allow for reconciliation and the strengthening of our communion.

                    • Who’s the “we?”

                    • Some sobriety is a fine thing – but not too much;
                      otherwise we run the risk of ending up like old
                      Western Isles Presbyterians, eternally afraid that
                      someone (somewhere) might be enjoying himself.
                      Remember, Jesus did turn the water into wine.

                    • Brendan: We certainly don’t want that!

                      Gail: The “we” is us as a Church. We want as many people to be saved as possible, don’t we?

                    • And who are the self-proclaimed “liberators?”

                    • The self-proclaimed “liberators” are Russia AND America.

                    • We’re in the process of trying to liberate ourselves.

                    • We never ceased being peasants, as the “tut tutting” of the Founders over “mob rule” shows. The idea of an elite “vanguard” ruling their betters wasn’t invented by Lenin. As the Catholic writer GK Chesterton quipped: “There has never been a nation of millionaires, and there has never been a nation of utopian comrades. There have been, however, nations of tolerably contented peasants.”

                      Christ is Lord. This is the only “liberation” that matters, I think. God has His ways. My view of institutions or movements don’t extend beyond that. I reject MAGA and “Build Back Better,” because they are nostalgia movements. Nostalgia saves nobody, and builds nothing. When I look at America today, I see the Soviet Union, circa 1982. Old men running on the vapors of Soviet (American) glories, young people who disdain it and no longer believe, and people going through the motions (with increasing dysfunction building towards collapse). I view MAGA as the anti-Gorbachev forces, the rear guard action trying to stave off the inevitable, a “purist” push. America thought it was exempt from history. We are about to find out differently.

                      Christians carried on in the ruins of the Roman and Byzantine Empire. We will do the same in the ruins of the American Empire/Western Order.

                    • “There has never been a nation of millionaires”.

                      There have certainly been nations of billionaires.
                      The Weimar Republic and Zimbabwe come to mind.
                      The problem was not in the denomination of the notes
                      so much as it was in the purchasing power thereof.

                      In 1920, fifty marks were enough to buy a dollar.
                      By 1923, the price reached 4,200,000,000,000 marks.
                      In 2008 Zimbabwe’s Central Bank introduced
                      a new one hundred trillion dollar note.

                    • How does Europe feel about our dollar? I’ve heard they’ve transferred the IRS to the Treasury Department and they’re coming out with a Treasury Note that’s quite different. I find the best information on this site. Click on the “Secret Window” on the upper right. https://www.usdebtclock.org/

            • A truly wonderful song, in which
              Bob percipiently included the lines:

              Well I’ve learned to hate Russians
              All through my whole life
              If another war comes
              It’s them we must fight
              To hate them and fear them
              To run and to hide
              And accept it all bravely
              With God on my side

              Joan Baez – With God on Our Side (Live 1966)
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUZGGFOV6FM

              [Video – from 03:30-04:10]

              • Here is one of Dylan’s sources for the song:

                Dominic Behan – The Patriot Game
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6K1ECpdPws

                [Video – 03:54]

                • PS: To the end of his days,
                  Dominic Behan was very bitter
                  that Dylan never acknowledged
                  any debt to him for the song.
                  In my opinion, for what it is worth,
                  Dylan transformed the death song
                  of a bitter, un-revenged footsoldier
                  into an excoriating repudiation
                  of the logic and glory of war.
                  He has nothing to apologise for.

            • George Michalopulos says

              All I can say David is that life is complicated. Alexander the Great was no choirboy. He killed more Greeks than the Persians ever did. Yet it was because of his militarism that Greek civilization spread throughout the Mediterranean world. A feat which resulted in the translation of the OT into Greek which then enabled the spread of the Gospel.

              I will say this: those Orthodox nations which continue to view the West as righteous will lose the grace of the Holy Spirit; after all, the other Western nations have already lost all honor and decency. Of this I have no doubt.

              The Eastern Europeans had the religion of Moloch shoved down their throats by a greedy cabal of Satanists. What excuse to we in the West have? We freely embraced the demonic agenda.

              • I don’t think the Orthodox nations view the West as Righteous. It is pure realpolitik. They aren’t on board with the Rainbow ideologies, but they have historical reasons for distrusting Russia. So they try and play both sides. I have a personal love and affinity for the Balkan Churches and Antioch (particularly Antioch and Romania—-I find myself reading Basilica.ro and other Romanian sources for edification these days), the ones caught in the middle of this ridiculousness (they’ve always been caught in the middle).

        • “I think the Russia-haters didn’t need much prompting from the West”

          Let us not forget that these very Russia-haters
          also hate the Poles just about as much;
          as they showed in and after WWII.

          • The question in my mind is: why does the West have to hate anybody? The Russians are part of the West and have been since the time of Peter the Great. My belief is that they have to hate somebody in order to feel better about themselves. Sadly, as long as we continue down this abysmal path, the hatred towards Russia will intensify.

            • Europeans have been killing themselves en masse since forever. I don’t know if it’s in the water or in the soil. Whether its little **** syndrome or what. As I say one good thing of being subjugated under the Ottomons is we avoided being victims of 500 years of European warfare. Imagine how bad the inquisitions would have been on us. Imagine how we would have been forced to fight in the Napoleonic wars . We didn’t even have to participate in the Ottomon Hapsburgs wars. We were shielded from the 30 years war and the 80 years war. And once we overthrew the Ottomons only for Europe to involve us in 2 world wars, Crimean Intervention of 1919, civil wars (European ideology of Marxism exported to the east), even in Korea. And now European newest project Ukraine, where ever European country is forced as their duty to send weapons and their boys to DIE because of their little **** syndrome

              • I like your insights there. One of the other “good” things of Ottoman occupation was not being subject to the Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation, its bastard step-child the Enlightenment, Rationalism, and then Liberalism.

                • Among the bad things were the Janissary system
                  and the deep systemic corruption of slavery,
                  from which the West managed to liberate itself
                  for a few centuries; before it came roaring back
                  in the form of modern neo-feudalism.

            • Heavens, forty years ago when my son left Delaware to work in South Carolina he was told that the only good Yankee was a dead one. He never even thought of himself as a Yankee. Hate dies slowly.

        • David,

          I am following and appreciating this conversation and agree with Brendan’s expressed sentiments toward you and your point of view.

          One thing I would caution is that when statements like this…

          “They don’t want anything to do with “Holy Rus” anymore.”

          …are made from either side of the argument it is very important to define exactly who the “they” are. It is akin to saying of Americans that “they” support the war in Ukraine…or Gaza…or that “they” support Trump…or Biden, etc. It is never quite that simple. Some do; some obviously don’t, and it is disingenuous to make generalizations of they “they” (together as a country) think.

          Note: This is not a criticism of what you have written overall. It is merely a caution against overgeneralization.

  8. I will put all of my replies to everyone in this one post.

    I am not denying the history of the region.   I am fully aware of the ties that bind in that part of the world, and it is much more complicated than the simplistic solutions that come out of Western Think Tanks.   What I am talking about is accepting the fact that they view that history very differently.  The Azov guys are just the extreme end of a multi-faceted antipathy towards Russia. The Czarist policy of Russification was not all flowers and chocolates.   Ask the Georgians about that.  

     It isn’t just the MP that is in denial about this stuff.  The EP also doesn’t acknowledge the complicated history it has with the Balkan Churches and Antioch.   The EP believes that it was “Russian Propaganda” that turned them against the Phanar, and not the ugly actions of the Phanariot elite and the Patriarchate itself.   The EP refused (and still in a sense refuses) to acknowledge the reasons why autocephaly and separation was necessary.   The MP is in a similar state of denial today.   It is this denial that prevents the MP (and EP) from solving the problem in a pastoral fashion.

    My imagery of garment rending is simply saying that the sword should be used with deep reluctance and a repentant spirit.   We should have no illusions about what war is.   As for justifications, be it from Bush or Putin, they are worthless to me.   I don’t believe a word.  I often hear that Putin’s Orthodox, and that he has “done much for the Church.”   Ivan the Terrible also “did much for the Church.”  Devils can be as angels of light, and Angels can be as the dregs of the earth. The only thing that “counts” is the fruit. May the Lord reward him his due, whatever that may be.

    I pray for peace and that God’s will be done.  That’s it. Perhaps God will give Russia the victory.   I don’t discount the possibility.  Perhaps Russia is right about NATO.   I don’t discount that either.   At this point, EVERYTHING is propaganda, and I treat it as such. I would respectfully tell Joe Biden or Vladimir Putin as much: Sir, I can’t believe what you say to me. May God forgive me if what you say is true, and may He forgive you if you speak lies.

      I think in this age of deception, such skepticism is a good thing.

    • Your views are clearly deeply considered and (I think) very Christian.
      I agree with much of what you say; but note that the tomos of autocephaly,
      granted by Bartholomew as EP, did not in fact grant autocephaly.
      In short: it is a sham document establishing him
      as the sham head of a sham church.

      • Of course the Tomos is cursed.   How could it not be?   It was given unilaterally and prematurely to questionable people, inflicting a grave injustice on the actual Ukrainian Church.  How can God bless such a thing?   As we know, that is impossible.

        With that said, I firmly believe that the Estonia solution was the only path forward prior to the war.   A hard nosed take it or leave it offer of a UOC-EP, under the leadership of one of the North American Ukrainian Bishops (with close oversight by the Phanar).   Such an arrangement could have dealt with any canonical irregularities and weeded out the sectarian elements over time.   Let each Ukrainian go where they want.   The schismatics could have remained in schism if they so chose.   Hindsight is always 20/20, isn’t it?

        The OCU will not endure, because it doesn’t have Christ as its foundation.   The UOC is THE Orthodox Church in Ukraine, and I think after the war all will be sorted out.   The UOC will receive autocephaly from SOMEBODY—-those who want to remain Orthodox will join the UOC (Metropolitan Onuphry will no doubt make reasonable concessions and lovingly accept all who seek Christ, as Archbishop Jovan forgave and did the same in Macedonia).   The OCU will disintegrate, as those who refuse reconciliation will show their true colors.   I think the revelation that Poroshenko’s government (and Zelensky’s) “deceived” the EP might be a face saving way for the Tomos to be cancelled.

        The MP has to accept the independence of the UOC.   The breakup of the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s territory did not mean the end of Orthodoxy, and it won’t be that in this case either.  

        • ‘Poroshenko’s government (and Zelensky’s) “deceived” the EP’

          …and were themselves “deceived in return” by that same EP,
          with their autocephalous head being, in reality, ‘that same EP’.

  9. George Michalopulos says
  10. Gail: There seems to be a misunderstanding. Forgive me. I will be more clear and concise in my points. The “hand of God” was in reference to George’s comparison of Putin to Joshua (who as a Judge of Israel, acted quite literally as His hand). I think such comparisons are spiritually dangerous, especially considering the fluidity of politics/war, as well as how much we don’t know of the situation. What if Putin is everything the West says he is, and that came out later in the post-war fact finding? That places everyone who supported him (including the ROC) in a terrible and compromising position. It is the same terrible scenario that is playing out with the Pro-Israel folks in America. Putin may well be a good ruler, and right about everything. My point is (and has been), it is impossible to know, or to say, because the information space itself is compromised (and will only become more so—-a time is coming—and may already be here—- where NOTHING on the internet can be fully believed).

    Russia says they are fighting for “their survival.” That is what they say. Is it true? Maybe. But what is a Christian to do when surrounded by lies? The deception of the Iraq-Afghanistan era has permanently left its mark. I scorn the word “liberator,” I don’t care who uses it. Maybe I’m wrong in that, but I will never trust a politician again, no matter what flag they wave, or where they pray. I pray for them, ask that they pray for me, and ask their forgiveness. What they say goes in one ear and out the other. “We’ll see.” is my only response. If they do good, I will give a heartfelt “Thank you.” That is all.

    • I wrote you a long response and the system just deleted it! This has been happening more and more. It says something about the page “not loading.” Very frustrating.

      I don’t think you should trust a politician either. You have to look at results.

      Putin has been the prime minister or president of Russia since 1999 so there is a long history from which to draw about his character by obserserving his success (or lack thereof) in Russia.

      Russia has a low to moderate inflation rate (6%). Last year, they had the world’s 11th-largest economy by nominal GDP, 6th-largest by purchasing power parity (PPP) according to IMF, and 5th-largest according to World Bank. His approval rating among his people is high. About 85% of the Russian population approved of Putin in the beginning of 2023, the highest in nearly 8 years. Their military is more than up to snuff. He’s part of BRICS and people like Archbishop Vigano praise him.

      What’s not to like?

      I think Putin is very proud of his country. He is very clear about his expectations. He stays on task. He is a bit cagey but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I’ve listened to several of his speeches and walked away thinking he did a good job.

      George and I have both been to Russia and I found myself wondering which of our countries was more “free.” The Russian people (I asked) seem to like Putin. At no time did I have to worry that someone was going to look up my bank records if I said or wrote “Trump” or “Maga” somewhere. (NSA was collecting that information for every person who was in Washington DC area during and after January 6.) In Russia, it is not a crime to talk to Americans. Here, it is technically forbidden to communicate with Russia. If you write a letter to someone in Russia you come under the scrutiny of Homeland Security.

      I’d have to say, that Russia is “freer” than America by a landslide and there’s a Church (Cathedral) on every corner. What’s not to like?!

      I had a very difficult time with the language barrier, though. I’ve traveled all over the United States for business but had never really traveled out of the country before, except to the Caribbean, Hawaii, and places like that. I was unnerved by how few people in Russia speak English. Even in stores and banks. Turns out I’m not a very good traveler but the Russian people went out of their way to help me. (And I mean way out of their way.)

      I asked one man why Russians don’t smile as much as we do in America. He laughed and said, “Russians are different from Americans: When we smile we mean it!” He’s got a point.

      • 🙂

      • Well said, Gailina. Between DEI, speech codes, mandatory safe-spaces, trigger warnings, and so on, we have very little freedom of speech here in America. As far as freedom of religion, well, let’s just say the Branch Covidians locked down tens of thousands of churches throughout the U.S.

  11. George: Alexander the Great was a successful conqueror. He was also a pagan with a great lust for power. God brought blessings from his sin, because that is what the Lord does for His people, as we know. We are saved, despite ourselves. If Russia wins this war (which is very likely), then blessings will come from it, because God does not abandon His people. Opportunities for good and repentance will abound. I go back to the book Father Arseny on these points, as even in the most horrible of circumstances, Grace can be found.

    It has often been said that there are no more Elders. I would also argue that there are no more “sacred wars.”

    Brian: Thank you, and your point is well taken. Generalizations are also a danger. By “they,” I mean those who have come to repudiate Russian influence on Ukrainian Society. Before the war, there was uneasy co-existence (with spurts of intolerance). Because of the War, there is no more fence, and only one “side” will prevail. Lord, have mercy.

    • “Because of the War, there is no more fence,
      and only one “side” will prevail.”

      While I am not happy that it came down to war,
      I cannot be sad that the Russians are winning.
      If the Nazis won, the result would be worse.

    • The Church doesn’t teach that God “brings blessings from sin.” Blessings come from one source. God. Nothing we do, especially when we sin, is going to make God bestow anything on us. We have been shown the path.

      Those who remain unrepentant sinners will not be “saved” because “God loves them.” It doesn’t work like. To be mired in sin cuts you off from blessings. Sins are like a clog in the drain that stops the water from flowing. If you don’t remove the clog, it will get worse and you will run out of water altogether. The water is a metaphor for blessings. It’s not about getting that house you want, or into that college, or that promotion.

      If you manage to maintain access to that water (God) you have all the blessings you need.

      If we are saved “despite ourselves” as you said, why would Jesus say in Matthew 19:24: “I’ll say it again-it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”

      Yes, we are saved by grace but that doesn’t mean it’s automatic or will bring blessings from sin. Blessings do NOT come from sin. In the case of David, his first child with Bathsheba died as punishment from God for his adultery and murder of Uriah. He also suffered a son’s betrayal, the verbal abuse by Shimei, and the physical abuse and death threats of Absalom. And David was a “man after God’s own heart.” What made David so special to God? It wasn’t his sins. It was his longing. He longed for God.

      The parable of the Virgins is also included in the Bible to show us that not everyone will be “saved.” (Not a word used much in an Orthodox context because people have taken it to mean that you get saved only once, for all time.) He only acknowledged the wise ones who were awaiting His arrival. To the others He said, “I don’t know you.”

      Faith is rewarded. Not sin.

      God does abandon people, David. He abandons those who abandon Him. The old Testament is filled with such stories. Whole populations were wiped out: men, women, children, and even livestock.

      How does one maintain their faith if they fail to understand it?

      In term of Ukraine, the prevailing side will have the difficult task of putting Ukraine back together again which I believe only Russia will do. You won’t see any of our feckless leaders caring “what comes next.” Just ask Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Syria and even the Ecumenical Patriarchate. (I’m sure I’ve left some out.) We use, cut, and run. And that has to change.

      • I am speaking entirely about War and its context.   Because War is Sin.   It is the ultimate failure to love.   It is all of the grave sins rolled into a horrible, ugly ball.  It is the sin of Cain (as we are all descended from the same parents).  But, even from a war, blessings can come to people.   It doesn’t mean it WILL happen, but it CAN happen.   The horrors of war can open a person to God, and that in itself is a blessing from the Holy Spirit.   Repentance and its possibility is the greatest of all blessings.

        Despite our determination to sin, God can bring us to repentance.   This applies even outside of war and to other sins (addiction, adultery, etc).

        God does not abandon HIS people, which is who I was talking about in my post.  As you note, if someone renounces God, they cease to be His (of course if they are baptized, then their guardian angel never stops trying to help them to the very end—-if they refuse this grace, then that is to their damnation).   Not everyone will be saved, but I take to heart the admonition of St. Silouan the Athonite about the damnation of others: “Love cannot bear the thought of this.  We must pray for all.”

        Your last point gets to the heart of my posts here:  You say that Russia is the only one who can do this.   If you are talking about buildings, economy, etc…perhaps you are right.   But, in the spiritual space,  Russia CANNOT put Ukraine “back together.”   That is the one area where Russian power fails completely.  The Moscow Patriarchate is unable to heal the wounds, it is unable to bring the people together in reconciliation.  Neither can the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

      • “In term[s] of Ukraine, the prevailing side will have
        the difficult task of putting Ukraine back together again
        which I believe only Russia will do.”

        The West (ie: Blackrock, Vanguard, State Street etc)
        seems quite happy to inherit a land devoid of Slavs;
        whether they be Ukrainian or Russian is irrelevant to them.
        Only victory for Russia will enable these Slavs
        to remain in possession of their own homes.

  12. Well, they finally got rid of Zaluzhny. Syrsky, his replacement is known as “General Butcher”. Because of his Russian background, he’s not completely trusted, hence this snippet from Larry Johnson:

    “In this context, the story of Syrsky’s appointment is very interesting. Obviously, it happened under pressure. I have already written that Zelensky’s overseas masters trust this character the least. First of all, because he has great connections with Russia (parents, classmates, colleagues, etc.). And in order to achieve his absolute loyalty, the Zelensky regime is actually holding Syrsky’s family hostage (they are kept locked up in a special gated community).”

  13. Glory to God says

    Read this today and kept thinking of the “Archons”…. a psychological study in Orthodox Church-related narcissism.

    https://gaiusbaltar.substack.com/p/the-narcissistic-western-elites-an

  14. Bad news in Greece🌈
    God help us

  15. From St. Nicholas of Zhica’s Prologue, the reflection for tomorrow:

    “The most important thing in a meadow is grass. In a field, it is wheat. In a garden, it is vegetables. No one boasts about the enclosure of the meadow more than they do the hay in the meadow. Nor does anyone boast more about the shed in the field than they do the wheat in the field. Neither does anyone boast of the ditches more than they do the vegetables in the garden. Why do people boast about their countries; the roads throughout the country; the demarcations and boundaries of a country and cities throughout the country and everything else that is not more important from the enclosures of the meadows, neither the shed in the field, neither the ditches in the garden when it is compared to the main crop, i.e., with man? Men do not exist for the sake of the country but the country exists for the sake of men. Christ did not come to save countries, but men. A country receives its value from good citizens. And what do evil people receive from a great country? Thorns in a spacious field.”

    • Not following you. Sorry. I’ll table this. If you want to supply some information on where you’re going with this we’ll revisit it.

      • “Christ did not come to save countries, but men.”

        In the context of our conversation, this reflection gives food for thought on how national concerns can distract us from the real goal of Christian life (in particular, the mission of the Church). 

        • David, if you don’t mind, I’d like to jump in here. I agree, Christ dis come to save men. But nations are made up of men. I see no necessary dichotomy in your statement.

          However, while I see that you have the primatial order correctly, I see no reason that we cannot hope for the salvation of nations.

  16. Looks like Greece has fallen.

    Thanks be to God for the work the Churches of Greece and Crete have done to stop this abomination, including the majority of Greeks who oppose this travesty. The Greek politicians have even ignored Athos.

    This goes to show that the permanent political class does not at all care about us.

    Makes you wonder how God will punish them as Greece is the first Orthodox country to allow gay marriage.

    Anaxios to those who voted for it.

  17. https://orthodoxtimes.com/moscow-patriarchate-legalization-of-same-sex-marriages-is-a-tragic-event-both-for-greece/

    Very interesting that the Church of Russia is correlating the Church of Greece’s recognition of the OCU to the spiritual downfall that has ultimately lead to Greece recognizing gay marriage.

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