Is Schism Brewing in Cyprus? [Edited]

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It would appear so.  

As predicted by yours truly, the decision to “recognize” the schismatic sect in Ukraine would not be the last word.  So far, only three local Churches, Athens, Alexandria, and Cyprus, chose to do so.  The process they undertook was far from elegant –or canonical for that matter. 

No formal votes were taken.  Instead, the synods played a childish game of “hot potato,” with the primates asking their respective synods to vote for recognition of the enrobed charlatan Dumenko and his uncanonical outfit.  The synods then tossed the decision back to the primates.  

It was all so ungainly.

In Alexandria’s case, however, the Greek government had to intervene, twisting the arms of compromised men; more of a contrived orchestration, as opposed to a decision in the Church. 

In the end, the synods more or less, kinda, sorta, agreed to recognize Patriarch Bartholomew’s unseemly contraption in Kiev as the “autocephalous” Church of Ukraine.  Bartholomew took this as a win.  In time, he thought the other Churches would climb aboard his autocephaly-granting bandwagon and legitimize his actions.  

So far, that hasn’t happened. 

Even Jerusalem and Albania, which are headed by Greek hierarchs, as well as Romania, which is anything but pro-Russian, have demurred from going along with this travesty.  Georgia, which has had its own military disagreements with Russia, has refused to do so, as well. 

The continued non-recognition of Dumenko, going on 4 years now, is a complete embarrassment.    

As far as Antioch, Belgrade and Sofia are concerned, they have not forgotten the numerous slights thrown their way that have been Bartholomew’s trademark since his accession to the Ecumenical throne.  Even the OCA, which in previous times, desperately pined for the Phanar’s recognition, has no plans to recognize the false sect in Kiev and continues to honor Metropolitan Onuphriy as the legitimate primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.  

And now, according to our friends at orthochristian.com, Neophytus, Metropolitan of Morphou, boycotted the formal enthronement of George of Paphos, the newly elected Archbishop of Cyprus, undermining the synod’s decision to unanimously back the OCU.  https://orthochristian.com/150498.html

In short, Cypresses’ decision to back the EP is anything but a done deal.  

This was a stunning rebuke to Archbishop George –and by extension, Bartholomew–and spells discord within the Cypriot Church.  As to how this be resolved going forward is anyone’s guess. 

I suspect we shall see similar ruptures in the Church of Greece.  We’re already seeing it play out in Africa, where the native contingent of Orthodox Christians has effectively cut off all ties with the Greek hierarchy in Alexandria.  They are now part of the Russian exarchate.

Not only did Patriarch Bartholomew effect a schism between the local Churches, he also caused one to happen within the local Churches.  What’s ironic is this may be the last thing Bartholomew wanted.  Or is it?  At one point he confidently stated that everyone (read: the Slavs) would eventually “get on board.”  They didn’t.  They couldn’t, given the direction of Ukraine and the fact that one cannot not commune with schismatics who will not commune with you.  The OCU hates Russia so much they will not to be ordain because it would ecclesiastically tie them to Russia, which represents over a third of the Church.    

One has to wonder where Bartholomew’s sympathy lies.  With the Church or with the Globalist, as these unfortunate events are precisely what the State Department wanted. 

Who knows?  Exposing Bartholomew’s lack of strength in maintaining Orthodox unity may be a disappointment to him, as it besmirches his place in history and tarnishes the entire Church.  Of course, this means not a whit to the Globalists.  For them, it’s “schism, shmism.” 

What do you expect from people who don’t believe in God?  Good order in the Church?  It begs the question, is Bartholomew one of them?  Have his globalist aspirations taken him outside the Church?  This is something the bishops need to address and quickly, as this completely redefines the Church. 

This is a serious problem that requires further discussion on the part of the Church.   It’s important to recognize that this problem is specific to the Phanar, and not to the Greek Orthodox.  The entire Church has been compromised by his decisions.  If we continue not to act, the Church will be split in two forever.  They will grow as separate pillars, as did the RC and the Orthodox beginning in 1054.          

[Edited by G Sheppard 1/18/2003 at 6:27 PM]

Comments

  1. Some comments on Orthochristian are saying Met Neophytos voted for Arch. George, what do you think?

    • Anything is possible, who knows the reasoning behind it if he did. I distrust them all at this point. The way I see it Orthodoxy doesn’t have bishops they have political strategists. Even Met Seraphim of Piraeus and Met. Neophytos I can’t say with conviction they are not controlled opposition. They say what we traditional Orthodox want to hear but never really go any further. Neither has evoked canon 15 of the 1st 2nd

  2. Joseph Lipper says

    The OCA has never been invited or asked to recognize Ukraine’s OCU. For that to happen, Patriarch Bartholomew would first have to recognize the OCA’s autocephaly, and there’s no realistic chance of that.

    Furthermore, the fact that the OCA is still in communion with Patriarch Bartholomew is the EP’s considered “proof” that the Russian Church has not fully broken communion with them. There’s absolutely no incentive to change that status quo either.

    What would the OCA be if the Russian Church broke communion with it? Ponder that. If the Russian Church considered the OCA to be in schism, then quite likely most everyone else would consider the OCA to be schismatic also. Most of Orthodoxy considers the OCA to be part of the Russian Church, and it’s Russia-conferred autocephaly only existing by the continued approval of the Moscow Patriarch.

    Most of the churches that currently do recognize the OCA’s autocephaly in their dyptychs don’t actually care. The Georgians, Bulgarians, Romanians and Albanians have all set up shop in the US, effectively ignoring the OCA’s Russocephaly. Even the Moscow Patriarchate has shown zero interest in administratively uniting ROCOR with the OCA.

    There are two basic principles of autocephaly. The first is full administrative independence, including the right to independently select one’s hierarchy. The second is full territorial integrity. The OCA has never had the later.

    • Joseph, and yet after all what you’ve said, if the OCA suddenly would reverse course and recognize the schismatic OCU, you bet your bippy Bartholomew would be immensely happy. He would then leap for joy, pick up the phone and invite Met. Tikhon over to his little minnie-me Vatican for a photo-op…then break out the store bought Baklava and Turkish coffee. And, you know it, too. 😉

      • Joseph Lipper says

        Alex, no, I think you’re quite incorrect. Patriarch Bartholomew sees the OCA as an autonomous part of the Russian Church that maintains communion with both Patriarch Kirill and himself. I believe this status quo is valuable to him. That’s why he has invited Metropolitan Tikhon at least twice to serve with him, and it had nothing to do with trying to get Metropolitan Tikhon to recognize the OCU.

        The OCA has indicated that it has never been asked or invited by anyone to recognize the OCU. That’s because, according to EP protocol, invitations to recognize the OCU are only given to the autocephalous churches that the EP recognizes.

        If you think otherwise, ask yourself this, why then doesn’t the OCU commemorate Metropolitan Tikhon as the primate of American Orthodoxy? We’ll, it’s never even been on the table.

        I suppose the argument could be made that perhaps it would be in the EP’s interest for the OCA to dissolve. However, the OCA has always maintained it’s commitment to American autocephaly. Now, if the Greek Archdiocese in America was granted autocephaly, then that certainly would be a game changer.

        • Yeah, but the EP would never grant the GOA (its cash cow) autocephaly. Mind you, it would be a game-changer if they did this. Among other things, it would up-end the entire situation in America. It pull out the rug from under the OCA and the other jurisdictions. Unfortunately, the Phanar’s grasping greed trumps good sense, good strategy and even plain old Macchiavelianism.

          The most it would do is somehow force a consolidation of the other American jurisdiction into one ukrocephalous “American Orthodox Church.” In other words, autocephaly without autocephaly.

          As for how such a contraption would look is a story for another day.

  3. Seriously why is it that bishops have an odd idea of what unity is and what it looks like???? For example why are there bishops that thought inventing an autocephalous schismatic sect in Ukraine would lead to greater unity? Why those that oppose this OCU say it didn’t lead to the unity of the Ukranian Church? Who suggested it would? How is abandoning one church all agreed was the canonical church just 5 minutes ago to champion it’s rival a form of unity? That’s called disunity, the best you can call it is a disfunctional traitorous family Why do Finns on the new Paschalion, new revised calendarists and old calendarists think they have some kind of unity when we dont? I won’t get into the ecumenists who claim they are unified with everyone thru the wcc and a common baptism. When the EP says he safeguards the unity of the church how can he with a straight face after Metaxakis and Athenagoras and Bart? Does anyone else believe this?

    • It was never about unity. This was purely a power play by the EP on behalf of the State Dept. Don’t you think it’s interesting that this whole situation appeared only in 2014? Why then and not sooner. Because that’s when the Crimea crisis happened. We needed to strike back at the Russians, and at least from a secular perspective that’s all there is to it.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        You’re right and Bartholomew allowed them to use the Church to do it. We, the Church, have become a pawn in international politics, again. This is not the first time the Ecumenical Patriarchate has put political interests above the Church.

        But this is the first time an EP has split the Church and ushered in a war against the Russians. So many lives lost.

        It is common knowledge that a big part of the reason Bartholomew succumb to the suggestions of Poroshenko was his own self interest. He feared the Russians, as evidence by Wikileaks where he whined, non-stop, to the CIA about the Russian Church “threatening his throne.”

        He, and everyone who follows him, needs to be dethroned permanently. We need to get rid of the entire patriarchate. It is not just Bartholomew. This stuff has been going on for decades. We’re at the mercy of who ever sits on that ridiculous “throne” because it thinks it’s first without equal. If it wants to be first, it should be last, especially with the kind of leadership it attracts.

        Patriarch Demetrios lived so modestly that when he died they discovered holes in his shoes. In comparison, Bartholomew lives an incredibly lavish lifestyle. To say he is anywhere close to living like a monk is ridiculous. He’s a pompous little man who had big dreams of being on the world stage which is now bored with him because he has nothing left to deliver.

        The Ecumenical Patriarch does NOT speak for Church and needs to be knocked down a couple of pegs in the diptychs. Let Jerusalem or Antioch go first. If we had wanted a pope we wouldn’t have separated from Rome.

        The Greeks need to reinstate King Pavlos so he can call a council to fix this mess.

  4. You hit the nail on the head George and I think you may be right.

    The recognition of the OCU was never popular with the laity in Greece and Cyprus. If I had to guess, if you really got down to brass tacks, most of the episcopate probably isn’t too fond either.

    As you’ve mentioned were a few years into Bartholomew’s fiasco and not one single Church outside of two Greek Churches, and one Church of Africans led by a Greek, has yet to recognized the OCU, and I doubt any will. Contrast that with how quickly Churches have recognized the Macedonians, as it was done correctly.

    This is a huge slap in the face to Bartholomew. It’s sad that there is a schism in Orthodoxy, but, TBH if you’re not in the Churches of Greece, Cyprus and Alexandria this doesn’t really affect you…internally in those Churches I’m sure things are almost to a boiling point.

    • Contrast that with how quickly Churches have recognized the Macedonians, as it was done correctly.

      Correct.
      In the case of Macedonians their clergy was ordained in Apostolic order before rascol when Macedonians were part of SOC, and then after rascol they had to REPENT to SOC before getting Autocephaly recently in order to get back Apostolic succession. Once they properly repented which means in love their ordinations during rascol will be also valid.
      Nothing of this happened with the Frankenstein OCU.

  5. “Why are there bishops that thought inventing an autocephalous schismatic sect in Ukraine would lead to greater unity?”

    There are a number of reasons why this happened.   First and foremost,  they actually believed it.   The Ecumenical Patriarchate became convinced that the Moscow Patriarchate, in tandem with the Russian government, was using force upon the Ukrainian people, and believed Poroshenko’s talk on the issue.   That all the EP had to do was give the Ukrainian people “an out.”   Given the increasing hostility of the West towards Russia, it was a perfect storm of myopia and wrong decisions.   Everything converged to that point, in 2018.   In that respect, it mirrors the run-up to the Iraq War (bad intelligence, hastiness, and the grossly erroneous belief that we would be “greeted as liberators”).     

    That the MP tried to “warn” the EP is irrelevant, as the MP had no credibility with the EP, as the EP was also convinced that the MP sabotaged the Crete Council (I don’t believe that happened, but HAH Bartholomew does).  Anti-war voices in 2002-2003 also sounded similar warnings, but they too were dismissed because of their politics (and the acrimony that the “President Select” epithet engendered, coupled with the true paranoia that having the rug pulled out from under you will create)   When you are convinced someone is your enemy, you aren’t going to believe a word they say, and what’s more, you will interpret what they do say in the worst possible light.   Like a marriage or sibling relationship that has become completely poisoned.

    The EP actually wanted to address this years ago, but the MP (still angry over the Estonia row and jostling over what would be the Crete documents, in particular autocephaly) was very hostile to the notion.  The original plan was for the schismatics to  be offered a Finland style autonomous status (UOC-EP essentially) in a take it or leave it deal (establishing the Estonia solution there also).   This was rejected by the MP, UOC-MP, and Philaret.  

    This irritated the EP, but the final break came in the aftermath of Crete.   It was then that the EP decided that the MP was the reason for the breakdown of the Pan-Orthodox initiative, and it all went south from there.

    Poroshenko had credibility in the Phanar (no doubt “vouched for” by the US State Department).   Patriarch Kyrill did not.   That is the tragic reality in a nutshell as to why they “believed” as they did.

    People say that HAH Bartholomew is a shill for the US State Department.   That is not true, any more than Patriarch Kyrill is a stooge for Putin.   The truth is that each man has a relationship with their respective sides.   They use that relationship for their own purposes (Kyrill to rebuild Russian Orthodoxy in Russia, Bartholomew to protect the EP from Erdogan and maintain the Patriarchate’s existence and position).   It is not the first time that this has happened in our Church’s history.

    To say that the EP needs to be abolished is to ignore the relationship dynamics within the Church.   Russia is the largest and most powerful Church, and a strong EP is a counter-balance to any political machinations that might arise (and vice versa).   The other Churches might not be happy with the EP, but they don’t want to be dominated by Russia either.   This is why the Crete Council was structured the way it was—much like the compromise between big and small states in the founding of the United States. 

    • Gail Sheppard says

      David, I want to tell you how much I appreciate you taking the time to write this and I believe you have appropriately captured the EP’s POV. Thank you. I want none of the following to be interpreted as criticism of you, personally.

      ***

      The dynamics of the Church are not working with the Ecumenical Patriarchate or with Bartholomew. Bartholomew should not be deciding what is good for a country based on what a politician says, particularly someone as corrupt as Poroshenko.

      What Bartholomew believes is frankly unimportant when it comes to matters outside his patriarchate. What the Moscow Patriarchate, in tandem with the Russian government, was or was not doing is none of his business. We have rules in the Church. One of them is the bishops concern themselves with matters in their own territory and not beyond.

      An Ecumenical Patriarch cannot:

      – Make up new rules without a consensus of the bishops.
      – Operate as if he is “first without equal,” he is “first among equals” in the Diptychs.
      – Grant autocephaly in another bishop’s territory.
      – Hear disputes unless both parties agree to involve him.
      – Take what’s in dispute away from two patriarchates as he did with Jerusalem and Antioch, causing a schism between them.
      – Provide “an out” to anyone who is not in his patriarchate.

      These were not poor Ukraine people he was talking to in Ukraine. These were deposed, bonified Nazis and nationalists, and Poroshenko was a corrupt politician.

      His decisions were not ecclesiastical. They were political. And his decisions cost people their lives.

      The credibility of the MP in the EP’s mind is completely irrelevant. He does not get to act on what he believes. That’s not the way the Church works. If something needs to be addressed, a council of bishops is called to reach a consensus with regard to how the Church is to proceed. This is Orthodoxy 101.

      What he did wasn’t a “whoopsie” kind of mistake. It was a seriously bad call. His brother bishops begged him not to proceed without a council, but he ignored them. On that basis alone, he should be disposed. This was huge. The ramifications were huge. He caused a schism. (Some say there is no greater sin in the Church.) People are communing or not communing in our parishes because of his decisions.

      Perhaps the MP was hostile toward the EP because they thought EP should not be talking to the Nazis when they made it very clear they were going to shove a sword down Russia’s throat. We don’t back people like that in the Church. We don’t wish ill on another patriarchate or put their country at risk. We don’t create situations where parishes and monasteries are stolen from a patriarchate.

      You said the original plan was to offer the schismatics a Finland style autonomous status. The fact that this idea was rejected by the MP, UOC-MP, and Philaret (all the people involved) tells you something right there. His involvement was not appreciated. In terms of Pilaret, he ended up being cheated by the EP. He gave his parishes and monasteries over to what is now known as the OCU with the understanding that he would patriarch and the EP reneged.

      Bartholomew cannot be trusted.

      I would agree Bartholomew was angry over Crete. But he was the one who brought it on himself. Bartholomew is woefully ignorant on how to reach a consensus. To get people to come together, you cannot dismiss the concerns of others. Nor can you move forward if everyone is not on board.

      Publishing an agenda and later calling it the minutes shows you just how disingenuous he is. An agenda is supposed to be discussion points; not decisions made by a single person at the expense of everyone else.

      You’ve got to understand that the EP decided to have this Great and Holy Council without the approval of the Church. They were not at that point in their discussions and again, this was 2/3s of the Churchwe’re talking about! Not something one can easily dismiss.

      If Bartholomew is not a shill for the State Department, why was Pompeo, former U.S. Secretary of State, slated to give the keynote address at the Founding Members Banquet of the Ecumenical Patriarch? And why would he say he was, “honored to meet with His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, because he is a key partner as we continue to champion religious freedom around the globe.”

      Bartholomew was a key player under the guise of religious freedom. “Religious freedom” was a ruse to enable the State Department to get a foothold in Ukraine. No one cared about “religious freedom.” No one said a word about religious freedom when people were brutality forced out of their parishes and all the assets of the MP were confiscated and redistributed to the OCU. Even the UN made a note of it.

      You are exactly right that this is not the first time this has happened, which begs the question, WHY DO WE HAVE AN ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE? It is being leveraged by outside personalities around the globe to further agendas that have nothing to do with the Church. I don’t want the Church manipulated by outside interests. And I don’t want a patriarch deciding what does or does not need to be addressed in other bishop’s territory.

      Yes, they make all sorts of “mistakes” and this particular mistake, huge implications. Why would we, as a Church, want to continue to put ourselves at risk like this?

      What makes the MP so strong is the number of Orthodox Christians it has and the backing of the local bishops. Bartholomew has no business going against the Church. The EP was not intended to be a “counter-balance” to anything.

      The perceived need for an EP is based on a fantasy and it has and continues to be a serious risk to the Church.

      The Ecumenical Patriarchate once had a role in the Church, but that role no longer exists. It stopped when the Ecumenical Patriarch left the Church to promote climate change and a green environment instead of the Gospel. It stopped when the EP ignored his brother bishops. It stopped when he entered another bishop’s territory.

      No one is being dominated by Russia and, again, his personal opinion is irrelevant. If the MP is a problem with respect to the Church, it is up to a council of bishops to resolve it.

      Frankly, Bartholomew should be deposed because he ignored his brother bishops on Ukraine. He is a lone ranger and our Church is conciliar. If he wants to continue to operate outside the framework of the Church, as he did in Ukraine, he should be deposed immediately. He is a proven menace to the Church who makes extremely bad decisions that the rest of us have to live with.

      The entire patriarchate is a risk because when Bartholomew passes, another one just like him will come to the fore, thinking he belongs on the world stage and will likely also make reckless decisions, as the pool of metropolitans from which to choose are Bartholomew’s minions. Bartholomew could zig when he needed to zig and zag when he needed to zag, which no one under him can do. If he were to make the same mistakes it would be even more of a disaster. Look at Elpi’s mistake with that baptism and Metropolitan Emmanuel’s mistakes caught on camera by “Fancy Bear,” preventing him from taking over America.

      There is no way of explaining this where one could reach a different conclusion. The Ecumenical Patriarchate is a risk we don’t need. It has caused a schism. To resolve this will take getting rid of Bartholomew and the need for an Ecumenical Patriarchate all together.

      Bartholomew walked away from the Church a long time ago. He operates in a vacuum. He concerns himself with politics and other worldly matters. He ignores his brothers bishops and has caused the biggest schism since 1054.

      He needs to go. End of story.

      • Gail, you are a very wise woman. George is a lucky man. I wish all women were as wise as you!

        My hope is that my beloved ACROD will escape from the bosom of the Patriarchate of Constantinople someday…. they are the same people historically as those who comprised the original core of the OCA.

        You won’t find a more solid group of Orthodox Christians than those immigrants who came from Galicia and Transcarpathia back in the day (“the people without a country,” or “the people from nowhere” as they have been referred to). Their very identity was defined as being “Orthodox Christian” — this is truly what our Lord had in mind (“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus”). They were often referred to as “Russian” because, back then, “Russian” was often synonymous with “Orthodox Christian.” Even today, many “Russian Orthodox” in America are not ethnically Russian at all but rather descend from these original Galician/Transcarpathian emigrants to America. Virtually all of the “Russian Orthodox” parishes in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, New Jersey, etc., come from these settlers/emigrants.

        Metropolitan Orestes who led the ACROD away from Roman Catholic clutches back to its Orthodox Christian ancestral home would be livid at the machinations of the current Patr of C’ple. If this is how the Patr of C’ple had behaved in the 1930s, no way in hell Met. Orestes would’ve taken ACROD under their omophor. No way.

        May the holy St Maxim (Sandovich) help move ACROD where it should be — in jurisdictional union with the Orthodox Church in America.
        http://lemko.org/religion/maxim/1.html

        • the ACROD has unfrtunatley allowed itself to become hellenized with the acceptance of their “Greek” bishop. Hellenism neve leaves the Geek soul and no matter what, he is a poor fit for them. He appears to be a caretaker and gate keeper, not a builder. There have been close relationships between the OCA and ACROD, especially in recent years when the ‘old timers’ have reposed and the younger American born have emerged as leaders. ( e.g. their studets going to St. Tikhon’s) Unity between both of these churches could be a boon for both. As I see it, both the UKrainians and ACROD are becomming artifacts under Greek rule. Both the Ukrainian church in Canada and the USA have had dwindling membership and financial woes. Infact they ae at the lowest point ever in the number of bishops they have and soon, I predict, their hierarchs may be greeks. It is time to see the handwriting on the wall and plan for the future and not the present. A first step of ACROD and OCA unity would be a positive and bold move.

          Also, because there is no Russian bishop in the USA or Canada, it is time fo the Patiarchal paishes to do what should have been done in 1970 and join the OCA. St. Nicholas Cathedral in NYC and St. Barbaa’s Cathedral in Edmonton can become patriarchal representation churches.

    • Johann Sebastian says

      People say that HAH Bartholomew is a shill for the US State Department. That is not true, any more than Patriarch Kyrill is a stooge for Putin. The truth is that each man has a relationship with their respective sides. They use that relationship for their own purposes (Kyrill to rebuild Russian Orthodoxy in Russia, Bartholomew to protect the EP from Erdogan and maintain the Patriarchate’s existence and position). It is not the first time that this has happened in our Church’s history.

      Big difference here. Russia is an Orthodox country; the U.S. isn’t. To cozy up to the US State Department as a buffer against Erdogan, well, that’s like suggesting the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem is in cahoots with the Ayatollah.

    • David, these are fascinating insights. There is much validity when you say things like “a perfect storm of myopia,” etc. I completely agree. In the secular sphere, the US wanted to believe that there were WMDs in Iraq, hence the necessity of going to war. At one time, there were WMDs because we sold them to Saddam back in the 80s.

      So too with Bartholomew. His fear of Moscow is based on reality to a point but also to a sense of inferiority. As with Kirll/Putin, so too Bart/State Dept: a confluence of sympathy and strategy.

      Having said that, the EP has been a pawn of the State Dept since 1948 when Archbishop Athenagoras, a true American patriot (and Freemason) was placed on the Ecumenical throne by Pres Truman, specifically as a counterweight to the Soviet-dominated Moscow patriarchate.

      At that time, it made sense. Now, no longer is the Collective West a source of good in the world but of instability and chaos. Moscow on the other hand is viewed as a source of stability.

      Anyway, where do we go from here? Will the EP ever be an anchor of traditionalism? That’s what’s worrisome to me.

    • Two points stand out with what you said. That recognizing a group of vagante sects, many bishops actually believed it would lead to unity. Then bishops have bad judgement, do not care for ecclesiology or the canons and everything they do should be second guessed. The other thing is the Crete Council. Once again that bishops and laymen actually thought this was a good thing or would be a successful council is beyond me. How is it I and most traditional Greeks (let alone others) knew it would be a disaster? It’s obvious the quality of bishops in Orthodoxy is lacking. They are political strategists only.
      Now as far as the EP acting as a counterbalance that’s fine. But he would get more done by siding with Russia. In fact this is easy to prove by the following: the man that has done more for the Ep than any American official or archon ever is Ivan Savvidis. A Greek Russian business man of Pontian descent. Well known in Russian political circles. It was He who convinced Erdogan to allow D. L. at least once a year at the Soumela Monastery for the EP to celebrate . He again went to bat for the EP when he asked Erdogan to return the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Trabzon to the EP and he would build a new mosque using his own money for the locals to use. Obviously that was denied but it’s more than a Paul Sarbanes or any Greek of the U. S. Establishment has ever done. If the EP is afraid his only friend with sway are the Russians themselves.

  6. Alexander II says

    Belgrade’s position on the Idiocracy of Istanbul Heretics giving rise to the Ukrainian tragedy is explained by Bishop Irinej of Bachka, currently the most powerful intellectual and analytical bishop in the SOC. On a couple of its websites the ROC provides a Russian/English report/synopsis/translation of Irinej’s December 30, 2022 interview with a Serbian publication.

    Though not a total “mike drop,” Irinej lays it all out in spades.

    https://mospat.ru/ru/news/89953/

  7. Solidarity Priest says

    Not sure where to put this but, to those people who say ROCOR is dying, right now I’m viewing the Epiphany liturgy at Holy Protection Cathedral in Chicago. Two priests, two deacons, crowded church. Everyone chanting the Creed, being led by the senior deacon. No gab fest among old ladies because of lack of pews as someone suggested. Granted everything is in Slavonic, but that is because probably over ninety percent of the people gathered have Russian as their native tongue..

    • Their attendance swells when the old calendar holidays are celebrated, because many of us who are not part of ROCOR but still like to follow the Old Calendar holidays go to ROCOR for that experience. According to the studies of Alexei Kindratch, ROCOR is becomming an artifact because it has become a part of the fabric of the communities in which their churches exist. Most of their clergy are part-timers.

  8. While I sympathize with the apparent internal sturm and drang surrounding the emerging apostasy of the CP, the faux church in the Ukraine and its enablers, I suspect the actual Church of Russia has moved on from this entire trainwreck.

    The MP/ROCOR has already excommunicated the CP and the other local churches that recognize the OCU. It is a fait accompli. It is the other Orthodox local churches that are dragging their heels and complicating things, not the Church of Russia. Whatever territory the RF ends up controlling in the Ukraine, which may be all of it, will be under the omophor of Met. Onuphry and the UOC eventually. This will not be decided in DC or Istanbul but by force of arms on the battlefield.

    As to the Church of Russia’s relations with the rest of Orthodoxy outside those local churches recognizing the pseudo-church, they remain unchanged. At some point, the rest of the Church will have to make a clear choice between the CP and MP, no doubt. But that day has not yet arrived. In the meantime, inasmuch as Alexandria has sided with the evil one, the Church of Russia is receiving parishes in North Africa that were once under Alexandria’s omophor. This ought to be a clear indication that Moscow considers the schism to be permanent.

    The magnitude of Istambul’s sin in invading the canonical territory of the MP cannot be overstated. It has broken all bargains and destroyed any possible unity between the MP and the local churches which support Istanbul. To be sure, if there were a 180-degree reversal of course by the Fanar, reconciliation would eventually be possible. But no one foresees this as a possibility.

    It leaves, however, an anomalous situation. There continue to be churches in communion with both the CP and MP which have not recognized the OCU. I suspect that this problem will settle itself in that either the Fanar will insist on the acceptance of the OCU by others or it will continue to move visibly toward Rome. Either way, the problem will solve itself.

    So from the perspective of traditional Orthodoxy, there has been a shift, even a seismic shift, of sorts as a result of these machinations. We don’t talk about Athos anymore, sadly. The Center of Orthodoxy has moved de jure from Istanbul to Antioch, and de facto from Istanbul to Moscow. As a practical matter, the order of the diptychs at this point is almost irrelevant. Antioch cannot even bring itself to excommunicate the Fanar for a clear territorial encroachment of the MP. Jerusalem led the Amman conference and so has a certain gravitas. But Moscow has taken the lead and, due to the size of its local church, doesn’t really need anyone else to follow, though there will be those who flock to it, fleeing the Papacy of Istanbul.

    The other local churches – besides those recognizing the OCU and besides the MP – are left sitting on a fence at this point. But this is not Moscow’s problem. There seems to be some lingering hope that the whole awful mess will simply go away. It will take time to sink in that the schism is permanent but one by one the other local churches will fall in line on one side or the other.

    Personally, I think time is on the side of the MP. As the unipolar world dissipates and the multipolar world emerges, there will be less political pressure on the undecided local churches to side with the Fanar. Politicians tend to be cowards with their fingers in the air and the wind is shifting.

  9. Piece of good news for Theophany. Serbian Chruch outplayed Phanar’s heresy, hopefully Maceodninas will be abel to stay away fronm Phanar’s clown in Kiev.

    https://orthodoxtimes.com/archbishop-of-ohrid-expressed-his-gratitude-for-the-recognition-of-autocephaly-after-the-tour-of-volokolamsk/

  10. If anyone has links to information concerning Greek Government pressure on the Patriarchates of Alexandria and Jerusalem to recognize the OCU, or links to information concerning Greek Government financial support given to Alexandria, Jerusalem, and Constantinople, I request that those links be posted. I am writing something at the moment that will benefit from some sources.

    • The most damaging WikiLeaks cable I’ve read, I can no longer find. There’s an Orthodox article written about this that still shows up. Many of the cables deal with reopening Halki. One does say the school is necessary to educate and appoint bishops and patriarchs that are under the EP jurisdiction. I found that odd what other patriarchs? Also in one wiki leak we find this odd quote a mockery to monastics in my opinion

      ISTANBUL 00000271 002.2 OF 003

      the Ecumenical Patriarchate) where the diocese cannot find a
      qualified candidate to appoint as pastor. The Patriarch
      explained that Halki was unique in its role of producing
      open-minded Orthodox priests. “We do not want close-minded
      conservative Orthodox Taliban,” he said, but instead a place
      to train open-minded priests, necessitating the reopening of
      Halki.

      All in all it just reaffirms my belief that years and decades of cozying up to America has produced nothing. Greek American politicians like Sarbanes to rich Archons have accomplished absolutely nothing for the EP. As Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result

  11. Also, I would appreciate any links to Wikileaks re Bartholomew.

  12. Ivan Provorov, a 26 yr old hockey player who stood up for his Orthodox faith like some hierarchs wont do.

  13. Joseph Lipper says

    When Archbishop Chrysostomos originally recognized the OCU, it was reported that ten out of the seventeen Cypriot bishops had voted favorably not to contest that decision:

    https://www.ukrweekly.com/uwwp/synod-of-cyprus-votes-to-recognize-ocu/

    Now it appears there is only one bishop dragging his feet. So how does this portray a schism brewing in Cyprus over the recognition of the OCU?

    On the contrary, the Church of Cyprus has presently come much closer to a unanimous agreement among its bishops.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      They were not for it and were made to change their minds. I’m sure you can find evidence of this. The EP hadn’t been there is decades but as soon Archbishop Chrysostomosas died, Bartholomew hightailed it over there to give his 2 cents. Poof! They changed directions. It doesn’t matter if one bishop is dragging his feet. It doesn’t even matter who he is. He will capitulate.

      There was a schism over the OCU the second Bartholomew delivered the Tomos to Poroshenko, a failed politician hoping for re-election.

      You may not want to accept what he did but Bartholomew knows exactly what happened and why.

      Here’s a picture of the Poroshenko signing the agreement to deliver the Tomos in an article entitled: Ukrainian President’s Re-Election Bid: the Promise, the Church, and the Failure https://theglobepost.com/2019/03/28/poroshenko-ukraine-orthodox-church/

    • Just like the the EP in olden days was virtually
      (for all practical purposes) unanimous…
      except for Markos Evgenikos.

    • On the contrary, the Church of Cyprus has presently come much closer to a unanimous agreement among its bishops.

      I think they are much closer to fall off from the One Holy Apostolic Church.

      • Joseph Lipper says

        For recognizing the OCU? Name one church, besides Russia and the UOC, that has even threatened to break communion with the Church of Cyprus over this.

        Sure, there’s reluctance by the other churches to recognize the OCU, but if there’s currently any uproar to be heard, it’s still the fact that Russia has broken communion with the Churches of Constantinople, Alexandria, Cyprus, and Greece.

        Most of the other churches are either too timid in the face of the Russian sanctions that would result, or they are simply reliant, like Antioch and Jerusalem, on Russian military protection.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          Give it time, Joseph. Give it time.

        • “…or they are simply reliant, like Antioch and Jerusalem, on Russian military protection.”

          Military protection from whom? By and large it is protection from the same US State Dept/CIA criminals who orchestrate the regime change ‘revolutions’ that bring untold death and destruction throughout the world…like in Ukraine.

          And upon whose ‘military protection’ do the Churches of Constantinople, Alexandria, Cyprus, and Greece rely?

          Good luck with that.

    • I have great respect for Met. Neophytos. It seems to me he’s dragging his feet like St. Athanasius dragged his feet and St. Mark of Ephesus dragged his feet. May God give him strength!

  14. Gail, Kosta, et al.

    Of course it was a politic decision. Almost every autocephaly granted in the modern era was political (Orthodox History is a great website—Namee’s objective skewering of our polemical slanting of Church history is a must read). Sometimes brothers need to be forcefully separated for healing and the good of the rest of the family. Denying that in the name of the Russky Mir is just as unhelpful and false as using Canon 28 as a roll of Mentos.

    The MP was not willing to do what was necessary. They could have partitioned Ukraine themselves and let the OCU element go their own way in peace, to the EP or whoever. Those blaming it all on the EP are denying the MP’s role in this tragedy. It was a pastoral failure of monumental proportions.

    The EP is not outside the Church either. That decision can only come through a Synod. This whole tragedy in Orthodoxy is the result of haste and unilateralism. The EP and MP both are to blame in different ways. The EP cannot be unilaterally excommunicated, just as the OCU can’t be unilaterally recognized.

    Fortunately, “multi-polarity” is coming to the Church as well. The other Churches have no stomach for Byzantine revival or Russian messianism. Their stubborn refusal to recognize the OCU AND refusal to break communion over it is measured and methodical. The schism is not “permanent.” The other churches have come to a place where they can politely tell Moscow to stick it, just as they have done with the EP for years. The “non-aligned” Churches have my admiration (particularly Antioch and Serbia).

    • Gail Sheppard says

      RE: “The MP could have partitioned Ukraine themselves and let the OCU element go their own way in peace, to the EP or whoever.”

      It was the MP’s territory. Canonically, one bishop cannot go to another bishop’s territory without permission. Why would the MP “do what was necessary” to carve out its territory to accommodate the EP? Ukraine does not belong to the MP.

      In terms of letting in the OCU element, we’re talking about the Fourth Reich and nationalists whose only objective was to start a war with Russia and shove a sword down there throats. They said that was their intention! The OCU was a means to do it. They had every intention of turning Ukraine into what it is today.

      Yes the EP is in the Church; but he’s outside of his territory, however, in his crazy mind, the whole world belongs to him.

      So please don’t tell us the problem was that the MP was not willing to do what was necessary, if by necessary you mean get out of the way so the Nazi’s could set up camp in the Church to attack Russia. If someone breaks into your home, do you do “what’s necessary” and move aside so he can rape your wife? I’m sorry, in no universe would or should the MP have been been willing “to do what was necessary” to accommodate a bunch of unordained, deposed, clergy and their thugs.

      The MP wasn’t driving this. The EP was driving this and it was a plan in the making for several years.

      The EP can absolutely be unilaterally excommunicated. It’s called a spiritual court.

      • Gail, et al.

        The OCU, contrary to polemical assertions, is actually a mixed group.

        They have a few elements:

        -Former Uniates: People who want to be Orthodox but refuse to have anything to do with Moscow

        -Orthodox with Uniate origins: People who are Orthodox, but descend (or come from)from the Uniates who were forced into Orthodoxy due to the Soviet liquidation. They wish to remain Orthodox, but not under the MP (for obvious reasons).

        -Autocephalists: These are the people who in 1991 left and remain committed to an independent Church

        -Ukrainian Nationalists: The ugly element that the MP uses for propaganda purposes. Some are actual Nazis. This group does not represent the everybody, but they get the most “press.” It is like how the US media tried to say a few crazies represented the whole MAGA movement. Not true, but it served a purpose.

        -Former UOC who joined from 2014 to now: The second autocephalist wave, accelerated by the Maidan, Tomos, and the War.

        That the MP and its supporters refuse to understand these people is yet another example of the sad myopia I was referring. The wounds of that period run deep. If the MP was thinking pastorally, they would have seen this situation for what it is.

        As for the OCU’s ordinations, they are valid. The UOC-KP was just as “graceless” as any Catholic priest, and yet the MP vests them and says that makes them a priest.

        I can’t take the OCU ordination argument seriously, as the MP vests Catholic priests, receives defrocked and excommunicated priests from other jurisdictions, recognizes the UOC-USA as canonical (who are a branch of the same schism), and have “fixed” canonical irregularities by a pen before (Lvov 1946 and ROCOR 2007).

        If Lazar Puhalo is a bishop, then so is Epiphany Dumenko.

        As for the EP, the MP breaking communion is not binding on the rest of the Church. The “non-aligned” churches will not do something just because Moscow says so.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          Well, I would argue that because Lazar was deposed like Filaret, neither of them are archbishops (I have NO idea why the OCA took in Lazar) which means their offspring aren’t either. – But aside from that, I get your point. Ukraine is a mixed bag and they have some work to do if they want one independent Church.

          • Gail,

            The sad reality is that the OCU’s true story is just as ignored as the UOC’s, over politics. Moscow ignored the OCU’s pain because of the Russky Mir ideology. Constantinople ignored the UOC’s pain because of their “canonical privileges.”

            Both Patriarchates have sowed division in their own ways. I am truly mystified by Russia’s cheerleaders, who think Russia is the Christian Empire reborn and the last line against the anti-Christ. I am equally so towards my own Patriarch and its partisans, who airs our dirty laundry to the heterodox and takes potshots at other churches from “international forums.”

            Nothing is as it appears.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              No, Moscow didn’t ignore the OCU. The OCU wanted nothing to do with Moscow. They thumbed their noses at Moscow. They wanted to shove their sword down Russia throat as depicted in their icon that later became a mural! The only pain involved was the pain they wanted to inflict on Russia.

              Constantinople didn’t ignore the UOC. The UOC was a thorn in it’s side because it belonged to the MP.

              David, in this case, there is no way to spin this. Only one side is sowing division and its against a Church that dates back to 988 A.D.

              The OCU, headed by a group of deposed clergy, came into existence at the hands of the EP in 2018. They wanted to destroy the existing Ukrainian Orthodox Church primarily for political reasons and used the OCU to do it. They even pulled little old men and women out of their parishes, beat them up, and took over the parishes for themselves. These stories are not unique and they are reported by various news sources. https://mospat.ru/en/news/86770/

              I’m pretty sure you’ve never been to Russia because if you had, you would know Russia is a Christian nation. When George and I went, we were standing in line during a heat wave in Russia to venerate the icon of Saint Matrona, we met a young woman who routinely stopped there on her way to work! The three of us stood in line for over 2 hours in that heat. How many young women do you know in our country who would do that?

              Russia is indeed a Christian nation. Orthodox Christianity came to Russia from Byzantium by official fiat in 988 and remained the official religion until the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 and came then came back after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

              As far as the antichrist is concerned, you seem to be veering off into evangelical territory. The Orthodox don’t talk about it a whole lot, although there are prophesies from various elders.

              • Gail,

                Moscow has ignored the OCU, because if they had listened, Ukraine would have its own autophalous Church now.

                The autocephalist message has been constant since 1991: GO AWAY. As I said before, the wounds of the Soviet period, for which the MP leadership was complicit had burned bridges in much of the country.

                The forced liquidation of the Uniate Churches sowed permanent emnity in Western Ukraine (many remained crypto-Catholic). Their descendants who wished to remained Orthodox formed the nucleus of what is now the OCU.

                “F the Uniates” is a crude summation of the MP’s attitude towards them. The Uniate Churches that were forcefully taken from them (sound familiar?) were another sticking point. MP propaganda said the Uniates were taking MP churches. The reality is that the uniates were reclaiming churches that the Soviets took from them and “gave” to the MP (sound familiar?).

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  First of all, there was no OCU until 2018. There was the AOC led by Metropolitan Makariy and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC-KP) led by Filaret. Filaret convened an assembly at the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra that adopted a request for autocephaly to the Moscow Patriarch. Russia refused because in 1997, Filaret was defrocked and excommunicated. This had nothing to do with the Soviet Union and everything to do with Filaret.

                  At the time OCU came into being, less than 2/3s of Ukrainians supported the creation of a local Church. It was the schismatic “Kiev Patriarchate,” whose “patriarch” was championing it and the people didn’t want it. https://orthochristian.com/114031.html

                  Neither did the parishioners who populated the Russian parishes and monasteries. They were happy with the way things were. They weren’t the ones leading the charge.

                  The forced liquidation of the Uniate Churches was under the Soviet Union, and it wasn’t just the Uniate Churches who suffered. Actions were taken against Orthodox priests and believers in Russia, too, including torture, execution or sending them to prison camps, labor camps and mental hospitals. During the first five years of Soviet power, the Bolsheviks executed 28 Russian Orthodox bishops and over 1,200 Russian Orthodox priests. Many others were imprisoned or exiled. In 1959, Nikita Khrushchev initiated his own campaign against the Russian Orthodox Church and forced the closure of about 12,000 churches.

                  Haven’t you read Father Arseny? He was prisoner No. 18736 in the brutal ‘special sector’ of the Soviet prison camp system. Great book! https://www.amazon.com/Father-Arseny-1893-1973-Narratives-Concerning/dp/0881411809

                  You are conflating some things here. The Russian Orthodox Church is not the Soviet Union. The MP leadership was far from complicit with respect to the Soviet Union. They were brutally persecuted by the Soviet Union, as well.

                  • https://spzh.news/en/zashhita-very/75720-khirotonii-pcu-kak-problema-dlya-fanara

                    The rejection of the purported “ordinations” under Filaret came from a number of canonical local churches. But that is merely a symptom of the main problem, as is the greater question of whose canonical territory the Ukraine is. Up until 2018, everyone, including the Fanar, publicly acknowledged it was the MP’s, and that for at least three centuries.

                    The real problem is the lawlessness if the Fanar which stems from its heresy/apostasy and unbridled hubris as an agent of the West. It recognizes no law but its will and that of its master – the CIA and the American State Dept.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      The saying, “what’s true in the beginning remains true” comes to mind. If it was true Ukraine was in Russia’s territory (as acknowledged by the EP), how can he now claim it isn’t? What else is he going to claim? I wonder if anyone actually drew a map of the diaspora.

                    • In fact, the Patriarchate of Moscow itself is actually the old Metropolis of Kiev, except that the Kievan Metropolitans eventually established themselves in Moscow where they were safe from the Mongols and other invaders. Kind of like the Patriarchate of Antioch planting itself in Damascus…except that the Metropolitans of Kiev eventually accepted the geographical change and started to call themselves “of Moscow”…

                  • Gail,

                    “Less than 2/3” is a significant number. I am explaining the origins of the OCU and where their animus towards Russia comes from.

                    Of course I know the Canonical Church suffered, but Sergianism was and is a problem. Additionally, the MP was quite happy to take the Uniate Churches confiscated by the Soviet state. In the Uniate Liquidation, the MP collaborated. To add insult to injury, when the Uniates tried to get their churches back, the MP accused the Uniates of trying to steal Orthodox Churches.

                    One of the main issues here, is that the MP has no credibility with them, because of the ugly history (former Uniates being a big demographic within the OCU).

                    I have read Father Arseny His humility is truly an example, particularly when he bravely angered everyone in the prison for saying that the Revolution was their own fault. May our hierarchs have this humility! Blame is as close as the nearest mirror.

              • To add: That hatred didn’t come from nowhere. That the MP is blind to the pastoral reality is the strongest indicator the MP is compromised.

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  I agree the hate is coming from somewhere.

                  I can’t speak to the pastoral reality, but I would imagine that it would be pretty good under Metropolitan Onufriy. He loves his people so much he separated from the Russian Church to remain loyal to them.

                  I can tell you, David, the people who are doing all the hating aren’t the Russians. They’re not even the Ukrainians. They were brought in to do exactly what they’re doing.

                  If I harbored their kind of hatred toward any group of people, I would retire to a monastery. Leave before I became less human. They’ve shown who they are in that giant icon they created when they became the OCU. They had soldiers with guns (maybe they have taken them out) flanking either side.

                  They were ready to kill the Russian people and made no secret of it which apparently was just fine with the EP who let these people in. He wanted Russia involved in a war so they’d be too distracted to come after his “throne.” This is a fear he expressed to anyone who would listen.

                  I cannot imagine these people wanting to hurt another group of people like this. I cannot imagine not wanting to come into the Church the right way, to avoid being canonically tied to Russia.

                  I can no more imagine beating people up for trying to come to church on Sunday than flying to the moon.

                  I have seen what these people have done to the people who speak Russian. I have seen when they put the Ukrainian people in harms way, shooting them and throwing them into open graves so they can blame it on the Russians. I have seen them pick off Ukrainians riding their bikes. I have seen them put white arm bands on a group of Ukrainians, having them lie down on the floor to execute them, again blaming it on the Russians. I mean there are videos of this. I have truly SEEN it. I have also seen fake victims, lying in the street and moving when they think no one is looking. There’s one video of these body bags purportedly filled with Ukrainian bodies and someone in the one of them is smoking a cigarette.

                  I have also had one of them come after me, personally. Never met me. A priest who makes George and I a frequent subject of his homely, where he spews such hatred toward us, members (plural) of his flock have come to us to warn us. He has definitely made life difficult: redirecting our traffic, putting our website up for sale, duplicating our banner, selling what we post as “courses,” using our very name to direct people to his own website. – So I have had some experience with these people. The hate is very real.

                  Where it comes from, only God knows.

    • Alexander II says

      David,

      Matthew Namee does some very nice work, though sometimes his predilections — quite understandably — come through his writing and analysis. You and he are both correct that in saying that it is naive to think that politics have not materially impacted Orthodox ecclesiology.

      Here is the false premise in your argument: That the canonical bishops in Ukraine wanted to be conferred with some status other than the completely autonomy that they had through the Moscow Patriarchate. Up until, what, last summer, the existing relationship was perfectly fine for Onufry et al., the “UOC.” Nothing was “necessary,” to use David’s term.

      Now, to be sure, UOC “unilaterally” has done what they’ve done with their organizational statutes to “separate,” “disassociate,” (or whatever term they used) from the MP. Why exactly and objectively is hard to discern. It is likely for an amalgam of reasons, some real, some imagined, some contrived. But, it is not “excommunication.” For a very, very long time the UOC have been independent and essentially “autocephalous” in every meaningful way, other than arguably, chrism-making and Onufry showing up a various high level ROC meetings.

      Whether we acknowledge it or not, our conceptualization of Orthodox ecclesiology is decidedly influenced and clouded by living in a Western, often legalistic, society. Orthodoxy — and Orthodox “canons” that do not address purely theological questions are not as rigid and legalistic as we often make them out to be. Orthodoxy in practice is not “tidy,” from the mundane – stand, sit, move around, prostrate – to the big picture stuff, the proskomedia, the epiklisis, and the reception of converts, to name but a few low hanging fruits. The same is true with its temporal administration and organization.

      The truth is that the Orthodox Church, including its ecclesiology, has been untidy since day two after Pentecost. All anyone needs to do is read the Epistles and Paul’s efforts to clean things up. Then councils were convened, and the canons the developed published, with the idea of cleaning up messes. Sometimes, even the councils got it wrong.

      “Unilateral excommunication” is a non-sensical proposition. As much as we make all sorts of “canon law” contortions, Orthodox ecclesial structure has always been based on confederations of bishops, sometimes as few as three. (Please hold the St. Mark of Ephesus events aside. Frankly, the constant “reductio ad ephesium” argumentation has become an overused intellectual crutch.)

      Over the course of history, some bishops have banned together and formed synods, agreeing to administer themselves and hold each other accountable as a unit, often times electing a “first among them,” and since 1054 or so, never until Dimitrios Arhondonis, a “first above them.” Ultimately, the grouping together is for convenience based on some combination of commonality of geography, history, traditions, missions, needs — and at times — the languages of the people to whom these bishops minister. The groupings become colloquially known as “metropolitanates,” “synods,” “local churches,” “Churches” or “patriarchates,” and even “Ancient Patriarchates.” And once every half millennia or two, when there are serious enough issues to be addressed, councils of all the bishops (not Cretan Paper Shuffles) agree among themselves a batting order for the groupings of bishops. Until the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, this system worked pretty well based on the “one city, one bishop” principle.

      Individual canonical bishops and even groups of bishops within “local churches” or otherwise, do not commune with other canonical bishops. (Just look at what most recently took place in Cyprus. And the lunacy with Qatar.) That’s not an act of “excommunication,” in some Western legalistic sense, unilateral or otherwise. (Now, Alexandria recently did their own canon law contortion to “excommunicate” the MP bishop and clerics setting up the African Exarchate. But, the whole idea of the Church of Alexandria laying claim to ALL of Africa is a contrivance in and of itself left for another discussion.)

      When a group of canonical bishops declare one of their own “suspended,” “defrocked,” “schismatic,” “heretical,” “anathamized,” “laicized,” “excommunicated” or whatever they so advise all other canonical bishops — through their “local churches” — of that status. (Or these days, on websites that list all the canonical bishops of their local churches, either affirmatively or leaving them off the list.)

      By tradition and generally over history, the other groupings of canonical bishops have given comity to the disciplinary decisions of their fellow bishops, believing them to be acting in a manner consistent with the Tradition and teachings of the Church. (Or to use a very rough analogy to an American constitutional term, “full faith and credit” — “Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State.”)

      Here, the Istanbul Clown Show gave “full faith and credit” to the ROC’s anathemization of crazy Philaret and repeatedly acknowledged that the UOC was the correct and proper grouping of canonical bishops. Until they did not.

      What the insidiously pernicious heretic Dimitrios Arhondonis (known to some as His All Intergalacticness and Grand Poohbah) did, in part, is to retroactively withdraw — putatively acting at the behest of the bishops in his local church — the “full faith and credit” the Ghetto had given the canonical bishops of the MP, and indeed of the UOC.

      In my outspoken view, Arhondonis, his deeply morally compromised crew, and ilk, should be formally “damned,” or more nuancedly, “pushed away,” as that term is understood in some prayers of anathema. That would make things a little more tidy for us sinners. But, as a practical matter, this is likely to take care of itself in 2025. He and his sycophants will have exercised their free will and pushed themselves away on their own accord.

      • Alexander,

        The EP leaving for Rome is pure wishcasting. 2025 willbe a WCC photo-op for the ages, with the same milquetoast word salads that receive polite applause and are the ignored. It is akin to a brother wishing that his “incorrigible and insufferable” other brother go away.

        The reality is that the EP and MP are here to stay, and have to talk eventually. Neither side can’t excommunicate the other. The other churches are in the sam position exasperated relatives at thorny fsmily reunions are.

        Councils usually happen when things go to crap and petty politics cease to matter, or when the bishops with animosities die and their successors reconcile. That history is a comfort, however ugly.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          Yeah, I’m not so sure about that.

        • Alexander II says

          To call it “wishcasting” is to call your hero Demetrios A. a liar. I believe him to be a liar of historical proportions. But I’m guessing you don’t. He said that’s what he’s going to do. And like one former American president, a poser in his own right, who said he would “transform America,” and people did not believe him, he’s gonna do what he said. Go ahead and don’t believe this heretic.

          We shall find out. But he’s all but communed with him already. He’s not “leaving for Rome,” he’s joining to be the second “lung.”

          He will do what he always does: draw up some document, sign it really fancy, and say that’s that. Ipse dixit.

          No one “excommunicates” a local church. They simply don’t commune with them.

          • HAH is not my “hero,” he is just my patriarch. He isn’t a heretic, but he isn’t the “Patriarch of the Century” either. He is a man, whose decisions were not always right. Like my real father (whom I also have some big disagreements with), I don’t have leave to turn against him over a few disagreements.

            If he did cease to be Orthodox through a unia, of course I wouldn’t follow. I think people underestimate the Orthodoxy of those under his authority.

            • Alexander II says

              No, His All Intergalacticness a heretic.

              There’s no underestimation of the abject hypocrisy, theological alchemy and moral corruption of those flockless and near flockless “titular” supposed bishops under his thumb.

              There’s the blood of thousands of lost souls on his hands. I rebuke him for his evil deeds. Who am I? A nobody. But, I’ll stand before St. Peter and say it again and again and as many times I’m asked.

            • George Michalopulos says

              David, I see your points. Let me put it this way: Given Orthodox ecclesiology, it’s possible that we’re investing too much time and energy in the EP.

              There are many focal points in his personal international narrative which show me that he’s “all hat, no cattle,” that he’s tolerated at worst or used at best by the global elite. And always for their purposes.

              The thing that seals the deal for me is the recent funeral for Constantine II. It was rumored that he would be presiding at the funeral. Lord knows, he would have wanted to be there front and center given that all the crowned heads of Europe were there. And given all the publicity as well. The CoG would have made allowances for him to preside I believe.

              I don’t know whether he was invited or he was and not permitted to go. Regardless, his absence shows what a remarkably inconsequential figure he is when all is said and done.

              As for the future of his patriarchate, I can’t see any successor filling his shoes and making a difference. From the very start, Bartholomew played a very weak hand as best he could and given his longevity on the throne (I believe the longest-serving EP in history), did somewhat put Cpole on the map. But again, only at the sufferance of other players (i.e. Globalists, Moscow, the other patriarchates).

              Anyway, a lot of the damage he’s done (i.e. Estonia, the overturning of Ligonier, etc.) have been unfortunately but in the end pin-pricks. His ecumenism and globe-trotting is unfortunate but not earth-shattering. What he did in the Ukraine however is inexcusable and it will require a future council to rectify it, as well as the position of the role of Cpole itself.

              Personally, I believe that the diptychs should be revisited with Jerusalem being first. And unless there’s a dynamic burst of evangelism in Turkey, that seat should be declared extinct.

              • Alexander II says

                Come on.

                He’s is the source and cause of all acrimony in the Church for the last 30 years or so, and we all know it.

                You yourself have pointed out the reasons – Estonia, Ligionier, the mismanagement of 79th Street, St. Nicholas, the Cretan Paper Shuffle, abortion, the obfuscation on Alphabet People, Paris, Mt. Athos, environmentalism, being a useful idiot to the Western brothels (ummm, capitals) and his piece de la resistance, Ukraine.

                You are right, “we” give too much attention to him. What he does would all be meaningless if people stoped paying attention and giving it credence.

                His “church” consists of 2,500 footnotes of history residing in Istanbul and a cadre of bootlicking deeply compromised and flockless “metropolitans” and “archbishops.”

                This “Emperor” has no clothes. He never did. He is buck naked.

              • Alexander II says

                Sadly, he’s not inconsequential.

                He’s is the source and cause of all acrimony in the Church for the last 30 years or so, and we all know it.

                You have pointed out the reasons – Estonia, Ligionier, the mismanagement of 79th Street, St. Nicholas, the Cretan Paper Shuffle, abortion, the obfuscation on Alphabet People, Paris, Mt. Athos, environmentalism, being a useful idiot to the Western brothels (ummm, capitals) and his piece de la resistance, Ukraine.

                You are right, “we” give too much attention to him. What he does would all be meaningless if people stoped paying attention and giving it credence.

                His “church” consists of 2,500 footnotes of history residing in Istanbul and a cadre of bootlicking deeply compromised and flockless “metropolitans” and “archbishops.”

                This “Emperor” has no clothes. He never did. He is buck naked.

    • If the EP wanted to recognize the UOC as autocephalous, that would be one thing, just as it rejects OCA autocephaly but recognizes it as autonomous part of the MP, he can simply do the reverse. The EP gave autocephaly to the wrong group altogether. It gave autocephaly to a fake phantom sect. You cannot simply switch sides and make a protestant sect Orthodox by waving the magic wand and deny it to the ancient Church you recognized up to 5 minutes ago.

    • David, how can one ‘recognize’ the OCU—a group of schismatics, deposed clergymen and self-ordained laymen? Your reasoning is quite flawed. (Again, one just can’t wave a magic wand and make laymen into ordained clergy—without actually ordaining them!)

      • Gail Sheppard says

        Good question.

      • Joseph Lipper says

        The OCU does have apostolic succession. The Ecumenical Patriarchate provided a detailed academic paper last year that conclusively proved this. It’s entitled On the treatment of the ecclesiastical issue in Ukraine by the Mother Church of Constantinople (The Issue of Ordinations) by Archimandrite Grigorios Fragakis:

        https://fosfanariou.gr/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/GRI-2022-37140.pdf

        If you want to Google translate it, you would have download the .pdf file and then upload into Google translate.

        Apparently it was a good enough explanation for at least several Cypriot bishops to change their minds.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          No, it does not. They are unordained. You must be ordained within the Orthodox Church to have apostolic succession.

          The OCU refuses to be ordained, because they don’t want any canonical ties with Russia. This makes them a splinter group and their very exitance creates and incites schism.

          In the entire history of the Church, never has a “detailed academic paper” overridden the Traditions and Teachings of the Church.

          This is the problem with the Ecumenical Patriarchate. It is literally built on a foundation of academic papers that govern its actions.

          Elpi’s famous, “first without equal” endeavor and John Chryssavgis’ assertion that the Gospel doesn’t support the concept of the nuclear family are examples. They ignore reality. The Ecumenical Patriarch has never been known as the “first without equal.” He is always known as “first among equals.” And if you want an example of a nuclear family in the Gospels, you need to look no further than the Holy Family. If a father was not needed to form a nuclear family, why would the Theotokos be given a father (Joseph) for her child?

          Here’s a rule of thumb in understanding all such papers that support a “twist” on the way things are commonly understood or practiced in the Orthodox Church: If you have to write a paper to explain something that was not taught or passed down in the Orthodox Church, it is not only wrong, it is a flat out deception to justify some action someone took or wants to take, outside the boundaries of the Church.

          It is also worth noting that what’s written by someone in the Orthodox Church or about the Orthodox Church does not necessarily mean it’s part of the Teachings or Traditions of the Orthodox Church. This is true even of the Holy Fathers, as they don’t always agree.

          • Joseph Lipper says

            Gail, how do you explain the apostolic succession of the Macedonian Orthodox Church? They were in schism with the Serbian Patriarchate, I believe, from 1967 up until 2022. That’s 55 years. There were no demands for “re-ordinations” either .

            Their Primate, Archbishop Stefan, was “ordained a bishop” within the schismatic “Macedonian Orthodox Church” in 1986. Yet nobody is calling for his “re-ordination” now.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              I’m not privy to what happened, but it appeared as if the Serbian Patriarchate changed it’s mind. Glory be to God! It was quite a reunion.

              Macedonia was not something cobbled together by the EP and a politician to annihilate Russia so Poroshenko could win an election and the EP could feel more secure on his throne.

              The Orthodox Church is like a large family and people are always coming and going, sometime leaving in a huff, and then coming back together again. And like the father in the story of the prodigal son, we don’t withhold honor. Of course, Archbishop Stefan is still a bishop.

              How can honor be restored to Epiphany when he never had it in the first place? He was never ordained. He still isn’t ordained. He doesn’t want to be ordained. He wants nothing to do with the canonical Church. He just wants to hang out with the EP who is losing whatever legitimacy he ever had over Ukraine. What a mess he created.

              There are so many differences between the Macedonians the OCU. Macedonia does not hate the Church. Macedonia did not split the Church and spark a war. The EP was not part of the equation (although he wanted to be) and no one made a deal through a corrupt politician.

              Bringing back Macedonia and freeing them was an incredibly unselfish move on Serbia’s part and they did it out of love. They were healing an old wound (not creating a new one) and were doing what was in the best interest of the Church. Whether Archbishop Stefan was an ordained bishop or not is immaterial at this point. He is now. Unlike the OCU, the Macedonian Orthodox Church has been formally reintegrated into the mainstream Eastern Orthodox community.

            • Alexander II says

              Joseph,

              Somewhere in the depths of this blog, that was explained. SOC/MOC schism was an administrative schism. There was no theological or dogmatic issue with the MOC. The bishops of the MOC have always had apostolic succession, Stefan included. Without any question. Sure, the administrative division got ugly there for a while, but it was never dogmatic. Politically inspired, no doubt.

              What’s going on with the fake Uki organization goes to the heart of the notion of apostolic succession.

        • And no one in Orthodoxy (other than the phyletism partisans of ethnic Greeks) accepts this nonsensical paper. There is no apostolic succession apart from the canonical church of that jurisdiction. None of these vagante sects claimed their existence was due to a matter of dogma or ecclesiology which can fall under canon 15 of the 1sr Second. I’m sorry but this archimandrite KNOWs he’s lying.

        • Alexander II says

          Joseph,

          From afar, I have admired — sincerely — your tenacity and discipline to stay on your message in what I can only imagine is hostile territory to you.

          But, your message, like the Fragakis emesis, is fundamentally flawed. True, Cypriot bishops bishops “changed their minds,” but not because of this paper. This work, like made-up Clinton Russian Dossiers, are “conclusive” contrivances created for distraction and gullible sheeple.

          There really is no point to arguing any of this any more. This will soon be a non-issue.

          Unless God calls Dimitrios Arhondonis and Jorge Mario Bergoglio to account first, it will be very easy for even the nominal CREASTER (Christmas and Easter) Orthodox and the CEWF (Christmas, Easter, Wedding and Funeral) Orthodox to know where they should be after His All Heretical Intergalacticness does what he is expected to do at the behest of his temporal masters catering to his titanic ego. As the “first with no equals,” and on behalf of the “World’s 300 million Orthodox,” he’ll “reconcile” with this current pretender to the Roman papacy, a person who is about as Roman Catholic as a turtle.

          2025 will be here sooner than you think.

          The two of them can happily hold hands, share photo op kisses of peace, exchange trinkets, and paper shuffle their delusional ways to a colorful circus in St. Peter’s Square, at which time they can “beautify” the Martyr Bandera, the Holy Confessors and Martyrs Marx, Che, Harvey Milk, and MLK, be prayerfully joined by the Dali Lama, Grand Mufti of Sandland, Reformed Rabbi of Malawi, Suzy the Yoga Queen, and Shinjiro of the Buddhist Community of the South Pole, the diplomatic corps of the “International Community,” Greenpeace, Greta, and all permutations of Alphabet People waiving rainbow flags, with Cooper Anderson breathlessly reporting.

          While they are at it, they can co-ordain a few lesbian “deacons,” and instruct them to gently, without any micro-aggression or a carbon footprint, consecrate unions of non-binary, pangender creatures and charge them to go into the world and spread the “gospel” of the Globohomo agenda.

          The post-event menu: “traditional” Greek food flown in from a parish food fest in Dusseldorf, after which they can hear lectures from Panagiotis Papadopolous, Ph.D., M.D., J.D., M.B.A., C.P.A., M.Div. (Fordham), B.S. about how none of this would be possible without Zeus, Aphrodite, Socrates, Cleopatra, Philp, Alexander, the Billy Goat Tavern, and Windex.

          I’m done.

          • I learned the expression “Easter Orthodox” from Fr. Gregory Horton in N. Idaho… Those who only come to Liturgy for Pascha!

        • Joseph, you stated:

          “Apparently it [the ‘academic’ paper] was a good enough explanation for at least several Cypriot bishops to change their minds.”

          Let’s get serious, Joseph, it wasn’t the ‘academic’ paper that changed the Cypriot bishops minds, but the CIA, U.S. State Dept., and the Devil that did the trick!

          • That’s what I want to know, if this new “evidence” is so compelling that bishops miraculously change their minds, then it’s on the EP to release this “evidence” for the entire Church to see.

            If not, it’s no different than Joseph Smith with his magical golden tablets that only he could see

            • Joseph Lipper says

              Petros, one of the key questions that Metropolitan Isaiah of Tamassos had was concerning the apostolic succession of the former AOCU in Ukraine. He went to the Phanar, received this paper, as it was newly released, and a few months later we see him concelebrating with an OCU hierarch.

              I provided a link to the paper. Here it is again:

              https://fosfanariou.gr/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/GRI-2022-37140.pdf

              It’s written in Greek. Once downloaded, the .pdf file can be uploaded into Google translate if needed.

              In the AOCU, there were two episcopal ordinations in particular that involved the participation of a phony “bishop”, Vikentii Chekalin. However, as Father Grigorios Fragakis points out in this paper, there was indeed apostolic succession carried over by the other AOCU bishop participating, John Bodnarchuk (who was ordained bishop by the Moscow Patriarchate.) Although church canons specify that at least two bishops be involved in episcopal ordinations, there is also historical precedent for a singular bishop ordaining a bishop in rare circumstances. It’s not unheard of historically, and apostolic succession is still carried on.

              Of course a deposed bishop, such as John Bodnarchuk, cannot ordain another bishop, but the Ecumenical Patriarchate claimed the right in 2018 to remove such depositions by rescinding the Russian Patriarch’s authority in Ukraine.

              • Gail Sheppard says

                “. . . but the Ecumenical Patriarchate claimed the right in 2018 to remove such depositions by rescinding the Russian Patriarch’s authority in Ukraine.”

                He does not have the authority to “claim the right” to remove depositions that happened under another bishop.

                He does not have the right to rescind the Russian Patriarch’s authority in Ukraine. He has no rights with respect to the Russian Patriarchate.. He’s just claiming these “rights” to ever locations outside the ecumenical patriarchate. His so called “rights” come from academics who write these papers that mean nothing in the Church. The Church is not driven by academic papers that call for revisions to the Church, by taking disparate documents that are as old or older than the Ecumenical Patriarchate itself and cobbling them together in a unique way to give Bartholomew rights he does not have. At the very minimum these papers need to be peer-reviewed by his brother bishops before he acts. He is going so far out in left field, everyone is going to ignore him (which they already do and have for a very long time) and Russia will assert itself. Lord have mercy. This is why the bishops need to take Bartholomew to spiritual court.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Joseph, not only does any one bishop (patriarchs included) have the right to intrude on another bishop’s territory, in the run-up to the Robber Council of Crete, Fr Alex Karloutsos, the EP’s spokesman said that there was no doubt that the Ukraine belonged to Moscow and that it wasn’t even on the agenda.

                  I put that up as a video in June/July of 2016 but it has since disappeared (as have some of Bartholomew’s videos condemning homosexuality).

                  If anybody can find that video of Karloutsos, I’d be most obliged.

              • But Joseph, what the EP did was arbitrary! Talk about making up the rules as one goes along.

                Nevertheless, what you describe is a twisted, tortured type of Apostolic Succession. This is beyond economia, with all kinds of “exceptions to the rule” that make it reasonable and necessary to accept canonical rubrics.

                For one thing, the ordination which you describe by two bishops. I’m sure it may have happened somewhere but the fact that one can’t easily locate such an occurrence in the historical record speaks volumes against it.

                Second, the fact that one of the two consecrating bishops was a fraud means that there was only one consecrating bishop, not two.

                Third, the fact that the validly ordained consecrating bishop concelebrated with a fraud denudes him of his own sacramental legitimacy.

                As for the case in question, that’s three strikes.

                • Joseph Lipper says

                  The schismatic UAOC (correcting my previous misspelling of that acronym) and also the schismatic UOC-KP were both using the very same liturgical rites and rubrics of the Moscow Patriarchate for the ordinations they did while in schism. The founding schismatic bishops of both those groups came from the Moscow Patriarchate.

                  Of course, the case of Vikentii Chekalin is different, because he was never ordained a bishop. He truly was an imposter, posing as a bishop of ROCOR, and he even successfully fooled some people for a short time, including the UAOC Bishop John Bodnarchuk. Having been fooled, John invited this Vikentii Chekalin to join him in two episcopal ordinations before Chekalin was uncovered as a fraud. Indeed, this is one of the reasons why the Apostolic Canon says that episcopal ordinations shouldn’t be done by just one bishop. However, the historical record shows that this Apostolic Canon is not a matter of dogma.

                  There are examples of a singular bishop ordaining a bishop, and yes, there is apostolic succession. Indeed, the first bishops were ordained by singular apostles.

                  Saint Gregory the Wonderworker was ordained a bishop (in absentia) singularly by Bishop Phaίdēmos:

                  https://www.oca.org/saints/lives/2019/11/17/103315-saint-gregory-wonderworker-of-neocaesarea

                  Saint Nicodemus, in his interpretation of the Apostolic Canon also mentions “the case of Sidiriou who was ordained Bishop of Paleviski, according to the Synaxarion, not under three, but under one Bishop, Philon, for the rejection of the Bishops in those times.” (quoted from Fragakis)

                  Saint Meletius, while exiled in schism, singularly ordained 34 bishops, and they were all accepted at the First Ecumenical Council.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Joseph, I’m not a lawyer but there’s a legal maxim that goes like this: “hard cases make bad law.”

                    The incidents you describe are miniscule when compared to the vast majority of episcopal consecrations, less than 1% of all consecrations from AD 33 to the present. In other words, the exceptions which prove the rule (of always having at least three bishops to perform a valid consecration).

                    That still does not obviate the reality behind Bartholomew’s “recognition by pen-stroke” of the schismatic Ukrainians in that he violated the canons thusly:

                    1. No one from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church asked for autocephaly,

                    2. Not one of the schismatics in question asked to be reconciled to the UOC,

                    3. Hence, none of them were repentant, and the ultimate biggie:

                    4. He had no authority at all to interfere in the diocese of another local Church.

                    In doing so, by picking at historical nits, one swallows whole the camel. It’d be like saying because David DuPape was an illegal alien when he beat up Paul Pelosi within an inch of his life, we need to amnesty all illegal aliens in America.

                    One does not follow the other.

        • Johann Sebastian says

          If the OCU has legitimately ordained clergy, then so do many of the other schismatic old-calendarist groups…who went into schism for more defensible reasons than having a hypernationalist leader who was sore about not being made patriarch of the Church he went into schism from.

          • The old calendarists separated based on the canons, councils and ecclesiology. They have canon 15 of 1st 2nd on their side. Unlike the OCU which is a secular political invention the old calendarists have saints (yes they have incorrupt saints) and miracles (brother Jose Munoz myhrr streaming icon, the apples of St. Irene, etc) but also new calendar saints and elders that have defended them. Do not confuse a political entity whose clergy concern themselves with political questions with old calendarists who have canons, decrees of councils, saints and miracles on their side. Let’s not besmirch old calendarists to the level of the OCU charlatans.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              I completely agree. The Old Calendarists are not at all like the OCU or their circumstances. It was almost painful for me to read. I meant to say something but I got distracted.

              • Johann Sebastian says

                Oh, my comment was completely in favor of the Old Calendarists. The hypernationalist “patriarch” I’m referring to is none other than Filaret Denysenko.

                If those charlatans can be legitimized, there is no excuse for not recognizing those (i.e., the Old Calendarists) who separated for (in my opinion) very legitimate reasons.

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  Thanks for clearing that up. Completely agree.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    I think it’s time for the other churches to normalize/take in/recognize the OC churches for the reasons stated by all above. I say even Cpole do so as well.

                    Now, I realize that Cpole won’t –and the OCs wouldn’t accept normalization from them–but that pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      I will celebrate that day if it ever comes to pass. I hate the fact that we are separated. Some of the most pious people I know are Old Calendar.

                    • After all, by God’s mercy the Old Believer schism (Raskol) was mostly healed, after it had persisted for centuries. By all accounts that schism was bitterer and more difficult than the current one with the Old Calendarists, though also parallel to it in some ways.

                      I have a beautiful prayer book produced by an Old Believer parish in Pennsylvania that belongs to ROCOR.

                    • I think there is a real possibility (God Willing) that the Greek Old Calendarists in America could/would join ROCOR. Their mission would be much better served within the canonical bounds of the Church. Plus, it would provide a viable option for Greeks looking to leave the GOA.

                      The Greek Old Calendarists in Greece are actually pretty sizable as well.

                    • Jeff, the Raskol in Russia certainly was not “mostly healed.” While some raskolniki returned to the Russian church in edinovertsi parishes from the reign of Catherine the Great onwards, the vast majority remained (and remain) in one of two major priested (popovtsy) or several smaller priestless (bezpopovtsy) groups.

                    • “The Greek Old Calendarists in Greece are actually pretty sizable as well.”

                      Yes…. from what I’ve heard, at least 10% of Greece’s Orthodox Christian population is in the older-calendar Churches in Greece. Since more than 90% of Greece is Orthodox Christian, and the population is more than 10 million, that’s about 900,000 older-calendar Orthodox Christians in Greece.

                      That’s far more than the entire average attendance of all Orthodox Christians at all canonical Orthodox Churches on an average Sunday in America. If I recall from Alexei Krindatch’s data from a few years ago, the average total attendance of all Orthodox Christians at all canonical Orthodox Churches in America on any given Sunday is less than 100,000.

                    • Petros “there is a real possibility (God Willing) that the Greek Old Calendarists in America could/would join ROCOR. ”

                      ROCOR might be hesitant, because of past experience.

                    • Basil, your information about the raskolniki/Old Believers may well be better than mine. I did not encounter any of them personally (that I know of) during my time in Russia, but heard that a majority (perhaps up to 70%) had returned to the canonical Church under one or another arrangement.

  15. Anonymous II says

    Not a conspiracy:

    The WEF declares they must establish a NEW WORLD ORDER, unveiling the 5 minute city ‘utopia’ without cars, pushing for implanted brain technology so they “can decode complex thought” and gather data on us. They want a global database monitoring the vaccinated, ‘predict’ another pandemic, and support worldwide censorship and push satanic LGBT while working closely with Hollywood and ‘faith’ ‘leaders.’

    See: https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/davos-attendee-says-quiet-part-out-loud-agenda-create-new-world-order

    • Gail Sheppard says

      What if I want to travel and see the 7 wonders of the world? Can’t
      What if the business within my 5 mile radius doesn’t have a place for me? Too Bad
      What if my extended family or my children and grandchildren live in another 5 mile city? Too Bad
      What if I want to have children? Not Allowed
      What if I want to get out? Can’t
      What if there is a fire? How do we get out? Can’t
      What if I get sick and need a specialist? You Die
      What if there is an earthquake or flood? You Die
      What if they don’t bring bugs for me to eat? You Die
      What if there is someone who smuggles in a gun and starts shooting people in the city? Too bad
      What if you can’t fit in churches, restaurants, theaters, museums, symphony halls, parks, sports fields, gymnasiums, swimming pools, etc.? Never Intended
      What if there is no room for pets? Too Bad
      What if life is not worth living? GUARANTEED
      What if they set fire to us or just boarded us up so we can’t get out? You mean like they did in China where they locked up huge high-rise apartment buildings up from the outside? Strong Possibility
      Can I leave once I am in? NO

      I hope people don’t fall for pretty, shiny things. They’ll make these grottos look cool and pretty women will be signing you up and taking over your possessions.

      They will house people with diversity in mind. Whether or not you all speak the same language or have anything in common will be unimportant. They might even separate men from women so no babies can be had. Everyone will be thrown into the same unit: psychopaths, murderers, the very old, the very young, etc. However, the able bodied will be segregated and used to do the heavy lifting for the people who get to live outside the grottos.

      Over time, walls will need to be painted, the plumbing will need to be repaired, lights will go out, and other things will break and need to be fixed. It will become like a kennel with paper on the floor. It will be their world, and not yours. Which, of course, is the ultimate goal. One World Order means you are warehoused until you die and the sooner the better. You’re just a drag on the planet with no value to them whatsoever. Violence within these pretty little cities will become rampant, as people slowly begin to realized they’re trapped in a nightmare.

      Just like rats when they’re enclosed in a tiny space, aberrant behavior will become the norm. Rats start eating their young.

      That’s why fighting for our FREEDOM is so important. They are so close to making this a reality. They’ve tried to cull the population with their vaccines, and starve us out by buying up all the farmland and drying up all the lakes and rivers.

      Google Maps the Colorado River, the Mississippi, the Nile, or the Amazon. See any water? That’s because of their hellish technology like HAARP that can control the weather. Can’t grow anything without water. – Control the weather, control life.

      God created us as free human beings and they would be taking that away from us. They would be destroying that which belongs to God, physically and spiritually.
      So don’t think this isn’t about good and evil because it is.

      Ask yourself if it is worthy of your time to try to protect what God has given you. God never intended to have a planet with a handful of people who don’t know Him and who don’t want to know Him. These are very evil people. They want all these things buttoned up by 2030. Had Hillary won, it would have been 2021.

  16. I’m so proud of my fellow monomakhites these days. At times in the past it seemed like it was George and I contra mundum. But you guys and gals are really holding your own with quality stuff here. It would bring a little tear to my eye if I were the sentimental type.

  17. The OCU’s ordinations are just as valid as any vested Catholic priest or Lazar Puhalo’s. To repeat:

    I can’t take the OCU ordination argument seriously, as the MP vests Catholic priests, receives defrocked and excommunicated priests from other jurisdictions, recognizes the UOC-USA as canonical (who are a branch of the same schism), and have “fixed” canonical irregularities by a pen before (Lvov 1946 and ROCOR 2007).

    Given all of the above, the “graceless schismatic” charge is self-serving nonsense. Especially given their recognition of the UOC USA, which has the exact same canonical issues as the OCU does. The only answer I got from that is a flustered “they shouldn’t have!” Well, they did.

    Combine this with Lvov 46 and their continued use of vesting, how can they say this stuff with a straight face? The MP could have fixed it easy. They just chose not to.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Ordinations are only valid for those who are ordained, David, whether you take it seriously or not does not mitigate this fact. Catholic priests who are vested and even Lazar, are ordained.

      You’re argument that if this is wrong, and this is wrong, and this is wrong, then this other thing over here must be right is flawed.
      Like they say, two (three or four) wrongs don’t make a right.

      • You are missing my point. I am pointing out the MP’s hypocrisy on this issue, as they too have used “economy” when it suited them.

        Catholic priests are also “graceless schismatics.” The MP has received them by vesting and penstroke (Lvov 46). The EP received the OCU in a similar way. That is what I am saying. “Akrevia for thee but not for me” is not a good look.

        • David, I see your point about the confiscation of Uniate parishes by the ROC. However it must be pointed out that these parishes were Orthodox at one time and then went into schism when the Unia was proclaimed. That these were retaken into the ROC by the forces of Stalin is most unfortunate, I agree but there it is.

          In defense of the vesting of Catholic priests who convert to Orthodoxy, they at least were ordinands of a legitimate church which became schismatic due to an ancient controversy (i.e. the Filioque). No one doubted the validity of the Western Church at one time in any way, shape or form. On the other hand, the so-called Kiev Patriarchate and the outfits run by Makary Maletich and Epiphany Dumenko never had any validity at all. They originated de novo in the same manner as 19th century American sects (such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Mormons or the Seventh Day Adventists), with no apostolic lineage at all. Indeed, their priests were merely enrobed laymen, thus their ordinations possessed no validity. I could put on a mitre and proclaim myself the head of the Presleyterian Church of Memphis and would have the same standing as the “priests” and “bishops” who make up the OCU.

          Admittedly, whereas Philaret was at one time a validly ordained clergyman, he was also validly defrocked and his laicization was recognized by Patriarch Bartholomew for years. He endured what in ecclesiastical circles is the canonical death penalty. Once a hierarch or cleric undergoes such, he cannot be returned to his previous state, even with the stroke of a pen.

          • Solidarity Priest says

            Here’s the thing, George. When ROCOR exercised akriviea and rebaptized and reordained converts, all hell broke loose from the OCA libs.. I want to cite two examples and the reasoning behind them.
            1). Fr. George Lewis (Archimandrite John in monasticism). He was ordained a Uniate priest, then came to Orthodoxy by way of the OCA. Later, when he came to ROCOR, Metropolitan Filaret had him rebaptized and reordained. This shocked and scandalized the OCA, since Fr. George had functioned there as an Orthodox priest. What was the reasoning behind Metropolitan Filaret’s actions?
            NO BISHOP of the OCA received Fr. George into the church by a confession of faith or vesting. Instead, he was received by Fr. John Meyendorff. Fr. John didn’t even bother to hear his confession, let alone read any prayer over him. So Fr. George was quite literally received by a handshake. Based on the fact that no Orthodox bishop ever received Fr. George into the Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Filaret chose strictness.
            2). Fr. Vladimir Belcher. Fr. Vladimir was baptized in ACROD as an adult by sprinkling. Even worse, the chrism used on him may have been Uniate chrism, since he was baptized in a parish which had been Uniate not long before. When he came into ROCOR, Archbishop Averky had him rebaptized on the grounds that the correct form of baptism hadn’t been used and that there was some question as to whether the chrism used at his ACROD baptism was Orthodox. Since Vladimir Belcher had communed as a seminarian at St. Tikhon’s prior to this, he was accused of blasphemy.
            I believe that Metropolitan Filaret is a saint and probably, Archbishop Averky is as well. Metropolitan Filaret consecrated the late Archbishop Kirill, OCA bishop of Pittsburgh, in 1964. St. John of San Francisco and Archbishop Averky were among the co-consecrating bishops. So Archbishop Kirill may have been consecrated by three saints!

            • George Michalopulos says

              Joseph, not only does any one bishop (patriarchs included) have the right to intrude on another bishop’s territory, in the run-up to the Robber Council of Crete, Fr Alex Karloutsos, the EP’s spokesman said that there was no doubt that the Ukraine belonged to Moscow and that it wasn’t even on the agenda.

              I put that up as a video in June/July of 2016 but it has since disappeared (as have some of Bartholomew’s videos condemning homosexuality).

              If anybody can find that video of Karloutsos, I’d be most obliged.

              • Joseph Lipper says

                George, I don’t see a contradiction. At the time of the 2016 Crete Council, the EP had no immediate plans to do anything in Ukraine, and yes, at that time the EP considered Ukraine to be under the authority of the Moscow Patriarchate.

                Yet after two more years of Moscow doing nothing to resolve matters in Ukraine, the time was up. After two years of patience, in 2018 the EP made the decision to rescind Moscow’s authority there. Sure, the EP probably should have acted before, but even by all outward appearances, Patriarch Bartholomew really wanted Moscow to use their authority to fix the problem.

                Sure, we can easily point out that Patriarch Bartholomew hasn’t brought peace to Ukraine either, but since the 2014 Maidan Revolution, it was already a slow-motion train wreck in process. Should Patriarch Bartholomew have waited for Russia to invade Ukraine before offering autocephaly?

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  Who gave the EP the idea that he could rescind Moscow’s authority?

                  • Joseph Lipper says

                    Gail, I suppose you could say the original “idea” comes from Patriarch Joachim of Moscow, who for political reasons proposed in 1686 that future Metropolitans of Kiev would be consecrated by the Moscow Patriarchate, but that the Kiev Metropolis itself would still remain the canonical territory of Constantinople. For better or for worse, that was the terms agreed upon by the EP. This is how they’ve always understood it: since the actual territory of the Kiev Metropolis was never transferred to Moscow, the given authority to consecrate the Metropolitan of Kiev could certainly be revoked.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      With regard to Kiev, Filaret and Makarii were deposed clergy. It was my understanding that deposed clergy, and their offspring for lack of a better word, cannot become canonical unless they repent and they have to repent to the Church that deposed them, in this case Russia. Is that not the case? If so, the EP may call them canonical but they couldn’t be under the circumstances because Russia is responsible for consecrations in Kiev.

                      And if the EP is only over Kiev according to this agreement, why did he install Epiphany over “all Ukraine?”

                      Epiphany is responsible for the theft of the MP/UOC property and the brutalization of the people attached to it. Has the EP decided that the MP’s property, e.g. Pechersk Lavra, is his, as well?

                      Was the given authority to consecrate the Metropolitan of Kiev revoked by the EP? How is it possible to recognize part of an agreement and not another? If the agreement is up for grabs, could not Russia, who does the consecrations, revoke the part of the agreement that say the territory belongs to Constantinople?

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Joseph, that’s not true at all. The giving of the Kiev eparchy to Moscow was recognized by Cpole (and all other Churches) as in perpetuity. There was no “held in trust” contingency about it at all.

                      I will find the paperwork for that and post it.

                    • Joseph Lipper says

                      Gail, my understanding is that when the EP revoked its 1686 Patriarchal “Act”, it was then that the Kiev Metropolis returned under the ecclesial authority of the EP. The canonical jurisdiction of the Kiev Metropolis, of course refers to Ukraine, hence the title of Metropolitan Onuphry “of all Ukraine”. He, of course, still doesn’t officially recognize the EP’s reversal of Moscow’s authority, but instead he points to the UOC-MP’s own council from last year that, in fact, deleted all written connection with the Moscow Patriarchate.

                      At any rate, the Moscow Patriarchate no longer has any acknowledged authority in Ukraine, at least neither from Metropolitan Onuphry, nor the OCU.

                      Yet given that ecclesial authority in Ukraine was returned to the EP for those few months in 2018, its canonical right to reverse episcopal depositions during that window of time would also be restored. The EP sent two bishops to reconcile with whomever was willing to be reconciled to the EP. The bishops that were willing, of course, were composed of those who wanted autocephaly, namely those of the “Kievan Patriarchate” and the UAOC, and also two bishops of the UOC-MP.

                      The unfortunate thing now about the Kiev Caves and the Poachev Lavras is that the property is legally owned by the State of Ukraine, not by the Moscow Patriarchate, not by the UOC or OCU, not even by the monasteries themselves. That’s just the legal reality. Given that a war is going on with Russia, it’s entirely expected that the Ukrainian government would want to purge itself of any perceived connection with Russia on its state-owned properties.

                    • Joseph, that’s the problem: No patriarch can “revoke” an earlier tomos single-handedly. Whether that was a a tomos of autonomy, autocephaly or transfer to another church. what your describing is the “fruit of a poisoned tree”: anything that follows it is null and void.

                      Barring a call for reversal or autocephaly from a specific eparchy (which must go through the established ecclesiastical protocols), the tomos of 1686 was final.

                    • I don’t think it will be settled by legal niceties. While I’m sure canon law is on the side of the MP, if reasonably interpreted, as most local churches are doing, nonetheless, military power will decide the question.

                      Whatever territory Russia seizes and holds will be under the MP. Whatever is left of Western Ukraine will likely be under the OCU, if it survives. A number of bishops have bolted the UOC for the MP.

                      I wonder whether the UOC as it is presently constituted under Met. Onufry will survive. If Russia maximalizes it’s gains, it’s possible that neither the OCU nor the UOC survive except as rumps, if that.

                • Alexander II says

                  What “problem”?

                  The canonical church asked for none of this. The heretic purposefully created church-related “problems” on the heels of the geo-political problems initiated by the Western political actors. The heretical paper tiger’s titanic ego and little man petty jealousies could not tolerate being told he has no business sticking his nose where it does not belong. And his masters came a calling.

                  What does a military conflict have to do with anything ecclesiological or the issuance of a fancy piece of paper to a group of laymen dressing up like bishops? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

                  (And what did he “give” them? A joke of a document that hardly grants “autocephaly.” But it sure is pretty, isn’t it? Wanna grant autocephaly? Then read what Belgrade did with the MOC in resolving that administrative schism, painful as a half century plus was.)

                  I, for one, can hardly wait for 2025 when the Istanbul crazies drive themselves, Dumenko, and the other clowns crawling out of the Second Lung Volkswagen to Rome.

                  Then the Curia, acting in an “unprecedented conciliar manner,” can state that The Patriarch of the Ancient See of Istanbul to be under its authority.

                  It would be the first step to putting this utter madness behind us.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Fr, thank you for posting this. I love the history involved.

              While I don’t want to wade into the akrivia vs economia debate, the status of the Ukrainian laymen do not fall within this continuum. It’s like saying there are three strikes in football. It doesn’t compute.

              The men you mentioned were validly ordained priests within their former jurisdictions; never were they jumped up laymen who were “ordained” by a mail-order catalogue.

              Regarding Lazar Puhalo: I can see the OCA’s point at that time of not recognizing the actions of ROCOR if the status ROCOR was to the other jurisdictions what the status of the EP is to Moscow today. In other words, his defrocking by ROCOR would be a nullity as much as the administrative actions of the GOA are nullities (hence ROCOR’s stance in welcoming GOA priests, bishops, etc.)

              That said, Lev Puhalo should have never been brought into the OCA for any reason whatsoever, not merely because of the many irregularities that are apart of his life’s story but because of the many controversies that have followed him into the OCA.

              My opinion.

              • Solidarity Priest says

                George, forgive me for not answering sooner. No, I don’t believe ordinations outside of the Orthodox church are “valid”. The issue with Fr. Lewis(Archimandrite John in monasticism) is not his Uniate ordination. The issue is that no BISHOP received him into the Church. And Fr. Meyendorff did not follow any procedure, he more or less said, “You’re in!”. At least that is what Fr. Lewis told me personally. Both he and Fr. Meyendorff are deceased, so I have no proof that I can present here.
                I know someone will cite the example of St. Alexis Toth receiving whole Uniate parishes together with their priests into the church. We must remember in those days there was maybe one Orthodox bishop in tbe whole Western hemisphere and no plane for him to board to visit the flock. Fr. Alexis was acting as the bishop’s delegate and WITH THE BISHOP’S BLESSING. Plus, he didn’t just tell the parish, ” You’re in!” The whole church was asked in they renounced the union(with Rome). They and the former Uniate priest answered in the affirmative. Then, AFTER prayers were read over them, the vested ex-Uniate priest joined the other clergy at the altar and the liturgy proceeded.
                The Russian church used economia in dealing with Uniates because it recognized that these people were former Orthodox who had been tricked into a false union with Rome.
                Fr. Belcher was not a priest when he left the OCA for ROCOR. Archbishop Averky, rightly or wrongly, chose akrivia. Many years ago, a ROCOR bishop told me that in the past ROCOR had followed the Russian practice of receiving almost all heterodox by chrismation. Often such converted people would go to Greece and the Greek church would insist on baptizing them. Not the Greek Old Calendar church, but the Church of Greece.

    • Johann Sebastian says

      Consider who they defrocked and why they defrocked them.

      The UOC-KP was headed by a delusional megalomaniac narcissist who had serious deficiencies with his personal life, along with all of the political shenanigans MP clergy are accused of collaborating with during the Soviet era. The UAOC was the arm of a hypernationalist movement that collaborated with whatever political elements served their Ukrainist agenda—whether they were Papists, Bolsheviks, or Nazis.

      Uniates, on the other hand, weren’t generally willing collaborators with their Polish and Hungarian Catholic overlords. The other option there was to become Latin-rite, so this was often a pragmatic decision that the laypeople were often ignorant of. The fact that it became so deep-seated after 300-plus years, well, that’s another matter. In a way, Lvov ‘46 was a clever move by the Bolsheviks: under the guise of righting a past wrong, they ensured the longer survival of the Unia by inciting persecutions that the Orthodox would be blamed for. Had this not happened, and had the whole of Ruthenia been absorbed into a continuing Russian Empire, I believe we would have seen an organic abjuration of Uniatism in the vein of Alexis Toth and Maksym Sandovych. Russophilism was predominant amongst Galician Ruthenians during the 19th and early 20th centuries (witness Yakov Holovatsky and even Avgustin Voloshin)—the only obstacles to a full reunion were their being under the rule of Catholic polities and, later, the Bolshevik takeover of Orthodox Russia.

      The OCU is a vagante group that was legitimized under questionable circumstances that bear parallels with the Living Church, the Sergian MP, and yes—the Unia. The difference is that instead of Bolsheviks or Papists, the instigators are the US State Department and NATO—with the EP as their hired hand.

    • David,

      You wrote…

      “The MP could have fixed it easy. They just chose not to.”

      On a certain level I agree that it could have been fixed. However, it wasn’t the MP that chose not to. It was “the Kievian Patriarchate” and the “AOC” who chose to be and to remain in a state of schism from the MP. Philaret and his ‘Kievian Patriarchate’ in fact remain in schism even from the OCU to this very day because he didn’t get even from the CP what he wanted from the MP.

  18. Democracy à la WEF:

    Government of the people [that’s us]
    for the People [that’s them]
    by the People [that’s also them]

  19. I won’t keep on about it, but what has the MP done to address those historical wrongs? I think answering that question will help people see the larger issues at play.

    The OCU is not a group of “Banderite thugs.” That is propaganda. Is there a sectarian element? Absolutely They get the press because that serves narratives.

    That sectarian element is the big clue that the Tomos was premature. There is still a lot of unresolved issues that prevented the 2 sides from coming together. Even now this is so.

    The first step is to stop seeing the other as an enemy. The EP and MP could have worked together on this. They still can

    • David,

      I must say that I do appreciate your honesty. No one can accuse you of being a shill.

      Nevertheless, whenever I read your comments I cannot help but wonder what prevents the CP from finding a way to bring the Greek Old Calanderists back into unity with the Church. The issues involved bare striking similarities. Obstinance, jurisdiction, mistrust…

      Why Ukraine (which, interestingly, follows the old calender) and not them?

      • I agree about the Old Calendarists. When Macedonia was in schism all those years, does thst mean the mysteries offered during that time were worthless? The same thing with the OCU and Old Calendarists. The Holy Spirit goes where He wills. It is doesn’t quite work that way. Legalism creeps in, because we have to “have an answer” for the Latins and Protestants, who love “systems.”

        For the record, I recognize the OCU’s orders and their reception into the Church as part of the EP. I think that was the right thing to do, and I firmly stand by that opinion. Where I differ is on the Tomos. I think it was premature and a mistake, as the Patriarchate needed to take a firm hand and weed out the sectarian elements. The EP rules its eparchies with a firm hand, and the “Phanariot Iron Fist” would have been useful in that regard. The 2008 Take it or Leave it deal should have been offered again, rather sternly. I think if Poroshenko saw the EP’s steel (which lets be candid, they can show rather belligerently), then he would have got the OCU in line, minus Philaret (which is what ended up happening anyway).

        Realistically, the Estonia solution was the only path forward pre-War. Now? Everything is up in the air. An autocephalous Ukrainian Church is inevitable. I suspect both the EP and MP will have egg on their face when it is over.

        The UOC and OCU have to sort it out themselves. Events have to take their course, as things are in motion.

        Lord, have mercy.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          David,

          Again, thank you. Thank you for the education. We appreciate the measured way you presented your POV. We may not agree on this topic, but that doesn’t mean we won’t agree on others (or not). This is what the blog is for. You generated a lot of thoughtful commentary, which, like Misha, we like to see and we hope you’ll continue to comment here as part of the Monomakhos family.

        • David, as to your penultimate point: “an autocephalous Ukrainian Church is inevitable,” isn’t that what Bartholomew has “given” the Ukraine?

          I’m not trying to be snarky, but that’s why I coined the term “ukracephalous” to describe the “autocephaly” of Dumenko’s sect. It’s autocephalous in name only. Heck, the canonical Ukrainian church has more autonomy than the UCO.

          As for myself, whether there is or isn’t a real autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church is neither here nor there as nobody within that august body asked for autocephaly from its mother Church in the first place.

          Honestly, what Bartholomew did can be likened to a man (let’s call him Bart) being invited to supper at his neighbor’s (let’s call him Otto) house and then before leaving inform the Otto that he and his wife were no longer legally married and that Bart found a new husband for her named Frank.

  20. I don’t know if the following resource has been mentioned on this blog or in its comments, but since the subject of this post has to do with Cyprus and with the “tomos” to Ukraine, I wanted to recommend the following book by Metropolitan Nikiforos of Kykkos and Tylliria:

    Nikiforos, (2021). The Ecclesial Crisis in Ukraine: And Its Solution According to the Sacred Canons. Holy Trinity Publications.

    Nikiforos lays out in about 90 pages why in his opinion what Bartholomew did was against the canons, etc. It’s a book very well worth reading for anyone interested in the Ukraine ecclesiastical situation.

    The ISBN for the paperback edition is:

    978-1-942699-41-5

    • Gail Sheppard says

      This is a great book! George did a review on it 2021/06/25, but when you Google it, it’s says Page 32 and if you click on that, it takes you to a Thanksgiving Story. Oh, the joys of a blog with these bizarre quirks.

  21. I found this interesting.

    You have to look at the big picture or you will miss the forest for the trees. WWII in the West was actually a struggle between two quasi-fascist entities (actually totalitarian, national welfare states), the US and Germany. American liberals, fundamentally just leftists with smaller balls, saw the Soviet Union as more palatable than Nazi Germany and thus gave Stalin his “second front” in 1944. But the American government immediately began to work with the OUN against the Soviets after the war. Suddenly, the old friend had become a quasi-adversary. Who better to combat them than unrepentant fascists?

    This went on through most of the rest of the twentieth century but then a striking change occurred. The Soviet Union collapsed and the Russian Federation that resulted with most of the territory and all of the weapons became a Christian empire. This was seen by the demons in DC as yet another adversary to secular-humanist, Totalitarian Liberalism (TL).

    On the bright side, TL (aka, “the free world”, “democracy”, “rules-based order”, “Human Rights, Inc., etc., ad nauseum) had “defeated” Nazism and Bolshevism. Moreover, it had largely converted Maoism (at least economically). It could afford to employ revanchist not-z’s against its newfound Slynx, the RF. The TL’s competitors were reduced to Christendom (the RF) and Islam. Hindu nationalism is rightly seen as a regional phenomenon.

    This is why all of this drama regarding the West, the RCC, this or that pope and the UkroNotZ’s needs to be appreciated in context. You can be for Christ, anti-Christ or unaligned. I consider the NZ’s to be unaligned, though despicable in their savage racial genocidal activities. The Bolsheviks and the TL’s, however, due to their atheism, secular humanism, etc., are definitely anti-Christ. India and China are unaligned. Sunni Islam is anti-Christ. Shiite Islam is somewhere near the unaligned/anti-Christ border.

    So for most of the second half of the twentieth century, the devil ruled much of the world through TL and Bolshevism (and Maoism). Bolshevism collapsed and Maoism capitulated to capitalism. Thus TL seemed to be it – the End of History.

    But a funny thing happened on the way to globalist hegemony. The “Last Ideology”, while it had managed to spread its economic influence, even dominance, far and wide, had not managed to conquer the world for feminist/LGBT; i.e., there was still cultural divergence and – in the RF, China, and India – increasing economic independence. And so, to the horror of Klaus Schwab and George Soros, a counterforce to globalism emerged in the form of a Sino-Russian Alliance. The Chinese had not been globalists at all, it turns out, but had merely been exploiting Western globalist elites for their perceived national interests. The Chinese have a long memory regarding Western colonialism.

    And suddenly the TL looks very fragile indeed. Russia and China are quite sturdy and 2022 just demonstrated that emphatically. But Western sanctions had little effect except . . . in the West. America, the heart of the Western operation, has a staggering national debt, increasing interest rates, a hopelessly insolvent social welfare system (which dwarfs even its bloated defense spending), and appears to be losing a real war (as opposed to the colonial ones it has fought since 1945). Under Biden, it has done the unthinkable: it has become engaged in a war with another (nuclear) superpower that it cannot afford to lose.

    Rather than the End of History, we are witnessing the End of Ideology – specifically the ideologies germinating from the so-called Enlightenment.

    God knows how it will end. Col. McGregor thinks a nuclear conflict is unlikely, as do I. But anything is possible inasmuch as the West, as we have remarked here at Monomakhos repeatedly, seems to have lost its mind.

    I think there may be a nasty conventional war ahead in Eastern Europe. How far it will spread is anyone’s guess. But I do not think the TL’s will give up without a real fight. And that is what concerns many people. Because the Russians see this conflict as existential. The West has invaded Holy Rus’ in the form of the Maidan coup d’etat and subsequent events. The West intends to subjugate Russia to TL. This means, effectively, economic and cultural colonization, which Russia will not tolerate. It is an attempt to impose political correctness for the economic benefit of the globalist elite.

    And the Rest (the 80% of the world not living in “the West”) seem more or less aligned with Russia in this conflict, which they seem to consider to be a continuation of the colonial conflicts of the 19th and 20th centuries.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      And then there are the 210 million and growing number of Christians in the TL, both practicing and non-practicing, who have mostly woken up and want nothing to do with the current TL agenda that celebrates and promotes the 8% to 10% of the population to the exclusion of everyone else.

      (According to an analysis of data in the Census Bureau’s recent Household Pulse Survey in 2021, only 8% of respondents identified themselves as LGBTQ+)

    • I should have written “increasing inflation” instead of “increasing interest rates”, which are being held artificially low.

  22. Joseph Lipper says

    A letter from Patriarch Dositheos of Jerusalem sent to Patriarch Joachim of Moscow was particularly scathing and even damning in its rebuke:

    “But you wanted a foreign eparchy! It would have been possible for you to remain the Constantinople patriarch’s representative to the metropolitan of Kyiv. You claim it was necessary that you also ordain the metropolitan of Kyiv, but we think that there was no necessity, only avarice. And why should the limits of the Fathers be exceeded without just reason? Doing this, without any need, but instead in order to satisfy only your ambitions and not to advance the common good, you are doing damage both to yourself and the Church.

    “According to the Church Fathers, eparchies should remain unchanged within their territorial boundaries, and for this reason no bishop has the right to ask for authority over a foreign eparchy. You, however, are asking to take over a foreign eparchy. You in no way can justify this action, and only shame among men and sin against God will fall upon your name.” (emphasis added)

    https://orthodoxia.info/news/historic-letter-jerusalem-patriarch-had-once-rebuked-moscow-patriarch-over-kyiv/

  23. Joseph Lipper says

    “As any diplomatic historian will attest, one of the ways to probe the meaning of a disputed text is to see how it was interpreted by third parties at the time. In the case of the 1686 act, one of the best-placed observers was the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Dositheos, who took part in the preceding negotiations.

    “Dositheos carefully described the 1686 deal as an agreement that the see of Kiev ‘should be an eparchy of the Patriarch of Constantinople, in trust administered by the most holy Patriarch of Moscow…’ The concession, he noted, had been made ‘due to the prevailing tyranny, until the day comes for divine reckoning.'”

    https://www.economist.com/erasmus/2018/10/19/a-christian-schism-prompts-historians-to-dig-deep-into-the-past

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