Has Fatima Been Fulfilled?

I realize that this is a controversial question. And truthfully, I don’t pretend to have an answer. However, I can speculate. So in that spirit, I ask for your forbearance.

Now, I understand that as Orthodox, we don’t put a lot of stock into so-called Marian apparitions as they have appeared in the Latin tradition. There’s too much post-Counter-Reformation piety and the differences between their theology and what obtained in the pre-Schism Church is rather stark. This calls their authenticity into question. In the matter of the Fatima visitations specifically, there is the questionable talk of “my immaculate heart” which bespeaks a heavy Vatican I influence (which would make it post-1870). It’s just too convenient if you ask me.

That doesn’t mean that the Fatima visions weren’t real or that they didn’t contain truth. What I am talking about–and I ask you to bear with me–is misperception, not a fabrication.

The way I look at this is thusly: we are all creatures of our culture and we perceive things through the prism of our own particular experiences. I’m not talking merely about spiritual events but mundane events as well. The classic example of this is when three people witness (say) an automobile accident. Three different stories are told, all with veracity and all with conviction. If four witnesses are present, four stories will be told. Five witnesses, five stories; six witnesses, six stories, and so on. Worse, the witnesses will start to impact each other’s memory to an extent. Memory, perception, and cognition are all rather plastic. This is a universal experience and deals with incidents as well as accidents.

One thing that cannot be fabricated or witnessed by more than one person is a hallucination. This is important to remember.

Now, getting back to our proverbial auto accident, no hallucination took place. An accident really happened. However, each witness weaves his own recollection about the event and in time, the stories congeal into a single narrative.

This is what I believe happened at Fatima, Portugal when in July of 1917, three young shepherd children claimed that they saw the Theotokos. The first of three apparitions occurred on May 13, 1917, and the last on Oct 1, 1917. (If you want to know more about the particulars, then I suggest you go here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_Fátima.)

In the interests of brevity, there were three “secrets” which the Virgin revealed. Two secrets have been revealed while the third was carefully hidden under lock and key. What I’m interested in was the original Marian message that the children reported to the world, specifically that unless Russia was consecrated to the Theotokos, then Russia would “spread her errors throughout the world” and the Great War would only be a prelude to a greater and more terrible war.

This is interesting. For one thing, Portugal had been unmolested by the Great War. Secondly, the children were illiterate peasants. Third –and this is key–Russia had not yet fallen to the Bolsheviks. They would not come into power for another six months (November 1917).

And this is where it gets weird: although the Tsar had abdicated his throne, Russia was being ruled (at the time of Fatima) by a provisional government made up of liberals, democrats, and republicans. It was essentially no different than the United States or France in other words. The Bolsheviks were a minor terrorist group. Moreover, even when they did overthrow the provisional government, their stranglehold on Russia was tenuous at best. They would not consolidate their power for another five years, that is to say after a bloody and costly civil war.

In other words, Lenin’s coup was not a sure thing. In fact, President Wilson sent an American expeditionary force which was augmented with allies from several other European states to prevent the Bolsheviks from consolidating their power. Clearly, the tide could have turned back to democratic liberalism if things had gone right. In other words, there was a chance to restore order and it was obvious to all the nations which participated in that allied force.

Unfortunately, the Bolsheviks carried the day. Not only did they spread their errors throughout the vestiges of the Russian Empire, but in time they subverted other countries, thanks to traitorous fifth columnists in the churches, Academia, motion pictures and the various bureaucracies.

It’s important to keep all this in mind. Especially those of us who took victory laps in the 90s when the Soviet Empire collapsed. Though we “won” the Cold War, the culture of the Western nations has clearly collapsed. The insidious viruses that were unleashed in the bowels of the Kremlin permeated the liberal nations and have overtaken them, undermining all morality and decency.

The nonsense of egalitarianism has eroded the proper understanding of hierarchy; feminism has led to the widespread murder of innocent babies and homosexualism is leading to the acceptance of pedophilia. The destruction of the family is now virtually complete. And there’s no going back.

All of these terrible things can be laid at the feet of the Bolsheviks and their fellow-travelers in the West. And let’s not sugar-coat it: the last century was the bloodiest, most horrible century in the history of human civilization. All of the worst atrocities can be traced to the massive instability and the horrible ideas that emanated from Bolshevism, which took the errors of the French Revolution and augmented them in ways that were unimaginable.

So what was to be done to avert this disaster? According to the three children, the Blessed Virgin asked that Russia (which was still not communist) be “consecrated” to her “immaculate heart”. Said consecration was to be performed by the Pope and several bishops. For some reason, all subsequent Popes declined to perform this service. According to Vatican lore, only Popes Pius X and John Paul II performed abbreviated consecrations, studiously neglecting to mention “Russia” during the service (for some reason or another).

As for John Paul II, he recognized the growing importance of a revitalized Russia while at the same time decrying the “culture of death” that was slowing overtaking the West. He talked about a “light from the East”, and this during a time in which the West had won the Cold War and Russia was down for the count. Indeed, all indicia for Russia during that time were dire. And yet John Paul II saw something significant on the horizon.

It is my belief that he was aware of the contents of the dreaded “Third Secret” which Sr Lucia (one of the three children) had written down at the behest of her bishop. This secret was written to inform future Popes of what awaited the world if Russia was not properly consecrated.

So now we get to the brass tacks: has Russia been consecrated? Is this why it has become revitalized and has returned to its Orthodox roots? Is this why Pope Francis issued his startling declaration last week, that there was “only one patriarchate in Russia”? And why he has effectively thrown the Unia under the bus?

Now I realize that this sounds far-fetched, but according to some traditionalist Catholic circles, President Putin himself asked Pope Francis to perform the consecration of Russia to the Virgin.

So why would Putin, an Orthodox Christian ask the Pope to consecrate Russia? More importantly, why weren’t the Orthodox patriarchs asked to do so? Is it because our rites have no efficacy? Or is it because the Theotokos knew that the intramural squabbling between Istanbul and Moscow would make a mockery of it?

Indeed, it makes a certain sense that by taking it out of Orthodox hands and putting it in the hands of the Pope, then it would take away the onus of creating yet another patriarchate, this time in the Ukraine, which would not only further aggravate an already confused situation but could lead to an actual world war.

Make no mistake: the words which Francis spoke to Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev leave no room for ambiguity. I believe that Moscow, in the eyes of Francis, is indeed the Third Rome.

Monomakhos

My thoughts below:

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Comments

  1. Michael Woerl says

    “So now we get to the brass tacks: has Russia been consecrated? Is this why it has become revitalized and has returned to its Orthodox roots? Is this why Pope Francis issued his startling declaration last week, that there was “only one patriarchate in Russia”? And why he has effectively thrown the Unia under the bus?”
    Insanity, insanity, insanity.
    “Apparitions” can also be demonic. And, “threw the Unia under the bus?” That will only happen when all Uniate formations are disbanded.
    And “One Patriarchate in Russia,” huh? That’s correct! Ukraine is no longer “in Russia.” But Da Pope o’ da East thinks that, for some reason, he has “bidness” there.

    • Johann Sebastian says

      “Ruthenia” is the Latin word for Russia.

      It’s also the term the Latins used for what is now Ukraine.

      Even to them there is no difference.

  2. George Osborne says

    Brother George….. I have commented before on this issue and simply reiterate my thoughts. I cannot possibly agree with your theory about any legitimacy for the Fatima apparitions. I say this for two reasons: First, if the apparitions were legitimate, the sayings or “secrets” would have to be in accord with the teachings of the One Church. Mary does not have an immaculate heart as that implies born without sin. There is only one such birth on record, no? Secondly, the sayings of the Russian fathers (to which sayings I ascribe much more value and truthfulness) unequivocally state that the downfall of the Russian state was because of un-requited sin and was God’s punishment on the Russian land. Now, here is my reasoning, if Satan as the great tempter and adversary (who also seems to stand in the presence of God), was allowed to visit wrath on Russia it was obviously and eventually for their salvation. If truem then the fallout from the punishment would be for salvation as well, wouldn’t it? Perhaps the renaissance of the former communist lands is an example of this? If this is so, then might not Fatima be a demonic falsification? In essence, Satan through the Fatima apparitions labeled the threshing of Russia as the result of non-compliance to a heretical demand for consecration, not to the Savior, but to His mother basically creating legitimacy for the co-redemptorist role the Romans have been trying to legitimize for the Theotokos for decades (since Vatican I at least). So, IMVHO, Fatima is a demonic deception geared to create a groundswell of support for the arch-heresy that the Theotokos is also our Redeemer. I mean, think about it. Consecrate Russia to my always sinless heart, and I will save the world from destruction. Is there ANYWHERE in Orthodoxy where there is a similar demand or even the hint of such a command? Nope. Nowhere! Fatima demanded a heresy. A heresy that would “consecrate” Russian to an utterly false doctrine. That the “secrets” of Fatima came true simply denote the author of the “secrets” themselves…who I believe was not God. The Lord punished Russia and it wasn’t because of its lack of consecration. It was because of sin and also, perhaps, to prepare a revitalized Russian Church for a great mission.

    Finally, if I may, the “light from the east” you referenced in remarks about JPII, is a play on him being from Poland. If I remember correctly, I believe his papal motto on his coat of arms references him as a light from the east. So I think its pretty clear that the light from the east was JP not the Russian Church.

    Just offering a counterbalance, my friend!

    • George Michalopulos says

      Thanks! When I say “immaculate heart” one am to say that the Latins misunderstand apparition.

      More to follow I’m sure.

  3. Jane Rachel says

    Hi George!

    All I could find online about “eros maniokos” is this book review and the following quote:

    http://articles.latimes.com/2001/oct/06/local/me-54120
    “The thread that holds the book together, however, is a series of conversations between Markides and Father Maximos on the most arcane aspects of mysticism. They range from “illnesses of the heart,” which to Father Maximos include “preoccupation with worldly affairs, focus on physical pleasures, and obsession with wealth,” to eros maniakos (“maniacal eros”), or “the attainment of a deeply erotic relationship with God that lies far beyond the most intense and the most passionate erotic rapture between human beings.”

    Would you or anyone else be able to explain what this means in greater depth?

    Thanks!

    • George Michalopulos says

      Thanks Jane!

    • M. Stankovich says

      I remember Fr. Thomas Hopko introduced this topic – however inadvertently – when he was discussing a series of meditations/poems by the 16th century Spanish mystic St. John of the Cross. Fr. Hopko was discussing some of St. John’s lesser known works, a series of poems titled, “Romances,” in the general context of our understanding of the Holy Trinity. The premise of “Romances” is St. John’s meditation on an internal dialog of the Holy Trinity prior to the creation, beginning with the opening words of the Gospel of John, where the Father express a desire to provide His Son with a pure Bride (using the language of Eph. 5). The description of this proposed “Bride,” however, is very reminiscent of the sensuous language of the “Song of Songs,” not intended to be “erotic,” per se, but a combination of seductive/romantic/sensual, and St. John is “poetically licensed.” But the dialog takes a dramatic turn when the Father reveals that this Bride will betray the Word with infidelity and deceit, and the only means of saving her will be to, literally, assume human flesh and chase her to the kingdom of hell itself to restore her to her original beauty. On the one hand, there is a brilliance to this saint’s creativity to admire, but it is difficult, as a Christian of the Orthodox East, not to feel discomfort in the “ecstatic moments of climax” that have been reported to be as literal as the language suggests. It is somehow more uncomfortable knowing his “disciple” was St. Thérèse of Avila, who also experienced these events of “mystical ecstasy” as well. They were, and remain, controversial, and with no parallel in the Orthodox East. It is also interesting that the writings of St. John of the Cross are a favorite of the current Pope Francis, and he is often quoted in the Pope’s writings, though not necessarily with citation. In fact, in Francis’ second encyclical, Laudato si, On Care for Our Common Home,” regarding protecting the environment, he wrote,

      St. John of the Cross taught that all the goodness present in the realities and experiences of this world is present in God eminently and infinitely, or more properly, in each of these sublime realities is God. This is not because the finite things of this world are really divine, but because the mystic experiences the intimate connection between God and all things, and thus feels that “all things are God.”

      There is an interesting essay about this here. If you Google “erotic mysticism of St. John of the Cross” and “ecstasy of St. Thérèse of Avila” there are numerous citations. Unfortunately, many of these discussions lead to two very obvious, but in my mind, very inevitable adaptations: one, to be apologetics for homoerotocism, and 2) “admittance” to an elitist re-creation of the heresy of Montanism. Personally, I found it all objectionable and a bit creepy.

      • Jane Rachel says

        There’s nothing creepy or objectionable to be found in The Spiritual Canticle of the Soul and the Bridegroom Christ by Saint John of the Cross, nor in the soul’s ecstatic experience when it is united perfectly with the Bridegroom. Wisdom is to experience Christ, not to analyze Him.

        The following Stanza VI speaks to the intense, unbearable longing of one’s soul for Christ, our Creator and our Beloved. He is Risen! He has ascended to heaven, and we MISS HIM! Honestly, I think that unbearable missing and longing for God, Who is personal, intimate, and perfect love – is what the Bride is lost in and searching for. “Where are You? We MISS YOU! Jesus, are You there? Father, are You there? Holy Spirit, are You there?”

        Saint Paul called it “the eternal weight of glory” (2 Cor 4:17).

        We wait for our Beloved to return so that we can be united with God -Trinity, One in Essence and Undivided – forever. We forget that the final sentence of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed is about to come to pass: “I look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.” Christ “WILL COME AGAIN with glory to judge the living and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.” This waiting and longing; this unbearable desire for the invisible God to reveal Himself to us is the reason we pray, the reason we gather together and break bread, the reason we say the Jesus Prayer, and the reason we live.

        “To live is Christ, to die is gain.” In other words, the experience of Saint John of the Ladder – this “eros maniakos” (crazy love between Bride/Church and Bridegroom/Christ) – cannot be understood, explained, or taught. The intimate love shared between a married couple is an icon of what the Bride of Christ will experience with the Bridegroom in the life of the world to come.

        STANZA VI
        THE BRIDE
        Oh! who can heal me?
        Give me perfectly Yourself,
        Send me no more
        A messenger
        Who cannot tell me what I wish.
        AS created things furnish to the soul traces of the Beloved, and exhibit the impress of His beauty
        and magnificence, the love of the soul increases, and consequently the pain of His absence: for the
        greater the soul’s knowledge of God the greater its desire to see Him, and its pain when it cannot;
        and as it sees there is no remedy for this pain except in the presence and vision of the Beloved,
        distrustful of every other remedy, it prays in this stanza for the fruition of His presence, saying:
        “Entertain me no more with any knowledge or communications or impressions of Your grandeur,
        for these do but increase my longing and the pain of Your absence; Your presence alone can satisfy
        my will and desire.” The will cannot be satisfied with anything less than the vision of God, and
        therefore the soul prays that He may be pleased to give Himself to it in truth, in perfect love.

        • M. Stankovich says

          Thank you for schooling me, Rachel, but apparently you didn’t somehow imagine there was a bit more to my comment, “On the one hand, there is a brilliance to this saint’s creativity to admire, but it is difficult, as a Christian of the Orthodox East, not to feel discomfort in the “ecstatic moments of climax” that have been reported to be as literal as the language suggests?” When I said, “They were, and remain, controversial, and with no parallel in the Orthodox East,” I was not referring to the “Romances,” which obviously are appropriately compared to the Song of Songs in their beauty. But as I distinctly recall one of my philosophy professors at Fordham, a Jesuit priest, say in indicating that we would not be pursuing the writings of John of the Cross, “I am unqualified to address the matter of a mystical contemplation resulting in the proverbial ‘happy ending.'” I strongly suggest we leave it at that.

          Perhaps it seems branché to refer to “eros maniakos” as “crazy love,” but this label certainly “misses the mark.” While we may be more familiar with the derivitive “maniakos” [μανιακός] ( which occurs exactly once in the Holy Scripture: Acts 26:24: “And Festus in a loud voice said, ‘You are insane [Μαίνῃ], Paul!’” ) and “mania” [μανία] (and ”maniac”), the church is accustomed to the word delivered by the Ancient Greek philosophers: “mainomai.” [μαίνομαι] from which is derived “eros manikos.” The difference between the two? It is not “crazy,” cum “insane,” nor 296.41 (Bipolar 1, Current or most recent episode, Manic), nor 296.89 (Bipolar II Disorder). No, instead we have inherited. for example, these colloquial expressions from the Anciet Greeks that should astound us: Aristotle described, “to be inspired by God [ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ μαίνομαι],” and he also described, “[the gifts] of a vine that is never done bearing fruit.” Socrates, then, used this expression, “πλεῖν ἢ μαίνομαι…” (“plein” meaning ”to sail” or to “sail away,”) to mean, “I am beside myself with…] a number of things, but most notably joy. Imagine!

          This leads me to the final point, which is to say it is a immense tragedy that we have all but abandoned the teaching of philosophy, classic literature, and fine art in our university systems. Bitch all you want about the Fathers of the Society of Jesus, but I am forever grateful for the education I received from the Jesuits in natural law, moral philosophy, and the classics of Ancient Greek philosophy. Enough said. But if you had read Plato’s Phaedrus, Rachel, you have found this as a starting point:

          You should rather say “madly”; and madness was the argument of them, for, as I said, “love is a madness.”

          The divine madness was subdivided into four kinds, prophetic, initiatory, poetic, erotic, having four gods presiding over them; the first was the inspiration of Apollo, the second that of Dionysus, the third that of the Muses, the fourth that of Aphrodite and Eros. In the description of the last kind of madness, which was also said to be the best, we spoke of the affection of love in a figure, into which we introduced a tolerably credible and possibly true though partly erring myth, which was also a hymn in honour of Love, who is your lord and also mine, Phaedrus, and the guardian of fair children, and to him we sung the hymn in measured and solemn strain.

          I’m thinking this is the path to follow, not St. John of the Cross. An Orthodox Christian could spend their entire lives reading nothing – and I mean nothing – more than the Ancient Greeks, the Holy Scriptures, and the Holy Fathers , and state on their deathbed, “I am beside myself with joy because I have eaten from a vine that is never done bearing fruit!” Imagine!

  4. Alitheia1875 says

    Let’s cut right to the chase. Orthodoxy doesn’t put any stock in the Marian apparitions in the Latin tradition. There is no doubt that Fatima occurred. It’s just a question of what appeared and who/what caused such an appearance. Talk of an “immaculate heart” is all the Orthodox need to know about the validity, not of the actual appearance, but of what was supposedly said. The visions did occur but they contained no truth. Russia has already been consecrated, by St. Vladimir, the Equal to the Apostles. And it has always been consecrated, even during the Bolshevik years. It remained consecrated because of the presence of ROCOR outside its borders and because of a catacomb church within its borders (which very possibly, even probably, still exists. This speculation about efficacy is troubling. Seriously troubling. The same goes for the speculation that the Theotokos was aware of intramural squabbles between Istanbul and Moscow would make a mockery of what, the consecration of Russia? Rubbish. That line of thought supports the Roman Catholic position of Fatima. As for Putin, Francis and Hilarion…..3 players who are clever, serious politicians who are not to be trusted. As a Russian priest friend of mine once said…..there’s no such thing as ex-KGB.

    • “there’s no such thing as ex-KGB.” Was also said by Putin himself, Alithea1875.

      The most telling quote of Putin, is when asked what was the biggest mistake of his life, he said, “I’ll be totally frank with you-I cannot recollect anything of the kind. It appears that the Lord built my life in a way I have nothing to regret.” Said the former KGB man.

  5. Michael Bauman says

    George, you might not know this, but the Marian Apparitions are a cottage industry in the “new age” environment which is nothing but one large itching ear. The ‘secrets’ have always seemed to smack of Gnosticism to me.

    Simply: the apparitions and their interpreters are not to be trusted. My brother once made a pretty extensive examination of the Garabandal apparition including visiting the site and actually talking with one of the surviving children. He came away troubled by it. Frankly, the apparitions become more and more openly demonic as you trace them through time. The last one at Medjugorje the RC’s don’t even trust.

    To take just one of them out of context of the whole story they present can lead to erroneous conclusions and launch oneself into some pretty dangerous areas.

    Mr. Osborne is quite right as is Aliethia
    Best to drop it.

    They are not to be trusted. Your excursion into fancy will lead nowhere worthwhile.

  6. lexcaritas says

    Remembering our all holy, immaculate, most blessed and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever virgin Mary, . . .

    O Protection of Christians that is not put to shame, unchanging Mediatrix before the Creator . . .

    Let’s not be over-sensitive and reactionary to the Latin use of terms like “immacualte” and (co)-Mediatrix with reference to our Lady, the Theotokos. We use the same terms; let us help them understand and use them correctly.

    Satan is the divider; our Lord is the one has broken down the dividing wall and reconciles us to God. Let us keep our eyes on Him and and words be of His wondrous works. In honoring His mother, we honor Him and remind ourselves and the world Who He is and Who we are called to be in Him.

    Christ is in our midst,
    lxc+

    • Antiochene Son says

      There is a huge difference between “immaculate” and “immaculate conception”. And the other term is “co-Redemtrix”, which is manifest heresy.

      These things may seem like minor differences, but they are not. Sometimes heresy comes down to one iota of difference. Let’s not hate RCs, but let’s also not pretend that we are all the same.

  7. One theory seems to be that the third secret warned against Vatican II. I am sympathetic to this idea and if what George posted is true then the heads of the RC are in an uncomfortable position. What do entrenched organizations do with bad news? Bury it and carry on with business as usual.

  8. There was nothing heretical or satanic in those three pure children. They were touched by God through the Theotokos.

    • Antiochene Son says

      Maybe not, but the innocent can be easily duped. It is Western Europe that has become a cesspit and needs to be reconsecrated to Our Lord, yet Francis continues to lead his communion into the meat grinder.

      We will take care of our fellow Orthodox, TYVM.

  9. Slightly confused? So gossip is OK if it promotes 3rd Rome, and Holy Russia narrative, regardless if true or false. First of all did Putin ask 100%. Is this fact or fiction? Thought we agreed against gossip?

    If true and rejected by the Pope, is he a modern day Pontius Pilate, or Saul and walks away with clean hands, forever cursed, or reborn, as Paul? Now then, can Putin bomb the hell out of Turkey, and return Constantinople to Greece, as Saint Paisios of Mount Athos predicted? Sainthood for Putin?

    Putin and Russian Orthodoxy need a Pope’s “blessing”, sure, and God needs Jews in Israel, before the second coming of Jesus Christ. Speaking of Jesus Christ is he Greek or Jewish?

    Ok I’m done being silly, how about you George? Wake me up when the seven sleepers of Ephesus arise.

  10. Early Bolshevik persecution was to force convert to Catholicism and Vatican
    played along, bolshevik consecrations. Didn’t work so then I guess plan B was
    Stragorodsky. Bolsheviks knew Russians Catholics been at it 1000 years and that
    would be their authority abuse thereof and ultimate humiliation for christians
    put a gun to your head bow down to the pope. Then didn’t JP second put the bullet
    he was grazed with into statue Virgin Mary I mean its like Godfather movie.

  11. Wayne Matthew Syvinski says

    George,

    I am a former Roman Catholic who converted to Orthodoxy about 15 years ago. I even studied to be a Roman Catholic priest. When it comes to Catholic visions and apparitions, I did not put much stock in them when I was Catholic, and I certainly do not advert to them as an Orthodox Christian.

    So please, please, please take my advice. When it comes to Catholicism, especially Pope Frank the 1: Leave. It. Alone. Run away, run silent, run deep, but run!

    As I have often read on the (very politically incorrect) blog This Ain’t Hell (But you can see it from here), “Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.” (No, George, I do not think you are stupid, but I can’t find a better way to express the idea.)

  12. Francis Frost says

    George:

    Sometimes, you simply astound me. Fatima and Orthodoxy? Really?

    Let’s try to unpack this.

    You have always described yourself as a “traditional”, if not “traditionalist” Orthodox Christian. Traditional Orthodox objections to what you describe as the “Robber Council” in Crete are predicated on that document’s description of heterodox communities as “churches”. The Orthodox church does not recognize anything outside itself as “church”. Therefore the Fatima apparitions and the devotions that derive from it cannot be of significance to the Orthodox. Period.

    If, indeed Metropolitan Hilarion or Mr. Putin actually asked the Roman Pope to “consecrate” Russia to the immaculate heart of Mary, they would by that very act; defect from the canonical Orthodox Church and declare themselves to be Roman Catholics, i.e, instant Uniates!.

    The suggestion that somehow the Orthodox Church requires some ministration from the Roman Pope is as absurd as it is insulting to the Holy Spirit. That suggestion presupposes that somehow our Orthodox Church is somehow defective or deficient. To suggest that, is to denigrate the work of the Holy Spirit, who is “everywhere present and fills all things”, who “heals every infirmity and fills every need”.

    As for ‘consecrating Russia’, what do you thing our holy fathers do every Theophany, when they perform the aghaismo? They are not just blessing a pot of water. They are consecrating all the waters and through those waters the entire cosmos. What more consecration do you need? Is not the holy sacrifice of the Eucharist offered “in behalf of all and for all”? Do you really think that a heterodox cleric can add anything to that?

    Where is your faith man?

    As for the “long game” that Mr. Putin is playing, let’s get real. Russia is more isolated than ever. Russia’s economy is stagnant while the rest of the world is experiencing record growth. After a 3 year reprieve, Russia’s population is again contracting exponentially.

    You claim that Ukraine is too diverse (14 languages) to be unified country. My dear sir, the Russian Federation encompasses 131 languages, the vast majority of which are neither Slavic nor Indo-European. As Russia’s population contracts, the minorities are becoming an ever greater portion of the whole. The Muslim nations within Russia are increasingly restive due to Mr, Putin’s drive to stamp out native languages and identities. Already the Muslim nation comprise over 20% of Russia’s population, and soon will be at the 30% mark. Already, ethnic Muslims comprise nearly 30% of the recruits in the Russian military. No doubt, Mr. Putin is planning his moves out far in advance; except he’s forgotten the most important move of all. He has no successor. You see, the fatal flaw of autocracy, is that the autocrat’s only retirement home is a coffin.

    Mr. Putin’s aggression against his neighbors has created a ring of people who despise him and his country. It was only AFTER the Crimean Anschluss and the invasion of Donbas that Ukrainians started deserting the UOC-MP in droves. So far, over 1/3 of the UOC-MP parishes and clergy have defected. Many more (including bishops) have declared their willingness to do so if the Russian aggression does not stop When all this does finally play out; it will be the Ecumenical Patriarchate who has to step in to pick up the pieces of what is left of the church. It is a crying shame and it is entirely Mr. Putin’s doing.

    A blessed fast to all your readers

    • George Michalopulos says

      Francis, this is your last chance: was NATO right to divide up Serbia? Yes or no. Otherwise no more commenting privileges.

      • A bit hard on the brother, in my opinion George, but then again I’m not the blogmaster. You are. Nor know his history with you, that well. Your point was made by pigeon holing him, apparently that is not enough.

        Actually Francis has good points, and is not spreading “murderous gossip”, or personally attacking anyone, like others are allowed to do in rambling fashion. He must strike a nerve in you that others do not.

      • Zorn Calebs says

        On July 7, 2017, eight Serbs beat to death a 22-year-old US citizen Bakari Henderson at a Zakynthos bar in Lagana. Further, throughout America, the “mute” Tzaikovsky swans are being destroyed because they are an invasive species. This is why Sicilians believe Russians and Serbs to be “white niggers” and most Greeks like living near Sicialis to be protected from dark legions.

        • George Michalopulos says

          In the case you describe, the American was in the process of sexually assaulting a Serbian waitress who had earlier resisted his amorous overtures.

          It was unfortunate but in this era of #metoo I thought that when a woman said “no” that meant no.

          • Herman Crier says

            Get with the program, read all those enlightening Oxbridgers: 30 May 2018 Guardian Germaine Greer has called for the lowering of punishment for rape and said. . . “Instead of thinking of rape as a spectacularly violent crime, and some rapes are, think about it as non consensual … that is bad sex. Sex where there is no communication, no tenderness, no mention of love.”

        • Linda Albert, says

          The swans are simply a European species of the genus Cygnus, of which the Whistling and Trumpeter swans are native to North America. They were imported to provide a decorative addition to private estates and public parks in the days when humans were clueless about the ecological damage that usually results with the importation of non native species of anything. Consider Africanized honeybees and kudzu. The native swans didn’t work for this purpose since, being not being semi domesticated like their European cousins, they retained their migratory instincts and behavior. It’s this lack of migratory behavior that make them a destructive species in the Chesapeake Bay area where they are consuming aquatic vegetation faster than it can grow back. It has nothing to do with them being ‘Russian’ or ‘Tchaikovsky’ swans, which they are not.

    • Joseph Lipper says

      Francis Frost,

      Excellent post. Please respond to George so that you can keep posting!

  13. Antiochene Son says

    “Russia’s economy is stagnant while the rest of the world is experiencing record growth.”

    They are also suffering sanctions because of MUH ELECTION MEDDLING, which continues to be completely unsubstantiated. God will repay (((those))) who are causing the Russian people to suffer needlessly.

    • Alitheia1875 says

      Are you serious? Unsubstantiated? Wow. You must live in a parallel universe like the one President Trump has invented to convince us the Russians haven’t interfered in US politics.

      • Antiochene Son says

        They haven’t.

        America, on the other hand, meddles in the elections of, probably, every country on the planet. But I guess it’s OK when we do it.

  14. The Fourth Rome says

    Never mind the Third Rome, a Fourth Rome rises…

    http://orthochristian.com/113539.html

  15. Gail Sheppard says

    It’s interesting to me that Pope Francis canonized Jacinta and Francisco Marto on May 13, 2017. These are the two children who were with Lucia dos Santos at Fatima. He did not, however, canonize Lucia.

    From the very beginning, the Vatican has had a problem with Lucia and seemingly CONTINUES to have a problem with Lucia. If Lucia is made a Saint it is because she saw and heard the Holy Mother. If she saw and heard the Holy Mother, how would they explain why they didn’t follow her instructions?

    Whether or not WE believe in the Fatima prophecies is immaterial. What’s important is that the Vatican believes in the prophecies of Fatima and it doesn’t look good for them. I’m not sure WE know everything THEY know, as there were multiple visitations over an extended period of time. The Vatican has already admitted to withholding at least one. If there are others, they may be so specific and so horrendous the Vatican can’t ignore them. Whatever Lucia told them has them rattled which is why they have made multiple, half-assed attempts toward consecrating Russia. I suspect they put off the canonization of the Fatima children in the hope they could “hitch their wagon” to ours following Crete, where the EP was confident he could redefine the meaning of “Church” to be more inclusive. Had he been successful, they could say Russia was one of the “two lungs” and everything would be hunky dory. Unfortunately (for them), that didn’t happen and the meaning of “Church” still means Orthodox. The thought of JOINING the Church is so unpalatable they are now trying to do everything up to and including acknowledging Russia’s sovereignty in Ukraine, hoping that will stay their execution. In the meantime, poor Lucia will have to wait for her canonization, but I’m sure God has already given her a crown. – Mark my words. . . even WORSE things are going to start coming out of the Vatican. They are in the process of imploding. God will not be mocked and I fervently believe these children saw what they saw and heard what they heard.
    .
    https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2017/05/13/pope-francis-makes-history-and-canonizes-jacinta-and-francisco-two-child-saints

    http://angelqueen.org/2017/03/28/pope-to-canonize-jacinta-and-francisco-but-what-about-sister-lucia/

    https://www.infocatho.fr/priere-a-soeur-lucie-de-fatima/

    • George Michalopulos says

      A lot to chew on Gail. Rumors abound that the third secret had to do with the whole paedophilia scandal.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        Yeah, a lot to chew on, George. I pulled a few headlines from the news just over the past few weeks. A cursory glance will tell you the Vatican is in freefall . . .

        1. A senior Vatican official who served as a diplomat to the US will face charges of possessing images that show child sex abuse, the Holy See said.

        2. The Vatican says it is open to discussing the ordination of married men and an official role for women, to address a shortage of priests in the Amazon region.

        3. Several German bishops have reacted with surprise, consternation, and criticism to the Vatican’s rejection of a proposal to allow Protestants married to Catholics to receive the Eucharist in certain circumstances.

        4. The Vatican is denying it is protecting the founder of a Peru-based conservative Catholic community who is accused of sexual and psychological abuse against minors and is being sought by Peruvian prosecutors.

        5. Catholics in the DRC have said preventive measures aimed at minimizing the risk of the spread of Ebola would remain in place in spite of reports of a slowdown in the number of new cases. Some of the measures taken especially by Archdiocese of Mbandaka-Bikoro include the suspension of Baptisms, Confirmations, Anointing of the Sick or Ordinations in regions affected by the outbreak. Holy Communion was to be administered to the hand instead of the tongue. Handshakes as a Sign of Peace have also been suspended.

        6. Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, will take part in the Bilderberg Conference.

        7. “They call me a heretic.” Not the words you’d expect to hear from the head of the Roman Catholic Church. But that’s what Pope Francis told a group of fellow Jesuits in Chile earlier this year, acknowledging the fierce pushback from arch-conservatives in the Vatican.

        8. The Vatican on Sunday announced a temporary replacement for an Australian archbishop who was convicted of concealing child sex abuse by a fellow priest in the 1970s. The 67-year-old was found guilty of having concealed the abuse of altar boys in the 1970s by a pedophile priest colleague, James Fletcher when he was an assistant parish priest in the state of New South Wales.

        9. The Vatican has made an unexpected foray into the secular culture scene, opening an ambitious exhibition at the Venice Architecture Biennale for the very first time. Eduardo Souto de Moura’s minimalist chapel, which won him the Golden Lion for best participant, “is not a chapel, not a sanctuary and in any case not a tomb,” per the architect’s statement. “It is simply a place enclosed by four stone walls, while another stone at the center might be the altar.”

        10. The Vatican communique also noted that the Pope will host a second group of clerical abuse victims from Chile at the Santa Marta residence from 1-3 June. It said that Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Monsignor Jordi Bertomeu will return to Chile as part of their ongoing mission to reach out to the victims of abuse by the Chilean priest Father Fernando Karadima and his followers and carry out further investigations into the case.

        11. The Commission for the Protection of Minors, established by Pope Francis in 2014, and led by Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley, has no competence or authority to hold bishops accountable — or to deal with individual cases of sex abuse. They are charged with educating bishops’ conferences, and through them, the entire church, on best practices to prevent abuse and to handle cases that arise. It is an advisory body, not a juridical one.

        12. Pope Paul VI, who had the task of closing the Second Vatican Council in 1965, will be canonized in St Peter’s Square together with Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, and another four saints of charity, during the Synod of Bishops in the Vatican. But the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints also requires a miracle. That miracle occurred in 2014 when an unborn child was inexplicably healed in her mother’s womb. On a visit to Brescia, Paul VI’s birthplace, she prayed to him for her child’s recovery which, contrary to all medical predictions, was complete, and she gave birth to a healthy baby girl.

        13. Catholics who participate in the World Meeting of Families in Dublin in August or pray with their families during the Aug. 21-26 event can receive a plenary indulgence, the Vatican announced. The conditions necessary for receiving a plenary indulgence include having recently gone to confession, receiving the Eucharist and offering prayers for the intentions of the pope.

        14. Pope Francis poses with Chilean bishops after a meeting at the Vatican, May 17, 2018. (You have to see this picture to appreciate how many bishops were talking about.
        Some of them are SMILING in this picture: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-chile-abuse-pope/as-vatican-meeting-on-chilean-abuse-ends-fate-of-bishops-uncertain-idUSKCN1II2S7)

        • George Michalopulos says

          As usual, Gail, you are on top of things. Thank you. You are indeed a treasure!

      • Jane Rachel says

        George, where is there anything online about the “third secret” at Fatima having anything to do with paedophilia, and why do you mention it here? I hate to even type out the word.

  16. Gail Sheppard says

    Jane,

    I don’t want to speak for George but a lot of people don’t think we’ve heard (read) the full text of the prophecies.

    Here’s an article that articulates the concerns. How much stock should we put in this? Hard to say. Why does it matter? Every time our name (the Orthodox Church) appears in the news with the Pope, people associate us with them. Many Evangelicals already think we’re a cult. If some of these stories prove to be true, it would translate into fewer converts for us and the salvation of many might not be possible. It’s a matter of guilt by association.

    http://www.trinfinity8.com/fatima-prophesy-the-3rd-secret-becomes-true/

  17. George Constantine Michalopulos says

    More on Fatima/Consecration of Russia from a Catholic perspective:

    https://youtu.be/GhptrDgnufQ

  18. It’s a bit strange to think that the 3rd secret could be so horrifying and unmentionable when Christianity (which for convenience will also include Roman Catholicism today) has already told us the worst of it: you’re fallen from paradise; you’re tempted by demons; the world will end; there is eternal hell.

    After going this far, you’d almost think that there’d be nothing worse that the 3rd secret could tell us