So I Guess It’s Going to be Hardball Folks . . .

Well, looks like I was wrong.  I thought that after the debacle that was Ukraine, His Holiness, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople would have learned his lesson.  You know, once burnt, twice shy –that sort of thing.

Obviously not, at least according to this report.  

It looks like the EP is going to tighten his grip on the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.  He’s playing hardball especially with His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios of the United States.  It seems he has wanted Demetrios to tender his resignation for several years now.  My guess is that he’s been perturbed with Demetrios since it was the latter who demanded that the Orthodox Church in America be included in the Assembly of Canonical Bishops in the U.S.    (Looks like Gail Sheppard, one of our esteemed correspondents, was right after all:  Archbishop Demetrios was our firewall, buying us some time here in America so that we could regroup.)

And now, that the Patriarch of Moscow has reasserted the original tomos of autocephaly for the OCA, that’s going to make the CP’s plans a little more complicated.

Then (according to this same report) there’s the fact that Russia is planning on establishing Greek-speaking parishes throughout the United States. 

Yup, things are getting pretty interesting.  Big changes are coming down the pike.

(Courtesy Theodore Kalmoukos,, The National Herald.)


  1. Interesting article, if true.

    I personally am finished with Constantinople. The case should be made by all that they have voluntarily left the Church and their mysteries lack grace. The last part is particularly important. Their baptisms, ordinations, etc. should no longer be recognized and they should be denied communion at any Orthodox church.

    Other than that they should be given no attention and I intend to mend my own ways in that respect. Other than the offhand referral to “heretics under the CP”, I intend to ignore them.

    Beginning Greek usage parishes under the MP is certainly in order. I’m sure there are those under the CP who have a conscience and will be looking to leave the dead vine.

    The vital thing now is to treat each and everyone under Constantinople as non-Orthodox. Then this whole tragedy will pass, the heresiarch in Istanbul can go wherever he likes or say or do whatever he likes without any more controversy for us in Orthodoxy than the statements of the head of the Mormons or the Dalai Lama.

    I fully blame both the laity and clergy of the CP for this. They deserve excommunication. Even the Athonites. Everyone under Bartholomew is behaving either as complicit or hopeless cowards. Now is the time for them to abandon ship and return to the Orthodox Church. They may not do so if they are allowed to maintain the false illusion that they remain within the Church.

    • It might be worth adding for benefit of Americans that in early 1990s Bartholomaios made several uk visits . I was then working in London and as bartholomaios had just been elected I had no negative view beyond having gained a feeling that Constantinople could not be trusted to maintain tradition. I attended Vespers in St Sophia Bayswater  Cathedral and liturgy in Wood Green north London Holy Trinity Church. He speaks excellent english that I will say.
      Memories now are of a papal like work up to these visits via Church and medium of London Greek Radio.  . Remember this was the hey day of John Paul worship..
      I recall the  mass event, concert venue of Alexander Palace in North London was booked,  for a ‘John Paul type’  ‘ meet and greet ‘ show. 
      In the event , We did not go,  it was an embarrassing failure with thin crowd in a vast area. 
      The London Greek cypriots were not impressed.   ‘ We got work, he can visit us at home ‘ were comments I heard. 
      Also that Bartholomaios and his entourage referendum to uk greek ,mostly cypriot, church ,as το φισιατικο!! ?.   They were happy to collect the money from the fish and chips and maybe enjoyed some too. 

      • Nikos wrote: ‘We got work, he (the CP/EP) can can visit us at home.’
        Me: Classic
        ln any case, the CP/EP through his Roman-inspired, radical spirit of individuality, has cut himself off from the earliest Apostolic principles which guided the Holy Church. “It seems good to the Holy Spirit and to us…” Not ‘it seems good to me…’ There have got to be some conscientious hierarchs somewhere who have possible, suitable replacements in mind.

        • Yes. And he now seeks to send one of yr USA pseudo bureaucratic pretend monk bishop to uk .
          While Grigorios, the current old and ill archbishop has his failings,he was and is a decent, devout man, close to his people and whopreserved tradition with an openess to British society that he in Uk from 1950s knew well . 
          If bartholomaios new man If  and when comes,starts to push USA ideas liturgical etc, he will have big shock. 

    • Michael Woerl says

      Ditto! Exactly what needs to happen!

    • “I personally am finished with Constantinople. The case should be made by all that they have voluntarily left the Church and their mysteries lack grace. The last part is particularly important. Their baptisms, ordinations, etc. should no longer be recognized and they should be denied communion at any Orthodox church.”
      Please send your memo to the dying man that I communed today. He came to the US as a refugee from the USSR, and is a member of ROCOR (however we have no ROCOR parish nearby). He is a profoundly faithful man, and very informed about all that is happening. He still thinks that I am a priest, and wants me to minister to him.
      Your view lacks mercy. The ink is barely dry on the wretched tomos, and the canonical process is just beginning, and you have already made your pronouncements.  
      I hope you are ready for the Lord’s eternal judgement, since you are so ready to declare it for others.
      Fortunately our Good Lord isn’t quite done with any of us, even if you are ready to toss some of us into the rubbish.

      • Constantinos says

        Misha is the only true Orthodox Christian left in the world. If his views ever became mainstream, that would be truly scary indeed.

      • GOA “priest”,

        I meant what I said and it was a serious mistake for the Russian Orthodox man to receive any purported “mysteries” from outside the Church. May God have mercy on his soul. There are always Roman or Uniate vultures around in these cases, no?

        Better to receive from an Episcopalian priestess. At least no one is then pretending it has any significance.

        Like I said, better to be through with these heretics and wolves in sheep’s clothing, enemies of Christ. You do no favors by offering the poison of the sine paribus heresy, no matter what anyone thinks. You would say the same thing about “mercy, mercy!” if it were a Roman priest offering sacraments. This is because you have no core beliefs, only comfortable emotions.

        I reject your pity contest and reject your clerical malpractice.

        • Constantinos says

          Whoa! Misha, your “orthodoxy” is very dangerous and divisive. It is impossible for the Greek Orthodox to be ” outside,”for without the Greeks there is no Orthodoxy.  The Greek Orthodox Church is always the core of  the true Church. If you break fellowship with the Greek Orthodox, you are guilty of the sins of schism and heresy. If you want pure Orthodox Christianity, the Greeks are “the shining city upon the hill.” In my opinion, you are a heretic, and your “orthodoxy” is a toxic perversion of the true faith. You can’t even understand Orthodoxy without a thorough understanding of Hellenism. Despite his mistakes, the Ecumenical Patriarch is still the spiritual leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians. The Russian Orthodox Church began this divisiveness by not showing up at the Council in Crete. They have no excuse. The Greek Orthodox Church will always be the true core of Orthodox Christianity. Also, the monks of Mt. Athos completely contradict your beliefs in toll houses. Watch the CBS documentary on Mt. Athos. They will always commemorate the Ecumenical Patriarch. The rogue ROCCOR is totally wrong to have broken fellowship with the Greek Orthodox Church. The Greek Orthodox Church will always be full of grace and truth.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            It is the EP who has “broken fellowship.” He broke fellowship with his brother bishops and in doing so, forfeited his traditional role as first among equals. This is not a minor wrinkle in the Church that will smooth itself out and some later date. The EP has crossed the Rubicon and he’s not done yet. The only way back is repentance and he has shown no inclination in this regard. If he doesn’t repent, you’re going to have to choose. Are you going to follow a leader who has broken ties with his brother bishops? Because if you do, you will be leaving the “true” Church.

            • Gail, since you are offended by the term militant, I will change that to legalist. The EP, just like us, when way off the mark, excommunicates himself. One man cannot destroy The Greek Orthodox Church. Yours and Misha’s comments are not Christ like at best, and reckless at worst. As I have posted before we are quick to forgive our own family, but hesitant to forgive other’s.
              And why not say,”Let us do evil that good may come.”?- as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just.-Romans 3:8
              God is much larger than the boxes we try to contain Him into. The Body and Blood of Christ will not leave Greek Orthodoxy, because of one leader, whether our own, or not. He will not live, nor lead forever, a Church that has survived 2000 years,and against much worse calamities. The only decision and choice, I am witnessing by the militant and legalist given here, to be made, is whether to condemn or not. 

              • Please understand I am not saying one Patriarch is better or worse, they have chosen their path, and pattern to achieve “their goals”. For one to excommunicate the other is just as ridiculous as one believing he is freeing a nation from the boot of their oppressors.Team east and team west have forgotten their is only one team in Orthodoxy. As usual the only ones that will suffer will be those who allow themselves to be pawns. God’s Will, will always prevail, no matter how many circle dances in minutia we entertain, and debate.

                The MP is now asking the laity to choose, as are you now Gail and rest of you with the Russian blind spot. MP and EP have skeletons, corrupt alliances, old news. This Ukraine business all came about because leaders did not trust in God, but nations who are more than happy to hand them a bag of silver.

                Isaiah 30 comes to mind:

                “Woe to the rebellious children,” says the Lord, “Who take consul, but not of Me, and who devise plans, but not of My Spirit, that they may add sin to sin; Who walk to go down to Egypt, And have not asked My advice, To strengthen themselves in the strength of a Pharaoh, And to trust in the shadow of Egypt! Therefore the strength of Pharaoh Shall be your shame, and trust in Egypt shall be your humiliation. For his princes were at Zoan, and his ambassadors came to Hanes. They were all ashamed of people who could not benefit them, or be help, or benefit, but a shame and also reproach.”

                No one is forced to choose either sell out. Orthodoxy is larger than the bloated heads who wear crowns of kings, ruled by Pharaohs, of corrupt nations.

            • Constantinos says

              Hi Gail,
              Thank you for praying for my son. He is doing much better.
              The folks at Orthodox Christian Laity have a different opinion, but then again, they’re not fundamentalists. The only group that has broken fellowship with the Ecumenical Patriarch is the Russian Orthodox Church.
              Did not the Moscow Patriarch break fellowship with his brother bishops when he blessed nuclear weapons? There are many Orthodox Christians who believe that the Ecumenical Patriarch was well within his rights when he granted the Ukrainians autocephaly. Russia is under US sanctions right now because of their nefarious actions in the Ukraine. As soon as the Moscow Patriarch blessed Russia’s nuclear weapons aimed at the US, he placed himself outside the Church, in my opinion, so the EP has the right to grant autocephaly to the Ukrainians. Hasn’t the MP broken faith with his brother bishops because of his support of the scabrous dictator Vladimir Putin, the most evil dictator on the face of the earth because of his possession of over five thousand nuclear weapons, and his assassination of his enemies?

              • George Michalopulos says

                Costa, I’m glad to see that your son is doing better. If you would like, I’m sure others on this blog would love to pray for him as well. I can reach out to those who might be interested (but only with your permission). Please advise.

          • Michael Bauman says

            Constantinos, wrong again

          • Constantinos: “without the Greeks there is no Orthodoxy”
            The first original Christians were not Greek. Their roots were Jewish while Greeks formed and existed for many centuries, as pagans. Perhaps some want to return to their pagan roots? Greeks are just a branch, not the root.
            ” you must not brag about being grafted in to replace the branches that were broken off. You are just a branch, not the root. “Well,” you may say, “those branches were broken off to make room for me.” Yes, but remember—those branches were broken off because they didn’t believe in Christ, and you are there because you do believe. So don’t think highly of yourself, but fear what could happen. For if God did not spare the original branches, he won’t spare you either. “

            • Constantinos says

              Dear Martin,
              I was talking about the gentiles.

              • Tim R. Mortiss says

                Well, there were some Galatians in there early on.

              • Constantinos says

                Mr. Bauman,
                It seems like you don’t agree with me on many occasions. That’s alright; everybody has a right to be wrong.(just kidding)
                On a serious level, I would like to make a prediction. Here goes: The Ecumenical Patriarch will weather the storm, and the Russian Orthodox Church will end their schism. Now, how about that!!

              • Panos Faritas says

                No, but in modern terms, if the Greeks ever left the Orthodox Church large scale, the West would see Orthodoxy as Oriental Despotism and cease to give it any credibility. 

                • George Michalopulos says

                  On what do you base this assertion on? If what you say is true, then Orthodoxy in America (which is Greek dominated) would be in the upper tier of our national religions. Instead, it is withering on the vine as we speak.

                • Panos Faritas: “if the Greeks ever left … the West would see Orthodoxy as Oriental Despotism and cease to give it any credibility”
                  What do you mean by “credibility”? Which countries of the world do you count as “the West”?

                  • Nikos stone says

                    I am greek but it was the russian emmigration post civil war in 20s  who really brought Orthodox church in Terms of intellectual and cultural tradition to west ,as USA too.  Especially in  France and UK ,with such people as Nicholas Zernov,Obolensky, Schmeman, Meyendorf, Bishop Kassian, fr Sergei Bulgakov, even allowing for his Sophia philosophy ,Mother Maria of Paris  , Fr Lev Gillet, fr and later Bishop Anthony Bloom in Uk .  FR Sophrony, the staretz who founded Essex Uk, monastery of St John Baptism etc etc. The wonderful choir of Rue Daru Paris Cathedral and, and, and 

              • The Greeks still are Gentiles. The word simply means ‘anyone who is not a Jew’.

          • Wait… what? Are you not aware that there were several times in history when the Patriarchate of Constantinople did, in fact, leave Orthodoxy? During the time of iconoclasm, for example, in the 8th and 9th centuries. And before that, there were monothelite Patriarchs of Constantinople in the 7th century. And before that, the heretic Nestorius was Patriarch of Constantinople in the 5th century. And before that, Arians occupied Constantinople for most of the 4th century.
            Also, by the way, the Russian Orthodox Church hasn’t broken communion with “the Greeks”. Most Greeks live in Greece, and are under the Archbishop of Athens. The Russian Orthodox Church has not broken communion with Athens. Only with Constantinople.
            Stop thinking in ethnic terms. The problem is Bartholomew and his supporters. It doesn’t matter if they happen to be Greeks or whatever else. The problem is their anti-Orthodox ideas. Simply being Greek doesn’t mean you can’t be a heretic. There have been plenty of Greek heretics in the past.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Well said, Mike. Also, Patriarch Cyril VI Loukaris (ca 17 century) was a Calvinist who (in his own words) despised icons.

              • George, Lukaris is certainly an interesting character. Was he condemned or excommunicated by his fellow bishops?

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Don’t know. He was removed and reinstated six times. Finally the Sultan had him garroted.

                  • George wrote: “…the Sultan had him garroted.”
                    Are there any current, functional Sultans alive today?

        • Misha, I am curious, in which church do you worship? I can’t imagine that any Church is correct enough for you.

        • Misha,
          You are certainly daring! Proposing to speak for God and His Church, it seems you are master of much, and an expert of none. 
          Your words remind me of those who bind heavy burdens, hard to bear. 

          • George Michalopulos says

            GOA Priest, I hear you. But you must understand a few things: 1) Misha vocalizes what a lot of people are thinking. 2) His verbiage (as well as our outrage) were precipitated by the papalist actions of the EP, who sought to create an ecclesial body that is based on hatred.

            Misha may be outspoken and intemperate, but he’s not wrong.

            • George, according to Misha’s ecclesiology you are outside the boundaries of the church. Your sacraments are useless and in fact an abomination. Connect the dots and you will understand my point.

            • Tim R. Mortiss says

              As for Misha’s recent posts, I remember: “Who is this who darkens counsel, by words without knowledge?….Were you there when I laid the foundations of the Earth? Surely you know.” He claims to ‘know’.
              So, “yesterday” our congregation and our devout priest were Orthodox, and “today” we are outside the Church? Because we are “under” the EP? (Whatever ‘under’ is supposed to mean…..)

            • 1. Just because people think it doesn’t make it correct. 
              2. Words have meaning, and mean and angry words are just that, mean and angry words.
              And actually George, Misha is wrong.

              • Gail Sheppard says

                Misha does not sound “mean” or “angry” to me. He sounds empathic.

                • Gail,
                  He referred to me as a priest in quotation marks. He called the my act of communing a dying man “clerical malpractice.” He said it would be better if said dying man had receive Holy Communion from an “Episcopalian Priestess.” Etc….
                  Step outside yourself for a moment and try to be objective.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    In defense of Misha again, while I would not use his same verbiage, the fact remains that as long as Bartholomew’s scandalous actions remain in place, and unless they are corrected forthwith, there is a very real danger of schism. At which point, those who are in communion with the neo-papalists (and it will come to that) are themselves in schism. And at that point, the divine mysteries performed by those clergymen will be without grace.

                    I realize that this sounds inflammatory (and I’m going out on a limb here assuming the following) but as Orthodox Christians both you and I agree that we have grave doubts as to whether the sacraments of the Western churches are spiritually profitable. After all, as a GOA priest, I assume that you would never recommend that I take Communion from a Catholic, Anglican or Protestant clergyman. In fact, you would say I would have excommunicated myself.

                    • Sorry George but the direction you, Gail, and Misha are taking here is hard to stomach. The Ukraine snowball which began here months ago is now what Trump is to CNN, 24/7. Hard to keep interest in a blog that only concerns itself mostly with one topic, and a bias that is now asking us to CHOOSE! Kinda like if your for Trump you ARE a Racist! Now at Monomakhos is down to who is the true Orthodox Christian.

                      Misha might mean well, but is dead wrong, and so are you, Gail, and your cohorts. Cast the first stone kind of thing, comes to mind. This EP decision did not come out the blue, without any history involved, some history and hidden fact we know nothing about. All this Greek Orthodox condemnation taken at face value really begs the question; is anyone “really truly” Orthodox, and who decides? A better question might beg, are we really Christians, or just cult and team cheerleaders. We have now begun to eat each other, and this NOT what a true and healthy religion does.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      If all this is so hard to stomach, Dino, do what you did a few years ago when the EP demanded an immediate audience with Archbishop Demetrios, as NGOS went up in smoke and the contractors publically announced the GOA wasn’t paying their bills, so he could tell him he was going to blame it all on him. Do what you did when the EP was making a statue of himself for the Vatican and talking about how to resolve the primacy issue with Rome so he could unite with the pope. Do what you did during Crete when three-fourths of the Church didn’t show up. Do what you did in November 2017 when the EP failed to join his brother bishops so he could express his displeasure with Trump naming Jerusalem the capital. Do what you did when the EP announced his decision to go into another bishop’s territory and make a group of schematics, canonical. In other words, continue to put your head in the sand and speak as if you are some sort of an authority on what’s going on. You have only been marginally present so to say those of us, especially George, who has spent hours and hours researching and reporting these things is “dead wrong,” is dead wrong.

                    • Christopher says

                      “…And at that point, the divine mysteries performed by those clergymen will be without grace…”
                      Ignoring all the if’s piled up in your theological calculus, this is a theological opinion and not a dogmatic assertion.  citing the Fathers is not enough, because counter citations are  available.  Not ignoring the if’s  – Misha is wrong because he has asserted the Church is already, at present, without Grace (based on geography, and even hierarchical silence on ecclesiastical –  and not dogmatic – kerfuffles).  Ecclesiological kerfuffles are not dogma until a council declares them so and the Church accepts said council.  Misha is neither a council nor the Church. 
                      I reject, even despise what progressive Orthodox say about “fundamentalism” and Traditional Orthodoxy being a kind of “neurosis”.  That said, Misha’s ill-tempered (and frankly ignorant) declarations of where Grace is and is not within Orthodoxy points to the truth in what they are seeing…

                    • Sorry Gail, 
                      I will offer less of my opinion. 
                      Orthodoxy is very lucky to have you.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      The evil eye you included with your comment was removed but I’ll take what you said in that context.

                    • As you wish. A bit glib.  It’s another dreaded Greek thing. Meant for both of us. From those on both sides of true militants who would wish us the evil eye. Yes I know the cross and Christ is all we need, but I came here as a proud Greek and will go out as one as well. I’m going down with the ship, and let the Lord sort out the rest of the mess, not created by me. Have a blessed life, I’m finally truly checking out from Monomakhos. Pray for us wretched on the other side of  faux Orthodoxy.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      Dino, if you think I’m going to willingly leave you or anyone else on the other side of the divide, think again. We are going to be ONE Church in this country, which includes you Greeks. I would not be OK with any other scenario. Neither would George. His CHILDREN are in the Greek Church!

              • Constantinos says

                Anyone who takes Misha seriously is a neo conservative warmonger. Misha and his ilk remind me of the notorious Bill Kristol of Weekly Standard infamy. Like Misha, they were too cowardly to serve in the US armed forces, but they’re chomping at the bit to send other people’s children off to wars that benefit the militant manufacturers of US weapons systems. These neo conservatives are stealing from the poor to give to the rich. Fortunately, we have our Savior’s words, ” He who lives by the sword dies by the sword.” Thus, ever to all these chicken hawk, neo conservative, phony warmongers. George, you, Misha and Martin really need to enlist in the US Marine Corps whose motto is “the spirit of the bayonet is to kill.” Then, at least you won’t be all phony, hypocritical cowards. Warmongers nauseate me because to quote Dr. Stankovich, they stink of beta male faggotry. I wonder if the demons have a toll house for warmongers. Sheeesh! And they wonder why Orthodoxy is all but dead and buried.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Costa, while I take your vituperation towards the neocons to heart, I must come to Misha’s defense. He may be many things, but he’s definitely not a “neo-conservative”. Almost all of those Trotskyites hate Russia to a man.

        • Unfortunately, Misha’s comments lack mercy, discernment and common sense. They also demonstrate abysmal ignorance of canon law and recent ecclesiastical history. His disposition is even worse: talking to a priest like that! May God illumine you brother! If Cnople is heretical then the MP is too since they commemorate Churches that Cnople is in communion with. 
          In the past, Cnople went into communion with the Living Church, a group or a renovationist schismatics anathematized by St. Tikhon. The Russians highly criticized this move but the MP did not hold that Cnople automatically lost grace. As a matter of fact, ROCOR had dealings with the EP during this same period (e.g. Met Anastassy was present at the Pan-Orthodox congress presided over by Pat. Meletios; Met. Anthony Khrapovitsky even advised restraint for those who thought the EP was graceless because of the New Calendar). Met. Anthony said that THEY would end up graceless instead!
          The canons aren’t land mines, St. Nikodemos said they have to be enforced by a living Synod of bishops. Has Moscow officially and synodically declared the EP and every person under him to be in schism? NO. They even allow Russians to commune with the Russian Athonites of St. Panteleimon’s, and they commemorate the EP. Being Russian goes a long way! Unfortunately, Misha has fallen into the neopapism he despises so much due to making declarations unilaterally. 

      • I could not quite work out if u are supoortive of Constantinople or not. However I understand fully where u coming from .  The situation with the dying man is one we all may  face.
        My late greek mother was given Catholic last rites in Uk hospital ,BY MY REQUEST ,because as this very devout  spiritual greek lady,much suffered,lay dying  the local greek priest refused to come to the hospital or answer his phone. And worse  
        My late mother was begging me for the sacraments. I have no apologising to make. Is there any pharasee on this blog who will sit down and lecture me.  I suggest they go lecture the priest.  Who by the way refused to come because of the cost in petrol of a 6km   journey there and back and would i have not re-embursed him.???? 
        God will provide what is lacking and  judge our stiffness of spirit and forgive our failings. 

        • Nikos,
          I don’t support what has happened, and feels saddened about it. However, I also do not believe that because of what the EP has done that I am no longer a canonical priest, that the sacraments are no longer valid, that every yiayia and papou is a heretic, etc. Such a view is nonsense. I have not “joined” myself to a heretic, since the EP hasn’t been formally declared to be a heretic, schismastic, or whatever. There has been no formal ecclesiastical trial.
          There is a canonical process in place, and over time, it will play out according to God’s will.
          As for the situation you experienced with your mother’s illness and passing, I am so very sorry. As you know, priests are human beings, and as such, far from perfect. That priest who has asked to minister to your mother at the end of her life will be asked to give an account before the Lord’s Judgement Seat. The most that we can do is pray that God have mercy on that priest, and the he be forgiven of the sin he committed against one of his charges.
          But like the current situation, God is the Judge, and He will have mercy on whomever He wishes, according to His wisdom, and the hearts that HE ALONE knows.

          • Thank you re my late mother.   Fr re Ukrainian events.  I personally do not hold that devoid of grace.  That is known to God. I do not think God leaves his people.starving.  Even non christians. And we do not deny Catholic church has sacraments which is my rational for asking rc priest re my mother in thst disgusting chain of events.
            And as said when EP recognised living church we did not deny sacraments to EP. 
            All that does not stop me from how I see events and I am totally critical of EP and so not agree with stand it has taken. 
            Many people on this blog confuse Politics and Church.  I personally as often said do not warm to Kyril and his total adherance to Putin but support of Church of Russia has sod all to do with support of Russia. 
            I am as happens a russophile but as elsewhere I have posted, it does not stop me being critical of the path  at times of Russian Orthodoxy including now..
            It often failed the test and the stance it took regarding Culture etc pre Peter Great was to be blunt almost taliban like in some respects . Denying music, secular painting. Shaving, and u know my views on this re clergy.  And i am not supporting the westernized trend from Peter Great. But in both cases I am against extremes as in end the Church showed itself to be against extremes . Perhaps it’s denial of smoking was to be totally commented! !!!
            We should remember historical example of donatists in North Africa. 
            Also if so called Patrarch Denisenko,actually de frocked lay man and crook, turned up in yr church I would hope you would not celebrate with him. This is aspect of EP action that ofends me the most as a person and as Orthodox. 
            On wider issue we all need to stop having God in our pocket. Especially the old Testament early prinitive anthropomorphic God. If i want to know the mind of God I GO TO THE GOSPELS.  TO CHRIST NOT TO OLD TESTAMENT . I am not a Muslim or a Jew. YES WE ARE ALL JEWS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT and in this sense I AM a Jew and proud of it, BUT THROUGH AND WITH CHRIST .
            U guys are soaked in american protestantism and its attitude . I will get bashed for saying this but will say it. As i will say that modern science INCLUDING EVOLUTION gives me faith and informs my faith far more than any six day literally believing minor tribal deity that some need to believe in. Biblical fundamentalist share actually the modern inability to think out side of concrete type thinking  lacking any subtlely.  QUITE UNGREEK!!! .

    • Deep breathes Misha. Deep breathes. 

    • Misha says: “I say this simply because it has actually happened in the liberal Protestant confessions”

      This is exactly what comes to my mind frequently, especially the evolution or devolution of Episcopalian/Anglican Church. One thing I learned from their example, was that the very same people who call for tolerance, forgiveness and being relevant, while promoting their modernist subversive ideas, when they seize control of their churches, become harsh and cruel to the people who want to be true Christians.
      Let us pray for the persecuted Orthodox in the Ukraine. We owe mercy and compassion to them first, not so much to their persecutors (unless we pray for the conversion and repentance of the later).

  2. The schismatic from Istanbul is desperate. It is a rather sad thing to witness.

  3. Austin Martin says

    Lolz no. Bartholomew has no real power, and Demetrios is a ruling bishop. Bart can’t do jack without the approval of the synod, which isn’t going to happen, because the patriarchate is too reliant on the GOA.

    A few years ago Methodios of Boston excommunicated an entire parish council. Bart pitched a fit, and Methodios told him to kick rocks.

    These interjurisdictional wars are just theater. “Buying time”? For what?

    Bart simply does not understand the nature of politics. He’s an ideologue who assumes that because the world should be one way that therefore it will be. In this sense he’s not much different from Met Jonah.

    • Antiochene Son says

      <b>”Bart simply does not understand the nature of politics. He’s an ideologue who assumes that because the world should be one way that therefore it will be.”</b>
      Perhaps that; or perhaps he is being told what to do by interested parties (the Turkish and US governments, for instance) who do not understand that he is not the Pope. Or perhaps some of each.

  4. Austin Martin says

    You sound like someone in the OCA desperately trying to prove yourself as the “real” Orthodox. Or ROCOR. Same difference.

    • Will Harrington says

      Mr. Martin. If you are trying to persuade anyone, then you are doing yourself no favors.

      • Austin Martin says

        I meant to type that as a reply to Misha, but it posted as its own comment.
        I’m a convert in the GOA. I’m not married to a Greek or anything. Just a straight convert.
        The other jurisdictions dump on us all the time, but do they have any room to talk? They say the hierarchy of the EP is terrible, but is the OCA or ROCOR hierarchy any better? At least we don’t ordain every washed up Episcopalian who comes knocking on our door.
        No, people hate the GOA out of jealousy. They want what the Greeks have but don’t want the Greeks.
        You know what the Greeks most certainly don’t have? We don’t have anything like New Skete.

        • Hi as a greek leaving aside the current issues, we do get some stick. I give some, but yes agree to degree.  What is New Skete?. I know it’s a monastery!??  Keep the faith,  hopefully organ and harmonium free!!   And to what is meaningful. 

        • Tim R. Mortiss says

          My own trajectory from Protestantism is a familiar-enough one, with the possible exception that it took about 35 years of what I call ‘fellow-traveling’ before I converted. Then, I was evangelized by my youngest son, who had seen all of that during his upbringing, and suggested it was time to sign up with the Orthodox. So we joined together. His four children were baptized in the Church a year or so ago.
          This of course in no way made me a better Orthodox (arguably the opposite), but it has had the advantage that I don’t get exercised much at all about these questions. I am following these jurisdictional discussions with mild interest but without much else.
          I knew the local GOA and OCA churches pretty well. I chose GOA because it is in my city center. I have certain criticisms of the Greeks, mostly pertaining to their Greekness, but don’t lose any sleep over them. I endorse the fact that we pay our priests a living wage.
          At 70, I am way past tossing cyber-anathemas around; and that sort of  thing never fit my temperament, anyway.

          • It had been bothering me – the seeming self-destruction of the Church – but I now understand what God is doing.
            He is purging the Church.
            He is using the apostates among us to prune the vine.  Their way leads to death and He is forcing that faithful remnant of the Church, however many may be, to choose life or death.
            Those hierarchs and laity who wish to remain Orthodox will have to pay a price:  They will have to let go of the dead portions of the vine – to let the dead bury their dead.  Those who wish to remain Orthodox will have no choice, no matter how much they hate it or how reluctant they might be to condemn. 
            They will do so, if they wish to remain Orthodox, because that is the only means of preserving the integrity of Orthodoxy.  Orthodoxy is no longer practiced or taught in GOARCH or anywhere under the Phanar except, perhaps, Athos.  And Athos is inhabited by cowards who, at most, will cease commemorating a heresiarch indefinitely rather than excommunicating him.
            We see the result of failing to choose in that minority of Athonite monasteries who accept the apostate church in Ukraine.  They no longer uphold Orthodoxy at all.  Communing with the anathematized leaves one open to anathema.
            Either the Church will continue to espouse the line in the Creed regarding “one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church”; i.e., the Orthodox Church and it alone, or it will embrace heterodoxy as have the modernists who attended Crete.
            What I mean is that God has given Traditional Orthodoxy no other means to survive than to purge the evil from among them.
            And that is a very, very good thing.
            And, if Traditional Orthodoxy is meant to destroy itself, it means Christ was not who Christianity teaches that he is and perhaps Islam or Sikhism are closer to the Divine Reality.
            We shall have to wait and see.

            • Misha, really? The Church is going through a rough patch and you’re beginning to wonder if Sikhism or Islam is the true faith? So much for sticking things out in times of trial. Good thing Saint Athanasios was made of steadier stuff during the Arian crisis.
              “closer to the Divine Reality” just sounds like perennialist claptrap.

              • Hey Basil,
                It’s called sarcasm. Misha was saying that traditional (patristic) Orthodoxy will prevail in the end.

                • I desire tradional Christ centered Orhodoxy, which is Bible focused and confirmed through patristic writings. The Church is meant to be Christ centered not Patristic centered. Christ is the foundation of the Church and it is only through Him that we can experience new life and salvation. We must never forget or even lose our first love which should be -Jesus.

                  • Constantinos says

                    If Orthodoxy isn’t Christ centered what is the point in even being Orthodox? I swear most of the posters on this forum love Orthodoxy more than they do Christ. It’s truly pathetic.

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      Constantinos, the way things are Christ is where the sinners are.  Seems like we qualify.  At least I do.  
                      The institutional church is a mess.  It pretty much always has been.  Salvation is messy and is not amenable to empirical standards or reasoning except that my repentance leads to my salvation in communion with Jesus Christ allowing me to bear the burdens of others in communion.  
                      So God bless this mess.

                  • Holy Orthodoxy has always been about its Head, Jesus Christ, as confirmed through the Holy Fathers. They also interpret the Sacred Scriptures for us.

              • Basil,
                My views toward Islam are well known.  I do exaggerate for effect from time to time.  However, the fact remains that it is not beyond my imagination that Christianity could make a final suicidal ending and we would be left wondering how the “gates of hell” prevailed.
                I say this simply because it has actually happened in the liberal Protestant confessions.  They have inarguably left Christianity altogether, even the heterodox variety. 
                We sit in supposed comfort regarding this in some quarters of the Orthodox Church, and without reason.  It is attacking us and gaining ground just as it attacked them.  If Progressive Liberalism had the kind of victory that the Public Orthodoxy people would like, that would certainly be the death of the Church.  There is no other viable survivor of the Christian phenomenon.  Certainly not Rome or the Protestants.  That would be it, finis.
                I prefer not to contemplate that possibility for too long but in its event we would have to consider alternatives.  It’s not unthinkable to me, though it may be a sin to do so.
                I will always follow Yahweh, the God of Israel.  But I must admit that His religions have been a collection of failures.  I do not blame Him but just chalk it up to the reality of a Fallen World and that in our time, near the end, only a remnant can be expected to endure in any case.
                There is a Persian saying about religion.  In the beginning, someone who omits a tenth of the law will be punished.  But in the end, someone who observes a tenth of the law will be rewarded.
                Yet when people undermine the basis for the Law of God altogether, they abandon the faith in anything other than humanism.

                • I think it worth saying that greek speakers and those of greek Culture use language differently to Anglo/ Saxon english speakers .. We often use language for effect  to cover how we feeling ,without actually meaning the literal meaning of words used.  
                  This is in contrast to Anglo/ Saxon english speakers who use language in a  much more functional way.   

            • Lenas Contilas says

              Probably the religions fifty years from now will be totally different. Look at the Uniting and Emerging churches in Australia and Hillsong. Asian and African Christians without denomination saying “we care about Jesus, not European politics”. I’ve know Asian Christians who will cross themselves in front of Lutheran, Catholic and Orhtodox church “where I come from, you can’t be choosy”. One third of the St Vlad seminarians are Nigerians who did their undergrad in Greece. Russel Moore says the most energy in the Baptist churches is Koreans and Nigerians. As to Persians: explain me why Persian muslims, Greek Christians and Israeli Jews all call their clergy “goats”.

            • We must nor make an idol out of Athos. Yes it has been a beacon of Orthodoxy in good times and bad ,in times of plenty re vocations and in times of not.  I recall how in 1960s it was speculated to be dying but how by 1980s when i visited,it had turned corner with new vocations to current renaissance in art and Culture. 
              But it has always shown the dark side of the Church and one would expect this because where is evil the most and did not St Seraphim of Sarov show this in his life, the struggle with the evil one?  
              Rasputin in 1900s when there was shocked by open homosexuality and any knowledge of popular greek attitude will teach much. 
              During the last few decades great wealth has made it’s place there in certain monasteries and Iphones and rest. This may not be corruption, but is it what was intended?  
              This is not to say and I do not deny at all,  that there is great Holiness there, known and unknown to us. but as in past has often gone along with anti semitism etc etc.  Sadly this is life.  We, as the father on Athos try, must oppose ignorance and corruption when we see it. 
              Athos with them monks or a thousand, will produce it’s saints. Possibly more with ten monks .

        • Dear Austin,
          Is the hierarchy of the OCA better? Yes. Is the hierarchy of ROCOR better? Yes…much much better. I am also a straight convert like yourself. The reason the other jurisdictions have had enough, is because they are tired of watching the CP self-destructing into a post-patristic shadow of Orthodoxy. I was Roman Catholic and uniate….and what I see happening with the schismatic Phanar looks and sounds very very familiar.

  5. Constantinos says

    Dear George, Father Webster, Mr. Mortiss, Mr. Bauman, Brian and Nikos,
    I know very little about the Ukraine, however they have an Orthodox Christian politician that I really admire. Now, there’s a lot of talk going around these days about “toxic masculinity.” Will all of you please click on YouTube, and click Vitali Klitscho vs. Kirk Johnson? The HBO announcer says,” Are you looking for the next heavyweight destroyer? Vitali Klitscho wants to be your man; he wants to be your man right now.” It’s one of the finest examples of “toxic masculinity” I’ve ever seen Awesome!

    • ??? costa will do. Thank God for yr irreverence.Keep it up.!  U are a true greek.  While I am here I want to ask about the greek church in USA?   ,  DEEP BREATH AND DUCK.. 
      From what i hear and read it seems in crisis of identity, morals, cash, and bums or as u say , butts on the benches ,and seminarians in the seminary. And all the rest .
      It also ,and I know nothing about the scandal etc so cannot say, but talking generally ,seems in a hissy fit about monasteries and too far extremes or may be merely shock from secularised parishes coming across traditional Orthodoxy.  GOD HELP US, DO WE BELIEVE THAT!! ? 
      Let me say that i have great respect for Athos of course and a church without Monasticism is not a healthy church, but  making. a Parish run on monastic discipline, is not healthy and can  results in extremes.  
      Now people on this blog will know my views on various matters which i try to keep on that Royal middle way, although that has negative views politically these days. 
      My knowledge personally of greek church in USA is from NY and Paulos Heights, (Chicago suburb) and Buffalo NY..  All good parishes and active as far as I could see. And Oakland Oregon.  Again active good Parish. You know my views on organs etc and these parishes apart from Oregon, without. 
      I hear how OCA has declined. I understand the antiochans are doing ok. 
      I have a general feeling of return to tradition, that some may not like. Although I agree tradition for it’s own sake can be an empty fetish as westernization for own sake. 
      On the plus side I see and hear of active and living growing communities that are alive and example to us all. 
      I read the bitter attack on the Orthodox church by the gentleman not knowing  at that point, the sad situation re his son.  To  which i replied to the generalised  bitter attack on the Church and my faith.  You can ,if posted, read and judge. 
      Sadly much of what he says has truth  and our Ukrainian crisis feels into it exactly. 
      Now i know what happened, without knowing the facts,  i of course feel much pain and can say that if there has been abuse and wrong doing then those in wrong should be called out and challenged publically and published .We cannot be as the Catholic church.  I repeat thst I do not know the truth and am not judging, just asking for the facts. 
      I will not enter into a dispute with the gentleman because it is wrong and unseemly , but i had a right to defend my, our Faith. 
      So i am not attacking here, just asking for views from folks that live the reality. 

    • Michael Bauman says

      Constantinos, having witnessed the beating death on national TV of Benny “Kid” Perett by Emil Griffith (sponsored by Gillette ironically enough) when I was a pre-teen and praying for Benny as he lay dying in a coma for a week afterward, I have a conflicted appreciation of the manly art.  
      Still I find it much more attractive than the disgusting homoerotic sado-masochism of MMA.  

      • “the disgusting homoerotic sado-masochism of MMA. ” 
        A stupid statement, but also an amazingly ignorant one, in the literal sense of the term.

        • Michael Bauman says

          Greg, my statement is hardly based on a reasoned analysis, it is literally my initial impression upon seeing it on TV the first time.  
          Ignorant it is.  I will give you that. I have no desire to become less ignorant of it. Since I am incorrigibly ignorant and therefore unwilling to learn I guess I can give you stupid in a qualified sense but not in the full meaning of the word, i.e., dull, mentally slow, etc..  I find the MMA disgusting and demeaning and full of actual stupidity.
          Just for context my father coached an Olympic champion wrestler and had it not been for an injury might have gone to the Olympics himself.  The injury prevented him from participating in the Olympic trials as a senior in college about 100 years ago.  When his wrestler was, Pete Mehringer, (1932  Gold medal, light heavyweight freestyle) was inducted inito the college wrestling hall of fame, I experienced  real manliness in my father, in Pete and all those champion wrestlers present.  It included a genuine humility and respect for both the achievements and the humanity  of others.  

          • My comment was not about you, it was about the quote. Apologies if that was not clear.
            MMA has evolved to a highly technical and sophisticated athletic fusion of various forms of wrestling, boxing and kickboxing. These athletes are incredibly conditioned and have hyper proficiency in each of the sub disciplines they rely on. While there may be much to lament about the culture developing around MMA, these athletes really do deserve respect.

          • I was a competitive Judo/Brazilian Jui Jitsu player for about 15 years (only up to the regional level – did not have the physical attributes to rise higher), and before that a Golden Gloves amateur boxer.  Age, injuries, children, and the like have taken me away from it all, though I occasionaly get a roll in at the local club.  I miss teaching the most.  MMA is a few things, but most of all it is a business just like boxing, football, baseball, etc.
            Your characterization of MMA as “homoerotic”, “sado-masochism” and the like is simply ignorant (truly, bonestock ignorant) Michael, and if I did not know you better I would say that you have fallen under the spell of a some sort of moralistic identity politics.  What’s next, the manly suffering of Christ on the Cross as neurosis and “disgusting”?
            While certain homosexualists do in fact view Jui Jitsu as erotic in-of-itself, and have even built websites on this theme, this is of course an mischaracterization on their part based in their own sin and has nothing to do with the essential nature of martial arts or sports in general.
            I suppose a Christian cultureal critique could be built around the place of ALL sports in our secular culture – perhaps something around their “gladitorial” aspects and function for the 99.9% who are mere spectators.  It would have to however respond intelligably to the fact that sport has been part of all cultures (from the most primative to the most sophisticated) throughout all of history. It would have to take into account the nature of play and its foundational place in our human nature, and how sport is part of our “physical” culture, and how our physicality is part of who and what we are (i.e. no two story universe allowed 😉 ).  I don’t see you doing that Michael.
            For a sympathetic reading of the martial arts, Google “aikido forgiveness” and read “Terry’s Story” from the book “Forgiveness: A Bold Choice for a Peaceful Heart”.

            • Michael Bauman says

              Christopher, I have already admitted to my characterization as ignorant and my total lack of any desire to become non-ignorant of the sport. As I said to Greg, it was literally my gut reaction to seeing it for the first time on TV. An emotional reaction so strong I have neither the reason or the desire to consider it further.

              • Christopher says

                I understand that it was a gut reaction.  I suppose it was the totality of your reaction, its condemnation, along with its accusation of “homoeroticism” and the like that prompted me prompted my correction.  Sometimes, our guts and our feelings are wrong 😉
                I tried intramural rugby in college for a couple of semesters.  It was a lot of fun (and a lot of beer 😉 ).  Rugby is a complicated game, and I never really got the hang of it.  I remember once I was at the bottom of a pile of really big men, my body contorted in a strange and uncomfortable way, and I thought to myself “hey, someone can get hurt doing this” 🙂

            • Tim R. Mortiss says

              While I agree with Christopher about sport in general, and I am sure he’s right about MMA, I myself had a similar reaction to that of Mr. Bauman when I first saw it on the tube, so I understand his remarks. 
              I was a solo sport person (track and field) until I began to play Rugby in law school. Rugby is a very rough and rugged game, but it is not nearly as violent as American football. This primarily is because no blocking of tacklers is permitted; the ball-carrier is out front. Blocking as in American football creates a situation of multiple points of hard impact on every play; Rugby is played without padding or ‘armor’ and injuries are relatively few. If you played Am football without this protection, people would be seriously injured in every game.
              I too believe that sports are important, and rough sports for young men. I was founder and first president of the Tacoma Rugby Club, and played into my mid-30s. It was a great experience, including the experience of team comradery. After that, back to ‘solo’ stuff, hiking and Nordic skiing (as to which I am a fanatic).
              So I never have difficulty understanding folks’ interest in sports.

    • I’ve never a taste for pugilism, but one can’t help but admire the discipline required to succeed at it.  If only I put as much effort into my own asceticism.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Speaking for myself, I enjoy pugilism.

      • Tim R. Mortiss says

        I was a fraternity lad at Cal (University of California at Berkeley, to the uninitiated) in 1966-67. Cal still had varsity boxing then, along with only about 5 other universities in the West. One of the older bros in the frat house was a varsity boxer. He was a charismatic guy (who went on to be a very prominent physician), and inspired me to sign up for intramural boxing, which I did. I didn’t last long, because it turned out that I really hated being hit in the head– and you can’t entirely avoid that.
        So later on I went into Rugby instead. Not at Cal– I was never good enough for that team. Then on  to trial lawyering. But pugilism, no.

  6. And Constantiniople is finished with all of you heathen schismatics, too. See, Brownback is returning the favor by re-opening Halki to replace HCHC. Old calendar czar freaks of ROCOR were spawned by triple agent soviet provocateur “Prince” Turkul (Unholy Trinity 1998 p.152) to make them look foolish. If they really wanted “old” calendar they should have used to Hebrew lunar Jesus used not the one his Roman slaughterers did.  Czars were just as communist as Stalin as they had free health care and education. and were intolerant of land ownership on grounds the grand obschina was their mother Mokosh. Cardinal sins and toll houses are Persian Ishtar astrology also found the pseudepigraphas of Reuben and the twelve  patriarchs. They are no different than purgatory or reincarnation. They are dharmic syncretism just like hyperventilating hallucination hesticlasim.

    • Friend the calander question needs a less simplicity go at it.  Has nothing to do with astronony.  As happened at the Moscow 1918 Council change was mooted and as Christ said, ‘The Sabvath for Men and women, not other way around. 
      As it turned out the way new calander was introduced, now seems a classic Phanar we don’t give a piss about the Church if wordly powers think different. The old calander become a badge of church loyalty if sometimes of blind reaction, but given the blind modernism on other side!! 
      The Ukrainian uniates kept the old calander ao perhaps we should have appealed to Rome !!?  
      I have to say re universal health care . I have long given up understanding you guys .As someone who worked in Nhs in Uk and who in visit last July there, collapsed and had his life saved, in hospital where finally worked actually, ITS BLOODY WONDERFUL 
      And if we are going to get all utilitarian, a healthy population makes for better soldiers, workers, and is cost effective 
      Here in Bulgaria I get free health care ,although I chose to pay for meds, as do not want to claim as outside.  
      But for you guys to organised yr country and leaders. Up to you  but just comnenting re health. 
      Some yrs ago I had to see doctor in Chicago care of sinusitis.   If i recall  visit was $50 and the meds ( talk above over medicating !) cost another $70. 
      So 120 dollars for a cold .!! 

      • Michael Bauman says

        Nikos, we no longer have real healthcare in the US it is all based on “protocols”, up charging and keeping people dependent.  
        My opposition stems from the propability that any US version of NHS would be an ideological weapon in the hands of the same people who have a moral outrage about capital punishment while gleefully endorsing infanticide on moral grounds.  They would have no compunction offing Christians and other deplorables and undesirables.  The is a deep and abiding eugenic passion here in the US that is never far below the surface on both the left and the right.  

        • Could be so.  U tend to have more extremes.  Is not a major issue in Uk  but I guess as society is now secular and not Christian, this will naturally reflect in how medical staff and relatives,make decisions. 
          I had to make a decision re my own mother who had hospital pneumonia not responding to the gold standard of antibiotic treatment. Did I want them to stop treatment apart from paliative or to go to intensive care to have a tube put down to such the much up?   I said no,  to stop treatment except for paliative. Why ? Because the aggressive treatment would not have solved anything or cured, but just perlonged life, but in traumatic way . 
          She died five days later.   Peaceful with some sedation. It is very painful for me but I know I did the right thing. 
          What i will say  though is no matter how it is organised, and I am health care professional, any Civilized society needs a health care system that cover everybody. That can be done in many different ways. 

  7. Boris Jojic says

    Is this really necessary? I’m no fan of the gay lib thing, and unrepentant homosexuals should be denied the cup, until they comply with the teaching of the church. But there is too much name-calling and racist talk on this blog.
           I had some of my worse posts sent to trash and I’m glad now that they weren’t published. I think some folks here believe that extremism in the defense of the faith is no vice. No doubt the Spanish Inquisition felt the same way, when heretics were being tortured.

  8. “…to replace him by electing him to a metropolis in Asia Minor that existed in the past but became defunct after the Asia Minor disaster.”
    And the ecclesiological fiction continues…

    • Nikos stone says

      AH those Asia minor bishoprics.  Our equivalent of the siberian  cement factory. 

      • These ‘titular’ bishoprics always strike me as ridiculous, but I could be wrong. 
        Question for the more educated here:  Is there a true theological or ecclesiological reason that a diocese once established cannot be abolished?  Or is this practice (as it appears to me, but again, I could be wrong) merely an artificial ‘legal’ way to maintain the rule that a bishop can only be a bishop over a territory?
        I am truly interested to know because the Greeks are not alone in this practice.

        • Antiochene Son says

          My guess is that the titles were maintained during and after the fall of the cities to the Moslems, in hopes that they would eventually be recovered, and over time they just continued appointing bishops in abstention until it became customary.
          Also because many of these cities were so important in earlier times, with great saints once reigning in them, to give up that patrimony was unthinkable.
          If there are theological reasons for these things, they probably developed at the same time as the practical reasons. It’s similar to the Liturgy. The Great Entrance was originally a procession to a table where the loaves people brought to the Liturgy would be kept, and the clergy would select the ones to be used in the offering. But symbolic meaning grew up around it at the same time, and even after the practice of selecting the loaves died out, the Entrance and its symbolic meaning remained.
          I could be way off, but this would make sense to me.

        • Brian,
          To add to what Antiochene Son said, I have seen no convincing theological or interpretive canonical argument (remember, the cannons are always interpreted).  These sorts of bishoprics (i.e. ones ostensibly over ancient territories which in fact have not had Christians in them for hundreds of years) are indeed contrary to the explicit text and spirits of the ancient canons.  At the very least, the cannons are unaware of them and so only an (overly?) creative interpretation would allow them. 
          That said, as Antiochene Son points to, they have a long history in the Church and simply because of this, have become their own sort of ‘rule’, cannon, and tradition – it would be wrong simply to dismiss them on legal grounds (all too many around here have a limited/limiting forensic understanding of canons in particular and Tradition in general which leads to some peculiar stances and condemnations).
          Still, the EP in particular has pushed this conservative remembrance of a Byzantine structure and glory to such an extreme it probably has officially become farcical.   Have not these bishoprics become yet more evidence of the decline of the EP in and outside of the Church?  Are they a help or a hindrance in the EP’s (and the wider Church) efforts to adapt to the “new” situation of the fall of the Empire, conquering Islam, the east-west split, the rise of nation states and religious pluralism and secularism and….

          • MatthewPanchisin says

            Dear Christopher,
            That’s just peachy, however it is significant to remember how the E.P. and company think. Back when Metropolitan Nikitas was in Hong Kong (with a rather small Orthodox flock)he would say things like “My flock is actually very large” further elaborating that since the other Christian denominations don’t have a bishop he was their bishop, he had the statistics, etc.

            • Monk James Silver says

              MatthewPanchisin (February 12, 2019 at 1:53 pm)says:

              Dear Christopher,
              That’s just peachy, however it is significant to remember how the E.P. and company think. Back when Metropolitan Nikitas was in Hong Kong (with a rather small Orthodox flock)he would say things like “My flock is actually very large” further elaborating that since the other Christian denominations don’t have a bishop he was their bishop, he had the statistics, etc.

              Met. Nikitas Loulias — if he’s being quoted correctly — was greatly mistaken to think that he was the bishop of all the Christians of Hong Kong Orthodox and otherwise.

              He was expelled from China for other reasons, but his ecclesiology is in need of major repairs.

              • Michael Bauman says

                That’s because centuries under Islamic suppression makes them think they are head of the Christian Rum–even in barbarian lands.    
                Face it, the rest of us are Samaritans at best.

          • Either way the fiction today is a massive hinderance to reality.  At least the Russian church outside Russia never called it’s bishops by places in former Tsarist empire or by Russian historic sees . Nor indeed in Uk by historic sees such as Canterbury that Anglican church has . 
            The use by current russisn bishops abroad of dead sees in Crimea is i believe to avoid class in Uk with anglicans. 

  9. John Parakyrkas says

    Oh, stop that. Iakovos sent Karloutsos to DC to get himself as Patriarch but Karloutsos got carte blanche to pick anyone he wanted. Meleton was Jakes biggest Fener opponent. It’s not like the popes are different: Zbig chose Francis and JP2, while Cheney chose Benedict. And Truman sent  Athenagoras  on Air Force One.

    • And Peter Great abolished Patrarchate and byzantine emperors chose who they liked.Tsar Nicholas ii chose who ever Rasputin suggested. Varnava, Pitirim etc AD bishops. 
      When patriarchs are freely elected you will know that in wordly eyes the Church is a dead irrelevant duck. We do not have long to wait. 
      In Greece the government can’t wait to ofload the Church  . Here in Bulgaria the communists used to PAY the clergy while stopping people, physically, from entering the Church. Now the bulgarian government does not pay the Church and entering  is free. 

    • Nikos stone says

      To add I am quite a fan of Nicholas ii  and I recommend Nicholas ii by Dominic Lieven, excellent ,detailed read , but mistakes he did make, as his family might have agreed. 

  10. Nelos Balintas says

    Actually a lot of climate debunk depends on lunar calendar. Weather follows Chinese and Jewish holidays disproving global warms

  11. You are correct and that as great entrance, is typical of much church development until we forget the original reason .  

  12. Constantinos says

    Dear George,
    This forum has revived my doubts about Orthodoxy. It is fatally flawed. The Orthodox Church supports war; that’s not my Savior. If anyone on this forum has an open mind, I would strongly encourage them to watch Father Emmanuel Charles McCarthy’s teachings on the nonviolent Jesus. As a Byzantine priest his credentials surpass those of the Father Alexander Webster’s in terms of education and experience for he served in the US Marine Corps. Of course, his opinions mirror my own. I have been against every war the US has involved itself in. Father Webster has written a book called The Virtue of War; there is no such thing.
    This fatal flaw is extremely serious because it calls into question the virtues and prophecies of various saints on the Holy Mountain. Let me make this crystal clear: a disciple of our Lord and Savior cannot serve in the armed forces or carry a gun. We forget our Savior went to the cross of His own free will and volition. As Tertullian said,” When our Lord and Savior disarmed St. Peter, He disarmed all Christians for all time and eternity. Did Jesus ever carry weapons? No, and neither should you! Did our Lord engage in a violent revolt against the Romans? No! Our calling is non violent resistance to evil, and martyrdom if necessary.
    Also, this teaching about tollhouses is sheer heresy. Do any of the monks on Mt. Athos teach the tollhouses? No, not one. Why? Because it is neo gnosticism, and obviates Christ’s atoning work on the cross for us.
    The Ephraimite monasteries are extremely dangerous, and should be avoided like the plague. They are a spiritually abusive cult.
    The Orthodox Church missed the greatest work of God in the twentieth century. That’s right, as one who participated in the Charismatic Renewal, I have seen and tasted God’s mercy and blessings.  How Father Eusebius Stephanou suffered at the hands of the Greek Orthodox hierarchy! They unsuccessfully tried to defrock him, but there were some bishops who treated him with great kindness. Orthodoxy needs to get off its high horse, and reevaluate itself if it is to survive. I believe that it will not survive, but go the way of all flesh. There should be a warning sign on every Orthodox Church saying, ” Warning; Orthodoxy is dangerous to your mental health.” Need proof? Look at all the predictable crackpot ideas on this forum. You have some nitwit posters paying homage to Herr Putin, you know the former KGB agent with a net worth in excess of seventy billion dollars. How can you tell a politician is crooked ? Well, if he gets rich while in office, know for certain he is a charlatan and a thief. The Orthodox Church is by its very nature schismatic. Remember, every heresy originated in the East. Don’t even bother responding to me unless you have  watched Father Emmanuel Charles McCarthy’s videos on YouTube because I’m not interested in the flap doodle of brain dead  idiots.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Before you criticize Fr Webster’s book, I ask one simple question: have you read it?

      • Constantinos says

        No George, I have not read it, and don’t intend to read it. A 3.7 star rating on Amazon combined with a minimal price of twenty nine dollars  does not justify that kind of expenditure of my time or money. Father Webster’s credentials pale in comparison to Father McCarthy’s. I’m a disciple of Father McCarthy as are Nobel Peace Prize recipients. If Father Webster is ever nominated for the prize, then I will consider reading it. I’m criticizing the title of the book. There is no “virtue” in war so the title stops me cold right there. Again, Father McCarthy is a multiple Nobel Peace Prize nominee, and has mentored winners of the esteemed prize.

        • George Michalopulos says

          You’re quite mistaken. And anyway, to uphold Fr McCarthy as the be-all and end-all of official Catholic teaching on warfare is a serious mistake on anyone’s part. While Fr McCarthy may be correct in the main (arguable) as well as a gifted intellectual, he does not speak for Catholicism on this matter.

          If I may, the “virtue” that Fr Webster speaks about is in the fact that God uses men to execute justice among malefactors. That is a virtue in the truest sense of the word in that it requires, discipline, training and intellectual faculties, all of which must be highly developed. In much the same way that your doctor is a highly-trained scholar (and your dentist, accountant, lawyer, etc.)

          We want well-trained, virtuous warriors (as well as policemen). Why? Because as St Paul said, “the king does not hold the sword in vain”.

          • Constantinos says

            No George,
            I’m not mistaken at all. I have opposed every single war the US has fought. Father McCarthy is very critical of the Catholic Just War Theory.  As far as saints being warriors, so what? St. John Krondstadt was an anti-semite. No Christian took up the sword until Constantine. As the noted Biblical scholar, John MacKenzie, stated,:If we know anything about the historical Jesus, we know He was nonviolent.” You can endorse and participate in war, but just don’t use Jesus’ name. As Tertullian said, ” When Christ disarmed St. Peter, He disarmed all Christians for all time and eternity.” Case closed. Never use our Lord’s name to justify killing in warfare. I want everybody disarmed. “For they shall beat their swords into ploughshares; neither will they learn war anymore.”

            • The fact that Constantinos quotes and references everybody except the Holy Fathers of the Orthodox Church is very telling.
              “No Christian took up the sword until Constantine.”
              This is false – we have many saints that were in the military prior to the conversion of Saint Constantine. Saints George and Dimitrios are just two of the most notable ones, along with the Theban Legion and the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste.

              • Michael Bauman says

                Basil and all of those saints severed with distinction in the Roman military until they were commanded to do something they could not do as Christians. In St. George’s case it was sacrifice to Caesar as a god. St. Demetrios came a foul of the emperor because he was instrumental in converting Roman soldiers to Christianity. When ordered to stop, he refused. He also blessed his friend, St. Nestor, to kill the emperor’s undefeated gladiator in personal combat. St. Nestor was not a soldier and unskilled in arms, yet he prevailed against the gladiator, killing him.

                Others refused to attack fellow Christians.

                Certainly, there were also those who did not enter the military or left service when they could after becoming Christian. There were early Fathers who supported some of what Constantinos asserts, BUT certainly not all. Unquestionably the support for military service did increase after Constantine legalized then favored the Christian faith.

                There was a great deal written about such dilemma but it was never raised to the level of doctrine, nor should it be. There are simply times when the use of deadly force or the threat of deadly force against fellow human beings is both necessary and proper. Nevertheless, if one kills in battle, repentance and a time away from the cup is necessary and proper because it is a fearful thing to take the life of another human being. Proper care for the soul of one who has killed in battle requires such a step as St. Basil pointed out. We should never glorify nor celebrate war.

                Constantinos’ reliance on Tertullian is questionable because while he is no doubt of importance, Tertullian cannot really be considered a Father as late in his life he was considered a heretic for things he believed and wrote. He must be evaluated very carefully.

                I remember a TV interview I witnessed decades ago. The gentleman being interviewed was a former Lieutenant in the Viet Nam war, commander of a helicopter squad. He was being questioned in regard to the My Lai massacre. He recounted an experience he had that could have resulted in even a worse case. He witnessed US soldiers on the ground attacking and attempting to wipe out a Vietnamese village. He thought what they were doing was neither necessary nor proper. To stop it, he put his helicopter down between the villagers and the US troops and ordered the door gunner to fire on any of the US soldiers that continued to advance against the villagers. They stopped. He was not relieved of his command nor court martialed.

                I wish I could remember the man’s name for he was man of great honor, courage and virtue.

                Jesus Christ descended into Hell for our salvation, While it is not for everyone, there is still an honored place within the Church for those who take up arms to protect others and maintain their faith in trying circumstances. That is, IMO, one of the main reasons we pray for our armed forces and victory over all their enemies. Our prayers are, in part, to strengthen them so that they will not give sway in their hearts to the depredations of the evil one in any battle they enter. At least that is my prayer at that point of the Divine Liturgy. Do we pray for strength to carry out one’s task if the task is not in some way Christian? Yes, that is a post Constantine petition. However if one is to accept that arms are not allowable to any Christian, then one can easily come to the conclusion that the Church was perverted by Constantine and subsequent emperors. From there it is easy to devolve into a Restorationist Protestant. Not a pleasant or truthful place to go.

                Constantinos’ god may not allow for the taking up of arms, but God seems to.

    • Johann Sebastian says

      Herr Putin oder Herrfrau Bushobamaclinton?
      Wer ist der kleinere Teufel?

    • Constantinos: “Orthodoxy. It is fatally flawed. The Orthodox Church supports war; that’s not my Savior.”

      Did you notice, that Christ did not order the centurion to leave the military? There are many saints that were soldiers.

      Either way, did you consider Quakers?

      • Constantinos says

        Martin,No wonder the nonviolent Gandhi said,” I like your Christ; it’s Christians I don’t like.” Our Savior went around healing everybody so why wouldn’t He heal a Roman Centurion? Do you actually think our Lord supported the occupation of Palestine by the brutal Romans? The Jews rejected our Lord because they were looking for a warrior King Messiah, not our gentle Lord and Savior Who was brutally beaten and murdered by the Romans.

    • Michael Bauman says

      Constantinos, I appreciate your commitment to non-violence but I must ask you to consider how that works in your personal life. You described your approach to your business much like Sherman’s March to the Sea. To me there is a great disconnect there.

      Do you support Jim Forrest and his organization The Orthodox Peace Fellowship?

      There is plenty of place for a non-violent approach to life within the Church as Fr. Alexander’s work demonstrates and the existence of an international group such as the Orthodox Peace Fellowship attest. Whether you accept it or not, the Orthodox Church has neither a doctrine of war nor a doctrine of non-participation. As Nikos pointed out it is a matter of moral conscience. Perhaps it is another demonstration of the antinomical approach to life in Christ that the Orthodox Church maintains: Both/And in most cases. Anything else tends to degenerate into some form of dualism. So we have the testimony of courageous martyrdom AND the testimony of the virtue of a proper vocation of arms. Hamlet got it wrong you know. “Whether to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune…” or “to take arms against a sea of troubles…” is not a dichotomy as he imagines. It is the daily choice we each face within the context of our faith.

      As my son found out genuine moral conscience is quite difficult to maintain in the modern military. From that stand point I can see your position being the best one existentially. Nevertheless, it should be recognized as a general existential approach not a doctrinal requirement.

      Not unlike capital punishment it is quite clear that the state, any state, has the authority to take human life to defend its citizens and punish those who take the lives of others. That does not mean that they should. The lack of justice in the administration of the death penalty has led me to support its total abolition. Still, I recognize the authority of the state to institute it. The aggressive rather than defensive approach to military engagement in the modern world leads me in a similar direction but that does not mitigate the authority of the state to use deadly force nor the possibility of Christians participating in such defense.

      I must say that the anti-death penalty movie “Dead Man Walking” made me deeply recognize the validity of the death penalty in general. If the criminal in the movie actually did repent as the movie depicts it is quite clear that the only reason he did so was because of the state forcing him, under threat of death, to acknowledge the evil of his act.

      I have not seen Father McCarthy’s videos and it is unlikely that I will but fifteen years ago I read deeply on the subject with my son as he was preparing to go to the Coast Guard. My late wife and I tasked my son with learning the Church’s position on war before he went in. I naively thought it was going to be relatively easy. It was a three year journey of exploration that I will never forget.

      Early on in our discussion I said to him, “You know that being in the military and fighting, potentially killing others puts your own soul in jeopardy?” He told me he knew that and was quite prepared to risk his own soul if it meant he could protect others.

      By God’s grace, he was not able to do push ups and therefore was not accepted, but the reading, discussion, prayer and fasting that he did over three years that produced his paper “The Christian Warrior” had a profound and lasting impact on both of us.

      The subject is deeply significant and it is just too easy to say “No Christian can bear arms.” That decision requires more engagement. Especially when that statement is at odds with the witness of many saints in the Church.

      The existence in the world of death and destruction is certainly overcome by Jesus’ Resurrection, but it is not yet complete existentially. Thus we must each struggle with the best manner of dealing with both the small and great violence to which we are subject on a daily basis.

      I am forced to say again, “There is more in heaven and earth than is dreamt of in your philosophy”

      The Orthodox Church alone, by the grace of God and His providential mercy. encompasses all of the sin and supposed virtue of humanity and through our participation in His Grace and mercy He transforms and transfigures us. All of us–even the bishops and patriarchs although they have a much greater path of temptation than most.

    • Fr. Peter M. Dubinin (Brain Dead Idiot) says

      Constantinos – You are obviously very frustrated.  I doubt any clear thinking Christian could level the labels against other people as you have done and think that it is acceptable behavior for someone who claims to be a disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ, unless they were very frustrated.  Yes, there has been and will continue to be an expression of ideas on this site which fail to agree with the teaching of the Orthodox Church.  This is fortunately or unfortunately a result of living in America.  I engage this forum selectively, because there are many thoughts expressed with which I do not agree.  On the other hand, there are gems of thought, expression and exchange which are well worth the time it takes to sift and find.  Just a suggestion, don’t feel like you need to respond to every entry submitted in response to your post.  There are those who engage forums such as this for no other reason than to rile people up and get them angry.  Someone very close to me does this on a fairly regular basis and gets a real charge out of it.  He’s always enjoyed pushing other people’s buttons.  

  13. Constantinos says

    I always take a person at their own self evaluation so I agree with your quote in parentheses.

  14. Veras Coltroupis says

    Here’s a post from the melina gyro mafia against American Orthodoxy.
    The author should not be condemned because he is honest and intelligent
    and does us a favor by accurately expounding the views of our opponents.

  15. Retas Makorotis says
  16. Jim Fenelatos says

    Just as Francesco Moraglia is the Patriarch of Venice, Bart will be the Eastern Rite Patriarch of Thessalonia. Come to Pope now, listen to Bart.

  17. Matthew Panchisin says

    Dear Anon,

    You support the E.P. so you have knowledge of that which is ridiculous…
    Please elaborate we are not unwilling to dialog.

  18. Gaekas Tsampounis says

    It is very clear that if you do not support the EP you are a soviet agent:

    Sarah Palin has a Russian name and a Russian-named home town, but she hates Russia.

    This is the paradigm of American Assimilation!

    The best the GOA can hope to be is a gateway to western Christianity. American Orthodoxy is an oxymoron. Orthodoxy talks about autocracy and St Gregory’s sacred monarchy, while America stands for Constitutional Anarchy and the Anarchic Tradition of the American Revolution. Orthodoxy is the successor of the Evil Empire that killed Christ and stole His religion.

    Byzantine Irridentism violates the 1952 McCarran Walter Act.

  19. Michael Bauman says

    Well, with all of the absolute craziness displayed in many of the comments the truth is lost. Lost for all, not just for one ‘side’. Where chaos and wild speculation are, there is the evil one. Peace comes by ignoring the chaos and resting in the providential reality of our Incarnate Lord God and Savior, Jesus Christ who is the Truth. Anything else is worthless pottage.

    Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on we sinners.