Nationalism for Me but Not for Thee

It’s rather curious but things spiritual and temporal seem to be aligning themselves. One case in point is the recent furor over President Trump’s commemts regarding nationalism.

You’d of thought that he issued it while wearing a Nazi armband and then singing the Horst Wessel song.

Some in Orthodox circles did condemn it like they condemned the nationalist demonstration in Charlottesville last year. Strangely, there has been no comment about about the the truly ugly scenes of nationalism we have been seeing in Ukraine.

The Episcopal Assembly for their part condemned Charlottesville but have likewise remained silent about what we see in Ukraine.

The question is why?

Kindly take a look at this story. And the pictures. They aren’t pretty. They make a mockery of all the phanariote happy-talk regarding anti-phyletism.

The hyper-nationalism on display is magnified horribly by the cleverly-placed runes (which were adopted by the Ukrainian SS units recruited by a certain Herr Hitler. And then there is the famous Ukrainian Trident which is not unlike representations of the Holy Spirit and which oversees the entire panorama.

Leaving aside the hypocrisy, does the Ecumenical Patriarch (who I suppose is now the Patriarch of Ukraine) not see the demons which have been unleashed?

Probably not. More’s the pity. After all, in the icon you see here, St George is slaying the Byzantine eagle. Think about it.

P.S. Some artistic genius saw fit to paint a halo around Filaret. Charming.


In a cathedral in Ukraine, “Patriarch” Filaret — the deposed bishop of a schismatic church — has blessed the use of an entirely new religious painting: an icon of St. George slaying the double-headed eagle.

The double-headed eagle is the most recognizable symbol of Orthodox Christianity today (other than the cross). The claws of the eagle hold a cross and an orb, symbolizing peaceful cooperation between the Church and the government. The flag was historically used by the Roman Empire in the East (Byzantine), and by the Russian Empire. Today, it is the official flag of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of the Orthodox Church.

Depiction of St. George Slaying the Double-Headed Eagle in a Ukrainian Cathedral

One of the most famous religious images in the Orthodox Church is an icon of St. George defeating a dragon – the dragon — a traditional symbol for evil — has been replaced by the double-headed eagle in this new Ukrainian icon.

The double-headed eagle is on the coat of arms for the Russian Federation, the coat of arms of Serbia, the flag of Montenegro, the historic flag of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, and the official flag of the Greek Orthodox Church, and of Mount Athos.

In a public display of disdain for the historic Orthodox Faith — and disdain for the numerous countries which have the double-headed eagle on their national flags — Filaret has openly praised this new icon and has blessed its presence in the Holy Transfiguration Cathedral. This took place on October 12, just one day after Patriarch Bartholomew had removed an anathema from Filaret.

To make things worse, if you look closely at the border of the depiction of St. George, you’ll see that it’s decorated with the Waffen-SS Wolfsangel rune, a symbol resuscitated by the Azov Battalion and other openly Neo-Nazi factions in Ukraine:

Neo-Nazi Rune on Ukrainian Icon of St. George

Here is an example of the rune in its original historical context:

Insignia of the 2nd SS Panzer Division ‘Das Reich’

As if that wasn’t enough, Filaret also approved an icon of himself to be painted in the same cathedral, even though he is still living, and even though he is not a saint:

Icon of Filaret inside Holy Transfiguration Cathedral

After giving a blessing for the new icon of St. George, Filaret addressed all the attendees with the following message: “Without a Ukrainian Church independent of Moscow, our state would not have a strong spiritual foundation. Due to the existence of the Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate and other Christian, patriotic churches, we have an independent state today. And if we have the only Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Russia will not have any access to Ukraine. And then our state will establish itself, strengthen, and will be the stronghold of peace in the East of Ukraine.”

Filaret is the leader of the schismatic “Kiev Patriarchate”, which currently controls approximately 5,000 church buildings in Ukraine. Meanwhile, over 12,000 churches in the country are run by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is loyal to the Moscow Patriarchate. For Filaret to achieve his goal of the Kiev Patriarchate becoming “the only Ukrainian Orthodox Church”, he would have to confiscate over 12,000 churches from his rivals, with the assistance of the Ukrainian government.

In a move to force the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to separate its ties with Moscow, the Ecumenical Patriarchate has unilaterally presumed to removed the anathema from Filaret, and to create a new church in Ukraine, attempting to blend together the members of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, with the members of the schismatic Kiev church. The Greek Orthodox Church in America approves of this, and the United States government likewise approves.

Meanwhile, virtually every other Orthodox Church in the world condemns the actions of the schismatic “Kiev Patriarchate”, and they are calling upon Filaret to repent.

Full article:


  1. It’s great stuff, George. You can’t make this stuff up. Woe to those that defend the Phanar.

  2. Joseph Lipper says

    The fact that Patriarch Filaret appears without a halo shouldn’t be alarming by itself. He is certainly part of the story of the Ukrainian struggle for autocephaly, and historically it was not unusual for church patrons to be featured in icons without halos, as a way of asking for prayers. Today it is probably more common in churches to have small plaques underneath the icons with donors names on them.

    The symbolism of the slaying of the double headed eagle is very strange though. I have to wonder if this is meant to convey a triumph over a false symphonia of church and state? That’s how Patriarch Filaret seems to identify the current “symphonia” of Vladimir Putin and the Moscow Patriarchate. I suspect the ROCOR splinters who did not accept the Unia with the Moscow Patriarchate in 2007 would concur that it’s a false symphonia.

    It’s certainly a very strange icon though, and oddly enough it’s style looks like the Soviet-era propaganda artwork you see in Moscow’s subways

    • George Michalopulos says

      But Joseph, isn’t it ironic that it was a “false symphonia” between the Ukrainian gov’t and the schismatic sect that brought this all about?

      Mind you, I have no problem with nationalism per se and if the church can baptize a nation and be matrix of its history –ok. But there is a way of going overboard.

      And let’s be honest, if the Germans have had to repent of Hitler (and all the other Vichy/collaborationist govts as well), then the Ukrainians have to step up to the plate and acknowledge their own involvement in the Waffen SS.

      At the very least, they could downplay it in their iconography.

      In any event, I’m still waiting for a condemnation of all this hypernationalism from oue Episcopal assemvly, as well as the other usual suspects such as the Fordham Twins, and Leonova and all the other right-thinkers in her circle.

    • Into what sort of ‘heaven’ is this a window? The AK-47, perhaps the most reliable and deadly firearm ever produced, is an especially nice touch. But I have to hand it to them for at least modicum of honesty. There is not a halo to be seen on anyone except Saint George and the angels.

      • Brian “Into what sort of ‘heaven’ is this a window?”


      • Billy Jack Sunday says


        It’s a window into the Ukrainian national defense budget

        Everybody behind that guy is carrying a clip with rounds

        • George osborne says

          Technical point. Not clips. Magazines. Clips are for M-1s and Mausers. AK-47s and such use magazines. Just sayin.

          • Billy Jack Sunday says

            George Osborne

            The depiction is a bit embellished and therefore deceptive

            It wasn’t an actual Russian made Kalashnikov AK-47

            Due to the Ukrainian national defense budget

            What the gentleman is actually holding is a Chinese made SKS with some aftermarket parts


    • The ‘icon’ of St. George is surrounded not only by Neo-Nazi runes and sigils, it shows numerous Neo-Aryan forms like the Hindu trishula (trident spear), which is the spear of Shiva. The trishula form takes the place of a dove above the false St. George. Shiva is the destroyer god of Hinduism and the false St. George is destroying Orthodoxy under the false holy spirit stylized as a trident . The cross in the Filaret icon also emerges from the trishula/trident. I cannot imagine anyone praying in church filled with these blasphemous occult images.

  3. Gail Sheppard says

    Patriarch Kirill – GLOBAL ORDER to Destroy the Orthodox Church Implemented in Ukraine

    “The stakes are very high, and the order to destroy the unity of our Church is an order that has a global dimension. This is not just a fight for jurisdiction, this is a fight for the destruction of the only powerful Orthodox force in the world. When we’re talking about 150 million [Orthodox believers], this is truly so,” Patriarch Kirill said at a meeting with participants in the Faith and Word festival in Moscow on Tuesday.

  4. Billy Jack Sunday says

    A Nazi rune?

    The Nazi Party wasn’t just fascist and racist – one of the greatest violent foes of all of human history

    They were occultist neo-pagan

    It should be Himmler stabbing the twin headed eagle

    They forgot to add Alister Crowley

    This doesn’t look like an icon

    It looks like the album cover to Sgt. Pepper

    • George Michalopulos says

      I get your references Billy Jack!

    • The Ukrainians behind the defrocked Denisenko are the descendants of those who supported the Nazis during WW 2 and they have adopted all the old Nazi iconography instead of following the Orthodox tradition.

      Imagine how Patriarch Irinei of Serbia must feel when he sees this, know what Nazi collaborators in old Yugoslavia did to our brother Serbs.

      And this is who The Patriarch of Istanbul rehabilitates and prepares to offer a tomos? Shame on Black Bart. Glad to see many of the Greek Metropolitans speaking out against this.

  5. George Osborne says

    I believe this is one of the best political analyses I have read on the Ukraine debacle. Of course, it removes itself from the canonical questions that are most important to us Orthodox, but it certainly paints a dire picture of what sadly ALWAYS happens when Power and Religious Authority become intermingled. No wonder the Good Lord cursed the establishment of a kingdom in Israel. Too late to heed the warning?

    • Joseph Zheng says

      That forged Oriental Review letter deserves more scrutiny. Who supplied it to the editor? Did the MP denounce the forgery? If the MP was at all complicit in its publication, or failed to denounce the publisher, then there is something very creepy going on in the Church of Russia.

      Obviously there is something very creepy going on with the KP too, and I am not a fan of this unilateral autocephaly adventure that the EP has launched there. No one comes across looking very good here.

      • Joseph Lipper says

        Joseph Zheng,

        Yes, that’s an excellent point. The forged letter could have resulted in a dangerous and violent attack on the Ecumenical Patriarchate, if not from the government, then from Turkish hooligans. That was a threatening letter. The evidence that the letter came from Russia should have brought condemnation by the Moscow Patriarchate towards it’s perpetrators.

  6. Joseph Lipper says

    There are two main charges against the Moscow Patriarchate: first that the MP does the bidding of Vladimir Putin, and second that the MP’s refusal to even consider Ukrainian autocephaly is actually a political refusal of Vladimir Putin to lose influence over Ukraine.

    So, Patriarch Kirill addresses these charges by referring to the Moscow Patriarchate as “an island of freedom” that is “free from global brainwashing and the dominance of someone else’s thoughts over us”. Did Vladimir Putin write that? That sounds like blatant Soviet propaganda all over again.

    Then he continues with, “the tragedy of Ukraine goes beyond the boundaries of the political field, it has a mystical dimension”. That’s spiritualizing the argument. So this is ultimately not a political problem, but rather it’s a mystical problem? He’s avoiding the political question here.

    Patriarch Kirill is not being the peacemaker, but rather his words are escalating the conflict.

    • Joseph Lipper says

      My post was a response to this article:

      Patriarch Kirill – Global Order to Destroy the Russian Orthodox Church Implemented in Ukraine

      • Daniel DeLorenzo says

        As someone who has a home in Ukraine, family there, and summers there, I have been watching the situation develop closely since 2013. At first, I believed the American/Pro Western narrative. I was disappointed by Patriarch Kirill taking sides with the Russian invaders and their Separatist puppets. I was shocked by Kirill’s $30,000.00 watch, and the MP refusal to pray for Ukrainian Patriots who died fighting Russian aggression.
        It slowly came to my attention that the American government was behind the Maidan. Victoria Newland, (nee Nudelman) handing out cookies, while shouting “f*&% the EU” to Ambassador Pyatt, as they pick the candidates who will soon run Ukraine. The “Nationalists” in Pravi Sektor, and Azov Battalion, are let by Yarosh and Kolomoysky. Hmmmm….. Monsanto giving millions of Dollars worth of GMO seeds to “Aid” Ukrainian farmers. George Soros, Open Socirty Foundations has been channeling millions throughout the nation for over a decade. The snipers who killed the ‘heavenly hundred” were paid by pro western oligarchs. My head is spinning……
        I learn that Philarette Denysenko has common-law wife and children. I go every year to Baptism of Rus in Kyiv and notice stark differences between the two groups. The Moscow patriarch pilgrims carry Icons and Christian banners, and sing Christian songs, while the Kyiv Patriarchy marchers, carry nationalist flags and chant warlike aggressive slogans, while the youth are decked out in military garb. Head spins faster!!!
        It becomes clear as I learn more that MY COUNTRY the USA is using my second home Ukraine, as a pawn in an anti-Russian struggle for global hegemony. I see Philarette speaking at “The Atlantic Council”, Greek Catholics all over the Euromaidan, Uke-Tube, and other English language sites, pushing the anti-Orthodox, and anti-Russian propaganda. Then the EP gets his opportunity to jump in and cause more division. So sad…..

        • Joseph Lipper says

          Daniel DeLorenzo,

          I don’t like the “Kievan Patriarchate” either. I just wish the Moscow Patriarchate would handle things differently in Ukraine.


        This is quite good. The spirit we need now.

        “So, Patriarch Kirill addresses these charges by referring to the Moscow Patriarchate as “an island of freedom” that is ‘free from global brainwashing and the dominance of someone else’s thoughts over us’. ”

        That is precisely accurate. Progressive Liberalism is the ideology of the West. It is a) evil and b) pervasive and subversive of traditional culture. In terms of spirituality, he is exactly correct.

        “‘the tragedy of Ukraine goes beyond the boundaries of the political field, it has a mystical dimension’. That’s spiritualizing the argument. So this is ultimately not a political problem, but rather it’s a mystical problem? He’s avoiding the political question here.”

        Of course he is. Unlike Bartholomew, Kirill is not primarily a politician, cleric second. It is neither his job nor the job of the Church of Ukraine to take sides in the present crisis. If it were their job to do so, they should start by denouncing the illegal coup that put the current Ukrainian government in power. Of course, that would bring on more persecution.

    • “MP does the bidding of Vladimir Putin”

      Give a few examples.

      • George Michalopulos says


      • Joseph Lipper says

        Martin, it’s the ideology of the Russkiy Mir Foundation that Vladimir Putin directly initiated. He’s using the Moscow Patriarchate in it’s various foreign exarchates, such as Ukraine, as the basis for recovering Soviet-era global power and influence. Vladimir Putin once said back in 2005 that the collapse of the Soviet empire was the greatest tragedy of the 20th century. Restoring the Soviet empire is essentially the ideology of the Russkiy Mir Project, and the MP exarchates are it’s tool.

        There are a number of different ways the Moscow Patriarchate could handle this problem in Ukraine so as not escalate the rhetoric of violence. Even if Moscow doesn’t agree with the EP’s “mother church” line of reasoning, they could still support the “idea” of an Ukrainian autocephaly. The fact that it isn’t even discussed, except in the most demonized terminology, is entirely consistent with Vladimir Putin’s viewpoint that Ukraine basically belongs to Russia. The Moscow Patriarchate does not deviate from government foreign policy.

        If all the UOC-MP bishops were to attend the future Ukrainian “unifying council”, they would easily take over the council. They have more bishops than anyone else. Patriarch Bartholomew would probably prefer to hand over a tomos to Metropolitan Onuphrey.

        • Joseph Lipper “He’s using the Moscow Patriarchate in it’s various foreign exarchates, such as Ukraine, as the basis for recovering Soviet-era global power and influence.”

          So you say. JL “MP does the bidding of Vladimir Putin”. Any proof?

          “Vladimir Putin once said back in 2005 that the collapse of the Soviet empire was the greatest tragedy of the 20th century. ”

          Well, I looked it up. He said:

          “Above all, we should acknowledge that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a major geopolitical disaster [catastrophe] of the century. As for the Russian nation, it became a genuine drama. Tens of millions of our co-citizens and compatriots found themselves outside Russian territory. Moreover, the epidemic of disintegration infected Russia itself.”

          • Joseph Lipper says

            Martin, these “charges” come from the mothers and grandmothers whose children and grandchildren were refused Orthodox burial because they fought and died in the Ukrainian army while fighting against the pro-Russian separatists.

            Show me an example of the Moscow Patriarchate doing anything that Vladimir Putin disagrees with.

            Here’s one example: Patriarch Alexey II finally spoke out against the Russian incursions into Georgia, and then almost immediately vanished and was later proclaimed dead by very unusual circumstances. It was called an accident that his skull was fractured.

            Vladimir Putin’s game is Nationalism for Me but Not for Thee.

    • Will Harrington says

      The political questions should rightly be addressed by the civil authorities. Patriarch Kirill should be addressing the ecclesiastical and spiritual questions. To the extent that those are inextricably bound up with political questions, thanks to Ukrainian Nationalists, he is in a trap. You have it backwards though, the problem is not that Kirill has spiritualized a political issue, it is that the schismatics and nationalists have politicized an ecclesiastical issue. Speaking of politics leading to traps, Archbishop Job (Getcha) of the EP is reported to have claimed that the EP can unilaterally withdraw a local churches autocephaly and that the standing of the EP can not be changed. Seems they can’t remember the past because by that interpretation, the head of the Orthodox Church is, always has been, and always will be …wait for it…The Patriarch of Rome. This statement, more than anything else, convinces me that the Russians are right and the EP is not acting freely.

      • Joseph Lipper says

        Will Harrington,

        Let’s suppose Alaskans vote and decide to leave the U.S. and join the Russian Federation. Why not? Alaska is then annexed and becomes part of Russia. So, then the Moscow Patriarchate says this annexation goes beyond the boundaries of the political realm, but rather has mystical significance as Alaska has rejoined with Holy Mother Russia. If I heard that, I would say somebody needs to put down their bong.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          Will is right. It is not Kirill who has spiritualized a political issue, it is the schismatics and nationalists who have politicized an ecclesiastical issue.

          Russia has been demonized. Many of us view them as aggressors and opportunists so we see them as the aggressors and opportunists in every situation. However, in THIS situation, they are not the aggressors and they are not the ones under attack. It is our Church that is under attack.

          As a student, I worked in a nursery and there was this sweet little four-year-old boy who kind of kept to himself. The kids were playing with clay and I watched as he crafted his into something beautiful. It was a bird’s nest. I made a fuss over it because it was really quite special. He just beamed. It was my intent to find something to put it in so he could take it home. All of a sudden another teacher grabbed it up and rolled it in with another lump. She didn’t even look at it. In her mind, it was just clay. She broke that little kid’s spirit that day and he never tried to do something special again.

          In the mind of a secularist, the Church is just something to be used to accomplish an objective. We’re clay to them. They see no beauty in us or in anything we do.

          Where would we be during Crete if we didn’t have the MP? Praise God that the MP is in a country that will help them. We NEED the MP and every single parish and monstery that belongs to them. If they were to fall to the EP, Crete would become a reality because the numbers just wouldn’t be there to stop him or the people behind him.

          • Agree so so much and by the way re the clay nest. Yes I always made a fuss of my daughter’s little drawings from school, no matter how busy. She remembers that now.

            I am no fan of Kyril but in this he is correct totally. The patriarchate of Constantinople is trying an 1870 firdt Vatican Council on us.We need to say. NO. As a greek this comes easy.
            Nor will this save the patriarchate from the turks. I feel so sorry for the ordinary people and in Ukraine. Who speaks for Christ. Does any body care?

          • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

            Thank you, Gail, for that insightful post.

            In his weekly syndicated column on October 29, 2018, titled, “A thousand years of Orthodoxy history loom over today’s Moscow-Istanbul clash,”


            Orthodox journalist Terry Mattingly included two quotations from yours truly.

            Here is the first one:

            “Just as the original Church in Jerusalem is the mother of all Orthodox Churches around the world, including the Patriarchate of Constantinople some 300 years later, so the venerable see of Kiev in Kievan Rus in the tenth century is the mother of the Churches in all the East Slavic Orthodox lands – including the current nation-states of Ukraine, the Russian Federation and Byelorussia,” explained the Very Rev. Alexander Webster, dean of Holy Trinity Seminary in upstate New York. This seminary is part of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.

            “Kiev is the Russian Orthodox Church,” he said, “and the Russian Orthodox Church is Kiev.”

            And here is the second quotation:

            “Readers should watch,” stressed Webster, “who among the contending Orthodox patriarchates and the 12 others is seeking a collective solution in council and who is refusing all such overtures.”

            I hope those comments–and the rest of Terry’s column–will provide at least a partial antidote to the demonization of Russia (and the Russian Orthodox Church) so widespread on both the political left and the political right and even among certain Orthodox elites in the United States.

  7. ChristineFevronia says

    Thank you so much for posting this, George. It is horrifying.

  8. Billy Jack Sunday says

    The guy holding the cameras

    Look to his left

    Pretty sure that’s Billy Bob Thornton

    • Billy Jack Sunday says

      There’s actually a few celebrities that I see depicted

      Including Marlon Brando and the dad from Family Ties

      You know who you don’t see?

      Morgan Freeman

  9. Billy Jack Sunday says

    How to tell if your “church” is a joke

    Your icon is of William Defoe stabbing a giant rubber chicken

  10. Beryl Wells Hamilton says

    Go to the source of these photos and study all the photographs taken on that day. Pass your judgment.

  11. Johann Sebastian says

    Is Josaphat Kuntsevich (the Apostate) in that synaxis icon by the front door to the church?

  12. Beryl Wells Hamilton says
  13. Beryl Wells Hamilton says

    George, people need to find out the facts behind this, and the only way I have of doing that is to use the search engines. At the very least, we need to understand the real story to the best of our abilities before we “decide,” and even then, how can we really understand what the Ukrainians have been through and are going through even now? We have been given brains with which to think, and we should think first before we decide. I can’t understand Ukrainian, but I can use google translate.

    For example, this cathedral is in the Ternopil region of Ukraine. Do we know what they have been through, and how the people have suffered? Art is used to portray struggles when words are not allowed.

    Thousands of people – Orthodox families, children, old and young, soldiers, and clergy – were at this event, and we find it “horrifying”?

    This is a sentence from the original article (using google translate):

    An icon painter Vasyl Stetsko portrayed next to the icon of St. umch Yuriy is the winner of the Revolutionary Dignity, Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred, Ukrainian military, volunteers, chaplains, military doctors, patriots. The idea of ​​the icon – “God is with us. Ukraine is behind us. “

    Go to a search engine, enter , and click on “translate this page.”

    • Beryl “Do we know what they have been through, and how the people have suffered? Art is used to portray struggles when words are not allowed. ”

      I can feel compassion to them, but their religion is not mine. Sorry.

      • Beryl Wells Hamilton says

        So, God doesn’t bless their Eucharist?

        • “So, God doesn’t bless their Eucharist?”

          Quite possibly. When you are in such a church, when you have an option to receive their sacraments, your heart will tell you. Or will not.

          “The Truth speak at the bottom of the heart without noise of words” (Blessed Augustine)

          • Beryl Wells Hamilton says

            10 million Orthodox Christians and God doesn’t bless their Eucharist. My, oh my.

            • “10 million” you say. Presence of grace depends on the numbers?

              Is it a new doctrine?

              • Beryl Wells Hamilton says

                Martin, I’m not the one who decided that the Eucharist participated fully in by millions of Ukrainian Orthodox Christians who do not belong to UOC-MP is not blessed by God.

                • Actually, I am more radical in your direction than you, Beryl 😉

                  I do not exclude that many among countless millions of Protestants when they receive their sacraments with sincere hearts might be “blessed by God”.

                  Tighten your seat belts. I do not exclude from being “blessed by God” Muslims, Buddhists and even perhaps atheists! Yet, I see some boundaries, and I am not willing to risk my salvation to cross them.

                  (No, I am not a Unitarian Universalist, although I like them a lot)

                  • Beryl Wells Hamilton says

                    That is tricky, there, Martin. Change “Blessed by God,” to God changing the bread and wine in the chalice during Divine Liturgy in a Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC-MP or UAOC) to the Body and Blood of Christ: “Making the change BY THY HOLY SPIRIT.” Now, where do we stand?

                    I see “Johann Sebastian” in a comment below has already decided what God knows and doesn’t know.

                    • Beryl: “Now, where do we stand?”

                      Look up the epiclesis – it is a prayer to the Holy Spirit. Case closed.

                    • Beryl Wells Hamilton says

                      Martin, I appreciate the interchange of comments but “case closed” seems to mean to you that these people are not receiving Communion, even though they participate in the Divine Liturgy, are Orthodox by belief, because they are officially in schism, and because the Ecumenical Patriarch has no right to interfere, and because the ROC will not recognize them. Therefore they are pawns in the ROC chess game.

                      I think differently. I think in terms of the people, and that Jesus Christ really is God and therefore able to act and not be bound by laws. I’m not sure how else to put this. The interchange between us can end, no problem, but “Case Closed” using the epiclesis makes no sense to me; in fact, the epiclesis reveals to us that God acts and will not refuse His people because the leaders messed up or can’t make up their minds, or are affected by politics.

                      Which is why I’m like a dog and can’t let this go.

                • Johann Sebastian says

                  KP and UAOC are no more Orthodox than, say, UGCC…
                  …or Moonies, for that matter.

                  • Joseph Lipper says

                    Thank God the KP and UAOC no longer exist. Hopefully the UGCC will join and be dissolved also.

            • Some more thoughts says

              We can still have compassion and empathy for the Ukrainian faithful who are caught unawares in a political game not of their choosing, while also understanding what the legitimate vs illegitimate church is.

              That is why, ultimately, it is up to God to decide. The same way He is always the ultimate judge of everyone and of everything.

              We can have compassion and empathy for the Ukrainian faithful who may no other choice than to attend a “Filaret” church, and to also know that “Filaret” is a deluded, opportunistic narcissist, or as some call him, the “monk with a wife and 3 kids.”

              To make this solely an issue of whether “God blesses their Eucharist” makes it seem too much of a legalistic matter.

              Remember there was a time in the 1940s-1960s when some ROCOR hierarchs did not think that there was any grace in the sacraments of the OCA. Thankfully, few (if any) would believe that today.

              God will clearly hold to a much different standard this “Filaret” character, who has a history of overt disobedience and who plays a key role in starting and maintaining this schism, as compared with a pious Ukrainian faithful who has little or no other choice in the matter or who knows nothing about what is going on.

              The same way that after the treaty of Brest-Litovsk, when Orthodox parishes in what is now Poland, Belarus, and western Ukraine became Roman Catholic parishes overnight after their leadership unified with Rome — to the typical peasant parishioner who had no idea what was going on and to whom everything was the same church was the same other than the bishop whom the church was now under… is such a peasant responsible for his parish’s apostasy from Orthodoxy? Would God hold these peasant faithful to the same standard as he would hold the church leadership? Of course not.

              But if one is aware of what is going on in Ukraine and has a choice of where he/she worships, then obviously he/she should run far away from any “Filaret” or EP-associated Orthodox parish. With knowledge and understanding comes responsibility.

              • Beryl Wells Hamilton says

                “Some more thoughts,”

                If “God decides” to bless their Eucharist, then their Eucharist is valid, and their worship is valid, period. It’s anything but legalistic.

                You wrote, “and to also know that “Filaret” is a deluded, opportunistic narcissist.”

                I can’t know that because I don’t believe everything I read.

                Why put quotes around “Filaret”? That’s his name.

                You wrote, “or as some call him, the ‘monk with a wife and 3 kids.'”
                Well, if he is a monk with a wife and three kids, I say that we DO NOT KNOW the circumstances, and we had better be careful who throws the first stone around other human beings about whom we know nothing. We don’t know the circumstances, the pressures he was under, whether his family was threatened if he did not comply. Does a man get to judge another man for falling in love even if he is a monk? Do you know whether he was allowed to make choices? Do you know for sure?

                I keep hearing from people in the know that only the EOC-MP is the “True Church” in Ukraine, but I simply cannot wrap my head around that idea. What were the circumstances around the anathema? The EP statement is this: “To accept and review the petitions of appeal of Filaret Denisenko, Makariy Maletych and their followers, who found themselves in schism not for dogmatic reasons…”

                I go by what is written above. Dogmatic means “relating to or of the nature of a dogma or dogmas or any strong set of principles concerning faith, morals, etc., as those laid down by a church; doctrinal.”

                You can judge the EP, but I can’t.

                Finally, I’d be willing to bet that Patriarch Philaret would be happy to retire. I’ve seen some fine-looking hierarchs around him. What will people do when they don’t have Patriarch Philaret to kick around any more?

                Let’s all FLEE the “Filaret” or EP-associated parishes?!? Have you thought through this statement? Put yourselves in their shoes, man!

                We don’t even know what is going to happen next. The leaders clearly state that we need to wait and see, and be careful what we write online.

                • Beryl: “If “God decides” to bless their Eucharist, then their Eucharist is valid, and their worship is valid, period. It’s anything but legalistic.”

                  “Valid” is a legal term. The question is whether the Holy Mysteries will be there.

                  For it is written:
                  “For the holy spirit of discipline will flee deceit, and remove from thoughts that are without understanding, and will not abide when unrighteousness cometh in” (Syr, KJV)

                • Beryl Wells Hamilton says

                  Martin, What do you mean, “valid is a legal term,” when all we have to do is change the phrase “is valid” to “becomes the Body and Blood of Christ”? We turn people into “they,” meaning, “what do we care? We are not they!”

                  Patriarch Bartholomew said this: “”It is difficult [for the ROC] to understand that, the same way the Ecumenical Patriarchate has made so many peoples in the Balkans free, thereby weakening itself, but having recognized their right to internal self-government, church independence, autocephaly, thus Moscow should recognize that the Ukrainian people who it took in the non-orthodox way for several centuries under its jurisdiction, or more precisely – management, that these nearly 50 million people have the right to church independence, to autocephaly.”

                  Read more on UNIAN:

                  50 MILLION PEOPLE.

                  How big is your brain? The same size as mine – maybe a bit bigger. It weighs a few ounces and floats around inside your skull and acts like tofu. What will you do with 50 million people?

                  • “50 MILLION PEOPLE”?

                    Hmm. Are you talking about Catholic Italians? What about them and their sacraments? What will you do with 50 million people?

                    • Beryl Wells Hamilton says

                      Yah, well, that is the nnumber taken from the statement by Patriarch Bartholomew.

                    • Beryl Wells Hamilton says

                      Martin. As you well know, we are talking about Orthodox Christian Ukrainians.

                    • Beryl Wells Hamilton says

                      Here’s a quote from His Eminence Patriarch Bartholomew, which answers your question:

                      But we also hope we have made clear that neither these causes, nor the conservative causes we may undertake – none of these things define the Church of God, no matter what any human being may assert. The Church encompasses all of God’s creation – and indeed, that is our key theme for today – we are all connected, and that connection is God.

                      The Lord fills all of creation with His Divine presence in one continuous connection from the substance of atoms to the Mind of God. Let us work together to renew the harmony between heaven and earth, and transfigure every detail, every particle of life. Let us love one another, and lovingly learn from one another, for the edification of God’s people, for the sanctification of God’s creation, and for the glorification of God’s most holy Name. Amen.


                    • …from His Eminence Patriarch Bartholomew..

                      Careful Beryl. He’s not a Metropolitan. His title is His All-Holiness.

    • Michael Bauman says

      Icons are not used as other art. Icons are to reflect the revealed truth in the Church and as a opening to God’s Kingdom. The main door to God’s Kingdom is the Cross.

  14. Billy Jack Sunday says

    Find the guy with the horizontal striped shirt wearing a hat

    Ukrainian Waldo


  15. Gail Sheppard says

    Constantinople: Moscow Patriarchate no longer exists in Ukraine

    “On October 11, the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate abolished the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church over the Ukrainian episcopate. Therefore, the church of the Moscow Patriarchate no longer exists in Ukraine.

    “It is very important that the decision of the Synod of October 11 revoked the act of 1686. From a canonical point of view, this means that the church of the Moscow Patriarchate no longer exists in Ukraine today,” Archbishop Job (Getcha) of Telmessos, Archbishop of the Church of Constantinople, representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate at the World Council of Churches, Doctor of Theology, who deals with Ukrainian issues, said in an interview with BBC Ukraine.

    According to him, de facto all the bishops in Ukraine, according to the decision of the Synod, are the bishops of the Ecumenical Throne and now they “should wait for the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s directive concerning their further functioning and existence amid the prospect of granting the autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine.”

    • Lexcaritas says

      Insanity. Demonic delusion. Antichrist.

      Outrageous. Stupid.


    • lexcaritas says

      So whom do we write with any kind of effectiveness to deplore the “blessing” of such an icon as that in the Cathedral in Ternopil and this kind of outrageous action by the virtually defunct Ecumenical Patriarch which cannot possibly enforce its usurpation of authority–even if it were legitimate–other than by flaming the fires of a false “patriotism” and ethno-philitism that can have nothing to do with Orthodox faith in Christ and the welfare of His Body. This “iconic” mural ressembles “art” produced under the Third Reich, Lenin and Stalin: no saints, just angry armed people driven by envy and resentment for perceived injuries but no kenotic love for their “enemies”, many of whom are brothers in Christ.

      On what grounds can the EP claim the arbitrary “right” to withdraw a 400-year-old autocephaly from a legitimate local church and give it to another schismatic group that fosters and enshrines such inflammatory anti-Christian “art-work”? Where is the reason that must be given for the action of a good father in God? When one abuses an authority he has been given by Christ God, he loses all claim to continuing obedience and may even forfeit the respect otherwise due to his office–of which he proves himself unworthy. His once “all-holiness” is behaving like his counterpart in the See of Rome, who has taken to talking of mercy out of one side of his mouth, while roundly ignoring or dismissing those who would question or oppose his program, without the slightest explanation, and merely stating that he can do it because he is “the Pope” and “Peter’s successor”. This kind of action must stop. It must be denounced by the rest of the Church with one united voice. Let us fast and pray together, brethren. The hour is late.

      Christ is in our midst,

      • lexcaritas,
        Very well said! I have never seen such a horrid icon inside a church. This is why I am so against partnering our churches with governments. Let us hope that the two wrongs of the MP 1991 inaction, and the EP’s bad action can force the hand of Russian and Ukraine to a compromise, and also in such a compromise force EP out to some new blood, not spilt blood. Pray indeed!

        • Billy Jack Sunday says


          I support the canonical Church

          That being said, I agree with you for the most part

          I’m not on board with the whole unhealthy mixing of the Church and State

          No State should use our Church for geo-political purposes

          Not us, not them

    • Interesting juxtaposition:

      2009: Archbishop Job of Telmessos

      “As for the privileges of the Ecumenical Patriarch on the all-Orthodox level, they are also interpreted from the viewpoint of the Ecumenical Patriarch in the spirit of Apostolic Rule 34. That is the patriarchs and heads of autocephalous Orthodox Churches should know who is first among them, recognize him as their head, and should not do anything special without his consent nor should the head do anything without their consent. The ecumenical patriarch has a right to accept letters of appeal and care for the unity of the church by convening all-Orthodox meetings attended by heads of each patriarchate and autocephalous church (or their representatives) but he cannot decide anything himself, without them, unilaterally. We see this practice was used in the latest meeting of heads in Fanara in October of last year. And one cannot see here any ‘eastern papism.’”

  16. Peter A. Papoutsis says


    • It was more of a trickle, Mr. Papoustis. Now there also will be more checks and balances on this Presidency with the Democrats in charge of the House, which is good. Let’s also hope and pray they all, Reps and Dems, find some common ground or there will be even more division in the next two years.

      • Antiochene Son says

        Speaker-Presumptive Pelosi is planning on going after guns. I hope she enjoys her two years in power.

  17. For the love of God, President Putin, please end this sacrilege. Send the Russian army across Ukraine all the way to Kiev and reclaim the Russian heartland. Liberate the holy places. Kiev is Russia and Russia is Kiev. Reunite the people of Kievan Rus and hang the apostate Denisenko from a tree like Judas.

  18. Greatly saddened as well says

    Wow. Mother of God help us. An “icon” in which someone is brandishing a rifle. May God have mercy upon whoever commissioned and/or wrote that icon. Never thought I would see something like that.

    I continue to be astonished at the lengths that some go to in order to justify/rationalize the Constantinople jurisdiction’s outrageous and schismatic actions. I don’t understand the motivations of these people, other than pure Russophobia or Russia-hatred. Or, maybe they are members of a GOA parish and don’t want to deal with the reality of what being under a non-Orthodox, schismatic hierarch means. I can sympathize with that predicament, but still they must deal with the reality of being under a schismatic/heretical and non-Orthodox hierarch.

    Clearly, the Constantinople jurisdiction has no intention of even pretending to be Orthodox Christian any longer.

    In a healthy church, everyone (bishops, clergy, and laity alike) would flee the Constantinople jurisdiction for their own spiritual safety and for the spiritual safety of their loved ones. That only a handful have fled so far suggests how unhealthy the Constantinople jurisdiction is and has been for a long time.

    Thank God that a parish of the rue Daru jurisdiction in Western Europe (this parish is in Florence, Italy) has left Constantinople to return to the Russian Orthodox Church. Spiritual safety. May many more parishes follow its lead.

    Fr Andrew Phillips is correct: in the near future, the only ones left in the Constantinople jurisdiction will be ritualistic Greeks and Russophobes.

    May the Constantinople jurisdiction see the error of its ways and return to the faith, or may it wither and die like the fig tree that bears no fruit.

  19. Gail Sheppard says

    Your link doesn’t work so I don’t know where you were going with this, Beryl, but if your point is that icons are “art,” you’re mistaken. Icons may or may not have aesthetic appeal but they always have a spiritual component. That’s why seeing this particular “icon” in a Church is so horrifying. The spirit of this particular “icon” (I hesitate to even call it that) is secular and political, as opposed to theological and sacred, and it seemingly depicts the death of the Russian Church.

  20. Beryl Wells Hamilton says

    Hello, I am hoping this will be my last post here. Here is a possible scenario:

    1. Patriarchs and bishops are getting together via emails and phone behind the scenes, and have been for weeks, working on an agreement for a tomos of autocephaly for Ukraine that will work for everyone.
    2. Autocephaly for Ukraine will happen.
    3. Patriarch Kyril and Patriarch Bartholomew are going to be in agreement, or are in agreement, and Patriarch Bartholomew will not act unilaterally. Bishops are in contact with each other.
    4. No one will suffer, no one will be killed, no one will grab property. The tomos will include everything needed to make sure all are treated fairly.
    5. Patriarch Philaret will retire.

    • Sounds like pie in the sky.

    • Since Black Bart started meddling in the affairs of the canonical Church in Ukraine there have already been a significant uptick in violence and attempts to steal its churches and monasteries. So your theory was wrong even before you wrote it.

      The speed with which Black Bart is moving and his utter isolation from the rest of Orthodoxy proves he is acting on orders of western neo-con powers and lining his pocket along the way.

      As a Greek-American I am disgusted by what Black Bart is doing. History will remember him as even more treacherous than Patriarch Meletios Metaxakis of thrice wretched memory.

  21. Greatly Saddened says

    For those of you interested in reading the entire article. Below please find my posting from this Thursday under: “Repent, and Stop This Insanity.”


    Greatly Saddened says:
    November 1, 2018 at 5:34 am

    Below please find an article from today on the Orthodox Christianity website.

    Matfey Shaheen

  22. The ‘icon’ of St. George is surrounded not only by Neo-Nazi runes and sigils, it shows numerous Neo-Aryan forms like the Hindu trishula (trident spear), which is the spear of Shiva. The trishula form takes the place of a dove above the false St. George. Shiva is the destroyer god of Hinduism and the false St. George is destroying Orthodoxy under the false holy spirit stylized as a trident . The cross in the Filaret icon also emerges from the trishula/trident. I cannot imagine anyone praying in church filled with these blasphemous occult images.

  23. Beryl Wells Hamilton says

    Shucks, I cannot resist. The symbol shown in the photo in the cathedral in Ukraine is not the same as the symbol in the Nazi photo.

    None of the soldiers at the training displayed any racist symbols. Some prefer to shake hands by grasping the wrist, common among nationalist movements. Their shoulder patches have a yellow-and-blue insignia that resembles a reversed horizontal Wolfsangel — the mirror-image of a symbol used by the Nazis.

    The Azov members say that the crossed I and N letters of the ancient symbol, which predates Nazi Germany by centuries, stands for “Idea of Nation.”

    • Monk James Silver says

      You’re being obtuse her, ‘Beryl’.

      I have photos of uniat priests and bishops preaching at NAZI-sponsored events in the province of Ukraine. I have a photo of a priestly hand cross adorned with a swastika.

      Stop it, already!

      • Beryl Wells Hamilton says

        Beryl, not ‘Beryl.’ Why did you put my name in quotes? You are right as usual, Monk James Silver. As the Good Book says, “Judge not lest you be judged.” It is possible to find out the truth, and countless millions of Orthodox Christians do not think you are telling it.

  24. Beryl Wells Hamilton says

    I will be attacked for this, but I see this as a document of the history of Ukraine. It is not in the front of the church, and sorry, but I don’t see it as an icon. Any references to “black and red” flags do not mean that the Ukrainians, or Patriarch Filaret, or any of the parishioners, or their clergy, nor the soldiers fighting for freedom for Ukraine, are “neo-Nazis.” I don’t see the symbols as Satanic, and I don’t see myself venerating it as an icon. Any photos of neo-Nazis taken with AZOV are simply that. It’s a wild world, but it doesn’t mean that AZOV is neo-Nazi. Why should they be? They are fighting for freedom for Ukraine. But that’s just me, you all know better than I do.

    In addition, to reply to Monk James Silver on one point, it seems to me that 10 million Orthodox Christians do not “pale in comparison” to anything. We need to wait and see what the Ecumenical Patriarch does next. But again, that’s just me.

  25. Beryl Wells Hamilton says

    In addition, I post here an answer to the question, “Are Ukrainians Nazis?” I recommend further reading. The discussion is very interesting. I think this question arises almost completely from the persistent anti-Ukrainian propaganda campaign carried out by Russia.

    Of course, Ukrainians are not Nazis.

    Keep in mind that Ukraine had a greater proportion of its people murdered by the Nazis than any other country, with nearly seven million or 16% of the country’s population killed in World War II. One out of every six Jews murdered in the Nazi death camps was Ukrainian. Hitler’s intention was to turn Ukraine into Germany’s “living space” and use the Ukrainian population that the Nazis did not murder as slave labor. Nearly 2.2 million people, 80% of Nazi Germany’s slave labor, came from Ukraine.

    Russian state media throws the term Nazi around in their propaganda because at the start of World War II Ukrainians initially saw the Germans as saviors come to liberate them from the oppressive Soviet regime, which only a few years earlier created a famine resulting in death by starvation of 3½ – 4 million Ukrainians. However, Ukrainians soon learned the Nazis had no intention of playing the role of national liberator and actually had a different plan for Ukraine, seeing its population as nothing more than Slavic sub-humans, fit only for slave labor or death. The Reichkommisar of Ukraine, Erich Koch, once said, “If I find a Ukrainian who is worthy of sitting at the same table with me, I must have him shot.”

    Sitting at one of the world’s cross roads, Ukraine’s entire history has been one of choosing between which of their aggressive and expansionist neighbors was the lesser of all evils.

    Nor, in modern times are Ukrainians neo-Nazis.

    Certainly, Ukrainians have seen a rebirth of patriotism and even nationalism, in part because of the events of the Euromaidan Revolution of Dignity, after which many people in Ukraine developed a real sense of Ukrainian pride. However, this Ukrainian patriotism developed mostly as a response to the illegal annexation of Ukrainian Crimea by Russia and Putin’s ongoing war in Ukraine’s eastern oblasts, which have resulted in the deaths of 10,000 Ukrainians.

    Truly, in winning Crimea, Putin has forever lost Ukraine.

    Of course, just as in Western Europe and the United States, there are far right parties in Ukraine, namely Svoboda, Right Sector, and the Azov Battalion. They all deny they are neo-Nazis, although all profess strongly nationalistic pro-Ukrainian, anti-Russian sympathies, and some members have fascists sympathies. Svoboda has a membership of about 15,000 people (in a nation of 45 million) and failed to meet the 5% threshold to win seats on the nationwide list for the most recent parliamentary election. Right Sector has about 10,000 members and had previously won one seat in parliament, but did not take part in the most recent election. The Azov Battalion, formerly a mostly Russian-speaking volunteer militia in the Azov Sea region, transformed into a political party called National Corps. It has no representatives in the Ukrainian Rada.

    There are neo-Nazis in Ukraine, just as there are in the United States, France, Hungary, and many other nations, but they are a tiny fringe minority who have no support in the wider Ukrainian society.

    Interestingly enough, the country with the greatest number of neo-Nazi is Russia, with an estimated 50,000 to 70,000. About half of the world’s neo-Nazis live in Russia and it is to Russia that the German neo-Nazi movement looks for support and inspiration. Russian neo-Nazis hooligans have become a regular part of Russian futbol.

    And while Russia twists history to impugn Ukraine’s sacrifice during World War II, the fact is more Russians collaborated with or joined the invading Nazis than any other citizens of the Allied nations. Approximately 3/4 million Russians joined the Wehrmacht forces at the start of Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union. Russian military collaboration took place in unprecedented numbers, including the formation, under German command, of the Russian Liberation Army, the Russian Corps, and the XVth SS Cossack Cavalry Corps, all of which fought for Hitler. Between one and two million Russians collaborated with the German military during the “Great Patriotic War,” something Putin is not keen to mention.

    Perhaps the more appropriate question should be, “Are Russians Nazis?”


    There is a long discussion on this subject here, and many people know far than I do, but the stuff I read here makes the hair rise up on the back of my neck.

    • Beryl Wells Hamilton says

      Oops, bad proofreading on my part. I didn’t write anything from “I think this question arises almost completely from the persistent anti-Ukrainian propaganda campaign carried out by Russia….” on…

      I’ve read many comments from the good folks over there on “,” and boy, is it refreshing to read discussions from people with differing world views, and from whom one can learn HEAPS.

    • Beryl,
      Appears there are skeletons to go around.

      You and I make points that Russians and their lovers don’t want to hear.

      I don’t believe Ukrainians or Russians are Nazis now, except for small pockets like any nation might have.

      In my opinion, the majority of Russians were much worse than the majority of Germans in Nazi Germany, back when Russians used to call themselves Soviets.

      Sorry, but Hitler was Stalin’s and Lenin’s apprentice.

      I was never surprised so many Russians and Ukrainians saw Hitler as their liberator.

      Imagine, now, today, there are still many Russians who miss the good old days of The Communist Soviet Union. I would worry more about them, and all leftists than some half-wits who call themselves or are called Nazis.

      • Dino “Appears there are skeletons to go around. ”

        It is not very relevant who has more real or fabricated skeletons.

        The question is whether Phanar has position similar to
        Vatican or not. BTW, the right to give and take away autocephaly
        negates the meaning of autocephaly, and reduces it to a mere
        limited autonomy.

      • Dino, where is there a GOA church that does 95% in english? I thought it was forbidden to use more than 50% english. I would like to visit. Many Greeks seem to worship their language more than they do Christ.

        • Saint Anna Greek Orthodox Church in Utah.

        • Tim R. Mortiss says

          My guess is that ours is about 30-35% in Greek. That’s not counting kyries….

          • Tim,
            Glad people in your parish know Greek. My parish is mostly Greek with little English but only 5% of the people understand Greek. Crazy to me.

            • Tim R. Mortiss says

              I confess I’m getting a bit “Greeked out”. Not just the Greek in the services; it’s the pervasive idea that the Church is somehow something especially to do with Greece. I came here with open eyes about this, but immersed in it, it is something else.

              We have the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed, the Epistles, and the Gospels in English and Greek both, which does extend the services somewhat.

              The interesting thing is that I’ve had several frank conversations with longtime cradle Greek Orthodox here; I’ve asked them how much of the liturgical Greek they actually understand. Not that much, considering they’ve been hearing it all of their lives. But they understand English just like me– totally, naturally.

              Now we have the recent new ‘translations’ of the service book. It’s “only begotten Son and Logos of God” now, instead of “Word” as it has been for generations. In the prayer before communion, we now praise the “Divine eros”. Evidently, the Greeks in charge feel that some words are not translatable from the holy language of Greek– even in “translation”.

              Don’t start me on the hymns: everything has been turned upside down; everything. Evidently, restoration of the proper Byzantine chant is a priority.

              • Greek was my first language and I remain fluent, yet I can not even pray the Lord’s Prayer in Greek. St. Paul states that it is better to speak 10 words in a known language than 10,000 in an unknown language.

                • Constantinos says

                  Hi jk,
                  If that is the case, can you explain to me why traditionalist roman catholics have such an attachment to the Latin Mass? I just think Greek is a beautiful language.

                  • Dean. Greek is beautiful but worship is more important and people can not worship in a foreign language. Again, the words of St Paul, it is better to say 10 words in a known language than 10,000 words in an unknown language. The GOA has marginalized worship by using an unknown language. GOA choirs through out the country sing in Greek using english phonetics. That is how absurd worship has become in the GOA.

                  • Tim R. Mortiss says

                    I remember the Latin Mass well, because as a callow Presbyterian lad of 16 in 1964 I met the Catholic girl I later married. Then, I knew nothing of Catholicism. Vatican II hadn’t reached the parish, yet.

                    When I first went to Church with her and her family, I almost tripped over the guy in front of me when he genuflected. The Mass was beautiful and dignified. All the women and girls– all of them– wore head coverings; usually a small “doily type” but also lace shawls (mantillas) or hats. The big church was always full, because church attendance was not optional– it was required.

                    All gone with the wind.

                    Greek does have a nice sound; a lot of “ou” sounds, I notice. But if one is listening to a completely unknown and incomprehensible tongue in an ecclesiastical setting, Latin is hard to beat.

                    The loss of Latin was huge for old Catholics, because it was the touchstone of universality. A Catholic could go to a Mass anywhere in the world, and it was always exactly the same.

                    When my youngest son and I converted 4 years ago, his oldest boy, then 8 years old, was talking about church with a school friend. He told his friend that one of his favorite parts was when the priest spoke in an unknown language. His pal enthusiastically agreed– but he was talking about his Pentecostal parson speaking in tongues! Made me laugh, then and now.

              • I am greek but fluent in english. I love my language and my byzantine tradition. However now
                I live in Bulgaria and we now here worship in Bulgarian and some slavonic in hymns, in mostly byzantine style..
                In today’s global world we need to be fluid in language as needed but yes if people only understand a particular language, then that should be the one of worship and obviously in USA it’s english, or British english speakers are told it is.!! ?
                However we should remember that the language of worship is poetry and beauty and not fall in to the desolute banality of language and much else that befell western worship.
                However greek so called,parishes when the Theatre audience sits in lined pews, as in a theatre, Silent, hardly Crossing themselves to a cacophony of kitsch pseudo sakellarides 19c western choir and organ, but HEY ITS IN GREEK , are an aesthetic and spiritual joke.
                And no the answer is not a couple of elderly Men trying their best to sound like a bad aman aman from the minaret.
                Here in Bulgaria the worship of the Church being a combination of greek and russian style and congregational involvement with no rows of pews, is a spiritual delight..

                • Leno Caramirkos says

                  I attended a Pittsburgh memorial at a small synagogue. All the congregation got up and chanted in Hebrew then kissed the Torah. Then the rabbi circulated the Torah and everybody touched it. I’m not talking about the demoted demonic demoted, but I want to read the apostles and philosophers not mistranslated news or minaret boozaki music.

        • jk,

          In my part of the world (Midwest) there are at least three Greek parishes close to my home that do the Litrugy almost entirely in English. Lord’s prayer in Greek and English, “Lord have mercy” alternating English and Greek. The rest all in English. My son used to go to St. Nicholas, a large, historic Greek parish in Saint Louis – also almost entirely in English. All Greek liturgy parishes are out there; there is also one of those by me (It’s a shame, too, because their iconography is stunning, and the priest is a good man), but the English ones are not as rare as you may think.

          • Brian, thanks for the information. I thought it was forbidden to use more than 50 percen English by the Hierarchs of the GOA. Do the choirs actually sing all the hymns in English. I find it interesting that in my parish the members of the choir sing Greek, exclusively, from English phonetics. They have no idea what they are singing.

            • Jk,

              I cannot speak to any 50% rule (if there is one), as I am not GOA.

              I would say two things by way of being understanding toward those who prefer their native tongue. And I write this as one who doesn’t understand much Greek at all.

              The first is that for many Greek speakers who grasp the fine distinctions and beauty of their language, hearing the liturgy as they have known it all their lives translated into English can, for them, be as awkward and infantile sounding as, say, a very bad modern translation of the Scriptures would seem to us. And frankly it can be much worse for them because it constitutes their prayer. It is difficult to pray from the heart when the mind is overly engaged with words. I cannot say that this is the only reason for the strong preference of many Greeks for the use of Greek in the Liturgy. Doubtless for some there are other, less noble factors in play. But I do know that it is true of many, especially those of a certain age.

              Secondly. the Greek priests I know say they must hold three things in careful balance. The first is what I just wrote above. It just isn’t kind or helpful to anyone to mess with their piety. The second is they know they must adapt to English in order not to lose the young who are far less emotionally tied to being Greek as such and for whom Greek is a second (rather than primary) language. The third is they know that no real evangelization can occur if they don’t adapt to the native tongue of this country.

              It is by no means an easy balance – not for priests and not for parishioners.

              This is also not unique to the Greeks. Arab, Romanian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, and other historically ethnic parishes face the same struggle for balance, although some are further along in this transition than others.

              As an English-only speaking person, I can’t say I ‘like’ it, but it’s probably no more of a dislike than that of the older folks who dislike trying to pray in English. We all need to be patient and understanding of one another. In another generation or so, this will likely be a non-issue. But I do admit to this: If anyone cannot at least understand what is being said in the liturgy, that is not a good thing by any measure; and he/she should probably find another parish.

              • Tim R. Mortiss says

                This I understand, but in fact most of the “Greek” parish members here are 3rd generation. Greek is by no means their first language, no more than any other immigrant group.

                If a devout Italian Roman Catholic moves here, he does not make the church he starts to attend more Italian; instead he merges into the long-since English-speaking congregation. It’s my observation that if a devout Greek moves here, he makes the local church even more Greek.

                Not complaining, but I’ve found the GOA more Greek even than I thought, and I’d gone here from time to time for years before I converted.

                I had a very interesting conversation on our recent Holy Land pilgrimage with a parish member, Greek born and raised but in the US over 40 years, about the Greek language. He insisted it is the only “numerically and mathematically perfect” human language, and that the achievements of ancient Hellenic civilization would have been impossible without this language.

                • I can’t argue with what you’ve written, Tim. Like I said…

                  Doubtless for some there are other, less noble factors in play.

                  Like nostalgia.

                  Hard to argue with your parish member’s point. but we are not living in ancient times, nor are we concerned civilizational achievements as such. Had he said instead, “Without Greek as the common language of the time, the Gospel could not have spread so quickly in the Church’s early days,” I would have agreed…and have added that the same is largely true of English today.

                  It seems that God raises up (and lays low) great empires (and they really are/were great – be they Greco-Roman, British, American, Russian) for His own purposes.

                  • Tim R. Mortiss says

                    Then there’s the question that never seems to be discussed: why does the church have Daughters of Penelope and Maids of Athena as the women’s groups? I suppose the question is not why it had them, but why it still does. But that’s what you get with Greekism. To a Greek-speaking Eastern Roman, “Greek” meant pagan. And Greece was a forgotten backwater of the Empire.

                    And of course the men’s group is AHEPA. I am active in coffee hours and festival and helping elsewhere, but I won’t join AHEPA, because I’m not a Greek and I am not into the “principles of Hellenism”.

                    On the other hand, I now have 4 of my Anglo grandchildren in the dance groups, and they love it. But then, the non-Greeks now outnumber the Greek dancers.

                    • I’ve encountered a sort of ‘ethnicity cult’ everywhere I’ve been other than predominantly convert parishes, which frankly often have their own issues (and I speak as one myself). There is a strong identification of ethnicity with Orthodoxy. It’s wrong, of course; but there’s no changing it. Those immersed in it are rarely able to see it.

                      For me, it has become a source of humor, since it’s no use lamenting.

                      “Put your mouth on the spoon. It’s the Body and Blood of Christ. It’s not going to make you sick!”

                      “Don’t touch the spoon! Just open your mouth, and I’ll drop it in.” (These are known as ‘dumpers’ in Ortho-humor).

                      “Kiss the Chalice! (Slavic practice) Why must you be told? Are you even Orthodox?”

                      “Get your face away from the Chalice! (Greek practice-no Chalice kissing). Who are you, and what do you think you’re doing?”

                      When away from familiar customs, one must watch carefully for the local practice. It is especially difficult to distinguish dumpers from non-dumpers. One must strategically position one’s self to get a good observation angle. Pews (Did I say pews?) can make doing so especially challenging.

                      I remember the hubbub over a certain bishop who came from a Greek practice jurisdiction to celebrate Pascha for the first time in the Russian tradition. He made the unfortunate mistake of doing the Dialog with the Doorkeeper (Greek practice), something not done in the Russian practice.

                      “What in unholy hell is he doing banging on the door with the cross?!!!!! Who is this guy, and what sort of sacrilege is this?”

                      Too funny.

                      Glad to hear your granddaughters are dancing – Greek or otherwise. Seriously, almost no one in our culture dances anymore. It’s kind of sad.

                  • Tim R. Mortiss says

                    The parish member I refer to wasn’t talking about Hellenic civilization and its contribution to the West. He was talking about the Greek language itself, as a special language, superior to all other languages in its “numerical and mathematical attributes”. One example is the well-know instance of the ancient Greek who determined the circumference of the world. You will recall that he had heard that at a certain place south of Alexandria the noon sun was directly overhead, etc. etc. A well-known and great feat. But this he attributed to the perfection of the Greek language itself. This is the interesting point.

                • Tim, so what, the assertions about the Greek language may be true, I am not affirming them, but the body of Christ is about Jesus. Jesus is the author and finisher of Christianity not the Greek language.

                • Billy Jack Sunday says

                  Tim R. Mortiss

                  “I had a very interesting conversation on our recent Holy Land pilgrimage with a parish member, Greek born and raised but in the US over 40 years, about the Greek language. He insisted it is the only “numerically and mathematically perfect” human language, and that the achievements of ancient Hellenic civilization would have been impossible without this language”

                  Yet the pyramids were built by people who pretty much wrote in emoji

                  Some other thoughts

                  When it comes transmitting to the Gospel, the best language is the one most commonly used

                  From there, it can be translated to all other languages

                  The transmitters should not glory in their language, but rather the ultimate translation of the Gospel to every “tongue and tribe”

                  Greeks should not be so concerned if their language is spoken by all, but rather if the Orthodox faith is being effectively transmitted

                  English is the third most used language of the world

                  The U.S. is the third largest country in the world

                  The US has the greatest number of various immigrants from differing countries of the world

                  To conduct missions in America, is to subsequently reach out to the entire world by our immigration, travel and influence

                  How sad where we are at. Like a jet built to fly supersonic- yet only taxiing about here and there

                  For better or worse, we are the culture that reaches everywhere. Therefore, so does our American English

                  Today, you can sit down in the town of Nazareth

                  And eat McDonald’s, KFC, etc

                  I really feel this is where we, as American Orthodox Christians, are really missing a big picture

                  Not only are we not fulfilling our mission to our homeland, the United States – our great world influences is not expanding the Gospel, but rather expanding people’s waistlines

                  We need to come together as a Church here in America – without the impediments of the long overdone ethnic ghetto spiritual colonial eparchy mentality

                  Or start working on an emoji translation of the Bible

            • Do the choirs actually sing all the hymns in English?

              In the parishes to which I was referring, yes they do – at least in the Divine Liturgy (the only times I’ve been to two of them).

              I have been to one of them many times for Bridegroom Vespers during holy week. All in English, singing included, and the most beautiful, moving Byzantine chant I have ever heard in English other than a recording. Any who doubt that it can be beautiful in English could take a lesson from them.

              • Yes byzantine chant in english goes very well and is beautiful. There is also the point not mentioned that hearing the traditional a capella chant of the Church in english helps very much to then IDENTIFY what is sang in greek.

                In my Parish here in Bulgaria, I could Sing along the Great Friday Lamentations because the melodies was the same byzantine melodies as the greek. Same with Slav services.

          • M. Stankovich says

            The ridiculous part of this whole discussion – and what constitutes my current dilemma – is the fact that the form of Greek and Slavonic currently used liturgically is exclusive to the church – i.e. they are, like Latin, not colloquially spoke languages. And for as much as people may argue the similarities between colloquial Greek and, say, Russian, and New Testament Greek & Church Slavonic, native speakers of the modern langues have no clue what is going on in church. And this is loaded with irony.

            I was raised in a parish of the ROC that was a 100% English-speaking parish, with the notable exception of when the bishop visited. I then went to SVS where I discovered I knew nothing about the real order of the services, and worse, 30% of the time I had no idea what was being sung (it was in Slavonic); move to the Great Feasts and it was 50%+, and Lent, Holy Week, and Pascha, 60%. It was magnificent & glorious, but could have been verses from Keb’ Mo’s “Ready for the Whole Enchilada” for all I knew. Add 5-yrs. and we are standing before Met. Ireney of the OCA, having just sung the responses for the liturgy to celebrate Ft. Georges Florovsky’s 50th anniversary to the priesthood, and the Met. is scolding us (in Russian) that “the people” are complaining that the seminary graduates cannot speak Russian (as I’m thinking that everyone 30 and under is complaining that you cannot communicate with the bishops who don’t speak English).

            But more to the point made by Brian, this whole mania about language is fascinating in that native speakers of Greek and the Slavic languages do not understand New Testament Greek or Church Slavonic respectively, yet three successive priest at the ROCOR parish near me told me they retain the Slavonic because of the “new immigrants” from Russia. I nod my head, “Ah, yes, I hadn’t considered that,” when I’m thinking, “Are well all stupit? They prolly understand and comprehend less than me.” Nostalgia says it all. It’s like singing “Mother Machree.” At least the Serbs and Ukrainians had the common sense to translate the liturgical texts into their colloquial language!

            So, my dilemma: depending on my schedule (and I am always late somewhere because I frequently cannot predict the “end” of the day), I can walk to the Greek church – where, practically speaking, they use a relatively limited amount of Greek, or with a bit more time, drive the 2 miles to the ROCOR parish where it can be 50%-50% English/Slavonic. I grow increasingly impatient at ROCOR – unless I bring a service book like the Festal Menaion – where I will be standing with a group of people who are as ignorant as me as to what is being sung (but act as if they aren’t ignorant) OR tell the priest I’m going to the Greek church and see if he will actually excommunicate me (Yikes!) Or, I could go to the Copts, who treat everyone coming through their front door as if he were the Lord, and she as if she were the Lord’s Mother…

            • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

              There are very very few “propers” in the Orthodox Sunday Liturgy: unless a parish is liturgically minded enough to include the troparia on the Beatitudes, the only texts that change are the troparia and kontakia after the Entrance, plus the short Communion sentence. If one has become familiar with the Liturgy in one language, say English, one could visit a Chinese parish where everything is in Mandarin or Cantonese and know exactly “what is going on.” I’ve always been amazed when any Orthodox Christian complains: “it was all in, e.g., Swahili, and I couldn’t understand anything.” One might ask, “Oh? How much did you understand wen it was in your own language again?” By the way, in prerevolutionary Russia most school teachers were clergy and children learned Church Slavonic letters BEFORE Russian, so it was not ridiculous to aver that Russians understood the language of the Liturgy, even though they could not SPEAK CHURCH SLAVONIC. It is true that some misunderstood isolated words/expressions. Where we sing that the Holy Spirit fills all things, many Russians hear “FULFILLS everything, beause Ispoln’at’ in Churc Slavoni means “to fill up”, while in Russian it means to “fulfill.” ( Ispoln’at’ in Church Slavonic would be “napoln’at’ in Russian. Of course, “new” Russians or sovoks did not study Church Slavoni in Primary School… so Mihael S. is correct in that. I still maintain that, unless the Liturgy is changed so that it has lots of propers and less unchangeable text, it’s stretching it to complain about not UNDERSTANDING the Liturgy in this or that language.

              • Your Grace,

                There is a great difference between praying the Liturgy and merely knowing “what’s going on.”

                It is not enough to know “what’s going on.” One must be actively convicted by the Lord’s call to the crucified life, as expressed through hymns and readings.

                Perhaps some people can do that, but for most it’s a bridge too far…

                Don’t we love our people enough to speak to them in their own language?

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  I would like to offer a third perspective: There is something to be said for just being there. This summer I was at St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral in Kronstadt during a service and had no idea “what was going on.” I wasn’t conscious of being “actively convicted” either. I was just in the moment, and though people were winding their way in and out around me, I was content. Where they saw a museum, I saw a Church and though I knew little more than when to cross myself, I loved being a part of it and was better for it.

      • Very superficial reading or understanding of history to which not worth replying. No understanding of Russian or Ukrainian realities and I am defending no one’ s interests, just the historical truth which is a vast field of intense suffering to which people reacted to in different ways but left 20m Soviet dead of all nationalities but mostly Ukrainians, Bielorusians and Russians.

        What would an american, unless with roots there, know about that and how would they have reacted?. My family was in the occupation by germans and italians in Greece.

    • Johann Sebastian says

      The belief that Ukrainians are Nazis is one that my Carpatho-Russian family has held steadfastly to since WWII (some of whom fought proudly in American service). Calling us Ukrainians instead of Russians (even though we’re closer to the former than the latter) is taken as an indignity of the highest order.

      This notion isn’t a recent invention, nor is it a product of some fantasized Kremlin misinformation campaign.

      As an aside, the biggest Polish joke ever is Ukraine. The Rus’ people are the punchline.

      • Bobby Carpazes says

        I know a lady whose Polish Catholic father and Russian Orthodox mother married in Nazi camps. She sees the Ukranians as Nazis.

      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

        I believe it is to the Ukrainian “Greek Catholics” that the appellations Nazi or Nazi-lover most directly applies.. Of course all Ukrainians had to decide which were worse: German Nazis are Russian communists!. Terrible choice. However neither Marxist Leninism nor Nazism was native to Ukraine as they were, respectively, to Russia and Germany.

      • M. Stankovich says

        This is a bit amusing, in a nauseating sort of way, in that my father – an officer of the Serbian army, an army he described as having dimensions significantly more “underground” than many – was captured and spent the last 16-months of WWII in Dachau. As far as he was concerned, they were captured because their position had been revealed by the Croatians, who were known state collaborators with the Nazis. Balkan conclusion: Croatians are Nazis. This completed the duo of historical hatred – Muslims (generically referred to as “Turks”) and Croatians – and the post-modern triumvirate of Muslims, Croatians, and communists. By then, I had settled on the impression that some “tribes” essentially needed to be pissed off about something in order to sustain. The distance between Zagreb, Croatia (a Roman Catholic country) and Kyiv, Ukraine is less than 800-miles. Racial hatred can travel that distance in the time it takes to sneeze.

        • I was a great supporter of the Serbs in the 1990s until I realized the reason the Serbs never helped prosecute their Ustasha oppressors was they were afraid they would be helping the Jews. And most Greeks were uniate and all to willing to betray me to their Catholic friends as a “communist”.

        • Beryl Wells Hamilton says

          Michael Stankovich, your comment is much appreciated. Much respect for your father, and if he has passed away, may his memory be eternal!

  26. Polly Pollonium says

    Study the 1952 McCarran Walter act

  27. Gaekas Tsambounis says

    Same applies to how the Russians treat the Greeks. They condemn Greek nationalism at every turn, but are eager to assimilate us into the pan-Slav obschina. Just look at how Paul Erickson derides Paparigopoulos history and Dimitrakos dictionary. Look at all those arrogant missives by Russians and Arabs against Greeks a century ago in Paul Manolis collection Meanwhile, go to a Jewish synagogue and everyone gets up and chants in Hebrew.

  28. Pitouras Fammenos says

    I speak several languages fluently and can attest that there is no such thing as a good translation. Many Americanizers in our parish still argue over what words to use, some prefer those that rhyme rather than preserve meaning. Meanwhile, the USA suffers because kids can’t speak foreign languages. Sadly many aren’t competent at any sentient language, not even the one they claim as their own

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      What is an “Americanizer”? An American? Here’s the mission statement of our GOA parish, written quite awhile ago, at least long before I ever came along:

      “St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church proclaims and teaches the Gospel in accordance with the Orthodox Faith; sanctifies the faithful through God’s grace in worship, the Divine Liturgy, and other sacraments; enhances parishioners’ spiritual life; and adds to the faithful by receiving individuals into the Church through instruction, baptism, and/or chrismation.”

      Quite as it should be. Not a word about Greece (fortunately); and it explicitly recognizes evangelism.

      As to the other point, about Americans being very poor at foreign languages, it’s pretty simple: they are in a continental nation, which in turn speaks a language which has become the world lingua franca. They should learn other languages, and would if they needed to.

      • Being Anglo Greek and living in Bulgaria and knowing USA do I not understand.? In today’s world fluent English speaking Greeks say, may want to worship in Greek but quite happy to also in English or me Bulgarian or French and German as I have. What is vital is that the language of communication should be understood by all and should be, private conversation aside, of the host country.
        And given that today there is superb worship in English in all orthodox musical traditions, this is not a problem. What is a problem has been the hopefully fading, Greek American penchant for 19c sakellarides with organ or harmonium, BUT IT’S OK AS IT’S IN GREEK!!!

        • Tim R. Mortiss says

          Are there still a lot of harmoniums out there in GOA churches? They keep getting mentioned in these discussions…

          The one in our parish was pulled out 30 years and more ago. I haven’t been a lot of other GOA parish churches, but the ones I have been in have none of these organs.

          The question of pews seems a lot different than harmoniums. One I suppose could argue about pews, but I’ve never heard a defense of organ music in an Orthodox church.

          • Are there still a lot of harmoniums out there in GOA churches?

            None in my corner of the world, thankfully. Very traditional – except for the pews, of course, But I suppose that depends on one’s definition of tradition. When I was in Greece there were, while not pews, chairs in the parishes lined up in the same order as pews typically are. None in the monasteries, though. Billy and his wife would feel safe in the monasteries.

          • Billy Jack Sunday says

            Tim R. Mortiss

            “Are there still a lot of harmoniums out there in GOA churches?”

            I think a better question is, “Why aren’t there any harpsichords in Church?”

            You better believe that if any Orthodox parish had one, I’d be there every Sunday wearing a powdered wig, brass buttons and too many ruffles to count

      • Tim R. Mortis: “But now I wonder: maybe “the Greeks” like it that way– after all the true name,”Roman Empire”, might be inconvenient!”

        I say Christian Rome or Eastern Rome/Romans.

  29. Joseph Lipper says

    Archpriest Alexander F.C. Webster,

    Congratulations to you on the quotation of your very own words in Terry Mattingly’s published column.

    If, as you say, “Kiev is the Russian Orthodox Church, and the Russian Orthodox Church is Kiev”, then why does Moscow recognize the city of Kiev as the jurisdiction of a separate autonomous “Ukrainian Orthodox Church”? Are you implying that the Moscow Patriarchate is being disingenuous in this designation?

    The concept of a distinct “Ukrainian Orthodox Church” is officially supported by the Moscow Patriarchate. I believe even Crimea, now annexed for four years by Russia , is still under the jurisdiction of the “Ukrainian Orthodox Church”. Yet now Metropolitan Onuphrey is complaining about Poroshenko’s insistence on changing the name to the “Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine”.

    Sure, it’s understandable he wouldn’t want government interference in ecclesial matters, but if what you say is true, then wouldn’t this renaming be more consistent? If what you say is true, then wouldn’t it be more consistent for Moscow to rescind the autonomous status of Ukraine?

  30. Greek schools and military training impart the notion that everyone living in what was the brief, ancient empire of Alexander is a secret Greek whose main aspiration in life is reunion. They are also taught that Alexander was a forerunner of Christ.
    The muslims have a version of this but they refer to him as Prophet Iskandar.
    I suspect Gaekas refers to John Erickson, as Paul Erickson was the NRA Butina’s humpster.

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      I got a bit of that also in Cyprus. I asked the parishioner that I’ve mentioned why a Greek Cypriot would want to be part of Greece (yes, I knew a fair amount about the enosis history and the events of 1974), even though it never was. Cyprus seemed to be doing pretty well economically (from my brief and superficial observations). He simply said that everybody of Greek culture wanted to be part of Greece.

      From our discussions it was clear, also, that he thought that the Byzantine Empire was “Greek”.

      Which has made me recently reflect: more than one person in the past here has claimed that the latter-day term “Byzantine Empire” is part of the general conspiracy of everything Western against everything Orthodox. All do know that it is a term invented by Western academics, albeit centuries ago. I assumed the term persists because of its obvious convenience.
      But now I wonder: maybe “the Greeks” like it that way– after all the true name,”Roman Empire”, might be inconvenient!

      • Yrs and No . Colloquial Greek refers to Greeks as Romioi, Romios, and byzantine was a word never used by the inhabitants. They saw themselves as Christian Orthodox and as Greek speaking. Nationalism in the
        19th c post napoleonic sense was alien to them as was racism.All were welcome if they adopted the faith and culture. Only with the dawning Turkish conquest did a specifically Greek nationalism arise defining itself against turk and latin
        Not forgetting that 19c question asked in Greece, ‘Are you Bulgarian or Orthodox?! ‘ and. ‘are you a Christian or Catholic??!’

    • George Michalopulos says

      Interesting that both Cyrus the great and Alexander the great are extolled in Jewish as as well as Islamic deurero-canonical writings.

      • Tim R. Mortiss says

        Indeed, Alexander is one of the few Gentile names regarded as a traditional Jewish name.

        His ancient reputation was as being favorable towards the Jews.

  31. In Bulgaria we use Bulgarian Agree

  32. Matipas Zelonitas says

    ca 1970 both my Greek-born and American-Italian (RC) schoolteachers said it was Pilate not the Jews who killed Jesus

    • Monk James Silver says

      The proximate history of events notwithstanding, it is pointless and unhelpful for us Christians to blame either the Jews or the Romans for the death of our Lord Jesus Christ.

      Each and all of us, by our sins, crucified Jesus, and I myself am first among sinners.

      Yet, there is hope. As remember during each Divine Liturgy, this same Jesus said that He gave us His broken body and His spilled blood for the forgiveness of our sins. Then, as one of the last things He said before He died on the cross, He begged His (and our) Father: ‘Forgive them, Father! They don’t know what they’re doing.

      Then He rose from the dead on the third day, proving the truth of everything He had said. As St John Chrysostom wrote: ‘Pardon has dawned from the tomb!’

      And, as Christ has pardoned us, let us pardon each other and so come to share in His resurrection.

  33. Loras Camzekes says

    This should permanently shut down the farsical Russian arguments about phyletism: the Bulgarian Exarchate still exists! “Bulgarian St Stephen Church also known as the Bulgarian Iron Church, is a Bulgarian Orthodox church in Balat, Istanbul, Turkey. It is famous for being made of prefabricated cast iron elements in the neo-Gothic style. The church belongs to the Bulgarian minority in the city. The Bulgarians of the Ottoman Empire used to pray at the churches of the Phanar Orthodox Patriarchy, but nationalistic movements allowed Bulgarians a national church in the 19th century, the Bulgarian Exarchate.”