Mommy Dearest?

Received this from one of our contributors:

This week, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew ordained to the episcopacy the new bishop-elect Ambrosios of Evdokias at the Holy Church of St. Alypios in Antalya where he said:  “My visit today and our common prayer coincide with an unfortunate situation of Orthodoxy in general and particularly in the relations of the Mother Church of Constantinople and the daughter Church of Russia. Unfortunately, the sister Church of Russia decided to break communion with us, with the Ecumenical Patriarchate, in order to show her dissatisfaction over the issue of Autocephaly of the Church in Ukraine. We have not followed, we have not broken communion with her, she is a daughter of Constantinople, we always love her whatever happens, and today you heard in the Diptychs that I commemorated His Beatitude Patriarch Kirill. It is a temptation for all of us and a difficulty about which we will all pray. But, unfortunately, the Russian Church does not help, and it creates additional problems by sending priests un-canonically and against the rules, which are liturgizing in various parts of Turkey. The same thing is done here in your own area. There is a priest who comes and liturgizes in Belek, and you know that Turkey is exclusively the canonical territory of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.  I urge my brothers, all of you, to stay united around your Metropolitan, our brother Sotirios, and the new Bishop Ambrosios, and listen to their advice. We desire for peace and love to return quickly to our mutual relations. What I ask of you, as your Patriarch, is to have unity and obedience for your own Bishop. . .”


Russia, like the diaspora, is slipping into a daughter role.  If Russia continues to misbehave can Mommy Dearest rip the pearls of autocephaly away from her pretty, little neck?

It’s a possibility, suggested Archbishop Job in Chambésy, Switzerland, November 2, 2018:  “. . . these new autocephalous or new patriarchates were never confirmed by an Ecumenical Council since they were created by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, then, at some point, if the Ecumenical Patriarchate deems it necessary, it can cancel this status. . .   He expressed hope that the Russian Church “will come to reason and return to unity with the Ecumenical throne because the Ecumenical throne does not want to break relations with the Orthodox Church in Russia.” “But,” he continued, “if this situation persists for a long time, then, of course, the Ecumenical throne, as the first throne of ecumenical Orthodoxy, will be forced to take certain measures—to resort to certain decisions to ensure the unity of the Church.”

So in one sentence relationship between Cpole and Moscow is that of a “mother and daughter” but in the next sentence, Moscow is a “sister” Church? Only to be relegated to a “daughter” again in the next sentence? Does any of this make sense? And in what context?

The words of Archbishop Job Getcha are fabulous. And I mean this in the original sense: as in “not believable”, and “not credible”. And therefore not good. Why? Simply because they are do not comport with historical reality nor the canons as properly understood. The new, improved ecclesiology that has been promulgated by the Phanar’s new ideologies (particularly the new primate of the GOA) is so novel that it would not make sense even if Byzantium still existed. And let us not engage in fantasy, Byzantium hasn’t existed for centuries. Let us take this further: Even when there was one, united Church –East and West–never were the canons which pertained specifically to Rome ever this hyperbolic.

This is not primacy but supremacy. And as such, it displays an unhealthy defiance of the very words of Christ Himself as to how His Bride should behave. And pragmatically speaking, any such a hierarchical regime that promulgates such a supremacist view is destined for the ash-heap of history.

Make no mistake: These are not words spoken from a position of confidence. They are instead a type of special pleading and have as much rhetorical currency as can be expected from a plaintiff who has no case. (And as already stated, there is no historical case in which the Archbishop of Constantinople ever had this much authority.) If these unfortunate sentiments are allowed to stand, it will only be at the sufferance of the other primates, and only because they do not wish to embarrass Bartholomew –or force him into schism.

Restraint such as this is a mercy but at some point sanity will inevitably step in and take over. It always does. The Church did not wish to discipline Nestorius or Arius, but when push came to shove, She did. Nor did She wish to anathematize the errors of Calvin (who was not even in the Church) but She did. Salvation demands the correction of error, anything less is a dereliction of duty. Hopefully, of course, the other primates –and indeed the entire episcopate–will deal with these extravagant, unrealistic and dubious claims in due time. Indeed, they must.

Otherwise, the See of Constantinople will go the way of the “First Rome”. And because of the Phanar’s ridiculous obsession with the concept of Rome in the first place, it will likely see another, more realistic “Rome” arise in another place. A Rome which can actually lay claim to being the capital of a Christian nation. Something which Istanbul cannot do.

With regard to Constantinople’s obsession with taking over the “First Rome”, another fairy tale allusion comes to mind:

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall; 
All the King’s horses
And all the King’s men,
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

Lord have mercy.

G Sheppard


  1. Rhonda Dodson says

    Back in November when Getcha wrote that piece, I commented to some monastic friends of mine that that piece was a first warning shot by Constantinople to the MP of what is to come if the MP does not bend to Constantinople. A maneuver of revoking the MP autocephaly could backfire hard on Constantinople. As Constantinople likes to point out, other than Antioch, Alexandria, Jerusalem & Cyprus, the autocephalies of none of the other nine patriarchates have been confirmed by pan-Orthodox council which leaves the express implication that Constantinople has the authority & privilege to revoke any & all of them. If Constantinople would revoke the MP’s autocephaly, it just might find that it has up to 8 more patriarchates siding with the MP, perhaps more if the other 4 decide to act as well. After all, if Constantinople revokes Moscow’s autocephaly, then what is to stop it from revoking the other 8? And if Constantinople is so willing to overstretch the canons in its over-reaching in power, then what is to stop it from declaring that it has the authority, as the “first without equal”, to revoke the authority of the oldest 4 patriarchates & be-dammed the canons? 

    • George Michalopulos says

      Rhonda, indeed. Cpole hasn’t really thought this thing through. Worse, they expose themselves as being gratuitous with the truth in that they make things up as they go along (in this case the difference between autocephalies being ratified by Ecumenical Councils as opposed to later autocephalies).

      I believe it was Talleyrand who such actions which were based on faulty reasoning best: “This is worse than criminal, it is stupid”.

      • And yet a man can claim he is a women and people take him seriously.  So here we are.  Delusion and the Kingdom of Lies.

      • But so long as the rest of the Local Churches remain mute Bart continues to ply his insidious trade without contradiction. The execrable Metaxakis ‘reforms’ have not been opposed in a century. The silence and inactivity reads as assent. The Fener is making a mockery of Church and there is nothing substantial being done to counter it. I would expect droves of lay theologians furiously publishing theses against Fener abuses. But we have nearly absolute silence. This leads me to think that the community as a whole has no strong self-preservation instinct or tools to activate it. Not a promising prognosis. 

        • In America and the West at least, sadly there remains a core Orthodox contingent who are still afraid of “offending” the GOA. Not sure why. But certainly hierarchs and influential clergy in many jurisdictions remain fearful of coming across as offensive to the GOA. That may explain much of the muteness. My guess is that there is a certain amount of learned helplessness at play, and some leaders in the GOA probably love the learned helplnessness that they have induced in many American Orthodox over the past few decades.

          Another case in point is Ancient Faith Radio. I love much of their content and used to listen to many of their podcasts, but the fact that AFR has declared the EP’s behavior over the past year as off-limits for discussion on its media shows just how laughable it is to label AFR as a serious journalistic organization.

          Kevin Allen (of blessed memory) and even Fr Tom Hopko (also of blessed memory) used to do some very good journalism for AFR where they would address tough but important issues facing the Orthodox world, but since then AFR simply doesn’t allow their shows to ask the tough questions. There are plenty of puff piece AFR shows, like “Get to know that Orthodox Christian next door to you who makes chess sets!” or stuff like that — not that these kinds of shows are bad, but simply that they are not terribly compelling. AFR flagrantly ignores the most serious jurisdictional and likely heretical issue to face our faith in centuries.

          If AFR were serious, they would allow shows and serious Orthodox journalists to address the EP’s behavior over the past year and would address the drama that has been unfolding with the Ukrainian church schism over the past year. Obviously, they would present all sides and angles to the issue.

          But they’re not serious or interested in doing this, in all likelihood because they are (1) afraid of offending those in the GOA and losing Greek donors, and (2) probably they know that, to any serious Orthodox Christian, the EP’s behavior over the past year has been outright scandalous and cannot hold up in any serious discussion, let alone be defended without the EP’s representative saying “I won’t answer any more questions.”

          Yes, an emissary of the EP can deliver a paper at some arcane conference about how glorious the “first of the Orthodox thrones” or whatever they’re calling themselves these days is, but in a back-and-forth interview where one has to answer tough questions, the EP and his backers would get flayed alive. We all saw how terrible the GOA’s “town hall” meeting went for the GOA, and that was put on by the GOA itself!

          All data points suggest that AFR is simply afraid of losing GOA money and donors. Hence, their muteness. And in my mind, hence also their reliance these days on puff pieces and on simply rebroadcasting dozens of clergy’s Sunday sermons.

          • Lana Ivanova says

            AFR is an ecumenical joke and should be shut down for leading Orthodox Christians astray, even without what you are speaking of.

        • Claes:
          “The Fener is making a mockery of Church and there is nothing substantial being done to counter it. I would expect droves of lay theologians furiously publishing theses against Fener abuses. But we have nearly absolute silence. This leads me to think that the community as a whole has no strong self-preservation instinct or tools to activate it. Not a promising prognosis. ”

          Actually there is quite some resistance in Greece:
          Here are some examples:
          (!) The newspaper “Orthodoxos Typos” is constantly fighting for Orthodoxy for many decades.

          (3) The Holy Metropolis of Piraeus:

          In the USA:
          Fr. Emmanuel Hatzidakis

          and others

          • You’re absolutely right Ioannis. I would vehemently disagree with the claim that there has been “absolute silence” on this issue. For one thing, every autocephalous Orthodox church except for Greece has made a statement of specific support for his Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and all Ukraine. With more than half of them making specific statements condemning the actions of the EP. Us in the US only have the perspective that there has been “silence” on this issue because the current Jurisdictional situation in the USA has prevented many bishops from making specific statements on the issue. But even still, many have made statements that are readily available. For example, metropolitan Joseph of the Antiochian church made a statement a month ago specifically voicing the Antiochian church’s support for the canonical Ukranian church, and its absolute disagreement with the EP. The OCA, ROCOR, and Serbian churches in the USA have also all released statements of specific support for the canonical UOC. We just dont hear about it much because there aren’t many news websites that cover Orthodox church news in the USA, and those that exist that do are very pro-EP.

          • I would add:
            Very good Greek websites that brings all these issues to light.

            • Loras Camzekes says

              Triklopodia lost me when I saw articles by Michael “The Gnat” Ignatiou whose Bobolas Ethnos newspaper lost a lawsuit  in the 1990s when the Economist correctly claimed they were soviet agents. It was Ignatious who proclaime Obama’s election as the end of Jewish domination of America and then shamelessly also that Trump’s election was America’s return to Christianity.

        • Claes: “The execrable Metaxakis ‘reforms’ have not been opposed in a century.”
          I dream about time when Old Calendarists are reintegrated into mainstream Orthodoxy and Metaxakis “reforms” are undone.

          • The 2016 Crete Meet conspicuously missed the opportunity to impugn Metaxakis’ (ptui ptui ppptuuui!) nastiness. But that’s no surprise. I loved the way the Archon’s Virtual Town Hall went awry with the airing of honest scholarship by the lady church historian who effectively made Metr. Emmanuel a monkey’s uncle. It’s like that Tone 4 troparion for holy hierarchs states, “the truth of things revealed…”. God will not be mocked. The feckless cowardice of AFR in the face of Fener crime renders their outlet part of the problem, bland  enablers peddling anodyne pablum and pious twaddle to neophytes unaccustomed to eating meat. Same of mediated outlets like the Orthodox subreddit. All helping sweep the ugliest controversy in centuries under the rug to the benefit of the malefactors. 
            I strongly disagree with the politics of this blog’s author and most of its participants but I perdure because there are so few places on the web where orthodox opinion in the English language is aired, so I put up with the other partisan (always pro-republican) stuff crammed in here. I know the Orthodox here in the US are mostly rightwing so I’m used to it.
            I recall back in 2009 when then-Bp  Jonah fired back at the nasty polemic of the now-Archbishop Elpidophoros Lambrianides that so insulted the rest of us not of the homogeneia and tipped the Turk’s hand as to the Fener’s pretty obvious ambition to eventually wrangle control of all our churches. I saw Frederica Mathewes-Green shortly after it a a function and heard straight from her patrician lips how distasteful she and her Episcopalian clergy friend found Bp. Jonah’s well-reasoned riposte. Then came his forced apology.
            I appreciate all the reasonable dissenting voices and hope they coalesce into a solid witness widely attesting truth and church order against the chaos inculcated out of Istanbul. 

            • George Michalopulos says

              Thank you, Claes. It’s why I get up every day and slog through the Orthosphere to fight the good fight.

              I for one, am tired of “Minnesota nice” and Episcopalian rectitude. It’s ok if you got a nice sinecure but for those of us who are proles and fighting in the trenches, rifles can be used as clubs when you run out of ammo. Jesus did not say “I came to bring you good manners” and He didn’t read from Emily Post.

  2. Glad you depicted the hierarchs as female cartoon characters because they are both. 

    • Our most Holy Theotokos is female.

      • Michael Bauman says

        Tanya, not just female, a full and complete woman, mother and ultimate disciple of Christ.  
        It is an insult to women to say this hierarchy is acting like females.  They are self-neutered males who have sold the Orthodox patrimony they were given for the ash and lies of the appearance of worldly power and glory. Meanwhile the RCC, they emulate continues to self-destruct.  The Kansas Bureau of Investigation just announced an investigation into Catholic clergy sexual abuse. 
        All religious organizations including the Orthodox have abuse problems but the RCC has become the poster child for it.  
        The time for repentance not power cannot be more apparent.  Except the Cpole crew has no eyes to see apparently. 

  3. “you know that Turkey is exclusively the canonical territory of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.”
    Oooffff. The EP wasn’t content on just threatening Moscow, he also had to slight Antioch and Georgia as well

  4. Whenever I think of the Patriarch of New Rome, I am reminded of the story ‘The Emperor Has No Clothes.’ I think that the time has come to stop feeding his delusions by using the term ‘Ecumenical Patriarch’. One could simply say: the Patriarch of Constantinople.  I personally would go further than that and simply refer to him as the ‘Patriarch of Turkey’. 

    • jacksson says

      How about bishop of Turkey?

    • When did “Ecumenical” become part of the title? (She asked sheepishly.)

      • George Michalopulos says

        Way back when Patriarch John IV Neusteftis called himself that. And then Pope Gregory I the Great told him to take it back. It was never used again for almost a thousand years until the 13th century. And the context of the word was “imperial” not “universal”.

      • Tim R. Mortiss says

        “My bicycle wheel is melting”, Tom spoke softly.
        [sorry, couldn’t resist.]

      • St. Nikodimos explains in the Canon 28 (4th Ec.Council):

        The appellation “Ecumenical” was bestowed by the clergymen of Antioch and the Orthodox Christians in Byzantium upon the Bishop of Constantinople John the Cappadocian during the sixth century…
        …not by any canons of the Councils or of the Fathers of the Church but given by custom to the bishop of Constantinople.
        Rudder, Cummings, pp.274-275.

        It is interesting to note that the well-known St. John Chrysostom (GoldenMouth) who live two centuries earlier, was “merely” called “Archbishop of Constantinople”. He also did not want to become Bishop and was also literally kidnapped to the Church and made Bishop by force!

        How come we use the Divine Liturgy of Chrysostom and not by that … first “Ecumenical Patriarch” , John the Cappadocian?

      • Susan, please see my reply:
        July 25, 2019 at 10:22 am

  5. I look at this and other blogs because I am interested in our Orthodox immigrant community. I don’t know anybody here personally and would never argue with anyone, especially about politics, as there would be no point doing so, because real Monarchy will never return. Real history ended in 1918, after that ……. well as my Godmother used to say …..common men make no real history…..thus the politicking on this blog doesn’t interest me….However, I am  puzzled why some of the people on this site are getting so worked up and are concerned with this Patriarch Bartholomew. If he revoked the autocephaly of Our Russian Church, how could he enforce such a decision, send the Turkish army to subdue Russia and impose his will….these Phanariots… is like mice talking to a bear….why   waste  cyberspace and effort writing about them….? Why worry about it at all….?
    p.s. english is not my native tongue, if there are errors, go ahead and laugh…

    • Taso that is a good question.  I am outraged by what the Bishop of Istanbul is doing because Christ explicitly said we are to be one.  Black Bart is tearing apart the unity of the Church in direct contradiction of Christ’s command.  He also fiddles in Church politics instead of fulfilling in any way the Great Commission.  But that is another story.
      I am more outraged because Black Bart is in a real way inflicting Ukrainian nationalist (neo-Nazi) state authorities on good pious Orthodox people in the canonical Church. Churches are being violently stolen from the people whose families have worshipped there for generations.  All to support Black Bart’s papal delusions.
      This violence against good pious simple Christian people all lays at Black Bart’s feet.  He must repent of his madness.  He already has blood on his hands for this.

      • George C Michalopulos says

        You know, as someone with somewhat of a cynical streak, I want to know why the State Dept is copacetic with all the Nazis in the Ukraine. I didn’t get the memo, has Hitler been rehabilitated?

        OK, snark off: folks, the situation in Ukraine is serious. While there is a Rada and the new President has official power, the real power on the streets are the Ukronazi death squads, Ukrainian society is caught between two different oligarchic poles. Right now Komsoloiski (the oligarch backing Zelenskiy) represents the legal, official pole. Komsoloiski’s enemies in the oligarchy represent the other and their power flows from the armed gangs.

    • Michael Bauman says

      taso, Personally, I will never laugh at anyone’s English who is not a native speaker. I am totally unable to learn any language but English. The only thing I remember from my attempt at Spanish is the teacher saying, in Spanish, poor child, after every attempt of mine to speak Spanish. Still cannot write it correctly. So, don’t sell yourself short.

      But, as to why folks talk about Pat. Bartholomew, because he has a direct impact on the Orthodox Church here in the United States. Non-Greek Orthodox are quietly, or in this case not so quietly, concerned about the negative on Orthodox life here in the US.

      From the politics of our State Department that, at the least, encouraged PBs actions to the public attitude toward non-Greek Orthodox displayed by his primary spokesmen in the US. They have been quite dismissive of we Orthodox who are not Greek.

      Further, a good deal of money flows from here to there, possibly not all of it legally.

      The good news is that perhaps the actions of PB will finally force the rest of our bishops to step up and grow a pair and act in concert to articulate and act to build a proper ecclesiology here in the New World.

      You are quite correct in that he can do nothing to the MP of any consequence. We Antiochians have quite a long history (here in the US) of close ties to the MP. Not least of which is St. Raphael of Brooklyn. Any action against the MP will likely make those bonds of brotherhood stronger in action than they have been lately.

    • Estonian Slovak says

      Taso, I don’t see errors in your English. Considering how crazy our English spelling is, you are to be commended. Even Hungarian, though a difficult language for foreigners, is more phonetic than English. So also, is Spanish, which explains why Slavs and Hungarians, who migrated to South America , pick up the language without the same difficulties one would encounter in English. If you heard my broken Serbian, you would think that funny. They say it sounds Russian to them. Yet, my Russian sounds French because of the difficulties in pronouncing r before East Slavic vowels. And my French is largely forgotten….

      • George Michalopulos says

        ES, for what it’s worth, English is not only unphonetic (written wise anyway) it also has the most irregular verbs than any other language. “I – am – is” makes no sense. The adjectives aren’t much better: it should be “good – gooder- goodest”.

        • Michael Bauman says

          George, we have more irregular verbs than any other language, not “the most”. OR, English has the most irregular verbs. But, that is just more evidence of your point.

          • George Michalopulos says

            If memory serves, English has 236 irregular verbs whereas Turkish clocks in with the least at one.

          • Michael Bauman: “we have more irregular verbs than any other language”
            In Polish big part of verbs are irregular, and those that are regular fall into several different groups. Few Poles can master all.

            • Michael Bauman says

              Martin, mine was a grammar counterpoint to George’s language point.  If you want to question the veracity of the statement, take it up with George.

        • George,
          “English is not only unphonetic”:
          English is not even “English” from Anglia, it is a mixture of:
          Celtic (native, aboriginal)
          German/Germanic, say 8th -9th century, invaders 
          French , invaders
          Latin, invaders/classic
          Greek, classic
          good – better is not “English” but German irregularity:
          gut  –  besser.
          enough (enaf) is from the German:

          • George Michalopulos says

            Mainly a Germanic skeleton with Latin, Greek and Norman French contortions, wouldn’t you say?

            • George latest thoughts on the germanization of england is not slaughter and fire beyond possibly the elites in 6-7 c AD. But the adoption by celtic peasants slowly of German dress etc and language. Just as during roman period they picked up some Latin etc.
              The Nornan -French brought French of course but this never spread to the serfs who were Anglo saxon / celtic and majority and by 14 c ‘ english’ now French influenced was becoming norm and in 1405 I think, the language used in courts of law. Where even today residual French Terms still used.
              What is sure is thst in eastern half of england as opposed and scotland, river names etc, were all Anglo Saxon. Latin of course was the language of the Church

              • Tim R. Mortiss says

                Don’t forget Old Norse. My own family name is Old Norse from the North of England, and there are countless place names and family names in the North that come from the Danish Vikings who settled what became the Danelaw. Quite a bit of vocabulary, too.
                So I figure my Old Norse name is as English as it gets; certainly more than any Norman name!

                • Tim. Yes the ranpaging raping vikings put it about a bit!!  Actually they were much more than that and bigger traders than we ever thought.  Yes their blood and language strong in North west of england and York and scotland and ireland.  The Norman -French remained a cast to themselves and are especially the bastards now running uk.   They even look different. 

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Indeed.  Several years ago, when my sons and I traveled north from Londonistan, we came across some Old Norse names.  The most famous one of course being York (Jarvik I believe in the original).  

                  • George parts of London are not Londonstan except in way one might refere to Palmers Green in North London as Palmers Greek, for obvious reasons. We lived 23 yrs in London. I once heard two english ladies walking past the two greek churches in Trinity rd, Wood Green on a Sunday morning, saying ‘ why don’t they go home, it’s not the Wood Green we knew with their ‘ mosques’!!! ? So works every which way.
                    Now if you refering to.some northern cities such as Derby ( more midlands) you will be more correct.

                    • In turnpike lane,  north London there is a large greek ex- Anglican church and across the road a new mosque. It’s funny cos the Mosque would make an ideal Orthodox church if u stuck a Cross on the dome, which knowing from where  mosques came,not surprising. 

          • Tim R. Mortiss says

            English is Greek! I knew it! We say pneumatic!

            • Tim, how do you mean 
              “English is Greek! I knew it! We say pneumatic!”?


              take random pages of Webster’s
              and write down the origin of words.
              You will invariably find that they mainly come from the above 5 groups. the percentage may vary from say 10% to 30% for the various groups.
              Example: most words ending in -ion like collection, nation are Norman/French.  

              • George Michalopulos says

                According to Langfocus (excellent YouTube channel btw), English is 6% Greek origin. 15% if you include scientific jargon.

                • It clicks with my minimum of about 10%

                  BTW it must be remembered that the Germanic invaders ca. 8th-9th century forced the natives to forget Celtic and learn the German language.

                • Tim R. Mortiss says

                  We say pneumatic. The French say pneumatique.
                  We say Windex. The French say Ouindexe.

            • George C Michalopulos says

              LOL! I said English was “mainly a Germanic” language.

              • I suppose some people need to read something
                twice or
                to really understand it
                (tongue in cheek).

  6. The Black Sheep says

    The Union of Orthodox Journalists website ( is providing comprehensive and informative coverage of what is happening both in the Phanar and in Ukraine.  Of particular interest is an article posted yesterday (July 25):  This is not just an inter-Orthodox territorial squabble or even the much more serious issue of Orthodox ecclesiology and the policies and actions of the Phanar over the past century; it is much broader and sinister in scope.      

  7. Gail Sheppard says

    Turkey’s Orthodox Christians endangered by Patriarchate’s support for Kiev – Serbian bishop

    The head of the largest diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro has called on the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople to call together representatives of Orthodox churches around the world for a council and resolve the dispute with the Russian Orthodox Church over a breakaway church.
    Metropolitan Bishop of Montenegro and the Littoral, Amfilohije Radović, told Russian state news agency TASS that the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople’s actions were “ruining the foundations” of the 2,000 Orthodox Christians living in Turkey and could spell disaster.
    Russia’s Orthodox Church froze its ties with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, in September 2018 over the Patriarchate’s support for a bid for independence by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to split from Moscow.
    In January, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I signed a decree of independence for the Ukrainian church, effectively splitting it from the Moscow Patriarchate.
    The Ukrainian church began taking steps to break free from the Russian church after Ukraine’s pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych was deposed in an uprising in 2014, prompting an ongoing conflict that has seen Moscow invade and annex the Crimean Peninsula.
    The Ecumenical Patriarch’s decision to side with the Ukrainian church has caused a split in the church that must be overcome, Radović told TASS in an interview.
    “The only thing that Constantinople could do today is to gain strength because it is not easy for it and to convene the Pan-Orthodox Council, agree with the Moscow Patriarchate and find a solution in order to overcome the split in the church. I believe this is the only thing that can be done,” Radović said.
    The Ecumenical Patriarch is considered the “first among equals” in the autonomous Orthodox churches around the world, and he does not wield the same authority as the Catholic Pope. The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople uses the old Greek name for the city of Istanbul.
    Radović said the Ecumenical Patriarch’s decision had been unwise, and that the split had affected Orthodox communities around the world.
    “This is a serious damage for the Constantinople Patriarchate. All conferences of bishops, which used to be held earlier around the world, have been almost suspended both in Latin America and in Europe … This is a tragic story,” he said.
    The Serbian metropolitan said no local church had recognised the creation of the independent Ukrainian church, and added that he was sure the move had been made under pressure from the United States or Europe.
    In September, when the Russian Orthodox Church froze its ties with the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Bartholomew responded that his church was not afraid of threats.

  8. Mel Labrocles says

    The old academic hangouts like Storneara and Bucharest Streets in Athens are now all muslim. As to English, Vlakentios Malamatenios and Florida Angelakos are now furious that Elps has only given sermons in English since his arrival. Formerly Putin partisans, these dudes now attack Putin for helping Turkey drill the Agean. And they proclaim that non-Orthodox flock to our churches to learn Greek. Anything to sell more gyro.

  9. I’ve read the article and the comments and want to add my standpoint too. I am from Ukraine. I am really surprised and very thankful for all people who support the canonical Ukrainian Church led by met. Onufri. Especially, to the Greeks. I understand that for them, it must be the most painful to disagree with the one who claims to be the very heart of the Greek nation. For us, it was also very painful when pat. Bartholomew, having supporting us for decades then, out of blue, backstabbed and recognised the aggressive schismatics and gave them tomos. And his arguments about Romes and mother-daughter relations sound like mockery, since Orthodox Ukrainians, being oppressed by violent schismatics (supported by Phanar), have absolutely nothing to do with pat. Bartholomew’s personal feuds or frictions with pat. Cyril, or whoever. One part of these schismatics were ordained by anathemised notoriously-famous ex-met. Filaret (whose anathema was approved by Phanar for decades), the other part – by fraud “bishop”, who used to be a deacon. Phanar did not even bother to ordain them before concelebrating with them. Catholic Rome, in all its self-proclaimed authority, has never done anything like that.We, the canonical UOC, is the majority (among religious people) in Ukraine, but the schismatics are aggressive, violent and hypocritical. And they are often supported by the non-religious (or Eastern Catholic in the western regions) authorities, being a better client for them: we preach Christianity, they preach political agenda. I want you to understand, we are frustrated with Phanar, but we are not Greekophobes. If any of you read very emotional letter of met. Luke of Zaporizhia to pat. Bartholomew, you may think that he is a Greekophob. But it is not true either. He did prohibit to use any elements of the Greek liturgical traditions  in his diocese after Phanar’s treachery. But before it, with his consent, many priests in his diocese had enjoyed using Greek-style vestments, using some Athonite traditions, or even some prayers were sung in Greek in the liturgy, just because we are all in love with the beauty of the Greek tradition. Now many of us are upset, but it will be quickly restored once this Church crisis is finally solved. I really hope there will be an Ecumenical council which will resolve this crisis. But as we can see, Phanar is the only Church refusing for the council to be convened, obviously, because if a real pan-Orthodox council judges this matter, Phanar won’t be able to prove right.