The Globalists Lose Another One!

ecuThe news keeps on getting better and better. First the SCOTUS ruling, then Brexit, now good news from Crete.

Some of the commentators on this blog broke the news from a website called OrthodoxEthos. It seems that the Church of Greece forced changes in the watered-down document regarding the relationship between Orthodoxy and the rest of the Christian world.

In particular, the self-understanding of the Orthodox was reinforced in compliance with the Nicene Creed and other Christian bodies were termed “heterodox” and not as “churches.”

Although this can be viewed as hurtful to those that seek increasing dialogue with Orthodoxy (and personally, I’ve been involved in ecumenism when it comes to pro-life matters), the hidden agenda of the globalists forced our hand in my opinion.

Make no mistake: the other Christian denominations for the most part have succumbed to the spirit of the Age. This goes double for Pope Francis I’m afraid. Indeed, I would go so far to say that under this pope, the Papacy is now subservient to the globalist program. Under such a scenario, there is no way that Holy Orthodoxy could enter into dialogue given that the other Christian interlocutors are not acting in good faith.

In my estimation, the Church of Greece stepped up and did the right thing because of implicit support from the Athonite party as well as Moscow. This is such a stinging rebuke to the Phanariotes that I can’t see it any other way. Regardless, I don’t care who Greece was carrying water for but it was the right thing to do.

I don’t know the particulars of this new, revised document. Has it been signed? Has it been proclaimed as being the consensus? How is Bartholomew going to implement it in his dealings with Francis? “I’m sorry Buddy, but you’re not the head of a church?” Things could get delicate for the Phanar, especially since Pope Francis just celebrated a Mass in Yerevan where he condemned the Armenian Holocaust and those in the Turkish government who peddle in genocide denialism.

In short, as I told one of my correspondents, I’m going to wait for the ink to dry before I pop the champagne.

In the final analysis though, AXIOS! to the Church of Greece for mandating the change. Let’s hope it sticks.


  1. Gregory Manning says

    Fr. Peter is urging caution and patience on the Pan Orthodox Council FB page:

    Peter Heers with James Thornton and 41 others.
    2 hrs
    ΝΟΤΕ ΤΟ ΜΥ READERS, Regarding the Text “Relations of the Orthodox Church with the Rest of the Christian World”:

    Once we have examind the final text of the “Relations” text, I will post a first review and share other reactions from observers here in Greece, which should be forthcoming soon.*

    The change proposed by the Church of Greece and accepted by the Council was initially met with a positive reception, most likely because it was being compared with the previous version. This was premature, given that we did not have the full text. It is best to wait and assess the text, and indeed the Council in general, after a full review in proper context.

    I understand that there are those who are already spinning it in a certain direction, with poor translations which reflect their ecclesiological outlook. We all need to be patient and with other respected and knoweldgable clergy and theologians here in order to produce thorough analyses of the final texts. This is the first and most important step.

  2. Kosta Langis says

    I expect the controversial swiss text to be completely torn up once the bishops of Greece analyze it in the days ahead. The most traditional bishops refused to attend and a few of them most certainly do not commemorate the EP following in the footsteps of the ever-memorable Metropolitan Augustinos of Florina of blessed memory who did the same. In fact the most ecumenist bishop of the Church of Greece was part of the delegation Chrysostomos of Messinia which is why the EP delegation wasn’t eaten up alive. Who I am assured by my village priest of Reihea, Greece that his bishop of Monemvasia rejects everything Chrysostom of Messinia attempts to claim.

  3. Anonymous says

    You might be overstating this a bit? My opinion is that we shouldn’t broad-brush the bishops as globalists without any real evidence that they are. +Bartholomew and the Athonites disagree on many things, and I really don’t think the monks of the Holy Mountain are the more reasonable party there.

    Also, with regard to the wording change, the removal of the word “churches” does not definitively state that they are not Churches, but rather it does not rule on the question one way or another, except to say that they are historically called “churches.”. This is how council documents work. You can’t read an opposite positive statement into an unwillingness to definitively make a different positive statement. Know what I mean? Your imagined scenario about telling Francis he’s not the head of a Church is far-fetched.

    There is also much disagreement over the question of whether calling Roman Catholicism a Church would necessarily compromise Orthodoxy’s “one true church” doctrine. The council, to my mind, has decided to basically punt on that question, while still making space for both sides.

    • Anonymous/Stankovich,

      Francis is not even an Orthodox layman. Calling Roman Catholicism a “Church” would refute Orthodoxy and render us Uniate, thus the opposition to doing it. And, already being quasi-Uniate, that might suit you fine.

      You see, in the old languages, “one” and “only/lone/single” are often the same word. This is so in Russian, Slavonic and Greek, for instance. When you pair that adjective with the adjective “holy” which also refers to setting apart and the word “church” itself which comes from the idea of being “called out” of a greater multitude (see, you see that the Fathers were bending over backwards to emphasize the visible unity and exclusivity of the Church, as should we. One should ask, “called out” for what, “set aside” for what? We are certainly not called out to serve two masters, to embrace two distinct and mutually exclusive faiths. We are called out to embrace one faith, one Church and one baptism. We are called out to embrace Orthodoxy, nothing less and nothing else.

      • Anonymous says

        I see you have a strong opinion on the matter of ecumenism and the recognition of valid sacraments among our brother Christians. I’ll leave you to that. It’s not supported by the Fathers, Church History, the vast majority of our bishops, priests, or theologians the world over…but hey, there are many like you on the American internet, so you have certainly found your niche.

        • Show me some critical mass of fathers other than Augustine (not an Orthodox Church Father) who endorse the principle that the grace of the mysteries is conveyed outside of the Church and I will agree with you. But you can’t and therefore our discussion is at an end, Stankovich. Rejection of the notion that mysterial grace is conveyed outside the Church was most certainly asserted by the Fathers, Church History (when the Church was behaving lucidly) and the vast majority of Orthodox. You just don’t count very well.

          • M. Stankovich says


            I have pretty much passed over the vast majority of your comments, unread, as exasperating and uninteresting, until I noticed that you are apparently addressing someone posting as “Anonymous” as if it is me. Decaf, son. Or see your doctor. The day has not arrived when I have the need to for anonymity.

            • Oh, Stankovich/Anonymous, it’s too obvious. It makes perfect sense with your arrogant narcissism that you would invent an Anonymous invisible friend worthy to dialogue with you. Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone and spoil your fun.

              Let’s review, shall we?:

              Now you have to look at this from the bottomfeeder perspective of pure power politics and furtherance of personal power and the omogenia. From that angle it makes perfect sense.

              Bartholomew leads a very small minority of Greeks who dare not evangelize their neighbors at home in a majority Muslim state which his ancestors lost to the Turks. At the time they lost it, they would have done anything to keep it including apostacizing to Rome. Deja vu. Now, they are vassals of the madman Erdogan’s Turkey. He pulls the strings as much as Pope Francis in all probability. Rome has probably been working on this for generations.

              Bartholomew pushes forward with a council to cozy up further or unite with Rome and to firm up his position in the diaspora under the Greek mythology of canon 28. Yet he knows that he could never get anything like a majority of the Orthodox bishops or even delegations from the synods to vote to apostacize and/or to grant him the diaspora at a council. So he, or Romans together with his own little entourage, cook up a scheme to lock in the Uniate language in draft documents that only need to be approved by the patriarchs in synaxis. They think it is only a draft, are not reading too closely, and are assured that everything is up for discussion in the run up to the council and at the council itself. But the primates, to their shame, do not read everything closely, especially the fine print.

              What the fine print does is lock in the draft agreements as being the final form of the documents unless all churches at the council unanimously agree to amend them. That way, the Phanar absolutely controls the product of the council and has already locked in heterodox terminology to facilitate a Unia as well as terms in the Diaspora document it can use to gobble up all non-Phanar dioceses in the diaspora over time. All Bartholomew and his cohorts had to do was herd everyone to Crete to give the impression that the Holy Spirit had blessed this diabolical monstrosity. The rest of it was already predetermined the moment the patriarchs signed the drafts.

              But people can read and some patriarchs and synodal bishops actually hold the Orthodox faith, unlike Bartholomew. So the devil only gets a partial victory. He can claim, in vain, that the council was ecumenical. Moreover, those unwary bishops who signed the Diaspora document may have put their dioceses in the diaspora in jeopardy by signing it. It could be used as evidence of a statement against interest in a court of law pursuant to a property dispute. Paragraph 23 of the Diaspora document prohibits the granting of new episcopal titles in dioceses where there is already an Orthodox bishop. The Serbs and others may not have noticed it, but the place for their signatures was styled differently in the Diaspora document if they are not under the Phanar and their diocese is in the diaspora. They are styled as bishops “IN” their locality, not bishops “OF” their locality. Look it up.

              On the whole, I’d say all of that mischief is worthy of excommunication and/or deposition, wouldn’t you? And I haven’t even gone through all the documents of the council with a fine tooth comb yet. There’s probably more involved. So I don’t see that I myself and others who share my view are being reactionary at all.

              Rest assured, if they don’t stand up to him, it will only get worse and worse.

              • M. Stankovich says


                On the day I feel the need to anonymize myself to debate a “Google scholar” is also the day I emasculate myself from atop the Brooklyn Bridge while singing the astonishing beautiful duet that punctuates the second act of Verdi’s Un Ballo en Mashcera. I would suggest that you pick someone who intimidates you less to star in your fantasy as I dislike you using my name. As an aside, I certainly hope it is not you who is sending me emails with “doxed” personal information about people from this site. I will probably break your arm.

                • Stankovich/Anonymous,

                  I’m not concerned about your feelings and am amused by your threat of physical violence. I have sent you no personal emails of any sort and don’t even have any idea what your email might be, nor do I want it.

                  Nonetheless, I have no hard feelings toward you at all. I think you are simply misguided, that’s all. You know not what you do. It’s ok. Perhaps you’ll figure it out in time.

                  In the meantime, take it easy.

                  All blessings,

  4. Dollar Vasileos says

    You are missing the point. The council encyclical and its documents are just vague enough for countless Orthodox theologians to contort the words to mean anything they want especially if it conforms to a more progressive agenda. In each documents there are areas where you can see how the document stops just short of a definitive and clarifying statement. Ambiguity is exactly want some folks want and this is why there will be a wide range of views as to what the documents actually mean. Many Orthodox theologians specifically promote their agendas along the lines that the Church’s teachings are ambiguous. And let’s not forget how many folks are going to bring forth the theme of “The Spirit of the Great Council’ to promote what they want to the Church to teach versus what the Church actually teaches. The Council may be over but in reality now there will be an immediate rush to define the narrative of what took place and what the Church teaches. I suspect this will bring a certain level of chaos given all the translations and languages involved. 2.8 million dollars can buy you 10 days in Crete but it cannot buy clarity.

    • This is my fear as well. If we are to believe traditional Roman Catholics, none of the disastrous changes that have happened in recent decades were directly caused by Vatican II. But they arguably were, because the documents were vague and the media was permitted to twist them.

      Thankfully, none of these documents mean a thing if they are not received by the Church. Even the EP has admitted this. They will be debated by Holy Synods and laymen alike, and only then will their value be determined.

    • I suspect that the dynamic of power in the Church shifted due to the machinations of this council experience. I do not think much note will be made of the council itself, other than certain less than pleasant memories associated with the Byzantine intrigues lade bare. It is obvious to all that the initial impetus for the Council, an attempt at a radical departure from the past, a “throwing off” of “isolationism”, did not, in fact, materialize. That was the Phanar’s hope, to get an official statement calling into question the OC’s exclusivity as the Church and spreading the use of the term to other Christian entities. This failed and now we have the “historical name” of “non-Orthodox Churches” used in the new Relations document. I would not have accepted that. “Names” are significant. But enough stink was raised that traditional Orthodox can say that it does not mean that other groups are part of the One Church.

      The cancers that are Uniatism ecumenism and modernism are still with us. Make no mistake about that. But they may have just hit their high mark and may now begin being driven into remission. Let us pray so.

      • Christopher says


        Are you saying instead of “heterodox” the phrase “non-Orthodox Churches is used in this document? If this is the case, I am not following how the EP did not get all that he wants (as far as his vision of ecumenism goes). Perhaps you can expand on the phraseology that was actually used…

        • In the final document I saw, “non-Orthodox Christians” not “non-Orthodox churches.”

        • I actually think “historical name” and “non-Orthodox” together get the job done. “Historical name” signifies that “Church” is merely used as an appellation, not a description of the entity. “Non-Orthodox” also carries the connotation that these other ecclesiastical entities do not have the right faith or right worship. But we know that the Church has the right faith and the right worship. Therefore, logically, other entities cannot be the Church if they are non-Orthodox and only called “Churches” as a historical name, not a description. I suppose you could say that a heterodox council has created a new phenomenon, “heterodox Church”. But I don’t know how anyone could possibly claim it to be the Orthodox Church, the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Orthodox and heterodox are mutually exclusive.

          Put it another way, the council may have lied and said that there is a kosher pig, but everyone already knows pigs aren’t kosher. They wanted to use the word “kosher”; i.e., Church. Greece insisted that they call a pig a pig “non-Orthodox”/heterodox”. So we have supposedly kosher pigs now. But no one believes that pigs are kosher and everyone realizes that the issue is that there is One Church and all other “churches” are “heterodox”. The document is a testament only to the fact that we have misused the name “Church” historically, nothing more. I mean, if the Church is the Body of Christ, her essence must be eternal rather than historical. She is not merely people on the ground or souls in heaven but the Spirit of God dwelling in and leading His own.

          All of that notwithstanding, it certainly was not an ecumenical council so I wouldn’t get too upset about the musings it emanated.

          Now, the fur will fly if the Phanar tries to use it as an excuse to intercommune with the Latins. That has always been a very bright line. No one could possibly tolerate that, at least no one worthy of the name Orthodox.

          • Tim R. Mortiss says

            Yes, let’s just call them “pigs” so that there will be no confusion! “Churches”, indeed….the effrontery of these heterodox!

            (By the way, I find that the term “heterodox” is subject to misunderstanding these days….as one might well imagine.)

            • True, “heteronornative” — along with cisgender, white, and male, is a slur of the worst kind today.

            • Tim,

              What do you have against pigs? I love ’em. They are bright and some people in the south make pets out of them. They also taste pretty good. Get over your anti-swinetism!

              Pigs seem to be happy being who they are. They know that they are not kosher and that just means that some Jews won’t eat them. Believe me, they do not hold that against the Jews! It is only certain wolves in sheep’s clothing that want to introduce the concept of kosher pigs. Why they want to make pigs kosher is anybody’s guess. Seems confusing to me. I suspect that they do not understand or believe in kashrut at all. That would explain everything.

              • Tim R. Mortiss says

                Everything is explained!

                Now, technically, is it kosher that pigs are not?

                • Estonian Slovak says

                  Come on, now,Tim, I know that you have a non-Orthodox spouse and most of your children. Therefore, you feel the need to come to their defense.
                  I am in a worse situation than you. My father was Orthodox, but he abandoned the faith. That is much worse than never having been Orthodox in the first place. Plus I have one adult son who has abandoned the faith as well.
                  I doubt if anybody except some rabid Old. Calendar fanatic would condemn your loved ones who don’t share the faith with you.

                  • Estonian Slovak says

                    You may as well delete my comment. I don’t think it will accomplish anything.

                • “Now, technically, is it kosher that pigs are not?”

                  Of course, silly! A pig can never be kosher. It is simply the case that the law of kashrut no longer applies to Hebrew Christians (per Peter’s dream, et al.); i.e. there is no longer a distinction in the Church of kosher vs treyfah. Yet in our little analogy “kashrut” represents the Church itself as opposed to the world out of which it is called, thus it cannot possibly be abolished since the gates of hell will never prevail against it. Thus heterodox Christians can never be part of the Church (so long as they remain heterodox).

                  So now you know. But knowing and acceptance are two different things.

          • Christopher says

            Thanks for your thoughts. As Ages points out, the phraseology “non-Orthodox” Christians and “churches” is being used, but I think that allows for very little change/clarification in the status quo around “relations with other churches” and the like. The term “heterodox” has a certain theological and ecclesiological clarity and weight that is absent from these other phrases, though that is not to say in time this meaning could not also be obscured in the service of squishy “dialogue”. In other words, I don’t think a real victory for clear ecclesiology or a basic questioning/evaluation of the EPcate’s vision of ecumenism has occurred. Oh well, when this does occur it will be a sign of a REAL “Great and Holy Council”…

        • The final documents are up on the website:

          The term “heterodox” is not used. The phrase “non-Orthodox Christian Churches and Confessions” is used a couple of times, but mostly it’s “other Christians.”

          • On further reflection, I’m thinking that “heterodox” was probably used in the Greek, and this was translated as “non-Orthodox.” We shouldn’t read too much into it, unless the precise wording is used to set forth manifestly wrong policies.

            • “Παρά ταῦτα, ἡ Ὀρθόδοξος Ἐκκλησία ἀποδέχεται τήν ἱστορικήν ὀνομασίαν τῶν μή εὑρισκομένων ἐν κοινωνίᾳ μετ’ αὐτῆς ἄλλων ἑτεροδόξων χριστιανικῶν Ἐκκλησιῶν καί Ὁμολογιῶν, . . .”

              The Greek uses “heterodox”. It should not go without noting that this is an oxymoron of sorts. To be heterodox is to be outside the Church of the Creed, by definition. It is only in this light, therefore, that these other entities can be considered “Churches”, that is, as a historically anomalous (mis)use of the term “Church”.

              I can live with that for the moment, at least on that issue. But this whole council was heterodox in spirit, originally conceived as a bald attempt at tricking the rest of the Church into being a pseudo-witness to the Holy Spirit at a final or near final step towards an evil Unia.

              If the traditional bishops do not exercise discipline, open or covert, against the Phanar and all those who carried water for them at this travesty, they will be abdicating their responsibility as successors of the apostles.

            • In Greek, paragraphs 6 and 16 of “Relations” use “heterodox”, paragraph 21 uses “non-Orthodox”.

            • Christopher says

              I also thought of that – but I am not sure it matters because translation is often a tool of an agenda (though of course not necessarily). “non-Orthodox” has a certain obscurantist ring to it that fits right in with the squishy secular lexicon, whereas “heterodox” has certain clarity that does not fit very well in said lexicon. Was heterodox translated like this consciously? I don’t think it matters because either way (consciously or unconsciously) it is symptomatic of an underlying way of thinking and relating that itself is the real problem…

    • Gail Sheppard says

      RE: “. . . just vague enough. . .”

      They are extremely vague. That’s what concerned me when I read the agenda (decisions). The terms were too loosely defined. I could see them being exploited and, after awhile, came to believe that was the intent. – I’m surprised there isn’t a parable in the Bible saying to avoid the “loosey-goosey;” the antithesis of the Orthodox Church, for how does one bear witness to “loosey-goosey?”

      • Gail,

        I’m sure you’re right. I notice little gems as I look the documents over that I suspect the Phanar will use to no good purpose. That’s inevitable, I suppose.

        At some point, the rubber will hit the road when the Phanar begins to try to insist that this or that “decision” or “passage” in the documents is “binding”. Then there will be open conflict, tempers will flare, sides will be taken, suits will be filed, diptychs will be altered. If the whole Church wouldn’t follow the road to Rome, the next best thing is to strategically lop off parts of it, make them yours, then join with Rome. I assume that’s what is in play now. The document on the Diaspora could be read to make it forbidden (see paragraph 23) for jurisdictions other than Constantinople to replace diocesan bishops if there is already a Greek diocesan on that territory.

        There are other such gems and I suspect that that is part of the reason that some of the other metropolitans refused to sign. Probably in the end, one will be forced to take a stand as to whether this was a binding council or not. It most certainly was not, but I’m not sure that the “why” is crystal clear to everyone yet.

        Honestly, a schism would have been better. But the traditional clergy are apparently not courageous enough at this point to call a spade a spade. Give them time. It will only get worse if I’m right and they will be dragged kicking and scratching into doing their jobs.

  5. Respectfully, George, the insinuation that the Greeks were somehow “carrying water” for “the Athonite party” or “Moscow” is uncalled for. Met. Hierotheos s made it quite clear that the language of the pre-conciliar document on this subject was found to be objectionable by the entire synod of the Church of Greece – as it was to all Orthodox Christians – and that it was their duty to see to it that it was corrected.

    Not all things are political, and I for one do not have any difficulty accepting that this was simply a matter of faithfulness.

  6. I’m about tired of all the hand-wringing about how heterodox Christians view us. When you have Pope Francis saying that we owe gays an apology for offending them, how can we share anything in common?

    Our Lord is a “stumbling block and rock of offense.” (Rom 9:33) Who cares what other people think of the Gospel?

  7. Good grief, I hope this thing doesn’t turn into the mess it could.

    As a general rule, the withdrawal of a Church from a particular dialogue should be avoided; (Relations sec. 10

    I will never understand this. The ecumenical movement has resulted in exactly zero heterodox communities returning to the Church. The heterodox are rapidly losing any semblance to Orthodox Christianity. It has borne no fruit, so how can the council fathers give such a “general rule”?

    Interesting that they don’t give much of an argument for this statement.

    eschewing every act of proselytism, uniatism, or other provocative act of inter-confessional competition (Ibid. sec. 23

    Pardon me, but what the hell? We don’t want to gain converts now? Maybe I should just go back to being a Protestant, because we wouldn’t want people to become Orthodox or anything.

    I mean, I know why they say this. We don’t want Protestants and Latins poaching our people. But why do we have to have a quid pro quo situation? Most Protestants and Latins consider us to be part of their “invisible church” so this statement works with their ecclesiology, but not with ours.

    The Orthodox Church is aware that the movement to restore Christian unity is taking on new forms in order to respond to new circumstances and to address the new challenges of today’s world. (Ibid. sec. 24

    There is exactly one means to restore unity, and that is conversion to the Orthodox faith.

    • Ages,

      Moscow gets this way sometimes too. They think it is a defensive tactic but it’s not. The Catholics and other groups are going to “evangelize” Orthodox no matter what we do or don’t do. In reality, it is zero sum. One is either Orthodox or heterodox. “Heterodox” might be Catholics, Protestants, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists . . . whatever. Non-Orthodox is non-Orthodox, period. That is the hard thing for modernists to accept. There is only one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church that has the fullness of the Truth, not mixed with error. We preserve it and not to share it is a sin. We are explicity told to do so by Christ Himself. He did not say, “Half or three-quarters of the Truth is good enough.” Rather, He said, “I am the Truth, the Way and the Life.” One Truth, One Way and One Life.

    • Yep, we need ecumenism like we need a hole in the head. Check out this “prayer” offered at the recent PCUSA general convention:

      “Allah bless us and bless our families and bless our Lord. Lead us on the straight path – the path of all the prophets: Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad,” and so went the prayer offered up by Wajidi Said, from the Portland Muslim Community, as part of the “first order of business” during the opening plenary session of the 222nd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

      They let an imam offer a prayer that denies the divinity of Christ and reduces Him to a mere prophet. Our bishops should not be in “dialogue” with these people — they should be calling them out as non-Christians. Why are our Orthodox bishops in America not vocally denouncing the PCUSA as a non-Christian body, as a wolf in sheep’s clothing?

      Even now, after all these years, they still act as if they want to be invited to a wine and cheese by a PCUSA or an ECUSA leader. What would St John Chrysostom have said about these charlatans pretending to be Christian?

      • That…invocation…isn’t Christian in any way, shape, or form. During some of my years of non-belief, I felt that Jesus was a World Teacher and Enlightener, whereas Mohammed was a war chieftain through and through, a cheat and moral degenerate (child marriage! going back on his word and killing the Jewish men of the Qaresh, then selling the women and children into the most vile forms of slavery).
        Now the Presbyterian Church in the U.S. can’t find a minister suitable for delivering an invocation to God at its own conclave?
        I am so very glad that I found Orthodoxy, and I would be THRILLED to hand out brochures to spread the Word of Truth.

  8. One thing I noticed, in the Encyclical of the council, there is a reference to fourteen autocephalous local churches recognized at the pan-Orthodox level. They might try to “enforce” that notion; i.e., that the OCA is not autocephalous and that the canon 28 nonsense is valid. Hard to say.

  9. Michael Kinsey says

    Truth IS Truth, absolute, unchanging and never, never,never contradicts Itself. The Kingdom of Heaven exists, fully functioning, and is engaged totally in fullfilling the Command of God, Life Eternal. Somewhere in the (Militant/Triumphant), Church, unutterable groanings occur, which will not ever be for naught, but fulfill God’s Command in absolute Perfection. Authentic Christianity is never vague, or ambigious. It is yea or nay with inate simplicity, steming from the WORD of GOD, Jesus Christ.
    Malachi Martin spoke of Pope John Paul II as a comfirmed servant of the Grand Design.
    The Catholic Church has been an advocate of the Grand Design, since the filoque. They will accomplish it, as stated in the Holy Scriptures. It will endure only until they say, Peace and safety. Their exercise in spiritual futility will avail them notihing.
    Pressed rat and warthog closed down their shop. They didn’t want to, it’s all they have got, selling aternal apples and anthropoid hate, and Pressed rats collection of dog legs and feet. Orthodoxy needs to stand alone without any compromise of the Truth, like St Peter said, where else shall we go?

  10. And what about those gay parades? All corporate made in China. You don’t
    have some of the more appalling stuff like in the old day. Its just throngs of
    straights wearing rainbow wigs Elton John sunglasses. Bartholomew ought to be in there. An old Mercedes and Francis in there with him asking for forgiveness. Next year Pope will kiss the feet of the gay activists.

  11. greg sureck says

    expect more splintering of Orthodox bodies. Soon there will be “nondenominational” Orthodox as national churches continue to argue about those angels dancing on a pin and which dance is really orthodox

    • greg,

      There is already the Orthodox Catholic Church in America (OCCA). They don’t get much traction. That should serve as a warning sign to the progressive secularists among us. Progressives don’t need a progressive church in order for progressives to do what progressives do and progressives know it. The closer one is to Tradition, the more one needs the Church.

      • Until I read your comment, Misha, I had NO IDEA that there was such a thing as the OCCA. I read several pages of their website and just don’t know what to say. “A church of three Councils”??? The Lord was incarnate and made “human”??? The spoken rhythm of the Nicene Creed is warped and entirely too post-modern, at least to my ear and brain: I first heard the Nicene Creed in my elementary-school years, so it’s been part of my memorized background for a long time.
        I simply don’t have the strength of will to dig around for the OCCA’s version of the Lord’s Prayer. I don’t WANT to know how they specify the Eucharist.

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

      The answer to the question about angels dancing on a pin is a straw-man. The monks answered it almost immediately in the Middle ages : “As many as want to!” But everybody liked to slam theologians, so they keep up the fiction of an endless pointless discussion.

  12. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

    “The globalists lost another one?” Another what? How many have they previously lost? and how many are there all together??
    What do the Holy Fathers say about globalism and what does our Church, therefore, teach about it?
    Was Caesar a globalist? Alexander the Great? Cyrus the Great? Saint Constantine the Great? Queen Victoria? Genghis Khan? Timurlane? Charlemagne (Karl der Grosse)?

    Is the predominance of the English language a symptom of globalism?

    • Trey the Virginian says

      The Holy Scriptures and Fathers speak absolutely against human schemes and philosophies that are used to conquer and oppress our minds and to enslave people to materialism and evil, that oppose themselves to the knowledge of God.

      “Where is the wisdom of the wise?” the Holy Apostle Paul says indicating there is an ongoing conflict between man and his prideful inventions and the Kingdom of Heaven.

      To say “why did the Fathers not talk about Globalism in the past” is a demonstration of the fallacy of anachronism. Since the term globalism is a product of the technological, economic and political developments of the last few decades, it was not possible before, and therefore did not exist as a term. For the same reason the Fathers do not speak of airplanes, the internet, communism or the incipient American brand of totalitarianism we are experiencing. They did not exist at that time nor could they.

      However, Christ and the Apostles did provide us with warnings by the eye of the Holy Spirit of future conditions that would threaten the Church and our very souls, and the admonition of the Lord to be “mindful as serpents and pure as doves.”

      We can look also to St John of Damascus’ Fount of Knowledge, his compendium of philosophy, science and the Theology of the Fathers, where he catalogs a list of heresies, including Islam, that depart from the True Knowledge given to mankind by the Son of God himself, transmitted through the Apostles and those who seek to be carriers of the flame of Orthodoxy.

      Many of these heresies exist today, and others do not, but under different names, and their essential teachings are found among the various quasi-Christian groups, and are revived in the philosophy now called “Progressivism” and “Globalism.”

      Every generation has its own terms, and its own work to sort out Truth from error, evil from Good.

      The response of Bishop Tikhon shows what happens when parishioners, and worse, bishops are not educated to have a love of the Holy Scriptures and the Fathers, a sound knowledge of philosophy and history, and a striving for ascesis, and so do not have the light of life shining out from them. Instead, he and many others like him have been educated in the Nihilist view, as 19th century Nihilism’s disruption of traditional knowledge is the basis for 20th-21st century Progressivism. That is why we see that he operates with a sharp antipathy to holiness and goodness and efforts towards these aims, and opposes those who resist the missionaries of Progressivism.

      Because the false philosophy of Progressivism is now ingrained in the education systems throughout the world as a product of Globalism, it has infiltrated both the minds of our bishops, of which Bishop Tikhon is just one example of thousands, and of course the average parishioner.

      The only way to reverse this trend is to return to the process of education that produced the Holy Fathers that are our standard. If you leave the good path, then go back to where you left it to find it again.

      • Michael Bauman says

        Thank you, Trey.

      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

        I guess Trey can’t define globalism, so he chose to define me?

        In the English language I learned growing up in Michigan, in public schools and the university, in the U.S. Army and in the U.S. Air Force, the opposite of “liberal” is “stingy” while the opposite of “progressive” is “recessive” and the opposite of democrat is monarchist.

        Trey knows neither me nor my real sins. I didn’t mean to frighten him into such an attack by pointing out that globalism HOWEVER DEFINED OR RE-WORDED has always been an Orthodox ideal, rather than a political evil. Orthodoxy is globalist par excellence!

        • Wow, that is truly diabolical, “Vladyka”. Babylon the Great is the Orthodox ideal. How does it feel to be a servant of a former angel of light?

    • Michael Bauman says

      Your Grace while the desire for hegemony is a common trait in modern globalism and the Empires of the past, one thing that distinguishes globalism from the Empires is its essential soullessness. It is empty and seeks to empty others. When it ceases to have power it will leave nothing but destruction and the decaying hulks of its false ideology.

      It is both a product and conveyor of the modern heretical system that has at its center the myth of progress a profoundly false eschatology.

      My point is that we Orthodox have no business adhering to any philosophy of political-economy as they are all created things. Not even created by God, but by us.

      We must refuse the lies in all of them.

      I have long said that the idea of synergia with the state has and is causing great harm to the Church and her people. We would do well to reject it. The gathering in Crete could have taken up both ideologies and condemned both and done well. But the EP is wedded to progress and the MP to synergia.

      The desire to survive and to defend and to prosper makes cowards of us all. The way of Christ and His Church is the way of the Cross. He manifests not in perceived greatness and power but in the small, the humble and even those who die for His sake.

      We are called to be witnesses to His Incarnation, death and Resurrection not participate in His crucifixion at the hands of the state, any state

      Christianity is radical and not of this world. To settle for less is to be as Easu.

      God forgive me.

    • Probably the references to “Babylon the Great” is a reference to globalism in that age and ours. I mean that in all seriousness.

    • His Grace can be quite literal in his use of language. The Gospel most certainly has a global reach…

      “Their sound has gone out to all the earth,
      And their words to the ends of the world.”

      “All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the Lord, And all the families of the nations shall worship before You.”

      …but surely he knows (though he delights to toy with some commentator’s use of language) that this reach is utterly contrary to the terms Globalization or Globalism as used in the common parlance of today.

      “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves…”

      “Why do the nations rage,
      And the people plot a vain thing?
      The kings of the earth set themselves,
      And the rulers take counsel together,
      Against the LORD and against His Christ, saying,
      “Let us break Their bonds in pieces
      And cast away Their cords from us.
      He who sits in the heavens shall laugh;
      The Lord shall hold them in derision.
      Then He shall speak to them in His wrath,
      And distress them in His deep displeasure.”

      Indeed Globalism, like all “isms,” is essentially collective self-deification.

      Unity is good and beautiful when it is the gift of Christ through His Gospel and grounded in Him. But when the (otherwise good) desire for unity is sought as an achievement of man – be it in the political, economic, or ecclesial spheres – it morphs into an ugly, godless, idolatrous evil that can only end in disintegration and disaster.

      “Except the LORD build the house…”

      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

        The following statement is utter nonsense:
        “Indeed Globalism, like all “isms,” is essentially collective self-deification.”

        “CatholicISM?” “ConservatISM?” “AsceticISM?” “RealISM?”

        “Indeed?” NO. “Essentially?” NO.

  13. Joseph Lipper says

    I believe in One, Holy, Global, and Apostolic Church.

    • Trey the Virginian says

      Good reality test Joseph.

      Your insertion demonstrates a complete shift in meaning, reducing the sense to that which is temporal and trendy.

      • Joseph Lipper says

        I like the word “Catholic” better than “Global”. However, we all know that the word “Catholic” has certain baggage, often meaning the Roman Catholic Church…or I guess now to be politically correct in Orthodox circles, we are supposed to refer to it as the Roman Catholic Denomination.

        Anyways, it’s almost like people are saying, “One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church”…but in their minds are saying, “but not the Roman Catholic Church.”

        We should really contemplate what the word “Catholic” really means. For example, why don’t we say “One, Holy, Orthodox, and Apostolic Church”?

        Certainly, there is an intended reason why we use the word “Catholic” in the Nicene Creed instead of the word “Orthodox”.

        • “Catholic” means “of the whole”. The idea is that the Church is universal and composed of the whole from its founding, throughout its Body, dispersed throughout the oikoumene (Christian world), up to the present and beyond and both in this world and the other – “of the whole”. So when doctrine is found professed by fathers from across the Orthodox world, widely dispersed and tracing back to antiquity, it can be relied upon as being of Apostolic origin. In order to distinguish the Church from other bodies that also claimed to be the Catholic Church of the Creed, the word “Orthodox” arose. The actual name of a number of our local churches has both terms in it: “Orthodox” and “Catholic”.

          Rome, of course, expropriated this name for itself after the Schism when it left the Catholic Church. So, really, it is neither catholic nor the Church – but it is still quite Roman, as its little plot in collusion with the Phanar should indicate. Rome values power over all. “What is truth?” Rome is really no more concerned with this question now than was its procurator when he inquired this of Our Lord. They make it up as they go along and power is the only criterion. That is their religion. “All religions are equally true, equally false, and equally useful.” Such sentiments were expressed by Seneca, Lucretius and pagan Romans in general. This has carried over into the Rome that rose out of fallen Rome, the Rome of Charlemagne.

          But Orthodox Christianity is a different entity entirely. It is a way to become divine. It is not a set of rules by which one can obtain a legal exoneration and thus be admitted into a place called heaven. It is a way to heal ones soul so that one may experience heaven in this life and the next. So it matters what the details of the faith are. They have to actually be capable of healing the patient and raising him to theosis. That is why a council should be composed of fathers who have nepsis and some mastery of noetic prayer. They are along the way of theosis, are true theologians, unlike academics, and are fit to sift these matters out, unlike the “fathers” who produced the progressive pablum that came from this robber council.

          Our religion, too, is power. But it is another sort of power. The power of God – Divine Energy/Grace – theosis. These two religions, earthly power and heavenly/spiritual power, are bound to collide. “My kingdom is not of this world.” He said. And He said they would persecute us as well. But He told us to fear not, ” . . . for I have overcome the world.” To attain theosis, dispassion, the Kingdom of Heaven/God, is to overcome or conquer the world.

          Χριστος νικα

          • As a child, I learned/memorized the Nicene Creed in the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church. Except for the (!) filioque and “God of God” before “Light of Light,” the wording was the same as I’ve learned in Orthodoxy, given the general change in language over the decades.
            I thought readers of this website might be amused to learn that even the strict Lutherans confessed: “I believe in one holy, catholic, and apostolic church.”
            My pastor was most emphatic about the “lower-c catholic,” as he termed it, but that was the word then.

            • Tim R. Mortiss says

              Same here, among the Prebyterians.

              I used the Creed when I taught 8th grade Sunday school in the early 1980s, as the structure for the course. Since I had begun often attending Orthodox services by then, I also would discuss the filioque issue, as well.

  14. Kosta Langis says

    There needs to be an authentic council of Orthodox bishops to condemns the robber synods of 1872, 1923 and 2016. They all need to be thrown into the dustbin of history. It’s up to the laity now to make our voices heard

    • Agreed. 1872 was not accurate in its condemnation of phyletism as heresy. Phyletism may well be a sin, in the sense of racist or ethnocentric exclusivism in ecclesiastical matters. But it is not heresy. We have to be very careful with the word “heresy”. Any number of the local churches are guilty of the sin of phyletism. So if it is a heresy, there is no Church.

      But that is absurd.

      Heresy is a state of mind, a phronema, at odds with the Orthodox phronema. It is a wrong spiritual “choice”. It was Lucifer’s “choice”. It was Eve’s “choice”. It was Adam’s “choice”.

      Once upon a time, when some were trying to revive the Western Roman Empire, the ecclesiastical power of Rome became a dogma unto itself in service of earthly power. The filioque, dubious in and of itself, was merely a mechanism to exert the authority of the bishop of Rome over the East. That and other divergences were simply a result of the desire of Rome to be able to dictate doctrine in order to promote worldly power. Truth was irrelevant. Catholicity was irrelevant. Earthly power was the criterion.

      The same with Anselm’s doctrine of original sin, absent in the East. The same with papal infallibility, the Immaculate Conception, created grace, purgatory and indulgences, etc. Earthly power, wealth, etc.

      Bulgarians trying to resist Greek spiritual abuse really does not amount to heresy, though admittedly dioceses based on ethnicity (such as each side wanted to impose) may be uncanonical and/or sinful.

      Now, when someone asserts that the Faith of the Church includes all of the above crap . . . well, yeah, that is heresy. All of the above contradict the Faith of the Church.

      Conciliarity as practiced by the Apostles is the means of determining what the Faith is when there is a question, not reliance on a special charism of the bishop of Rome.

      Man was cursed through Adam’s sin with death, et al. but his guilt did not pass down. Therefore the Immaculate Conception is a fanciful solution to a problem that does not exist and presupposes original guilt, which the Church does not teach.

      The Orthodox teaching on essence and energies is present in the Gospels themselves when Christ distingushes between Himself as God’s Only Son and His followers as created beings but yet says that the Kingdom of God (deification) is at hand (a little leaven leavens the entire loaf). Palamas merely explained how this is possible. Created grace flies in the face of all of this.

      God does not operate a torture chamber concerning which it is possible to purchase exemptions from Rome. Earthly power, wealth.

      God is rather a Doctor who heals the sinful of the demons they themselves let inside.

      See what happens when an angel, a man, an emperor or a bishop gets a bit too proud? Screws up everything.

  15. I wrote this in response to a comment on Traditional Orthodoxy. The other person inquired as to whom the “truly Orthodox” are that I suggested should depose and excommunicate Bartholomew. This was my response:

    The “truly Orthodox” are those who, unlike Patriarch Bartholomew, believe that the Orthodox Church is the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church of the Creed and that, therefore, since it is in doctrinal variance, the Roman Catholic Church is not a “Church” at all but a heretical confession led by a heresiarch. The Phanar attempted to lead the Church into a Unia at the council and they have this on their council website which states quite plainly that Roman Catholicism is neither heresy nor schismatic. If it is not heresy or schismatic, there are only two categories left: pagan/non-Christian and the Church. This text is heretical and it remains on the Phanar’s website. In a sense, it constitutes a public endorsement of heresy:…/the-ecumenical… I copied it onto Monomakhos in a dialogue there earlier so even if they take it down, it will live on. They are gone. All that is left is for the Orthodox bishops to excommunicate and depose them.

    All that Alexandria or Moscow need do to take the reins of Orthodoxy is to inquire to the Phanar if Rome is in heresy or schism or what? If they do not answer that Rome is in heresy, they are not Orthodox. If they answer that Rome is not even in schism, they are Uniate. It’s axiomatic. There is no other explanation.

    “Another very important and significant event that is often ignored not only by the antagonists of the participation of the Orthodox Church in the Ecumenical Movement, but by many Orthodox in general, is the lifting up of the anathemas of 1054 between the Churches of Rome and Constantinople at the end of the Second Vatican Council, on December 7th, 1965. As the Church historian and canonist Vlassios Phidas writes, “it is obvious, from a canonical point of view, that this ecclesial situation of the rupture of communion (akoinonesia) is clearly distinguished from the state of an accomplished schism, since, by the lifting up of the anathemas of 1054, we are now standing in the situation we were before their imposition”.[9] Therefore, if the Church of Rome and the Church of Constantinople are now in a state of rupture of communion (akoinonesia), due to historical events and theological disputes, while both sides wish today to restore the full ecclesiastical communion, how can some dare, even through the voice of a local synod, not to acknowledge the Church of Rome as a Church, or to consider her members as schismatics, or even, as heretics?”

    What this is stating, quite openly and plainly, is that the schism between Rome and Orthodoxy is the same as between Antioch and Jerusalem (akoinonesia)!

    Without any question, that is heresy.

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      After reading the documents and all the statements coming from the EP and it’s supporters I have to unfortunately admit what Misha says is true. These documents are heretical, and as Fr. Peter Heers has stated this is not the start of heresy, but evidence of heresy that has already been present but has now been officially declared.

      May the Lord protect His One Holy Church


  16. Regarding the final decisions of Crete, Antioch has spoken:

    In summary:
    – The bungled process of the last two years is once again outlined.
    – The Holy Synod of Antioch is “surprised … that the convocation of the Council on the specified date is more important than the conciliarity of the Church and Her unity”
    – Antioch does not recognize this meeting as being the Great Council, nor is it to be referred to as such. It is to be regarded as another preliminary meeting to the Great Council, which is yet to be held.
    – The documents issued are regarded as working documents and are not binding.
    – A commission was established to study the results of the Crete gathering.

    • It is well written. They have decisively rejected the Crete meeting as an Ecumenical Council, a Great and Holy Council, or even a Pan-Orthodox Council. Essentially, they consider it a nullity. This is as it should be.

      Though I sympathize deeply with Antioch and congratulate them on the seriousness and reasonable approach they have taken, I simply am exhausted of trust for anything other than Old Calendar traditional(ist) Orthodoxy. From now on, for me, that is Orthodoxy and everything else without exception has a big question mark beside it, to be avoided like sin itself.

      The infidelity of this council shall not soon be forgotten. It has taught many of us a very serious set of lessons and rearranged priorities. The lines drawn by the “canonical” Orthodox churches prior to the council as to who is Church and who is not Church were simply not accurate. There was too much wishful thinking and tolerance of bad faith and heterodoxy involved.

      I have an idea where the Church is now. I await the formalization by traditional hierarchs of the new spiritual reality that is already manifest in the various phronemas to be reflected in the diptychs.

      • Antioch is almost unquestionably suffering more than any church today, and I am sure their position on the calendar (as well as intermarriage with the non-orthodox) is motivated by the desire to have a common front with other Christians in the region, in as many ways as possible. In many of their dioceses, the very existence of the Church is on the line and I can understand the reasons. That said, I agree that a return to the Julian calendar is the best and most realistic way to resolve the issue, and having seen many fractured homes in my own experience, intermarriage with non-Orthodox is not a good idea. However, that’s for the bishops. I’m glad we’re not dealing with heresy the likes of the great ones of the past.

        I don’t think anything will become of this council. Those who championed it will glory in it, and everyone else will move on as if it never happened. A few, like Antioch, will reject it outright.

        It would be good to have an ongoing dialogue among the Churches, and try to facilitate harmony in pastoral practice, but to create a big, one-time event like this was a mistake.

        What’s undeniable is that the EP has blown all of his political capital on the Cretan synaxis. He will be irrelevant for some time after this.

        • “I’m glad we’re not dealing with heresy the likes of the great ones of the past.”

          Ah, but that’s the problem. This one is very big. This heresy ultimately resolves in athiestic materialism. That is a prescription for abject depression and despondency. Latinism has already resolved to this in the West. Marxism and Secular Humanism. In elevating the Pope to the position they have, they have not only engaged in an ecclesialogical error but a theological one. They have denigrated the role of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the main actor in our age. He was promised to us as the Comforter and He is the animator of theosis. In the Double Procession and the raising of the Pope a mere fallible, mortal man, to a role above that of the Holy Spirit in the promulgation of doctrine, the RCC essentially fell into a certain odd species of quasi-Arianism.

          It is possible in Roman Catholicism to conceive of God as an impersonal Great Spirit without a discernable fixed personality and will along the lines of Plotinus and thus to project whatever one wants into the vacuum. But this is not the Orthodox Faith. Not only does God have a personality, ultimately, but He has Three, in His ultimate Essence. He is love. He experiences emotion, but not passion. He is like us, and we are created in His image and likeness. That is the message of Christ. God is one of us, without sin. Sin is its own punishment, its own detriment. He desires not the death of a sinner, but that he repent and live (forever). And He is forgiving.

          Roman Catholicism is a dead end. All other religion is but an imperfect reflection of Orthodoxy. God has reached out to humanity in many ways. And man has reached out to God. But the decisive criterion is Orthodox Christianity which has preserved the Truth, in its fullness, in its Traditional form.

          • Michael Bauman says

            Misha, to your point I once heard a RC woman in the waiting room of an ICU ask her priestwho, was there to comfort, why we needed the Holy Spirit, wasn’t Jesus enough. He had no answer.

        • Michael Bauman says

          That the EP felt the necessity to do something like the Cretan gathering is, IMO, a reaction to centuries of being slowly strangled and corrupted by the various Islamic governments.

          The persecution of Antioch has had more outright killing but the result is not dissimilar, but at least ’till now there have actual parishes.

          We may see the end of Christianity in the Middle east not in small part the result of US policy that leaves the indigenous Christian populations unconsidered. Only Israel and Islam make any difference.

          Yet another reason I cannot support any candidate for national office.

          Their parties are all complicit in the genocide of indigenous Christians. Something like the IDC may help some, but it is going to take protective Christian militias on the ground to save anything resembling what we have known.

          If Christians are eliminated the violence will grow worse and the suffering deepen.

          • The Libertarian Party is not complicit, please don’t make broad statements. The Government and the Church are best kept separate. Such was the apparent will of Our Lord as is very clear in the Gospels. If our loving God wanted the Government to be involved with the Church, then it would have been an inevitable outcome.

            • Michael Bauman says

              Frank, the Libertarian Party is made up of folks who are rejects from the other parties and) or hold positions that are egregiously anti-Christian. I was semi-interested in the Libertarian Party once until I watched their national convention on TV. It was stomach churning.

              They are not nor will they ever be a national party. There are two national parties.

              Until a party mounts several competitive runs for President, it is not a national party.

              • Frank Mayer says

                Why? There are numerous parties, beyond the Libertarian Party as well. The whole idea of the Libertarian party is that I don’t need to agree with all or most of them and that is OK. The tow party system is too easy to control and corrupt, the more the better. The best party is one where you can have five party members in the room with six ideas. It is a good party since there is no dogma other than Liberty. I am not a reject, I was a Republican when we were allowed to be normal and not part of the Ryan or Trumpalism camp. Now we have the choice of nothing and ditto for the Democratic party. the Libertarian is the better party of them all as it stands today. There are religious people in the Libertarian part and atheists just like any other political party out there. The best part is that the government is kept in its corner to do its secular job and the Church gets to be independent. Our Church has been oppressed by powerful central governments and governance, remember the Soviet Union and the Caliphate? By the way if you go to the site you will see all the Orthodox Jurisdictions in America listed, and I like that, to me that should be the permanent structure of the Church here in the USA, and it works fine and will keep things straight. I can to the Orthodox Church over thirty years ago because I liked the way it operates with just enough unity and no weird doctrines allowed but not too much centralization, this is how the Early Churched worked under the original Apostles and it was Blessed. We don’t need to bend to the other churches (NOTE SMALL C), they need to join with us the Orthodox in our conciliatory structure that is not governed by egos and persona but by the Holy Spirit. This is why it is best to pick the party that says less government and wasteful spending, even with all its worts, and every political party in the world has numerous warts. I want a party and government that stays out of the Churches business.

                • Michael Bauman says

                  Frank, all the parties are complicit because we the people are complicit in our foreign policy going back centuries: ignore the indigenous Christians because they have no power. Indeed ignoring them is the best we do.

                  Our whole political system is bankrupt and corrupt-a web of ideologies and passions with any intent to really govern long since vanished. We are far closer to a political collapse than we realize.

            • No Frank, that is not clear from the Gospels and Christian monarchy was the norm for a very long time. Orthodox government is a symphony of Church and State.

              • Michael Bauman says

                Symphony and/or synergia: really bad idea because it almost always ends in some form of Sergianism.

                • Synergia is how we are saved – cooperation. Symphonia is how, ideally, we are governed in a fallen world; i.e., by an Orthodox emperor in charge of temporal matters in concert with a local Orthodox church in charge of spiritual matters. That is the model of the Fathers. They saw a direct relationship between athiesm and anarchy, polythiesm and polyarchy (democracy) and monotheism and monarchy.

                  Sergianism was a corruption of the model of symphonia by an atheistic regime. It resulted in an absence of lawful authority in the local Church of Russia since there was no lawful authority in the Soviet State (two anarchies). That is why I have always held that leadership of the Russian Church was in the hands of ROCOR during this entire period because Moscow was simply unable to perform that function. It is only now slowly regaining some competence, it seems.

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    Misha, I understand the theory. Biblically however, monarchy is a concession by God, not the preferred form of government.

                    However it was pretty much the only form of government when the Church was legalized and then granted preferred status. Thus it was natural for the people of the Church to grant it preferred status. However, it is not dogma and has nothing to do with our salvation

                    I am well aware that there can be no real “separation of church and state”. When that is attempted, the state becomes more corrupt more quickly. When the state dominates, it corrupts the people in the Church.

                    The trouble with Symphonia in practice is that the only real way for the Church to remain true is through martyrdom. Is that really Symphonia?

                    In theory Symphonia is like a marriage but earthly marriage has a head: the husband in obedience to Christ and the Cross. No state will long abide being an obedient wife. Thus will revolt and attempt to destroy her lawful husband.

                    Sergianism is indeed a corruption of the theory, but it is more prevalent than one might think and more often than not, the reality in Russia. Theocracy is the same temptation on the other side of the coin.

                    Egalitarian democracy leads to anarchy as we are seeing unfold before our eyes on the streets of the United States. Tryanny is next.

                    Legitimate states will always acknowledge the authority of the Church, but the theory of Symphonia is an artifact of the times that has outlived whatever usefulness it had.

                    • Monarchy is not a concession but God’s preferred form of government. No government involving fallen man can be perfect, but monarchy is as close as one may come.

                      The episode of the Judges, Samuel and Saul is deeply overblown and misconstrued by many. It is not anti-monarchial at all. You have to look closely at what actually happened.

                      Samuel’s sons were judges over Israel. Judges were like chieftans or lords. The arrangment was more decentralized than a monarchy but within each judgeship, it was unitary. In this arrangement, God could rule not through the people or their representatives but through local lords called from the people.

                      It didn’t work too well. Samuel’s sons screwed the whole thing up through corruption. It was the same type of corruption that we see later among kings, but on a smaller scale, of course. Though this was God’s preferred method of ruling Israel at that time, he deferred to the people’s wish to be ruled by a king. His warnings were primarily a reference to Saul, the first king whom He appointed over Israel, but of course, they could be applied as a caveat as to what can happen under any king who goes bad. Saul was, in a way, a punishment for the people’s rejection of the judgeship form of government.

                      But from that time onward, monarchy is assumed as the divinely inspired and approved form of government. Kings were anointed and considered untouchable by the general public, even when they did evil. It was for God, through His prophets or other means to correct them.

                      The Savior to come is called the “King of Israel” and “the son of David”, Israel’s most glorious king. The very title “Messiah” is a short form of the phrase “ha-Meshiah, ha-Melekh”, the Anointed King.

                      This is the pattern throughout Orthodox history. We refer to the fact that “men must change before kingdoms can change” because any human system operated by fallen man will be imperfect. But the emperors of Byzantium and tsars of Russia were divinely anointed kings over the New Israel.

                      Now, that is not to say that autocracy must be absolute. A king/emperor may have a consultative assembly that is representative to some extent, studies issues, debates questions and proposes laws for the sovereign to accept.

                      What you see developing in Russia today is veering toward such a constitutional monarchy or “sovereign democracy”. The very title “sovereign democracy” is a concession to the fact that everyone in the West these days is under the diabolical misconception that democracy of some sort is the only legitimate form of government. Nothing could be further from the truth. Nonetheless, Russia has some representative elements tied to a strong executive – a tsar of sorts – and operates in symphonia with the Russian Orthodox Church. They are doing about as well as any attempt at government by fallen men can do in this day and age.

                      And, after all, the Return of the Divine Sovereign is not too far away. In Him the problem of the relation between Church and State will be solved for all time. We will be blessed to live in eternity under a theocracy headed by King Jeshua, the Anointed. Glory to God.

                      And, ideally I suppose, a more decentralized system of principalities might be an even higher form of government in our fallen world, in the interim – like the synodal arrangement of the Church itself, something like an unelected Senate, I suppose.

                      However, to reject monarchy and symphony is to reject Orthodoxy. It is impossible to follow the teachings of the Fathers and turn ones back on their ideas about politics.

              • Frank Mayer says

                I disagree emphatically, Our Lord and Saviour, explicitly stated “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s” Our Lord Jesus was a servant leader, and is Our Only King and his Kingdom is NOT of this earth. It is a historical fact that many Byzantine Emperors were outright heretics. Keeping the government in its corner and out of the Church is an imperative. If what you are saying is right, then we should all joint the English. I say nonsense.

                • Frank,

                  “Servant leader”? That is protestantism talking. In any case, Render unto Caesar has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with separation of Church and State. That is a misconception from the Enlightenment.

                  Jewish leaders came to put Christ in a position of “damned if you do, damned if you don’t”. They did this in another context when they brought a woman to Him caught in the very act of adultery. Both times He outfoxed them. The stories are to show that He possessed the wisdom of Solomon, of God Himself even.

                  The trap was to force Him into saying that it was either forbidden to pay the tax to Caesar under the Law of Moses or that it was legitimate which they thought would violate the Law of Moses, or at least Halakhah.

                  He sidestepped the whole thing by taking a coin which had Caesar’s image on it and pointing out that fact. An image meant that it was the property of the one whose image it bore. His observation is that they were not paying Caesar anything but what already belonged to him which is shown by his mark being upon it.

                  Conundrum evaded.

                  Suggesting that this amounts to separation of Church and State ignores the fact that most all of sovereign Orthodox history is marked by monarchy and by the fact that the very concept of separation of Church and State does not arise until much later in human history.

                  All of that is a product of the mythology of Americanism foisted on us by protestants. Best to get over it. The Fathers endorse monarchy. They even analyze it by analogy to monotheism and the other forms of government as polytheism or atheism.

                  Read them, not Protestant evangelical Americanists. That is not real Christianity.

          • MB,

            “That the EP felt the necessity to do something like the Cretan gathering is, IMO, a reaction to centuries of being slowly strangled and corrupted by the various Islamic governments.”

            Make no mistake, Michael. What Bartholomew did at Crete was due to loss of the Faith. It may be that it was occasioned by extreme duress. But what is God to do? In good times, men forget Him. In bad times, some apostacize.

            It’s a choice.

            • Michael Bauman says

              Like the frog being boiled slowly it’s a choice. The bad idea of synergia with the state and the desire to “protect” the Church plus simple human greed and lust for power helped it along.

              • Michael,

                You are wrong about monarchy and symphonia. However, it will not matter for long anyway. It is resuming to some extent in Russia now but the hour is late and The True Monarch I’m sure will return in fairly short order.

                He will not be holding elections, and every knee shall bow.

                • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                  Symphonia between the monarch and the Church was obvious when Sultan Mehmet, after conquering Constantinople forced the Church to accept an anti-Uniate, George Scholarios as Archbishop of Constantinople, replacing the Uniate who fled to Italy to retire, while the Uniate Emperor, whose “symphonia” was Uniate, disappeared.
                  Symphonia was obvious too when neither Emperor Constantine nor his successors replaced the Arian Patriarchs until the anti-Christian Monarch, Julian the Apostate, FORCED the Church to accept his appointment of an Anti-Arian Patriarch.

                  • Ah, Vladyka, at it again?

                    Symphonia is by definition between an Orthodox monarch/executive and an Orthodox local church hierarchy. Anything else is not symphonia but something nefarious or, at least, not blessed by God. And even then, symphonia is not perfect. No institutions involving fallen man are perfect.

                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                      “Ah” Misha! So there was no “symphonia” between Emperor Constantine and the (Arian) hierarchy of Constantinople? And the symphonia between the Sultan and Patrisarch George Scholarios was nefarious–also the symphonia between Julian the Apostate and the Nicene hierarchy that he restored, ending the control of the Arian Hierarchy, was nefarious?

                    • Vladyka,

                      You can put the label “symphonia” on any thing you choose to. I don’t want you to get riled in your retirement. However, in Orthodoxy, it refers to the interworkings of an Orthodox monarch and an Orthodox local church. Hitler and the German Lutherans had their own “symphonia” too, if you wish to characterize it that way. But heterodox “symphonias” are irrelevant.

  17. Joseph Lipper says

    …even better yet, why doesn’t the Nicene Creed use the phrase “One Holy Conservative and Apostolic Church”?

  18. Joseph Lipper says

    …even better yet, why doesn’t the Nicene Creed use the phrase “One Holy Conservative and Apostolic Church”?

    Wouldn’t the word “Conservative” better express the church of those people who post on this blog?

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      No ORTHODOX is the correct and proper term. Always has been always will be. Anything less than this is heterodox.

      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

        Peter, the ORTHODOX term is “Catholic.” You won’t find “Orthodox” in the Creed. Never has been; never will be.

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          According to Father Thomas hopko we talked about the Holy Catholic Church but when we talk about the faith we say the holy Orthodox faith. Always have always will.

          • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

            Peter, some might feel it’s dishonest when Joseph Lipper writes THIS:
            “even better yet, why doesn’t the Nicene Creed use the phrase “One Holy Conservative and Apostolic Church”? Wouldn’t the word “Conservative” better express the church of those people who post on this blog?” and you reply: “No ORTHODOX is the correct and proper term. Always has been always will be. Anything less than this is heterodox.”
            Lipper asked about the CHURCH and you sidestep his question in order to come out with some of Hopko’s stuff, S-T-R-E-T-C-H-!

            • Peter A. Papoutsis says

              He stated:

              Wouldn’t the word “Conservative” better express the church of those people who post on this blog?

              I said no. Orthodox would fit. You referenced the Creed in a classic redirect. I responded to his comment. S-T-R-E-T-C-H away my good bishop.

              • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                “You referenced the Creed in a classic redirect”says Peter.
                Mr Lipper SPECIFICALLY REFERENCED THE CREED in his questions.
                Peter, on the other hand, tried to answer about anything BUT the Creed.
                Who was misdirecting?

            • I suppose it is accurate to say that we hold the Orthodox Catholic Faith and are the Orthodox Catholic Church, though often we dispense with the term “Catholic” as a matter of habit, “Orthodox” being sufficiently descriptive. The term “Orthodox” in each of those descriptions signifying that we hold the true Catholic Faith as opposed to others who might misuse the term “Catholic” to describe their own twistings of the ancient faith (“Roman Catholicism”) as opposed to the teaching which we have preserved and which gives God the right glory, through right doctrine, as the catholic Church of the Creed. I avoid Orthodox-Catholic (with the hyphen), however, because it is used by some to mean a type of hybrid Uniate faith; i.e, that Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism are two expressions of the same underlying truth, which is a lie and heretical.

    • Michael Bauman says

      No. We are all struggling with a world gone crazy and looking for solutions. Some folks still pin their hopes on a political solution of some kind. Those folks are split into roughly two types those who seem to like what is called in Newspeak “Progressive” and those who seem to identify with so called “Conservative”. There is your occasional raving maniac, few provacateurs and many who see the solution only in the Church herself–learning to live the life of Christ that is revealed in her.

      Keep in mind however that George began this blog as a platform for “conservative” political critique with an Orthodox base.

      Sometimes the conversation here gets highjacked into la-la land. Occasionally it starts there. Nevertheless it is possible to learn here as long as one retains some detachment.

      I have been amazed at the very unified criticism of the gathering in Crete. I cannot remember anyone seriously defending it.

      That is a hopeful sign to me as it leads me to believe that most here are serious Orthodox.

      Provably, the majority of the folks in the pews are unaware of the Cretan meeting and would not care if they knew. They are just trying to lead their lives locally in the context of the Orthodox faith as they understand it.

    • Michael Bauman says

      Joseph your fiddling with the Creed language points up how dangerous such fiddling can be. The appellation Catholic implies a cosmic as well as an earthly dimension intending to convey the mystery that God is everywhere present and filling all things, the schismatic bishops of Rome have particularized, trivialized and twisted that meaning. It is perhaps even greater evidence of their heretical mindset than the filioque.

    • Actually, one could say that the word “catholic” in the Creed is synonymous with “traditional”. Catholicity, “that which has always been believed by everyone everywhere” in St Vincent’s famous phrase, is the criterion for Tradition. The last word “everywhere” is cognate with the root of the Greek word for “catholic”. If “conservative” means “traditional”, you have a real point.

  19. Michael Bauman says

    Misha, conservative in modern politics doesn’t really have a meaning any more. At one time it may have had a meaning closer to traditional, but no longer. Very little is handed down any more. We live in a world that is fractured with no roots to speak of and folks are forced to find or manufacture their own.

    One of the big reasons I am in the Church is because the roots here are real, they grow from the Kingdom itself. Even on a less cosmic level I am heartened by the fact that many families in my parish have been Christian since the time of the earliest Apostles having gone through great trials and temptations. There is a quiet strength in that. They have conserved the faith and made a place where I could be grafted on.

    For that I am humbly grateful and thankful to God for His mercy.

    • The problem, Michael, is that in these churches which have not paid attention to Crete, there are priests teaching the faithful that Roman Catholicism is not heresy, perhaps not even schismatic. To do so is to state that their faith is ours; i.e., to spread heresy to the unsuspecting. So, yes, it does matter because it cheapens and clouds the faith, which is the path to union with God.

  20. Michael Bauman says

    All I know is that such teaching is not occurring in my parish.