New Rome in Second Place

Much discussion has been raised lately on the blog about Moscow being the Third Rome.   Modern partisans of the Phanar indicate that this is not the case, hence their insistence upon calling Constantinople (which is the present-day Turkish metropolis of Istanbul) the “New Rome,” as opposed to the “Second Rome”.

Leaving aside the fact that this is a rhetorical trap –after all, why is the concept of a First or Second Rome even necessary for Orthodox ecclesiology?–a close examination of the historical record indicates that the Ecumenical Patriarchate itself once recognized Moscow to be, in fact, the Third Rome

Please take the time to read this brief snippet from an essay that I published several years ago entitled “Reflections on the Upcoming Pre-Conciliar Meeting in Chambesy,” which will be included in a book that I hope to publish soon.  Many thanks to Hal for jogging the old memory cells.  

For the relevant passages, please go to the sixth and seventh paragraphs and read the words of Ecumenical Patriarchs Antony IV and Jeremiah II, which are in bold-face type.  


Conclusion: Is a Great and Holy Council Necessary?

The question therefore remains.  Despite the absence of bishops from the “diaspora,” the ability of foreign patriarchates to order Church life in traditionally non-Orthodox lands remains an open question.  Some hold out hope that the upcoming “Great and Holy Council” will resolve this issue once and for all, especially since that is its stated agenda.  A few of these critics have even gone so far as to say that the bishops of North America should make all haste to accept the Chambesy formula for unity lest a more onerous one be imposed on this continent by this council whenever it meets.43

However, this strategy quite possibly presupposes more than is warranted.  For one thing, the Christian Church has had in place a method of evangelizing non-Christian lands from its inception.  This method became codified in the Council of Carthage (A.D. 419) when it was decided that evangelism of a pagan region by rights belonged to the bishop nearest the city or region in question:  he was given six months to do so but if the bishop had not acted within this deadline, then the area in question was open to whichever bishop decided to do the evangelistic work necessary.  (This became known in modern parlance as “the first-to-plant-the-flag” canon.)  As for the controversial Canon 28 of Chalcedon (which was immediately nullified by Pope Gregory I), it never trumped the Carthaginian formula, despite all modern protestations to the contrary that emanate from Istanbul.

At any rate, there is not yet a firm date for a meeting for this council.  Nor for that matter has a venue been chosen.  This is not an idle point:  the pre-conciliar meeting that took place at Chambesy was originally scheduled for the island of Cyprus.  Strangely enough, no reason was given as to why it was changed at the last minute.  Some may ask what guarantees are there that such a sudden shift will not happen again?  Left unsaid is whether it can be considered Christian to “impose” a settlement in the first place.  This sounds more authoritarian than pastoral.

Equally as important, the question of who can convene this council has not been resolved.  In previous ages, it was the secular power that convened the Ecumenical Councils. With the loss of the Roman imperium, all subsequent councils have been local ones; though guided by the Holy Spirit, they do not always have universal application.  Other Churches may cite their proceedings for consideration but they are not beholden to them, unlike the seven Ecumenical Councils.  Nor can it be forgotten that in the ancient Church, all metropolitan regions were autocephalous and that it was the right of the constituent dioceses to elect and consecrate their metropolitan (and it was the right of the people to elect their local bishops).  It was only through a gradual piecemeal process that this procedure fell into abeyance.  In retrospect, it is hard to vouchsafe the present system of rigidly centralized national churches that incessantly interfere in the territories of other churches –or churches that consider the Gospel secondary to national identity for that matter.

Most problematic of all is the concept of “national” Churches.  This phenomenon did not exist during the time of the ancient councils.  This presents another unanticipated problem:  during the first Christian millennium, there was only one nation whose Churches for all intents and purposes were represented within its borders.  That nation, of course, was Rome, or more specifically, the Roman Empire.  The bishops who attended these conclaves were citizens of that nation and they represented the hundreds of dioceses throughout this vast unified state.  Though it was a multi-racial, multi-ethnic empire, the concept of the emperor as the vice-regent of God and the only legitimate secular authority was fully ingrained in the consciousness of the people.

It’s worth noting that as late as the fourteenth century, Patriarch Antony IV of Constantinople admonished Grand Duke Basil I of Moscow for removing the name of the Byzantine emperor from the litanies of the Russian Church. “My son,” Antony gently rebuked him, “it is not possible for Christians to have the Church and not to have the Empire. For Church and Empire have a great unity and community; nor is it possible to be separated one from the other.” 

Although Antony did not believe that Byzantium enjoyed political sovereignty over the Russian lands, he justified this fantastic claim in theological terms:  “The holy emperor is not as other rulers and governors of other regions are…he is anointed with the great chrism and is elected basileus and autokrator  of the Romans –to wit, of all Christians.”44  With the fall of Constantinople to the Turks in 1453, such lofty sentiments were transferred to Grand Duke Ivan III of Moscow by Patriarch Jeremiah II of Constantinople, who lauded this potentate with these words: “thou alone under heaven art now called Christian Emperor for all Christians in the whole world.”45 (The Third Rome theory had already been formulated by St Philotheos of Psvok twenty years earlier so it had already enjoyed popular status as a theolegoumenon.)

The very words of Antony IV clearly indicate that at least as far as he was concerned, Moscow was indeed the “Third Rome.”  A position which paradoxically, is vehemently denied by the present-day partisans of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.  To drive their point further, these partisans call Istanbul the “New Rome,” and not the “Second Rome.”  Consistency, of course, has never been the hallmark of the Phanar in recent times.

Admittedly, Byzantine bureaucrats were known for their excessive flattery. Yet, even so, the sentiments behind these excessive words betrayed a theological reality in the collective mind of the Orthodox Church:  specifically, that only Orthodox emperors could “rule” over the Oecumene, that is to say, the Christian world.  As such, only these emperors had the legitimate authority to convene Ecumenical Councils.46

Notice, that in the words of Antony IV, the Grand Duke of Moscow should have recognized the primacy of the Byzantine Emperor, not because the latter was his suzerain (he was not), but because Christian ecclesiology could not conceive of a worldview in which there was not a singular Orthodox basileus (sovereign).  —  Not one who necessarily rules over other Christian lands, but one who has singularity over the Christian Oecumene, of which there is but one that is reflected in the reality which is found in the heavenly realm itself.  

Now fast-forward to the following centuries, when another Byzantine patriarch (Jeremiah II) upheld this same ideology.  Only this time, the Orthodox basileus and autokrator in question were not one of the Paleologos dynasty sitting on a throne in Constantinople (which was extinct), but a Rurikid who ruled the Grand Duchy of Moscow, a vast –and growing–Christian empire.  At the very least, this shows consistency in Orthodox socio-political philosophy.  For once, the Byzantines could not be castigated with duplicity but with forthrightness.  

So, there we have it, from the mouths of two Ecumenical Patriarchs:  Moscow is indeed the Third Rome.  

The question before us today boils down to this:  are the events which are roiling the entire world, that is to say, a military conflict that threatens to embroil us in a third world war, bringing us to the realization that Moscow is indeed the Third Rome?  This is not idle speculation, even a Catholic bishop such as Carlo Maria Vigano believes it to be such.  If anything, the constant referral to the Fatima event by many Catholics continues to heighten the worlds’ awareness of Moscow’s special role in world affairs.  After all, if Russia completes its military mission in Ukraine and overturns the current neoliberal world system, then it will enjoy hegemonic status for the foreseeable future.  


  1. Whether or not Istanbul and their sycophants say that Moscow is not the Third Rome doesn’t matter, if God has ordained it to be so then it will happen in spite of them, which on the surface seems to be the case.

    It’s seems as though the Local Churches who get their chrism from Constantinople will in fact not be attending the chrism liturgy this week due to “covid,” but, I think it’s safe to assume it’s due to Bartholomew’s actions.

    Between this and not being able to gather the “ancient patriarchate’s” to condemn Russia, plus his grand miscalculation in Ukraine, it appears that Bartholomew’s goose is cooked. Should he indeed still decide to go to the Roman Unia I think it appears even less likely that any substantial number of people will follow him.

    In a geopolitical tie-in to the above paragraph, The Duran stated that in a recent poll from Greece upwards of 70% of Greeks are against sending further ammunitions to Ukraine, this may be a stretch but I imagine given the geopolitical leanings of Bartholomew the Greeks are probably not too keen on following him to Rome.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Petros, can you send us a link about the Holy Chrism No-Shows?

      Also, regarding Greece, there are two Greeces: the official Deep State run by Vichy-like collaborators (i.e. Mitsotakis) and the Greek people. The Greek people have long memories. As for how they view their ecclesiastical and political leaders, they do what Jesus told the people about the Pharisees: “Do what they say, not what they do.”

      • Yessir, it’s towards the bottom of this article:

        As for the Greeks, that’s pretty much what I’ve heard. Essentially I was told: Greek politicians/bishops do not equate to the Greek people/priests. This is especially how it’s seems to have played out during covid in Greece, with the politicians & bishops going along and the priests and laypeople fighting back.

  2. The title of “New Rome” was conferred on Constantinople by the Fourth Ecumenical Council in its Canon 28.

    Moscow as “Third Rome” has the imprimatur of a Patriarch. But Constantinople as “New Rome” has the imprimatur of the entire Church.

    Unless one does not accept the Sacred Canons as an expression of Holy Tradition …

    • George Michalopulos says

      Sir, Canon 28 was spurious from the start. It was immediately nullified by Pope Gregory I (who also nullified the title “Ecumenical” being appended to the Patriarch of Cpole.

      As for the Canon itself, it only applied to the three provinces adjacent to Cpole: Asia, Pontus and Thrace.

      • Sir, this is a take I have never encountered before. May I ask you a question or three for clarification?
        1. You say Canon 28 is “spurious.” Scholars generally use that word for a passage that has been inserted into a text by someone other than the author. Is this what you mean? Or was Canon 28 part of the published work of the 4th E.C., though somehow faulty? (But the latter goes against the Orthodox understanding of the divine inspiration of an E.C.)
        2. You say that Pope Gregory nullified that particular canon immediately. If this were so, then the canon would have to be original to the Council, not spurious. So the two statements are not compatible. What am I missing?
        3.This is also the first time I ever heard of a pope having a line-item veto on the work of an Ecumenical Council. This sounds different from the conciliar ecclesiology that I thought was the Orthodox understanding. Could you clarify?

        Above all, I would be glad for any articles online that you could point me to which lay out in greater detail your thoughts on the “spuriousness “of Canon 28. Thank you, sir.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Quick answer: yes, Canons 28 and 29 were entered into the Acta of the Council after it had been submitted for approval to the Pope. When the Pope’s four legates (who were the presidents of that Council) saw them in a later draft, they sent them immediately to Gregory the Great, who proceeded to have the proverbial cow. (He also choked on the word “ecumenical.”)

          As for the ipsimma verbi of Canon 28, they refer only to the three provinces that abutted Constantinople: Asia, Pontus and Thrace.

          Modern partisans of the Phanar have taken the word “barbarians” (who resided within these three provinces) and decided to apply them to the entire world.

          For the record, I wrote an entire paper on this several years ago, when I myself believed otherwise, and came to the present conclusion. (This and other essays will hopefully be published soon.)

          • Thank you for accepting my questions and responding. I will look forward to reading your essay. I am entirely open to the idea of falsification in history. As you note, we are all subject to floods of disinformation. And so I thank you for an earnest answer to an earnest question.

          • One more question, if you will allow it.
            Do you know if the Russian Orthodox Church has historically accepted Canon 28 of Chalcedon as part of its body of Sacred Canons?

            • George Michalopulos says

              Mr Ross, I wasn’t aware of that. If I may ask though, is there interpretation of the canon according to its ipsimma verbi (very words) or its present hyperbolic interpretation by the neo-papalists?

              As I mentioned in my previous answer, the “very words” concerned Cpole’s sovereignty over those three adjacent provinces and not the entire world. If I had to guess, I would say that while Russia may accept Canon 28 as valid, it does so under the strict interpretation of the actual text. In fact, given their evangelizing efforts in North America (in which they created an archdiocese that spawned an autocephalous Daughter Church), I must imagine that they could interpret it in no other way.

              • I am not weighing in on the interpretation of the ipsissima verba [sic] and their interpretation. That is another question entirely.
                My question is simply this: has the Russian Orthodox Church historically accepted Canon 28 of the 4th E.C. as a canon? I ask because I never heard of an Orthodox jurisdiction or theologian rejecting the authenticity of Canon 28. The Phanariotic interpretation of it, yes, … but the canon itself, never.
                You have done a fair bit of research on the matter, so I thought you might know if there was a sentiment among the Russian Orthodox that Canon 28 was, as you call it, spurious. If so, I would be grateful to a link to an article.
                Again, thank you for allowing me to post these questions. As I said above, I am open to unlearning incorrect things I was told previously.

              • This is an oldie but a goodie from St. John of Shanghai and San Fransisco. Though of course it is dated, the sentiments are still accurate. He chronicles the self-aggrandizement of Constantinople from its canonical basis in the construction of Canon 28 found in the Rudder to its then pretentions over all of the world outside of the three ancient patriarchates and the then Soviet Union. He even had the foresight to see that C’pole would reclaim Kiev and the Ukraine.

                Blind arrogance has its own logic.

                • William Tighe says

                  Already in the Tome of Autocephaly that C’ple gave to the Polish Orthodox Church in 1924 C’ple said that the transfer of the Kiev metropolia to Moscpw by a previous Ecumenical Patriarch was “accomplished contrary to Canon Law,” which can be viewed as staking a claim to do what the present EP did in 2018.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Yeah, that’s totally BS.

                    When I get more time later today, I’ll prove it from the Cpole’s own archives.

                  • Alas, even if it is true it was several hundred years too late. In any case, Russia is not going to let the Ukraine go either spiritually or politically.

                    Try and make them.

                  • “the Tome of Autocephaly that C’ple gave to the Polish Orthodox Church in 1924 C’ple said that the transfer of the Kiev metropolia to Moscow”

                    William, was it the same C’ple that sided with the Bolsheviks and endorsed the so called “Living Church”?

        • Here is two links to begin with:

          Canon 28 and Eastern Papalism: Cause or Effect?
          George C. Michalopulos

          Canon 28 of the 4th Ecumenical Council – Relevant or Irrelevant Today?
          PHILIP, Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All North America

      • Mark Armitage says

        It was Pope Leo I who nullified canon 28 (on the grounds that it contradicted the canons of Nicaea). Pope Gregory I, who condemned the title “Ecumenical Patriarch”, came a little later (he was Pope from 590-604).

    • cynthia curran says

      So, does that still hold since the 15th century it has been run by Muslims.

      • Was Moscow a Third Rome when it was run by Marxists or ex-KGB apparatchiks?
        And can Muslims undo the work of an Ecumenical Council?
        That would be a novel theological position.

        • George Michalopulos says

          That is an unanswerable question. Personally, I would say “no.”

          “Rome” in the theological context is that polity which serves as the katechon, the Restrainer, the “obstacle” (pace Vigano) to the designs of the Antichrist. It can only do so with the resources of the government (i.e. a strong military). It is a political ministry which serves the purpose of safeguarding the Faith.

          Clearly, for 70 years, the former Russian Empire had become an evil empire. Of this there can be no doubt. It did not actively serve the purposes of Christ however it –and it alone–did destroy the demonic neo-paganism of the Third Reich. And there can be no doubt that there were dark, occultic forces behind the Third Reich. (How’s that for a wrench in my argument?)

          Having said that, just as Cpole had fallen into heresy/schism on more than one occasion, that did not mitigate against its restraining ministry, even during this time of quasi-apostasy. (Nor should we forget that during the Iconoclast Crisis, the Roman state actively persecuted the Iconodules, and this heresy disguised as a political ideology lasted for twice as long as the Soviet period did.)

          The Holy Spirit allowed Cpole to return to the Christian fold and uphold Orthodoxy. And it did, for slightly over one millennium.

          I hope this answers your question.

          • “The Holy Spirit allowed Cpole to return
            to the Christian fold and uphold Orthodoxy.
            And it did, for slightly over one millennium.”

            And it may return again, God willing

        • Were Rome and Constantinople “Rome” and “New Rome” during the reign of Julian the Apostate?

        • There are two schools of thoughts. The Soviet Church fell under Sergianism and was more of a phantom church so ROCOR did not commemorate. Some would say the true Church in Russia lived in the catacombs then. The second theory is Third Rome ceased when the last tsar was killed and the restraining force taken away. Hence the first Rome fell away due to apostasy, the second fell away due to sin (Unia) and third due to regicide and there will be no other. Perhaps a new Rome will emerge in the East someday but for the west only the titles of new Rome and third Rome remain.. and none are true Times without an Orthodox monarch.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Gus, this is an excellent point!

            First of all, the regicide of the last Christian emperor was indeed a cataclysmic tragedy for the entire world. The years 1918-1945 clearly prove that. (One could go on to say even up to the present.)

            However, St Philotheus of Pskov said that “there would be no other.” This is true: In other words, “Rome” would last until the Antichrist arose (which means that we are in –or perilously close to–the Eschaton. What does this mean?

            I have two theories:

            1. We are in/close to the End-times (as stated above), in other words, the Tribulation, or
            2. That the Third Rome did not “fall” completely but went through a prolonged, century-long abeyance (not unlike the 11 year period in which the Puritans ruled England only to be thrown out with the restoration of the monarchy).

            If #1 is correct, we are in a Tribulation period right now. If #2 is correct, we are on the cusp of a restoration in which the Lord will allow us a respite before the final tribulation. Said respite would be used for one, last preachment of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

            This was the opinion (in so many words) of what several holy Elders (e.g. Seraphim of Sarov, St Lawrence of Chernigov, St Joseph the Hesychast, etc.) prophesied.

            Interestingly enough, even in the Western Church, there is a similar prophecy of a last “Great King” who will rule for a brief time during a last golden age. (This particular king would be a French Bourbon who would walk with a limp, much like the ancient patriarch Jacob, after his all-night wrestling match with the angel.)

          • In my opinion, Rome was the Restraining Power at least since the Apostolic times, being the pagan power, but adhering to the legal order and justice. When Pilate said .”I find no guilt in him.”, it was the Rome speaking

    • “Constantinople as “New Rome” has the imprimatur of the entire Church.”

      I have a question. When Constantinople entered Unia and submitted to the Roman Pope, did it retain such position? Or forfeited it? Or should all Orthodox follow and become Uniates too?

      • Joseph Lipper says


        While the Russians rejected Isidore as Metropolitan of Kiev in 1441 because of his apostasy, they did not cease to commemorate the “Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome, and Ecumenical Patriarch” as they had always done before.

        This is evident, because the later schism between Russia and Constantinople was from 1467 up until 1560. That schism was over political differences rather than over a false union. By that time, in 1467, Constantinople was no longer in union with Rome.

        Interestingly, it was during this time (1467-1560) of Russia’s schism and isolation that the theory of Moscow as “Third Rome” developed, starting with Philotheus of Pskov. It should be noted, however, that a similar theory of Bulgaria as “Third Rome” had also developed during the period of the Second Bulgarian Empire. Of course that theory was squashed when Bulgaria fell to the Ottoman Turks.

        • Joseph. You did not answer my questions.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            Probably because he has not seen them yet. It’s Pascha and I am only now approving your questions. I’m sure he’ll get back to you perhaps after this week.

          • Joseph Lipper says

            Martin, it’s a good question. I just wanted to bring up that from the POV of Russia, the false council of Florence-Ferrara did not change in the least Constantinople’s position in the Orthodox Church.

            Did Florence-Ferrara somehow repudiate Chalcedon regarding the prerogatives of the Ecumenical Patriarch? Maybe somebody else can answer that question. Papal primacy was certainly one of the sticking points, but I’m not sure this meant anything other than Constantinople commemorating the Pope first, as was the original case at Chalcedon.

            • “Did Florence-Ferrara somehow repudiate Chalcedon regarding the prerogatives of the Ecumenical Patriarch?”

              Yes it did.

  3. Joseph Lipper says

    This flattering quote from Constantinople’s Patriarch Jeremias II, “thou alone under heaven art now called Christian Emperor for all Christians in the whole world.”, comes from the Patriarch’s fund-raising visit to Moscow in 1588-1589. The quote would be referencing Tsar Feodor I, not Ivan III. The Grand Duke of Moscow, Ivan III, reigned much earlier, from 1462 to 1505.

    It was actually Ivan III who started the schism with Constantinople in 1467. By that time, Constantinople had already rejected the Unia and returned to Orthodoxy. In 1467, the sainted Orthodox patriarch, Dionysios I of Constantinople, sent a letter to Ivan III requesting that the Metropolitan of Moscow be subject to the Orthodox Metropolitan of Kiev. Instead, Ivan III rejected this request, and the resulting schism lasted up until about 1560.

    Some historians believe the schism ended when Tsar Ivan IV wanted to be recognized as an Orthodox Tsar, and it seems this would have meant reconciliation with Constantinople. At any rate, it was Constantinople’s Patriarch Jeremias II who later traveled to Moscow in 1588 to raise money, and it was he who personally elevated the Metropolitan of Moscow to Patriarchal status by placing the Patriarchal Crown on the head of Moscow’s first Patriarch, St. Job of Moscow.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      So someone looking for money in 1588 put a patriarchal crown on St. Job of Moscow and that was it?

      What about the two letters signed not only by the EP but also by other Patriarchs of the East where Moscow was placed fifth in the diptych after the four Patriarchs of the East?

      • Joseph Lipper says

        In 1589, when Constantinople Patriarch Jeremias II crowned the Moscow Patriarch, the Russian government wanted their patriarch to be third in the diptychs, after Alexandria. Of course Antioch and Jerusalem would not agree with this. So in 1590, the Patriarchs of Antioch and Jerusalem signed a letter that affirmed Constantinople’s decision to grant autocephaly to Moscow and fifth placement in the diptychs, after Jerusalem.

        However, Moscow was undeterred. They still insisted that the Patriarch of Moscow should be third in the diptychs. So in 1593, the Patriarch of Constantinople called a Council of the Ancient Patriarchates (the equivalent of the Pentarchy, minus Rome of course), and another letter was drafted that once again affirmed Constantinople’s decision to grant Moscow autocephaly and fifth placement in the diptychs.

        • Perhaps, but C’pol had apostatized during the period of its fall and thus when the Russians had to replace a Metropolitan, they had to do it themselves, thus becoming autocephalous without C’Pol even being in the Church at the time. It was mighty nice of the Phanar to “grant autocephaly” to Russia and patriarchal status to the MP; however, we should not forget the context. Moscow would have been at the time justified in requesting first place as the largest surviving Orthodox empire. Everyone else involved had been conquered by Muslims.

    • William Tighe says

      The only “Metropolitan of Kiev” in 1467 was Gregory the Bulgarian (d. 1474) who had followed the former Metropolitan of Kiev (but seated in Moscow) Isidore (d. 1463) into Union with Rome at the Council of Florence. Isidore, although living thereafter mostly in Rome, kept the title Metropolitan of Kiev and All Rus until he was appointed Cardinal-Bishop of Sabina in ca. 1455. Gregory was appointed his successor by the refugee “uniate” Patriarch of C’ple, Gregory III (d. 1459), who lived in Rome from 1451 until his death. The next Metropolitan of Kiev, Misail (d. 1481), was likewise a “uniate.” It was Misail’s Successor, Simeon (d. 1488), who sought and received confirmation of his election from C’ple, not Rome, as did his successors.

      Moscow, after rejecting Isidore, chose its own “Metropolitan of Kiev and All Rus,” Jonah (d. 1461). Jonah’s successor, Theodore (metropolitan 1461-68) was recognized by C’ple in 1464, on condition that his title be altered to “Metropolitan of Moscow and All Rus.”

      There was no “Orthodox Metropolitan of Kiev” in 1467 for C’ple to bid Moscow to be subject to.

      • Joseph Lipper says

        Vadim Lurie, in his essay The end of the Moscow Church schism of 1467 to 1560 writes that Gregory the Bulgarian returned to Orthodoxy in 1466. Constantinople then recognized this Gregory as the only legitimate Orthodox Metropolitan of Kiev:

        With the creation of the distinct “Metropolitan of Moscow”, it appears that Constantinople’s intension was that it be subject to a separate Orthodox Metropolitan of Kiev. Ivan III would not accept this.

  4. The only reason Moscow has not been confirmed by an ecumenical council as “the Third Rome” is because there has been no ecumenical council since the fall of Constantinople. Were only real diocesan bishops included, the Russian and Slavic realms would have a clear overwhelming majority of bishops. That much is certain. And that is why the robber council of Crete was organized in such a hopelessly unorthodox manner from the get go.

    Hats off to George for his summation of history on the subject.

    The reason many of us see the current conflict in the Ukraine and beyond as one of the sons of light vs. the sons of darkness is the pious conviction that God Himself is responsible for the miracle of the Christian rebirth of Russia and its rise in world affairs. So long as its leader does not apostatize, we are inclined to treat him and Russia as an agent of the Almighty, much like an Orthodox emperor/empire.

    Furthermore, that is why secularists and liberals despise Russia, lie about it constantly and perpetually seek its downfall. It is simply the political extension of the war against Christ by the prince of this world. This does not mean that Putin and Russia can do no wrong. It does mean, however, that in general they are fighting on the side of angels. This is in gross contradistinction to the history of the Soviet Union, which was indeed an evil empire.

    It seems that in failing to appreciate God’s victory in Russia, the West (particularly the United States) is taking on the mantle of the evil empire which Soviet Russia formerly deserved. And I will make a further controversial prediction: Opposition to the United States and the West will do more to morally civilize the Chinese than all the years of uniparty appeasement and their exploitation thereof.

  5. Ianto Watt says

    Lord, I do so love this site! The myopic blindness of both sides (Latin & Greek) is brought to pure clarity here (at least, for me). There is no Second Rome, nor a Third Rome. Why? Because First Rome still stands!

    Say what you want, the fact of the matter is simple: the Western Church is still Universal, while the Eastern Church is still National. How can the Church, as a whole be anything less than Universal?

    Meanwhile, everyone in the East is still busy accusing each other (correctly, I might add) of phyletism. Both Master and Servant rightly see the other as having succumbed to this heresy (and it is a heresy). C-pole and Bulgaria, both see the mote in their brother’s eye, but neither can see the beam in their own. Rome, meanwhile, while fully decadent within her ruling walls, is followed by the vast multitude who somehow still vaguely understand the need for a single body to have a single head. And one mouth.

    It’s not for nothing that the East has had the Roman Imperium removed from their midst, to be replaced by The Sultan. Does no one here understand this?? (And no, no one in the West does either, as they are all under the thumb of the Secular Sultan).

    And God bless Abp. Vigano. Even he would admit that while Russia is now the last outpost of official resistance to the resurgence of the Pagan World, Moscow is not (yet) Rome. But don’t get me wrong. I don’t think this is an insurmountable problem. All it takes is one Russian to correct this total mis-understanding of history. All it takes is for one Russian to be seated in Peter’s chair.

    And so, I wonder, how many in the East would hesitate to come home to (First) Rome, if there was a worthy occupant of it? (And no, I am not saying anything about either Vlad, or Kyrill). But someone will be that man, I am convinced of it. And so, I still continue to pray for both. As Katechons, for now. Kyrie Eleison.


    • Gail Sheppard says

      I don’t know, but this is something we’ll be exploring with our next guest who has been a great resource to us regarding the West.

      I find both the West and the East untenable at this point. Their leaders are correct when they say they are on the same path of unity. Unity under what is the question. They both lean heavily toward the secular world.

      So what do we do? — What we always do. We wait on God.

    • Rome left the Church a thousand years ago and is not the capital of an empire anymore, so asserting that Rome still stands is comical. When we Orthodox talk about the Christian Rome, we are talking about the Christian seat of an empire. That was why Rome was listed first in the diptychs before the Schism and why Constantinople was listed second.

      No pope who continues to confess the papist heresy could possibly attract the Orthodox. And any pope who wishes to convert to Orthodoxy I’m sure knows where the nearest Orthodox church is.

      As to Constantinople, it no longer exists. There is an Istanbul which is a Turkish Muslim city, not even the capital of Turkey, much less a Christian empire. The New Rome died in 1453. It had already slipped into the Roman heresy and was conquered by the Turks and that was the end of it, full stop, period.

      Now some make believe there is a Constantinople with lots of bishops of make believe dioceses. But this entity of about 2000 Greeks is absolutely dependent on the generosity of Greeks in the diaspora for its continued existence and it is no empire at all.

      That leaves Moscow and Russia. The “last man standing”, so to speak. Rome is lost in heresy (for a thousand years), impotence (no empire) and a mix of homosexual statutory rape and pederasty. The current pope is a faithless, leftist disaster on top of it all and Rome has fallen into lockstep with the liberal West in almost every way, opposing even its own religious conservatives. Rome is manifestly evil and has been for quite some time.

      Constantinople exists only in the imaginations of the Phanariotes and their supporters. What political power it has derives entirely from the American State Department and CIA, hardly Christian institutions.

      But Moscow as risen from its Bolshevik captivity and though about a third of Russians never abandoned the faith, now over two thirds of the country count themselves believers with new churches being constructed on a daily basis. It has become a formidable force against Liberal/Feminist Globohomo, Inc., even taking the fight to the enemy in the Ukraine.

      Why would any self respecting traditional Christian ever look to Rome? (That’s a rhetorical question. They wouldn’t.)

  6. Well this is at least good news:

    Constantinople has dropped their plans to hold a meeting of the ancient Churches, plus Cyprus, due to the lack of interest from the other Churches.

    At least they have acknowledged the Church of Antioch’s desire to hold a pan-Orthodox council.

    He is further losing his authority.

  7. I found the answer to my own question on the website of the Department of External Relations of the Patriarchate of Moscow:

    They recognize Canon 28 of the 4th E.C. as an authentic canon. They also cite Canon 3 of the 2nd E.C. as the first canon to bestow the title “New Rome” on Constantinople: ‘The Bishop of Constantinople, however, shall have the prerogative of honour after the Bishop of Rome; because Constantinople is New Rome’.

    So we have our answer.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      I believe the “honor” you’re referring to is the diptychs. Constantinople has the “honor” of being the “first among equals”. It means that his name is mentioned first. No one disputes this.

      Then this happened:

      • No. My point is twofold.
        1. The authenticity of Canon 28 of Chalcedon is not disputed by the Patriarchate of Moscow.
        2. The title “New Rome” was conferred by the 2nd Ecumenical Council in Canon 3, the authenticity of which no one disputes.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          Yes, but it’s not a matter of authenticity.

          Here is a “quick and dirty” explanation that I hope will answer your question. But I’m just a layman (or laywoman) so someone might have to correct me if I don’t have this exactly right:

          Let’s start at the beginning. If I were a deacon at a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy (before Rome left in 1054) and I was listing the patriarchs, I would announce Rome’s first and Constantinople’s second.

          The order is dictated by something called the diptychs, which is a list of names of the patriarchs, bishops, high-ranking personalities, and benefactors of the Church.

          The patriarch whose name is first is given the honor of being the “first among equals” because his name is first on the list (diptychs) according to the canons. No one disputes this, as you indicated. Again, it’s the “honor” of being first.

          Before 1054, Rome was the first on the diptychs. Constantinople was second.

          After the schism in 1054, Constantinople moved into first place; the place Rome used to occupy. Constantinople then became the “New Rome,” because the old Rome was gone!

          Again, no one disputes this, including Moscow.

          However, the list presumes the first slot is occupied by something I would describe as the “seat of Orthodoxy”, with a large population of Orthodox Christians, as well as an emperor, monarch, or czar.

          Although 5th on the diptychs, Russia is more like early Rome, which was rich and very powerful, than any of the other autocephalous Churches today, especially with respect to the number of Orthodox Christians who reside there. Putin is the president of Russia, but unlike other world leaders, he is also very protective of the Russian Orthodox Church.

          If the EP loses its footing, it’s unlikely that Alexandra (2), Antioch (3), or Jerusalem (4) would move into the first position for a number of reasons that have nothing to do with their worthiness.

          Russia is the grande dame of Orthodoxy with all its cathedrals, resources, and, of course, number of Orthodox Christians. They are what some call the “obvious choice” to take the number one position because they can best protect (promote) the tenets of the traditional Church.

          A Council would have to decide this, though. The canons are just guidelines. Councils can expand, rethink, or override them when it makes sense.

          If Russia takes the first position from Constantinople, Russia would become the “Third Rome.”

          • I think you mean that Moscow (not Russia) would become the Third Rome.
            But, of course, Moscow is not the capital of the Christian empire, nor does it even have an emperor for anyone to coronate. It is just another capital of a modern kleptocracy that wraps itself in religiosity when convenient … no different than Washington, D.C., really.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              When I say Constantinople, you know I mean Istanbul, right? And when I say Istanbul, you know it’s not the capital of Turkey? Ankara the capital of Turkey.

              When I say Antioch, I am not referring to the part of the Roman Empire where it originally was, but to Syria. Antioch is not in the capital of Syria. The capital of Syria is Damascus.

              The Moscow Patriarchate (MP) is in Moscow, as you say, but the Russian Orthodox Church is all over the country. Of all the leaders of the world, Putin is most like a czar or an emperor. They actually call him a “place holder.” Moscow will become the capital (or head) of the Orthodox Christian Empire if it became the third Rome.

              Having an emperor to coronate is not a requirement. The Ecumenical Patriarch doesn’t have an emperor. It’s surrounded by Muslims. Russia, however, has an Orthodox president which is like an emperor.

              Moscow is quite different than Washington D.C.. D.C. has no affiliation with the Orthodox Church. Moscow, on the other hand, is filled with cathedrals. The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour is my favorite. Ever been there?

              As of December 2017, there were 1154 Orthodox churches and chapels in Moscow, including 6 Kremlin cathedrals, 2 cathedral churches, 295 parish churches, 31 baptismal churches, 114 temporary churches, and 54 monastery churches. The reportedly build 3 Churches a week so no telling how many they have now.

              Moscow, specifically, and Russia in general is truly the seat of Orthodoxy.

              • Alas, I have never been to Moscow. Nor am I on their payroll.
                More’s the pity.

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  One does not have to be on someone’s payroll to look at something objectively, which is the real problem we’re facing. For some reason, people cannot let go of their delusions. They want to believe in something so much, the mere mention that life is no longer the same, throws them into cognitive dissidence and they become mean-spirited and get angry at those who are simply telling the truth.

                  They go to extremes to discredit them because they can’t get their way. It’s like, “Oh, look, they must be on someone’s payroll because they just won’t confirm what I want to be true.”

                  I bet in the wee hours of the morning, people like this have trouble sleeping. They must know deep down that they have nothing upon which to base their conclusions and this has got to eat at them. They probably don’t know why they erupt in anger and lash out at people who honestly don’t deserve it.

                  Have you noticed this, too, M. Ross?

                  The worst thing about this is that these people do not realize that as much as they want to set things right in their own heads, they’re losing traction. They don’t know what to do.

                  I genuinely feel for them, though. We’ve all had to come to terms with this stuff and it isn’t fun.

                  • “One does not have to be on someone’s
                    payroll to look at something objectively”

                    Here is Dr Steve Turley trying to give an objective opinion
                    of Orthodox Russia’s view of the Western Liberal onslaught:

                    [Video – 29:36]

                    He makes a reasonably good fist of it

                  • Galinushka,

                    As I used to mention on a frequent basis, it is a war of worldviews/mindsets/phronema. Russians in general, regardless of their frequency of church attendance, have re-embraced an Orthodox worldview. In some ways, it piggy backs on Russia identity and Russkiy Mir philosophy because it will take at least another generation for Russians to get fully comfortable with religion again, given the Soviet past.

                    But the general Christian nationalism worldview has taken hold. This is also present in a weaker degree in MAGA as well as conservative evangelical and fundamentalist Protestantism. Perhaps there is even some of this among the TradCats, but the papacy puts them at a disadvantage.

                    I say “Christian nationalism” but really we are simply talking about the practical effect of Christianity as it has been traditionally understood among its three major divisions. It is easier to look at it in ideological terms because its enemy is Western liberalism (the globohomo Borg). But really, Western liberalism is the last surviving political ideology coming out of the so-called Enlightenment. What you are seeing is a psychological war between Western liberalism (The RCC and the heretical ideologies it spawned), Christianity (the traditional Orthodox and fundamentalist Protestants), Islam, Confucianism and Hinduism. However, Hinduism is really only a combatant vis a vis Western liberalism and Islam.

                    The West can’t understand anything other than political ideology because they are atheistic materialists. To them, religion is an antiquated anachronism, suitable at most for life cycle rituals, if that. It is offensive to their worldview to take it seriously because to them it is the Easter Bunny, in which no intelligent person actually believes. Thus the motives of other actors must be due to political ideology rather than religious conviction or a sense of religious nationalism. They are not willing to cede any ground at all to religion – period. That is what makes them so unspeakably dangerous – the same thing that made the Bolsheviks and N*zis unspeakably dangerous. It explains the holocaust of the unborn and the growing totalitarianism of the Western enterprise.

                    It dictates all of their policies which are focused on the survival of the political ideology, like a virus. For example, they have an inherent demographic problem. Feminism cannot reproduce itself. The fertility rates among white and black Americans are well below replacement. It’s worse in much of Europe. So what’s the answer: open immigration.

                    What’s the answer to a significant percentage of the young black male population being incarcerated (a natural Democratic constituency because of race baiting)? Open the jails and abolish the notion of crime. What happens when too much common sense filters through to too much of decent society to allow Democrats to be elected widely? Embrace perversion and fix elections.

                    It all makes perfect sense from the devil’s perspective. So remember in these little skirmishes with seemingly incorrigible types here: The devil is not interested in facts or reason. He was a liar and murderer from the beginning and all he is interested in is deception and confusion. Don’t argue with him. Argument presupposes a commitment to logic. His intent is to overthrow logic in favor of the passions.

                • M. Roll “Nor am I on their payroll.”

                  Not everyone has to be on a payroll, to express an opinion. Imagine that.!

        • On your first point, I’m not aware of a dispute with the validity of the canon itself by the Church of Russia, though some other clergy have called its legitimacy into question.

          On your second point, no argument here. Constantinople was the imperial city then and that is the sole reason it was named “New Rome”. That, of course, is no longer the case.

          The diptychs and “New Rome” are really separate matters, just as the diptychs and “Third Rome” are separate matters. “New Rome” and “Third Rome” are merely descriptive honorifics without any reference to the diptychs. Constantinople became the “New Rome” because it was made the capital of the empire. The Council merely recognized this fact and consequently gave it second place in the diptychs.

          Later, after the Schism, this title and “Ecumenical Patriarch” became much more important as Constantinople took first place in the diptychs. But Russia is making no claim to the top spot in the diptychs now any more than it was centuries ago when “Third Rome” came into informal use. “Third Rome” is simply a recognition of reality in that Moscow is the most powerful Orthodox see.

          Now, if a real Council were held and preeminence in the diptychs was reallocated on the traditional basis, of course Moscow would take first place. But I have not heard anyone in the Church of Russia asserting this change. We tend to be more practical than touting such terminology as “Third Rome” as some right of the ROC. Moscow can de facto lead the Church without any official designation simply by the force of its spiritual authority, political and economic power. We already have enough controversy and prima donnas in the Church.

  8. Ianto Watt says

    Misha, you still don’t get it.

    Caesar, in whatever city, is always opposed to Christ. Read the scriptures. Caesar is ultimately the AntiChrist. A man claiming to be God. Claiming that First Rome no longer has the Imperium at hand is actually a mark of honor. The Church exists apart from (and not because of) Caesar. The fact that Justinian (or even Constantine) was Christian simply means that they subordinated their fatherland to their faith. Not the other way around.

    And Moscow still has this same Eastern problem. Until the Empire kneels to the Church (and not the other way around), there will be strife. The claim that First Rome apostasized a thousand years ago is easily refuted by anyone who has actually read the ancient Greek Fathers. They recognized that the One Body must have One Head. Only pride can keep anyone from recognizing this. What creature of God has 14 Local Heads?? Or even two?

    And quit claiming that Jesus is ‘the visible head’ of the visible Church. Jesus (apart from the Eucharist) is invisible to mortal man. Just as the Father and the Holy Spirit are. So what’s the point of a visible Patriarch?? Who then is the visible Father, and the Holy Spirit???

    Yes, there have been bad Popes. So what? How many good Kings of Judah and Israel were there? How many good High Priests? Yet Jesus never called for revolution. He called, as always, for repentance. From Caesar as well as the High Priests. And us as well. All of us.

    The fact that the Eastern Churches have not been able to convene an actual council (either with or without First Rome) for a millenium should tell you something about the lack of unity in the East. Just as hesychasm has paralyzed the East spiritually, so too it’s nationalistic phyletism has made it comatose physically. The Sultans appreciate this cooperation!!

    The Church will be paralyzed, both East and West, until we both repent. One must repent of false pride, the other of false humility. And until that time, Satan will have his way. Is that what you want?

    • Gail Sheppard says

      The reason that what Misha is trying to tell you doesn’t make sense to you is because you’re not that familiar with Orthodoxy. This blog is a good way to learn about the Church but polemics is not allowed. So I’ll give Misha the opportunity to answer you (if he wants) but then we have to close the thread.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Ianto, thank you for your analysis.

      I must, however, disagree. The fact that there are 14 (15 with the OCA) primates as opposed to one primate, is a visible sign of Orthodoxy fidelity/union. We’ve been able to be united in faith and praxis without a centralizing figure. This proves that Christ is the Head of the Church in my humble opinion.

      As to your assessment about the various popes, patriarchs, kings, emperors, etc being this, that or the other, it is well-taken.

    • We do not long, in the least, for a union with heretics. It cannot happen because the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church. You are welcome to leave your heresy which can be rationalized as can any other. And you are welcome to join the Orthodox Church if you accept our faith. It is not what you know but rather what you think you know that simply isn’t true.

    • Re: “Caesar”:

      Read and learn.

    • ” Jesus (apart from the Eucharist) is invisible to mortal man. Just as the Father and the Holy Spirit are. So what’s the point of a visible Patriarch?? Who then is the visible Father, and the Holy Spirit???”

      Wow, wow. You really elevate bishop of Rome a little bit too high.
      Patriarchs are just the chairmen of the local synods, honored and cherished, but nothing more.

      And every believing Christian has direct access to God. You make me to appreciate Luther even more.

  9. “Caesar, in whatever city, is always opposed to Christ.”

    This would be news to all the Christian Roman Emperors and to the Church Fathers (referenced above by Moss).

    “Until the Empire kneels to the Church (and not the other way around), there will be strife.”

    This is not Orthodox symphonia, our working relationship of Church and state. Neither has predominance. One is predominant in the spiritual realm, one in the material. Papal supremacy has no place in the true Church of Christ.

    “And quit claiming that Jesus is ‘the visible head’ of the visible Church.”

    No, because He is. And He is the only head of the Church, visible and invisible. Moreover, the Church itself is His Body as well as His bride. You are welcome to your heresies, but that is not our faith.

    “The fact that the Eastern Churches have not been able to convene an actual council (either with or without First Rome) for a millenium should tell you something about the lack of unity in the East.”

    In general, we have had little interest in calling an ecumenical council since the 14th century council on hesychasm (the 9th Council, the 8th was the Photian council). That it has not been universally recognized within the Church as such does not mean that its teaching has not been universally accepted. Calling councils willy nilly is a characteristic of a body which makes it up as they go along. The Orthodox Faith is settled. It is the same today as it was before the Schism. Rome can’t say that with a straight face about their own heterodox faith.

    “Just as hesychasm has paralyzed the East spiritually, so too it’s nationalistic phyletism has made it comatose physically.”

    This is sheer ignorance and trading in empty Roman tripe on your part. Orthodox spirituality is hardly paralyzed. Our monastic tradition is flourishing in places. You simply don’t know what you’re talking about. As to alleged Orthodox “nationalistic phyletism”, it does not seem to have rendered Russia comatose in the face of real nationalistic phyletism (Ukrainian fascism). Nor does it render Orthodox evangelism and the planting of churches “comatose”. Nor does it render Orthodox charitable activities comatose.

    “The Church will be paralyzed, both East and West, until we both repent. One must repent of false pride, the other of false humility. And until that time, Satan will have his way. Is that what you want?”

    Again, Rome constitutes no part of the Church. They are heretics, cut off from the Church ages ago. There is nothing in this regard for the Orthodox to repent. We are completely correct regarding our theology and Rome’s heterodoxy. Satan has his way in the RCC. No one can possibly doubt this after the ubiquitous scandal regarding pederasty and homosexual statutory rape.

    What TradCats don’t understand yet is that this scandal has killed the RCC as being perceived as a positive force, let alone a force for Christ, among the world’s population including in the West. It is a dead man walking. It is an infested denizen of the devil’s minions, top to bottom. The priesthood and episcopacy constitute a perverted organized crime syndicate. The Orthodox would better be served by uniting with the mafia. At least they have some sense of morality, imperfect though it be.

    • With the Pope actively pushing the MRNA vaccines, it’s a clear sign that they are subservient to the WEF and not to God. They have lost all credibility.

  10. George Michalopulos says

    Please forgive me, but I can’t remember who asked me about the transfer of the Archdiocese of Kiev being “temporary.” I said I’d get back to you later that day (and I didn’t).

    Anyway, here is the answer to that question (again, from an essay which I hope to publish soon):

    6. The End-Game in the Ukraine: Neo-papalism or Uniatism?

    Bartholomew knew all the this.  He himself had earlier refused to hear Filaret’s case, confirming in every respect Moscow’s prerogatives in the matter.  More importantly, he, like every other Orthodox primate had long recognized Metropolitan Onufriy of Kiev as the legitimate primate of that eparchy.13  As for Maletich’s credendtials, this was not hidden either. Of course, the ultimate sticking point –that Kiev was a constituent archdiocese of the Russian Orthodox Church–should have precluded any further action.
    Therefore, in order to make an end-run around this sticking point, Bartholomew ignored history, precedent, canonical order, and his own statements in the matter wherein he had earlier declared that the Archdiocese of Kiev was “always” a part of the See of Constantinople.  In other words, he was (unfortunately) reverting to Byzantine form, a negative trope long held by those who have dealt with the Phanar for centuries. When called out on this, he stated that the earlier Tomos of transfer of 1686 was “conditional,” that Kiev had been ceded to Moscow epitropikos, “under trust.”  Others in his employ who were caught flat-footed by their exposure said that the transfer was invalid because Patriarch Dionysius IV had acted “under duress.”  

    This of course was all nonsense.  There is no evidence at all for any of these specious arguments.  In fact, all of the historical records indicate otherwise.  Even those of the Ecumenical Patriarchate itself!14  Indeed, the historical record is so replete with documentary evidence to the contrary that it is ridiculous to assert otherwise.  One would look in vain to find any evidence throughout the last three hundred and thirty years which hints at anything to the contrary.

    While it is true that Ukraine was annexed by Peter the Great to Russia in 1686, this was not exceptional in the minds of those at the time, as the Ukraine was long considered to be the homeland of the Russian people.  Kiev, in fact, was called the “Mother-City of Holy Rus’.”  In the words of the transfer itself, Ecumenical Patriarch Dionysius IV flatly stated
    It is hereby granted that this holy Eparchy of Kiev is subject to the Most Holy Patriarchal Throne of the Holy and God-saved city of Muscovy … and they must recognize the Patriarch of Moscow as their elder and head, as they are consecrated to him…”

    To further drive home the point, the author states that since that day in 1686, every “Syntagmatia of an autocephalous church, affirms, beyond any doubt, that this metropolis canonically belongs to that [Russian] church.”16 It is therefore a fool’s errand for the partisans of Constantinople to find evidence to the contrary. Its speciousness is startling, even by Byzantine standards.

    Doubtless, the Phanar and its partisans know this as well.  In reality, one gets the subtle impression that their entire enterprise vis-a-vis Ukraine is nothing but a distraction.  Is there is another endgame, one which will create an entirely new paradigm for Orthodoxy and it is for this reason that Constantinople, which itself is a dying patriarchate, is desperate for?
    For the author, very real danger lurks.  And that danger is nothing less than a looming Orthodox papalism.  Even more disturbing is that which is lost in all of this analysis, debate, and argumentation, and that is the most important point of all: the true Head of the Orthodox Church is not a man, whether he be Pope or Ecumenical Patriarch, but Jesus Christ Himself.
    Leaving aside the scandalous nature of the two schismatic Ukrainian groups that petitioned for autocephaly, the fears of papalism are all too real.  This is especially so given the novel type of “autocephaly” that Bartholomew granted to the schismatic Ukrainian sect two years ago.  Buried deep in the entrails of this startling Tomos is the oxymoronic phrase that “the Autocephalous Church in Ukraine knows as its head the most holy Apostolic and Patriarchal Ecumenical Throne, just as the rest of the patriarchs and primates also do.”18  There is no charitable way to put this but to state that it is a brazen untruth.  It is in fact historically incompatible with the autocephalies that were granted to every church by Constantinople itself over the last two centuries (save for the Church of Greece).  On the other hand, the author calls this startling assertion “novel and insipid.”19
    And indeed it is. 

    I trust that this answers your question as to the permanence of Kiev’s transfer to Moscow.

    • Joseph Lipper says

      There’s no indication that Constantinople ever considered it a “temporary transfer”. The right to ordain and oversee the Metropolitan of Kiev on behalf of Constantinople was granted to Moscow indefinitely, but with the glaring stipulation that the Metropolitan of Kiev would always commemorate the Patriarch of Constantinople first.

      This specific right without ownership is exactly what the Patriarch of Moscow requested in 1686, and that’s exactly what the Patriarch of Constantinople granted in his subsequent letter. Yet without an actual transfer of ownership, Constantinople always maintained the right to tell Moscow, “You’re fired!”

      The Ukrainian parliament formally asked Patriarch Bartholomew to “fire” Moscow in 2016, that is in view of gaining Ukrainian autocephaly. Political circumstances are the usual reason why autocephaly is granted to countries. Autocephaly helps to maintain the unity of the church despite competing political empires or nations. For example, it was a crucial reason why the OCA petitioned for autocephaly from Moscow during the Cold War.

      • Joseph. “There’s no indication that Constantinople ever considered it a “temporary transfer”. ”

        Why would it be relevant? Is CP the Pope, the new Vicar of Christ? I am afraid, studying canon law at Vatican was not a good career choice.

  11. “The Ukrainian parliament formally asked Patriarch Bartholomew to “fire” Moscow in 2016”

    In Ukrainian parliament you can find atheists, Catholics, Protestants, Uniates, Jews and others. Would you recommend US Congress to resolve jurisdictional issues of the Orthodox and doctrinal issues of the Protestants? Perhaps separation of Catholics from Rome?

  12. George Michalopulos says

    The EU continues to bend the knee to Tsar Vladimir:

    • George Michalopulos says

      You see, folks, here’s the deal: Russia plays the long game. And they don’t get all triumphant about it, even when things are going their way.

      When Putin announced that the RF would only take rubles for oil/coal/LNG six weeks ago, he was laughed at. Little did we know that in the interim, several EU countries were quietly making side bets with Russia, agreeing to their terms.

      Did you see parades in Moscow of fanboys screaming in exultation? I didn’t hear a peep out of Lavrov, Putin or Medvedev. Not so much as a *hic* or a *mic*.

      But slowly, surely, they got what they wanted. And for those countries that didn’t accede to the RF’s demands, some of them moved quietly moved from the “unfriendly” list to the “friendly” list. How did they do this? By stopping any further shipment of armaments to Ukraine. This is what Greece did.

      The Bulgars and the Poles on the other hand decided to puff up their chests. Germany, FWIW, can’t decide what to do. One day it’s drang nach Osten! (March to the East!), the other day it’s Reichskanzler Scholz getting in touch with this Inner Gandhi.

      My prediction? That Scholz will cave.

  13. Putin just signed a decree which could potentially shut down all exports from Russia to “unfriendly countries”. It is unclear what all is included in the decree and the government has 10 days to assemble a list of sanction-retaliation targets. But the decree is quite broad, potentially including everything that Russia exports.

    It is beginning to look like Russia has no intention of continuing exports of oil, gas, grain, fertilizer, minerals, etc. to Europe except – for the time being at least – to “friendly” countries. This could be bad: B as in “barren”, A as in “arid”, D as in “desert”.

    You have to look at it with a sense of humor at this point. Russia is destroying the Ukrainian army methodically. It has already secured its declared territorial objectives in the Donbass and Novorossiya, though it will likely continue in the south through Odessa to Transnistria. It has demonstrated its ability to strike anywhere in the Ukraine and take out anything it chooses. It has captured a Canadian general in Mariupol as well as hundreds of NZ’s.

    At this point, the West is, in effect, shipping trophies to the Russian army in the form of weapons and weapons systems which will make no difference because most will not make it into the hands of Ukrainians at the front and of those that do, a substantial part will be non-functional or unable to be utilized by untrained troops. Now the Ukrainian gov’t is making bold demands for Russian capitulation. LOL.

    So we have a senile, incompetent in the White House, a European Union on the brink of financial collapse and revolution. Ukraine is in ruins and in the process of losing any functional military and already having lost most of its military infrastructure, clinging to whatever lifeline it has left to the bitter end. They’re even admitting the Ghost of Kiev was bs. And soon the rats will flee the sinking ship.

    It’s a great time to be alive.

  14. St Louisan says

    If I can ask–

    “from the mouths of two Ecumenical Patriarchs: Moscow is indeed the Third Rome”

    How is this from *two* Ecumenical Patriarchs? Antony IV is quoted as speaking of the need for a Christian empire in unity with the Christian church, but doesn’t say anything about what state would or could replace Byzantium in that role should Byzantium fall. Perhaps he’d agree that Moscow would inherit that role had he lived long enough, but these quotes seem to show one Ecumenical Patriarch naming Moscow as Third Rome, not two?

    Also regarding Antony IV: his description of the “holy emperor” necessary to the church doesn’t seem to match anything that currently exists. No world leader is or even claims to be “anointed with the great chrism and is elected basileus and autokrator of the Romans.” How important are those marks?

    It seems as though you’re taking Jeremiah II’s identification of the Grand Duke of Moscow as “Christian Emperor for all Christians in the whole world” (which Antony IV didn’t live to affirm) and combining that identification with Antony IV’s more detailed description of a ecclesiological reality of Christian empire (which Jeremiah II presumably mostly agreed with, but doesn’t explicitly affirm)?

    • Gail Sheppard says

      One can’t quibble with what makes sense in the Ecumenical Patriarchal world; nothing has to “match anything that currently exists.”

      For example, most of Bartholomew’s metropolitans are over places that don’t exist and most of the metropolitans are over Orthodox Christians that don’t exist. He often changes the names over places and we don’t even pay attention because it’s inconsequential.

      That’s why some of us are thinking that maybe we don’t need an ecumenical patriarchate, especially given the fear that (future) patriarchs out of Turkey might have the same propensities as Bartholomew to do whatever they please without the backing of the Church.

      Russia does exist and has real metropolitans over real places where real Orthodox Christians reside; a lot of them. She also has a ruler who is Orthodox, as opposed to the Ecumenical Patriarchate that is surrounded by Muslims.

      • St Louisan says

        It is certainly the case that…

        -Constantinople’s primacy, and its patriarchal status itself, was based solely on its political importance under the Roman/Byzantine empires;

        -currently the Russian Orthodox Church is larger than all other Orthodox churches combined

        Glancing at history it seems Constantinople’s ecclesiastical claims for itself have grown ever grander in inverse proportion to its actual political influence and number of adherents. At a certain point the latter won’t be able to plausibly support the former; that point might be now.

    • George Michalopulos says

      The patriarchs in question speak for themselves.

      The first flatly states that the Christian oecumene must have an Orthodox emperor. Well, one existed from 1453 to 1917. He was the potentate ruling from Rome.

      The second (Jeremiah II) states that said potentate –Grand Duke Ivan III, the Great–was that man as well.

      The words speak for themselves.

      As for the present day, when we live in a decidedly anti-Christian age, it is an open question whether the Third Rome actually exists. If it does not, then we are rapidly approaching the Eschaton, as “there will be no Fourth.”

  15. George Michalopulos says

    The patriarchs in question speak for themselves.

    The first flatly states that the Christian oecumene must have an Orthodox emperor. Well, one existed from 1453 to 1917. He was the potentate ruling from Rome.

    The second (Jeremiah II) states that said potentate –Grand Duke Ivan III, the Great–was that man as well.

    The words speak for themselves.

    As for the present day, when we live in a decidedly anti-Christian age, it is an open question whether the Third Rome actually exists. If it does not, then we are rapidly approaching the Eschaton, as “there will be no Fourth.”

  16. George Michalopulos says