The Ecclesial Crisis in Ukraine and its Solution According to the Sacred Canons

Recently, we received an advanced copy of a book that addresses the imbroglio which has roiled Orthodoxy over Ukraine.  The book is entitled: The Ecclesial  Crisis in Ukraine and its Solution According to the Sacred Canons.  (Holy Trinity Seminary Press, Jordanville, NY, 2021).   Its author is Metropolitan Nikiferos of Kykkos and Tyllirus, a bishop in the Church of Cyprus.  

It is clear from the author’s pen that this was a book he (hereinafter referred to as “the author”) did not want to write.  After the first few pages, I could tell that he would not have done so but for the fact that external events have forced his hand.   In his “Preface” he confesses his “anguish” as to whether he should write it in the first place.  However, upon realizing that the Orthodox Church is quickly approaching a point of no return, he states his reasons for laying aside his own comfort to pick up the rhetorical sword.  As he so eloquently puts it:  “In the end, the consciousness of my responsibility and obligation to the unity of the Orthodox Church did not allow me to remain shrewdly neutral, a colorless, indifferent, listless, and complacent bishop.”1

The recent lock-down prompted him into action:  “The nearly three months of compulsory isolation, were, for me, the most spiritually fruitful and productive.  In situations such as this you justly remember … the old sayings, ‘there is no evil unmixed with good” and ‘from the bitter emerges the sweet’.”2  The crisis in Ukraine is certainly bitter.  Yet if this book is any indication, something entirely sweet has indeed emerged.   Perhaps a more sane and rational ecclesiology will emerge as well.  (With bishops like Nikiforos, we can certainly hope so.)

Speaking for myself, as an avid student of history, this book has opened my eyes more fully to a world that I thought I was more aware of.  It also disabused me of some long-held misconceptions.  Specifically, the long-held belief that thanks to the Council of Sardica (AD 343), the Pope had universal appellate jurisdiction over the entire Church, a right which devolved onto the Ecumenical Patriarch because of Canon 28 of the Fourth Ecumenical Council (Chalcedon).

This is, apparently, a historical fallacy.  At the risk of putting the cart before the horse, I learned, much to my chagrin, that the Patriarch of Constantinople does not possess universal appellate jurisdiction (as has long been proclaimed by that See).  Even more alarming,  neither did the Pope before him.  And given the fact that Canon 28 gave exactly the same rights to the Patriarch of Constantinople that it gave to the Pope in Rome; rights which both bishops possessed at the same time(!), therefore, it would have been impossible for both bishops to possess universal appellate jurisdiction.  

The requisite canons of Sardica that supposedly ratify papal supremacy in the matter of clerical appeals –specifically Canons 3, 4, and 5–were, in reality, more ambiguous; nobody at that time understood them as such.  Certainly, none of the 216 bishops that met in Carthage some seventy years later believed he possessed such authority.  This fact of history is so important that the author feels compelled to devote an entire chapter to this historical anomaly. 

The controversy in question had to do with a deposed priest named Apiarius.  The Council of Carthage was held in 418 to hear the dispute.  Apiarius had appealed to Pope Zosimus who sent a delegation to hear his case.  The Pope’s legates justified their presence at Carthage based on canons decided by the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea (325) as a proof-text for their supposed powers, not Sardica(!).  Unfortunately for the papal legates, “[t]he African bishops denied the [Pope’s] claimed right to act as supreme arbiter in their churches, and they strictly forbade their clergy from making appeals ‘across the sea’, that is, to Rome.”3 

The African bishops were not being rebellious.  In a letter written to Zosimus’ successor Boniface, they openly repudiated Zosimus’ earlier claims regarding his appellate jurisdiction.  Again, it bears repeating, the intervening Sardican council was not even mentioned.  The most they would concede was the Pope had the right to hear appeals from bishops and clerics in his own patriarchate and not in any others.  For both Zosimus, as well as the Africans, it was the Nicaean canons that were the point of contention.  Zosimus believed they granted him the power to adjudicate inter-diocesan matters while the bishops who were gathered at Carthage looked at those same canons and found no such power emanating from Rome.4

To me, this was startling.  Regardless, it stands to reason since Rome did not have universal jurisdiction then (and this was before Chalcedon), then neither could Constantinople now.  Especially so, because the text of Canon 28 is “categorical…[T]he patriarch of Constantinople is granted the same rights, neither more nor less, than those of Rome.”5 

To the author, the ramifications of these councils and the canons derived from them are not fodder for academic disputes.  Nor are they merely historical curiosities worthy of academic papers.  As far as the bishops of Classical Antiquity were concerned, they stemmed from intense jealousy for the good order of the Church.  This included a fear of papal supremacy.

This fear unfortunately has not abated.  As a bishop in the Church of Cyprus, the author is particularly vexed by Constantinople’s novel claims of universal jurisdiction.   At the risk of engaging in some inside baseball, he is particularly troubled by Article 81 of his Church’s charter, which was adopted in 2010 and cedes authority to Constantinople for cases involving bishops.  In his words, Cyprus “must immediately revoke” this Article.6  Not only because Sardica did not give the Pope this type of authority but because any such concession, no matter how small or rare in application, makes a mockery of the entire concept of autocephaly as Orthodox Christians have understood this concept.  

Why this is so should be obvious.  An autocephalous church has two hallmarks that make it independent:  they are ius ordinandi (the right to ordain her own bishops) and ius iuriandi (the right to judge her own bishops).  If a church has only one but not the other, then it is “not autocephalous but subordinate to the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of another.”7  Such an “autocephaly” would be a mockery of Orthodox ecclesiology, as it has been practiced for the better part of a millennium.  It is nothing less than a contradiction in terms, an oxymoron on the level of married bachelors or chaste prostitutes. 

This of course brings us to the crux of the problem regarding not just Ukraine, but other countries as well.  Especially countries in which there is an already established Orthodox presence.  Boldly put, does the Ecumenical Patriarch have the right to grant autocephaly on his own?  As the author points out, he most certainly does not.  And he is not being an anti-Constantinopolitan polemicist in saying this.  In fact, the author states from the outset of his book that the best evidence he can offer for this argument are the very words of the current Ecumenical Patriarch himself:

“Autocephaly and autonomy are granted by the whole church through a decision of the Ecumenical Council.  Since, for various reasons, convening an Ecumenical Council is not possible, the Ecumenical Patriarchate, as the coordinator of all the Orthodox Churches, grants autocephaly or autonomy, provided that they (the other Orthodox Churches) give their approval (emphases added).”8

One cannot get more categorical than that.  This was in fact the opinion of Patriarch Athenagoras as well, who addressed this issue to Patriarch Kirill of Bulgaria many decades earlier.9  Even the most preeminent advisor of the present Ecumenical Patriarch, John Zizioulis, the Metropolitan of Pergamum, in his role as president of the Inter-Orthodox Preparatory Conference in Geneva, wrote: 

“If the Ecumenical Patriarch secures the consent of the local Autocephalous Churches by obtaining their written consent, he may sign the Patriarchal Tome on his own … if the Ecumenical Patriarch alone signs the Tome of Autocephaly, pan-Orthodox consensus is in no way degraded, as he is acting on what has already been decided.  The consent of all the Primates, and naturally, also the Primate of the Mother Church,10 should have been given in advance.  The Ecumenical Patriarch has a coordinating ministry, and can express the opinion of all Orthodoxy.  And he does this after having communicated with all the other Primates.  This has no relation to papal primacy.  The Pope expresses his opinion without asking others.  The Ecumenical Patriarch seeks to secure the opinion of others and then simply expresses it (emphases added).”11

This argument by Zizioulis is categorical as well.  And given the fact that it was crafted during the preparatory meetings which were to underpin the (then) upcoming Great and Holy Council, it bears especial weight.  That council had many things on its agenda, not only the consideration of autocephaly and how it is bestowed but how the ecclesial situation in the so-called diaspora was to be ordered.  Goodwill was necessary and Zizioulis gave no indication that Constantinople would later muddy the waters or engage in any byzantine obfuscations.  

Nor for that matter, did Bartholomew.  The primates, acting under his presidency, were eager to address the canonical problems that existed in the Orthodox diaspora.  All agreed that the ecclesial situation was chaotic (to say the least).  In fact, the mechanism that was worked out for the governance of the thirteen episcopal regions of the Orthodox diaspora12 was unobjectionable by all accounts.  Though it dealt with a novel situation, all of the primates adhered to Orthodox ecclesiology as to how these regions were to be ordered.  Accordingly, they came up with a formula in which the presidencies for these various Episcopal Assemblies were to be based on the order of the diptychs, not Constantinopolitan supremacism.  Even the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), long a sticking point as far as Constantinople was concerned, was allowed entry into the Episcopal Assembly that was crafted for the United States.  (Over Bartholomew’s strenuous objections it should be added.)    

As to the issue at hand, there is more than one mechanism for granting autocephaly.  There is no debate here.  One way of doing so is by a decision of an Ecumenical Council.  This is in fact the most ideal fashion since the rulings of such councils are binding everywhere and for all time.  The other is through a meeting of the primates of the various autocephalous churches and their unanimous consent.  A third would be throughout the offices of the Ecumenical Patriarch, who “coordinates” with the other primates in this matter  (as mentioned earlier).   

At every step of the way, however, three conditions must also be met:  first, the eparchy/archdiocese which seeks autocephaly must request it; second, that same body must be canonical; and third, the mother church must be informed and allow it to proceed. 

Regrettably, none of these conditions were met regarding the granting of “autocephaly” to the so-called Ukrainian Orthodox Church.  For reasons that are unclear, the Patriarch of Constantinople agreed to entertain the idea of Ukrainian autocephaly in a most irregular and egregious manner, completely ignoring these three steps.  Moreover, there had been no groundswell for autocephaly from the canonical Ukrainian archdiocese itself.  Instead, two uncanonical and schismatic bodies petitioned Constantinople for ecclesial relief, purposely ignoring Metropolitan Onuphriy, the primate of that church.  

The composition and origin of these two sects were scandalous, to say the least.  The head of one of these sects, the so-called Patriarch of Kiev (Filaret Denisenko) was a deposed hierarch and a notorious mountebank.  Denisenko had been defrocked by Moscow years earlier primarily because of his questionable personal life.  As per normative Orthodox procedure, he appealed directly to Moscow, his mother church for the lifting of his deposition. 

The other “primate” Makary Maletich, was self-ordained and if anything, his particular sect was even more scandalous in its origins and composition.  To make matters worse, pressure from the American State Department (which had overthrown the democratically elected president of Ukraine in 2014 and installed an anti-Russian puppet) was widely rumored to be working behind the scenes, applying great pressure on Constantinople.  

Bartholomew knew 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  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 and declared that the Archdiocese of Kiev was “always” a part of the See of Constantinople.  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 said that the transfer was invalid because Patriarch Dionysius IV had acted under duress.  

This of course was all nonsense.  There is simply no evidence for any of these current revisionist 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 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…”15  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 a fool’s errand for the partisans of Constantinople to find evidence to the contrary.  Doubtless, they know this as well.  In reality, one gets the subtle impression that their entire enterprise is 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.  The most charitable characterization that the author can do with this absurd assertion is to call it “novel and insipid”.19

And indeed it is. 

I must say this is an astonishing book.  His Eminence is clearly well-educated and his writing style is anything but pedantic.   It is written in a lucid, easy-to-understand style that makes it difficult to put down.  Names, dates, places, and contexts come alive and are told in a dispassionate style.  As such, his arguments are more compelling.  At a little over 120 pages, it can easily be read in one or two sittings.  The only reason I was not able to do so is because I literally had to put it down after every other paragraph and highlight relevant passages.   

In any event, this book is a worthy polemic that rises to the grievous situation which is embroiling Holy Orthodoxy.  I cannot recommend it enough.  Whether it will serve as a corrective which will be heeded is another matter entirely.  But there is no longer any doubt in my mind about what awaits us if the Ukrainian situation is not resolved.   

It should be our fervent prayer that cooler heads prevail in the very near future.  His Eminence’s excellent book is a very good place to start, especially for those who are confused by the obfuscations and propaganda that have been put out by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, its partisans in America, and various functionaries in the State Department.    



[Editor’s note:  all references unless otherwise indicated are from the book herein reviewed.]

1. Metropolitan Nikeferos of Kykkos and Tillerus (Cyprus);  The Ecclesial Crisis in Ukraine and Its Solution According to the Sacred Canons (2021:  Holy Trinity Press, Jordanville, NY), p xii.

2.  Ibid; p xiii.

3.  p 13.

4.  p 33.

5.  p 32.

6.  p 41.

7.  p 44. 

8.  p 21.

9. Ibid.

10.  The “Mother Church” in this case being the autocephalous church that already has authority over the eparchy or archdiocese which is requesting autocephaly.  In the case of Ukraine, said Mother Church is Russia.

11.  Op cit; p 22.

12.  The episcopal regions of the Orthodox Churches in the diaspora are as follows:  (1) Canada, (2) the United States of America, (3) Latin America, (4) Oceania, (5) Great Britain and Ireland, (6) France, (7) the Benelux countries, (8) Austria, (9) Italy, (10) Switzerland and Lichtenstein, (11) Germany, (12) Scandinavia, and (13) Iberia.  

13.  In fact, in the run-up for the council in Crete (which was held in 2016), one of Bartholomew’s spokesman (Fr Alex Karloutsos) boldly stated that the issue of Ukraine was not going to be discussed at that council.  He went on further to say that Ukraine was an indistinguishable archdiocese of the Russian Orthodox Church.  

14. Op cit; pp 1-10.

15. Ibid; p 4.  

16 .  A syntagmation is a list of all dioceses and their order of precedence within the various Orthodox Churches.   They are also known as taktika, imerologia, diptycha, etc. 

18. Op cit; p 53.

19. Ibid.


  1. “In the end, the consciousness of my responsibility and obligation to the unity of the Orthodox Church did not allow me to remain shrewdly neutral, a colorless, indifferent, listless, and complacent bishop.”

    May his tribe increase

  2. Αξιος

    • I have a copy,,,enjoyed reading it,,,as an engineer it is missing one feature,,,would have liked a definition of the playing field,,,, a list of the orthodox and eastern rite catholic jurisdictions, number of parishes, clergy, and laity,,, that would be a good perspective of who is on first etc

  3. Lucid, convincing & alerting such that all prayerfully, critical & objective thinkers should be certain once & for all as to the danger of allowing any such innovation from the 1st Among EQUALS. Hierarchs of integrity in the EP want the Ukranian disaster buried & in the rear view mirror. Holy Gregory the Great, Pope of Rome, pray for us so that chief hierarchs follow your example of Godly service & discernment, not control & pride. Thankfully, admitting our wrongs can SOLVE a Lot.

  4. Austin Martin says

    The situation will be resolved, even if it takes several years, because Orthodoxy always prevails. The Church will continue. The changes will not be permanent. These people are fighting against God.

  5. Thank you for the review.
    I have ordered the book.

    • George Michalopulos says

      You’re welcome! Please let us know what you think.

      • I have just finished reading the book.
        It is a clear and concise (yet systematically comprehensive) demolition of Constantinople’s claims to Ukraine and of being Primus Sine Paribus in the light of history, ecclesiology, canon law and theology.

        I think every bishop and every priest in the Orthodox Church would benefit from reading it. Perhaps a couple of copies might be sent to the State Department and the White House, on the off-chance that someone there might have the attention span to appreciate it.

        Be that as it may, one of the most psychologically acute passages reads thus:

        “There is another issue we should not fail; to clarify; the issue of the interruption of Eucharistic communion between two Orthodox Churches.
        Some accuse Moscow of having broken Eucharistic communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople…in a hasty and theologically impermissible manner.
        These recent critics of the Patriarchate of Moscow forget, or would like to forget, that the leading master of this method is Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew himself. We should never forget that pompous ceremony at the Phanar, televised worldwide, where the ecumenical patriarch and many metropolitans of the Ecumenical Throne imposed a penalty of akoinonisia (being forbidden from receiving Holy Communion) upon His Beatitude Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece…
        … Was that not a case of suspending Eucharistic Communion, not for reasons of faith or dogma, but for reasons of authority and jurisdiction? … ”

        It seems the Rule of Bartholomew (paraphrasing President Nixon) is:
        “It’s not wrong if the Patriarch does it.”

  6. The continuing refusal of Ancient Faith Radio to even discuss the monumentally significant problem of the ongoing ecclesial crisis in Ukraine – all because they’re fearful of losing GOAA/C’ple donation dollars ! (come on, how cowardly and pathetic!!) – has made my opinion if that so-called Orthodox “journalistic” outfit plummet.

    Kevin Allen of blessed memory probably would’ve tackled this issue. So would have Fr Tom Hopko (also of blessed memory), probably.

    Are all of the brave AFR Orthodox broadcasters – who aren’t afraid to dare to speak “boldly and without condemnation” – now reposed? Where’s the journalistic integrity?

    Is all we’re left with now on AFR the milque-toast who value faux “non-offensiveness” above discovering the truth? And AFR still has the nerve to email me every Monday asking for money!!

    • Fr John Whiteford was not afraid to speak but I have not listened to AFR in a year so I’m not sure if he is still running a podcast. I stopped listening when they had the “discrimination” podcast discussion regarding the Black Lies Matter terrorism in 2020.

    • “So would have Fr Tom Hopko (also of blessed memory), probably. ”

      For me, that’s man’s legacy comes down to leading a coup against Met. Jonah, for as far I can tell, being mainstream orthodox Orthodox, so OCA could happily continue down the modernism trail to where the synod sided with BLM.

      • Austin Martin says

        AFR is youth group Orthodoxy. At some point you outgrow it.

      • Hello Myst,

        For me, things are not so black and white. I don’t know at all the relationship or interaction history between Met. Jonah and Fr Tom Hopko. I do know that, historically, the OCA episcopate has been very weak, almost by design. Since the early 1950s, when Frs A. Schmemann and J. Meyendorff arrived from Paris to lead the Metropolia, the Metropolia/OCA has really been led by SVS, not by its episcopate.

        Hopefully things may be changing now, with the episcopate taking more of a lead, but I don’t know. Even the Metropolia bishops who in 1946 essentially followed their laity into dissociating from the free Russian Orthodox Church, and then to be snubbed by the MP, and then being essentially isolated from anyone, even those 1940s Metropolia bishops (Met. Leonty, Met. Theophilus, among others) later regretted not being more active leaders at the time.

        In 2008, when Met Jonah became OCA Metropolitan and wanted to lead a church as a bishop and Synod should lead it, the OCA/Syosset professorial/managerial leadership class and the SVS leadership balked big time. It was probably too much change too abruptly for them. They weren’t used to the bishops doing much of anything, let alone being real leaders. For half of the OCA’s autocephaly, for the 25 years between 1977-2002, the OCA Metropolitan was Met. Theodosius, who was not a strong leader. In the 1990s, my OCA bishop was Abp Peter (L’Huillier) of New York, who was a kind man but was more of a detached academic than anything.

        I listen to Met. Jonah’s educational talks on his parish’s YouTube channel frequently. He is more adept than anyone I’ve ever heard at explaining our faith to an American audience — as an American, he truly “gets” an American audience. In his talks, he often speaks favorably of Fr Alexander Schmemann and Fr Tom Hopko. So he does not seem to hold a grudge, therefore I won’t either. He continues to recommend that everyone read “For the Life of the World” by Fr A.S., a book that I continue to love.

        Fr Tom Hopko’s well-known “Speaking the Truth in Love” lecture series is amazing in how much he teaches about our faith and cycle of feasts and fasts. His old-time “rainbow series” from the 1970s (it has do to with the color of the books….) remains a fantastic intro to our faith for inquirers. His 55 Maxims are always essential guidelines for all of us Christians to follow in our daily lives.

        So I’m not going to throw the baby out with the bathwater with respect to this stuff. That, after all, was (and remains) the protestants’ foundational error. I will take the good and leave the rest.

      • OrthoAppalachia says

        Remembering Pittsburgh 2008, Fr Hopko exiting the room upon the election of Met. Jonah stands out. I was shocked by it. I don’t know the inside politics, nor really cared to, but I do know the students at SVS welcomed Met. Jonah with open arms and we flourished those few years with a missionary zeal I’ll never forget.

        • George Michalopulos says

          I remember that as well

        • Just to point out that Fr Tom Hopko’s exiting the room upon Met. Jonah’s election does not necessarily mean anything about Fr Tom’s perception of Met. Jonah.

          He could have equally been disgusted/upset at the senior OCA bishops for abandoning their own responsibility and putting the young, new bishop in charge (in order to deflect attention from themselves) for the OCA’s disastrous management through the 1990s and early 2000s.

          Met. Jonah had only been elected a bishop something like 10 or 11 days prior to his election as Metropolitan. He was Bishop of Fort Worth for only 10 or 11 days! He never sought or wanted the Metropolitan role, but as God granted it to him, he took that role very seriously. As Met. Jonah says himself, his episcopal “rise” was meteoric, as was his subsequent episcopal “fall.”

          Everyone knew that the old-time Metropolia/OCA bishops who elected Met Jonah were deflecting responsibility from themselves rather than demonstrating their love and appreciation of him. The laity (at least the non-NY/NJ/Pa./New England laity) loved and continue to love Met. Jonah. He’s want we want in our American Orthodox church leaders. But the Metropolia synod seemed to want another figurehead-style Metropolitan (à la Met. Theodosius or Met. Herman).

          They soon learned that Met. Jonah took his new position very seriously, much to their chagrin, as subsequent events proved.

    • Seraphim says

      I do like the Lord of Spirits podcast, but don’t really listen to much else. Did AFR talk about the church covid restrictions at all? If so, did they give multiple sides to the issue?

      I’m betting that interest in AFR has gone down, especially as more Orthodox content creators are now on YouTube: Orthodoxy First, Brother Augustine, Orthodox Christian Theology, Jay Dyer, etc. Love em or hate em this is the new wave of Orthodox online content.

  7. Everything that continues to come out about the Ecumenical Patriarchate/patriarch is more damning than the last. I truly don’t think anyone outside of his own patriarchate or the “Greek Churches” buy into this. Even within the Greek, Cypriot & Alexandrian Churches there has been pushback from not only clergy but laity as well.

    Constantinople is indeed a dying patriarchate, both in numbers AND spiritually. The latter is obvious on an almost weekly basis due to their actions (the one exception might be their Australia Archdiocese).

    The pride of Constantinople will be, as is being, their downfall. Now it just depends on how many will be drug down to perdition with them? Based off of what I have heard from people in Greece, most laity & monastics are not on board with Bartholomew and will most definitely not follow him, the bishops are a mixed bag as Im guessing the priests are.

    Pat. Bartholomew is already snaking his was into the Belorussian Church based off of recent reports in order to create similar situation as Ukraine. With the Russian Church meeting in November to decide if they will formally anathematize Bartholomew (which they haven’t done yet) will be a big line in the sand for the other Churches. To stay in communion with Constantinople will be staying in communion with schismatics and I have a feeling the vast majority of world Orthodoxy will not be doing that, including here in America.

    My hope is that after November, or preferable before, another meeting like the one held in Amman will be done again. Schism & anathematization should be the last possible course and as we have seen throughout Church history, many times it is permanent.

    It is very feasible that the Russian Church will set up parallel patriarchates with bishops from those places that do not side with Bartholomew. Here in America there will almost certainly be a split with the more “liberal” factions of the OCA & to a lesser extent Antioch going with GOARCH and everyone else remaining together. Even within GOARCH there will be a split with the monasteries more than likely leaving, and when they do there will be not a small amount of parishes leaving with them.

    **All of this is obviously speculative at this point, but, with Constantinople’s refusal to backtrack on their actions there really doesn’t seem to be any other way out and the majority of American Orthodox seem to be wholly disinterested in the flavor of Orthodoxy that Elpdophoros is peddling.

  8. CS Louis says

    Time to stop following the wolves in sheep’s clothing. That’s what you end up with when true shepherds become scarce and the hierarchs become nothing but bankers, politicians, and museum caretakers. (nothing against those real professions, but this is not what bishops should be).

    • Antiochene Son says

      nothing against those real professions

      I wouldn’t call “institutionalized grifting” a profession, but I assume most museum caretakers are probably good people.

  9. Jane Tzilvelis says

    Simple critical important truth: The Bible speaks from the beginning to the end about wicked evil oppressive governments. The Greek Orthodox leaders chose the US government ‘as king’ instead of Christ the King. The devil does his finest work through oppressive government. Check out Death by Government, by R.J. Rummel.

  10. So we apply the canons when they suit our position. Does anyone applying the canons here go to a Jewish doctor? –against the canons of the Church. This is one of the things we accuse the Protestants of doing, applying Scripture out of context to support a particular position. We do the same, but we use the canons, fathers and elders of the church as our weapons instead.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Papman, canons are also contingent. The proscription against going to Jewish (indeed all non-Christian doctors) was because medicine as we understand it today, was far different in earlier times. In pre-modern times, the practice of medicine was heavily predicated on the use of talismans, religions idols, and other non-scientific practices. Plus, from what was known about the Talmud, there was a real fear among Christians that Jewish doctors might cause a female to have an abortion or otherwise purposely mistreat a Christian patient.

      The same thing could be said about canonical proscriptions about attending theatrical productions. That’s because in some locales, such productions were positively pornographic, sometimes the sex was simulated other times it was real. (For example, when Justinian was a young officer in his uncle’s guard, he attended a play called Zeus and Leto, which was about Zeus taking on the form of a swan and raping the beautiful maiden Leto. In order to simulate the bestial act, an actress was stripped naked and on her pudenda were placed seeds, which a real-life swan would eat. The actress in question was Theodora, his soon-to-be mistress and then wife.)

      • Antiochene Son says

        Plus, from what was known about the Talmud, there was a real fear among Christians that Jewish doctors might cause a female to have an abortion or otherwise purposely mistreat a Christian patient.

        From the way I’ve seen Jews speak of Christians on various fora over the years, I would not completely dismiss fears of this kind in our own day.

        • George Michalopulos says

          That’s unfair. My own PCP was Jewish. Excellent internist. (The only reason I don’t have him now is because of a switch in my insurance.)

          • Plenty of contmeporary rabbis in Israel and elsewhere have been quite open about their contempt for the goyim – i.e. us – who they see as being less than human. AS has a point that we should at least be guarded.

      • Since that tale is from Procopius’ Secret History, I’m going to have to say that I think that it’s fake news. This kind of stuff probably happened, but the worst things that Procopius said about Theodora are most likely slanderous.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Yeah, I know. For Procopius, Justinian and Theodora were the Antichrist and the Whore of Babylon. Still, one has to wonder if there isn’t more than a grain of truth to his characterizations. After all, it is a well-established fact that Theodora was raised in the circus (her father was a bear-trainer) and that (as my Ancient and Medieval history professor told us) began “her vertical rise to the top in a horizontal fashion”. Justinian was the last in a series of lovers.

          Having said that, she was an effective empress, wasn’t she?


    I really hope Antioch is not going full-on ecumenist. Those Ecumenical Councils he speaks of are very important.

    We are exponentially closer to the Oriental Orthodox than we are to Roman Catholics, but, you still can’t just be in communion for the sake of the communion when the Orientals reject crucial Ecumenical Councils.

    • I disagree. We share seven councils with the RCs, including – importantly – Christology.

      Just because the monophysites are ‘eastern’ like we are doesn’t mean we are closer. On the surface, maybe they are, but the core theology of Roman Catholicism – minus the later additions – is much more orthodox than them.

      BTW – they are not Oriental ‘Orthodox.’ They’re heretics.

    • Antiochene Son says

      Proposing a commission to focus on the 4th-7th Councils is not a “reunion”.

      I like how the commenters are reading into his words a tone of voice that diminishes the councils. “Those pesky councils.” Please. Only a native Arabic speaker with a recording of the statement could possibly interpret his words.

      Patriarch John was willing to break communion with Jerusalem to uphold the canons, so the idea that he’s playing fast and loose with the monophysites is a bit much.

      • So, are we not told to go after the lost sheep,,,,are the oriental orthodox lost sheep? Are they not rooted in a common heritage? Are they not of common roots and culture? Are they not fodder for the roman catholics and doesn’t the r c church have syriac, armenia, and coptic rites? So what is our problem,,,,,do not take the traditional orthodox approach and list why it can’t happen,, but take the christian approach and follow the teachings of jesus, not men, and list how it can be achieved,,,we have an opportunity here,,,, do not hide our talents but use our talents to the glory of a united church

        • The difference between us and Roman Catholics is that Roman Catholicism wants unity for the sake of unity around the pope, all of this without truth. Look at Eastern Catholicism with their differentiating views from the Latins.

          Orthodoxy wants unity in Truth. That’s the only real unity there is. If that happens with the Orientals then thanks be to God.

        • Going after lost sheep doesn’t mean ignoring their heresies. That would be to invite wolves into the sheepfold.

          We don’t have a problem; THEIR problem is that they don’t accept Orthodoxy.

          • “Going after lost sheep doesn’t mean ignoring
            [or, worse, accepting] their heresies”
            in the name of the Great ‘Gods’ Diversity and Inclusion!

  12. George Michalopulos says

    I know I probably shouldn’t say this but I have no problem with dialogue with the orientals. As far as communing them, I understand that some of our bishops here in the US have worked out a protocol in which they are fully received into the church by a recitation of the creed.

  13. Here’s the thing that gets me: Why did the Russian Church wait over 300 years to suddenly complain about the unusual terms of the 1686 transfer of Ukraine from Constantinople to Moscow?

    The terms of the 1686 transfer clearly (glaringly!) state that the Patriarch of Constantinople is henceforth commemorated first when the Metropolitan of Kiev celebrates liturgy, and then only afterwards is the Patriarch of Moscow commemorated. If indeed this was such a problematic request, then the Russian Church could easily have disputed this within a canonical 30 year time frame after the transfer was made. To suddenly make the complaint now is to fight against the over 300 years of apparent acceptance with those original terms. I highly doubt that the Russian Church wants to nullify the 1686 transfer, but any argument they make against those terms now will effectively serve to do just that.

    If the Russian Church wants to say the terms of the 1686 transfer was non-canonical, that’s fine, but then that just renders the transfer itself as null and void.

    • Ecumenical Patriarch Dionysius IV
      (to the Tsars Ivan and Peter Alekseyevich):

      “It is hereby granted that this holy Eparchy of Kiev be subject to the Most Holy Patriarchal Throne of the Holy and God-saved city of Muscovy … and they must recognise the Patriarch of Muscovy as their elder and head, for they are consecrated by him… ”

      Jus ordinandi and jus jurandi (right to ordain and right to judge) having been thus granted to Moscow, the Russian Church had no reason to challenge the terms – which is why they are not challenging them.

      It is the Ecumenical Patriarchate that is making the challenge with its lawyerly double-speak.

      Similarly, HMQ is the head of State of Canada,
      but Nova Scotia is not still under the UK.

      • Thanks, Brendan, I didn’t know that Latin was used for the 1686 transfer. If it was used though, wouldn’t have the Russian Church objected to the transfer’s implicit idea of Primus Sine Paribus?

    • Rufus,

      The 1686 Act did not transfer all of Ukraine but only what was the Metropolis of Kiev at the time, which did not include the Donbass, et al. But it did purport to transfer the Metropolis of Kiev and thirty years has long since expired since that transfer. As to the conditions attached, this is an affectation of Constantinople which has historically arrogated to itself as being the “Mother Church” of Orthodoxy. In reality, they view only their own local church as autocephalous with the right to interfere in everyone else’s business – an Eastern papacy. Commemorating Constantinople was an affectation to remind everyone of their ultimate dependency on Constantinople for their legitimacy, and of course, Constantinople, if it is commemorated, would come before Moscow per its place in the diptychs.


      Whatever else may be true, everyone was agreed until 2018 that the Ukrainian Church fell under Moscow, including the Phanar. They are the only ones who have to explain an about face from out of the blue. What they have done is high school tit for tat envy politics creating an OCU in retaliation for the OCA. It’s completely transparent. But it’s irrelevant. Uniates are entitled to leave if they wish and the whole caravan is bound for Rome. No need to get into the particulars of jurisdiction.

      • “…the whole caravan is bound for Rome.”

        Omar Khayyam/Edward Fitzgerald:
        One Moment in Annihilation’s Waste,
        One moment, of the Well of Life to taste–
        The Stars are setting, and the Caravan
        Starts for the dawn of Nothing–Oh, make haste!

      • Perhaps it is retaliation for Moscow’s creation of the OCA. Both autocephalies were created similarly. Nonetheless, we can see that Patriarch Bartholomew, especially in these last three years, has become very chummy with Metropolitan Tikhon. I don’t think the patriarch harbors any resentment towards the OCA now.

        • Rufus “Perhaps it is retaliation for Moscow’s creation of the OCA. Both autocephalies were created similarly.”

          They were not. PCU is created from Neo-Nazi fringe groups, having nothing to do with Orthodoxy.

          • Martin,

            Orthodoxy notwithstanding, both were created with the idea that the “Mother Church” can unilaterally grant autocephaly without the consent of the other churches.

            • “both were created with the idea that the “Mother Church” can unilaterally grant autocephaly without the consent of the other churches.”

              Well, there is a key difference you omitted. Phanar claims right to the churches that are not under its jurisdiction. Analogy would be Russian Church seizing control of Crete.

            • Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I
              (in Nea Ellada, January 2001):

              “Autocephaly and autonomy are granted by the whole church through a decision of the Ecumenical Council. Since, for various reasons, convening an Ecumenical Council is not possible, the Ecumenical Patriarchate, as the coordinator of all the Orthodox Churches, grants autocephaly or autonomy, provided that they (the other Orthodox Churches) give their approval.

              Cited in: The Ecclesial Crisis in Ukraine and its Solution
              According to the Sacred Canons
              ; page 21, par 1.

              As far as I am aware, the other Orthodox Churches have
              not given their approval to autocephaly for the OCU.

              • Right, so it would appear that Patriarch Bartholomew changed his mind on this one. Instead of waiting for the approval of the other churches, he instead followed the Russian Church’s example.

                The Russian Church had granted the OCA it’s autocephaly in 1970 without the approval of the other churches.

                • Bartholomew by his own testimony
                  cannot grant autocephaly on his own.
                  No one can.

                  Bartholomew lacks the authority to change this; and he knows it – which is why the nonsense of Primus sine Paribus was conjured up.

                • Rufus,

                  Regardless of Bartholomew’s schoolyard bully intentions, there is an apples and oranges facet to any OCU-OCA parallel. First of all, up until 2018, the Ukraine was the uncontested canonical territory of the MP. 1686 is way, way over the 30 year statute of limitations on canonical territorial controversies. The United States was only claimed, unilaterally, by the Phanar as its sole canonical territory beginning in the twentieth century, most vocally from the 1920’s on. This has been consistently rejected by the other local churches.

                  Secondly, Bartholomew did not even bother to consecrate the leadership of the OCU as hierarchs. He accepted, with a wave of his hand, what was often “self-consecration” on the part of the OCU pseudo-clergy. Not even the Pope presumes to do such a thing within his heresiarchy.

                  Bartholomew gathered together on territory he had only recently reaffirmed as that of another local church (Russia) schismatics banished by that local church whose banishment he had recently reaffirmed and purported to make them the sole canonical local church on this foreign territory despite the fact that their putative leadership was unconsecrated in any valid line of apostolic succession without consecrating them.

                  The only explanation – the only explanation – for such activity is that he is asserting Eastern papal prerogatives of the sine paribus variety, even in some ways superior to that of Rome’s current assertions. He can have no illusion that this will be respected by most of the Church and must therefore be contemplating the expansion of his following prior to his entry into a Unia.

                  There is no other rational explanation for this activity.

                  • Gail Sheppard says

                    Bartholomew couldn’t recognize the OCA because into their territory and claiming it for his own by virtue of that recognition. He has got to find some way to undo their relationship with Russia and invalidate their autocephaly.

                    I suspect he is going to try to make it worth their while to drop their autocephalous status by promising to issue a new Tomas under him, thereby recognizing them, which they have been wanting for a very long time. They’ll think he’s giving them the opportunity to lead the effort toward unity, under him, and then he’ll yank it all away from them and they’ll again find themselves at the back of the bus. He’ll pull another Ukraine. This way he won’t be accused of going into another bishop’s territory.

                    It is our fervent hope that the OCA stands firm and does not fall for this ruse. They don’t need his recognition. They just need to stand tough for a few more years until he moves to Rome. Then his recognition will mean nothing and the OCA can take center stage. If they remain loyal to Russia, they will be rewarded.

                    • No, there won’t be any tomos of autocephaly offered from Patriarch Bartholomew to the OCA. If he was going to grant American autocephaly, he would have to dissolve his main support, the Greek Archdiocese.

                      Anyways, the OCA is too valuable to him right now just as it is. For him, the OCA represents the only branch of the Russian Church that will talk to him, and it is (his) proof that he is still in communion with Russia. That’s why he’s fawning over the OCA right now.

                      It would also be of no value for him to alienate the OCA from the Russian Church. You won’t see him trying to get OCA bishops to concelebrate with Ukrainian schismatics for this very reason. That would be pointless, even for him. If the OCA was not in communion with the Russian Church, then Patriarch Bartholomew would likely end communion with it also. In fact, this is historically what happened at times when the American “Metropolia” was not in communion with Russia.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      The OCA could be talked into dissolving their autocephaly granted by Russia. Batholomew could then make the OCA autocephalous, under him. (He could put the word “Greek” somewhere in the name; GOCA???) and promise to merge the GOA under the OCA through the new charter looks that has yet to be presented but has been worked on by both Elpi and Tikhon.

                      However, the OCA would be vulnerable if they receive a Tomas like the OCU. Bartholomew can reorganize yet again and put OCA under the Greeks and take them to Rome. Do I have this right?

                    • Gail,

                      My guess is that as part of his end game before officially entering a Unia, Bartholomew will try to roll the OCA and GOA into one autocephalous entity in some way under the Phanar.

                      However, all of that may be much messier than he anticipates. You will have stalwarts both in the GOA and in the OCA who will not want to enter a Unia. It was relatively easy for Bartholomew to herd the schismatic Ukies. They were already out of communion with the MP and in disarray. Yet even with them, there has been turbulence due to “Patriarch Filaret” and the “Kiev Patriarchate”.

                      With GOA and the OCA, this may turn into a true circus if deals are cut by cliques in synods and loyalties are actually tested.

                      Could be really entertaining. Glad I’m a spectator.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      Certainly possible although I am continually assured the OCA won’t “go there.”

                  • Misha, there are certainly many differences between the two.

                    The only commonality that I bring up is that both the OCA and the OCU were unilaterally proclaimed as autocephalous. If you look at the OCA’s tomos, it’s just the Church of Russia signing it. Likewise, for the OCU, it’s just Constantinople’s.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      It can take years for the other autocephalous churches to accept a Church’s autocephaly. Unlike the OCU, however, they are seen as a canonical body with a canonical episcopacy; not schismatics. They also participate in the Divine Liturgies of the Greeks and have for years. Their autocephaly wasn’t the result of one bishop going into another bishop’s territory, either. – So as you acknowledge, there are many differences.

                    • Rufus,

                      You write, “No, there won’t be any tomos of autocephaly offered from Patriarch Bartholomew to the OCA. If he was going to grant American autocephaly, he would have to dissolve his main support, the Greek Archdiocese.”

                      True on one point, in that if C’ple ever recognizes American autocephaly, then they’re de facto admitting that they have no reason to keep an Archdiocese of their own here.

                      Not true, though, in that C’ple *cannot* “offer” any Tomos of Autocephaly to the OCA. It’s not their jurisdiction. Just like the Church of Rome couldn’t butt in and offer autocephaly to a jurisdiction of the Church of Antioch (unless you believe in Roman Catholic ecclesiology that the Bishop of Rome has immediate jurisdiction everywhere; Orthodox Christians do not believe this).

                      Yes, the compromised Patr of C’ple Meletios Metaxakis invented the idea that C’ple has “universal jurisdiction over all lands that were not traditionally Orthodox” about 100 years ago. But just because he invented that idea out of thin air doesn’t mean it’s true, nor does it mean that anyone should listen to it.

                      You also write:
                      “If the OCA was not in communion with the Russian Church, then Patriarch Bartholomew would likely end communion with it also. In fact, this is historically what happened at times when the American “Metropolia” was not in communion with Russia.”

                      The historical data and historical reality demonstrate that this statement is also not true. The Metropolia/OCA was in schism from the Moscow Patriarchate from the late 1940s until 1970. In 1946, recall at the ROCOR/Metropolia All-American Council (when the Metropolia and ROCOR were united at that time), the Metropolia voted to dissociate itself from ROCOR, as it hoped to go back with the MP during those post-WW2 days (with Stalin’s oh-so-generous lifting of some of the church persecutions in the 1940s).

                      When MP listed as a prerequisite that the Metropolia must first give loyalty oaths to the Soviet regime – thankfully the Metropolia said “no” – then Metropolia was put in schism from the MP (and from ROCOR, as they had burned too many bridges with ROCOR to go back at that time) from the late 1940s through 1970.

                      During this time of the Metropolia’s self-imposed schism, it did remain in communion with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in America. Metropolitan Leonty (who was the Metropolia Metropolitan (say that 3 times fast) from 1950-1965) was one of the initial members of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA), as were Abp Michael and Abp Iakovos of the GOA. When Met. Leonty reposed in 1965, Abp Iakovos of the GOA prayed at his repose and publicly commented that he was “a holy man.” The GOA did not tell the Metropolia that the two were not in communion.

                      Orthodoxy is full of gray areas. Sometimes there are too many gray areas for comfort, for some overly-rational Western-style thinkers who need rational categories to feel safe in life (am I saved or not? Come on, just tell me!). We are not nearly as black-and-white as the Latin/Western Churches are. As Vladimir Lossky wrote, from the Orthodox Christian perspective, all theology is mystical theology. We are comfortable leaving a lot up to God.

                      Even though they were technically in schism, Met. Leonty of the Metropolia and Met. Anastassy (Gribanovsky, the ROCOR First Hierarch in the 1950s-1960s) met and had tea together regularly in New York City. They both reposed in 1965 within about two weeks of each other. Both were formed in the full Russian Orthodox tradition in pre-revolutionary Russia, and I imagine that each loved one another very much.

                      Many Metropolia/OCA and ROCOR clergy came from the same families, and even though their churches were not in communion formally for a time, there was still much love back and forth.

                      Orthodox Christianity is comfortable with these gray areas. The Western Churches have more of a history of “you’re not in communion with me, therefore I don’t like you.” The Orthodox Churches generally don’t do that.

                      Even now, those of us in the Russian Orthodox Church jurisdiction are sorrowful that we are not in communion with the C’ple jurisdiction (due to C’ple’s own behavior), but we don’t love them any less.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      Of course, we love them! Truly. But these gray areas are beginning to dilute the teachings of the Church and we can’t allow that. Love isn’t enough. It never is.

                    • FTS, the canonicity of the Metropolia became increasingly ambiguous during those years when Moscow labeled it as “schismatic”. While the Greek Archdiocese was initially amicable towards the Metropolia by inviting it to SCOBA, this resulted in outcries from the Moscow Patriarchate over the Metropolia’s involvement and eventually accusations that the Greek Archdiocese was interfering in their jurisdiction, (because Moscow claimed jurisdiction over the “schismatic” Metropolia.) This culminated in Moscow complaining directly to Constantinople, and then the GOA’s Archbishop Iakovos was instructed to break communion with the Metropolia in June 1967.

                      This is recounted by the OCA’s Metropolitan Theodosius here:


            • Rufus “Orthodoxy notwithstanding”

              No, you may not ignore this aspect. Nazism is a vile violent heresy, that has to be eradicated.

              They are murderers in literal sense. For example they burned alive dozens of Russians in Odessa (May 2nd, 2014).

              • George Michalopulos says

                Indeed. The roots of Nazism were in the occult Thulegeselschaft, itself a product of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky’s theosophical movement which unleashed all the unhealthy anti/un-Christian spirituality of the 20th century.

                While I have a healthy respect for Norse paganism (which influenced both Wagner and Tolkien), I also realize that with the Resurrection, all other non-Christian spiritualities are devoid of explanatory power. Christ not only destroyed death (which was the driving force behind heroic paganism [such as Greek philosophy]), he overturned all previous cultural narratives.

                That’s ultimately why Nazism had to be destroyed (even if another evil like Liberalism together with Bolshevism) had to accomplish it. We have now seen the destruction of Bolshevism in Russia take place and we are now seeing the same for Liberalism in the West.

              • “They are murderers in literal sense. For example they burned alive dozens of Russians in Odessa (May 2nd, 2014).”

                What type of time travel machine did they use? There are no more Nazis, there are only Neo-Nazis backed by American Democrats, at home in the USA, where they go by BLM/Antifa, or abroad in the Ukraine.

                • Myst “What type of time travel machine did they use? There are no more Nazis, there are only Neo-Nazis backed by American Democrats, at home in the USA, where they go by BLM/Antifa”

                  I have no clue, what you are trying to say. But I can assure you that those Neo-Nazis are on the opposite end of ideological spectrum from BLM/Antifa.

                  They do not like dark skinned people and minorities in general. They dream about pure Aryan race.

                  • Gail Sheppard says

                    A Nazi can also be a person who is fanatically dedicated to or seeks to regulate a specified activity.

                    BLM/Antifa have the mentality of Nazis. They want to control this country by overwhelming our infrastructures (healthcare, education, housing, jobs) through mass migration and using intimidation and violence to deter us from fighting back. (Black people are disengaging from them, BTW. They realized they’ve been hijacked.)

                    What you see now are a bunch of white soyboys who think it’s fun to play bang/bang, shoot/shoot in the streets like it was a video game. Their leaders are paid mercenaries, both black and white, whose job is to cause conflict between the races. They’re financed by rich, WHITE billionaires who are pushing for Agenda 21 (now Agenda 30) and this is right from their playbook which, interestingly, is based on communist takeovers.

                    • Gail Sheppard “BLM/Antifa have the mentality of Nazis. They want to control this country by overwhelming our infrastructures (healthcare, education, housing, jobs) through mass migration and using intimidation and violence to deter us from fighting back.”

                      As a person whose family was decimated by the real Nazis (my two grandparents, aunt and others) I see no similarity, sorry. Probably relatives of those Russians burned alive in Odessa 2014 do not see either.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Martin, speaking as someone whose family in Greece was likewise devastated by the Axis occupation (as well as the subsequent communist-inspired civil war), I only ask you this: give BLM/Antifa time.

                      Rome wasn’t burned in a day. The Third Reich didn’t go on their rampage throughout Europe right after Hitler’s election either.

                      Will we experience the full Monty of Bolshevism? Most of us in America think not. Then again, nobody expected America to go through the present cultural revolution either. I’m not talking about statues, but CRT, a culturally Marxist Army, mothers castrating their boys because of “feelings”, you name it. Normalcy bias is kicking in, but so did it in Red China, Soviet Russia, and Nazi Germany.

                      Just not all at once.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      You’re talking about a word that has many meanings. In this context, a Nazis mentality is being embraced by a movement of people who seek to control. No one is using the word Nazis in conjunction with the events that killed your family, Martin. No one. Look at the definition. We were using it in the context of “a person who is fanatically dedicated to or seeks to regulate a specified activity, practice, etc.” That’s what these movements are about: regulating our daily lives by eliminating personal freedom. – VERY sorry for your loss.


                    • “You’re talking about a word that has many meanings. In this context, a Nazis mentality is being embraced by a movement of people who seek to control. ”

                      By National Socialism I mean the National Socialism. By Neo-Nazis I mean those who try to revive and continue it. Nothing more, nothing less.

                      I am not interested in stretching and shifting the meaning of the words. Read George Orwell, please.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      OK, what threw me off was this: “As a person whose family was decimated by the real Nazis (my two grandparents, aunt and others) I see no similarity, sorry. Probably relatives of those Russians burned alive in Odessa 2014 do not see either.”

                      Glad you don’t really think that’s what we’re talking about. I’ve read and reread Orwell. . . Back in high school and college.

                    • “Glad you don’t really think that’s what we’re talking about”

                      Well, we have to agree to disagree. Black Lives Matter are not Nazis for me.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Well, they (and antifa) are to me. And to the thousands of other people who’s lives and livelihoods they destroyed.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      You either understand the context or you don’t.

                      BLM has given itself over to a militant group that hopes to intimidate white people using the abuses of slavery as an excuse to indiscriminately destroy property, take what isn’t theirs and inflict violence on white people in an effort to exert control.

                      That’s what Nazis were (a militant group) and that’s what Nazis did (took control of society using Jews as a scapegoat to destroy property, take what wasn’t theirs and inflict violence to exert control).

                      You can agree or disagree. It doesn’t change anything.

                    • Martin,

                      Nazis are Nazis and BLM is BLM. If you were white and not Jewish, Nazis were not necessarily a threat to you. In that sense, from our perspective, BLM are worse than Nazis. They are black supremacists who wish to do to us what black Africans did to Afrikaners. They exploit the concept of intersectionality by using Marxism and LGBT as leverage, but at heart they are simply black racists in pursuit of black power.

                      Bitching about “white supremacy” is disingenuous. Blacks are 13% of the population here. They have no right to rule. Whites are still the majority. We do have, generally, a right to rule and exert cultural dominance. And there is no reason that a white dominated society should be so moved by self hatred that it politicizes itself out of existence. This is the fundamental folly of multicultural societies. They are perpetually unstable and there can be no peace until the respective constituent groups secure home rule.

                      The French see through such foolishness particularly because they are quite proud of being French. Thus, beyond political conservatism, at a visceral cultural level they abhor what is being exported by BLM and Antifa because it is a direct threat to “Frenchness”. They have some remnant of self respect and honor. They see these ideologies for the poisons they are.

                      Both Antifa and BLM act as the Brown Shirts (or Black Shirts, in fascist Italy) for the American Left. What we need are MAGA inspired militias to meet them head on, and you’re beginning to see that type of thing emerge.

                      Now to the extent that whites support CRT (aka black racism), they are not really like Nazis. They are more like self-hating Jews who masquerade as Nazis. Masochism is a terrible thing but thankfully it tends to self destruct.

                      Progressive Liberals lack self-respect and honor. That will be their undoing. What BLM and Antifa need is a separate nation that they can mismanage to their heart’s content. If blue cities burn, what’s it to us really? What we are witnessing is end stage Progressivism.

                    • “Well, they (and antifa) are to me. And to the thousands of other people who’s lives and livelihoods they destroyed.”

                      If I may, I recommend excellent book on meaning and origin of National Socialism (available on Amazon):

                      The Crisis of German Ideology : Intellectual Origins of the Third Reich
                      by George L. Mosse

                    • mentality of Nazis […] want to control this country by overwhelming our infrastructures (healthcare, education, housing, jobs) through mass migration…

                      […] right from their playbook which, interestingly, is based on communist takeovers.

                      Maybe our problem isn’t Nazis, then…

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      The new “Nazis” are the United Nations, the World Economic Forum, the International Monetary Fund, the City of London, the Vatican, Bilderberg, Rothschilds, The Federal Reserve, the Open Society Foundations, DARPA, the WHO/CDC/FDA, Wellcome Leap, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and every NGO connected to them. What they all have in common is their desire to subvert and extort personal freedom for their own gain. They begin with deceptions and then pounce on the people they swore to protect.

                      Have I left something out?


                    • Martin, why not just read the books written by the NSDAP itself, rather than those written by a Jewish writer. He obviously won’t have any biases.

                      Read Gottfried Feder’s short books (written before Mein Kampf) to see what National Socialism really is.

                    • Gail, all those people and organizations are globalists… the NSDAP was a nationalist, anti-internationalsit organization that sought to break the power of global finance and vested ‘old money’ capitalist interests.

                      The people and organizations you mentioned are all internationalist, anti-nationalists that seek to maximize the power of global finance and advance the interests and agendas of the global elites.

                      The only commonality is an unhealthy interest in eugenics, and even there they are opposed: NSDAP sought to turn the German people into a vital, healthy nation, while your list of offenders seeks to turn us all into deracinated human waste.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      What they have in common is what I said: “They’re financed by rich, WHITE billionaires who are pushing for Agenda 21 (now Agenda 30) and this is right from their playbook which, interestingly, is based on communist takeovers.”

                    • Basil “Martin, why not just read the books written by the NSDAP itself, rather than those written by a Jewish writer. He obviously won’t have any biases.”

                      I did read a few of such books, and I can assure you that prof. Mosse is very objective. Being Jewish does not make a person automatically biased.

                      What I value in him is ability to present National Socialism in the broad context of German and European thought, not as mere anomaly. Not only as an outside critic but also as someone who understand it from inside. It is a book that Nazi leaders could appreciate themselves. Too bad they did not have it available 😉

                      That is why I recommended this book. It helps to understand how this movement appeared and how it can rise again.

                      It is about history of ideas. There is another angle, that other authors might be more focused on – sociology and collective psychology. Like approaching this movement as an expression of the fears and aspirations of the middle class.

                      National Socialism was an authoritarian populist reaction against Communism and modernity in general, based on racist and volkish ideas, yet it had deep philosophical roots.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Very good point. There have been many Jewish historians who wrote dispassionately about modern totalitarian/authoritarian regimes. William L Shirer springs to mind.

                    • . . . seems to be forgetting about Generalplan Ost. Preserving a portion of the Slavs to turn into illiterate chattel slaves and wiping out the rest makes even Stalin look like a teddy bear.

        • It was just recently announced that Patriarch Bartholomew is allowing an OCA bishop to ordain monks on Mount Athos!