They Just Won’t Give Up


The State Department, that is.

Geoffrey Pyatt, the US Ambassador to Greece just welcomed former Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) to Athens for “meetings with Greece’s diverse [sic] religious communities”. Furthermore, Brownback will travel to Mt Athos, “where he will reaffirm strong US support for His All Holiness @EcuPatriarch and his commitment to religious freedom and tolerance.” (This is all in Pyatt’s tweet below.)

Of course, the back story is far less rosy. Pyatt in 2014 was Ambassador to Ukraine and he helped engineer the Maidan Revolution which put Petro Poroshenko in power as president. It’s important to remember this as old habits die hard. (Of course, the idea that Greece has a “diverse religious communities” is laughable. It’s so obviously a lie that it gives away the game to anybody who has two active brain cells.)

Both Pyatt and Brownback met with Archbishop Hieronymus of Athens and All-Greece where they “discussed” the Ukrainian situation with him. That is because the birthing of this sect did not go according to plan as far as American and Western interests are concerned. The meeting of Brownback (who is the American Ambassador-at-large for religious freedom) with Hieronymous was because of the inability of the Phanar to impose its will on the Orthodox world. The desire, of course, is to bring pressure to bear on the Church of Greece to join the Phanar in acknowledging the schismatic sect known as the OCU.

It’s been widely known that ever since September of last year, Brownback met with then-President Poroshenko and assured him of America’s continued support for the nascent schismatic church. During that same time, however, Pyatt was meeting privately with significant figures in the Church of Greece, including Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos of Nafpaktos and Abbot Ephraim of Vatopedi Monastery on Mt Athos.

This would explain the recent (and clumsy) pro-Constantinopolitan essay by Vlachos which shocked many in the Orthodox world –myself included. It’s historical and ecclesiastical illiteracy were so profound that I for one chose to view it as a hostage video. Sort of like those propaganda videos which were put out by the North Vietnamese in which American Prisoners-of-War were forced to say obvious untruths about their treatment. Some of these prisoners would blink with word “torture” with their eyes in Morse Code in order to convey that what they were saying was untrue.

Anyway, now is the time for all true Orthodox Christians to stand up to the globalists at the State Department and tell them to go pound sand. If we wanted a Pope, we’d go under the real one.

* * *

US Government is continuing its pressure on the Orthodox Church. Two US ambassadors (Brownback and Pyatt) have met with the Orthodox Archbishop of Athens and all Greece Jeronime and “discussed” Ukraine with him. The US wishes that the Church of Greece joins the Church of Constantinople, to recognize Russophobe Ukrainian Schismatics. Brownback met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in September, pledging America’s continued support for the struggle for an autocephalous Church that was launched by Ukrainian politicians and schismatics. In turn, Pyatt has met with several important religious figures in the Greek Orthodox sphere, including Pat. Bartholomew, His Eminence Metropolitan Hierotheos (Vlachos), and Abbot Ephraim of Vatopaidi Monastery on Mt. Athos. Previously serving as the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Pyatt was instrumental in organizing the Maidan revolution. Ambassadors said they will visit also the Mount Athos and discuss Ukraine with the Abbots of the Great Monasteries.



  1. “… Brownback will travel to Mt Athos, “where he will reaffirm strong US support for His All Holiness @EcuPatriarch and his commitment to religious freedom and tolerance.”

    Why is Brownback going to ATHOS to reaffirm strong support for the PATRIARCH.
    Why isn’t he going straight to the PATRIARCH to reaffirm support to him?

    Is he rather going to Mt.Athos to warn the current two thirds (2/3) of the monasteries which are still against Bartholomew?
    Are we going to see Vlachos-like results quite soon?

  2. John Sakelaris says

    George, remember when you commented last month on my Catastrophe article by remarking that in the debate over the Greek “National Schism” of 1916-1917 you preferred the faction that was for neutrality and non-involvement in the crises of the day? Maybe you should see the wisdom of a similar Greek non-involvement this year as well.

    I can see the rightness of Russia’s side on some international issues these days, but that does not mean that Greece should stick out its very vulnerable neck on any of them. Greece has already suffered too much from international conflict during its modern existence.

    • Yes agree, sadly THEY will not let Greece alone. Nor Bulgaria where i live. ( i am greek) The Pope was here these days lecturing the bulgarian Church and leadership on opening it’s doors to current immigration flood. Totally uncaring that it’s USA and Uk, Italy and France who caused it all mostly, and whose doors are firmly clossed. And that bulgarian state has 20% Muslim population. I though 10% but Bulgaria friends told me nearer 20%. Imagine the destructive social changes that would ensue? And given 500 yr sad experience under turks.
      While the west stands by full of………

      Let alone the islamic states, Saudi land etc with as always Jordan and previous Syria, being the decent exceptions, who let in zilch.
      Of course what these people need is an end ro war and massive reconstruction to return home and to be in a Muslim land in mean time.
      They are trying to destroy the Orthodox church as a block to their glass and with Phanar as in 1453 they have a trojan horse thst will find it not even bearing GIFTS.
      One final point. I am not claiming greek record with it’s Muslim population has been perfect but one fact remains. Today the greek population of Turkey is moribund and dying while the Muslim pomaks of greek Thrace are almost 500,000 and thriving.

    • Johannes says

      The geopolitics don’t matter. The West could be 100% right on the politics and it could be 100% in Greece’s interest to go along with them whether they’re right or not and that still would have nothing to do with the Satanic violations of Church order that Bartholomew has unleashed upon the flock by backing Christ-hating schismatics whose expulsion from the Church he himself has recognized in the Ukraine. This is a spiritual matter, not a matter of geopolitics, and Bartholomew has thrown his brothers in Christ to the wolves by violating the Holy Canons in such damnably egregious ways.

      • Johannes says

        Or at least: the preservation of Orthodoxy always takes precedence over earthly politics, even to martyrdom. That said, if you look at the levels of apostasy and heresy that Athanasius or Mark of Ephesus had to stand against with the political winds of their time, it can get a lot worse before it gets better. The gates of hell will never prevail, but they can whittle us down to one Bishop and a small group of faithful supporters if we are irresolute.

        • John Sakelaris says

          Johannes: If you are posting critiques of US policy from the US or Canada, your chances of martyrdom are very low. Go ahead and criticize it more; from my own home in the US I sometimes criticize it as well.

          But please understand that the tiny nation of Greece is in great danger from Turkey and must tread carefully in all matters of Great Power relations. We should hope that Greece’s leaders will understand that.

          • True. But Let’s be real, Greece has already been fed to the wolves. The mass immigration has permanently deformed Greece.

            It would be better for the Greek people to arise and tell the EU to piss off. Id it comes to war, so be it. It’s gonna come anyway.

            • John Sakelaris says

              George, your reply calls to mind a saying used by astronauts in the space program. They said, “There is no trouble so bad that it cannot be made worse.”

              A bona fide war with Turkey would indeed make things much, much worse.

              • All for better ties with Russia, then.

                • John Sakelaris says

                  Ieronym, the question of whether or not Russia will aid the endangered Greek people is one that has existed in one form or another for a long time, from a Russian monk’s “Third Rome” declaration in the sixteenth century to the more recent spectacle of Russia competing with the US for favor with the Turks. It would indeed be a fitting topic for an article of its own.

                  During most of the time the general pattern has been that of Turkey successfully playing Russia off against the powers of western Europe and, in the last seventy years, the United States as well. This has prevented Russia and the western powers from ever forming a unified policy to protect Greeks from Turkish outrages.

                  Currently there is a high level of distrust between Russia and the United States. It should not be that way, not only for the sake of the Greeks, but also for the sake of peace in the world overall.

  3. Mikhail says

    It is bizarro world! Met. Vlachos’ letters on this issue do not even resemble his writing. It is truly as if he is being threatened. His mentor, Fr. John Romanides, would have been horrified at the stance he is taking.

    • Joseph Lipper says


      Back in June of 1995, Father John Romanides and Archimandrite Hierotheos Vlachos presented a joint seminar on “The Church as a Spiritual Hospital”. Their seminar was presented at the monastery of “All Saints of North America” in Dewdney, British Columbia. That’s Archbishop Lazar Puhalo’s monastery. The seminar was actually arranged by a priest of the Moscow Patriarchate who was old friends with all three of these people. Incidentally, it was not long after this seminar that Archbishop Lazar reconciled with the OCA and was received as a retired Archbishop.

      • Mikhail says

        Hey Joe. What does this have to do with the prices apples in Mongolia?

        • Joseph Lipper says

          Mikhail, it’s entirely possible this might not be about the prices of apples in Mongolia. However, there does seem to be a connection between Fr. John Romanides and Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos. Both of them apparently seem to take a similar viewpoint that the Church is a spiritual hospital. Together, they presented a seminar on that topic at the monastery of a schismatic Archbishop associated with the “Kievan Patriarchate”. Not long after that seminar, this formerly schismatic Archbishop repented of his involvement with ROCOR and the “Kievan Patriarchate” and reconciled with the OCA.

          Even though Fr. John Romanides is no longer with us, I too have to wonder what his take on this situation in Ukraine would be. My suspicion is that he would want and support an Ecumenical Council on the topic of autocephaly, just as Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos has pointed out is the main ecclesial issue that has not been addressed and still needs to be.

          • Joseph Lipper: “Even though Fr. John Romanides is no longer with us, I too have to wonder what his take on this situation in Ukraine would be. My suspicion is that he would want and support an Ecumenical Council on the topic of autocephaly”

            Yeah, sure. Perhaps you can find a modern version of Witch of Endor, so he can confirm it?

          • Mikhail says

            I am not going to start a discourse with you that involves the extremely controversial retired OCA Archbishop from Canada. I have my opinions, and would rather not share them.
            However, I will say this. Every Local Church has been calling for a true Council. But the EP will not acquiesce. Why? Because the EP wants to control and manipulate the council (as they did the Cretan robber synod). Bartholomew knows that he could not manipulate and control a council regarding the Ukrainian schismatics. Metropolitan Vlachos himself attested to the horrors of the Cretan robber council when he said, ” “At the very least, I [can attest that I] personally was subject to severe pressure and abusive treatment from the hierarchs for my stance, and I was informed that the other bishops of our Church were also subject to such pressures, as well. And, because I always [strive to] behave with calmness, sobriety, and freedom, I could not accept these insulting actions.”
            I am quite certain that Fr. John Romanides would not be a Phanariote were he to be alive today.

            • Ioannis says

              Well said, Mikhail.

            • “However, I will say this. Every Local Church has been calling for a true Council. But the EP will not acquiesce. Why? Because the EP wants to control and manipulate the council (as they did the Cretan robber synod). Bartholomew knows that he could not manipulate and control a council regarding the Ukrainian schismatics.”

              And that’s it in a nut shell. Good Heavens! Even Mr. Lipper, let alone EVERY OTHER CHURCH and Metropolitan Vlachos thinks a council on this issue is needed, but he inexplicably continues nonetheless to defend the man who could most easily call one, yet refuses to do so.

              Whatever his motives, Bartholomew has wrought confusion in Israel and refuses to submit to the Church.

            • Joseph Lipper says


              You mentioned that Fr. John Romanides “would have been horrified at the stance [Metropolitan Hierotheos] is taking”. What do you base this conclusion on?

              • Do you think that Fr. John would have approved of the retroactive recognition of Holy Orders of schismatics?

              • Joseph Lipper says

                Back in the 1960’s, Fr. John Romanides was involved with the World Council of Churches and with the informal dialogues between the Orthodox Church and the “Oriental Orthodox”. From those dialogues a joint statement was produced that pointed out that a difference of terminology was used by both groups to convey the same Christological meaning.

                Asked later if he thought there should be a unification between the Orthodox and the “Oriental Orthodox”, he responded that it was not his position to make such a recommendation, but rather it was up to the bishops to decide these things. He did, however, make the observation that “Oriental Orthodox” had preserved the formality of apostolic succession much better than the Greek church. He was referring to the era in Constantinople under the Sultans.
                Those Sultans routinely offered the Patriarchate up to anybody with the highest bid.

                The point that Fr. John was making was that he didn’t seem to have any problems with the theoretical idea of “Oriental Orthodox” clergy becoming Orthodox with their clerical rank intact. Of course, that’s also a very complicated issue. We use very different liturgies and traditions. Fr. John understood that it would additionally require a reconciliation between Orthodoxy and the “Oriental Rite”. Of course that type of reconciliation doesn’t appear to be going anywhere right now, probably for lack of any real interest. With the non-Chalcedonian “Oriental Orthodox”, Father John was more focused on the dogmatic issues of the schism rather than on unification.

                With regards to the current situation in Ukraine, it could be pointed out that there is no dogmatic difference between the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. Nobody is referring to the OCU as heretics. Only the term “schismatic” is used.

                Of course, there is a big question about the problematic lack of apostolic succession of the former “Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church”. Perhaps this is reasonable to question, and perhaps a sufficient explanation has not been provided by Constantinople. However, it could also be pointed out that apostolic succession is never fully preserved outside of the Church anyways. It’s fulfillment only comes with reconciliation to the Church, and then God overcomes what is lacking. True apostolic succession for schismatic clergy begins at the moment of their reconciliation to the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

                If Moscow is willing to accept Uniate clergy with their clerical rank intact, then I have to wonder if Moscow would also accept the UAOC clergy with their clerical rank intact. If not, why not? What’s really the difference?

                • One difference was highlighted by Solitary Priest – particularly as it relates to Philaret who was not born into schism but CREATED the schism himself and has yet to show a single sign of repentance, even before Constantinople. His ‘restoration’ is far and away the most egregious example of Phanarite hubris and political expediency (i.e., we can only get his followers if we accept him). His case is an appalling offense both to the MP and the entire Orthodox Church.

                  I appreciate that you also recognize the problematic nature of receiving those of the “Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church,” although I can think of no possible “sufficient explanation” for ‘restoring’ clerical orders that never existed. The CP has plenty of bishops who could have made up the three needed to consecrate each of them, but they didn’t even bother to do that. They simply “declared.” This is another offense – and an unnecessary one at that – against the entire Orthodox Church.

                  I don’t think many among us are wedded to the idea that economia in matters of succession/consecration has no place in the healing of a schism, but this is a case of offense multiplied by offense upon offense…all under the pretense that ‘we’ (the royal “we”, meaning “I”) are entitled to offend simply because ‘we’ are the ‘Ecumenical Patriarch’ to whom all must submit and never dare question.

                  In short, there was no conciliarity. There were only multiple lawless and offensive acts committed under the pretext of having raw ‘lawful’ power – most of which, had they been done in a conciliar fashion…had they “seemed good to us and to the Holy Spirit,” would not have been offensive and could have been accomplished apart from the law without objection from the Churches, maintaining peace and bringing healing not only to the Ukraine, but to the entire Church.

                • 1. The WWC was a much different creature in the 60’s than it is today. There used to be hope that the Orthodox could show the heretics the royal path. Sadly, it worked opposite. The Orthodox have been tainted by the arch-heresy of ecumenism. I can guarantee you that Fr. John would not be a supporter of this organization today. Fr. Florovsky also had hope early….and then realized the danger.

                  2. You did not answer my question. In your opinion, do you think that Fr. John would have approved of defrocked-deposed clergy being retroactively restored to the ranks of clergy by a Church which has suddenly claimed control over another Church’s jurisdiction after more than three centuries?

                  • Former GOA says

                    Yes, many Orthodox approach “ecumenical” organizations with a disturbing naïveté. Like the WCC, many Orthodox thought it was a Protestant-organized approach to get various flavors of Christians together to try to discover the Truth and to see what each could offer. Naturally, some Orthodox were interested in that since we hold the fullness of Christ’s Truth.

                    However, most quickly realized that the Protestants in the WCC were not at all interested in pursuing Truth. Each group came with its own armor on and with its own agenda.

                    The various Protestant regions of Europe had been killing each other in wars for centuries. The WCC was in part a means to help the myriad of Protestant groups to stop hating and killing each other.

                    But the WCC is by no means interested in discovering the fullness of Christ’s Truth and of His Church. Most in the WCC likely don’t even believe that that actually exists.

                    • Ven Clamtirov says

                      Consider that the American Bible Society was organized to copyright the bible so Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses could not distort it. Christians do have common issues. Homyakov was the first ecumenist.

                  • Joseph Lipper says


                    I’m only trying to use examples that I know Fr. John was familiar with: Archbishop Lazar Puhalo and the “Oriental Orthodox”. Archbishop Lazar was defrocked-deposed ROCOR clergy and was restored by the OCA, and at the time it happened in 2002, Moscow didn’t have a problem with this. It was actually a priest of the Moscow Patriarchate, a friend of Fr. John’s, who helped to facilitate that reconciliation. As for the “Oriental Orthodox”, they were anathematized about 1500 years ago, but Fr. John didn’t seem to preclude the possibility that their clergy could one day be reconciled to the Church and be accepted as such.

                    In Ukraine, it really does seem to boil down to a matter of jurisdictional control, because there are no dogmatic reasons for the schism. The OCU are not called heretics. Personally, I believe the EP has made a very good argument for at least partial jurisdictional control in Ukraine. That partial jurisdictional presence in western Ukraine was wiped out by the Soviets, and it should have been rightfully restored to the EP.

                    I’m not going to speculate about whether or not Fr. John would have approved of the current situation in Ukraine, because I honestly don’t really know. However, when Metropolitan Hierotheos makes the point that the topic of autocephaly needs to be addressed at an Ecumenical Council, I’m inclined to believe that Fr. John Romanides would agree with him. It’s not such a leap.

                    • Again…..all are asking for a council. But the hubris of the CP will not even respond. Whatever. I’m finished with our circular discussion. You think that the CP has made a decent argument for partial jurisdiction. I think you drank a tad too much Kool-aid. The OCU are schismatics…and when they unite with the Uniates, they will add heretic to their resume. That’s all I have to say to you.

  4. Ioannis says

    Yes Mikhail,
    Fr.John Romanides would have been horrified,
    St.John Chrysostom has explained that such things shall happen.
    He said:
    “He who tries everything to become a Bishop,
    will then do everything to stay a Bishop.”

    Look around you Mikhail,
    do you see many Bishops who didn’t want to become Bishops but who, LIKE CHRYSOSTOM were literally by the Queen’s soldiers kidnapped to the Cathedral and immediately made Bishops?

    What we lack is bishops like St.Chrysostom, with real devotion to Christ, not love of Glory. We have lots of others out there, photogenic experts in financing, management, languages, you name it.
    But they are potentially slaves to the secular power.
    That’s BTW important to remember for the GOA new head.

  5. Mikhail says

    Yes Ioannis. It seems that many of the bishops of this age are slaves to mammon.

    • Ioannis says

      Mikhail, that is why St.Chrysostom did not want to become a Bishop. He considered the Bishop’s Glory like a very beautiful young woman that would strongly attract him to sin.

      I wonder if they teach these things in today’s Theological Seminars.

      Nowadays, the bishop’s Glory is not enough for some.
      Thus they do their best to become Archbishops
      and ultimately Patriarchs.

      I wonder what can be done about that Mikhail.
      Any ideas?

  6. But of course, readmy brother’s article “Junta Turth: Silk, Oil, STraits, Magog”

  7. Looks like Bishop Makarios will be leading the GOAAustralia

    • Hmmmm……an intellectual elected for Australia. You can look for Elpidophoros as the new Archbishop of America……..possibly a worse choice than Emmanuel of France.

      • Johannes says

        What do we know about Elpidophoros?

        • “What do we know about Elpidophoros?”
          Johannes, read what G.Micalopulos wrote 10 years ago:

        • “What do we know about Elpidophoros?” – 2

          Elpidophoris recites the Creed in the the liturgy in the Uniate Church (25 Oct 2015)

          The Creed recited by His Eminence Rev Elpidoforos

          Sunday 25 October 2015, His Eminence Elpidophoros Lambriniadis, Metropolitan of Bursa of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and secretary of the Sacred Ecumenical Synod participated in the Divine Liturgy in the Uniate Cathedral (Arbereshe) of San Nicola di Mira di Lungro (province of Cosenza – Calabria Region – Italy).

          • Monk James Silver says

            For what it’s worth, Met. Elpidophoros did NOT include the words ‘and from the Son’ in his recitation of the Symbol.

            But the fact that he was there at all and recited anything in the heterodox service speaks volumes.

            • So we gotta be grateful he recited the Orthodox creed, an Orthodox bishop. Have we come to this?

            • The uniates don’t recite the filioque.

              • Monk James Silver says

                Some of them do.

                Some of them leave it out.

                Some of them print it in their service books in parentheses.

                So, they can take their pick, have _filioque_ or not, take it or leave it. . For these deeply deceived people, the Symbol of Faith is flexible, which is completely unacceptable to the Orthodox.

                For us Orthodox Christians, the Nikaian Symbol is an unchangeable, bare-bones minimum statement of what we believe.

                Obviously, the Catholics don’t consider it so — and that’s only one of our several serious theological/ecclesiological differences with them.

      • Elpidiphoros it is. Bartholomew has sent a message. He chose the man who is virulently anti-Russian. He chose the architect of the language which tries to justify the Ukrainian tragedy. He chose the spin-doctor who claims that Constantinople has the power to grant and revoke autocephaly single handedly. He chose the neo-papist who claims that Bartholomew is first without equal.

        Lord have mercy on us.

        • Former GOA says

          Dear OCA and ROCOR,

          Please make haste to create and be open to receiving Greek-heritage parishes into your loving omophorion! They will come!

          A significant exodus from the GOA will occur. May those faithful find homes in other American Orthodox jurisdictions and not abandon Christ altogether.

          This disastrous move could serve to unify the other American Orthodox against Phanar “first without equals” heresy. It will God-willing eventually put modern Phanariot heresy into the dustbin of history.

          God can make good out of and can overcome human stupidity.

          Ανάξιος to Elpidophoros! Stay in Istanbul where you are an agent of Turkish intelligence (this is undoubtedly true) and don’t set foot on American shores.

          May our Most Holy Mother all of the American Orthodox saints protect us from this narcissistic charlatan.

          • The Phanar is corrupt as hell and what can you expect as no flock. What do they do all day? Play at pretend empire?

          • Yes Former GOA,
            that is probably the best practical solution:

            Please, OCA, ROCOR and Antiochian
            start with one Greek-speaking parish in large cities
            and you will see what happens!

  8. Johannes says

    Oh wait, he’s the First Without Equals guy. Sigh.

  9. Metropolitan Elpithiphoros. Kyrie Eleison!

  10. We look to RUSSIA as always to stand up for Orthodoxy

  11. Joseph Lipper says

    “The denigration implicit in Putin’s thinking is exemplified in widespread Russian ridicule of all things Ukrainian, particularly the language. While deprecating Ukraine is a tried-and-true method for pandering to the sense of Russian superiority, this overbearing ‘older brother’ complex sits rather badly with Ukrainians, even Russophone ones. Ukrainians, by and large, remain well-disposed toward Russians, if not necessarily toward Kremlin policies. Most of them would warmly welcome a normalization of Russo-Ukrainian ties, but few seem prepared to accept the loss of their national identity as the price for doing so.

    “It is no longer possible to imagine that the heretofore-schismatic Ukrainian Orthodox churches could be nudged, gently or more forcefully, back into the bosom of the Moscow Patriarchate. The latter will retain a substantial footprint in Ukraine, with sizeable congregations of ethnic Russians as well as non-Russians who prefer the liturgy in Church Slavonic rather than Ukrainian. However, the supposition that Orthodoxy in Ukraine is merely and exclusively a branch of the Russian Orthodox Church has been demolished forever. The umbilical cord has been cut and cannot be rejoined.”