Georgia to Ukraine: “The Check is in the Mail”

Yessiree Bob, things are heating up for C’pole vis-a-vis this Ukraine thing. While it’s not looking good for Ukraine, it’s also not looking good for this newfangled primus sine parabism doctrine coming out of the “New Rome”. Nor should it, as they’re both two sides of the same coin.

The Georgian Orthodox Church seems to be in no hurry to jump on Patriarch Bartholomew’s autocephaly-granting bandwagon. That’s gotta hurt, especially given the fact that the Georgians and the Russians aren’t exactly bosom buddies. They have now joined the Churches of Greece and Cyprus in playing kick-the-can. So it’s not a Slavic thing, is it? (Can Romania be far behind?)

Thanks to Byzantine, Texas, we read that the Georgian Church has spoken out on the matter of Ukrainian autocephaly. And by implication Bartholomew’s unilateral neo-papalism. And for once, you don’t have to read between the lines to find out what they really think. (Although you can do that too.) Why, they even rub a little salt into the wounds, saying in essence “we waited for 1500 years to have our autocephaly recognized by Constantinople. What’s a few more for you Ukies?”

You can read it for yourself here:

See what I mean? Ouch.

I imagine that if things keep going this way, the Phanar will be so desperate for any support at all –from anywhere–that Syosset may finally get their autocephaly recognized by them. On the other hand, the way that this was handled from the start makes any recognition of any autocephaly conditional upon the whims of the Phanar. That’s the very essence of acting in bad faith. It’s Byzantine duplicity on steroids. After all, if a tomos is torn up unilaterally because of [insert reason here] then no negotiated settlement is worth the paper it’s printed on.

At this stage in my life, one of the few pleasure I get is telling young whippersnappers “I told you so”. Well, Phanar, I told you so. The Georgian hierarchy saw which way the wind was blowing. Not only could the EP (any EP) waltz into anybody’s canonical territory and muck things up, he said he could “rescind” any local Church’s autocephaly on a whim. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see the repercussions of such self-aggrandizing power. Heck, a blind man could see it from a mile away. The Georgians to their credit, saw it and actually said something about it.

The finality of this, that is how it’s going to eventually play out, is most unfortunate. In that in order for something like this to never happen again, the other local Churches will have to step in and by a conciliar process strip the title “ecumenical” from the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Otherwise, its grandiosity will never go away.

OK, snark off. This was all so unnecessary. There isn’t a man-jack among us who doesn’t feel some respect and at least a tinge of love for the See of Constantinople. Myself included.
Every last one of us (not just the Patriarch of Russia), pleaded with Bartholomew to not go down this path. Barring repentance on his part, there’s no going back. And even with repentance, the dogs of war which he may be unleashing on behalf of the West are too horrible to contemplate.

Think of the irony: when the Greek people demanded independence from the Ottoman yoke, they had to go into schism because Gregory V (the EP at the time) would not allow them to rebel against their “rightful” sovereign (that is to say, the Sultan). When the Greeks wouldn’t listen, said Sultan hanged Gregory, two metropolitans and twelve bishops in Istanbul because they wouldn’t pacify the Christian populace in Greece. In this instance, Bartholomew is actually inciting rebellion in Ukraine (but not anywhere else). As in Greece back then one could not foresee the results, so too now in Ukraine.

This is beyond scandalous. Fear and trembling forbids me to use an even worse adjective. That too will come with time I’m afraid (hopefully from someone more pious than myself).

I suppose that there are a few silver linings to this debacle. One of them is it will hopefully shut up all the prog/libs who prattle on endlessly about the separation of Church and State. This Frankenstein’s monster which Poroshenko and Bartholomew created is the redheaded bastard step-child of the conjoining of Church and State. And a horrible, corrupt, Nazi-glorifying State at that.

Another silver lining to all this, as far as America is concerned, is that the non-Greek jurisdictions will gird their loins and tell the Phanar to take a hike when they try to pull this same stunt over here. It’s possible that if the Ukrainian hybrid sect continues to fail (as does the Poroshenko regime which it is appended to) then Patriarch Bartholomew may not try to execute a similar scheme for America. You know, once burned, twice shy. For this, we can thank Archbishop Demetrios of the GOA who has not resigned his position as primate even though the Phanar has leaned on him heavily to do so for several years now. If nothing else he has bought us here in America some time to gather our forces.

Regardless, the negatives far outweigh any positives.

Anyway, one of our contributors sent me this fascinating, behind-the-scenes video of the birthing of this sect. Like sausage-and-lawmaking, it’s not a pretty sight. But it’s very much worth a look.

P.S. I will temporarily lift the embargo I have placed on our dear friend Francis Gaidouroglossos, the worshiper of all things Georgian. I for one look forward to see how he wiggles out of this one.



  1. Timmy Lemur says
    • Joseph Lipper says

      “Few would disagree that there is a very strong pastoral case for creating an autocephalous church in Ukraine. However, the path to this autocephaly is through the narrow gate of a pan-Orthodox council. If the churches reject the tomos, it is not an act of rebellion or a rejection of Constantinople’s canonical primacy, but rather an exercise of their duty to be a part of the universal Church’s decision-making process because as Patriarch Athenagoras, of blessed memory, never ceased to remind us, “the granting of autocephaly is a right belonging to the Church as a whole”.

      Great essay!

      • Joseph Lipper: “Constantinople’s canonical primacy”

        Over Crete, Istanbul and American Greeks.

      • I think its incorrect to say few would disagree there is a strong case for an autocephalous case in Ukraine. I have strong reservations about the “russification” policies of the ROC (ridiculous insistence on Slavonic and “Great Russian” cultural forms outside of Russia proper in particular), but there are three reasons an autocephalous Church is unwise.

        First, the spiritual linkage between Ukraine and Russia, present tensions aside, is important for both countries. Certainly a nationalist Church that severed those ties would be tragic. It is a nod to ethnophyletism and rabid nationalism, both of which Christians should oppose.

        Second, Ukraine is self evidently a failed state. You can say what you want about the reasons why, but a failed state that may not exist in anything like its present form a few decades out does not warrant a new partitioning of the Church. Moreover, the new nationalist church worsens, rather than helps, the political-ethnic divisions.

        Third, it’s unclear that even a slight majority of actual practicing Christians in Ukraine want it. As a good friend who lives in Kiev and is a proud Ukrainian patriot was saying to me recently: “Half the country does not want these divisions nor do they want the agenda coming from Kiev today.” Because he cares about the country as a whole, he is also opposed to this mess.

      • You seem to be in two position at once. Yes in general an autocephalous church in Ukraine would make sense but not in this way with frankly crooks and mafia and in total disreguard of the legal by all the canons and justice current autonomous church that has as autonomous more freedom than the so called autocephalous one.
        As for Filaret, given him credit for hierarchical invention. What can one say.? Does he believe in God? Perhaps he does not know any more? At 90 may soon find out. A fine Figure of a man for sure, why married easily ???.
        You know initially I thought this was a legalistic clerical bun fight of which i wanted to know little, but as i read and learning and I have Ukrainian friends including Greek Catholics as well as Russian and living in Slav country, Bulgaria, with it’s own shall we say, history, I have become more and more shocked not only at the lack of Christ, all round, but the criminally active agents and the person of the defrocked layman parading as a priest and worse, Denisenko. I would love to believe as a greek thst Bartholomaios has acted out of good intentions and maybe he thinks that and good intentions often lead to bad outcome., but Mr Lipper you can spin this any which way u want and it still comes our needing another wash.
        Yes I am no lover of Patriarch Kyril, able clever man, but not in least spiritual, but he is no defrocked crook and IS a BELIEVER FOR SURE and legally elected and had done much for Russian church.. God will judge us all. .
        The fraudelent papal ecclesiology of Phanar is plain to see. This is an 1870 Orthodox moment.
        I am more shocked by the day. It’s unreality.
        Mind u another rule for Macedonia and even for Greece.

        • Joseph Lipper says

          Nikos, I believe Patr. Bartholomew wants conciliarity. A conciliar decision on Ukranian autocephaly was probably meant to come up at the Crete council. The EP’s 1993 document on autocephaly even recommended an unanimous conciliar decision on autocephaly, but Russia asked that autocephaly not be discussed at the Crete council. That’s too bad, because if it came up at the Crete council, it probably would have been resolved there. Patr. Bartholomew is now forcing a council on the matter.

          Perhaps Ukrainian autocephaly will be revoked? I don’t know. When a council is finally called to discuss this matter, there might be some major ecclesiological changes across the board. Who knows?

          • Joseph Lipper: “I believe Patr. Bartholomew wants conciliarity. … The EP’s 1993 document on autocephaly even recommended an unanimous conciliar decision on autocephaly, but Russia asked that autocephaly not be discussed at the Crete council.”

            Yeah, right. He is using a peculiar vocabulary, “conciliarity” means rubber stamping and “autocephaly” means submission to him.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Joseph, the less said about Crete the better. At the end of the day, there was nothing conciliar about Crete except in the most superficial sense. Had there been any validity to Crete (with or without Bulgaria, Georgia, Antioch, Russia), Bartholomew would not have acted as he did with regards to Ukraine.

            In fact, his unilateralism gave the lie to the “conciliarity” of Crete. His own action made it (Crete) a nullity. (Not a bad thing in and of itself but still everything post-2000 done by the EP reeks of bad faith.)

    • Please George don’t bring Francis out of retirement. Be a good man! I used to love those jazzy songs with Georgia in the title.

  2. To be fair to Mr. Frost, and the rest of our non Greek speaking blog audience. Gaidouroglossos translates to” Jack Ass Speaker or Tongue.”

    George allows, then silences, back and forth, Francis, who speaks ‘some’ truths that many here don’t appreciate about “Holy” Russia.

    Some truths are still true, no?

    Example: Mr. Smith is a very “religious” man, attends every liturgy, but every now and then beats his children, rapes the neighbor, abuses his wife, and has never killed anyone who didn’t deserve it, other than that he’s pretty cool, respects clergy, and is a good steward of his church.

    Time to take the blinders off, and take a good wiff around folks. Orthodoxy at high levels, as a whole, not just the GREEK$, or Russia’s miracle of God, Putin, (as said by MP Kirill) is grotesque and stinks to high heaven. Orthodoxy of the EP and MP, continues to dive deeper and deeper into prostituting itself with governments and their corruption.

    What you all are doing here on this blog, is no different than what our leaders are doing to our Church. Scandalizing the Bride of Christ. Shame, and fear of God seems lost forever.

    Until some miracle, or again, horrible misfortune occurs to our Church, nothing will change. Until each one of us looks to cure our own sinful actions, WE, and our Church will never change, except for verbal masturbation, and finger pointing, all will continue at a all time highs, and humility at all time lows.

    The Orthodox religion we witness today, IS NOT the religion that Jesus Christ and his Apostles gifted, and wanted for us. Take the blinders off, and experience Christ!

    • Antiochene Son says

      The Orthodox religion I witness in my parish is exactly what Christ gave us. No failure of any bishop can change that.

    • Sadly while not agreeing with all u say as Holiness as always is unseen, there is much truth that this is all about Politics and abuse of Ukrainian people as if each one individually is a pawn to be moved about the chess board at will.
      What will happen, is happening, when yr young Ukrainian turns and says ‘ Sod off ‘ I don’t want any of it, or yr God, ‘ or joins the local evangelical sect or Rome ( few) even. What example does all this give or say about the Church in 2019? When 90% of this useful blogs is not about how may we grow in Christ but church Politics. And yes I know, forced on us and I have put my two cents worth in too, but said we need to.
      THE dead and dying EP and the cardinal richlieu in Moscow will both answer to God.

    • Agree to degree. As we see in this blog. 80% plus taken up with Politics. Not with Christ. Or how the Church can witness to Christ or how we should worship in 2019 etc or the answer of the Church to challenges of New atheism or science or how we grow in Holiness, but in Politics and corruption. I am not blaming the participants, including me. But it is sad, catastrophic, that in 2019 the energy of the Church is taken up with Politics. To a young believer looking on, they will conclude that this so called church is a corrupt charade of overdressed, intelectually challenged morons.
      Who to blame? EP and all his papal pretension and pseudo ecology verbiage and Pascha etc encyclicals. They are so full of such verbiage from the professor of such, that no one listening to them as the priest reading them in a language few understand while the dish goes around for another round of EP cash.. Hopefully now Popmpeo will provide.
      Moscow. Cardinal richlieu Kyril playing Kremlin Politics. Who screwed at every level? The Ukrainian people who of course should have a national church and whose job to give one legally was that of Kyril. What a powerful aid to Orthodox Ukrainian unit this would have been.
      But as things stand, inspite of his failings, I stand by the Church of Russia that suffered for 73 yrs and is defending Orthodox ecclesiology. But GOD HELP US.

      • God help us indeed, Nikos! I for one am done with this silliness. It’s time for me to move on, to healthier pastures. To all the best! May our Mother always intercede for us!

    • Will Harrington says

      Dino, you are here and thereby, you have no grounds to make a blanket “you all” that excludes yourself. You may be right, but still, you participate in what you condemn. Don’t feel bad. The one thing all Christians have in common is that we are all hypocrites. If it were not so, then we either would not need Christ or we would reject him completely. I would venture that the one thing everyone has in common here (well, maybe there are a few trolls who simply want to stir the pot) is that they do go to Church, try to be more like Christ, and are both curious and concerned by the world around them.

    • stop judging others Dino…………….

  3. George this video is an eye opener. You can watch Phony Filaret all puffed up with pride and ego. Compare that to the humble and saintly Metropolitan Onuphry at the end of the video. Old Bart sure has gotten into bed with some nasty people.
    Published reports are starting to identify the known neo-Nazi leaders and mafia thugs with Poroshenko at the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. George in the Phanar. They have turned this holy house into a den on thieves and murderers. One of the proudest moments this Church has seen was a few years back when the Vatican returned the relics of Patriarchs John Chrysostom and Gregory the Thelogian. Now this Church has seen one of its most embarrassing moment. Tell me Joseph Lipper, grand apologist for the Phanar, how proud are you to see known neo-Nazis as honored guests in this venerable Church? If this video doesn’t turn your stomach nothing will.
    I always believed one of the worst moments of our Church was in the Latin conquest of Constantinople of 1204. The Latins desecrated Haghia Sophia and put a drunk whore on the Patriarchal Throne.
    But today Bartholomew has made himself a whore to Ukraine’s coup government, drunk on his own power and ego. The first without equal! Once again a drunk whore with fifty million pieces of treacherous silver sits on the throne of Constantinople. He has given his brother Onuphry a treacherous kiss as Judas once did. But this was not inflicted on us by marauding Latin Crusaders. This was done by our own Patriarch, who has violated the sacred trust he owed to all his brother primates. In doing so he has likely destroyed forever the role of, and even a need for, an “ecumenical” patriarch.

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      I, too, believe the Latins of the Fourth Crusade deserve serious rebuke. But it would be a lot of time, trouble, and cost to track down those 800-year-old graves scattered around Europe to deliver the same.

      William Faulkner said, of the US South: “The past isn’t dead; it’s not even past.” Quintuple that for the eastern Eastern Orthodox!

    • Mimis Kovaskis says

      1204 was just retribution for 1182.
      In 1182 Greeks massacred sixty thousand Istanbul Catholics, selling the remainder to their Turkish sultan.


      • True when it comes to stupidity we greeks need no help. But re 1182 riots against Latins because of economic causes and 1204 slaughter and pillage and desecration and looking of churches, there is a difference.
        The crusaders diliberately attacked a Christian city and then desecrated it’s churches, monks and nun. And with western clergy in attending. And mostly blessed by Pope until even he shocked.

    • Greek saying as my mother would tell me when coming in at a ungodly hour!!! as then.
      ‘ Tell me who you go with and I will tell you who you are ‘!! Quite Bartholomaios!!!
      As for Poreshenko asking to see Stalin’s signature on a 1943 document, so crap will not even go there. I started on this with an open mind of sorts although always had EP marked as revisionist and corrupt and I know things personally but that for another time, but as i read and followed all I can say is welcome to 1054 and every other Orthodox red letter day.

    • Yes u only have to see the faces and hear the voices of those involved to get the picture. Filaret Denisenko would have done well in renaissance Borgia Rome and biggest advert for atheism going. As u say the humility of Onoufrios, so obvious..
      Bartholomaios, dupe or willing stooge???

  4. Francis Frost says

    George, George, George

    Where should I start? I have no idea “what” you think I need to “weasel my way out of”.

    You think I’m a jack-ass? Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
    St. Gabriel taught to drink in abuse as a blessing from Our Lord who was himself so abused.

    Evkhasisto, file mou !!!! Qotsna da chakhouteba shenze !! Hugs and kisses to you !
    God be praised !

    As usual, your post is a mix of third hand, poorly translated, hearsay; taken out of context and mixed with your unique blend of self congratulatory bluster and boundless ignorance.

    BTW, while thanking the Byztex author, “Fr. Flavius Josephus” and the Russian troll-bot, “Jospeh Zhang”, perhaps you could remind them both that those who post under a pseudonym, are merely advertising the own bedrock mendacity. How sad that even Orthodox priests have no shame to publicly lie to their flock and to the public !

    If you want to understand the question of the the autocephaly of the Georgian Orthodox church, you will need first to understand some geography and history. So, lets start.

    I apologize in advance if I tax your capacity for attention to details; but history is not so simple as cat calls and sound- bites!

    Georgia is a land bounded by the Caucasus mountain range on the north, and the Anti-caucasus range on the south. These mountain ranges encroach on each other in central Georgia in the Borjomi – Baukuiani region; thus bisecting Georgia into eastern and western regions. Your Greek ancestors referred to eastern Georgia as Iveria; hence the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God and the Iveron monastery on Mt. Athos, which was founded by Georgian monks. Western Georgia, in the Black Sea coastal littoral, was know to the Greeks as Kolkhis or Kolkida. The capital of western Georgia, Kutaisi, was known to the ancient Greeks as Aeia and was the destination of Jason and the argonauts. It’s also my wife’s home town.

    Western Georgia was first evangelized by the holy Apostles Andrew, Matthias and Simon the Canaanite. St. Andrew preached the gospel and dispelled paganism by chopping down a druid’s oak where children had been sacrificed to pagan gods. In its place he built a church. That church is now the cathedral of the Chkondidi diocese Chkondi means “oak tree” in the Georgian language. The holy apostle Matthias is buried in Goni, between Batumi and the Turkish border. St. Simon the Canaanite is buried in occupied Abkhazeti. The churches of western Georgia in those days fell within the farthest eastern extent of the Roman empire. For this reason, St. John Chrysostom was exiled and died in Komana (in occupied Abkahzeti). St. Maximos the Confessor and his disciples the 2 Anastasios’ were exiled and died in Tsageri in Racha province. Bishop Stratophilos of Pitsunda in Lazika (modern Abkhazeti) was one of the 318 Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council in 325 AD.

    Easten Georgia, Iveria, was independent of the Roman Empire. In the 4th century eastern Georgia was evangelized by the Equal to the Apostles St. Nino, the Cappadocian. When the Holy Apostles drew lots for the territories they would evangelize, Georgia was drawn as the lot of the Most Holy Mother of God. To this day, Georgia is the sacred inheritance of the Most Holy Theotokos, her own “lot”. The Panagia appeared to St. Nino in Jerusalem and deputized her to go to Georgia. As a token of this mission, the Holy Theotokos gave to St. Nino a cross of twisted grape vines. St. Nino tied a lock of her own hair to that cross as token of her servanthood. That cross is today enshrined in the iconostasis of the Sioni Cathedral in Tbilisi and you may touch it with your own fingers, if you dare. As a result of St. Nino’s preaching, King Mirian and Queen Nana were converted to Christianity, and Georgia became a Christian nation in the year 334 AD. Of note, the first clergy were set to Iberia from Constantinople along with the footrest of Christ’s Holy Cross, which you may venerate even today in the Samtavro Transfiguration Convent in holy Mtskheta.

    Thus, Iberia was within the Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East; but western Georgia (Egrisi / Lazika / Kolkkis) remained within the orbit of the Patriarchate of Constantinople unto much later.

    The Archdiocese of Mtskehta – Tbilisi was elevated to an autocephalous Catholicosate by Peter, the Patriarch of Antioch, in the 5th century with the agreement of the Roman Emperor Zenon and the Patriarch of Constantinople. In the 11th century eastern and western Georgia were untied during the reign of St. King Davit Aghmashenebeli (David the Builder) Bagrati. From that time forward, the Georgian people were untied into one nation and one Orthodox Church. Since that time the Georgian primates have held the Title: ”Catholicos-Patriarch of all Georgia, Archbishop of Mtskheta-Tbilisi and Metropolitan of Pitsunda-Tskhum, and Abkhazeti”, the same title borne by His All -Holiness Ilya II today.

    Since that time, no-one has ever questioned the autocephaly of the Georgian Orthodox church, an autocephaly that pre-existed the Moscow Patriarchate by 1,000 years. In 1783, King Erekle V signed a mutual defense pact with the Russian State, known as the treaty of Georgievsk. Upon King Erekle’s death, his heirs were kidnapped and exiled to Russia, where they were given the title of “Grand Dukes” of the Russian realm. Georgia was occupied by the Russian military and Georgia was made a gubernya (province) of the Russian Empire.

    In 1811, Catholicos-Patriarch Antony II was kidnapped and exiled to a Russian monastery. The Georgian Church was subjected to the synodical rule of the Russian Orthodox Church. From 1817, the metropolitan exarch in charge of the Church was an ethnic Russian, with no knowledge of the Georgian language and culture.[The Georgian liturgy and the Georgian language were suppressed and replaced with Church Slavonic. Ancient frescoes were whitewashed from the walls of many churches. The ancient Georgian chants were outlawed.

    The looting of ancient manuscripts and sacred treasures by the Romanov regime was even worse than that committed by the Soviet communists. The 5th century enamel Khalkuli icon of the Mother of God, surrounded by the apostles was cut into pieces and sold off by the Russian thieves. The central icon of the holy Theotokos had never been recovered.
    St. Grigol (Gregory) Peradze, spent his entire career as scholar and professor in Europe locating and retrieving lost books, icons and manuscripts that has been looted during the Romanov occupation. It should be noted that the Russian abolition of the Georgian Orthodox Patriarchate was never considered, much less approved by any Orthodox Council of bishops.

    The Georgian bishops restored the autocephaly of the Georgian Orthodox church in March 1917. The Moscow Patriarchate recognized the restoration of Georgia’s autocephaly in 1943, under orders from Joseph Stalin, as part of the policy of tolerance towards Christianity in the Soviet Union adopted in order to garner support for the war against fascism. The Patriarchate of Constantinople also recognized the autocephaly of the Georgian Orthodox Church in March of 1990. What needs to be stressed in that NEITHER the Greeks nor the Russians “granted” the autocephaly to the Georgian Orthodox Church. They merely “recognized” the restoration of the autocephaly that had been stolen by the Russian imperialists!

    Thus, my dear George there is really nothing for you to chortle about !!!

    The 1500 year history of the Autocephalous Georgian Orthodox Church says absolutely NOTHING about who has the “right” to grant autocephaly to the church in Ukraine!

    Furthermore, as I have told you before, despite 2 years of pleading by Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, the Holy Synod of the Georgian Orthodox church has steadfastly refused to grant the status of a ‘metochion” to cover the shame of the the Russian invaders on the soil of the “lot of the Holy Mother of God”. The Holy Fathers have refused to endorse the Russians’ claims to “own” the Ukrainian church. Indeed, after the December meeting of the Holy Synod, Metropolitan Petre stongly hinted that the Georgian bishops WILL recognize the Ukrainian autocephaly in the near future.

    The church will definitely support all fair decisions and the right demand of the people of Ukraine, – Metropolitan Petre Tsaava of Chkondidi told reporters after the meeting of Holy Synod on Thursday while commenting on the issue of autocephaly of Ukrainian Church … A final decision will be made at the next meeting of Holy Synod.

    There is more I could say; but not now.

    I will remind you once again: In 1811, when the Russians abolished the Georgian Patriarchate, St. Seraphim of Sarov wrote to Tsar Aleksandr I: “Georgia is the inheritance of the Most Holy Mother of God. Do not make war on Georgia. If you make war on Georgia, God will make war on you, and Russia will be destroyed”. Aleksandr obeyed this commandment; but his heirs ignored it, and their Empire was destroyed. Gorbachov ignored it (he sent General Vlasov to murder students in Tbilisi on Aril 9, 1989) and the Soviet Union was destroyed. Putin has ignored this warning, and his empire too, will be destroyed. St. Gabriel Urgebadze prophesied in 1992: “If the Russians take Abkhazeti, the Mother of God will never be reconciled to them.”

    Michael wrote above:

    I always believed one of the worst moments of our Church was in the Latin conquest of Constantinople of 1204. The Latins desecrated Haghia Sophia and put a drunk whore on the Patriarchal Throne.

    Well, the Russians have done even worse.

    In August 2008, the Russian bishops, Panteleimon of Kabardino-Adyghe and Feofan of Saratov (since transferred to Machkhala) accompanied the invasion forces and publicly “blessed” the weapons used to attack civilian populations. These “blessings” were televised first in Russia and then in Georgia. You may watch the video with your own eyes as it is included in the “Orthodox Occupation” video on You Tube. These infernal “blessings” are also included in Andrei Nekrasov’s documentary “Uroki Russkogo” (Russian Lessons), which debunks the Russian government’s propaganda campaign of justification for its invasion of Georgia. Mr. Nekrasov’s documentary is also available on You Tube in 12 segments, some with English sub-titles for those who do not understand the Russian language.

    On August 8, 2008, the missiles “blessed” by Bishop Feofan were used attack the ancient Ghvrtaeba Cathedral and the Shrine of the Protomartyr Razhden in Nikozi. On August 9th, the Russian military and their Ossetian allies looted, desecrated and burned this ancient House of God.
    A television documentary on the destruction of Ghvertaeba and the work of reconstruction carried out by Metropolitan Isaiah may be viewed at:

    “Do not be deceived. God is not mocked. What a man sows, that shall he also reap.” Galatians 6:7.

    “because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.  God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.  But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.” Romans 2:5-8

    • George Michalopulos says

      I was thinking of a good Attic translation of Francis the Talking Mule actually.

      • Mike Myers says

        Petty schoolyard insults are a rather poor substitute for rational, evidence-based, historically literate and dezinformatsiya-free rebuttal. Not to mention for something similarly inspired by the spirit and teaching of the Gospel, the Law and the Prophets — given the cold, hard facts. Good luck with that!

        • Constantinos says

          Hi George,
          As a historian, what do you think about Vladimir Putin? There’s an article on CNN about the fact Putin is enjoying the problems besetting the US and Great Britain, due to his heartbreak over the defeat of the Soviet Union as an ex- KGB agent. It also said that Putin’s been trying to destroy liberal democracies during his hegemonic, dictatorial rule for two decades
          Personally, I loathe the man. I believe he is the most dangerous man in the world. A resurgent Russia is very bad news for those of us who love freedom and democracy.
          Don’t you think we Orthodox have a tendency to tilt at windmills? We all go icky balookey over organs. pews, tomos, and other such nonsense while the world faces many crises. You’ve heard the expression, ” so heavenly minded to be no earthly good.” This fits Orthodoxy to a tee. I’m more concerned about the kind of world we are leaving our children and grandchildren. All this praise for Russia sickens me; we are Americans, and Russia is our mortal enemy. I think it would be nice if we looked at the big picture.
          I mentioned Senator Sam Nunn yesterday; I was listening to a speech by him at the Council on Foreign Relations about his vision of a nuclear weapons free world. After an outstanding career as a US Senator, he is dedicating the remainder of his life to eliminating weapons of mass destruction from the world One thing is for certain, he won’t find a partner in Vladimir Putin. It;s like the book says, “Sam Nunn is the best president we never had.” Sad, but, oh so very true.

          • Constantinos says

            Dear George,
            I try to do a little bit of independent thinking every now and then. Whether I succeed is another story.. Do you believe this Mueller probe has had a deleterious effect on Orthodoxy in America? I do. Who would in the US would want to be Russian Orthodox after all these revelations? After the insinuations that Donald Trump is a Russian agent. Of course, I don’t believe them, but it seems like death by a thousand cuts, if you know what I mean.
            Also, I still support our President, but my support for him is much more tepid. I have to criticize his misuse of Twitter. I don’t like his use of profanity, his incessant lying, his egotism, and vanity. In my opinion, the President of the US should have dignity and character. The last time that occurred was when Dwight Eisenhower. I’m of the opinion that the very best, most qualified people never run for president. General Schwartzkoff never ran, and he would have made a very good president. As I have stated before, Sam Nunn and Elliot Richardson would have made outstanding presidents.
            The people who are running this time around are singularly unimpressive. There is not one person who has the minimal qualifications for the highest office in our great country. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamalla Harris, Corey Booker, Joe Biden? Please! Our country is in a mess, and it’s only going to get worse. It’s kind of like Orthodoxy. We are in a mess with no end in sight. The Ecumenical Patriarch is an embarrassing joke. By the way, isn’t about that we lose the fancy titles. His All Holiness? Christ rebuked the young man for calling him “Good Teacher.” When did the Apostles Peter and Paul call themselves His All Pompous Holiness?The Apostle Paul said he was the worst sinner. Please pardon my crudity, but the Ecumenical Patriarch acts like his defecation doesn’t stink. Oh boy!!

            • George Michalopulos says

              Costa, a lot of what you say is true, in the broad sense. I have no trouble however with Trump’s buffoonish antics however. Why? Because our political class is inbred and decrepit –Versailles with smart phones and gadgets.

              As to our culture, don’t even get me started. There’s a Russian proverb: “The people get the priest that they deserve”.

              I don’t know if Trump is going to succeed (so far he’s won far more battles than he’s lost) but he is most definitely not going to succeed if he doesn’t destroy –utterly–the present political system, which is corrupt and unstable to the core.

              Do I wish that he had the charisma of Reagan, the quiet dignity of Obama or the military skill of Ike? Do I wish that he had the panache of JFK or the gravitas of Ford or Bush 41? Yes to all. But he doesn’t and he doesn’t need to. Why? Because we no longer have a political class that is dignified, staid or restrained. They are overgrown, entitled children who have never worked a day in their lives. Their hands are as smooth as babies’ bottoms. Their immorality knows no bounds. Don’t believe me? Men sodomizing each other now equals marriage and “churches” are rushing in to sanction this behavior. When did that ever happen? Not even in Babylon.

              You said in an earlier post that I admire Putin and that he’s a dictator. I do. He is not a dictator. Your also said that he’s sowing the seeds of discord here in the West. We’ve been doing that every since Woodstock. Really ever since MK-Ultra back in the late 40s. We are destroying ourselves.

              I work with young men who have no chance at all of starting a family. My father, an illegal alien, was able to legalize his status, find a nice Greek-American girl, start a family and provision it on a working-man’s salary. Those days are gone. What Daniel Patrick Moynihan predicted about the Negro family back in 1964 is now coming true for the white family. Soon, we will be like most Latin American countries where only the very wealthy get married and have families.

              Sorry for the rant but Putin bears no blame for our own sins. As far as the “discord” he’s sown, that can be laid at the feet of the political class which would not accept the legitimacy of his election. I was supposed to bow and scrape before Obama but these yahoos can act like spoiled children because Mdme Hagetha didn’t win in 2016.

              It’s gonna get worse. Trust me.

              • Constantinos says

                HI George,
                I appreciate your answers to my post. I don’t think Obama had any dignity. When he was the President of the US, he bowed down before the king of Saudi Arabia. He put his feet up on the furniture in the White House, and wold take his suit jacket off. To me. that’s not classy. When you are working in the White House, sit up straight, properly attired, and with your feet on the floor.
                I never liked George H. W. Bush. I’ll never forget the time he vomited on the Japanese prime minister. I thought he was a total phony. He liked country music. Yeah, right.
                In my opinion, the President of the US should always come from the upper classes. I hate to say this, but the only people I want to see in the nation’s highest office are WASPS. Men like Henry Cabot Lodge. Men with excellent breeding. Me who have served in the US armed forces. I know Marine General John Kelly is a Catholic, but he has dignity, and class. I would have taken Bob Dole over Bill Clinton every day of the week. The President of the US should be highly educated, dignified, classy,and brilliant.

              • Michael Bauman says

                Shoot, Millenials ought to love Trump because he is a “disruptor”

                Disruption is never done politely. His business model is to disrupt in order to reset the parameters of the market. He has carried that over into politics.

                He campaigned as a disruptor and did it so well dismantled the Republican field got the nomination. Then he carried forward thoroughly disrupted Hillary and won the Presidency. The old pols still have not gotten over it or adjusted, nor have those who “don’t like his style”.

                Trump has governed as a disruptor: making waves over here, so he can do something else while his opponents are still reeling. His approach to reforming the judiciary is an example of that. How many appointees has he managed?

                I thought initially that he was simply another populist but I am beginning to think I was incorrect.

                We have had few President’s like him in the past. I can think of only one: Andrew Jackson. In earlier times, Trump might be challenging Pelosi to a duel and that is, in effect what he has done.

                He is a street fighter, not Sugar Ray Robinson or Muhammad Ali.

                Time will tell if he has the will and the strength to prevail or simply become the Kimbo Slice of politics.

              • Mike Myers says

                I don’t know if Trump is going to succeed (so far he’s won far more battles than he’s lost) [lol] but he is most definitely not going to succeed if he doesn’t destroy –utterly–the present political system, which is corrupt and unstable to the core.

                You said in an earlier post that I admire Putin and that he’s a dictator. I do. He is not a dictator. You[] also said that he’s [viz., Putin. Ed.] sowing the seeds of discord here in the West. We’ve been doing that every since Woodstock. Really ever since MK-Ultra back in the late 40s. We are destroying ourselves.

                Sorry for the rant but Putin bears no blame for our own sins. As far as the “discord” he’s sown, that can be laid at the feet of the political class which would not accept the legitimacy of his [!!!. Ed.] election.

                Wow. Noted and filed! Thanks so much for providing these candid specimens revealing the thoughts of your heart, O self-described wannabe Minister of Fear!

                cc: NSA, FBI, FISC, MI-6, & Five Eyes


                • George Michalopulos says

                  Wow! I’m flattered! I didn’t realize you were such a fanboy of the Panopticon State! I guess you never realized that Orwell’s 1984 was meant to be a warning and not a “how-to” book?

              • 100% on although do not like trump for all the reasons u quote and never will but AD for rest so true.
                I want to take it further church wise. Is it not about time our bishops cut out all these title and especially there ridiculous Crown and emperor roses thst look even more stage prop dressing up with a short back and sides and clean shaven or a Metropolitan of France few facilities hair.
                Pre 1453. Bishops had roses nearer to that of priest and no Crown. She we not go back to these.

          • Agree with you re big because totally but that does not preclude. As i do strongly, to condem organs and rigid row of seating and Theatre mentality congregations etc. One does not preclude the other and do we intend to go down the road of western Christianity?
            I would say in fact that those sitting in their pews enjoying their pseudo western kitsch worship are more likely not to challenge the wider reality, but that not point.

        • anonimus per Scorilo says

          I believe Francis’ message would be much better received if he did not mention in each post the bishop of Kabardino-Adyghe who blessed Russian weapons when Russia attacked Georgia.

          Such blessings have been happening during all wars between Orthodox countries (since the wars between the Byzantine Empire and the Bulgarians all the way to the Balkan Wars, WW1 and WW2). There is a prayer for the blessing of the weapons in the Euchologion, and the bishops of every Orthodox country have used it in all wars, regardless of the predominant religion of the enemy.

          Making a fuss out of this and always putting this weak argument in the same post as arguments that have substance and are informative, only weakens the strong arguments.

          • Mike Myers says

            Some might say that to breathe a sigh of relief over objectively sinister blessings, such as those of (modern) weaponry, mainly because a prayer can be found in the Euchologion is to stretch a certain sort of traditionalist piety well past the breaking point. Maybe Francis Frost shares my own sense on the question. Moreover, it might be thought that to cite these pious, or pseudo-pious, precedents is itself not equivalent to making a strong argument, perhaps. Or, at any rate, wicked and evidently heterodox persons, such as myself, might be tempted to think so.

            • Christopher says

              Well, be sure not to cite our Lords objective blessing (sinister?) of the two swords in Luke 22!

            • George Michalopulos says

              Careful there, Mike. The EP blessed Turkish tanks before they went to Syria to do do their, you know, humanitarian work.

              Then again, the pope blessed all those knights and soldiers who went on crusade.

              • anonimus per Scorilo says

                This reminds me of this quote from the Brave Soldier Svejk 🙂

                His Eminence, the Archbishop of Budapest (Gerzas of Szatmar-Budafal) used in his prayers such beautiful sentences as for instance “God bless your bayonets that they may pierce deep into your enemies’ bellies. May the most just Lord direct the artillery fire on to the heads of the enemy staffs. May merciful God grant that all your enemies choke in their own blood from the wounds which you will deal them”

              • An rightfully so! Nazi Balkan butcher Alois Bruner (responsible for the death of half a million Greeks) died as a houseguest of the Assads. Nesselrode sent Uspensky to deHellenize the Antiochians (and almost Jerusalem) eventually causing Michel Aflaq to found the Assad-Saddam Ba’ath party.

              • Mike Myers says

                Why did you censor my reply, in which I propose a dialogue with Christopher on the issue? I analyze things a bit, suggest some focused Bible study followed by a better-informed, hopefully more reasoned, less literal-minded discussion — and you disappear it?


                What a bunch of lame snowflakes! Sad!

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Mike, I am many things. Snowflake is not pne of them.

                  I’ll pass this on to Christopher but speaking for myself I would gladly debate you.

                  • Mike Myers says

                    OK, so where’s my detailed reply to his comment then? It never posted. (Didn’t mean to suggest that Christopher was a snowflake, btw.)

                    I do regard you as a snowflake these days, yes. I was referring to you (another five or so posts I directed to you in the past two or three weeks are no-shows?) but also to others here who blanch and wilt at a bit of harsh criticism and evidence-based rebuttal, to the point that they demand you censor me. Michael the attorney, Fr. Webster on any number of occasions, Gail once last year, and some others.

                    I was a bit snarky with Gail, it’s true, but you did not afford me the opportunity to respond in detail to her reply before you axed me.

                    Incidentally Gail, I was shocked to hear about the harassment and vandalism you suffered last year at your home. I only learned about that after the contretemps between us last year, re: Russiagate. I wrote to George about that, I hope he forwarded it to you.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Mike, sorry to belabor the point but I’ve never come across rightwing snowflakes. RINOs yes, cucks certainly, but not true conservatives.

                      Hell, I’ll even go so far as to say that neocons are no snowflakes

  5. John Sakelaris says

    I just wonder if very many Orthodox in the US even know or care about these matters of church politics.

    • Greatly Saddened says

      I agree. Unfortunately, the laity has been and is passive. It seems, for the most part, as long as there is a Church and Priest available to have their 40 Day Blessings, Baptisms/Christenings, Weddings and Funerals, then as far as they are concerned, all is well!

      As for the so called Church institutions at the Archdiocesan, Metropolis or Parish level. It seems these people are too concerned with losing their position and/or power in these groups to effect any change.

      As long as this malaise or apathy continues, unfortunately nothing will change and things will continue to remain status quo.

  6. The Istanbul Patriarch should have been stripped of its “influence” about 100 years ago when the Freemason and Church divider, Metaxakis, did his damage.

    It has been all downhill ever since.

    PS…those in America who are under Istanbul, will quickly learn what has happened when one they wake up and discover that they are in communion with Rome…..not Orthodoxy.

    • Constantinos says

      Hi Mikhail,
      I don’t mean these comments of mine as a personal attack on you. One thing that amazes me about Orthodoxy is the its obscurantism. Are there no open minded, deep thinkers in Orthodoxy? Where are the Orthodox Nobel Peace Prize winners? Where are the Orthodox Noble Prizes in the hard sciences? They don’t exist. The closest you can come to a brilliant Orthodox Christian is Tesla, and he was an agnostic, while his father was an Orthodox priest.
      There are many Orthodox Christians who believe Seraphim Rose was a saint, yet he was as dumb as a rock. He wrote a couple of dreadfully stupid books such as Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future, and some book about Genesis and the creation of man. How idiotic and stupid can a person be not to believe in evolution. Talk about obscurantist fundamentalism!
      Ecumenical Patriarch Metaxakis was a freemason. So what? The greatest American who ever lived was an active mason right up until his death. In fact, his wife Martha sent a lock of his hair to every Grand Lodge in the US after his death. The second greatest American, Ben Franklin, was the Grandmaster of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. When you knock masonry, you are knocking George Washington. My late, wonderful grandfather, the finest man I have ever known in my life was a thirty third degree mason, active in the Scottish Rite and the York Rite, and also a Shriner. I remember he said to me as a boy,” I hope you and your brothers become Masons someday because it is a wonderful organization. My late grandfather started his own electrical business when he was 19 years old, and it grew to be the largest electrical contracting business in our state. He also had an oil burner business, owned a shoe store, an appliance store, and was a partner with his cousin in a successful restaurant. During his retirement years, he owned 26 cottages called Pilgrim Acres Village on the Atlantic Ocean. Most importantly of all, he was very active in his church, loved the Lord Jesus Christ and was a completely devoted family man. He was everything I want to be. I couldn’t ask for a better role model. His mother died when he was two years old, his father left her, so he was raised by his grandparents.
      Having freemasonry for over thirty years, and having lived with a thirty third degree mason I dare say I know more about the fraternity than everyone else on this forum combined and multiplied. Judge a man by his fruits. If freemasonry produced men like George Washington, Ben Franklin, and my grandfather, I can see the fruits of freemasonry are truly wonderful indeed. Orthodoxy’s hatred of freemasonry is called totalitarians, and religious bigotry. Orthodoxy has hatred of freemasonry in common with Adolph Hitler who as his first act, closed down the lodges, and put the masons to death. Of course, that’s not really surprising since Mt. Athos asked Hitler to protect them, and they prominently displayed a picture of him. When I join the lodge next year, I’m going to dare the Orthodox Church to excommunicate me.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Costa, regardless of metaxakis involvement with Freemasonry, he did incalculable damage to Orthodox unity. If secular leaders are Freemasons that’s one thing. Religious ones should not.

        • Constantinos says

          Hi George,
          I want to thank you for being such a free speech advocate, and your open mindedness. I agree with you that how Metaxakis made the Greek Orthodox Church in America his little fiefdom was wrong. I’ve seen pictures of him, and the thing that really strikes me is his looks. He has to be the most handsome member of the clergy ever.
          A while back our new priest was talking about his involvement in scouting. I thought to myself, ” This guy is teaching kids freemasonry without even knowing it.” As you know, Daniel Beard, the founder of scouting in America, was also an active freemason. The tenets of scouting and freemasonry are one and the same.
          I was a big fan of Jack Kemp and his economic policies. He along with the honorable Senator Sam Nunn were both thirty third degree Masons.
          As you know the fundamentalist nitwit Jack Chick, of Chick Publications infamy, was a notorious anti-mason and liar. It really troubles me when fundamentalist Christians try to destroy the most benevolent fraternity in world history with many laudable, distinguished members. Why would anyone want to destroy this organization that has twenty hospitals for children in the US alone? Instead of trying to destroy them, they should be supported.
          I personally see nothing wrong with a member of the clergy being a freemason because it is absolutely not a religion. I wish the Orthodox Church was as benevolent and kind as the freemasons. How many hospitals does the Orthodox Church in America have free of charge? Oh, that’s right. None! Zero! Nada! This religious intolerance and bigotry is one of the major reasons Christianity has a bad name. Don’t get me wrong! I love the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe there is nothing wrong with being a Christian and a Mason. In fact, it is good.

      • Michael Bauman says

        Costa, your characterization of Fr. Seraphim Rose of blessed memory as “stupid” is simply not accurate. He was in fact quite intelligent, perhaps enormously so. His translation work was quite good, I am told, and extensive.

        You may not like the manner in which he used his intelligence but that is another matter altogether.

        The two best books to judge him by are his first and his last, especially his last “God’s Revelation to the Human Heart.” A transcription of one of the last lectures he gave before his repose.

        He is considered a possible saint because of the effectiveness of his intercessions when asked. A priest of mine once told me that he is particularly efficacious for those who struggle with sexual issues of one kind and other.

        Not only that there are a high proportion of people who came into the Church at the time I did (late 1980s) who were influenced by the witness of Fr Seraphim. A lot of us are still around.

        You may not like or appreciate that witness and it probably does not intersect with the Greek community much at all, but for many of us, he is an example of a U.S. man who struggled with the same worldly mind and temptations as we did. He largely overcame them or at least showed the way to overcome.

        At the time Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future was originally published, there were quite an number of other books out claiming real spirituality was from the aliens. Those folks are still around BTW. It was a significant sub-culture and tempting for many. Too bad the Heaven’s Gate folks did not read and heed his warnings.

        The Soul After Death has never resonated with me although I have many I know, love and honor for whom it did and are faithful Orthodox today. His book: Nihilism: The root of Revolution of the Modern Age was just the opposite. Having read and studied Nietzsche extensively and the history post Nietzsche, I can say that Fr. Seraphim’s diagnosis of the problem is spot on, and that is a common denominator in his writing. The specifics of his solutions usually leave a lot to be desired, IMO.

        My reaction after reading Genesis, Creation and Early man was that I had not realized how deeply embedded philosophical naturalism was in my mind and heart and how that tended to keep me away from a deeper experience and appreciation of the living incarnate God.

        As my parish priest, who encountered Fr. Seraphim personally, has said: Fr. Seraphim was a diligent and sober monk who was untrained in theology. It is the diligent, sober monk part that tends to put Seraphim Rose of blessed memory in the conversation for sainthood. May his memory be eternal.

        If he is revealed to us as a saint, glory to God. If not, Glory be to God. Either way, he had a heart for God and traveled a long way from a very deep darkness by God’s grace and mercy. There are significant cognates between my experience and his. He touched many along the way to turn toward God and His Church–away from the world.
        That is what I celebrate about him and always will.

        May God grant us all mercy.

        • Constantinos says

          Mr. Bauman,
          I wanted to argue with your post because of my natural dislike for the man, but I can’t Your post is excellent, and well thought out. The only argument I can give you is the 2018 Boston Red Sox were one of the greatest teams in MLB history, and they will win the World Series again this year. Three in a row is a dynasty in baseball. So two to go for the nascent dynasty.

          • Michael Bauman says

            I cannot argue with you about the Red Sox but the series proves that baseball is superior to all other team sports. I give you Steve Pearce as the World Series MVP. Mookie Betts, all world during the year, practically disappears in the World Series and yet the Red Sox win the series. J.D Martinez equally all world preforms below expectations in the World Series and yet the Red Sox win as Steve Pearce, a mostly third string utility player who had played in less than one third of the Bosox regular season games outshines them both. Steve Pearce was not even a “glue guy”, he was a roster filler. That was special. The fact that such things occur with some regularity in the World Series makes baseball special. It is a “Damn Yankees” or “Angels in the Outfield moment in real life.

            Steve Pearce, MVP is even better than Nick Foles, a back up QB, becoming the Super Bowl MVP. Nick at least had some impressive credentials in the past as a starter and every football fan knows who he is. Few, even dedicated baseball fans, had heard of Steve Pearce.

      • One thing that amazes me about Orthodoxy is the its obscurantism. Are there no open minded, deep thinkers in Orthodoxy?

        Uh……they’re known as the holy God-bearing Fathers of the Church. You’ve heard of them , eh?

        • Constantinos says

          Hi Mikail,
          After reading your post, I looked up God bearing Fathers of the Church which brought me to a certain web site run by a pompous priest. I read a couple of columns by him; I couldn’t believe the nonsense he was teaching. Another priest called him out as a liar because he was publicly slandering someone with falsehoods.
          What I mean is that Orthodox Christians should ask thoughtful questions without simply accepting them on the priest’s say so. I think there are many Orthodox priests who aren’t very bright, and they should be called out when they are frequently wrong.
          The only Orthodox Christian I can think of who was truly brilliant is Einstein’s first wife. She was a brilliant physicist. Tesla was a genius, but he left Orthodoxy and became an agnostic. There was another genius Orthodox physicist, but he too left the Orthodox faith, and became an agnostic.
          I haven’t seen any signs before entering church that say, ” leave your brains at the door” I believe in the Japanese principle of Kaizen ( continuous improvement and efficiency).
          To me, some of the things we Orthodox Christians bicker over are less than significant such as calendars, organs and pews. Many of these Orthodox prelates are nothing more than bloviating blowhards filled with their own sense of self importance, entitlement, arrogance and egotism. These things ought not to be. There are many abusive priest out there, and we must be ever vigilant.

          • Constantinos: “These tithing pimp priests only want to build monuments to their pride, ego, and vanity. They want to go to clergy meetings and brag about how much they are accomplishing on the backs of the laity. These pimps are invariably rude, and condescending when the sheeple dare to question their doctrine. ”

            Very harsh words. Either way, what do you question in “their doctrine”?

            • Constantinos says

              Very harsh words indeed, and I mean every one of them. I was referring to their tithing shakedown which is an outright scam. These tithing pimps are liars and false teachers. When it comes to money, I pay no attention to them. I don’t listen to their demagoguery.

          • Michael Bauman says

            Constantinos, I fear you have quite a shallow understanding of the nature of the Church.

            Ignoring the egregious and grating intellectual flatulance of most of your post let us consider calendars, organs and pews and what each says about the nature of God of ourselves and our inter-relationship. They are not secondary trivial concerns.

            Calendar: part of the function of the Church is to demonstrate and participate in “the faith that established the universe.” To demonstrate and participate in the redeeming of time which is inculded in the ultimate end of God’s mercy and sacrifice. How that is ordered and expressed physically in a calendar is important. Not to mention the cruel and tryannical manner in which the new calendar was imposed by those wanting and expecting to control us as “sheeple”

            Organs: a capella music is essential to the redemption of our souls. Artificial instruments get in the way and can totally alter the dynamic of worship from one of offering up “thine own of thing own”(our God made voices) to one where we humans own and control the event or worse make us into mere spectators rather than participants. Instrumental and specialist music is a symptom of the debased clericalism which you decry.

            Pews: you don’t want to be a “sheeple”? Get rid of pews which become like cattle pens and milking stalls seriously inhibiting the ability of humans to praise God with all of our faculties together with our brothers and sisters. They are tools of regimentation, comfort and control that does not befit a people of God come together to give God Glory and participate in His life.

            So, the traditional absence of pews, instrumental music and adherence to a traditional calendar each allows for a freedom of thought and action you praise while the innovations in fact restrict such God given freedom.

            A word on abusive priests: They are a fact of life in the Church. Frankly they are to be expected. We need to be able to recognize them and learn to respond well.

            My late wife, my son and I were Chrismated by one and he was our pastor for the first seven years we were Orthodox. He should never have been ordained(it crushed his soul). He did real and lasting harm to me, my late wife and my son as well as the entire parish and other people. Nonetheless, I have, by God’s mercy, come to recognize and appreciate that that priest did more to bring me closer to God than most other people I have known. It was no accident that I was received into the Church by his hands. I truly thank God for him and pray for his salvation.

            Priests are fully human but have a grace given by God that can and is transmitted even in their sins and other failures. A genuine longing for God that includes honoring the priesthood bin humility does a lot to draw that grace through them in spite of themselves. Proverbs 25:22 as well as Paul’s instruction to pray for those who abuse you and much else in the Bible point this out.

            • Constantinos says

              Mr. Bauman,
              I expect better than this insulting twaddle from you. Did not King David praise God with musical instruments? Is not the Gregorian Calendar more accurate than the Julian Calendar? As far as pews go, I suffer from painful arthritis; standing is so painful I cannot properly worship God. Have some compassion for us elderly people.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Costa, David did as you say. He is both prophet and saint. But he wasn’t infallible?

                Michael is very assertive in his comments on pews and organs but having experienced worship in both settings, I can honestly say that you can’t beat authentic Orthodox worship.

                That doesnt mean there are no saints in pew-and-organ churches.

                • Nikos stone says

                  Thank you. I as u know make these points often and thought about it as i attended liturgy today here in Bulgaria with a pulled back muscle from gym and needed to sit for a while on one of the chairs in the clumps of chairs provided and thinking how the space of the Church and THE HUMAN VOICE ALONE, change the dynamics to prayer . And here in Bulgaria I am lucky to have Slav polyphony and byzantine chant in same liturgy and to know the people and clergy understand this.

              • Michael Bauman says

                There are plenty of places to sit in every parish I have been in where there were not pews including George’s. That is a bogus argument. However even though I sit for the similar reasons as you, it is different. Much easier to do what I can in physical worship than locked in a pew.

                King David used instruments outside the temple. I can think of nothing that mentions anything about liturgical worship with instruments but I could be wrong.

                Empirical accuracy is not the issue with the calendar.

                In any case you are missing the point.

                • Exactly. This type of quite frankly outdated music, 19c and rigid row of pews is something many western churches moving away from to have that freedom in church worship that we had/have? And in danger of losing. This is, as Priestly appearance has deeper meaning than at first seems. One can regard the organ and choir as a musical version of bad italianate kitsch icons. Certainly crap western music even. Even at the Tikey Zes high end! His liturgy has some sublime moments as the Sanctus and cherubic hymn , as music, but alot of boring banality also.

                  The descrepancy between outward form and inner meaning is classic catholicism down to one hour Communion fast etc. It has been commented on so often by for instance Fr Alexander Elchaninov in his diary about appearance of the priest and Sergei Fudel in his wonderful little book Light out of darkness. We all understand that in USA borgeoise communities desparate to fit in wanted an outward westernization in clerics and worship and given that many leading the greek communities a hundred so yrs ago were fully paid up to this along Metaxakis of blessed memory. Outward appearance reflects inwardly.
                  Of course rason or beard does not make a priest and as i have stated there were many good priests with a shaven face and suit but this is like weather and climate arguement and setting up straw man to get knocked down with And would it not be farciacal when we live in age that needs fasting more than ever, at every level, to reduce it..??and rest. I understood in my stay in USA around Easter time that fasting was totally out of their even secular orbit. This cannot be said as much of uk.

                  From UK two facts worth relating. Generally the cypriot are much more conservatives than mainlamd Greeks and the earlier Archbishop Athenagoras Kokinakis from USA(1963-79) found opposition to his push for shaven clergy and I don’t think he ever dared, even in London St Sophia bayswater Cathedral which very greek with polyphony as well as byzantine chant, to try the harmonium trick
                  A few yrs ago an english friend wanted to see inside St Sophia in London and I took him. Coming out the door was a man in trendy suit and a day’ s stubble, also I have to be blunt, how shall we say? very unmasculine feel, let’s leave it at that.,about him. I asked him if the priest was in the Church to which he said that he was the priest!!!. I explained to friend who looked at him and said ‘Mate you are not a greek priest ‘ ! I rest my case.
                  The other fact is of the Romanian priest in Southampton uk of New Parish who works as engineer, lovely man and priest, married man, and has a full beard, neat and hair.

                  It is a Pity we have to dwell on all this but if we did not the EP types cannot wait to jump on a Orthodox vatican 2 type journey. Pity they fifty odd yrs too late,but that never stopped them. It is us Greeks but not totally, who are the main culprits Hopefully things changing now.

                • ‘How important clothes are A whole complex of feelings, ideas, movements of the soul, is linked to clothes, to uniform. In particular, i feel thst the priest must not wear civilian clothes, When he removes his Priestly gab ( to raso) , he inevitably acquires an ‘ unpriestly ‘ feeling, and in some message betrayal his priesthood. FR Alexander Elchaninov, Diary of a Russian Priest +1934 Paris France.
                  He obviously is not cririsising those in former USSR etc who in order to be a priest had to hide.
                  Interesting same in hospitals with nurses and doctors.

              • Constantinos: “Did not King David praise God with musical instruments?”

                He did it out of personal enthusiasm, yet he did not do it to establish prayer rule.

                Constantinos: “Is not the Gregorian Calendar more accurate than the Julian Calendar?”

                Actually it is not. It is adjusted better to the seasons of the years. Yet, the axis of the Earth is slowly wobbling, so seasons drift in relation to the astronomical year.

                Either way, the Julian Church Calendar is a sacred “Icon of Time”. Older Jewish calendar was/is not focused on astronomical accuracy or practical utility, for a good reason.

                Constantinos: “As far as pews go, I suffer from painful arthritis; standing is so painful I cannot properly worship God.”

                That is why we have chairs or benches on the side, for the infirm, weak or simply tired. I use them from time to time.

                • Zelas CLondistras says

                  When the Flushing church had organs and several choirs, we sent kids to Stanford and Oxford, but after Passias and Catsanos used it as Ephaim’s lunching pad in the 1980s, all they produce is garage mechanics and computer wire repair men.

                  • I am not quite sure what u getting at there. Interesting correlation. Needs a research study.
                    Although I have no time for the other type of fanatics either. They deserve each other bro

              • Michael Bauman says

                Constantinos, I have two questions: are the Red Sox going to repeat and will the Kansas City Royals while loosing 100 games manage to set the MLB record for most stolen bases in a season seeing as how they have 5 of the top ten speed guys in MLB on their roster. The modern record is 341 by the Ricky Henderson let As in 1976.

                • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

                  Michael, as a long-time citizen of Red Sox Nation ( since 1967), I can answer your first question. Since no MLB team in this century has repeated as World Series Champions, it is probably unlikely that the Bosox will repeat in 2019. But no one knows for sure: “that’s why they play the games”!

                  But that will not stop Red Sox Nation from hoping that the Bosox will snag their fifth (that’s right, FIFTH) World Series Championship in 16 years. After the 86-year “Time of Troubles” for the Bosox, the 21st century has been much kinder and gentler.

                  Meanwhile the Evil Empire continues to languish with only one WS Championship in this century (2019). The one in 2000 occurred, as anyone knows who counts the decades and centuries properly, in the 20th century.

            • Nikos stone says

              Thank you. I as u know make these points often and thought about it as i attended liturgy today here in Bulgaria with a pulled back muscle from gym and needed to sit for a while on one of the chairs in the clumps of chairs provided and thinking how the space of the Church and THE HUMAN VOICE ALONE, change the dynamics to prayer . And here in Bulgaria I am lucky to have Slav polyphony and byzantine chant in same liturgy and to know the people and clergy understand this.

            • 100% on although do not like trump for all the reasons u quote and never will but AD for rest so true.
              I want to take it further church wise. Is it not about time our bishops cut out all these title and especially there ridiculous Crown and emperor roses thst look even more stage prop dressing up with a short back and sides and clean shaven or a Metropolitan of France few facilities hair.
              Pre 1453. Bishops had roses nearer to that of priest and no Crown. She we not go back to these.

        • Constantinos says

          Hi George,
          After Mikail replied to my post, I visited a web site run by a nameless, shyster priest. In one of his articles, he was preaching the tithing scam. I have nothing but contempt for these wolves in sheep’s clothing for insulting our intelligence. These tithing pimp priests only want to build monuments to their pride, ego, and vanity. They want to go to clergy meetings and brag about how much they are accomplishing on the backs of the laity. These pimps are invariably rude, and condescending when the sheeple dare to question their doctrine. One such braggadocious, rude, arrogant priest would sometimes post on this forum.
          Okay, their stupid, insipid argument goes like this; all your money belongs to God. Really! Well, I suggest this: refuse to pay your taxes and say it all belongs to God. Guess what! That silly argument will land a person in prison for tax evasion. There are many ways to give to God other than paying tithes to these greed heads. Many worthy local charities need help who are doing better work than these lazy, greedy priests.
          Your first fruits already go to the federal, state,and local governments in the form of burdensome taxes. We already pay way more than ten percent in income taxes, estate taxes, social security taxes, taxes on “unearned income,” capital gains taxes. taxes on your automobiles, sales taxes, and property taxes. To preach that a person has to give a tenth of his or her gross income is idiotic, extreme cruelty. Wake up, sheeple! These greed heads don’t care about you. All they want is your money, and they will use any devious means to get their greedy hands on it. If you have to send your wife out to work, you simply can’t afford to tithe. If you are living paycheck to paycheck, you can’t afford to tithe. Take care of your family first. It’s getting so I can’t stand priests for their stupidity, arrogance, and abusive attitudes toward the laity. There are a lot of wolve’s in sheep’s clothing, and many of them have fancy titles and wear ornate vestments. That’s why I advocate brain building so Orthodox Christians can think logically, and use the mind God gave them.

          • Constantinos says

            Dear George,
            You are a man of great integrity, class and dignity. That’s why your forum is so good. My spiritual father said you do a great job,and I wholeheartedly concur.
            In any event, I was reading an article on Orthodoxinfo, and came to the realization of what label I can give myself. I am not a traditional Orthodox. No, I am a modernist Orthodox. And you know something? I’m honored to wear that label. May God bless the modernist Orthodox!

  7. Joseph Lipper says

    Patriarch Bartholomew is being quite forthright that he believes Ukrainian autocephaly will need a future council to ultimately ratify. Yes, he acted unilaterally, but only so that a counciliar agreement could be found later. He’s basically put Ukrainian autocephaly on the top agenda for the next council.

    Further, he admits that his actions repudiate the 1993 Pre-conciliar autocephaly procedure. That 1993 autocephaly procedure has not yet been ratified at a council. (It was not ratified at Crete in deference to Russia, because Russia requested it be dropped from the Crete Council.)

  8. Michael Bauman says

    To all:

    I was just reading in Fr. Lawrence Farley’s great little book: “The Christian Old Testament”. In Chapter 3 he simply details the typology of the Nation of Israel to the Church. It is a brief, clear and simple explanation. His analysis is significant, IMO, in addressing the current situation in the Church with the many conflicts concerning the EP. What follows are not Fr. Lawrence’s conclusions but mine. I pray I do not do violence to his marvelous little book.

    Fr. Lawrence makes the point that Biblically, the unity of the Nation of Israel was of supreme importance over the needs and desires of constituent tribes. Disturbing the unity and going one’s own way in preference to one’s tribe was severely punished. After God made David King, those who refused to follow him were cut off and disappeared in history.

    We Orthodox have only one King, our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ. He is head of the Church. Basic stuff. However, our earthly polity is fraternal, collegial. We are a confederation of “tribes” as it were each with our own titular sub-heads. Such a polity is enormously challenging in the world in which power is seen as a centripetal force and must be concentrated in as few hands as possible. The Romans made peace with the world in that respect through the institution of the Papacy. Of course, the other direction that is likely is the centrifugal force of anarchy and “everyone going his own way” which is equally worldly. The Reformation made that polity quite popular in both religious and non-religious government to our great detriment.

    The Nation of Israel had its own struggle with those competing forces and implored God to grant them a king as everyone else had. God reluctantly did so but in so doing He established the foundation for the Incarnation and rule of His Son. Once the Kingship of Christ is acknowledged and we submit to it, any other ‘king’ in the Church is a terrible act of defiance and revolt, IMO.

    So, who is in revolt besides the usual revolt of our own sinfulness? It seems clear to me that the EP is in revolt and has been since at least the time of Metaxakis.

    Fr. Lawrence makes the further point that the Church is not a national entity, not really. That is an observation to ponder. My first approach is to realized the our King rules all and the nations are each and everyone called to recognize that and submit themselves for God is with us!

    That cannot be even approached until we put down our misapprehension of the nature of history and our place in it. We are not in control of it. History is not linear, not dialectic, not progressive, not a complex system of causes and effects—none of that. Real history is providential – completely and always a gift from God. We mostly muck up because of our sin. We cannot fix it, we cannot control it. It is neither possible nor our job.

    Repentance and obedience to the order of God (not laws BTW) is the only “fix”. Repent, give glory to God for all things and accept His gifts.

    All political ideology based on perverted understandings of history as non-providential assumes wrongly that we are in control, we should be in control and we can make things better.

    Human beings are perverse in our desire to fix things and improve them apart from God when we are only called to do two things: Love God with all our heart, mind and strength and love our neighbors as ourselves. We cannot serve two masters.

    The two initial commandments God gave us recorded in Genesis: Dress and keep the earth. Be fruitful and multiply can only be fulfilled in the greater commandments given to us by Jesus Christ. We Christians, especially in our public dealings with one another are astoundingly bad at being obedient to the love and service our King commands of us. It is even worse in the venue of so-called ‘secular’ politics. Thus our nations and our national churches become one after another unfruitful or worse are cut off.

    The gates of hell will not prevail against the Church no matter how hard we try to act like Judas. Even if she is betrayed once again to the Cross (and which of us is not complicit), the Resurrection is the reality trampling down death by death and bestowing life.
    All things must pass into the darkness of dusty death, but God will arise and make all things new.

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      All true. One must still go out and master a trade or profession, build and support a family, and compete vigorously in this sad and fallen world, controlling things to the extent one can and recognizing when one cannot.

  9. God has a kingdom. The kingdom of God is a major theme in the New Testament, one Jesus referred to more than one hundred times.

    The Bible also speaks of another kingdom, a domain of darkness. The clash between the kingdom of God, and this renegade kingdom is known as spiritual warfare. As members of the kingdom of God, all Christians are unavoidably involved in the conflict-each one of us is commanded to engage in active resistance. Resistance requires knowing your enemy. And knowing your enemy begins with recognizing your enemy’s leader.

  10. Mike, sorry to belabor the point but I’ve never come across rightwing snowflakes. RINOs yes, cucks certainly, but not true conservatives.

    Hell, I’ll even go so far as to say that neocons are no snowflakes

    The term’s fuzzy. And I don’t think it really has the partisan specificity your set seems to assume of it, since it came out of “Fight Club” and T. Derden was sub-political, as you must know. A nihilist, what we’d find if we scratched that veneer off most of you.

    But yeah, I think I see your point. Take these FOX media personalities as examples of what you might be getting at: Bill O’Reilly, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Alex Jones. Politicos like Jim Jordan, Matt Gaetz, Donald Trump! Not brittle at all! Deep reservoirs of laconic poise and gravitas there. Rocks all of unflappable personal integrity cum stately self-possession. Dignity. Righteousness.

    You’re the expert, seeing that you’ve contrived to smuggle three presumably high-precision slurs into one sentence up there. So I’ll consult you: wouldn’t all of them be malafide “true conservatives” a la George? Can a blood test ID cucks & RINOs? How about a RWNJ Roget’s to help word guys like me with the nuances? Or maybe some official brown refugee child-jailing, pediatric hospital-bombing, reputation-trashing, government agency- & alliance-sabotaging, discourse-poisoning, lie-loving metric of the inside-out-and-inverted spirituality I could refer to for discerning honest-to-Vova, real right-wingers?

    • George Michalopulos says

      Totally missing the point. Conservatives when they fight back are nit being “brittle” at all.

      You see, in the cosmology of the left, the duty of the conservative is to simply fold, grab his ankles and hope for a kiss and cigarette afterwards. In other words, accept the terms of the debate.

      We stopped doing that under Goldwater. Or at least that’s when we stopped being passive. Our assertiveness has only grown since then. In fact, I dare say that nobody on the left is morally or intellectually superior at all (as a leftist). I’ll cut Noam Chomsky some slack but not much.

      Regardless, the fact that Hannity, O’Reilly, et al fight back is a wonderment to you.

      • Mike Myers says

        Yeah, whatever George. Anyway, stop censoring my posts? Francis Frost’s and Nate’s too? That would be swell.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Hopefully, all leftists will keep on believing that conservatives should never defend themselves.

          For the record, Francis is not censored, he’s been deplatformed because he was a verbose, tiresome Johnny One-note.

          I don’t censor anybody as I don’t have the time to do so. As I’ve said a million times, if a commentator is scabrous, inflammatory and/or says something defamatory, then they go right to spam.

          • Mike Myers says

            I don’t censor anybody as I don’t have the time to do so. As I’ve said a million times, if a commentator is scabrous, inflammatory and/or says something defamatory, then they go right to spam.

            “Scabrous” is another one of those technical terms with private meanings unique to George’s private lexicon, along with “conservative,” “snowflake,” “censor” and “Christian,” so I’m not too clear on what sort of posts would fall into that category. Inflammatory and defamatory are less fuzzy. But I’m a bit puzzled lately. Puzzled because this, this and this somehow made it through George’s highly principled system. Let’s see if we can discover any pattern in who passes, and who fails, George’s lately lofty standards:

            Mr. Misha: Russia should declare war on these vermin and invade. That is really the only answer.

            “Peter”:Wise words, Misha. As you state, unless these people, Orthodox or not, must be disposed off. It is the only solution for such people. Putin is our only solution, as no one else has the power or will to correct this mess.

            “Peter”: When he uses force to dispose the heretics in Ukraine, he will be seen as a great leader of Orthodoxy, and all other Orthodox churches, except corrupt Greeks will follow behind his divine wisdom.

            Putin need not even worry of Trump. Trump who can’t even out maneuver a 80 year old congresswomen from preventing his wall. Trump who could not build wall when he had both houses. Putin is a real man who does not need to pay women for sex, nor ask permission politically, to do as he wishes.

            George: For the record, Francis is not censored, he’s been deplatformed because he was a verbose, tiresome Johnny One-note.

            I think the first two speak for themselves. But about that last one: depending on the nature of the “scabrous” bar, I’d swear it slammed right past George’s trifecta. Just me?

            Very suspicious that Michalopulos deplatforms Francis Frost for his arguably somewhat insistent expressions of outrage about Putin’s war crimes in (Orthodox) Georgia and Ukraine. But he has no problem lending his soapbox to these two sinister creeps. And, as we all know, Mr. Misha has been saying similar things on this blog for years. And though his fanboy “Peter” is just a One-Note-Johnny-Come-Lately, what could be more obvious than the fact that his note is one that George favors, and has done for years, demonstrably.

            If it bleeds it leads, eh George? Your time’s up.