“Unity with Diversity”

Elder Philotheos, of blessed memory, passed 41 years ago in 1980.  He is not yet recognized as a saint but we expect that to happen in God’s time.

The following is from our friends at Orthodox Christian Information Center where you can find a wealth of information about the Church.  (See link below.)

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Excerpt:  “The union pursued on both sides [Pope Francis & Patriarch Bartholomew] cannot be a true union, nor one that is permanent or stable, since it is not based upon unity of doctrine. It is quite clear that since inner union is impossible, external union is impossible also—that is, any rapprochement of the two churches without dogmatic unity in such a way that the followers of the one could partake of the mysteries from priests of the other without hesitation. This external union, which is based upon religious indifference, will have as its result not true union, but the confusion of the churches. The Eastern Church has never permitted, nor will it ever be able to permit, her members to receive the pseudo-mysteries and the (supposed) grace of the Holy Spirit from the clerics of a heterodox church. Whoever thinks otherwise is assuredly not an Orthodox Christian.” 

A Desperate Appeal by the Elder Philotheos

by St. Philotheos Zervakos

Translator’s Preface: The author of this appeal is the best-known father-confessor and preacher of Greece—truly, a new St. Cosmas of Aitolia—who has traversed Greece on foot countless times in his 67 years of priesthood, being now in his 97th year. His spiritual children number in the thousands, not only in Greece, but in the United States, Australia, Europe, and other parts of the world as well. A truly apostolic man filled with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, he is known especially for exorcising demons and giving spiritual direction. According to report, he has worked many miracles. He most vividly prophesied the destruction of Asia Minor in the early twenties, at a time when no one could believe what he was saying. Therefore the terribleness of his utterance in the present letter (p. 20), in which he foresees the terrible fall of the Ecumenical Patriarch if he does not repent.

Until recently Father Philotheos was many times invited by both Patriarch Athenagoras and Archbishop Iakovos to visit Constantinople and the United States in order to hear confessions and to preach. On all occasions he refused, saying that he did not wish to concelebrate with shaven clergy who do not respect the traditions of the Church. Many times he has written his spiritual children, especially in the United States, to cease attending the churches of the Greek Archdiocese, and to attend rather the churches of the Russian Church Outside of Russia. He has written numerous books and articles, among which are: A Great and Marvelous Pilgrimage to the Holy Land and Mount Sinai, The Wayfarer (his autobiography), Sacred War Against Blasphemy, and The Errors of Apostolos Makrakis.

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FROM SOME TIME PAST I had purposed to write to Your All Holiness because of Your hasty and unhesitating dealing toward a union of the Orthodox Eastern Church with the evil-doctrined Papacy.

I did not write to You, because illustrious hierarchs, elect clerics, most pious professors and theologians, virtuous monks, learned, informed laymen have written clearly against this false union pursued in so hasty and servile a manner. [1]

I had hoped that the sufferings which have come from the sins of all us Greeks—both clergy and lay, men and women, small and great—would have brought You to Your senses, and chat You would have diverted Your audacious and (to the Orthodox Church) most soul-harming resolution into an effort to unite the divided portions of the Orthodox Church in Greece. One would have expected that the Primate of Greek Orthodoxy would have first preached repentance to all of the Orthodox Church and to the sinful Greek people; that he would have given the sign for a return to the All-Ruler; and that he would call for a union and friendship with the most loving—but also most just—Heavenly Father, from Whom, as disobedient and ungrateful despisers of His Divine commandments and precepts, we have broken away and are become, instead of His friends, His enemies. Likewise, one would have expected that You would have taken care to restore the unity of our Church from the division and schism caused by that thoughtless, pointless, untimely and diabolical innovation—the introduction of the Gregorian (Papal) Calendar by Your Masonic predecessor, Meletios Metaxakis, who misled the then Archbishop of Athens, Chrysostom Papadopoulos.

Unfortunately not, however. Not only did You have no provision and no concern for the above-mentioned primary needs and similar urgent sacred matters that should take precedence over every other endeavor, but instead, to the strengthening and widening of the schism within the Church of Greece, You hasten with swift step and slavish mind to the fulfillment of Your first dubious decision—that is, toward false union with the falsely-infallible Pontiff who summoned You, as someone in error, to return to the Papal fold.

It is precisely because I see that the Union above every other union—that is, the essential Union and Friendship with the Triune God—does not concern You (nor does the reestablishment of the unity of the divided and much-suffering Greek Orthodox Church) that I am obliged to write You, fearing lest I shall sin if I keep silent and do not profess the truth.

See, Your All-Holiness, how by means of dissension the wolf seizes and scatters the sheep of Your own flock which the Lord has entrusted unto You and for which He shed His Blood. And You have no concern for the sheep. You are only concerned at all cost to achieve union and friendship with—and Your own and Your flock’s submission to—the Pope.

But take care, Your All-Holiness, because the good and rational sheep of Christ’s flock will not follow You, in accordance with the word of the Gospel: And a stranger they will not fol1ow, but will flee from him… (St. John 10:5). Those that will follow You will be such as are outside of the fold of Christ, who are of Papal and Luthero-Calvinistic sheep pens, those whose minds are heterodox.

The first to speak already were the most righteous Fathers of the Holy Mountain, who gave the watchword, the good and honorable example, in imitation of their holy Orthodox Fathers who did not hearken to that other voice like Yours—that is, to the voice of the alien Latinizer, the Patriarch John Beccos. [2] Those Fathers preferred death to false union. And not only do the present Athonite Fathers not follow You, they have even ceased to commemorate You in the Divine services. You must know, Your All-Holiness, that there are not only the Holy Mountain Fathers, but also myriads of other Greek clergy and lay people, genuine Orthodox, some of whom have disavowed You and others who are ready to disavow You in so far as You persist in devious and deliberate false union.

By Your unconsidered and impatient endeavor You have scandalized myriads of souls of elect Orthodox Christians. If it is better for him who has scandalized one of the least of these little ones to hang a millstone upon his neck and be sunk in the depths of the sea (St. Matthew 18:6), then what, Your All-Holiness, will be the punishment for Your sin? For You have scandalized not only one of the least, but myriads of the great—bishops, priests, priestmonks, monks, theologians, both men and women.

Understand this truth that others also have pointed out to You. Before anything else, it is Your job to bring peace and unity to the Orthodox Church, which has been literally shaken by the innovation [the Gregorian Calendar] which—in a manner that was anarchical and without the agreement of all Orthodox Churches—was introduced into the Church of Greece in the year 1924; an innovation that overturned the ecclesiastical order and Tradition established from ages past, that brought about dissensions and divisions, that destroyed unity of worship and created a religious schism among Orthodox everywhere. First take away this schism, and then turn toward the West. Then, and only then, open the portals of the Orthodox Church, and with pure and unfeigned love say unto the Pope and to the heretics, “You desire union? We also desire it and long for it ardently. Behold, we receive you gladly once you have previously cast off your evil doctrines and errors and cast away all that is against the sacred Canons and patristic Traditions of the seven Holy Ecumenical Councils.”

But, Your All-Holiness, nowhere do we have any indication that the Church of Rome has clarified her position regarding rapprochement with the Orthodox Church and the other Christian confessions. To the contrary, rather, we have occasion and cause to believe unwaveringly that the Papists persist stubbornly and unchangingly in their evil doctrines and arbitrariness. Even today they announce categorically and unblushingly preach that “Union of Christianity means nothing else but submission to Rome, to the sole Vicar of Christ on earth,” and that “the Primacy and the Infallibility are not ecclesiological decrees which the Church can invalidate, but dogmas that no one can shake” (Catholike, the Roman Catholic newspaper of Athens, Oct. 16, 1963); and furthermore that “the Catholic Church is not about to sacrifice any of her truths”— say rather, her errors. To what end, therefore, is this ostentatious diligence on the part of the Orthodox? “The union pursued on both sides cannot be a true union, nor one that is permanent or stable, since it is not based upon unity of doctrine. It is quite clear that since inner union is impossible, external union is impossible also—that is, any rapprochement of the two churches without dogmatic unity in such a way that the followers of the one could partake of the mysteries from priests of the other without hesitation. This external union, which is based upon religious indifference, will have as its result not true union, but the confusion of the churches. The Eastern Church has never permitted, nor will it ever be able to permit, her members to receive the pseudo-mysteries and the (supposed) grace of the Holy Spirit from the clerics of a heterodox church. Whoever thinks otherwise is assuredly not an Orthodox Christian. ” [3]

But the whole subject has been made marvelously and superbly clear, leaving no doubt whatever, by St. Nectarios of Pentapolis [4] in his God-enlightened book, An Historical Study Concerning the Causes of the Schism… Concerning the Impossibility or Possibility of Union. It would be most beneficial and to the enlightenment of the faithful if we quote the text verbatim. The Saint says on page 9: “The terms of union are such that they render the sought-for union impossible, because they have no point of contact. Each seeks from the other nothing more nor less than the denial of itself and the basic principles upon which the whole structure of the church is founded. For on the one hand, the Papal church is based on the primacy of the Pope according to their understanding of this point; and on the other, the Eastern Church is founded upon the Ecumenical Councils. Because of this, the terms of union brought forward by either side are impossible of acceptance since they overturn the churches from their very foundations. Hence the ineffectiveness of any concessions either side can make. The primacy of honor which is given by the Eastern Church to the Pope is a useless concession because it lacks the power to hold the fabric of the Western Church together. The concessions given by the Pope to the Eastern Church—that is, her remaining in her own dogmas, customs and disciplines—are not in the least considered as “concessions” by her but as legitimate in themselves, since they are founded on the Canons of the Church, for which reason alone she abides in them. But she demands also that the Pope himself with all the Western Church return to her bosom, renouncing their former life, and come in repentance to her. Therefore the apparent concessions have no meaning whatever, since they are not actually concessions. For union to come about, it is necessary that the concessions remove the main causes of separation. The concessions will truly be such when the Pope gives up his own ways, and not when he simply tolerates those things that have been well-established in the Church. Since the main causes of the separation remain as such, the churches persist in their own ways, and union is impossible. For union to be established, it must be made secure upon the same principle. Otherwise every labor is vain.”

Let there be union, Your All-Holiness, but in the way Christ wishes it: far from every worldly purpose and every compromise. Your desire regarding the evil-doctrined Papal church should be an Apostolic desire, a God-bearing and holy desire. Because, as the sacred Canons proclaim: “The things which have been transmitted in Orthodoxy are not ‘Yea and Nay,’ but they are ‘Yea’ in truth; and they remain unbroken and unshaken unto eternity.” Concerning the middle way of compromise, St. Mark Evgenikos said that not even the idea of it should deceive anyone, because between two opposite doctrines a true middle way of compromise cannot exist. “For these reasons, those who proclaim the middle way of compromise and teach that there is nothing stable or definite and certain, but like hypocrites by means of concessions adapt and waver between each other’s opinions, must be avoided. Neither say, Your All-Holiness, that we are pursuing merely an external rapprochement and unity for the formation of a united front of love against hunger, against misfortune, against atheism, against Communism, against war, etc., since union must first be a triumph of truth, and then a triumph of love which springs forth from the unity of faith. And again, neither under the cover of achieving peace should You endeavor as You do, since as that great defender of Orthodoxy, St. Mark Evgenikos, says again, “It is impossible to restore peace if the cause of the schism is not previously removed, and the Pope, who is declared to be equal to God, does not come to self-realization.”

Your All-Holiness, the whole history of the efforts for union, from 867 (and especially from 1054) and onward, assures us that the West has always offered to the East the longed-for union of the churches in order to pursue unadmitted Papal plans for the submission of the Orthodox Eastern Church. Furthermore, we are made even more hesitant by the lamentable face that in our midst there exists—as there ought not—the Unia, which, according to the ever-memorable Chrysostom Papadopoulos, “craftily seeks to lead the people into Papism and gradually and imperceptibly to Latinize them.” Since it is precisely because of their deceitful posture that the Uniates poison the relations between the two churches, You, Your All-Holiness, should have laid down as a primary condition for union the immediate disbanding of the Unia.

Of course, no true Orthodox Christian, cleric or layman, remains unmoved by the Christ-desired blessing of union as long as deceit and shameful enslavement are not hidden beneath its most sweet name. But a more serious study of the situation as it has taken shape during ten centuries of schism and complete separation, proves that matters are not so simple that with a mere dialogue in the hallways of the Lateran Palace we shall be able to achieve the longed-for union. And a dialogue on equal terms, at this moment being belied by the facts, is shown to be a utopian fantasy. The Western Church must take not merely steps, but giant leaps, in order to reach the place where it formerly stood as a sister to the Eastern Church. Otherwise, if the Church of Rome continues to persist in the principles of Papism and seeks through various means to extend her dominion over the whole ecumene, swallowing and assimilating all, it would be utter folly for us Orthodox to open discussions with men who have no intention of moving from their positions—not even in the slightest—but on the contrary show tendencies to swallow up all the other churches. The healthy and incorrupt conscience of the Orthodox rejects such purposeless and vain discussions.

Take heed, Your All-Holiness, lest with Your untimely endeavors You tear the Church asunder and divide the Orthodox even more than they are divided. Do You take the responsibility for breaking up the unity of the Greek people and shattering their spiritual bonds with the other Orthodox? Why should You force the Holy Mountain Fathers, or five to ten Metropolitans of Greece, to split the Church tomorrow in order to preserve her from an untimely “union”? What do You think You have achieved by Your unique,” but wholly uncanonical and unprecedented meeting with the Bishop of Rome? Most simply, You strengthened the Latin position on the schism. And what did Your melodramatic, far-fetched salutation, Your clinging embraces, and Your uncanonical exchange of gifts achieve? Precisely to increase the danger—the danger that the awareness the faithful now have that Papists are heretics will be blunted. Dialogue, prayers together, receiving of gifts, and “liberalizing” innovations are unforgivable according to Orthodox prescription, because they adulterate and change what has been transmitted through the holy Apostles, the holy Fathers, and the Ecumenical and Local Councils. You have infringed on those things “in which it is not permitted to add nor to subtract.” And how is it that the contents of page 929 of the second volume of the Tome of Union escape Your attention and do not terrify You?—that is: Unto those who disdain the sacred and divine Canons of our sacred Fathers who had the oversight of the Ho1y Church, which adorn the whole manner of Christian life and guide all to divine reverence: ANATHEMA.

All Your endeavors (and especially chose inadmissible encounters, which do not bear looking into, with the spiritual heads of the “churches”), bring only confusion and turmoil. No, Your All-Holiness; do not “lead us into an evil captivity, and do not aim to drag us down into the Babylon of Western customs and dogmas.” [5] Do not; because You will meet resistance. Glory be to God, there exist in this land of martyrdom a love of Orthodoxy and a spirit of resistance. Like an ocean wave, Orthodox thought will overwhelm and sink Your skiff on its course toward a servile, anti-Christ union (submission) with the superheresy of Papism. Florence shall never live again in any form whatsoever. We will tolerate no kind of betrayal. The Greek people, a people who has once given birth to many like St. Photios, Patriarch Michael Cerularios, and St. Mark Evgenikos, will not tolerate betrayal. God has swept away the betrayers.

Abide in the Apostolic decrees and patristic Traditions. Flee innovations as though they were dictated by the devil. Remain within the sacred Canons. If you remain in them you shall be saved and shall have peace, but if you disobey, you shall suffer torments and you [the bishops] shall have everlasting war with one another, receiving as reward a fitting judgment for heedlessness (the Holy Apostles, Epilogue to the Sacred Canons). May You, Your Holiness, respond in such a manner and proclaim to all quarters, both by word and deed, that we also might rejoice and take courage:… We rejoice over them as he that has found great spoil, and press to our bosom with gladness the divine Canons, holding fast all the precepts of the same complete and without change, whether they have been set forth by the holy trumpets of the Spirit, the renowned Apostles, the six Ecumenical Councils, by councils Iocally assembled,… or by our Holy Fathers… And those whom they placed under anathema we also anathematize; those whom they deposed, we also depose; those whom they excommunicated, we also excommunicate; and those whom they delivered over to punishment, we subject to the same penalty… (First Canon of the Seventh Ecumenical Council).

Your All-holiness, The Lucifer of Rome having become exceedingly puffed up and having placed his throne above the stars, be zealous and cry out: Let us stand aright, let us stand in the venerable Traditions of the Fathers. [6]

Let us not be hasty to come to general and enthusiastic conclusions because of a few demonstrations. And especially, let us not deceive ourselves. Still distant—indeed very distant, unfortunately—is the union toward which all turn our hopes.

All things, Your All-Holiness, proclaim the perils we undergo by dialogues with stubborn heretics. And all things oblige us to keep watchful vigil. By remaining rooted and immovable in our Orthodoxy we also give an opportunity to any of the heretics to awaken and to be incorporated into the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, so that they might find their salvation.

Do not flatter them, because by doing so You harm them. Let this be our primary and main concern: How we shall propitiate the Lord Who already is wrathful because of our sins; and how, with a pure repentance, we shall render Him kind and placable. Because, confessedly, I fear that concerning the unfortunate Ecumenical Patriarchate (and also in other cases) the word of Scripture is repeated: the priests have set My law at naught and have defiled My sanctuary. Between the holy and the profane they have not discerned. It is terrible for me even to say it, but I see with the spiritual eyes of my soul and I hear with the ears of my heart the angel of Revelation saying to the leader of Greek Orthodoxy: Bring to mind from whence thou hast fallen, and repent… but if not, I come unto thee quickly, and shall remove thy lamp from its place if thou repent not. What a fall! What a catastrophe!

Your All-Holiness, what has come to pass has come to pass. “To fall is human; to persist is satanic.” Correct the wrong. Have pity on the wounded Christian faithful. Make steadfast and unite the Orthodox people, who are troubled and divided on each occasion—on one hand by the gross anti-canonical endeavors and aces of such-and-such a Patriarch or Archbishop who violates the calendar (and with it, ecclesiastical order and harmony), thus destroying the unity of the faithful in the matter of external worship; and on the other hand by rash and inadmissible meetings with heretics, and seeking an untimely and thoughtless union with them for the purpose of satisfying selfish desires and dark pursuits that do not look to the benefit of God’s Church. We beseech You fervently: Put an end to scandal, “for the path which You have chosen, if it should further bring You into union with the Roman Catholics, would call forth a division in the Orthodox world; for undoubtedly many of Your own spiritual children too will prefer faithfulness to Orthodoxy above the ecumenical idea of a compromising union with non-Orthodox without their full agreement in the truth. [7]


1. See, for example, in The, Orthodox Word, ‘The Ecumenical Patriarchate,” by Theoklitos, Monk of Dionysiou (vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 31 ff.); and “An Open Letter to the Ecumenical Patriarch” by Archimandrite Epiphanios Theodoropoulos (vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 141 ff.).

2. Who lived in the 13th century. See The Orthodox Word, vol. 3, no. 4, p. 138.

3. K. Dyovouniotes (a theologian of the last century at the University of Athens).

4. Recently Patriarch Athenagoras designated St. Nectarios as “The Patron Saint of Union”! On the contrary, as the present quotation reveals, he was a champion of Orthodoxy.

5. From the Encyclical of St. Mark of Ephesus to all pious Orthodox Christians after the Council of Florence; see The Orthodox Word, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 53ff.

6. From the “Praises” of Orthros for the feast of St. Photios of Constantinople.

7. Letter of Metropolitan Philaret to Patriarch Athenagoras (see The Orthodox Word, vol. 2 no. 1, p. 30). As the present citation indicates, this letter was very well received by pious Orthodox Greeks.

This originally appeared in The Orthodox Word, Jan.-Feb., 1968, 11-20. The Blessed Elder Philotheos Zervakos will soon be glorified a saint by the State Church of Greece. A book on this great confessor is now in print as part of the Modern Lives of Saints series by Dr. Constantine Cavarnos.



  1. Jane Tzilvelis says

    “Everything in this life passes away—only God remains, only He is worth struggling towards. We have a choice: to follow the way of this world, of the society that surrounds us, and thereby find ourselves outside of God; or to choose the way of life, to choose God Who calls us and for Whom our heart is searching.” — Fr. Seraphim Rose


  2. In all the various denouncements of reunion, none of them ever raise the question of whether the Catholics still have apostolic succession. It’s been a thousand years. Are the list of names even still valid? And if reunion is as simple as renouncing heresy, then does the same apply to the Anglican Communion?

    Having lived in a dominantly Catholic city, I’ve learned a lot about the culture of Catholicism. The primacy of the pope, while important, is a distraction issue. No one actually believes in it. Catholicism is about the community. It’s the social infrastructure, and whatever beliefs they have are just the justification.

    The pope is not going to say, “Quit saying the rosary. Put away your statues. The Marian apparitions are demonic. I’m disbanding all the religious orders. No more first communion.” These things are precious to the people. It’s what it means to be Catholic.

    And really, I think, it would be sinful for the pope to force everyone to become Orthodox. Just steamrolling everything and expecting a billion people to totally reorient themselves, it’s just not possible, even if he wanted to. Even if Pope Francis had a road to Damascus moment, this would still be impossible and harmful.

    The solution to reunion is for individual Catholics to choose to become Orthodox, just as has happened for many Episcopalians. Erasmus produced a Latin translation of the liturgy, so maybe that could be something to look into.

    • We must not forget that the operative noun is missing here,,,,we use the adjectives which preclude what we need to mean. The operative noun is christian,,,what does it mean to be a true christian and how do we follow the teachings of jesus? We also need to discern the difference between belief and rites. The roman catholic christians have been able to accommodate both more that the eastern orthodox christians have. The eastern orthodox christians perseverate regarding the oriental orthodox,,,yet the roman catholic christians have brought the dissenters into their fold and have recognized the validity of the individual rites. Yet the eastern orthodox christians are still struggling over the western rite. As some anglican catholic christian bishop who sought to join western rite eastern orthodoxy told me,,,,,,,the antiochians want to arabicize us, and rocor wants to russify us,,,,and we want to continue as an anglican rite,,,,,,.so we need to define what out mission should and can be. The western rite in the eastern orthodox christian church has no future if most of the bishops are of the attitude of bishop Antoun who stomped his cane on the floor and demanded that I bring an anglican catholic mission I was working with into the archdiocese as eastern rite not western rite.

    • Apostolic succession is a prerequisite, not a dispositive criterion. A body can have apostolic succession and still its purported mysteries lack grace due to its heretical departures from the faith.

      Longstanding heresy is still just that, heresy. It’s persistent character does not render it to be truth, merely pernicious. So no, it would not be wrong if the pope converted to Orthodoxy and renovated the Roman confession from top to bottom into an Orthodox organization. To be sure, it could be done according to the economia allowed to Western Rite Orthodox. But the Roman Catholic faith must be removed and replaced in the hearts of its adherents inasmuch as it is in and of itself heretical.

      But, in the end, the prescription is the same. Let them convert individually and forget about corporate reunification. It is folly to attempt union with another confession that is held together by nothing more than its heresy. What defines it as a group is the precise thing that must be overcome.

      • Apostolic Succession doesn’t exist outside of the Church. It’s not about lineage, but about dogma.

    • Ronda Wintheiser says

      I have always been mystified by this constant effort toward institutional unity with the Roman Catholic church.

      If that is so important, then why don’t we do that with the Oriental churches? Why isn’t Bartholomew meeting with them?

      As a convert from evangelical Christianity, I don’t understand why anyone focuses on this big group think approach. Of course it should be individuals. I did it. Anyone in the world who wants to locate him or herself in the Church can do it the same way I did.

      To my mind, seeking unity via the Pope — so that he would instruct his community/ies to become Orthodox — would just perpetuate the idea that he has supremacy.

      The only way that would work would be for him to become Orthodox himself.

      • Ronda Wintheiser “I have always been mystified by this constant effort toward institutional unity with the Roman Catholic church.”

        My guess is that the real beliefs of RC are different from the ones proclaimed on the surface (surface inherited from the Orthodox past.)

        Their key belief is in the institutionalized unity, centered around deputy of God on the earth. The person in charge has exclusive keys to Heaven, nobody can go around him and everyone ought to submit to his power. That way all are to become one.

        The rest are just malleable ritual trappings.

      • ‘…seeking unity via the Pope’ (with this Pope)
        might perhaps involve unity with Pachamama.

    • It would not be sinful for the pope to demand Orthodoxy of his followers. If it broke the false synagogue of Rome, so be it. It is on their heads for not following Christ.

    • Jonathan says

      My understanding is that, no, none of the heretics or schismatics have Apostolic succession. Orthodox faith is the presupposition for all ordination or consecration. Heretics and schismatics have lost grace, therefore they cannot transmit it to others. Ultimately it is Christ who gives and is given in every sacrament, and He does not give Himself when “sacraments” are performed by those who have left the Church. So just as those outside the Church cannot consecrate the Eucharist, neither can they consecrate a bishop or ordain a priest.

      So even if Francis were to desire to bring the Roman Catholic “church” back into the Church, he would have to first be received into the Church, as would all of the other bishops, clergy and laity. Strictly speaking, he would need to be baptized, chrismated, and communed (as a layman), then tonsured, ordained a deacon, then a priest, and then consecrated a bishop, as would any clergy who followed him. And all of the laity would need to be likewise received.

      The only precedent we have for anything like that is the mass conversions of nations, such as the Baptism of the Rus, but those occurred because the king or prince in question decreed that everyone would become Christian or else.

  3. Margaret says

    George as always, you speak well of many truths and knowledge with great attention to detail and research.

    Everything going on in the church today boils down to the same issue which is distraction and confusion. All of these schisms and grandiose schemes dreamt up by the hierarchy and their brotherhood maligned with the Papacy is against God’s will and His doctrines of what is just and righteous, pure of motive and simple.

    I love Jane’s quote from Fr. Seraphim. I would like to offer scripture from
    ROMANS 12

    A Living Sacrifice
    1Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
    Humble Service in the Body of Christ
    3For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
    Love in Action
    9Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
    14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
    17Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20On the contrary:
    “If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
    In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
    21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

    • Jane Tzilvelis says

      Beautiful teaching. How wonderful this world would be if everyone tried to be love in action.


  4. V. Rev. A. James Bernstein says

    A terrifying warning given our present circumstances within the Orthodox world and in terms of the continued movement towards union with Rome. For those who may have forgotten the HUGE contrasts that we have with the Roman Catholic Church at many levels, I provide a link to my
    UPDATED CHART as of 6/24/21:
    Feel free to share link. It is provided on the web site of the church that I pastored for 28 years. God bless you all. Keep the Faith, intact.


    • George Michalopulos says

      As always, Fr, thank you. You as well, Margaret.

      To all, can we now see what Bartholomew did in Ukraine is reprehensible? He simply waived away the irregularities of the Ukrainian charlatans and with the stroke of a pen, made their orders canonical (and thus, grace-filled).

    • As someone who used to be Roman Catholic and converted to Orthodoxy, I’m convinced that those who are calling for union between Orthodoxy & Roman Catholicism have never been to a modern RC parish or don’t know anything about RCism post-Vatican 2.

      A modern RC parish has more in common now with Lutheranism in terms of aesthetics than it does with Orthodox and the sacramental and devotional life of RCism has been completely gutted.

      Roman Catholics have been so thoroughly de-catechised that they don’t even appreciate their OWN old liturgy (Tridentine). Imagine what they would do to Orthodoxy, or just look no further than Eastern Catholicism.

      The only modern “ecumenism” with Roman Catholicism should be for individual Catholics to become Orthodox.

      • I live in a heavily Catholic area. I went to some kind of shrine monastery thing on the side of the interstate. “Our Lady of the Snows”. It had a gift shop and a restaurant and a petting zoo. I’m not sure what a grotto is and why it would matter.

        I find my way into the church during the end of mass. It was disorienting. I’ve been to mass before that was sort of nice (I’m not condoning going to Catholic mass; just saying it’s happened). This just burned my soul. It was all old people with walkers in a line. The altar was in the corner so that the church fanned around it. The music was some kind of soft pastoral music, but not at all resembling classical. I’m not sure what specifically bothered me about it, and I couldn’t look at the specifics for some reason, and I felt compelled to leave within a few seconds. Something about it was impossible to be around.

        • Not so long ago, I attended an RC funeral service.
          I too found the modernisms unsettling.

  5. Unity with the oriental orthodox should be a priority,,,,,in Christ there is healing,,,with egos set aside and also the laws of man anything is possible under the grace of christian virtue,,,,,,,,,we share so much with the oriental orthodox and we can work together for the mutual good,,,,just look at what is happening at st vlads and st tikhon s,,,where there is a will there is a way. Isn’t it time we sought to heal ancient wounds and unite the lost sheep with the rest of the herd? Perpetuating old wounds contradicts what we as christians are taught to do. Time to belly up to the bar, take responsibility, and lead the way to remediate the ills of the past. May God bless us all

    • Would that be before or after they renounce their heresies?

      Last time I heard, compromise wasn’t a Christian virtue.

      • Remember as you point your finger at the heritic three fingers point back at you. Are they truly heritics or are we plagued by translation in accuracies,,,,,,do we have more in common than not? Why must we always be like pharasees with a glass half filled perspective,,,,as an engineer I am a why do we need the glass type of person. Progress will not be made unless we make room for it to happen. So why not follow the advice of the great eastern orthodox archbishop larry the cable guy and git er done! If we want the healing to happen,,,we must find a way to make it happen,,,,,,the roman catholics did it with their eastern rites

        • The CHURCH has condemned their heresies at multiple ecumenical councils. We really don’t need to speculate any more on the issue. If they have so much in common with us, why don’t they accept the councils?

          The fact is they don’t believe what we believe and go to great lengths to denigrate great Orthodox saints and our dogmas.

          The whole “anyone more traditional than me is a Pharisee” schtick is getting old, by the way.

          The Orthodox Church is One. We have unity of faith and doctrine. We don’t need them; they need us. If these people want unity, then they need to submit to our teachings, the teachings revealed by Jesus Christ and preached by the Apostles. That faith of the Fathers. The faith that has established the universe. Nothing less

          • Yes, Basil,

            What gets too easily overlooked by those who call for unity with X and reunion with Y is that we actually have found the true faith. We have it right, they don’t. That’s not something to brag about, mind you. None of us invented the Orthodox faith. But nonetheless, it happens to be the correct reflection of Reality.

            That being said, you don’t want to do anything to corrupt that correct faith. And the easiest way to corrupt it is to denigrate it by saying it is not important enough to make it the criterion of union.

            The Faith is our way of knowing Who God is and how to accord with His Will.
            What could be more important? What else is important?

          • It looks like such a philosophy will make eastern orthodox u the next shaker…..I e a memory,,,,time to change our paradigms isn’t it? Remember the councils are the product of men also,,,,,,,what does the bible teach?

            • You sound like a Prot.

              Don’t you realize that there’s a massive surge in interest in Orthodoxy? That a large number of zealous young men and women, young families, and even older people are discovering the vitality and power of Orthodoxy?

              This ‘dying church’ is a projection of your mind. The Orthodox Church is not how you want it to be, therefore it is bad, dying, ‘a product of men,’ and an ‘ethnic ghetto.’ It is none of these things; it is the Ark of Salvation and, glory to God, despite all the negative things that are happening in the world, it sails on to the Kingdom, picking up more shipwrecked people as it goes.

              • Yup. My parish back home is packed with catechumens. More than before covid

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  I’ve heard that from many people. It’s great!

                  • Yep! Really hoping that God is allowing good to come out of the bad from this past year. Seems a lot of people have gotten exposed to Orthodoxy via the live streams that normally would have never gone to a church.

        • Jonathan says

          The “linguistic misunderstanding” canard, which is a favorite of unbelieving academics and ecumenists, is blasphemous. When you say that the schism of the Monophysites was because of a misunderstanding of languages, you are saying that Pentecost was of no effect, that we are still under the curse of Babel, and that the Holy Spirit does not have the power to lead the Church into all Truth.

          And if it were true, why do the impious Monophysites still refuse to accept the Council of Chalcedon, and say all manner of evil things against that Council and the holy and God-bearing Fathers of that Council? Like everything in ecumenism, it’s all just one big lie. The institutional Monophysite “churches” are heretical, schismatic, and diabolical. They are not “lost sheep,” they are goats and their hierarchs are wolves.

          Now, individual members of the Monophysite “churches” are often fine people, just as there are fine people among all the heterodox, even among Muslims, etc. And many of these individual Copts, Armenians, etc. are ripe for conversion, and once the theological differences are explained to them, they are happy to convert and become Orthodox. This is the only type of “ecumenism” we can accept.

  6. “I fear that concerning the unfortunate Ecumenical Patriarchate (and also in other cases) the word of Scripture is repeated: the priests have set My law at naught and have defiled My sanctuary. Between the holy and the profane they have not discerned. It is terrible for me even to say it, but I see with the spiritual eyes of my soul and I hear with the ears of my heart the angel of Revelation saying to the leader of Greek Orthodoxy: Bring to mind from whence thou hast fallen, and repent… but if not, I come unto thee quickly, and shall remove thy lamp from its place if thou repent not.”

    Great passage!

  7. I am relatively new to a lot of this hierarchy stuff but it seems to me that perhaps the EP wants to make himself a pope so that he can unite us on an equal footing, so to speak.
    Being bishop over Constantinople is a nothingburgeras compared to being bishop over all the RCs. How can two unequals unite?

    • George Michalopulos says

      They can’t.

      But even if the Phanar wasn’t a “nothingburger” and the entire Orthodox Church was as massive as the Catholic Church, there could never be “two popes”. It’s simply not in the Vatican’s DNA to ever entertain for even one millisecond, that there is another bishop anywhere on earth who is –or can be–equal to the Pope.

      It’s an oxymoron in their mind’s eye. Think of married bachelors.

      • “Think of married bachelors.”

        Nowadays, I expect they’d be “married” to each other…

      • ” It’s simply not in the Vatican’s DNA to ever entertain for even one millisecond, that there is another bishop anywhere on earth who is –or can be–equal to the Pope. ”

        Present head of Phanar must know it very well. After all he made his PhD in canon law at Vatican!

        • “Present head of Phanar must know it very well.”

          Lawyers (even Vatican canon lawyers)
          can believe many impossible things.

    • Antiochene Son says

      I think Bartholomew’s vision of “reunion” is that he will submit to the Pope, and then all the Eastern Churches – Orthodox, along with the Greek Catholics, Coptic Catholics, Armenian Catholics, etc – will answer to him as the Number 2, or effectively the “Pope” of the East. It would be a reorganization and consolidation of the Easterners.

      Because the RCC literally only cares about nominal submission to Rome (except in the case of Germans blessing gay marriages apparently), I honestly don’t think Rome would attempt to change anything in this scenario. When they say they would allow communion as-is, that would be true — in fact, they already do — and literally the only change would be Bartholomew commemorating Francis in the liturgy.

      And that’s exactly why we can’t accept it, because they have not changed anything to align with us. In its logical conclusion, this would be a tacit admission that the Schism was in fact our fault, and we would have greatly sinned by remaining separated for 1000 years for no reason. Accepting Rome as-is would show we have no integrity. (But since the Church will not do that, it will expose those hierarchs who do go into union as having no integrity.)

      It comes down to the question of whose fault this was.

      1. If Rome changes, they admit it was their fault.

      2. If we don’t require them to change, we admit it was our fault.

      Rome’s pride is why the schism will never be healed.

      • Rome is having a meeting on “synodality” either next year or in 2023, I’m guessing it’s a way to butter-up the Orthodox (i.e Bartholomew and Company who are the only ones interested) in joining RCism. Also, you are right, Rome only cares about union, no matter what it looks like, just as long as you view the pope as the head.

        But, as I saw it put by an Orthodox priest once in regards to the pope being the head of Roman Catholicism along with Jesus…”what is something that has two heads in the world, it is a monster.”

  8. Solidarity Priest says

    Mr. Klancko,
    Some time back, Gail and George wrote that ” we will not allow anybody to be defamed on this blog.” When you dismiss the Ecumenical Councils, it seems that you are defaming a great many people, including Saints of the Church.
    I suppose arguing with you might be an exercise in futility, but the Church existed before the Bible as we know it, did.
    If traditional ways are so objectionable, why are traditional Orthodox churches, like the one I attended yesterday, growing by leaps and bounds?
    Back in the 70’s, St. Tikhon’s lost so many seminarians to ROCOR, that at one point, the graduating class numbered only three students. My spiritual father was one of that class of three, he himself came into ROCOR in the 80’s.
    Attitudes like yours drove me, him, and others to seek refuge in ROCOR. By the way, not only does ROCOR accomodate the Western Rite, but they also recieved a large parish of Old Ritualists into the Church, granting them permission to continue using the Old Rite. Also, ROCOR once had a former Nestorian bishop, who brought much of his flock into Orthodoxy. Sadly, most of the flock was massacred in Iran, but the bishop lived on at Novo Diveyevo convent. The late bishop Daniel was being groomed to be the bishop’s successor, as he was a polyglot who served in multiple languages. As it turns out, Bishop Daniel did become ROCOR’S first Old Ritualist bishop.
    If you believe that the Ecumenical Councils were just councils of men, without the work of the Holy Spirit, I don’t know what else I can say. I’m sure many of my brother priests can answer you much better than I .

    • Gail Sheppard says

      To be clear, Solitary Priest, no one should be defaming anyone because it can result in a defamation lawsuit.

      Dismissing the Ecumenical Councils is not defamation. However, I agree, this kind of talk is not going to help “win friends and influence people” on an Orthodox blog.

      • George Michalopulos says

        I’m not a lawyer but legally, one cannot defame the dead. Still, Fr, I get your point. It’s a good one.

        If nothing else, it’s bad ju-ju to take on the Church Fathers.

    • My intent is not to defame but to question…. .I see us up on our haunches much too much. We love to criticize, yet do not see christian love and harmony transcending our differences. We are taught to seek out the lost sheep,,,,we are taught to use our talents for the common good. Yet we seem to perpetuate differences which seems to be. Contrary to the basic tenets of christianity. Perhaps we need to rethink what our mission should be?,,,, Being a church of love, compassion, and forgiveness perhaps can be rewarding pathway, shouldn’t it?

      • Love, compassion, and forgiveness do not mean union with heresy. Seeking lost sheep does not mean union with heresy.

        Why can’t you understand this?

        • Basil “Love, compassion, and forgiveness do not mean union with heresy. … Why can’t you understand this?”

          We should squeeze every drop out of Episcopalian experience. When such “reformers” talk about virtues, they do not care about them, they just follow the Alinsky rules, like:

          “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”
          “”Keep the pressure on.”

          Debating is futile, when they take high “moral” ground, the purpose is to put you on defensive as a suspect. They give your choice – either you try to prove that you are virtuous so you appear to be a self-righteous hypocrite, or you try ignore their harangues so you appear to be a heartless insensitive jerk.

          But they end it like they did in Episcopalian Church, by chasing you away from what your forefathers built, establishing a new fake value system and seizing the real estate.

          Their “sensitivity and compassion” are called in the Bible – sheepskin.

      • rjklancko “Being a church of love, compassion, and forgiveness perhaps can be …”

        I carefully watched the path of Episcopalian Church over decades. Those who talked the most about “love, compassion and forgiveness”, once they seized control revealed themselves to be cruel and intolerant. Sorry, moral blackmail will not work on Orthodox.

  9. Has anyone heard any news from Greece? The Synod was meeting today to decide if only vaccinated clergy and laity could attend and receive the Eucharist

    • Really?

    • That’s horrible. I hope the decision was negative. The fact that it was even up for discussion is sad.

      • Gail Sheppard says


        • Anonymous II says

          For MORE than a 99% survival rate with ‘Covid,’ why the insane push for vaccination, economic and social revolution followed by fear-mongering propaganda? Honest question.

          So-called vaccination isn’t about money anymore, they own the media and banks, so it’s also not necessarily about power, either.

          Clearly, this also doesn’t have anything to do with ‘saving lives.’ These talking heads and the money lining their pockets promote AIDS and sodomy, abortion, civil unrest, sex trafficking, Satanism, sterilization, euthanasia, genital mutilation and war.

          Again, why the push for these injections? What do you think is the REAL reason? Of course, the reason can’t be good. And does it matter?

          • Gail Sheppard says

            I think the real reason is to reduce the population so dramatically that they essentially wipe out our existing population. The real reason behind the mass migration we’ve seen at the borders is to break out infrastructures. The real reason Washington is spending trillions of dollars within a matter of months is to bankrupt our country.

            Agenda 21 (now 30). Sustainable development. Take a look at what they’re doing under the “AUSPICES OF ECOSOC.”

            “Sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that promotes the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development: building an inclusive and effective path for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda in the context of the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development”.


            They want a solution that will “reduced inequalities” between nations. Got to break something down to bring it back up in a different form. Why else would they be doing these things?

            • Gail Sheppard says

              Assuming the vaccinated population follows the same trajectory as the animal studies, it would be triggered when the vaccinated person encounters one of the coronaviruses in their environment.

              Triggering an extinction event doesn’t mean it will be successful. I would do a search on clinical trials as they are undoubtedly looking for a way to shut this all down.

              Plus, it’s possible, they only gave a few people the synthetic protein. – There was a Wallgreens that replaced what was in the vials with saline. Maybe more did this. – It’s also possible some of the people they hired to do the injections, let the serum out of the syringe before the injection. – The National Guard might have done something similar. – I know a COVID nurse who got the vaccine and works on a COVID floor. She’s not sick. I have no cytokines and I can’t get sick either. Some people may be immune to the effects of the spike protein.

              If I had been vaccinated, I would take 5000 units of Vitamin D and as much Vitamin C as my doctor would allow. I would also be taking 50mg of zinc so it could get into my cells. I would spend time out in the sun every day and get those 3-day hand sanitizers the FDA told me probably work but haven’t been investigated yet. I might even ask for an ACE-2 inhibitor that they give to people to lower their blood pressure, as these viruses target the ACE-2 receptors to get into your cells.

              • It will not be an event. It will be a process.
                Some will get anaphylaxis. Some will become infertile.
                Some will have strokes. Some will have haemorrhages.
                Some will get auto-immune diseases. Some will…etc.

              • Christine Fevronia says

                Great research is being done on suppressing arginine at the cellular level by taking Lysine! Lysine is a powerful anti-viral that inhibits viral intake. I’m taking my Lysine with Zinc, Vitamin C, and Quercetin three times daily on an empty stomach with water, as preventative. I guess you could say that’s my version of a vaccine. Of course this is NOT medical advice to anyone as I’m not a professional. Just sharing alternative supplements that may or may not have benefit.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              P.S. Sanca, something that might be important, as well, is that the powers-that-be are saying the population will need boosters because, after a few months, the protection goes down. That is honestly GOOD NEWS because it’s possible the spike proteins made by the synthetic mRNA are not permanent. – You’ll probably disagree, but I sure wouldn’t get any more shots as they can change the formula at any time, and perhaps the boosters will hang on longer.

              Again, COVID doesn’t have to be a death sentence anymore.

            • Nate Trost says

              The animal testing protocols for COVID-19 vaccines included testing for antibody-dependent enhancement! If you look at the preclinical trial reports, it did not occur[1].

              At least for the mRNA vaccines, it looks unlikely that boosters related to longevity will be needed any time soon. Protection against current strains of COVID-19 will probably persist for years, at least[2]. Boosters may become necessary in the future, due to additional mutation, but not yet. The mRNA vaccines are still effective against Delta. This is why Pfizer is getting a lot of pushback from the government over their current booster plans.

              [1] https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03275-y
              [2] https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03738-2

              • George Michalopulos says

                Nate, you say that “boosters may not necessary anytime soon” (paraphrase). I hope you’re right. Unfortunately, the Yellow Press hasn’t gotten this message.

                Anyway, for those of us who practice the medical arts in vivo, I can honestly tell you that I just had a patron the other day who got COVID several months ago, received the vaccine, and now has COVID again. The same thing happened to Bill Maher (who got the vaccine and then got COVID).

                The moral of the story? Only this: that we are to live in a permanent state of fear with yearly vaccinations and (perhaps) permanent masking.

              • Nate: “At least for the mRNA vaccines, it looks unlikely that boosters related to longevity will be needed any time soon. Protection against current strains of COVID-19 will probably persist for years…”

                Pfizer to ask US to authorize third
                Covid vaccine shot as booster


                ‘Evidence shows a greater risk of reinfection six months after
                inoculation as Israel reports a drop in vaccine effectiveness’

                Do keep up!

                • Second Week in a Row: More Post
                  COVID Vax Deaths than COVID Deaths


                  ‘ For the second consecutive week, there have been more deaths post Covid vaccination in the USA than deaths from the virus itself.

                  The VAERS website released its weekly numbers on Friday. There are now 11,140 reported deaths from the COVID vaccine in the United States. This is up from 9,125 reported deaths from the COVID-19 vaccinations total from last week. … ‘

                  Last Week: there were 1,918 total COVID-19 deaths in the United States.

                  Last Week: There were 2,092 deaths from the COVID Vaccines — According to the CDC-linked VAERS website.

                  That means there were 174 more Covid vaccine deaths in the United States last week than Covid deaths.

                  Why is this not making headlines? ‘

                  Why indeed?

              • Gail Sheppard says

                Right you are, Nate. Animal testing showed that when animals were exposed to 1 of the 7 coronaviruses in their environment post-vaccination, the majority became sick and died. (Your links addressed questions about immunity; not ADE.) It is, for this reason, researchers recommend that “the adverse reaction rate of a COVID-19 vaccine be kept extremely low, i.e. below 1% (equals 78M people if distributed globally.) https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-00880-9

                One billion people have been fully vaccinated worldwide so no more than 10M should be impacted by an antibody response. Yet, according to the inventor of mRNA COVID vaccines, for every 1 person the vaccine saves, 2 people die. https://www.theepochtimes.com/dr-robert-malone-mrna-vaccine-inventor-on-the-bioethics-of-experimental-vaccines-and-the-ultimate-gaslighting_3889805.html

                Not sure why anyone would recommend a booster unless they were trying to sell more vaccines. They have no idea how long immunity protends to lasts. People are getting COVID after having been vaccinated even now.

                More recently, vaccinated people are insisting the rest of us get vaccinated to protect them from the virus that they were purportedly vaccinated against! If it works, which it seemingly does, the people who got the “vaccine” should be protected. If it doesn’t (work), why would anyone take it now that 99.7% recover? Why would anyone allow themselves to be jabbed (twice) with an experimental drug that routinely makes one sick (fever, arm pain, myalgia, etc.)?

        • Have you seen the massive anti-vax protests going on in Greece? It’s great to see. There’s hope for Greece yet, and this is in spite of the government and “some” of the hierarchy bc they’re not all on board with those in the clergy calling for vaccines, etc.

      • “Thousands” of Greeks protested by Metropolitan
        Dodonis: “Let’s vaccinate them compulsorily”


        The Metropolitan of Dodoni, Chrysostomos, attacked the thousands of Greeks who demonstrated yesterday in Syntagma, but also in other parts of the country.

        The Metropolitan of Dodoni, Chrysostomos, characterized the Greeks who demanded their freedom back and protested against the mandatory vaccination as “fools”, while he expressed his opinion that vaccinations should be mandatory for everyone! …

        “What would they say if no polio vaccine was found?” If we had not done the vaccines when we were children, I understand that would be something foreign. “All diseases, plague, tuberculosis, were treated with vaccines and drugs” , stressed Metropolitan Chrysostomos, without of course knowing that the specific vaccines have nothing to do, since they concern a virus similar to that of the flu. … ‘

        I expect the Metropolitan is unaware that most polio
        cases in the world today are of vaccine strain polio…

        • I expect the Metropolitan is unaware that most polio
          cases in the world today are of vaccine strain polio…

          He also must be very unaware of the massive protests of the Greek people against the mandatory vaccine.

  10. Has anyone heard any news from Greece? The synod was meeting to decide if only vaccinated clergy/laity could attend and receive the Eucharist.

    • “Yes” of the Holy Synod to the orders of K. Mitsotakis:
      “We will preach in favor of the vaccine in the Churches”!


      ‘ The representative of the Permanent Holy Synod, Metropolitan of Ilio, Acharnes and St. Petersburg, Athenagoras referred to the role of the Church in strengthening the coronavirus vaccination operation and the circular that will be sent.

      According to him, immediately after the fourth meeting of Archbishop Ieronymos with the Minister of Health Vassilis Kikilias and Sotiris Tsiodras, the priests “who want, but are afraid to get the vaccine” were asked to formulate their questions, which they will answer. “Soon and scientifically documented Sotiris Tsiodras”.

      While then he said that there will be propaganda (!) In favor of the vaccine in the house of God, in the Churches.

      “The answers will be made in leaflets, which will be distributed to the Churches of the whole country and will be read at the end of the service. It can also be done in the sermon, if it has to do with the passage from the Gospel “.

      Commonly will confuse the Gospel and on occasion the very words of Jesus Christ with the vaccine and measures against the coronavirus.

      This is essentially an acceptance of the orders given a few days ago by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to Archbishop Ieronymos, when he had told him to preach in favor of the vaccine.

      “A circular will also be issued explaining the value of doctors and miracles and explaining how important it is to implement vaccination to end the pandemic.”

      In fact, following his speech, the representative of the Holy Synod threatened the priests who insist on not accepting the vaccination by referring to the Holy Synod:

      “If he is a believer, he will be the priest who knows the people and will try with love and other ways he knows, but if he is a Metropolitan, he will go to the Holy Synod.”

      • “A circular will also be issued explaining the value of doctors and miracles and explaining how important it is to implement vaccination to end the pandemic.”

        There is NO pandemic. Nobody is getting sick and dropping dead here in free America; no masks, no social distancing, no lockdowns (not to mention other states and countries that NEVER locked down); other than those who’ve taken the “vaccines.” I’d say we’d need to defrock these clergy, but I expect almost all of them to be dead in the very near future.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          You’re right. COVID is real. People are dying of COVID or become very sick, possibly for the rest of their lives.

          However, for something to be a true pandemic it must cause a high degree of mortality (death) and COVID doesn’t fit that category.

          • Covid is easily curable.
            The cures are being suppressed.
            The ‘vaccines’ are dangerous.
            The death toll from them rises daily.

          • Gail Sheppard ” for something to be a true pandemic it must cause a high degree of mortality ”

            You mean like smallpox or bubonic plague? What about polio?

            • Gail Sheppard says

              Not wild polio and not anymore.

              A case could be made for vaccine-induced polio, though. It went from 138 cases in 2 countries (2018) to over 32 countries presently. https://polioeradication.org/polio-today/polio-now/this-week/

              Gates’ assessment? Chronically low immunization rates. More vaccination!

              The actual problem is with the oral polio vaccine which should have been replaced with an inactivated poliovirus vaccine in 2014. It wasn’t.

              Definitions: “An outbreak is called an epidemic when there is a sudden increase in cases. As COVID-19 began spreading in Wuhan, China, it became an epidemic. Because the disease then spread across several countries and affected a large number of people, it was classified as a pandemic.” https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/science/about-epidemiology/identifying-source-outbreak.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fcases-updates%2Fabout-epidemiology%2Fidentifying-source-outbreak.html

            • George Michalopulos says

              Martin, I am old enough to remember the swine flu which was far more widespread & injurious than COVID. We did not lockdown society during that pandemic.

              • ” swine flu which was far more widespread & injurious than COVID. We did not lockdown society during that pandemic.”

                Well, there were some limitations and as far as I know COVID caused about ten times more deaths than swine flu, so far.

                On thing different, is that swine flue affected older people less, perhaps that is why decision makers panicked less 😉

                Either way, as I have some scientific background, I did my homework and decided to get vaccinated. I am not worked up too much about this issue, either way.

                What worries me, what will happen, when much more serious plague strike as they do from time to time naturally. With present concentration and mobility of population, with lack of trust in authorities and medical services …

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  They had vaccines all ramped up for the swine flu and it just petered out, as some viruses do.

                  The lack of trust in authorities and medical services probably needed to happen to pull back the curtain. Had they realized we would eventually be able to see what they were doing, they would never have tried it.

              • Mike Myers says

                Lying clown,

                [Editor Note: Deleted]

                Needless to say, many of y’all have diligently done your part to assist. The third wave ramping up now in your neck of the backwoods: your corner of OK, throughout MO, AR, LA, MI, Southern & Central IL, will bring a wildfire of contagion among the unvaccinated, 100Ks there with severe illness and many more forced to cope with the sequelae of long-haul, 10s of thousands more dead and a health care delivery system in complete collapse. With vast social consequences for decades. And if you think for one second that, when this is in full burn, in a month or two, that your blog’s part in it will go unnoticed … think again.
                You are closely watched now. Scrutiny of your blog is 100% guaranteed to increase dramatically, and by next year you will be exposed on so many levels, your heads will spin. God help you.

                Count on it.

              • Gail Sheppard says

                With H1N1, the vaccines were packed up and ready to go but there were so few cases they had to back peddle.

                This time around, however, they were not going to be outdone. They deliberately inflated COVID death rates, without testing, if they even suspected a patient was positive, regardless of whatever else was going on. This would have included all cases of respiratory illnesses like influenza (which they can no longer count because so many were upgraded to COVID), pneumonia (which they also conflate with COVID), heart disease, cancer; even suicides and vehicular accidents.

                They had to inflate those death rates to sell all those vaccines and other COVID-related paraphernalia! They probably could have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn’t been for all the adverse events related to the vaccines. Kind of hard to fly under the radar with the Internet breathing down your neck.

                God willing, they will never be allowed to do this again.

                • Mike Myers says


                  What a mess.

                • Mike Myers says

                  [Edited Note: Deleted]

                  “Martin, I am old enough to remember the swine flu which was far more widespread & injurious than COVID. We did not lockdown society during that pandemic.” – quoth George.


                  [Editor Note: Deleted]

                  Seriously, y’all there in Tulsa should keep that steady diet of horse shit you insist on devouring to yourselves. One sort of “generosity” you’d do well to forgo.

                  [Editor Note: Deleted]

                  So, nice work. Y’all people of the Lie are deeply complicit in responsibility for what’s coming.
                  God help you.

      • Good luck to them…there are huge protests right now all across Greece against the vaccine. Mitsotakis and the synod better tread carefully

    • anonimus per Scorilo says

      The opinions in the Russian Orthodox Church are similar:

      Both Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, and Metropolitan Tikhon Shevkunov (author of “Everyday saints” have spoken very strongly

      Metropolitan Hilarion:


      “I am told: why do you so actively call people to be vaccinated? Indeed, you have no medical education. And one does not have to be a medic to see what is happening around, in what agony people with the coronavirus die. They simply suffocate. It is a nightmarish death. Such patients cannot even say goodbye to their relatives, as the latter are not allowed to see them. Doctors see all that; we, priests, see that. Compared to what is happening, the anti-vaccination rhetoric seems simply absurd and even sacrilegious. That is why I am not shy of speaking, in both my programs and other public appearances: God has sent to us now an opportunity for getting rid of the coronavirus pandemic, so let us use this opportunity. ”

      Metropolitan Tikhon’s interview in Russian is at

      and a French translation has appeared at


      • Gail Sheppard says

        “Opinions” are often inadequate. This is the second (or third??) time you’ve tried to make this point. It’s as if you think we can pick an opinion we like and go with that.

        The rest of us are not quoting “opinions.” We are quoting facts that are as true today as they will be tomorrow. We don’t want to encourage healthy people to do something to their bodies that have resulted in numerous injuries to others to prevent a virus that is now 99.97% curable.

        If there are metropolitans out there who haven’t done the research, they’ll have to give an accounting of their actions before God.

        • anonimus per Scorilo says

          It is hard to believe that neither the Church of Greece nor the Church of Russia have “done their research”, with the considerable bioethics working groups they have.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            I agree.

            • Bioethicists exist to justify the unjustifiable.
              They also ‘nudge’ behavioural groupthink.

              • anonimus per Scorilo says

                The bioethics working groups have bishops and priests, and a few faithful who are scientists.

                They exist to inform the hierarchy whether it is morally justified to urge people to do a vaccine whose chance of dying is less than 1/1.000.000, as opposed to getting sick and getting the babushka above 70 who lives in the same apartment sick (with a probability of dying at 10%).

                And also to inform the bishop whether a priest who uses his power to bully his faithful against vaccination should be defrocked should one of these faithful die as a consequence of the virus. According to Metropolitan Tikhon:
                “But at the same time, I must say that those priests (there are few in our diocese, but they do exist) who turn their flock and friends away from preventive vaccinations should also be held accountable. It is clear that this is their opinion. They think it is the right thing to do. But if – God forbid – someone among those who did not get vaccinated because you talked them out of it becomes seriously ill or dies (and in the hospital it will certainly be known that they were not vaccinated precisely because such-and-such a priest did not bless them to do so – the person who will be ill will explain to the doctor the reason for his or her actions), if, God forbid, that happens, then those priests or monks will have to bear the full canonical responsibility for those actions. I think that is also fair.”

                (translated with DeepL.com from https://orthodoxie.com/a-propos-de-la-vaccination-appel-durgence-du-metropolite-tikhon-chevkounov/ )

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  Then, if someone in authority talks the laity into getting a vaccine and they become seriously ill or dies, then the patriarch, bishop, or priest, who blesses them to take the vaccine, must bear the full canonical responsibility for their actions. After all. It’s only fair.

                  • If these people can’t shake off the bs regarding vaccines, their cowardice will lead them to any compromise to avoid persecution.


                • “They exist to inform the hierarchy
                  whether it is morally justified to urge people to…”

                  Bioethics in action:

                  John 11: 49-50 [KJV]:
                  And one of them, named Caiaphas,
                  being the high priest that same year,
                  said unto them, Ye know nothing at all,
                  Nor consider that it is expedient for us,
                  that one man should die for the people,
                  and that the whole nation perish not.

                • Wow! Everybody should read Metropolitan Tikhon’s emergency appeal about vaccination.

      • George Michalopulos says

        As much as I admire both men (and I do, very much so), on this point, I disagree.

  11. I don’t know if this is the place for this or not, but since we’re talking about Rome, I was surprised to read today of Steve Skojec’s (from the OnePeterFive website) struggles with Catholicism and where he’s at. As a former traditional Catholic, I found it very powerful as he articulated so much of what I went through in my journey from Catholicism to Orthodoxy. It was written over a month ago, so maybe someone already commented on it in an earlier thread, but today was the first time I read it and thought it worth sharing.


    I think Antiochene Son above is spot on. I think Bartholomew sees himself as the future number 2 in Catholicism heading all the Eastern rites. I’m so very thankful to God for Orthodoxy. May He preserve His faithful from any union with Rome…

  12. This article on the Orthosphere by Roosh is relevant to this blog. Keep up the good work!


  13. Gail Sheppard says

    Another occasion for “unity” with Rome. Oh, joy! (Snark)


    Some of you will remember me writing about this before when Francis gave Bartholomew a pot of money for “the first” monastery when there was already a community there.

  14. Finland: Member of Parliament prosecuted
    for expressing [her] views based on the Bible


    ‘ Following an investigation launched in 2019, Finland’s attorney general has called for Dr. Päivi Räsänen, a Member of Parliament and former Minister of the Interior, to be charged with three counts of “ethnic unrest” for peacefully expressing her Christian views on marriage and sexuality. Each charge is punishable by two years in prison.

    The first category arises from the writing of the book by Dr. Räsänen in 2004 entitled “Male and female created [he] them: Homosexual relationships challenge the Christian meaning of human ontology”, published by the Luther Foundation.

    In the book, Dr. Räsänen argues that homosexual activity should be recognized by the church as sinful, based on the teachings of the Bible. {Sh]e further argues that failure to recognize sin as sin undermines the very need for a Savior.

    In addition to being prosecuted for writing this book, Dr. Räsänen has been charged with two other “hate crimes”: for posting a Bible verse on her Twitter account in 2019 and for allegedly derogatory comments she made on a TV show. 2018 entitled What would Jesus think about homosexuals?

    In 2019, Räsänen shared an image of the Bible that was open to Romans 1: 24-27 (“God delivered them into the lusts of their hearts to defile their own bodies”) in response to the decision of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland to sponsor a LOATKI “pride event.” Below the image, [s]he asked: “How can the dogmatic foundation of the church, the Bible, be compatible with the removal of shame and sin as a subject? pride? ‘

    Dr. Räsänen, who has six grandchildren, has vowed to fight all charges of protecting freedom of speech for other Christians in Finland. [Sh]e claims that [s]he had the right to make such comments. “The attorney general’s decision is astonishing, even shocking,” he said. “I do not think I made any threatening, defamatory or offensive comments. Ultimately, the three charges against me have to do with whether Finland is allowed to express its beliefs freely. I do not understand that I am in any way defaming homosexuals whose human dignity and human rights I have repeatedly said I respect and defend.

    At the same time, [s]he continued, “this does not take away from the fact that, according to the Bible and the Christian conception of man, homosexual relations are contrary to the will of God and marriage is intended only between a man and a woman. This is what the Christian church has been teaching for so many years and it will always teach this “.

    The Attorney General also accuses the Elected Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of Finland, Dr. Juhana Pohjola, of accusations of national unrest for publishing Dr Räsänen’s book. “As a Christian, I do not want and can not discriminate or despise anyone God has created ,” Pohjola said in response to the accusation. “Every human being, created by God and redeemed by Christ, is equally precious.

    “This decision of the Attorney General says a lot about our time. “While I am concerned about the state of religious freedom in our country, I believe that the judiciary will make the right decision.”

    With the accusations against a prominent member of Parliament and the Bishop, the Attorney General is sending a clear message to Finns whoever they are and whatever position they hold. Dr. Timothy Quill, secretary general of the International Lutheran Synod, said:

    “The consequences of the decision to indict Juhana Pohjola and Päivi Räsänen are clear: if the authorities are willing to do so to a respected pastor, respected doctor and bishop, as well as to a Member of Parliament and former Minister of the Interior, a message of fear is sent and intimidation of anyone in Finland who follows the Bible’s teaching on human sexuality. ”

    The Finnish constitution guarantees freedom of religion as well as freedom of expression. However, the Advocate General argues that the freedoms of religion and the protection of speech do not apply in this case, because Dr Räsänen’s comments violate the “equality” and “dignity” of those she speaks of.

    These persecutions can not be considered as another case of application of the law on “hate speech”.

    The comments were made in a reasonable tone, did not discredit anyone and did not provoke hatred. They simply did not follow the “prevailing” view, something that faithful Christians have been doing for two thousand years. Public order and equality of citizens are goods that every state must uphold. They should not, however, be used to support such a suppression of one’s right to believe and express one’s beliefs in a calm and reasonable manner.

    The Public Prosecutor’s prosecution of Räsänen and Pohjola constitutes a serious violation of human rights. It violates Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 10 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, which affirms the right of every human being to “exercise his or her religious beliefs, in their worship, teaching, practice and observance. ” It further violates the right of anyone to “write, publish and disseminate relevant publications” expressing their religious beliefs, as described in the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief.

    These persecutions are acts of oppression against Christians and those who dare to think differently. ‘

  15. Polish priest fined by German court
    for criticizing homosexual predators in the Church


    ‘ Polish priest Fr. Dariusz Oko has been charged by a German court with “incitement to hatred” for an article he wrote about homosexual clerical abuse, following a complaint by a pro-LGBT priest in Germany.

    Oko’s article, published in the January/February edition of theological journal Theologisches, highlighted cases of abuse by homosexual priests and bishops and detailed mechanisms used by “homoclans” or a “homomafia” of predatory clerics to avoid accountability.

    Oko described such groups as “a colony of parasites” that “cares first of all for itself, and not for the hosts at whose expense it lives,” and as a “homosexual plague” or a “cancer that is even ready to kill its host,” among other things. He stressed that “the existence of such powerful clans” attested to by both Pope Francis and Pope Benedict XVI “is an obvious logical, ethical, and dogmatic contradiction to the very essence of the Church and her teaching.”

    In a sentence this month, the Cologne District Court claimed that Oko’s article, titled “On the need to curb homosexual cliques in the Church,” constituted “incitement to hatred” against homosexual people. The court demanded that Oko pay a fine of 4,800 euros or serve 120 days in jail, according to Polish magazine Wprost, and reportedly charged Fr. Johannes Stöhr, the editor-in-chief of Theologisches, as well. Oko has already appealed, and a trial is expected, katholisch.de reported. … ‘

    Sentenced and fined? Without trial?
    Guilty by proclamation…?

  16. Rusty Shackelford says

    Does anyone know who runs the Orthodox Christian Information Center? I get the feeling its an old calendarist group/church, but am unable to confirm it.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Ortho Christianity? Sretensky Monastery in Moscow

    • Rusty Shackelford “I get the feeling its an old calendarist group/church, but am unable to confirm it.”

      The entire Russian Church (including Belarus, Ukraine) is on Old Calendar. Also Serbian, Georgian etc …

      New Calendarists are a minority.

      • There’s a difference between the old calendar and old calendarists.

        Orthodoxinfo.com is run by Patrick Barnes, formerly part of the Greek Old Calendarists, but now, last I heard, part of GOARCH, unless he has jumped from that sinking ship.

      • George Michalopulos says

        True that. Even though I was born in a NC church (GOA) I must say that I’m more than a little disappointed in the NC theological narrative.

        Not antithetical to it per se, just making an observation.

  17. WHO decided to play… God: Announced that
    [it] is starting research into human genes!


    ‘ According to the WHO , human DNA surgery is both “safe” and “ethical” and should be generalized as a ” public health” tool, while advising scientists to act – supposedly – on safety, effectiveness and ethics.

    This is the WHO’s first global initiative to intervene in human DNA to fight disease.

    “The processing of the human gene has the potential to expand forward in efforts to treat and cure diseases. “But the full impact of this initiative will be realized when we realize that this must be done for the benefit of the whole world instead of fueling more health inequality between countries,” said WHO President Tedros Adhanom.

    According to the WHO , human DNA surgery has a number of advantages such as faster and more accurate diagnosis, more targeted therapies and, most importantly, “prevention of genetic abnormalities.”

    That is, they will genetically intervene in the fetuses so that they are not born with genetic abnormalities.

    In fact, the OU speaks rudely about “modifying a patient’s DNA in order to cure a disease”.

    Nevertheless, as the WHO itself admits

    “There are certain dangers, for example, with the germ line and inherited processing of the human genome, which alters the genome of human embryos and could be passed on to future generations, modifying the characteristics of their offspring!”

    But, the WHO continues, all this must be done “safely”!

    What does it mean to modify the characteristics of their offspring? What exactly offspring will be born and what will be their characteristics?

    “These new reports from the WHO and its special committee represent a step forward in this rapidly evolving area of ​​science. “A global (based on global) research that goes deeper into the human genome will provide better health for all,” said Soumya Swaminathan, chief WHO research associate. … ‘

    Kraft durch Freude! (Strength through Joy!)
    seems to be coming our way…again!

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Gone are the days of hair dyes and extensions, braces, make-up with bronzers, lip gloss, fake eyelashes, acrylic nails, liposuction, facelifts, boob jobs, colored contacts, and 4″ heals. Now we’re going to go right into the DNA!

    • You do realize that KdF was about getting people into sports, going on holidays, and having an affordable car, right?

      Quite different things.

      • The long term aim was to produce perfect Aryans.
        Blond hair, blue eyes, etc… the full works;
        though they will always want untermensch to serve them.
        And that, I think, is where this genetic manipulation is going to go.