Was Serbian Bishop the Target of Assassination Attempt?

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[Editor’s note: I intend to write something about the Democrats’ suicidal folly, hopefully by tomorrow. In the meantime, please take the time to read the following article from orthochristian. It looks like the Russians aren’t the only ones who “play for keeps”. I’d say that EU/NATO aren’t slouches in this regard.] Our friends at www.orthochristian.com reported that Miodrag Daka Davidovic, a  businessman and civic activist was shot in the arm when he was meeting with His Grace Bishop Joanikije of Budimlja and Nikšićwas.  (See the full report from Ortho Chrsitainity below.)

It is believed the shot that injured  Davidovic was intended for His Grace who is no stranger to activism when it comes to protecting the canonical Church.  Back in June, he angered many when he remarked, the Montenegrin authorities were “worse towards the Church than the old communist regime in Yugoslavia.”  He accused the government of planning to legalize what he called the abduction of Church property, which he vowed to resist.

It is believed Davidovic will recover, for which we are thankful.  We ask God to protect all our bishops in the trials to come.  

If I had to guess, I’d say that it seems that the West (you know, those governments that believe in the “separation of Church and State”) really want the Macedonian and Montenegrin churches to go the way of Dumenko. Stay tuned, as we present more evidence of Western meddling in Orthodox Church affairs in the days ahead.



The famous Montenegrin businessman and civil activist Miodrag Daka Davidovic was shot on Tuesday, December 10 at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Belgrade while meeting with His Grace Bishop Joanikije of Budimlja and Nikšić, a canonical Serbian bishop who serves in Montenegro.

Davidovic was shot in the arm, suffering non-life threatening injuries, reports the press service of the Metropolis of Montenegro.

The public figure’s connections to Belgrade and Moscow and his public stance against the schismatic “Montenegrin Orthodox Church” have earned him his share of enemies in Montenegro. He was awarded by the Serbian Church for his humanitarian activities, reports ryb.ru.

The next night, firefighters found a rifle in a burning car in a Belgrade parking lot, which is believed to have been used in the shooting of Davidovic, who is currently receiving treatment in a local hospital.

An investigation is underway and should determine if Davidovic or Bp. Joanikije was the real target. Representatives from the Serbian Church told Romfea that they believe the attack was an assassination attempt on His Grace.

He is one of the most authoritative hierarchs in the Serbian Church and also vigorously opposes the Montenegrin state’s persecution of the Serbian Church, including the draft bill that aims to confiscate property from the Serbian Church, and its aspirations of building a schismatic autocephalous church according to the Ukrainian scenario.

Bp. Joanikije was one of the key organizers in the mass service in Podgorica on June 15 where believers opposed the oppression of the Church. A new council of believers has also been called for December 21 in Nikšić, where Davidovic is from.




  1. May the Lord guide and protect Bishop Joanikije!

  2. It’s heartbreaking, it really is heartbreaking, attending the funeral of Geronda Ephraim – we experienced so much grace from this human burning bush! – and returning home to read the awful words of Bartholomew, and now to read this news of our poor Serbian brother.

    Although we live in times of great scandal and violence – when have we not? our Lord ordains us to live in these very times, by His providence – and our freewill – to draw closer to Him. Are we truly living in the end times? It seems this way. My children receive gifts at holiday parties promoting masturbation, castration and mastectomies (under the guise of transgenderism) and stuffed animal toys depicting human feces. And hearing news of assassinations, false councils, rumors of war, and seeing the awful impact mobile electronic technology is having on our lambs, our children, the only solace I have is the Divine Liturgy, the Eucharist, my brother clergy and sheep.

    So although I’m seeing a lot of us struggling – especially our young people – the funeral of Geronda reveals, among other things, all isn’t (of course) lost. It’s a miracle His Grace Bishop Joanikije was spared. Glory to God! And it’s a miracle, truly, that the forces of evil cannot but bring about greater unity to Christ’s Body.

    It’s unbelievable we live in such times. Among the thousands of laypeople we saw present at the funeral, hundreds more poured from Romania, Russia, Greece, Cyprus, all over the earth, families and little children, teenagers and old folks and all of us nearing this divine lantern of Christ in Arizona.

    Forgive me, but the presence of the new Greek Archbishop at the funeral gave off a peculiar energy. Maybe this is due to his associations with Bartholomew and the globalists? I don’t know. But what I do know, and trust, is that while Bartholomew and Company, and their handlers, may continue exploiting the Church and her saints to further the anti-Christ, God uses what is meant for ill and turns it around His glory. I started writing with intentions to direct everyone to a very enlightening reflection by Pat Buchanan on the Ukraine, which you can find here, https://buchanan.org/blog/when-did-ukraine-become-a-critical-ally-137762

    but remembered, and wanted to share, it is far more profitable to count our blessings – our resurrections – than focus on our crucifixions. The reality is, we cannot have one without the other. We witnessed a remarkable brotherhood gathered around our father Geronda Ephraim, partaking in what really, honestly, felt like the beginning of the Paschal service, receiving His light in a time very dark, but anticipating Someone very bright on the horizon.

    • Simply beautiful!

    • Alitheia1875 says

      It is also interesting, and surprising to me, I heard that Archbishop Elpidoforos, shortly after his installation ,went to Arizona to see Elder Ephraim.

      • George Michalopulos says

        If so, that speaks well of him in my estimation. I would hope that if he did so, then he left with an understanding that his new doctrine is incompatible with the Faith.

        One can hope, can’t one?

      • Gail Sheppard says

        I can’t find any evidence that Elpidophoros immediately visited Elder Ephraim.

        I do know, when he was making his rounds, he went to St. Anthonys and was received by Father Paisios.

        To get an idea of what he was thinking up to his arrival, I think it’s instructive to look at his own words. In January 2009, he delivered a revealing speech to Holy Cross. I walked away thinking he had no respect for our country, our parishes, our clergy or our monasteries:

        ” . . . four very concrete dangers lurk behind such a communal organization of the local Church:

        a) That the priest might become alienated from his administrative duties, and from being the spiritual leader of the parish would become a clerk of the parish council,

        b) That the parishioners would find it difficult to comprehend the rules according to which the Church is governed and instead they would follow their own secular reasoning,

        c) That the structures of the parish would become influenced by the prevalent Protestant models and thus they would replicate and imitate practices that are foreign to the Spirit of Orthodoxy, and

        d) That the parishes would degenerate into nothing more than membership clubs, invested with some ecclesiastical resemblance. [This is rich given how being Greek is almost a requirement for being a part of the GOA.]

        Thus, soon Orthodox clergymen became indistinguishable from the clergy of other denominations, choirs in the western style were adopted, the liturgical tradition became more and more impoverished by being limited only to the bare essentials, etc.

        Against that gradual secularization of Orthodoxy in America, a reaction soon made its appearance in the form of a number of rapidly spreading monasteries of an Athonite influence, characterized by ultraconservative tendencies, attached to the letter of the law, and reacting to any form of relationship with other Christian denominations. All of this is nothing but the manifestation of the intense thirst for a lost spirituality and a liturgical richness of which the Orthodox people of America have been for very long now deprived, forced, as they were, to embrace the Church only in the form of a sterile social activism.

        That vacuum in clerical vocation is covered by candidates who, being unusually older than what was perceived the standard age, have already on their shoulders the domestic burden of a family. Thus they struggle to obtain the necessary degree that would secure for them among others society’s respect.

        Another great number of candidates to the priesthood come from converts, who possess little, if any, familiarity with the Orthodox experience and they are usually characterized by their overzealous behavior and mentality. It is of interest that the converts who become ordained into priesthood represent a disproportionally greater percentage than the converts among the faithful. The result of this disanalogous representation is that, more often than not, convert priest shepherd flocks who are bearers of some cultural tradition, but because their pastors either lack the necessary familiarity with that tradition or even consciously oppose it, they succeed in devaluing and gradually eradicating those cultural elements that have been the expression of the parishes that they serve.”

        Of course, when it came to the Greek Archdiocese, he had nothing but glowing remarks:

        ” . . . the selfless dedication of our immigrants and under the protection of the first See in the Orthodox world, a strong Archdiocese was created that, in time, reached a level of maturity and excellence and it is today the pride of the Church of Constantinople. The Archdiocese took advantage of the possibilities that a deeply democratic, meritocratic and progressive state, like the United States, was able to offer, in order that the Orthodox faith of our fathers take root deep in the American land.” Not sure that I would agree with him on this front. . . The Holy Archdiocese of America under the Ecumenical Patriarchate is the most organized, well-structured and successful presence of Orthodoxy today. This is not accidental. This success was not achieved by foregoing its cultural identity. It was not achieved by ignoring the sacred canons and the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils. It was not achieved by succumbing to the temptation of secularism. It was not achieved by imprisoning itself in the darkness of the extreme fundamentalism, nationalism and sterile denial.”

        In closing, he launched criticisms against our own Metropolitan Philip and Metropolitan Jonah and ended with a phrase he attributed to His Beatitude Ignatios Patriarch of Antioch: “In the Orthodox Church we have one primus and he is the Patriarch of Constantinople.” The problem with this statement, of course, is the meaning of primus. To His Beatitude and the rest of the Church, primus means Constantinople is first among equals.” But to Constantinople, primus means first without equal.


        • George Michalopulos says

          Gail, I continue to gag when I re-read his speech. There was so much that was ungracious there. Unfortunately, when he was correct, such as in his assessment of worldly parishes, he then goes overboard and condemns convert, convert priests and the Athonite monasteries. I guess he thinks that there is a “sweet spot” somewhere in the middle.

          • Weren’t the apostles converts attending ‘convert parishes?’

            • George Michalopulos says


            • Worse. They were creating convert parishes.

              • Gail Sheppard says

                And they weren’t Greek!  Oh, the horror!

                The thing that kills me is his glowing remarks about the Archdiocese (GOA).  Think about it.  When he spoke these words, all the scandals we know about today were brewing right under his sanctimonious nose.  

                I don’t think we should bash the Greeks but by the same token, these people need to get off their high horse about being Greek.  He might as well have said if you’re not Greek you’re not Orthodox.  God forbid if you’re a convert!  Wasn’t phyletism condemned as a heresy?   

                • Michael Bauman says

                  Gail keep in mind that phyletism was condemned a heresy to put down the Bulgarian Church. It applies to everyone but GREEKS.  They are not a race or an ethnic identity.  They are the people of GOD. It is just the barbarian hordes who have ethnic identities.  It is we who lapse into heresy when we deny the rightful overlordship of the EP–he who is (cue reverb machine) first without equal.
                  They don’t need no stinkin’ Pope. They are above the Pope.
                  What an affront to real Greeks they are.  Real Greeks do not need such disabling fantasy.

                  • Michael,
                    “What an affront to real Greeks they are.  Real Greeks do not need such disabling fantasy”.
                    Indeed. It applies to Greeks who are Greeks first and then anything else, even Orthodox.
                    I suppose we can also say:
                    “What an affront to real Orthodox they are.  Real Orthodox do not need such disabling Greek fantasy”.

                    • Such ‘Greeks’ are the modern equivalent of the ‘Jews’ in the Gospel of Saint John. They are a party, not a people.

                    • Ven Monable says

                      While we are on the topic: None of the three major and twelve minor prophets of the Old Testament died an unnatural death and only two other prophets did die violently.

                  • Zelovy Zulner says

                    The way Japanese or Korean teens faddishly distort westtern ideas, Russian leaders perplexed Castlergh and Merkel with their sclavonian mongol delusions that absorbed monphysite Skoptosy circumcision, Zoroastrian toll houses and  kibutz obsinas the way a mongol Eskimo shares his wife with visitors. It is in this fashion that phyletism (which means racism) is distored by the Russians who produced the iron Bulgarian Comitazis church in Constantinople.

          • George,
            “I guess he thinks that there is a “sweet spot” somewhere in the middle.”

            It is evident, Elpidophoros has got his own PERFECT specific ideas.
            If you do not agree EXACTLY with HIS ideas, then you are in one of these categories e.g.

            -alienated from your orthodox duties,
            -a clerk of the parish council,
            -secular reasoning
            -influenced by the prevalent Protestant models (Papal are ok)
            -foreign to the Spirit of Orthodoxy
            -degenerated into nothing more than membership clubs member,
            -limited only to the bare essentials, etc.
            -indistinguishable from a corresponding member of other denominations
            -secularized American Orthodox,
            -attached to the letter of the law,
            -unfamiliar with the Orthodox experience,
            -overzealous behavior and mentality,
            -etc, etc, etc.

            The name of the game is “Thou shalt be blindly obedient to me”.

          • George,  ‘ domestic burden ‘ of having a family.  What an insult to the married and familial state. Yes having a family is a huge responsibility and challenge, but a burden?? It is also a Joy and delight. The family of a priest is no more burdened by the father’s role then that of a doctor or senior nurse etc.   What mind state is found there?!  In some things he is correct re how american Orthodoxy, especially in it’s greek aspects, had developed a secular, minimalist pattern in ways I have often criticised. As for the rest, Rubbish in the dust bin.  But above all his entire approach reaks of no contact with real world. A clerical bureaucrat as Kallistos Ware in many respects, although Kallistos is at much  higher level.  At least Kallistos aware he lacks the common touch!!.  Very socially inept outside of academia. 

      • Matthew Panchisin says

        Dear George,
        Let us know when his retraction is penned. We can send a copy to Trump’s State Department so they can remove him from the working files of
        “Religious Geniuses”, Joseph Smith, Muhammad etc. are in the permanent section.
        We could also send a carbon copy to the World Council of Churches, Dumenko is also in the growing LGBT working file cabinet, before the PETA files.

  3. the funeral was covered widely in greek press and tv etc.   And here in Thessaloniki where we are til new year. 
    Like you, I who never held to prophesy in the sense of beyond Christ’ s words of ‘Only God knows’ to paraphrase, now find myself thinking hard as to what i see around me and feel.  And what it is in one word or three exactly? It is ‘ A RETURN TO PAGANISM’ without any redeeming  feature.   The sexual gender stuff has the smell of the Salem Witch trials about it. 
    On this point an academic has had her dismissal from international Charity upheld by Uk Appeals Court,   on the grounds of threatening other’s human dignity. Her crime.  In a nut shell, for posting on twitter that females with beard and penis, might possibly be,   you know.  MEN. !  
    How long before we are prosecuted here?  This has nothing to do with individual dignity etc, but with a mindless, hate filled SICKNESS, masquarading as RIGHTS. 

  4. Rhonda Dodson says

    A JP hierarch was hospitalized after poisonous gas after the Isrealis fired gas canisters into the Church where he was. He suffered a temporary paralysis, but is expected to recover.https://orthochristian.com/126551.html

    • Gail Sheppard says

      I hate to be so cynical, but this would not be the first time this particular man made some startling proclamation that could not be substantiated.  If you’re paralyzed by chemical weapons you generally don’t make a complete recovery within 24 hours.  There are no other reports that I can find that confirm that a gas canister was fired into his church except the official Hamas-run television station who reported the story.

      In a Tom Clancy Jack Ryan episode entitled ‘The Wolf’, it shows a similar scene in a church as 3 gas canisters go off.  This fictional story is closer to the truth in that if this were to happen, people would die.  Makes for good TV and gets the creative juices going for people who might want to borrow the theme for the telling.

      I do not support the Israelis in a lot of what they do, but this man is not always credible.  Some “freedom fighters” think they can say anything and do anything as long as it hurts Israel. 

      I remember a joke Metropolitan Philip often told to groups assembled in his honor: “Some call them terrorists. I call them freedom fighters!” From what I understand, this was always followed by raucous applause./p>

      • “Some call them terrorists. I call them freedom fighters!”
        That’s not a joke; these things are always partisan. The same could be said about the civil war in Ireland. I know a lot of people here in the States thought that the IRA were freedom fighters, even as they were setting off bombs in civilian neighborhoods.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          When Metropolitan Philip said it, he did it for the laughs because groups like Hamas and Hezbollah are employed to do the fighting and one normally associates terrorist groups with, well, terrorism.

          • IDF bombing schools and hospitals in the Gaza Strip with white phosphorus is also terrorism.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              Yes, it is horrible and I think it’s a tragedy that there are people out there who capitalize on the horror of it all by publishing stories that are not true just to get a reaction.

            • Monk James Silver says

              Basil (December 21, 2019 at 5:27 am) says:

              IDF bombing schools and hospitals in the Gaza Strip with white phosphorus is also terrorism.


              I suppose that ‘Basil’ may be forgiven his ignorance here, but the Israelis haven’t ever fought except defensively.

              For example, the IDF ALWAYS precedes their strafing of targets in Gaza with a very thorough effort to inform local people to get away from the places they will bomb, often hospitals and schools, which Hamas uses as virtual human shields to emplace their missile launchers.

              Residents of Gaza receive the radio warnings from the IDF and leaflets dropped by Israelis planes urging them to evacute from prospective targets, but Hamas tells them not to believe them. The people who are then caught in Israeli attacks are then the victims of Hamas’s propaganda, not so much of IDF attacks.

              It’s important to know that such things as the phosphorus spraying or even the knock-out gas directed at a meeting in a church featuring Bp Atallah Hanna were not fatal to anyone — merely intended to break up seditious gatherings and to disperse people listening to (and likely to be influenced by) anti-Israel rhetoric.

              Sadly, for a long time now, Bp AH hasn’t been acting so much as an Orthodox Christian bishop as a spokesman for ‘Palestinian’ rights. It can only be regretted that he was present at a meeting which the IDF felt necessary to disrupt.

              No one, least of all myself, wishes any trouble for the people who call themselves ‘Palestinians’, although this term (at least in its present understanding) didn’t even exist until after the make-believe 1967 war which Egypt and Jordan unsuccessfully waged against Israel. Before then, ‘Palestine’ described only the Holy Land, and the newspaper which is now called ‘The Jerusalem Times’ was then ‘The Palestine Times’. The designation ‘Palestinian” was always understood to mean ‘Jewish’ until then, especially since Jerusalem had been established as the capital city of the Jews by King David about three thousand years ago.

              After the last dispersion of the Jews from the Holy Land in A.D. 130, the land remained mostly — but not entirely — without Jews for nearly nineteen centuries. Islamic conquests of the areas around the eastern shores of the Mediterranean absorbed the Holy Land, eventually including it within the Ottoman Empire of Turkey.

              Yet all these people, the Romans, the Muslims, and everyone else, were usurpers and finally squatters, claiming land to which they had no legitimate ownership.

              In the mid-twentieth century, after the nearly complete annihilation of European Jews, the Jewish people began, out of necessity, to reassert their claims to their ancient homeland. That effort immediately resulted in the expulsion of about 800,000 Jews from Middle Eastern and North African countries where they had lived for centuries among their Muslim neighbors.

              Where could those displaced Jews go, but to Israel? Incidentally: his involved fewer people than were displaced by the renascent state of Israel when it forcibly relocated muslim Arabs from their western areas, although the ‘Palestinians’ call this their _naqba_ (‘calamity’). Really? After all the damage they have done to the peoples of the world?

              It should be noted here that even American foreign policy in the 1940s did not allow the reception of Jews fleeing Hitler as refugees — the U.S. sent then back to their deaths. This was a result of a sort of ‘devil’s deal’ between Rabbi Steven Wise and President Franklin D. Roosevelt. You can look it up.

              In any event, Israel deserves our respect and support rather than our censure and condemnation. It’s not insignificant that they have won every modern war started by their muslim arab aggressors.

              May the Lord bless His people, Israel, and lead them to understand that our Lord Jesus Christ is their Messiah, and the true God of us all.

              • Momk James: ‘…the IDF ALWAYS precedes their strafing of targets in Gaza with a very thorough effort to inform local people to get away from the places they will bomb”.
                What about their targets in the Lebanon, then?

                • Monk James Silver says

                  As a matter of principle, the IDF does not attack non-combatants, so I have to assume that they do something in Lebanon similar to what they do in Gaza, warning people to get out of the way when they must respond to a provocation.
                  For example, now that Israel has retaken the Golan, the IDF has removed the vegetation on one side of the main north-south road between Israel and Lebanon so that they can better distinguish between civilian and military traffic.  The IDF stops military traffic and forces it to turn back.
                  As it is, Hizbullah controls Lebanon just as thoroughly a Hamas controls Gaza.  They do nothing to help their people, using all the foreign aid money provided them by the U.S. and others merely to arm themselves and enrich their leaders.  They also set up funds for the families of terrorists who will kill themselves in attempts to kill Israeli civilians.

              • Nice to see that ‘Monk’ James supports a slow genocide by those who blaspheme the Holy Name of Our Lord and burn the Gospel in their towns and cities.
                The CHURCH is Israel, not this impostor state and its Synagogue of Satan.
                More people die in a week of Israeli air strikes than in a year or more of Palestinian attacks. Get real.

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  Is that really fair, Basil? Where did Monk James say he supports a “slow genocide by those who blaspheme the Holy Name of Our Lord and burn the Gospel in their towns and cities?” I think you may be confusing your hatred for the Jews with Father James’ attempt to bring some clarity to the situation. Can you dispute anything he said? Not with an ad hominem but with facts? I don’t think you can because if you could you would.

                  If more Palestinians die in a week of Israeli airstrikes than in a year or more of Palestinian attacks, why do Palestinians keep putting themselves in a position where they’re going to die? If they stopped fighting, there would be no need for the airstrikes. How do I know? Because the world would come down heavily on the Jews if they continued after the Palestinians pulled back. Someone has got to the hero in this situation. Why can’t it be the Palestinians? Is it because whenever they’re challenged, even with objective facts, their default position is to say and do the nastiest things they can think of? Like in this case with the way you spoke to Father James, even haggling over the word CHURCH. The “imposter state” you speak of is full of people created in the image of God, yet you call them the Synagogue of Satan. Words they do not deserve because no human being does. When you use words as weapons, and I’m not singling you out because sadly you’re not alone, we don’t want anything to do with this conflict of yours. You alienate us calling us names and then expect us to be sympathetic to your cause. Why would we be? Most Americans don’t have the stomach for this. We don’t fight for fighting’s sake. When we enter a war, we want to win (which the Palestinians can’t do) and get out as quickly as possible (which the Palestinians won’t do). This conflict you feel so passionately about is like the Hatfields and McCoys where a lot of people die and everyone loses. You can’t be angry with Americans for being sick of hearing about deaths we can’t prevent. If we went in there to protect you by keeping you from fighting, you would be fighting us and we’d lose people. And what for? What is any of this for? What can the Palestinians possibly gain? Nothing.

                  • Monk James Silver says

                    Thanks so much for trying to mediate this discussion, dear Gail.
                    One thing you hinted at but didn’t quite state openly is that antizionism is a form of antisemitism, or — to say it more directly — hatred of the state of Israel is hatred of Jews, an attitude unworthy of us Christians.

                    • There are Jewish Anti-Zionists. Are they also Anti-Semites?

                    • In my opinion you all need to step back a bit.  In all due respect yr independence war cost lives and was not a sure thing, AS OUR GREEK ONE,  but we kept on because we believed in our own dignity as a people. And our right to die for that. 
                      The palestinians are a people of equal worth to  the jews.  That is irrelevant to how so awful are some of their representatives.  But to be fair have you read many of the racist comments worthy of a Hitler, coming out of the mouths of israeli politicians and their more Orthodox groupings?  And the same contempt for females etc. 
                      The truth is that we europeans and u Americans dumped our holocaust guilt on to the arabs.  And we have approach these matters from that stance ever since. 
                      Have you ever bothered to learn about the palestinians forced NOW from their ancestral homes, from their ancestral olive and date trees, to make way for israeli settlement, fully illegal under international law and obviously morally so?    Or are they not of equal worth with the Jew?  GAIL THEY DID NOT PUSH JEWS INTO GAS CHAMBERS, U MIGHT HAVE FORGOTTEN.  It was our european  grandparents and great grandparents, although not in Greece or Bulgaria, but in nice Civilized France and Germany etc. And Poland. And baltic republics. 
                      At the Oslo peace accords the palestinians acknowledged the israeli state but the israeli state has never made clear where it’s borders end.  And the citizen laws of likhud government are making israel a future aparteid state. 
                      Let me make clear I oppose all anti semitism, or any racism or sexism if  it comes to that. BUT I HOLD AS MY DEMOCRATIC RIGHT  THE RIGHT TO OPPOSE THE ACTIONS OF ISRAELI STATE AS I DO OF SAUDI ARABIA, it’s secret ally by the way. Or of USA or Turkey 

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      Nikos, this has less to do with Palestinians and more to do with why Peter initially started this thread. He’s angry at Trump because Trump wants to put a stop to this kind of BS.


                      A recent pro-Israel event at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign was promptly shouted down by the school’s Students for Justice (SJP) in Palestine chapter.

                      The protesters showed up with signs saying “fascists off our campus” and “free Palestine,” but stormed out of the event without engaging in any dialogue with the speaker.

                      The speaker, Hen Mazziq, is an openly gay former commander in the Israel Defense Forces, and claims that “protests at my talks are nothing new.”

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      This story is worth reading. https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=10163

                    • Monk James Silver
                      December 25, 2019 at 7:39 pm
                      “What can be said for a fact, though, is that the Muslims are not ‘abrahamic’. Not only did Islam come along more than twenty centuries after Abraham, but — whatever else can be said about them — many Muslims are not Arabs”.

                      Saint John of Damascus (+750) writes:
                      There is also the superstition of the Ishmaelites which to this day prevails and keeps people in error, being a fore- runner of the Antichrist. They are descended from Ishmael, was was born to Abraham of Agar, and for this reason they are called both Agarenes and Ishmaelites.


                    • Monk James Silver says

                      Ioannis (December 26, 2019 at 8:06 am) says:

                      Monk James Silver
                      December 25, 2019 at 7:39 pm
                      “What can be said for a fact, though, is that the Muslims are not ‘abrahamic’. Not only did Islam come along more than twenty centuries after Abraham, but — whatever else can be said about them — many Muslims are not Arabs”.

                      Saint John of Damascus (+750) writes:
                      There is also the superstition of the Ishmaelites which to this day prevails and keeps people in error, being a fore- runner of the Antichrist. They are descended from Ishmael, was was born to Abraham of Agar, and for this reason they are called both Agarenes and Ishmaelites.


                      St John Mansur’s words here must be understood in a particular context.

                      He apparently believed the story of muslim origins, which asserted that the Arabs were descended fro Hagar and Ishmael.

                      Given his time and place, soon after the growth of Islam among his own Arabic-speaking people in Syria, and his political position, it’s not surprising that he accepted this muslim distortion of scripture at the same time as he opposed Islam.

                      There is nothing in the authentically Orthodox Catholic Christian Tradition to suggest — ,let alone support — the idea that the children of Hagar became the Arabs or Muslims.

                      Anthropology and all sciences are neither supported by nor devalued by the Bible. These are two completely separate and unrelated ways of thinking.

                    • Monk James Silver says
                      December 26, 2019 at 8:10 pm

                      I have taken the liberty of summarizing the two opinions or “theses”, up-dated on my part, in two comprehensive parts to facilitate my understanding
                      (they are probably not finalized yet, e.g. some supporting references are missing):

                      Thesis 1 (T1):
                      Saint “John of Damascus” (https://www.oca.org/saints/lives/2019/12/04/103473-martyr-john-of-damascus) writes:
                      “There is also the superstition of the Ishmaelites which to this day prevails and keeps people in error, being a fore- runner of the

                      Antichrist. They are descended from Ishmael, who was born to Abraham of Agar, and for this reason they are called both Agarenes and

                      T2 below mentions that the above quotation is a story of muslim origins, and that “there is nothing in the authentically Orthodox

                      Catholic Christian Tradition to suggest …the idea that the children of Hagar became the Arabs or Muslims.However we also have the

                      following ancient texts from Wikipedia (term: Saracen):
                      “Ptolemy’s 2nd-century work, Geography, describes Sarakēnḗ (Ancient Greek: Σαρακηνή) as a region in the northern Sinai Peninsula.[2]

                      [3] Ptolemy also mentions a people called the Sarakēnoí (Ancient Greek: οἱ Σαρακηνοί) living in the northwestern Arabian Peninsula

                      (near neighbor to the Sinai).[2][3] Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical history narrates an account wherein Pope Dionysius of Alexandria

                      mentions Saracens in a letter while describing the persecution of Christians by the Roman emperor Decius: “Many were, in the Arabian

                      mountain, enslaved by the barbarous ‘sarkenoi’.”
                      Beginning no later than the early fifth century, Christian writers began to equate Saracens with Arabs. Saracens were associated with

                      Ishmaelites (descendants of Abraham’s older son Ishmael) in some strands of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic genealogical thinking. The

                      writings of Jerome (d. 420) are the earliest known version of the claim that Ishmaelites chose to be called Saracens in order to

                      identify with Abraham’s “free” wife Sarah, rather than as Hagarenes, which would have highlighted their association with Abraham’s

                      “slave woman” Hagar.[18] This claim was popular during the Middle Ages, but derives more from Paul’s allegory in the New Testament

                      letter to the Galatians than from historical data. The name Saracen was not indigenous among the populations so described but was

                      applied to them by Greco-Roman historians based on Greek place names.[2][3]”

                      There is an argument in T2 that Saint John’s words in above are not accepted as part of the authentically Orthodox Catholic Christian

                      Tradition. Not accepted by whom?, Proof is missing in T2.
                      However, we consider the fact that St.John has written for us all the Resurrection canons and we sing them almost on every Sunday of

                      the year. He has also written books about our Orthodox faith. We therefore certainly consider Saint John’s words as part of the

                      authentically Orthodox Catholic Christian Tradition.

                      Thesis 2 (T2):
                      St John Mansur’s words here must be understood in a particular context.

                      He apparently believed the story of muslim origins, which asserted that the Arabs were descended from Hagar and Ishmael.

                      Given his time and place, soon after the growth of Islam among his own Arabic-speaking people in Syria, and his political position,

                      it’s not surprising that he accepted this muslim distortion of scripture at the same time as he opposed Islam.

                      There is nothing in the authentically Orthodox Catholic Christian Tradition to suggest — ,let alone support — the idea that the

                      children of Hagar became the Arabs or Muslims.
                      Note, Saint John’s words in T1 above are not accepted as part of the authentically Orthodox Catholic Christian Tradition.
                      Not even considering the fact that St.John has written for us all the Resurrection canons and we sing them almost on every Sunday of

                      the year. He has also written books about our Orthodox faith.


                      How do we decide which of the two theses(T1 and T2) is the correct one?

                      BTW, why do you reply using the name of the Saint “John Mansur” when even your (OCA) official web-site says (John of Damascus)?
                      Is there something wrong with that?

                  • Well, let’s get started on that. No one deserves to be called the Synagogue of Satan? Not even the ones that Christ called the Synagogue of Satan (twice) in the Apocalypse? What about ‘of their father, the devil’? Is that better? Not of God? Snakes, brood of vipers? City that kills the prophets and stones those are sent to it? Need I go on?
                    Yes, it is fair. He’s telling us to respect and support an apartheid state that openly kills civilians, ignores UN resolutions, and continues to support land seizure in the West Bank. Everybody likes to wax lyrical about Abp. Iakovos supporting MLK, but somehow cower in fear about Israel, who are much worse than old Jim Crow.
                    Let me tell you a little secret about my ‘hatred’ for Jews: my best friend since middle school is a Jew. A secular Jew. Son of a former Rabbi who rejected the Talmud and Zionism. I oppose Talmudism and Zionism, not ethnic Jews. My friend woke me up to these things when I was in the military; his father passed on his knowledge to him. So, if you want to accuse me of irrational Jew-hate, please go ahead. If you want to equate anti-Zionism with antisemitism, please go ahead also, but you need to run that past the anti-Zionist Orthodox Jews that exist here in the States and elsewhere.
                    Okay, now ‘patently false’ allegations:
                    Murder of civilians:
                    New Testament burning:
                    Mostly from the horse’s mouth. And many other such cases for those can be bothered looking.
                    Now, should the Palestinians continue their resistance? Well, in a thread about a Serbian bishop and being a Greek myself, maybe our ancestors should have given up when under Turkish occupation? They didn’t, though: they kept fighting, even against the odds, even against ‘international opinion,’ and with the blessing of bishops, we took the fight to the heathen, shed their blood, and drove them from our homelands. So, yes, it is right for the Palestinians to keep fighting, despite what suburban Americans think, and maybe one day they will succeed. I wish them all the best.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Basil, that’s why I’ve said “ethnogenesis is a messy business”. Yes, Israel is an apartheid state. A nation can only be one of two things: a (more or less) homogeneous state like Greece, Italy, France, England, etc, or if it has more than two ethnicities/races it will be an apartheid state with one race/ethnicity being the more powerful one. The latter is not fair by any means but that’s the way of the world.

                      The third option is for complete segregation as has happened in Northern Ireland where actual physical barriers exist between the Catholics and the Ulster men. Or in Cyprus where the “Attila line” separates Greeks from Turks.

                      You know, Andy Jackson has received a lot of flak for the ethnic cleansing of the Five Civilized Tribes to what is now Oklahoma but he saved them from an inevitable genocide. Gandhi did the same thing in India where he agreed to the partition of the Subcontinent into Moslem and Hindu nations.

                      FWIT, I don’t believe you’re an anti-Semite.

                      To all: unless one knows better, let’s stop with the invective.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      What I accused you of, Basil, is a knee jerk reaction to anyone who rationally tries to challenge your point of view. It would be so helpful if the people we try to talk to about the Palestinians wouldn’t push the nuke button when there is even a SUGGESTION that we might not agree with you. My friend, you went for the juggler with Father James. That’s not OK and I see it a lot in discussions about the Palestinians. What I was trying to tell you is that from a western POV, many of us don’t understand all this fighting. We fight to win and go home. Even in our own country, when the South lost to the North, the South conceded like gentlemen. We don’t understand why the Palestinians continue to fight when no clear victory is in sight. We also don’t like Hamas and Hezbollah.

                      I’m not sure anyone could convince me they knew what Revelations means or to whom it refers. We’ll see at the end of time. A synagogue is any gathering place so I wouldn’t place too much importance on that word.

                      I guess the Palestinians can fight for an eternity if they want to. I’m out, though. I have no desire to help them. Blessed are the peacemakers and all that . . .

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Basil, while it is true that Jesus (in Revelation) calls the false Jews “the synagogue of Satan” we cannot forget that in the Synoptic Gospel story of the Syro-Phoenician woman he calls gentiles “swine” and “dogs”.

                    • Does ‘false Jews’ include all Jews, or does it leave room for ‘true Jews’?

                  • …not to mention Arab Anti-Zionists. Are they Anti-Semites too?

                    • Monk James Silver says

                      By definition, anyone who is opposed to Zionism is opposed to the very existence of the state of Israel.
                      Arabs opposed to the very existence of the state of Israel are indeed antisemitic.  They make no pretense of concealing their hatred of the Jews.  Consider the 1967 ‘Khartoum Statement’.
                      In reference to your earlier question, it would seem to be logically impossible for Jews to be antisemitic.  The psychological phenomenon of the ‘self-hating Jew’ is another issue and not directly related to the present conversation.
                      Yet, in spite of the apparent absurdity of the descriptor, yes, it is indeed true that antizionist Jews are indeed antisemitic.
                      Considering that the whole point of Zionism is to revive the ancient homeland of the Jews as a safe haven for them when they are rejected and expelled from other countries, anyone — even a Jew —  who opposes this goal can be described as anti-Jewish.
                      Although the idea of re-establishing the state of Israel was discussed in Europe beginning in the late nineteenth century, and early Zionists were encouraged by the 1917 British ‘Balfour Declaration’, the urgency if the project didn’t strike people until  Hitler and his Nazis began blaming all of Germany’s troubles on the Jews, who comprised only about .08% of that country’s population at the time. 

                      Still, that was a great number of people, especially when enlarged by the Jews of Austria, Poland, southwestern Russia, and Belarus.  The death trains  carried people even from Italy and Greece and France.  Hitler met with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem to talk about plans for building death camps in Arab countries as an aspect of their ‘final solution to the Jewish problem’.  (Note that this was about a dozen years before the establishment of the state of Israel, so there are your antisemitic Arabs.)
                      At first, the Jews of Germany thought that they were fairly well inculturated, and safe.  They were wrong, and very few of them managed to escape to the Holy Land and elsewhere.
                      Arab states in the Middle East and North Africa expelled about 800,00 Jews after Israel declared its independence in 1948.  Where could all those refugees go, but to Israel?  And so they went.
                      The luxury of feeling safe in Europe, even in the United Kingdom, is now felt by many Jews to have been an illusion, and they are emigrating to Israel to escape the violence now aimed at them in western Europe as a whole.
                      Anti-Jewish activity has been increasing also in the United States of America, which is home to about half the world’s Jews.  Most of the other half are already living in Israel, and fewer than 10% of the Jews now live elsewhere.
                      As comfortable as American Jews are, their situation is being eroded.  Only the most myopic or completely blind (figuratively speaking) among them can think of themselves as antizionists. 
                      Yet Israel has a policy called ‘the law of return’, which assures every Jew in the world of a place to come home to when it becomes impossible to live anywhere else.  It remains to be seen how many of those Jewish antizionists will take advantage of this refuge when the time comes, but I expect that very few —  if any — will refuse it.

                    • “By definition, anyone who is opposed to Zionism is opposed to the very existence of the state of Israel.”
                      Hasidic Jews oppose “the very existence of the state of Israel” because it has a political and not religious foundation.
                      So, in your philosophy, they are antisemitic, despite them being Semitic.
                      “Arabs opposed to the very existence of the state of Israel are indeed antisemitic. ”
                      Yet are Arabs not Semitic? Are they not descended from Shem? Are they self-hating too?

                    • Johann Sebastian says

                      When Israel opens her doors to the persecuted Christians of the Middle East; when Israel stands in solidarity with persecuted Christians the world over–indeed persecution and genocide of any people without selectivity or revisionism; when Israel acknowledges the genocide of Orthodox Christians under the Franks, Ottomans, and Bolsheviks–only then will I advocate solidarity with them. Until that time, they remain in league with everyone else throughout history that has conspired against our Faith. They are not unique in this regard, just another one of many groups that at worst demonstrate antipathy and at best ambivalence toward us.
                      They demand the love of neighbor that Christ calls us to, but their nation-state’s right to exist is no more valid than that of any other nation-state that now exists on this planet.
                      Their nation ceased to be Israel when the veil of their Temple was rent in two.
                      The Church is the transfigured Israel, the Israel of souls and not of soil and stone. Those who come to the Risen Christ through her–Greek or Jew or Arab or Aborigine–are His chosen people. We should never shy away from proclaiming that Truth, even if we be defamed and denounced for doing so.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      JS, you are 100% correct in your estimation of the Church being the true Israel. If it is not, then Jesus was deluded and His salvific work on the Cross was in vain.

                      As for the nation-state itself, it has as much right –no more, no less–to being a geographically-designated polity as any other nation-state.

                    • Monk James Silver says

                      Brendan (December 23, 2019 at 9:29 p)m says:

                      “By definition, anyone who is opposed to Zionism is opposed to the very existence of the state of Israel.”Hasidic Jews oppose “the very existence of the state of Israel” because it has a political and not religious foundation.So, in your philosophy, they are antisemitic, despite them being Semitic.“Arabs opposed to the very existence of the state of Israel are indeed antisemitic. ”Yet are Arabs not Semitic? Are they not descended from Shem? Are they self-hating too?

                      Jews who oppose the existence of the state of Israel, especially the Haredim who live there, are seriously deluding themselves.  Their refusal to serve in the IDF is not winning them any friends there, but that’s likely to change in the near future. 
                      The fact remains that Israel is the only country where all Jews can feel safe from persecution and expulsion–  a luxury they haven’t had since A.F. 130.  Opposing Zionism is not a realistic option for Jews in the twenty-first century.
                      The designation ‘semitic’ is originally a linguistic term, and describes languages such as Arabic, Hebrew, Aramaic, Ge’ez and several others now mostly extinct.  Although —  especially in its adversative form —  it has come to mean ‘Jewish’, it would be a mistake to assign any sort of racial or ethnic meaning to the word ‘semitic’.
                      The notion that the Arabs or any other people are descended specifically from one or another of the sons of Noah has about as much credibility as Ussher’s cosmological chronology:  Bible-flavored  fiction in the absence of Biblical facts.

                    • Monk James Silver says

                      Johann Sebastian December 23, 2019 at 9:53 pm) says:

                      When Israel opens her doors to the persecuted Christians of the Middle East;   SNIPPING A LOT OF UNHELPFUL RHETORIC

                      It is an exercise in futility to hold Israel to standards higher than other countries are held to, especially its neighbors in the Middle East. How many Christian churches are there in Saudi Arabia?
                      Here, ‘Johann Sebastian’ seems unaware of Israel’s requirements for citizenship, which is held by many non-Jews, including Christians from all over and muslim Arabs who were born there or moved there.  All of these people have the same civil rights as their Jewish fellow citizens, following a model of democracy which was not even imaginable in apartheid-era South Africa. 
                      Not long ago, a muslim Arab sat on the Israeli Supreme Court which deposed and imprisoned the president of Israel.  How could that have happened if the Arabs didn’t have full civil rights as Israeli citizens?  Duly elected muslim Arabs hold seats in the Knesset, where they regularly rail against the state of Israel as an idea, and Israeli law allows them that freedom.
                      All religions are treated respectfully and equally in Israel, at least in the law.  There are some areas where fanatical Jews insult and assault people for the way they dress or for riding even a bicycle on Saturday, but the best solution is to avoid those neighborhoods.  The problem will eventually go away.
                      Altogether, I think that you’re ’tilting at windmills’ here.  Maybe give it a rest.

                    • “…it would be a mistake to assign any sort of racial or ethnic meaning to the word ‘semitic’.”
                      Is that not equally true for ‘antisemitic’?
                      “The notion that the Arabs or any other people are descended specifically from one or another of the sons of Noah has about as much credibility as Ussher’s cosmological chronology: Bible-flavored fiction in the absence of Biblical facts.”
                      Are Jews and Arabs descended from Abraham?
                      Was Abraham descended from someone
                      whom both Jews and Arabs agree was called Shem?
                      Are Jews and Arabs related?

                    • Monk James Silver says

                      Brendan (December 25, 2019 at 8:31 am) says:

                      Are Jews and Arabs descended from Abraham?Was Abraham descended from someonewhom both Jews and Arabs agree was called Shem?Are Jews and Arabs related?
                      First, let’s understand that the Bible is not a textbook of anthropology or of any other science.  Expecting scientific evidence from the Bible is foolish and likely to be embarrassed. 
                      While the scriptures cannot be expected to be scientific textbooks, treatises in the sciences are not (at least intentionally) meant to describe the works of God.  Yet sometimes, willy-nilly, they do.

                      Bearing that in mind, it is not possible to assert as a fact that Abraham or the Jews or the Arabs are descendents of Shem, one of the sons of Noah as told in Genesis.  Were we to accept this postulate, we would be at a loss to explain the descendents of Ham and Yafeth, and those explanations are not forthcoming. 
                      What can be said for a fact, though, is that the Muslims are not ‘abrahamic’.   Not only did Islam come along more than twenty centuries after Abraham, but  —  whatever else can be said about them —  many Muslims are not Arabs.  To claim an ethnic heritage for all of them is absurd., and claiming a heritage of faith uniting them s extremely fragile, considering the many intramuslim wars there have been. If they will nit be kind to each other, why would the rest of us expect kindness from them? The goals of Islam are completely opposed to the goals of everyone else in the world.
                      At the same time, modern genetic research has shown that Arabs and Jews are related in physical, genealogical ways, and just about as closely in terms of linguistics.
                      The most interesting thing about these recently identified correspondences is the relationship between the Jews and the ‘Palestinians’.
                      After the destruction of the ten northern tribes of the Israelites by the Assyrians, it seems that those who remained in the area intermarried with other local peoples and lost their Jewish identity.  This is the rather closely Jewish-related stock of which the Palestinians’ come.  They are far more Jewish than Arabic, and are part of the Phoenician people later to become famous for their seafaring.  The ‘Palestinians’ are much more closely related to the Jews genetically than to the Arabs. Please notice the similarity between ‘Phoenician’ and ‘Palestinian’, the expected linguistic metatheses being at work.
                      And what was your point, ‘Brendan’?

                    • “What can be said for a fact, though, is that the Muslims are not ‘abrahamic’.”
                      Did I say they were?
                      “…many Muslims are not Arabs. To claim an ethnic heritage for all of them is absurd.”
                      I don’t recall claiming any ethnic heritage ‘for all [Muslims].’
                      “At the same time, modern genetic research has shown that Arabs and Jews are related in physical, genealogical ways, and just about as closely in terms of linguistics.”
                      Was that not precisely what I argued?
                      “Please notice the similarity between ‘Phoenician’ and ‘Palestinian’, the expected linguistic metatheses being at work.”
                      Please note the similarity between Egyptian ‘Peleset’, Hebrew ‘Pelesheth’, Assyrian ‘Palashtu’ or ‘Pilistu’, ‘Philistine’  and ‘Palestine’, the expected linguistic metatheses being at work.
                      The Peleset were one of the Sea-Peoples who assaulted Egypt and were repulsed in the reign of Ramesses III.They may have been Pelasgian Greeks, though the jury is out on that one. They may even have been Minoan refugees from Crete. They were certainly Philistines:

                      ‘Are ye not as children of the Ethiopians unto me, O children of Israel? saith the Lord. Have not I brought up Israel out of the land of Egypt? and the Philistines from Caphtor, and the Syrians from Kir?’ [Amos 9:7   KJV]

                      “And what was your point, ‘Brendan’?”
                      I have two points, ‘Monk’ James:

                      You do like waffling on about red herrings.
                      You don’t know what you are talking about.


                    • Brendan, nicely put. I was going to add something in the form of a quotation, but at the time I didn’t know what “petard” means. And by the time I looked it up I’d already submitted this comment.

                    • Thank you Blimbax. Was this the quotation:

                      1604   W. Shakespeare Hamlet iii. iv. 185 + 6  
                      “For tis the sport to haue the enginer
                      Hoist with his owne petar.”

                    • Antiochene Son says

                      Why shouldn’t Israel be held to a higher standard than other countries, when the United States treats it like no other country—virtually as US territory? What other country in the world could kill US sailors or sell US military secrets with impunity? What other wealthy country do we shower with money in order to fulfill some Protestant eschatological fetish that is on-par with Iranian “Twelvers?”
                      [I’ll have to post from prison next time, because the State Department says I did a hate speech in this post.]

                    • Brendan, Shakespeare sure was a really bad speller.  You’d think he could afford a spell checker.
                      Oh, about the Phoenicians and the Palestinians, you may have overlooked the connection.  Both “Phoenician” and “Palestinian” end in “ian.”  Every knows that all Armenian last names end in “ian.”  This is proof that the Palestinians and the Phoenicians are the heretofore unknown two lost tribes of Armenia. (Actually, this may have come up in that great film, Lawrence of Armenia.)
                      As for William Shakespeare, I just read that some people think that was someone’s pseudonym. https://www.thevintagenews.com/2018/09/30/real-william-shakespeare/ If this turns out to be true, we should toss all of those plays and sonnets into the trash bin, they won’t be worth reading, not to mention we’ll need to put the name in quotation marks.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Edward deVere, the seventh Earl of Oxford is another candidate. His partisans are called the “Oxonians”. (I don’t believe they are Armenian though.)

                    • Blimbax: ‘Every knows that all Armenian last names end in “ian.” This is proof that the Palestinians and the Phoenicians are the heretofore unknown two lost tribes of Armenia.’

                      “Ian” is also the Gaelic spelling of “John” which proves that a Scotsman wrote the Johannine Corpus (Gospel and Letters I-III).
                      Given that the first person named in the bible (King James) is also a Scotsman, perhaps the Scots are also a lost tribe of Israel?

                      As for English spelling, it’s as bad as their speaking. After all, as George Bernard Shaw said: “English is a language in which no native speaker can utter two syllables without being despised by another native speaker” – and he would know, being Irish.

                      As for the identity of the Bard, an academic once argued that all Shakespeare’s plays were written by Queen Elizabeth.
                      “Surely.” another academic protested, “you cannot seriously argue that plays and poems of such beauty and depth could possibly have been written by a woman?”
                      “Of course not,” replied the first. “Obviously, Queen Elizabeth was a man – which was why he never married.”
                      [I do not apologise for any misgenderisation in this joke.]

                    • Tim R. Mortiss says

                      Don’t call me Shirley.

                    • “Shirley” was always a male name until Charlotte Bronte stole it for her novel Shirley in 1849.
                      In Yorkshire it still is a male name, the most famous bearer of which in my lifetime was the professional wrestler Shirley Crabtree, a man with a 64 inch chest (which got him into the Guinness Book of Records).
                      This was one Shirley not to be messed with:

                • Michael Bauman says

                  Basil, there should be no quotations around Monk for Br. James.  

                  • Far uglier things are said about the legitimate bishops of Orthodoxy on a daily basis on this site than ‘a man who advocates for abortion and zionism by posting unceasingly on a message board is not actually a monk’. (and that’s just this week)

                    If the road to hell is paved with the skulls of bishops, then you do this man no favors towards his salvation by your defense of his title.

                  • Maybe he should extend that nicety to others’ real names, then.

                  • Actually, Michael Bauman, there shouldn’t be quotation marks used at all.  But think about who has used them and why.
                    There is a person who posts on this blog who disapproves of other people people who comment who use fictitious names.  He has made a point on at least one occasion that he will not deign to respond to them.  Yet what difference does the use of a pseudonym make as to the validity of the content of a comment?
                    Putting people down because they use pseudonyms while noisily ignoring what they are writing is not an example of being charitable.
                    I don’t know who is or is not a “monk” or a “priest.” Is Solitary Priest actually a priest?  Perhaps he uses a pseudonym because telling the truth as he sees it might jeopardize his status.  If Solitary Priest says he is a priest, I will take him at  his word and consider what he writes on its own merits.
                    I used quotation marks a couple of times to make a point.  I won’t do so anymore.  Using quotation  marks in that fashion is like making an ad hominem argument.  It doesn’t lubricate the discussion but instead introduces an unnecessary irritant.

                    • Blimbax well said.!!   

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      blimbax, I know Solitary Priest. He is a real, canonical, Orthodox priest in good standing serving in a parish. I know enough about Monk James to be certain that he is a genuine Orthodox monk in somewhat unusual situation. I know who Tim R Mortis is and where to find him if I wanted to and I would love to share a glass of fine Wyldewood Cellars wine with him someday.

                      I made the decision when I first started posting on blogs to always use my legal identity, where I worship and who my bishop is. That keeps me accountable and also gives me a freedom of expression I would not have otherwise.

                      I have, a time or two, suggested that if folks don’t like what I say, to let my priest know. So far, nothing has come to me from him. My bishop knows of my activity and has not once said anything other than to comment on my “boldness” which is not a trait that is strictly internet enabled BTW.

                      So far, by the Grace of God, I have gotten no negative feed back.

                      George keeps threatening to actually come up to Wichita someday so we can meet in person. He was absent on the Sunday my wife and I dropped in to worship at his parish when we were in the area.

                      I have met a few in person from the blogs I participate in. It has always been a blessing. I have communicated with others personally off-blog. That too has always been a blessing.

                      I just do not see the point in wearing a mask here since I have such a full collection of them for my day to day life as it is, but for those who do, that is their decision, though I do think that using a screen name does tend to detract from the impact of any statements made.

                      God is merciful and rewards beyond measure. Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand! is the Gospel and the map of the Christian life all rolled up into one.
                      Forgive me, a sinner.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Someday soon, Michael, I will be there!

                    • Tim R. Mortiss says

                      Blimbax asked:”Yet what difference does the use of a pseudonym make as to the validity of the content of a comment?”
                      It can in some circumstances. My own wholly personal view is that true anomes should not be allowed to post ad hominem attacks on blogs, in general. Total unaccountability has led to many of the ugly things about the web. (I speak in general.)
                      I use my real name on most of the very few forums that I post, but a nom-de-keyboard here. But I am not anonymous. George and Michael know who I am and I suppose others do. I’ve used my real name a couple-three times here over the years, and have on several occasions posted info which would lead anybody who cared to my real identity in moments. So I remain fully accountable for my posts.

                    • To Niko, Michael Bauman, and Tim Mortiss:
                      To Νίκο, ευχαριστώ. Τουλάχιστον κάποιος κατάλαβε τι ήθελα να εκφράσω.
                      To Michael Bauman, as far as I’m concerned, you can use whatever name you want.  It really does not matter to me, or what your reasons are for doing one or another.
                      More importantly, it is not clear to me if you understood my reference to Solitary Priest.  You do not need to prove to  me that he is, indeed, a priest.  As I said before, I take it for granted that he is.  I never suggested the contrary.  Perhaps you misunderstood what I wrote, in which case I ask that you reread my comment.  Likewise, I never doubted that Monk James Silver is what he says he is.
                      To Tim Mortiss, I see that you use a pseudonym here, although you make a  point of saying that several people know who you are.  Again, I really don’t care.  I don’t judge the quality of what you write based on whether you use your true, full name, as opposed to something else.
                      As for my use of a pseudonym, there are several reasons for it, but I see no reason in setting them out.  If I write something stupid, feel free to challenge it.  And if I ever engage in an ad hominem argument, call me out on it.
                      I will disagree with the content of part of your comment, not because you’ve revealed that you are using a “nom-de-keyboard” on this blog, but because of what you wrote. 
                      You wrote, “My own wholly personal view is that true anomes should not be allowed to post ad hominem attacks on blogs, in general.”
                      It is also true that people who make ad hominem attacks do so hiding behind anonymity, although sometimes they are made by people who use their true identity.
                      The flaw in what you wrote, as I see it, is that you seem to create an inexorable connection between anonymity and ad hominem attacks.  But there is no such connection.
                      I agree with part of your statement.  People should not be allowed to post ad hominem attacks, at least without being challenged, regardless whether they use their real names or false ones.
                      Moreover, casting aspersions on someone because he uses a made up name or only a first name is itself a type of ad hominem argument.  It’s a way of suggesting that what that person writes is of no value because he doesn’t use a real first and last name.

                    • “Blimbax asked:”Yet what difference does the use of a pseudonym make as to the validity of the content of a comment?” It can in some circumstances.”
                      When one is not anonymous, it forces one to be circumspect and tailor the content to be more acceptable to all types of audience. Acceptable to your present or potential employer, neighbors, customers, a bully in a pub you frequent, or even your future competitor in elections.
                      Removal of anonymity is a key condition to silence Internet.

                    • Antiochene Son says

                      Merry Christmas! 
                      Well said! Many of the debates which shaped the formation of America were in the form of pseudonymous newspaper articles. Pseudonyms have been part and parcel of Internet discussion since olden times.
                      Arguments ought to be weighed on their merits alone, not by who said them. Appealing to those who use their real names against those who do not is literally the ad hominem fallacy. 

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Indeed! “Publius” being the foremost, perhaps?

                    • Tim R. Mortiss says

                      Blimbax said:
                      “Moreover, casting aspersions on someone because he uses a made up name or only a first name is itself a type of ad hominem argument.  It’s a way of suggesting that what that person writes is of no value because he doesn’t use a real first and last name.”
                      You do protest too much. I never cast aspersions on you or anyone because of anonymity.
                      I have no problems with people who choose to be anonymous on forums, except when such people (among whom I don’t and did not include you) make personal attacks. I appended a parenthetical phrase to indicate I was speaking generally only. 
                      But it’s true I don’t extol the practice. I came late to the internet, or rather it came late to me. When I got the connection in 1999 at my office, I was 51, had practiced my profession for 36 years, and had seven grandchildren. 
                      I had by then long since developed the practice of speaking and expressing views on my own behalf and under my own name. Anyhow, there was no anonymity back then.
                      On the other hand, the only other two or three forums I post on are mostly devoted to traditional outdoorsmanship and similar sporting activities. So they are not controversial in nature anyway. One of them, the Single Action Shooting Society, requires the use of an alias, of an “old West” type…

                    • Tim Mortiss, you write, “You do protest too much. I never cast aspersions on you or anyone because of anonymity.”
                      And I never suggested that you cast any such aspersions on me.  I was discussing such behavior in general.  Again, my comment, in the last paragraph of what I posted, was not directed at you.  You were not the subject, implied or expressed, of my comment. I hope this makes it clear.
                      Merry Christmas to all.

                    • Tim R. Mortiss says

                      And Merry Christmas to you, blimbax! Ever the trouble with internet communication– conversation is so much easier…
                      Sorry for my misunderstandings.

                    • Tim Mortiss, my response was a bit overdone, forgive me. 
                      And again, Merry Christmas to all.

                • Monk James Silver says

                  Because ‘Palestinian’ terrorists continue to send rockets against civilian targets in Israeli territory, Israel has developed an effective defense mechanism known as the ‘Iron Dome’.  In conjunction with an elaborate system of air-raid alerts and bomb shelters, very few Israeli citizens are actually hit, hurt, and killed by terrorist missiles.
                  On the other hand, especially in Gaza, Hamas continues to lie to civilian Arabs, trying to convince them that warnings from the IDF about planned retaliatory attacks on military sites are false.   Here, we have to acknowledge the very dangerous strategy  employed by Hamas when it bases its rocket launchers in schools and hospitals, basically using human shields to protect their installations.  That strategy, as everyone can see, is a miserable failure.
                  In any event, these considerations might help to explain the difference in the numbers of casualties on both sides.

              • “Monk” James Silver, this is an amazingly and breathtakingly one-sided and biased string of statements.  And except for a reference to that one bishop, virtually no mention of the Christians who were expelled in the late 1940s, or even of the hassles the remaining Greek Orthodox Christians in Gaza have in order to visit Bethlehem and Jerusalem for the Holy Days.

                • Monk James Silver says

                  Please forgive me for what appears to be a one-sided presentation of some facts on the ground —  I was responding to some one-sided (and patently false)allegations.
                  As can be seen from communications from the very small Christian minority living among the Muslims in Gaza and in the ‘west bank’ area, particularly (and sadly) letters from Dr Maria Khoury, who seems to have alienated many supporters in the U’S. by her increasingly strident anti-Israeli statements and the growing tendency of ‘Palestinian’ Christians to support their muslim compatriots, the IDF is not treating them as different populations with different politics. 
                  Rather, Israel is now almost forced to regard them all as potential terrorists, even though most of them aren’t like that at all.  That’s a sad reality of the war which has been going on since 1948.
                  Israeli overtures to the ‘Palestinians’ about peace have been consistently rebuffed, usually with the three muslim declarations of ‘No!’ from the 1968 conference at Khartoum.  You can look it up.
                  Recently, a prominent Israeli politician asked what would happen if the ‘Palestinians’ laid down their weapons and asked for peace.  He suggested that there would be overwhelming joy in Israel.  But if the Israelis were to lay down their weapons seeking peace, he was pretty sure that they would be exterminated by the ‘Palestinians’.
                  Given current conditions, it isn’t possible —  or wise or even moderately safe —  for Israel to treat Christians in Gaza or the ‘west bank’ any differently than the way in which they treat the Muslims.
                  May the Lord shoe them the way out of this awful impasse.

                  • She’s alienated her US supporters because her opinions grind against theirs? Maybe they need to reflect on the situation. Someone on the ground in Palestine is definitely better informed than a brainwashed MSNBC consumer.
                    “How dare Palestinians Christians say these things?! Don;t they know that CNN told us that Israel was the good guy?”
                    Having spent considerable time in the Middle East, I have come to appreciate that most people in America have no real clue about what is actually going on out there.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Regrettably, you are correct about us having “no clue”. The only answer? Withdrawal from most of the hotspots of the world. Even Europe.

                    • Tim R. Mortiss says

                      I have only spent a week in Israel, last Fall, with a tour/pilgrimage from our church, so my impressions must necessarily be superficial. Our priest, who organized the effort, was ordained in Jerusalem about 20 years ago, and spent his first couple of years as a priest on Cyprus. He has often traveled to Israel in the years since and has many friends and connections there.
                      Our tour guide, with us the whole time, was a Palestinian Christian. We were often back and forth between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, as indeed is necessary if you go to see Christian sites. Our guide had a 24-hour pass into Israel, in contrast to other workers with more restrictive passes. He spoke of the ‘the Jews’ this and ‘the Jews’ that, and of obvious discontent with the occupation. On the other hand, one sometimes detected a grudging acceptance of the fact that good order was kept and that economic conditions were pretty good. It has been pretty peaceful in central Israel for a long time.
                      The wall was very evident in many places, less so in others. It has worked very well from the Israeli point of view.
                      I don’t see eye to eye with you on much, Basil, especially your clear antisemitism in other posts, but nonetheless I have a question based upon the experience you say you have. May sound like a petty or even loaded one, but it’s real question we were all embarrassed to ask our great guide: why is there trash everywhere, absolutely everywhere, in the Palestinian cites? Not organic garbage, but trash– every vacant lot or corner, next to fine houses; just everywhere.
                      I wouldn’t even ask the question but I’ve never discovered an answer.

                  • Monk James Silver says

                    Please forgive my misquoting of the date of the Khartoum conference.  It was in September 1967.
                    The details can be read here:

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Regrettably –and as an American-firster/neo-isolationist–I must concur with you Monk James.

                    Look, the Israelis are not angels, not by any stretch of the imagination. But in the run-up to the creation of Israel, that is to say during WWII, they chose the wrong side. What happened to them is what happens to all people who choose the wrong side. I hate to be so blunt about it but there it is. In statecraft, morality is usually secondary (at best).

                    • Monk James Silver says

                      With profound apologies for my dense-mindedness, dear George, I have no idea what you mean here.

                      To begin with, the state of Israel didn’t come into existence until three years after the end of WW2, so how could the Israelis have chosen any side at all during that war?

                      A clarification would be appreciated.

                    • Tim R. Mortiss says

                      My guess is George is referring to the Arabs, but didn’t get his antecedent quite right. I puzzled over it a bit, too.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Monk James, I’m talking about the aftermath of WWII.  The Palestinians (under the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem) actively supported the Third Reich.  That’s what I meant by “being on the losing side”.

  5. Gail Sheppard and Monk James Silver are very wrong in expanding the definition of anti-semitism to include those who are critical of the policies of the Israeli government. Anti-semitism is hatred of the Jewish race. It is incompatible with being a Christian. God created all mankind. We must love our neighbors of whatever race. But when the Israeli government mistreats Palestinian people( also God’s creation) in the occupied territories, we must call out such mistreatment. In the U.S. today it’s become impossible to have an intelligent exchange of ideas and opinions. When those opposed to you want to cease the discussion, all they need do is smear  you with pejorative names that can destroy your reputation. Some of the favorites of the left are racist, misogenist, anti-semite etc you know the rest. Many of our fellow Palestinian Orthodox Christians have suffered in Israel and the occupied territories. Most people are afraid to speak up for the them, because all the beautiful people, the in-crowd will denounce them as anti-Semites.I never expected this stuff on Monomakhos. God protect Archbishop Hannah, Metropolitan Onuphrios, and all the Orthodox Christians who suffer persecution for Your name’s sake.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      When did anyone say it was antisemitic to criticize the policies of the Israeli government?! I think it’s fine to criticize anything you want but you can’t do it in a way that infringes on other people’s rights.
      No one has smeared your name.

      I don’t share your opinion that the Israeli government mistreats the Palestinians for all the reasons Father James tried to outline for you but you’re free to think whatever you want.

      As far as the blog is concerned, it pulls in over 15,000 unique visitors a day and any one of them can say whatever they want. I’m not sure what “stuff,” you expect to see, but it’s likely you’ll run up against people who won’t share your opinions.

      I think it’s good that you pray for Archbishop Hannah. He needs it.

      • Who is Father James?

        • Monk James Silver says

          That would be my humble self.
          Tonsured monks are properly called ‘father’, whether in reference or in direct address, although it is also correct to refer to one of us as ‘monk So-and-So’ but not in direct address.

        • Bendan, Father James is the “Monk” James Silver (OCA). Monks are called father in the Russian tradition which carried through to the OCA and brother in the Greek tradition with the abbott being called father. Same goes for nuns in the Greek tradition who are called sisters while the abbess is called Mother. In the Russian tradition nuns are called mother and, to be honest, I have forgotten how the abbess is distinguished. I may have made mistakes in the rendition, but that is what I gathered in my transition from the OCA to the Greek church (monastery). My understanding of the Russian tradition is based on my expericnce at the Point Reyes monastery with our former Merced, CA priest, Father Jonah Paffhausen.

          • Monk James Silver says

            This is a bit inaccurate.  There isn’t any significant difference between Greek and Russian styles of monastic appellation.
            This can be seen clearly from the service books and other documents of both cultures, in which the monks of any community are described as a ‘brotherhood’, but all the monks are called ‘father’.  In the same way, all tonsured nuns are called ‘mother’.
            In spite of what you’ve heard, ‘Jacksson’, this appears to be less of a difference between Russian and Greek usages than a difference between Orthodox and Roman Catholic usages.   It’s possible that some Greeks picked this up, but it’s definitely not standard.
            In RC practice, only a priest is ever called ‘father’, and only the superior of a house of female religious is called ‘mother’.  They also call that superior an ‘abbot’ or an ‘abbess’, — as you did here — which is not the Orthodox way, either.  We call the head of a men’s monastery a hegoumen, and his female counterpart a hegoumeness, meaning ‘leader’.  Certain distinguished monastic priests are given the title of archimandrite, and this used to signify certain eparchial responsibilities.  Now it’s mostly just the monastic equivalent of ‘protopriest’ for parish clergy.  The designation of elder or eldress is much less formal, and has to do with the relationship between a monastic teacher of the spiritual life and his/her spiritual children.
            Even in a monastic context, there are some English-speaking Orthodox Christians who prefer to use RC words for various reasons, most of them not very serious, but I recommend that we use our own vocabulary.  It’s not that hard to learn, especially for people who’ve made the effort to acquire and use the terminology of other faiths.

    • Monk James Silver says

      Peter (December 22, 2019 at 4:03 pm)says:

      Gail Sheppard and Monk James Silver are very wrong in expanding the definition of anti-semitism to include those who are critical of the policies of the Israeli government. SNIP

      I never wrote anything to suggest any such thing, and I’m confident that Gail Sheppard didn’t either.
      Perhaps pay closer attention to what correspondents have actually written here before offering criticism.

      • Michael Bauman says

        Father James, sincere question with a contextual prolog: I have always been a bit uncomfortable with Orthodox monastics participating on blogs, etc. Yet, I have gained from your participation here and from a hieromonk I know as well. So, would you consider commenting on such participation? If not that is fine too, but it seems a bit like a monk spending Friday night in a bar. BTW I have questioned my own participation in a similar manner, but my Hieromonk friend entreated me to continue. God know why.

        Thanks either way

        • Monk James Silver says

          Like everyone else, monks are eventually led to the work for which God gave them the talent.  One of my gifts from Heaven is writing and translating, and I’ve learned a great many things in my studies preparing me for those efforts — an endless process.
          As a general notion, it can be said that there’s no point in learning merely to keep what we learn to ourselves.  By its nature, learning is to be passed on in an active way, not merely to be the substance of lectures.
          The Internet blog is an ideal venue for this, and it should no more be ignored by monastics than the printing press, except that here feedback is much swifter than letters to the editor or to the authors whom we would engage.
          As it is, I have a personal directive an obedience to write within certain parameters, and I try to work in accordance with them.

          Warm regards to Bp Basil!

  6. George et al:
    How are we to understand the following words of Fr.Ephraim’s?

    Excerpt from the Elder’s enthronement speech, 1974:

    It is well known that the satan-driven zionism coordinates two dreadful acts both within and outside the church which are intended to serve the sole purpose of the fall of the fortress called Orthodoxy.


  7. Gail is baiting me.  So, here I go. I’m taking the bait. Anti-Semitism is hatred of Jews, bias against Jews and pre-judging Jews. It is sinful for an Orthodox Christian to be anti-semitic. On the other hand, to be against Zionism or harsh policies of the Israeli government is not anti-semitism. Gail you make it clear that you think poorly of Archbishop Hannah whom I admire because he is the only Palestinian hierarch in the all-Greek hierarchy of the Jerusalem Patriarchate.  He uses his position to speak for Palestinian rights and to call out the Israelis when they violate human rights. If my admiration of Archbishop Hannah is misplaced, please let me know. In any event I wish you and Father James a blessed Nativity. Gail, you do a good job in keeping Monomakhos running well, and Fr. James your depth of knowledge on many subjects is in the same league as George’s. God bless you all!

    • Gail Sheppard says

      You and I were talking about Trump’s Executive Order to bring order to campuses which you perceived as violating the rights of those who are critical of the Israel government. Please hear me: I did not say being critical of the Israeli government is anti-semitism. I didn’t particularly agree with you, but you have every right to say what you feel. I said hijacking campuses, disrupting classes, and shouting people down is infringing on other people’s rights and if you’re targeting Jews, because they are Jewish, this, by definition, is anti-semantic, i.e. hostile to or prejudiced against Jews.

      You asked me about Archbishop Theodosios (Attalla Hanna) of Sebastia. He has a colorful history. Anyone who says, “The suicide bombers who carry out their activities in the name of religion are national [Islamic] heroes and we’re proud of them” is suspect in my book. Unfortunately, the Internet has been scrubbed since 2009. If you go to the Way Back Machine, you might find his statement at the following link: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=30498

      My concern about Archbishop Theodosios is that he spent a lot of time at the “Center for Islamic Studies and Research” at Balamand University with various and sundry people back in 2009 who were associated with groups hostile to this country. The University may not have this department anymore. If they do, it probably doesn’t do what it used to do. Anyway, when you see this link, you’ll understand why I was concerned: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/708438/posts

      Again, I don’t think we Americans who strongly identify with our own country have the stomach for fighting other people’s battles anymore. We’re tired of policing the world. Back in my day, we protested, too, but we didn’t make it personal. If someone disagreed with someone else, you’d hear something like, “Hey, it’s not my bag, man, but it’s cool. Want to smoke a joint?” Seriously, it was like that. I’m not necessarily a big fan of Quentin Tarantino’s use of violence, but check out the movie “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” That “vibe” was exactly the way it was! I could almost smell the air from all those years ago watching that movie with all its iconic locations. I even remember the wheelies on Mulholland Drive! Back then, we liked hanging out with all sorts of people. Didn’t matter who they were. It was a “happening.” That’s why you hear stories of Charles Mason hanging out with the Beach Boys! Everybody would “hang” until someone did something stupid. It made life interesting. We also shouted about the travesties of government, but our own. We didn’t yell at other people! At least not in California and Arizona, we didn’t! The civil rights thing was going on and we were all pretty traumatized by it. The under 40 crowd didn’t want anything to do with hurting blacks or anybody else. The only thing we hated was “authority.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3W7-ngmO_p8

      Thank you for your good wishes, Peter. I wish the same to you: God bless you and yours and have a blessed feast of the Nativity.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Very well said, Gail.  If I may add:  the freedom of speech (not violence or intimidation or shouting down people or opinions you don’t like) is –should be–absolute.  

        Students should be able to criticize any nation’s policies, Israel’s included.  And if they do criticize Israel, they should not be labeled as “anti-Semitic” either.   Same if they want to participate in the BDS movement. 

        Having said that, Trump’s EO was to protect the lack of tolerance that is displayed whenever pro-Israeli views are presented in universities.  It is (as I understand it) a follow-up to his earlier EO which promised to withhold Federal funds to universities that do not uphold the free speech rights of conservatives.

        Both in my estimation should be unnecessary but here we are in modern-day America where the First Amendment is basically hanging by a thread.  It’s particularly sad that the modern university is hotbed of totalitarianism and the stupidity of “safe spaces” so I’m not at all hopeful that these EOs will do much good. (Or outlast Trump for that matter.) The only hope is for the modern university to shrink into quasi-oblivion.

        Likewise I agree with La Sheppard about OUaTiH. The “vibe” which Tarantino showed operating in California at that time was what inspired millions of young men from Fly-over country to view California as “the Golden State”, the realization of all our dreams.
        Also, since we’re talking about movies, I heartily recommend Ford vs Ferrari.  Both it and OUaTiH are total “guy-films” which hearken back to a more masculine America.  (I’ve heard good things about Midway) as well.  One of my favorite movie critics (Steve Sailer) portrays them as an arc of masculinity (paraphrase) which talks about an America which no longer exists. 
          Sailer seems to indicate that the massive popularity of these movies indicates a thirst and more importantly, a rejection of all the modern SJW/feminist/soy-boy emotiveness that has taken over popular entertainment.

        Anyway, that’s my hope.

        And to all: a blessed and joyous Nativity.

      • A lot of good discussion re israel and all the issues.   Monomachos at it’s best.  Like most I support the state of israel to be ( nuclear as it is) and its right to live in peace, but also the right of palestinians to live with dignity and freedom.  
        Sadly their leaders as elsewhere in middle East are shall we say, not of the best.  
        Seems to me the issues centre round, illegal occupation of 1967 war aquired territory  of west bank  and what  type of state israel wishes to be. That is an israeli state or a Jewish and arab mixed state.  It has this practical dilemma that has no easy solution.  The arabs also need to realise that their intransigence means that each time the peace offer on ground gets less and less.  But I have learnt that this area of the world does not do compromise  and arab government makes one wonder about colonialism. 
        Also outside interfering is as always the greatest threat. 
        As to nom de plume on this blogg. I naively assume that people  are in truth ,  who they say they are,  including me!    I don’t discuss what i write with any priest or bishop. Why should i? Unless I feel need to do so.  I judge the merit of what is written. 
        Civility at all times I would hope.  Abuse and slogans we have too much of in the  world currently. 

  8. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from yesterday by The Associated Press in The National Herald.
    Montenegro Adopts Law on Religion Amid Protests by Supporters of the Serbian Orthodox Church
    By Associated Press 
    December 27, 2019