We Look at It This Way . . .

PG-13 for Language

2023 is going to be a great year because . . .  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwMVMbmQBug

Happy New Year, Everyone!




  1. I like 2023 begins on a Sunday and has the number 3 and the trio of 2020 2021 and 2022 is all wrapped up in 2023 we all should be bit smarter wiser and as in lyrics of Jimi Hendrix:

  2. Happy New Year to everyone at Monomakhos!

    It may be fun to do a 2023 prediction for both the secular and Orthodox world, I remember a Roman Catholic blog back in the day used to do something similar and it was always fun

    Also, good to see OK moving in the right directions, it’s looking more and more appealing:


  3. Molon Labe says

    If only……
    Nobody is going to do nothing.
    By the time mothers are out in the streets protesting because their children are starving it will be too late. That train left the station a very long time ago.
    Good luck this year.
    Happy ?

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Well, that’s not true. A lot of people are trying to turn this train around and doing so at the cost of living their own lives to do it. The greatest obstacle is the American people. They have to wake up and get on board.

      • Deacon John says

        I agree. The American people must wake up and get on board with Christ and His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
        If we are going to turn things around it must be towards Christ!
        Have a Blessed Nativity!

        • Molon Labe says

          IMHO the only true faith is Orthodoxy which is why it is experiencing problems.
          But, The Lord will not let His Church fall apart. Rather we are seeing more people come to the lighted door.
          Unlike the people of Jesus’s time who expected Him to defeat the Romans, so too do many
          – hope – for The Lord to vanquish evil today in a similar manner.
          It is up to us by prayer to ask for God’s Will to guide us for what we must do.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Basically, things start to get dicey for elites when a significant percentage of the people go without three meals in two days or nine meals in a weak.

      Then it’s Katie bar the door.

  4. Romans 1:18
    For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.

    John 3:36
    Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

    Ezekiel 25:17
    I will execute great vengeance on them with wrathful rebukes. Then they will know that I am the Lord, when I lay my vengeance upon them.”

    Nahum 1:2-6
    The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord is avenging and wrathful; the Lord takes vengeance on his adversaries and keeps wrath for his enemies. The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty. His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. He rebukes the sea and makes it dry; he dries up all the rivers; Bashan and Carmel wither; the bloom of Lebanon withers. The mountains quake before him; the hills melt; the earth heaves before him, the world and all who dwell in it. Who can stand before his indignation? Who can endure the heat of his anger? His wrath is poured out like fire, and the rocks are broken into pieces by him.

    Isaiah 26:21
    For behold, the Lord is coming out from his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity, and the earth will disclose the blood shed on it, and will no more cover its slain.

    Romans 2:5
    But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.

    Psalm 7:11
    God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day.

    Matthew 10:28
    And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

    Revelation 19:11-21
    Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. …

    John 15:6
    If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.

    Ephesians 5:6
    Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

    * * *

    Not only this, but if you look at what Scripture says about God’s hatred, it is ponderous. Never let anyone tell you that wrath/anger/hatred are evil in and of themselves. They were given to us for a reason and can be quite useful in a fallen world. Anything can be turned into a passion in the extreme. The love of enemies that Christ spoke of was a new sword He delivered to the Judeans in their struggle to live under Roman yoke. It is not a fundamental change in the character of God.

    * * *

    The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers. You destroy those who speak lies; the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man. Psalms 5:5–6

    The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence. Psalms 11:5

    Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against his people, and he abhorred his heritage. Psalms 106:40

    I hate the assembly of evildoers, and I will not sit with the wicked. Psalms 26:5 – said by King David

    Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies. Psalms 139:21–22 (again by David)

  5. Here’s another good clip: The World Is A Corporation

    Explains quite nicely The Corporation’s adventures against the new Eurasian Alliance.

  6. Happy New Year 2023 !
    I’m is mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!
    Count me in 💪🇺🇸

  7. https://orthochristian.com/150293.html

    Haunting but eerily beautiful video of the last liturgy in the upper Lavra in Kiev. They’re singing Christ is Risen

    • In the summer of 2000 I was there, at the Dormition Cathedral, with a Ukrainian friend who spoke very little English (and at that time both my Russian and my Ukrainian were pretty limited as well). I asked her what Uspeniye (the name of the cathedral) meant in English, and she responded, “I know it in my heart, but I can’t explain it.” It took 20 years after that, but finally I was received into the Orthodox Church myself, and I’m beginning to learn what both “Dormition” (uspeniye) and “Christ is risen” mean—in English or in Slavonic or any other language.

      These Christians’ singing of “Christ is risen” in the winter reminds me very much of St. Seraphim of Sarov (commemorated today on the New Calendar), who prophesied that from joy the people would chant “Christ is risen” in the summer, at his glorification. For this Cathedral at the Lavra, the living practice of Christian worship died yesterday. But Christ is risen from the dead, trampling death by death. He is risen today, and the Lavra’s Cathedral of the Dormition will rise again by His mercy.

    • https://orthochristian.com/150311.html

      I would be extremely cautious of anything to do with Elpi or Blinken.

      I’m sure this is a sign of intense pressure to come on Serbia and the Patriarch.

      “Recognize the OCU and we’ll let you back inside Kosovo”

      I’m gonna call it now

      • Gail Sheppard says

        I’m in agreement about the need for caution.

        Elpi would probably not want Serbia to officially recognize the OCA, as the more who do will make it that much more difficult for the EP to make the case that the U.S. is his diaspora.

        More likely, Elpi is leveraging the Assembly to get the attention of Blinken to respond now that Tucker Carlson, Jackson Hinkle and others have put the Orthodox Church on the map. He, of course, wants to be known as the “top dog,” so to speak, in America. He probably offered to help Serbia if they continue not to issue an official statement on the status of the OCA one way or another.

        Elpi saying over and over again he is speaking as Chairman of the Assembly probably imports more importance than he actually has. The Assembly uncharacteristically stood up to him through Metropolitan Joseph over Belya.

        He doesn’t have any more control over the Assembly than he does over the monasteries which is probably why that new charter can’t get off the ground. Both were to neatly role up under him and I doubt it’s working out that way. If he wants anything from Serbia, it is for them to capitulate to the Greeks, which they showed an unwillingness to do when they out maneuvered the EP over Macedonia.

        Though the EP accepted the MOC into communion, I do not know if Macedonia is its canonical territory as the EP claims. The Serbian Orthodox Church officially recognized the MOC as an autonomous part of the Serbian church according to its 1959 status and it is now a legitimate autocephalous church.

        I am happy to be corrected.

        • The EP handed the dioceses of what is now the MOC over to the Serbian church just before the Great War, so I think that all territorial claims have been relinquished. Although, Ukraine shows that these things can be ‘revoked.’

          • Gail Sheppard says

            All but one territorial matter. “The Ecumenical Patriarchate recognizes “Ohrid” as the name of this Church (understood as the region of its jurisdiction solely within the boundaries of the territory of the state of Northern Macedonia), as also promised in writing to the Ecumenical Patriarchate by its Primate. Thereby excluding the term “Macedonian” and any other derivative of the word “Macedonia.” https://ocpsociety.org/ecumenical-patriarchate-recognizes-the-macedonian-orthodox-church-northern-macedonia/

            Since they are called the Macedonian Orthodox Church, I assume they are ignoring it.

            • I’m really curious what the take of the Macedonian Church is on the OCU. I can’t say that I’ve seen anything from them on the matter.

              In the meantime, the Antiochians are meeting in a couple of weeks to nominate the top candidates for the next Metropolitan. What’s interesting is that as far as I’m aware, Met. Antonios has so far only met with Met. Nicholas of ROCOR, unless I’m missing something. I believe the winds in the Antiochian Patriarchate have blown decidedly towards Russia.

              • Gail Sheppard says

                If they commune with the EP, they would have to commune with the OCU.

                RE: The Antiochians,

                Yes, they met with ROCOR on 12/29.

                Someone messaged me and said they were talking about Met. Saba Esper from Syria! That sort of surprised me. The guy said Fr. Andrew Damick shared a post about him in 2016 and re-shared it recently, and other Antiochian priests are also sharing posts supporting Met. Saba Esper. A lot of people are none too happy about it either. Canonically, can you install a foreign bishop somewhere? [Edited Comment]

                Their convention to nominate candidates will be on Jan. 13, 2023, I believe.

                • Is there something wrong with him or is it just bc he’s from Syria?

                  • Gail Sheppard says

                    I think the fact that he’s from Syria is concerning, because the Archdiocese lived so long under someone who was very much a part of that world. I don’t know how different Metropolitan Joseph’s tenure was. He may have been more quiet about it. Hard to say. His predecessor bragged about his exploits incessantly. It was all over the Internet at the time, which of course has been scrubbed (as was the Way Back Machine).

                    Under Metropolitan Philip, our tithes (as well as many appeals) went to that part of the world. I know gifts were given to the Assads for certain building projects, which always rubbed me the wrong way. One of the reasons the Syrian people suffer so much is because Assad and his family own 60% of the wealth and as far as I can tell, don’t spend a whole lot of it on their own country. Of course, Christians are at the bottom of the totem pole in terms of numbers and we have to pay governments like this to be good to them.

                    At one point, Syria was infested with terrorists (some of the worst were brought in by John McCain). There were so many, they couldn’t even identify them all. It was Russia who went in there and cleaned it all up.

                    In the past, delegations of priests, each carrying $9,999 in cash so they wouldn’t have to declare it, would be sent to Syria to hand out money. In one parish, they bragged about avoiding all the red tape in their bulletin. The money on that particular visit went to the “Son’s of the Martyrs,” I believe.

                    Americans, especially converts, are very uncomfortable with stuff like this and I suspect worry about having yet another Syrian metropolitan with similar habits, who is more invested in Syria than the United States. Those who come from that part of the world are sometimes even MORE worried about it because they know exactly how it goes.

                    Metropolitan Philip used to make a joke that was very popular. He’d say, “They aren’t terrorists! They’re Freedom Fighters!”

                    The problem is, they are always fighting, and this takes money. Our money. Which some might prefer go other places. I remember a time when we had 7 (I think) kids in the military in our parish and it kept me up at night worrying if the money I contributed would go toward the purchase of a weapon for Hamas or Hezbollah who were then (perhaps still are) running little communities and getting the first cut off the top before it trickled down. A weapon, I inadvertently paid for, could eventually find it’s way into the hands of some terrorist who might point it at one of our kids.

                    In America, we don’t have a stomach for financing foreign wars unless it’s a political one like the one in Ukraine. Still, if you asked the average American (let’s say one that at least knows there are 3 branches of government) if they want our government to throw more money at it, I bet they’d say no.

                    It’s weird how the Left was so sure Trump would drag us into a war, which frankly he completely avoided, even with Kim Jong Un, affectionately known as “rocket man,” who INVITED him to North Korea!!!

                    And now look at us over in Ukraine. I’d be willing to wager that every congressman who enthusiastically stood up and wildly clapped for Zelensky, has personally benefited from that war through money laundering.

                    And now we’re at the point of going to nuclear blows with a world power over some country most people probably couldn’t find on a map.

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      Having a combined pancake celebration and candidate info at my parish Sat. We had a short visit home last weekend from one of the candidates (a man who came into The Church at St. George). Unlikely to be voted in because of his young age, but we are also considering American converts. The Holy Spirit has a lot to say — speculation and any other kind of politikin’ don’t hold much water when it comes to such things.

                      O Lord send down thy Holy Spirit on us and quide the Hierarchs of the Holy Antiochian Church to Your choice to lead us. Thank you.

                      I ask each of you pray a similar prayer: He is listened to.

              • And this Saturday, Met. Antonios will be visiting a ROCOR monastery (Holy Cross) in West Virginia. Up till now, his official schedule has shown few to no visits outside of Antiochian Archdiocese parishes and institutions. Interesting.

          • As most here know, the current territory of the MOC has a long and exceedingly complex history with competing, and at times violent, narratives.

            Parts of it are undisputedly integral to Serbian history and the SOC. For example, Dushan the Great was crowned Emperor on Pascha in 1346 in Skopje, the then capital, while much of what is today’s Macedonia was a part of the Serbian Empire.

            The Bulgarians contend that Ohrid is an ancient Bulgarian diocese, and for much of the late 19th and 20th centuries argued with the Serbs and Greeks over this putatively “barbarian” jurisdiction.

            And the Greeks, well, they are obsessed with the name because Philip of Macedon and Alexander the Great were Hellenes, not Slavs. To them, their ethnocentric patrimony is far more important than all else. Just ask them.

            For centuries, that area has been an uneasy amalgam of Serbs, Bulgarians, Albanians, Greeks, and a bunch of “others.” Somewhere along the line, increasingly larger groups of people in that area began self-identifying as “Macedonians.” I’ll leave it to anthropologists and genetics experts to sort all that out, but politically, by the first parts of the 20th century, fair numbers of people considered themselves a separate and distinct people, a process insidiously exploited and accelerated by Comrade Joe Broz and his henchmen after World War II.

            Serbia’s grant of autocephaly to the Macedonians leaves the final determination of the name to a pan-Orthodox consensus. Personally, my predilection has been for the title of the first primate of an autocephalous church to be simply the city of his see, without regard to the country or territory. So, it would be Theophilos of Jerusalem, Kirill of Moscow, Daniel of Bucharest, Neophyte of Sofia, and the like. Of course, over history the names of cities change, but they change with less frequency than the borders of countries. So here, it would be Stefan of Skopje.

            In any event, when the apostate Dimitrios Arhondonis finalizes his paper-shuffling arrangements with Jorge Mario Bergoglio (or his successor in interest), it will be meaningless as to what the Greeks think about the name. The Macedonians will be happy that they will use the name Macedonia and the Bulgarians will be happy that they don’t use the name Ohrid.

            And most of the rest of the Orthodox world won’t really care. There are certainly bigger fish to fry these days.

        • now that Tucker Carlson, Jackson Hinkle and others have put the Orthodox Church on the map.

          Not to mention the extremely bad and scandalous optics of the Ukrainian government/OCU stealing of the Kiev Caves Lavra.

          How the Church can still put up with Bart and Elpi is beyond me, but, every time I think they’re about to get the boot we’re met with resounding crickets from the hierarchy.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            At some point, we may have to accept the problem is with them.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            I have heard they are rounding up all the clergy of the UOC to use as human shields. – They purportedly did it with civilians.

            • Heard from where? (That clergy are being rounded up and used as human shields)

              • Gail Sheppard says

                I don’t remember, Saunca. We take what people say here at face value. If I said I heard it, I did.

                I think the last time you commented, I had to prove to you I saw Chelsey Clinton in an upside down cross and because I didn’t know her personally, you said it wasn’t possible. Had you done an image search you would have “seen it” just like I did, but I did it for you.

                If you go out and look for this stuff yourself, maybe you’ll find it, too. Especially stuff that doesn’t seem all that far fetched. Ukraine is known for using human shields, Saunca. Even the UN says so! Here’s your bit of research for the day: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2022/07/19/zrjy-j19.html

                With regard to the status of the UOC, Zelensky banned them, they’re again being told they have to choose another name and reregister all their parishes and monasteries so they can take them away from them, the SBU (Security Service of Ukraine) has ferreted them out, searched and confiscated their their property, questioned them, and arrested them.

                Do you think there is any possibility they would NOT use them as human shields? I imagine they’re running out of women and children! They’ll do it like they always do and blame it on the Russians.

                Ukraine has been completely militarized. They’re keeping people there against their will (men 18-60) to fight who don’t want to be there. They have bioweapons everywhere, which hopefully have been neutralized. Nuclear missals are finding their way into neighboring countries. They’re sending mercenaries in there to train them. – They are not playing nice, Saunca.

                From now on you do the research and prove me wrong. – Happy New Year!

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Saunca, here’s one example of a Ukrainian priest being attacked:


                  • Russia has offered peace time and again – – rejected by the West since their coup in 2014. This isn’t conspiracy – – the West clearly wants war, they’re shipping arms to Ukraine, blowing up bridges inside Russian territory, assassinating civilians, taking monks and nuns hostage, outlawing opposing political parties, banning critical media, robbing churches and monasteries, inciting religious violence, blowing up monasteries, supplying bioweapons labs, shelling nuke reactors, and more. The fact that the US doesn’t have any major, city-crippling protests and Hollywood goons aren’t crying into their soup about this shows how controlled the system is here.

                    In fact, the West is rejecting a 36-hour truce proposed by Putin and the Church for the Nativity of Christ. Rejecting a ceasefire for the Incarnation of Jesus Christ? How much more demonic can you possibly be, people?

                    Lord have mercy!


                    • Thank you, Deacon. I believe you are right: “demonic” seems to perfectly characterize the present gov’t of this nation (“Deep State”) and its allies and probably has done for decades (at least).

                      The existence of a uniparty in the USA and the diabolical driving force behind it seems to me can also be easily seen in the steady transfer of wealth from the poor and middle classes that has continued apace regardless of party in power for decades. This link below is from six years ago. We are much farther along the trend now—perhaps in the final stages of the looting and pillaging….


                      Allegedly, the goal has always been for the elite to own everything, to depopulate, leaving only a slave class to serve them. God forbid that they attain it!

        • I would not overthink this one.

          The SOC Bishop of Eastern America, Irinej, maintains close personal relationships with the Greek hierarchy in the USA and elsewhere, extending back since he was a layman, much less a bishop.

          For years, he was and has been the point person for the SOC in interfacing with “Washington,” and for quite a while before he was a bishop, that was his actual job for the SOC. So, when something like this — “Kosova” blocking the Serbian Patriarch from visiting Pech — comes up, he’s the guy who writes the “strongly worded letter” in intelligible English, meets some Swamp Creatures, and takes a few pictures, which he did here, though maybe without the pictures.

          Irinej was one of the few non-Greeks at the 9/11 “consecration” at the invite of Ioannis Lambriniadis. My best bet is Irinej simply asked Lambriniadis for a favor. And if Lambriniadis was somehow reluctant, Irinej could easily call upon his “spiritual father,” Nikitas Loulias, formerly of Asia and Berkeley, now of Britain, to exercise some backdoor pressure.

          To be sure, there are tea leaves and coffee grounds aplenty these days to read and shadows to extrapolate. But, honestly, I believe that this discrete thing is not one of them. I’d take it at face value.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            Thanks, Alex II, this was very helpful.

            Question: So why would Elpi jump into the mix as the Chair of the Assembly? Any ideas?

            • Beyond the simple proposition that I surmise that Irinej likely asked him, I don’t know.

              Kosovo is the third rail for the SOC. The actual history and the mythology that follows the Battle of the Blackbirds in 1389 is sacred. Unlike the Greek preoccupation with Macedonia which is based on preserving some sense of pre-Christian Hellenic identity, Kosovo – the land, the monasteries, the few people left there – are part of Serbia’s Orthodox identity.

              The cognitive dissonance is that for the better part of the last 150 years or so, Serbs have physically moved away from Kosovo. Some of it was fleeing, some of it was deportation, some of it is Albanian birth rates, but a good chunk of it has to do with plain old leaving. So you have a handful of laity and monastics, but there is little left of a sustainable community. Sort of like Christians in the Holy Land.

              So when there is the slightest threat to Serb interests in Kosovo, it’s all hands on deck for the SOC. Their focus is myopic and cannot be evaluated on what this or that may mean, suggest or indicate in some other context. What does this mean vis a vis the apostasy in Istanbul? They don’t care. What does this mean vis a vis the Uki’s? They don’t care. What does this mean vis a vis anything, it’s of no moment. They’ll look for support anywhere they can find it: Bejing, Vatican City, the Dali Lama, or Chief Rabbi of Springfield, Missouri, the Prime Minister of Cape Verde, the Foreign Minister Emeritus of the Galápagos Islands, or the editorial staff of the Hooterville Times.

              All that said, the SOC is not going to turn its back on Russia or Metropolitan Onufry anytime soon, and certainly not in favor of the whack job Dumenko and that clown show.

              But if you are asking what Elpi’s motives are, I’ve no clue. He’s a pompous, heretical, horse’s …. Whatever he thinks that his letter may signal to Belgrade means nothing to Belgrade. In my view, what it may signal to others, means nothing because no one is listening.

              Irinej, Longin, and Max will politely thank him and that’s that.

              • Gail Sheppard says

                Again, thank you. You’ve given me quite an education. It looks to me like the SOC just happens to be the one the globalists are picking on in Kosovo and Metohija because of their traditional values.

                There used to be a day when I had trouble imagining what Christian persecution would look like in a modern context. Not any more.

                • Solidarity Priest says

                  I know Bishops Longin and Irenej. I know where Bishop Longin stands. He was educated in Russia and speaks good Russian. He was one of the hierarchs serving when ROCOR recently enthroned Metropolitan Nicholas. He is also close to Archbishop Peter of Chicago, who studied in Serbia and speaks Serbian.
                  Bishop Irenej is a Hellenophile, not necessarily a bad thing, BUT he seems to be close to the EP Greeks, not so good. He mandates certain Greek practices in his parishes. I have seen how some of his priests serve the prayers out loud, and other modern stuff, which I could gladly live without. A lot of old time Serbs aren’t too happy about this, either. On the other hand, he’s a monarchist, I will give him credit for that.
                  I know little, if anything, about Bishop Maxim.

                  • Gail Sheppard says

                    Thanks, SP. Very interesting.

                    • Solidarity Priest says

                      Update: Bishop Longin was one of the bishops concelebrating with Archbishop Peter and ROCOR Metropolitan Nicholas three days ago. It was the first visit of Metropolitan Nicholas to the Chicago cathedral after being enthroned as Metropolitan. Also concelebrating was OCA Archbishop Daniel of Chicago.

                • “We learn from history that men never learn anything from history.” George Bernard Shaw

                  Serbia, and in particular, Kosovo and Macedonia sit at civilizational cross roads.

                  At first we were confused. The East thought that we were West, while the West considered us to be East. Some of us misunderstood our place in the clash of currents, so they cried that we belong to neither side, and others that we belong exclusively to one side or the other. But I tell you, Ireneaus, we are doomed by fate to be the East in the West and the West in the East, to acknowledge only heavenly Jerusalem beyond us, and here on earth—no one

                  —St. Sava to Ireneaus, 13th century

                  The current issues across traditionally Orthodox lands are simply repackaged, marketed, and reported differently, viewed and dissected through the lens of different political paradigms and Ivory Tower theories. In large measure today’s issues are the same, in Eastern Europe and the Middle East as they have been for thousands of years. In the Balkans, the Ottomans took over, oppressed the Orthodox, and while it took 500 years, they then were finally violently expelled, or their empire fell apart, or both. In other parts, the Austrians and Hungarians took over, vacillated between oppression, coopting, and compromising the Orthodox, until they were finally violently expelled, or the empire fell apart, or both. The Nazis, the Ustasha.

                  Eventually, the Commies, like the Nazis and Ustasha before them, did their part, martyred the Orthodox, and but they too were finally violently expelled, or their empire fell apart, or both. And on the Commies’ heels, NATO, “the New World Order West,” bombed, oppressed and expelled the Orthodox in what is today understood to be Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia and Kosovo. Now the NWO is under the stewardship of the degenerate Globohomos. Their reign won’t last long. The NWO will be there until they are finally violently expelled, or their empire(s) fall apart, or both.

                  Throughout this history, there have been the morally corrupt and compromised hierarchs, kings, princes, and petty politicians among them; quislings doing the bidding of their occupiers. That has not changed.

                  And, Ortho-politics have played a significant role this sad, inspiring, sordid, fascinating, history. The on, off, on-again, off again, and on again autocephaly of the SOC. St. Sava got his start fighting a foreign Greek hierarchy seeking to make Serbs Greek. There was the ethnophyletist issue in the late 1800’s and the Bulgarian exarchate. The communist inspired schism of 1963 – 1992. The Macedonian autonomy of 1959, its self declared autocephaly, and the properly declared autocephaly which causes the morally compromised petty pawns and numb-nuts in the Istanbul ghetto to throw a hissy fit. Right down to the moment: “What does it mean when Elpi writes a letter?”

                  At all times, the Orthodox of the Balkans looked to Russia for support. At times, as today, there was material support. At times, as for example with early WWI, there was some diplomatic and military support, until Lenin et al., did what they did. And to be sure, at times, the hope of substantial material support was illusory, and the Serbs a pawn of some bigger Russian game. But at bottom, Serbs, together with the Russians total, what, 200 million?

                  I’m guessing that in the coming centuries, China will be the next one to stir the Balkan pot.

                  In the end, the Orthodox of the Balkans have, as St. Sava said, confused both the West and the East. But, since their voluntary Christianization, the Orthodox of the Balkans have (largely) acknowledged only heavenly Jerusalem beyond them. No Sultan, no Emperor, no Pope, no Fuhrer, no Poglavnik, no Commissar, no Swamp Creature from the basement of the State Department (and certainly not some pansexual, gender fluid, critical studies, rainbow flag waiving degenerate), has managed to totally eradicate their faith.

                  I’ve had my doubts about whether they’ll be able to survive the current ongoing onslaught, or let abject apathy and gross incompetence to allow them to wither away, becoming footnotes to history and trivia, like the Carthaginians, Ruthenians, Wallachians, and others.

                  But, never, ever, never, underestimate inat.

              • Mary Deplas says

                Look at the genetics, E Fuller Torrey showed schizophrenia is predominant in the western Balkans and western Scandinavia, so the Serbs and western Greeks are really all Albanians.

  8. Molon Labe says

    IMHO the only true faith is Orthodoxy which is why it is experiencing problems.
    But, The Lord will not let His Church fall apart. Rather we are seeing more people come to the lighted door.
    Unlike the people of Jesus’s time who expected Him to defeat the Romans, so too do many
    – hope – for The Lord to vanquish evil today in a similar manner.
    It is up to us by prayer to ask for God’s Will to guide us for what we must do.

  9. Solidarity Priest says

    Minor correction, Gail. Petros was talking about the OCU, not the OCA. I think you are correct about the Serbian church giving Macedonia autonomy in 1959. Sometime later in the 60’s, the Tito regime pressured the Macedonian church into proclaiming autocephaly, which went unrecognized until last year. Thank God, there has been a reconciliation.

  10. Fr. Seraphim Bell says

    Not sure if my previous comment was posted. Just in case, here it is again: Bishop Luke of Zaparozhie posted the news that his priest, Archpriest Anthony Kovtonyuk had his throat slit by members of the uncanonical OCU. In fact there have been many clergy who have been kidnapped, beaten and killed by this group. This too is the legacy of Pat. Bartholomew.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      I read about that. Horrific. They are in so much danger.

      (Our comments are moderated so it can take a few hours to post them.)

  11. https://orthochristian.com/150326.html

    Looks like the schismatics got their wish. They have stolen the Lavra and will be serving “liturgy” there this wknd.

    Let’s pray to God this is stopped

    • George Michalopulos says

      Petro, they don’t know what they do. By aping the liturgy, they are bringing condemnation upon themselves. In spades.

      I would be interested to see how many laymen show up.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        I think the nationalists who fashioned themselves as Orthodox who were itching to put a sword down Russia’s throat (that icon was really something to see) are mostly gone by now because they’re having to bring in mercenaries to train the men who never wanted to fight to begin with but weren’t allowed to leave.

        Can you imagine how angry and heartbroken they are? And now people are walking into their parishes and slitting the throats of the clergy.

        • Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I was visiting my family and they watch the BBC News every night. One night, there was a lengthy piece on Zelensky’s wife, who was portrayed as a combination of Jackie O. and Mother Theresa of Calcutta. It was nauseating. However the truly gag-worthy bits were the clips showing her and her husband praying devoutly in an Orthodox church. Apparently the journey from self-identified secular Jew to Orthodox can be accomplished super quickly and easily when cameras are watching and when it’s convenient for the narrative.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            At least more and more people know what they’re seeing propaganda.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Basically, it’s just kabuki theater on a global stage. The Globalists will use Orthodox optics to accelerate the schism in Orthodoxy.

            • There really isn’t much of schism in Orthodoxy other than the one Bart has created. Other than the Greeks no other Church is going along, and even within the Greeks it’s not unanimous. They can try all they want.


              Speaking of, ole Bart seems to really be hamming it up for 2025

              + Dear God, bring us the leaders we need, not the leaders we deserve+

            • http://byztex.blogspot.com/2023/01/the-ever-revised-greek-archdiocesan.html?m=1

              Looks like the GOA is yet again going to give a new charter a’go.

              Can’t wait to see what this most recent iteration has in store for the GOA.

              I’m not 100% certain but I think in the other EP eparchies the Archbishop is in charge with bishops under him, not Metropolitans as is currently the case in the GOA (correct me if I’m wrong). If this is the way moving forward and Elpi has full-reign then look for the already downward spiral of the GOA to turn into a raging torrent.

              • Gail Sheppard says

                That’s why they went to St. Anthonys. I think you called it.

                • To have complete control of the monasteries?

                  I’ve forgotten what I’ve said now lol

                  • Gail Sheppard says

                    Or maybe I said it. He went to the monasteries to talk about the charter.

                    • I’ll actually be at St. Anthony’s next week, inquiring minds want to know now lol, I’ll have to ask the priest I know there

                    • As a side note, do y’all mind highlighting this on the blog for the March for Life ‘23:


                      Orthodox participation has really stepped up the last few years, including hierarchs.

                      Hopefully this year Elpi isn’t allowed to speak (if he even attends)

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      You want to write something to introduce it? I’ll be happy to put it on the site.

                • Speaking of St. Anthony’s: That’s the only other non-Antiochian site that the Antiochian Patriarchal Vicar (Met. Antonios) has scheduled a visit to, besides two ROCOR ones: Holy Virgin Cathedral in San Francisco (to venerate the relics of St. John Maximovitch) and Holy Cross Hermitage in West Virginia.

      • George, my thoughts exactly! If you look at pictures of OCU ‘services’ you hardly ever see anybody standing in church. Probably won’t change much either. [Though, I’m betting that you’ll see people being trucked in from all parts, just to make the first couple of ‘services’ look good to the western press.]

        • Gail Sheppard says

          And hopefully they’ll be standing which will be a subtle way of telling people who they really are and why they’re there.

          • Sorry, Gail…just wanted to clarify that when I said ‘standing’ [around] in church, I actually meant ‘attending’ services.

          • Mary Deplas says

            Churches without pews are babuska gossip parties. (Massie, Firebird, 1980, p59) ‘Englishmen found the custom of moving about in and out of church very disturbing; people, said one. “gaggle and cackle like geese”‘

            • Gail Sheppard says

              That hasn’t been my experience.

            • It’s “babushka”. And that is not the case. Besides, pews are a Western invention coming out of the Reformation. Catholics in the West didn’t have them before that. The switch in emphasis from the eucharist to the sermon as the center of the service was signaled by it. Pews prevent Orthodox worship and have no place in an Orthodox church.

              • George Michalopulos says

                I completely agree. They are infinitely more wretched than organs (which aren’t real organs but harmonia).

                • John Velopoulos says

                  Well, I grew up with Anagnost Gretzyaninov liturgy and find the current howling arabating buzuky maqqam style abhorent. I also have the Angelopoulos Iakovos Symphonic liturgy and I listen to these two at home more and go to church less. I’m fed up with all you passive aggressives destroying our churches and chasing our kids out. I also adored the SVS Drillock Rahmaninoff liturgy but later for the anniversary they put out this barbaric CD sounding like Volga boat songs.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Well, given the fact that England is now majority non-Christian, I’d say that Massie’s critique is moot at this point.

            • “Englishmen found the custom of moving about in and out of church very disturbing;”

              Englishmen can be wrong….

              Anyone who has children in church – where children are supposed to be – knows how awful pews are for children.
              We Orthodox don’t segregate our children off to a separate church service from the adults.

              • “Englishmen can be wrong….”

                As a Scot, how can I not concur… 🙂

              • I’ve always loved this reaction from another Englishman, C. S. Lewis (in Letters to Malcolm):

                “What pleased me most about a Greek Orthodox mass I once attended was that there seemed to be no prescribed behaviour for the congregation. Some stood, some sat, some knelt, some walked; one crawled about the floor like a caterpillar. And the beauty of it was that nobody took the slightest notice of what anyone else was doing.”

    • Petros, if it’s any consolation [any], the Uniates and Communists both took over the Lavra in times past, but through the prayers of the faithful, and intercessions of the Most Holy Theotokos, everything was restored. Let us all pray that history repeats itself!

  12. James Perikis says

    The GOA has nothing to fear from ROCOR, most of its flock is fleeing to RC & Pentecostal, instead. Outside of NYC, ROCOR is more clergy than flock. In NYC, the snoots only go on holidays and pay wierdo “converts” to fill the churches, while the WASP-abeee snoots go to Episcopal or other Protestant churches. The GOA is far more alive and vibrant than all the passive aggressive sub-sub-deacons with parish envy on the inernet.

    • “Outside of NYC, ROCOR is more clergy than flock.”

      Wow, this is such a flagrant lie, don’t even know where to begin. Other than to suggest that you explore Orthodox Christian America a bit more.

      Seekers of all kinds yearn for Christ and for His Church… one that has depth, seriousness in faith and sacramental life, and authenticity….
      This is what men and women of all colors and backgrounds want.
      These are the churches that see explosive growth.

    • Tell that to my ROCOR parish that has ~200-250 people every Sunday…many of whom came over from the Greek parish because they shut down during covid.

      Tell that to the ~40 people my ROCOR parish has baptized over the past year.

      The GOA is far more alive and vibrant than all the passive aggressive sub-sub-deacons with parish envy on the inernet.

      I can think of 2-3 GOA parishes I have personally been to that I would call “alive” and “vibrant”

      The GOA has the potential to be those things but it’s leadership from the top down seems hellbent on making it the opposite of that.

    • James,
      Wow! If this is an example of the mindset being inculcated in GOARCH circles (or whatever circles in or outside the Church you travel), God help us!

      Great reply, FTS.

      • George Michalopulos says

        The problem I believe is that the center of gravity in the GOA demography-wise is somewhere in New Jersey. Like the Boston-NYC-DC axis, the GOA likewise exists within a bubble, the majority of the people who have absolutely no idea about Orthodoxy as it exists in the South, the Midwest or the Far West (by “Far West” I do not include the West Coast but the states that are East of the Coast to the Great Plains.

        As for the OCA, the center of gravity I imagine is Pennsylvania. However, I believe that the OCA has a better grip on things given the fact that they did two very intelligent things:

        1. moved the national chancery to Washington, DC (the nation’s capital), and
        2. are going to relocate SVS out of the greater NYC area.

        • Too bad the center of the GOA isn’t more like Florida. I will say all of the vibrant GOA parishes I’ve been to (2-3) have been in TX, FL and the West coast.

          Me thinks the GOA hierarchy is much out of touch with reality in the rest of the Archdiocese.

          If all power is lumped under the Archbishop in the new charter then I imagine even more so.

          For example, rather than attending the March for Life, Elpi will be attending an ecumenical event at the new Shrine….but maybe we should thankful he won’t be at the M4L