What Did They Think Would Happen?

It’s easy for people to sit back and engage in armchair quarterbacking about things that happened in the past like, “What did they expect?  That if you kick up a hornet’s nest, you’re not going to get stung?” 

What’s hard to do is is engage in armchair quarterbacking about that which hasn’t yet happened.  As Yogi Berra said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

Having said that, however, it was not hard to predict what would happen to the Orthodox Church as a result of Patriarch Bartholomew’s egregious overreach in Ukraine. 

We’ve been screaming about all of the possible consequences at the top of our lungs for the last four years.  It was as easy as knowing what will happen to you if you put out a cigarette on your hand.  It’s gonna burn like hell.  You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure this one out.

Nor do you need to have an advanced degree in theology to predict something like this:  Greek Synod Rejects Philaret’s Consecration of Greek Old Calendarist   https://orthochristian.com/144515.html. 

It’s as plain as the nose on your face.  When you get involved with schismatics you end up in a catch 22 situation and if it involves Kiev, it can wind up becoming a Gordian knot.  (Ask Archbishop Lazar Puhalo.)     

Even if all you have is a basic understanding of Orthodox Ecclesiology 101, with a smattering of Christian history, you know something like this is not going to work.

And thus, we now see how Bartholomew’s grand neo-papalist adventure is coming back to bite those who went along with the illegal and uncanonical recognition of the charlatans who make up the new Ukrainian “Orthodox” sect.  No advanced degrees in theology are necessary.  Just plain old common sense and a basic understanding of cause and effect.  

It’s so ironic that it’s positively meta; almost to the point of the paradox of  Schrodinger’s cat.  

I’ll just come right out and say it:  Patriarch Bartholomew broke so many canons going into Ukraine, making up so many falsehoods about its territorial status, he lost all credibility going forward.  That’s #1.

Number 2 is this:  One cannot normalize a layman back into the episcopacy by the stroke of a pen.  

Here’s #3:  No patriarch has the right to go into another patriarch’s territory and undo a conciliar decision made by the latter’s patriarchal synod.  

Lest we forget, Metropolitan Filaret (nee Mikhail Denisenko, formerly Metropolitan of Kiev) was laicized by one local Church (Moscow) for reasons too numerous to mention.  Bartholomew, the head of another local Church had no right, nor power, to rescind this action.  At most, he had the authority to reauthorize another council to take up Denisenko’s case.  That’s it.  

Unfortunately, Patriarch Bartholomew now believes he has plenary powers, not unlike that which Catholics believe that the Pope has.  Under such a regime, any Ecumenical Patriarch could “normalize” the status of Mikhail Denisenko back into the episcopate by fiat, and “giving” him the Mickey Mouse honorific of “Patriarch-Emeritus of Kiev” to boot.

In typical Phanariote fashion, Patriarch Bartholomew was being too clever by half.  The schismatics in Ukraine wanted an autocephalous Church headed by their own patriarch, which would been a serious counterweight to Moscow.  Unfortunately for them, such a scenario would have been a bridge too far, even for Bartholomew.  Worse, it would have inflamed the rest of Orthodoxy, especially those metropolitans of the other autocephalous Churches.  So, my guess is that Bartholomew, thinking that Filaret would “age out” in a few years, granted him an empty honorific while having his puppet, Sergei Dumenko, be the “real” Metropolitan of Kiev. 

This did not set well with the new “Patriarch-Emeritus,” who was left feeling bambozzled because they had told him he would be the Patriarch.  Nor did it placate the nationalists/schismatics who felt that this was not enough.  Regardless, in the future some of them will look to the precedent set by Bartholomew –i.e. that Denisenko was a “Patriarch-Emeritus”–and demand that Dumenko’s successor “likewise” be granted patriarchal status.  At that point, it’d be “Katie bar the door.”  And unfortunately for Bartholomew’s successor, it will be his problem.

Now, I know this is ridiculous on many levels.  (See what I mean about getting lost in an endless warren of rabbit holes?)  But let’s go with the fantasy that a patriarch of one local Church really can override the rulings of the patriarch of another local Church (again, he can’t), a la pulling a “Bartholomew.”  

If Bartholomew gets away with the “reverse-laicization” of Mikhail Denisenko, giving him back his episcopal dignity, can the latter not override the findings of another local Church and do the same with a defrocked bishop from another jurisdiction?  Or anything else having to with another jurisdiction?  Especially if he’s a “Patriarch-Emeritus”?

Well, if this is possible –and of course, it’s not–then this formerly defrocked bishop can concelebrate with any other bishop he wants to.  Right?  He can even take said bishop into his “diocese.”  With the stroke of his own pen, he can make any charlatan a bishop.  See how easy it is?  Because you see, if you can ignore canonicity, the charisms of the Holy Spirit, and the good order of the Church, it’s not controversial at all.

But it is controversial.  Because as Orthodox Christians, we cannot ignore canonicity, spirituality, and the good order of the Church.  Or should I say we can’t do any of these things and still be a Church; one headed by Jesus Christ, in whom the Holy Spirit indwells.    

Yet this is exactly what “Patriarch-Emeritus” Filaret did.   And he’s entitled to do just that.  Not by my lights, but by Bartholomew’s.  Because the latter did it first.  It’s simply baked into the cake.

Now, this is scandalous, no two ways about it.  It’s also a nullity.  If Mikhail Denisenko is a bishop then I’m the King of England.  He can parade around in full patriarchal garb all he wants but his present office lacks all grace.  His blessings are as efficacious as those of any televangelist. 

Bartholomew knows this.  So why did he do it?  Was it merely trying to avenge himself on Russia?  Or was it because he’s been backed into a corner by forces beyond his control?  Or was it a mixture of both?

In truth, I’m going to be charitable and say he probably didn’t really want to do this and that he was pushed into a corner by his globalist handlers.  He may have seen what disasters lay await should he go down this path.  This would explain, for instance, why he had to rewrite history and assert that the Archdiocese of Kiev had only been handed over “in trust” to Moscow some three centuries ago on a “provisional” basis.  

This of course is nonsense.  Even the documents of the Ecumenical Patriarchate state that Ukraine had been completely given over to Moscow.  Six years ago, during the so-called Great and Holy Council, Fr Alexander Karloutsos, then the Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, was asked about this.  He stated in no uncertain terms that the “Ukraine was an integral part of the Church of Russia” and furthermore, that this “was not going to be brought up” during the sessions of the council itself.  (For the record, we posted a video of Karloutsos saying this back in 2016, but it has been taken down.)

Again, Orthodox Ecclesiology 101, but those involved were probably assured by globalists that once the Bad Orange Man was out of office, things would revert to “normal” and all would be forgotten. 

Then again, like most globalists, it’s possible Bartholomew’s so out of touch that he thinks everybody who doesn’t agree with him is a racist.  Think of this as the Trudeau Delusion; in other words, call your enemies names and say all the right buzzwords and maybe you’ll be able to ride out the crisis. 

Anything’s possible.  Especially in this day and age.

And let’s face it:  Like all Patriarchs of Constantinople since 1453, he’s been dealt an exceedingly weak hand.  His particular hand was the weakest that’s been dealt in a long time –perhaps ever.  But unlike his immediate predecessor, he was well-educated and spoke several languages, English particularly.  He was a canny politician and cut an impressive figure on the world stage.  Maybe, just maybe, by hitching his wagon to the star of globalism, he could reinvigorate the See of Constantinople and pull off this “Eastern Pope” thing after all.  At least in Ukraine.

So in order to grab any blade of grass to keep from falling off a cliff, he positioned himself as closely as possible to the globalist elite.  Green Patriarch this, global warming that, you get the drill.  Perhaps he also thought that he could charm the globalists into believing that he could leverage all of Orthodoxy to their cause.  This wouldn’t be all that hard to do given the general ignorance of most secularists about Orthodoxy.  

Given his manifest weakness, he knew he could always head to the tall grass if things go awry and hope that Orthodox people forget about the latest outrage.  Not like it would be the first time. 

Or he could always plead poverty, that his patriarchate is a “martyric” one, and his back is against the wall. You know: “Whaddya expect? Cut me some slack, I’ve got the Turks breathing down my neck!”

The Church of Greece, however, is not so lucky.  Because that Church is a real local Church, with real bishops who have real pastoral responsibilities, like all diocesan ordinaries, have little margin for error when they deal with real problems. 

One of these problems is the multiplicity of Old Calendar jurisdictions that dot the Hellenic landscape.  To hear these bishops tell it, these OC churches are a scandal and, from their point of view, they are correct.  Like all schismatic (or “continuing” sects) they “confuse” the faithful and their legality makes a mockery of territorial integrity.

So now that the Church of Greece went along (in a completely disgraceful and unattractive fashion) with Bartholomew and recognized the new schismatic church in Ukraine, they will have to live with their decisions. 

Bartholomew doesn’t, though.  Not really, since his patriarchate is basically a legal fiction and has been for at least a century.  The Ecumenical Patriarchate could skulk back into its relative oblivion and hope that there are enough rich Greek-Americans to bail them out.  

The Church of Greece, however, has no way out.  They must live with the consequences of their ill-considered actions.  And one of those consequences is the looming creation of a Russian exarchate for disgruntled Greek Christians.  Don’t (seriously, don’t) underestimate the piety of ordinary Greek laymen or priests; we’ve already seen how some Church of Greece priests have joined ROCOR.  Given the unpopularity of the Greek synod’s recognition of the false sect in Ukraine, we could expect more to do so.

The same thing might happen in Cyprus, where the present Archbishop has proven to be massively unpopular, as well.  This scenario is already playing out in steroids in Africa.

So is there a way out?

Yes, several as a matter of fact.  For one thing, in the case of the three Churches that “recognized” the OCU, the protocols to do so were undertaken in an egregiously uncanonical fashion.  Should things get too hot to handle, they can always “revisit” the entire matter, all while expressing “concern” about how it was handled in the first place.

Failing this, three or more bishops within these local Churches could refuse to go along with their primates.  In doing so, they could form a “continuing synod,” just like the OC jurisdictions did within their borders many decades ago. 

Another option would be for individual bishops to join a Russian exarchate on a provisional basis, much like ROCOR did for several decades until the situation in their synods was “normalized.”  All of these contingencies would fall under the “Simmering Schism scenario.”  

I’m sure there are other options out there as well.  In other words, they have ways out of the quagmire.  The question is whether they will take them.  (My guess is that they won’t.) 

Regardless, the present situation is untenable.  Bartholomew hoped that all the local Churches would fall into line eventually.  When it was clear that wasn’t going to happen, he tried to revive the ancient “pentarchy,” hoping that this “council” would give him the necessary fig-leaf to trudge along.  Unfortunately for him, the See of Antioch informed him that they were not going to play along.  Now, he has to hope that he can play the race card, to appeal to the Greek-speaking Churches.

Because here’s the thing:  Even if the Greek-speaking Churches continue to officially plod along, they are going to continue to atrophy.  The languid spirit that animates the See of Constantinople is real and shows no signs of reinvigoration.  Worse, these three Churches will implode in spectacular fashion when Bartholomew invokes a unia with Rome.  Unlike the “reforms” of Patriarch Meletius IV Metaxakis exactly one hundred years ago, this action,  should Bartholomew be that short-sighted, will result in a real schism.

My advice to the synods of those three Churches?  You don’t have to go along with the globalists.  You have ways out.  Choose wisely.  


  1. Very nice walk through the daisies, George.

    What is evident to the knowledgeable onlooker is that what Bartholomew is doing is calculated to imbue himself with papal powers and make a Unia his only viable way forward. Others have remarked upon this publicly. Sine paribus + “historical churches” (language used by the rigged Crete Robber Council) + the Ukraine fiasco = Unia or bust. There just isn’t any other rational explanation for this behavior – he has to move forward with it or become ostracized within his own Church. He’s left himself no choice, no wiggle room. Bridges burned.

    I take this as clear writing on the wall and wonder why everyone is not acting, planning and moving forward as if it were the case. There is simply no cogent argument on the other side, not to all of the above. He’s bolting. No two ways about it. It’s only a matter of time.

    This is how we should understand the actions of the MP. They know that very soon the Phanar, the main part of the Church of Greece, Alexandria, Cyprus . . . these will shortly be gone from Orthodoxy into a Unia. Some provision has to be made for the faithful under each of these local churches for those who do not wish to apostatize. Were Bartholomew at odds with his synod, matters might perhaps be different. But he has the support of his synod and one of his heirs apparent is the author of the sine paribus heresy (Elpidophoros). That it and the Phanar have not been formally condemned for this heresy is no matter. It is heresy and they are uncondemned heretics.

    The MP has excommunicated the whole lot and is moving forward as if those under their crooked omophorion who reach out are sheep without a pastor in need of rescue. This only stands to reason given the circumstances.

    It is not pretty nor will it be without much contention or acrimony. But those with eyes to see can appreciate that it is the hand of the Lord pruning the deadness from His vine.

    • Very well said Misha, couldn’t agree more.

      But, God may have other plans. Earthquake, war, death, any number of things could happen before his plans come to fruition.

      I think Bartholomew and Co., are going to be mighty disappointed when they go to Unia. I would expect many of the Bishop to defect but the laity and many priests on the ground in Greece and Cyprus are very unlikely to do so. Catholic Unia has never been popular with the Greek people.

      • Don’t be too confident that the Greek laity wouldn’t join the Unia. These Greeks are not the Greeks of our grandparents. The entire nation has pivoted strongly to the west and admire Italian culture and religion more than Orthodoxy. Due to Bartholomew’s identity politics Greeks more than ever view Orthodoxy as a Slavic dominated religion. Remember this generation of Greeks consider themselves European first, Greek second, and Orthodox nominally third.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Frankly, we need a very good pruning.

  2. Μωλον Λαβε says

    Not understanding internal politics of the various Orthodox Churches, but
    isn’t it possible that a synod or council take place that will remove or nullify Barthololew.
    Perhaps the Patriarchy should be moved out of Turkey – Jerusalem perhaps ?
    Besides, why has the Patriarchy remained in Constantinople all these centuries ?
    Wasn’t there an effort at one time to move the Patriarchate to Mistras ?

    I think it’s time to cut this Gordian Knot. I don’t see an amenable way to unravel it.
    Besides, it’s men who mess things up by allowing their ego and status to prevail. If indeed the hierarchy is in tune with the Holy Spirit, none of this would have ever happened.

    IMO, Bartholomew may think by making himself pope that his word becomes law and becomes the globalist tail wagging the dog. Many of the rest of Orthodoxy will not obediently fall in lockstep since many still listen to the Holy Spirit as we have observed.

    May The Lord have Mercy on us, enlighten the misguided and lead us out of this desert.

  3. I hope you, Stamatakis and Jatras enjoy the gallows at Gitmo

  4. One of the CP’s features seems to be less than transparency on its internal deliberations.
    Dissolving AROCWE backfired when most of AROCWE left for the MP.

    The main concern that you seem to be asking about for the CP is relations with Archons, then GOARCH and US/EU governments. Baltic churches and Finland joined the CP as I recall.

    Something like getting suspended by the MP or Alexandria losing parishes must not be as big a deal.

    The plan is probably to keep getting more EOs to recognize the OCU.

    I can’t see the CP making a Unia any time soon that would subject itself to Rome deprive the CP of its autocephaly. Maybe under new CP leadership or changed conditions.

  5. So how long before Dumenko seeks a job with the Pope? I’m sure he sees his days are numbered probably polishing up his resume even as we speak.

  6. Tim R. Mortiss says

    All is now made clear!

  7. Gail Sheppard says

    Oh, joy. (snark)

    I think this is the Catholic monastery Pope Francis and Bartholomew created in Austria.

    The Ecumenical Patriarch wrote in the guest book the wish “that the great and famous day of the union of all should not be delayed for too long. “Brother Pope Francis and my mediocre self are working hard and praying fervently for the speedy arrival of this day of the Lord.”


  8. Filed under What Did They Think Would Happen:


    Also, the GOA seems to be going for the power grab again. This same thing happened with the Episcopalians when several diocese left to form the ACNA. I am only familiar with this because the entire Episcopal Diocese of Ft. Worth joined the ACNA and I remember hearing about it when I lived in DFW:


    If I remember right, they all go to keep their property.

  9. I’m actually surprised that Russia is swinging for the fences here. It’s one thing to fully take over disputed areas or provinces, but yet another to try and take over an entire country (Ukraine). I’m no fan of Ukraine, nor its government, nor the people who call themselves Ukrainian, but in all actuality are Galicians in the western part of the country. Casualties and collateral damage aside—I truly fear for the clergy and people of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the MP! They are surely to have even more heartaches now. We can only pray that the Lord restores common sense too everyone involved!

    • I don’t think hardly anyone in the West appreciates the magnitude of what is occurring. Here is Scott Ritter’s take.


      This is the latest instance of everything that Biden touches turns to boo boo. At first, I was concerned that Russia was taking over as global hegemon. It’s that significant. However, I don’t actually believe that he who controls Central Europe controls the world anymore. East Asia is much more significant now. It makes more sense to see it as the end of American hegemony and the beginning of a truly multipolar world – Russia, China, India and the US.

  10. Looks like Putin called the West’s bluff

    Maybe NATO will send Sergeant Usedtobeamale to liberate Ukraine

    • This is just the Deep State’s latest manufactured Crisis. First it was the Russia Hoax, Mueller, Covid, the Ukraine phone call, etc. Now it is the provoked Russo-Ukrainian war which will be used to paint anyone who is soft on Putin as an insurrectionist. It will be remembered as when the DS jumped the shark in a fit of desperation.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Interestingly, Zelensky just demanded that the Ukraine be immediately taken into the EU (with talks about joining NATO later). If the EU countries turn him down then his goose is cooked.

      The last thing they want at this point is for the Ukraine, in its present state, to be a debilitating appendage to the EU a la Greece.

  11. Looks like maybe you and Dissedent mama got taken down? Y’all are both on Sarah Ricardo Swartz Russian orthodox agent list I had wondered if that had something to do with it. Glad to see y’all back up! I couldn’t access for days.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Yeah, it was a fatal error that blocked George and me first and then the rest of you from what I heard. Does she really have “a list?”

  12. Michael Bauman says

    Unfortunately, Putin just made Russian Orthodoxy persona non grata pretty much everywhere. That makes union with Rome more attractive.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Hadn’t thought about that, but Bartholomew is getting very close to pulling the plug.

    • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

      RE: “That makes union with Rome more attractive.”

      To whom, Michael?

      ( I hope not you!)

      • Certainly not to me.
        When Bartholomew swims the Tiber,
        I shall swim the Volga.

      • Michael Bauman says

        Father, not to me at all. But some will certainly say that Russian Orthodoxy is tainted, not to be trusted, etc and Rome is safer, etc. The Russian attack will be used as a sales tool to promote union with Rome.

        • I want to move closer to a Russian parish more than ever.

        • Union with Rome? Union with this?

          Feminist Vatican Nun Endorses LGBT+ Caucus

          VATICAN (ChurchMilitant.com) – Sister Nathalie Becquart, the first woman appointed by Pope Francis to a voting position in the Vatican, is endorsing a radical Catholic LGBTQ+ campaign group that defies Church teaching on homosexuality and gender ideology.

          Becquart, one of the highest-ranking nuns in the Holy See, will deliver the 2022 Fr. Robert Nugent Memorial Lecture organized by the New Ways Ministry, a dissident group promoting same-sex “marriage” and transgenderism in the Church.

          Titled “Synodality: A Path of Reconciliation,” the April lecture will explore how the Synod on Synodality “aims at the synodal conversion of the Church to become a listening Church and an inclusive Church with the style of discernment.”

          The lecture seeks to bring “a Vatican official into conversation with LGBTQ people and their allies as part of the synodal process,” New Ways Ministry announced.

          The 52-year-old French nun belonging to the Ignatian religious order of the Xavières Sisters was appointed by Pope Francis as undersecretary to the Vatican Synod of Bishops in 2021.

          “The Holy Spirit works by innovating in continuity with the past,” notes Becquart. The nun will speak in honor of the late Fr. Robert Nugent — a Salvatorian priest who was permanently banned in 1999 by Cdl. Joseph Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI) from New Ways Ministry for his “erroneous and dangerous” homosexual advocacy.

          Ratzinger ruled that Fr. Nugent and Sr. Jeannine Gramick, cofounders of New Ways Ministry, had questioned “the definitive and unchangeable nature of Catholic doctrine” on sexuality and “caused confusion among the Catholic people.”

          By downplaying the Church’s position on homosexuality, they also failed to provide people “struggling with homosexuality” with the benefits of the Church’s “true teaching,” stated Ratzinger, then-prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. … ‘

          Now they are in charge…

    • It’ll sort the men from the boys.

    • George Michalopulos says

      I’d say we’re going to be experiencing a “wheat/chaff separating event” because of this.

      No doubt the optics for Russia from a NWO/EU perspective are horrible but then again, the US is getting ready to experience our own Freedom Convoy. Our hands are not clean –in anything–especially in the Ukraine, which is ruled by NWO/Soros front groups. Lots of money-laundering and sex-trafficking going on. Worse than we know presently. That’s why the EU is getting Switzerland to abandon their neutrality.

      As for the “attractiveness” of the RC in comparison, I’d say “yeah, but to who?” May be “just me and my Jesus” type of Christians who prize “spirituality” over seriousness. Maybe to those Christians who believe in the John Hagee type of dispensation, you know, “we got to hurry up and build the Third Temple so Jesus can come back soon”. As for the Fordhamite brand of Orthodox Christians, definitely.

      The problem is that under the present Pope, things are spinning so far out of control in the RCC that serious RCs are crying in their beer every day. Worse, they can’t agree among themselves how to ride this out. Even the ultramontanists, the sedevacantists, the SSPX/Latin Mass devotees, etc, have no common point of reference other than “Francis is bad/evil/incompetent/agent of NWO.”

      God allows the Orthodox to go through “horrible optic situations” to see who will remain loyal. At this point, it’s hard for many of us to remain steadfast to Patriarch Kirill and the path he’s chosen. It’s equally hard to not be sympathetic to the Ukrainians*, and it’s way too easy to just say “OK Bartholomew, you were right: let’s get with the globalist program!”

      That last thing is the easy way. The “wide path” which Jesus warned us about. As a rule, it’s much easier to be a “good-time Charlie” than it is to be serious.

      *By “Ukrainian,” I don’t mean the Ukro-nazis who are doing most of the fighting. My sources who are close to the conflict tell me that the majority of the those in the eastern part of the Ukraine are more than happy to assist the Russian Army. There’s a lot of subterfuge going on which is lost in the fog of war. The Russians for their part are being very restrained in the fighting because they don’t want to necessarily hurt civilians and destroy infrastructure. What’s particularly troubling is the massive amount of propaganda and one-sided “news” coverage that’s going on in the West. That alone tells me something.

      More to come

    • MB,

      Wait for it. Once the Ukraine is stabilized, there is a contingent in both the Unites States and Europe whose best interests are served by rehabilitating the image of the Bear. That is when you will start to see stories about how the EU/NATO brought this upon themselves, about the violence and the Donbas and Zelensky’s appeal for nukes as being precipitous, about the extraordinary kid gloves the Russians have used in operations to date (not going after utilities infrastructure, surrounding cities and armies rather than directly engaging, etc.), and so on.

      All of that is objective reality and, though it flies in the face of the grand MSM narrative, because it is factually accurate and not going to change it will be the fodder for Russia/Putin apologetics talking points among the MAGA inclined and certain news outlets at a minimum.

      And I think a large cross section of the public realizes that it is all bs anyway. It has all the hallmarks of Wagging the Dog on steroids. When everybody is selling the same sanctimonious drama, people’s bs detectors go off. Admittedly I’m just judging by anecdotal evidence from the internet, but I think that’s how it will play out. People’s attitudes will begin to line up with their politics regarding the DS. It’s just in the fog of war with propaganda machine turned up to 11 most people are holding their peace.

      • George Michalopulos says

        BTW, whatever happened to COVID?

        • Here we are…

          Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine Goes Into Liver Cells
          and Is Converted to DNA: Study By Meiling Lee

          March 1, 2022 Updated: March 2, 2022

          ‘ The messenger RNA (mRNA) from Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is able to enter human liver cells and is converted into DNA, according to Swedish researchers at Lund University.

          The researchers found that when the mRNA vaccine enters the human liver cells, it triggers the cell’s DNA, which is inside the nucleus, to increase the production of the LINE-1 gene expression to make mRNA.

          The mRNA then leaves the nucleus and enters the cell’s cytoplasm, where it translates into LINE-1 protein. A segment of the protein called the open reading frame-1, or ORF-1, then goes back into the nucleus, where it attaches to the vaccine’s mRNA and reverse transcribes into spike DNA.

          Reverse transcription is when DNA is made from RNA, whereas the normal transcription process involves a portion of the DNA serving as a template to make an mRNA molecule inside the nucleus.

          “In this study we present evidence that COVID-19 mRNA vaccine BNT162b2 is able to enter the human liver cell line Huh7 in vitro,” the researchers wrote in the study, published in Current Issues of Molecular Biology. “BNT162b2 mRNA is reverse transcribed intracellularly into DNA as fast as 6 [hours] after BNT162b2 exposure.”

          BNT162b2 is another name for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine that is marketed under the brand name Comirnaty.

          The whole process occurred rapidly within six hours. The vaccine’s mRNA converting into DNA and being found inside the cell’s nucleus is something that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said would not happen.

          “The genetic material delivered by mRNA vaccines never enters the nucleus of your cells,” the CDC said on its web page titled “Myths and Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines.”

          This is the first time that researchers have shown in vitro or inside a petri dish how an mRNA vaccine is converted into DNA on a human liver cell line, and is what health experts and fact-checkers said for over a year couldn’t occur. … ‘

          • Here’s more…

            Judge Unseals 400 Pages of Evidence,
            Clears Way for Pfizer Whistleblower Lawsuit


            ‘ A whistleblower lawsuit alleging fraud during Pfizer’s COVID vaccine trials is moving forward, after a district court judge unsealed the complaint, including 400 pages of exhibits.

            Brook Jackson in January 2021 sued Pfizer and two companies the drugmaker contracted with to work on the trials: Ventavia Research Group and ICON PLC.

            Jackson worked for Ventavia for a brief period in 2020 before being fired after she filed a complaint with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over alleged improprieties she observed during the vaccine trials.

            She also gave The BMJ a cache of internal company documents, photos and recordings highlighting alleged wrongdoing by Ventavia.

            BUY TODAY: Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s New Book — ‘The Real Anthony Fauci’

            Jackson filed the complaint in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas, Beaumont Division, under the False Claims Act. The lawsuit includes several charges of fraud and retaliation on the part of both Ventavia and Pfizer.

            The complaint remained under seal until Feb. 10, when U.S. District Court Judge Michael Truncale ordered it unsealed.

            Pfizer ‘deliberately withheld crucial information’ about vaccine’s safety

            According to Jackson’s lawsuit, Pfizer, Ventavia and ICON “deliberately withheld crucial information from the United States that calls the safety and efficacy of their vaccine into question.”

            The lawsuit states:

            “Defendants concealed violations of both their clinical trial protocol and federal regulations, including falsification of clinical trial documents.

            “Due to [the] Defendants’ scheme, millions of Americans have received a misbranded vaccination which is potentially not as effective as represented.”

            The core allegations of Jackson’s lawsuit include claims against Ventavia and Pfizer of:

            Making or using false records or statements to cause claims to be paid.
            Presentation of false and/or fraudulent claims.
            Making or using false records or statements material to false and/or fraudulent claims.

            For instance, Jackson alleges:

            “From 2020 to the present, Defendants [Ventavia and Pfizer] knowingly made, used, or caused to be made or used, false records or statements that were material to false and/or fraudulent claims paid or approved by the United States [Department of Defense, or DoD]. These false records or statements include the clinical trial protocol Pfizer submitted to the United States and the falsified source documents and data behind Defendants’ trial results and EUA application.

            “By creating and carrying out their fraudulent schemes, Defendants knowingly and repeatedly violated … the False Claims Act. Defendants’ false records were material to Pfizer’s claims for payment for the vaccine at issue. The United States DoD would not have paid Pfizer if it knew that the clinical trial protocol was not complied with by Defendants, because the protocol violations call the integrity and validity of both the entire clinical trial and Pfizer’s EUA into question.

            “Defendants’ false records also went to the very essence of the bargain the United States contracted for. DoD contracted to purchase vaccines found effective by a valid clinical trial conducted according to the protocol submitted by Pfizer. The integrity of the entire clinical trial was compromised by the trial protocol violations, false source documents, and the false data that resulted, which calls the vaccine’s EUA into question. Had the United States DoD known of Defendants’ false records, it would not have paid Pfizer.

            “Defendants’ use, or causation of use, of material false records was a foreseeable factor in the United States DoD’s loss and a consequence of Defendants’ schemes. By virtue of Defendants’ actions, the United States DoD has suffered actual damages and is entitled to recover treble damages plus a civil monetary penalty for each false and/or fraudulent claim.” ‘

    • Joseph Lipper says

      I would imagine that it’s a difficult time right now to be in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Perhaps the silver-lining of the current tragic circumstances, is that Russia might very well be solving for us (unwittingly though) the ecclesial problem of territorial domain.

      Did Metropolitan Onuphry invite or welcome these Russian troops to invade?

      No, I don’t think so.

      • Joseph Lipper says

        The invading Russian troops would have their own functioning Orthodox priests, but those priests would need the blessing of Metropolitan Onuphry to be in Ukraine. It’s doubtful his blessing was given. So then those Russian military chaplains would be in a clear violation of ecclesial domain.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          Ridiculous. Russian military chapains come from the Russian Church.

          • Joseph Lipper says

            Yes, Russian military chaplains are from the Russian Church, not the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. So they would need canonical permission from the ruling Ukrainian bishop to function in Ukraine. This is usually an easy enough thing to get in peaceful times, but I don’t think Metropolitan Onuphry gave his blessing for them to come. That being the case, the invading Russian military chaplains would be in a clear violation of another bishop’s territory.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              Joseph, Metropolitan Onuphry is not a “ruling Ukrainian bishop”. He is a Russian Orthodox bishop. He is also not a part of this war. Why would he not grant entry to Russian Orthodox chaplains?

              • Actually, Metropolitan Onuphry is a Ukrainian bishop. Not only an ethnic Ukrainian, but First Hierarch of the Autonomous Ukrainian Orthodox church. It is the Ukrainian fanatic elements that wants to force the canonical church to call itself the “Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine.” That is kind of like Biden telling the OCA, ” you must call yourself the ” Russian Orthodox Church in America.” Actually, that is what the EP considers us, since they don’t recognize the Autocephaly.

              • Joseph Lipper says

                Gail, I suppose many Ukrainians were wondering if Metropolitan Onuphry gave his blessing for these Russian military chaplains and troops to come to Kiev and “liberate Ukraine”. The reason I don’t think he gave his blessing is that his response to the Russian invasion was negative, asking Putin to stop. He also expressed his support for the Ukrainian soldiers who are defending Ukraine’s borders:


              • Gail Sheppard says

                Yes, Joseph has pointed us to the article multiple times.

              • Orthodox clergy have a duty to pray for victory for the country in time of war. This was evident during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05. Some Russian Orthodox Clergy serving in Japan stood down so as not to have to pray for victory for the Japanese forces against their own countrymen.

                • If I remember correctly, Saint Nicholas of Japan told his Japanese clergy to pray for the victory of the Japanese Empire and to serve molebens for that intentions, while he himself served his own prayer services for Russian victory in private. The best approach, I think.

                  From my own visits to Russian parishes in these United States, I’ve noticed that they always pray for the Russian land (or land of Rus) in general but for the civil authorities and armed forces of THIS country specifically.

        • Solidarity Priest says

          But it was perfectly ok for Patriarch Bartholomew to violate Metropolitan Onuphry’s ecclesiastical territory? Are you serious, Joseph?

          • George Michalopulos says

            Also, lest we forget, Pat Bartholomew blessed Turkish tanks when they rolled into Syria some time ago.

            Think of that: blessing the armaments of an Islamic power which was going to go in and destabilize the secular authority which protected the Christians there from genocide.

      • I would imagine that it’s a difficult time right now to be in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

        I’m in ROCOR, we had protests outside our parish this past Sunday. Are parish is pan-Slavic so this has effected many people yet none of them were the ones protesting. If I had to guess I would imagine the protestors were all 100% American virtue signalers

    • Sadly true that anything Russian is going to find it a lot harder to find sympathy now than before Putin’s miscalculated invasion, and Orthodoxy is no exception, even though it’s a political decision the Church could not have stopped. Emotions don’t care about such nuances.

      Anti-Russian sentiment is nothing new to the West, but at least back when the Soviet Union was around the Church was largely unified in opposition to a common enemy. Since the OCU schismatics were recognized by the EP that’s no longer the case, and now I fear that the outcome of the schism will be dictated more by feelings than by the canons and good order of the Church.

      As much as I pray for a solution that keeps the ROC together, Mr. Putin has put the Church in a position where I no longer see a realistic way around Ukrainian autocephaly in the long term. Recognizing the OCU isn’t really on the table canonically unless their “clergy” agree to be properly ordained, but the UOC under Metr. Onuphriy could be given a tomos, a process that looks like it may already be in its early stages.

      Whether or not Ukraine comes out of this as an independent country, there will be outcry to recognize a Ukrainian church out of sympathy for the Ukrainian people, which if the MP doesn’t cut the canonical UOC loose will be the OCU(/OCU Abroad if Ukraine occupied). The argument that they’re unordained laymen without Apostolic Succession playing dress-up will be drowned out by political cries of “solidarity” with their desire for independence and “religious liberty”. And yet succession is the most important thing for us as ordinary Orthodox Christians. Power politics between bishops always feels distant even to those of us who follow it (and we’re a minority in that regard), but whether one is receiving the Body and Blood of Christ or just bread and wine affects us all directly.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        The OCU is not the Church. Their autocephaly is not autocephaly as long as they have to run everything by Bartholomew. I suspect the parishes and monasteries they took will be returned to the Russian Church and together they will have more solidarity than they do now with one legitimate Church (UOC) and one not (OCU).

        • You’ll get no argument from me that the OCU is not the Church. They are unordained charlatans pretending to be an Orthodox body. That’s the problem, because that doesn’t change the fact that public opinion even within Orthodoxy is tending strongly toward sympathy for Ukrainians and their independence from Russia, which could drive people straight into their arms and thus out of Christ’s Church.

          The article I linked states that even some UOC bishops are calling for real autocephaly, who I’m pretty sure know can only come from Patr. Kirill just like in the cases of the OCA and ROCOR. Bartholemew has no authority in the matter. What I suspect will happen is a return of OCU-stolen properties to the UOC by Russia followed at some point by autocephaly for the UOC unless Russia plans to stay and occupy the whole of Ukraine (which Putin has said he doesn’t plan to do, but plans change as facts on the ground change).

          Believe me, I really hope you’re right and they end up with more solidarity than before. The MP already gives the UOC near-complete autonomy, far more than Bartholemew gives the “autocephalous” OCU. You and I and anyone who’s done much reading on the conflict know this, but Ukrainians who increasingly view Russia as “the enemy” are going to be a lot less willing to attend a church which openly commemorates a Russian now.

          • Autocephaly for the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church should have been granted by now. Russia’s incursion into Ukraine, although not totally unwarranted, has been a total disaster. Now the schismatics will have more pretext to cause even more mayhem and to seize more churches. It will surely happen. Did Putin even think this one out? Does he even care? And, all of those priests in Africa…what are they thinking now…was it wise to move to the newly created Russian Exarchate? What bad timing. What bad decision making on Putin’s part. What a headache.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              Yeah, not if Russia is successful. They won’t tolerate “mayhem” and “the seizing of canonical parishes”. Trust me on this. The Russian Orthodox Church will be rid of them entirely.

              I agree about the timing, though not for the reasons you alluded to. I wish this had happened earlier, but Russia was too principled. Rather than cutting off Alexandria, they waited two years before they acted hoping Theodore II would come to his senses.

              With Ukraine, rather than catch them by surprise, they tried to negotiate the wishes of the two separatists. They were clear about their intentions. They gave an out to the soldiers that wanted to come across. They avoided civilian populations. . . etc, etc. This could have turned into WWIII but their timing was perfect in terms of the European countries who had no interest in trying to stop it.

              Ukraine was hijacked by some very unscrupulous people and it was only going to get worse. Sadly, the U.S. was right in the middle of it. If this war didn’t happen, a nuclear war would have been initiated down the line. I’m glad the CIA, State Department, NATO, and the UN aren’t going to be able to take hold of Ukraine. What would happen to the poor Ukrainians then?

              There is no canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The canonical Church is the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in “little Russia.”

              • I really hope that you’re right, Gail. I really hope that you’re right. (May God all have mercy on us.)

  13. Nate Trost says

    Fog of war makes things challenging. However, nearly a week into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, there is a fair bit to be opined with varying degrees of confidence.

    The one thing that I think should be relatively uncontroversial, is that the Kremlin very badly underestimated the willingness of Ukrainians to fight for their country.

    One can look back a little over a week ago to Putin’s public dressing down of Naryshkin to begin to see how that might have happened. You don’t tell the boss things he doesn’t want to hear. Even if they are things he needs to hear. This is how you end up with a false version of reality.

    There is a fair bit of evidence that the Kremlin believed there would be no meaningful resistance and operated accordingly. One bit of amusing insight is that apparently state media had “Mission Accomplished” essays prewritten and ready to go. Somebody at RIA Novosti apparently forgot to cancel theirs. One (of many) analysis of the contents can be found in this thread:


    Needless to say, this ended up being delusional dreams of imperialistic grandeur.

    One can also glean the underestimation in the disastrous starting conops of the invasion. Now, there is no question Ukrainian figures of Russian losses are likely to be padded, albeit keeping on the top range of plausible. But make no mistake, I’ve spent quite a few hours over the past week reviewing footage and expert commentary. The start of the invasion is a fiasco for Russia. The opening 72 hours likely resulted in anywhere from 2,000 to 4,000 Russian KIA as a reasonable estimate range. It is far beyond the ability of the Russian MoD to ultimately suppress.

    Unfortunately for Ukraine, Russia, and the world it is going to get a whole, whole lot worse before it gets better. Denied a lightning-fast capture of Kyiv and decapitation of the Ukrainian government, Putin has no off-ramp. Defeat in Ukraine would be an existential threat to his survival. And now the world will watch him butcher Ukrainians en masse, using threats of nuclear war to stave off intervention by the international community.

    Imagine spending all that time building up a Madison Avenue vision of Russia as a shining light of Christendom only to drop cluster munitions on it. Putin has made himself Goliath and Zelensky David. Ironically, the fixations of evangelical American Christianity can lead to this being doubly underlined due to his heritage. If Russia manages to kill Zelensky in the coming days, it will only make Ukraine fight harder.

    One of the more extraordinary things, perhaps a side effect of the White House aggressively telegraphing Russia’s plans, is that the Kremlin barely even bothered to construct lies, much less any convincing ones as pretext. I don’t think Ukraine seeking nuclear weapons is believable if you’ve had a frontal lobotomy.

    How many smartphones that can record video are present in Ukraine? 5 million? 10 million? All ready to record the actions of an invader against a country that doesn’t want them there.

    Putin has shackled Russia to himself on a descent into Hades. We shall see how many people outside Russia rush to chain themselves to him of their own free will.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      You’ve spent “quite a few hours” reviewing footage and commentary? Really? George and I, and a whole lot of other people, spend hours and hours every day.

      What you probably don’t know about the Ukrainian people and how they feel about their government. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OisJkpGYpAo&t=40s

      (EVERYONE should listen to this.)

    • Some actual military experts have said that the fact the Russian military was moving slowly and carefully was in order to minimize civilian casualties and damage to civilian infrastructure, even at the expense of suffering greater casualties itself than would have been the case if it had begun the invasion fiercely. (See, e.g., Doug MacGregor on Tucker Carlson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NS8_mta3BUk )

      A question that has been raised, but all too sparingly, is whether it is a good thing to be providing weaponry and similar support to Ukraine when it seems that militarily the Russians will prevail. (See, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOkn3l7mddc ) As has been said, the West is willing to fight Russia to the last Ukrainian.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        The only thing they care about is that Ukraine butts up against Russia. They would make a killing field out of Ukraine if they could get away with it.

  14. Joseph Lipper says

    May God bless the Ukrainian soldiers who are standing guard, protecting and defending their homeland from the Russian invasion. Lord have mercy.

    • May God bless the Donbass militias who are standing guard,
      protecting and defending their people from Western funded genocide.
      Lord have mercy.

    • AnonymousII says

      What are your thoughts on the West’s 2008 coup that, among other horrors, burned government and civilian buildings, shot citizens as they leapt from windows and captured churches, beating up priests? Those same invaders rule this current government.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Joseph, at the risk of being snarky, here’s my take on any given military situation: find out which side George Soros is on, and go for the other guy.

      It works in politics as well. He’s actually one of the best bell-weathers out there.

      • Joseph Lipper says

        George, rather than taking a purposefully reactive position against Soros, it might be better to align oneself with the Ukrainian Church headed by Metropolitan Onuphry. Here’s his plea:

        “At this tragic time, we express our fervent love and support to our soldiers standing guard and protecting and defending our land and our people. May God bless and keep them! Defending the sovereignty and integrity of Ukraine, we appeal to the President of Russia and ask him to immediately stop the fratricidal war.”


        • Vladyka Onuphry is only doing what any Christian should: defend his Fatherland. He is not wrong to do so. Ukraine, in standing with Soros and his globalist plans, is wrong, however. The Russian soldiers who fought in defense of the Soviet Union did nothing wrong in doing so, but that doesn’t mean that the USSR was a good guy.

        • George Michalopulos says

          I think these words are very effective and quite irenic. I see no hatred in them. And even the seeds of rapproachment.

  15. Looks like the ROCOR-Rue Daru situation has come to an end, at least for some of the clergy involved: https://rocorinterorthodox.church/2022/03/01/colchester-former-clergy/

    Five ringleaders defrocked, while the rest have repented and returned to service.

    • I expect this explains the password protection
      for the Orthodox England Events Blog.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        Which we may have to do, as well.

      • Some have suggested that he was hiding his blog as he sought another jurisdiction, since a simple skim of his posts up until his rupture with ROCOR would reveal nothing but thinly-disguised contempt for every kind of Orthodoxy that wasn’t Russian, including Romanian, which was his jurisdiction of choice after he was busted by the Russians.

        A real shame. His blog had a lot of good content when he wasn’t flaming everyone else.

    • Joseph Lipper says

      I guess the former priest, Andrew Philips, will now have to appeal to the Ecumenical Patriarchate to consider his case.

  16. I’m not going to address Ukronazi propaganda being regurgitated by trolls. Suffice it to say that we shall all know the truth quite soon enough.

  17. Christine says

    Sorry, total of five. The rest involved repented of their part in the situation.

  18. Seems Antioch has said “no” to a meeting of the 5 ancient patriarchates that Alexandria was trying to set up and are instead, rightfully, calling for a pan-Orthodox consensus:


    • Gail Sheppard says

      I think Jerusalem said no, as well. It’s just Alexandria and the EP (& Greece and Cyprus which are not one of the 5).

      • George Michalopulos says

        Honey, are you sure about Greece’s participation as well? It’s not an “ancient patriarchate.”

  19. Guess if the Archbishop is still allowed on Athos and at St. Anthony’s he can’t be that bad…right? At least I’d rather think that than the alternative.


    • Gail Sheppard says

      Father Paisios warmly greets everyone. The monasteries are part of the GOA.

      • True enough. I don’t know Fr. Paisios, but I know another priest there and I would say the same about him.

        Given all of these things that Elpidophoros and Bartholomew have done, including communing with schismatics, is it really the best idea (or best optics) to allow them on Athos or in the monasteries…even if that’s who the monasteries are under?

        That’s a genuine question that I can’t figure out.