If the Past is Prologue…

…then we’re in a heap of trouble.

Below is a short (50 minute long) video documentary of Mikhail Denysenko, the so-called Patriarch Philaret of Kyiv. It does not paint a pretty picture.

Look folks, I’m very forgiving. Nobody’s perfect. If our Church can canonize scoundrels like King David and Flavius Constantinus as saints, then we can turn a blind eye every now and then to a bishop who’s led a less-than-spotless life. I may be wrong to be so lenient but then again, I’m just a layman and anyway, that’s my opinion. As I’ve said before, that an 50 cents will buy you a cup of coffee.

Let me reiterate: I have a soft spot in my life for the occasional rascal, but this Denysenko character is a bridge too far. Even for me. The man is a rank opportunist. He makes Elmer Gantry look like a pillar of principle and rectitude. And that’s the best thing that can be said of him. He kind of reminds me of Sir Richard Rich, the Crown’s star witness against Sir Thomas More, in A Man for All Seasons.

For those of you who may not know, young Richard (who was played by the late, great John Hurt) was a hanger-on at the More household, always trying to get Sir Thomas to get him a cushy job. More realized that he was essentially a non-entity, so he always put him off, using one or another excuse. More (as we know) ran afoul of his patron, Henry VIII, and when the former wouldn’t budge in the manner of his divorce from Catherine of Aragon, Henry offered Rich a knighthood and made him Attorney-general for Wales in exchange for damning testimony against his former patron.

(That’s one of the great cinematic kill-shots of all time. After watching the documentary below, I suppose the other way of looking at Rich’s opportunism would be that there’s another, more cynical moral to the story. And that would be that maybe Sir Thomas should have given Richard that cushy job he wanted in the first place.)

What happened to More was unjust but it was politics where cynicism is the coin of the realm. I’d like to think that the Church of Christ is above that. But with this latest, blatantly political move, my naivete proves yet again to be my undoing. As far as the Ecumenical Patriarchate is concerned, it looks like I continue to play the fool.

Folks, I’m just going to come right out and say it: if this defrocked bishop is recognized by Constantinople as a “patriarch” and his “church” as canonical, then that venerable See will have lost all moral authority. Especially after you watch the video below. Even in the best of times, it’s been difficult for sincere Orthodox Christians in the GOA to believe the propaganda that was peddled out by the Phanar’s mouthpieces (like Deacon John Chryssavgis), no matter how polished they were. Anybody remember Patriarch Bartholomew’s “Apostolic Journey” to the Mississippi River back in 2009? How’d that work out for the GOA?

There will be no way that other ecclesial bodies (much less local Orthodox Churches) will be able to look at Constantinople with a straight face and not laugh. And moral authority is like a woman’s virginity: once lost it cannot be regained.

It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.



  1. anonimus per Scorilo says

    Moscow defrocked and suspended many bishops in the early 90’s, essentially whenever it wanted to stop independence movements in various regions.

    The bishop of Balti (in Moldova), Petru, was also suspended and forbidden to serve by Moscow, but he was received in the Romanian Orthodox Church and elevated to the rank of Metropolitan of Basarabia. I think he even concelebrated with Patriarch Kiril when he visited Bucharest recently.

    Long story short: nobody who knows a bit of history gives a penny about the politically motivated defrockings and suspensions by Moscow around the time of the collapse of the USSR. So all this this “Philaret the defrocked” brou-ha-ha is just dust in the eyes of the gullible.

    This does not mean Philaret is a nice guy. Both him and Alexey were vetted by the KGB for election to patriarch, and there can be no higher confirmation of one’s scumbagness than this.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Did you watch the video? How he disparaged the Ukrainian culture? How he said that the Ukrainian language was a mishmash of Yiddish and Polish?

      Regardless of the facts behind his defrocking, he was defrocked. It was a canonical decision and it was recognized as such by all canonical churches.

      • anonimus per Scorilo says

        It was a canonical decision and it was recognized as such by all canonical churches.

        you know very well how these problems can be easily solved byzantine-style 🙂 : the Phanar will probably discover in its archive a long-forgotten appeal by Philaret against the defrocking, and since they claim the power to judge such appeals will decide that this defrocking was politically motivated and will lift it. Hopefully, they are smart enough not to do that.

        Again, nobody denies Philaret’s scumbagness, but to revere +Alexey or +Kirill and to despise Philaret is not logically self-consistent. They are from the same dough.

        It is also disingenuous to compare their level of corruption to the one present in non-KGB-controlled orthodox churches. Bishops in non-communist countries do become corrupt once in a while – power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. However, in communist countries being corrupt was a REQUIREMENT to become a bishop and to be promoted. This was the way the KGB ensured complete control: they could expose the corruption and immediately destroy any non-compliant hierarch.

        • George Michalopulos says

          ApS, please read Nikos’ response above. While Alexis and Philaret may have been cut from the same cloth (as you aver), the reality is that Alexis actually did something positive. “By their fruits ye shall know them”.

          Look: I’m a sinner, not a saint. I probably couldn’t recognize a saint if he walked up and punched me in the stomach. Likewise I’m so obtuse as to not be able to identify a sinner. (My sister tells me that I have no functioning “gaydar” for example. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve waxed eloquent about the illegitimacy of gay “marriage” to men who I later found out were homosexuals.)

          But I can see a soup kitchen being operated in a poor urban environment. Or a medical clinic operated by some church in a rural area. I can also see a church being built where one was destroyed 80 years ago, or a church that was once used as a morgue and is now 100% refurbished. I can also see a woman’s crisis pregnancy center being manned by priests as well as a Church which is pressuring the national legislature to put further restrictions on abortion or to stop the endless propagandizing/glorification of sodomy to children. Etc, etc, etc.

          All of the above are happening in Russia.

          Meanwhile, here in the USA, the Catholic Church is going into receivership while grand juries are being empanelled to investigate the homosexual rape of minors and the Protestants don’t know what the plain text of Scripture means anymore (so much for sola Scriptura). As for the “canonical” Orthodox jurisdictions, their “shepherds” are squabbling over seating arrangements when they’re not stabbing their respective primates in the back. (Arb Demetrios is now starting to receive the Jonah treatment.) And don’t get me started on St Nicholas Shrine, the implosion of Holy Cross or the depletion of the priest’s pension fund.

          The Sergianist movement was regrettable of this there can be no doubt. That doesn’t mean that the grace of the Holy Spirit must be absent. If some compromised bishop does something positive in such an environment (and it’s clear that Alexis II did) while another bishop just feathered his nest (e.g. Denysenko) while keeping a secret family, well, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist (or God) to judge either man on their deeds.

          Deeds speak for themselves.

          • anonimus per Scorilo says

            All these “soup kitchen” achievements are just window-dressing. Ten big catholic parishes in the US (with gay priests and all associated stuff) do more in this direction than an entire orthodox country 🙁

            +Alexey’s handling of Ukraine was a catastrophe, essentially the catholics were able to use ukrainian nationalism to get almost all the ex-uniates back to catholicsm.

            By comparison, in Romania, where nationalism was used viceversa (we are romanians and orthodox, catholicism is the religion of the hungarians) 90% stayed orthodox.

            If Ukraine had been granted autocephaly in the 90s, probably a similar percentage would have stayed orthodox. But agent Drozhdov and his colleagues had other orders.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Seriously? Using your logic the good Samaritan could of done more for the wounded man lying y the side of the road.

              • 20/20 hindsight and I think many in Romania returned to unia. And in any case we talking about people, not chest board pieces. If they felt Catholic than that is where they should be. WHAT HAS ALL THIS TO DO WITH CHRIST.? Where is CHRIST in all of this?. PERHAPS WE DO NOT NEED HIM DO WE, THE WAY WE GOING?

                • anonymus per Scorilo says

                  At the 2016 census there was a grand total of 150.593 uniates in Romania. There were 1.427.391 at the 1930 census. I do not know the Ukrainian number but I think there were about 3-4 million both before and after.

                  Of course we are talking about people, but most of these were peasants who had been fooled by the Habsburg to abandon orthodoxy (the Habsburg also destroyed all the orthodox monasteries in Transylvania, and killed a fair number of people who resisted (many recently canonized)). The only difference these people made between Orthodoxy and Unia was that the orthodox were using the term “Duhul Sfant”, and the uniates “Spiritul Sfant” (Holy Ghost vs Holy Spirit).

      • George u spot on. The other guy was regularised by Romanian church and did not declare himself Patriarch!! No, not good actions all round but reality. No wonder the Romans condescend to us because we act like Congregationalists when it suits us.
        There has to be order and at least some pretense at being Christian.
        As for KGB stuff, i am bored by the ignorance and naive understanding.
        in Soviet times in Soviet space all bishops had to engage with KGB to keep the show on the road. Otherwise churches would close and priests and believers suffer. Yes as in occupation, ask my Greek family from Ww2., It was a daily struggle of no good choices.
        The question to be asked of Alexios AND Philaret who were ordained together in 1961, at a time of renewed pressure against church and church clossures (1959,17000 churches possibly, by late 60s about 8000 and going.) is how did they act as bishops,? NOT THE WOODEN STATEMENTS re freedom, which if we were too dum to ‘get it’, our problem, as they knew fake news long ago, but THEIR RECORD AS BISHOPS.
        Alexis as Metropolitan of Leningrad opened churches, including Holy Trinity Cathedral in almost clossed Alexander Nevsky monastery and had expanded priestly education with rising no of priests. THIS IS HIS RECORD. Not a few exciting words for western press that forgotten next day, as the Church would pay for long after.
        NO ONE CAN JUDGE WHO DID NOT LIVE THIS. No one!!! AND Alexios as Patriarch was a good man in difficult days who steered the Church well.
        I do not know Philaret ‘s record as bishop so do not comment but I believe he was a believer and tried. But however in 1990 he broke with his church for Selfish wordly reasons, bringing schism and discord and nothing after has redeemed him, regardless of all arguements and wrong on all sides.
        If such behaviour so blatently, is normalised, than I have to ask myself what am i doing in this den of thieves called a Church.?

      • Ps. Man for all seasons. Great film. Don’t make them any more.

      • Final word. For what worth I rate Alexis better Patriarch than Kyrill and a MUCH MORE SPIRITUAL MAN, but that bye the bye and not relevant as such and in end known to God as Kyrill too may have his Cross to carry.

      • Just watched video. And very aware here in Bulgaria the Church split in 1991 but not in this way and now long settled.

        It is obvious that Philaret is everything that pushes any one with a Christian belief out of the door. CHRIST IS NO WHERE HERE.
        How can Constantinople, what ever the validity or not, of any arguements , treat with this man?? It beggars belief. There may be good arguement for one united Ukrainian church amd I support it but legitimately and in due time and with the blessing of Moscow. This is how things done.
        But Constantinople recognised the modernist living church of 1920s Russia , so can only get worse.
        A nasty piece of work, just grateful his wife is female.

      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

        Quite right, George! I don’t know what Bartholomew’s motives are—perhaps they are vanity and money. Filaret Denysenko, formerly an Orthodox hierarch, took a trip to the Fanar when Demetrios was the EP, reputedly with a suitcase full of cash, but he returned home disappointed—everyone in the Fanar, including Patriarch Demetrios, addressed him the whole time as “Mister” Denysenko! Bartholomew is a different kettle of fish! Of course, Pariarch Alexii was widely respected….and perhaps our State Department plus the Greek Foreign Office may have come up with more cash than Denysenko had in his suitcase the first time….And Poroshenko was not left out of Washington’s largesse either! Pariarch Kiril is, of course, no great ascetic, but he has not publicly blessed a life-sized statue of himself, as Bartholomew has done at Halki! (a statue with spectacles, no less—-and how do we Orthodox define “graven images?”)

        • Beryl Wells Hamilton says

          Did Patriarch Bartholomew order the statue with spectacles to be made for him? Is he that arrogant? It’s difficult for this old lady to imagine that, but perhaps so. Is he under any political pressure at all? Would it have been more prudent for him to have refused to bless that doggone statue? I’m just wondering.

  2. Greatly Saddened says

    God forgive me. But once gain, it seems to me like another instance of one who is out for himself. Should we be so surprised by this? So help us God!

  3. Gregg Gerasimon says


    Many thanks for posting this video. I am a cardiologist (certainly not a psychologist or psychiatrist), but it is clear to me, from the data that we have, that Mikhail Denysenko (the false “Patriarch Filaret”) has a severe, malignant narcissistic personality disorder. He has his own delusions about who he is — in his case, he sees himself as a church Patriarch — and only tolerates people around him who support him in his delusion. His behavior is shameless, breaking sacred oaths and commitments without compunction (lying on the Gospel, keeping a wife and having 3 children while allegedly a monastic as only two examples). How quickly he dismisses realities that do not support his delusion. How quickly he disowns his own children who did not support him in his delusion. He has no capacity for empathy or compassion. Tragically, many charismatic leaders are found to be malignant narcissists.

    The only way to deal with such people is no contact or very little/only necessary contact. Mikhail Denysenko does not do relationships and does not connect with people; he uses people for what he can get from them. The Orthodox world is correct in ostracizing Mikhail Denysenko, praying for him and for the people of Ukraine whom he is using and fooling, protecting itself and its own flock, and leaving judgment to God.

    If the Church in Constantinople continues to work with Denysenko in the odd symbiotic non-relationship that they seem to have (Mikhail Denysenko using the Constantinopolitan Church, and the EP using the “Kievan Patriarchate” as a retaliatory tool against Patriarch Kirill), and if it offers him an apparent veneer of legitimacy in the form of a false “autocephaly,” then I certainly support the Orthodox world in ostracizing the Church in Constantinople as well, praying for it and for those whom it is using, and leaving judgment to God.

    In these tragic situations, it’s important for us to see reality, even if it is not what we want to see. All the data point to the fact that Mikhail Denysenko lives in severe delusion, and his only goal is feeding his narcissistic supply. This is hardly honorable for anyone, let alone for a church leader. That the EP even considers his group as worthy of “autocephaly” is a huge red flag demonstrating how far in outer space the EP must be as well.

    The Church has given Mikhail Denysenko ample time to come back to reality and to get help. And lately, the Church has given the EP ample warning of the dangerous path that it is taking by working with him and his group.

    In the end, we may have no choice but to cut the EP loose and leave the EP and Mikhail Denysenko’s group to their own chosen fate. That option would be painful, yes, but would be far healthier for everyone involved — including for the EP and Mikhail Denysenko — than continuing to engage them and supporting them in their delusion.

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

      Well said, George Gerasimon!

    • Beryl Wells Hamilton says

      George Gerasimon,

      You wrote: “That the EP even considers his group as worthy of “autocephaly” is a huge red flag demonstrating how far in outer space the EP must be as well.”

      But is it possible that Patriarch Bartholomew isn’t in outer space? As one who doesn’t know, I am only wondering. Isn’t there enormous pressure being put on him by the West? We don’t know what is being discussed behind the scenes. There must be a reason for this, but the question is – and we who don’t know may not be able to find it – what is the real reason for this? It doesn’t make sense. Why would the EP want to left to such a fate? IF we don’t assume he is out in left field, it seems it would behoove us to wait and see. In any case, the documentary George M. posted was made by Israel, which raises the hair up two feet on the back of my neck. What is their motivation for making such a “documentary”?

  4. Francis Frost says


    During the Soviet Era, nearly all the Russian bishops were compromised to some extent. Sadly that tradition has hardly changed since the end of the Soviet era. It is quite true that Filaret was secretly married and therefore compromised. By the same token Patriarch Aleksei II was married and divorced his wife in order to be ordained. Patriarch Kirill, however, has proved to be a treasure trove of scandal to the detriment of the church and its message. More on that below.

    Filaret’s qualifications or lack thereof, however, are not really the issue, as up until this time no one has proposed him as a primate for a united Ukrainian church.

    Perhaps you are unaware that talks to reconcile and reunite the separated factions in Ukraine were started during the time of Metropolitan Volodymyr Sabodan, who supported the Euromaidan movement. Those discussions focused on reconciliation, not subordination. Ukrainians were so hopeful of such a process that even the Greek Catholics were willing to return to Orthodoxy under a united Ukrainian Orthodox Church. After Metropolitan Volodymyr’s death, Metropolitan Onuphry abandoned the path of reconciliation and demanded submission to Moscow as conditions for any reunion. Not surprisingly, reconciliation efforts came to a stand-still which is why the Ecumenical Patriarch entered the talks to facilitate reconciliation.

    Reconciliation is a Christian process. submission is an imperialist process and that is the real issue. Russia’s neighbors are fed up with Russian imperialism and aggression, and Russia’s neighbor will not submit to the Moscovite oppression again. Period.

    Now, back to Kirill

    Prior to his election has Patriarch, Kirill was the chief of the Patriarchal financial operations under Patriarch Aleksei II. During this time, Kirill used the church’s tax free status to raise funds be selling duty free tobacco and alcohol to the Russian public. Kirill amassed a personal fortune estimated at $4 Billion USD. Kirill has since been exposed as a flagrant sumptuary. On a trip to Kiev, Kirill was photographed wearing a $46,000 Breguet wrist watch. When he was questioned about the watch, he denied even owning such a watch. Later he was again caught wearing the same watch in a photograph taken by his own staff in his own office. The staff had airbrushed the offending watch from his wrist; but failed to airbrush out the reflection of the wrist watch on the polished surface of the table where he was sitting. After that his staff did have to admit the blatant lie he told about the watch. 

    Using his wealth Patrtiarch Kirill built a Billion dollar personal home / resort in Anapa on the Black Sea. He also has a residence in the prestigious condominium complex “Naberezhie” across the Moscow river from the Kremlin. Patriarch Kirill’s neighbor in that complex was one Yuriy Shevchenko, a retired surgeon and the retired head of the Ministry of Health for the former Soviet Union and the Russian Federation. Father Yuriy is also an Orthodox priest. Patriarch Kirill decided to acquire his neighbor’s property by means of the courts. Patriarch Kirill sued Fr. Yuriy for $600,000 USD claiming that dust from a renovation project in Fr Yuriy’s apartment had damaged his “priceless collection of antiques, art-work, manuscripts and furniture”. As the courts found in Kirill’s favor, Fr. Yuriy was forced to sell his apartment in order to pay the damages to Kirill, who was then free to expand his own living space. 

    Because Patriarch Kirill is “ an experienced churchman”,  he knows well that Orthodox clergymen are forbidden from entering into civil lawsuits. Therefore, the lawsuit against Fr. Yuriy Shevchenko was filed on Kirill’s behalf by a Ms. Lidia Leonova, who co-habits that residence with Patriarch Kirill, and who is politely referred to as ‘ a distant relative’.  These fact are not only verified by government documents but were even reported in government controlled media. 

    When the punk rock group “Pussy Riot” staged an anti-Putin performance on the solea at Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow, Russia’s premier theologian and rector of the Moscow Theological Academy, Archdeacon Andei Kuraev, and Metroplitan Hilarion Alfeyev declared that his was an opportunity for the church to demonstrate the Gospel message of forbearance and forgiveness. Patriarch Kirill, however, would have none of it and insisted on maximum punishment for the offense. As a result two of the ‘performers’ were sentenced to hard labor in “harsh regime” prison camps for 2 – 7 years, despite the fact that both of them were mothers of infant children. 

    We might also note that during Patriarch Kirill’s tenure the Moscow Patriarchate has been rocked by sexual scandals involving sexual abuse of seminarians in the Kazan Theological Seminary, a scandal documented in police reports and published by none other than Archdeacon Andrei Kuraev, the now former rector of the Moscow Theological Academy.

    We should also note that the Moscow Patriarchate has repeatedly acted in defiance of the sacred cannons of the Orthodox Church and our Lord’s saving commandments. 

    Not long after the Republic of Georgia declared its independence from the USSR, the Yeltsin regime organized and funded an armed Muslim “Confederation of the Mountain People of the Caucasus” and used these mercenaries in the invasion and occupation of the Abkhazeti and Samechablo ( South Ossetia) regions of Georgia. These invasions were marked by vicious attacks on ordinary unarmed civilians with some 47,000 Orthodox Georgians tortured and murdered in their own homes and villages and another 300,000 Orthodox Georgians driven into exile by massive ethnic cleansing  organized by the Russian military occupation forces. In July of 1992, Hieromonk Andrea Kurashvili and Subdeacon Giorgi Adua, the restorers and guardians of the shrine of the Repose of St. John Chrysostom in Komana were brutally tortured and murdered by the invaders. Subdeacon Giorgi was nailed to a tree in mockery of the Crucifixion and then used as target practice by the drunken soldiers. The Holy Synod of the Georgian Orthodox Patriarchate has already begun the process to canonize these holy martyrs

    After the invasion and occupation of Abkhazeti, The Moscow Patriarchate set up its own schismatic “Abkhaz Eparchy” headed by a renegade monk, Vissarion Apliaa, who abandoned his monastic and ecclesiastical obedience to Metropolitan Daniel, the legitimate bishop of Sokhumi and Abkhazeti. The Russian bishops including both Patriarchs Aleksei and Kirill have concelebrated with the renegade Apliaa in violation of the Sacred canons. After the 2008 war, The Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate awarded Apliaa, the “Order of St. Seraphim of Sarov” in reward for his betrayal of the canonical church in Abkhazeti. In 2009, this same Vissarion Apliaa, led soldiers to drive out the last legitimate Orthodox clergy and monastics in the newly occupied eastern Abkhazia.

    During he 2008 invasion of Georgia, the Russian Patriarchate sent its bishops, Panteleimon of Adyghe-Bolkaria and Feofan of Saratov to accompany and bless the invasion forces. These bishops, transgressed into the territory of the Georgian Orthodox Patriarchate, and there literally “blessed” the tanks, missiles and weapons used to attack civilian populations and Orthodox Holy Places. On August 8, 2008, the missiles blessed by Bihsop Feofan were used in a rocket attack on the 5th century Ghvrtaeba Cathedral and the Shrine of the Protomartyr Razhden in Nikazi. Metropolitan Isaiah, the legitimate bishop of Tskhinvali, escaped just seconds before his church and residence were rocketed. The next day, the ‘holy warriors’ of the Russian military looted the Cathedral, desecrated the Holy Altar and burned the iconostas and the entire interior of the Cathedral – with the overt and public “blessing” of the Moscow Patriarchate and its bishops.  These infernal “blessings” were televised in Russia and then in Georgia. You may watch the video yourself on You Tube under the title “Orthodox Occupancy”. The participation of the Russian bishops in the invasion is also shown in the documentary “Uroki Russkovo” (Russian Lessons), filmed by Russian filmmakers Andrei Nekrasov and Olga Konskaya, which is also posted in 12 segments on You Tube. 

    The next year after Pascha, Metropolitan Isaiah of Tskhinvali – Nikazi was ‘detained’ by the occupation forces and forbidden from crossing over the ‘line of demarcation’ in order to minister to his much suffering flock. The weapons “blessed” by the Russian clergy were also used to demolish 15 entire villages in the occupied territory and to literally hunt down like animals the remaining Georgian men in the region. This, my dear George is how the Moscow Patriarchate demonstrates its obedience to the commandment “ You shall love your neighbor  as yourself”  

    To paraphrase Forrest Gump: Canonical IS as canonical DOES, sir

    • George Michalopulos says

      Francis, are you serious? Do you think that only bishops in the ROC during the Soviet era are compromised? Look around you man! A significant number of bishops in the Patriarchate of Constantinople are compromised. Why do you think that the EP does the bidding of Soros? Because if he doesn’t then what is happening to Rome will happen to his See.

      Wake up man. And anyway, are you going to be singing the same anti-“imperialist” tune when “Patriarch Philaret” sends his right-wing deaths squads into the Kiev Caves monastery and the other churches to take them over? Try explaining to your Protestant friends why an “Orthodox” church uses Nazi banners and regalia to rally the troops. The fact that you can’t see the scandal inherent in such an awful scenario makes me question your sanity.

      Someday soon, I’ll do a vlog explaining the meaning of the runes and why neo-nazi death squads like to use them. Then you’ll be educated and you can explain to your Christian brothers why Hitler wasn’t such a bad fellow after all.

    • Normally I don’t respond to Francis’s diatribes since he has amply demonstrated his bad faith regarding the Russian Georgian conflict and others. One does not argue with the devil. Suffice to say that we can dismiss everything he says about Russian involvement in Georgia as the product of spin factories. Yet he adds nothing to our knowledge of Pat Kirill either. For some reason, call it Russophobia, he is pathologically antiRussian even though 11 or 12 local churches support Russia vis a vis the Phanar and the Georgian Patriarch is now quite the Russophile. The facts don’t matter to Francis anymore, only his hatred.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Sadly, I believe you are right.

      • His ramblings are always very long and convoluted. I choose not to waste my time reading his absurdities.

      • Pere LaChaise says

        So you know for a fact that what Francis writes is untrue? How do you substantiate your claim? And in the meantime while you get your refutations of his charges against the MP, you counter with fictitious scenarios of what you imagine could happen in some future?
        Your dismissal of Frost’s arguments is pathetic and hollow.

    • Will Harrington says

      Two points. Whether right or wrong, the faults of the Patriarch of Moscow are a red herring, a logical fallacy and not germane to the issue. The real issue is the idea, in this day and age, given the laws of modern nation states concerning religion, that the autonomous status of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church somehow equals the subjugation of Ukrainian Orthodox Christians to a foreign government is risible. It is the same argument that was used against JFK in America, He was no more subjugated to the Pope (an actual head of state) than any member of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church would be subjugated to Putin. In Ukraine, given twentieth century history, it is understandable that passions should run high, but we should be rational, not passionate, sheep.

    • Estonian Slovak says

      Those two performers with small children should have thought about that BEFORE they commited an act of sacrilege in a church. Try doing something like that is a mosque in Saudi Arabia and see where that gets you!

  5. Here is a good article about this issue.

  6. Tim R. Mortiss says

    Rumpole of the Bailey! Splendid. He was at it long before….

  7. Francis Frost says

    In an interview, published on the Orthochristain.com weblog, Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeeyev seeks about the retaliatory measures to be taken against the Ecumenical Patriarch for offending the Russian supposed ownership of the should of Orthodox christian in Ukraine:

    What retaliatory measures can there be in such situation?
    There can be different measures. I will not speak of them before they are introduced, because at each stage we will give to those who are still our partners an opportunity to change their mind and reconsider their decisions.

    Interfax news service has published a notice of the specific means by which the Moscow Patriarchate plans to take revenge on the Ecumenical Patriarchate:

    (Interfax) – Establishment of Russian church dioceses in Turkey could become a response to Patriarch Bartholomew – religious expert

    *** Constantinople “plays a dangerous game” as it has its own schism

    Symmetric response of Russian Orthodox Church to actions of Constantinople in Ukraine could become establishment of the Moscow Patriarchate’s dioceses in Turkey, a famous religious expert, professor Roman Sylantyev believes.

    “Evident response decision is to set up dioceses in Turkey, where there are minimum ten times as many members of the Russian Orthodox Church even if we count only those who permanently live in the country. And if we take into account five million of our tourists who come to Turkey every year, it is absolutely different arithmetic calculations,” Silantyev told Interfax-Religion.

    He stressed that many Orthodox believers who come to Turkey usually look for a church where they can pray.

    “On Cyprus many churches really hold services in Russian, though there are no so many our tourists in the country, but if we open such churches in Turkey, in Istanbul, on resorts there will be crowds of pilgrims,” Silantyev said.

    According to him, the Moscow Patriarchate could display interest to the Turkish Orthodox Church, which is small, but officially recognized in Turkey, “and the Russian Church could recognize it an heir of the Constantinople Patriarchate of the time of the Byzantium Empire.”

    “The Constantinople Church has its own schism and nothing prevents us from using this schism as they use ours. Certainly, such suggestions are bold, but they can be discussed in such discourse which we see today”, Silantyev said.

    According to Silantyev, Constantinople “plays a dangerous game, abysses of schism can open not only from our side, but also from the side of the Constantinople Church.”

    Let’s just digest that thought a moment.

    Our lord taught his disciples to “turn the other cheek”. and “Do not repay evil for evil”; but that great pillar of Orthodox christianity openly declares its intent to take revenge. What more can anyone say about the Muscovites? They have simple abandoned all pretense of being Christians!

    When I consider the extreme long-suffering patience of His Holiness Patriarch Ilya and the Holy Synod of the Georgian Orthodox Patriarchate with the 25 years of the Russians’ persistent, flagrant canonical violations, the murder of Orthodox clergy and civilians, the bombing and desecration of holy temples and the repeated threats to “annihilate” the Georgian nation; and now those criminals who ought to be on their knees begging forgiveness for their great sins are now promising revenge and retaliation against those who have offended them, well the is no word for such shameful impudence. Such is the “pride that goes before a fall”.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Our Lord and Savior also said that “the first shall be last and the last shall be first”. He also told His disciples that when it comes to exercising leadership “they should not be as the Gentiles, who lord it over their people”. They should also “be as wise as serpents but as gentle as doves”. Humbly, I would also add that “you shouldn’t make things up as you go along”.

      But even here, Jesus beat me to the punch: “let your yea be yea and your nay be nay, of anything else cometh evil”.

      I see none of these dicta in any of the actions taken by the EP.

    • This is from the same Francis who recently declared that the MP had few if any options given the Phanar’s actions. Now there’s an entire menu offered to condemn. Must be confusing being Francis. There’s a reason we don’t take this stuff seriously.

  8. “..but that great pillar of Orthodox christianity openly declares its intent to take revenge.”

    Interesting comment…..except you have it backwards. The EP was looking to exact some revenge on the Russian Church for rejecting the robber council. So they decided to infringe on Russia’s jurisdiction and grant autocephaly to a schismatic group whose leader was defrocked…..against the wishes of most of the other Orthodox Churches.


  9. Having read re Georgia war and Kyrill and Alexei et al. I want to say a few words.
    Frstly we need to stand back and look at it all with wider historical understanding, same with BALKANS. The end of.comnunism left many many with a renewed tribal Christianity as a badge to hate the other tribes.Christ comes in to it little.
    Sadly some churchmen were, are, not much better. Can we really call them Orthodox?
    Alexis. I never CLAIMED he was a Saint!! But his positive actions speak for themselves. And he never become a monk with secret wife and children
    Granted flogging tobacco to the public was no one’s finish hour but much more Kyrill than Alexei
    All of them had to operate within Soviet system as i explained previously. Here in Bulgaria one can more easily understand much of this.

    Georgia. A tragedy but even EU claims Georgia egged on by neo cons had much to answer for.

    I read the catalogue of truly horrendous, disgusting behaviour CLAIMED against the russians with the georgians as saints. Life not like this but of course if any of this true it is a blasthemy against God. But given the entire west and IT was anti Russian with guts,( as with the set Balkan stuff) non of this ever surfaced in official media who believe me would be salivating over it..

    Re Constantinople. I read a neo con article pro Bart, saying with a church in Ukrainian he controlled, it would at a blow, bring the Moscow patrarchate down a peg or two and aquire REAL power as he sees it. A neo con wet dream.

    Again one needs to understand history.
    From the time of Peter the Great, one can claim that Ukraine and its Culture colonised the Church of Russia, mostly in western direction, and not other way round.
    Because of the German occupation etc and re- opening churches, in 1990 2/3 of churches plus were in Ukraine. There for an independent Ukrainian church would have left rhe church of Russia in very bad situation with hardly any churches or money .
    As this changes and Russia builds up it’s church than in time a separate CANNONICAL Ukrainian church will come about but not as an enemy of Russia but one where any uniates seeking faith and not Politics, can come to as all Ukrainians.
    And of course no one is currently denying Ukrainian churches to be Ukrainian, but they have a duty to be Orthodox.As we all do.

    Kyrill. Again the pressure on him but that bit of the rant was Sadly true. He for me is a Russian cardinal richlieu.
    What we must pray for is a Patriarch Tikhon. Kyrill will answer before God.

  10. Constantinos says

    Is the Orthodox Church capable of anything besides schism and heresy? I’ve been attending a local Catholic Church for almost a year now- and what a blessing it has been. Today I went to a morning week day Mass for the first time, and what a difference from the OCA I used to attend. I really feel like I’m home, instead of with a bunch of nasty schismatics like Dr. Stankovich. No liturgical abuses whatsoever- and the people are so much nicer than the Orthodox I’ve known. In my humble opinion, the Catholic Church is the one true church founded by Jesus Christ. I hope to work up to attending daily mass every day. How sweet it is to be in the one true holy Catholic Church.

    • Sad but outwardly true. Fr Alexander SCHMEMANN wrote about this, turning the Church into a Sacramental shop with the priest selling.. I have kept my faith and understand that we all sick and none sicker than in the Church.
      I have a wonderful small book called ‘Light in the Darkness’by Sergei Fudel, who spent many yrs in the Gulag in Soviet Russia . He wrote about the dark side of the Church and much else. U should read the book. From St Vladimir’s seminary press.
      U mention the Catholic.church, with respect that is in crisis as we know, but u illustrate a truth that it is always THE LOCAL CHURCH at liturgy that is the Church. For Catholics and for us.
      We must look beyond the filth and the dirt which were there at the Last Supper. It is difficult.
      I in Uk at my mother’s death who was deep believing lady of deep faith and much suffered in war, was left without Sacraments at death’s door by the local greek priest who refused to come to the hospital. I had to ask the Catholic hospital chaplain to give last rites. I leave giving in detail the disgusting behaviour over the funeral leading her not to have service in her Parish church ( with very good english Orthodox priest, ( God Bless him) from London doing the service in english while the two church cantors who were disgusted, chanting in Greek in cemetry chapel.) It was wonderful funeral with OPEN COFFIN, but what does it say about the Church or the archbishop in London whose dereliction of duty was appalling? . People were appaled by the Church. Shocked. The Catholic church actually offered the use of the local catholic church but it was already arranged for the cemetry chapel.
      That priest in St Nicholas Southampton Uk is still there. OH YES THE DECOR GETS EVER MORE RICHER , INCLUDING ‘ BYZANTINE ‘ CHAIRS IN RIGID ROWS. The spirituality zilch, that, ‘CHRIST SELLER,’ as my grand father called them, would not know even how to spell it in Greek.Of english he never learnt. Fr Vassili Mavroudis from kastoria if u wish to know. ANAXIOS ANAXIOS ANAXIOS. My mother lay unburied for two weeks.
      This happens over and over. It is what has destroyed the Church. the corrupt commercial attitude.
      I have learnt to look beyond and at my failings but HOW CAN ANYONE tell a young person that this is the Church of Christ?? Where he or she never experienced any Charitable impulse or care or a word about anything. Where the Church president is seen two times a yr on his name day of St Nicholas, Mr Hannides, and Easter night

      I could go on but why bother.
      I never want to go near a greek church ever in my life. I worship here in Bulgaria and thank God for it

      • Nikos, I am sorry to hear about the situation with your mother; it is abhorrent. May her memory be eternal. Nonetheless, since you named the priest involved, I thought that I would make my first-ever (and probably only) comment on this site. Fr. Vasilios is the priest that received me by baptism into the Holy Orthodox Church and, despite his not learning English (indefensible, yes, but he does know German from when he served there in the past) we had a steady flow of converts, if not a flood, that were well received and looked after by him. He really made sure that they were properly instructed by designated people at the parish and even delayed reception on at least one occasion because he thought that the godmother-to-be wasn’t sufficiently grounded in the faith, so also needed some instruction.

        He is very close to my godmother and always takes an interest in her (and my) spiritual life, being especially happy to hear that I took up theological studies and the monastic life. There was a wonderful group of young adults at the parish – Greeks, Cypriots, Russians, Arabs, Romanians, and English – and those that he could communicate with held him in high regard. He also looked after a very frail old Schemanun who lived in a small house behind the church.

        I pray that you can forgive this man who, despite having some failings (as we all do), does have some very good qualities.

    • Joseph Lipper says

      Constantinos, It sounds like you are no longer in communion with the Ecumenical Patriarch. By the sounds of it, many on this blog will be soon joining you in breaking communion with the EP.

      • Joseph, respectfully it is the EP who has broken communion with us, i.e. the vast majority of the rest of world Orthodoxy.

    • That is rather humorous. I was born and raised in the Roman Catholic formation. When I am forced to attend a service (wedding, funeral, etc) it feels protestant.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Costa, I’m glad you feel that way. However my own experience in the several dozens of masses I’ve attended over a 20 year period has not been as joyous as what you describe. Certainly I never felt any solemnity at all. I say this more in sorrow than in anger. In fact, it wasn’t until I started attending a Western-rite liturgy in a ROCOR church that I felt any sense of awe.

      Still, that’s my opinion. As long as you’re fulfilled then I bid you peace.

      • Tim R. Mortiss says

        I caught the “tail end” of the old Mass in the early-mid 1960s when I started dating the Catholic girl, at age 16, who later became my wife. I was a Presbyterian lad, as I’ve often said here before.
        The Vatican II liturgical reforms hadn’t yet really happened. The old Latin Mass was very dignified, beautiful, and moving.
        I have been to many a Mass since, for funerals, weddings, and the like. Some have been very good. Some have been very weak indeed. Nothing is the same, unfortunately.

        The churches used to be full, too. Attendance was, indeed, mandatory. Gone with the wind….

  11. Michael Bauman says

    The RCC is a litugical abuse and the embodiment of schism.

    Will the Orthodox Church ever be free of such things? No. Dealing with both is a major part of the history of the Church. It should be expected. However such things do not define who and what the Church is. Contrary to what the GREEKS, ARABS, and RUSSIANS * would have you believe.

    It would be much easier if there was not a core in the Orthodox Church where the truth lives and is propogated even in the worst of times.

    *The FOLKS who put politics, power, ideology and ethnicity before Truth and union with Christ. Most of us I fear at least part of the time.

  12. Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

    Constantinos, this is a joke, right?

    • Constantinos says

      Dear Father Webster,
      Throughout my study of the Great Schism, I have never been able to say the Orthodox Church was right, and the Catholic Church was wrong. I know that Michael Cerularius was a bad man full of ambition. We know the filioque was inserted because of the eastern Arian heresy.
      At the weekly morning mass, there were really no liturgical abuses. No laity assumed the orans position during the Our Father, only the priest. The priest’s sermon was on the Mother of God. I received communion on the tongue administered by a priest. The mass was very reverential. I certainly felt the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. The church I attended is a cathedral.
      Vatican II never condoned the liturgical abuses that have been prevalent since that Council such as the banal music, the priest not facing east, etc. All I know is that the Catholic Church has grace filled sacraments whether the Orthodox Church chooses to believe that or not, otherwise there would not be so many Eucharistic miracles.
      I would say that more than anything else, the EP, Moscow, and Dr. Stankovich have led me to the Catholic Church. Dr. Stankovich’s unfailing nastiness, vitriol, arrogance, incessant name dropping, showing off his knowledge of Biblical Greek, and his extreme rudeness to fellow posters really repel me. I figure that if the Orthodox Church produces that kind of Orthodox Christian, then I want no part of this church. I have never met a devout Catholic who comes close to his lack of Christian love and churlishness. Basically, he epitomizes the kind of person I don’t want to be. Oh yes, let’s add the showing off in French.

      • Lord have mercy! You should not permit the vitriol of one man cause you to apostatize from the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church…the Holy Orthodox Church! I pray that you will return in due time.

      • Dear Constantinos:

        Please consider studying the writings of the Church Fathers of the first and second millenia, , immersing yourself in them. The most wonderful Orthodox people I know drink deeply there and love one another and do not post online. In fact Vladika Dmitri of thrice-blessed memory urged avoidance of the internet because it stirred passions and created division. His commentaries on Scripture are replete ONLY with the comments of the Fathers, so they also are a fine adjunct.

        I know what you mean about the peace of the Catholic Mass. I converted to Catholicism at med school, loved the silent retreats at Catholic monasteries, and found great solace in daily Mass and easy access Confession. However when at the urging of John Paul II I began reading “Orthodox writing” (because he said Orthodoxy and Catholicism were two lungs in the same body), I found a depth of understanding and beauty hidden from me in the Catholic Church. And when I learned why we were never taught about the early Fathers (except for Augustine), that the Trinity and our Lady were both “redefined” by the Catholic Church, that the Papacy was the product of a destruction of the intended decision-making process of the Church beginning in Acts, well I knew I had to come to the hospital for healing. Even the medical model of Orthodoxy is precisely like that of Christ on the planet, versus the legal mindset of Roman Catholicism.

        There are “all sorts” in our hospital of the Orthodox Church. Please check out those who do not post online. It is the quiet sweet restrained and modest parishioners and clergy in the Churches who honor all the pillars of Orthodoxy — Faith, Tradition, the FAthers who are the true healed fruit in Christ. I pray for you to find those people and that beauty. Vladika Dmitri and his right-hand assistants at the Cathedral housed a bookstore replete with writings of the Saints and the Fathers. They are our source of healing. I pray for you on your journey. Please do not judge Orthodoxy by any of us fellow patients in the hospital, especially me. Please get a bed and get a good doc and only speak with those who are good for you. And if you need first to go through the Catholic Church, please know I am praying for you.

        Best in Christ,

      • Cut it with the emotional manipulation says

        Constantinos, this takes the cake for the most emotionally manipulative statement posted on Monomakhos this year.

        I hope you are not among those Greeks/Greek-Americans who are more emotionally manipulative than the stereotypical Jewish grandmother. Sadly, I have known several Greeks/Greek-Americans in this boat. They are usually emotional train wrecks who expect having their family members manage their emotions for them and expect everyone else to do damage control for them.

        Grow a pair. It is not Dr Stankovich’s, the Church of Constantinople’s, Russia’s, or even Mickey Mouse’s responsibility if you leave the Orthodox faith. It is your own decision. Own up to that fact. Christ promised that the devil would work nonstop against His Church, and we see that playing out very clearly, real-time with the Ukrainian schism mess.

        If you think the Roman Church is perfect or is the Church, or if you think the Roman cathedral you attend is perfect, then you are fooling yourself. But own up to the fact that you are fooling yourself. It is not Dr Stankovich’s fault.

        So cut it with the emotional manipulation. You are an adult. You are responsible for your own behavior and decisions.

        • Constantinos says

          Dr. Stankovich ,
          Speaking of emotional train wrecks, try looking in a mirror.”Physician, heal thyself!”

          • Willy Der Wentzel says

            George, please delete my response to ” Constantinos”. I fear it will do no good. But my question stands; don’t you think Jeff Davis lost because he would not curtail freedom of speech? Just one man’s opinion.

      • Linda Albert says

        Oh please, just Google ‘liturgical abuse.’ Tradition in Action, a traditionalist RC site has dozens of pictures of half naked men and women performing during masses, masses on the beach with no proper altar, masses performed as circuses or acrobatic contortions exhibits. Finally, this statement from the Vatican saying there is no going back. https://www.ncronline.org/news/vatican/vatican-ii-liturgical-reform-irreversible-pope-says

  13. Francis Frost says


    What you call a rant is a recitation of well documented history. I have provided you and your readers with multiple documents for each point including video documentaries that show the illegal invasions and occupation of Georgian territory with the murder, oppression and expulsion of the native populations. I have carefully demonstrated the active participation of the Moscow Patriarchate in this campaign of genocide and ethnic cleansing. What is more, these crimes committed by the Russian government have been documented in detail and presented to the International Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights ,and there judgements have been issued against the Russian state and its leaders

    Neither you, George, nor a single member of your peanut gallery, have ever provided a scrap of evidence to counter this history. You simply dismiss every truth that is not filtered through your own delusional fantasies of a resurgent Russia. Resurgent? Get real. This past week there were mass demonstrations in 80 cities across Russia over Putin’s plan to deprive workers of their pensions by delaying the pensions to an age when many of those pensioner will already be dead. And the resounding chant of the demonstrators?
    “Putin – Vor!” Putin is a thief!

    Despite the very clear canonical issues at hand, not a single one of your experts, including the redoubtable and many initialed Fr. Alexander Webster, have ever provided any counter arguments. No, because none of you have any counter argument. All you have is your fantasies of an “Orthodox Empire” and your drink-the Kool-Aide attachment to a belligerent foreign dictator and mass murderer.

    The simple fact is that the Moscow Patriarchate has painted itself into a corner. They are going to go into schism from the rest of the church? Who cares? T he ROCOR spent 80 years in schism, and during its schism ‘in exile’, its bishops created schismatic daughter jurisdictions on the territory of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Church of Greece, the Patriarchate of Bulgaria and the Patriarchate of Georgia. Those daughter ‘ jurisdictions’ have sub-schismed into a dozen or more, ever smaller groups Just last month, some Georgian hikers in the wilderness beyond the Monastery of St Ioane Zedazeny, stumbled onto a squatter’s encampment with a ramshackle assemblage of tin, which it turns out is the last redoubt of the ROCOR’s daughter “True Orthodox Church of Greece” – Cyprianite branch. Along with the schismatic Metropolitan Cyprian, this group, this group includes a Russian ‘elder’ named “Borya” (little Boris) who claims to have messianic visions. If I knew how to operate my wife’s Facebook page, I’d share the photos and videos with you. This is the end of all schismatics – isolation and irrelevance. And this is where Putin and Kirill are leading the Moscow Patriarchate.

    After decades of defiant, persistent and flagrant violation of the Sacred Canons of the Orthodox Church and Our Lord’s Saving commandments, Kirill and the MP want to take cover under those same canons that have violated with impunity. They really are atheists. They believe that God is deaf, blind and dumb, or the don’t believe in God at all. They have forgotten the divine warning, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the LORD, your God” Lest our modern day Marcionites and Origenists with their ‘hopeful apokatastasis’ demur, this warning is repeated three times, once in the Old Testament and twice in the New Testament.

    God is just, and there is a Day of Judgment when “God will repay each man according to his works”

    You claim that the Greek Orthodox have done nothing for the church? Perhaps you ought to look at the Orthodox missionary work around the world. Who is staffing it? Who is funding it? The EP and the Church of Greece for the most part.

    Perhaps you are unaware that in a few short years the Mayan Orthodox in Guatemala will outnumber all of the other Orthodox in North America. Perhaps, Fr. Alexander should replace the study of Church Slavonic with courses in Tzotzil at his seminary. Why not replace a long dead language with a living one?

    And as the ever mounting evidence of Putin’s malign practices mounts in Europe, Britain and here in the U.S. you insist on tethering our Orthodox church to Putin, that flaming star who like his namesake will “fall like lightning from heaven”. When that happens and the Orthodox Church here in America is left to face the consequences of your ties to Putin, it will be on your head.


    • George Michalopulos says

      Enough indeed, Francis. You are in the grips of neoconservatism. You have also swallowed whole the mythology employed by Bartholomew regarding Ukraine and its relationship with Russia.

      Nobody is fooled. The EP is behaving in yet another self-serving manner. Only this time it’s baldly apparent. In the old days, before the internet and mass media, a hierarch could get away with these kind of papist confidence games. No longer. It’s open for all to see.

      In a way it’s a blessing. Just as in the Catholic Church, where the corruption is now fully exposed for all to see, anybody who enters into Catholicism “knows” that it is still the Bride of Christ, only it has been abused by horrible suitors. This reminds me of Whittaker Chambers, who left Communism in the 50s to join the West even though he was convinced that in doing so, he was joining a lost cause. (“Rats swimming towards a sinking ship” were his words.)

      So too, now, with Orthodoxy (which actually is the Bride of Christ). Anybody who now enters into it is doing so with the full knowledge that the archbishop of the “Queen of Cities” is behaving in self-serving manner and interprets history in ways that would make the leaders of Oceania blush in order to get what he wants. The Orthodox Christian will now know that the world (EU/NATO) is arrayed against him and that for those who are fortunate enough to have a traditionalist parish and/or monastery to go to, will be labeled as either a hated “fundamentalist who hates gays” and/or a “Putin apologist”.

      Choose your bed bro’. I hope you enjoy it. If you’re lucky, you might get a cigarette afterwards.

  14. Joseph Lipper says

    “Russia is at war with us and killing our children,” said Mykola Novosad, 71 years old. “How can we pray for [Russian Patriarch] Kirill?”

    “But the response of the Moscow Patriarchate, as the local arm of the Russian Orthodox Church is known, to the Kremlin’s attacks in Crimea and eastern Ukraine in 2014 lifted the veil. When some priests refused to pray for Ukrainian soldiers and blamed Ukraine for the conflict, churchgoers across the country rebelled. Dozens of villages ousted their priests and switched allegiance to the Kiev Patriarchate.”


  15. orthochristian.com/115685.html

    This is pretty thorough in documenting the full blown Eastern Papacy of Pat Bartholomew’s recent address to his synod. It completely mirrors Roman papism.

    One simply can no longer call the Constanopolitan Church Orthodox. They have already left the fold.

  16. Joseph Lipper says

    George, this “documentary” entitled “Dark Patriarch: Truth about Filaret” has a clear purpose only to slander an imperfect man. I don’t even think it’s worth calling it a documentary. It doesn’t have any sense of balance at all. It’s blatant propaganda.

    Filaret was made “Metropolitan of Kiev and All Rus-Ukraine” by Patriarch Alexei II in 1990 and given a tomos of “independence of self government”. The following year, Ukraine was declared an independent nation. As a new nation, a sobor of all the Ukrainian bishops, clergy, and lay delegates met in 1991, and they UNANIMOUSLY voted to function as an autocephalous church with Metropolitan Filaret as her Primate.

    Upon reviewing the proposed autocephaly of the Ukrainian church, the Moscow Patriarchate responded by forcing Metropolitan Filaret to resign as Primate of the Ukraine and be reassigned as Archbishop serving elsewhere. He agreed at first, but when he returned to Kiev, he rescinded his resignation because it “would not bring peace to the Church, would contradict the will of the believers, and would be uncanonical.” He was shortly afterwards declared laicized by the Moscow Patriarchate.

    But this is not really about Filaret. He’s an old man now, and 27 years later he’s 88 years old. This is about whether Ukraine should have an autocephalous church. The current elected president Poroshenko identifies as a Christian of the “Kievan Patriarchate”, but he wants a canonical Orthodox autocephalous church in Ukraine. The Moscow Patriarchate could at least be supportive of the idea, but they have refused in the past, and they refuse today.

    Moscow is exhibiting co-dependency with Ukraine, and there needs to be some healthy boundaries. The over-arching theme is a refusal by Moscow to give up on Soviet-era Russian nationalism. That’s because when the Soviet union fell, there were no criminal trials of Soviet-era abuses. The Soviet mentality still persists because it was never condemned. The Soviet game is not about Christianity, but rather it’s about political control.

    Ukraine and Russia could benefit greatly both politically and spiritually from a close federation as sister Orthodox churches. Instead, the Moscow Patriarchate is making threats of war and schism. No wonder the faithful of the UOC-MP don’t want autocephaly anymore . They are probably terrified of what Russia will do.

    • George Michalopulos says

      The same could be said of any other local Church. Why can’t Greece have those northern dioceses that still belong to Cpole? Those dioceses were once part of Turkey but they were liberated by Greece in the early 20th century?

      Do you begin to see what many of us mean by “bad faith” on the part of the Phanar. It’s the old “what’s mine is mine/what’s yours is mine” mentality. Then there’s the unalterable fact that the EP is behaving in a very transparent manner plus he’s going into another Church’s canonical territory. What’s going to stop him from doing the same in Syria? Cyprus? Bulgaria? Trust me, each of those Church’s primates know they could be in his cross-hairs.

      And that of course leads aside the very real implication that we are witnessing nothing short of papism here. There’s no other way to disguise that.

      As for Poroshenko, he communes in a Catholic parish. Doesn’t sound like such a serious Orthodox Christian to me. But that’s between him and his God. Not mine to judge. What I can judge is the fact that he got his position by overthrowing the legitimate govt there. Even James Carville admitted as such during the coup. Stop and think: a lot of people supported putschists such as Generalissimo Franco, the Greek junta, General Pinochet in Chile, etc. and they were wildly castigated for it by all the “right” people. Yet these same people who are lauding Poroshenko and the EP’s opportunism don’t even blink an eye.

      • Joseph Lipper says

        George, the Ukrainian government is certainly problematic. After the Ukraine declared independence in 1991, there was no cleansing of the government. The old Soviet “deep state” corruption remained in place.

        The main problem of an Ukrainian autocephaly would be if the Ukrainian government uses it to promote civil war, and it’s entirely possible this is Poroshenko’s intention. A “holy war” for a united Ukrainian church would keep him in office, but it would be an horrific tragedy both for Ukrainians and for Orthodoxy. Perhaps the EP is naive about this possibility, but it should certainly be the main consideration.

        As for Moscow, I just hope they don’t add more fuel to the fire.

  17. Father Alexander, Joseph Lipper, Mikail, George, NIKOS, Michael Bauman, cut it with the emotional manipulation: As my father used to say when we caught a big one,”FISH ON, HOOK EM!”

    To Michael Stankovich: So proud of you, that, one, you did not bite, and two, you are thought so highly, to stand shoulder to shoulder with Moscow, and The EP!

    I salute you!

    • George Michalopulos says

      Dino, forgive me if you thought I was manipulation you. I didn’t think I was. If I’m wrong, then I apologize.

    • Dino. I am not attempting to manipulate anyone.

      1. I rarely agree with Mr. Stankovitch (or Mr. Frost). And I believe that there is only one true Church….the Holy Orthodox Church.
      2. I firmly believe that Bartholomew is a heresiarch.

      I’m sorry if this offends you.

      • Mikail,
        “Cut it with the emotion manipulation ” was a pseudonym I listed with you and other posters who were trolled/baited by a man trying anyway he could to troll Michael Stankovich and failed.

        He then resorted to the old tricks of Peter Millman that he is/has joined the Roman Catholic Church and how great it is compared to Orthodox Church.

        All names I listed took the bait, hence, Fish on! Mr. Stankovich knew better, that is why I saluted him. I am not offended, just amused, by you all, and embarrassed by and for the trolls desperation. I hope this clears up my post to all. Thank you for your concern. So far as the schism Orthodoxy is now facing, I want no part of it, nor will take sides, there is enough blame to go around and I will not be baited, hooked, and deep fried by the evil one!

        • Thanks for the clarification, Dino. But I do not consider myself to have been trolled or baited. Constantine can attend any formation that he wishes outside of Holy Orthodoxy. He has free will. But I understand his frustration with Mr. Stankovich. Mr. Stankovich promised to leave this forum not long ago…..but he cannot help himself. As far as taking sides? The Phanar has gone off the rails. They are acting uncanonical and Bartholomew is spewing heretical statements. I am compelled to take sides.

          • Yes Mikail,
            We all have freewill, and you have said you are compelled to take sides. Be aware and prepared to go where that leads you. Then ask yourself why, for what, for whom, and is it worth losing my salvation.

            • Yes Dino,
              I am compelled to take sides and I know where it will take me. …..closer to Christ. St John Chrysostom tells us that schism is a sin that cannot be healed…even by the blood of martyrdom. When Bartholomew throws himself into schism….I will take the side of Christ and His Holy Orthodox Church. I pray that you may do the same.

              • M. Stankovich says

                St John Chrysostom tells us that schism is a sin that cannot be healed…even by the blood of martyrdom.

                I would ordinarily agree that this would be compelling, and highly profound, all the more so because its credibility is attached to our Father Chrysostom. Nevertheless, for as many times as I’ve read this quote (or its variations), no one seems to challenge the fact it doesn’t comport with the ecclesiology of the Church. Schism is not, by any stretch of the imagination, as destructive as heresy and apostasy, which are sins against the Orthodox Faith we hold.

                While I certainly do not mean to trivialize the matter, even a cursory examination of the history of schism within the church suggests it generally arose as the result of arrogance, disobedience, defiance, and so on, rather than a rejection, disparagement, or even perversion of the Faith and Tradition of the Church. More to the point, simply examining the “penalty(-ies)” imposed by the Fathers (notably by Sts. Cyrian of Carthage and Basil the Great) for those who would repent for schism pales by comparison to those imposed for heresy and apostasy. Off the top of my head, I must ask how it was that the Russian Orthodox Church was able to reconcile the “schism” of both the ROCOR and the “Metropolia” – and like it or not, they both repented of schism in order to be reonciled to the ROC – if, in fact, “schism is a sin that cannot be healed…even by the blood of martyrdom?”

                Personally, I have been unable to locate such a quote from St. Chrysostom in any published text in English, and the prospect of searching 17-volumes of Paetrologia Graeca for an otherwise obscure quote that is contrary to the collective opinion of the Fathers – or as Fr. Patrick Reardon once observed about a similar situation, “This saint was having a bad day” – I do not believe it exists. Since you quoted St. Chrysostom, if you have a citation, I would appreciate seeing it. Otherwise, it’s prolly not a bad idea – particularly when you are feeling compelled to take sides – to follow the Scripture: “Test [δοκιμάζετε] all things. Hold fast to the good.” (1Thess. 5:21)

                • I quoted this off the top of my head.
                  When Saint John was referencing schism in his homily #11 on Ephesians, he said……“not even the blood of martyrdom can wash out this sin.”
                  But of course, repentance with tears, (like another baptism) will be accepted by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

                  “[The spiritual man] shall also judge those who give rise to schisms, who are destitute of the love of God, and who look to their own special advantage rather than to the unity of the Church; and who for trifling reasons, or any kind of reason which occurs to them, cut in pieces and divide the great and glorious body of Christ, and so far as in them lies, destroy it—men who prate of peace while they give rise to war, and do in truth strain out a gnat, but swallow a camel. For they can bring about no ‘reformation’ of enough importance to compensate for the evil arising from their schism.”
                  St Irenaeus of Lyons

                • PS……It’s prolly not a good idea to think yourself more learned than “Golden Mouth.”

                  Is it necessary that you are so ornery on this forum?

                  • M. Stankovich says

                    You will pardon me, but I made no such claim that I, myself, was expressing my own opinion. Read what I wrote again and pay attention: the collective opinion of the Fathers. I specifically provided two primary sources – Sts. Cyprian of Carthage & Basil the Great – who, by reason of the contemporaneous circumstances of persecution, faced the dilemma of mass apostasy and schism, and in whose correspondence is found the basis for the ecclesiology of the Church. They are continuously quoted by the Fathers after them, and such is the Tradition of the Church. This is prolly what I meant by “Test [δοκιμάζετε] all things. Hold fast to the good.” (1Thess. 5:21)

                    My point was simply that, in the context of the collective opinion of the Fathers, it did not seem likely that St. Chrysostom would say the sin of schism could not be healed, even by the blood of martyrdom. And without checking the Greek text, it is unclear whether he is referring to “heresy” (from the first paragraph, “for instance, if any member of it [the body of Christ] should be a friend of heretics…”) or “schism” which occurs a paragraph later. You said, “St John Chrysostom tells us…” and now you say, “I quoted this off the top of my head…” and it may or may not be true.

                    A more interesting point occurs when St. John does use the word schism: “Therefore I assert and protest, that to make a schism in the Church is no less an evil than to fall into heresy.” But does he mean this literally, or is he referring to those who are “teaching of the word, not for power, nor for absolute authority,” which he makes analogous with

                    [those who would] seize the king himself by the throat and slay him, and tear his body limb from limb, what punishment could he undergo, that should be equal to his deserts? Now if in doing this toward a king, his fellow-servant, he would be committing an act too great for any punishment to reach; of what hell shall not he be worthy who slays Christ, and plucks Him limb from limb?

                    This, in my opinion, is what the consensus of the Fathers – and the Liturgical texts celebrating the Fathers of the Councils – refer to as “dividing the seamless garment of the Lord,” meaning heresy.

                    I am aware that some will conclude that all of this is “trifling reasons,” and I respond by saying as you did, I “take the side of Christ and His Holy Orthodox Church,” that words have power (which is why I try to provide the original Greek whenever I can), and that it is important to distinguish one’s opinion from the theology of the Church. You made a very direct statement that you rarely agree with me, which bothers me not at all. However, given the fact that I rarely, if ever, promote my opinion, am scrupulous as to my sources, and clearly indicate what is my personal opinion, your disagreement is not with me. Whatever…

                    Finally, I sat through your personal commentary in three consecutive posts, my thought being, “It’s all good.” You made all of this personal, I did not. I welcome correction as to substance; I’ve said it hundreds of times. One man’s “ornery” is another man’s frustration at being the “consternation” of someone with whom I have never exchanged a word. Sincerely, if I have offended you, forgive me.

                    • I gave you the source from St John which you implied was spurious. I can quote many other fathers regarding the sin of schism, but it would be fruitless…..because I cannot speak or read Greek…..whatever. I appreciate that you have an “opinion” regarding the “collective opinion” of the fathers. When I stated that I rarely agree with you, I did not wish to bother you. I was only stating a fact.

                      Finally…….have you offended me? No. But it seems that you offend many on this forum.

                      Its prolly a good idea that I no longer respond to you.

                  • Mikail,
                    Respectfully, I appreciated your kind demeanor with me, but if you are wishing Michael Stankovich away, please don’t. While he and I are far apart on politics, it never hurts to hear the other side. Same with theology/Orthodoxy. What is gained from Michael Stankovich’s contributions completely out weighs his offensive manner at times. Asking him to change is silly as well. We must learn to accept/ignore each other’s shortcomings and appreciate the gifts we share with one another. More or less we have the same goal/mark to achieve. Learning from each other’s journey can be priceless. Losing a brother will benefit no one.

                    • Good point Dino. I can respect that. But I think I will choose to merely ignore his comments.

                      Slava Isussu Christ!

                    • Slava na Veeki!

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      Let me attempt this again, as Mr. Michalopulos apparently is “protecting” you. The fact of the matter is that you misrepresented the words of St. Chrysostom and what he “teaches us.” I did not say the quote was “spurious,” I said it was “unlikely” as it did comport with the consensus of the Fathers, and this was a fact.

                      Your sarcastic response to me was undeserved; in context, your claim is that the Ecumenical Patriarch has chosen a path of sinfulness that “cannot be healed…even by the blood of martyrdom” and you used the authority of St. John Chrysostom to support it. You may quote me as many Fathers as you wish – in whichever language you wish – but it will never correct your error, purposeful or inadvertently offered off the “top of your head.” And rather than admit your error, you have made the issue to be about me. Yes, my friend, whatever… In the end, whether or not it troubles you that someone reading your misquote leaves this site convinced that, by the authority of one of the greatest of the Cappadocian Fathers, “schism is a sin that cannot be healed…even by the blood of martyrdom,” for the record, it troubles me.

        • Estonian Slovak says

          If you depart from the Church because of the sins of some of her leaders, you WILL be hooked by the evil one, Dino! What will you say to the Lord, ‘Bishop so and so sinned, so I lost my Faith”? The hierarchs and priests who have sinned and scandalized the flock will answer for their sins and errors. Will you bail out like “Constaninos” has allegedly done? Will you say to God, “Oh, mean Michael Stankovich offended me, so I left the church”? I learned in the 4th grade about personal responsibility when a classmate distracted me by making funny noises, causing me to laugh. The teacher came after me, not the boy making the noise. When I pointed this out, she said, “I’m not asking you about him, I’m talking about your behavior.” Surely you believe Our Lord’s Words that the gates of hell will not prevail against His Church?

          • Estonian,
            I will not leave the Church. I was wrong to say that. But! I will redirect my stewardship so that as little as possible reaches the corruption and warmongers at the top.

            • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

              “Mikail”! What are you, Scots-Irish? It’s “Slava Iisusu Khristu.”

              • Typo. I meant to write: Slava Isusu Christu!
                How much do you charge to be my editor?

              • Bullcocky Mr. Stankovich! I already corrected myself….but you can’t let it go. I’m sorry that this troubles you so much. My misquote was not far off. But I’m pleased that (in your grandiose wisdom) you keeps pointing it out.

                St John when referring to the sin of schism said: “……not even the blood of martrydom can wash out this sin.”

                Do I feel that the heretic Bartholomew will be healed of his sin of schism? Only God can make that call.

                So you can give it a break now…..or……whatever.

  18. Francis Frost says

    Well, George:

    After all your bluster and bluff; you still have not offered one single fact or canonical argument to dispute the fact the the Moscow Patriarchate was, and is, a serial flagrant violator of the sacred canons of the Orthodox Church and Our Lord’s saving commandments. The thundering silence of you clerical supporters speaks volumes.

    Today, the Moscow Patriarchate announced that it was ceasing commemoration of the Ecumenical Patriarch and that the MP bishops would no longer concelebrate with the bishops of the EP. At the same time the MP’s lesser synod of bishops declared that it was NOT breaking communion with the EP, and that lesser clergy were still allowed to concelebrate with the the EP clergy. How’s that for inconsistency ???

    See today’s posting on the orthochristian web-site

    In reality, this action is an admission by Patriarch Kirill and his synod that they are on very shaky ground. They know full well that they are self condemned by the very canonical principles they claim to protect their “turf” in Ukraine. In the end, they will almost certainly grudgingly accept the new status quo.

    I remember what Meupe Antony told us no long after Kirill’s election 8 years ago: “Kirill is a well educated theologian and an experienced churchman; ‘magram Kirill borotisulia’ (Kirill is evil) The Georgian phrase is much more forceful that the English. Boroti is the word used in the Lord’s prayer for “the evil one”. Suli is a soul. Borotisuli means not just an evil person; but one possessed by the evil one. Meupe went on to tell us: “Kirill will destroy the Russian Church” And now, we see that coming true in front of our eyes.

    In the end, there will be justice for those hundreds of thousands of Orthodox Christians who were brutally murdered by the Russian military and it’s non-uniformed militias, and the nearly 2 million refugees created by Russia’s invasion of its neighbors. There will be justice for the victims of Russia’s crimes; because God is just, and the Almighty has promised retributions for the evil-doers in eternity.

    As for the MP’s temper tantrum, who care’s ?

    Kala na pathike !

    • George Michalopulos says

      The cessation of commemoration involves steps Francis. I’m surprised you didn’t know that.

    • “As for the MP’s temper tantrum, who care’s ?”

      No. It is your temper tantrum that no one will give much notice to.

    • Antiochene Son says

      Today, the Moscow Patriarchate announced that it was ceasing commemoration of the Ecumenical Patriarch and that the MP bishops would no longer concelebrate with the bishops of the EP. At the same time the MP’s lesser synod of bishops declared that it was NOT breaking communion with the EP, and that lesser clergy were still allowed to concelebrate with the the EP clergy. How’s that for inconsistency ???

      When Antioch initially broke communion with Jerusalem, laymen were still permitted to commune in Jerusalem parishes. Later they escalated the matter to complete break of communion. This is pretty standard stuff.

      • The Patriach of Jerusalem lived in Constantinople until
        Nesselrode sent Uspensky to deHellenize the Antiochians and almost Jerusalem (eventually causing Michel Aflaq to found the Assad-Saddam Ba’ath party).
        It was the same Porphyry Uspensky who exposed the Sulphur fraud of the Holy Fire. Uspensky and Kapustin went to buy up Jerusalem properties now under ROCOR to prevent Moses Montefiore (the Jewish Tositsas) doing so on behalf of the British. In February 8, 1993, the other patriarchs decided to temporarily suspend relations with the Jerusalem Patriarch and dismiss two bishops who acted as his deputies and defrock five priests for challenging the authority of the Ecumenical Patriarch. Yet in April, 1990 Diodoros swindled Russian Jewish settlers by having Mardos Matossian sell them lands he was not allowed to sell and then denying their claim. Irineos wrote Arafat on July 17, 2001, stating, “You are aware of the sentiments of disgust and disrespect that all the Holy Sepulchre fathers are feeling for the descendants of the crucifiers of our Lord… actual crucifiers of your people, Sionists Jewish conquerors of the Holy Land of Palestine.” The supposed Patriarchs of Jerusalem and Antioch should be deported to Magog Muscovy and the Hebrew-speaking Arameans, descendents of the original Christians, should be given full control over Holy Sites in the Holy Land. See: Theofanis Stavrou, Middle East Journal, 1963, pp. 91-103; Lucien Fray; Derek Hopwood 1969

  19. Francis Frost says


    You wrote:

    The cessation of commemoration involves steps Francis. I’m surprised you didn’t know that.

    Yeah right. Yesterday, the MP was threatening a breaking of communion and retaliation by invading the territory of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Never mind that they have already been doing that for 25 years in Georgia.

    No today’s announcement is a sap to their superiors in the KGB, a proof that they “tried”. The game is already over. Checkmate and game. You all have just not recognized that fact yet.

    You know, I can actually sympathize with the Russian clergy. For them to speak out could be dangerous, even life-threatening. After all, Patriarch Aleksei joined Patriarch Ilya on August 8th 2008 in denouncing the Russian invasion of Georgia as a “fratricidal war”, calling for an immediate cease fire and halt to all hostilities.

    By the next morning, Aleksei had disappeared from public view for the next 6 weeks. When he re-appeared, he was in a coffin, dead from a fractured skull. The official story was that he has suffered a heart attack and fell in the shower, hitting his head. The fact that he had multiple fractures on both side of his skull cast some doubt on the official story. But then, that is how the KBG deals with those who stray “off message”.

    On the other, our intrepid clergy and indomitable supporters of the right to life here in America have resolutely remained “as dumb as fish” in the face of the past 25 years of Russian attacks on civilian populations, ethnic cleansing and outright genocide. What are these brave clergymen afraid of? They are not afraid of violence. No, they are safe here in America. No, they live in fear of being criticized or being ostracized. They live in abject terror that they might not get an invitation to the next festive Patriarchal Liturgy or the next grand banquet, celebrating another specious triumph the the ‘resurgent’ church in Russia. What pathos!

    While those whom Our Lord called “these the least of my brethren” have faced persecution, torture and death; while God’s onwn house was looted and desecrated in Nikozi, while Our Lord’s own Body and Blood were incinerated on the burned out altar of Ghvrtaeba Cathedral; our contemporary purveyors of ‘traditional Orthodoxy’ have had literally nothing to say.

    This last Pascha, Mr. Archil Tetruashvili was kidnapped by the occupiers from his home in Akhalgori. Imprisoned by the occupation forces in Tskhinvali, he was tortured to death. The Russians refused for 6 weeks to return his body to his family for a Christian burial. It was only after Patriarch Ilya’ public appeals resulted in an international public outcry that Mr. Tetruashvili’s body was returned for a Christian burial. Sadly, his captors did not return his entire body as his internal organs were removed by the ‘medical examiner’ in Vladikavkaz and kept as a grisly trophy of their evil act.

    Even so, our faithful moderator would have us believe that the Russians are “defenders of the Orthodox faith an traditional morality”. What utter hogwash. “By their fruits shall ye know them”

    Its time to wake up and get real. Time long past due.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Francis, I misspoke. What I meant to say was that “schism proceeds by various steps”.

      While I grant to the EP the courtesy of actually believing what he says and thus allows himself to be manipulated by foreign actors, you do not grant this same courtesy to the MP. You for instance believe that he and/or his clergy would be otherwise OK with what Bartholomew is doing in the Ukraine but for his handlers in the FSB.

      What’s entirely missing from your critique is that both men may be reacting because they fervently believe that they are in the right. If this is so, then one has to ask which position is the more accurate one? Are we to believe that the Ukraine was always under the omorphor of the EP or are we to understand the facts on the ground as they have been previously understood for at least 300 years now?

      Likewise, are we to believe that Cpole is the “Mother Church” of all Orthodoxy or what we are seeing is nothing short of papalism.

      In each case, one or the other is correct. They both can’t be.

      As for myself, the historical revisionism that the EP is peddling regarding the territory of the MP appears fanciful. And in fact, it is. As for the neo-papalism, you don’t have to take my word for it, you can ask the 12 other patriarchs/primates of the various local Churches. They all are aghast at what they are seeing coming out of the mouth of the EP.

      You see, Francis, that’s why our Orthodox Faith is conciliar (not democratic). It doesn’t hang on the word of a single bishop, nor should it.

  20. Francis is your other name Metropolitan Eloidoforos? Nah your an incoherent idiot who is not even Orthodox. The EP is a schismatic and a heretic. There is a reason why Athenagoras body swelled up and had insects coming from its pores and rodents crawling around the grave terrifying the grave diggers. His closed casket funeral placed on a taller than usually bier with a Latin style crucifix on it so no one can reach it. But the Phanarites have not learned from this curse placed upon freemasons by Archbishop Cyprianos of Cyprus. They continue with their meddling, and continue to pursue the heresy of papism for themselves. How does one align themselves with a graceless sects with no sacraments? Simony is strong with this one and Filaret is the new Simon Magus whom we know from scripture places upon himself a curse for believing a sum of money can buy the Holy Spirit .

  21. Michael Bauman says

    Ah, it seems that Pope Francis has taken up the mantle of Rev. Leroy of “The Church of What’s Happen’ Now”. The Devil made all those folks abuse and cover up.

  22. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

    Wasn’t ever-memorable Archbishop Iakovos awarded the title “Exarch of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans” by the Phanar? And now the Phanar has suddenly erupted with claims of jurisdiction over Ukraine? And didn’t the Ecumenical Patriarch publicly scandalize Orthodox canonists by blessing a statue (effigy-graven image) of HIMSELF on Halki? I feel the Phanar and the Greek Foreign Office are responsible for repeated and public pursuits of worldly vainglory! And scores of Grecian hierarchs think nothing of crowing over a Russian hierarch’s WRISTWATCH, while shooting out their smart white french cuffs with gold cuff-links!

    • Lol a wristwatch which can be bought on ebay for a few thousand. MSRP on luxury watches are an inflated marketing gimmick, no one pays retail. Francis harping on Ossetia when it was the U.S. who urged an invasion while Putin was guest of honor at the Chinese Olympics. They pulled the same nonsense during the Sochi games with the Maidan coup.

  23. https://mospatusa.com/news_180914_1.html

    Statement of the Synod of the ROC. It goes through the history and is relentless and unsparing. They are finally talking to the Phanar in a language it understands.

  24. I’m of Russian and Ukrainian descent and have been travel to Ukraine for my job for 10 years now. I go to different churches when I’m there and have come to learn about the situation somewhat. I read your article here and was wondering why you don’t look into Ukrainian sources? You rely almost exclusively on orthowiki and orthchristian – sites that give you some of the headlines.

    Everyone knows that Filaret has a history – it’s old news there – but everyone has a history. Metropolitan Volodymyr Sabodan was revered by the people – revered – and one of the reasons many of them left the MP in Ukraine for the KP was the attempt of the metropolitans of Odessa and Donetsk to have Volodymyr forcibly removed from office when he was fighting Parkinson’s (they even seized his seal for official documents). After Volodymyr died, they had an evening in Kyiv to mark his memory, and none of the big shots from the Lavra showed up – but Filaret did, because they had started the process of trying to heal the schism by actually meeting when V was still healthy. I’m not saying they like FIlaret – he has always been an opportunist. But as one priest told me, “there are many who are worse then him.”

    Also, toward the end of V’s life, Yanukovych’s man Vadym Novinskyy comes in and funds the entire Lavra. He is on Ukrainian TV going on and on about the canonical church and he flew the bishops (except for Onufry) to Istanbul to meet with Bartholomew this summer – a clear power play that everyone knows did no good for already bad relations.

    Yet somehow your case fails to mention him. It’s all about Poroshenko.

    Sometimes I go to Metropolitan Oleksandr Drabinko’s cathedral – it is new and the museum for metropolitan Volodymyr is there. He writes often for lb.ua and gives us a view of the MP in Ukraine that you for some reason don’t want to report. For example, this op-ed:


    Or the op-ed published today by the former editor of the journal of the moscow patriarchate, sergei Chapnin:


    I was hoping to find an English-language source I could share with my friends who are worried about this – especially a dear buddy (priest) who asked what we could do to heal the schism besides just condemning everyone to hell. Maybe try to broaden your horizon beyond the obvious online sources? It’s never as simple as it looks, and I see that every time I fly there for work. I have to say that it seems to me that you’re trying to mislead people by only reporting the news you like.

    • Gregg Gerasimon says

      What I don’t understand is that, while there are of course nuanced perspectives of the Ukrainian situation, and while one’s perspective might depend somewhat on his national/ethnic heritage and on how much he likes/dislikes Russia and/or the EP, how in any situation can one come to the conclusion that the EP going in and offering a schismatic group with a deposed leader autocephaly is the right thing to do.

      Some seem to be saying that Ukraine should have an autocephalous church, and this is as good a way as any to make that happen. Well, no it’s not. As Christian Orthodox, we don’t believe in an ends-justify-the-means utilitarian approach to anything. So regardless of whether Ukraine should have an autocephalous church, this is not the means to have that happen.

      Some don’t seem to like Russia/Putin/Patriarch Kyrill or whatever thing that is Russian, so the EP granting autocephaly to the schismatic group in Ukraine is a good way to “stick it to them.”

      It seems that no matter how complex or nuanced we want to say the Ukrainian situation is — and yes, it is complex — I cannot see in any way how that justifies the EP doing what it seems poised to do.

      My opinion is that if the EP truly cared about the plight of the Ukrainian people — that is, if there were Ukrainians really suffering under the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate and Metropolitan Onuphry (which I find hard to believe ), and if the EP really wanted to work to bring the Ukrainian Orthodox groups together — then he would work to get all parties together and to come up with a workable solution in a conciliar manner. We don’t see that at all.

      Instead we see a “my way or the highway” approach, which the EP knows full well will drive a schism through Orthodoxy. This kind of leadership is not honorable or justifiable any way you look at it, regardless of whether one thinks that Ukraine “deserves” an autocephalous church and regardless of whether one is Russophobe or a Hellenophile. George posted an excellent link a few weeks back which posited that, if it were not for the dubious “Metropolitan Filaret” and his actions in Ukraine, there would likely be a canonically-recognized autocephalous church in Ukraine by now.

      For my own psychological health, I will not bother with this issue any longer, other than praying that God’s will be done. Even if one thinks that it is God’s will for Ukraine to have an autocephalous church, it is clear that this manner in which some seem to be trying to make that happen is not a Christian approach at all. What is helpful are two quotes that I read recently:

      “In life it’s important to know when to stop arguing with people and simply let them be wrong.” -posted recently by Metropolitan Jonah

      “Divine Providence can bring good out of human stupidity.” -Fr Andrew Phillips on the Orthodox England site.

      I pray that the EP doesn’t drive the church to schism, but as of now I’m going to step aside and pray that, even if C’ple does do that, God will bring good out of human stupidity.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Our own jurisdictional mess in the U.S. is “nuanced” as well and the Phanar will NEVER allow us to become autocephalous.

        Let’s just call a spade a spade and be done with it. We have a patriarchate located in the “New Rome” that makes things up as it goes along. And will continue to do so as long as they keep on getting away with it.

        It’s really that simple.

      • M. Stankovich says

        Dr. Gerasimon,

        All things being considered, better you said, “For my own psychological health, I will not bother with this issue any longer, other than praying that God’s will be done,” than me. In fact, in my estimation, your proposal constitutes the wisest words I have read here is a considerable time.

        Faith – the matter of trusting in the Will of our God to resolve these earthly conflicts of men as He sees fit – is seen as impotence, a flaw or weakness, to imagine that our God has sworn to uphold the righteous and deliver them and vindicate them. And unimaginably, where once St. Paul told us, “The foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men,” here, faith itself is foolishness, yet it seems perfectly reasonable to imagine the imminence of Russian fighter planes in our air space; others drool over the “apocalyptic” signs of a “final battle,” a “last war”; and others wait for the Blind Boys of Alabama to sing something, anything with the words “Rise Up!” that will shake the Orthodox from their complacency to support the canonical church… “There are Orthodox in the “Ukraine?” They’re not Greek.” In the end, that pretty much summarizes this whole affair for what it is: an internet-only event. How will it affect the Orthodox in San Diego, CA – America’s Finest City? It won’t. The jurisdictions have nothing to do with one another, and for all practical intents and purposes, they are in “communion” by word only. This did not happen yesterday, and I am reasonably confident I will not not see this resolved in my lifetime. It does not impact my faith in our God’s promise to His people whatsoever.

        Finally, to the most ferocious and vehement, the Fathers caution you of the fine line between what the Apostles recalled after the Lord angrily cleared the sellers from the temple: “The zeal for your temple has consumed [καταφάγεταί] me,” (Jn. 2:17) and pride, “Put away your sword back into its place; for they that take up the sword shall perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot beseech my Father, and He shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matt. 26:52-53) The Lord is neither impotent nor helpless.

      • In 1991-2 the entire episcopate of the UOC-MP appealed to the MP for autocephaly, twice. The MP did not respond. Even when the UOC-MP elected their new metropolitan (whom they eventually tried to kick out when he got sick), they committed themselves to a course of autocephaly. All of this is carefully documented in Metropolitan Volodymyr’s memoirs.

        The comments here are very Filaret-centric. He joined an already existing church in Ukraine, one that was illegal until 1989. But ok, the headlines of our favorite web sites scream that he started it, so not only do we believe it, but we hate the man and the people of his churches, even if we’ve never met them.

        With all of the conjecture out there, we’ll see what happens. Clearly people believe what they want to believe, what fits their version of the narrative even if there is much more to it. I pray in the canonical church in Ukraine, but your open hatred for people you don’t even know…it’s frightening.

        • Daniel DeLorenzo says

          When In Ukraine, (Poltava) I pray in the UOCMP Church in Poltava. As far as I know all clergy and laity are very blessed to be there, and none want this change.
          This is purely political, by Poroshenko and the EP

        • George Michalopulos says

          Well, we’ve been “screaming” for an autocephalous church here in America for about 50 years and I don’t see why Ukraine’s request was any more urgent than ours.

          Ukraine started bellyaching for one right after they got there independence as a nation. We’ve been independent for almost one-quarter if a millennium and o don’t see the Phanar wringing their hands because of our anomalous situation.

          And we were NEVER schismatic.

          • Ukraine asked for an autocephalous church in 1918, not 1991. Lots of literature on this issue in Russian and Ukrainian, but you can see references to it in Metropolitan Evlogy’s memoirs published by SVS Press. You should read the book Religion and Nation in Modern Ukraine containing essays by Frank Sysyn and Serhii Plokhy. That book conveys a much broader view of how this all came to pass . It helped me understand the situation in Ukraine very well.

          • Greatly Saddened says

            GM … I couldn’t agree with you more. I guess the Ecumenical Patriarch feels the “Church” here in the U.S., perhaps, is not mature enough to be considered for autocephalous status. This is rather hard to believe.

            In my most humble opinion, I feel the real reason is he is afraid to lose his largest and most financially supportive eparchy. Sad to say, but I do believe it is strictly for selfish reasons and nothing else.

            Let us not forget, we have been hearing for at least the last 20 years how there are only 2,000 Greek Orthodox
            Christians in all of Turkey. To think here in the U.S., just one parish, such as Saint Demetrios/Saint Catherine & Saint George in Astoria, NY, or Saint Nicholas in Flushing, NY, have more parishioners than in all of Turkey. Meanwhile, they’re the one this Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America reports to.

            Unfortunately, the then Bishops sold their souls to the Ecumenical Patriarch, so as their Diocesan See would be elevated to a Metropolitan See and hence, becoming Metropolitan of their own See. Not only that, but now they would answer directly to the Ecumenical Patriarch, rather than to the Archbishop of America. Basically giving the Archbishop his own territory, the Direct Archdiocesan District and making him on par with the eight Metropolitans.

            What do these so called Hierarchs in Istanbul, Turkey do all week?. They really have very few, if any congregants/parishioners. It seems rather ridiculous for them to be telling us here, how the Church in the U.S. should be run.

            When was the last time this Ecumenical Patriarch attended a Clergy-Laity Congress here? I know the old saying … “just keep the money coming!” Oh, well, some things never change. This is a good reason why it is called “Byzantine!”

      • Yes God’s will, always God’s will. Yet, why do visions of Abel and Cain come to mind? At first read, a short and simple story, straight forward. Yet, when we dig a little deeper….

        God favored one brother over the other? Or did they have different roles? Is God’s will so obvious to you all?

      • Do not blame u for wanting out. Me too. But re filaret and schism etc u have hit nail on head. Of course when Greece wanted autocephaly in 1832 and Bulgaria in 1870s, that was RACISM as hit EP pocket. Where is Christ in any of this.? And they ask themselves why people just walking away in disgust.

  25. Beryl Wells Hamilton says

    George, You have just characterized King David as a “scoundrel.” YIPES. I can’t think of anyone else beside you who would do that, except Holy Prophet David himself (see Psalm 51 – he paid the price for his sins. “A man after God’s own heart…”), but hey, that’s just me. Yowza.

  26. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Orthodox Christianity website.

    Moscow, October 2, 2018


  27. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find another article from today on the Orthodox Christianity website.


    His statement shows a striking lack of knowledge about the 1990 patriarchal elections.
    Constantinople, October 2, 2018


    • Beryl Wells Hamilton says

      The article cited in this post takes a half-sentence out of context and uses it to discredit the incredibly interesting, well-documented and informative statement by His Grace Bishop Makarios of Christopoulos. Clearly, he is FAR MORE informed than any of us. “Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.”

  28. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Union of Orthodox Journalists website.

    Prayerful standing in defence of canonical Orthodoxy held in Kiev
     2 October 2018, 11:42  Editorial board UOJ


  29. Joseph Lipper says

    Fascinating read about a Ukrainian parish in Eastern Ukraine that has left the canonical Ukrainian Church because of the politics of the Moscow Patriarchate. People were fed up when they “saw armories in their churches, they saw priests calling for separatism and [for] people to join local separatists’ forces.”