“Where Will He Turn His Gaze Next?”

Begging forgiveness to Tolkien but the Eye of Sauron is an apt metaphor for the self-image that is put out by the Phanar lo, these many years. At least since Ligonier. Say what you will but the present Ecumenical Patriarch is nothing if not hyperactive. First the United States, then Estonia, then the Northern Lands. Ukraine presently. Where next? Montenegro, Macedonia, or circling back to America? (Did you catch that implication that all autocephalies are now conditional?)

These words –“where will he turn his gaze next–were actually uttered by a Serbian bishop so I couldn’t help myself. https://orthochristian.com/124741.html

Anyway, it looks like the Serbian Church is next on the chopping block. For those who didn’t know, the Serbian Church refused to celebrate the eight hundredth anniversary of their autocephaly (which was granted in 1219). They did this as a charitable act in that they didn’t want to invite two patriarchs (i.e. Moscow and Cpole) who are presently out of communion with each other. If this does not speak of humility, I don’t know what does.

Anyway, Patriarch Bartholomew wanted to host an anniversary celebration for the Serbian Church on his own at the Phanar to show that there were no hard feelings (I imagine). The Serbs –ever defiant and not subject to flattery– refused to send any of their bishops to that event as well. The EP has not responded with anything but silence although a well-placed source says that he is biding his time.

The Serbs are nonetheless concerned about his next step. Because Bartholomew has invaded another Church’s territory in Ukraine, he feels no compunction about doing so again in Serbia. So far, he hasn’t paid any price for his egregious actions. In any event, according to the story above, some Serbian bishops worry that he will “take back” Kosovo; others that he will recognize the schismatic CIA-backed “church” in Macedonia. I imagine he’ll send some flunky “metropolitan” at the Phanar down to the basement “archives” to find some long lost “tomos” which gives him the right to do so.

In the Lord of the Rings trilogy, everybody dreaded Sauron’s power and worried where his eye would turn. Sauron was the embodiment of evil in Tolkien’s mythos. It’s too bad Orthodox bishops are using this same metaphor when discussing the present Ecumenical Patriarch. I personally wouldn’t have used such egregious terminology but then again, I’m not a bishop. Nor a Serb.

They don’t take things lightly. After all, they didn’t roll over for NATO back in the 90s.


  1. The Serb reaction, as bulgarian, to being bossed about, is to put two fingers up and so do what they want to do. Not for nothing did my Grandmother call my grandfather when he was stubborn , a bulgarian!!

  2. Jim Jatras says
    • George Michalopulos says

      Jim, what do you think about this latest development vis-à-vis Pres Macron of France and his vetoing of Albania and North Macedonia from entering the EU?

    • I just went beyond the call of duty and watches and listened to the liturgy from Holy Trinity NY from yesterday with elpidophoros and Dumenko.  
      Yes I need a stuff rakiya.  Apart from fact of a lot of palava and chair moving.  The entrance of what i assume were the archons for whom I can’t keep from smiling care of George ‘s remarks!!! ?
      Many not even crossing themselves and talking and smiling or looking bored. 
      I got the feeling no body really understanding what going on.
      The chanting was  really dreadful  and sadly  want on and on  until we got the nursey choir with the harmonium / organ. Trite but easier on the ear for jingle bells. 
      One thing in GOA, beards seem back in fashion for sure, well they are fashionable for sure at moment.  I should be happy but I not running a beard appreciation fan club!! 
      Dumenko often seemed to be unsure of himself. Maybe he was of balance with the organ etc as sure back home he has  good acapella Ukrainian choirs !!
      The congregation seemed quite sparse and none too young actually. In fact elderly mostly.  
      No one seemed to be understanding the greek that was obvious.   And why lots of this language foreign to USA?  
      I have attended liturgy there so know the Cathedral. 
      But above and beyond all this local stuff is fact they were concelebrating with a man  consecrated by a defrocked clergy.man who has never repented or been re ordained, or should i say ordained within Orthodox church, whose sole raison d’etre is political and nationalistic and who ACTIVELY apart from bland words,  enjoys the  spoils of thuggery and force. They seem quite happy with it.  ANAXIOI!!  

    • Solitary Priest says

      Mr. Jatras; 
            I don’t doubt that Bishop Artemije may have gotten a raw deal from the Serbian Orthodox Church. That being said, he has since singlehandedly consecrated a bishop. This is a big no-no; a minimum of two, preferably at least three bishops being required by canon law. One wonders, however, why Constantinople couldn’t be bothered to interfere in Bishop Artemije’s case.

  3. “It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.”

    J.R.R. Tolkien from ‘The Return of the King’

  4. Martin Ross says

    The Serbs have miscalculated their anniversaries. They should be celebrating 800 years of Serbian Church *autonomy* in 2019, not autocephaly. Autocephalous status was not granted until A.D. 1346. So say the Serbs themselves: http://www.stsavamonastery.org/st-sava/

    The granting of Serbian autonomy in A.D. 1219 is remarkably parallel to the granting of Ukrainian autocephaly in 2019. The Serbs at the time were under the Archbishopric of Ohrid, just as the Ukrainians were under Moscow.

    Again, from the Serbian monastery website linked above:

    “At first, the Patriarch [of Constantinople] was reluctant to grant Sava’s request. Why hadn’t Sava, he thought, petitioned through the Archbishop of Ochrid, who was the immediate jurisdictional authority over the Church of Serbia? But after a careful review of the political and ecclesiastical difficulties in the Balkans—not only in Serbia but also between Nicea and Epirus—this request on the part of Sava began to make perfect sense to both the Patriarch and the Emperor. By granting autonomy to the Church of Serbia, Rome and the West’s attempts to capture the Balkans could be thwarted. Also, the Archbishop of Ochrid was becoming too powerful; with independence granted to the Serbs, his power would diminish. The Serbian Orthodox Church, now independent, would remain under the direct jurisdiction of the Patriarchate. (As is well known, the Serbian Orthodox Church did not receive her own Patriarch until over one hundred years later, becoming autocephalous on Palm Sunday, April 9, 1346.)”

    If the Serbs condemn Ukrainian autocephaly, they condemn their own as well.

    • Martin autocephaly is not the problem and these Ukrainian schismatic actually do not have it, but  in name only.  It’s who they are,  invalid sacraments and ordination unless we are all play acting,  and the papal dogma of Phanar in operation. None of this applied to Serbs in 14th century.  If u happy with all of above than fine. No problems!  ?  And there is the legal autonomous church of Ukraine connected to Moscow that has FAR MORE FREEDOM as autonomous and did not request autocephaly.

    • So are you saying the Serbs at the time were a small collection of vagante parishes who overtook the already existing and larger Synod in their midst and made uncanonical the original arbishopric of Orchid and declared themselves the real one ?

    • Martin Ross says

      You gentlemen twist plain words too readily. The Serbs have not been autocephalous for all of 800 years: that’s what I said, and that’s what they themselves say. When the Serbs were granted first autonomy and then autocephaly, no one asked “Mother, may I?” of Ohrid. Constantinople just did it directly, and the reason were political as well as ecclesiastical.  Again, the Serbian monastery website says as much. Mutatis mutandis, most of the arguments put forward against Ukrainian autocephaly also militate against recognizing Serbian autocephaly in A.D. 1346.

      • Brute from bygone ages says

        No we didn’t miscalculate anything. Serbian Church recieved autocephaly in 1219. In 1346, Serbian King proclaimed Serbian Archbishop a Patriarch so he can crown him as Emperor. I don’t get this sudden interest for our history… 

        • Martin Ross says

          I gave a source for this fact, from the website of a Serbian Orthodox monastery, no less. You have given no source for your claim. You simply assert what you wish to be true.

          Again, the quote:
          “As is well known, the Serbian Orthodox Church did not receive her own Patriarch until over one hundred years later, becoming autocephalous on Palm Sunday, April 9, 1346.”

          • Brute from bygone ages says

            Look, I don’t want to go in pointless discussions, but there are literary hundreds and thousands of pages of historical literature, both ecclesiastical and secular on the topic, in Serbian, Russian, Greek and English. Not to mention I am Master of Theology at University of Belgrade. 

            • Brute from bygone ages says

              PS, if you really insist on list of the sources:
              Life of Saint Sava by hieromonk Teodosije. 
              Life of Saint Sava by hieromonk Domentijan
              Life of Saint Symeon the Myrrhflowing by King of the Serbs and Litoral Stefan
              Letters of Archbishop Demetrius Khomatian to Saint Sava
              Lives of Serbian Kings and Archbishops by Archbishop St. Daniel.
              All those are sources about 1219.
              Furthermore, you have works of Sima Ćirković, Vladimir Ćorović, Dušan Bataković about secular history of Serbs. You have disertations about ecclesiastical history, for example Đoko Slijepčević, and Rajko Veselinović, or Skurat (in Russian). In the end, why would you, or anybody else put more trust to web site of some unspecified monadtery, and not to that of Local Church? There are dozens short web presentations abou History of Serbian Church, for example atlantaserbs… Or why not Wikipedia and Brittanica… Literary everywhere you can pick same informations. Saint Sava got autocephaly in 1219, and King Dušan proclaimed Archbishop Joanikije to Patriarch in 1346. 

  5. Martin u,.  No one is pretending all churches have not abused the canons but biggest abuser heading for papal status is Phanar. 
    In 14th century Constantinople was  Patriarch of church of a,  all be it, fading,  empire whose territory Serbia was, in theory,if not in fact.   Ochrid was seat of first Bulgarian Kingdom. 
    They were all validly recognised Orthodox bishops. HALLO.!!!!   Valid Ordination.    It would be normal for autocephaly to be given from Constantinople as Original  mother church abd centre of byzantine empire. . 
    I am tooooo bored to rehearse again the totally different conditions prevailing to Ukraine.  If u determined to avoid the real issues,  so be it. Go in peace.   
    But autocephaly not problem. At some stage the legal  MUCH FREER autonomous church will ask or be given autocephaly from Moscow but currently not asking for it.  
    Who got it are a group stemming from Mr Denisenko. And self consecrated. .All accepted with  a Happy smile and a signsture,  but Denisenko even going back on that. I LOVE IT, give the old murdering bastard credit for taking the piss!!    Seems for Phanar Orthodox sacraments and ordination are merely play acting. 

  6. Here’s a sad but funny twist
    Orthodox Times (10/22/19)reported:
    The long-standing struggle of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to defend its preservation from the “heresy of ethnicism” and the independence of Mount Athos, was emphasized by the Ecumenical Patriarch in St. Andrew’s Skete on Mount Athos, last night.

    “The Garden of the Virgin Mary (Perivoli tis Panagias), which is under the canonical protection and care of the Holy Great Church of Christ for many centuries, has fought a bloody struggle to protect its independence and to shield itself from the heresy of ethnicism, which was in full bloom at that time, and, unfortunately, still is in some circles. A word to the wise.”
    But in 2014 Romfea (the present-day Orthodox Times) reported:
    The Holy Kinot of Holy Mount Athos has received an extensive message from His Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople recently.
    This document expresses his concern in connection with the attempts to over-build Mt. Athos and “change its look” through the uncontrolled and free influx of monks of non-Greek origin.
    The Patriarchate of Constantinople informs that it will no longer grant permission to “non-Greek speaking monks” to reside in Greek-speaking monasteries.
    The letter also contains a recommendation, according to which the total number of foreign monks must not exceed 10% of the total number of the brethren on Holy Mount Athos.
    This Patriarch is shameless.

    • Gus Langis says

      So whats his excuse for the Greek monks of Esphigmenou??? And I’m not talking about the 3 or 4 “canonical” monks yes men with the p.o. box.

    • If you read between the lines in many of his speeches, he often refers to the non-participation of the four Churches at the robber synod. He will never forget the humiliation this caused him and he will make people pay until the day he dies.
      A never ending spirit of vindictiveness and revenge. May God change his heart.

      • George Michalopulos says

        It didn’t end well for Cpole in 1439 either. But they thought they had their ducks all lined up in a pretty little row back then as well.

        • Constantinople. says

          Lets be realistic George. Moscow has no affect what so ever in the Greek Orthodox world, neither do we care about the whole Ukraine versus Russia issue. Last I checked the only schismatics here is the Patriarchy at Moscow. They are the ones who “ruptured communion”, just like they did when Constantinople established the Estonian Church. They placed themselves in schism, not us. Moscow’s reaction is predictable as Russian foreign policy. The issue over Ukraine is not theological, or dogmatic.. it is a matter of ecclesiastical jurisdiction and politics. The Russians trying to turns this into a theological issue is rather laughable and blasphemous. How does all this affect us Greeks? Not one bit. If the Russians want they can cancel their pilgrimages to Athos and Greece and we will cancel ours to Russia. Greeks make a fortune out of secular tourism anyway. Wait a couple of years and the Patriarch of Kiev will be universally recognized, except for Moscow and Belgrade. Your historical examples are flawed. Back then the Empire needed military support from the West and like I said there is no theological issue here. Besides who is this “Istanbul”, you keep referring to? You dare call yourself a Greek and write about our history and Church while insulting your own very history by using a Turkified Greek world like “Istanbul”? Have some shame..

          • “Wait a couple of years and the Patriarch of Kiev will be universally recognized… .” What? Now this ‘new’ Ukrainian Church already has a patriarchate? My, my, my…how fast has time flown. Just this morning they had a ‘metropolitan’ at their head. Or is this just a bad time travel episode of Star Trek or The Twilight Zone? Brother Constantinople, you’re slipping…me thinks. Get some rest, laddie.

  7. I’m just so very tired hearing about Bad Bart and his dubious machinations. He is well past the point of no return on everything he’s done. This would be the perfect time for world Orthodoxy to just rise up and be rid of the bishop of Istanbul. He’s an inconsequential relic now. Seriously. Just give him a fancy pacifier and let him play ‘pope’ in the corner of his little, creaky old church at the Phanar.

    • Constantinople. says

      “inconsequential relic”.. Laughs.. “World Orthodoxy”.. As if such a thing exists. How funny you are. But I guess that is what happens when you allow a bunch of barbarian peasants to partake in Orthodoxy. 

      • Mr. C., you are the embodiment of Greek ethnic chauvinism and haughty conceit that merited the events of 1204. Your pride, endemic among your clergy and the wealthy laymen who vet and control  them, is inextricably tied up with Greek cultural alienation from the West and it’s client-patron serfdom under the Turk. Rather than being cleansed and evaporated under the warmth of the Sun of Righteousness, the smelly puddle of ichor that is your ethnic brand of satanic pride curdles into a stinking mess threatening to take on some hideous form. Or rather it already has in the pseudomorphisms of Archonism amen Phanariotism. Go cavort heedlessly with your fellow gimps, Mr. Non-existent-city, Mr. ‘Stamboul! 

  8. George Michalopulos says

    “Frightful Peter”!

  9. Gus Langis says

    Εμείς οι Έλληνες πουδεν δεχόμαστε το φανάρι  πρέπει να μιλήσουμε δυνατά.
    It’s funny how the anglo-greeks are attempting to shame real Greeks as if we dont know authentic Orthodoxy as taught to us by successive generations of grandparents. The Anglo and Amero-greeks think they can make us Ελληνες jealous that Russian Orthodoxy is the largest segment of our faith. I’m sorry Mr. Anglo-greek but I salute my Russian brethren for vanquishing the communist yoke. I salute them for reviving Orthodoxy, fidelity to my grandparents Church calendar. Their success is our success. Their defiance of Euro-Atlanticist hegemony is our defiance of that same secular humanist agenda. Here is a thought for the anglo-greeks, perhaps just perhaps you should be HAPPY that your Brethren have made progress and are pushing back on the western humanist secular culture we find ourselves?????

    • “Religiously I do believe in every part of my Orthodox faith, except.. the inclusive part.”
      Then be intellectually honest and admit that you’re really a racist Protestant.  Protestant history is replete with racists, whether they be Germans, English, Americans, etc.  Greeks can certainly be racist Protestants as well.
      Our Orthodox Christian faith and Church was given to mankind by Christ for absolutely everyone, regardless of ethnic heritage. If you don’t buy this part of the faith, then please don’t pretend that you’re an Orthodox Christian.  
      It’s so tiresome that even now, some people still seem to thing that their pedigree or ethnic bloodline buys them some special access to our Orthodox faith. It’s delusional and preposterous. 

  10. Monk James Silver says

    It doesn’t matter if someone is Greek or not.

    It matters only that we are Christians.

    Anyone who claims any sort of nationalistic privilege in the faith is wrong, categorically wrong.

    • Monk James Silver
      I totally agree with this.
      Paradise has no Passport control!

    • Michael Bauman says

      Monk James, while your statement is true in a soteriological sense, in the existential madness of our current world, it does matter whether one is a Greek, etc. Even ruling out the madness of racial identification modern style and egregious stereotypes, there is the fact that our ethnic heritage has an impact on each of us: emotionally; physically and even spiritually.

      One of my best friends is Afro-American, a quite intelligent, empathic man but he is still amazed that I can appreciate, to some degree, his struggles as a black man in the United States. He is quite sensitive to his blackness and I am sure he initially thought I was just another white Kansas boy he needed to be careful around, yet, by the grace of God, I was able to acknowledge that and reach past it to form a true friendship.

      Without our common love of God, it might not have happened, which validates your statement, but at the same time, the uncommonness of our heritage and experience still needs to be considered.

      A case in point: Greeks tend to drive me crazy. It is a difficulty for me to get past the cultural accretions to see real people, especially with those who tend to live in a blue and white fantasy world. I do not get it. I suspect that is more my problem than theirs however

  11. George Michalopulos says

    Gus, for the time being, I’d rather we not impute false motives to a poster’s ethnic identification.  I realize that one of the defects of allowing people to post anonymously is that we don’t know who exactly they are but I’m willing to accept that deficit for the sake of the broader good, which is robust debate.
    If Cpole says he is Greek then we should accept him at his word simply for the sake of argument.

  12. George Michalopulos says

    Cpole, personally I am New Calendar. That’s because I was born in the GOA in America, both of which are on the NC. However, that’s what historians call “an accident of history”. Likewise the city once known as “Constantinople” is now “Istanbul”. That too is an accident of history.

    As a Greek Christian, I am not happy with what happened in 1453 but it is a fact of history and the Ottoman Empire was a recognized polity as is the modern Turkish republic. If the GOA is going to go all relevant and call the city of Kiev “Kyiv” then they should call that city on the Bosporus the name that all other institutions call it.

    To all: I have no intention of calling Paris Pa-REE, or Athens “A-thee-NAI, or Mexico “Me-HEE-ko”. Kiev is an ancient and historical name, just like Canterbury (which in Anglo-Saxon was called Kant-vara-boorgh). So I’m not gonna play the PC game. (Like calling women with penises anything other than “men”.)

    Thus, I have vented my spleen for the day.

    • George. And mine too. Especially for woman and penises We just had a friend have a baby boy.  Just ordered some clothes as gift. BLUE!!    I make no apology.  Personally pink never suits me!!  

  13. He’s just quoted Rammstein, so I think everyone can stop taking him seriously now, if it wasn’t evident already that he was trolling.