Where’s Epiphany? Where’s the Pentarchy?

Last week, Metropolitan Sawa of Warsaw and All-Poland, invited Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople to come to Warsaw, wherein he stressed to Bartholomew the urgent need for a synaxis of the Orthodox Churches.

From the looks of the photos, it appears to be far from a triumph for the Phanariote delegation.  

Now, this raises an interesting question.  Specifically, why wasn’t Sergei Dumenko, Bartholomew’s hand-picked choice to be the “Metropolitan of Keev and All-Ukraine” there?  He should have been front-and-center; after all, it’s his country that is under attack.  And according to the Phanar’s grant of “autocephaly” to Ukraine, he is the primate of that country’s Church.

In fact, where has Dumenko been throughout this whole imbroglio?  Unlike Zelensky, who’s been seen every day dining with soldiers, rallying the people, and addressing foreign parliaments, the “Metropolitan of Keev” is strangely absent from the scene.

In other words, the optics, as far as the so-called Orthodox Church of Ukraine is concerned, are bad.  If I were advising them, I’d have Dumenko at some refugee camp in Poland handing out baskets of food and toiletries to the hordes of Ukrainian women and children.  Maybe even putting a child or two on his lap.  How about this:  serving an open-air panikhida for his nation?  It didn’t work for Resident Biden but hey, he gave it the old college try.  

Instead, judging by the photos of this event, the entire diplomatic mission of the Phanar was nothing more than a perfunctory affair.   

Leaving all that aside, because neither Dumenko nor Bartholomew were out front-and-center, we can safely assume that (1) the refugees are not part of Dumenko’s sect, (2) they don’t particularly like Dumenko (or are oblivious to him), and (3) Bartholomew recognizes this.  If so, we can assume that Bartholomew’s plan to create an “autocephalous” Church for Ukraine has also come to naught. 

It’s also possible that Bartholomew recognized that his meddling in Ukraine only exacerbated the tensions in the suffering country.  He’s an intelligent man and a hallmark of such men is to know when to lay low.  Especially when their plans come to naught.

It’s also possible that he sees that the great Globalist Crusade against Russia is not going the way the globalist cheerleaders thought it would.  Mariupol has fallen and thanks to atrocities being perpetrated against Russian POWs coming to light, public opinion is starting to turn against the Ukronazis.  The fact that Zelensky (who is Jewish), has not seen fit to denounce them continues to raise doubts about his bona fides among many of his supporters in the West.  I guess these are the “good Nazis.”  (Somebody please help me out with this.)

In case you didn’t know, the Ukrainian government has put a stop to foreign recruitment; this means that they are running out of ammunition.  The stars are definitely not aligning for the Ukrainians in other ways as well:  Zelensky recently fired two of his top generals, calling them traitors.  Both of these men were in the intelligence services.  (As for the US Army, recruitment has fallen to catastrophic levels.  We can thank Emma and her two moms for that.)

As for the ruble, it has rebounded stunningly.  Last month, the ruble was acknowledged to be the world’s “most durable currency.”  As for the sanctions, rather than angering the Russian nation, driving them into the streets and hopefully toppling Putin, it has catapulted his approval ratings to stratospheric levels, allowing him to consolidate power.  

As for the atrocity-porn put out by Kiev, most people believe them to be hoaxes right off the bat.  We can thank four yours of Russia Collusion and two years of Faucism for that.

Does this mean that Dumenko will be kicked to the curb?  Possibly.  More likely, he’ll just melt into the woodwork.  

As stated above, Sawa recognized that Orthodoxy has severe inter-ecclesial problems.  In accepting his invitation, Bartholomew is now forced to recognize this as well.  Problems that can’t be rectified by the Robber Council of Crete which he convened in 2016.  Nor by his (now blessedly defunct) proposal to decide these issues by calling for a synaxis of the “ancient patriarchates + Cyprus.”

Now, that latter idea was ridiculous from the start.  It was so transparent that ordinary people saw right through it.  We can thank Patriarch John X of Antioch for jumping into the breach and telling Bartholomew “this shall not pass.”  And we can thank Sawa for implicitly calling him out on it and in doing so, putting the final nail in the coffin of that hair-brained scheme.  For that alone, we can be thankful.

It’s impossible to predict how this will all play out.  We do know that the Rada is doing the Phanar’s dirty work in propping up Dumenko.  According to Orthochristian, there are two bills pending which would ban the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church: https://orthochristian.com/145481.html

So much for “freedom of religion.”  

Having said that, it’s unclear whether these odious bills will pass.  If they do, they will open up a whole other can of worms, one which, given Metropolitan Onuphriy’s massive popularity, will anger great swaths of the Ukrainian populace.  Their anger may be so heated that it will make the division of Ukraine inevitable.  As for the rest of the Orthodox world, it will not sit well, given Onuphriy’s immense moral stature.  All of this will be to the detriment of Bartholomew and his neo-papalist schemes. 

At any rate, when all is said and done, we may be able to pinpoint the turning point in the war.  In my humble opinion, that will be attributed to Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, who, in a powerful essay three weeks ago, openly called out the degenerate West for instigating this war and declared Moscow to be “the Third Rome.” 

If so, and if Metropolitan Sawa’s wishes are heeded (that a true and open synaxis of Orthodox bishops is called), Vigano should be given a seat at the table (or at least a special mention).  Certainly, Sawa and John should be accorded due honors.  Perhaps this council should be held in Warsaw?  It would be very hard for the Phanar to rig such a council (like they did in Crete).  

One thing is for sure, it won’t be held in Istanbul.  We can thank Erdogan –who is inching ever closer to Moscow–for that, as well.  So, if I had to guess, we can safely assume that Bartholomew will not convene such a synaxis, regardless of venue.  The last thing he wants to do is sit in a council surrounded by other primates who have suffered because of his arrogant machinations.  He certainly doesn’t want to sit in the same room with Patriarch Kirill or Metropolitan Onuphriy. 

As for Geoffrey Pyatt, the Deep-Stater who helped engineer the destruction of Ukraine in 2014, who is now the American ambassador to Athens, I imagine he is wondering how he can put Humpty Dumpty back together again.  I can’t help but think that the West is also reassessing the utility of the Ecumenical Patriarchate for their schemes.  






  1. George, thanks for your thoughts on Bartholomew’s recent trek to Poland. I was wondering the same thing about fake metropolitan Dumenko…why is he laying so very low?! And, I wonder if Bartholomew has a last-ditch backup plan? Perhaps dragging out ‘Patriarch’ Philaret and using him, again? Lord have mercy!

  2. The fact that Zelensky (who is Jewish), has not seen fit to denounce them continues to raise doubts about his bona fides among many of his supporters in the West.

    Yeah, but Jews are God’s chosen people, so what does it matter? He’s basically a Christian.

    Perhaps this council should be held in Warsaw? It would be very hard for the Phanar to rig such a council (like they did in Crete).

    We could call it the Warsaw Pact.

    • Braden Rice says

      As a Jewish convert to Orthodox Christianity, I can say you are very mistaken in this assumption. My Jewish relatives don’t see their faith as being the same as Christians. Regardless, ancient Jews were God’s chosen people because they were His covenant with Israel. The Orthodox Church is present-day Israel, all those who are baptized into it are His chosen people of Israel. For reference, “there is neither jew nor greek, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus, and if you are Christ’s, you are of Abraham’s Seed, and heirs according to His promise.” (Galatians 3:28-29). Whatever evangelical dispensationalist delusion you’ve been led to believe is greatly mistaken. To say you can be Christian while actively denying Christ, which Zelensky, whom you mentioned, does.

      • Braden, Austin knows the score. He’s being facetious and writing, like you say, from the dispensationalist POV. That POV is held by many, if not most, evangelical protestants here in the USA.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Braden, thank you for your insight. Being raised in the South, I too, have unconsciously imbibed the Evangelical dispensationalist mindset over the years. If I may ask, did you see my interview with Brother Augustine wherein we discussed this matter? If so, what are your thoughts?

  3. Joseph Lipper says

    In many ways, the ball is in Metropolitan Onuphry’s court right now. Will he keep his status as a permanent member of the Russian Orthodox Church’s Holy Synod? There are currently fissures in the unity of the UOC-MP, as some of its bishops are calling for autocephaly and directing clergy to stop commemorating Patriarch Kyrill:


    The same Orthochristian.com article points out that a full Local Council of all the UOC-MP bishops, clergy, representative monastics and laity would need to be held to request autocephaly, according to their by-laws. That was, in fact, what happened in 1991 when the UOC-MP unanimously requested it. Unfortunately, with the current war going on in Ukraine, such a Local Council may not be logistically possible.

    At any rate, Metropolitan Onuphry is being patient. Perhaps he is simply hoping that the war will end soon and hoping to avoid any rash decisions. At the same time, the longer this war drags on, the greater the temptation will be for making rash decisions. Indeed, there have already been some voluntary defections to the OCU after Russia invaded, and we probably haven’t seen the last of it.

    My guess is that various Orthodox Primates, like Metropolitan Sawa of Poland, are waiting to take a cue from Metropolitan Onuphry before they do anything. Metropolitan Onuphry did condemn the war in an official statement and pleaded with Vladimir Putin to end it. Afterwards, we saw similar condemnations and pleas made, such as by the Holy Synod of Poland and even by the OCA’s Metropolitan Tikhon.

    Of course it’s impossible to know what will happen, but there’s also the possibility that the ball could simply be taken away from Metropolitan Onuphry’s court if he waits too long to act.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      You do realize, Joseph, you are doing precisely what His Eminence Metropolitan Luke of Zaporozhye recommended against:

      “There are different traditions in the Church. In some Local Churches, the clergy commemorate only the ruling bishop, somewhere they commemorate the primates of the Churches together with him. The point is not that, but that right now, when we must all pray together for the speedy establishment of peace in our long-suffering homeland, some clergymen, succumbing to emotions and proud passion, sow division. Is today the right time to have discussions on social networks about this or that? Is this our first concern at such a terrible time? Any war is the work of the devil. For me, not only as a bishop, but also as an Orthodox person, the most terrible thing is that people who came out of the same font, whose mothers pray in the same Church, on whose breasts the same crosses hang, kill each other. Both of them read the same prayers before the battle and turn to the same God. The heart of the Mother of God is rent, seeing all this madness of Her children! I call upon and ask the clergy of the Zaporozhye diocese: Stop sowing confusion among our flock; do not follow the devil’s lead. Remember, you will have to answer for every word before God! Today, more than ever, you must live up to your vocation—to show the image of Christ in this world: to pity everyone, to show mercy to everyone, to show sacrificial love, and not to get carried away with political games.”

      • Joseph Lipper says

        Gail, the orthochristian.com article that we’re both referencing is entitled, A Number of Ukrainian Dioceses Call for Question of Autocephaly to be Raised . Metropolitan Luke doesn’t seem to agree with this call for autocephaly, at least under the present circumstances. He points out that the present call for autocephaly is causing fissures within the UOC-MP, and… incidentally, that’s exactly what I’m saying too.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          If the present calls for autocephaly are causing fissures, maybe it makes sense to drop it.

  4. Everything seems to be going fine. Of course, war is hell. No getting around that. However, the notion that some synaxis can have some positive effect does not impress me. Though there may be another Amman type gathering sometime in the future to deal with the developing schism, that’s about all I see on the horizon as likely.

    Frankly there’s nothing left to be done except for Bartholomew to proclaim a Unia. He’s dragging his feet, scheming to find new ways to deceive those presently undeluded into joining with him. But the rest of Orthodoxy is moving on without him.

    And most of the rest of Orthodoxy is the ROC. I saw an article today about kicking the ROC out of the WCC. Please, take my wife! It would certainly be a step in the right direction. This is the Great Pivot East. Russia is simply tying off any wounds and cutting ties, rejecting the West in its entirety as hopelessly corrupt and decadent. This is a reversal of Russian policy dating back to Peter the Great and before. It has only been facilitated by the decadence of the West, its arrogance and the miraculous development in the East.

    Eurasia is becoming an alternative civilization, or a collection of allied alternative civilizations (to be more precise). Europe is descending into economic stagnation and the US may well follow. What is happening in the Ukraine is simply a fault line of a much larger earthquake.

    Per Samuel Huntington, the East Slavic Civilization, the Sinic Civilization, as well as the Indic Civilization, are all rising. Bartholomew and Co. have harnessed their wagon to a loser. Even given a Trump comeback, America will be looking increasingly inward and Europe will be left to its own devices. They are ideologically challenged and cannot handle the burden. So Bartholomew has lost his precious OCU and, in being tied, nay identified, with the American State Department, he has no gravitas with anyone that matters outside the West and its satellites. And even there he is a known agent of Foggy Bottom.

    The West is collapsing in corruption and the Phanar will go down with the ship. The RCC is the “church of the west” and that’s where he and his minions belong.

  5. Monk-martyr Nicon and 199 disciples, in Sicily

    Dear George,

    Please do not give the OCU any ideas how to improve their public image. They might just run with it and fool more people. Btw another interesting article keep up the fight!

    I am deeply saddened and concerned that this war will further the enmity and divisions between many in that region. Regardless of the rightness or wrongness of the war itself.

    On a side note is it not time to change the name of the blog? Your not alone with Gail at your side! : ))

    Wishing you, and Gail and all your readers Καλή Σαρακοστή! A good and joyous lent!


  6. Maybe Metropolitan Epiphanius is and has been where he most appropriately belongs, with his people in Ukraine.

    • Leaving aside that fact, politesse demands that it should be he, the ostensible primate, who should be front & center. Not the eastern pope (Which we don’t have.)

  7. Gregory Manning says

    The English historian David Starkey devotes his You Tube channel to talks on English history but lately he’s ventured into contemporary history. An example of this is the video attached below. I didn’t think so much of his views of Putin (which he persists in pronouncing “Pyutin} but this latest effort was fascinating because he has accurately seen the big picture. The picture he paints begins at about the the 11:30 mark. Putin has indeed won “the war of ideas”.

  8. George Michalopulos says

    BTW, Zelensky’s welcome is wearing thin: not only did the Hungarian and Serbian presidents (who are anti-anti-Russians) win overwhelming election victories but in two days, when Z addresses the Boule (the Greek parliament), close to half of the deputies will not be there.

  9. Metropolitan Sava probably asked Phanar to recognize his church as the rightful jurisdiction over western Ukraine once Poland gets Lviv back. Ukraine is getting partitioned.

    • Now that’s an interesting thought, Gus…

      • George Michalopulos says

        It is indeed. I wouldn’t be surprised if Putin gives NATO a face-saving way out by allowing the Poles to establish a “protectorate” in Galicia.

        • In the southern coastal region (Novorossiya), the liberated towns fly the Russian flag and have converted from the hrivnia (Ukrainian currency) to the ruble. Russia is not giving back any of the Donbass or Novorossiya for sure. So the initial Russian mission is nearly accomplished. However, given provocations, they expanded it to include demilitarization and denazification of all of the Ukraine.

          As likely as not (IMHO), Russia will seize all of the eastern half of the Ukraine and reincorporate it into Russia completely. A rump entity, possibly with its capital in its new northeast corner centered at Kiev may likely become a Russian satellite state run by a Russian puppet.

          However, one way or another, the Russians will have to deal with the western Ukraine centered at L’vov. They may just flatten everything that smells military without much regard for collateral damage (since most all of their allies are in the east and central regions), or they might redraw the border to exclude that region (if it can be sealed) and cede it to the West. My money at this point would be on the first option – paving it as a parking lot for the East.

        • That is an interesting take that Met. Sawa would be overseeing the OCU or the portion of Ukraine that would hypothetically join Poland. That would make sense given that Bartholomew was invited by Duda and Met. Sawa.

          I wonder if the Polish Orthodox Church would try and canonically regularize the OCU or if they wouldn’t even touch it with a 10’ pole given the ideology of that group.

          • The Church of Poland is small but peaceful and uncontroversial. Absorbing the OCU from Western Ukraine in this hypothetical situation would be the ecclesiastical equivalent of the Little House on the Prairie inviting New Jack City to come and stay over.

  10. I’m sure Epiphony is silent because he knows he is complicit. The Azov Battalion/OCU are two sides of the same coin and I’m sure he is self-aware enough to know that when the Russians fully take Ukraine his days and the days of the OCU are numbered.

    Given that Met. Sawa has always been a vocal supporter of the UOC & Met. Onuphry, I can’t imagine that Patriarch Bartholomew received much support. So I see him having two options:

    1) Admit his mistake and hold a council.

    2) Drag the OCU & the portion of the Greek speaking Churches, or the ones who would actually go with him, to Rome.

    I’m hopeful for #1 but I expect #2 is more likely. I’m sure he will be parading Epiphony around come Holy Week with the chrism liturgy. IF this does not happen then that would be a big sign.

    As for a council, I vote for having it at Holy Trinity cathedral in Tbilisi or St. Sava in Belgrade. IMHO Poland offers too much opportunity for Western political intervention and Poland as a country is also too anti-Russian for Russia to even attend.

    As the West continues to fall and self-sabotage itself, the need for Bartholomew will quickly dwindle. If this was the height of American power then I doubt Bartholomew would even see the need to go to Poland, him even going to Warsaw and meeting with a Slavic Church head speaks volumes.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      I have a funny feeling Epiphany is no longer with us. There are NO Google images of him over the past month. Of course, this would be the last thing they’d want us to know.

      • Joseph Lipper says

        He’s plastered all over Orthodoxtimes.com. This is from yesterday:


        They show him blessing graves. There’s also a short video of him.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          Well, I’m glad he is still among us. – What I said, Joseph, was that if you do a Google search on images and request all images over the past month, he’s not there.

          • Solidarity Priest says

            I think some of Epiphany’s stooges must read this blog. All of a sudden the phony primate is seen visiting the folks in the battle affected areas. George may have inadvertently helped him out after all!☺

            • “I think some of Epiphany’s stooges must read this blog.”
              One of the Archons sends emails to George, George has written. In that case, it makes sense that they read the blog or get occasional notices from the blog’s readers on topics like this.

          • I sure do hope that Russia wins this because the government of Ukraine & OCU are going to go Blitzkrieg on the canonical Church. The various city governments are already trying.

  11. So blessing warriors on “the right side” is acceptable and not subject to the condemnation heaped upon clerics of the other side.


    I neither condone nor condemn such blessings. I’m just sayin’… the standards are “all a double,” as they might say in the south.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      It shows how spiritually shallow and empty they are. At the very minimum, one would expect they could keep their mouths shut when performing services for the dead. But no. They take every opportunity to pontificate on those “evil” Russians.

    • Joseph Lipper says

      His is a clear message of war as a protective force against invading aggressors as being a virtuous endeavour:

      “‘God protects each and every one of you brave Ukrainian soldiers, who are fearlessly resisting the criminal invasion of the Russian aggressor, you will always have our support.’ Metropolitan Epifaniy continued: ‘The enemy has come to our land and destroys merciless houses, schools, hospitals and kills civilians. Your mission is selfless because you defend the truth about our people and our state, Ukraine. Evil will inevitably be defeated and punished.’”


      • Gail Sheppard says

        God hears the prayers of the righteous. Those who lie, cheat, and steal are probably not on that list, especially when we’re talking about Christ’s Church. A good prayer for him in this particular situation might be: “God, forgive me.”

  12. Joseph Lipper says

    It’s interesting that Metropolitan Epiphany says that leaving the Moscow Patriarchate to join the OCU is “analogous to a conservative congregation rejecting the liberal Episcopal Church to join the Anglican Communion.”


    • It’s not clear whether that remark is a direct quotation of Epiphany. If it is, then we now know that Epiphany doesn’t know much about the Anglican Communion. First of all, the Episcopal Church itself is the American branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion. While many of the provinces of same in the Global South are evangelical Anglicans, most of those found in what we have recently quipped as the “international community” of the British and European sphere of influence are almost as liberal as the Episcopal Church in the USA. There are many conservative “continuing Anglican” denominations/jurisdictions, both Anglo-Catholic and evangelical, but they are not a part of the Anglican Communion.

      Regarding the rest of the text in this Fox News story, there are many unfortunate inaccuracies. The video has statistics that do not match those in the printed text. Finally, the comments of so-called “theologian” Jonathan Morris demonstrate him to be a bit of an airhead. I’m not impressed with anything in the story, especially the disparaging of Vladimir Putin. I’m not sure he has as much control over the Russian Orthodox Church as is being claimed.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        Not sure how much we can expect from someone who was never connected to anything holy. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where a schismatic metropolitan has the opportunity to be ordained by the Orthodox Church and abstains.

      • Joseph Lipper says

        Ah, you’re right, the analogy actually comes from Fox News journalist Tyler O’Neil. I found it amusing though that he would use this analogy.

  13. Joseph Lipper says

    Here’s the growing call from within the UOC-MP for the Pentarchy (or some equivalent):

    “Hundreds Of UOC Priests Appeal To Orthodox Primates To Evaluate Statements Of Patriarch Kirill”


    Of course Alexandria wants this too, but the big question is if Antioch and Jerusalem will go along with it. They previously have been reluctant to pass judgement on Patriarch Kirill, but I wonder if the current war in Ukraine will change their minds. It just might.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Unless he was preaching heresy why would it matter what a priest in Ukraine thinks of a Russian Patriarch? They can “pass judgment” all they want. Many, many of these people aren’t even in the canonical Church.

      • Joseph Lipper says

        These Ukrainian priests aren’t being realistic. First of all, they want Patriarch Kirill to “unambiguously condemn the war in Ukraine.” Well, how can he do that? This ongoing war, or “military operation”, defends the security interests of both Russia and the Russian Church.

        Their second demand isn’t much better, asking Putin to end the war. Again, this war’s purpose is to defend the security interests of Russia. How can Putin not defend those very interests? That’s just his job.

        Their third demand is puzzling, asking for a Council of Primates to “evaluate the public statements of Pat. Kirill on the basis of Scripture and Church Tradition”. Really, I mean, what has he possibly said that’s so alarming and incongruous with scripture and tradition? No examples are given.

        Their fourth demand asks for an evaluation of “Russian World” calling it a “doctrine” that could possibly be condemned. Well, how is this “doctrine” any different than the Megali Idea that seeks to restore the Byzantine Empire?

        It seems these Ukrainian priests now want something akin to the Ancient Pentarchy to somehow swoop in and save them from Patriarch Kirill. Of course it was just a couple of years ago these same Ukrainian priests were supporting the 2020 meeting in Amman, Jordan of Orthodox Primates from Jerusalem, Russia, Serbia, and Czech Lands, that met in order to supposedly save them all from Patriarch Bartholomew.

        No, the only realistic solution to all four of their stated demands is to accept that autocephaly has already been granted to Ukraine. It was granted to Ukraine through emergency economia by the Ecumenical Patriarchate because of the 2014 outbreak of civil war in Ukraine. Neither Patriarch Bartholomew nor Patriarch Kirill need to do anything. It’s up to the Ukrainian people now. The ball is in their court.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          RE: “[Autocephaly] It was granted to Ukraine through emergency economia by the Ecumenical Patriarchate because of the 2014 outbreak of civil war in Ukraine.”

          “Economy” is not something to be applied at random or arbitrarily. It is governed by defined guidelines which must be strictly adhered to by the competent ecclesiastical authority granting it. First and foremost, exception from a law which has been endowed with universal recognition and validity is not possible. It is only from a law that has not been endowed with such authority that a person can be released, if this is deemed spiritually beneficial.”

          Bartholomew overturned apostolic succession to accommodate the OCU, permanently severing any connection there might have been between the schismatics and the canonical Church, as they were too proud to ask for repentance. It has been, spiritually, to their detriment. The war has only gotten worse.

          I would agree that neither Bartholomew or Pat. Kirill need or can do anything at this point.

          • “RE: “[Autocephaly] It was granted to Ukraine through emergency economia by the Ecumenical Patriarchate”

            For the CP to “grant” this over the objections of the UOC-MP, even with “economia”, he would need to be the Supreme head of Christianity.

            The Roman Pope, and now Constantinople, are the only ones that I know of in the Christian world that claims the title of being the head of all Christians.

            Henry VIII asserted that he was the rightful head of England’s then-Catholic Church, but not of Christians everywhere.

            When I joined Orthodoxy over 20 years ago, my understanding was that we EOs don’t have the analogy of a Pope. We only have “First Among Equals”, not someone who is a “head above” everyone else. I joined the OCA, so I don’t know how many cradle Greeks learned something different growing up. I find this kind of supremacy claim to be arrogant and bullying.

            I have long believed that the Roman claim to Supremacy is the real number 1 issue dividing EOs from RCs. With other issues, we can “agree to disagree” or say that we just have different “interpretations” of the Truth. When Papal Supremacy comes into play, there is no more room for disagreement. The Pope can just say to anyone, “You’re wrong. Submit to me, your head.”

            If the Pope hadn’t been so dictatorial, I wonder if the Protestant Reformation would have happened. One of Luther’s big complaints was how the Pope was very dogmatic about his decisions and required people to accept teachings that Luther did not find to be “Biblical.” If the Pope hadn’t considered himself to be the dictatorial head of all Christians, perhaps the Pope would have had a more flexible, accommodating attitude that would have allowed for enough of a range of views so that Luther would have felt comfortable staying in the Catholic Church. Much of what happened in Western Europe with the Calvinists, Anglicans, and the Counter-Reformation came as an indirect result of Lutheranism.

            More to the point, Papal Supremacism was a direct cause of the Great Schism. Constantinople refused to submit to the Pope’s decisionmaking, and so the Pope’s legate excommunicated Constantinople. It took a while for other Eastern Patriarchates to “get on board” with the Great Schism. For a while, those other Eastern Churches stayed in communion with Rome. But Papal supremacy and the split with Constantinople eventually was too much for them as well.

            It is very unfortunate that Joseph L. and the Greek Orthodox world seems mostly not to realize the Church-breaking problem inherent in Primatial Supremacy or the historical problems that it has created for the Christian world.

            • Pope Gregory the Great, the Dialogist,
              did not subscribe to this First Without Equals Ecclesiology.

            • Joseph Lipper says

              Hal, did the Russian Church have the right to unilaterally grant autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in America? I suppose so, and that is what happened. Yet by just the same argument, Constantinople should have the right to also grant autocephaly to any of its territories.

              In regards to Kievan Rus, the Phanar’s argument is that they never fully ceded ownership of it to Moscow, but rather they only gave the right to manage it, as according to the mutually understood terms of the 1686 letter from Constantinople to Moscow. The terms of that letter were clearly understood by both parties at the time as not being a transfer of ownership, and there was no argument ever made against those terms, that is until some 350 years later when the Russian Church cried foul over Constantinople’s decision to retake management over the Metropolis of Kiev, a decision painstakingly made because of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the ensuing civil war.

              From the Phanar’s point of view, the autocephaly given to Ukraine (the present day successor of Kievan Rus) was at very least the same principle as the Russian Church unilaterally granting autocephaly to the OCA. I mean, the historic Russian territories were basically just Alaska, not even “All America and Canada”. If anything, the OCA’s autocephaly is more of a stretch.

              • Dear Joseph,

                First, Patriarch Bartholomew emphatically and repeatedly claims that the basis for what he purports to be his granting of autocephaly comes from his asserted role as the supreme head of all Orthodox, and not on any past relationship between Constantinople and Kyiv. He asserts that this gives him the sole and unilateral right to grant autocephaly to any and all new autocephalous EO Churches:

                Ecumenical Patriarch: Regarding the granting of autocephaly in consultation with the other Orthodox Churches, this was not done because it is not a tradition in our Church. All Tomes of Autocephaly granted to the newly-created Autocephalous Churches (Russia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Athens, Warsaw, Tirana and Presov) have been granted by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, without any consultation or consideration at a pan-Orthodox level. And it really is a surprise that the Churches who received their own Tomos of Autocepaly only with the signature of Constantinople are today questioning how it is possible for the Ecumenical Patriarchate to grant unilaterally a Tomos of Autocephaly to Ukraine. The answer is clear: in the same way and the same process that granted ecclesiastical independence to all the newly-created Churches.

                Interviewer: It is said that, historically speaking, that autocephaly was granted only in areas that were distinct provinces of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Is that true? …

                Ecumenical Patriarch: As mentioned above, all recognized Autocephalous Churches received their autocephaly from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, not because they were once in its jurisdiction but because the Church of Constantinople, on the basis of the Sacred Canons, has the supreme authority and the right to deal with issues of other local Churches. What is claimed, that every local Church can grant autocephaly to a territorial area within its jurisdiction is not canonically the case and such a tactic never prevailed in the practice of the Orthodox Church. Obviously it is claimed by some because they want to reduce the role of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. This, however, does not express ecclesiastical reality. The Patriarchate of Georgia, for example, has never been in our jurisdiction. But from Constantinople it received autocephaly and patriarchal status.

                SOURCE: https://www.archons.org/-/politika-interview

                Second, suppose that we agree that Patriarch Bartholomew is wrong that he has the sole, vertical, and unilateral right to grant autocephaly to every new Church, but that somehow he was able to revoke the transfer of the territory of Kyiv to the MP and then give Kyiv autocephaly. This also would not work for a bunch of reasons.
                – One reason is that the Ecumenical Councils have a canon that bans transfers of territory between bishops after a period of 30 years of the territory remaining with one of the bishops. In other words, there is a statue of limitations on territorial transfers.
                – A second reason is that the MP actually is the cathedra of the Kyiv Metropolitanate. Centuries ago, the Kyiv Metropolitan’s cathedra moved itself to Moscow, similar to how Antioch’s cathedra moved from Antakya/Antioch to Damascus.
                – A third reason is that Pat. Bartholomew not only claims the territory of Ukraine, but claims the authority to unilaterally and unceremoniously reinstate KP Philaret without any reconciliation with the MP. This is against how healings of schisms and reinstatements of schismatics have been performed in the past. This would be like the CP saying that he is taking back Greece’s territory under his omophorion and now recognizing some Greek schismatic group as the legitimate Church for Greece instead of the current Church of Greece.

                CP Bartholomew isn’t just claiming emergency ekonomia to wreck Orthodox unity and recognize schismatics. He is claiming that it is his sole and unilateral right to interfere in the affairs of all EO churches and reinstate or give autocephaly to anyone unilaterally by virtue of his self-asserted supremacy powers.

                • Bartholomew: “As mentioned above, all recognized Autocephalous Churches received their autocephaly from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, not because they were once in its jurisdiction but because the Church of Constantinople, on the basis of the Sacred Canons, has the supreme authority and the right to deal with issues of other local Churches. ”

                  Any ideas which specific Sacred Canons he means? I can’t recall any.

                  • Gail Sheppard says

                    In the Orthodox Church, if you see the words “supreme authority” run the other direction.

                  • Gail is right.
                    If the medieval church had a churchly earthly head, it would be the Pope of Rome, not the CP.
                    CP Bartholomew has cited and misinterpreted Canon 28 (and IIRC Canon 9) of Chalcedon in the past in support of his supremacy claims.

                    George has an in depth article on Canon 28 here:
                    Canon 28 and Eastern Papalism: Cause or Effect?
                    By George C. Michalopulos.

                    Canon 9 is related to Canon 28 and makes more sense in the context of Canon 28.

                  • Joseph Lipper says

                    Council of Chalcedon, canons 9 and 17 refer to the “throne of Constantinople” in a manner suggesting it as the final ecclesial authority. Here they are:

                    Canon 9

                    If any Clergyman have a matter against another clergyman, he shall not forsake his bishop and run to secular courts; but let him first lay open the matter before his own Bishop, or let the matter be submitted to any person whom each of the parties may, with the Bishop’s consent, select. And if any one shall contravene these decrees, let him be subjected to canonical penalties. And if a clergyman have a complaint against his own or any other bishop, let it be decided by the synod of the province. And if a bishop or clergyman should have a difference with the metropolitan of the province, let him have recourse to the Exarch of the Diocese, or to the throne of the Imperial City of Constantinople, and there let it be tried.

                    Canon 17

                    Outlying or rural parishes shall in every province remain subject to the bishops who now have jurisdiction over them, particularly if the bishops have peaceably and continuously governed them for the space of thirty years. But if within thirty years there has been, or is, any dispute concerning them, it is lawful for those who hold themselves aggrieved to bring their cause before the synod of the province. And if any one be wronged by his metropolitan, let the matter be decided by the exarch of the diocese or by the throne of Constantinople, as aforesaid. And if any city has been, or shall hereafter be newly erected by imperial authority, let the order of the ecclesiastical parishes follow the political and municipal example.


                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      I don’t think anyone disagrees that one should be able to ask the EP to help facilitate a solution. The problem is, NO ONE IS ASKING BARTHOLOMEW.

                      In the past, when he was asked for a solution, he ended up taking all the territory in question (for himself)!

                      These canons assume you have an EP who is able to fulfill the role in a way that is beneficial to the Church, but when the vast majority of the Church doesn’t trust you, as in Bartholomew’s case, and your decisions create conflict as opposed to a solution, you do not belong in the role.

                    • An appeal to “the throne of the Imperial City
                      of Constantinople” sounds very like an appeal to the Emperor.

                    • “…to the throne of the Imperial City of Constantinople, and there let it be tried.”

                      “…erected by imperial authority, let the order of the ecclesiastical parishes follow the political and municipal example.”

                      Let’s admit it: There hasn’t been an empire for centuries, so there is no more imperial city, except in memory. Istanbul has been captive for far too long to take its authority seriously, and that is especially true since the current occupant of the patriarchal throne is hardly a paragon of righteousness. Quite to the contrary. Therefore, the presupposition of imperial authority is vacated, is it not? Rendered null and void, isn’t it? And, phrases that include such historic authority should be struck from the canon, should they not be?

                      Or, shall we again state the obvious, if there is an implacable hankering among the people for an imperial throne to symbolize all of Orthodoxy?

                      By any realistic observation, Moscow, the third Rome, is the city that qualifies to be an “imperial capital”, if there need be one at all. Moscow is the see of the largest of all Orthodox local churches, and the mother of autonomous local churches like Japan and Ukraine, to say nothing of its close bond with the Russian Church Abroad and now the exarch in Africa. The scope of Moscow’s reach in terms of land area and population of the faithful is utterly immense by comparison to any other. Her influence is by far and away larger than all of the other jurisdictions put together. What is more relevant is the fact that Moscow is stubbornly maintaining the Orthodox Tradition, unlike Istanbul.

                      With all due respect for the canons, while stipulating that they are not Holy Writ, my question is this: Is it not high time for a pan-Orthodox council to meet in solemn session to update the pertinent canons to reflect the current political and ecclesiastical realities? Or are we going to continue to stare at legal fossils that are, in some cases, woefully out of date?

                      Without selective updating of the canons, Istanbul will continue to be a fly in the ointment, as it has been for the last century and is especially now under the current occupant and his wayward synod.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Joseph, Gail, Lawrence, et al:

                      In reality, Bartholomew is very much “yesterday’s man.” Not unlike the entire GOA’s functionaries/auxiliaries/etc. The desire to create a cult of personality akin to the Papacy (or the Dalai Lama) has failed miserably.

                      This of course is not to say that he has not done real damage or that he cannot continue to do so. It’s just that nobody pays attention to him anymore. Not in any meaningful way.

                      Now, if I were advising him, I would say “if you want to do a judo move and get back your mojo, I would immediately call for a genuine Council, one inviting all of the bishops of Orthodoxy and let the chips fall where they may.” No hidden agenda (like Crete). Just something straightforward.

                      Who knows? it might even work out for him. If nothing else, it would upset the present equilibrium and allow him to retake some momentum.

                      Just a thought.

                    • Joseph Lipper says

                      Lawrence Wheeler, that sounds like so many other liberal arguments against tradition, calling what is traditional a “legal fossil” and “woefully out of date”. I suppose some would even say that Patriarch Bartholomew needs to stop being such a medievalist bummer and get with the times.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      The point being made is we don’t (can’t) follow many of the traditional canons because the landscape has changed over the last 2000 years (A.D. 363).

                      Some of the canons no longer make sense because the passage of time has made them irrelevant. For example, the rule that only the EP or the emperor can call a council. There is no emperor. Turkey is no longer a Christian country; certainly not the seat of Orthodoxy. Metropolitans rule over places you can’t find on a map and minister to people who no longer exist.

                      A case could be made that there should be no EP with “special powers,” as there is no longer a need for such a bishop.

                      It is the creative use of outdated canons that brought us to the point of yet another major schism. Had a council of bishops dealt with these bizarre irregularities before Bartholomew decided he could go into Ukraine, we could have avoided all of this.

                      Just like a final will and testament, which needs to be updated in the case where another child is born or a beneficiary dies, the canons need to be similarly kept up to date. This isn’t a “liberal” idea.

                      It’s a pragmatic idea to avoid a single bishop waving around old letters and intuiting what they mean today when his imaginings are diametrically opposed to what the Church does in practice.

                      Why would anyone argue against clarity?

                      Bummer man, get with the times.

                    • Joseph Lipper says

                      Gail, I suppose there hasn’t been a ruling Christian emperor in the City of Constantine for 569 years.

                      Are we suddenly “woke” to history and after all that time, realizing that the special privileges of the Ecumenical Patriarch are no longer practical, both in view of the emperor’s 569 year vacancy and because of the all-of-sudden rise of the new “might makes right” Russian Church?

                      Even when the Russian Church had a Christian Tsar, they still mostly respected the special privileges of the Ecumenical Patriarch.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      You know what “woke me” was his conversion from spiritual leader to environmentalist, and inviting the Catholic Church, the Episcopalians, and the Lutherans to his humble abode to pray with him.

                      After Crete, his desire to expand the definition of Church to mean anything he wanted it to mean, enlightened me, as well. Forging into Ukraine at the behest of a politician was another shocker, and his frequent meetings with the CIA to keep “Russia from getting close to his throne shows just how desperate he is.

                      Joseph, Bartholomew is a bishop. He has no “special privilege.” He is the first among equals. His name is mentioned first. That was true of me in grade school. I was called first because the first letter of my last name was closer to “A” than my other classmates. No special powers were given to me.

                      People didn’t “mostly” respect the special privileges he was espousing. They were ignoring his rantings hoping he’d get a hold of himself.

                    • To speak in broad strokes, we all certainly agree that it would be inappropriate to modify the canons to change dogma. Ignoring the Scriptures and Tradition and amending the canons that govern ordinations and marriages is the mistake that the Episcopal Church made with ever-worsening effect. That is not what I am calling for here. I am only calling for pragmatic alterations in Orthodox polity that would reflect the undeniable reality that Gail and George have pointed out.

                      Constantinople was never an apostolic see, despite claims of its ties to St. Andrew. Its vaunted place in the ancient Christian world was granted only because of its central place in the secular political sphere. The Byzantine Empire is long gone, as is the Ottoman Empire. There is no emperor to occupy an imperial throne. If there is no emperor, there should not be a patriarch, either. The former Christian capital has long been ruled by Moslems. Post the population exchanges of a century ago, there are precious few Orthodox Christians remaining in the city, to say nothing of the countryside of Turkey. The patriarchate of Constantinople is a shadow of its former self. The patriarch and his synod have glorious titles that in reality signify next to nothing. Without its overseas holdings, especially GOARCH, Constantinople would not have any credible claim to authority in the Church. His American colony, the GOARCH/GOA, especially the Archons, supply him with the appearance of legitimacy and wads of cash to keep the shell operation running. The patriarchate’s connection with the U.S. State Department is also a dark mystery that should cause us particular concern now that Bartholomew has meddled in the internal affairs of Ukraine.

                      If all of the corruption in the Phanar spilled passed the rumor level and actually gained traction in popular knowledge, perhaps some brave souls in the Church would finally have the intestinal fortitude to go to Istanbul and shut the whole damned operation down. Given the status quo, however, the petite octogenarian Bartholomew is still allowed to strut around the world like a peacock to maintain his personality cult, as George aptly puts it. Witness the victory lap that Bart. took in the States last fall. I chuckled at the photo of Bart. venerating his own icon in the unfinished St. Nicolas at the World Trade Center. What a prima donna! It’s all a sham, folks. And it needs to be put to a merciful end for the sake of the Church’s future.

                      For all intents and purposes, Constantinople no longer exists, except in the history books and the canons. The latter need to be amended to make it official.

                    • Yes, George – the CP it seems has had an air of the Cult of Personality about him, like when he gets on TV presented as the head of the Orthodox Church and has mass rallies where he has handed out baby evergreen trees. I had positive views of him, but never considered him the head of the EO Church in my 20 years of being in the EO Church. For the last 3 years I’ve been curious what percent of Greek American EOs decades ago considered him the head of all EOs.

                      Now with his wrecking of Church order over the Ukraine issue, only a small percent EOs worldwide, those under the “Greek world”, might consider him the head of all EOs. So the “head of all EOs image” is a practically falsified one.

                      If he wanted to be some kind of peace and unity figure, then reconciling Ukrainians who identify as EOs would have been the best way to build that image that he desires, even if his reconciliation attempts were unsuccessful in the short term. However, such an attempt would not have been the kind of thing that he would do, because he turned out to be basically a “1st World” geopolitical instrument rather than a Mother Teresa or Gandhi figure.

                    • The canons recognize the bishop of Constantinople as first among equals only by default in that Rome is no longer part of the Church. It is true that by canon law, Constantinople has certain prerogatives associated with appeals at the episcopal level and in actions involving the metropolitan of a local church. However, that in no way makes him the supreme ecclesial authority. Specifically, emperors called the ecumenical councils, not the patriarch of Constantinople. Moreover, the specific authority that Bartholomew and Co. have asserted with respect to canon 28 of the IV council and with respect to the sine paribus assertion of unequalled power are simply not Orthodox at all but papist. The canon 28 assertions are wild overreach and the sine paribus assertion is the definition of papism itself. Moreover, not even Rome claims the authority to consecrate bishops by the stroke of a pen rather than the laying on of hands. That is totally beyond the pale.

                      I.e., to say that Bartholomew and Co. are heretics, not “like” heretics, but actual heretics. The fact that no local council has explicitly condemned them as such does not change the odious and heterodox nature of their doctrine.

                      Russia has managed to excommunicate them on the grounds of the false reconciliation with and concelebration with schismatics, whereby Constantinople stepped into the shoes of the schismatics themselves. That is at least a good start. But if the rest of the Church does not wish to be swallowed up with the CP’s papism, they need to wake up and distance themselves from that nest of vipers.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Hal, Bartholomew engages in a sleight-of-hand. Notice he insinuates that “all” autocephalous churches owe their tomes of autocephaly to Cpole, carefully omitting that the above-named churches were eparchies of Cpole (and not Antioch, Alexandria, Jerusalem etc.)

                  For example, it was the 2nd Ecumenical Council that granted autocephaly to Cyprus, cleaving it off from Antioch. And it was Antioch which unilaterally granted autocephaly to Georgia. Constantinople, whether in concert or unilaterally had nothing to do with the granting of autocephaly to these churches.

                  • You write,

                    Notice he insinuates that “all” autocephalous churches owe their tomes of autocephaly to Cpole, carefully omitting that the above-named churches were eparchies of Cpole

                    Georgia was not an eparchy of Cple, was it? He used Georgia as a case in point of an autocephalous Church that was not an eparchy of Cpole.

                    And good point about Cyprus getting autocephaly from an Ecumenical Council.

                  • In reality, Bartholomew is very much “yesterday’s man.” Not unlike the entire GOA’s functionaries/auxiliaries/etc. The desire to create a cult of personality akin to the Papacy (or the Dalai Lama) has failed miserably.

                    Agreed. Bartholomew has made himself into a “nothing burger” in world Orthodoxy and has done nothing but create damage.

                    Even within the Greek Churches, he is not universally well liked, even on Athos.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Joseph, the terms of the transfer of 1868 were clear and unambiguous. Even the typika of the Ecumenical Patriarchate stated so for over 300 years. (As did Fr Alex Karloutsos at the Cretan Robber Council.)

              • George Michalopulos says

                Joseph, the answer to you question is “yes,” the MP did have the right to grant autocephaly in a unilateral manner to the OCA. Just as Antioch unilaterally granted autocephaly to Georgia.

                There is an additional wrinkle in the case of Moscow’s grant to America and that is that the Metropolia (the proto-OCA) went first to Cpole to adjudicate its grievances. Athenagoras told them “You are Russians, go to your mother to solve your problems” (a paraphrase).

                If nothing else, this implies that as the primate of one local church, he had no jurisdiction over the Metropolia. It also means that he had to live with whatever Moscow decided.

                In fairness, he probably didn’t think that Moscow had the right to grant autocephaly but the point still stands: he had no right to adjudicate the matter.

                • Right, and then when KP Philaret tried to appeal his case to CP Bartholomew a few decades ago, CP Bartholomew replied explicitly that the MP has “exclusive” competence to deal with KP Philaret’s case. CP Bartholomew’s letter about this is on the OrthoChristian site. This contradicts CP Bartholomew’s later claims to universal jurisdiction.

                  • I expect CP Bartholomew subscribes
                    to a Rules-Based Ecclesiastical Order,
                    in which the Rules are what he says they are…

          • Joseph Lipper says

            Gail, in the case of the OCU, apostolic succession comes from the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate by way of two exarchs that were sent to reconcile the schismatic groups in Ukraine to Constantinople in 2018. Those two exarchs are Archbishop Daniel of Pamphilon (a bishop of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA) and Bishop Ilarion of Edmonton (a bishop of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada).


            By the grace of reconciliation, and by the emergency economia chosen by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the OCU was granted apostolic succession without laying on of hands. This method was chosen because it has typically been the normal practice of the Russian Orthodox Church, such as with the reception of Uniates like St. Alexis Toth and others.

            I mean, if St. Alexis doesn’t have apostolic succession, then I’m not sure about most of the OCA.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              I would read Hal’s response, but to be in the Orthodox Church requires an acknowledgment from the Church that that relationship exists. The OCA has the acknowledgment they are part of the canonical Church. The OCU does not and will not.

              You also cannot poach people who have been deposed from the Church and bring them back into the Church without repentance. The only one who can bring the OCU back into apostolic succession is Russia.

              It’s not apostolic succession if the bishops (Ancient and Local) do not agree to it. They don’t. Outside of Bartholomew, who walked away from the Church, only 2 autocephalous Churches and one Ancient Church recognizes the OCU. There are (I believe) 12 other heads of the Church who do not and will not accept it. (Alexandria should have been among them. What a disappointment.)

              So what’s next, Joseph? Is he going to wave his fairy wand over Rome and usher them in under the banner of “unity with diversity” that the pope and Elpi keep talking about? Are the Episcopalians next? Then the Lutherins? Because if the Church doesn’t restate the parameters of what the EP can and can’t do, that’s what’s going to happen.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Bartholomew could have engineered a ceremony in which he and other bishops of his patriarchate could have laid hands on the schismatics and the self-ordained. It’s just that they chose not to do so because it would have made an bigger spectacle than it already was.

              The actual ceremony would have not only been a spectacle but an obvious absurdity, calling attention to itself. By doing it surreptitiously –i.e. with the stroke of a pen–he hoped it would be mostly unobservable and people would quickly forget about it.

            • Solidarity Priest says

              You have already brought up St. Alexis a dozen times it seems. Maybe more. That was a legitimate use of economia by the Russian church. The reasoning behind it was that the Uniates were Orthodox who had been tricked into a false union with Rome, either by force or misrepresentation.
              The whole Uniate church was founded on a lie; that’s why it was suppressed in the Russian empire. You could be a Roman Catholic in Russia, but you couldn’t fly false colors.
              As for Archbishop Daniel, he had no right to interfere in the affairs of the legitimate Ukrainian Orthodox church. I don’t care what you or your Bartholomew have to say in the matter. I used to respect him; now I wouldn’t kiss his hand, nor set foot in any of his churches, let alone serve with his clergy. Being in the OCA, I might commune some laity from that church, but that’s about it.
              By the way, my opinion is shared by my dean(OCA), my spiritual father( ACROD), and probably by most, if not all of the Serbian clergy. There was a Ukrainian priest from Archbishop Daniel’s jurisdiction who wanted to serve in a Serbian parish. The priest’s mother had been Serbian and he wanted to serve for her Slava. The Serbian bishop said that he couldn’t. And that bishop is very much a Hellenophile.
              Keep on telling us that Bartholomew has papal powers, but forgive us if we don’t buy into it. I honestly wish we had the EP of the nineteenth century, when they rebuked the Russians for NOT rebaptizing heterodox converts. My, how the times have changed.

        • The OCU is a pseudo church. Bartholomew had no authority to create a church out of schismatics which he had formerly himself condemned. They should have been reconciled with the UOC if they were to be accepted back into the church. Not only that, but Bartholomew has no authority to admit clergy to the church as such without the laying on of hands but rather with the stroke of a pen. Even the pope within his heretical flock would not do such a thing. This is diabolical arrogance. And that is why the ROC has excommunicated Bartholomew and all those who recognize the pseudo church.

          But it is true that no one need do anything. The Church is one, without the Phanar and the other local churches who recognized the OCU. They will continue drifting toward their Unia with Rome, which is where they belong.

    • Calls like this show that these men are responding to this situation not in a mature and rational fashion, but emotionally and hysterically. Patriarch Kyrill has spoken about the Russkiy Mir for years now and, as Fr. John Whiteford points out in his rebuttal of the Fordhamites, it’s nowhere near being a heresy. All of a sudden, all of these priests decide that he needs to be tried by the Eastern Patriarchs. Why? Because he hasn’t condemned the military actions of the Russian government. “He’s not on our side so let’s call in the Greeks.”


      • George Michalopulos says

        And that would be fruitless, given how the Church of Greece’s “approval” of Epiphony’s sect in the Ukraine was nothing less than a complete Charlie Foxtrot.