The Opportunity of the Century: A Future Free of the Disease of Phanariotism?

Introduction: 1918

11 November 2018, the centenary of the end of the First World War, has passed. And still there has been no repentance for and no renunciation of the imperialism which caused that needless European bloodbath with its greed for land, resources and power, for Lebensraum, as the Germans call it. Instead, the centenary turned out to be a sentimental, if regretful, ‘celebration’ by hypocritical politicians of the slaughter of the youth of Europe and of its colonies, dragged into their anti-national imperialism. Repentance would have meant that there would at last have been justice in Europe for 100 years of Western aggression, exploitation and materialism (whether Capitalist or Communist). For this aggression continues in the current Western-armed and Western-financed bloodbaths in Syria, the Yemen, the Congo and the Ukraine: the same disease as 100 years ago continues.

1918 also marks the beginning of the end of the Patriarchate of Constantinople after it was contaminated by exactly the same imperialism and its lust for power, summed up by the word ‘Phanariotism’. This has culminated in the notorious and heretical meeting in Crete in 2016 and now in its latest US-sponsored adventure in the Ukraine. Phanariotism is essentially the loss of faith which reduces the Church of God to a mere religious institution with its corporate lust for power and money, swimming with the tide of the world. It is this that has characterized the last 100 years of the life of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, ever since the restraining power of Tsar Nicholas II was removed 100 years ago (2 Thess 2, 7). However, in fairness, all the other Local Churches have been infected by the same disease of Phanariotism, not least the Patriarchate of Moscow. What are the three symptoms of this disease?

  1. Modernism

Called variously Sergianism, renovationism, erastianism or caesaropapism, modernism is simply the internal movement to conform the Church to the (secularist, Western) world, giving up the struggle to conform that world to the Church. Modernism stems from the loss of faith, which has seen the appearance of atheist bishops (the former Metropolitan of Kiev, Denisenko) and masonic patriarchs (the former Patriarchs of Constantinople Meletios and Athenagoras). It means introducing the heterodox calendar, shortening the services and the fasts, changing the dress of the clergy, putting seating and organs into churches etc.

It also means imposing such secularism by threat, as the Phanariots tried to do at their notorious US-style meeting in Crete, (‘The Orthodox Second Vatican Council’) two years ago. Today, in the Ukraine, it means enforcing the heterodox calendar, making 25 December a State holiday, as Poroshenko’s US, Canadian and EU patrons demanded and as has been done. It means ‘divide and rule’, following the policy of the Nazis in the Ukraine 75 years ago, which was also the policy of the pagan Romans and is the policy of today’s neo-pagan Romans in Washington, as it sends its NATO legions to bully and enslave the still free world.

  1. Phyletism

Phyletism is simply the Greek word for racism. It means putting one’s nation above Christ. Greek racism, centred in Constantinople, is the standard here, but other Local Churches have also adopted this poisonous heresy. Phyletism has no interest in baptising all nations into the Church, as Christ in St Matthew’s Gospel commands us (Matt 28, 19), for it considers that only one’s own race is worthy of salvation – indeed that perhaps it has, Jewish-style and therefore Protestant-style, already been saved.

Thus, phyletism is inherently anti-missionary, for why bother with missionary work if only one’s own race is worthy of salvation? And phyletism is also inherently ecumenistic, for it asserts that since one’s own Greek race has been saved by the Greek religion, then we may talk to other religions. Since the others are not Greeks, we may as well talk to them – after all they may give us a lot of money. Thus, the opposite of phyletism is missionary work, which is held back precisely by phyletism and ecumenism, as we saw in Crete.

  1. Ecumenism

Ecumenism is therefore the result of phyletism and the external extension of this swimming with the tide modernism, reducing the Church to a mere religion, like all the other manmade religions. We saw how the Phanariot gerontocrats tried to impose this heresy of ecumenism in Crete, deliberately confusing the Church with so-called ‘churches’. However, in this field of ecumenism, there have been and are traitors in all the Local Churches, who are also intent on destroying the chance of the faithful to obtain salvation.

Conclusion: 2018

Certain Russian Patriarchal bureaucrats have also long been involved in modernism, phyletism and ecumenism, making them too into Phanariots. They can be recognized because they promote the same policies of the Phanariots, the policies of Crete. If the Patriarchate of Moscow wants to separate itself from this pernicious disease, which we see is not only a Greek one, then it can purge itself, perhaps in the following three ways:

– Abandon any creeping modernism, make sure that all its parishes follow the Orthodox calendar and keep the Tradition.

– Rename itself ‘The Patriarchate of New Jerusalem and all Rus’, divorcing itself from any Soviet-style imperialistic tendencies and take up the multinational call and challenge of missionary work all around the world.

– Leave the WCC and all other such alien ‘dialogues’, such as those with the Vatican machine.

Only by separating itself from the disease of Phanariotism will the Russian Orthodox Church regain the trust of the whole practising Orthodox world, its own and all those in the other Twelve Local Churches. Only then will it sit down at table at a new Mysterious Supper, ready to greet the Returning Christ. Here then is the Opportunity of the Century.

 

A Gogolian Farce is Played Out in the Ukraine

Archbishop Job Getcha, the very young and inexperienced Canadian reject from the tiny schismatic Rue Daru group in Paris, has now been selected as the head of the new Phanariot ‘Church’ in the Ukraine. Well-known as an ecumenist, he is also notorious for his private behaviour in Paris (the photographs have long been on the internet) and for his public tyranny. However, he is the darling of the Canadian Secret Services, a northern branch of the CIA, and now has to create a Church under the rigid control of his schismatic, US-appointed Patriarch in Istanbul and the US-appointed President, the Uniat billionaire Poroshenko/Waltzman.

With a flock of two (a schismatic defrocked former KGB agent and self-appointed married ‘patriarch’, together with a schismatic ‘metropolitan’) and a single church building handed over to him by the Kiev State regime, Archbishop Job Getcha has ordered all bishops in the Ukraine to obey him! An authority-less authoritarian, this young Canadian academic will now learn about reality. Instead of uniting the three small regional nationalist schismatic groups in the Ukraine (three because we count the pro-Fascist Uniats, also based in ex-Poland in the far west of the contemporary Ukraine) with the huge canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Istanbul has now simply founded a fourth schism.

Here is yet another result of the century-old interference of Istanbul in the canonical territories and affairs of other Local Churches, from Finland to Estonia, from Poland to Czechoslovakia, from Paris to New York, from Bulgaria to Greece, from Serbia to Russia…It would be funny if it were not tragic…

 

The First Council of New Jerusalem?

The recent Church Council at the New Jerusalem Monastery to the west of Moscow was organized by the Church of New Jerusalem and All Rus – as the Patriarchate of Moscow has now been renamed. The Council was attended by its 400 bishops and substantial official delegations from all the other Twelve Local Churches that are in communion with it and each other.

Momentous international decisions affecting all were taken at the Council. First of all, the Church of Rus was placed first in order of the diptychs, before New Constantinople (see below), Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem; the Archbishop of Athens has been renamed ‘Patriarch of New Constantinople’ and all five Balkan Churches (Romania, Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria and Albania) have pledged themselves to the closest co-operation and talk seriously of merging into one again; the Churches of Poland and of the Czech Lands and Slovakia are intending to become Autonomous Churches within the Patriarchate of Rus. If this happens, it will reduce the number of Local Churches to seven: Rus, New Constantinople (the Balkans), Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Cyprus and Georgia. Seven is of course the number of Local Churches in the Book of Revelation.

At long last, after over a century lost since the 1917 international-organized, treasonous coup d’etat which overthrew the Russian Empire, the Diaspora and the Non-Orthodox world are receiving attention. Firstly, the Patriarchate of New Jerusalem and All Rus now has ten Autonomous Churches, not only the five in the Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Japan and China, but also five new ones: in Western Europe from Iceland to Finland and Portugal to Hungary; North America; Latin America; Oceania; South-East Asia. All Orthodox living in these five territories have been invited to take part in inter-diocesan life, while retaining their complete independence, customs, viewpoints and attachment to their homelands. Secondly, the Patriarchate of Antioch has promised to work to evangelize the whole Arab world, with diplomatic and financial support from the Patriarchate of All Rus.

This Council of New Jerusalem has been hailed as a turning-point in Church history. It means that with the internal nationalist bickering of the recent past resolved and administrative divisions overcome, the Church can now turn its attention to the outside world. Today’s world, divided between narrow racist nationalism and greedy scheming globalism, needs Christ as never before.

The Nationalist Schism of Phanariotism and the New Future of the Church

Introduction

Nationalism is simply an attachment to the things of this world, in other words, to nation states and all the other institutions invented by men. Nationalism is sinful worldliness, as it likes some and dislikes and sometimes even hates others, for no reason other than the national identity of those in question. All this come from its pride in imagined racist superiority. In this, nationalism differs from patriotism, which is love for God’s creation, wherever it may be. This is why nationalism always compromises the Faith, because it exalts tribal pride and justifies power-grabs, whereas in reality there is good and bad everywhere.

Nationalism in the First Millennium after Christ: 33 AD to 1033 AD

Schisms and heresies are always based on pride, either on the myth of personal superiority (isms named after a person– Arianism, Lutheranism, Calvinism) or else on the myth of collective (racial) superiority (isms named after an ideology – Miaphysitism, Papism, Catholicism). This pride always invents some heretical ideology in order to justify its schism from the Church, even calling its heresy a ‘Church’.

Thus, at the time of Christ most educated Jews, scribes, pharisees and men of law, rejected the Saviour because their Faith was not in the universal Messiah. It was in an imaginary Jewish racial Messiah who would justify their tribal pride and imagined superiority and national exclusiveness. The Jews, they said, were ‘the chosen people’ and could not share with others inferior to them. So through racial pride, they rejected the Risen Christ and His Church and indeed for centuries afterwards persecuted the Church, preferring to co-operate with the pagan Roman and other Establishments rather than humbly accepting Christ.

In the fifth century Armenians, Copts and some Syrians broke away from the Church, for they wanted independence from the Greeks, regardless of Truth. They justified their nationalist breakaway with the heretical Miaphysite ideology. Small groups of other races fell in the same way to the Nestorian ideology.

Nationalism in the Second Millennium after Christ: 1033 AD to 2018AD

By the early eleventh century a new ideology had over the past two and a half centuries been worked out in parts of Western Europe, where semi-Latinized Germanic peoples claimed racial superiority because they had conquered pagan Rome. Thus, Roman Catholicism, though not at first called that, was finally born. The barbaric hordes responsible soon showed their imagined superiority by invading the source of the real Christian Faith in Jerusalem in a bloodbath in order to impose their new ideology. Their justification? This was in their new ideology with its claim that the Holy Spirit proceeds from a unique substitute for Christ, the Bishop of Rome, who just happened to be one of them. This ideology was expressed in inherent organized violence.

In the sixteenth century most of the Germanic peoples split away in protest from this Roman Catholicism, which had become far too Latinized for their taste, and founded a new racial religion, founded by the German monk Luther. One variation of this was Anglicanism, a State-founded nationalist religion which enabled the local king to remarry, kill or divorce his old wives with impunity and plunder monasteries, slaughtering tens of thousands who stood in his way.

In the twenty-first century, after a process of evolution stretching back a century, Phanariotism was born in Istanbul. This maintained that those of Greek blood are superior to other races and that the Church depends on them. Thus, EP-ism, Eastern Papism, was born, which claims that the whole world belongs to the jurisdiction of the Greek race. So global Greek nationalism, an anti-Church ideology (‘theology’) justifying their power-grab, was systematized, and the Phanariots in their turn fell away from the Church in just another in the long line of nationalist schisms.

Nationalism in the Contemporary Russian Church: 2018AD

Nationalism also exists in the contemporary Russian Church. It has two characteristics:

The first trait of this world-loving nationalist spirit is its closeness to the State. Thus, it admires the late Patriarch Sergiy. As a result it is, like the late Russian cardinal, the Sergianist Metropolitan Nikodim, close to the Vatican Church-State. And as it is philo-Catholic, it is, ironically, therefore also philo-Phanar, because that is also philo-Catholic. Infected with admiration for the State, this ideology has little time for the zeal of missionary work among other races.

The second trait of this world-loving nationalist spirit is brain-fed, rationalist intellectualism and philosophy. It despises the popular piety of the New Martyrs, of St Seraphim of Sarov and St Matrona of Moscow, of holy elders and of the common people. Power-loving rather than piety-loving, it seeks the powerbroking of ecumenism and, always conforming to intellectual fashion, it prefers the intellectual snobbery of liturgical modernism to liturgical piety.

Conclusion

With the fall of the burdensome anachronism of the Second Rome, a process that has taken several centuries in all, the duty now falls to the Russian Orthodox Church, providentially recently resurrected and now 75% of the whole, to take responsibility for all. Will it vanquish the demons of nationalism that brought both the First Rome and then, a thousand years later, the Second Rome, low? We do not know, but until those traitors to the Faith have been defeated, the Third Rome will not be ready to take up the mantle of the Church which has now been offered it and assume responsibility for urgent worldwide missionary work. Will the Third Rome and its political temptations be outbalanced by the spiritual truths of the New Jerusalem of Holy Rus? We can only hope and pray.

 

Insanity Grips the Phanar: The Way Ahead

Usually, a new Local Church comes into being many years after its founding saints and by the popular consent of the local people of God. However, today one has been born in Istanbul by the signatures of the much-disputed but US-backed Uniat President of the genocidal regime in the Ukraine and a Turkish citizen who appears to be in the grip of insanity. All this is against the will of the clergy and the people. What the Turkish Sultan Erdogan, who two years ago survived a US attempt to assassinate him only thanks to Russian help, thinks, we do not know. The latest from Istanbul is that this tiny group of bankrupt individuals is thinking of taking back the autocephaly of the other Local Churches (presumably not that of today), granted hundreds of years ago!

Where do we go from this insanity?

Perhaps the Patriarch of the Phanar will die and then the Phanar will repent for its recent madness. However, those around him, one of whom will succeed him, seem to be even more insane than he is. Perhaps, more likely, after a time of the Phanariot schism, a Council will be called, Patriarch Bartholomew and his anti-Church papist ideology anathematized, and the whole Church can continue under the leadership of the Russian part (75% of the whole) together with the closest co-operation of the other Twelve Local Churches, the title of ‘Constantinople’ passing to the Archbishop of Athens. If only there were a Tsar to call that Council….In the meantime the Church will continue, paying no more attention to the ex-Orthodox of the Phanar and its schismatic and even heretical structures than to the Mormons.

Orthodoxy Will Triumph

In less than three weeks the Patriarchate of Constantinople has begun to break, though so far only on its fringes, and has gained nothing in the Ukraine. Thus, Non-Greeks are refusing to attend Constantinople parishes, a priest in the USA has left to join ROCOR, the parish in Florence (formerly under the Constantinople Rue Daru group) has also joined ROCOR (San Remo to follow?) and Russian money on Mt Athos is drying up. We can expect more such events. The Rue Daru group, like the OCA in North America, is bitterly split. The situation has not been helped by Patriarch Bartholomew, who has insulted all Slavs (and everyone else), making them out as inferior to the Greek ‘race’.

It is now only a question of time before greater defections take place, especially in Europe: soon, only ritualistic Greeks and Russophobes will remain under the Phanar.

 

 

On the Liberation and Restoration of Church Life

It is impossible to recall peace without dissolving the cause of the schism – the primacy of the Pope exalting himself equal to God.

We seek and we pray for our return to that time when, being united, we spoke the same things and there was no schism between us.

St Mark of Ephesus

Fall and Liberation

The near-750 year process of the fall of the See of Constantinople since the so-called Councils of Lyon and later Ferrara-Florence is now over. It has finally fallen under a Jesuit-trained Patriarch, who in his delusion refuses to repent and actually justifies himself, to the same millennial disease as Old Rome – Papism. New Rome fell to the same heresy of Old Rome: the lust for power justified on ethnic grounds – the mythical superiority of one race over another and over Christ, in the first case, of Latinized Germans and, in the latter case, of phyletist Hellenes. St Mark of Ephesus was right.

As a result, schismatic Constantinople parishes, few and scattered already, have been cut off from the Church and true Orthodox have begun leaving them. Withdrawing, they will join one or other of the thirteen Local Churches. Fragments of the Russian Orthodox world in North America and OCA, under Constantinople for political reasons, are hopelessly divided. Now the Orthodox elements in them can rejoin the worldwide Russian Church, returning in repentance to Orthodox practices and values in canonical conditions, without phariseeism or sectarianism.

Restoration and Rise

Now, to assume the leadership of service of the Church on earth, Whose only Head is Christ, the Patriarchate of Moscow, perhaps better repentantly renamed the Patriarchate of All Rus, must too cleanse itself of all the same Phanariot poison. This poison is the fatal mixture, summed up in utterly failed Muscovite diplomacy, of narrow nationalism and modernist ecumenism. Thus, the Third Rome must beware that it too does not fall to the same disease. When will we know that the Russian Orthodox Church is ready to assume this leadership of service, so that Church life can be restored?

  1. When there is no more Great Russian chauvinism and so no more talk of the Patriarch of Moscow as the ‘Ecumenical Patriarch’. This is the title which the Orthodox Pope of Old Rome, St Gregory the Dialogist, rightly condemned already at the end of the sixth century.
  2. When there is no more Russian Orthodox dallying with the Papacy of old Rome and the Pan-Protestant World Council of Churches, with both of which the representatives of the Phanar are naturally active. And so when there is no more new calendarism and experiments with the spiritual death of Paris ‘theology’.

Then, at last unhindered and uncompromised by the shackles of the past, we will be able to get on with our sadly interrupted mission to the seven billion Non-Orthodox, in concert with the other Twelve Local Churches. And only then shall we see Church life restored after such a disgraceful period of decadence.

 

 

 

The Orthodox Teaching on the Church

The following is the English translation of the statement we made at the Conference on ‘The Orthodox Teaching on the Church and Contemporary Challenges’, which was held in Moscow on 26 October and organized by the Analytical Centre of St Basil the Great.

http://ruskline.ru/video/2018/oktyabr/27/konstantinopolya_bolshe_net/

The Russian Orthodox Church suspended Eucharistic communion with Constantinople because of its politically-backed and therefore uncanonical support of schism in the Ukraine. The Russian Church has the canonical authority to do so, for by supporting schism Constantinople entered into dialogue with the anathematized, and so fell under anathema itself. But is this event a disaster or an opportunity?

We believe that this is an opportune time for the Russian Orthodox Church to re-emerge as the Church of the Third Rome. As before 1917, it can now assume leadership of Orthodox Christendom by agreement with the other twelve Local Churches. All of these are very small, but some are very ancient. This is unlike Constantinople, which only had a political claim to leadership, as the former capital of the Empire.

The ancient Patriarchates of Jerusalem, Alexandria and Antioch go back to the apostles and their voices in particular must be heeded. As Patriarch John of Antioch has said, we need a Council where all Orthodox can meet. We would say, as we have been saying for the past eleven years, that such a Council can take place outside Moscow, on the Istra: this will be the long-awaited New Jerusalem Council.

Archpriest Andrew Phillips

Pope Hildebrand (Gregory VII) and Bartholomew of Istanbul

 

Dictatus papae is a compilation of 27 heretical statements of powers arrogated to the Pope of Rome and included in Pope Gregory VII’s register in the year 1075:

  1. The Roman Church was founded solely by God.
  2. Only the Pope can with right be called “Universal”.
  3. He alone can depose or reinstate bishops.
  4. All bishops are below his Legate in council, even if a lower grade, and he can pass sentence of deposition against them.
  5. The Pope may depose the absent.
  6. Among other things, we ought not to remain in the same house with those excommunicated by him.
  7. For him alone is it lawful, according to the needs of the time, to make new laws, to assemble together new congregations, to make an abbey of a canonry, and, on the other hand, to divide a rich bishopric and unite the poor ones.
  8. He alone may use the Imperial Insignia.
  9. All princes shall kiss the feet of the Pope alone.
  10. His name alone shall be spoken in the churches.
  11. This is the only name in the world.
  12. It may be permitted to him to depose emperors.
  13. It may be permitted to him to transfer bishops, if need be.
  14. He has the power to ordain the clerk of any parish he wishes.
  15. He who is ordained by the Pope may preside over another church, but may not hold a subordinate position. Such a person may not receive a higher clerical grade from any other bishop.
  16. No synod shall be called a ‘General Synod’ without his order.
  17. No chapter and no book shall be considered canonical without his authority.
  18. A sentence passed by him may be retracted by no one. He alone may retract it.
  19. He himself may be judged by no one.
  20. No one shall dare to condemn any person who appeals to the Apostolic Chair.
  21. The more important cases of every church should be referred to the Apostolic See.
  22. The Roman Church has never erred. Nor will it err, to all eternity–Scripture being witness.
  23. The Roman Pontiff, if he has been canonically ordained, is undoubtedly made a saint by the merits of St. Peter, St. Ennodius Bishop of Pavia bearing witness, and many holy fathers agreeing with him. As it is contained in the decrees of Pope St. Symmachus.
  24. By his command and consent, it may be lawful for subordinates to bring accusations.
  25. He may depose and reinstate bishops without assembling a Synod.
  26. He who is not at peace with the Roman Church shall not be considered ‘catholic’.
  27. He may absolve subjects from their fealty to wicked men.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dictatus_papae

Here, nearly 950 years later, is the  speech of the Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew, a graduate of the Gregorian University in Rome, started in 1551 by the founder of the Jesuits, and a well-known lover of and concelebrant with the Papacy, made at the Council of the Archbishops of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, held in Istanbul on September 1-4, 2018. His speech was not disputed by any bishop of the Church of Constantinople and was even met with general approval:

  1. The Ecumenical Patriarchate is, for Orthodoxy, a leaven “which leavens the whole lump” (cf. Gal. 5.9) of the Church and of history.”
  1. As the First Throne of Orthodoxy, the Ecumenical Patriarchate exercises a prophetic ministry, extending the mystery of the Catholic Church in Christ Jesus throughout the world in each era.”
  1. In the beginning was the Word . . . in him was life, and the life was the light of men.” (John 1.1,4) The beginning of the Orthodox Church is the Ecumenical Patriarchate; “in this is life, and the life is the light of the Churches.” The late Metropolitan Kyrillos of Gortyna and Arcadia, a beloved Hierarch of the Mother Church and personal friend, was right to underline that “Orthodoxy cannot exist without the Ecumenical Patriarchate.”
  1. …the Ecumenical Patriarchate … enjoys canonical jurisdiction and all apostolic privileges in its responsibility for safeguarding the unity and communion of the local Churches but also for the overall journey of Orthodoxy in the contemporary world and history. In this spirit, as President of the body of Orthodoxy, the Ecumenical Patriarch convened the Holy and Great Council in Crete in June 2016, the greatest ecclesiastical event in recent years.”
  1. The Ecumenical Patriarchate bears the responsibility of setting matters in ecclesiastical and canonical order because it alone has the canonical privilege as well as the prayer and blessing of the Church and the Ecumenical Councils to carry out this supreme and exceptional duty as a nurturing Mother and birth-giver of Churches. If the Ecumenical Patriarchate denies its responsibility and removes itself from the inter-Orthodox scene, then the local Churches will proceed “as sheep without a shepherd” (Matt. 9.36), expending their energy in ecclesiastical initiatives that conflate the humility of faith and the arrogance of power.”
  1. …We imagine that all of the Hierarchs serving within the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Throne know very well that the 4th Ecumenical Council, among other decisions, honored the exceptional privilege of “the right to appeal” (ekkliton) of the Throne of Constantinople with the decrees of its 9thand 17th Canons. Numerous instances of the exercise of this right to appeal by Hierarchs and clergy of other jurisdictions have been recorded through the centuries in the historical journey of the Mother Church. Worthy of mention here is the determination of the canonist Miodrag Petrovic, that “the Archbishop of Constantinople alone has the privilege to judge and adjudicate conflicts of bishops, clergy and metropolitans of other patriarchs.” (Nomocanon on the 14 Titles and the Byzantine Commentators, p. 206).”
  1. The right reverend Bishop Kyrillos of Abydos, Professor at the National and Capodistrian University of Athens, a devout scholar of the written and spoken word, will address the unique privilege of the Church of Constantinople to receive the appeal of Hierarchs and clergy seeking refuge from all local Orthodox Churches in his presentation, entitled “The Privilege of Eccliton (Right to Appeal): Historical, Canonical and Theological Perspectives.” We gladly await his analysis of this subject…”

 

 

Istanbul: The View of a Bulgarian Theologian

Bartholomew’s Maidan

By Vasilianna Merheb

On October 11, 2018, after the Istanbul Synodal decisions [1], inspired by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, we were witness to an unprecedented coup attempt against the sacred canons and statutes of the Holy Orthodox Church through sole claims.

Obviously, this is an attempt for an authoritarian jurisdictional dictatorship, where the Orthodox Church is placed in an emergency situation, because the true face of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was finally and conclusively revealed (as well as his geo-religious ambitions).

After the announced anti-procedural synodal decisions, the Ecumenical Patriarchate fell into schism because the canons dictate anathema and excommunication for such serious crimes, which are sanctioned by three Apostolic rules, as well as decisions of several Ecumenical and Local Councils [2]. Istanbul Patriarch Bartholomew, after these synodal decisions, voluntarily united with schismatics anathematized by the Church, namely the so-called Patriarch Filaret (Denisenko) and so-called Archbishop Makarius (Maletisch), who are private persons, that is, civilians excommunicated from the Church, who are not Her members. Accordingly, with its current action, the Istanbul (Ecumenical) Patriarchate itself automatically fell under anathema, that is, subjected itself to a deliberate self-excommunication from the Holy Orthodox Church.

With this spiritual act, the Ecumenical Patriarchate fell into schism, and these actions deprived it of participation in the Living Body of Christ. Every bishop is an Apostolic successor, and this action is tantamount to Juda’s betrayal. What is worse than that? Bartholomew (Archondonis) and the diocese he runs, all together, fell away from the Church because this is a renunciation of all the archpastoral vows he gave. It is only a matter of procedural time for this to be confirmed by an appropriate council of the other local Orthodox churches.

This act is an unseen defamation of the name and authority of the ancient Constantinopolitan office entrusted to Bartholomew, which, after the Istanbul synodal decisions, remained outside the graceful Salvific Ship. Unfortunately, this applies equally to the adjoining flock.

In fact, on October 11, 2018, a tragic historical event took place because it concerns the fall of a Patriarch who, through his deeds, instead of preaching Christ and His peace as a loving father and faithful fellow, he was self-dethroned, by leading an “ecclesiastical Maidan” in Ukraine.

Indeed, this day is sorrowful for the Ecumenical Patriarchate, but in terms of ecclesiastical reality, it does not change anything, and none of the decisions has any canonical value. With such a self-destructive act, this formerly Local Church, led by Her former Patriarch, committed one of the most severe sins against the Church.

It is said that such an act (schism) cannot be washed away even with the blood of martyrdom (St. Cyprian of Carthage and St. John Chrysostom [3]). The attempt for a Church coup is perceived as purposeful encroachment for the tearing apart of the Body of Christ. It is the desecration of the holy Church canons in a criminal contravention of all accepted procedures, namely a bold invasion and direct intervention on the territory of another local Church and its associated jurisdiction. Istanbul Patriarch Bartholomew also presumed to dispose through the auspices of the secular power, attempting through unlawful and illegal speculations, and political blackmail, to make aggressive encroachment against his brethren, subjecting them to an open murderous fratricidal war.

To this date, the so-called Ecumenical Patriarchate is a markedly archaic structure, whose name is an anachronism, dating from ancient Byzantium, and which essentially does not correspond with the modern Church reality. This is about one Istanbul Patriarch, who is self-titled as a successor of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, whose flock is currently small and weak. Therefore, the current so-called Ecumenical Patriarchate has a rather symbolic status. The Turkish Bishop Bartholomew has the status “first amongst equals in honor” on account of the former glory of this office, but in fact he has no authority greater than all the other primates of the Local Churches.

It can be said that his deformed self-perception for supremacy in relation to this title leads to a spiritual distortion, where the limits of his authority are deprived of the necessary moderation, and this is recognized by the poisonous fruit of pride, which leads to detrimental consequences. Examples of such unhealthy manifestations include numerous ecumenical initiatives such as common prayer with the Roman pope. Such activities are inspired by his U.S. bureaucratic friends, pursuing their geopolitical ambitions and goals.

Numerous are the facts that prove his direct dependence on a global shadow establishment, to which the Church is needed as an instrument for imposing a geo-religious policy that is essentially anti-Christian. It is no secret that the so-called Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew, is named “Eastern Pope” and even “heresiarch.”

The Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov officially identified Bartholomew as a person who enjoys open support of certain political circles in the United States, as evidenced by the endorsements of the U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine, Kurt Volker. It is often mentioned that Bartholomew (Arhondonis) enjoys the protections of the confessing ultra-liberal ideology of the former Obama administration, related also to the preparation of the Cretan robber council, “the Ukrainian Maidan”, and a number of staged world events.

The former Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, personally and publically stated that he supports the granting of autocephaly and “tomos”, requested by the Ukrainian Government. This coincides with the Obama administration’s actions regarding the coup in Ukraine.

The political claims and pretensions made by Bartholomew towards the Church, appears to be a complete absurdity, not only according to the Church canon, but also from the perspective of secular law (because Ukraine is considered a secular state which by its constitution has no right to intervene in Church affairs).

In this case, it is about a trans-Atlantic project directed outside the state of Ukraine, in which elections are coming soon. This imposes a sense of urgency within the regime because Poroshenko must be utilized while in power. There also seems to be a plan B. Recently on the political scene, there has appeared the scandalous politician, Yulia Tymoshenko, who officially announced her unconditional support of the church “tomos” (which in unseen ways points to a State priority). This also explains the forcing of the process, because in the U.S. there is a new administration, which does not adhere to the same values as the Obama administration.

In his desire to implement the strategy of his political supporters, Bartholomew (Arhondonis) seems like he is ready for any boldness and compromise. This explains his ambitious behavior over the years, where he perceives himself as a figure “above the Church” disregarding the equality of the primates of the other Local Churches. His leitmotif is first without equals”, which was glaringly demonstrated during the preparation and implementation of his Cretan event whose documents forebode that the “council” was a preparatory scenario for universal schism in the Church.

That is why we should not be surprised that over the years, Bartholomew’s image was crafted as “political Patriarch” of a papal model. This led to the current situation involving the collaboration with politicians who came to power with the coup in Ukraine and with politicians from the American Government with interests hostile to the Church. This is a political manipulation, using social engineering, (with the involvement of schismatics, uniates, atheists, protestant sects, Roman Catholics, and monophysites), for the implementation of the sinister objectives for the destabilization of Orthodoxy.

The Church history knows no such outrage: to grant autocephaly not just to a Church structure, but to schismatics canonically excommunicated from the Church, who are reduced to the status of civilians. On its own, this is a total absurdity, as Bartholomew himself ruled on the case of Ukraine in 1995 and declared that the Kievan pretenders are schismatics [4]. In fact, he participates in their canonical excommunication, (recognized by all local churches), and de facto he contradicts his own actions.

If his logic of giving autocephaly is to be followed, Mount Athos should join the Greek Archdiocese, as well as all the other geographic territories of the state of Greece, which now belong to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and are with the status of Stavropigi.

The Ukrainian question is an unprecedented violation of the principles of canon law, because only the one who has excommunicated can recover and assign those who were excommunicated. This would occur synodically by the ROC-MP, and a proper procedure with the accompanying spiritual actions. It would require repentance from the excommunicated individuals, and submission of a request for forgiveness, (which does not exist to this moment).

In this case, the initiative is by the Ukrainian Government and on behalf of President Poroshenko, who adopted the so-called “tomos” as if it has some magical properties that they rely on to guarantee them empowerment forever.

Given the criminal intrusion into the diocese of the territory of ROC-MP, in its defense, they should invoke the Church canons which were violated [2]. It is their full right to initiate its own council and to sanction the unilateral, anti-conciliar and self-willed actions of Bartholomew. Thus, it was in 1054 at a local council, when the schism was declared between the Orthodox and Roman Catholics, whose decisions were subsequently agreed on by the other local Churches. Such an approach is fully applicable because God is not in power, but in righteousness, and there is no need of numerousness to assert the truth.

The ROC-MP has the right and could initiate not only a local council, but also a Pan-Orthodox Council, to sanction all Bartholomew’s actions as null and void. Such a council could also consider the question of the second marriage of priests, which Bartholomew recently declared acceptable (which is anti-canonical [5]). Such a Pan-Orthodox format is suitable for consideration of urgent and pressing issues regarding the Church, such as the calendar style, and condemning ecumenism, (which has already been done at a Local Council of ROCOR 1983, as well as by saints). It is enough to announce and confirm the universal anathema against ecumenism.

Four Churches (Antiochian, Russian, Georgian and Bulgarian) have been offering a strong opposition to Bartholomew’s ecumenical and papal actions, as it pertains to the Cretan pseudo council. Surprisingly, two of them (Bulgarian and Georgian) did not respond convincingly to his actions in Ukraine. They are the only ones who have peremptorily left the World Council of Churches (UCC), and now they have shown an uncharacteristic lack of conciliar determination about the Ukrainian issue. Perhaps this has contributed to Bartholomew’s courage to be so bold, for in this, he has recognized a lack of visible resistance. Unfortunately, due to the deficit of a categorical reaction from the Georgian and Bulgarian Churches, temptations, seductions and alarming discontents have arisen among the people of God.

On the part of the Georgian Patriarchate, something appeared highly disturbing and atypical. They proclaimed that the issue of autocephaly should be resolved between Constantinople and Russia. Even in the secular law, the problem between two disputing parties is never resolved only between the parties themselves. Strangely, on the web site of the Georgian Patriarchate, an appeal was made to the clergy and laity, to maintain peace and not react with public dissent and protest. This is also an unsuitable approach for the Church, since the voice of the people of God is of paramount importance in making decisions.

As far as the reaction of the Bulgarian Holy Synod, it turned out that despite the synodical decision on the establishment of a commission on the issue [6], three hierarchs – Gabriel, Metropolitan of Lovech, John, Metropolitan of Varna and Veliki Preslav, and Daniel, Metropolitan of Vidin – came out with a statement [7], in which they offered an unequivocal signal fulfilling their archpastoral duty. They voted by their conscience, defending their brotherly Local Church (UOC-MP). They called for a Pan-Orthodox council to rule on the matter. Obviously, these Metropolitans felt compelled by a lack of consensus with the other archpastors, to give voice to their position, presenting an impeccable theological defense on the extraordinary crisis at hand.

It was a strange fact that two other archpastors – the Metropolitans Seraphim of Nevrokop and Gregory of Vratsa, provoked perplexity with their position, which is just a “dissenting opinion”. How should this be interpreted, given that it is stated in Sacred Scripture: “But let your speech be yea, yea: no, no: and that which is over and above these, is of evil.” (Matt. 5:37)?

The commission set up is completely unreasonable, and appears meaningless, given the dynamics of the processes and the reality of the situation. Are these hierarchs not aware of which the canonical Church in Ukraine is and which are schismatics? Are they not aware of the seriousness of the problem? Had they not been warned that the “tomos” or something similar, initiated by Bartholomew, was going to happen? Are they not aware that the Government in Ukraine has come to power with a coup and are waiting to get “a blessing” for legitimization by Istanbul, to begin to usurp “legally” all the holy places (monasteries and temples) with their adjacent sanctuaries? Have they been misinformed about the warnings that para-church formations of nationalist groups and fascist radicals, with the support of the army and official authority, have announced that they will take over the holy places by force? Is it not known that the clergy and the people of God are determined to remain faithful to the Lord and will defend their sanctuaries, even to death, following the example of the countless number of martyrs shining on the Russian land?

The question to arise is how this Bulgarian Orthodox Church (BOC) Commission should act in such an extreme regime because, under the circumstances, it may be too late and they will not to have the opportunity to defend their brothers, and thus become a “bloody Committee”, which permits martyr’s fraternal blood to be shed. The bishop is responsible for his actions (or inactions) to each one of God’s souls in the world.

Here arises the logical question: Could the Church, which is a model of Christian virtues and values, if it allows such perversions, still be a Church? The seriousness of the problem necessitates the most acute retention of any attempts for encroachment on the sanctified, by the millenary practice of the Church canons, which are immutable foundation of Her Heavenly-earth set-up.

In general terms, for the Orthodox world, since the Ferraro-Florence’s Union in 1439, when the Constantinople Patriarchy fell away from the Church, (into heresy), uniting with the Roman Catholics, there hasn’t been a more severe trial. Perhaps, due to the dynamics of the situation, some local Churches do not realize the seriousness of the choice they are facing, because the lack of reaction questions their own status.

The Church of Christ is situated on the verge of a new time of division and each of Her local representation should stand and determine a firm position: Does it recognize the schismatic and illegal actions of Bartholomew? Does it unite with them? Does it remain in Eucharistic communion with him? Because, as I mentioned above, he who unites with schismatic, becomes a schismatic himself.

Our home BOC is also facing tribulation, therefore respectfully, it should determine whether it stands on the side of Truth, in a gracious continuity granted by God from its very establishment, or would it agree with the robber schism and become schismatic itself. Undoubtedly, for our hierarchs, a watershed moment has come: to determine whether they will remain faithful to God, or surrender to baneful schism.

The situation also creates a trial for every layman who will have to determine for himself which shepherd he belongs to, and who he will follow. The lack of a unified position would have fatal and irreparable consequences. The results could spark internal ecclesiastical schism, as a result of which the smoldering schismatic structures that mimicries on the territory of Bulgaria, (e.g. the self-proclaimed Metropolitan of Triadica Photius and similar to him), could be presented as a local exarchate of Istanbul and appointed as metropolitans.

This matrix is fully applicable also in neighboring Greece, Romania, Macedonia and the other countries in the region, where every schismatic, and impostor (or a suddenly appearing figure) could proclaim himself as a rightly teaching hierarch. Lack of resistance would lead to a tremendous spiritual disaster and severe destabilization of the region on an unprecedented scale creating a premise for religious war and threatening the national security of the countries.

Orthodox Christians believe that our hierarchs will soon manifest more courage and boldness, as it was before, in order to preserve the status and canonical image of our Church.

The seriousness of the situation is not about any sentiments regarding Russia or certain sympathy to persons of the political and Church sphere. An objective reading of the actions of the ROC-MP during the recent years definitely cannot remain uncritical to its ecclesiastical diplomacy and inter-confessional management, headed by Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeev. Not to be ignored is the so-called Havana meeting between Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis which left the Orthodox world in perplexity, as well as the series of participations in various parts of the world in ecumenical common prayers and unfounded fraternal meetings and events with other believers.

However, as far as the case of the UOC-MP is concerned, the question is more than a matter of principle, because compromising the sacred canons of the Church is unacceptable and certainly cannot occur on the basis of personal bias. Each Church member, (from lay people to the episcopate), must conduct a ubiquitous examination of their free will, and make a choice.

Do we remain with God and His salvific truth in the blessed bosom of the Church, or will we fall away into the nets of the graceless false-church, waiting for the coming of the Antichrist? Let it not be so!

———————

Notes:

[1]https://www.patriarchate.org/-/communiq-1– “Announcement (11/10/2018)”:

“Presided by His All-Holiness, the Ecumenical Patriarch, the Holy and Sacred Synod convened for its regular session from October 9 to 11, 2018, in order to examine and discuss items on its agenda.

The Holy Synod discussed in particular and at length the ecclesiastical matter of Ukraine, in the presence of His Excellency Archbishop Daniel of Pamphilon and His Grace Bishop Hilarion of Edmonton, Patriarchal Exarchs to Ukraine, and following extensive deliberations decreed:

1) To renew the decision already made that the Ecumenical Patriarchate proceed to the granting of Autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine.

2) To reestablish, at this moment, the Stavropegion of the Ecumenical Patriarch in Kyiv, one of its many Stavropegia in Ukraine that existed there always.

3) To accept and review the petitions of appeal of Filaret Denisenko, Makariy Maletych and their followers, who found themselves in schism not for dogmatic reasons, in accordance with the canonical prerogatives of the Patriarch of Constantinople to receive such petitions by hierarchs and other clergy from all of the Autocephalous Churches. Thus, the above-mentioned have been canonically reinstated to their hierarchical or priestly rank, and their faithful have been restored to communion with the Church.

4) To revoke the legal binding of the Synodal Letter of the year 1686, issued for the circumstances of that time, which granted the right through oikonomia to the Patriarch of Moscow to ordain the Metropolitan of Kyiv, elected by the Clergy-Laity Assembly of his eparchy, who would commemorate the Ecumenical Patriarch as the First hierarch at any celebration, proclaiming and affirming his canonical dependence to the Mother Church of Constantinople.

5) To appeal to all sides involved that they avoid appropriation of Churches, Monasteries and other properties, as well as every other act of violence and retaliation, so that the peace and love of Christ may prevail.

At the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the 11th of October, 2018

From the Chief Secretariat

of the Holy and Sacred Synod”

[2] Apostolic rule 10: “If any one shall pray, even in a private house, with an excommunicated person, let him also be excommunicated.”

Apostolic rule 32: “If any presbyter or deacon has been excommunicated by a bishop, he may not be received into communion again by any other than by him who excommunicated him, unless it happen that the bishop who excommunicated him be dead.”

Apostolic rule 35: “Let not a bishop dare to ordain beyond his own limits, in cities and places not subject to him. But if he be convicted of doing so, without the consent of those persons who have authority over such cities and places, let him be deposed, and those also whom he has ordained.”

First Ecumenical Council, Rule 5: “Concerning those, whether of the clergy or of the laity, who have been excommunicated in the several provinces, let the provision of the canon be observed by the bishops which provides that persons cast out by some be not readmitted by others.”

First Ecumenical Council, Rule 6: “…And this is to be universally understood, that if any one be made bishop without the consent of the Metropolitan, the great Synod has declared that such a man ought not to be a bishop.”

First Ecumenical Council, Rule 16: “Neither presbyters, nor deacons, nor any others enrolled among the clergy, who, not having the fear of God before their eyes, nor regarding the ecclesiastical Canon, shall recklessly remove from their own church, ought by any means to be received by another church; but every constraint should be applied to restore them to their own parishes; and, if they will not go, they must be excommunicated. And if anyone shall dare surreptitiously to carry off and in his own Church ordain a man belonging to another, without the consent of his own proper bishop from whom although he was enrolled in the clergy list he has seceded, let the ordination be void.”

Third Ecumenical Council, Rule 8: “…none of the God beloved Bishops shall assume control of any province which has not heretofore, from the very beginning, been under his own hand or that of his predecessors. But if anyone has violently taken and subjected [a Province], he shall give it up; lest the Canons of the Fathers be transgressed; or the vanities of worldly honour be brought in under pretext of sacred office; or we lose, without knowing it, little by little, the liberty which Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Deliverer of all men, hath given us by his own Blood.

Wherefore, this holy and ecumenical Synod has decreed that in every province the rights which heretofore, from the beginning, have belonged to it, shall be preserved to it, according to the old prevailing custom, unchanged and uninjured: every Metropolitan having permission to take, for his own security, a copy of these acts. And if any one shall bring forward a rule contrary to what is hero determined, this holy and ecumenical Synod unanimously decrees that it shall be of no effect.”

Fourth Ecumenical Council, rule 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.”

Sixth Ecumenical Council, Rule 25: “In addition to all the others we renew the Canon which prescribes that the rural or district parishes belonging to each church are to remain immutably assigned to the Bishops holding them, and especially in the case of those who managed to hold them for a period of thirty years without resorting to force. But if within thirty years there has been, or should be, any dispute about them, those who claim to have been wronged shall be permitted to bring the matter before the Synod of the province.”

Antiochian Council, rule 2: “…we decree that communion with those excluded from communion is not allowed, nor in another church is it to be allowed to admit those who have no admittance to another church. If anyone among the Bishops, or Presbyters, or Deacons, or anyone of the Canon, should appear to be communing with those who have been excluded from communion, he too is to be excluded from communion, on the ground of seemingly confusing the Canon of the Church.”

Antiochian Council, rule 6: “If anyone has been excluded from communion by his own Bishop, let him not be admitted by others until he has been accepted by his own Bishop. Or, a Synod having been held, if he has defended himself in answer to the charges and has convinced the Synod, and has succeeded in receiving a different verdict. The same rule applies to laymen and Presbyters and Deacons, and to all persons in the Canon.”

Antiochian Council, rule 13: “Let no Bishop dare to go over from one province into another and ordain any persons in church to promotion of the liturgy, even though he take others along with him, unless, having been asked to do so, he should arrive by letters of the Metropolitan and of the Bishops accompanying him, into whose district he should happen to be passing. But if, without anyone inviting him or calling him, he should depart irregularly to lay hands upon certain persons, and to meddle in the status quo of ecclesiastical affairs that do not concern him, all things whatsoever that he may do shall be null and void and invalid; and he himself shall incur a suitable sentence for his irregularity and his unreasonable proceeding, having been already deposed hence by the holy Council.”

Antiochian Council, rule 15: “If any Bishop accused of any crimes should be tried by all the Bishops in the province, and all of them have pronounced one decision against him in complete agreement with each other, let him no more be tried again by others, but let the concordant verdict of the bishops of the province stand on record.”

Antiochian Council, rule 22: “A Bishop shall not intrude upon another city that is not subject to his jurisdiction, nor upon a territory that does not belong to his dominion, for the purpose of ordaining anyone, or of appointing Presbyters or Deacons in regions that are subject to the jurisdiction of another Bishop, except, of course, with the consent and approval of the Bishop proper to the territory in question. If, however, anyone should dare to do such a thing, let the ordination be null and void, and let him be punished by the Synod.”

Sardinian Council, rule 3: “… no Bishop may cross from his own diocese or province into another province in which there happen to be Bishops, unless he be called or invited by some of the brethren therein…”

Sardinian Council, rule 15: “…if any Bishop from a different diocese wants to appoint another’s servant, without the consent of his Bishop, to any grade or rank, any such appointment shall be deemed invalid and ineffective. If any of us should permit themselves to do this, they ought to be both reminded and corrected by their brethren and fellow Bishops. “

Carthage Council, Rule 129 (133): “If anyone… brought some place to catholic unity and had it in his jurisdiction for three years, and nobody demanded it from him, then it shall not be claimed from him, if also there was a bishop during these three years who should have claimed it but kept silent.”

[3] Hieromartyr Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage: “Remember that the founders and leaders of schism, breaking the Church unity, oppose Christ, and not only crucify Him for the second time, but torn the Body of Christ – and it is such a grave sin that the blood of martyrdom cannot make reparation for it!” (translation from https://spzh.news/en/chelovek-i-cerkovy/28648-is-christ-divided-about-church-schisms-in-the-language-of-holy-fathers)

St. John Chrysostom: “The sin of schism cannot be washed out even by the blood of martyrdom.” (translation from https://mospat.ru/en/2018/09/18/news163919/)

[4] Letter from July 11, 1995 of the Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew to Alexy II, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia: “In this connection, we would like to assure you that the inclusion of Ukrainian communities [from the diaspora, that is, outside Russia and Ukraine] in the canonical order of the Orthodox Church through taking them under the omophoros of the Ecumenical Patriarchate will ultimately prove to be beneficial, assuredly for the relations of the most holy Russian Church with the faithful in Ukraine as well. Because, on one hand, those admitted will be obliged to state officially that they will not seek autocephaly for the Ukrainian Church or her part through the well-known methods of ‘autocephalists’ who use all possible means, while on the other hand, because they will not be able to cooperate or enter into communion with others without damage to themselves since for them the canonical principle will be valid: ‘those who communicate with those placed outside communion will themselves become outside communion.”

[5] Apostolic rule 17: “He who has been twice married after baptism, or who has had a concubine, cannot become a bishop, presbyter, or deacon, or any other of the sacerdotal list.”

Apostolic rule 18: “He who married a widow, or a divorced woman, or an harlot, or a servant-maid, or an actress, cannot be a bishop, presbyter, or deacon, or any other of the sacerdotal list.”

Sixth Ecumenical Council, Rule 6: “Since it is declared in the apostolic canons that of those who are advanced to the clergy unmarried, only lectors and cantors are able to marry; we also, maintaining this, determine that henceforth it is in nowise lawful for any subdeacon, deacon or presbyter after his ordination to contract matrimony but if he shall have dared to do so, let him be deposed. And if any of those who enter the clergy, wishes to be joined to a wife in lawful marriage before he is ordained subdeacon, deacon, or presbyter, let it be done.”

[6] http://www.bg-patriarshia.bg/news.php?id=273448 – „Решение на Св. Синод от заседанието му на 04.10.2018 г.” (Decision of the Holy Synod from its meeting on Oct. 10, 2018)

[7] http://bg-patriarshia.bg/news.php?id=273759 – „ИЗЯВЛЕНИЕ на Ловчанския митрополит Гавриил, Варненския и Великопреславски митрополит Йоан и Видинския митрополит Даниил“ (Statement of Metropolitans Gabriel of Lovech, John of Varna and Veliki Preslav, and Daniel of Vidin on the situation in Ukraine, see in English here:https://mospat.ru/en/2018/10/12/news165075/)