The First 300 Years of Russian Orthodox Churches Outside Russia: 1617-1917

Introduction

Although several Russian churches in Europe date back to well before the Russian victory over the atheist tyrant Napoleon and the liberation of Paris by Russian troops in 1814, ignorant and ethnocentric Western Europe only began to understand the reality of Russia then. The Russian Empire was not after all some kind of Asian khanate, but a fully-fledged modern Empire. Russian science and art flourished with names of world renown and the theological academies brought fame to the Russian Church, amazing obscurantist European scholarship. Although the treason of 1917 put an end to this, today, with freedom come, we are once more seeing Westerners taking a more enlightened attitude to the Russian Orthodox Church, whose presence among them now dates back 400 years.

1617-1817

The 1617 Peace Treaty established the legal status of a Russian priest in Stockholm’s Ryssgarden. Services were conducted in premises which merchants rented. A real and more or less permanent Russian church was founded in 1700, with a diplomatic representative in Sweden, and from then on services were conducted almost continuously. In 1684 an embassy mission to China opened. Church life began in Berlin in 1718. In 1721 a church opened in London. In 1727 the embassy in Paris started Orthodox services. That same year under Anna Petrovna, Grand Duchess of Holstein, a church was set up in Kiel and lasted until 1799. A church which lasted briefly was founded in Tokaj in Hungary in 1749.

From 1759 till 1765 there was a church in Königsberg. A church was set up in Madrid in 1760 and in Vienna in 1762. A church opened in Copenhagen in 1797. The Russian embassy in Constantinople (1802) marked the establishment of the church there. That same year two more churches were founded, one at the court of Ekaterina Antonovna, Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg, and the other in Üröm, near Budapest, the location of the burial vault of Alexandra Pavlovna, Palatine of Hungary and sister of Emperor Alexander I. In 1804 a church opened in Weimar and in 1808 in Ludwigslust (Mecklenburg-Schwerin). A church was founded in The Hague in 1816.

1817-1917

A church opened in Bern in 1817, later moving to Geneva. That same year a church opened in Teheran. The Stuttgart church was organized in 1819. The church in Rome was founded in 1823 and in Rothenburg (Kingdom of Wurtemberg) in 1824. Emperor Nicholas I sent an ambassador to newly liberated Greece and a Russian church was set up in Athens. In 1844 churches were set up in Naples and Wiesbaden. In 1847 Archimandrite Porfiry (Uspensky) opened the Mission in Jerusalem. A church was set up in Amsterdam in 1852, Baden-Baden in 1858 and Nice in 1859. Two churches were set up in 1862, in Brussels and Dresden, and in 1865 in Karlsruhe and in 1867 in Pau in France. In the following year churches in Karlsbad and Florence were built. In 1870 the mission to Japan began under the future St Nicholas of Tokyo.

In 1874 a church opened in Prague. There was a church in Coburg-Gotha from 1874 to 1905. In 1876 a church was set up in Bad Ems and in 1878 in Vevey in Switzerland. The church in Marienbad opened in 1882. An Orthodox community opened in Argentina in 1888. A church was set up in Franzenbad in 1889, in Biarritz in 1890 and in Menton in France in 1892 and in Merano in Italy in 1897. Two Church missions were founded in 1897 ─ one in Urmia in Persia and the other in Seoul in Korea. In 1898 a church was built in San Stefano, near Constantinople, and in the following year in Darmstadt and in Homburg. Three churches were founded in 1901 ─ in Hamburg, Herbersdorf (Silesia) and Kissingen. Finally, by 1910 there were churches in Sofia and Budapest. Several churches were attached to the main ones in cities like Berlin, Constantinople and Nice.

Conclusion

Thus, by 1894 the Synod and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs oversaw 51 churches with 96 clergy and during the reign of the Tsar-Martyr, this increased to 56 churches. In addition, in 1912 the United States Diocese had 286 churches, while the Japanese Mission had 266 communities, the Beijing Mission fifteen, the Urmian Mission seven and the Korean Mission one. Since the flood of refugees from atheism after 1917, hundreds more churches have opened, and not counting the thousand or so in autonomous Japan and China and in autocephalous Poland, the Czech Lands and Slovakia and North America, the total in 2017 is about one thousand, all dependent either on Moscow or on the Church Outside Russia, now based in New York.

(Our thanks to Deacon Andrei Psarev for information supplied for this article)

Principles of the Coming Russian Orthodox Metropolia of Western Europe

Introduction

We first called for a Russian Orthodox Metropolia of Western Europe early on thirty years ago, in April 1988, against the background of the then dying Cold War. Far more importantly, 15 years later, in April 2003, after the Cold War, but before the reunion of the two parts of the Russian Church, Patriarch Alexis of Moscow did the same. 30 years on, there is still no Metropolia, but we feel that, despite all the frustration, impediments and delays, its time is at last coming. A Metropolia, and then Church, that is Orthodox, but also Local, is inevitable in Western Europe. What principles must this Metropolia adopt?

  1. Faithful to Orthodoxy, not Heterodoxy

First of all, we say ‘Away with nationalistic Finnish, French and American ideas of ‘localism’’ (Finland / Rue Daru / OCA), which ignore the integrity of the Orthodox Faith, putting the local flag before the Cross. Instead of ideas propagated in Paris and transferred to the USA, we choose a Metropolia that is both faithful and local. This cannot be based on anti-canonical compromises, on spiritual betrayal of the Faith, in the name of State-sponsored or of self-imposed cultural conformism. We must keep the Orthodox calendar and Church canons, ignoring old-fashioned modernism and ecumenism.

  1. An End to Old-Fashioned Ecumenism

It is this latter ecumenism that has especially delayed the formation of a Metropolia, the foundation of a new Local Church. There were those who said: ‘We must not offend the Catholics/Protestants. We must not give local titles to our bishops’. Such voices were those of traitors to Orthodoxy, those who saw us and see it as a mere piece of foreign exoticism, of folklore. No Metropolia could be born until those voices had fallen silent – and they were still very strong in 1988 and in 2003. It is time to move forward to the free and independent future, to the Autocephalous Church of Western Europe.

  1. Bilingual and Missionary

Unlike the old Russian immigrants (and those of other nationalities), who were intent negatively on preserving and pickling the past, even when nobody any longer knew what it meant, and so guaranteed that they would die out – the future Metropolia will have to be bilingual. Here too we put the Cross before the flag. Only in this way will we be able to pass on the spiritual heritage and values of Russian Orthodox Civilization in a missionary fashion to both the descendants of Russian immigrants and to native Western Europeans. Only in this way can a truly Orthodox and a truly Local Church be born.

  1. Pastoral, not Bureaucratic and Racist

One of the greatest problems in Church life at all times is the tendency to put administration above pastoral care, to put marble and gold above church buildings and, above all, human souls. (We can think of the Irish and Rome). There can be no more second-class (or third-class) citizens; non-Russians must be treated as Russians. The past, all too recent past, is a very dark area indeed in this respect. In such a Metropolia, the foundation of a true Local Church, there can be no racism. The old-fashioned attitudes and mistreatment of native Orthodox is not acceptable and must be severely sanctioned.

Conclusion

Fifty years ago, with the Russian Church paralysed, there was still a hope that Constantinople would abandon its Greek imperialism and take responsibility for the Diaspora. It utterly failed to do so. Indeed, the spiritual decomposition of the Constantinople with its new lurch into Eastern Papism, means that its serious clergy and people now want to join the Russian Church (although the long-term solution would be for the Church of Greece to take over the Greek Diaspora and make it Orthodox). The recent, long-awaited appointments of new bishops in Western Europe and those to come, carried out by both parts of the Russian Orthodox Church, are all steps towards the future Metropolia.

 

 

Another Step Towards a Russian Orthodox Metropolia of Western Europe

On Thursday 20 September, the six bishops of the ROCOR Synod meeting in London established the Diocese of Richmond and Western Europe. This combines the former Diocese of Richmond and Great Britain and Geneva and Western Europe. The ruling bishop is Bishop Irenei (Steenberg), former Professor of Theology at the University of Leeds and venerator of St Irenei of Lyon, whose name he bears.

1938-2018: St John on the Decline of the Patriarchate of Constantinople

THE PRIMACY among Orthodox Churches is possessed by the Church of the New Rome, Constantinople, which is headed by a Patriarch who has the title of Ecumenical, and therefore is itself called the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which territorially reached the culmination of its development at the end of the 18th century. At that time there was included in it the whole of Asia Minor, the whole Balkan Peninsula (except for Montenegro), together with the adjoining islands, since the other independent Churches in the Balkan Peninsula had been abolished and had become part of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The Ecumenical Patriarch had received from the Turkish Sultan, even before the taking of Constantinople by the Turks, the title of Millet Bash, that is, the head of the people, and he was considered the head of the whole Orthodox population of the Turkish Empire. This, however, did not prevent the Turkish government from removing patriarchs for any reason whatever and calling for new elections, at the same time collecting a large tax from the newly elected patriarch. Apparently the latter circumstance had a great significance in the changing of patriarchs by the Turks, and therefore it often happened that they again allowed on the Patriarchal Throne a patriarch whom they had removed, after the death of one or several of his successors. Thus, many patriarchs occupied their see several times, and each accession was accompanied by the collection of a special tax from them by the Turks.

In order to make up the sum which he paid on his accession to the Patriarchal Throne, a patriarch made a collection from the metropolitans subordinate to him, and they, in their turn, collected from the clergy subordinate to them. This manner of making up its finances left an imprint on the whole order of the Patriarchate’s life. In the Patriarchate there was likewise evident the Greek “Great Idea,” that is, the attempt to restore Byzantium, at first in a cultural, but later also in a political sense. For this reason in all important; posts there were assigned people loyal to this idea, and for the most part Greeks from the part of Constantinople called the Phanar, where also the Patriarchate was located. Almost always the episcopal sees were filled by Greeks, even though in the Balkan Peninsula the population was primarily Slavic.

At the beginning of the 19th century there began a movement of liberation among the Balkan peoples, who were striving to liberate themselves from the authority of the Turks. There arose the states of Serbia, Greece, Romania, and Bulgaria, at first semi-independent, and then completely independent from Turkey. Parallel with this there proceeded also the formation of new Local Churches which were separate from the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Even though it was unwillingly, under the influence of circumstances, the Ecumenical Patriarchs permitted the autonomy of the Churches in the vassal princedoms, and later they recognized the full independence of the Churches in Serbia, Greece, and Romania. Only the Bulgarian question was complicated in view on the one hand of the impatience of the Bulgarians, who had not yet attained political independence, and, on the other hand, thanks to the unyieldingness of the Greeks. The self-willed declaration of Bulgarian autocephaly on the foundation of a firman of the Sultan was not recognized by the Patriarchate, and in a number of dioceses there was established a parallel hierarchy.

The boundaries of the newly-formed Churches coincided with the boundaries of the new states, which were growing all the time at the expense of Turkey, at the same time acquiring new dioceses from the Patriarchate. Nonetheless, in 1912, when the Balkan War began, the Ecumenical Patriarchate had about 70 metropolias and several bishoprics. The war of 1912-13 tore away from Turkey a significant part of the Balkan Peninsula with such great spiritual centers as Salonica and Athos. The Great War of 1914-18 for a time deprived Turkey of the whole of Thrace and the Asia Minor coast with the city of Smyrna, which were subsequently lost by Greece in 1922 after the unsuccessful march of the Greeks on Constantinople.

Here the Ecumenical Patriarch could not so easily allow out of his authority the dioceses which had been torn away from Turkey, as had been done previously. There was already talk concerning certain places which from of old had been under the spiritual authority of Constantinople. Nonetheless, the Ecumenical Patriarch in 1922 recognized the annexation to the Serbian Church of all areas within the boundaries of Yugoslavia; he agreed to the inclusion within the Church of Greece of a number of dioceses in the Greek State, preserving, however, his jurisdiction over Athos; and in 1937 he recognized even the autocephaly of the small Albanian Church, which originally he had not recognized.

The boundaries of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the number of its dioceses had significantly decreased. At the same time the Ecumenical Patriarchate in fact lost Asia Minor also, although it remained within its jurisdiction. In accordance with the peace treaty between Greece and Turkey in 1923, there occurred an exchange of population between these powers, so that the whole Greek population of Asia Minor had to resettle in Greece. Ancient cities, having at one time a great significance in ecclesiastical matters and glorious in their church history, remained without a single inhabitant of the Orthodox faith. At the same time, the Ecumenical Patriarch lost his political significance in Turkey, since Kemal Pasha deprived him of his title of head of the people. Factually, at the present time under the Ecumenical Patriarch there are five dioceses within the boundaries of Turkey in addition to Athos with the surrounding places in Greece. The Patriarch is extremely hindered in the manifestation even of his indisputable rights in church government within the boundaries of Turkey, where he is viewed as an ordinary Turkish subject-official, being furthermore under the supervision of the government. The Turkish government, which interferes in all aspects of the life of its citizens, only as a special privilege has permitted him, as also the Armenian Patriarch, to wear long hair and clerical garb, forbidding this to the rest of the clergy. The Patriarch has no right of free exit from Turkey, and lately the government is ever more insistently pursuing his removal to the new capital of Ankara (the ancient Ancyra), where there are now no Orthodox Christians, but where the administration with all the branches of governmental life is concentrated.

Such an outward abasement of the hierarch of the city of St. Constantine, which was once the capital of the ecumene, has not caused reverence toward him to be shaken among Orthodox Christians, who revere the See of Sts. Chrysostom and Gregory the Theologian. From the height of this See the successor of Sts. John and Gregory could spiritually guide the whole Orthodox world, if only he possessed their firmness in the defense of righteousness and truth and the breadth of views of the recent Patriarch Joachim III. However, to the general decline of the Ecumenical Patriarchate there has been joined the direction of its activity after the Great War. The Ecumenical Patriarchate has desired to make up for the loss of dioceses which have left its jurisdiction, and likewise the loss of its political significance within the boundaries of Turkey, by submitting to itself areas where up to now there has been no Orthodox hierarchy, and likewise the Churches of those states where the government is not Orthodox. Thus, on April 5, 1922, Patriarch Meletius designated an Exarch of Western and Central Europe with the title of Metropolitan of Thyateira with residency in London; on March 4, 1923, the same Patriarch consecrated the Czech Archimandrite Sabbatius Archbishop of Prague and All Czechoslovakia; on April 15, 1924, a Metropolia of Hungary and All Central Europe was founded with a See in Budapest, even though there was already a Serbian bishop there. In America an Archbishopric was established under the Ecumenical Throne, then in 1924 a Diocese was established in Australia with a See in Sydney. In 1938 India was made subordinate to the Archbishop of Australia.

At the same time there has proceeded the subjection of separate parts of the Russian Orthodox Church which have been torn away from Russia. Thus, on June 9, 1923, the Ecumenical Patriarch accepted into his jurisdiction the Diocese of Finland as an autonomous Finnish Church; on August 23, 1923, the Estonian Church was made subject in the same way, on November 13, 1924, Patriarch Gregory VII recognized the autocephaly of the Polish Church under the supervision of the Ecumenical Patriarchate—that is, rather autonomy. In March, 1936, the Ecumenical Patriarch accepted Latvia into his jurisdiction. Not limiting himself to the acceptance into his jurisdiction of Churches in regions which had fallen away from the borders of Russia, Patriarch Photius accepted into his jurisdiction Metropolitan Eulogius in Western Europe together with the parishes subordinate to him, and on February 28, 1937, an Archbishop of the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarch in America consecrated Bishop Theodore-Bogdan Shpilko for a Ukrainian Church in North America.

Thus, the Ecumenical Patriarch has become actually “ecumenical” [universal] in the breadth of the territory which is theoretically subject to him. Almost the whole earthly globe, apart from the small territories of the three Patriarchates and the territory of Soviet Russia, according to the idea of the Patriarchate’s leaders, enters into the composition of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Increasing without limit their desires to submit to themselves parts of Russia, the Patriarchs of Constantinople have even begun to declare the uncanonicity of the annexation of Kiev to the Moscow Patriarchate, and to declare that the previously existing southern Russian Metropolia of Kiev should be subject to the Throne of Constantinople. Such a point of view is not only clearly expressed in the Tomos of November 13, 1924, in connection with the separation of the Polish Church, but is also quite thoroughly promoted by the Patriarchs. Thus, the Vicar of Metropolitan Eulogius in Paris, who was consecrated with the permission of the Ecumenical Patriarch, has assumed the title of Chersonese; that is to say, Chersonese, which is now in the territory of Russia, is subject to the Ecumenical Patriarch. The next logical step for the Ecumenical Patriarchate would be to declare the whole of Russia as being under the jurisdiction of Constantinople.

However, the actual spiritual might and even the actual boundaries of authority by far do not correspond to such a self-aggrandizement of Constantinople. Not to mention the fact that almost everywhere the authority of the Patriarch is quite illusory and consists for the most part in the confirmation of bishops who have been elected to various places or the sending of such from Constantinople, many lands which Constantinople considers subject to itself do not have any flock at all under its jurisdiction.

The moral authority of the Patriarchs of Constantinople has likewise fallen very low in view of their extreme instability in ecclesiastical matters. Thus, Patriarch Meletius IV arranged a “Pan-Orthodox Congress,” with representatives of various churches, which decreed the introduction of the New Calendar. This decree, recognized only by a part of the Church, introduced a frightful schism among Orthodox Christians. Patriarch Gregory VII recognized the decree of the council of the Living Church concerning the deposing of Patriarch Tikhon, whom not long before this the Synod of Constantinople had declared a “confessor,” and then he entered into communion with the “Renovationists” in Russia, which continues up to now.

In sum, the Ecumenical Patriarchate, in theory embracing almost the whole universe and in fact extending its authority only over several dioceses, and in other places having only a higher superficial supervision and receiving certain revenues for this, persecuted by the government at home and not supported by any governmental authority abroad: having lost its significance as a pillar of truth and having itself become a source of division, and at the same time being possessed by an exorbitant love of power—represents a pitiful spectacle which recalls the worst periods in the history of the See of Constantinople.

From Orthodox Word, vol. 8, no. 4 (45), July-August 1972, pp. 166-168, 174-175.

Greek Metropolitan calls on Patriarch Bartholomew to repent and stop his schism

POSTED BY: NEWSMAKER 17.09.2018

© RIA Novosti / Sergey Starostambulsky

Metropolitan Seraphim of Kythira  and Antikythira of the Greek Orthodox Church has said that the actions of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople have led to a schism in Orthodoxy and urged him to repent and to cease causing a schism.

The President of the Ukraine, Petro Waltzman, is trying to obtain the recognition of anti-canonical religious structures and so create a schismatic church in the Ukraine, outside the framework of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The Patriarchate of Constantinople had previously reported that ‘in preparation for the granting of autocephaly’ it had appointed its North American Exarchs to Kiev.

The Synod of the Russian Church on Friday declared ‘a break in diplomatic relations’ with the Patriarchate of Constantinople after it had appointed its Exarchs to the Ukraine, which has always been on the canonical territory of the Moscow Patriarchate. In particular, it decided to cease commemoration of the Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I during Patriarchal services and in structures, presided over by the representatives of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

The persistence of Patriarch Bartholomew in providing the schismatics in the Ukraine with autocephaly has led to sad results. The Patriarch of Constantinople, instead of playing with the Pope of Rome, should express his repentance, reads the statement of the Metropolitan, the text of which is available to RIA Novosti.

‘I was deeply saddened on hearing about the break in communion of the Patriarchate of Russia with the Patriarchate. These sad and disastrous results come from the insistence of the Patriarchate of Constantinople on granting autocephaly to the Ukrainian schismatics who are separated from our Holy Orthodox Church, that is, from all the Orthodox Patriarchates and Local Orthodox Churches and constitute only a small minority of the Ukrainian people’, he said in his statement.

Metropolitan Seraphim recalled that until recently the Patriarchate of Constantinople recognized only the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church under the leadership of Metropolitan Onufry.

‘Now he for his own reasons wants to give autocephaly to the schismatics in the Ukraine and revise the sacred order and the canonical Orthodox Church in the Ukraine, which is recognized by not only the Russian Orthodox Church, but by all the other Local Orthodox Churches’, the document says.

‘The schismatics, as we know, are not the Church, and communion with them is forbidden by the Divine and Holy Canons, Apostolic and Ecumenical Councils. What then is the perseverance of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in recognizing schismatics as an Autocephalous Church? To provoke splits and divisions in the One, Universal and Apostolic Church of Christ?’ he asked in the statement.

Metropolitan Seraphim said that many of the troubles were caused and provoked by the decisions of the meeting held in Crete in June 2016.

The Metropolitan criticized the recent decision of the Synod of the Constantinople Church to allow remarried priests under certain conditions.

Instead of praying together, as organized recently with the Pope of Rome and the leaders and representatives of other Christian communities and faiths, which are not only not helpful, but seriously insulting to Orthodox Christians, he should repent and return to the Universal Orthodox Christian world ‘to the Holy Faith’, to the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Apostles and the Holy Fathers, the Ecumenical Councils of the Church, and in general to our Orthodox Tradition’, he said in the statement.

‘We know from St. John Chrysostom that «the sin of schism is not washed away even by the blood of martyrs’, said the Metropolitan of Kythira.

 

 

Orthodox Church Statistics

With various irresponsible and inaccurate articles being published at present, suggesting that the Orthodox Church has 250 million (or even 300 million!) members, we are republishing our statistical survey of the Orthodox Church. We would be grateful if anyone can correct the statistics presented, if they are incorrect. Thank you.

 

The Orthodox Church is a family of Local Churches, just like the Churches of the Galatians, the Ephesians, the Romans, the Thessalonians, the Colossians etc, as described in the letters written to them by the holy Apostle Paul. Each of the fourteen Local Orthodox Churches has a main administrative figure, a chief bishop known as a Patriarch, or in the case of smaller Churches, a Metropolitan or Archbishop. However, the Church as a whole has no earthly head, because the head of the Orthodox Church is our Lord Jesus Christ. His authority is expressed in the Orthodox Church through the Holy Spirit as revealed, particularly through Church Councils and the saints. Below you will find details of the Orthodox Churches and their approximate sizes, totalling in all over 218 million members with some 843 active bishops.

1. The Russian Orthodox Church 164,000,000

Also known as the Patriarchate of Moscow, this accounts for 75% of Orthodox. It cares for Orthodox living in the canonical Russian Orthodox territories, spread over one fifth of the planet (the former Soviet Union except for Georgia, plus China and Japan) and peopled by 62 nationalities. These territories include the Russian Federation, the Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Transcarpathia (the main part of Carpatho-Russia), Kazakhstan, Central Asia and the Baltic Republics, such as Latvia (250,000). The Russian Church also includes the self-governing, multinational Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (400,000 worldwide, mainly in the Americas and Australia as well as parts of Western Europe.), the Japanese Orthodox Church and the Chinese Orthodox Church.

2. The Romanian Orthodox Church 18,800,000

Also known as the Patriarchate of Bucharest. Apart from in Romania, there are also many Romanian parishes in the Diaspora, especially in Western Europe.

3. The Greek Orthodox Church 10,000,000

Under the Archbishop of Athens, this Church cares for all Orthodox in Greece.

4. The Serbian Orthodox Church 9,000,000

The canonical territory of the Patriarchate of Belgrade covers Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Croatia and Slovenia. There are also many Serbian parishes in the worldwide Serbian Diaspora.

5. The Bulgarian Orthodox Church 4,500,000

The Patriarchate of Sofia covers Bulgaria and has a few churches in the Diaspora.

6. The Georgian Orthodox Church 3,500,000

The Patriarchate of Tbilisi covers Georgia and a very small Georgian Diaspora.

7. The Patriarchate of Constantinople 3,500,000

This includes Greek Orthodox in Istanbul (about 1,000), those on Greek islands such as Crete and Rhodes (700,000), and above all the Greek Diaspora in the Americas, Western Europe and Australia. There are also twenty-four autonomous parishes in Finland and small groups of other Non-Greek Orthodox elsewhere.

8. The Patriarchate of Antioch 1,800,000

The canonical territory of the Arab Patriarch, who lives in Damascus, includes Syria, the Lebanon and Iraq. There are also parishes in the Diaspora, including some 10,000 ex-Protestants in the USA and 300 ex-Protestants in the UK.

9. The Patriarchate of Alexandria 1,600,000

Although for historical reasons its Patriarch is a Greek and his appointment is in the care of the Greek government, this Patriarchate is in Egypt. It also cares for St Catherine’s Monastery on Mt Sinai, but the vast bulk of its faithful are Africans, spread over 54 African countries.

10. The Orthodox Church of Cyprus 700,000

Under an Archbishop, this Church cares for all Greek Orthodox in Cyprus.

11. The Polish Orthodox Church 600,000

Under the Metropolitan of Warsaw, this Church cares for Orthodox of all origins who live mainly in eastern Poland.

12. The Albanian Orthodox Church 200,000

Under the Archbishop of Tirana, this Church cares for Orthodox in southern Albania, most of whom are of Greek origin.

  1. The Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia 170,000

Led by a Metropolitan, this Church cares for Carpatho-Russian, Slovak and Czech Orthodox, as well as large numbers of recent Ukrainian Orthodox immigrants to Slovakia and the Czech Lands.

14.The Patriarchate of Jerusalem 130,000

Although its Patriarch is a Greek and his appointment is in the care of the Greek government, this Patriarchate cares for Arab Orthodox in Palestine and the Jordan.

 

 

 

 

Love – or Why Husbands and Wives Stay Together

Introduction

There are four reasons why husbands and wives stay together and create stable and so happy families. Each of these reasons corresponds to a different part of our complex human nature.

  1. Physical: Sexual Attraction

The reproductive instinct, our hormones, is such that one sex naturally looks for its other half. However, despite the last fifty years of commercial sexualisation and conditioning in Western societies, which has stressed egoistic sexual life (called ‘love’), this is the least important reason for a couple to stay together. If the attraction of boy and girl to each other is only sexual, the relationship will be short. It is guaranteed. It is why modern Western societies are littered with single mothers, fatherless and illegitimate children and lonely men.

  1. Intellectual: A Common Mind

Another aspect, also relatively unimportant, is the intellectual and educational level of husband and wife. The fact that this is relatively unimportant is proved by the existence of many couples with very different intellectual levels. Here we see that the factor of complementarity begins to be vital. Two couples who are very similar easily get bored with one another: too much in common can almost be as much a problem as too little in common. Husband and wife must not be ‘the same’. The attraction of the different is very important. A man is a man and a woman is a woman. If you confuse male and female identities, as the Western world deliberately has over the last fifty years plus, you are asking for trouble.

  1. Emotional: Common Feelings

Men and women are generally quite different emotionally. Men generally hide their feelings, women talk about them openly and willingly and need to do so. But emotional happiness is still just as important for one as for the other. However, again, in this field too, we see the role of complementarity. We often hear women saying: ‘Oh men, they’re all the same’, and men saying: ‘Oh women, they’re all the same’. I would say, fortunately! We need one another and expect each other to behave in certain ways and want and need that.

  1. Spiritual: Souls on the Same Wavelength

To our mind, the most important reason why men and women are attracted to each other and then stay together is because they are on the same spiritual wavelength. This does not necessarily mean that they both go to church or even have exactly the same religious beliefs. What it does mean is that they have common cultural values – for these are the result of spiritual values. For example, they should agree about who will do what in the relationship, who will care for children, who will do the shopping, who will clean, who will provide most of the money. It also includes common tastes in furniture, clothing, colours – things that are in themselves secondary, but actually very important when living together day by day. This is because they all stem from common values – they stem from being on the same spiritual wavelength. This similar wavelength is called love.

Conclusion

Thus, we can see that attraction and the desire to be and to stay together depend on four different factors. When they all coincide, then the relationship will be long-term, indeed, until and beyond death.

Constantinople’s Heresy Isolated Again: 13 to 1

WHAT ARE THE LOCAL ORTHODOX CHURCHES SAYING ABOUT THE SITUATION IN THE UKRAINE?
[HT: Micke Stensson]
What is the “body of global Orthodoxy” that Metr. Hilarion says would be split? We have to read the statements made by heads of Local Churches to really understand the full impact:
Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem: “The unity of the Church is a gift of the Holy Spirit, and we are called to preserve and strengthen it. The destruction of this unity is a serious crime.”
“We condemn in the most categorical terms those who are committing actions directed against the parishes of the canonical Orthodox Church in the Ukraine. Not in vain do the holy fathers remind us that the violation of the Church’s unity is the gravest sin.
Archbishop Theodosius of Sebastia of the Jerusalem Patriarchate: “The Orthodox Churches of the world, including Jerusalem, only recognize the authority of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine, that it is headed by Metropolitan Onuphry; he is a member of the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church. We support all efforts to end the schism in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church—the Church is a place of love, unity, and peace, and not hatred and schism.”
“The schism in Ukraine is very unfortunate, and I hope that the Patriarch of Constantinople and the other heads of the Orthodox Churches of the world will coordinate with the Russian Orthodox Church to advance initiatives for ending this unhealthy, unacceptable, and unjustified situation.”
Patriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria and All Africa: “Let us pray to God, Who does all for our good, that He would instruct us all for a solution to these problems. If the schismatic Denisenko [the self-proclaimed “patriarch” of the schismatic “Kiev Patriarchate”—O.C.] wants to return to the bosom of the Church, then he must turn to where he left from. That which has fallen away must return to where it fell from. God is merciful to those who repent, and the Church forgives and receives in its motherly embrace all who repent.”
Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East: “The Antiochian Church stands together with the Russian Church, speaking against the Church schism in Ukraine.”
Patriarch Ilya of Georgia: “His Beatitude disagrees with the initiative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate concerning Ukraine, as he recognizes only the legitimate Church headed by Metropolitan Onuphry.”
Patriarch Irenej of Serbia: Referring to the Ukraine, the patriarch of Serbia characterizes as “very perilous or even catastrophic, probably as fatal for the unity of Holy Orthodoxy”, the act “of exonerating and of restoring schismatics to the rank of bishops, especially the arch-schismatic ones, such as ‘patriarch’ Filaret Denysenko of Kyiv, and of bringing schismatics back into liturgical and canonical communion, without their repentance and their return to the unity of the Russian Orthodox Church from which they detached themselves. And all without the consent of the Moscow Patriarchate and without coordination with him.”
Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church: “[T]he Assembly expresses full solidarity, in co-suffering brotherly love, with the martyred sister Church in Ukraine, exposed to the harshest persecution by the current regime in Kiev.”
Holy Synod of the Polish Orthodox Church: “We express the clear position of the Polish Orthodox Church, namely that the ecclesiastical life of the canonical Orthodox Church should be based on the principles of dogma and the holy canons of the Orthodox Church. Violation of this principle leads to chaos in the life of the Church.
“There are certain schismatic groups in Ukraine which must first repent and return to the canonical Church. Only then can we discuss the issue of providing autocephaly.
“We must not be led by the political climate in questions of dogma and the canons.”
Met. Rostislav of Czech Lands and Slovakia: “A schism, caused by man’s egotism, can be healed only through repentance and returning to the Church,” the primate noted. “The new autocephaly must be the result of a consensus.”
Patriarch Neofit of Bulgaria: “I have always had a very good relationship with His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry [head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church—MP.—O.C.]. We know that he loves the Ukrainian people and humbly labors for the good of Ukraine and all Orthodox Christians. We will be praying that the Lord grant him health and strength to successfully bear the obedience he was given by the Lord, and which he bears with dignity.”
And from another source: “His Holiness said that the relevant issues had been repeatedly discussed at sessions of the Holy Synod of the BOC and he had repeatedly stated his position on the matter.
“General Secretary of the Holy Synod Bishop Gerasim of Melnik stressed that the Bulgarian Orthodox Church is well acquainted with the Ukrainian situation and its complexity, but it is necessary to strictly observe the ecclesiastical canons, which the Orthodox Church has been following for many centuries.”
Metr. Gabriel of Lovech, Bulgarian Orthodox Church: “There is no grace of God in schism. And without the grace of God there can be no Church. People must return to the canonical Church, where there is the grace of God and where man can be saved. Schism is a very harmful and pernicious phenomenon.
“The basis of any split is pride. This is the only way—there can be no other, in my opinion.”
Metropolitan George of Kitros, Katerini, and Platamon (Church of Greece): “The Greek Orthodox Church and all other Orthodox Churches of the world recognize only one canonical Church of Ukraine—the Ukrainian Orthodox Church headed by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry.”
Metr. Athanasios of Limassol (Church of Cyprus): “First and foremost, this question should be resolved by the Patriarch of Moscow, in whose jurisdiction the Ukrainian Church is located, then—the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and then all the Orthodox Churches under the chairmanship of the Ecumenical Patriarchate,” Met. Anathasios stated.
“But first of all, the first word is for the Mother Church of the Ukrainian Church, which is the Moscow Patriarchate. To it belongs the first word in this process.
“What relationship does the Ecumenical Church have to the Philaret schism in Ukraine? How can it be overcome?
“We desire that our brothers who are in schism would return to the Church under the leadership of Metropolitan Onuphry—it is the sole canonical Church in Ukraine, having communion with the Moscow Patriarchate, and with all canonical Orthodox Churches… We pray for this.”
Statement of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in Support of the Canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church: “With this statement, we express our complete support for His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry, together with his brother-archpastors, clergy, monastics and the faithful flock of the sole canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and with love we bow before their confessor-like struggles. No alteration to the life of the Church can be initiated or imposed upon her by secular authorities. The present attempts to influence the life of the Church from the outside reveal only the fundamentally non-ecclesial motives and goals of those attempting to implement them.”
Does this look global enough? The statements made by these primates and representatives of eleven Local Orthodox Churches are unanimous and unambiguous. ”

The Third Rome or the Fourth Rome?

In an astonishing interview with the well-named Greek newspaper ‘Ethnos’, Metropolitan Emmanuel (the Greek ethnarch for France and often considered to be the successor to Patriarch Bartholomew) has just confessed a number of heresies.

Firstly, he has insisted on calling the Patriarchate of Constantinople ‘the Mother-Church’ of vast territories, which are completely canonically independent of Constantinople and have been for centuries, and that this title gives it the right to meddle in their internal affairs today.

Secondly, he has stated that Constantinople’s ‘process of granting the Ukraine autocephaly has begun’ and that this ‘is a priority’. In other words, Constantinople is going to grant the phyletist schismatics of the US-run Kiev junta (he calls them ‘the Ukrainian people’!) autocephaly, and that this is not a matter of if, but of when. (Is this revenge for the Russian Church not attending the heretical ‘Council of Crete’ in 2016, with its Obama-esque agenda?).

Thirdly, he has stated that ‘in 1054 Christianity was divided into Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism’! Yet every Orthodox schoolchild knows that in 1054 the Western European ruling elite split away from the Orthodox Church and invented Roman Catholicism!

It is clear that all of Orthodox Civilization, which has as its spiritual leader Patriarch Kyrill of Moscow and All the Russias, is facing a choice. It can, like the President of Moldova, Igor Dodon, whom certain forces attempted to assassinate in Chisinau last week, choose Orthodoxy. For it is he who stated, ‘I am the President of Orthodox, not of sodomites’ and for 13 September has organized ‘The International Congress of Families’ against the anti-Christian globalization project of the New World Order of the US and its EU and NATO vassals. Or else it can prefer dollar bribes to Orthodox Christianity, so committing apostasy from the Church of God and losing salvation in eternity.

Now we see that the prophecy of St Paisius the Athonite (+ 1994), which only thirty years ago seemed impossible, is coming true. Here we refer to his prophecy that a third of Turks will be baptized. When on 15 July 2016 Washington tried to murder the Turkish President Erdogan and he was saved with only half an hour to spare by a warning from Russia, he then changed sides from Washington to Moscow. The time is coming when we will see a Turkish Orthodox Church, opened by the Russian Orthodox Church. In its phyletism Constantinople has consistently refused to do so. (In our parish we already have a modest three Turkish Orthodox parishioners and their families).

This will be the Russian reply to Constantinople’s century of divisive meddling throughout the Diaspora, in Estonia and now in the Ukraine. We Russian Orthodox of all nationalities have known for over 500 years that with two Romes fallen, the Third Rome is Moscow and that a Fourth Rome there will not be. However, first Paris, next London, then Berlin and now Washington have all tried to be a Fourth Rome. They were and are foolish.

As a huge storm gathers on the East coast of the USA, just south of Washington, it too is going to learn that you cannot play at God. Just as the French, British and German Empires all crashed out of history, so too will the American Empire and its vassal in Constantinople. A Fourth Rome there will not be. All 216 million Orthodox now have to make a choice: Moscow or Washington’s satellite, Constantinople.