Although the above title may seem dramatic, it refers to the following dramatic article, ‘First Without Equals’, placed on the official site of the Patriarchate of Constantinople (http://www.patriarchate.org /documents/first-without-equals-elpidophoros-lambriniadis).
Written by the Metropolitan of Bursa, it constantly, very aggressively and racially refers to the Russian Orthodox Church, which is fifty times bigger than the tiny Constantinople Church, as the ‘Moscow Patriarchate’ and the ‘Russian Synod’, even justifying the uncanonical establishment of the modernist, Constantinopolitan schism in the Estonian Orthodox Church. It also appears to assert that the Patriarchate of Constantinople can ‘remove’ autocephaly, a chaos-making threat it has recently made to the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia, which received its autocephaly from the Russian Orthodox Church!
Even more significantly, the article is not only from the outset pro-Roman Catholic and therefore pro-Ravenna, but also appears to assert that the Holy Spirit passes from the Patriarch of Constantinople, whom it makes into the Vicar of Christ through filioque theology, down to the rest of the Church, giving the Greek Patriarchate in Istanbul and its purely Greek Synod ‘worldwide’ authority! This it does by confusing the source of all authority in the Church, Jesus Christ, with the purely administrative authority of a first hierarch. In order to do this, it accuses the Russian Orthodox Church of heresy! A clearer example of Eastern Papism and philetism we have never seen.
In many places, it would seem that the article has been written by the CIA. Although this sounds extraordinary, it is not. Already before the fall of Constantinople in 1453, the elite there had become a Roman Catholic colony, after the fall it became a Turkish colony and then, from the early 20th century on, a British colony until 1948, whereupon the holy Patriarch Maximos was substituted by the CIA for one of their servants, flown in on the US Presidential plane from the USA. We should recall the words of the US geostrategist Zbigniew Brzezinski that after the fall of the Soviet Union, ‘the greatest enemy’ of the USA is the Russian Orthodox Church. It seems as if now the CIA is even writing Phanariot ‘theology’.
With this extraordinarily aggressive text, the Patriarchate of Constantinople has even further distanced itself from a possible Inter-Orthodox Council in 2015. We can only hope that this is the eccentric philosophical and ideological personal opinion of a wayward hierarch and this view will be disowned by the Synod in Constantinople. And we can only pray that the healthy (and dissident) parts of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, especially on Mt Athos, but also among faithful clergy and laity in many countries, will counter this new spiritual decadence.
However, let it be said that if the Patriarchate of Constantinople should fall into Uniatism and become a Roman Catholic colony altogether, as it has before, the 98% of the rest of the Orthodox Church will continue to follow the Orthodox Faith regardless of such philetist Phanariot isolationism. For today the Russian Orthodox Church is actually worldwide, not just in theory, and has friends everywhere. This text is a watershed, wake-up call to all Orthodox, who must decide whether they are on the side of apostasy or the Faith. Although some may fall away from the Church, the gates of hell shall not prevail.