How well we recall the letter of Fr (now St) Justin (Popovich) of 7 May 1977, ‘On the Summoning of a ‘Great Council’ of the Orthodox Church’. In fact, we still have translations of it in Russian, French and English. In it he stated that there could be no Council of the Orthodox Church because most of the Orthodox Churches were not free and those that were, (he cited the Russian Church Outside Russia, the Church in America and the Japanese Orthodox Church), were not being invited. Instead, the seats were to be filled by a host of titular bishops from the Patriarch of Constantinople and KGB-vetted bishops from, as it was then called, the ‘Moscow Patriarchate’. The Saint’s plea was heard, perhaps not in the courts of men, but by the angels above, and the Council never took place. Now again, the Patriarchate of Constantinople is pushing forward for yet another ‘Pre-Conciliar Meeting’ in March this year and for the Council to take place next year.
It seems to us that although the situation of the Local Churches in Eastern Europe has radically changed since the fall of atheistic Communism, since when freedom has come to them, in other respects little has changed. The Patriarchate of Constantinople has, if anything, even more become a colony of the US Department of State. The latter has misused it ever since they installed their own US Patriarch in 1948 and exiled the legitimate Patriarch Maximos to Switzerland (who said on his ejection ‘The City is lost’) in order to undermine the Russian Orthodox Church by setting up schisms, for example, in France, Finland, Estonia, England and the Ukraine. In no way can there be a formal meeting of the Orthodox Churches, while the Patriarch of Constantinople and its allies are enslaved by the CIA (and also the Turkish government).
The US Administration appears to think that it can deal with the Orthodox Churches as it dealt with the Vatican, which accepted US Protestantisation in its Second Council fifty years ago and then saw imposed on it an anti-Communist Polish Pope for the 1980s Reaganite Crusade against Communism. Significantly, Roman Catholic sources, like the papist AsiaNews, are pushing Constantinople to arrange this so-called Council so that it will become a modernist Orthodox (therefore pseudo-Orthodox) Second Vatican Council. This would make the Orthodox Church into a mere Uniat department of the Vatican and, in that way, of the US Department of State. This is not going to happen. (In any case a meeting of bishops is not a Council; to become a Council the meeting must first be ‘received’ by clergy, monks and people; paradoxically, Church Orthodox Christians are a lot more democratic than the Non-Church Protestants and Roman Catholics, and always have been).
Thus, the attempts by Constantinople to make the recently set up Regional Inter-Orthodox (called ‘Pan-Orthodox’ by enemies of the Tradition) Assemblies of Bishops in the Diaspora into bridgeheads for their conquest of the Diaspora have failed miserably. Thus, for North and Central America, Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco has eloquently voiced the opposition of all free Orthodox to such attempts (http://www.synod.com/synod/eng2014/ 20140115_ensynodletterarchbpdemetrios.html). Indeed, in some places the Assemblies have virtually closed ‘for lack of things to talk about’. Much more than this, the agenda proposed for a future Inter-Orthodox Meeting (illogically called a ‘Council’) is looking increasingly tired, a leftover washed up from 1960s liberalism, denounced at the time, even more so now. Let us remind ourselves what the ten items on the agenda are – or were: The Orthodox diaspora; The granting of autocephaly; The granting of autonomy; The diptychs; The Church calendar; Marriage; Fasting; Relations with Heterodox; Ecumenism; Peace, Brotherhood and Freedom. (See our article of several years ago: http://orthodoxengland. org.uk/panorth.htm).
The last six questions are absurd, because the canons are clear and of course unchangeable; the tenth is in particular a piece of masonic nonsense from the 1960s. As regards the fourth issue, the diptychs, if people want to argue about what place they should have on an irrelevant, artificial and anachronistic list, then we say they should first read Mark 10, 37-45. In fact, only the first three issues are discussable – and there will be no agreement on them because they have already been discussed, and with Constantinople in the pocket of the US State Department, a former senior representative of which (Brzezinski) has already declared that the Russian Orthodox Church is its greatest enemy, what point is there in discussing them?
Thirty-three years ago a saint prophetically wrote: ‘Should this Council, God forbid, actually come to pass, only one sort of result can be expected from it: schisms, heresies and the loss of many souls. Considering the question from the point of view of the apostolic, patristic and historical experience of the Church, such a Council will, instead of healing, open only up new wounds in the body of the Church and inflict on Her new difficulties and new misfortunes’. We will not contradict the voice of a Saint.