Monthly Archives: December 2018

While the Wolves Are Running

‘The Box of Delights’, the 1935 children’s book written by the English Poet Laureate John Masefield, is subtitled ‘When the Wolves were Running’. The story concerns crooks who dress up as clergymen and try to stop the Christmas celebration of the thousandth anniversary of a mythical Tatchester Cathedral, founded in 935.

It is an apt parallel for what is happening today in Constantinople and the Ukraine. The latest news, that President Poroshenko, the Uniat?/Jew?/atheist?, who presided his own State ‘Church Council’ in Kiev, closed Kiev airport until the Phanariot Greeks, who had given a false legitimacy to his meeting, had signed Poroshenko’s papers.

Wolves in sheep’s clothing indeed. However, as Metr Hilarion of Volokalamsk, has noted: The two bishops who were uncanonically accepted into the Patriarchate of Constantinople from the 85 bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church represent percentagewise a far smaller number of traitors than the one disciple from the twelve who betrayed Christ.

 

 

A Bulgarian Hierarch Speaks Out Regarding the Phanariot Crisis in the Ukraine

Metropolitan Daniil of Vididn to glasove.com: The assembly in Ukraine is uncanonical 

Source: glasove.com

“I will answer you in the words of one of the archbishops of the canonical Church, with which he responded to the invitation of Patriarch Bartholomew to attend this assembly: I am firmly convinced and confess that I remain faithful to the One Orthodox Church, and my presence at this council contradicts the first Psalm of David, which reads as follows, “Blessed is the man that hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the seat of the pestilent. But his will is rather in the law of the Lord, and in His law will he meditate day and night.” What could be the outcome of a council that is convened in violation of the canonical order and involving persons outside the Church? In my opinion, this Council will not heal the division among the faithful people in Ukraine, but will deepen it. In this whole mournful situation there is a comforting thing – the desire of Orthodox people in this country to preserve the unity of the Holy Orthodox Church, and that this finds a response and support across the entire Orthodox world.”

This is what Metropolitan Daniel of Vidin says in an interview for glasove.com on the occasion of the assembly on December 15 in Ukraine convened by the Patriarch of Constantinople. The date for its conducting was announced by President Petro Poroshenko, who informed that an autocephalous local Orthodox church in Ukraine would be established at the assembly. Poroshenko said the council would approve its statutes and choose a primate to obtain from the Ecumenical Patriarch tomos (testimony) of the autocephaly.

Why is the position of the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church concerning the schism crisis in Ukraine being protracted?

The Holy Synod is a collective, conciliar body of governing, and decisions are taken by a majority, in accordance with the Statutes of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. Considering this question, the Holy Synod appointed a commission to examine more thoroughly all documents related to the Church crisis in Ukraine and only then to come up with an opinion. At the discussions during the synodal sessions, there were metropolitans, including myself, who wanted a position to be expressed, but as I already said, the Holy Synod is a collective body. At the same time, everyone bears a personal responsibility for his own voice, both before God and before God’s people. Why do we think we need to express a position? Because the Church is one and conciliar, as we confess in the Symbol of the Faith. In this sense, the dispute in Ukraine is not just a dispute between two local Orthodox churches. It affects the entire Orthodox Church.

What is your personal opinion on this question and why do you think it affects the entire Orthodox Church?

This affects the whole Orthodox Church because inter-Orthodox relations are affected. It violates the millennial Canon Law of the Church, one of the basic principles of which is the principle of the boundaries of Church jurisdiction. These limits are clearly defined and generally recognized. Each autocephalous Church has the right to self-governance within its boundaries and does not have the right to extend their jurisdiction in other local Churches. Here we will list only rule 2 of the Second Ecumenical Council, and rule 8 of the Third Ecumenical Council, which prohibits the individual local Orthodox Churches to extend their jurisdiction beyond the bounds of their area.

In your opinion, has Patriarch Bartholomew crossed the limits of his jurisdiction?

We definitely deem so. Since his Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew has been at the lead of the Constantinople Patriarchy, (i.e. from 1991 until now), he has always acknowledged that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is under the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate in an indisputable way, with a number of letters and documents endorsed with his signature. Now he suddenly states that the Kiev Metropolis was never given under the full jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate.

It is pointed out that in the famous document of 1686, by which the Constantinople Church entitles the Moscow Patriarch to ordain the metropolitan of the Kiev Metropolis, there was a requirement that the name of the Patriarch of Constantinople be commemorated. And this also is considered as a sign of recognition of the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople over the Kiev Metropolis. It is another question how legitimate these claims are, but they are only declared today – three hundred years after the act in question was issued.

At the same time, the Church rules define periods of limitation for disputes over the right to jurisdiction over certain territories. For example, rule 133 of the Carthaginian Council sets a three-year statute of limitation. If a Bishop believes that another Bishop has entered a part of its territory, he has three years to file a claim. Rule 17 of the Fourth Ecumenical Council and rule 25 of the Fifth-Sixth Ecumenical Council provide a limitation period of 30 years in which disputes over jurisdiction over certain parishes can be settled. And in our case, a few centuries have passed.

In terms of Canon Law, these disputes are inadmissible. Here’s an example: in 1917 The Patriarch of Constantinople, German V, writes the following to the bishop of the Georgian Church after its self-proclamation for autocephalous: “I do not know and cannot know a self-contained Georgian Church, since for more than one hundred years, the Orthodox Georgians have been under the rule of the Russian Church. Your separation and formation of an autocephalous Church is only possible with the consent of your church with the Russian one (…) We cannot interfere in your internal Church matters, but advise you fatherly, to listen to the voice of your pastor, and in this way to bring this issue into the river-bed of the salvific Church canons.”

The claim of the Patriarch of Constantinople that his rights are infringed, (as the Kiev Metropolitan does not commemorate his name during Divine Services), is untenable, but is used as a formal occasion for the document from 1686 to be repealed. But this situation has not been contested for 300 years.

For three centuries the Orthodox people in Ukraine have lived in complete unity and have been an integral part of the Russian Orthodox Church. Since then, Kiev Metropolitans have been members of the Holy Synod of the Russian Church, and have elected, and have had the right to be elected as Patriarchs.

During all these 300 years, the Ukrainian believers have recognized Moscow’s Patriarch as their spiritual primate. Can someone after some 300 years come from outside and say: I am your father? Who’s going to follow him and who’s going to believe him? How can one proclaim himself as the spiritual father of a people, when the people know, remember, and honor the fathers who have begotten and brought them up in the faith? The sacred canons are categorical in this regard.

But for the people outside, it is not clear why Ukraine, after being an independent country, does not have its own independent Church?

Let’s first see what the Orthodox people and their canonical hierarchs in Ukraine say, because that is essential. The hierarchal council, convened by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in reference to these events on November 13th of this year, in which 83 hierarchs participated, expressed an explicit position against the encroachment of the Constantinople Patriarchy into her canonical boundaries, as it stated that “the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is self-governed, endowed with all the rights of independence and autonomy that are today necessary for the fruitful service of God and of the people of Ukraine.”

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) has over 12,000 parishes, which is more than the two schismatic groups, (the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kiev Patriarchate (UOC KP) and the so-called Autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church), combined.

Therefore, in his letters to the Bulgarian Patriarch and to the primates of the other local Churches, Metropolitan Onuphry correctly expresses his perplexity as to why no one takes into consideration the appeal of thousands of members of the UOC to Patriarch Bartholomew asking autocephaly for these schismatic groups not to be granted.

Why is the voice of a group of people being taken into consideration selectively before the voice of the canonical Church and its flock? Indeed, all canonized saints of the twentieth century in Ukraine urge their spiritual children to preserve sacred the unity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church with the Russian one.

Let’s look at another side of the issue. Who are those who insist on autocephaly? The state authorities first of all. As Metropolitan Onuphry rightly notes, the authorities only hear the voices of those groups that burn Churches, profess nationalism, call for hatred, and cry “death to Moscow.” Why are their voices and demands for autocephaly the only ones to be heard?

It is obvious that these same state authorities are preparing to take matters into their own hands. Why is the opinion of the only recognized canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church not taken into account? What makes the opinion of groups whose leaders have been deprived from their spiritual dignity and excommunicated from the Church more trustworthy?

Could an analogy be made with the schism in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church 20 years ago?

Yes, to a great extent. As the schism in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church was inspired and supported by the state authority, the same is happening in Ukraine. In our country, the schism was overcome, thanks to the Orthodox Council of 1998, convened at the initiative of the BOC in Sofia.

At that time, the Ecumenical Patriarch acted quite differently compared to today. Can we talk about a double standard?

Actually, at the 1998 council, the Ecumenical Patriarch posed the question of the resignation of Patriarch Maxim, but then our predecessors, (hierarchs with spiritual experience and valor), opposed him and said, “We have called you here to heal the schism, not to deepen it.” So the parallel between the schism in our country and the one in Ukraine is completely relevant.

At the moment, the UOC MP is in the same position as the BOC was then. In our country the schismatics also tried to rob the Church’s identity, to despoil shrines, to usurp property of which they were not entitled. And most grievously, destroying their moral appearance, and killing the people’s faith. Because we know how they ended, and what their deeds in the faith were. The same is happening in Ukraine.

In 1992, the former Metropolitan of Kiev, Philaret, was deprived of his dignity for his falling into schism and due to proven moral transgressions in personal aspects, and later excommunicated by the Church. So his removal was laid down legitimately, for good reasons due to a number of canonical violations. And in its decision from October 11th, in complete contradiction with the sacred Canons, the Patriarchate of Constantinople restored that man.

Finally, what should be the position of the BOC in your opinion?

Three metropolitans of the Holy Synod came out with a statement on the situation in Ukraine, in which, proceeding from the experience of the Pan-Orthodox council from 1998, which overcame the schism in our country, we proposed in this case to proceed in the same way and for the matter to be offered for a Pan-Orthodox discussion.

For a Pan-Orthodox council to be convened?

This can happen in different ways. First, resuming the dialogue between the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Russian Orthodox Church, in view of the ROC’s decision to end Eucharistic communion with the Patriarchate of Constantinople. The resumption of dialogue between the two churches, with the participation of representatives of the rest of the local churches, is a way the wound in Ukraine can be healed. In the end, any decision concerning the Local Orthodox Churches cannot be accepted and permanent without their consent and support.

A “unification council”, convened by the Patriarch of Constantinople will be held on December 15th in Kiev. What do you think will be the result of it? 

I will answer you in the words of one of the archbishops of the canonical Church, with which he responded to the invitation of Patriarch Bartholomew to attend this assembly: “I am firmly convinced and confess that I remain faithful to the One Orthodox Church, and my presence at this council contradicts the first Psalm of David, which reads as follows, “Blessed is the man that hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the seat of the pestilent. But his will is rather in the law of the Lord, and in His law will he meditate day and night.”

What could be the outcome of a council that is convened in violation of the canonical order and involving persons outside the Church? In my opinion, this Council will not heal the division among the faithful people in Ukraine, but will deepen it. In this whole mournful situation there is a comforting thing – the desire of Orthodox people in this country to preserve the unity of the Holy Orthodox Church, and that this finds a response and support across the entire Orthodox world.”

Is there a political pressure on the Synod of BOC to tilt the scales for one or another solution – from the Russian or American side? Or, from the side of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which expresses certain interests?

I can categorically say that during the discussions in the Holy Synod, the Metropolitans express their own views. So the debates and decisions are made on the basis of the conceptions and conscience of each of the hierarchs.

This is not a direct answer. Is there any political pressure, in your opinion? From the Russian side or from the Americans (through the Bulgarian government), which is in fact the instigator of the actions of the Ecumenical Patriarch?

I can only testify for myself. I can categorically state that nobody has put any pressure on me. In view of the progress of the situation, at this time, it is necessary for all Orthodox Christians to increase our prayers for the preservation of the unity of the Holy Orthodox Church in Ukraine, and in the whole world.

Interviewer: Yavor Dachkov

 

Buffoonery and Shame

The new ‘Metropolitan’ of the graceless State Church in the Ukraine, the US ‘divide and rule’ stooge ‘Epifanij’ Dumenko, ordained by a defrocked and anathematized married bandit ‘Patriarch’ from whom he accepts his orders, awaits his papers in Istanbul on 6 January. He has already promised to force the faithful to adopt the papist calendar and then unite with the Uniats, like the Phanar and the Vatican. All this has cost the US taxpayer, who loves freedom and democracy, a bribe of $25 million to set up this farce. But the new Poroshenko nationalist ‘Church’ duly exists with several hundred adherents and at least two church buildings which imitate the rites of the Orthodox Church.

In the city of Vinnitsa in central Ukraine, civil servants paid by the Poroshenko regime, have been told that they must, by Sunday rota, attend the only church under Dumenko there, as it has been deserted by the faithful. Other faithful are being ‘interviewed’ by the dreaded CIA-trained Kiev Secret Police, the SBU, to find out why they refuse to attend. Poroshenko, the founder of a nationalist Church by bloodshed, is indeed worthy of the bloodthirsty tyrant Henry VIII. Thirty years ago, under the Ukrainian Communist Party, if you went to church, you lost your job. Today, under the Ukrainian Fascist Party, if you do not go to the ‘right’ church, you will lose your job. How times change!

Just today the Ukrainian Parliament has ordered the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to change its name to ‘The Russian Orthodox Church in the Ukraine’. This means that all the over 12,000 churches must be re-registered – which will give the Kiev regime the chance to take them away from the faithful. Persecution is intensifying under US aegis. Perhaps the Ukrainian Parliament could also order the Patriarchate of Constantinople to change its name to ‘The Patriarchate of Istanbul’? And perhaps, in reply, in Moscow a Synod could change the name of the Patriarchate of Moscow, which is associated with the Soviet period, to ‘The Patriarchate of New Jerusalem and All Rus’?

However, there is a serious side to all this provincial buffoonery, which is worthy only of a Balkan farce. The clownish attempt by Istanbul to kidnap the faithful of the Russian Orthodox Church because it has virtually no flock of its own has an alternative. If it wanted faithful for its fictitious empire, why did it not set out to convert Turks – or any of the other 7.5 billion people in the world who are not Orthodox, rather than concentrate on the 216 million who are? Of course, in fairness, we must ask the same question of the 13 canonical Orthodox Churches (there are no longer 14). Why are they not also engaged in mission with the 7.5 billion? This is the real shame.

 

A Real Ukrainian Orthodox Bishop Speaks

Dear Loyal Subject of the Turkish Republic, Mr. Bartholomew!

An Answer to the Invitation to Constantinople’s Ukrainian Robber Council

In the letter below, His Eminence Metropolitan Luke of Zaporozhye and Melitopol responds to the invitations being sent out by the Patriarchate of Constantinople to take part in its so-called “unification council” that aims to create a new church in Ukraine.
 
Met. Luke has not hesitated to speak his mind throughout the recent and ongoing ecclesiastical crisis, and this letter is no exception. Whereas His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine chose to return his invitation unanswered to Constantinople, giving us an example of meekness and humility, Met. Luke offers us an example of fiery, righteous zeal—both examples that are good and necessary in the Church.
***
Dear loyal subject of the Turkish Republic, Mr. Bartholomew!
(better known as the “Ecumenical Patriarch”)
We have learned from the mass media that you are sending invitations for the “council of the unrighteous” (Ps. 1:1) through government officials.
 
In this regard, allow me to express to you and your envoys my heartfelt gratitude for the efforts you are making through the Ukrainian state apparatus and the juggling of the norms of canon law to destroy the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (the successors to the Church born in the Dnieper font), previously recognized by you as the sole canonical Orthodox Church in Ukraine!
 
Thanks for what, you ask? For what you contribute by your actions to our Orthodox flock in entering the Kingdom of God, subjecting it to the discrimination and persecution that it is presently enduring. Unfortunately, you probably don’t know our people’s wise saying: “Love can’t be forced.” Your actions are those of a man blinded by the illusory glow of Caesar’s authority.
 
By your participation in political projects aimed at splitting the unity of the Church, you’ve already placed your status as the first honored hierarch in Orthodoxy in serious doubt.
 
You declare today that in your person you represent “the Mother Church” for the Ukrainian people. However, for some reason, you act as the ideological inspirer of a large-scale campaign aimed at inciting hatred towards the UOC, the seizure of its sacred sites, the persecution of its flock, and the undermining of the position of Orthodoxy in Ukraine in favor of the gathering momentum of the Uniate “crusade” on native Orthodox lands! What kind of mother helps torture her child?
 
Those awaiting the swift advent of the Tomosare not afraid to shout such slogans at their gatherings: “Death to the enemy”; and under the walls of our diocesan administration: “Moscow priests to the gallowslike the communists!” This is how your new pupils treat us and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church as a whole, being in Eucharistic communion with the See entrusted to you.
 
Terrible things stand behind these slogans: the dominance of political expediency in any important question of Church life, the reign of total persecution against a Church that doesn’t correspond to the general ideological line of the ruling elite, the desecration of holy sites and objects, and the perversion of the canons by longtime opponents of Orthodoxy, who are now actively disguising themselves in the garments of supporters of the autocephalous project being pushed by you.
 
Are you yourself ready to believe in the “Ukrainian national God,” or is this just an attempt to take our people under your omophorion? Or, quite horribly, do the processes provoked by you have ordinary mercantile interests as their foundation?
 
In your attempts to subject all the Orthodox Churches to the throne of Constantinople (like the Catholic Church), you forget that it was not a priest but a ceasar who was in power in Byzantium—an empire that hasn’t existed for many centuries already. And one of the reasons it’s gone—and perhaps the main one—is that at that time, some of your predecessors, the Byzantine patriarchs, allowed the faith to become a bargaining chip in the games of big politics. It’s a great pity that you don’t take this into account—or have deliberately forgotten it.
 
After all, more than 500 years ago, it was precisely the betrayal of the Orthodox faith by Constantinople and its departure into the Unia with Rome, and not the geopolitical conditions of those times, that became the driving force behind Orthodoxy gaining independence from Byzantium in the lands of Rus’.
 
Thank you, Mr. Bartholomew, for aiding in our salvation. The only thing the clergy (whom your throne imagines to be its own for some absurd reason) and flock inquire of you is:
 
What prevented you from hearing us in the spring? What has so clouded your mind that you consider yourself the Patriarch of the entire world? Perhaps your next step will be the assertion that you created this world out of nothing?
 
With gratitude and hope in God’s admonition for each of us,
LUKE, METROPOLITAN OF ZAPOROZHYE AND MELITOPOL

The Church is Different and We are Different

The Church is Different

Everything is different in the Church. It all looks different, sounds different, it even smells different. There are icons, there is a priest who wears special clothes, the singing is different from the songs I hear on my mobile phone, there are some special words in the service that I don’t always understand, people talk about prayer and fasting, confession and communion (you never hear that at school) and there is incense. There are people from many countries who speak different languages, people have different names from those at school (no Kyle, Wayne, Shelly and Jenny, but Peter, Joseph, Sophia and Alexandra), most people wear special clothes for Church, most men make a special effort to dress better than usual, most women put on dresses or skirts and cover their heads for church.

Why is it Different?

We live in two different worlds: the world of the Church and ‘the world’. And the Church does not begin to resemble the world, the world must begin to resemble the Church. This is because the Church believes in the God Who rose from the dead, the world does not believe in Him but faces only one prospect: death. That is why it tries to distract us from death with ‘stuff’, that is, everything you can buy in the shops. We believe in the values that the Risen God gives us, not in the values that the world gives us.

The world says: Let’s have wars, drop bombs on each other, be cruel, hurt each other, steal each other’s money and things, making sure people are unhappy by telling them that stuff from the shops will make them happy, which it will not, and not telling them that one day they will die.

The Church says: Let’s LIVE and in peace, be kind to each other, respect each other and each other’s property and help people to be happy by talking about the real problems, the things that can really make people happy, about life and death and what comes after death.

We are Different

Today this difference between the Church and the world, between Life and Death, is getting even bigger. It means that we can see some very strange fashions around us, that no-one ever thought possible even ten years ago. For example:

The world says that everybody can do whatever they want. For example, if you are a boy and want to become a girl, then you can do that. If you are a girl and want to become a boy, then you can do that. And if you are unhappy afterwards, then you can change back again.

The Church says, of course, you can do whatever you want, but there are certain things you can do that will make you very, very unhappy. If you want to be happy, follow what the Church advises, as far as you can.

For example, if you have feelings that you want to be different from what you are, the Church can help you to understand yourself, to find yourself, to accept yourself and, above all, to improve yourself so you can avoid that unhappiness.

So changing genders will not help you – it will just give you another set of problems, even worse than the first. In the Church we reinforce the differences between boys and girls, men and women, so we can avoid such unhappiness.

Why we Dress Differently and Have Different Roles

So, for example, in the Church we dress modestly but nicely. Men and boys should not dress in shorts; the Church is not the beach! We have not come to church to suntan! They would dress modestly but nicely for the theatre or some special occasion, so why not in church? They should put on something nice for church, shoes not trainers, a shirt not a T-shirt with an advertising slogan. We have not come to the gym, we have come to pray!

Women and girls should not dress in jeans and trousers, but in a skirt or a dress. They have not come to church to distract men and boys from prayer with their shapes! They cover their heads for the same reason: everyone knows that men and boys get distracted by women’s hair and that women distract them with their hair. Not in church, please! We have come to pray!

Boys can, if asked because they are good enough, go in the altar and help; girls can, if asked because they are good enough, go in the choir and help. Boys could one day become deacons or priests; girls could one day become choir directors. We each have different things to do in church, different roles, different tasks because we are different. Different does not mean we are not equal, it means that we cannot do without each other.

Different but Together

This is why children need a father and a mother. It is very difficult when one is missing. People grow up with many problems when they do not have both. This is not a case of one being superior or better than another. Quite simply, if there were no more men and no more women, the world would stop. Everyone would die out. We need each other. Again we see how the way of the world is Death and the way of the Church is Life. Yes, the Church is different; different because heaven is different from the earth and the Church is the foretaste of heaven.

(This first appeared in the Orthodox youth magazine Searchlight, Issue No 7)

Who Governs the Church?

Preface

In my last article, I wrote:

‘Mission on most of five continents, in most of Europe, most of Asia, in Oceania and in North and South America, lies before us. And this mission can only be carried out by a Church, which is uncompromised and untainted by State interference, by racist nationalism, by secularist ecumenism and modernism’

One reader wrote to me and said that such a Church has not existed for some 1,700 years. I replied that we must distinguish between the Church and the hierarchy. Below is my fuller reply to him.

Introduction

In forty-five years of Church life I have met between one and two hundred bishops of the present 900. I believe that at least two of them were saints. Many others were good. However, some were bad, indeed awful.

Bad bishops like the ones I have encountered traumatize their priests. The faithful quit them because nobody can trust them or some of the priests whom they ordain. Such bishops are at best celibates. (And some of them are not even celibates – see below). However, celibates can also be corrupt and incompetent and even atheists. Celibates can also be under-educated, incapable of writing anything, chronically ignorant. They can also be over-educated and nobody can understand their pompous and overblown philosophies. And celibates can prove to be incompetent simply because they are too old and ill to be competent, for instance falling asleep during Synod meetings. In their weak old age they then get manipulated by women, called in Russian ‘bishopesses’. However, most of the temptations that I have seen bishops falling into concern either morality or else power.

  1. Moral Temptations

There are three of these:

The first is money and the luxuries it provides. Who has not met a Greek bishop with a fancy villa in Athens? Or a Russian bishop with an expensive black cars. With all this goes pride, snobbery and elitism.

The second is sexual. Fortunately pedophilia is extremely rare (though I do know of two cases from the Soviet period). Sadly, homosexuality is relatively widespread among Diaspora bishops, with the episcopate of one group in the Diaspora known as ‘the gay mafia’. These like ordaining homosexual boyfriends to the priesthood, excluding married clergy and so perpetuating their vice. I have seen it. Then there are the heterosexuals, the most notorious one being the Soviet-period Metropolitan of Kiev, the notorious Filaret, whose wife had men ordained to the priesthood in return for expensive presents and flattery. One I knew here took Church funds and bought his mistress a house with the money. Another wanted to sleep with the wife of a candidate for a priesthood, He walked out of his old Diocese forever and was ordained elsewhere by a moral bishop. The senior priest (uncanonically ordained) in his old Diocese, who knew all about his bishop’s conquests, defended his bishop: ‘It’s his only fault’. After some years his Diocese came to be in a critical state. No surprises there.

Thirdly there is vanity. Vain bishops are easily manipulated. Their narcissistic vanity is used to deprive priests and their families of their parishes and income. Insults, humiliations, slanders and bullying follow them. The Diocese is ruled by flattering favourites, who support and ordain bad elements against the good. Injustice rules and awards are given to corrupt favourites. Pastoral life suffers, parishioners are not visited, the flock sees no example from above and quits the Church, as nobody cares and those who do care are punished. The sheer lack of love of the vain and narcissistic bishop who abandons the good, preferring the bad, wrecks whole dioceses. I have seen it twice in my life.

  1. Power Temptations

There are three of these:

The first is politics. Uncanonical dependancy on figures in the State leads to uncanonical actions. Thus, for centuries patriarchs of Constantinople have been appointed by Muslim sultans, British and French ambassadors and today US ambassadors. Russian bishops were appointed by lay ‘oberprocurators’, at least one of whom was an atheist. We of course know about the Soviet period. We have the example of today’s Ukraine where a Jewish-Uniat president has set up his own Church, exactly like Henry VIII in England. Power corrupts, and this is why so many recent patriarchs and bishops of Constantinople have been freemasons, trying to corrupt candidates for the priesthood, as I know.

The second is the heresy of phyletism, the Greek word for racism. We have seen so many churches draped in national flags, especially Greek, Romanian, Serbian and Georgian. In one Greek Cathedral forty years ago we saw the Greek metropolitan actually stop the Liturgy: The Greek ambassador and his family had just entered and had to be escorted by the deacon to their seats…Such is spiritual death.

The third is dictatorship. Power goes to the head of the bishop and he becomes a dry dictator, a ‘good administrator’, ‘an effective manager’. Never consulting local people whom he only has contempt for anyway, such a bishop is just a spiritually dead bureaucrat. His diocese dies.

Conclusion

Some may be scandalized by the above and even despair. I say: So what? There is nothing new in the above, for there is nothing new under the sun. Sin is intensely boring because it is just the same old thing over and over again. Given the list above, my reaction is that this proves that the Church is Divine. If the Church were a secular company, it would long ago have gone bankrupt. For the Church is not governed by bishops – and if any bishop thinks that, he is clearly insane. The Church is governed by the Holy Spirit. Man proposes, but God disposes. And that is why, they can throw and have thrown all sorts of the above bishops at us and we are still here. And they are not. Victory is always ours, for Christ stands behind us.

 

On the Lesson We Must Draw from the Heresy and Fall of Constantinople

For exactly 100 years the divisive heresy of phyletism (racist nationalism), introduced into the Orthodox Diaspora in 1918 by the Greek nationalist Patriarchate of Constantinople, has been a scourge of the Church. Now that same Patriarchate has spread its heresy into the Ukraine. Everywhere it is present and active, whether in the USA, France, Canada, Estonia, England and now in the Ukraine, it has spread this heresy of nationalism, whereby ‘our local customs and culture’ are put above the Body of Christ, the Universal Orthodox Church.

Sadly, the Local Churches of Antioch, Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria and Georgia have followed this bad example, dividing the Diaspora according to nationality. All this destroyed the old unity of the Orthodox Diaspora which had been united under the Russian Orthodox Church until 1918. However, by its actions in the Ukraine the Patriarchate of Constantinople has now altogether fallen away from the Orthodox Church. All this is a self-evident truth and indeed it is now history. 1054 was followed by 2018. Old Rome was followed by New Rome.

The flag-waving heresy of phyletism, that is, putting your race above Christ, your national flag above the Church of God, is an ancient one. This sin of nationalism is that of the Jews, who preferred Caesar to Christ and called down the blood of Christ on themselves and their children. This sin of nationalism is that of the pagan Romans and the Germanic barbarians who in the 11th century invented Roman Catholicism. This sin of nationalism is that of the Germanic peoples in the 16th century, who put their national States above Christ and invented ‘National Churches’, obviously in England.

Today it is the sin of the ‘racially superior’ Greek Patriarch Bartholomew and the half-Jewish President Poroshenko-Walzman, both appointees of the US State Department. For together they have invented a State Church for Ukrainian nationalists, who worship the Ukraine first and perhaps Christ later. The only other result of the Greek-organized farce in Kiev on Saturday 15 December has been the suspension of two renegade bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Metropolitans Symeon and Alexander, who have long been thorns in the side of the Church.

The other 83 bishops of the Ukrainian Church have remained faithful, despite pressure from the dreaded CIA-trained Kiev regime Secret Police, the SBU. And so two more bishops have been nominated, bringing the total to 85 again. This faithfulness is a lesson for all Orthodox, not least for any in Moscow who put Russia above Christ. If you compromise the Faith with nationalism and its modernistic consequences, like the once venerable Patriarchate of Rome and now that of Constantinople, this is the heresy and fate that await you.

Today, the whole world, apart from parts of Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the Middle East and Africa, which are the canonical territories of other Local Churches, is waiting for the Russian Orthodox Church to spread the Word of God. Mission on most of five continents, in most of Europe, most of Asia, in Oceania and in North and South America, lies before us. And this mission can only be carried out by a Church, which is uncompromised and untainted by State interference, by racist nationalism, by secularist ecumenism and modernism. Those who have ears, let them hear.

 

Rue Daru: To Be or Not To Be?

At its meeting on Saturday 15 December, clergy and laity of the Paris Exarchate (Rue Daru), which was dissolved by its Patriarch in Istanbul, could not decide what they wanted to do and postponed any decision until next February. The group with one 75 year-old bishop who speaks only French and numbering only a few thousand has in its history jumped from Church to Church. Indeed, between 1966 and 1971 it formed an uncanonical sect under no Church. However, now the choices are very limited.

  1. Accept dissolution and simply become part of the local Greek dioceses of whatever country its members are in. This is perhaps the obvious choice for those in England who broke away from the Russian Church in 2006.
  2. Become an independent sect, with whom no canonical Orthodox will concelebrate.
  3. Join the Romanian Church. This seems unlikely because the Romanian Patriarch, who was appointed by the US ambassador in Bucharest, would probably not be allowed to take them from the US-appointed Patriarch in Istanbul. The USA would decide in any case.
  4. Join the Russian Church. Given the Russophobia of two-thirds of its clergy, this seems unlikely. Would it really be able to accept the canonical and liturgical norms and disciplines of the Russian Orthodox Church? However, Archbishop Antony (Sevriuk), who is in charge of churches of the Moscow Patriarchate outside Russia and is a fluent English and Italian speaker, has been contacted.
  5. Split apart, with a third of the clergy and people returning to the Russian Church, the others going to whatever modernistic, make-it-up-as-you-go- group they want.