Category Archives: Council

Ten Points for the Agenda of a 21st Century Church Council

In the light of events in the Church over the last 100 years, it is clear that a Council of all the approximately 800 Orthodox bishops of the Church worldwide will need to meet in order to reverse the spiritual decadence of the period since the overthrow of the Orthodox Emperor in 1917. The approximately 80,000 Orthodox priests and the near 220 million flock of the Orthodox Church worldwide need light and direction from their bishops in order to counter contemporary militant secularism. Notably, ecclesiological and canonical errors have to be rejected, systemic administrative disorder overcome and Church life renewed. Below are ten points under these three headings, which we suggest might appear on the agenda of such a future Council.

Dogmatic and Canonical Measures

1. The whole Church hierarchy is to affirm the foundation stone of the dogmatic definitions of the Seven Universal Councils, as expressed in the Niceo-Constantinopolitan Creed, anathematizing especially anti-Incarnational trends which contradict it. This will obviously mean clearly condemning the incredibly old-fashioned, 1960s-style ecumenistic ‘branch-theory’ heresy implicit (when not explicit) in documents released for example by the 2016 meeting of a few Orthodox bishops in Crete and voted for by approximately 1.1% of Orthodox bishops. Those who signed those documents, which contradict the clear dogmatic teachings of Church Tradition and Teaching in general and notably the dogmatic ecclesiological definitions of St Justin of Chelije and other 20th century saints, should either take back their signatures or else face trial by Church courts.

2. The deposition of all ‘Orthodox’ patriarchs and bishops appointed by the US State Department. (In accordance with Canon XXX of the Apostolic Canons, Canon II of the Fourth Universal Council, Canons III and V of the Seventh Universal Council and Canon XIII of Laodicea). Similarly the deposition of all simoniacs. (Canon XXIX of the Apostolic Canons and subsequent anti-simoniac Canons).

3. The canonization of the last canonical Patriarch of Constantinople, Maximos V (+ 1972), unlawfully deposed by the CIA in 1948, who cried ‘The City is lost’, as he was taken at gunpoint to the airliner of the mass-murdering, atomic bomb president to be flown into exile.

Administrative Measures

4. The transfer of the title ‘Ecumenical’ (meaning of course, ‘of the Imperial Capital’, and neither ‘Universal’, nor ‘Ecumenist’!) from the Patriarchs of Constantinople to the Patriarchs of Moscow. This is already 564 years overdue at the time of writing.

5. The title ‘Patriarch of Constantinople’ to be transferred from Turkish citizens in Istanbul to Archbishops of Athens, who are the real Greek ethnarchs.

6. Admit the failure of the ‘Pan-Orthodox Assemblies’ in the Diaspora. The Orthodox presence outside Orthodox canonical territories, in the Americas, Western Europe, Southern Asia and Australasia, needs to be reorganized under the leadership and delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church, which is the only multinational Local Church. In other words, the uncanonical ‘jurisdictions’ invented since 1917 by the Patriarchate of Constantinople and imitated by five other Local Churches, need to be abolished, so that we can return to our previous administrative unity, though retaining full ethnic and linguistic diversity within emryonic new Local Churches, which unity was lost to divisive, Balkan-style phyletism introduced after 1917.

Pastoral Measures

7. All Orthodox are to return to observing the Orthodox calendar, abandoning the heterodox calendar which, incredibly, is still observed by some spiritually weak minorities.

8. Consequent to this return, to renew liturgical life, including restoring the integrity of the Divine Liturgy and services such as Vespers and Matins, virtually unknown in the parishes of some Local Churches.

9. Consequent to this renewal, renew sacramental life, especially the sacraments of confession and unction, which are virtually unknown in the parishes of some Local Churches.

10. Consequent to this renewal, renew the consciousness of the importance of ascetic and monastic life, prayer, fasting, the reading of the Holy Scriptures and missionary work to the Non-Orthodox world, which have been nearly abandoned by the parishes and dioceses of some Local Churches.

Crete

Last June’s meeting of some Orthodox bishops in Crete, ‘representatives’ of 20% of the Orthodox world, served only to produce schism in its Balkan corner. It left the fifteen million members of the six small Greek Churches (Constantinople, Greece, its Albanian satellite, Cyprus, Alexandria and Jerusalem), fragments of the ethnic Greek Empire that long ago disappeared and which in fact are only one, as well as the Churches of Romania and Serbia, bitterly divided between Orthodox and modernists. Since three of these eight Local Churches have US-appointed Patriarchs, this is hardly surprising.

On the other hand, it brought the mainstream of the Syrian/Lebanese Church of Antioch (in reality the Church of Damascus) much closer to the Russian Orthodox Church, which is 75% of the Orthodox world. The Churches of Georgia and Bulgaria were already close. As for the representatives of the small Local Churches of Poland and of the Czechs and Slovaks, although present in Crete, everyone knows that in reality they are merely fragments of the pre-1917 Russian Empire and so of the Russian Church, and so they can ignore anything that went on there.

The meeting in Crete made clear that those Orthodox who, it seems, are Orthodox only by reason of their nationality, who have fallen to Western humanist delusions (nowadays called ‘personalism’) are in danger of falling away from Orthodoxy altogether. Their essentially filioquist and so secularist desire to replace the Divine, the paradisiac and sinless Holy Spirit, with the human, the fallen and sinful human spirit, is leading them out of the Church. Therefore, this meeting was a catalyst, inasmuch as it means that the Orthodox must once and for all clearly define what the Church is. It must also define how the heterodox both fall outside Her and yet also, consciously or else by passive inertia, still preserve some vestiges of Her heritage. And it is this that leads them to labour under the delusion that their vestiges are Christianity.

There is then need for a genuine Church Council, gathering all fourteen Local Orthodox Churches with their 650 or so Orthodox bishops, including the 350 of the Russian Church, in order to define dogmatically the ecclesiology of the Church. These fathers can build on the theological foundations already laid, notably by St Hilarion (Troitsky) and St Justin (Popovich). This Council must anathematize not only the heresy of ecumenism, but also that of phyletism. For these heresies are closely interconnected, as those who confine the Church of God exclusively to a single race and language (phyletism) are by definition also utterly indifferent to dogma. It is precisely on account of this dogmatic indifference that they are willing to compromise the Church with any fashionable secular dogma, which promises money and power to those who are nostalgic for the money and power that they lost in the distant past.

Greek Metropoltan Calls Crete Meeting the Path to Schism

Metropolitan Ambrose (Orthodox Church of Greece), sent an open letter to Patriarch Bartholomew. AgionOros.ru published a translation of the most important provisions of the letter.

At the beginning of the letter, Metropolitan Ambrose reports the “deep sorrow and astonishment” that he experienced when he learned that the Patriarch of Constantinople in a letter to the Archbishop of Athens Hieronymus called to protect the Church from the “radical opinions of the Metropolitans of Kalavriti and Piraeus.”

Metropolitan stressed that such a letter can be viewed as a violation of the canons and “an attempt to carry out the primacy of power in relation to a fraternal Local Church”, although in fact the Patriarch of Constantinople has “primacy of honor, and not the primacy of power and values.”

According to Metropolitan Ambrose, the result of “the notorious” Holy and Great Council “in Kolymbari in Crete was that the Orthodox Church is divided into many parts, and the Christian people have fallen into confusion and a new schism “is actually developing.

Metr Ambrose believes that the so-called “Holy “and” Great “Council in Kolymbari has caused Orthodoxy the deepest wound.” “Erroneous decisions” in particular have been the recognition of the existence of several Christian Churches:

“So, there are many Churches? Then why in the Creed do we profess “One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church”? Is that not an ecclesiological contradiction, or even serious dogmatic distortion? Then what is the theological meaning and content of the dialogue (which you encourage) “with other Christian Churches and confessions”? Is remaining unwithdrawn and dogmatic deviations of the latter (despite decades of ongoing dialogues) to justify the possibility of non-Orthodox being called “church”? “.

Metropolitan Ambrose underlines that he would never accept such an “ecclesiological deviation”:

“Do not renounce, beloved Orthodoxy! We do not deceive you, honor, passed from the fathers! In you we are born, and you live and you die! And if you take time and die a thousand times for you ” (Joseph Monk Bryennios 1350-1431).

In the final part of his open letter, Metropolitan Ambrose calls on Patriarch Bartholomew “not to insist on a heretical and blasphemous position, according to which both Papists and Protestants make up the “Church. ” They are just the branches that have fallen away from the Church tree. Today the Church is only the Orthodox Church! “.

According to the Metropolitan the document on “Relations of the Orthodox Church with the rest of the Christian world” needs to be revised, otherwise there will be a possible split within the Orthodox Church.

Metr Ambrose calls on the Patriarch of Constantinople to stop the persecution of those who disagree with the decisions of the Council of Crete, and to hold a new “truly Holy and Great Council”, which will once again consider the “Church” and “Christian faith.”

May 4, 2017

Source: http://www.pravoslavie.ru/103201.html

Now We Do Need a Council

After the embarrassing failure of the 2016 Crete forum, attended only by heterodox and representatives from ten of the fourteen Local Churches, who disagreed among themselves, many refusing to sign, the Patriarch of Constantinople is angry. He is angry because his personal ‘pope-dream’ has failed and so he is now threatening all those who disagreed with his pet project with not concelebrating with them. This he can do within his own Patriarchate, but he cannot do with other Local Churches, except by excommunicating himself from them. As regards the four Local Churches, representing over 80% of Orthodox, who did not agree with the agenda of the forum and so did not even attend, they find the elderly Patriarch’s behaviour not just irrelevant but increasingly erratic. Some have raised the possibility that he and perhaps some of his geriatric aides have Alzheimer’s. Given all this, what is the future?

The fact is that the Crete forum has opened a wound in the Church, the wound of ecumenism, that is, the status for members of the Church of Non-Orthodox and the religious organizations to which they belong. The top-down attempt by the Patriarchate of Constantinople to impose a heretical understanding of this on the Church has brought only division. This issue must now be answered. Closely linked to this dogmatic erring which needs clearing up, but even worse than it, is the Crete forum’s deliberate failure to deal with the one real problem facing the Church in the real world. This is the refusal to send out missions to convert the world outside the Church. Many hierarchs seem to prefer inward-looking ethnic flag-waving to dealing with the largely ignored huge missionary territories where live seven billion Non-Orthodox. They need enlightenment by the Church. Here is why we now need a real Council.

The Peasants Revolt: Two Miracles in Two Weeks

In the week before Pentecost and the week after Pentecost two international miracles took place.

Miracle One

For fifty-five years the Church had been under the threat of a Vatican II-style Council. After many organizational meetings the proposed Council turned into a highly secretive, largely Greek, largely irrelevant, inter-episcopal conference representing fewer than 20% of the Church. The largely meaningless and secular-based agenda was forced on everyone, the organizers refused to listen or consult the ordinary clergy and people, and so it was a failure. The fact that the Russian Church and three other Local Churches did not take part is a miracle, thus keeping our Faith uncompromised. The wisdom of the fishermen of Galilee won the day over the rationalizing of the politicians and philosophers, as the much-despised peasants revolted.

Miracle Two

‘The nations of Europe must be guided towards a Superstate without their peoples understanding what is happening. This can be carried out in successive stages, each camouflaged as having an economic goal, but which will end up by leading them irreversibly into a federation’.

Jean Monnet 1952.

For forty-three years we the ordinary people of the UK have been dreaming of freedom from EU tyranny, after it had been imposed on us by the Unionist Establishment based in London. For at least twenty-five years the phrase ‘democratic deficit’ was used to describe the EU, and yet nothing changed. Indeed, even the accounts were so corrupt that they could not be audited. The EU elite was too arrogant to listen to ordinary people whom it mocked, patronized and insulted as mentally handicapped racist yobs. If the anti-democratic EU elite tries to take away our new freedom, revolt will only grow. That the EU is beginning to break up is because of its intransigeance, hubris and imperial overreach outside the original six founder countries.

Ever the successor to the medieval Catholic European Superstate, the EU was only ever popular in ex-Catholic countries, like France, western Germany, northern Italy and later Ireland or Poland. This can be seen very clearly in Northern Ireland where last Thursday the Catholics voted to remain in the EU and the Protestants voted to leave. The ex-Catholic EU club never managed to get the Protestant-minded British people, let alone ex-Protestant Switzerland, Norway or Iceland to join. Denmark and then Sweden and then Finland were forced into joining only because the British elite had betrayed the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) it had set up as a rival and instead of it had joined the future EU.

Thus, the whole Protestant North never wanted the EU, but was forced into it by their elites. And the same was true of the whole Orthodox East and South (including ex-Greek Sicily and southern Italy), whose elites were openly bribed (as was the British Establishment and the Prime Minister Heath) to join it. The Papist straitjacket of Brussels was never wanted and the ‘Holy’ ‘Roman’ Empire of Bonn/Berlin was rejected. 75 years ago Britain stood alone against Hitler’s Third Reich. It was saved – by Russia, with the madman’s attack on 22 June 1941. 75 years later, on 23 June 2016, Britain has been saved from the new Reich – by the people’s thirst for freedom. To paraphrase: The bureaucrats of the EU are haunted by a spectre – the spectre of freedom.

It is our hope that a third, local, miracle will now follow.

The Wisdom of God or the Rationalism of Man: The Church or Paris-Crestwood

But, lo, Thou requirest truth in the inward parts: and shalt make me to understand Thy wisdom secretly.
(Ps 50, 6)

For it is written, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will thwart…Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe….Greeks seek wisdom: but we preach Christ crucified…unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto those who are called…Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
(I Cor 1, 19-24)

1. Introduction

First of all, I would like to thank Cornelia and all of you for inviting me here. I am honoured indeed to be among you. As I have subtitled this very brief talk ‘The Church or Paris/Crestwood’, let me just say as an introduction that I myself studied at the St Sergius Institute of Theology in Paris and that I know many who studied at St Vladimir’s Seminary in Crestwood. And let me say that I have met among those former students deeply Orthodox people. Therefore, when I speak of ‘Paris-Crestwood’, I am not talking of persons, but of isms, not of people, but of ideologies, not of sinners (I am first among us), but of sins. Just as many Church Fathers, the Cappadocians among them, as well as heretics, studied in Athens or Alexandria, so today a place does not create a heresy, it is a heresy that can infect a place. The main title of my address is indeed Wisdom versus Rationalism, which I believe are the two factors which lie behind all contemporary and also all ancient debate within the Church.

2. Wisdom

I have never liked the word ‘philosophy’. It has, to my mind, many negative, abstract connotations, like the word ‘philosophize’, which suggests futile hairsplitting. I would much prefer to translate the word ‘philosophy’ into English and say ‘love of Wisdom’ and would like to think that we here are not ‘philosophers’, but lovers of Wisdom. Our name is Sophia / Sapientia / Sagesse / Weisheit / Wisdom / Mudrost. We are devoted to Wisdom. Wisdom, as in the Books of Wisdom in the Old Testament, in the Book of Proverbs and in the Wisdom of Solomon, as also in the proverbial wisdom of all peoples, means understanding through experience, the understanding of the heart.

Here I speak of course not of the heart in the loose, emotional sense, but of the heart as nous, the eye of the heart, the doors of perception, the window into heaven, the spiritual essence of our being that connects us to the Divine. For when the heart is affected by an event, action follows because the seat of the will is in the heart, and not in the brain, mind or reason. The ignorance of this fact defines the fundamental error of Western civilization, wherein lie the seeds of its own self-destruction, which we are so tragically seeing today. This fact of course is why one learned professor can rant and rave against the Almighty, but another equally learned can praise Him as the Source of all our being: learning brings no conclusions regarding faith.

For Wisdom does not depend on the development of the mind, on how much we know or have read, not on Parisian ‘Sophiology’, but on the Galilean Wisdom of the heart. And that is also why an ‘unsophisticated’ peasant, a village greybeard, like a fisherman of Galilee ‘made most wise’, can be far wiser than any Parisian philosopher. If the heart is not affected, then all knowledge will remain theoretical, abstract, and without action, for only the experience of the heart leads to action. As we know, ‘actions speak louder than words’, and only personal experience and example can lead to conversion. As the Psalmist says: ‘The fool has said in his heart, there is no God’ (Ps 13, 1). Here we note that it is written ‘in his heart’, not ‘in his mind’.

Wisdom can thus be contrasted with knowledge, science and reason. The Apostle Paul describes the latter as ‘fleshly wisdom’ and opposed to the grace of God (2 Cor 1, 12), or, as he writes elsewhere, ‘to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life (Romans 8, 6). Here, of course, the word ‘flesh’ does not mean the body, but has the Pauline and Patristic sense of ‘fallen human nature’. The body does not sin by itself, it is merely an instrument of our fallen will, to be used for good or for bad, for example, to procreate saints or to procreate monsters; just as we can use our hands to bless or to curse. The body is directed not by itself, but by the will, and the will is directed by the experiences and so understanding of the heart.

This is why the aim of our Orthodox Christian life is not the cultivation of the mind, but the cultivation of the heart, whereby alone we shall ‘see God’. This happens through repentance and leads to enlightenment by the acquisition of the Holy Spirit, that is, Theosis or Divinization. Knowledge, science and reason are what belong to fallen human nature, they come from the five senses, they are rationalistic. However, Wisdom belongs to inspired human nature, it comes from what some call the sixth sense, it is meta-rational. Wisdom is the knowledge obtained not from books, but from the purity of the heart. And that motivates the will and so leads to actions and it is our actions, not our theoretical knowledge, that will be judged at the Last Judgement.

3. The Change from Wisdom to Rationalism: The First Millennium West and the Second Millennium West

Approximately until the end of the first millennium, as Western Europe was still largely Orthodox, it espoused Wisdom, whereas in the second millennium it reverted, in innumerable ‘renaissances’ or rebirths, to pre-Christian rationalism. This was that very pagan rationalism or Gnosticism, worship of knowledge, that the Church had battled against at the Seven Universal Councils. Who had Origen, Arius and Nestorius been? Who had the iconoclasts been? They had all been rationalists who could never accept the inherent antinomies that One is Three, that God became man, that God destroyed death by death, or that a painted board is not a mere picture, but can carry the Holy Spirit and work miracles, weeping, bleeding, pouring out myrrh and healing.

Later the Wisdom of St Gregory Palamas would again oppose in antinomy the rationalism of Barlaam of Italy by explaining how the energies or glory of God can transfigure mankind, while the essence of God is unknowable to mere creation. In any age the rationalist can never accept contradiction because he is shackled to the earth by his fallen mind and cannot see beyond the end of his nose, as far as his heart. The chief sign of this transformation in Western Europe is how in the eleventh and twelfth centuries the Wisdom of the Ascetic Monastery, where the heart was to be cleansed and so the mind enlightened, was replaced by the Science of the Scholastic University, where the potential of the heart was neglected and the fallen mind idolized.

As Abelard in the Prologue to his ‘Sic et Non’ put it: ‘The Fathers were guided by the Holy Spirit, but it is lacking among us’. Philippe Wolff, in his L’Eveil Intellectuel de l’Europe, p. 196, describes the early twelfth century: ‘Activity deserted the old monasteries and headed, in expanded form, for the Cathedral schools and the chapters of urban clergy’. This was the beginning of Scholasticism, rational analysis and discursive reason, applying the use of dianoia instead of the nous, applying the dialectic of the pagan Aristotle to Revelation, as did the late eleventh-century Anselm of Canterbury. He preferred the order of man to the order of God, replacing the quest for holiness with the quest for study, replacing the Monastery with the university.

However, Anselm’s ‘faith seeking understanding’ within just a few decades became the impossible ‘understanding seeking faith’, which in its ultimate phase descended into ‘absence of understanding caused by absence of faith’. As R. I. Moore put it in his ‘The First European Revolution’, pp. 190-1: (By the early twelfth century) ‘charisma had been replaced by institutional authority, or, in plainer language, intellectual status, and access to the power it could confer, were passed down from the top, instead of up from the bottom’. And as Haskins put it in his ‘The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century’: ‘In 1100 the school followed the master and in 1200 the master followed the school’. No mention here of the heart or of the monastery.

Later, at the Council of Florence, when a Georgian envoy was asked whose authority he accepted, he replied: ‘St Peter, St Paul, St Basil, Gregory the Theologian; a fig for your Aristotle, Aristotle’ (see Gill’s ‘The Council of Florence’, p. 227). The reasoning of the syllogism, the reasoning of the Hellenes, led in the nineteenth century to the dialectics of Hegel and so of Marx, and is not the language of the Church of God. The Orthodoxophile Kireyevsky wrote in the nineteenth century: ‘Rome preferred the abstract syllogism to Holy Tradition…Rome left the Church because she desired to introduce into the faith new dogmas, unknown to Holy Tradition, dogmas which were by nature the accidental products of Western logic’ (Collected Works, Vol I, p. 226).

4. The Church or Paris-Crestwood

Over the last thousand years neo-pagan rationalism has spread worldwide and is called ‘globalization’, in other words, the world, whose prince is satan. The Church opposes this rationalism with Her Wisdom. At this very moment the battle between the age-old Wisdom of the Church and the second millennium rationalism of this world, which is revived paganism, is reaching a peak. This is the culmination of the battle between the Church and the German-inspired, Gnostic, humanist philosophy that infected Russian thought in the 20th century, from mantra-like Name-worshipping to Renovationism, from Bulgakov to Afanasyev, from Schmemann to Zizioulas. Today’s essential opposition on an island in the Mediterranean is also between Wisdom and rationalism.

It is not a question of denying the uses of rationalism, it is rather making sure that we make use of rationalism, the human reason, where it is needed and appropriate and do not use it to solve problems where, not rationalism, but Wisdom, is needed and appropriate. If we are to solve a problem of electrical supply, or leaking pipes, or engine pistons, or software engineering, let us use rationalism. However, if we are to solve a problem of human relations, of the improvement of the character, that is, the spiritual problem of the acquisition of the Holy Spirit through prayer, fasting, askesis and repentance, or if we are to express the truths of the Faith in dogmatic form, let us use Wisdom, which is meta-rational, the Art of Arts and the Science of Sciences.

All the controversies around this present conference in Crete have revolved around the use of Wisdom and the use of rationalism. We can see this in one of the items which those invited are not going to talk about – the calendar. The rational see only the Earth revolving around the Sun, but the meta-rational see the Earth revolving around the Holy Trinity. In order to avoid this opposition, this item was dropped from the agenda. However, we can also see the opposition in what they are going to talk about, for example, about relations with the heterodox world outside the Church. Here we have seen much use of spiritually empty reasoning, but, it seems to me, very little use of spiritually beneficial Wisdom, much use of knowledge, but little use of understanding.

Truly, at this Crete conference we see once more the age-old discussion between the Wisdom of the Church and the rationalism of Paris-Crestwood, between Jerusalem and Athens, between the way of the kingdom and the way of the world. This conference in Crete may yet become a Council, but only if the Holy Spirit descends on it. In that case it will become Great and Holy. If not, it will remain merely little and secular. We believe that since all the Seven Universal Councils in fact defeated rationalism by Wisdom, defeated the small-minded logic of the created mind by the Love of the Creator, today after a millennium of rationalism, we could do no better in this third millennium than to reiterate the truths proclaimed at the Seven Councils.

Let us consider the Icon of the Descent of the Holy Spirit. It shows the disciples becoming apostles, mere men inspired by the tongues of fire of the Holy Spirit, as it descends from the heavens. At the bottom of the Icon is a crowned figure, the Cosmos, the knowledge of the world from all the ages. He is outshone, outclassed, by fire, by the Wisdom that comes from God, for Christ is the Word and Wisdom of God. He receives the slap of St Nicholas in the face of rationalism. This is expressed in Church Slavonic not by the ordinary word for Wisdom, Mudrost, but by the word Premudrost, meaning Supreme Wisdom, the Wisdom of God, so much greater than the rationalism of man, for ‘in Wisdom hast Thou made them all’ (Ps 103.24).

5. Conclusion
Premudrost, Supreme Wisdom, the Word and Wisdom of God, is the source of all Wisdom, Mudrost, for the Creator is the source of all creation, the Divine is the source of all human. Any other attitude is idolatrous. This is why we do not call the eighteenth century or a university education ‘enlightenment’, for the sacrament of holy baptism and the Feast of Christ’s Baptism are ‘Enlightenment’. This is also why in the ninth prayer before communion St John Chrysostom writes that, ‘Thou wilt come in and enlighten my darkened reasoning’. This is why at the first prayer of thanksgiving after holy communion we pray that the body and blood may be ‘for the enlightening of the eyes of my heart’ and ‘for the fulfilling of wisdom’. For without this purification by the Holy Spirit, we shall have no Wisdom, only knowledge, science and rationalism. And though these latter have their uses, they are on a lower level than Wisdom, which is on a lower level than Supreme Wisdom, the Source of all Wisdom.

Archpriest Andrew Phillips

Prepared for SOPHIE (The Society of Orthodox Philosophers in Europe) in Fulda, Germany, 24 June 2016, by the prayers of St Boniface.

Why the Orthodox Vatican II Failed Before it Even Began

I first heard of the concept of and preparations for a ‘Pan-Orthodox Council’ (= a Church Council) exactly forty years ago, in 1976. I found it all very strange, since no doctrinal issue was at stake. It was explained to me by a notorious modernistic and ecumenistic priest, who later (like the notorious George Gapon in pre-revolutionary Russia) defrocked himself and committed suicide. The sad fact is that any human group always contains traitors. Thus, among the twelve disciples there were Judas and Peter. However, although the latter denied Christ three times, he repented three times, affirming his love for the Saviour (Jn. 21). We now know who today’s traitors to Orthodoxy are. However, we also know that, like Peter, they too can repent.

Today, 16/06/16, representatives of 15% of the Orthodox world are about to meet in Crete. True, this will go down to 10% if the Serbian Church delegates, including even the ambitious and liberal Bishop Maxim of Western America, walk out, and 5% if the Greek Church delegates follow them. In any case delegates representing 85% of the Orthodox world are not taking part and even those taking part seem to have hardly any support on Mt Athos and elsewhere. The alien agenda, the masonic logo, the date of the opening and the absolute refusal to listen to the complaints of the mass of faithful Orthodox clergy and faithful all mean that the attempt to impose a Vatican II-style Council on the Church of God has failed most dismally.

Usually the unfaithful leave the Church after Councils, which always separate the wheat from the tares. This time the separation has happened before the Council. Did the power-crazed forces of this world really think that they could impose Vatican II-style Protestantization on the Church of God, as they did on Roman Catholicism over fifty years ago? To sabotage the monolithic manmade structure of the Vatican is easy; you simply elect your agent as Pope. It has been like that for well over a thousand years. To sabotage the Church, in which we have freedom, is quite a different proposition. The enemies of the Church only see fantasy in our Christian hope and faith and spite in our telling of the Truth with love. That is why they feel despair, faithlessness and hatred.

All Councils are called into being by what is called in Greek ‘crises’, that is, they are summoned in order to pass judgement, which is what ‘crisis’ means. And just as the Councils of old sifted the Arians or the Nestorians or the Monophysites or the Monothelites or the Iconoclasts from the Orthodox, so today we are seeing, even without a Church Council, a sifting. This time it is sifting the secular-minded from the Orthodox. The Orthodox are those who, led by the Russian Orthodox Church, believe in the multinational Worldwide Empire of the spirit, as is expressed by the phrase ‘I believe in the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church’; the secular-minded are those who, led by the USA and its allies, believe in the multinational Worldwide Anti-Christian Empire of Eurosodom and Gomorrhica.

It is true that the Orthodox are being challenged from the left by traitors and from the right by schismatics and that these two groups sometimes work together, just as Judas co-operated with the Pharisees. However, the Church is much stronger than either of these groups. It is now time for all those who have not yet chosen which side they are on to choose, with the Orthodox or with the secular-minded, with Christ despite our sins, or with Babylon. The world may be shocked by division – but only because it thinks in terms of the superficial unity of Public Relations. We, on the other hand, are called to Unity through Truth, not through Untruth, for, ‘Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword’ (Matt. 10, 34).

Serbian Church Changes Mind

Torn between the EU/NATO and Orthodoxy, the Serbian Church authorities have, on the very eve of the Crete meeting, changed their minds and are now going to attend it. We suspect that the US ambassador in Belgrade and sums of money or else promises of power have played a role. Torn by the US-fomented schism in Kosovo and betrayed internally, it is difficult to see what those authorities believe in – a visit to the synagogue or Orthodoxy. One day they must make up their minds.

Multinational Council or Isolationist Sanhedrin?

Soon there will be a great council, called ‘holy’, but this will be precisely the Eighth (Impious) Universal Council.

St Kuksha of Odessa (+ 1964)

Now that, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and to the great relief of all faithful Orthodox worldwide, the ‘Great and Holy Pan-Orthodox Council’ has been reduced to an Inter-Greek monologue with 24 Romanians, whose presence has been ordered by the US ambassador in Bucharest, what lessons can be learned?

The first lesson is that if there is to be some meeting of all the Local Churches, then it must be carried out by consulting the faithful, listening to their wishes and talking about the issues that really matter, in an Orthodox way, rather than imposing some irrelevant top-down ‘agenda’, in a secular way, like some transnational corporation.

The second lesson is therefore that hubris and Eastern Papism are dead (was it ever alive?) and have been replaced by humility and the Holy Spirit.

The third lesson is that threats and intimidation from the US State Department, or anywhere else, do not work with free Orthodox.

The fourth lesson is that all Orthodox bishops must be invited to any Council, as is the Tradition. That half of the world’s approximately 700 Orthodox bishops present would be from the Russian Orthodox Church would be just a fact of life. After all, of the world’s 216 million Orthodox, 164 million, over 75%, belong to the multinational Russian Orthodox Church.

Therefore, the fifth lesson is that if you want to be a big Church, do not fall into flag-waving phyletism (narrow nationalism) and then you will find that other nationalities will want to be with you – over 60 nationalities make up the Russian Orthodox Church. Flag-waving phyletism is for football hooligans, not for Orthodox Christians.

The only beneficial result of the Crete meeting so far is that the Patriarchate of Constantinople has promised not to interfere in the Ukraine, unlike as it sadly did in Estonia. If we can learn the above lessons as well, perhaps this whole affair will, by the Providence of God, turn out to have been positive.

Florence II: The Phanar Successfully Isolates Itself from the Orthodox Church

For where two or three are gathered together in my Name, there am I in the midst of them.
Matt. 18,20)

Councils called in His Name are blessed by the Holy Spirit, but meetings called in the name of others (Joe Biden?) are cursed by evil intentions.

Such was the result of the fifteenth-century Council of Florence, when the Patriarchate of Constantinople signed away its Orthodox birthright for a Uniat mess of pottage. As a result, in 1449 the Russian Orthodox Church essentially became independent from Constantinople and, in time, 1589 obtained its first Patriarch. In recent years the meddling of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the internal affairs of others has created tense relations with many of the other thirteen Local Churches, especially with the Russian, Czechoslovak, Georgian, Greek and Bulgarian Churches. It has hurled insults at them and even created a diplomatic incident, giving the impression it has a dictatorial and tyrannical attitude towards them.

It is well-known that since 1948 the Patriarchate of Constantinople has been a branch of the State Department in Washington. A Wikileaks document containing a conversation between the Patriarch and the US Senator Durbin confirm this. Their US-appointed Russophobic Patriarch said: ‘If the Oecumenical (sic) Patriarchate loses its traditional position in Istanbul, then the Russian Orthodox Church will be able to realize its pretensions (sic) to controlling the Oecumenical Patriarchate and will become the leader of the whole Orthodox Church. The Patriarchate needs defending in order to resist the humiliations of Ankara and the pretensions of the Russians’.

Hence the current, US-organized hostilities against Russia, which is suffering a triple war. It is suffering an economic war through so-called ‘sanctions’ for the Crimea’s democratic decision to return to Russia, and therefore are completely illegal sanctions. It is suffering a propaganda war, with the open lies of the US-controlled Western media being spread and even believed. It is suffering a military war with huge amounts of NATO weaponry now on Russia’s borders and the occupation of Eastern Europe from Lithuania to Romania by US forces. All of this can be seen most obviously in the Ukraine, for the moment controlled by the Fascist junta in Kiev, which exists only thanks to a massive US PR machine.

Here the US is backing both the Philaretist schism in the Ukraine as well as other groups, including the Vatican-supported Uniats of Galicia, who are persecuting and murdering representatives of the One Local Church, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church under Metropolitan Onufry, which is part of the multinational Russian Orthodox Church. The US State Department, desperate to destroy the Russian Orthodox Church, is willing the Patriarchate of Constantinople to organize these schismatic groups into one large group under its control. If that Patriarchate does this, it will fall into the unforgivable sin of creating schism, effectively abolishing itself and its Patriarch will go down in history as one of the most inglorious patriarchs ever.

What then should the Russian Orthodox Church do as regards the meeting of some Local Orthodox Churches in Crete in a few days time? Three or four of the fourteen Local Churches (with the Serbs, it depends who you talk to) are boycotting it as their complaints have been ignored by Constantinople. If the Russian Church joins these three or four, then the Polish and Czechoslovak Churches may follow and perhaps Alexandria, Greece and Cyprus will follow them. This would leave a meeting in Crete at which the US-appointed Patriarch of Constantinople will talk to the US-appointed Patriarch of Romania (US-appointed because he agreed to start schisms in Moldova and the Ukraine, parts of the Russian Orthodox Church) and the tiny Churches of Jerusalem and Albania (also run from the US).

The Russian Church is faced with a choice: to go to Crete and refuse to sign the more or less masonic documents that Constantinople has been trying to ram down everyone’s throats since the US told it to in 1961, speaking words of truth to the world at large. Or it can boycott the meeting entirely and call a Council in Russia, at which the other nine Local Churches, 90% of the Orthodox world plus the majority in the other four Local Churches, who do not recognize the politicking of their leaders, can confer. It will be 99.9% of the Orthodox world against 0.1%, the latter led by the semi-Uniat Patriarch of Constantinople. He will be in schism with himself and a few other US-appointed bureaucrats.

What will be decided we have no idea. We only know that whatever happens, the gates of hell will not prevail.