Category Archives: Pope of Rome

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).

Comments from a Correspondent in Wales

‘And the Ukraine, then and now? Who will answer for the murders of laypeople and priests? Who set up the violent demonstrations on Maidan Square in Kiev? Was it not the Uniat clergy? And the Pope? Of course, he is completely innocent. He only cares about Christians in the Middle East, but he could not care a less about the Orthodox Slavs, he has more important things to do like not upsetting the gays and flattering the Jews, ‘his elder brothers in the faith’. Even infants know that all the recent popes have been puppets of those who hold global power behind the scenes. Their task is to level Orthodoxy down because it is the only power in the world that can stop Antichrist’.

Priest Savva Mikhalevich

http://ruskline.ru/special_opinion/2016/fevral/katolicheskaya_cerkov_i_genocid_serbov_vo_vtoroj_mirovoj_vojne_i_posle/

Below we quote comments from a letter from a correspondent in Wales. We quote from it because it raises some very relevant questions, to which we give answers, which may be of interest to all our readers.

Comment: First, on occasions you have written apologies/explanations of your positions which, whilst providing new looks at the development of these thoughts/positions, are not really required: it is clear to any neutral or good-willed reader that you are a Truth seeker and that you are a servant of the Church. Those readers that don’t belong to these groups – we can only pray for.

Answer: You would be surprised how many people there are who are neither neutral, nor of good will, but, very sadly, are full of fantasy and spite.

Comment: On the ‘historical’ meeting of Patriarch Kyrill and Pope Francisco: I think I can see where your position comes from….There are two ways of looking at it, a diplomatic-humanitarian way and an Orthodox way.

Answer: That is why, as I said, a diplomatic or political agreement is binding only on the signatory and no-one else. It is a personal opinion and no more. What you call a diplomatic-humanitarian way’ says ‘we love the sinner’, but there is also a need for what you call ‘an Orthodox way’, that is, a dogmatic statement, which says ‘we hate the sin’.

This situation reminds me of the publication of the heretical ‘Thyateira Confession’ forty years ago by Archbishop Athenagoras of Thyateira. I remember a young convert at the time who told a pious Greek granny that her Archbishop had said that all religions were the same and therefore he was a heretic. She simply replied: ‘If that is so, I will go to church and light a candle for him’. The convert, who came from a Protestant background, was not satisfied. Why? Because those of a Protestant and literalist background do not have the concept of hierarchy, of the episcopate. When they disagree with their ‘church’, they simply go off and start a new ‘church’.

This is why old calendarist sects have not had much ‘luck’ in developing in Orthodox countries, but much more in Protestant countries or in ex-Protestant Africa. This Protestant mentality is alien to the Church. Just because we disagree, we do not leave the Church. Did St Gregory of Nyssa leave the Church? Did St Maximus the Confessor leave the Church? Did St Mark of Ephesus leave the Church? Of course not, they stayed and defended the Church and became saints of the Church, they did not go off and start new ‘churches’. The spirit of sectarianism, phariseeism, intolerance and the ghetto is not part of the Church. We stand and fight as soldiers of Christ inside the Church. All that is permitted is to change dioceses.

In other words, the personal opinions of individual members of the clergy as such do not concern us. We do not have a clericalist view of the Church like the heterodox. The Church is not the clergy, let alone the bishops. The Church is everyone. On the other hand, it is true that if a priest or a bishop or a Patriarch says that he believes AS A DOGMA that all religions are the same and that we do not need the Church for salvation, then of course he is a heretic.

This is why we need not worry about diplomatic and political PR documents signed by clergy, but we do have to worry about the draft document on heterodoxy that is being proposed for the Crete meeting next June, because that claims not to be a diplomatic or a political document, but a document expressing the Orthodox Faith. It is completely unacceptable as it stands because it claims in its first words that there is only One Church, the Orthodox Church and then goes on to contradict that statement in a haze of vagueness.

But even here we should be reassured. More and more simple parish clergy, people and monastics are speaking out against this draft document, let alone bishops like Metr Vladimir of Kishinev or Metr Athanasius of Limassol. One thing we have to understand is that the teachings of the Church are always set out very clearly, without any diplomatic fudging, which is the problem of the draft documents for the June meeting. They are written in Chancelleryspeak, they have no dogmatic clarity and are therefore not Church documents.
I think that the June meeting, if it happens, could be very useful, however. This is because all meetings can be useful, though not always in the way intended. Let us take the so-called ‘Council’ of Florence as an example. What was the use of that? First of all, it revealed the traitors who publicly shamed themselves. All became clear who they were. But above all the ‘Council’ of Florence was useful because it revealed St Mark of Ephesus and he revealed God’s Will. What do we remember about the ‘Council’ of Florence? Only St Mark of Ephesus, who defined the Truth. God can always make good out of bad.

Let us look concretely at what good can come of this June meeting and how even it could become by the grace of God a real ‘Council’ by ‘dogmatizing’, clarifying and defining the Truth.

First of all, it is clear that everything that needs to be said has already been said at the Seven Universal Councils. (We do not talk about ‘Ecumenical’ Councils because that word has been corrupted in modern English. Therefore we speak of ‘Universal Councils’). Roman Catholics like to attack us, saying ‘the Orthodox Church is dead, they have not had a Council since the eighth century – the proof that they need the Pope to give them life’.

Of course, this is nonsense. We have not needed to have a Universal Council because the truths of the Faith have been expressed for all time by the Seven Councils. There will never be an ‘Eighth Universal Council’. On the contrary, Roman Catholics constantly need new councils because they are always changing, ‘updating’, their beliefs, reinventing themselves – because they lost their apostolicity when they invented themselves in the eleventh century and consciously rejected the integrity of the Church heritage of the first millennium.

The Seven Councils dealt with the truths of the Faith for all time. They began by defining the first articles of the Creed, that is, by defining the Holy Trinity and then went on to the Person of Christ and His two natures and then to the Holy Spirit. Yes, it is true that there was the anti-filioque Council of Constantinople in 879, agreed on by all the Patriarchs, including the Pope of Rome, and the so-called ‘Palamite’ Council of 1351, which some pious Greeks unofficially call the ‘Eighth and Ninth Universal Councils’. However, in fact, these simply elaborated on earlier Councils, defining in detail the relations between the Persons of the Trinity, especially the Son and the Holy Spirit, and then in 1351 the nature of the Holy Spirit.

Thus, in the Orthodox Church we have local councils, at which only some bishops are present, that can elaborate on, explain and affirm aspects of the Faith expressed by the Seven Councils. In other words, these councils elaborate on the words of the Creed. And this is what needs to be done today, only not as regards the beginning and middle of the Creed (that has already been elaborated on), but as regards the end of the Creed. There will never be any ‘Eighth Universal Council’, but there could be a ‘Council of Crete’. But what will it be about?

We do not need meetings of hundreds of bishops to tell us that fasting is important or to administrate the granting of autonomy etc. What we need today is a Council to elaborate on one of the last articles in the Creed, concerning the Church. ‘I believe…in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church’. This article is what is misunderstood today. In technical terms, what we need is a statement on Ecclesiology. For we believe in ONE Church; there are no Churches, not two or three Churches, only ONE. To say otherwise and talk as the heretics do of ‘the two lungs of the Church’ or ‘the Invisible Church’ or ‘the division of the Churches’ is to reject the Creed. It is as simple as that.

If the present anti-dogmatic diplomatic language and vagueness continues at Chambesy or elsewhere, I can foresee a time when a petition is going to circulate around the 80,000 or so Orthodox parishes of the world, saying: ‘There is only One Church, the Orthodox Church and we do not recognize any statements to the contrary’, and it will be signed by all and then presented at Crete. This is what the present vagueness and haziness could easily lead to. There is only one ‘Undivided Church’ – the Orthodox Church, which lives today because it is the Church of Christ, there is no other, there are merely fragments that have broken away from Her. I hope our bishops are listening.

I have no time to draw up such a petition. I am too busy doing Orthodoxy, looking after grandchildren, doing the washing up, baptizing, visiting the sick, blessing homes, celebrating services and visiting and confessing those in prisons throughout the 5,000 square miles of my three counties of parish. I have covered 300 miles in the last three days alone. But there are those who have more free time than I.

Comment: Metr. Nikodim’s end, at the feet of the Pope, is symbolic…’

Answer: I totally agree. But Metr Nikodim is dead and actually largely forgotten. Personally, I do not even know anyone who prays for him – perhaps they do that in the Vatican. But the real meaning of the Cuba meeting was not about old-fashioned ecumenism. It was firstly to ward off a World War in Syria, secondly to defeat Uniatism in the Ukraine, thirdly to prepare the world to see the leader of the Orthodox Church as the Russian Orthodox Church before the meeting in Crete, and finally it was part of a very successful pastoral visit by Patriarch Kyrill to the Russian Orthodox flock in Latin America, including meeting three local Presidents (completely unreported by the secular media).

And I think that was successful. Syria is all the talk and the Saudis and Turks have been warned off invading Syria to the fury of the neocons, the Uniats are also furious, as are the American diplomats who stand behind the scenes at the Phanar, whereas the Orthodox flock in Latin America is delighted. I think we may now at last see great Orthodox missionary developments in this very, very neglected part of the Orthodox world.

Comment: Do we really believe that the Vatican and the (Jesuit) Pope, those examples of strict hierarchical organisation based on careful cultivation of all levers of power and manipulation, have no influence on the Ukro-Nazi Uniats who are burning and stealing Orthodox Churches? Or on the Ustashoid Catholic church in Croatia?.…Some complaints or discontent of the faithful papist flock after the Cuban meeting should be interpreted cautiously; most likely they are simply down to the effectiveness of Jesuit tactics…

Answer: I think the Uniats really are very disillusioned. Of course, apart from them, we can ignore the sincerity or insincerity of expressions of discontent elsewhere. They are not our problem.

The Road from Cuba to Crete

Now that the Patriarch’s meeting in Cuba is over, we can begin to look at the deeper significance of the encounter and look ahead beyond the minor details to the big picture.

Firstly, it took place at an airport, on neutral territory.

Secondly, the Havana Declaration was signed in front of an icon of the Kazan Mother of God, which is associated with the expulsion from Moscow of the Catholic Poles 400 years ago.

Thirdly, it was signed by ‘Francis, Bishop of Rome, Pope of the Catholic Church’, not by someone pretentiously claiming universal authority.

Fourthly, the agreement is unanimous in its condemnation of liberal Western values, with their consumerism and exploitation, which are ruining the world environmentally, politically, economically and socially.

Fifthly, with this Declaration the much weakened and humiliated traditional West, in the form of the Vatican, is today in fact asking Russia for help. The Church has gained an ally in Roman Catholicism in defending traditional values.

Sixthly, there is the significance that this meeting took place in Cuba, the location of the largest Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Latin America. This symbolizes the universality of the Orthodox world, in particular of the Russian Orthodox world, on today’s planet.

Finally, given that about one fifth (not one half, as Roman Catholic journalists absurdly claim!) of Russian Orthodox live in what is called ‘the Ukraine’, as we predicted, the Uniats in the Ukraine (living mainly in a small area which formerly belonged to Poland) are very disappointed. According to the Havana Declaration they are more or less destined to die out as a grievous mistake in the dustbin of history.

There is more than this, however. Cuba is where in 1962 US aggression almost started the Third World War and avoided doing so only by removing its missiles that it had deliberately and threateningly sited by the Russian border in Turkey, at which point the Soviet Union removed its response from Cuba. And today we see another and similar risk of a Third World War, beginning only a hundred miles or so from the Holy Land and Armageddon, in Syria. Here US-controlled and NATO Turkey, having already illegally shot down a Russian plane and committing genocide against the Kurds, is now invading. The other US ally, that well-known beacon of freedom, democracy and multiple beheadings, Saudi Arabia, is threatening the same, having been routed in the Yemen and miserably failed to bankrupt Russia by drastically lowering the oil price.

The Western-founded and -trained and Saudi-and Qatari-financed Islamic State organization is facing rout at the hands of Syria and Russia. The latter are successfully defending Aleppo and are freeing areas of Syria from terrorist control. Of course, the Western State media have, on orders from their masters, gone berserk, relaying anti-Russian propaganda on behalf of the terrorists. Apparently the Russians are bombing hospitals and killing children – exactly what the USA did in Afghanistan last year. Once again the Western propaganda machine is talking about itself and imputing to others its own crimes. This reflects the equally nonsensical propaganda spouting forth from the bankrupt Galician Uniats and sectarians whom the US put in control of Kiev two years ago and the hysteria that NATO hawks are self-justifyingly whipping up in the Baltics about some mythical Russian invasion.

Beyond all this, there is even deeper significance. This year two events are due to occur in the Church: the first event is this February’s meeting between the de facto leader of the Church and the head of Roman Catholicism that has already taken place on the island of Cuba. The second event is the meeting due to occur in June on another island – Crete. That meeting was supposed to have taken place in Turkey in premises no doubt bugged by the CIA and taking place according to the agenda of its puppets. If the meeting does take place, it will now take place in different, bug-free premises and according to an agenda very different from the humanist one, redolent of the 1960s, that had been set by powers alien to the Church.

It is now clear that the meeting in Cuba, decided last September and with its pre-arranged Havana Statement, has in fact been preparatory to the Crete meeting. There is now no longer any ambiguity as to who leads the Church on earth and who will in fact lead the meeting in Crete. And so it is equally clear that the US-appointed clericalists on the fringes of the Church will not be even setting the agenda at the meeting in Crete, let alone taking decisions. The Church is awake and we the people are now having our say.

On the Joint Statement

As we know, on the afternoon of the Feast of the Three Great Hierarchs, the Pope of Rome met the Russian Orthodox Patriarch in Cuba, situated between north and south, east and west. And they met as equals, unlike in the usual meetings between Orthodox and Roman Catholics where the former are humiliated by the latter. This new respect by the Roman Catholics for uncompromised Orthodoxy is to be welcomed, however much some Orthodox may doubt its sincerity. Indeed, a writer in the ‘Catholic Herald’ is complaining about it http://catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2016/02/13/ the-vatican-did-everything-to-accommodate-patriarch-kirill-but-received-little-in-return/). Apparently that author believes that the Orthodox should be humiliated by the Imperialism of Rome!

I have been asked by several correspondents to say a few words about the document that both signed and which has been widely circulated on the internet. First of all, it must be understood that the statement issued by both sides is of course not a dogmatic one, but a diplomatic one. Some have not understood this, especially given the references to ‘Christian Churches’, which seems very strange when all Orthodox know that there is only One Church, the Orthodox Church. Many decades ago the much-respected writer of Orthodox Dogmatic Theology, Fr Michael Pomazansky, was asked the question why we Orthodox on occasions do talk about heterodox ‘churches’. He explained very simply that this is because the heterodox, although outside the Church, have still conserved part of the heritage of the Church.

For example, most Roman Catholics and quite a few Protestants believe that God is a Trinity and that Jesus Christ is True God and True Man. Why? Because this is the heritage which they have kept from the Orthodox Church in the first millennium, which in the statement is called ‘The Undivided Church’. Yes, outside the Church there are no sacraments, just rituals, sacramental forms, but we still call a Roman Catholic ‘church’ a church and a Roman Catholic priest ‘Father;’ and a Roman Catholic bishop ‘Bishop’, if they so wish to be addressed.

Equally, we allow Roman Catholics to visit our churches and show them kindness. In other words, we show respect and courtesy, that is Christian charity. As the saying goes, ‘You will catch more flies with honey than vinegar’. Just as we are strict on dogmatic issues, we can also show generosity and not meanness of spirit in everyday life. And we repeat, this document is not a dogmatic one, but a diplomatic one. It is therefore binding on no Orthodox in the world, except on the signatory of course.

Let us now look at the positive aspects of this joint statement. There are three of these:

Firstly, the Pope of Rome agrees with the Orthodox Church that the liberal secularism of the Western world (which Roman Catholicism engendered through its deformation of the Trinitarian Dogma) and its cultural imperialism is completely unacceptable. Is Roman Catholicism regretting opening Pandora’s Box a thousand years ago?

Secondly, the Pope agrees with the Church that we must do as much as we can to protect Christians (all of them Orthodox or former Orthodox) in the Middle East from Western-caused and Western-allowed ethnic cleansing in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere. Millions have fled for their lives, over a million Christians in Iraq alone, and only military action by the Russian Federation has kept Syria intact and the Patriarch of Antioch in Damascus.

Thirdly, the Pope of Rome agrees, at least on paper, that Uniatism has no future and that it must gradually die out, so that it becomes a case for textbooks on historical errors. No more proselytization and stealing of churches in the Ukraine. In any case if there is to be any hope that Roman Catholicism might draw closer to the Church of God, Uniatism must be restrained. The Uniats are now very worried: the Pope is abandoning them as the lost cause which they always have been.

Finally, one correspondent has posed a question about my article from before the meeting, entitled: ‘Our Man in Havana: From the Catacombs to the World Stage’. He says that Patriarch Kyrill is issued from the 1943 agreement with Stalin, which at last allowed the Church inside the then Soviet Union to operate freely, and not issued from the catacombs. There is here a fundamental misconception, which is to contrast the Catacomb Church with the ‘official Church’. They were of course one and the same; to say otherwise is to fall into sectarianism, to put oneself outside the Church, just like Roman Catholics and Uniats.

To fall into sectarianism also means to cut oneself off from the saints. Thus, the saints listed in Fr Seraphim Rose’s excellent and well-known 1970’s book ‘Russia’s Catacomb Saints’ from before 1943 are naturally saints venerated in the ‘official’ Russian Orthodox Church. To fall into sectarianism is also to cut oneself off from St Matrona of Moscow, St Luke of the Crimea, St Sebastian of Karaganda, St Laurence of Chernigov, St Kuksha of Odessa, the newly-revealed St Seraphim of Sofia, the saints of Glinsk and many, many others.

This self-isolation and drying-up of love is what happens to those who believe in a fictional ‘Soviet Church’. No such thing ever existed, however much the CIA pays or hoodwinks people to believe in it. There was just the Russian Orthodox Church under the long dead Soviet regime. True, a few long since dead individuals compromised themselves at that time under political pressure, but that is between them and God Who will judge them and all of us. For Orthodoxy the Church is the whole people of God, not a few compromised clerics. We are not clericalist puritans. As the ever-memorable Metr Philaret of Moscow, himself a priest of the Patriarchate of Moscow for fifteen years and his father a bishop of the Patriarchate, said, the fact that individuals compromised themselves is no reason to fall into the heresy of Donatism. St John of Shanghai agreed with this.

Most of the clergy who appeared after 1943 were already clergy beforehand, many of them ordained and consecrated even before the Revolution. In other words, they were not ‘invented’ by Stalin in 1943, but had already existed, underground, in the catacombs, before 1943. As Solzhenitsyn remarked in the 1970s, and as I myself witnessed in the Soviet Union in the 1970s, ‘official priests’ were the catacomb priests. Thus, bishops of the ‘official Church’ issued priests with extra antimensia for secret services and those priests baptized and preached secretly, since they were not allowed to openly, all the while celebrating the Liturgy and other allowed services openly in ‘official’ churches.

As for Patriarch Kyrill, his father, an archpriest, spent several years in prison under the Soviets; it is in this sense that the whole Russian Orthodox Church inside Russia has come out of the catacombs – and is now on the world stage, symbolized by Patriarch Kyrill.