Category Archives: The Orthodox Church

The Opportunity of the Century: A Future Free of the Disease of Phanariotism?

Introduction: 1918

11 November 2018, the centenary of the end of the First World War, has passed. And still there has been no repentance for and no renunciation of the imperialism which caused that needless European bloodbath with its greed for land, resources and power, for Lebensraum, as the Germans call it. Instead, the centenary turned out to be a sentimental, if regretful, ‘celebration’ by hypocritical politicians of the slaughter of the youth of Europe and of its colonies, dragged into their anti-national imperialism. Repentance would have meant that there would at last have been justice in Europe for 100 years of Western aggression, exploitation and materialism (whether Capitalist or Communist). For this aggression continues in the current Western-armed and Western-financed bloodbaths in Syria, the Yemen, the Congo and the Ukraine: the same disease as 100 years ago continues.

1918 also marks the beginning of the end of the Patriarchate of Constantinople after it was contaminated by exactly the same imperialism and its lust for power, summed up by the word ‘Phanariotism’. This has culminated in the notorious meeting in Crete in 2016 and now in its latest US-sponsored adventure in the Ukraine. Phanariotism is essentially the loss of faith which reduces the Church of God to a mere religious institution with its corporate lust for power and money, swimming with the tide of the world. It is this that has characterized the recent life of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, ever since the restraining power of Tsar Nicholas II was removed 100 years ago (2 Thess 2, 7). However, in fairness, all the other Local Churches have been infected by the same disease of Phanariotism, not least the Patriarchate of Moscow. What are the three symptoms of this disease?

  1. Modernism

Called variously Sergianism, renovationism, erastianism or caesaropapism, modernism is simply the internal movement to conform the Church to the (secularist, Western) world, giving up the struggle to conform that world to the Church. Modernism stems from the loss of faith, which has seen the appearance of atheist bishops (the former Metropolitan of Kiev, Denisenko) and masonic patriarchs (the former Patriarchs of Constantinople Meletios and Athenagoras). It means introducing the heterodox calendar, shortening the services and the fasts, changing the dress of the clergy, putting seating and organs into churches etc.

It also means imposing such secularism by threat, as the Phanariots tried to do at their US-style meeting in Crete, (‘The Orthodox Second Vatican Council’) two years ago. Today, in the Ukraine, it means enforcing the heterodox calendar, making 25 December a State holiday, as Poroshenko’s US, Canadian and EU patrons demanded and as has been done. It means ‘divide and rule’, following the policy of the Nazis in the Ukraine 75 years ago, which was also the policy of the pagan Romans and is the policy of today’s neo-pagan Romans in Washington, as it sends its NATO legions to bully and enslave the still free world.

  1. Phyletism

Phyletism is simply the Greek word for racism. It means putting one’s nation above Christ. Greek racism, centred in Constantinople, is the standard here, but other Local Churches have also adopted this poisonous heresy. Phyletism has no interest in baptising all nations into the Church, as Christ in St Matthew’s Gospel commands us (Matt 28, 19), for it considers that only one’s own race is worthy of salvation – indeed that perhaps it has, Jewish-style and therefore Protestant-style, already been saved.

Thus, phyletism is inherently anti-missionary, for why bother with missionary work if only one’s own race is worthy of salvation? And phyletism is also inherently ecumenistic, for it asserts that since one’s own Greek race has been saved by the Greek religion, then we may talk to other religions. Since the others are not Greeks, we may as well talk to them – after all they may give us a lot of money. Thus, the opposite of phyletism is missionary work, which is held back precisely by phyletism and ecumenism, as we saw in Crete.

  1. Ecumenism

Ecumenism is therefore the result of phyletism and the external extension of this swimming with the tide modernism, reducing the Church to a mere religion, like all the other manmade religions. We saw how the Phanariot gerontocrats tried to impose this heresy of ecumenism in Crete, deliberately confusing the Church with so-called ‘churches’. However, in this field of ecumenism, there have been and are traitors in all the Local Churches, who are also intent on destroying the chance of the faithful to obtain salvation.

Conclusion: 2018

Certain Russian Patriarchal bureaucrats have also long been involved in modernism, phyletism and ecumenism, making them too into Phanariots. They can be recognized because they promote the same policies of the Phanariots, the policies of Crete. If the Patriarchate of Moscow wants to separate itself from this pernicious disease, which we see is not only a Greek one, then it can purge itself, perhaps in the following three ways:

– Abandon any creeping modernism, make sure that all its parishes follow the Orthodox calendar and keep the Tradition.

– Rename itself ‘The Patriarchate of New Jerusalem and all Rus’, divorcing itself from any Soviet-style imperialistic tendencies and take up the multinational call and challenge of missionary work all around the world.

– Leave the WCC and all other such alien ‘dialogues’, such as those with the Vatican machine.

Only by separating itself from the disease of Phanariotism will the Russian Orthodox Church regain the trust of the whole practising Orthodox world, its own and all those in the other Twelve Local Churches. Only then will it sit down at table at a new Mysterious Supper, ready to greet the Returning Christ. Here then is the Opportunity of the Century.

 

On the Liberation and Restoration of Church Life

It is impossible to recall peace without dissolving the cause of the schism – the primacy of the Pope exalting himself equal to God.

We seek and we pray for our return to that time when, being united, we spoke the same things and there was no schism between us.

St Mark of Ephesus

Fall and Liberation

The near-750 year process of the fall of the See of Constantinople since the so-called Councils of Lyon and later Ferrara-Florence is now over. It has finally fallen under a Jesuit-trained Patriarch, who in his delusion actually justifies himself, to the same millennial disease as Old Rome – Papism. New Rome fell to the same heresy of Old Rome: the lust for power justified on ethnic grounds – the mythical superiority of one race over another and over Christ, in the first case, of Latinized Germans and, in the latter case, of phyletist Hellenes. St Mark of Ephesus was right.

As a result, Constantinople parishes, few and scattered already, have been cut off from the Church and true Orthodox have begun leaving them. Withdrawing, they will join one or other of the thirteen Local Churches. Fragments of the Russian Orthodox world in North America and OCA, under Constantinople for political reasons, are hopelessly divided. Now the Orthodox elements in them can rejoin the worldwide Russian Church, returning in repentance to Orthodox practices and values in canonical conditions, without phariseeism or sectarianism.

Restoration and Rise

Now, to assume the leadership of service of the Church on earth, Whose only Head is Christ, the Patriarchate of Moscow, perhaps better repentantly renamed the Patriarchate of All Rus, must too cleanse itself of all the same Phanariot poison. This poison is the fatal mixture, summed up in utterly failed Muscovite diplomacy, of narrow nationalism and modernist ecumenism. Thus, the Third Rome must beware that it too does not fall to the same disease. When will we know that the Russian Orthodox Church is ready to assume this leadership of service, so that Church life can be restored?

  1. When there is no more Great Russian chauvinism and so no more talk of the Patriarch of Moscow as the ‘Ecumenical Patriarch’. This is the title which the Orthodox Pope of Old Rome, St Gregory the Dialogist, rightly condemned already at the end of the sixth century.
  2. When there is no more Russian Orthodox dallying with the Papacy of old Rome and the Pan-Protestant World Council of Churches, with both of which the representatives of the Phanar are naturally active. And so when there is no more new calendarism and experiments with the spiritual death of Paris ‘theology’.

Then, at last unhindered and uncompromised by the shackles of the past, we will be able to get on with our sadly interrupted mission to the seven billion Non-Orthodox, in concert with the other Twelve Local Churches. And only then shall we see Church life restored after such a disgraceful period of decadence.

 

 

 

1918-2018: The Hundred-Year Nightmare Ends: As Day Breaks the Third Rome Wakes Up At Last

Introduction

Parroting the words of the Russophobic Brzezhinzki school of string-pullers in Washington, President Poroshenko has declared that with autocephaly granted to the Ukraine ‘one of the basic geopolitical problems of the world has been solved’, adding that: ‘This is the fall of the Third Rome as the concept of Moscow having world domination’ and that autocephaly is ‘part of our pro-European strategy’ and ‘the basis for the path of development of our State and our nation’. Clearly Poroshenko, a Jew by his father and who has been seen on one occasion taking communion from the Uniats, believes in the Neo-Nazi chant of his extremists, who, instead of the traditional greeting ‘Glory to Jesus Christ’ uses: ‘Glory to the Ukraine’. In other words, he lives in a world of illusions and xenophobic lies.

In reality, the Ukrainian affair was ordered by the scared US State Department, which has used its puppet fantasist Patriarch Bartholomew to carry out its plan. The latter wanted petty revenge for the failure of his Crete junket, but in fact he has had to cut off his nose to spite his face. This marks a very positive turning point. It marks an end to the dalliance of those in the Russian Church who cultivated the dangerous Phanariot illusions of apostasy, secularism, modernism, ecumenism and venality, illusions of an Orthodoxy for show. Now Moscow has to wake up from the illusions of ‘Church diplomacy’. Now at last the tiny group in Moscow concerned can stop playing with the World Council of Churches, the Vatican and the Phanar and start being the Third Rome. We have waited for so long.

Assuming the destiny of the Russian Orthodox Church, all can now tell the Truth. After all, it is not diplomacy that sets us free, but the Truth that sets us free, and the Church is the last bastion of the Truth in this world of illusions. This means that the paralysis is at last ending. Some in Moscow weakly allowed the Phanar to interfere in the Russian Diaspora in Paris, then, much more recently, in the Ukrainian Diaspora, then in Estonia, then in the Sourozh Diocese, now at last they are waking up. We who have been abandoned for so long by the Third Rome, all the while defending it, can at last be heard. The Orthodox world can now be reconfigured – providing that the Russian Church acts responsibly, in concert with the Twelve Disciples, the other Local Churches, as the Third Rome.

I can recall nearly 40 years ago how Fr Alexei Kniazev, the rector of the St Sergius Institute in Paris, told us seminarists how he went to Constantinople in 1966 and put the question directly to Patriarch Athenagoras: ‘So are you the Oecumenical Patriarch or are you just a petty Balkan bishop?’ He never received an answer, except between the lines, and so soon after tried to join the Moscow Patriarchate – which irresponsibly rejected him. So today we ask that Moscow assumes once more the role of the Third Rome. In this matter it is not the Russian Church that is the servant of the Russian State, it is the Russian State that is the servant of the Russian Church. For the Russian Church is not Russian, but God’s, as the Church does not belong to Russia, but Russia belongs to the Church.

History

Let us recall how all this came about:   

In 1948 the freemason and notorious atomic mass murderer, Truman, obsessed with the unchallenged power of having the only weapons of mass destruction in the world, decided to take over the Patriarchate of Constantinople. His gangsters removed the Patriarch Maximos V and duly installed his fellow-mason Archbishop Athenagoras as Patriarch. In the same year Truman set up the World Council of Churches as a Pan-Protestant propaganda tool. The Local Orthodox Churches in capitalist countries were humiliatingly forced to join it. In 1961 the Ukrainian tyrant and atheist Khushchov forced the Russian Church and other Local Churches in socialist countries to join it, thinking that he could both finally finish off the Churches by 1980 and at the same time undermine the Americans.

In reply, the US State Department soon organized the Second Vatican Council and successfully protestantized the Vatican’s worldwide operation, their greatest following success being to enable the CIA to have the Polish Cardinal Wojtyla elected in order to undermine the Soviet Empire. When that Empire did duly collapse and its countries became the vassals of the ‘Truman Doctrine’, Washington declared itself the victor, briefly assuming world hegemony and ‘the end of history’. Of course, such nonsense did not match reality. The attempt to secularize and so enslave the Orthodox Church could never succeed, as it had with the Protestant and Catholic denominations. The Body of Christ cannot be enslaved by the world, because the Holy Spirit inhabits Her and transfigures Her.

Of course, the devil had tried to enslave the Church. In the 1920s he used his slave, the British freemason Patriarch Meletios Metaksakis (elected with £100,000 of Anglican money channelled through the British State), to set up a ‘Pan-Orthodox Conference’. In 1923 this imposed the Western calendar on its slaves. However, this was not enough. In 1961 Patriarch Athenagoras reactivized this ‘Conciliar’ process and in 1977 Patriarch Dimitrios nearly concluded it, but was sabotaged by St Justin (Popovich). It took nearly another forty years for the next apostate puppet in the Phanar, a graduate of the Gregorian University in Rome, to set up a ‘Council’ in Crete in 2016. However, the free Orthodox world boycotted it, as just another attempt to secularize the Church, ignoring its dogmas and canons.

 Conclusion

Now that the Church is free from the apostatic deadwood of the Truman Doctrine of US world supremacy, including over the Church of God, we can at last move forward. Ignoring the arrogant ignorance of primitive Muscovite nationalists, the Russian Church and State can now assume the burden of the Third Rome, for none now can doubt that the Second Rome is well and truly fallen and that ‘a fourth Rome there will not be’. Let us forget the expensive mascarades of diplomacy, for they have utterly failed. Only the Russian Orthodox Church, supported by Russian Orthodox statesmen, can hold the world back from its end, whither it rushes like a suicidal lemming. The Third Rome, the Patriarchate of Holy Rus, stands Risen from the Crucifixion of Atheism and we await its saving words of the Resurrection.

Now we have to be an example to all those who seek salvation, but do not know how to get there. Russia was destined to be an ark of salvation for the many peoples and has no other meaning. If it does not do this beneath the standard of Christ – no other standard will do – it will disappear from the face of the earth and then the whole world will end. Noah’s Ark is here, ready for the flood of fire that hangs over the planet. We await only its captain, the coming Tsar, who will take up the mantle of the Tsar-Martyr, the great benefactor of World Orthodoxy, reformer and builder of churches from New York to Nice, Patron of all the Local Churches. Then all the apostates and traitors will have the opportunity to repent, even at this eleventh hour. We await the Council of New Jerusalem, outside Moscow, to enlighten the world according to the Light of Christ and not to the darkness of men.

 

The Patriarchate of Constantinople Falls into Schism

Just as the then tiny First Rome fell ingloriously in 1054, so now 964 years later, in 2018 the tiny Second Rome has also fallen ingloriously. For this is the historic meaning of the Phanariot decision to interfere in the canonical territory of the Russian Mother-Church, on US orders. As Metr Hilarion of Volokalamsk precisely predicted at the time in May 2016, the Phanariots would take their petty revenge in the Ukraine for the Third Rome’s refusal to support the heresies that Constantinople was peddling in Crete in 2016.

Now having taken on the notorious Ukrainian schismatics, including the defrocked and married Soviet-American ‘Patriarch’, Filaret Denisenko, and another Ukrainian group, run by the Canadian and US secret services, it means that the Phanar has finally lost its way after a century of anti-canonical errors. It all began with the hubris of power-seeking and flock-grabbing, followed by ecumenism and the new calendar, now it has ended in canonical ignominy. On Monday 15 October the Third Rome will make its judgement.

Already Archbishop Kliment (Vecherya) has called on all to discuss the possibility of anathematizing their Patriarch. We can only pray that this elderly man may yet repent for his insanity and foolishness. However, whatever happens, the Phanariot decision now clears the air. With several hundred thousand modernists and semi-Uniats who support the anticanonical Phanariots gone from the Church, it leaves some 217 million Orthodox to get on with Orthodoxy and at long last dissolve the logjam caused by the Phanar.

Despite the danger of persecution of the canonical Church in the Ukraine, now we can at last expect progress on relations between the Local Churches, the internal issue of the Diaspora, especially in the USA, but also in Western Europe and Oceania, on a century of Phanariot interference in the Russian and Ukrainian Diaspora, as also in Estonia. We can also expect progress on the external issue of the heresies of the Roman Catholic/Protestant world. We are breathing a sigh of relief. We can now go on unshackled and unhampered by deference and diplomacy to the spiritually and politically bankrupt.

 

 

Orthodox Church Statistics

With various irresponsible and inaccurate articles being published at present, suggesting that the Orthodox Church has 250 million (or even 300 million!) members, we are republishing our statistical survey of the Orthodox Church. We would be grateful if anyone can correct the statistics presented, if they are incorrect. Thank you.

 

The Orthodox Church is a family of Local Churches, just like the Churches of the Galatians, the Ephesians, the Romans, the Thessalonians, the Colossians etc, as described in the letters written to them by the holy Apostle Paul. Each of the fourteen Local Orthodox Churches has a main administrative figure, a chief bishop known as a Patriarch, or in the case of smaller Churches, a Metropolitan or Archbishop. However, the Church as a whole has no earthly head, because the head of the Orthodox Church is our Lord Jesus Christ. His authority is expressed in the Orthodox Church through the Holy Spirit as revealed, particularly through Church Councils and the saints. Below you will find details of the Orthodox Churches and their approximate sizes, totalling in all over 218 million members with some 843 active bishops.

1. The Russian Orthodox Church 164,000,000

Also known as the Patriarchate of Moscow, this accounts for 75% of Orthodox. It cares for Orthodox living in the canonical Russian Orthodox territories, spread over one fifth of the planet (the former Soviet Union except for Georgia, plus China and Japan) and peopled by 62 nationalities. These territories include the Russian Federation, the Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Transcarpathia (the main part of Carpatho-Russia), Kazakhstan, Central Asia and the Baltic Republics, such as Latvia (250,000). The Russian Church also includes the self-governing, multinational Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (400,000 worldwide, mainly in the Americas and Australia as well as parts of Western Europe.), the Japanese Orthodox Church and the Chinese Orthodox Church.

2. The Romanian Orthodox Church 18,800,000

Also known as the Patriarchate of Bucharest. Apart from in Romania, there are also many Romanian parishes in the Diaspora, especially in Western Europe.

3. The Greek Orthodox Church 10,000,000

Under the Archbishop of Athens, this Church cares for all Orthodox in Greece.

4. The Serbian Orthodox Church 9,000,000

The canonical territory of the Patriarchate of Belgrade covers Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Croatia and Slovenia. There are also many Serbian parishes in the worldwide Serbian Diaspora.

5. The Bulgarian Orthodox Church 4,500,000

The Patriarchate of Sofia covers Bulgaria and has a few churches in the Diaspora.

6. The Georgian Orthodox Church 3,500,000

The Patriarchate of Tbilisi covers Georgia and a very small Georgian Diaspora.

7. The Patriarchate of Constantinople 3,500,000

This includes Greek Orthodox in Istanbul (about 1,000), those on Greek islands such as Crete and Rhodes (700,000), and above all the Greek Diaspora in the Americas, Western Europe and Australia. There are also twenty-four autonomous parishes in Finland and small groups of other Non-Greek Orthodox elsewhere.

8. The Patriarchate of Antioch 1,800,000

The canonical territory of the Arab Patriarch, who lives in Damascus, includes Syria, the Lebanon and Iraq. There are also parishes in the Diaspora, including some 10,000 ex-Protestants in the USA and 300 ex-Protestants in the UK.

9. The Patriarchate of Alexandria 1,600,000

Although for historical reasons its Patriarch is a Greek and his appointment is in the care of the Greek government, this Patriarchate is in Egypt. It also cares for St Catherine’s Monastery on Mt Sinai, but the vast bulk of its faithful are Africans, spread over 54 African countries.

10. The Orthodox Church of Cyprus 700,000

Under an Archbishop, this Church cares for all Greek Orthodox in Cyprus.

11. The Polish Orthodox Church 600,000

Under the Metropolitan of Warsaw, this Church cares for Orthodox of all origins who live mainly in eastern Poland.

12. The Albanian Orthodox Church 200,000

Under the Archbishop of Tirana, this Church cares for Orthodox in southern Albania, most of whom are of Greek origin.

  1. The Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia 170,000

Led by a Metropolitan, this Church cares for Carpatho-Russian, Slovak and Czech Orthodox, as well as large numbers of recent Ukrainian Orthodox immigrants to Slovakia and the Czech Lands.

14.The Patriarchate of Jerusalem 130,000

Although its Patriarch is a Greek and his appointment is in the care of the Greek government, this Patriarchate cares for Arab Orthodox in Palestine and the Jordan.

 

 

 

 

The City is Lost! The Church is Found!

Introduction: The Bad Old Days

It is always sad to see the clerical elite of Local Churches fall into the sins of treachery and apostasy. It happened in Constantinople just before its Fall in 1453, when those in charge fell into the sin of Uniatism, hoping that the Vatican, and not God, would save them from the Muslim invader. It happened in 1948 when CIA thugs kidnapped the canonical Patriarch Maximos V and threatened to kill him if he did not get into their Presidential aeroplane and go into exile in Geneva, appointing in his place the half-Orthodox American Archbishop Athenagoras. As an eyewitness, his Archdeacon and later the Bishop of Birmingham, told me, Patriarch Maximos said as he was being forcemarched away: ‘The City is lost!’

And now it is happening again, with the latest anti-canonical decisions of the latest Patriarch, a Turkish citizen who depends entirely on the US State Department for his survival, with his absurd ‘Council of Crete’ and, above all, his meddling in the territories of other Local Churches. Whether in the USA (setting up its own jurisdiction, thus destroying Church unity), in Russia (supporting the renovationists against St Tikhon), in Finland (the notorious Aav schism), in France (the Evlogian schism), in Estonia (the ‘Apostolic Orthodox’ schism), in England (the Sourozh schism), in Greece (in the ‘New Territories’), in Macedonia or now in the Ukraine, tiny Constantinople has been trying to create for itself a flock which it does not have, by stealing the flocks of other Churches, in disobedience to the most basic canons, but with the support of illegitimate, US-backed, regimes.

Of course, there is still, but only just, time for repentance for the latest intended insanity of Constantinople. This is in the impoverished and wartorn Ukraine, controlled by vicious US-sponsored corrupt oligarchs, who live no differently from primitive African tribal leaders. However, if repentance does not come, despite the last minute journey to the Phanar and the desperate pleas of Patriarch Kyrill for repentance last week, then Constantinople with its tiny flock will fall away from the Church. This would be tragic for them – but not for the rest of the Church, for Divine Providence can always bring good out of human stupidity.

Possible Positive Results

Firstly, as Constantinople, for centuries the plaything of foreign powers and their bribes, has over a century become the bastion of modernism, all the Orthodox parts of that sorry Patriarchate, its faithful clergy and people and Mt Athos, could transfer to an Orthodox Church, at last feeling at ease under genuine Orthodox bishops. Here the most likely option would be to enter the present Church of Greece, though with long-awaited guarantees for the internationalization of Athos and so permission for thousands of monks from other countries to live there. This would become inevitable if the Archbishop of Athens took the title of Patriarch of Constantinople. This would be logical, given that the present one is falling into schism and even heresy.

Secondly, the modernists with their papal calendar and liturgical illiteracy, who have infiltrated some smaller Local Churches, would find themselves without support. Thus, we might see the eight smaller Churches, Alexandria, Antioch, Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Albania, Romania, the Czech Lands and Slovakia, returning to the Orthodox calendar, as the Church of Poland already has. In this way, they would repent and rejoin the 80% of the Orthodox world that remained faithful in the Churches of Russia, Serbia, Georgia and Jerusalem. The old calendar schisms in the above eight Churches could thus also be overcome.

Thirdly, it could lead to solving the divisive Diaspora problem, created initially by the phyletism of Constantinople. This would put all Orthodox nationalities under the single but multinational jurisdiction of the Russian Church, as was the case in the USA before the 1917 Revolution. This is not some sort of hegemony a la Constantinople, Eastern Papism or ecclesiastical imperialism, but preparation for autocephaly. This has been the case with other Orthodox missions of the Russian Orthodox Church down the centuries, from St Stephen of Perm to St John of Shanghai. Unlike Constantinople, the Russian Church has always helped towards independence, not created dependence. We cannot forget that Constantinople has never freely given any Church autocephaly, but has always clung on to power for as long as possible.

Conclusion: The Good New Days

In the future, we can see a real Orthodox Council, not a Halfodox one as in Crete, being held in order to anathematize the poison of the dogmatic, canonical, spiritual and moral errors of the Constantinople elite over the last 100 years, from new calendarism to liturgical modernism, from ecumenism to simony, from papism to the remarriage of priests.

In the future, we can see the Polish and Czechoslovak Churches returning and becoming autonomous Churches within the Russian Orthodox Church. We can see the Albanian Church returning and becoming an autonomous Church within the Church of Greece, or rather Patriarch of Constantinople, as it would then be called, making the present fourteen Local Churches into ten. We can see the diptychs being changed to classing these ten Local Churches by size: Russia, Romania, Constantinople (Greece), Serbia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Antioch, Alexandria, Cyprus and Jerusalem.

In the future, we can see four united and autonomous Metropolias being founded in the Diaspora under the Russian Church, awaiting Autocephaly in the fullness of time, like the Churches of Japan and China already. These would be the future: Church of Western Europe, grouping all the ex-Roman Catholic and Protestant countries in Europe, from Iceland to Finland and from Portugal to Hungary; Church of North America (thus ending its present jurisdictional chaos); Church of Latin America; Church of Oceania. This would leave only certain parts of Asia, like the Indian subcontinent and South-East Asia, to come under the jurisdiction of various Local Churches, perhaps the Antiochian and the Russian between them.

For 100 years, the Patriarchate of Constantinople has in its purely worldly, prideful and racial fantasy of ecclesiastical imperialism, systematically followed divisive policies. These  have created schisms, both old calendarist, fragmenting the Church by repressing zeal, and phyletist, fragmenting the Church by nationalism, as at present in the Ukraine, all around the Orthodox world. It has made itself into an Eastern Papacy, thus gradually divorcing itself from the Church and its ecclesiology. Its departure from the Church in the coming months, however tragic for the often elderly individuals concerned, would actually clear the air, overcoming past injustices and obstructive barriers to unity, making progress at last possible after a century of frustration. This may be the moment that we have been waiting for ever since 1917.

 

 

The Orthodox Church: 218 million faithful and 907 bishops

The Orthodox Church is a family of Local Churches, just like the Churches of the Galatians, the Ephesians, the Romans, the Thessalonians, the Colossians etc, as described in the letters written to them by the holy Apostle Paul. Each of the fourteen Local Orthodox Churches has a main administrative figure, a chief bishop known as a Patriarch, or in the case of smaller Churches, a Metropolitan or Archbishop. However, the Church as a whole has no earthly head, because the head of the Orthodox Church is our Lord Jesus Christ. His authority is expressed in the Orthodox Church through the Holy Spirit as revealed, particularly through Church Councils and the saints.

Below you will find details of the Orthodox Churches and their approximate sizes, totalling in all over 218 million members with 843 active bishops. However, this does not including the 52 titular bishops of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, where the term bishop or metropolitan is particularly often used as an honorific award and the 14 bishops of the 90,000-strong North American (‘OCA’) group under the Russian Orthodox Church, which is not universally recognized. This brings the real total to 907.

1. The Russian Orthodox Church 164,000,000

Also known as the Patriarchate of Moscow, this accounts for 75% of all Orthodox and has 368 bishops. (Another 14 bishops are to be found in the dependent North American group known as the OCA). It cares for Orthodox living in the canonical Russian Orthodox territory, spread over one fifth of the planet (the former Soviet Union except for Georgia, plus China and Japan) and peopled by 62 nationalities. These territories include the Russian Federation, the Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Transcarpathia (the main part of Carpatho-Russia), Kazakhstan, Central Asia and the Baltic Republics, such as Latvia (250,000). The Russian Church also includes the self-governing multinational Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (400,000 worldwide, mainly in the Americas and Australia as well as parts of Western Europe), the Japanese Orthodox Church and the tiny Chinese Orthodox Church.

2. The Romanian Orthodox Church 18,800,000

Also known as the Patriarchate of Bucharest, it has 53 bishops. Apart from in Romania, there are also many Romanian parishes in the Diaspora, especially in Western Europe.

3. The Greek Orthodox Church 10,000,000

Under the Archbishop of Athens, this Church with 101 bishops cares for all Orthodox in Greece.

  1. The Serbian Orthodox Church 9,000,000

The canonical territory of the Patriarchate of Belgrade covers Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Croatia and Slovenia and the Church has 44 bishops. There are also many Serbian parishes in the worldwide Serbian Diaspora.

  1. The Bulgarian Orthodox Church 4,500,000

The Patriarchate of Sofia covers Bulgaria, has 15 bishops and a few churches in the Diaspora.

  1. The Georgian Orthodox Church 3,500,000

The Patriarchate of Tbilisi covers Georgia and a very small Georgian Diaspora.  It has 37 bishops.

  1. The Patriarchate of Constantinople 3,400,000

This includes Greek Orthodox in Istanbul (about 1,000), those on Greek islands such as Crete and Rhodes (700,000), and above all the Greek Diaspora in the Americas, Western Europe and Australia. There are also twenty-four autonomous parishes in Finland and small groups of other Non-Greek Orthodox, mainly Ukrainian, elsewhere. It has 73 active bishops and 52 titular bishops, 125 in all.

  1. The Patriarchate of Antioch 1,800,000

The canonical territory of the Arab Patriarch, who lives in Damascus, includes Syria, the Lebanon and Iraq. There are 44 bishops and also many parishes in the Diaspora, including some 10,000 ex-Protestants in the USA.

  1. The Patriarchate of Alexandria 1,400,000

Although for historical reasons its Patriarch is a Greek and his appointment is in the care of the Greek government, this Patriarchate is in Egypt. It also cares for St Catherine’s Monastery on Mt Sinai, but the vast bulk of its faithful are Africans, spread over 54 African countries. It has 31 bishops.

  1. The Orthodox Church of Cyprus 700,000

Under an Archbishop, this Church cares for all Greek Orthodox in Cyprus and has 17 bishops.

  1. The Polish Orthodox Church 600,000

Under the Metropolitan of Warsaw, this Church cares for Orthodox of all origins who live mainly in eastern Poland. It has 12 bishops.

  1. The Albanian Orthodox Church 200,000

Under the Archbishop of Tirana, this Church cares for Orthodox in southern Albania, most of whom are of Greek origin. It has 6 bishops.

13. The Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia 170,000

Led by a Metropolitan, this Church cares for Carpatho-Russian, Slovak and Czech Orthodox, as well as large numbers of recent Ukrainian Orthodox immigrants to Slovakia and the Czech Lands. It has 6 bishops.

  1. The Patriarchate of Jerusalem 130,000

Although its Patriarch is a Greek and his appointment and that of other bishops is in the care of the Greek government, this Patriarchate’ flock consists mainly of Palestinian Orthodox in Palestine and the Jordan. It has 20 bishops.

 

Towards a Planet of Twelve Patriarchates

Today’s Reality

The first millennium saw the development of seven Local Orthodox Churches, arranged in five Patriarchates and two Autocephalous Churches: Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem and the Churches of Georgia and Cyprus. In theory, these covered the continents of Asia, Africa and Europe. Their number decreased to six after the defection of Rome to its new creed of Papalism and the Western tip of Europe fell away from the Church.

However, in the second millennium the number increased. This happened when the Patriarchate of Constantinople was infected by Greek nationalism (Hellenism) and monolingualism. This nationalism had already played a role in the nationalistic foundations of Monophysite and Nestorian denominations in Egypt, Ethiopia, Armenia and groups in Syria, but it fragmented further in Balkanization. Thus, the autocephalous Serbian Church was founded, followed by the Russian, Romanian and Bulgarian, creating another four Local Churches.

In the 19th century Imperialist Britain also forced the Greek Church to separate from the Patriarchate of Constantinople, making eleven Local Churches. Then in the 20th century, the Polish and Czechoslovak Churches were carved out of the Russian and Serbian Churches for political reasons and the Albanian Church came into being, because the border between Greece and Albania was unjustly delineated, adding another three Local Churches. Thus, at the present time there are fourteen Local Orthodox Churches, so many of which exist only because of the vagaries of politics and nationalism.

What If?

What if the twelve apostles were to meet today in a new Council of Jerusalem, as they did before in 33 AD, with the above information, a map of the world as it is in front of them and information about history, geography, culture and present-day populations (Asia, 4.45 billion; Africa, 1.2 billion; the Americas 1 billion; Europe 740 million; Oceania 40 million), how might they divide the world amongst themselves? Perhaps into Twelve Local Orthodox Churches, something like this?

  1. The Patriarchate of Jerusalem and All the Holy Lands. (A Church based in the City of the Resurrection and covering today’s Israel, Cyprus, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia and the Balkans (Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, Romania and ex-Yugoslavia), thus uniting two of the present ancient Patriarchates and seven of the present autocephalous Churches.
  2. The Patriarchate of Baghdad and All the Middle East. (A Church to cover all the Christian and Muslim Middle East, from the Lebanon, Syria and the Jordan to the Arabian Peninsula, to Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan).
  3. The Patriarchate of Nairobi and All Africa. (A Church based in Nairobi to cover the 1.2 billion people of the African Continent. Main languages: English, French, Arabic, Portuguese, Spanish and native African languages).
  4. The Patriarchate of Moscow and All the Russias. (A Church covering most of Northern Eurasia, one sixth of the planet, including Mongolia and the Korean Peninsula).
  5. The Patriarchate of Vienna and All Western Europe. (A Church based in the cultural heart of Central Europe, and not in off-centre Rome, to cover all of what was Roman Catholic and Protestant Europe, from Iceland to Hungary and Portugal to Finland, including the territories of the Local Churches in Poland and the Czech Lands and Slovakia).
  6. The Patriarchate of New Delhi and All India. (A Church to cover the ancient territory of Hindu Civilization with nearly 1.4 billion people, together with Nepal and Bhutan).
  7. The Patriarchate of Beijing and All China. (A Church to cover the nearly 1.5 billion Chinese population, Taiwan and Tibet).
  8. The Patriarchate of Tokyo and All Japan. (A Church to cover the ancient and unique Japanese Civilization).
  9. The Patriarchate of Bangkok and All South-East Asia. (A Church to cover the largely Muslim and Buddhist populations of Bangladesh, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Malaysia).
  10. The Patriarchate of Manila and All Oceania. (A Church to cover the Philippines, Indonesia, Papua, New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand and all the Pacific Islands).
  11. The Patriarchate of Washington and All Northern America. (A Church to cover the USA, Canada and the Carribean. Main languages: English and French).
  12. The Patriarchate of Rio de Janeiro and All Latin America. (A Church to cover South and Central America and Mexico. Main languages: Spanish and Portuguese).

The Gap Between Reality and What If?

As we can see from the above, only Churches No 1, 2, 3 and 4 already exist, although: Church No 1 is at present tiny and seems to be run largely as a Greek clerical colony; Church No 2, though claiming to be the Church ‘of All the East’ is at present small, based in Damascus/Beirut, though claiming to be in Antioch in Turkey, and is largely run by four merchant families; Church No 3 is also small, and though claiming to be ‘of All Africa’ is governed almost entirely by Non-African bishops, is based very far from its flock, in Alexandria, and has converted only 1% of those in its canonical territory. Although Church No 4 would remain much as now, Churches Nos 5-12, to cover some 5.5 billion human-beings, do not even exist.

We should be ashamed of ourselves.

 

‘Pan-Orthodox’ = Non-Orthodox?

Even in the Russian Orthodox Church we sometimes hear of ‘Pan-Orthodox’ organizations, assemblies, conferences, meetings, even of ‘Pan-Orthodox liturgies’. But what does this mean? Every liturgy is ‘Pan-Orthodox’, inasmuch as all Orthodox are invited to partake, indeed the whole world is called on to pray. Sadly, the phrase ‘Pan-Orthodox’ really means ‘only for selected Orthodox’. In fact, it means ‘for new calendarists only’ (thus, excluding 85% of Orthodox), and for ecumenists, modernists, freemasons and liberal intellectuals (thus, excluding 99.9% of the rest). How has this distortion of meaning come about?

This distorted word has come from two opposing visions of the unity of the Church, especially in the Diaspora. The first vision for unity, the ‘Pan-Orthodox’ one, is based on a levelling down to the lowest common denominator, in fact, on protestantization and secularization. The other vision for unity, the Orthodox one, is based on a levelling up to the highest common denominator, in fact it is ascetic and leads to holiness. Although the first vision will at first be more popular and more common, because it is not Spirit-bearing, it will not last. It is therefore only the second vision that endures and triumphs.

We can see this in last year’s ‘Pan-Orthodox’ (!!!) meeting in Crete. This has caused a huge crisis in the Greek and new calendarist (for example Romanian) world, which attended it and signed various papers, and that world is now concerned with the ‘reception’ of that peculiar meeting. This is utterly irrelevant to the majority of Orthodox, who are hardly aware of this crisis, since they refused even to attend such an absurd meeting with its Non-Orthodox agenda and have since forgotten it and laugh when they hear it called ‘a Council’. We are pre-Crete and post-Crete and living; they are con-Crete and dead.

We would rather suffer martyrdom than sign any of those papers. Such is ‘Pan-Orthodox’. In order to be ‘Pan-Orthodox’, you first have to be Orthodox. That is what the ‘Orthodox-lite’, ‘Euro-Orthodox’ ecumenists, modernists and liberals have no understanding of. In being all things to all men, they have ended up being nothing to no-one, in other words, a laughing-stock of those in the past. This is why we ignore them, safe with our Orthodox bishops and Orthodox faithful. This is why we shall continue to be authentically ‘Pan-Orthodox’, welcoming all, multinational and multilingual and faithful to the Tradition.

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.