Category Archives: The Orthodox Church

The Church is Different and We are Different

The Church is Different

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

Why is it Different?

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

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

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

We are Different

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

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

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

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

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

Why we Dress Differently and Have Different Roles

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

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

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

Different but Together

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

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

Who Governs the Church?

Preface

In my last article, I wrote:

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

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

Introduction

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

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

  1. Moral Temptations

There are three of these:

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

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

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

  1. Power Temptations

There are three of these:

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

 

“Whose Money Stoked Religious Strife in Ukraine – and Who Tried to Steal It?”

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/11/17/whose-money-stoked-religious-strife-ukraine-who-tried-steal-it.html

Whose Money Stoked Religious Strife in Ukraine – and Who Tried to Steal It?

Was $25 million in American tax dollars allocated for a payoff to stir up religious turmoil and violence in Ukraine? Did Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (unsuccessfully) attempt to divert most of it into his own pocket?

Last month the worldwide Orthodox Christian communion was plunged into crisis by the decision of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I in Constantinople to recognize as legitimate schismatic pseudo-bishops anathematized by the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is an autonomous part of the Russian Orthodox Church. In so doing not only has Patriarch Bartholomew besmirched the global witness of Orthodoxy’s two-millennia old Apostolic faith, he has set the stage for religious strife in Ukraine and fratricidal violence – which has already begun.

Starting in July, when few were paying attention, this analyst warned about the impending dispute and how it facilitated the anti-Christian moral agenda of certain marginal “Orthodox” voices like “Orthodoxy in Dialogue,” Fordham University’s “Orthodox Christian Studies Center,” and The Wheel. These “self-professed teachers presume to challenge the moral teachings of the faith” (in the words of Fr. John Parker) and “prowl around, wolves in sheep’s clothing, forming and shaping false ideas about the reality of our life in Christ.” Unsurprisingly such groups have embraced Constantinople’s neopapal self-aggrandizement and support for the Ukrainian schismatics.

No one – and certainly not this analyst – would accuse Patriarch Bartholomew, most Ukrainian politicians, or even the Ukrainian schismatics of sympathizing with advocacy of such anti-Orthodox values. And yet these advocates know they cannot advance their goals if the conciliar and traditional structure of Orthodoxy remains intact. Thus they welcome efforts by Constantinople to centralize power while throwing the Church into discord, especially the Russian Church, which is vilified in some Western circles precisely because it is a global beacon of traditional Christian moral witness.

This aspect points to another reason for Western governments to support Ukrainian autocephaly as a spiritual offensive against Russia and Orthodoxy. The post-Maidan leadership harp on the “European choice” the people of Ukraine supposedly made in 2014, but they soft-pedal the accompanying moral baggage the West demands, symbolized by “gay” marches organized over Christian objections in Orthodox cities like AthensBelgradeBucharestKievOdessaPodgoricaSofia, and Tbilisi. Even under the Trump administration, the US is in lockstep with our European Union friends in pressuring countries liberated from communism to adopt such nihilistic “democratic, European values.”

Perhaps even more important to its initiators, the row over Ukraine aims to break what they see as the “soft power” of the Russian Federation, of which the Orthodox Church is the spiritual heart and soul. As explained by Valeria Z. Nollan, professor emerita of Russian Studies at Rhodes College:

‘The real goal of the quest for autocephaly [i.e., complete self-governing status independent of the Moscow Patriarchate] of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is a de facto coup: a political coup already took place in 2014, poisoning the relations between western Ukraine and Russia, and thus another type of coup – a religious one – similarly seeks to undermine the canonical relationship between the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and Moscow.’

In furthering these twin objectives (morally, the degrading of Orthodox Christianity; politically, undermining the Russian state as Orthodoxy’s powerful traditional protector) it is increasingly clear that the United States government – and specifically the Department of State – has become a hands-on fomenter of conflict. After a short period of appropriately declaring that “any decision on autocephaly is an internal [Orthodox] church matter,” the Department within days reversed its position and issued a formal statement (in the name of Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, but clearly drafted by the European bureau) that skirted a direct call for autocephaly but gave the unmistakable impression of such backing. This is exactly how it was reported in the media, for example, “US backs Ukrainian Church bid for autocephaly.” Finally, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo weighed in personally with his own endorsement as did the US Reichskommissar for UkraineKurt Volker.

The Threat…

There soon became reason to believe that the State Department’s involvement was not limited to exhortations. As reported by this analyst in October, according to an unconfirmed report originating with the members of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (an autonomous New York-based jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate), in July of this year State Department officials (possibly including Secretary Pompeo personally) warned the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (also based in New York but part of the Ecumenical Patriarchate) that the US government was aware of the misappropriation of a large amount of money, about $10 million, from estimated $37 million raised from believers for the construction of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine in New York. The State Department warning also reportedly noted that federal prosecutors have documentary evidence confirming the withdrawal of these funds abroad on the orders of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. It was suggested that Secretary Pompeo would “close his eyes” to this theft in exchange for movement by the Patriarchate of Constantinople in favor of Ukrainian autocephaly, which helped set Patriarch Bartholomew on his current course.

[Further details on the St. Nicholas scandal are available here, but in summary: Only one place of worship of any faith was destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attack in New York and only one building not part of the World Trade Center complex was completely destroyed. That was St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, a small urban parish church established at the end of World War I and dedicated to St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, who is very popular with Greeks as the patron of sailors. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attack, and following a lengthy legal battle with the Port Authority, which opposed rebuilding the church, in 2011 the Greek Archdiocese launched an extensive campaign to raise funds for a brilliant innovative design by the renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava based on traditional Byzantine forms. Wealthy donors and those of modest means alike enthusiastically contributed millions to the effort. Then – poof! In December 2017, suddenly all construction was halted for lack of funds and remains stalled to this day. Resumption would require having an estimated $2 million on hand. Despite the Archdiocese’s calling in a major accounting firm to conduct an audit, there’s been no clear answer to what happened to the money. Both the US Attorney and New York state authorities are investigating.]

This is where things get back to Ukraine. If the State Department wanted to find the right button to push to spur Patriarch Bartholomew to move on the question of autocephaly, the Greek Archdiocese in the US is it. Let’s keep in mind that in his home country, Turkey, Patriarch Bartholomew has virtually no local flock – only a few hundred mostly elderly Greeks left huddled in Istanbul’s Phanar district. (Sometimes the Patriarchate is referred to simply as “the Phanar,” much as “the Vatican” is shorthand for the Roman Catholic papacy.) Whatever funds the Patriarchate derives from other sources (the Greek government, the Roman Catholic Church, the World Council of Churches), the Phanar’s financial lifeline is the ethnic Greek community (including this analyst) in what is still quaintly called the “Diaspora” in places like America, Australia, and New Zealand. And of these, the biggest cash cow is the Greek-Americans.

That’s why, when Patriarch Bartholomew issued a call in 2016 for what was billed as an Orthodox “Eighth Ecumenical Council” (the first one since the year 787!), the funds largely came from America, to the tune of up to $8 million according to the same confidential source as will be noted below. Intended by some as a modernizing Orthodox “Vatican II,” the event was doomed to failure by a boycott organized by Moscow over what the latter saw as Patriarch Bartholomew’s adopting papal or even imperial prerogatives – now sadly coming to bear in Ukraine.

…and the Payoff

On top of the foregoing, it now appears that the State Department’s direct hand in this sordid business may not have consisted solely of wielding the “stick” of legal threat: there’s reason to believe there was a “carrot” too. It very recently came to the attention of this analyst, via an unsolicited, confidential source in the Greek Archdiocese in New York, that a payment of $25 million in US government money was made to Constantinople to encourage Patriarch Bartholomew to move forward on Ukraine.

The source for this confidential report was unaware of earlier media reports that the same figure – $25 million – was paid by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to the Phanar as an incentive for Patriarch Bartholomew to move forward on creating an independent Ukrainian church. Moreover, Poroshenko evidently tried to shortchange the payment:

‘Peter [Petro] Poroshenko — the president of Ukraine — was obligated to return $15 million US dollars to the Patriarch of Constantinople, which he had appropriated for himself.

‘As reported by Izvestia, this occurred after the story about Bartholomew’s bribe and a “vanishing” large sum designated for the creation of a Unified Local Orthodox Church in Ukraine surfaced in the mass media.

‘As reported, on the eve of Poroshenko’s visit in Istanbul, a few wealthy people of Ukraine “chipped in” in order to hasten the process of creating a Unified Local Orthodox Church. About $25 million was collected. They were supposed to go to the award ceremony for Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople for the issuing of a tomos of autocephaly. [A tomos is a small book containing a formal announcement.] However, in the words of people close to the backer, during the visit on April 9, Poroshenko handed over only $10 million.

‘As a result, having learned of the deal, Bartholomew cancelled the participation of the delegation of the Phanar – the residence of the Patriarch of Constantinople, in the celebration of the 1030th anniversary of the Baptism of Russia on July 27 in Kiev.

‘”Such a decision from Bartholomew’s side was nothing other than a strong ultimatum to Poroshenko to return the stolen money. Of course, in order to not lose his face in light of the stark revelations of the creation of the tomos of autocephaly for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Peter Alexeevich [Poroshenko] had to just return those $15 million for the needs of Constantinople,” a trusted source explained to reporters.

‘For preliminary information, only after receiving the remaining sum, did Bartholomew finally give his consent to sending a delegation of the Phanar to Kiev … ‘

Now, it’s possible that the two identical figures of $25 million refer to two different pots of money (a cool $50 million!) but that seems unlikely. It’s more probable the reports refer to the same sum as viewed from the sending side (the State Department, the Greek Archdiocese) and the delivery side (Poroshenko, Constantinople).

Lending credibility to the confidential information from New York and pointing to the probability that it refers to the same payment that Poroshenko reportedly sought to raid for himself are the following observations:

  • When Poroshenko generously offered Patriarch Bartholomew $10 million, the latter was aware that the full amount was $25 million and demanded the $15 million Poroshenko had held back. How did the Patriarch know that, unless he was informed via New York of the full sum?
  • If the earlier-reported $25 million was really collected from “a few wealthy people of Ukraine” who “chipped in,” given the cutthroat nature of disputes among Ukrainian oligarchs would Poroshenko (an oligarch in his own right) have risked trying to shortchange the payment? Why has not even one such Ukrainian donor been identified?
  • Without going into all the details, the Phanar and the Greek Archdiocese have a long relationship with US administrations of both parties going back at least to the Truman administration, encompassing some decidedly unattractive episodes. In such a history, a mere bribe for a geopolitical shot against Moscow would hardly be a first instance or the worst.

As one of this analyst’s Greek-American connections puts it: “It’s easy to comprehend the Patriarchate bowing to the pressure of State Dept. blackmail… not overly savory, but understandable. However, it’s another thing altogether if Kiev truly “purchased” their autocephalous status from an all too willing Patriarchate … which would relegate the Patriarch to ‘salesman’ status and leave the faithful wondering what else might be offered to the highest bidder the next time it became convenient to hold a Patriarchal ‘fire sale’ at the Phanar?!”

To add insult to injury, you’d think Constantinople at least could pay back some of the $7-8 million wasted on the Crete 2016 debacle to restart the St. Nicholas project in New York. Evidently the Phanar has better things to spend it on, like the demonstrative environmentalism of “the Green Patriarch” and, together with Pope Francis, welcoming Muslim migrants to Europe through Greece. Of course maybe there’s no need to worry, as the Ukraine “sale” was consistent with Constantinople’s papal ambitions, an uncanonical claim to “universal” status, and misuse of incarnational language and adoption of a breathtakingly arrogant tone that would cause even the most ultramontane proponent of the Rome’s supremacy to blush.

Finally, it seems that, for the time being at least, Constantinople doesn’t intend to create an independent Ukrainian church but rather an autonomous church under its own authority. It’s unclear whether or not Poroshenko or the State Department, in such event, would believe they had gotten their money’s worth. Perhaps they would. After all, the issue here is less what is appropriate for Ukraine than what strikes at Russia and injures the worldwide Christian witness of the Orthodox Church. To that end, it doesn’t matter whether the new illegal body is Constantinopolitan or Kievan, just so long as it isn’t a “Moskal church” linked to Russia.

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.