Tag Archives: Church Freedom

What is Happening in Montenegro?

I don’t know if you’ve heard anything about the current goings-on in Montenegro since the corrupt, NATO-supported mafia regime there adopted a law which aims to confiscate the property of the canonical Orthodox Church. Naturally, the law has a ridiculous Orwellian name (something like “the law on freedom of religion”), and is presented as an honest attempt on the part of the Montenegrin government to regulate State-Church relations in the country. In fact, however, the law was clearly created to confiscate the property (including churches and monasteries) belonging to the Orthodox Church in Montenegro which, unlike other major religious denominations in the country, was never invited to any kind of official discussion or dialogue with relevant government institutions etc responsible for creating this law. The most controversial part of the law states (in essence) that all property belonging to the Church since before 1918 for which there is no adequate evidence that it belonged to the Church and not the State will be confiscated by the State. The false premise here is that the State then supposedly owned all Church land, which by the way is completely false. Government functionaries have obviously denied this, but it is the logical consequence of the law. Several members of the leading party (i.e. members of the Montenegrin mafia) have made pronunciations about the Serbian Orthodox Church being a “relic of the past” which needs to “die out”, and have said that perhaps some churches could, in the future, be used for whatever the government finds useful, such as cafés, pastry shops or casinos (!).
The current president (read: dictator) of Montenegro, who has been in power for around thirty years, and who is himself unbaptized and an atheist, has recently declared that it is his intention to “recreate” the “autocephalous” (sic) “Montenegrin Orthodox Church”. This is obvious historical revisionism and political manipulation (which is I’m sure you understand very well), the same kind that we’ve already seen in the Ukraine and other places. This fake “Church” has no members (other than perhaps a handful of government bureaucrats) and is led by a former priest (defrocked and excommunicated by the Patriarch of Constantinople) named Miraš Dedeić.
Naturally, the faithful have been protesting this whole development for years (the first draft of the law was finished in 2015) and since the law was passed about a week ago there have been huge gatherings – prayer services, processions and demonstrations all across Montenegro. Over 100,000 are believed to have participated the day before yesterday alone, and more still during the previous week. Despite these massive protests (in a country, by the way, which has a population of only around 600,000) and a large gathering on December 21 in Nikšić where tens of thousands gathered despite the bad weather and the fact that the government blocked the roads to Republika Srpska and Serbia, hardly any attention has been paid to this anywhere. Obviously the media in Serbia, Montenegro and the surrounding countries have reported all this, along with some alternative media outlets, but hardly a word from foreign media. If one sixth of the population of, say, the United Kingdom, protested against something – don’t you think that might be mentioned in the news? Perhaps more than a few times even?
Today the looming war with Iran has naturally crowded out all other news, but even before that there was hardly any mention of these recent developments in Montenegro. I suppose the diabolical mainstream media only report the things that serve their agenda, and spin everything to suit their narrative.
Anyway, I just thought I’d send you this message and a few links to some relevant articles and videos. I didn’t even get into the unbelievably condescending interview given to the Serbian media outlet Kurir by Patriarch Bartholomew where he inferred that some of the Serbian bishops are “ungrateful children” whom the “Mother Church” (i.e. Constantinople) nevertheless “loves”. Can you imagine? He also went on to bash the Russian Orthodox Church for its supposedly terrible actions in the Ukraine etc. The article in Serbian is linked below, Google Translate usually does an okay job translating from Serbian to English.
In any case, what can I say? Please pray for me and for us all, for the Church and all the faithful who are suffering across the world. Times are clearly not that good right now.
And have a wonderful and peaceful Christmas!
https://orthochristian.com/126743.html – Police in Podgorica beat up a bishop and faithful protesting against the law
https://orthochristian.com/126889.html – Politicians who voted for the law are excommunicated, the faithful protest all over Montenegro
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=r1PzVnqLqjc – Yesterday’s prayer and protest in Podgorica
https://mitropolija.com/2020/01/02/istinska-crna-gora-2-januara-2020-godine-uvece-video-foto/ – Images and videos from protests in cities and towns across Montenegro

Russian Orthodox Church also to Abandon Crete Meeting?

The news that the Bulgarian Orthodox Church will not be taking part in what was supposed to be a ‘Pan-Orthodox’ meeting in Crete this month, because it disagrees with the draft documents proposed (like most Orthodox everywhere), and that the Patriarchate of Antioch will probably not take part, was followed by an announcement of the Synod of the Russian Church on 3 June.

This was a call for an extraordinary ‘pre-Conciliar’ conference to take place before the 10 June in order to iron out the mass of methodological problems and problems of syncretism in the documents – if not the Russian Church will not take part. (Metr Agafangel of Odessa has already refused personally to take part in the Russian delegation because he disagrees so profoundly with the documents proposed).

However, yesterday, on 6 June, the Patriarchate of Constantinople completely rejected this proposal, thus ensuring that the Russian Church will not take part. It is clear that Constantinople’s arrogant, top-down attempt to impose on the Orthodox world and people its syncretistic and anti-Orthodox views, dictated to it by the US State Department, has failed.

On 28 May the well-known Russian Orthodox layman and prominent businessman, Konstantin Malofeev, speaking on the Tsargrad TV Channel, confirmed what we had all along suspected. This is that the venue for the Crete meeting is full of CIA and FBI agents, who have been called in ‘to ensure the security of the Orthodox bishops against terrorism’’. In fact, they are bugging the venue and in fact will control all its proceedings.

In other words, if a meeting is to take place, it must first of all take place with a list of real problems of the Church – e.g. the divisive and politically-enforced introduction among a few Orthodox of the Catholic calendar for the fixed feasts, the invasion of Russian canonical territory in Finland, Estonia and elsewhere by the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and ending the jurisdictional divisions in the Diaspora caused by the Patriarchate of Constantinople after 1917.

Secondly, such a meeting must take place with Patriarchs freely chosen by the Synods of the Local Churches (and not in a back room in the US State Department) and it must take place in a free country, in the absence of spies. For nine years now we have been suggesting the now fully restored New Jerusalem Monastery outside Moscow. Perhaps there a meeting could be held which would become a real Pan-Orthodox Council rather than a farcical and expensive junket.

Will the 2016 Inter-Orthodox Council be Cancelled?

The Inter-Orthodox Council which the Patriarchate of Constantinople has so long wanted and which has been pencilled in for 2016 has always been in doubt. Firstly, there has been the question of the agenda. What is there to talk about, when all the dogmatic issues were long ago resolved? The agenda of mainly rather secular issues proposed, seemingly a throwback to the 1960s, has never really been shared with, let alone had the support or enthusiasm of, the faithful and appears to have been externally imposed by the forces which control that Patriarchate. Secondly, there have been several jurisdictional disputes potentially preventing such a Council taking place.

For example, there has been the question of the recognition of the much-disputed autocephaly of the small group known as the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), which was founded during the first Cold War and which is on shared territory with other Orthodox, the question of a group set up by the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Estonia creating two Churches on the same territory, the question of continued politically-motivated dissidence in Russian Church life in the Diaspora with defections to Constantinople, as well as the dispute between the Patriarchates of Antioch and Jerusalem regarding jurisdiction in Qatar. Now there are new issues, which also seem to be linked to political adventurism.

In recent days the US-controlled Patriarchate of Constantinople has set up an alternative ‘Synod’ in the Czech Lands and Slovakia, in effect creating a division, similar to those after the establishment of Constantinople jurisdictions in the Diaspora after 1917 and more recently in Estonia. The decision to establish the new Synod was made after a meeting of two Constantinople bishops in Vienna on 6 February. In the church in Brno in Moravia on 22 February the 89-year old Archbishop Symeon, together with the retired Bishop Tikhon, consecrated a third bishop outside the Synod of the Local Church, effectively establishing a new Synod.

Almost at the same time the US-appointed Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople received a delegation of Ukrainians from Canada. He promised to help various schismatic groups in the Ukraine, which like Estonia is also on the canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church, unite under his authority. This is on condition that the US-appointed President Poroshenko in Kiev asks his Patriarchate to do so. The Patriarch promised ‘flexibility’, suggesting canonical vagueness. There is a clear political influence here, as the powers that be in the Western world continue to try to divide the Orthodox Church through its weakest point, the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

This has been controlled by the US since 1948, when it deposed the legitimate Patriarch Maximos, who was exiled to Switzerland, and appointed its own controversial Greek-American candidate. These latest measures have been seen as a new part of the US-inspired war of sanctions in revenge for Russian support for the Ukrainians fighting against the US-installed junta in Kiev which appeared after the overthrow of the democratic government there. This is surely a tactical error on the part of the US. It means that the Orthodox world will be able to ignore the now isolated Patriarchate of Constantinople. Like the EU, it has become just another unfree pawn in the new Cold War which the US has begun, from North Africa to the Middle East and from Central Asia to the Caucasus and Eastern Europe.

If Constantinople were politically isolated, the rest of the Orthodox Church would be able to hold a Council (just as it did in 1948 in Moscow), putting aside the modernist human rights-style agenda for the 2016 Council, dictated to the Church by external secular forces. These are the same forces as those that dictated the agenda of Vatican II, protestantizing and secularizing the Roman Catholic world fifty years ago. A future Council of free Local Orthodox Churches, perhaps to be held at the restored New Jerusalem Monastery outside Moscow, could have a relevant agenda to discuss. This could for example be:

1. A statement on the need for the canonical freedom of the Church from the interference of all political authorities and thus a return by all to the Orthodox calendar and typicon. 2. A call to repentance to Orthodox who have lapsed into nationalism, modernism, sectarianism and other forms of Western secularism. 3. The reassertion of the Christian values which stand at the roots of the Western world, but which after a millennial process of degeneration it has finally wholly rejected in the last 25 years. 4. A call to the rest of the Non-Orthodox world to return to traditional values from secularism and consumerist materialism for the sake of the survival of humanity. 5. A statement on the concerted need to preach the Gospel in its Orthodox context throughout the Non-Orthodox world.

This seems to be the moment of decision for nominal Orthodox. Do they believe in the Gospel commandment of Christ that we are to baptize all peoples in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, or are they mere petty nationalists? Are they on the side of the Church, or are they prepared to support the West in its Antichristic project, which involves emptying the Middle East of all its native Christians and trying to destroy the canonical Orthodox Church in the Ukraine? Are they loyal to the multinational Orthodox Christian ideal of Holy Rus/Romaiosini, or are they loyal to provincial nationalism and the powers of this world? Are they loyal to Christ and His Church, or to the Godless Western grasp for global hegemony? Answers need to be given.