Tag Archives: Crete

Initial Sorrowful Observations Regarding the Holy and Great Synod by Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus

“The personal opinion of a Primate on any particular issue is not binding on the Hierarchs in the Synod to which he belongs and does not obligate them to fall in line with his opinion. Were that so, the synodal institution would be annulled and every Primate would be transformed into a Pope. It is not the Primate, but the Synod of Bishops that is the supreme administrative organ in the local Orthodox Churches.”

Initial Sorrowful Observations Regarding the Holy and Great Synod by Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus

From the Office of Heresies and Cults of the Holy Metropolis of Piraeus

By way of the mass media we have followed with great sorrow and pain of soul the Holy and Great Synod from its inception at the Divine Liturgy on the Sunday of Pentecost. In what follows we offer some initial and concise observations on the Synod for the benefit of the people of God.

(1) We observe with sorrow the presence and joint prayer of heretical Papists, Protestants, and Monophysites at Matins and the Divine Liturgy of this great Feast of the Lord in the Church of St. Menas in Heraklion. As everyone is aware, this is prohibited by the Sacred Canons. The Orthodox Primates and other participating Orthodox Hierarchs trampled on the Canons of the Apostles and the Synods, wishing from the outset to send a message to the whole world, showing what great respect they have for the decisions of the Oecumenical Synods and, by extension, for the very institution of the Synod, about which they make bombastic declarations.

(2) The presence, at the commencement of the proceedings, of officially invited delegations of heretical Papists, Protestants, and Monophysites was an unprecedented innovation and one foreign to our Synodal Tradition. In fact, Oecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew addressed these delegates as “representatives of Sister Churches” before the Holy and Great Synod made any decision regarding the ecclesiality or non-ecclesiality of the heretical communities in question. Thus, Patriarch Bartholomew, through a fait accompli, sent another message to the members of the Synod: that he had no intention of calling the heterodox heretics. Instead, he called them Sister Churches. Never in the history of the Oecumenical or local Synods during the Byzantine period were “observers” present at such Synods, and as dignitaries, to boot, whose heretical doctrines were condemned by previous Oecumenical Synods. Heretics were, of course, invited, but as persons subject to trial, in order to defend themselves, and not as guests of honor. It was only at the First and Second Vatican Councils that the phenomenon of “observers” made its appearance. The Holy and Great Synod is evidently copying Roman Catholic models.

(3) The Holy and Great Synod began its proceedings in violation of its “Organization and Working Procedure,” which was signed at the Synaxis of the Primates in January 2016. The document in question prescribes that the Synod be “convened by His Most Divine All-Holiness, the Oecumenical Patriarch, with the consent of Their Beatitudes, the Primates of all of the universally recognized local Autocephalous Orthodox Churches” (Article I). Four Autocephalous Churches—those of Russia, Bulgaria, Georgia, and Antioch—justifiably disagreed with the convocation of the Synod and asked for its postponement, thus, the condition “with the consent of Their Beatitudes, the Primates” was been fulfilled. Consequently, there was no justification, on the basis of the aforementioned “Organization and Working Procedure,” for either the Oecumenical Patriarch or all of the remaining local Churches together to convene a Synod, if they wished to be consistent with the “Organization and Working Procedure” that they signed.

(4) The Synod inaugurated its work without first ratifying the Synodal Decrees (Ὅροι) and Canons of all of the previous Oecumenical Synods, so that the present Holy and Great Synod might be truly an organic continuation of the preceding Synods. It should be noted that such reference to previous Oecumenical Synods was a standing procedure upheld by the Holy Fathers of the Synods in question. Through this procedure the Holy Fathers wished to proclaim that they accepted all of the doctrines put forth by the preceding Oecumenical Synods and that they were proposing to continue the work of these Synods. A characteristic example of this is the recognition by the Eighth Oecumenical Synod of 879-880, under St. Photios, of the Synod of 787 as the Seventh Oecumenical Synod.

(5) The Synod inaugurated its work on the basis of an “Organization and Working Procedure” that was not unanimously accepted by all of the Primates at their Synaxis of January 2016, since the Church of Antioch did not sign it. It also commenced its work on the basis of the six unanimously accepted documents of the Fifth Pre-Synodal Consultation, which basis proved to be insecure and unstable. This is because the six pre-synodal documents were unanimously approved by the representatives at the Fifth Pre-Synodal Consultation and by the Synaxis of the Primates (January 2016), but not by all the Hierarchies of the local Autocephalous Churches. When these Churches, and especially those of Bulgaria, Georgia, and Greece, studied the aforementioned documents, they found in them gaps, obscurities, and cacodox formulations, for which they suggested emendations and corrections. For these Churches which proposed the corrections and changes in question it is self-evident that the pre-synodal documents are no longer in force.

The fact that the Primates signed the six documents of the Fifth Pre-Synodal Consultation does not mean that the Hierarchies of the local Churches are bound by their signatures to accept these texts as they stand. The personal opinion of a Primate on any particular issue is not binding on the Hierarchs in the Synod to which he belongs and does not obligate them to fall in line with his opinion. Were that so, the synodal institution would be annulled and every Primate would be transformed into a Pope. It is not the Primate, but the Synod of Bishops that is the supreme administrative organ in the local Orthodox Churches. In view of all that we have said, it is clear that the following assertion by the Oecumenical Patriarch in his opening address is completely erroneous: “We proceed, then, with our work on the basis of documents unanimously approved by our Churches, which each Church has already endorsed.” By “documents unanimously approved” the Oecumenical Patriarch evidently means the documents of the Fifth Pre-Synodal Consultation, which were signed at the Synaxis of the Primates (January 2016), but which have no validity for certain of the Churches after the corrections and changes dictated by their Synods.

(6) The four Churches that did not participate in the Synod were denigrated before an international audience. Their absence was represented both by the Oecumenical Patriarch and by other Primates in their opening addresses as wholly unjustified and reprehensible. To a greater or lesser extent these Churches were portrayed as being responsible, by virtue of their absence, for creating schisms and divisions. However, the Churches in question did not take part, not because they were “piqued,” but because they discovered weaknesses in the pre-synodal documents after examining them in synod. They naturally requested that the Synod be postponed, in order to study the documents in greater depth, make necessary corrections, and thus produce new documents which would be unanimously approved by all of the local Churches. Since their proposal for the postponement of the Synod was not accepted, these Churches understandably did not participate in the Synod.

(7) Most distressing among all of these observations is the acknowledgement, in essence, by way of an obscure and cryptic new formulation in the document “Relations of the Orthodox Church to the Rest of the Christian World,” of the ecclesiality of the heterodox. The Synod unanimously accepted the formulation, “The Orthodox Church accepts the historical name of other non-Orthodox Christian Churches and Confessions,” instead of the formulation, “The Orthodox Church acknowledges the historical existence of other Christian Churches and Confessions.” That is to say, the word “existence” is replaced by the word “name,” and to the phrase “Christian Churches and Confessions” is added the adjective “non-Orthodox.” Archbishop Hieronymos of Athens proposed this change in the formulation after many hours of discussions and deliberations, during which many conflicting views were expressed.

Archbishop Hieronymos states that, by virtue of this new formulation, “we have reached a synodal decision that, for the first time in history, defines the historical scope of relations with the heterodox not in terms of their existence, but solely in terms of their historical appellation as non-Orthodox Christian Churches or Confessions.” This raises a justifiable question: “How is it possible for one to name something, while at the same time denying the existence of that which he names?” Likewise, from a dogmatic standpoint, endorsement of the term “non-Orthodox Christian Churches or Confessions” is contradictory and unacceptable. Heterodox Confessions cannot be called “Churches” precisely because they accept other, heretical doctrines and, as heretics, cannot constitute “Churches.”

Most distressing also is the fact that the delegation of the Church of Greece did not remain unshakably loyal to the decisions of the Synod of Bishops on May 24-25 (2016), as they ought to have done. The Synod of Bishops decided that the phrase “the historical existence of other Christian Churches and Confessions” should be replaced by the phrase “the historical existence of other Christian Confessions and Communities.”

(8) Finally, yet another sorrowful observation: all that Oecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew proclaimed, indeed braggingly, at the conclusion of the proceedings. Among other things, he declared that “the Oecumenical Patriarchate was a pioneer in the realm of the ecumenical movement.” He also adverted to the pan-heretical Encyclical of 1920, “which is characterized by many as the founding charter of the subsequently established World Council of Churches,” and that “the Oecumenical Patriarchate was one of the founding members of the World Council of Churches in Amsterdam.”

For the time being, we confine ourselves to the foregoing comments, although that does not mean that the list of sorrowful observations ends here. In view of all that we have mentioned above, the following question naturally arises: What can one expect from a Synod that commenced and proceeded in such a way?

As the Lord observes: ““For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit; for every tree is known by its own fruit” (St. Luke 6:43-44). Let each reader draw his own conclusions.

The Scandal of the Crete Conference

Blessed is the man that goes not to the council of the ungodly.

Delegates, supposed to represent nearly 20% of Orthodox Christians, are meeting in Crete. The security is so tight – badge-holders only – and talks so secretive that representatives of the Greek news agency romfea have left in disgust. It has also been revealed that the Conference of some 150 carefully selected bishops is costing two and a half million euros: one and a half million has come from the USA (no doubt garnered by such well-connected Greek-American and pro-Uniat priests as Fr Alexander Karloutsos, a friend of Hillary Clinton’s) and one million euros from Greek businessmen in Greece. So far the only document agreed on (https://www.holycouncil.org/-/mission-orthodox-church-todays world?inheritRedirect=true&redirect=%2F) looks like a cheap copy of an incredibly old-fashioned Vatican II document (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dignitatis_humanae). This is simply the pompous humanist philosophy of Metr John (Zisioulas).

Outside the conference hall a tiny demonstration of 15 people called Patriarch Bartholomew a traitor. It is rumoured that many Orthodox, not least on Mt Athos, are trying to obtain the masonic-style document so that they can tear it up and burn it. However, some Cypriot and Albanian delegates, frightened by the lack of transparency and the ignoring of views other than those of the leaders of the ten Local Churches represented as well as of those who were not allowed to come, appear to be calling for a real and representative Conference Council, where the whole Orthodox Church and episcopate are included. In the Russian Church, 76% of all Orthodox, all are breathing a sigh of relief that our bishops are not taking part in this disgrace. It is already becoming clear that it is now going to be necessary to call a real Council in order to refute the Crete Conference. We await further developments.

The Double-Headed Eagle: Orthodox Christianity Incarnate

Foreword: A Real Council is Coming

In view of the shameful masonic and humanist apostasy going on behind closed doors at the robber conference of a few in Crete and which has little or nothing to do with the Church, we have felt it necessary to compose some initial response. The efforts of the secularists and compromised to impose on the Church the same old-fashioned 1960s heresies as were promoted by Vatican II will not be successful, for the gates of hell will not prevail, and a real Council will in time reply. Below is our first response, a response of free Orthodox, to the syncretism and ecumenism of the Teilhard de Chardin Halfodoxy of Crete. This is a vision of the Church that is both Trinitarian and Christological, both local and global, both of the Tradition and also realistic.

Introduction: The Heartland

Orthodox Christianity is by earthly origin Asian. However, within a few years of the Resurrection of Christ, symbolized by the Cross, it had spread to Europe. The symbol of its geographical spread thus soon became the double-headed eagle and it remains so to this day. The double-headed eagle unites north and south and looks east and west, which by the fifth century meant India and Ireland. The centre of the Orthodox Christian world, the Orthosphere, is therefore in Eurasia, what is called ‘The Heartland’. Since the late fifteenth century this has meant the lands of the Russian Empire, with today over 75% of the world’s Orthodox Christian population, the other 25% living in peripheral lands or else scattered through all the lands of the earth.

For the Father: The Orthodox Christian Faith

The word Christian became debased, especially during the second millennium and today it often means Roman Catholic and Protestant, which are transformed and deformed nationalized versions of Christianity. This can clearly be seen in the actions of the imperialistic and bloodthirsty Roman Catholic Crusaders who actually wore a cross on their backs, as they massacred to extend their power-grab. This is why we are obliged to use the term Orthodox Christian. Even here we must be careful, for there are those who, though calling themselves Orthodox, are in fact false Orthodox and are inclined to be Halfodox. Genuine Orthodox Christians are all the faithful who are not controlled and conditioned by the world, whose prince is satan.

For the Son: The Orthodox Christian Sovereign

Orthodox Christianity is Incarnate, lived in daily life, in monasteries, parishes and families. It is not some disincarnate and abstract daydream of intellectuals, ‘spiritualized’, full of spite for the living Tradition, and so irrelevant. We now await the Coming Sovereign Emperor and Tsar, who according to the prophecies of the saints of God will appear soon, but only if we manage to repent and resist the ongoing preparations of the secularists to enthrone Antichrist in Jerusalem. We Orthodox Christians are heirs to the Christian Roman Empire, not to the Pagan Roman Empire and its materialist ideology and idolatry, whether it is called Capitalist or Communist. ‘No man can serve two masters…You cannot serve God and Mammon’.

For the Holy Spirit: The Orthodox Christian People

The Orthodox Christian faithful are of many nations and races, north and south, east and west. The faithful are not nationalists, racists or, in Church language, phyletists. The faithful come from and live in ten different regions of the world: to the centre, the majority live in the Eurasian Heartland; to the far west in North America and to the west in Western Europe; to the far east in China with south-east Asia and to the east in Kazakhstan and Central Asia; to the far south-west in Latin America and to the south-west in Africa; to the south in the Middle East; to the far south-east in Australasia and to the south-east in the Indian Subcontinent. The mere existence of the faithful witnesses to the presence of the Holy Spirit amongst us.

Conclusion: Faith, Throne and People in the Isles

These Isles are distant provinces and yet they were visited by both the first Christian Emperor and the last Christian Emperor. On 25 July 306 the future St Constantine the Great was proclaimed Emperor in York and founded New Rome, between Europe and Asia. And in 1894, 1896 and 1909 these isles were visited by the future St Nicholas II, who was later martyred on 17 July 1918 in Ekaterinburg, a city which straddles Europe and Asia, equidistant between Iceland and the Pacific Coast. Some would say that any hope that the Double-Headed Eagle of the Christian Empire can be restored is fantasy. No doubt they would have said the same if they had been told that the Twelve Apostles would conquer the Pagan Roman Empire. ‘Fear not, little flock!’

Comments from a Correspondent in Wales

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

Priest Savva Mikhalevich

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Road from Cuba to Crete

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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