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  1. No student of Church history underestimates the important place of the Council of Chalcedon 451, held in modern day Kadıköy (district of Istanbul). This Council established the 2-in-1 [2 natures in 1 Person] doctrine of Christ as opposed to the followers of Eutyches and Dioscorus who wanted to say Christ had 1 single nature [Mono-physite]. Following the Council, there was relative peace between Rome and Constantinople due to Patriarch Anatolius’ obedience to Pope St. Leo I’s annulment of the 28th canon, but soon enough things were destined to change because the Monophysites had been, with relatively strong arguments, pressing for a new Council to overturn Chalcedon. In an attempt to conciliate the Monophysites and the Chalcedonians, Emperor Zeno issued his “henoticon”, a document of Christology sought to pave the way for union. The henoticon would be accepted by Acacius, Patriarch of Constantinople, Peter Mongus, Patriarch of Alexandria, and Peter the Fuller, Patriarch of Alexandria. This brought about what is known as the Acacian Schism, and lasted from 484 to 519, a total of 35 years. When Pope St. Gelasius entered Papal office in 492, this schism had been operating for already 8 years. Not only was the “reform” on Chalcedon in Zeno’s henoticon an issue of dispute between Rome and the East, but also the assumption that Constantinople should occupy 2nd place in Christendom, which is what Canons 3/28 of Constantinople 381 and Chalcedon had attempted to pass as an ecumenical canon. Acacius must have not taken seriously the words of his predecessor Anatolius who wrote the following to Pope Leo I on this – “the whole force of confirmation of the acts was reserved for the authority of Your Blessedness.” (Patrologia Latina 54.1082B). Concerning the same canons, Pope St. Leo claimed that “by the blessed Apostle Peter’s authority we absolutely dis-annul in comprehensive terms” (Ep. 105). No doubt, therefore, Chalcedon is completed by the recognition of Petrine supremacy over the field of an Ecumenical Council. Acacius, however, was of a different mind on this. Though St. Gelasius, as well as his successors Anastasius II and St. Symmachus, attempted to bring the East back into the fold of Christ, it was not until Pope St. Hormisdas that re-union was established through his Formula of Reunion which required a recognition of much of what St. Gelasius had already been writing on. Below, I will be posting material found in the letters of Pope St. Gelasius, drawing from three sources: (1) his letter to the Bishops of Dardania (495), (2) his instructions to a Papal legate Magister Faustus, and (3) his letter to the Emperor Anastasius. In his epistle to the Bishops of Dardania, St. Gelasius responds to Acacius’ grab at the 28th canon of Chalcedon. Notice how he reviews the history of the exchange between Anatolius and Leo which took place in 453, about 40 years earlier. This confirms the existence of this letter from Anatolius wherein he conceded to Leo’s discriminate authority over all the canons, which Leo had understood to be derived from St. Peter (see the 2 reference above): “If the bishops of Constantinople flatter themselves because their city is the residence of the Emperor, and think therefore that their persons are more important, let them listen to Marcian, the Princeps [Emperor] of that city. When, having interceded for the promotion of the priest of that city, he was not able to obtain anything that was contrary to the canons, he extended to Pope Leo of holy memory the highest praise, because he [the Pope] had not allowed the rules of the canons to be violated in any manner. Let them listen to Anatolius, the Pontiff of that same city, or better, to the clergy of Constantinople, confessing that they were trying to obtain the same thing, and affirming that all was within the power of the Apostolic bishop [Leo]. And let them listen to the same blessed Pope Leo, head of the Apostolic See, through whose authority the Synod of Chalcedon was confirmed…to rescind by a competent refutation that which had again been attempted in a new way at the assembly, and which would be well outside the canons of Nicaea. Noentheless, they can hear Probus, bishop of the city of Canusa of holy memory, legate of the Apostolic See under Simplicius of blessed memory, teaching the same thing in the presence of the Emperor Leo [Marcian’s successor], who asked then that it should not be attempted in any way, and refused resolutely to give his consent to it in any way, and therefore, let them not look at the status of any city, but let them rather properly observe the way of ecclesiastical order confirmed by the tradition of the Father” (Patrologia Latina 59.66D) Just prior to this in the same letter, he speaks of the Apostolic See as the executor and ratifier of Councils, not by some ecclesiastical privilege that was conferred upon the Roman see, but by divine right in blessed Peter. “Let no true Christian ignore the fact that the constitution of any synod which has been approved by the consent of the whole church can be executed by no other See than the First, which confirms any synod by its authority and watched over it through continuous supervision, especially because of its principate, which Blessed Peter the Apostle obtained through the word of the Lord and which it has always retained and continues to retain…” (Patrologia Latina 59.66B,C) And on the freedom of the absolving power of loosing [i.e. the Keys], St. Gelasius writes in the same letter: “The entire Church over the entire world knows that the Chair of Blessed Peter has the right to loose what has been bound by the sentences of any bishop whatsoever, as the See of Peter is entitled to jurisdiction over any Church, while no one is entitled to pass judgement on its decision, for the canons have permitted that appeals should be directed to it from all the world, but no one is permitted to appeal its decision…. The Apostolic See has often had the freedom (facultas), without a Synod preceding it, to loose those whom a Synod had unjustly condemned, and also, if necessary, to condemn others without the convocation of a Synod….an Eastern synod [Tyre] had rejected Athanasius of blessed memory: but the Apostolic See took him up, denying confirmation of the condemnation by the Greeks, and acquitted him: in the same way a synod of Catholic bishops had condemned too John Chrysostom of Constantinople; him also the Apostolic See released merely by refusing to confirm the sentence. In the same way the Apostolic See released Flavian of blessed memory, who was similarly condemned by an assembly of bishops, merely through not agreeing to its condemnation. Furthermore the Apostolic See condemned by its authority Dioscorus, the Bishop of the 2nd See, who had been admitted there; it dissolved the godless synod by refuting its concurrence, and for the sake of truth ordered, on its own authority, that the Synod of Chalcedon should be held” (Patrologia Latina 59.66C, 67 B,C) In his epistle of instructions to Magister Faustus, St. Gelasius gives his commentary on the Canons of Sardica (343), and how he would have applied it to the plan of the henoticon in the East: “These are the canons which decreed that appeals from the whole Church should be directed to this See. They have, however, by no means sanctioned an appeal elsewhere from its judgement; in this way they have ordained that it should sit in judgement over the whole Church, but that it should itself be judged by no one, and never that its judgement should be nulled, but rather ordered that its decrees should be followed” (Patrologia Latina 59.28B) In his epistle to the Emperor Anastasius, St. Gelasius covers the concept of the “Two Powers”, and in it he reveals his thoughts on the origin of the primacy of Rome: “If it is fitting that, in general, the faithful should subordinate their hearts to all priests who are correctly administering things divine, how much more should one endeavor to be in accord with the holder of the See, whom not only the divine will wished to be superior to all priests, but whom also the common piety of the Church following the divine will has continually celebrated as such. As your piety can clearly realize, never can anyone elevate himself through any human counsel whatever to that privilege or confession of Peter whom the voice of Christ had placed above all, and whom the venerable Church has always confessed and reverently regarded as its primate. What has been established by divine decree can be attacked by human presumption; it cannot however, be defeated by any power” (Patrologia 59.42 C & D, and 43A ) Catholic Patristic scholar, Robert Eno, interprets St. Gelasius as holding to the concept of Papal supremacy. He has the following to summarize the writings of St. Gelasius: “Of all the ancient Popes, Gelasius comes closest to making explicit what later theology might term Papal indefecetibility. If Rome were to be allowed by God to fall into error, then who would be left to keep the rest of the Church from falling into the abyss, asked Gelasius ? Finally, he expressed the Roman point of view that it is alone was an in practice had to be, the sole final arbiter of the Church’s doctrinal decisions. Such definitions must be in accord with Scripture, tradition, with canon law, etc. but who is to decide whether this is the case or not? A council ? Gelasius maintained that Rome could accept or reject councils as it saw fit. He recalled the papal rejection of canon 28 of Chalcedon against the wishes of both council and emperor. Thus we leave antiquity with the final Roman assertion that she is the ultimate decision maker, in doctrine as well as in discipline.” (Teaching Authority in the Early Church, Vol. 14, p. 163) Eastern Orthodox scholar A. Edward Siecienski has the following to say of St. Gelasius: “Feliex’s successor in Rome, Gelasius (492-96), had no such doubts about his authority in the matter. Like his predecessors, Gelasius linked his ministry to that of Peter, who was tasked with being ‘primacy caretaker’ (gubernatio principis) of Christ’s flock. When a Roman synod met in 495 to judge the excommunicate Misenus of Cuma, Gelasius received him back using the power of the keys ‘which our Savior delegated to blessed Peter the apostle before the rest’. …..For Gelasius, the chief task of the Roman See , ‘whom the voice of Christ set before all, whom the venerable Church has always acknowledged and in her devotedness holds as primate’ was safeguarding ‘the upright root [that] is the glorious confession of the Apostle’, protecting it ‘from any gash of crookedness, by any infection at all’……By entering into communion with those who denied the truth of Pope Leo’s Tome, the ‘double-dealing’ Acacius had ‘prostituted the catholic faith’ and deserved the sentence of excommunication pronounced against him’……Gelasius’ attack against Acacius and his allies proceeded along two fronts. First, supported by ‘Christ’s utterances and the tradition of the elders and authority of the canons’, Gelasius asserted Rome’s right/duty to intervene in the matter, a fact that had been recognized at Sardica by ‘the very canons that intended the referral of appeals from the entire Church to this see for examination…And by this means the canons have instructed that this See is to sit in judgement on the entire Church, to pass to nobody’s judgment, nor ever to be judged by its judgment, and they have determined that its verdict should never be undone, and ordered instead that its decisions are to be followed‘.” (The Papacy and the Orthodox: Sources and History of a Debate, Chapter “The Church of Rome in the Patristic Era”, Pp. 181-183) And if we were to ask Siecienski how the Eastern bishops who maintained loyalty to Chalcedon thought ofSt. Gelasius, he writes: “Gelasius’s stand against Monophysitism earned him the respect of the Chalcedonian bishops in the East, who praised the Pope and his heirs in glowing terms. Seeking the help of Pope Symmachus (498-5140), [Gelasius’ second successor], they wrote to him how ‘Christ, the best Shepherd, had entrusted the chair of the blessed Prince of the Apostles to you… to tend the sheep of Christ entrusted to you over the whole inhabitable world’…. While his enemies criticized Gelasius as ‘haughty’ and ‘arrogant’, surprisingly we know of few attacks on the papacy itself, or the claims that Gelasius was putting forth on its behalf.” (ibid. , p. 183) Anglican Patristic historian J.N.D. Kelly writes concerning this Pope: “Gelasius siezed every opputunity of inculcating his conviction of the supremacy of the Roman see, and was the first pope known to have been saluted as ‘Vicar of Christ’ (at the Roman synod of 13 May 495, which restored Misenus). It was the pope’s prerogative, he claimed, to ratify councils and protect their decisions…Next to Leo I, Gelasius was the outstanding pope of the 5th cent., and he surpassed Leo in theological grasp. His writings leave the impression of an arrogant, narrow-minded, and harsh pontiff; but the extraordinary reverence in which he was held by contemporaries is reflected in a description left by the monk Dionysios Exiguus, who lived in Rome 500-550 and consorted with his disciples.” (Oxford Dictionary of Popes, pp. 48-49) As to his being in error, one could bring up what Kelly said about the positive statements made by the Scythian monk St. Dionysius Exiguus, who is also canonized for the Eastern Orthodox. Dionysios wrote to his presbyter friend Julian concerning the holiness of St. Gelasius’s life. Rev Alban Butler’s “The Lives of the Saints” (1866, Vol. XI) says that St. Gelasius is: “extolled for the purity of his manners, his extraordinary humility, temperance, austerity of life, and liberality to the poor, for whose sake he kept himself always poor, as Dionysius Exiguus, who died before the year 556, tells us” (November 21, St. Gelasius, Pope and Confessor – Latin source of Dionysios’s letter , Patrologia Latina 67.203). French Byzantinist, Francis Dvornik, also writes of St. Dionysios’s description of St. Gelasius: “Dionysios Exiguus, the author of the famous Collection of Papal Decrees, transmitted to posterity the sentiments of admiration and gratitude felt for their master by Gelasius’ disciples. In the introduction of his collection, dedicated to Cardinal Julian, his benedactor and Gelasius’ disciple, Dionysios inserted a long euglogy on Gelasius, exalting his humility, his labors for the Church, his charity and chastity, and calling him ‘a shepherd and an imitator of the supreme good Shepherd — a chosen head of the Apostolic See who obeyed an taught the precepts of God‘” (The Idea of Apostolicity in Byzantium and the Legend of Apostle Andrew, p. 121) In recent scholarship, however, a Dr. George Demacopoulos, Professor of Theology at Fordham University, has taken a fresh look at the Gelasian corpus, and has contributed a different perspective. Being Eastern Orthodox himself, it will be a great deal to make clear there is no bias in his historical and theological inferences and arguments. This, no doubt, he seeks to show in his referencing the original sources in context, Roman Catholic historians, and the rather undisputed facts accepted by the breadth of scholarship. However, holes there are, and though here is not an extensive critical review, this article will allow some space to pick out what proves to be the major weaknesses of Demacopoulos’s (whom I will refer as Dr. D) arguments. For starters, given the aim of this present article, Dr. D only shows that I have hit near the bulls-eye when it comes to the question of what St. Gelasius himself believed. Dr. D admits that St. Gelasius claimed to hold a Christ-ordained universal authority over the whole Church, and that the See of Rome cannot be judged by anyone, and whose judgement are irreformable by anyone else in the Church (The Invention of Peter , p. 98). However, he understands the origin of these claims to be coming from St. Gelasius’s frustration with the dissidence of the Eastern patriarchs, particularly of the See of Constantinople, and so are more fabricated imagination than reliable truth. Right off the bat, one is puzzled at how Dr. D could so theorize. The claim to Apostolic & Petrine prerogative in the Roman See by divine right had been claimed by Pope St. Stephen I (254), which was before the Constantinian elevation of the Christian society; and Pope St. Julius I (340-343), Pope St. Damasus (366-384), Pope St. Siricius (384), and Pope St. Innocent I (401-417), all of whom reigned in the See of Peter when there was no particular reason for the West to fabricate reasons to bolster its superior authority over the East by way of the loss of secular prestige. What difference is there in the claims of Pope St. Leo the Great (450) and Pope St. Gelasius? And what difference was there from the claims of St. Leo with those of his predecessors? In fact, the Petrine prerogatives were explained by Damasus and Leo, and both of these Popes receive special attention from Emperors in the favor of the authority of the Holy See (Gratian & Valentinian III, respectively). So it would take much to argue that the Petrine claims originate with the absence of Imperial support. This indicates that the fishing project wherein Dr. D speculates as to the “why” of St. Gelasius’s “grandiose” Papal claims as rooted in an imagination by which to disingenuously subjugate the Monophysite-East is immediately held suspect. Rather, since the Papal claims were consistent in a variety of contexts, and even those not including Pope’s of Rome, such as St. Optatus vs. the Donatist Parmenian, it is more preferable to find the root of it in something else. Now, that does not mean that when the Pope’s were seeing schisms and dissension from its doctrinal influence we will not see a ratcheting up of those claims. That it seems to me is only natural even to an authentic appeal to a widely held and accepted Papal authority. Secondly, Dr. D attempts to show that the veracity of the Papal claims are to be doubted because of Pope St. Gelasius’ trouble to enforce obedience in his own Roman diocese. He describes how certain catholic citizens of the Roman city, being led by a un-named Christian magistrate (which Collectio Avellana designates as Andromachus), had promoted the pagan custom of the Luperaclia celebration against the directive of the Pope against it. The Lupercalia was a Roman celebration, pre-Christian, held each year on February 15th, and it involved sacrificing a goat and celebrants acting like priests to “bless” Rome by warding of evils such as pestilences and catastrophes. The Pope in Tractate 6 had threatened excommunication to Andromachus and all who participated in this pagan festival. For St. Gelasius, this was an act of spiritual adultery, and it shows that many of the pre-Constantinian celebrations of Pagan Rome had still continued on , most likely by the more nominal church members. In any case, Dr. D interprets this non-compliance as a proof that the Papal claims were not a reality even in Rome itself, much less anywhere else, and even says that the threat of excommunication by the Pope may have amounted to “little more than a bluster” (ibid. p. 77). The first observation to be given here is that Dr. D is examining an event which exists between what even 5th century Christians all knew to be the ordinary authority of a local diocese, the Bishop, and the members under him. Even modern Eastern Orthodox would accept that a Bishop has the right to impose disciplinary restrictions upon the people of his diocese when he foresees something of spiritual danger to his flock [i.e. in our case the Lupercalia]. So it makes one wonder why Dr. D does not only see this as a threat against Episcopal authority even more so than Papal since that is the most immediate relationship. But since Dr. D presumably accepts the veracity of Episcopal authority (unless I am mistaken), then this sort of non-compliance does not amount to proving the non-existence of that authority. Or does he see that non-compliance with a particular Bishop as evidence that the institution of Bishop was not universally embraced? Second, what evidence do we have of a total non-compliance on the part of the Roman Christians who were following this member of the aristocracy? If the local Bishop orders excommunication, that would carry weight to most God-fearing members of the Church, and Dr. D does not provide any evidence of how this all ended in this particular dimension. And last, it should be duly noted that the persons involved in this act of quasi-rebellion are not the sort [i.e. partaking in a questionable pagan festival] that we would expect to be on deck to obey religious authority, much less representative of persons to be chosen as considerable witnesses against the Papacy. Next, Dr. D mentions another instance of the Bishop of Rome in possible division with his clergy in Letter 30 of the Gelasian corpus. This Letter includes a description of the proceedings which took place at a Synod in Rome which had re-examined a certain Bishop of Cumae named Misenus, who, as Papal ambassador to Constantinople under Pope Felix III in 484, received holy communion from the Constantinople’s Patriarch Acacius, who was out of union with the Holy See. Felix had swiftly excommunicated Misenus. However, at this new Synod in Rome (495), presided over by St. Gelasius, Misenus openly confessed his wrong-doing and was granted absolution by the Pope himself. Now, on pages 80-93, Dr. D speculates from this that since a Synod was held for his restoration, there must have been Roman clergy who were unsympathetic with the Rome’s excommunication of the anti-Chalcedonian East, and, on the flip side, since, of the original 76 invited to partake of the proceedings, 18 priests had boycotted the exoneration of Misenus, the Pope did not persuade everyone of his absolution of Misenus. From this, Dr. D implies that Papal power was not even taken for granted even in the Roman diocese, much less in answer to the question of where else. Though, being truthful to the description of the proceedings in Letter 30, Dr. D recognizes that the Roman Synod had made several statements which made explicit their belief in the supreme power of Peter resident in the person of Gelasius, even referring to him as “Vicar of Christ” and “Vicar of Peter”. But, he infers from this that this was all a cooked up meal in order to cover up for the embarrassment that Gelasius had to endure from the non-compliance of the 18 priests who protested the exoneration (ibid., p. 83). But, once again, this is the local ordinary Bishop of the Roman diocese, holding a Synod in the presence of many, wherein Micenus openly conforms to orthodoxy contra Acacius, and is absolved. What is taking place here that would not call for the obedience of the clergy just on the principle of Episcopal rights? If Dr. D thinks this is a legitimate witness of the weakness of the Papal institution, would he say the same about St. Thomas à Becket, who was not only resisted by a protesting party, but eventually was assasinated! And why not take the statements made about the authority of the Bishop of Rome clearly laid out in Letter 30 as a genuine perspective of the priests present? 18 out of 76 priests still leave a 58 majority. The sense on gets from this is that Dr. D sees the illegitimacy of authority when it is contested, and especially when we do not have existing documentary evidence of any repentance from the dissidents. Well, imagine if we carried that into the logic of 4th-century Arian fragmentation. Would that mean that Nicaea 325 did not have divine authority? Certainly, there were many who did belief that, and this is the view which prevailed into the catholic and universal church for centuries going forward. But who would be the ones that held this Nicaean faith in the midst of such division? It was the faithful. Instead of finding witness testimony in some nominal aristocratic magistrate who persists in celebrating a pagan festival and a small minority of priests who did not want to see a repentant Micenus restored to the good graces of Christ’s church, why not look to those who we know were faithful at the time, whose view endures the test of more time? On pages 84-87, Dr. D discusses how many of the Papal decretals that were sent to various places in the West, such as “suburbican Italy, Sicily, and the southwestern coast of the Balkans” (ibid., p. 84) and how these decretals continually on the Petrine privilege of Rome. In what appears as a desperate search for ways to demonstrate the lack of veracity to the Papal claims, Dr. D speculates that this method of harping on Peter and the divine primacy of Rome thereby shows that it was not accepted in certain places in the East. He refers to this as “rhetorical strategies” (ibid., p. 85). But where is the direct evidence of this? I cannot seem to find any of it in his treatment of these Papal letters. In fact, we have precedent in Pope St. Leo I for a continual insistence on the Petrine prerogative of Rome in letters to places where it is more than welcomed. I think, for example, his Tome which was written to St. Flavian of Constantinople as well as the letters to the East back and forth. Even going back further to the first Papal decretal which has survived, Pope Siricius’ epistle to the Bishops of Tarragona, which was actually a response to appeals. This decretal has a few references to the Petrine privilege of Rome, and no evidence of trying to make up for outward rebellions is evident by the fact. Some of the orders that St. Gelasius gives to churches of the regions mentioned includes the requirement of notifying Rome of the planting of new churches, such as Letter 25 (to a Bishop Zeja). But this is akin to the metropolitical rights envisions already in canon 6 of Nicaea for the quasi-Patriarchs of Alexandria and Antioch. So what is Dr. D really seeing here? A challenge to Papal power, or Rome’s metropolitical power? It would seem that the objective scenario’s involve the latter more than the former. But if that is truly the case, then one wonders how an Eastern Orthodox would deem as authentic witnesses against illegitimate authority cases where Metroplitical rights are trashed. But again, this is all conjecture. No evidence is provided which proves these Papal decretals are being written to otherwise rebellious and disobedient clergy. And lastly, Dr. D tries to summarize the Pope St. Gelasius’s interaction with the East as a humiliating inability to capture the obedience of all. He writes: “What is clear is that Eastern bishops will not yield to the papal condemnation of Acacius. While the fact is both obvious and well-known, it must be acknowledged that the Roman See simply did not possess the international respect in doctrinal matters that Gelasius so forcefully claims throughout the letter” (ibid., p. 93). Again, this merits the same interesting puzzelment already state above. Why is the Monophysite East being considered as a reason why the Papal claims are close to untrue, or made up on the spot by St. Gelasius as a disengenuous technique or strategy? Dr. D even admits that St. Gelasius does not defend the existence of the Papal prerogative (ibid., p. 96) , but merely asserts it. Well, that sounds a lot like someone who is demanding obedience, and not trying to persuade the East, necessarily, of its existence by apologetics. If you are trying to persuade others who are expected otherwise not to believe in what you are seeking to persuade them of, assertion after assertion is a poor tactic. And so it is very unlikely that Dr. D’s gloss here reflects Gelasius true motive. And if one were to really follow the faithful minority, who were faithful to Chalcedon in the East, you would find the likes of those monks above who Siecienski quoted as well embracing the Papal claim in Rome, regardless of what their Monophysite counterparts said of the powerlessness of Rome. Conclusion What implications does this have for Anglican & Orthodox relations with Catholics on primacy? I think it bears great significance, especially since this is an Eastern Orthodox Pope who is to this day venerated in the East, and the commentary of his holiness of life by St. Dionysios. As for the Anglicans, they have already admitted the very same Papal claims as being taught by another Orthodox Pope of Elder Rome, St. Leo I, but that this was not accepted in the Christian East, much less accepted by the polity of Reformed England. I am sure one could argue in this direction. Though, as we saw, Gelasius’s tussle with the Eastern patriarchs is contrasted with the willing submission to the Papal claims by the Greek monks. So who are we choosing to be Representative of the voice of authentic Eastern Christianity, the anti-Chalcedonian Patriarchs or the Chalcedonian clergy underneath? However, it should be noted that in this thread it was mentioned how the Patriarchs of Constantinople Anatolius and John II, had to admit the authority of the Holy See over the canons of Ecumenical Councils as well as the authority to admit to communion the three main Eastern Sees which returned from the Schism of Acacius. But then, what of Pope Honorius, who was condemned by Constantinople 681 as a Monothelite heretic? I would say that for all that lies behind the difficult history of Honorius, his statements which are “Monothelite”-esque are far more innocent than the persistent claim to Papal supremacy in St. Gelasius. In other words, if Honorius is worthy of the name heretic for his letters to Sergius, then St. Gelasius would be no less deserving of the same for his Papalism. So I would then ask, are the Orthodox willing to hold a new Council where, like Constantinople 681, they condemn all the former proponents, such as Gelasius, for espousing the very belief in Papal supremacy which Orthodox converts from Catholicism are required to renounce? At the same time, Catholics owe an explanation on Honorius, which we have often given despite its relative weaknesses or strengths under harsh scrutiny. The question that consistently comes up is whether St. Gelasius’s gloss on Papal authority, even if an echo of his predecessors, was held by the ecumenical church. This question immediately leaves the Catholic taken back, since anyone who is familiar with the history of first millennium Christianity is well aware that there were more than a few occasions that the Pope’s were resisted and even condemned by some. Though, we have to step aside and calculate how much value this would have in light of a consideration of the historical context. Hardly any action of the catholic and universal church was always accepted by everyone. In pre-Nicean Christianity, there were the Judaizers who did not bend the knee to the Apostolic council of Jerusalem (49), the outbreak of the Gnostic communities, the many divergent positions on the person of Christ, Nicaea (325), as already briefed, was rejected by many Eastern communities, and this continued onward up unto the Iconoclastic period (8/9th century). On this scale, we need not be boggled down with the question of whether the Papal theory was an ecumenical one because we have the paralyzing question of whether *anything* was accepted as ecumenical. That is, if we are taking poll from the consensus of every person and community who claimed to the title of Christian or church. This author concludes that these facts altar the investigation, and requires one to observe for what stands as a moral consensus, endures the test of time, and accomplishes victory over the opposition of heretical onslaught. Without having the space here to go into each and every point, there exists, in the opinion of many, ample evidence that the teaching ministry of the Roman see as it pertained to the occurrence of arbitration, doctrine, discipline, Councils, and/or episcopal trials, there lies a telling tale which might serve as the best clue. I pray that this all is seriously meditated on as we continue studying history and the various points of interest in the East/West dialogue. https://erickybarra.org/2017/08/24/eastern-orthodox-pope-of-elder-rome-st-gelasius-i-492-papal-supremacy/
  2. As many readers know, the Monothelite controversy occupied the Church’s attention in the 7th century, and it was concluded by a firm condemnation of the belief that in Christ there is only one single will or that his acts were from one theanadric operation. This evil which inflicted the Church was partly attributable to Pope Honorius I, who’s letters to Sergius, the Patriarch of Constantinople, seemed to have supported the idea that Christ had two natures but one will. Shortly after the reception of these letters, the Eastern Emperor, Heraclius, upon the composition of the Patriarch, released an edict called the Ecthesis ( εκθεσις , literally “statement of faith”), wherein Christ is taught to have one will. This was also accepted by the Patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch , and Jerusalem. It is reported that the successor of Honorius, Severinus, had time before his death to reject it. The successor of Severinus, John IV, clearly condemned it flat out. Now, on the Roman side, no one read Honorius as an advocate for this one-will doctrine. His successors, up until at least St. Leo II, denied that such was the meaning of his letter. However, the Council of Constantinople III held in 681 was to unashamedly convict Honorius of heresy (though he was already long dead), and put the conciliar anathema upon him and his memory. To our surprise, at least one Eastern saint of repute, St. Maximus the Confessor, agreed with the immediate successors of Honorius and claimed Honorius’s intention was orthodox. Anyhow, the purpose here isn’t to investigate whether Honorius was a heretic or not, but rather whether Maximus believed in the divine origin of Papal supremacy or infallibility. In the scholarship of Maximus, some have called into question the authenticity of the more Papalist writings of Maximus, many of which exist today only in the Latin. However, the most recent Orthodox scholarship has not ventured to maintain such skepticism. For example, Orthodox scholars such as Dr. Jean-Claude Larchet, Dr. A. Edward Sciecienski, Fr. Andrew Louth , and Andrew J. Ekonomou have all attempted to interpret the texts in Maximus which favor of Roman primacy in their “proper” context. Not surprisingly, they all arrive at conclusions which do not include Maximus as a witness to the dogma of the contemporary Vatican on supremacy, nor infallibility. In the course of this article, I will be interacting with Larchet and Sciecienski, since it is their assessments which deserve the most attention. Nevertheless how interesting it is to see that, in contrast to former times, Orthodox scholars are recognizing that, for Maximus, Rome is certainly the universal primate who even, by their own admission, had even a certain kind of universal jurisdiction when properly qualified and conditioned. That, in and of itself, is a far step away from the equal-pentarchism or equal-episcopalism with which the East may have given off. That is not to say that there is a consensus on the meaning of primacy in the Orthodox Church, since we know that the greatest minds on the subject have to this very day strongly asserted otherwise. But it is to say that there has been more serious attention given to the historical sources which may have been passed over as spurious by earlier Orthodox historians. On the view of Roman primacy, Siecienski gravitates to the fact that when Maximus was put under trial in Constantinople and told that the Roman see had plans to unite with the Monophysite Patriarchs, the Saint replied by saying: “The Holy Ghost anathematizes even angels, should they command us to give up the faith“, clearly insinuating that if Rome were to engage in those plans, the Pope would be excommunicated from the body of Christ. This, we are told, is clear evidence that whatever strong Papal theory that Maximus held to, it was one that was confined by the very same conditions put upon all churches for their communion with the true Church, and thus he doesn’t serve to be a witness to the Catholic dogma in the slightest. In fact, when seen in this light, the Roman See can’t be said to possess anything intrinsically different, when it comes to preserving the Apostolic deposit of faith, than any other church, since Rome’s membership in the Church is just as contingent upon holding to the orthodox faith as any other church’s membership depends on it. If this is true, it would remove the force of Maximus from the list of historical witnesses to the divine Papal supremacy and infallibility. Perhaps a strong administrative primacy conditioned upon a true and orthodox faith, but, for the Orthodox, no special protection against error is therein claimed by Maximus. Before I get into the relevant commentary of what St. Maximus has to say about Rome, I will provide a quick refresher on the sequence of events: (1) After Sergius of Constantinople receives the letters of Pope Honorius, he composes the Ecthesis, teaching Christ had one will, and Emperor Heraclius has it published it throughout Byzantium ; (2) Upon Honorius’s death, envoys from Rome travel to Constantinople to obtain the Emperor’s confirmation of Severinus to Papal office, but the clergy of Constantinople would provide no assistance in confirming Severinus unless he accepted the Ecthesis; (3) Severinus held office for about 2 months, and was succeeded by John IV, who convened a Synod condemning the Ecthesis; (4) Pope John IV wrote a letter to Emperor Heraclius and the Church of Constantinople, now presided over by Pyrrhus, that the Ecthesis, and therefore monotheletism, has been condemned; (5) Pyrrhus, who maintained support of the Ecthesis, was exiled to Africa where he eventually debated the issue of one vs twowills in Christ with St. Maximus the Confessor, and publicly recanted of holding to the one will position (only, as we shall see, to later revert to his heretical position once again); (6) The man installed as Patriarch of Constantinople, without a lawful deposition of Pyrrhus, was named Paul, who was excommunicated by Pope Theodore for holding to the Ecthesis; (7) In response to this, Paul and Constans, the successor to Heraclius, trashed the Ecthesis, but installed the Typus in its place, which forbade any discussion on whether Christ had one or two wills, or one or two operations; (8) Pope Theodore convened a Council in the Lateran Basilica in 649 condemning the Ecthesis and the Typus together; (9) Theodore dies, and Pope St. Martin takes his place, and he and St. Maximus hold up Dyotheletism (two wills and operations in Christ) against the East; (10) Both Sts Martin and Maximus are forced into Imperial captivity, and suffer martyrdom for their belief that, in Christ Jesus, there is two wills and operations, both which appertain to the respective natures of God and humanity. This article will mainly cover the events surrounding the captivity of Maximus and his trial. When the envoys from Rome traveled to Constantinople in order to receive confirmation of the election of Severinus to Papal office, but were told that no such thing would happen unless the newly elected Pope signed off on the Ecthesis, St. Maximus records the following description of this event as it was reported to him: “Having discovered the tenor of the document [Ecthesis], since by refusing [to sign] they [the legates] would have caused the first and mother of Churches and the city [ecclesiarum principem et matrem et urbem] to remain so long a time in widowhood [i.e. without a confirmed Bishop], they replied quietly: ‘We cannot act with authority in this matter, for we have received a commission to execute, not an order to make a profession of faith. But we assure you that we will relate all that you have put forward, and we will show the document itself to him who is to be consecrated, and if he should judge it to be correct, we will ask him to append his signature to it. But do not therefore place any obstacle in our way now and do violence to us by delaying us and keeping us here. For none has a right to use violence, especially when faith is in question. For herein even the weakest waxes mighty, and the meek becomes a warrior, and by comforting his soul with the divine word, is hardened against the greatest attacks. How much more in the case of the clergy and Church of the Romans, which from old until now, as the elder of all the Churches which are under the sun, presides over all? Having surely received this canonically, as well from councils and apostles, as from the princes of the latter [Peter & Paul], and being numbered in their company, she is subject to no writings or issues of synodical documents, on account of the eminence of her pontificate, even as in all these things all are equally subject to her according to sacerdotal law‘. And so when, without fear, but with all holy and becoming confidence, those ministers of the truly firm and immovable rock that is of the most great and Apostolic church at Rome, had so applied to the clergy of the royal city [Constantinople] it was seen that they had conciliated them and had acted prudently, that the others might be humble and modest, while they themselves made known the orthodoxy and purity of their own faith from the beginning. But those of Constantinople, admiring their piety, thought that such a deed ought rightly to be recompensed; and ceasing from offering them the document, they promised to produce by their own care the issue of the Emperor’s order with regard to the episcopal election. When this was accomplished, the apocrisiarii [representative of Rome in Constantinople] dear to God thankfully returned home’.” (Ex Epistola Sancti Maximi Scripta ad Abbatem Thalassium, PL 129.585-6, taken from Chapman 5) Here, Maximus quotes what he was told was the statement made by the Papal legates in his letter to Thalassium. Notice that the legates say that the Church of the Romans: (1) Presides over all churches under the sun (global church) (2) Received (1) from canons, councils, and the princes of the Apostles (Peter & Paul) (3) On account of her authority, is subject to no synodal documents (4) and holds all in subjection to her according to sacerdotal law Maximus does not diminish any of this, and appears to go along with it by referencing Rome as the “firm and immovable rock“. The basic message of his is that the clergy of Constantinople should have never given the posture that it did towards the Church of Rome, since that Church is the head of all churches, is not subject to any authoritative measures from any other church or council in the world, and holds all in subjection to her own authority. Now, this text is only preserved in Latin, and so would be one of those texts whose authenticity has been doubted. When Pyrrhus had returned to his former error, after having publicly recanted the Monotheletism after debating Maximus in Africa, the latter wrote to a certain Eastern official named Peter on the terms of which the twice heretical Pyrrhus could return to the Church and find pardon: “If the Roman See recognizes Pyrrhus to be not only a reprobate but a heretic, it is certainly plain that everyone who anathematizes those who have rejected Pyrrhus, anathematizes the See of Rome, that is, he anathematizes the Catholic Church. I need hardly add that he excommunicates himself also, if indeed he is in communion with the Roman See and the Catholic Church of God…It is not right that one who has been condemned and cast out by the Apostolic See of the city of Rome for his wrong opinions should be named with any kind of honour, until he be received by her, having returned to her, and to our Lord, by a pious confession and orthodox faith, by which he can receive holiness and the title of holy…Let him [sc. Pyrrhus] hasten before all things to satisfy the Roman See, for if it is satisfied, all will agree in calling him pious and orthodox. [For] he is only wasting words who thinks he must convince or lure such people as myself, instead of satisfying or entreating the blessed Pope of the most holy Catholic Church of Rome, that is, the Apostolic trone, which is from the incanrate Son Himself and which, in accordance with the holy canons and the definitions of faith, received from all the holy councils universal and suprem dominion, authority, and power of binding and loosing over all the holy churches of God which are in the whole world. For with it the Word who is above the celestial powers binds and looses in heaven also. For if he thinks he must satisfy others, and fails to implore the most blessed Roman Pope, he is acting like a man who, when accused of murder or some other crime, does not hasten to prove his innocence to the judge appointed by law, but only uselessly and without profit does his best to demonstrate his innocence to private individuals, who have no power to acquit him from the accusation. Wherefore, my blessed Lord, extend yet further the precept which it is known that you have made well and according to God’s will, by which Pyrrhus is not allowed to speak or misspeak with regard to dogma. But discover clearly his intention by further inquiry , whether he will altogether agree to the truth. And if he is careful to do this, exhort him to make a becoming statement to the Roman Pope, so that by his command the matter concerning Pyrrhus may be canonically and suitably ordered for the glory of God and the praise of your sublimity…” (Opuscula 12, Patrologia Graeca 91.141-146, taken from Chapman 8 and The Oxford Handbook of Maximus the Confessor, page 553) It is without any doubt that Maximus understood the Roman See to have been possessed of universal supremacy by divine right. In particular, the comparison of making satisfaction and proving innocence before a Judge appointed by divine law and who has power to acquit with Pyrrhus’s obligation to satisfy the Roman See would put to rest any further objection to this. But notice the grounds upon which Maximus saw the Roman primacy to have rested on. The “Incarnate God Himself” ordained the supremacy of the Roman Church. Even if, as Siecienski interpreted, Maximus did not believe in the permanent and invincible infallibility of the Roman See forever, he certainly believed that the Roman See held supreme jurisdiction over the whole universal Church *if she was orthodox*, that, not by man’s design, but by God’s. And if there was any further doubt, one could also read Maximus’s letter from Rome to the East which says: “For the very ends of the earth and those in every part of the world who purely and rightly confess the Lord, look directly to the most holy Church of the Romans and its confession and faith as though it were a sun of unfailing light, expecting from it the illuminating splendour of the Fathers and sacred dogmas…For ever since the Incarnate Word of God came down to us, all the churches of Christians everywhere have held that greatest Church there to be their sole base and foundation, since on the one hand, it is in no way overcome by the gates of Hades, according to the very promise of the Saviour , but holds the keys of the orthodox confession and faith in him and opens the only true and real religion to those who approach with godliness, and on the other hand, it shuts up and locks every heretical mouth that speaks unrighteousness against the most High“. (Opuscula 11, PG 91.137-140; trans. Cooper 2005:181; taken from Oxford Handbook, 552) St. Sophronius of Jerusalem Patriarch St. Sophronius of Jerusalem had commissioned St. Stephen of Dor, bishop in the Jerusalem Patriarch, to appeal to the Roman See in order to procure the condemnation of the Monothelites. Stephen, who traveled to Rome, describes this aloud at the Council of Lateran 649, of which Maximus took part. This Council was held as Ecumenical by Maximus, and so this open statement at the Council carries some significance: “And for this cause, sometimes we asked for water to our head and to our eyes a fountain of tears, sometimes the wings of a dove, according to holy David, that we might fly away and announce these things to the Chair which rules and presides over all, I mean to yours, the Head and Highest, for the healing of the whole wound. For this it has been accustomed to do from of old and from the beginning with power by its canonical and apostolical authority, because the truly great Peter , head of the Apostles, was clearly thought worthy not only to be entrusted with the keys of heaven, alone apart from the rest, to open it worthily to believers, or to close it justly to those who disbelieve the gospel of grace, but because he was also first commissioned to feed the sheep of the whole Catholic Church; for ‘Peter’, said He, ‘Do you love me? Feed my sheep’, and again , because he had in a manner peculiar and special, a faith in the Lord stronger than all and unchangeable, to be converted and to confirm his fellows and spiritual brethren when tossed about, as having been adorned by God himself, incarnate for us, with power and sacerdotal authority…I was urged by the requests of almost all the pious bishops of the East in agreement with the departed Sophronius…Without delay I made this journey for this purpose alone; and since then thrice have I run to you Apostolic Feet, urging and beseeching the prayer of Sophronius and of all, that is, that you will assist the imperiled faith of Christians” (Acts of Lateran Synod 649, pg. 143-44) Fr. Andrew Louth, in his The Ecclesiology of Saint Maximus the Confessor , attempts to undermine the witness of Maximus to contemporary Catholic teaching by saying that Maximus is referring to the “church” of Rome, and not the Papal office. I thought this rather odd since even the Council of Vatican 1870 speaks of the prerogatives of the Roman “See” (it comes up no less than 8 times). There is an internal relationship between the bishopric and the church of which it is committed, and thus the authoritative prerogatives of the church would be subsumed by the bishopric. Louth goes on to say that Maximus was saying this all out of gratitude, thus implying that there was fanciful though unrealistic hyperbole being utilized. However, I could not help but recall that when Maximus could have spared his life in the face of Theodosius and the Imperial consuls by simply being willing to communicate with the Eastern Patriarchs on the condition that they had revoked the Typus (which had been the source of doctrinal contention), he refused to comply unless both they and the Eastern Patriarchs had formally submitted to Rome and the decrees of the Lateran synod of 649. If all he had was a flowery commitment to the Papal institution, then why further risk his life ? I think the answer is put forth very clearly in Maximus’ own words which, in sum, is that communion (not just agreement) with the Roman See *is* communion with the holy Catholic Church. Under that premise, one could understand him risking his life at this very crucial point of his trial. This reminds me of what Dom John Chapman writes in his The Condemnation of Pope Honorius : “When St. Jerome spoke tremendous words about the Pope [Damasus], we are asked to believe that he was exaggerating, or even that he was sarcastic. When the Council of Chalcedon wrote in like strain to St. Leo, we are [asked] to put down its words as empty Oriental flattery. Whatever may be thought of such comments, they cannot be applied to the words in which we have heard St. Maximus again and again set forth the privileges of Rome. Men do not shed their blood to blunt a sarcasm or to justify a [flowerly] compliment” (page 70-71). And finally, Louth mentions how Maximus denied an obedient following with a heretical Pope, which I will address more below. I wish to conclude this article by devoting the last section to responding to Siecienski’s scholarship on the Maximian view of Roman Primacy. In his section in the Oxford Handbook on Maximus the Confessor, Siecienski takes clear note of the above statements of Maximus on the authority of the Pope. However, he has some reservations before interpreting this as a support for the contemporary doctrine of Papal supremacy. He writes: “Following the promulgation of Pastor Aeternus (Vatican Council I, 1870), Catholic authors increasingly used Maximus’ writings to support the claim that the pope’s universal jurisdiction and doctrinal infallibility were recognized in the East during the first millennium….Perhaps the most detailed study of Maximus’ views on the papacy come from Jean-Claude Larchet, who examined all the texts in question (Larchet 1998). Larchet tried to contextualize Maximus’ ‘enthusiasim for the papacy in light of the monothelite debates, when Rome was his sole ally against the heretical hierarchs of the East. For Larchet and others, Maximus’ exalted language about the See of Rome manifest ‘the glow of gratitude he must have felt following the Lateran Synod, for the support he had found in Rome’ and besides, it was ‘written about the Church of Rome, not the papacy as such’ (Louth 2004:117). This does not mean that Maximus was being disingenuous, but instead simply recognizes that these texts were written at a time when Rome alone held the line against heresy, and thus had earned the kind of praise Maximus heaped upon her“. (Oxford Handbook, 553-54). When considering the question of whether Maximus understood communion with the Roman See to be absolutely necessary in order to be in the Church, Siecienski takes note from the trial of Maximus where he was told that the Roman See would be entering communion with the 4 Monothelite Patriarchs of the East: “Maximus replied: ‘The God of all pronounced that the catholic church was the correct and saving confession of the faith in him when he called Peter blessed because of the terms in which he had made proper confession of him’ (Ep. Max., Allen-Neil 2002:121)” and Siecienski deduces: “….if communion with the See of Rome was normative, this state of affairs was entirely contingent on Rome’s continued orthodoxy, which remained a necessary precondition for all the praise and powers he had received….In fact, during his trial Maximus accepted at least the theoretical possibility that he might be forced to break communion with Rome should it too fall victim to the monothelite madness” (Oxford, pg. 554-54) However, in the record of the trial, Maximus also says the following when he was told Rome was to enter into communion with the Monothelite patriarchs: “Those [Papal legates] who have come won’t prejudice the See of Rome in any way, even if they do communicate because they haven’t brought a letter to the Patriarch. And I’ll never be convinced that the Romans will be united with the Byzantines, unless they [the Byzantines] confess that our Lord and God by nature wills and works our salvation according to each [of the natures] from which He is, and in which He is, as well as which He is” (ibid, pg. 63) So we see here, even during the midst of this trial, that Maximus was not going to be convinced that Rome would commit heresy. When pressed even further that Rome has certain plans to enter communion with the Monothelites, Maximus concedes: “‘The Holy Spirit, through the apostle, condemns even angels who innovate in some way contrary to what is preached” (ibid pg. 555) Siecienski concludes: “..Maximus, it seems, had not made the logical leap from ‘Rome has not erred’ to ‘Rome could not err’, although the Popes themselves had already begun to think along these lines.” (ibid) I think Siecienski is wrong that Maximus did not confess the supremacy and infallibility of Rome. Here’s why. If you read the citations from above, Maximus refers to Rome as the sun of unfailing light and the sole base and foundation which cannot be overcome by the gates of Hades, according to the promise of the Savior. Quite literally, Rome teaches the Apostolic faith and cannot fail to do so by virtue of the promise of God. So my argument would be this: Maximus understood the teaching ministry of the Church of Rome to be protected from heresy by the power and promise of God. Therefore, he believed in Papal infallibility. I understand there is a way to interpret him as if he were just merely being hyperbolic or overly enthusiastic, seeing as how Rome was the only orthodox church in the oikumene at the time. That is possible, and I will address this, and it will be clear why I don’t prefer that explanation. Moreover, Siecienski thinks this interpretation does not run the risk of making Maximus disingenuous, but I disagree. How can you run claims of supremacy and doctrinal infallibility on the basis of Christ’s own divine intention (in letters not even to Rome) as an enthusiastic artwork just to bolster one’s argument? If Maximus’s argument depends on the cogency of his arguments from the church fathers, then it would be redundant to appeal to the divine status of Rome. If anything, by falsely insinuating Rome is infallible, Maximus runs the risk of undermining himself. Were the Popes themselves hyperbolic when they claimed the infallibility of the Roman See (Formula of Hormisdas, Letter of Agatho to Constantinople III)? It is far more likely that Maximus’ claims about Rome are just as genuine as those made by others, regardless if he was wrong or right on the matter. I see no compelling reason to read him any other way. But what about his statements during his trial? Did not Maximus just come out and say that Rome could fall into heresy? Well, I would argue there is more in between the lines here. Just like some interpreters would take the clear attributions of supremacy and infallibility in Maximus and then fudge them (i.e. make them mere enthusiastic hype) in light of the latter’s willingness to possibly endure separation from Rome if it meant being faithful to the truth, a Catholic is doing nothing different when he interprets the clear admissions of Maximus when under trial and fudges them based on the clear statements of supremacy and infallibility in his other writings. In other words, Maximus could have answered his accusers under trial in such a way that he is willing to concede, as a matter of possibility for the sake of argument, that Rome could fall by the wayside, for which case he would remain faithful to the truth even if it meant he alone was the only orthodox Christian left on the planet, but not actually believe this would ever materialize. On that level, both interpretations are fair and square. But there is more. As we saw, the record of his trial includes a push-back from Maximus that he would not be convinced of Rome’s concession to heresy. When he was pressed on what he would do if Rome really did commune with the Monothelites, it is quite possible Maximus thought, in his head, “alright, let me concede to what would happen if the impossible actually did happen, hypothetically”. That might sound like a far-fetched interpretation which only reveals my own bias. However, we have objective reasons to interpret it this way. After his trial, where he gave the answers he did, Maximus wrote to Anastasius, his disciple, informing him that he had been told that Rome would be entering into communion with the Monothelite patriarchs, and requested that he and others are to pray for holy mother Church, and to send his letter of concern out for others to read. At the end of this letter is an additional text which was added by a compiler as a set of instructions given to him by either Maximus or Anastasius (some scholars say it was Anastasius himself who added it): “…in order that, when you have found out about the trial from these, you might all bring a common prayer to the Lord on behalf of our common mother, that is the Catholic Church, and on behalf of us your unworthy servants , for strengthening everyone and us also, persevering with you in it, according to the orthodox faith rightly preached in it by the holy fathers. For there is great fear in the whole world because this [church] endures persecution by everyone at the same time, unless He [God] offers aid by his customary grace, He who always come to aid, leaving the seed of piety at least in older Rome, confirming the promise He made to the prince of Apostles, which does not deceive us” (Maximus the Confessor and His Companions, Page 123) Even if this additional Latin schola (for it does not exist in the Greek) was added by Anastasius or a contemporary compiler, the person is doubtless connected to the same spirit of Maximus, and the compilers’ statement on the divine promise to Peter and Rome would surely serve as corroborative evidence that Maximus’s contemporaries held to precisely the same view about the Roman See. The compiler who added this states the whole catholic church is threatened by this monstrous evil of monotheletism, and it will take no less than God Himself to come and fulfill His own promise to Saint Peter which includes, at least, the preservation of “seed of piety” in the Roman See. And then to put it on par with the preservation of the Catholic Church herself? Even if the compiler is Theodore Spoudaeus, and not Anastasius the disciple of Maximus himself, it would still be a contemporary witness. I am convinced it is Anastasius who added this to the end of Maximus’s letter, since a similar message exist in the latter’s letter to the monks of Cagliari (see below). In a letter of the same Anastasius to the Monks of Cagliari, we read of the following: “Therefore, because the affairs of almost the whole church of God, which has been established as catholic and apostolic, are in great danger on account of these things, we pray on behalf of her and we beseech you, most holy people, that you do not despise her being in danger, but that you help her while she is labouring in the tempests, knowing that love which is in the Holy Spirit grows in the time of tribulation. And if it is possible, [we ask] that you go across more swiftly, as if for some other reason, to the pious men of older Rome, who are solid as a rock, who clearly always protect us as you do, and are most fervent fighters for the truth , to beseech them with supplicatory words and tears n behalf of all Christians , in order that they may gain reward from the Lord, preserving for all, as for themselves, the orthodox faith without newly-invented innovation, and taking up nothing more or less beyond those things, nor approving anything beyond that which has been defined by the holy fathers and synods“. (ibid, 124) Finally, even if Maximus had come to a point of doubt where he thought about giving up his belief in the supremacy and infallibility of the See of Peter, that does not necessarily mean he did not believe that the whole entire time. He could have very well believed it when he wrote it, but then changed his mind later on. There are Catholics today who go from being ardent Papalists to becoming Orthodox or Protestant, and then give up on their belief in Papal infallibility. Nevertheless, for the reasons I’ve given, I think the best interpretation is that Maximus conceded the fallibility of Rome for the sake of argument, together with some fear that this might actually be true, in which case he wrote his sincere letter to Anastasius. Now, lest I prove to be the only one who sees this in Maximus, I give you a quote from a Lutheran Scholar on Maximus, Dr. Lars Thuberg, and he explains our Saints view of Roman primacy: “In a somewhat fragmentary letter to Peter the Illustrious (from 643 or 644), which is preserved only in a Latin version, we find some explicit expressions of a very advanced theology about the position of the bishop of Rome. Maximus simply identified the see of Rome with the Catholic Church and he spoke of ‘the very holy Church of Rome, the apostolic see, which God the Word [Jesus] Himself and likewise all the holy Synods, according to the holy canons and the sacred definitions, have received, and which owns the power in all things and for all, over all the saints who are there for the whole inhabited earth, and likewise the power to unite and to dissolve….’ (Patr. Gr. 91, 144 C). Finally, in a letter written later in Rome, he made himself even more clear in the following maner: ‘...she [the Church of Rome] has the keys of the faith and of the orthodox confession; whoever approaches her humbly, to him is opened the real and unique piety, but she closes her moouth to any heretic who speaks against [divine] justice’ (Patr Gr 91, 140). This invites us to evaluate what Maximus had to say about the primacy of the pope. As Fr Garrigues has clearly shown (in an article in Istina, 1976), Maximus was convinced that Rome would never give way to the pressures of Constantinople. Once more forced to consider the possibility that in the case of Monotheletism the Romans might accept a union with the Byzantines, he answered through the paradoxical words of St. Paul, and said: ‘The Holy Spirit condemns… even the angels that would proclaim anything which is contrary to the Gospel’. (Patr Gr 90, 121). This implies that he did not want to discuss an improbable hypothesis, but would rather declare that he was prepared to die for the truth. This statement is a good starting point for a clarification of his own attitude. His personal experience of the doctrinal position of Rome confirmed his conviction that the promises of our Lord to Peter were applicable to the Church that preserved his relics. Thus, for him the communion of the Churches expressed itself as ‘a Roman communion’, a communion with the bishop of Rome. One must remember that for Maximus there existed only one alternative, represented by Imperial policy with its linke between Church and State, and that alternative could not enjoy the same promises. Even sacramental signs were missing in the latter case.”(The Vision of St Maximus the Confessor: Man and the Cosmos- Lars Thunberg, Page 25-26) Sources: “The Eastern Churches and the Papacy” by S. Herbert Scott “The Condemnation of Pope Honorius” by Dom John Chapman “The Building of Christendom” by Dr. Warren Carrol “Catholicism and Papacy : Some Anglican and Russian Difficulties” by Mgr. Peter Batiffol “The Ecclesiology of Saint Maximus the Confessor” Fr Andrew Louth (International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church Vol. 4, no 2, July 2004, 109-120) “Church and Papacy” Trevor Jalland “The Oxford Handbook o Maximus the Confessor, Edited by Pauline Allen & Bronwen Neil “The Papacy and the Orthodox” A. Edward Siecienski “The Acts of the Lateran Synod 649” Richard Price “Maximus the Confessor and His Companions: Documents from Exile” – Pauline allen & Bronwen Neil https://erickybarra.org/2017/02/28/st-maximos-the-confessor-580-662-divine-primacy-universal-jurisdiction-of-rome-from-jesus-christ/?fbclid=IwAR1UtX8oC_rLw2UYWh1jJMORXeVU1QwvQHoXEdZXtS6rs3VUMGXNzgEuOtg
  3. On June 3, Philaret Denisenko, the “Patriarch” of the “Kiev Patriarchate” (KP) and “Honorary Patriarch” of the “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” (OCU), met with rectors of the parishes of the OCU’s Kiev Diocese, where the possibility of convening a Local Council of the KP was discussed. At today’s “For the Ukrainian Orthodox Church! For the Kiev Patriarchate!” forum, Philaret announced that a Local Council of the KP will indeed be held, on June 20, reports BBC News Ukraine. Philaret thus intends to fully restore the KP that he had nominally agreed to liquidate on December 15 before the start of the “unification council” that created the OCU out of the KP and the “Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church” (UAOC). The Patriarchate of Constantinople had previously lifted the Moscow Patriarchate’s anathema placed upon Philaret for his schismatic actions and received him into its jurisdiction on October 11, claiming that the sanction had been placed upon him unjustly, though Patriarch Bartholomew had previously recognized the anathema. “We are convening a Local Council that will not approve the decision of this council on December 15, 2018. That means it is not mandatory for us. We will thereby show that the Kiev Patriarchate was, is, and will be. We are convening the council on June 20,” Philaret announced during today’s forum, stressing that it will be a Local Council of the KP, not the OCU, which is headed by “Metropolitan” Epiphany Dumenko. “There was no Local Council of the Kiev Patriarchate on December 15, but a collection of signatures under the resolution of the local council. We will reject this resolution at the Local Council and it will be invalid for us,” Philaret further explained. The Patriarchate of Constantinople insisted that both the KP and the UAOC vote to liquidate themselves before the “unification council” on December 15 in order to unite into a new structure. Amidst Philaret’s loud statements about restoring the KP, Makary Maletich, the primate of the UAOC, announced that his structure also continues to officially, legally exist. Given that Constantinople’s pre-conciliar stipulations were not met, the status of the OCU is unclear. The OCU is legally registered with the state, and thus, as OrthoChristian has previously reported, the “unification council” resulted in two schismatic structures becoming three, rather than one. Moreover, Philaret repeated that had he known the contents of the tomos of autocephaly written by Constantinople, that leave the OCU dependent upon Constantinople in important ways, he would not have accepted it. However, he went further this time, declaring that “We do not accept this tomos… Had we known the contents, we would not have voted for autocephaly on December 15, because we don’t need to go from one dependence to another,” reports Gromadske. “The Moscow Patriarchate serves the interests of Moscow, the OCU serves the Greeks, and who will serve Ukraine?” Philaret asked. “Epiphany is a servant of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. He established a Greek vicar bishop to watch and transmit information to the Ecumenical Patriarch, to transmit through him instructions on what to do,” Philaret said, referring to Archimandrite Epiphanius (Dimitriou), formerly of the Greek Orthodox Church, who was “consecrated” as a “bishop” of the OCU. With references to its sources in the OCU, BBC reports that the Local Council could be attended by “Metropolitan” Joasaph of Belgorod, who has also publicly criticized Epiphany Dumenko, and perhaps another “bishop” of the former KP parishes in Russia, and a small part of the clergy of the Kiev Diocese of the OCU, which is headed by Philaret himself. However, Philaret remains undeterred. The Local Council, he says, will allow them to “preserve the Kiev Patriarchate. Though it will be small, it will grow into a large church.” The participants in today’s forum also intend to address President Vladimir Zelensky and ask him to “support the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kiev Patriarchate against any encroachment.” http://orthochristian.com/121774.html?fbclid=IwAR1jeZMQNxzx69uWtw9LDcksiBHDYn1fdKUb-h9nkouN3mUbGnj7BXZyTug
  4. Philaret Denisenko’s “Kiev Patriarchate” (KP) does not and has never existed, Patriarch Bartholomew told a group of Ukrainian journalists in Istanbul last week. “As for [Ph]ilaret, he was restored to his episcopal dignity as former Metropolitan of Kiev. The so-called ‘Patriarchate of Kiev’ does not exist and never existed,” the Patriarch told the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine. The head of the Union, Sergei Tomilenko, wrote about the meeting on his Facebook page and published the full text of Pat. Bartholomew’s English speech. The declaration comes against the background of Philaret Denisenko’s active attempts to garner support for the revival of the KP, which he loudly proclaims never ceased to exist, despite his promise to liquidate it on the morning of the “unification council” in Kiev on December 15. The Ukrainian Ministry of Justice has confirmed that the KP was never liquidated and continues to exist, at least in the eyes of the state. Moreover, the “Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church,” which united with the KP to create the so-called “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” (OCU), was also not liquidated before the council. Thus, there are now three schismatic bodies in Ukraine, rather than the two that existed before the “unification council.” A battle has begun between Philaret Denisenko, the “Patriarch” of the KP, considered the “Honorary Patriarch” of the OCU, and the primate of the OCU “Metropolitan” Epiphany Dumenko, that only further delegitimizes the OCU in the eyes of the Orthodox world and threatens to tear apart Pat. Bartholomew’s personal creation. While the Orthodox world has never recognized the legitimacy of the KP, it does not deny its existence. Moreover, in the same speech, Pat. Bartholomew himself speaks of the separation of Ukrainian Orthodoxy into “three separate entities,” and states that “This reality, the existence of two schismatic groups, was a real agony.” The rest of Pat. Bartholomew’s speech is largely a reiteration of the same points he and other Constantinople representatives have been making since the summer. He states that the granting of autocephaly to Ukraine was a purely pastoral matter on the part of Constantinople, to free Ukraine from the oppression of being part of the Russian Church and to create unity within Ukraine. The Synods, primates, and hierarchs of other Local Churches have, however, noted that Ukrainian Orthodoxy is only less unified since Constantinople’s interference there. He also repeats the historical claim that the Kiev Metropolis never transferred to the Russian Church—an assertion that only the Patriarchate of Constantinople accepts. Further, he states that “The issue in Ukraine was timely. That is, the Ecumenical Patriarchate did not suddenly decide to intervene,” although he had denied numerous appeals from schismatic clergy and state authorities over the preceding three decades, changing his mind only after the unsuccessful Crete council in 2016. Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, a hierarch of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, has tied Constantinople’s interference in Ukraine to Pat. Bartholomew’s disappointment that the Russian Church did not participate in the Crete Council. Pat. Bartholomew further states: “As we have maintained, there are no more schismatics in Ukraine because they have been restored to communion with the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.” However, to date, the OCU is in communion only with the Patriarchate of Constantinople, not with the Orthodox Church as a whole. They have been explicitly rejected as schismatics by several Local Churches. http://orthochristian.com/121591.html?fbclid=IwAR12vr6wJNpNvByH8txIEr8X_vQXe-kVpv516GgsNGD1zDILzsNqiZ7tAgg
  5. https://archive.org/details/cu31924029256687/page/n5
  6. With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, Archbishop of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, on April 28, 2019, the ROCOR faithful in Pakistan joyfully participated in the Paschal Divine Liturgy. The congregation was given the chance to prepare themselves during the Holy week. The parishioners participated in the services starting from Palm Sunday; it is the most joyous feasts of the year, as we commemorate the Entrance of our Lord into Jerusalem and with full passion and true spirit the Orthodox faithful were taught well by Fr.Joseph Farooq how to follow the holy traditions of the Orthodox Church during the Passion Week. All the main services were well attended, with many parishioners receiving the sacrament of Confession and Holy Communion. This year During the Great Lent Season in the Pastoral visits and Sunday Services Fr. Joseph Farooq preached to the faithful “Holy Traditions of the Russian Orthodox Church.” He helped the congregation for the spiritual preparation for the Holy Pascha. As our congregation victim of social injustice and poverty and deprived of basic human rights, the Russian Orthodox Church in Pakistan has strengthened Orthodox Christians in Pakistan to remain steadfast and strong in their faith in all the circumstances. The Bright Light of the resurrection of Christ fills their heart with hope to move ahead in their tribulation. The Orthodox community in Pakistan wishes to make Pakistan a peaceful and just society through their struggle and constant prayers. The youth of St. Sergius Orthodox parish voluntarily and with full spirit and passion decorated the Church arena with buntings, banners and colorful ribbons. The Paschal Joy, Triumph of life, Christ's Resurrection brings many blessings for the Orthodox Church in Pakistan and throughout the world. http://orthochristian.com/120944.html?fbclid=IwAR0HX2YYZ6rV8z7isw99b5MB1v7wxe9GgTdmWzWv1A4Mu3dAztzMozk_mT8
  7. The Israeli municipality in Safed has turned Al-Ahmar Mosque into a bar and events hall The Israeli municipality in Safed has turned Al-Ahmar Mosque into a bar and events hall, Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported yesterday. As one of the most historical mosques in the Arab city, which was occupied by the Jewish gangs in 1948, the building was first turned into a Jewish school, then into a centre for Likud’s elections campaigns and then into a clothes warehouse before finally being converted into a nightclub. The London-based newspaper reported that the mosque was turned to a bar and wedding hall by an firm affiliated to the Israeli municipality. Its name was changed from Al-Ahmar Mosque to Khan Al-Ahmar. Khair Tabari, secretary of Safed and Tiberias Islamic endowment, said that he had been waiting for the Nazareth court to take a decision regarding a complaint he filed requesting the evacuation of the mosque and returning it to the endowment. He said he attached documents to prove Islamic ownership of the mosque. He called for the different political and popular bodies to increase their cooperation with him in order to save the mosque from violations. Safed was once home to 12,000 Palestinians who were forced out of their homes in 1948. Tabari said that the mosque is now open for use for everything except prayers by Muslims. https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20190411-israel-converts-historical-mosque-into-a-bar-and-events-hall/?fbclid=IwAR0csBPIuIMpnOD85rP7cmaBfIfmbe6FQPJbHBTnyW8UR0GyYESXVFZXsfc
  8. Archimandrite Alypius (Svetlichny) on the history and symbolism of liturgical utensils. What Vessels and Diskoses Were Used for the Eucharist After the Edict of Constantine the Great? When Emperor Constantine the Great issued his edict that granted Christians equal rights with the pagans, Christian congregations were finally able to worship openly and to build their churches. New liturgical life started, and it required new liturgical items. Provincial prefects and the emperor himself made generous endowments to the churches, including vessels for the Eucharist. We find it mentioned in the biography of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker. Eucharist Cup, late 5th century The chalices often had the conical shape of the emperor’s cups. Diskoses resembled plain plates. It was understandable because they would order the usual cups and plates, which rich people used at their feasts. Diskos. 6th century When the believers multiplied, a new custom to drink the Blood of Christ from a Eucharist jug was introduced in some provincial churches. Liturgical scholars suppose that the jugs were used by poor congregations as a substitute for cups. The wine that Christians brought to a church in jugs was used during the Eucharist as the full offering. The jugs were later made either of semi-precious gemstones with Christian symbols on them, or of precious metals, and less often from gilded copper. This tradition gained popularity in monasteries because a deacon would carry the Holy Gifts to hermits after a liturgy. A jug was really practical for that, while the sacred Bread was simply wrapped in a piece of clean cloth. It must be noted that traditionally, almost until the tenth century, the faithful would drink the Blood of Christ straight from the Chalice or from the aforementioned jug, while they received the most pure Body into their hands, later into pieces of cloth on their hands, and they would consume it on their own with awe, but first touching their eyes and foreheads with it. The tradition of giving the communion to the faithful on a spoon started spreading in the Eastern Churches since the 7thcentury. However, they would give only the Blood of Christ on a spoon (this tradition has survived up to now in the Coptic Church). They started dipping the Bread into the cup with the Blood and then distribute the particles of the Body soaked in Blood on a spoon. Roman Catholics would criticize this method in their arguments with the Orthodox. Thus, Cardinal Humbert wrote in his treatise Against the Greek Misconceptions, “Jesus didn’t put bread in a cup and didn’t tell the apostles, ‘Take ye and eat it with a spoon, for this is my Body’… The Lord didn’t offer soaked bread to any of his disciples aside from Judas the traitor to point at the one who was going to betray him.” Thus, the Latin Christians started to pay attention to the historicity of the Last Supper. When and Why Did The Tradition of Giving Communion on a Spoon Arise? Apparently, the tradition of giving communion on a spoon wasn’t related to new concepts of personal hygiene. On the contrary, it reflected a development of a more reverent attitude to the Eucharist and was more convenient when there were too many parishioners willing to take communion. They didn’t need to take the communion in two steps any longer: they received both elements at once. Additionally, in contrast with the Latin tradition, which emphasized the suffering and death of Christ, and therefore used unleavened bread for communion as a symbol of sorrow and death, the Eastern Church shaped her attitude to the liturgical elements through theology. The Churches of the East regarded the Liturgy as the re-enactment of the Resurrection, and therefore the liturgical bread was ‘live’ – it was leavened bread of joy. Naturally, this theology stipulated that the Body had to be mixed with Blood visibly for the faithful to symbolize the restoration of life, i.e., Resurrection. That was why the Body was dipped into the Chalice and then taken out of the Chalice with a spoon. The communion spoon wasn’t actually called ‘a spoon’ (κοχλιάριον); rather, it was called ‘tongs’ (λαβίδα), hinting at the burning coal given to Isaiah by an Angel with tongs (Is. 6:7). Interestingly enough, the first spoons for communion resembled real spoons and were quite big. Until the 18th century, though the spoons became smaller, they remained deep enough to distribute sufficiently large portions of the Wine and the Bread to the parishioners. A Communion Spoon. 17th century There was an alternative method of consuming the Gifts in the middle of the 12th century, when the communion spoons were a new thing: drinking from the Chalice using a special silver straw. This custom saw a widespread adoption in Africa and Spain. However, it didn’t stick, and the silver straws became rare as early as the 14th century. I heard that such communion straws appeared much earlier, possibly even as early as the 6th century, in particular in the Western Church. Hardly anyone knows that a wine strainer was considered a liturgical utensil in the 4th century, too. It was made of silver or other valuable stuff and used to pour wine into the Chalice. Treasure found in the Zion Monastery: chalices, censers, a tabernacle, and a wine strainer in the front row Christians used to bring their own wine and their own baked bread for the Liturgy. The wine wasn’t always high-quality and clean enough. That is why they needed a strainer to filter out possible admixtures. Jugs were used for the Eucharist along with the Chalice until the 14th century; a mural painting in Stavronikita Monastery on Mount Athos depicting the Eucharist allows us to see that monks at Mt. Athos might use a jug for communion up until the 16th century. Therefore, the communion spoon wasn’t universally widespread. Use of a jug implies that the Bread and the Wine were consumed separately. https://blog.obitel-minsk.com/2019/03/when-and-why-did-the-tradition-of-giving-communion-on-a-spoon-arise.html?fbclid=IwAR2DuaWuimMP57VWs0KAUuuo88XubuXKYoVQwlfzGeoibRDr0eU1tCmLGeI
  9. Глумац је пре неки дан примљен у болницу након што је у свом дому доживео мождани удар Глумац Лук Пери, који се прославио играјући лик Дилана у серији "Беверли Хилс", преминуо је у 53. години живота Он је 27. фебруара хитно одвезен у болницу након што у свом дому доживео мождани удар. Како преносе инострани медији, Лук је преминуо у понедељак ујутру, 4. марта у болници Сент Дзозеф у Бурбенку. Према изјави представника за медије покојног глумца, Пери је био окружен својом децом, сином Џеком и ћерком Софи, вереницом Венди Медисон Бауер, бившом женом Мини Шарп, мајком Ен Бенет, очухом Стивом Бенетом, братом Томом Перијем, сестром Ејми Кодер. Подсетимо, Лук је најзапаженији остао по улози бунтовног Дилана али је, убеђен да је спреман за озбиљније улоге, 1995. напустио "Беверли Хилс" и окушао се у другим пројектима. Међутим, то није славно прошло, и 1998. се вратио у поставу серије и остао до краја њеног емитовања 2000. године. http://www.novosti.rs/вести/сцена.483.html:780904-Преминуо-глумац-Лук-Пери-Дилан-из-серије-Беверли-Хилс
  10. A special statement on the situation in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was adopted by the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church at its session yesterday, reports the press service of the Russian Orthodox Church. The Synod again notes the lamentable situation of increased persecution that has arisen in Ukraine thanks to Constantinople’s interference in Church life there, and calls upon the other Local Orthodox Churches to support their suffering brethren and the Ukrainian authorities to cease its persecutions. The statement reads in full: The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church notes with deep concern the sharp deterioration of the situation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The granting by the Patriarchate of Constantinople of a “tomos of autocephaly” to the so-called “Orthodox Church of Ukraine,” artificially created by the merger of two schismatic organizations, further strengthened the division between the Orthodox of Ukraine and significantly exacerbated inter-confessional relations. Of particular concern is the gross interference of the state authorities of Ukraine in the internal Church life and attempts by politicians to use the Church in opportunistic interests. At the same time, the fundamental rights and human freedoms enshrined in the Ukrainian constitution are flagrantly trampled upon. Discriminatory laws have been adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and entered into force, the purpose of which is to deprive the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of its name and to legalize the seizure of its churches and monasteries. The faithful of the canonical Church are also stricken in other rights: Its clergy are deprived of the opportunity to meaningfully nourish soldiers, law enforcement officers, and prisoners. It is becomingly increasingly clear that the aim of the representatives of the current state powers is the liquidation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The local authorities and law enforcement agencies were given recommendations to maximally facilitate the transfer of Ukrainian Orthodox Church communities into schism. There are threats of taking the largest monasteries and historical holy sites from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church—the Kiev Caves Lavra and the Pochaev Lavra. The majority of cases of churches being taken from their religious communities happen contrary to their decisions to remain in the canonical Church. The decision of the religious community is replaced by the vote of a general assembly of citizens who most often are not members of the parish of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The minutes of such meetings are immediately approved by the authorities, after which the church is seized with the assistance of security forces. This lawlessness has led to a surge of violence against the clergy and faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Despite the assurances of the leadership of Ukraine and the Patriarchate of Constantinople about the peaceful character of the so-called “unification of Ukrainian Orthodox,” dozens of churches have been seized by breaking in, with the support of paramilitary groups, often with the beating of priests and the faithful of the canonical Church, trying to defend their holy sites. Dozens of communities of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church are forced to gather for prayer in private homes or on the street. In this difficult situation, we call upon all faithful children of the Russian Orthodox Church to strengthen their prayers for their suffering brothers in Ukraine, that they might be granted courage and Christian patience in their stand for holy Orthodoxy. We appeal to the state authorities of Ukraine with a call to cease the persecution against their own citizens who do not want to join the schism. We entreat our fraternal Local Orthodox Churches to prayerfully support the persecuted Ukrainian Orthodox Church, headed by Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine. We call upon the global community to be attentive to the blatant facts of the violation of human rights and to give a proper assessment to the gross interference of the Ukrainian state in the affairs of the Church. http://orthochristian.com/119594.html?fbclid=IwAR0xGOfJ1c2xiEy1AdwdFL2vEFeyekljeTxzXJLY-bk5QJqGyQ48qS_iqzY
  11. IN TRUE BORGIA STYLE The “unification council” in Kiev: how it went, conclusions and prospects On December 15, 2018, in Kiev, before a several thousand-strong crowd among whom stood a great number of specially transported state employees from various regions of the country as well as members of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic (Uniate) church, Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko introduced the head of the new religious structure, which had received the name, “Orthodox Church of Ukraine”. It is interesting that alongside the head of the country and “Metropolitan” Epiphany, on the stage stood only the parliament speaker Andrei Paruby. Neither Metropolitan Emmanuel nor the Constantinople exarchs, who prepared and conducted the council, were present. This looked very strange, because Patriarch Bartholomew’s emissaries’ deep involvement in the preceding events would have presupposed their direct participation in the presentation to the masses of the newly elected head of the OCU. Operation “Force” The final photo recording the first emotion of those present at the council after the announcement of the election results shows that the face of Metropolitan Emmanuel did not express any particular joy. The publications in Ukrainian media to follow during the next few days, which described the peripeteia that happened in that event, explained the reason for such an extremely restrained reaction from the Phanar representatives. This included information that the Greeks had placed their bets on Metropolitan Simeon of Vinnitsa and Bar’s victory, which would have allowed them to place a canonical bishop at the head of the new structure. This could have increased the chances that a number of fence-sitting bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (MP) could go over to the OCU, and might have eased Constantinople’s burden to provide recognition for the new organization on the level of world Orthodoxy. The buses that bussed in the crowd As certain publications confirmed, in order to make this plan succeed there were closed consultations held with the influential Volhynian “metropolitan” of the “Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kiev Patriarchate” Mikhail, during which the necessity was discussed of supporting his candidacy at the elections for the head of the OCU, in order to split the unanimity of the “Kiev Patriarchate” episcopate and remove the possibility of a final victory for Philarets’ protégé, “Metropolitan” Epiphany, from the agenda. Besides this, the Phanariotes supposed that they would be able to confirm by council decision without any particular problems their own version of the OCU bylaws, in which points were prescribed that would make the OCU seriously dependent upon Constantinople, and the proposed autocephaly no more than a decoration. However it didn’t go as the guests from Turkey supposed it would. That scenario began to fall apart at the seams even on the eve of the council. First, even by applying administrative pressures, the Ukrainian authorities were unable to provide a presence in the Kiev St. Sophia Cathedral of a group of bishops from the UOC sufficient to, albeit with a stretch, call the council a “unification”. This not only significantly lowered Simeon’s chances of being elected, it also destroyed the foundation of a no less important process. The Greeks urgently needed at least ten bishops of the UOC who would vote for self-dissolution of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. In this way the Phanar counted on receiving an additional weighty trump card on which it could base its future attacks against the UOC with the aim of liquidating it as a separate, active Church. Secondly, alarming signals were coming from the camp of the so-called “UOC Kiev Patriarchate”. The exarchs were informed of the uncompromising position of Philaret, who was ready to disrupt the council if it didn’t go according to his own plans. As the events to come would show, this was no idle rumor. The council was supposed to begin at 10:00 a.m. However it in fact began only after 1:00 p.m. The reason for the delay, as the media reports, was Philaret’s demands on Poroshenko and the Constantinople emissaries to provide for the refusal of “Metropolitan” Mikhail of the “UOC KP” of his candidacy at the elections for the head of the OCU. If he didn’t, the indispensible leader of the “Kiev Patriarch” threatened not to sign the document of his religious organization’s self-liquidation, which would automatically mean a derailment of everything that had been planned for the action in St. Sophia. After lengthy consultations with direct participation by the head of state, they were able to regulate the situation. Mikhail was forced to agree to Philaret’s demands, and the latter gave his “green light” to the “UOC KP’s” self-liquidation. Incidentally, this was only the first stage in the conflict within the “upper echelons” of Philaret’s structure. It became clear at the council that many of his participants were ready to vote for Mikhail, and that he would easily outrun Epiphany. Philaret again struck a threatening pose and demanded that his Volhynian colleague sign a written refusal of his candidacy to position number one of the OCU. At this Mikhail’s nerves snapped. He began openly contradicting Philaret, proclaiming that such an approach is not fair or democratic. His position found active support from the delegates sitting in the hall. The atmosphere became more and more heated. No one wanted to give in. Finally Mikhail and his supporters left the Little Sophia hall in protest. Philaret in turn threatened that if the ambitions of his Volhynian fosterling do not cool down, he himself will command his own supporting “bishops” to leave the cathedral. The blackmail worked. Poroshenko and Paruby had an emotional talk with Mikhail, after which the latter finally gave in and ceased his struggle for the position of leadership in the OCU. After this the voice of the episcopate of the “Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church”, the UOC KP, and the Greek participants of the council could no longer hinder the victory of Philaret’ protégé. Epiphany, as expected, outran Simeon and became the triumphant final elected leader of the present delegation. As a result of this development, Philaret scored two important victories. The first was over the “Greek party”, who thirsted to remove the leader of the “UOC KP” from front stage and take the newly organized structure under its complete control. The second was over the plans of Petro Poroshenko to place someone closer to him in the head of the OCU’s chair—someone who would heed the desires of the guarantor of the Constitution no less than, and even more eagerly than directives coming from ecclesiastical Istanbul. However these were not Philaret’s final victories. After the election of the head of the OCU, an extremely harsh debate broke out regarding the new organization’s bylaws. The passions reached unprecedented heights of intensity and fury. In part, reproaches were flung at the Phanar representatives about how it is not good to give the OCU the low status of a metropolia. However, the Greeks “showed their teeth” too sweet. The emissaries from Constantinople stated that there has never been a Patriarchate in Ukraine, and if there is something bothering them about this then Constantinople is also ready to rise up and leave the council before it ends. No less tense was the fight over the section on the format of the OCU Synod’s work. The Phanar representatives insisted that the Synod not have permanent members and that it be formed on the basis of rotation. Their opponents asserted the opposite view, pointing out that without the presence of permanent members on the Synod, the head of the OCU will find it difficult to conduct his politics and have an influence on the work of one of the most important mechanisms of rule in the given structure. In the final analysis a “hybrid” option won out. For a certain transition period there will be three permanent members on the Synod. This means Philaret, head of the “UAOC” Makary, and the loser of the final battle for position number one in the OCU, Metropolitan Simeon. Incidentally, for the Greeks, this was only the “blossom”. The “berry” was the decision to leave Philaret with the title “honorary patriarch”, which automatically fixed him in the OCU with the position of “kingmaker” and created good possibilities for “butting” against the Phanar for control over the new religious organization. Petro Poroshenko, "Metropolitan" Epiphany of the OCU, and Metropolitan Emanuel of Gaul Taking all of this into consideration, there is probably no need to be surprised at Metropolitan Emanuel’s stony face and why no one from the “Greek party” was present at Epiphany’s presentation before the crowd gathered on St. Sophia Square. The Phanar’s bad hangover Only a few days had passed after the council when the information space began shocking everyone with scandalous and absolutely unexpected announcements and publications made by participants of the above event. Letter of Patriarch Bartholomew First of all, on the Facebook page of Metropolitan Alexander (Drabinko) a letter was posted from Patriarch Bartholomew in which the latter announces that he hereby receives the former vicar bishop of the UOC under his omophorion. It was dated December 14, 2018—the day before the council in Kiev. A number of experts consider that the former head of the Vynnista diocese of the UOC, Simeon, received a similar letter. If that is so, then not even one bishop of the UOC participated in the council, because by the time it was conducted both Metr. Alexander and Metr. Simeon were already representatives of the Constantinople Patriarchate. And this means that now, not even by the most absurd stretch can what took place in the Ukrainian capital on December 15 be called a “unification” council of “three Churches”. In fact what took place was no more than the melding together of two groups recognized by the Orthodox world as schismatic—the “UOC KP” and “UAOC”—into one whole, under the direct control of Constantinople. “Metropolitan” Mikhail of Volhynia Secondly, Mikhail is still unable to cope with the insult dealt him by Philaret. He gave several emotional interviews in which he stated that he had become the victim of blackmail by the “honorary patriarch” of the OCU and does not intend to step down from any further battles for primacy over the new religious structure. Moreover the Volhynian “metropolitan’s” overwrought state led him to say a number of things permeated with a spirit of the Borgia epoch, coming very close to being direct threats against Epiphany. “There could be new elections even tomorrow. There could be several reasons for this—the death of the primate, or his stepping down from that position. Just because he’s young there is no guarantee that he won’t remain without a post for a long time,” weightily emphasized Mikhail. Thirdly, Epiphany himself made his own mark. At first, as the Ukrainian service of Radio Liberty reported, he allows for the possibility of the UOC eventually switching to the “new calendar”. Then, on air on ICTV television, Epiphany did not dismiss the scenarios of the OCU combining with Greek Catholics. In his words, they first need to unite Ukrainian Orthodoxy, and then we’ll see. However, as the head of the UOC noted, there is a mood within his structure for a deepening cooperation with the UGCC. And this cooperation will begin in the sphere of education. In this context we immediately recall the words of the head of the UGCC Sviatoslav (Shevchuk) that he pronounced on April 17, 2018 during a meeting with U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Mary Jovanovich. At that time, the leader of the Ukrainian Greek Catholics noted that the unification of the Ukrainian Orthodox within the framework of a new religious structure will be only the first step, after which will come a second—the intensification of its ecumenical dialogue with the UGCC, which is supposed to result in the unification of the “churches of the St. Vladimir Baptism” within a united Local Kievan Church. Fourthly, the leader of the “Right Sector” Dimitry Yarosh has not remained outside of these processes. Calling himself a Greek Catholic, the leader of the “Ukrainian Volunteer Army” called on his Facebook page for a “hunt on Moscow popes [derisive word for priests].” Here is a direct quote from that text: “The so-called UOC MP is not a church. It is an FSB residency that is an “Iskander” [the name of a Russian missile] in the hands of the satanist Putin, just as it was before in the hands of Stalin, Beria, Zhukov, and other atheists. The hierarchy of the so-called UOC MP, which has not found the national courage, strength and argument to change over to the Ukainian Church, are also not servants of God but agents of the FSB and Putin’s network, and that means they are enemies of Ukraine. A hunt on Moscow popes who faithfully serve Putin and Kirill is a work pleasing to God and our Motherland.”3 It is interesting that this leader sees the future of Ukraine in the “unification of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine with the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and the recognition of this unification by both Constantinople and the Vatican.” As the People’s Deputy sees it, this will be the next epochal step in the development of nation and state. Well, and the richest moment in the array of scandals was made by Philaret himself. On December 16, 2018, in his address in the St. Vladimir Cathedral, he announced that he will be ruling the OCU along with Epiphany. At that he basically placed his protégé in the role of merely “minister of foreign affairs” under his own “presidency”. In the words of Philaret, Epiphany will be representing the OCU in the international arena. Just the same, this will only last until the OCU is recognized as a patriarchate. As soon as that happens, the power of the “patriarch” will also extend over new religious structure’s sphere of external relations. Philaret’s words produced the effect of a bomb explosion. As it turns out, they thought they chose Epiphany as the head of the OCU, but in fact they chose Philaret. Incidentally, on December 17 he waltzed into the services at the St. Vladimir Cathedral wearing his patriarchal kukol [white, rounded hat/hood with a cross on top] as if nothing had happened. This was the “warning shot” at the head of all the Phanar’s ambitions. He showed Patriarch Bartholomew his place, and his true regard for Constantinople’s claims on its “Ukrainian inheritance”. Conclusions and predictions 1) The events that took place have demonstrated that Constantinople’s plan to represent its meddling in Ukrainian Church affairs as a unifying element of Ukrainian Orthodoxy fell through with a deafening crash. De facto, with the Phanar’s application there came about a mere legalization of a schismatic structure. As a result of this simplistic rebranding, the “UAOC” and the “UOC KP” are now called the “OCU”. Furthermore, the head of the new structure has to be considered not Epiphany but Philaret, who reserves the right to rule the new structure, giving his favorite no more than external church relations. 2) Mikhail, the main competitor of Epiphany at the elections, has not reconciled himself with his humiliation and is prepared to continue the battle. This means that both Philaret and the nominal head of the OCU may now run up against backstage sabotage and opposition to their authority from the Volhynian “metropolitan” and his supporters. After Philaret’s death, Epiphany will be in dire straights. That is if he is unable by that time to significantly strengthen his personal position and authority in the ranks of the OCU “episcopate”. 3) It is entirely probable that in his struggle with Philaret and Epiphany, Mikhail can rely on cadres from the “UAOC”. Everyone knows about the complicated relationship between Makary and Philaret, as well as about the latter’s desire to dissolve once and for all the “UAOC” into the structure under his control. If the irreplaceable leader of the recently sunk into oblivion “UOC KP” sets about his work in a format of “breaking” the opposition “over his knee”, Mikhail will certainly gain new allies. 4) The first official commentaries demonstrate an, albeit cautious, but nevertheless readiness by Epiphany for a marked transformation within the OCU. Here we are talking about the possibility of introducing the “new calendar”, as well as a serious deepening of cooperation with Greek Catholics, the strategic result of which may be the combining of the OCU and the UGCC into one whole structure. 5) Very soon we can expect the Ukrainian parliament to pass their “anti-church” projects, in which they will try to change the official name of the UOC4 and make it easier to transfer the UOC’s churches to the OCU. There are several interests standing behind these steps. The first is the transfer to the Phanar of church possessions under their numerous stavropegic establishments (it’s much easier to grab for this purpose the churches of the UOC than of Philaret and co.). The second step is to place additional pressure on the episcopate and clergy of the UOC with the intention of speeding up and broadening the scale of people and churches moving over from the UOC to the OCU (taking over churches requires after all a certain amount of time and resources, and here they are counting on the passing of laws to scare the unstable and make the wavering decide more quickly to change confessions). The third is the change of power distribution within the ecclesiastical milieu in favor of the OCU, so that it would become the largest confession in Ukraine (this would allow in part for the Phanar to claim widespread support for its actions among Orthodox Ukrainians, and strike a painful blow to structures close to the Russian Orthodox Church). The fourth is the solving of purely electoral aims in the style of a “final crushing of the ‘Russian world’ in Ukraine.” How these laws will be put into practice is shown by the situation with the seizure of the cathedral in Vinnitsa. In the dark of night, Metropolitan Simeon’s close supporters conducted a so-called “parish meeting”, at which it was resolved that they would transfer to the OCU. Then the church guards were replaced with new ones, and the church found itself fast in the hands of the bishop who had been defrocked by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. It would not be difficult to organize similar “parish meetings” all over Ukraine. All that is needed are the desire, resources, and appropriate opportunities. And these will all increase a hundredfold with the passing of applicable legislature. 6) On the eve of receiving the tomos, the final battle will break out for the OCU bylaws (according to information from a number of media, it has not yet been ratified). Having given in on a number of important issues, Philaret will try to outmaneuver the situation with the establishment of the Phanar’s custody over the Ukrainian diaspora. In turn the Greeks will defend to the last their position that the tomos is more important than the bylaws and that no changes can be made to the bylaws without Patriarch Bartholomew’s approval. This will be done with the aim of leveling any threats by Philaret to rewrite the bylaws after receiving the tomos to his total advantage and total disadvantage of the Phanar. Perhaps Philaret’s appearance in a patriarchal kukol in the St. Vladimir Cathedral was a signal that the “honorary patriarch” may have some aces up his sleeve. It is not a fact that the liquidation of the “UOC KP” at the council was registered in the necessary legal manner. This means that the bylaws of the “Kiev Patriarchate”, registered in the appropriate governmental agencies, are still in effect. And Philaret can always return to them and reanimate the “UOC KP” should the Phanar suddenly try to make sections of the bylaws “indigestible” to Epiphany’s teacher. 7) The final outcome of the struggle for the bylaws show whether or not we can expect the Phanar to use their most powerful weapon after Philaret’s death to “force” the OCU into submission. The name of this weapon is the possibility of recalling the tomos at any moment convenient to the Phanar. After taking similar steps with regard to the Russian Orthodox Church and the Western European Exarchate’s Russian parishes, there are obviously no limits to such actions. Absolutely none. And it could very possibly turn out that after a certain period of time, the “festival of disobedience” in the OCU and the departure to another world of Constantinople’s most dangerous “church” competitor in Ukraine, the situation could again return to its original point—the restoration of the Kiev Metropolia of the Constantinople Patriarchate. However, up to that time the Phanar has to preserve itself as a power capable of dictating something and forcing other religious structures to do its bidding. Such a boldfaced and brazen legalization of a schism, striking a blow to the unity of the entire Orthodox World, is an extremely risky step. And this is not at all because Constantinople will have to answer for its lawlessness before other Orthodox Churches. There exists a Judgment that is much more terrible and impartial. The Lord examineth the righteous man and the ungodly; but he that loveth unrighteousness hateth his own soul. He will rain down snares upon sinners; fire and brimstone and wind of tempest shall be the portion of their cup. For the Lord is righteous and hath loved righteousness; upon uprightness hath His countenance looked (Ps. 10:5–7). The author, Taras Melnick, is a Ukrainian journalist and native Kievan. http://orthochristian.com/118113.html
  12. https://www.fort-russ.com/2018/10/many-thousands-will-die-the-coming-schism-in-orthodoxy-repent-and-stop-this-insanity/ Published on: Oct 14, 2018 @ 00:40 – By Metropolitan Jonah – Once again, the United States and its policies are creating chaos, setting up the murder of innocent people, and disrupting an ancient institution. Only this time, it is direct interference in the affairs not just of a nation state, Ukraine, but of a religious institution, the Orthodox Church. And the effect of this is not just on a local, but worldwide level. The granting of autocephaly to the schismatic Ukrainian body, the so-called Kiev Patriarchate, is not primarily an ecclesiastical issue, but a political one. Ecclesiastically, the US policy is interfering on a number of different levels. It is not, of course, interfering for the sake of human rights, freedom of religion, of religious institutions governing their own lives without government interference, or the fundamental American principle of the separation of church and state. It is rather operating contrary to these fundamental American principles, and trying to force the faithful people of Ukraine into a unified state church, supporting an unpopular government installed, supported and maintained by the United States, and essentially appointing the clergy and hierarchy, particularly the patriarch, for that body. Undoubtedly it will support the Ukrainian government in its efforts to nationalize the 12,000 churches belonging to the legitimate canonical Ukrainian Churchand its faithful people, confiscating the buildings and property, including the ancient sacred monasteries and national landmarks. The Ukrainian people, faithful Orthodox Christians, will fight against the confiscation of their churches, just as they fought the Soviet confiscation of their churches by the Communists in the 1920s. And now as then, they will give their lives for the protection of their holy places from defilement by false brethren. Just as they heroically fought the Nazis in the Second World War, and then the Communists again after the Nazis were expelled, they will reject the false patriarch Denisenko and fight against a government that they know cares nothing for them and their interests, their liberty and religious freedom, just as they rejected the Living Church Renovationists in the 1920’s. Thousands will die, protesting against American policy translated into violent action by the Ukrainian government. This is a grave sin, for the Ukrainian leadership and their American masters. Moreover, not content to manipulate the ecclesiastical and political mafiosi of Ukraine, a failing state grasping for power and lacking legitimacy from its people, the State Department and other agencies have injected themselves into the Patriarchate of Constantinople. They have manipulated the elderly Ecumenical Patriarch, either directly or through their proxies, through his greatest weakness: the precarious position of the Patriarchate within Turkey, politically and financially. They would expand his jurisdiction, and have ensured his financial stability with bribes of millions of dollars. They are using and abusing an old man who is trying with all his might to preserve an ancient institution. They have compromised him, and the institution of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and are thereby disrupting not only the Ukraine and its precarious peace, but fostering a schism that will rend the Orthodox world, a community larger than the United States. This is a bitter and cynical move, and profoundly evil. Their justification is that they want to curtail the influence of Russia. The neoconservatives and others who control so much US policy are possessed by a paranoid Russophobia, left over from the first Cold War, and a new hatred of the Christian values espoused by the resurgent Russia. Despite Russia’s overtures for greater cooperation and détente, and President Trump’s apparent willingness to make friends with Russia, we remain hostage to the fears of State Department and Pentagon bureaucrats. Should we not to mention that Russia has a GDP less than that of Texas, and a military budget less than one tenth that of the US. So the United States tries to hit the Russians in the place they care about the most: their Faith, their Church, their Christianity. The canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, under Metropolitan Onuphry, is a maximally autonomous church attached to the Russian Orthodox Church. It is the Mother diocese of the Russian Church, and there is a thousand year connection between the Kievan Metropolitanate and the rest of the Russian Church. For years, the Kievan Metropolitanate has been autonomous, which means that their main connection with Moscow is that they commemorate (pray for) the Patriarch of Moscow at services. Otherwise, they govern their own life. The Russian Patriarch has far less authority over the Church in Ukraine than the Pope does over the Roman Catholics in America. (There is a close parallel to old deep seated American anti-Catholic attitudes, and fears of the Moscow Patriarchate.) Yet there are close personal ties, and huge numbers of Ukrainians serve in parishes and dioceses throughout Russia. The ties are organic, and the canonical Ukrainian Church has no desire, and has not asked, for autocephaly. And so the United States State Department and agencies support a disgraced and legitimately defrocked charlatan who is all dressed up, and who is himself manipulating the pathetic Poroshenko, for his own ambition. They have blackmailed the elderly Ecumenical Patriarch, in regards to the disappearance of funds from the American Archdiocese, and then bribed him. To justify himself he asserted an interpretation of his own jurisdiction that is rejected by the rest of the Orthodox Churches. The other thirteen Orthodox Churches, with one or two exceptions that have remained silent, condemn this move by the Ecumenical Patriarchate. They do not accept the assertion of virtually universal jurisdiction by the Patriarch of Constantinople, nor the authority to act unilaterally, especially on matters that require the consensus of all the Churches, such as the granting of autocephaly. While the Patriarchs cannot control what happens politically in Ukraine, what is more likely is that they will meet and try to remove Patriarch Bartholomew for having acted contrary to the universal canons. The greatest hope is that the Ecumenical Patriarchate will repent and stop this madness. It may be too late. In the meantime, if they go through with the autocephaly, babushki—grandmothers—will be dying in Ukraine trying to defend their beloved churches from the new Ukraino-Nazis. The Patriarchate of Constantinople will have relegated itself to schism from the rest of the Orthodox world; it might as well then join the Vatican. In any event it will lose any claim to the primacy, save historical memory, and thus any influence. Sooner than later in Ukraine, Poroshenko will be voted out, and Denisenko, 90+ years old, will die. Then the schism will fall apart, regardless of its status. Ukraine will continue to collapse, autocephalous church or no, into political, social, economic and ecclesiastical chaos. No one, not the US and not Russia, is willing or able to step in and save it. It will finally have to emerge from the ashes. So it will join Iraq, Libya, Syria and other places destroyed by US intervention. Orthodoxy, however will survive – preferably with the Ecumenical Patriarchate intact, but even without it. The other churches have already rallied around the Patriarch of Moscow as standing for and maintaining canonical order; and around Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev as a victim of profound injustice, revealing Christ suffering in the midst of persecution. So thanks to US policy, Moscow emerges strongly as the moral leader of the Orthodox world. Poetic justice. But you, State Department, will have the blood of the little Ukrainian grandmothers and old men on your hands and your heads. And you will have to answer for your decisions and actions before God. Or do you even care? Metropolitan Jonah October 12, 2018 Metropolitan Jonah is a bishop within the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, the former Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, and a native born American. HOUSANDS WILL DIE – The Coming Schism in Orthodoxy: “Repent, and Stop This Insan
  13. In a reckless attempt to take revenge on his drug dealer for selling him methamphetamine of unsatisfactory quality, a 49-year-old man in Florida contacted the police to have the substance tested and to press formal charges. Unhappy with the quality of the drugs sold to him by his dealer, and having suffered an allergic reaction to the substance, Douglas Kelly, 49, from Hawthorne, Florida, called the police on Tuesday, asking them to test the batch of crystal meth. Once Kelly revealed that he actually wants to press charges against the dealer, Putnam County Sheriff's Office asked the 49-year-old to come to the station so they could "ensure the quality of the drug the suspect purchased." Excited over the promise of a top expert opinion, Kelly drove to the station and handed over the clear, crystallized substance to the officers. Once the test confirmed the substance to be crystal meth, the man was arrested and charged with possession of narcotics. Officers then transported Kelly to Putnam County Jail. "If you believe you were sold bad drugs, we are offering a free service to test them for you," the Sheriff's Office promised on Facebook. "Remember, our detectives are always ready to assist anyone who believes they were misled in their illegal drug purchase." Putnam County SO‏ @PutnamCountySO Jun 13 More Afraid your drug dealer sold you the wrong narcotic? We offer free testing! https://www.facebook.com/112434848799162/posts/2080552361987391/ … https://www.sott.net/article/388261-Florida-man-ends-up-in-jail-after-asking-cops-to-test-low-quality-meth-and-bust-his-dealer
  14. Pope Francis tells gay man: 'God made you like that and loves you like that' By Delia Gallagher and Hada Messia, CNN Rome (CNN)A victim of clerical sexual abuse has said that Pope Francis told him that God made him gay and that his sexuality "does not matter." Juan Carlos Cruz, a survivor of sexual abuse, spent three days with Pope Francis at the Vatican in April, in which he discussed his sexuality and the abuse he suffered at the hands of a Chilean priest. Describing his encounter with the Pope to CNN, Cruz said: "You know Juan Carlos, that does not matter. God made you like this. God loves you like this. The Pope loves you like this and you should love yourself and not worry about what people say." Juan Carlos Cruz, a key whistleblower in Chile's most famous case of clerical sex abuse. The Pope's words would amount to a significant departure from the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, which considers homosexuality "objectively disordered" and contrary to God's law. Vatican spokesman Greg Burke told CNN on Monday: "We do not normally comment on the Pope's private conversations." Fernando Karadima, the man who abused Cruz, was found guilty of abuse by the Vatican in 2011. Last Friday, all the bishops in Chile offered their resignation to Pope Francis after a three-day emergency summit at the Vatican to discuss Chile's sex-abuse scandal. In total, 31 active bishops and three retired bishops announced in a statement that they had offered to resign over the scandal and place the issue "in the hands of the Holy Father so that he might freely decide for each one of us."
  15. Serbia has not implemented in a satisfactory manner any of the thirteen recommendations provided by the Council of Europe’s anti-corruption body GRECO (Group of States against Corruption) to the country in July 2015, according to the new compliance report published today. GRECO specifically recommended that measures be taken to further improve the transparency of the parliamentary process, including through ensuring adequate timelines for submitting amendments and using the urgent procedure as an exception and not as a rule. A need to introduce transparency regulations on parliamentarians’ contacts with lobbyists and other third parties, given the great risk of undue influence, was underlined. Only limited progress has been achieved as regards transparency of the activity of the National Assembly, GRECO says in today’s compliance report. More determined action is necessary in this regard, as well as on the adoption of a code of conduct and the introduction of rules for members of parliament on how they interact with lobbyists and other third parties. Among other recommendations of 2015 were strengthening the independence and role of the High Judicial Council and the State Prosecutorial Council; amending the procedures for the recruitment and promotion of judges, court presidents and prosecutors, in particular by excluding the National Assembly from this process and ensuring merit-based recruitment; and continued reform of the system of appraisal of judges’ and prosecutors’ performance. As far as judges are concerned, in the compliance report GRECO welcomes the measures taken to further develop the role of the High Judicial Council, improve the objectivity and transparency of the procedures for the recruitment and promotion of judges, as well as to train judges on ethical issues. Beyond a necessary constitutional reform in order to change the composition of the High Judicial Council and exclude the National Assembly from the process of recruitment of judges, GRECO expects a review of the system of appraisal of judges’ performance. Prosecutors are in a situation largely similar to judges. Some steps have been taken to strengthen the role of the State Prosecutorial Council, to review the performance appraisal system for prosecutors and to train them on ethical issues. Further progress is conditioned by the upcoming constitutional reform. GRECO reiterates its call upon the Serbian authorities to review the criteria for the recruitment and promotion of prosecutors. In view of the above, GRECO concludes that the overall very low level of compliance with the recommendations is "globally unsatisfactory". GRECO therefore asks the Head of the Serbian delegation to provide a report on the progress in implementing all the pending recommendations as soon as possible, but at the latest by 31 October 2018. http://www.coe.int/nl/web/portal/-/serbia-has-not-implemented-any-of-the-recommendations-on-preventing-corruption-among-parliamentarians-judges-and-prosecutors https://rm.coe.int/fourth-evaluation-round-corruption-prevention-in-respect-of-members-of/1680792e56
  16. Murat Bayaral made the proclamation on religious TV in Turkey. His intervention Islamisation of Turkey under President Recep Erdogan. President Erdogan does not have a beard, which raises many questions. By Josh Robbins An Islamic preacher in Turkey launched a scathing attack on clean-shaven men, claiming that they "look like women" and provoke "indecent thoughts". Murat Bayaral's intervention, made on a religious TV channel on 16 December, has highlighted the increasing Islamisation of Turkey under President Recep Erdogan "Men should grow beards. One of the two body parts that separate men from women is the beard," Bayaral said. "For example, if you see a man with long hair from afar you may think he is a woman if he does not have a beard. Because nowadays women and men dress similarly. God forbid! You could be possessed by indecent thoughts," he added. The preacher, who enjoys a sumptuous bounty of well-groomed facial hair, made the comments as Turkey's secular heritage looks increasingly under threat. President Erdogan, who does not have a beard relies on a conservative support base, which is eager to see a muddying of the separation between mosque and state. Evolution was removed from science classes in public schools earlier this year and girls are now allowed to wear headscarves when attending school. Enrollment in religious schools has leaped from 63,000 children to 1,000,000 since Erdogan first rose to power in 2002, Politico reported. "Turkish debates on piety and modesty reoccur frequently," Magdalena Kirchner, a fellow at the Istanbul Policy Center in Turkey, told Newsweek. "Erdogan declared in 2012 his intent to raise 'devout generations,' and former Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arinc stated in 2014 that women should not laugh out loud in public," she added. Turkish president Recep Erdogan is suspiciously beardless Adnan Abidi/Reuters While Bayaral is a marginal figure in Turkey, Kirchner warned that his statement demonstrated that the government's pious base exerted "bottom-up pressure against [a secular] way of life without having to impose legal constraints." Turkish school are not only being injected with a lot more religious studies, but also a lot more Erdogan studies. The 63-year-old is increasingly competing with Turkey's founding father General Ataturk for space on the national curriculum. The president appears to have consolidated his grip on Turkey after a controversial referendum in April cleared the way for him to transform the parliamentary system into an executive presidency. Mostafa Kemel Ataturk established Turkey as a secular state in the 1920s. However, Erdogan has promised to "raise a devout generation" against the secular establishment. An Iraqi man who fled Isis uses a pair of scissors to trim Odd Andersen/AFP The enemies, real or imagined, of Erdogan's vision for Turkey, are an educated and liberal elite living in Istanbul, who have a taste for alcohol. Preacher Bayaral's claims are a reminder of the widening polarity within Turkish society. The beard is a pressure point for Islamist and Islamophobic policies alike. Militant groups such as Isis have previously forced men living under their jurisdiction to wear beards, while China's authoritarian government has banned men belonging to the Uyghur Muslim minority population from sporting facial hair. Contrary to Bayaral's claim, scientific studies have never shown that men without beards provoke "indecent thoughts". However, several have demonstrated that homophobic men are more likely to be repressing gay desires. http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/beardless-men-look-like-girls-provoke-gay-thoughts-says-muslim-preacher-1652159?utm_source=social&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=%2Fbeardless-men-look-like-girls-provoke-gay-thoughts-says-muslim-preacher-1652159 MORE
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    Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  18. It's the first time humans have seen this in the wild. For the first time, scientists have been able to observe something amazing: the evolution of a completely new species, in the wild, in real-time. And it took just two generations. Now, genomic sequencing and the analysis of physical characteristics have confirmed the new species of Darwin's finch, endemic to a small island called Daphne Major in the Galápagos. Its discoverers have nicknamed it Big Bird. There are at least 15 species of Darwin's finches, so named because their diversity helped famed naturalist Charles Darwin figure out his theory of evolution by natural selection - that is, mutations can help species become better adapted to their environment, and be passed down to subsequent generations. It's two of these species that came together in what is called species hybridisation to create an entirely new one. Here's what Big Bird looks like. (© P. R. Grant) While on expedition on the Daphne Major island, Peter and B. Rosemary Grant, biologists at Princeton University, noticed the presence of a non-native interloper, Geospiza conirostris. It's also known as the large cactus finch, and is native to other Galapagos islands, namely Española, Genovesa, Darwin, and Wolf. As one of the larger species of Darwin's finches, and with a different song than the three native Daphne Major species, the newcomer - a male - stood out. "We didn't see him fly in from over the sea, but we noticed him shortly after he arrived. He was so different from the other birds that we knew he did not hatch from an egg on Daphne Major," Peter Grant said. But then it mated with two females of one of those native species, Geospiza fortis, the medium ground finch. And the mating produced offspring. Mating between different species that results in offspring isn't that unusual - famous examples include mules, the product of mating between a male donkey and a mare. There are also ligers, a cross between a male lion and female tiger. G. conirostris (left) and G. fortis (right). (© K. T. Grant and B. R. Grant) But hybrid species are often sterile, or reproduce with difficulty - and that did not prove to be the case with these new chicks. A new lineage began - it had to. The birds had a different song from G. fortis, as well as different beak size and shape, and these are what the finches use to attract mates. Reproductively, the new species was completely isolated, and had to mate within its own kind to survive. But it was an uphill battle. During droughts on the island in 2002-2003, when the new lineage was in its fourth generation, all but two of the birds died. Then they rallied. "When the rains came again, the brother and sister mated with each other and produced 26 offspring," Rosemary Grant said in an interview last year. "All but nine survived to breed - a son bred with his mother, a daughter with her father, and the rest of the offspring with each other - producing a terrifically inbred lineage." Because the hybrid finches were bigger than the native populations, they were able to access previously unexploited food choices, and survive. At the Grants' most recent visit to the island in 2012, they counted 23 individuals and 8 breeding pairs of the birds. This success means, the researchers noted, that hybridisation could have occurred many times in Darwin's finches in the past, resulting in new species that either became extinct or evolved to become the species we know today. "A naturalist who came to Daphne Major without knowing that this lineage arose very recently would have recognised this lineage as one of the four species on the island," said Leif Andersson of Uppsala University in Sweden, who conducted the genetic analysis. "This clearly demonstrates the value of long-running field studies." Charles Darwin would have been delighted. (https://www.sciencealert.com/darwin-s-finches-evolve-into-new-species-in-real-time-two-generations-galapagos)
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    Na english ( i, iz naslova se da' uociti )...
  20. Ova tema je nastala na nagovor jednog clana pouka pokusacu da podelim neke stvari za koje mislim da su korisne. Ocekujem da vi uradite to isto dakle tema je kao sto pise Life Hacks, Tips and Tricks, Online Jobs & Beermoney, pa izvolite. Prvo sto cu da kazem iz svog licnog iskustva je da nema leba bez motike i da ne postoji laka zarada na internetu. Ako je lako onda je prevara. Najveci novac na interentu se okrece oko adult sadrzaja, online dating-a i sl. gde na x nacina moze da se zaradi novac kao npr. od social media marketinga reklamiranjem raznih adult 18+ sajtova, postavljanje reklama, popup-ova i popunder-a na vas sajt, sponzorisanog sadrzaja, strimovanjem i hostovanjem raznih sadrzaja koji su zasticeni autorskim pravima. Kao sto sam rekao mogucnosti su bas siroke jer su necasne i nepostene tako da je taj put sirok. Veliki novac se takodje okrece i oko prozivoda za mrsavljenje i gojenje, raznih suplemenata dakle skoro sve iz fitnes kategorije, horoskopi, proricanje buducnosti, astrologija, osiguranja itd, itd kao i sve ostalo navedeno su prevare koje su samo bolje smisljene od phisnig-a, hack-ovanja i nigerijske prevare Ako hocete da stvarno zaradite na interetu i zivite od vase zarade potrebno je tvrdo znanje a ponekad i talenat ako se npr. bavite grafickim dizajnom. Sajtovi od kojih moze da se zivi ako odlicno znate engleski jezik ili dobro baratate kodovima su https://work.onespace.com/ i https://www.upwork.com/ postoji jedan domaci sajt https://www.geelancer.com/ gde moze takodje da se zaradi malo "veca" kinta. Nije potrebno dalje da pisem na ovu temu jer oni koji imaju znanje i talenat vec uveliko rade zato cemo da se prebacimo na microworking i part time jobs dakle na poslice za one koji imaju visak vremena i hoce da zarade dzeparac, sto bi amerikanci rekli beermoney.
  21. http://www.quizony.com/which-dwarf-from-snow-white-and-the-seven-dwarfs-are-you/index.html
  22. Illustration by Antoine Maillard At eighty-seven, I am solitary. I live by myself on one floor of the 1803 farmhouse where my family has lived since the Civil War. After my grandfather died, my grandmother Kate lived here alone. Her three daughters visited her. In 1975, Kate died at ninety-seven, and I took over. Forty-odd years later, I spend my days alone in one of two chairs. From an overstuffed blue chair in my living room I look out the window at the unpainted old barn, golden and empty of its cows and of Riley the horse. I look at a tulip; I look at snow. In the parlor’s mechanical chair, I write these paragraphs and dictate letters. I also watch television news, often without listening, and lie back in the enormous comfort of solitude. People want to come visit, but mostly I refuse them, preserving my continuous silence. Linda comes two nights a week. My two best male friends from New Hampshire, who live in Maine and Manhattan, seldom drop by. A few hours a week, Carole does my laundry and counts my pills and picks up after me. I look forward to her presence and feel relief when she leaves. Now and then, especially at night, solitude loses its soft power and loneliness takes over. I am grateful when solitude returns.
  23. https://www.google.com/amp/www.newsweek.com/paris-architecture-statues-torn-down-restored-646288%3famp=1
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