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  1. While Patriarch Bartholomew and other representatives of the Patriarchate of Constantinople have repeatedly stated that politics played no part in the decision to create the “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” (OCU) and grant it a tomos of autocephaly, Makary Maletich, the head of one of the two schismatic bodies that united into the OCU, contradicts this assertion, confirming the decisive role played by the U.S. and other Western secular powers. In a new interview with the Ukrainian outlet Channel 24, Makary Maletich states that were it not for the support of the U.S. along with Germany, France, and the UK, Pat. Bartholomew would never have dared to give the tomos. Maletich was once a priest of the canonical Ukrainian Church but went into schism in the late 1980s, joining the so-called “Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church,” a group of self-consecrated “bishops” wholly lacking of any claim to Apostolic Succession, where he eventually became the presiding “metropolitan.” He was received into the Patriarchate of Constantinople on October 11 as a preliminary step towards Constantinople’s creation of the OCU in December. At that time, the Synod declared that it was lifting the anathemas from Philaret Denisenko, the head of the “Kiev Patriarchate” (KP), and Maletich, although the latter had never been placed under anathema in the first place. In the run-up to the creation of the OCU in December and the granting of the tomos in January, Makary several times voiced his doubts that the unification between the KP and the UAOC would happen, given Philaret Denisenko’s unwavering self-interest. In this latest interview, he also notes that he specifically warned the initiators of “Ukrainian autocephaly” that “the union of all the churches into one Local Church is risky business.” As he notes, there were those supporters of a new Ukrainian church, but also many opponents. “Therefore, Poroshenko paid for it in the elections, when supporters of the Moscow Patriarchate voted against him,” Makary said. Besides those Ukrainians who have remained loyal to the Orthodox Church, several Local Churches had already expressed their disapproval of Constantinople’s unilateral interference in Ukraine, even before the rehabilitation of Philaret and Makary and the creation of the OCU. While Makary gives much credit to Poroshenko, he clarifies: “It is not only the merit of Poroshenko, but also the Verkhovna Rada, Ukrainians themselves, and the diplomats of the U.S.A., Great Britain, France, and Germany, who were interested in the church.” Maletich is certain “that if the Ecumenical Patriarch had not seen the support in the leading states of the world, he wouldn’t have done this. Then neither Poroshenko, nor the Rada, nor Philaret, nor I would have done anything.” He spoke of the influence of foreign diplomats in December, on the eve of the “unification council” as well, though at that time he mentioned only that they had spoken with him and Philaret to discern if they were ready to receive a tomos. The new head of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Archbishop Elpidophoros, received U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Religious Freedom Samuel Brownback in his office recently, thanking him for the U.S.’s support for the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Ambassador Brownback and Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt (former Ambassador to Ukraine) have been actively meeting with religious figures in the Greek Orthodox world, trying to shore up support for the OCU, which is thus far entirely lacking in the Orthodox world. As for Philaret and his recent actions—reviving the KP and rejecting the tomos—Makary stated: “Let him go, build and restore the Kiev Patriarchate… When he goes and again forms a schism, then Philaret will die in schism.” The former UAOC head also repeats that both the KP and the UAOC continue to exist from a legal standpoint, “but in fact, they no longer exist because a single Orthodox Church of Ukraine has been created.” http://orthochristian.com/122123.html
  2. 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
  3. The consequences of the Patriarchate of Constantinople’s creation of a new schismatic church in Ukraine and the granting of autocephaly to it continue to reverberate throughout the entire Orthodox world, and the monastic enclave of Mt. Athos is no exception. The issue has divided the monasteries, some of which have accepted and concelebrated with the visiting representatives of the new “church,” and some of which categorically reject them as schismatics. OrthoChristian recently published a translation of the opinion of the representatives of four Greek monasteries that sharply criticized the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian St. Panteleimon’s Monastery on Mt. Athos. Now a letter from 12 Athonite elders from various sketes and cells has been published in Greek by Romfea and in Russian by the Department for External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church. The letter is dated March 17—a month after the first schismatic delegation visited Mt. Athos and celebrated Liturgy in several monasteries. “With great sorrow and concern we learn about what is happening in the Orthodox Church as a whole because of the non-canonical granting of autocephaly to the schismatics of Ukraine without the consent of the canonical autonomous Church headed by Metropolitan Onuphry, which continues to consider the new autocephalites as schismatics, having no communion with them and, on the basis of the sacred canons, with all of those who have communion with the schismatics,” the letter opens. The Patriarchate of Constantinople granted autocephaly to a group within another Church’s jurisdiction, in clear violation of the holy canons, the Athonite fathers write, and thus the Russian Church has broken communion with the Patriarchate of Constantinople. In the authors’ view, Constantinople’s actions threaten a schism on the scale of the 1054 split between Rome and Constantinople. The Church is still bleeding from the wounds from the ecumenist council of Crete in 2016, and now there has been inflicted a new wound, “for which the Ecumenical Patriarchate is solely responsible,” the letter reads. Further, this justification of schism places people’s souls in danger of damnation because the Holy Spirit is not active in schism, the fathers write, with reference to the teachings of Sts. Basil the Great and John Chrysostom. Heresy and schism are the work of satan, the Athonites write categorically. “When [the devil] fails to thwart salvation through heresies, then he works to provoke schisms,” they assert. The occasion of the writing of this letter, the authors write, is that they do not want to fall into this soul-destroying work of the devil. The Athonite elders continue to recognize the schismatics precisely as such, and they reject the historical revisionism of Constantinople which claims that Ukraine has always been its territory: We have left the world and the pleasures of the world and we use our souls and bodies for ascetic podvigs, to obtain the mercy of God. Would it not be inexcusable negligence and folly to render our labors and aspirations worthless by communing with the Ukrainian schismatics who are removed from Eucharistic communion and defrocked by the Russian Church to which they belonged for more than three centuries, according to the unchanging, continuous, and general recognition of all Orthodoxy, including the Ecumenical Patriarchate? The fathers then point to canons from the ecumenically-recognized councils of Laodicea and Antioch to demonstrate that joint prayer with schismatics is prohibited, and that those who enter into communion with the excommunicated ought themselves to be excommunicated. Further, only the Church that excommunicates someone can receive him back—a rule clearly broken by Pat. Bartholomew, the fathers write, which according to the Council of Antioch, makes him subject to excommunication. “In 1686, by an act of Patriarch Dionysius IV, [Ukraine] entered the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate, which according to pan-Orthodox consent has remained for 333 years until this day,” the letter reads. Later, after the fall of communism, Philaret Denisenko went into schism after he lost the election for Patriarch of Moscow and was subsequently defrocked and anathematized. Thus, the Athonite ascetics reject the historical revisionism that says that Philaret was punished simply for desiring autocephaly. Additionally, the “Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church” of Makary Maletich traces not only to schismatics, but even to those wholly devoid of any apostolic succession, the letter states, and thus they are recognized as schismatic by all, except for Constantinople. However, the canonical Church remains that headed by Met. Onuphry, according to the Athonite elders. And the problem did not begin with the Ukrainian situation: “It has long been known that Pat. Bartholomew does not have any particular respect for the sacred canons, which he has violated and violates, especially with regard to relations with heretics, and now with schismatics.” The entire construct upon which Pat. Bartholomew’s invasion of Ukrainian Church territory is built is like a house built on the sand of inept advisors: At first, relying on insufficiently-educated or self-serving theological consultants, he tried to justify his invasion by referring to the concept of ekkliton (ἔκκλητον), that is, that he alone, as a second pope, can accept appeals and petitions from other autocephalous Churches, as he is, allegedly, according to the recently-appeared prevailing opinion of the pseudo-theologians of the post-Patristic era, not the first among equals (primus inter pares), but the first without equals (primus sine paribus). And further: But this argument immediately crashed with a bang, because it contradicts the conciliar system of Church governance, in which all patriarchs and primates are considered equal to one another, with Constantinople having only a primacy of honor, not power, as claimed by the Pope. The right to hear appeals extends only to those of his own jurisdiction, and not to the jurisdiction of other patriarchs. The fathers then refer to the comments on the 9th canon of the Fourth Ecumenical Council of the “God-moved” St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite, “one of our greatest theologians and canonists,” to substantiate their argument about who has the right to hear which appeals. The Athonite elders then point to Constantinople’s changing tactics in regard to the Ukrainian situation: When Patriarch Bartholomew realized that he couldn’t rely upon ekkliton in his cross-border intervention within the bounds of another’s jurisdiction, then with the help of his own advisors, ready to serve him, he discovered 333 years later that Ukraine is within the jurisdiction not of the Russian, but of the Constantinopolitan Church! His inattentive or militant theologians concealed and misinterpreted many documents and opinions in order to come to the ridiculous conclusion about the temporary nature of the transfer of Ukraine to the Russian Church (a temporary character of more than three centuries!), and that now this concession is canceled. Despite these games on the part of Constantinople, every Local Church recognizes the Church in Ukraine as that headed by the “wise and modest” Met. Onuphry, as the elders write, which did not request autocephaly. As autocephaly was given to a minority group of schismatics, against the pan-Orthodox opinion, the autocephaly is highly problematic. The authors of the letter also consider it unjust and devoid of basic logic to “place a magnifying glass” on the nationalistic or ecumenistic tendencies of some in the Russian Church (past and present), though not of the canonical Ukrainian Church they note, in order to justify Constantinople’s anti-canonical invasion. The elders then testify that the majority of the fathers of the Holy Mountain rejoiced with great joy when the Sacred Community decided not to send a delegation to the enthronement of the schismatic “Metropolitan” Epiphany Dumenko or even to send him a congratulatory letter. But they were very upset by the minority of monasteries and fathers which still participated in the enthronement. The same torn feelings were caused by the visitation of the delegation of the schismatic church to the Holy Mountain: “The exact same feelings of joy filled our hearts because many monasteries prevented the visit of ‘bishops’ and ‘clerics’ of the new false Church, but bitterness and dispassionate anger towards those, fortunately, few who courteously accepted them and/or served with them!!!” Due to the seriousness of the issue, and for the sake of the high authority that Mt. Athos enjoys in the Orthodox world, and for the sake of ensuring inter-Athonite unity, the authors of the letter entreat that the schismatics be denied access to the Holy Mountain, or at the least that their “clerics” not be allowed to serve, until a pan-Orthodox resolution is reached, given that, despite the extreme pressure, no Church has recognized the schismatics over the past three months. This decision should be made as soon as possible given the news about the schismatics planning more visits to Mt. Athos, the fathers write. Moreover, the founders of the Ukrainian schismatic movement are not only condemned by the Church, but also have the condemnation of civil courts for grave moral crimes, unthinkable even for non-Christians, the letter reads. They are also weighed down by involvement in the recent Bulgarian schism, ties with the Ukrainian Uniates, and persecution against the canonical Church, especially after Constantinople recognized them. They also lament Epiphany Dumenko’s recent statements about softening on the sin of homosexuality. Moreover, the schismatics visiting the Holy Mountain are not spiritually, but are rather politically motivated—looking only for acceptance of their illegitimate group that they can then advertise to the Orthodox world, “and to achieve their wicked plans,” the Athonite elders write. In conclusion, the fathers emphasize that they will not jeopardize their salvation by entering into communion with the excommunicated schismatics and that they will not promote the present schism on the local or global Orthodox level. “We fear an inter-Athonite schism if we do not make correct and courageous decisions,” the Fathers conclude. The letter is signed by: Elder Hieromonk Arsenios with the brotherhood of Panagouda cell of Koutloumousiou Monastery; Elder Hieromonk Abraham with the brotherhood of the kallyva of St. Gerasimos of Koutloumousiou Skete; Elder Hierodeacon Theophilos with the brotherhood of the cell of the Holy Unmercenaries of Grigoriou Monastery; Elder Nicholas of the cell of St. Demetrios of Hilandar Monastery; Elder Joseph with the brotherhood of the cell of St. Theodore of St. Paul’s Monastery; Elder Savva with the brotherhood of the cell of the Holy Archangels of Hilandar Monastery; Elder Nikodemos of the cell of St. Nektarios of Stavronikita Monastery; Elder Gabriel of the cell of St. Christodoulos of Koutloumousiou Monastery; Elder Euphrosynos with the brotherhood of the cell of St. John the Forerunner of Koutloumousiou Monastery; Elder Paisios with the brotherhood of the cell of the Holy Archangels of Hilandar Monastery; Elder Nikodemos of the cell of St. John the Theologian of the Great Lavra; Elder Arsenios of the kallyva of the Holy Monk-Martyr Gerasimos of Koutloumousiou Skete. http://orthochristian.com/120863.html?fbclid=IwAR1zff4SNu49qZZFj35lUMS7iPxGUBWZJPaVCfkYqZxCxm1KlS58nFcR1GA
  4. The Orthodox Churches have no right to speak on the matter of the Ukrainian crisis other than to affirm the decisions and actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, according to Patriarch Bartholomew’s reply to the Albanian Church that was recently published in Greek and subsequently in Russian. In December, Pat. Bartholomew wrote to the primates of the Orthodox Churches throughout the world, calling on them to recognize the results of December 15’s “unification council” that created a new ecclesiastical structure in Ukraine. On January 14, the Albanian Church responded that while it cannot accept the Russian Church’s decision to break communion with Constantinople, it also has serious issues with Constantinople’s decision to accept the hierarchs and clergy o the Ukrainian schismatic groups whose ordinations are devoid of grace and the action of Holy Spirit. They also lament that the creation of a new “autocephalous” church did nothing to create unity in Ukraine, but conversely, has only deepened the divisions there and threatens a schism in the entire Orthodox world. As the Albanian Church’ statement was published in full, the Patriarchate of Constantinople also published its response to the Albanian Church in full. In the reply, Pat. Bartholomew laments that the “Mother Church and the Patriarch himself” are being “slandered” by those who benefit from misinterpreting Constantinople’s actions. This echoes statements he made in early January, that he would not change course on the Ukrainian issue no matter what the Local Churches say, as they need to learn to respect Constantinople more: “We pray that the sister Churches which unjustly oppose the decisions and initiatives of the first throne of the Constantinople Church would finally begin to think logically and fairly, with great respect and gratitude to the Church of our Ecumenical Patriarchate.” ‘Therefore,” the Patriarch writes to the Albanian Synod, “it is up to you to realize the truths that have been spoken, not to ratify them.” This echoes the Patriarch’s statement from October that, in the end, the Russian Church will have no choice but to obey its decisions. For Constantinople, it is a matter of having enough respect for the Patriarchate of Constantinople to simply accept whatever decisions and actions it makes, while the Synods, primates, and hierarchs from the various Local Churches have shown that they believe that these actions and decisions should be evaluated as to whether they are true to Orthodox ecclesiology and canon law. There seems to be contradictory statements and reasonings coming from the Patriarchate of Constantinople. During the recent town hall meeting put on by the Archons of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, Metropolitan Emmanuel of Gaul took care to emphasize the supposed conciliarity of the Patriarchate’s actions, referring to the visits to each Local Church by a Constantinople delegation to discuss the matter. Here the Patriarch, however, openly states that conciliarity is unnecessary when Constantinople has already made a decision. As is typical for his statements on this matter, Pat. Bartholomew also states that the Patriarchate acts only out of love and the desire for good order, not out of self-interest or any other motive, including political. However, there have been voices throughout the Orthodox Church recognizing the opposite in the Patriarchate’s actions. For example, His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro of the Serbian Church said of Pat. Bartholomew in December that “His love of power has led to great sorrow in Ukraine, to discord that is catastrophic for the future not only of Ukraine and all the Slavic peoples, but at the same time for all of Orthodoxy.” Moreover, the recent news that Constantinople is in fact receiving a number of buildings, premises, and other properties in exchange for the tomos of autocephaly invalidates the claim that the Patriarchate did not act out of any self-interest. Pat. Bartholomew also repeats his Patriarchate’s assertion that the canons of the Church grant universal jurisdiction to Constantinople, to hear appeals and intervene in situations in any Church’s territory—an assertion that has been heard more and more frequently in the context of the ongoing Ukrainian crisis. For example, in his letter to Alexander Drabinko, one of the two bishops who defected from the canonical Church, in which Pat. Bartholomew received him into his jurisdiction (without a canonical release from the Ukrainian Church) on the eve of the “unification council,” he wrote that Constantinople “indisputably has the responsibility to judge ecclesiastical matters everywhere and to give them a final conclusion.” The same assertion was also made in the tomos granted to the Ukrainian schismatic church. However, St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite, the Church’s foremost canonist, writes that “the Bishop of Constantinople has no authority to officiate in the dioceses and parishes of other Patriarchs, nor has he been given by this Canon [Canon 9 of Constantinople—O.C.] to grant a decision in reference to an appeal on the part of the whole Church.” Further, Pat. Bartholomew notes that the newest autocephalies were granted by Constantinople, but degrades the independent statutes of these Churches at the same time. “The newest and so-called ‘autocephalies,’” he terms them, reflecting Constantinople’s conviction that the autocephaly of any Church except for the four ancient Patriarchates and the Church of Cyprus can, in fact, be revoked by Constantinople, as they were never explicitly confirmed by an Ecumenical Council. However, their autocephalous status was confirmed by the organizational makeup of the Crete Council of 2016, which Constantinople considers to be binding on all Orthodox Churches. Moreover, it should be noted that most of these autocephalous were granted to Churches that were formerly precisely under the jurisdiction of Constantinople, such as the Russian Church, whereas Ukraine is not under Constantinople’s jurisdiction and thus its intervention there is non-canonical. And despite recent examples, the Church of Cyprus received its autocephaly from an Ecumenical Council, and the Church of Georgia initially from the Church of Antioch. Thus there is ancient precedent for autocephaly begin granted not by Constantinople. And regarding the newer examples, they were not always without controversy. Constantinople granted the Polish Church its autocephaly at a time when its Mother Church in Russia was weak, and this caused no little stir. The Polish Church later sought autocephaly from the Russian Church. The autocephaly granted to the Georgian Church in the 1990s was actually a recognition of what had already been, since the Georgian Church declared its own autocephaly in 1917, which was recognized by the Russian Church a few decades later. And the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia received its autocephaly first from the Russian Church, though Constantinople issued a new tomos of autocephaly later when the Czech-Slovak Church sought to regularize its relations with Constantinople (though without actually seeking a new tomos). Also regarding the canonical tradition, Pat. Bartholomew writes that he included with his letter a study on the reality of ordinations celebrated by schismatic or deposed bishops, which would mean by extension that Constantinople recognizes the hierarchs and clergy of the various Old Calendarist groups as true clergy. “However,” the Union of Orthodox Journalists writes, “in the very document, at the very beginning, Metropolitan Basil of Smyrna recognizes that on the basis of the sacred canons of the Church, it is impossible to draw a conclusion about the effectiveness of such schismatic ‘ordinations.’” Pat. Bartholomew also offers several historical examples of schismatic ordinations being accepted by the Church: the Meletian schism in the early Church, the case of the Bulgarian Church from 1872 to 1945, and the reunion of ROCOR with the Moscow Patriarchate. However, none of these situations are analogous, as none of them involves one Patriarchate interfering in the life of another to cancel legitimate excommunications and anathematizations and create an entirely new structure within another Church’s territory. The case of ROCOR is especially helpful in that we see a Church body, which was never fully out of communion with the Church, returning precisely to the body from which it had separated. In the case of the Bulgarian Church, it was not excommunicated by every Local Church—concelebrations continued with other Local Churches and the Romanian Church provided holy Chrism to it for many years—and in 1945 was received back into communion with other Local Churches—it was not a case of a sect of schismatics within one Local Church being restored under the authority of another Local Church altogether. http://orthochristian.com/119888.html?fbclid=IwAR3x-cHBJEfQ_bg-nEcg1tw1idOleTjDoXNSyWArVM2auoSUCK4RSguncNc
  5. Changes are coming to the American, Australian, and British Churches under the Ecumenical Patriarchate, according to Patriarch Bartholomew’s own words following a recent Divine Liturgy in Istanbul. In a video posted on the Patriarchate’s Facebook page, Pat. Bartholomew speaks about holding elections to replace the primates of the Greek Orthodox Archdioceses in the English-speaking world, reports the National Herald. There have long been reports that Pat. Bartholomew has been trying to oust Archbishop Demetrios of America, though this is the first time the plans have been publicly addressed. It is unclear who will replace the Archbishop. In November, the National Herald reported, with reference to its own sources, that Pat. Bartholomew had requested Abp. Demetrios’ resignation for the third time, not wanting to replace him without an official resignation. The Patriarch accepted the Archbishop’s request to delay his removal until after Pascha. On February 7, the National Herald again reported on the imminent removal of Abp. Demetrios, as well as the possibility of breaking up the Archdioceses of Australia and of Thyateira and Great Britain into various Archdioceses respectively. In his recent words following the Liturgy, Pat. Bartholomew said that the Patriarchate will be holding elections for new primates in the three mentioned Archdioceses, stating that the elections are part of the sacred responsibilities of the Mother Church. He also spoke of the recent granting of autocephaly to the new Ukrainian church, stating that the Patriarchate does not get involved in politics. The National Herald reports that the Archdiocese of America has been plagued by numerous financial scandals under Abp. Demetrios, which have reportedly frustrated the Patriarch. Meanwhile, Archbishop Stylianos of Australia is 83 years old and suffering from a serious illness that hinders his ability to fulfill his duties. Archbishop Gregorios in the United Kingdom is 90 years old, and there are said to be many problems in his Archdiocese, which Pat. Bartholomew recently went to see first-hand, incognito. http://orthochristian.com/119446.html?fbclid=IwAR0sNzPULojETIZthp2mb07J9vHfRKSnNXupvgz6gEnAZqhOs9qhUjaAEZs
  6. An article from the latest issue of the Greek Orthodox gazette “Orthodox Tipos.” The author, Demetrios Anagnostou, is a well-known theologian and publicist. The practice of Church Tradition in the fight with heresies and schismatics that threaten the unity of the Church is never just protest and a canonical fight with cunning theories and schismatic (anti-canonical) actions, but at the same time, the condemnation of those Church actors who support them and act accordingly. [Note: Of course, today, after an entire century of ecumenist propaganda beginning with the release of the infamous Patriarchal encyclical of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in 1920 “To the Churches of Christ Everywhere” (where heretical communities are first called the “Church of Christ”!), which is considered the charter for ecumenism, led by the Ecumenical Patriarch, we have reached the point where for us “conciliarity” and “pan-Orthodox” have imposed the abolition of the terms “heresy” and “heretics” in the Church-Synodal lexicon, whereby any document condemning delusions and confirming the existence of other churches beyond the bounds of the Orthodox Church are considered unnecessary! (see the decisions of the Crete “Council”)]. It is significant that in Church history it often happens that corresponding heresies and schisms are fixed under a name not only from the content of the relevant theories (for example: Monophysites, Theopaschites, iconoclasts, papists, etc.), but also from the names of their inspirers, leaders, and creators (for example: Arianism, Nestorianism, Paulicians, etc.). In the twentieth century, for the first time in Church history, this traditional practice was successfully artificially neutralized in respect to the emergence and development of the modern heresy of ecumenism, which, according to the great Serbian dogmatician St. Justin (Popović), is a pan-heresy. It happened and continues to happen mainly because this heresy (undeclared, despite the obviousness of it) is still allowed (if not protected) by the majority of the Local Orthodox Churches. Moreover, it’s connected with the fact that in several cases, the bearers and supporters of this particular heresy are themselves the heads of the Local Orthodox Churches. The most significant of these cases and the most serious and dangerous precedent is the example of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, who is not only a bearer of the modern pan-heresy, but also its leader, main patron, and guide. This is not a subjective assessment and not a private opinion, but a common conviction that is proven and unconditionally confirmed on the basis of the official and public actions, statements, and texts of this patriarch—the primate of the once glorious and Orthodox See of Constantinople. Thanks to his office, Patriarch Bartholomew has managed to remain untouchable for a long time, avoiding canonical confrontation and accusations, although he often provokes the feelings of all the Orthodox faithful (pastors and flocks) by his clearly anti-Orthodox and anti-canonical actions and purely heretical beliefs. He is himself (according to his own statement) a faithful continuer of the line of his predecessor—the Mason, Patriarch Athenagoras, who was dedicated to syncretism and pan-religion. This line is treasonous to Orthodoxy. Day by day it becomes clearer and more obvious that Patriarch Bartholomew is striving for the proclamation of and his actual appointment as the second (Eastern) Pope, and for the transformation of the Patriarchate of Constantinople into a super-Patriarchate recognized on the international political and Church level—the new Eastern Vatican (of course, in the worst case scenario)! Recently, this open leader and defender of the Church-fighting pan-heresy of ecumenism, after the traumatic (for him) experience of attempting to subjugate world Orthodoxy by the sadly infamous “Holy and Great Council” organized by him and convened two years ago on Crete, chose a “new way” for the spreading and strengthening of his power, and, accordingly, his theories about an “Eastern Pope.” Bartholomew now follows the tried and tested method of “divide and conquer” (including causing a schism in the body of the Church), such that he himself and his plans are weakened in the short term but in the long term undermine the power and influence of those who dared to hamper the realization of his great dream, the convening of the first Ecumenical (ecumenistic) Council, the purpose of which was to synodically legitimize the pan-heresy of ecumenism in a pan-Orthodox fashion. In particular, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, known for his vindictive character (as the Greek Church has learned from bitter experience), has carried out his plan for an indirect schism in the flock and the ecclesiastical (jurisdictional) dissection of his Church “opponents”—those who oppose his ambitions to become a super-Patriarch and to make the Patriarchate of Constantinople the Eastern “Vatican.” These opponents, besides the Moscow Patriarchate, are the ancient Antiochian and Serbian Patriarchates. For the sake of his own interests and in connection with his obligations and service to the well-known political superpower (the U.S.), the ambitious Patriarch could (as we will probably see in the near future) “lead” two more dioceses of other Patriarchates (after Ukraine) to “autocephaly” and turn them into Phanar satellites. Here we are talking about Montenegro (a metropolia of the Serbian Patriarchate) and the dioceses beyond the borders of Syria (in neighboring states), which belong to the jurisdiction of the Antiochian Patriarchate! After the political events connected with the so-called “Macedonian” issue, the candidate for “victim” in the Phanariot’s plans is also the so-called “Macedonian Church” (canonically referred to as the Ohrid Archdiocese), which is also the canonical territory of the Serbian Patriarchate and has for many years been in a state of schism, isolated and not recognized by the Orthodox world. Positioning himself as a faithful keeper and scrupulous defender of the historical rights of the Patriarchate of Constantinople (as he fancies himself), he completely ignores the rights of the rest of his brothers, and is prepared, putting on the guise of defender of the autonomy and fighter for the independence of Local Church administration and structures, to miraculously restore schismatics, to unconditionally recognize them, and to sow ecclesiastical controversies and schisms (clearly violating Orthodox ecclesiology and introducing, despite his own assurance to the contrary, ethnic and secular-state criteria in the sphere of Church decisions). In view of the above, given the “tomos of autocephaly” recently presented to the schismatic formation of the new “church” of Ukraine (circumventing the one and only canonical Orthodox Church that exists there, against the will of the Moscow Patriarchate, which has canonical authority there), the thesis that Patriarch Bartholomew has become a real threat to the Orthodox East is confirmed. We should not forget that this threat continues to corrode Orthodoxy and undercut the unity of the Orthodox Church, and it ultimately serves to prepare the majority to recognize the pseudo-council of Crete, which is the completion of a fruitless theological dialogue with papists and the restoration of full communion with those who have from of old deliberately fought against our faith and our family! This threat, aimed directly at the Orthodox faith and the unity of the Eastern Orthodox Church, should be canonically neutralized as quickly as possible by Orthodox hierarchs around the world located in the lands of those who preserve the right faith, esteeming themselves as pastors of the Church, who have vowed to pass on the inviolable covenants and to observe the sacred rules and statutes of the holy Orthodox Church of Christ. May God grant it! Demetrios Anagnostou 2/18/2019 http://orthochristian.com/119398.html?fbclid=IwAR15IBYhBZu2rh68u-dzAOSUqoq9dizPUbWfhqZ-2I2HQMMXuCdFuaX09TM

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