Restoring Unity between Moscow and Constantinople                                  

FILE - Metropolitan Epiphanius, the head of the independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church, left, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, center, and Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko during a meeting prior to sign "Tomos" decree of autocephaly for Ukrainian church at the Patriarchal Church of St. George in Constantinople, Turkey, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019. (Mykola Lazarenko, Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Pool Photo via AP)

The fact that Orthodoxy finds itself today in the midst of disastrous schism between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Church of Russia is hardly a secret. It is all the result of the recent issuance of a Tomos of Autocephaly to the Church of the Ukraine by the Ecumenical Patriarch, a move that the Patriarchate of Russia strongly opposed. Because of the issuance of the Tomos, the Patriarchate of Moscow has directed that all religious co-celebrations between its hierarchs and those of the Ecumenical Patriarchate cease, and that the two Patriarchates no longer be in Eucharistic Communion.

By its directive, the Patriarchate of Russia has in fact initiated a schism within Orthodoxy of frightening consequences. Schisms, we know from history, once created do not fade away; they have a tendency to take hold and become permanent. Evidence, the schism between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox East that has been in effect for over a thousand years now; also, that between Constantinople and the Oriental Orthodox Churches that traces its origins to the fourth Ecumenical Council in the Fifth Century.

Clearly, the last thing that Orthodoxy needs right now is a schism between its Mother Church in Constantinople and its largest and most populous Church, the Church of Russia. A schism, that in all likelihood will intensify in coming months, as the various Orthodox Churches side with either Constantinople or Moscow and in effect form two opposing camps.

The development, with its gloomy long-term implications, is of course of concern to all Orthodox faithful. It most certainly must be also to the Patriarchs of Constantinople and Moscow. Despite the accusations hurled against them by irresponsible news media during the months prior to the issuance of the Tomos, both hierarchs are strong supporters of Orthodox unity and are committed to uniting rather than dividing. Their expectation for resolving the Ukrainian issue was to be by dialogue, not a schism, but events turned out differently.

There is no space in this brief article to review the events that brought Orthodoxy to its current predicament. There is plenty of criticism to go around: 1) to the various political leaders (Ukrainian, Russian, even U.S.) who aggressively promoted or opposed the granting of autocephaly to the Church of the Ukraine, for political rather than ecclesiastical reasons;  2) to the Patriarchate of Moscow for its assertion that all Churches within the territory of the former Soviet Union (including the Ukraine) are now under its jurisdiction; and 3) to the Ecumenical Patriarchate for claiming jurisdiction over the Ukraine because the Metropolis of Kiev had been under its control between 988 and 1686, but not in the years following.

All the above is now history and little can be accomplished by rehashing the arguments and counterarguments used by the two sides during of the past months. Orthodoxy’s attention needs to be focused now on the resulting schism and how to prevent it from overwhelming Orthodox unity.

It will not be an easy task, for it concerns two very difficult issues. First, how to pacify the situation in the Ukraine, by allowing its newly established Church to function as the 15th Autonomous Orthodox Church, while also reestablishing the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s relationship with the Church of Russia. The second – equally important — how to prevent another Ukrainian Church-like episode from making an appearance in the future. On this issue, the majority of Orthodoxy’s Autocephalous Churches are already on record. The granting of autocephaly, they suggest, should be a matter of Pan-Orthodox concern, not the province of the Ecumenical Patriarch alone. Had Constantinople convened a Synaxis of all Orthodox Churches to address the issue of the Ukraine, the situation could have been a lot less dangerous today.

Convening a Synaxis of all Orthodox Churches is the responsibility of the Ecumenical Patriarch, and hopefully, he will convene one before too long to address and resolve the issues above and begin the process of reunifying Orthodoxy. Quite obviously, the Orthodox Church cannot function fragmented, especially when its largest member, the Church of Russia, is not in speaking terms with the Mother Church in Constantinople. It should be remembered in this connection, that the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Church of Russia have had a strong relationship for over a thousand years, going back to the time that Byzantine missionaries introduced Christianity to the people of the Ukraine. That relationship needs to be reestablished. Without it, it is doubtful that Orthodoxy will be able to confront the many problems of the future and speak with a single voice, as it should.

Dennis Menos is the author of several books and a writer on Orthodox and Hellenic issues.

17 Comments

  1. This schism was caused by the arrogance and papal pretensions of “Pope” Bartholomew. Not a single one of the other 14 independent Churches stand with him, and many have already openly condemned him. Do not underestimate how many of us Greeks stand firm against Bartholomew’s madness. The schism will not end until Bartholomew repents.

  2. I believe that the Ecumenical Patriarch was ill-advised in his actions regarding Ukraine. However, now the question is whether we can be calm about this and try to restore harmony. How do we do this?

    Hopefully comments here on this matter can be constructive.

    1. Really John…from your friend who hates America …because people likely you …to allow deviates and degenerates to use religion as a tool of war to promote their Global Agenda of taking over the sovereignty of the world!

      What planet have you been on …..the Muslims were our enemies in the Middle East …because they were the religious populace that would obstruct our war plans in Iraq, Afganistan, libya,Syria , Yemen, Iran , etc etc. to overthrow their governments and occupy them! Why do you think we were called Christian Crusaders? And they used Sunni Muslim brigades called Al Queda and ISIS of Saudi Arabia …to do the dirty work of invading all the Non Sunni Muslim countries of the Middle East …by formenting their motivation of religious hate of Shia Muslim governments and Orthodox Christians governed by these targeted governments!

      It was the Muslim clerics who rallied the opposition to the U.S invasions of their countries…and guess what …today …it is the Orthodox faithful who are now the enemies of Ameirca..because of the influence and connection of the dominance of the Orthodox population in Russia and the many Eastern European countries of Europe!

      What do you not understand. …why was the Orthodox Christian country of Serbia and Kosovo bombed by the U.S and Nato…because they were the enemy! Stupid! Why do you think the population of Orthodox Christians in Kosovo…another Historic part of Serbia….now basically extinct …from what was once 70 % of the population to under 10%! Why is it that the Orthodox Christians of Syria … have been subjected to the atrocities of the Sunni Muslim Proxy armies funded and trained by the U.S. …which is a matter of record …asK Donald Trump!

      But stay calm John …as I pass on more information comming out ot the Ukraine to support the immediate removal of Bartholomew as a Nato mole …..and the removal of the U.S and Nato from every country in Eastern Europe and Greece for crimes against peace and religious descrimination against the Orthodox Church and its faithful!

      AS reported by independent International news services:

      On October 15, 2018 the Russian Orthodox Church announced that it would break off all relations with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew, the claimed leader of Eastern Orthodoxy, after he agreed on October 11, 2018, to the April request of Kiev leader Poroshenko, and his minions in the church in Kiev, to grant autocephaly, or self-governance, to what they are calling the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, not to be confused with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church that does not recognize this action, the sole objective of which is to attempt to divide Ukrainians from the historical influence of the Russian Orthodox Church and Russia.

      Poroshenko who, along with NATO, backed this action, stated that this step “finally dispelled the imperial illusions and chauvinistic fantasies of Moscow.”

      Ukraine currently has three Orthodox denominations, the largest of which is the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. That branch remained subordinate to Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union and contains more than 12,000 parishes. This is a third of all parishes under the Russian Orthodox Church, and Ukraine contains some of the most symbolic ones, such as the monastery Kiev-Pechersk Lavra and its catacombs. The other two denominations are the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate, with 4,800 parishes, and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, with 1,000 parishes, which adds to the confusion when trying to grasp what is going on here.

      After Patriarch Bartholomew’s decision, which he probably had no authority to make, Patriarch Filaret in Kiev stated that he would call a council of the leaders of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to choose a leader for this newly created church of Ukraine. The move marked the beginning of the establishment of an independent church in Ukraine, outside the control of Moscow and its patriarch, Kirill.

      It is also a self-serving decision because it serves to weaken the Russian Orthodox Church and strengthen the almost irrelevant Church in Constantinople that has long been under the sway of the NATO powers and serves their interests. It also is designed to destroy the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and force people to join this new church.

      This has wider dimensions since Russian allies, Serbia and Belarus, already have backed the Moscow Patriarchate and condemned the granting of autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

      The split in the church may have other and more violent consequences arising from disputes over holy sites as several of Ukraine’s most holy sites and churches will be claimed by both the Russian and established Ukrainian churches and this upstart church. The Kiev Patriarchate has already laid claim to the famous 11th century Kiev Monastery of the Caves and the Holy Dormition Monastery in Pochayiv. Both sites are now controlled by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate and could face protests and vandalism.

      Poroshenko has said,

      “If you see people who call for seizing Lavra or a monastery or church by force, you should know that they are Moscow’s agents. The Kremlin’s goal is to ignite a religious war in Ukraine.”

      Vadym Novinskyi, an opposition bloc member of parliament, predicted a “civil war and clashes over property “in every village and every town.”

      Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated,

      “If the developments spiral into abusive practices, of course, Russia will protect Orthodox Christians’ interests, just like Russia protects the interests of ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking population everywhere.”

      There have already been reports of problems over the Christmas period

      That on December 9, 2018, the Ukrainian authorities prevented the incumbent head of the Donetsk and Marioupol Eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Metropolitan Hilarion from crossing the disengagement line through the Novotroitskoye checkpoint to attend a scheduled prayer meeting”.

      On December 26th Patriarch Kiril of Moscow and All Russia stated,

      “that the creation of a new autocephalous church in Ukraine and the persecution of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) could have dangerous consequences for the whole world.”

      Already priests in Ukraine face persecution arising out of this development. Over the past few weeks, Ukraine’s Security Service, the SBU, has conducted searches in the Ovruch diocese in Ukraine’s Zhitomir Region. This resulted in 20 clerics of the UOC’s Rovno and Sarny dioceses being summoned for questioning. Searches were also conducted in the apartment of Metropolitan Paul, Abbot of Kiev Pechersk Lavra. According to the SBU, these police actions were part of a criminal case on inciting inter-confessional strife opened against him, but no doubt are meant to harass and intimidate. Some already face criminal charges.

      The tensions being stoked within the Church and the broader society by Poroshenko and the NATO intelligence services will no doubt be used as fuel for the fire as Kiev ratchets up its military actions against the peoples of east Ukraine in the Donbass republics and can lead not only to arrests and detentions of religious leaders and their supporters but also assassinations of those opposing their maneuvers, for on top of all the other problems faced by Ukrainians has been placed the bloody thorn of religious persecution, a Christmas gift from NATO.

      When you add up everything I have written below…and this report….and what Michael and Theodore have provided …and trust me …I fact checked everything the wrote ..and the are right on !

      I will tolerate you John .and your calmness …but in reality a symptom of our society … of being calm enablers of a country called America …which is commiting crimes against peace and humanity…that is beyond the lowest forms of human behavior!

      But I will not tolerate your characterization of providing information …which is not provided by TNH…which provide the real urgency of what is going on …right in front of us…as the rantings of someone who hate America ! No , John …just someone who loves protecting the values of the Original church of Christ …which is now an enemy of your country!

      1. I had said that I had thought that Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was ill-advised in his actions regarding Ukraine. I cannot even imagine how upset your comment would be if I had said that I supported Bartholomew!

        Your information was valuable and thus also constructive.

        Incidentally, most of the criticism I have gotten for comments I have made on the internet express anger because I want the US and Russia to get along with one another.

  3. The Patriarch is spot on! Greeks want to be Western, not hang with slavs and arabs. For a thousand years Greeks have suffered for apostasy. Grow up and come to a regular Catholic church. Just as Francesco Moraglia is the Patriarch of Venice, Bart will be the Eastern Rite Patriarch of Thessalonia.

    1. Hey….John Sakelaris….apparently, you are on break from one of the Greek Secret Society of Ahepa Masons …Glory to America ..pep rallies or monthly meetings!

      What were you thinking…when you dared to suggest that America and the Patriarch were…… …misguided by their actions!

      Knowing the leadership of that demented cult …I am sure …that you did not represent the views of the Supreme and all knowing Mason President of the lodge….and were probably threatened with insubordination…and OH! NO! excommunication!

      Hence….you embarass yourself …by editing your narrative…to add…that despite it shortcomings ..I must support …with my fellow …White Supremacist Aristocrates who benefit from the naked shortcommings fo the United States government….the continuation of the Glory to America foreign policy! Now we all know …what you really are and why …you love the status Quo in Cyprus and Greece!

      Let see …what you define as the little shortcomings…that we all must continue to support …and allow a handful of degenerates in the U.S government to have their way and continue to….. promoting a foreign policy of U.S. government overthrow of the inferior leaders of foreign countries which has led to the killing of 3 1/2 million non Anglo American Evangelicals in the Middle East., the , tearing up an International agreement which prevent the alleged enemy of you White Supremacist …Iran ..not me, from producing Nuclear weapons, and now threatening to evoke war on the world and destroy the peace of the world by threatening to attack Iran and to continue to do …what they did in Iraq. libya,, Syria etc etc.!

      A shortcoming of continuing a foreign policy to restores the Cold War, and incite hostilities with Russia , and accelerates the inevitable march to Nuc1lear War in the world ..by withdrawing from the INF treay …that prevents the development of intermediate Nuclear missiles in Europe which prevents Russia from deploying missiles that are specifically directed at the countries of Europe…and now allows the United state to deploy these intermediate Nuclear missiles into their Nato European Vassal states …which are directed at the Russian Federation!

      And now …this little shortcoming of using religion as a tool of war ..to divide the Orthodox faithfull and church to collaborate with their fellow Neo Nazi’s in the Ukraine ..to incite hostilites and possibly civil war among the masses of the Ukraine!

      Do you realize these little shortcomings …are war crimes , crimes against peace and humanity…and most importantly…crimes against our master of the original church of Christ!

      Only White Supremacist Aristocrates …worship the myth ..that the United States is a democracy…when all it means to you …is a playground for the rich and famous that allows you to make money for you anyway they can …even if it is full of the blood of the children of God!

  4. The only way to restore communion between
    Constantinople and moscow and to reduce
    Tensions among the other local churches
    Is for the phanar to reverse its decisions
    And to disavow any claims on the
    Territory of all other churches.

    Apologies should be extended to the
    Russian and Ukrainian hierarchs who
    Have been insulted by the phanars
    Representatives.

    If the ecumenical patriarch is content
    To be first among equals all will be well
    If not there will a greater schism involving
    Other churches as well.

    The Russian church must stand firm here.
    Otherwise, the phanar will continue
    Doing this. The Russian church accepted
    The phanars intervention in Estonia in
    Order to keep the peace and now they
    Have a bigger problem in Ukraine.

    And the phanar has acted like this in greece
    If we recall his breaking communion with
    Archbishop christodoulos of blessed memory
    Back in 2004.

  5. Theodoros, you are correct. His Holiness Patriarch Irinei of Serbia, who many of us Greeks regard as a living saint, said in his Nativity encyclical this week that the granting of the Tomos by Bartholomeow to the Ukrainian schismatics was a blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. This language was very telling. In the three synoptic Gospels, our Lord and Savior tells us the only sin that cannot be forgiven is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. The Church fathers understood this to mean a hardening of one’s heard to God so firmly that his call to repentence could not even be heard. Patriarch Irinei is telling us loudly and clearly that Bartholomeow has sinned in dividing the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, and is so obstinate in his sin now that he does not even hear the voices of his brother Primates, much less that of God, to return to peaceful communion with the heads of the other Orthodox Churches, not of which are supporting his blasphemy.

    For fifteen hundred years the Patriarchs of Constantinople have been regarded as the “first among equals” (prima inter pares) among the Primates of the Orthodox Churches. This Pope-wanna-be has changed the title to “first without equal” (prima sine pares). This alone should tell us all we need to know about Bartholomeow’s papal pretensions. I fear he is destroying forever the historic role of the Patriarch of Constantinople in the Orthodox world.

    1. I also fear he is destroying the role of
      The patriarchate. Metropolitan Hilarion
      Alfayev has said before and after the
      Ukrainian crisis that the patriarchate
      Of Constantinople has the role
      As the coordinating center of
      Orthodoxy. Phanariot partisans
      Accuse the Russians of trying to
      Take over or abolish the church of
      Constantinople.
      A decade ago Russian bishops and
      Diplomats showed their support for
      The ecumenical patriarch by attending
      The liturgy at panagia somela at
      Trebizond.

      Just as the Russians have protected
      The Christians of Syria they could
      Have been the protectors of the
      Patriarchate as well.

      I as a Greek remain disturbed by the
      Anti Russian propaganda among
      Greeks. In 2012 archbishop
      Ieronymos of Athens visited Russia
      And received money raised in
      Russian churches for the people
      Of greece. Patriarch kyril
      Gave words of support to Greece
      While Greeks were being reviled
      In the west.

      A tragedy. The church of
      Constantinople which baptized
      Russia should endorse and support
      Russia not wage war against Russia
      Which is to the benefit of the
      Uniates who are hoping for the
      Fall of the Russian church.

  6. Don’t fall for the trap that because one is Greek or is of Greek descent, then one should reflexively support Constantinople on this one.

    Patr Bartholomew is clearly wrong in going into communion with known previously deposed/defrocked, schismatic church leaders. He pretends to grant them a “legitimacy,” but all serious Orthodox Christians know it is a false legitimacy and this “tomos of autocephaly” ain’t worth nothin’.

    As others have pointed out, none of the other existing 12-13 autocephalous Orthodox churches (the number varies depending on if you count the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) as autocephalous or not) supports Patr Bartholomew. He is self-isolating more and more by the day.

    Anyone in Patr Bartholomew’s jurisdictions – which include the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in America – should be very concerned about his schism. As it sits now, many think that Patr Bartholomew has placed himself and his jurisdictions outside of canonical Orthodoxy. I think that is a correct analysis.

    Some say that Patr Bartholomew wants to be the “Eastern” or “Greek” pope and eventually to go into communion with the Roman Catholics. If that’s so, then by his actions, he’s well on his way there.

    These are sad, terrible times for faithful Orthodox Christians, especially for those in the Constantinople jurisdiction.

    Blessed Nativity!!

    1. Very important point in your post. I was born / baptized in the GOA. While I am very proud to be Greek, it is more important to me to be Orthodox. We are sending our stewardship money this year to our local OCA church and if Bart does not repent quickly, that will be our new church home.

  7. Let’s be clear, Mr. Menos …you can sugar coat the actions of Bartholomew and the degenerates of the United States government , in particular, the State Department of the United States and their installed Neo Nazi Stooge Porshenko ,,,the 900,000,000 dollar Oligark to promote a Propaganda narrative that makes Russia .. an of degenerate Anglo White supremacist Racist in the U.S government …the enemies of Greece and Europe!

    Mr. Menos …apparently, you haven’t been observing the Public spectacle of U.S officials going to Germany to demand they terminate a pipeline project with Russia , that will deliver and secure all the oil and gas needs of the people of Germany and her neighbors for years …at costs far better than from the U.S and Middle east!

    Importantly, when you are a fascist …there is no need to even deceive the public, so … they publicly state……to the world and Germany….. ” WHILE IN THE INTERESTS OF THE PEOPLE OF GERMANY. TO SECURE OIL AND GAS FROM RUSSIA , IT IS NOT IN THE INTERESTS OF THE EMPIRE…TO ALLOW RUSSIA ……”TO HAVE AN INFLUENCE IN EUROPE”

    Furthermore….they then threatened to black mail the German leadership…like they did with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church with their Neo Nazi puppet ….with Economic Sanctions!

    The response to date by the German government …has been to date ….resistant and called what the U.S is doing … a crime against international laws…and infringement on their sovereignty!

    Therefore, the indictment of Bartholomew in representing the interests of POLITICAL FOREIGN GOVERNMENT………. was clearly layed out by the Associated Press Banner Headline …Patriarch separated Ukrianian Church ….from “RUSSIAN INFLUENCE!

    SO…THE VILLAGE IDIOT ..HAS PLAYED RIGHT INTO THE HANDS OF THE DEVIATES FROM THE U.S AND UKRAINE….FOR 30 PIECES OF SILVER ..TO FURTHER MARKET THE FOREIGN POLICIES OF THE U.S GOVERNMENT….OF ISOLATING THEIR “ENEMIES”…NOT MINE OR MOST AMERICANS!

    .. Today,… we witness the Original Church of Christ being dismantled by another …convert to the ruling powers of Hate…..when, the leader of the Orthodox church complies with the political demands of Anglo white supremacist racist in the United States with their installed Neo Nazi leader of the Ukraine to separate the Ukrainian Orthodox Church from the Russian Orthodox Church …can you explain…..

    WHY …… the Neo Nazi leader of the Ukraine…Porshenko ..is present next to Bartholomew …in an Orthodox Church in Turkey….participating in the affairs of the Orthodox faithful and leaders?

    Why would the leader of the Ukraine be in attendance of an historic crime against our church…and which has allegedly nothing to do with the government of the Ukraine!

    What it represents ..is the utter disrespect of the populace of the world ….that they can blatantly spit in our face ..and do whatever they want ..to represent their personal interests and desires!

    What it represents….is the propaganda and Public relations bonanza ..for Porshenko to demonstrate to the Ukrainian people , like he did , in infringing on the territorial waters of Russia to instigate an event …and then demand that Nato go to war with Russia, and that he is the protector of the people of the Ukraine against the big bad people of Russia …

    In light of the fact …that he has a 14% approval rating going into the March election …only a rigged election will save him ….and I am sure U.S operatives are working on this!

    So Bartholomew despicably invited him to Turkey …to demonstrate his support of Mr. Porshenko….as the legitimate protector of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church!

    This is the man …. who is leading our church ….and just dismissed the entire Orthodox population of the Eastern Ukraine, who are ethnically Russian.. ..who separated from the rule of Porshenko., because he was forcefully installed by removing there elected President! Kind of like …might happen ..if the deep state attempts to remove Donald Trump!

    Congratulations Bartholomew… you have prostituted yourself and betrayed our lord …to divide the Christian population of the Ukraine, the Christian population of Russia , and I can assure you personally…you have lost me …. and as far as i am concerned …you are not worthy to be a member of our Orthodox Faith..let alone the leader!

    How about it, TNH….you made Bartholomew the Man of the Year …for his actions.!

    Why not start a Ukraine collusion and meddling investigation against Bartholomew…with Ukrainian President Porshenko and the U.S government!

    You seem to have no problem with attacking the North American Diocese for corruption! This should be a slam dunk for you and your supporters …to put another knife into the back of Orthodox Christians!

    How about it … TNH.. you did not have a problem with ignoring the plight of Orthodox Christians in Syria by U.S sponsored proxy maniacs!

    In conclusion …the remediation of this is in part …covered by Michael and Theodore…the remainng action is for the Orthodox Church leaders …commission an independent body of Orthodox Leaders …to begin an investigation into the collusion and meddliing of the U.S government and the Ukraine with Patriach Bartholomew to collaborate in separating the Ukrainian Orthodox Church from the Russian Orthodox Church, in order to fulfill the political interests and policies of foreign governments …the United States and the Ukraine!

    This is a serious matter …since, any evidence suggesting that members of the U.S government has used their positions in our government to influence or promote the actions of Bartholomew…would be in violation the constitution of the United States …relative to the doctrines of Freedom of Religion….and the separation of church and states! It also ..makes a case of dsicrimination against the Russian Orthodox Church ….in making claims by U.S ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt ..who publicly stated in an interview with TNH….that the United States had publically called out the Russian Orthodox Church and government for attempting to use the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to threaten the democracy of the people of the Ukraine and its government! This is a matter of record and evidence …which TNH has in their possession !

    Upon the findings of the independent body….if proven…Bartholomew should be stripped of his position in the orthodox Church and excommunicated permanently! Failure to take extreme action …will only discredit the church further ….and allow the Orthodox faithful to independently sever all communications with the Patriarch ….and demand that their local church board …advise the metropolitans that they will not read any writngs by Bartholomew at mass …and not be obligated to support any dlictates from Bartholomew!

    As the article indicated …this is a schism …that like any Schism . may .have repercussions that can last for centuries….and without any reliable outcome projected!

    Importantly, the only unity needed ..is for the Orthodox faithful stay strong to our master Christ and his doctrines and work with their priest and board to continue what the have done every Sunday! In the end…Bartholomew …may have been a figure head for the Orthodox Church ..but nothing more!

    He is more of an embarrasemen than anything else…and while he has been used by the deviates in our country to attempt to destroy . …another enemy of their plans of owning the sovereignty of the world ..like .the Orthodox Church….they have changed nothing in our ability to practice our religion and worship the only leader of the Original Church of Christ!….Christ! …. ,

  8. First, it is incorrect and misleading to group the schisms concerning the Roman Catholic Church and so-called Oriental Orthodox Churches with the present schism between Constantinople and Moscow. The first two concern heresy, the last one is about ecclesiastical and secular politics.

    Second, the other Orthodox churches must decide whether to side with Constantinople or Russia ecclesiastically. If Constantinople and Moscow are in schism then another church cannot be in communion with both.

    1. I would disagree that heresy is not involved in this schism. The heresy involves the role and privileges of the Patriarch of Constantinople.
      In Orthodox ecclesiology every bishop is equal. And the Patriarch of Constantinople had been the first AMONG equals. His theologians have for the first time in 15 centuries since this office was created, redefined his role as first WITHOUT equal. This is a broad attack on the Ortbodox theology of bishops and conciliatory and a blast attempt to create an Eastern Pope with “universal jurisdiction” which the Latin popes started claiming in the Middle Ages. So this schism is as much about heresy as anything else.

      1. It is absolutely not heresy. Heresy specifically refers to dogma, to what we believe and profess about the natures and being of Christ. There is no theology of bishops. There are however, canons and commonly accepted practice about the role and function of bishops. What Bartholomew has done is anti-canonical. lt is administrative in nature and not in keeping with accepted ecclesiological practices of the Orthodox Church.

  9. Michael …I have to disagree with you concerning a response that punishes the Greek Orthodox Church for the actions of the leader of the Original Church of Christ!

    While it appears blatantly clear to me…that his actions …despicably, harm the unity and peace of the Orthodox Church, but more importantly, he has betrayed his service to our lord …Christ..to pay tribute and worship ..to the deceivers of the world from America ..which is the work of only one deity ..the Devil!

    Bartholomew ….has allowed religion ..to be used as a tool of war…by these demons ..who have initiated and maintained endless wars thruout the Middle East and the world …if you haven’t noticed…or being part of a decadent society that choose to ignore the reality…and feeds these demons with more and more money …to slaughter mankind!

    It is as simple as that …forget about laws of the church! Do you think all the international laws mean anything to these demons? Four Presidents in the last 25 years …are guilty of International war crimes by their actions against the independent countries of the world …and everyone of them in violation of established U.N. laws and resolutions …in bombing and invading foreign countries …which to the disgrace of the media …has concealed!

    Their objectives …is to dilllute the importance of not only the Orthodox Church …but all Christian churches…in order to eliminate the princples and values ..of what Christ taught us….and that is love your neighbor ..not kill them!

    A valueless society ….is what they want …to allow them to dictate values ..which support the evil they wish to perpetuate on all the people of the world!

    Sending your stewardship money …to the Oriental Orthodox Church …which deprives your Greek church ….is only punishing our Greek immigrants …who represented what was really good in Greeks ….and not found in this made in America Greeks…who have been oabsorbed into the money making Ponzee scheme of this mythical democracy!

    No, Michael …I have double downed on my stewardship donation to my local Greek Orthodox Church..since, …I now know ..that my enemy ..is my country ..who would like nothing more than for us to abandon our values and divide our church for our children!

    The Greek Orthodox Church … is unique … and was established for Greeks…and is why these frauds who opportunistically demand the reform of our church based on the actions of rogue members of the church…are merely , just religious solders of a bunch of Evangelical Anglo White supremacist who populate our government waging war on the destruction of the orthodox church!

    I always wondered …how a common man ..centuries ago…could allow himself to be publicly humiliated, Tortured , mutilated and then crucified …for allegedly trying to forgive the sins of his fellow man ….and to challenge the evil in the world by his fellow man!

    All he had to do …was capitulate to the demands of the political leaders of Rome and the Judaic priests …to renounce his faith and worship of his master in Heaven!

    But NO…he refused to be rained on with glory and money …and just say…that he would worshipe the kings of our world and their gods! !

    So he was crucified …to defeat sin and evil .. I understand why he had to die in this manner….not to be resurrected in three days and demonstrate their is life after death, but to capture the attention of the people …to the depravity of evil that is in the hearts of men!

    It is that depravity …that allows the crimes against peace and mankind which we have witnessed over the years!

    Therefore ,…Michael …punishing your local Greek Orthodox Church for the actions of Bartholomew …who has merely demonstrated…why my faith is even stronger, because , unlike Christ..the only master of us all, .Bartholomew, did renounce our lord and master, to save himself from Crucifixion ..by pledging allegiance now and worship …to his New masters …The . Roman leaders of America!. ….

    So Michael …we should thank Bartholomew….who professes to be first without equal on this earth…has merely reminded us all …about the truth of our faith ..that Christ was truly our savior and the only begotten Son of God!

    ..What do you think …the crusaders were fighting for Christianity …when the were used by degenerates to conquer lands and riches!

    Bartholomew …has only destroyed his face and that of the Orthodox Church…do not let him and his demons …destroy her heart!.

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