The Greek Synod’s Decision: Vox Populi


Last Saturday, the Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church convened to decide whether the Greek Orthodox Church would accept the autocephaly of the “Orthodox Church of Ukraine”—a combination of clergy and hierarchs from two schismatic groups in Ukraine, formed with a tomos granted by the Patriarch of Constantinople. As everyone knows, this situation is unprecedented in Orthodox history; under question is the Ecumenical Patriarch’s assertion that he has the right to make such decisions in another Church’s jurisdiction regardless of that jurisdiction’s disagreement, and what will happen if other Local Churches allow him to continue in this innovation by accepting the “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” as a valid, autocephalous Church. Note that three fourths of the Orthodox faithful in Ukraine belong unwaveringly to what everyone except Constantinople and the OCU itself have for a year now considered the only canonical Orthodox Church in Ukraine: the autonomous Ukrainian Orthodox Church, headed by Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine.

Not long after the press committee’s statements and the subsequent press release from the Greek Synod’s press service, which was worded in such a way as to indicate that the bishops of the Greek Orthodox Church had recognized the OCU, Metropolitan Seraphim of Kythira stated that the Synod had not in fact recognized the OCU, but had simply voted in favor of the Ecumenical Patriarch’s right to grant autocephaly in general. According to him, the test of this recognition is whether the Greek primate, Metropolitan Ieronymos of Athens, will concelebrate the Divine Liturgy with Patriarch Bartholomew in Thessaloniki on Saturday, October 19, as planned. The Ecumenical Patriarch will inevitably commemorate the head of the OCU, Epiphany (Dumenko), in the diptychs, and there is speculation that Epiphany may also arrive to concelebrate. Therefore, Metropolitan Seraphim and reportedly several other hierarchs of the Greek Orthodox Church have pleaded with their primate not to do this, as it will cause critical situation to develop, and perhaps even bloodshed.

According to the report on the Greek Synod meeting by Orthodox Times, a number of hierarchs of the Greek Church blame the Moscow Patriarch for all the problems surrounding the Ukrainian autocephaly. While other media reports have repeatedly suggested that the Greek bishops are under pressure from the U.S. State Department to accept the OCU, at the Synod meeting Greek hierarchs were quoted as saying that representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate are putting pressure on them not to accept it. Regarding Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, they simply asked, “Who does he think he is?” Somehow all of that justified accepting an unprecedentedly uncanonical action. At the end of the report, however, could be heard the “still, small voice” of Greek hierarchs who were against accepting the OCU’s autocephaly, saying that the risk of the Greek Orthodox Church’s involvement in this problem is too great.

Metropolitan Nikolaos of Mesogaia strongly opposed making a decision on this issue. He said that, “the risk is great,” pointing out that the Tomos of Autocephaly did not achieve the unity of the Church of Ukraine. Furthermore, he said, recognizing the OCU would cause great confusion.

Metropolitan Daniel of Kaisariani said, “I am afraid we are sowing a new division.”


What do we think of this?

Although the rule of the Church is entrusted to its hierarchs, the laity are just as much a part of the Church, the Body of Christ, as are the priest, bishops, and patriarchs—and their opinions also matter. Otherwise, why would the Church canons forbid a priest to serve alone, that is, without any of the laity? Why is the congregation supposed to respond, “Axios!” (Worthy!) before the ordination of a deacon or priest, or the consecration of a bishop can be completed?1 Therefore, has decided to gather an overview of opinions from people who have responded to the Greek Synod meeting. We also encourage our readers to leave their thoughtful comments at the end. Of course, the comments will be moderated. The point is not to vent steam or condemn others. We very probably do not really know everything, and we have to trust in our Lord. But let’s rather share our own profound thoughts on a situation in our Church that has far-reaching implications.

We await your thoughtful responses!

From Matfey Shaheen, an contributor and translator:

I was speaking with a well-known Archpriest from Western Ukraine. Naturally, I was very upset about the canonical catastrophe Constantinople had caused, and now especially that the Greek Church decided to recognize it.

I was thinking how this could harm our missionary efforts in America, where this has confused and muddied the waters. I was extremely worried, as usual, about my friends in Ukraine, who now face more threats, thanks to the so-called “love and unifying efforts” of Constantinople, and honestly, I was a little disappointed in the reaction of members of some other local churches to the outright invasion of their sister—The Moscow Patriarchate.

As usual, the Ukrainian Archpriest had calm and joyful mood, and was primarily busy with preparing his church for liturgy, and didn’t even seem phased by the crisis, though this was more due to his prayerful attitude than to any kind of indifference. His advice and attitude are rather priceless in this situation. He reminded me about the lives of Saint Basil the Great, and also Saint Job of Pochaev (in Volhynia, Western Ukraine), who calmly and prayerfully stood for the truth when it seemed that everyone around them was capitulating.

He said there have been countless schisms in the history of the Orthodox Church, and in Ukraine, but if we look at the lives of all those Saints who were involved, we see how they handled the situation. They didn’t start riots and civil conflicts, they didn’t work with government powers to attack the heretics, they didn’t resort to insults and become caught up in passions. They defended the Orthodox Faith—yes with excellent sermons, but most importantly with their athletic-spiritual podvig of prayer.

They didn’t forget the most important thing was repenting of their own sins, keeping their own prayer-rules (which included praying for their enemies), and most of all, regularly attending the services and receiving the Holy Sacraments. Even if they were the greatest in debates, but neglected the latter, it would have not been enough to have defeated the heretics in history, and defeat them, they did. Heresies have come and gone, but the Orthodox always remained. If we want to continue to remain, it depends primarily on how much we as individuals keep a serious life of prayer and repentance, not being distracted by temptations around us. He then reminded me, that he expects to see me in his church as often has possible, smiled, and quickly returned to his busy preparations.

I also spoke with a friend from Kiev, who is acquainted with my friends in the Lavra there, and was traveling to Moscow. We spoke about a similar subject, how no matter what schisms, Orthodoxy has always remained in Ukraine. We agreed that some of the most faithful and pious Orthodox Christians you ever could meet are members of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church from Lviv, which historically was a center of both the Uniate Church and Ukrainian nationalism. If someone remains a member of the Moscow Patriarchate living in that environment, where it can even be dangerous from time to time, this not only speaks to their loyalty, but also their strong faith.

They and most likely their family for many generations remained unmoved in their dedication to their church, despite the threat of even violence. They remained Orthodox not only when it was the state religion, but when the religion was persecuted by the state. They do this not out of nationalism or loyalty to one political side in a conflict, not because they are members of the “Moscow Church”, or the “Kiev Church”, but because they are members of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

They know the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is part of the Moscow Patriarchate, is the only grace-filled church providing them the sacraments they need for salvation, and so there is no question as to which church they must belong. For them, Orthodoxy is not just part of their nationality, it’s the Body of Christ, and the most important thing to them is receiving the Body and Blood of Christ.

This all echoed a comment I read on the Ukrainian website Union of Orthodox Journalists. While people were discussing their (justifiable) outrage at Constantinople’s invasion of their church territory, one Ukrainian Christian, wrote that this should not be the focus of their daily lives: “Constantinople has constantly been involved in schisms throughout their history. Don’t pay attention to passionate temptations, and don’t let them distract you from your spiritual life. Tomorrow is the 17th Sunday after Pentecost…is everyone going to church tomorrow? I’m looking forward to hearing the Gospel! It talks about the need to love your enemies! Is everyone going to confession and communion tomorrow?

Ukrainians respond to the article, “Greeks Recognized OCU: What happened and what’s next”, on the website of the Union of Orthodox Journalists (Ukrainian site, comments translated from the Russian).

I will try to prognosticate an answer to the question in the title of this article, “What next?”

Next will be the OCU’s change to the new calendar. After all, they can’t celebrate Christmas out of sync with His All-Holiness the pope of Instanbul and his compatriots who cleave to him by celebrating with the Moscow priests. Then will come a complete rejection of Church Slavonic in the services and its replacement by Ukrainian. Next will be the Uniafication of services with Greek-Catholics to the point where the “passers-in” will not immediately understand whose church they’re in.

And once they’ve gotten used to it, they will simply replace the concept of one Eastern “pope” with the real one—the Western one.


And I’ll continue it: Then, as was prophesized, they’ll stop reading the Creed at the Liturgy, remove the tabernacle from the altar table, allow women to serve at the altar, replace the seal on the prosphora and remove the crosses from the cupolas, and in the end they’ll put in all their own antichrist symbols and then, welcome to hell...


I’m thankful to the Greeks for their trick with the OCUers. Today I was at the patronal feast of a church in one village; I always try to come here. A priest from that deanery also came. Earlier (last year) he was a Maidanite to the marrow of his bones, wouldn’t commemorate Patriarch [Kirill], and dreamed about when our Church would be free from the Moscow oppression. Today I heard his sermon and I couldn’t believe my ears...

Who are those ****** (a term from the sermon), Greeks and Bartholomew and what is in store for them with that formation called the OCU, and that our salvation is only with the Russian Orthodox Church; and when he commemorated the Patriarch he practically sang the words, “of Moscow”.


They [the Greeks] won’t give in! They are already preparing a petition! The truth and the salvation of the soul are at stake, and not how to build a fence. Priests and monks who live with the fear of God and for whom faith is not an empty sound, and that means the canons too, will not sin against the truth under any circumstances. That means there will be a schism. Considering that they are used to receiving a state salary and no one is going to give them any money to live on, it will be as a confession of faith for them. And now we have to think about how we’re going to support them.


In the Sacrament of ordination a man receives the grace of the priesthood and the spiritual authority to forgive other people’s sins. The grace of the priesthood is a gift of God to people and this gift is so great, that it doesn’t depend on human factors. I will explain it in more detail: Neither political views, nor personal sins of the clergy can hinder the clergy from being channels through which God’s grace pours out into the world. As long as a bishop has his rank and he is not defrocked, he is one of those channels. If his rank is taken away by ecclesiastical court, then the bishop becomes a layman. Just such a layman, Denisenko, whipped out your Ephiphanious bishops, who do not have the grace of the priesthood. We, the congregation of the UOC [Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate)] hold on to it because the canonical clergy are serving in it, and the Sacraments happen in it... We haven’t gotten stuck in the “Russian world”, but in the real Church. We fear losing it and will not exchange it for the false OCU.

Some comments from the blog, Monomakhos

Everyone…this is extremely significant…It is certainly 1439 all over again, but in the wisdom of our Ecclesiastical tradition, and according to the Church canons, in the event of a schism of heresy, you only need 3 bishops to survive in order to maintain the Church in a viable state. If the current count is accurate, Greece has 10 (maybe more will join) so long-term viability will be preserved, even though it appears like we are officially entering a state of turmoil…


My assumption is that Pompeo and Karloutsos wanted this CoG “recognition” of the schismatic “OCU” wrapped up before the Oct. 19th charade in NYC that “honors” the non-metropolitan “Epiphany.”

Pompeo, the US State Dept, Karloutsos, and the GOA are desperately pushing the narrative that this is a Greek vs Russian thing, rather than an Orthodox Christian vs. non-Orthodox-Christian thing (the latter accurately depicts the reality; this is NOT a Greek vs Russian thing; Greeks with any sense in their brains can see right through what Istanbul and the CoG are doing).

Pompeo, Karloutsos, et al. are playing off of Westerners’ anti-Russian/anti-Slavic biases and prejudices to garner sympathy for the “OCU” and for the “poor Greek Churches being bullied by the Russian Churches.”


A very sad day indeed, but to be fair I’m actually amazed that Athens held out as long as it did. That fact alone is worthy of respect.

Unfortunately, it seems in today’s world there is no such thing as ‘non-aligned’. The euroatlantic bloc is greedy. It wants it all. In this case, it won a victory. For now.

This is not the first time in history we’ve seen this happen. And we know that eventually mankind will fail, including many of the church. Let’s hope, though, that this is just a bump and not the start of the big slump.

We’ve seen it worse. What happened in Russia in 1917 was terrible. It took 74 years before we saw a reversal, but it happened. Unfortunately decisions at the synodal level take a lot of time to reverse and undo, usually a generation. That is the tragedy of this situation. But in the greater specter of history if this is a bump, it will pass. At least I have the audacity to so hope.

I love the Greek people and just like back in the Soviet days we had ROCOR, there are enough Greeks who will continue to stand for the truth. That I’m convinced of.


Speaking from my Russian perspective it would have been immensely sad for me back in the 1940’s when the USSR backed the Greek communists (which apparently included statements of support from the Moscow Patriarch at the time), and when Stalin tried to use the Russian Church in 1947 to create a pan-Orthodox Synod for geopolitical purposes. No church is immune from political influence. That said, I’m hoping to learn something from this experience: how to see holiness amidst the darkness of the world. Russia and Greece I’ve noticed have a counter-cyclical pattern in history: when one nation is under occupation, the other is not, and then it goes back and forth. Russia was under the Tartar-Mongol yoke, and just as she was free, Byzantium fell under the Ottomans. Greece started to break free from the Ottomans in the 19th century, Russia fell under communism in the 20th. Russia is breaking free of its communist legacy in the 21st century and trying to exert an independent path, Greece became entrenched in the globalist EU. Maybe I’m reading into things too much, but maybe it was purposely done that way by God so we can support each other during the tough times. I pray we find a way to make that happen.


A priest once said to me, “God allows bad things to happen so good men will stand up.”

Maybe it takes something like this for the Local Churches to do something. They now know a couple of things they didn’t know yesterday:

1. This isn’t just a Bartholomew problem: It’s a Greece problem, as well.

2. It is a true schism.

3. Bartholomew will take Greece with him to Rome.

Had they managed to call a Council before today they would have had no idea where Greece stood and any good lawyer will tell you, you don’t ask a question in court unless you know the answer. They have the answers they need to move forward and they’ve had a lot of time to prepare for both eventualities so they should be ready to move forward and name this thing (schism). We shall see.

If they do nothing we’ll have a 4th problem: An ununited Church.

If some bishops out there are juggling with canons for their own benefit, it is our fault(!) that we do not know the canons ourselves.
We spend thousands of hours in our lifetime to read worthless fiction books, or watch mass-produced tv-films and we never read the Canons of the Church (you can download them for free).


It would be nice if one of the Patriarchs would call for a Great and Holy Council and then the Hierarchs could meet and thrash this out. If the Patriarch of Constantinople went beyond his scope of influence then he could be sanctioned but if he didn’t the issues would be settled. This issue is causing a very frightening schism in the Church and it needs to be handled and settled by the Church .



It looks like Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback and Geoffrey Pyatt, US Ambassador to Greece along with Pompeo succeeded in “persuading“ the CoG to back the EP’s Ukrainian debacle. Pyatt and Brownback, as you reported in May 2019, also visited Abbot Ephraim of Vatopaidi Monastery of Holy Mountain. Has there been any more US interaction with the monasteries of Mt. Athos since then? Blackmail, bribery and strong-arm tactics will not work there. Or am I a naive “true believer”?


There is careful diplomatic language but the writing is on the wall. First of all, there has been a gradual buildup to all this, from the “chance” meeting of Dumenko and Archbishop Ieronymos in the Phanar, to the co-service of several CoG bishops with the Ukrainian schismatics which went totally unpunished, and now this is just another preparation for the big embrace. It’s so obvious that it doesn’t need more clarification. This is just typical politics, tiptoing into the water, or in this case watching a train wreck about to happen.


“Don’t give in to panic. Cowards are of use to no one. God looks at a person’s situation and helps him… In order to hold back a great evil, great holiness is needed.

“A spiritual person can hold back evil and help others. In the spiritual life the biggest coward can attain great courage by entrusting himself to Christ and His divine help.

“He can go to the front lines, do battle with the enemy, and win! So therefore we will fear God alone, not people, no matter how evil they may be.

“The fear of God makes any coward into a hero! A person becomes fearless to the extent he unites with God.

“There’s a war on today, a holy war. I must be on the front lines. We have to pray a lot, and with pain in our hearts, so that God will intervene: our times are very hard to understand.

—St Paisios the Hagiorite


So I am checking out my Facebook page and up pops a post entitled, “Metropolitans Seraphim of Piraeus and Kythira say no vote happened, no recognition of OCU” to which I reply My, my, my. Before I can finish reading the post, a reply from a site called “Greek Orthodox Christianity” replies with something like if it makes you feel better to believe Russian bots and their disgusting propaganda, go ahead.” I replied, my feelings have nothing to do with it…I just want to know if the Greek church made a decision? No reply. The thread was then deleted. When I went to the site to check this out, I see that it has been liked by the archons, the GOA and the EP. Thirty-two people have liked the site, so it must be new (or underwhelming).

I have to say I was shocked to read their characterizations of this issue–Here is one of their comments, “Russian propaganda and Anti-Greek abuse is in overdrive, as the Pan-Slavists from Russia and their deranged followers, come to terms with the recognition of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.” Zowie.


I’m totally confused. However if the CofG did not recognize the Ukrainian schismatics then glory be to God. The old girl is not completely compromised.

We need a real pan-orthodox council and quick. We just thwarted the Globalist’s plans in Syria and we got peace in Syria. We can thwart their plans in the Ukraine. We need a council.

Peter A. Papoutsis



A previous EP (I think Demetrios) told the Pope who wanted to sign the Union:

“Even if we sign the Union, if the people do not agree, then we have achieved nothing”.

He was absolutely right.

So, it is now our turn, the people’s turn:

We shall not put to practice what they, by themselves, have agreed, voted, or signed.

We shall exercise the right of the Orthodox people, indeed the largest number in side the Church.

The Church is also the millions of simple laity, not just Bartholomew! We are not Roman Catholics, no way!

If Bartholomew and his instruments do not want to listen, then we shall go to other Orthodox Bishops who do not agree with Bartholomew and his ouvertures. Fortunately, there many of them out there!

These comments do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of We welcome your thoughtful, Christian comments!

Compiled by


1 For a thorough explanation of this, please listen to the Ancient Faith Radio podcast, “Search the Scriptures” by Dr. Jeannie Constantinou, in her series on the prophet Ezekiel, “On corrupt clergy”.

See also
Greek hierarchs calling on Abp. Ieronymos not to concelebrate with Pat. Bartholomew on Saturday Greek hierarchs calling on Abp. Ieronymos not to concelebrate with Pat. Bartholomew on Saturday Greek hierarchs calling on Abp. Ieronymos not to concelebrate with Pat. Bartholomew on Saturday Greek hierarchs calling on Abp. Ieronymos not to concelebrate with Pat. Bartholomew on Saturday
In the wake of the confusion following Saturday’s extraordinary session of the Bishops’ Council of the Greek Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Seraphim of Kythira and reportedly several other hierarchs of the Church are calling upon Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens not to concelebrate the Divine Liturgy with Patriarch Bartholomew in Thessaloniki on Saturday, October 19, as planned.
Greek commission chairman: “We should never engage in conflict with the Ecumenical Patriarchate on the Ukrainian issue” Greek commission chairman: “We should never engage in conflict with the Ecumenical Patriarchate on the Ukrainian issue” Greek commission chairman: “We should never engage in conflict with the Ecumenical Patriarchate on the Ukrainian issue” Greek commission chairman: “We should never engage in conflict with the Ecumenical Patriarchate on the Ukrainian issue”
As OrthoChristian has noted many times, the Greek Church is in a unique situation where a large portion of its bishops, who are fully involved in making decisions for the Greek Church, are actually hierarchs of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. That is, the Greek Church has no ability to make decisions without input from Constantinople.
Greek hierarch: We are the same race as Constantinople, we must side with the Patriarchate Greek hierarch: We are the same race as Constantinople, we must side with the Patriarchate Greek hierarch: We are the same race as Constantinople, we must side with the Patriarchate Greek hierarch: We are the same race as Constantinople, we must side with the Patriarchate
Several Moscow Patriarchate hierarchs and clergy went on pilgrimage recently to the Greek Ionian Islands, where they had a chance to meet with the Greek hierarchs of Zakynthos and Dodoni and to discuss current Orthodox events.
Greek clerics who concelebrated with, gave letter of support to Met. Onuphry are censured by Greek bishop Greek clerics who concelebrated with, gave letter of support to Met. Onuphry are censured by Greek bishop Greek clerics who concelebrated with, gave letter of support to Met. Onuphry are censured by Greek bishop Greek clerics who concelebrated with, gave letter of support to Met. Onuphry are censured by Greek bishop
On Sunday, September 22, several Greek clerics concelebrated the Divine Liturgy in Kiev with His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine and offered him and all the faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church their prayerful support.
Greek Metropolitan Seraphim of Kythira: Constantinople’s actions divide Ukraine, Greek Synod, Mt. Athos, entire Church Greek Metropolitan Seraphim of Kythira: Constantinople’s actions divide Ukraine, Greek Synod, Mt. Athos, entire Church Greek Metropolitan Seraphim of Kythira: Constantinople’s actions divide Ukraine, Greek Synod, Mt. Athos, entire Church Greek Metropolitan Seraphim of Kythira: Constantinople’s actions divide Ukraine, Greek Synod, Mt. Athos, entire Church
The granting of autocephaly to the so-called “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” (OCU) was lawlessly done under the pressure of geopolitical interest and deeply split not only the Ukrainian people, but also the Local Orthodox Churches, the Holy Mountain, and the Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church, His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim of Kythira and Antikythera of the Greek Orthodox Church believes, as he wrote in a statement published on the Greek site
Met. Ambrose of Kalavryta: “Decision of the Ecumenical Patriarch is leading to a schism” Met. Ambrose of Kalavryta: “Decision of the Ecumenical Patriarch is leading to a schism” Met. Ambrose of Kalavryta: “Decision of the Ecumenical Patriarch is leading to a schism” Met. Ambrose of Kalavryta: “Decision of the Ecumenical Patriarch is leading to a schism”
In a new open letter, the former ruling hierarch of the Metropolis of Kalavryta, His Eminence Metropolitan Ambrose, calls on the hierarchs of the Greek Orthodox Church to reject the schismatic so-called “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” (OCU), stating that the Patriarch of Constantinople’s actions in Ukraine are only causing further divisions in the Church.
Fr. Peter M. Dubinin10/22/2019 2:29 pm
Mikhail, You are correct. I did intend to speak of the OCU as the transgressor. The UOC is the rightful Church in the territory of Ukraine.
Mikhail10/21/2019 5:54 pm
Dear Fr. Peter M. Dubinin: In your comment, I think you are meaning to write OCU instead of UOC.
Nun Irinea10/19/2019 11:39 pm
"We shall not put to practice what they, by themselves, have agreed, voted, or signed." This statement from the above compilation is certainly the best road sign for all the faithful of the Holy Orthodox Church. We shall not put it into practice at all, but remain faithful to the God-given treasure of Orthodoxy entrusted to us, handing it down to the following generations unspoiled, strengthened and inspired by the example of all the holy martyrs and confessors, past and present, and most of all by the luminous figure of the true metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and all Ukraine.
Thomas10/19/2019 10:15 pm
I hope I won't have to remind anyone here, but St Mark of Ephesus did not sign the document that the the Roman Catholics and the anathema bishops signed and the Orthodox laity did not accept it, so despite paper and so-called clergy, Orthodoxy is still Orthodoxy, no matter what anyone says. Of course, for people in the Byzantine Empire who were not faithful, suicide rates shot up, so, I hope that everyone will learn from their example. Do not be afraid and nothing is the way you fear it is, for Orthodoxy and the Church is eternally unconquerable. Even if hundreds of millions join heretics and churches are blown up, always remember: "God is with us, understand this, oh you nations, and submit yourselves, for God is with us. (submit has a different meaning in the Greek than you think it does and nations would be any group of people who make themselves enemies of the Church as well as "whoever is not against you, is for you." (jesus said that). Of course, Jesus also said: "He who is not with Me, is against Me, and he who does not gather (spiritually) with me scatters (spiritually and physically) abroad.
Fr. Peter M. Dubinin10/19/2019 8:02 pm
I have watched with growing alarm at the incursion into the canonical territory of a local Church with the assumption of authority not his by His All-Holiness, Bartholomew, Patriarch of Constantinople. I am further dismayed with the hubris expressed by His All-Holiness and "hierarchs" of the UOC in twisting plainly and clearly written canons prohibiting the very thing they have done to justify so egregious offense against the Church. Yes, I am alarmed and dismayed, but not surprised. If the degree of nationalism and Ukrainian delusional self-aggrandizement present in this shameless action by His All-Holiness and the UOC is a sliver of that I experienced in the UOCUSA as a child, I am not surprised.
Tikhon Pino10/18/2019 6:42 pm
Just one clarification: the first ones to walk out of Florence in disgust were … the Georgian bishops.
Ioannis10/18/2019 3:26 pm
Joseph Bell said, "The Patriarch of Constantinople is first among equals, a primacy of honour" . Canon 28 (4th Ec.Syn.) says all this is because Constantinople is the reigning (capital) city of the state with the king and parliament. And the coordinating function of the Patriarch was exactly because of this. This is no more possible: tha capital is now Ankara and the Head of State can not assist the local Orthodox bishops (read Canon 28). According to this canon, Kirill can assist local bishops but Bartholomew can not. The whole point of grating honour to Contantinople then, was purely practical-political and ignored Jerusalem ("Hail Holy Sion, Mother of Churches", St.J.Damascene). The analogous situation is now in Moscow and after 100 years will probably go to the then capital of China or India.
Gary Cox10/18/2019 11:32 am
The sadness of it all! Bartholomew is the current ringleader of a power grab it would seem. It has been festering in this direction for a long time and is coming to a head. Why is this happening? Why is God allowing it to happen. Why did God allow the split of 1054? Is it because of all our sins? How close are we to the return of Christ? Let us pray for forgiveness for our sins and for our Patriarchs and Bishops to stand firm and resist the evil that is come upon our Church. If there is a split , I think that although the Church will be smaller, it will remain true to the faith. 2 Timothy 4: 3-4 gives us sound warning off things to watch for.
Anonymous10/18/2019 11:11 am
The Church of Greece has hesitated up till now to recognize the creation of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, because they apparently sensed that something is not right (and rightly so indeed, for several reasons). Now they feel obliged to go along with what they must know is wrong, as if they have no choice. According to this logic Constantinople can do whatever it wants, and like the blind they will feel obliged to follow. For a start, how can they agree to commemorate and concelebrate with the unordained? So let us pray that the Archbishop will find the courage to say that famous word: OXI.
Nun Irinea10/17/2019 10:36 pm
The "Orthodox Times"is a site financed by the State Department and presenting things from the point of view of the Fanar, without of course aknowledging this openly. Regarding the events in the Greek Church, see also this very interesting interview of archpriest Nicholas Sabbopoulos with "Romfea":
Mikhail10/17/2019 9:31 pm
Let us look at the fruits of this action: 1. Ukraine is suffering as the so-called OCU seizes Churches from the UOC and beats clergy and parishioners. 2. The Holy Mountain is divided. 3. The Church of Greece in on the verge of schism. 4. No other autocephalous Church will recognize the so-called OCU. There is confusion and turmoil throughout the Orthodox world. Who is the author of confusion and turmoil? And what do we see from His Beatitude, Metropolitan Onuphriy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church? He maintains a peaceful and gentle spirit. He cares deeply for the salvation of his flock. He relies on the loving embrace of the Mother of God. He talks about how persecution and martyrdom purifies and strengthens the Church. If someone cannot see that the recognition of the so-called OCU as an autocephalous Church, is the work of Satan, then they do not have eyes to see, and ears to hear.
Kenneth Gardnerhoo.com10/17/2019 9:15 pm
I suspect this will end with a general council, or something approximating it, the demotion of the EP's authority (perhaps placing him under Athens), a subsequent revision of how foreign lands are governed, and lots of tears. In the worst case, a general council and a permanent schism. I hope good comes of it.
Joseph Bell10/17/2019 7:33 pm
What is God's will in this situation? Orthodoxy! This situation resembles the Council of Florence when apparently Russia and Serbia were the holdouts and St. Mark of Ephesus was God's spokesman. He said, "Let no one dominate in our faith; neither emperor, nor hierarch, nor false council, nor anyone else, but only the one God, who both Himself and through His Disciples has handed it down to us." Patriarch Kirill may have Putin to answer to and Patriarch Barthalemew may have the American and Western European leadership to answer to, but I have only God to answer to. Ukraine is the canonical territory of Russia. The Patriarch of Constantinople is first among equals, a primacy of honour. May God be with you all.
Theodoros10/17/2019 5:55 pm
As a Greek Orthodox , I am truly disgusted by the behavior and statements of Greek bishops under the phanar and the church of greece. The Russian church and its Ukrainian church have been horribly wronged and the canons desecrated. A council must be called and ithose who serve secular Interests must be deposed and excommunicated. This includes bartholomew, zizoulias, Emmanuel and All others. The real leadership in orthodoxy is the Russian church. Constantinople has forfeited any Honorary status it previously had.
Fr. Mark Tyson10/17/2019 5:25 pm
Thank you, OrthoChristian, for publishing these words of the laity. It is so heartening to know that there are people in the Church who take this issue seriously and speak out. To me, the most important point is that our troubles are not based on Greek vs. Russian “competition” but rather that this is a struggle between Orthodoxy and heresy. The heresy is clear: Bartholomew Archodonis calls himself “First without Equals,” a title totally unheard of in the 2000 years of Church history. Armed with this heretical moniker, he proceeds to invade the territory of a legitimate Church and initiate persecution of Ukrainian Orthodox faithful by gangs of nationalist thugs whom he paternally embraces. Now, we are seeing proof of this schismatic Ukrainian body moving closer to union with Uniates...thus bringing the EP ever closer to union with Rome. How can anyone who loves the Faith stand idly by and maintain a “neutral position?”
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