“They Will Not Destroy Greek-Slavic Friendship”

The Russian Holy Synod’s Statement of October 17, 2019 on the Ukrainian Issue and the Greek Church

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On October 17, 2019, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church adopted a statement on the situation in the Greek Orthodox Church after the extraordinary Bishops’ Council on October 12, 2019 on the Ukrainian Church issue.

Members of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church got acquainted with the documents of the extraordinary Bishops Council of the Greek Orthodox Church on October 12, 2019 that were published in the media, in particular, the communiqué from the Council and the report of His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and all Greece, “On the Autocephaly of the Church in Ukraine,” which proposes to “... recognize the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of the independent Ukrainian republic.”

Since the self-governing Ukrainian Orthodox Church, headed by Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and all Ukraine, which unites 95 bishops, more than 12,000 parishes, more than 250 monasteries, and tens of millions of believers, is in canonical unity with the Russian Orthodox Church and has not appealed to anyone for autocephaly, it is obvious that we are talking about the recognition of schismatic communities in this country. Earlier, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople repeatedly declared the recognition of Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine as the only canonical primate of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine (the last such statement was made by him publicly at the Synaxis of Primates of the Local Orthodox Churches in January 2016). However, at the end of 2018, Patriarch Bartholomew changed his previous statements and, without canonical authority, “restored to dignity,” without repentance and renunciation of the schism, those who had been expelled from it, anathematized, or who had never had a canonical ordination, or even formal Apostolic Succession. The head of the newly-created structure is a man who received his “ordination” from the ex-Metropolitan of Kiev Philaret, who was defrocked and excommunicated from the Church. The latter was also “restored” to “the episcopal dignity” by the Patriarch of Constantinople, but soon after left the newly-established “Church” and declared the restoration of his former schismatic community, which he calls the “Kievan Patriarchate.”

The Russian Orthodox Church has repeatedly informed the authorities of the Greek Orthodox Church about the difficult situation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church after the anti-canonical legalization of the Ukrainian schism by Constantinople and about the violence and persecution against its faithful children deployed by the former authorities of Ukraine. On October 9, 2019—a few days before the above-mentioned extraordinary Bishops’ Council of the Greek Church—Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia addressed his Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and all Greece with a fraternal message, calling on him to refrain from unilateral actions and not to make any “hasty decisions until the Holy Spirit gathers the primates of all the holy Churches of God and guides them together on behalf of the entire Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church to find a solution that will suit everyone and serve to overcome the current crisis.”

It is sad that His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos bases the necessity for hasty and unilateral recognition of the non-canonical schismatic community on a number of erroneous and false arguments repeatedly refuted not only by the hierarchs, scholars and theologians of the Russian Orthodox Church, but also by many prominent archpastors, pastors and theologians of the Greek Orthodox Church.

The statement of his Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos that “the Orthodox Church of Ukraine... has always remained in the canonical ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Mother Church—the Ecumenical Patriarchate” does not correspond to reality. In 1686, by the gramotas of His Holiness Patriarch Dionysius of Constantinople and the Holy Synod of the Church of Constantinople, the Kiev Metropolis was transferred to the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate. For more than 300 years, the canonical jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate over the Kiev Metropolis was recognized by the entire Orthodox world, including the Greek Orthodox Church. At the same time, according to the sacred canons of the Church, disputes over territorial jurisdiction have a statute of limitations of no more than thirty years (Canon 25 of the Sixth Ecumenical Council).

All these facts were ignored by the two commissions of the Greek Orthodox Church that were entrusted with the study of the Ukrainian Church question. In their conclusions, these commissions, according to Metropolitan Seraphim of Kythira and Antikythera, “overlook more than 300 years of living tradition of the dependence of the Metropolis of Kiev and all Ukraine on the Moscow Patriarchate. And these realities were reflected in all the calendars of the Greek Church up to this year. Perhaps they also overlook the fact that the current Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, in his Patriarchal letters of 1992 and 1997, recognized the canonical jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate over the Kiev Metropolis and respected the canonical penalties imposed on the defrocked and schismatic clerics who are now purified and restored.”

The statement of his Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos that “due to the absence of the Moscow Patriarchate” from the Cretan Council in 2016 “there was no opportunity to discuss the issue of granting autocephaly” does not correspond to reality. In fact, the topic of autocephaly was removed from the agenda of the Council much earlier, at the insistence of Patriarch Bartholomew. Now the reason for this becomes obvious. After all, at the meetings of the Inter-Orthodox Preparatory Commission in 1993 and 2009, representatives of all Local Orthodox Churches agreed on the procedure for granting autocephaly, which involves a) the consent of the Local Council of the Mother Church for a part of it to receive autocephaly; b) the identification by the Ecumenical Patriarch of the consensus of all Local Orthodox Churches, expressed by the unanimity of their Councils; c) on the basis of the consent of the Mother Church and the pan-Orthodox consensus, the official proclamation of autocephaly through the publication of a tomos, which is “signed by the Ecumenical Patriarch and witnessed to by the signatures of the most blessed primates of the most holy autocephalous Churches invited for it by the Ecumenical Patriarch.” Regarding the last point, only the procedure for signing the tomos was not fully agreed upon, but this fact does not cancel the agreements reached on the remaining points. At the Synaxis of Primates in 2014 and 2016, the delegation of the Moscow Patriarchate, along with representatives of some other fraternal Churches, insisted on including the issue of autocephaly in the agenda of the Council. The Russian Church finally agreed to the exclusion of this topic from the agenda of the Council only after Patriarch Bartholomew assured, in January 2016 in the presence of other primates, that the holy Church of Constantinople had no intentions of carrying out any actions related to Church life in Ukraine, either at the Holy and Great Council or after the Council.

The arguments listed in the report of His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos and repeatedly refuted earlier exactly follow the position of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. However, there are doubts whether the fullness of the Greek Orthodox Church shares them. Metropolitan Seraphim of Kythira testifies to the lack of unanimity between the hierarchs of the Greek Orthodox Church on this issue and that the voices of those who disagree with the recognition of the Ukrainian division were ignored: “First, the gray-haired and highly-respected Metropolitans Seraphim of Karystia and Germanos of Eleia, who with great wisdom and prudence talked about this burning issue, acknowledging that yes, the Ecumenical Patriarch has the canonical right to grant autocephaly under certain conditions, but the current situation is very critical, and therefore extraordinary circumspection and deep study and investigation of the whole complex problem are required without any haste. The speeches of the Right Reverend Metropolitans Daniel of Kaisariani, Nicholas of Mesogaia, Seraphim of Piraeus and others were in the same vein. The Right Reverend Metropolitans Andrew of Dryinoupolis and Cosmas of Aetolia did not take the floor, but joined the Right Reverend bishops who had previously spoken. The Right Reverend Metropolitans Simeon of New Smyrna and Nektarios of Corfu, who were absent but expressed their position in writing, approached this serious Ukrainian issue with the same sensitivity and from the same point of view.”

In his letter addressed to the Bishops’ Council and His Beatitude, Metropolitan Simeon of New Smyrna notes that the granting of autocephaly to Ukraine under the conditions in which it was granted, “has nothing in common with other autocephalies that were previously granted” by the Patriarchate of Constantinople. He stresses that “the hasty recognition ... of schismatics and so-called ‘self-consecrators,’ in circumvention of the canonical Local Church, but also the Moscow Patriarchate, which condemned the schismatics, and the granting of autocephaly to the new church structure creates justified questions and causes opposition.” He also points to the canonically unacceptable fact of the existence of “two parallel Local Churches” in Ukraine and the repeated schism that has already occurred within the “new church structure that received autocephaly.” He explicitly mentions the interest of major geopolitical forces in hastily granting “autocephaly” to schismatics. Comparing the current situation of Orthodoxy with the events of the Great Schism of 1054, he urges the hierarchy “not to rush to take a position.” “A forced and hasty approach to the issue,” says Metropolitan Simeon, “will make us vulnerable and put our Church at risk. It would be a mistake to assume that this kind of approach to the issue will serve as support for the Ecumenical Patriarchate.”

Metropolitan Nektarios of Corfu, who was unable to attend the extraordinary Bishops’ Council of his Church, addressed the Council with a letter in which he called for “postponing a decision.” He notes that the present “time is not the right time to make a decision on this acute issue, including because geopolitical conditions in the wider region are not ideal, with the result that any decision is likely to cause difficulties in our country.” He also calls on the Greek Church to “assume the role of mediator” in order to start a dialogue between the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Patriarchate of Moscow.

Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus, known as a specialist in the Church’s canon law, not only presented an exhaustive study to the Council, in which he convincingly refuted the arguments set forth in the report of the primate of the Greek Church, but also sharply criticized the so-called “unification council” of the schismatics in his oral speeches. He stressed that “the so-called ‘unification council’ is not valid because it was composed of laity, and that the granting of autocephalous status to this non-existent ‘church’ structure is also invalid.” He further noted that all attempts to justify this “canonical lawlessness” by anomalous canonical practice, “with reference to the Ottoman captivity of the Church” and the difficult period when a number of Local Churches were directly dependent on the Patriarch of Constantinople, “suppress the canonical ecclesiastical order of the holy Ecumenical Councils.” “I demanded,” Metropolitan Seraphim testifies, “that the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece convene a pan-Orthodox council to resolve this complex issue, which, unfortunately, is mixed with geopolitics, or even geostrategy, which affects all the primates of the autocephalous Orthodox Churches. At the same time, I confronted the Synodal Commission on Inter-Orthodox and Inter-Christian Relations about the fact that it had not submitted to the Permanent Holy Synod and His Beatitude the Chairman of the Hierarchy of the Greek Church, any report on the views on this issue of other autocephalous Orthodox Churches, nor an assessment of the possible consequences for the unity of the Church in the event of a rupture of communion by the Russian Church and its recognition of the Old Calendarists in Greece. At the same time, I replied to the Chairman of the Commission on Church canonical issues that Metropolitan Onuphry could not have taken part in the so-called ‘unification Council,’ just as His Beatitude the Archbishop of Athens could not participate together with the self-proclaimed ‘Archbishop of Athens’ Parthenios Vesireas—a defrocked deacon of the Greek Church.”

The communiqué of the extraordinary Bishops’ Council reported on the decision taken following the discussion of the given report. But who exactly made this decision and in what form remains unclear. A number of authoritative hierarchs drew the attention of the Council to the critical situation of world Orthodoxy, the need for extreme caution and deep study of the problem—without any haste and pressure from outside. Several metropolitans, including those who were absent from the Council, appealed to the Council in writing to postpone the decision of the issue.

The decisions of the Bishops’ Council of the Greek Church are made by vote of all participants. However, the hierarchy voted neither on the issue of recognition of the Ukrainian non-canonical communities, nor on the issue of the approval of the decisions of the Permanent Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church regarding Ukraine. This was stated by Metropolitan Seraphim of Kythira: “As you know, decisions in our Church are made by voting: either by the raising of hands, or openly, or secretly, or by surveying all participants in the meeting. Perhaps a sufficient number of votes would have been cast in favor of autocephaly, but there would have been many who held the opposite view, as well as those who, by their silence, would have joined the latter.”

There is no official document signed by the Greek archpastors openly available, which could be considered evidence of a single conciliar decision of the Local Church. Moreover, the news that the Greek Orthodox Church recognized Ukrainian autocephaly was spread very quickly, which does not correspond to the text of the communiqué or the position of many participants in the Council. There are serious concerns that the conciliar way of making decisions, sanctified by the words of the Holy apostles: It is pleasing to the Holy Spirit and to us (Acts 15: 28), and the two-thousand-year history of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, was violated in this case.

If the Ukrainian schism is truly recognized by the Greek Orthodox Church or its primate—in the form of a joint service, liturgical commemoration of the leader of the schism, or sending him official letters—it will be a sad testimony to the deepening division in the family of Local Orthodox Churches. Full responsibility for this division will fall, first of all, on Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and on those external political forces in whose interests the Ukrainian schism was “legalized.” Instead of admitting his mistake and trying to correct it through pan-Orthodox discussion, Patriarch Bartholomew has blocked any negotiation initiatives in this direction and for a year, according to many testimonies, has exerted unprecedented pressure on the hierarchs of the Greek Church, demanding that they recognize the schismatics. He repeatedly declared the recognition of the non-canonical false hierarchs of Ukraine by the Greek Church as a settled matter, as if it were not an independent decision of an autocephalous Orthodox Church. The situation of the Greek Church, which is essentially limited in its autocephalous structure, is complicated by the dual jurisdiction of a large part of its episcopate, canonically dependent upon Constantinople: These hierarchs, for example, were sent circulars from the Patriarchate of Constantinople demanding immediate recognition of the newly-created pseudo-Church structure. Those who found the courage to openly denounce the errors of the Patriarch of Constantinople and enter into a discussion with him were threatened, disciplinary measures were enforced against them, and they were accused of betrayal and a lack of patriotism.

It is sad that in this way the historical merits of the Greek people in spreading Orthodoxy are exchanged for short-term political benefits and support for geopolitical interests alien to the Church. But these gambles on national feelings will not succeed. They will not be able to undermine the unity of our faith, bought by the blood of the New Martyrs and Confessors of our Churches. They will not interrupt the unity of our ascetic tradition, which was created by the exploits of many venerable fathers and ascetics. They will not destroy the centuries-old friendship of the Greek and Slavic peoples, paid for with the blood of Russian soldiers and hardened in the common struggle for the freedom of the fraternal Greek people.

We cherish prayerful communion with our brethren in the Greek Orthodox Church and will maintain a living prayerful, canonical and Eucharistic connection with it—through all those archpastors and pastors who have already spoken out or will further oppose the recognition of the Ukrainian schism, who will not stain themselves by concelebrating with the schismatic false hierarchs, but will show an example of Christian courage and a firm stand for the truth of Christ. May the Lord strengthen them in their podvig of confession, through the prayers of Sts. Mark of Ephesus and Gregory Palamas, Maximus the Confessor and all those Greek saints who were and are venerated in our Holy Rus’.

At the same time, we remember that the sacred canons of the Church condemn those who enter into prayerful communion and concelebration with those who are defrocked and excommunicated (Apostolic Canons 10-12; Canon 5 of the First Ecumenical Council; Canon 2 of the Council of Antioch, etc.). In this regard, we cease prayerful and Eucharistic communication with those bishops of the Greek Church who have entered or will enter into such communication with representatives of the Ukrainian non-canonical schismatic communities. We also do not bless pilgrimages in dioceses managed by the aforesaid bishops. The relevant information will be widely distributed among the pilgrimage and tourist organizations of the countries that make up the canonical territory of our Church.

The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church authorizes His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia to stop commemorating the name of His Beatitude the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece in the diptychs if the primate of the Greek Church begins to commemorate the head of one of the Ukrainian schismatic groups during Divine services or takes other actions testifying to his recognition of the Ukrainian Church schism.

Translation by OrthoChristian.com



See also
“We all know that Constantinople always voluntarily and unselfishly provides autocephaly”: main theses of Greek Synod’s commissions on Ukraine “We all know that Constantinople always voluntarily and unselfishly provides autocephaly”: main theses of Greek Synod’s commissions on Ukraine “We all know that Constantinople always voluntarily and unselfishly provides autocephaly”: main theses of Greek Synod’s commissions on Ukraine “We all know that Constantinople always voluntarily and unselfishly provides autocephaly”: main theses of Greek Synod’s commissions on Ukraine
Archbishop Ieronymos delivered his report, based on the commissions’ conclusions, to the hierarchs of the Greek Church, presenting several debatable points as indisputable facts.
Met. Nektarios of Corfu: We should postpone our decision on Ukraine, let the Churches above us in the diptychs speak first Met. Nektarios of Corfu: We should postpone our decision on Ukraine, let the Churches above us in the diptychs speak first Met. Nektarios of Corfu: We should postpone our decision on Ukraine, let the Churches above us in the diptychs speak first Met. Nektarios of Corfu: We should postpone our decision on Ukraine, let the Churches above us in the diptychs speak first
His Eminence Metropolitan Simeon of New Smyrna recently issued a letter to the hierarchs of the Greek Orthodox Church, urging them not to make any hasty decision on the Ukrainian issue at tomorrow’s extraordinary session of the Bishops’ Council, where they will hear and deliberate upon a report and recommendation on the matter from His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens. Now another hierarch, His Eminence Metropolitan Nektarios of Corfu, has addressed his brother hierarchs, calling on them to postpone any decision on the Ukrainian issue.
Greek metropolitan: Ukrainian autocephaly has nothing in common with other autocephalies Greek metropolitan: Ukrainian autocephaly has nothing in common with other autocephalies Greek metropolitan: Ukrainian autocephaly has nothing in common with other autocephalies Greek metropolitan: Ukrainian autocephaly has nothing in common with other autocephalies
His Eminence Metropolitan Simeon of New Smyrna spoke of the great spiritual suffering that the Ukrainian crisis causes him and called on his brother hierarchs in a letter not to make any hasty decisions, as the bishops of the Greek Church prepare to gather on Saturday to hear and deliberate upon a report from their primate, His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece, on the matter.
Dimitrios10/31/2019 8:02 pm
These comments sadden me greatly. This is not a matter of Greeks vs Slavs. This is a matter of violation of the Church Cannons. It is a matter of the Church of Christ and the attack from the enemies of the Church. It is a matter of the Orthodox Faithful of Ukraine being persecuted by schismatics with Nazi idealogy. The Church of Greece is not the Archbishop, it is the Christian faithful for whom Christ endured crucifixion and death. Yes I am Greek ethnically, but I am a Christian first. Pray for the repentance of the Archbishop and those who participated in this betrayal of the Church which Christ purchased with his blood. Lord have mercy on us all.
A Greek of Constantinople.10/24/2019 10:08 pm
Well, your move surprised me and made me laugh. Well played moderator(s), well played. I don't pretend to be a saint, I have my flaws. I am strong opinionated and proud (Yes, I know you will say Satan himself is proud. My confessor tells me this all the time). Being rude, crude, aggressive, provocative, spiteful, and shameless are just.. minor details. But it's my character to speak my mind, unfiltered. National and religious matters tend to bring out my aggressive nature and make these attributes more pronounced. I realize that you have nothing to do with the current situation. I apologize for directing my anger and frustration at you, as well as attacking, belittling, and degrading your ancestry. However I tend to stand firmly on my beliefs. Even though I agree it was not right "ranting" at you in such a way. My negative opinion on the way the Patriarchy of Moscow has handled this split with Constantinople, will not change.
Moderator10/24/2019 8:07 pm
A Greek from Constantinople: We have allowed you that last comment, mainly to prove a point. If you are a Christian at all, you should really be ashamed of your comments. But if you are so intent on showing the spite that has taken over your mind and heart to the public, so be it. If a commenter attacks your patriarch or people as rudely as you attack others, of course we would not open his comments. But to tell you the truth, no one has been as brazen and rude as you have. We are very sorry for you.
Theodoros10/24/2019 7:59 pm
Furthermore, Greek of Constantinople I suggest you read Greek history more closely. Theodore kolokotronis the hero of the Greek war of independence was imprisoned and sentenced to death by British installed king of Greece A papist because the general was pro Russian. As recently as 2009 a pro Russian government in Athens was toppled by the so called democracies of the west. The west that now promotes infanticide and The mutilation of children uses the Greek church as a prop. Thank God there is still light in Greece. There are Bishops and priests, theologians that can see clearly in front of them. Your Russophobia is deplorable. Tell me do you think the Syrian war that flooded Greece with refugees was good? The Russians stabilized Syria, stopped the genocide of Christians, and stopped the flow of refugees into Greece. you also forget that previous archbishops of Athens serapheim and christodoulos stood up to the Phanars Encroachments in Greece. Pity the present archbishop is not as strong.
Theodoros10/24/2019 7:46 pm
To Greek Constantinople You have not the slightest clue what you are talking about. The Russians helped Cyprus in 2004 To kill the Annan plan at the in security council. Furthermore, Russian churches raised money that was Given to archbishop ieronymos in for the Greek people during the economic crisis. How much money did the Phaner give to the people of Greece and she has the Turkish citizen bartholomew ever Condemned the Turkish invasion of Cyprus? You forget Catherine the greats war against the ottomans in 1774 that pressured Them to grant greater rights to all Orthodox and the Crimean war where the Russians went to war to help The patriarchate of Jerusalem from the Latins. You also forget the lost opportunities Greece had to ditch The west and join Russia. Many Greeks such as myself love Constantinople but we reject the phanars papalist ambitions and heretical Claims. We ,mourn that Greece is an occupied country and that arrogant westerners have the audacity to mock God by Using his church as a political instrument.
A Greek of Constantinople.10/24/2019 7:45 pm
Here is some more rapid succession comments. You have a problem with what I have to say and call me a troll, but find it reasonable that your church tells it's flock to not visit certain holy sites in Greece and not receive the blood and body of Christ in Orthodox Churches of Constantinople. You agree with these horrible and outrageous blasphemies of your church but are offended when I called your laughable metropolitan of Volokolamsk a "travel agent". You rightfully receive my "inflammatory replies". I hope our Church fathers come to their senses and deliver you one big fat excommunication letter.. I will certainly strive to petition for that with letters.. and to think it was Constantinople who made your pagan barbarian ancestors into Orthodox Christians, gave you civilization and an alphabet makes me cringe.
Moderator10/24/2019 10:01 am
A Greek of Constantinople: Our apologies, sir, but your comments are too inflammatory, and their rapid succession leads us to believe that you are a troll. We will not be posting your comments.
Fr. James Rosselli10/23/2019 9:13 pm
I wonder why people seem so surprised. This was inevitable. The Greek Church is totally beholden to Istanbul, and is subject to overwhelming pressure from them. It looked for a while like they were going to be able to hold out, but the strength just isn't there. I think it's time for people to stop "blaming the United States" for situations that are within their power to rectify. Joe Biden isn't vice-president anymore. George Soros holds no office. Barack Obama is not President anymore. The problem here is Bartholomew, and his usurpation of the power to run rough-shod over the Orthodox Faith, and the fact that, for some reason, we're letting him. Communion with Istanbul should have been suspended--by all the jurisdictions--as soon as Bartholomew mounted his armed invasion of Ukraine, and a council convened to deal with the matter. It still should be. The alternative is to sit back "being reasonable" and let a renegade prelate wreck the Church. Ukraine is under continuing siege, Greece is lost. The question the remaining Orthodox hierarchs should be asking themselves is, "When is he coming for me?"
Prokopy10/23/2019 9:12 pm
A Greek: Your comment is proof enough of the absurdity of your position. I especially admire this: "Russians who are trying to turn this ecclesiastical jurisdiction issue into a religious issue..." So, according to you, it's not a religious issue? Really, your isolated Phanar provincialism and ridiculous chauvinism are oozing out all over.
A Greek of Constantinople.10/23/2019 9:08 pm
Prokopy: Yes. Western Europeans have done far more for Greece than the Russians ever did. In fact I have not seen Russia do anything. Because the Western Europeans might not share the same faith with us. However, they share the same principles, values and culture. Where as the Slavs do not share our culture, even though they share our faith. As for the rest. For years I have watched Moscow try to assert itself as "leader" in the Orthodox World. It comes as no surprise that Constantinople (given it's canonical rank and position in Orthodoxy) struck back by annexing Kiev. Betraying Christ by granting Ukraine autonomy is such a silly argument. Christ has nothing to do with earthly politics between bishops. Russians who are trying to turn this ecclesiastical jurisdiction issue into a religious issue, are outright uncanonical and blasphemous. After all, Russia created that chaos in the Ukraine in the first place. Again. This is not a theological issue, but a political issue between two bishops. Moscow and Constantinople. As we clearly see, Constantinople outranks Moscow, and Moscow cannot do much about it. Lest they fall into real schism.
Prokopy10/23/2019 10:53 am
A Greek: Have the Western Europeans been so much better to you? There are too many betrayals to name. And yet that is where Constantinople is placing its hope. The United States is only an extension of Western Europe. But regardless of all that, this is not a political matter, but a matter of the Church. The Patriarch of Constantinople is not supposed to be a politician but an upholder of the canons of the Orthodox Church. But he is violating them flagrantly, and thereby betraying Christ. What is more important to you--your Phanar enclave or Christ?
A Greek of Constantinople.10/23/2019 9:39 am
What Greek-Slavic friendship? You mean when Russians sold our enemies Turkey S-400 missiles so they can aim them at our islands in the Aegean? Your alliance with the Islamist Erdogan doesn't live up to your fairy tales. Just like the fairy tales in the failed revolution of 1770 of Russian aid, when you left the Greeks to be slaughtered by the Turks. Just like how you recognized FYROM as "Macedonia", and before that you are the ones who encouraged Tito to rename his Vardar province into "Macedonia". Just like you helped the Bulgarians during the Balkan Wars against us? Just like how you lent Western Armenia (and continue to do so) to Turkey with the treaty of Kars after you stood by and watched when they were genocided. So much for claiming to be "the protectors" of the Orthodox peoples.
Alexander10/22/2019 5:45 am
Dear Brother Peter Siersbeck, I hope you are aware of the fact that the Russian Orthodox Church was persecuted in the USSR. Godless Communists killed millions of Orthodox Christians in Soviet Russia, so your "facts" about the Soviet Union's role have no relation to the current split. God bless.
Theodoros 10/21/2019 9:35 pm
To Mr siersbeck, The Russians have nothing to do with the soviets helping the Turks in Asia Minor. These were communist policies. The same communists that were slaughtering Russian clerics and faithful were helping the Turks slaughter Greek and Armenian Christians. At the present time we must not be distracted from the reality that the phanar has instigated an attack on the canonical territory of moscow. It has harmed Ukrainian faithful through terror and threatens a Permanent schism in orthodoxy. TherRussians have always assisted Christians Including the Greeks ( I am Greek) . Orthodox must not be deceived by the antl Russian propaganda that western countries promote.
Joseph10/20/2019 1:11 pm
Peter: We are not talking here about a Greek-Russian split. There are sins on both sides against each other politically, but nothing justifies an anti-canonical act. The Russian Orthodox Church never made decisions for the Soviet government. If they had had even speck of influence over their own persecutors geopolitically, they would have tried to prevent the soviet government from selling the ROC's churches to the Israeli government for oranges (which incidentally arrived in the USSR spoiled). As Orthodox Christians, the Russians and Greeks have always been brothers, and still are.
Peter Siersbeck10/20/2019 3:11 am
Geopolitical factors are involved here. But, I only recently found out about the Soviet Union's role in helping the modern state of Turkey with weapons to fight the Greek Expeditionary Army in Asia Minor last century after WWII. I would like to know how Russian's today feel about Russian Soviets helping keep Asia Minor Muslim. Obviously, the Greeks listened to the British and the other European powers and stayed away from Istanbul, but instead tried to capture the Turkish capitol only to be repulsed by Soviet Russian made weapons. Maybe, the Greek Russian split will heal if people in Russian ask for healing from the Soviet Union helping to destroy Eastern Orthodoxy in Asia Minor!
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