Pat. of Alexandria: I decided to commemorate Epiphany after private discussions with bishops and time of prayer

Alexandria, November 8, 2019

Patriarch Theodoros with the Greek ambassador to Egypt at today's Liturgy. Photo: Patriarch Theodoros with the Greek ambassador to Egypt at today's Liturgy. Photo:

In a press release issued today and a letter circulated to the hierarchs of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, Patriarch Theodoros explains his decision to commemorate Epiphany Dumenko, the primate of the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine,” today.

The press release has been published by Romfea, and the letter to the hierarchs by the Orthodoxia News Agency.

The Patriarch notes that no Synodal decision was made on recognizing the OCU, but that he made the decision himself, reflecting the general consensus of the bishops of the Patriarchate.

The press release reads:

In recent months, we have seen the disposition/desire of the fraternal Holy Hierarchs to recognize the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church, granted by the Synodal tomos of the All-Holy Ecumenical Patriarch.

As all know, our Holy, Catholic Orthodox Church functions through a conciliar system of governance, as received by tradition from the holy Ecumenical Councils. In this regard, the presidents of the Local Church Synods are among their members.

In this regard, we, as a member of and executor of the disposition/desire of the fraternal Holy Hierarchs, commemorated in the diptychs of the Catholic Orthodox Church the primate of the autocephalous Church of Kiev and All Ukraine His Beatitude Metropolitan Epiphany, fervently praying for peace and the prosperity of our Orthodox Churches.

The letter to the bishops reads:

In light of what we have discussed in detail and in person with all of you, and after ripe reflection and much prayer, having sought the inspiration of the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, and being concerned for the unity of the Orthodox Church, we have been led to the decision to proceed to recognize the Autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, and of Her Primate, His Beatitude Epiphanios, as the time has come.

According to the Ukrainian Telegram channel Pravblog, with reference to its own sources, and according to other sources that have spoken with OrthoChristian, Patriarch Theodoros was pressured by the Greek Foreign Ministry to recognize the schismatics, threatening to cut off funding to the Patriarchate from the Greek state. This pressure of Greek diplomats was supported by a group of metropolitans of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, who threatened to overthrow the Patriarch

It is significant that the first commemoration of Epiphany Dumenko by Pat. Theodoros came in the presence of the Greek ambassador to Egypt, whom the Patriarch specifically mentioned in his short speech following the service.

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Alex Fedec11/12/2019 4:41 am
“Greek of Constantinople,” I’m sorry you feel that way. Though the fact is, in past church history more often than not, if there were ANY doubt about valid ordinations and apostolic succession amongst schismatic or splinter groups…steps would be taken to correct that. In other words, clergy would be properly ordained/re-ordained and bishops consecrated/re-consecrated. If Pat. Bartholomew were smart, he would have had his lackey exarchs that he sent over to Ukraine do all of that. But he did not! And, that’s why you have so much resistance about the whole thing. It’s not rocket science. Just face reality. <And, that’s all I’m going to say.>
A Greek of Constantinople.11/11/2019 10:51 pm
Alex, I replied to your post. However I doubt the moderators will allow my reply because of my appropriate tone towards you, and hidden connotations about you. So I will just leave it at.. I replied to you. =) P.s. Next time try to refrain from ad hominem and I will refrain from ridicule.
Alex11/11/2019 5:02 pm
Ah, “Greek of Constantinople,” you finally gave an answer that didn’t go around in circles and make us all dizzy (And, we thank you for finally honoring that simple request!) But you’re comparing apples and oranges. Your left field answer comparing Bulgarian history to what’s going on in Ukraine doesn’t hold any valid water. It’s one thing to accept back into the church repentant schismatics, or individuals that DO have valid ordinations and apostolic succession. But on the other hand, if the schismatics are unrepentant then it doesn’t work. And, if the individuals are self-ordained (in other words, individuals that just put on Orthodox vestments and pretend to be clergy), then that doesn’t work either. Tell you what, why don’t you buy some bishops vestments somewhere and have one of your friends lay hands on you and you can become a bishop, too! Please send us a picture, and let us know what ‘Diocese” you’re going to be heading. We won’t be praying for you as a bishop, but we’ll certainly pray for your soul. I’m not quite sure if you live in North America, Western Europe or Greece. But wherever you live, I hope that you have a solid system of friends, because, my man, you need an intervention. And, you have way too much time on your hands. Do something more constructive with yourself. Volunteer at your local homeless shelter, visit the elderly in nursing homes…anything. But please, just do something!
A Greek of Constantinople.11/11/2019 9:02 am
Alex. I have repeatedly addressed your concern (the big elephant in the room) but I will quote in the end on what authority and what magic wand the Ecumenical Patriarch used. But first I will like to share a story, for those with short memory. The case of the Bulgarian exarchy. For those of you who have forgotten. In 1850 the Bulgarians were complaining that Ecumenical Patriarch dominated the Church in Bulgaria and that it sent Greek priests to Bulgaria. With the rise of nationalism, the Bulgarians dreamed of not only liberating themselves from the Ottomans but of recreating "Greater Bulgaria", which included territories such as Eastern Rumelia, Macedonia and Thrace. In the 1860ies hostilities broke out between the Bulgarian and Greek communities in Bulgaria over the issue. In 1870 the Bulgarians petitioned the Ottoman Sultan Abdulaziz, who granted them autocephaly. Even thought it was limited it was not recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarch. Constantinople declared them schismatics and in 1872, the Ecumenical Patriarch Anthimus VI excommunicated them. Constantinople also held a synod in which it coined the term "ethnophyletism" and condemned it as a heresy. Because the Bulgarians surrendered Orthodoxy to ethnic nationalism (does this sound familiar Alex?). The Russian Church kept neutrality on the issue, but the Russian Tzar intervened on the Bulgarian side and tried to negotiate a compromise with Constantinople. The Bulgarians took things a step further, attacking and killing Greek priests, desecrating Greek Orthodox Churches and mixed their nationalism with religion to fuel the armed struggle against the Greeks in Macedonia. Many Greek clergy were assassinated, Churches burned and looted, aside from the villages and towns by armed gangs of Bulgarian nationalists who sought out anyone belonging to the Ecumenical Patriarchate to terrorize. To make a long story short. The Bulgarian exarchy tried to seize Greek Churches by force during WWI and WWII when Bulgaria was occupying Macedonia and Thrace, persecuting the Greek Orthodox during the Nazi occupation. In 1945 the Ecumenical Patriarch had enough and granted them autocephaly, after the Soviets entered Bulgaria and their Nazi sympathizing regime collapsed. So don't try to tell me about Ukrainian nationalist Neo-Nazi thugs, when you are ignorant of the history of the Bulgarian church. Because this is the exact same case, only in reverse. The Ecumenical Patriarch playing the role of the Russian Tzar, who recognized the schismatics and aided their government. Many claim the Ukrainian schism is unprecedented. But they are simply ignorant of history, because the Bulgarian schism was far worse. Now coming back to the "big elephant" in the room. You are well aware that no Church can come into recognition without the consent of Constantinople. You want an example? Look a couple of lines above. That is non-debatable. You ask on what authority, and I have answered you many times. Canon 9 of the fourth Ecumenical council.. And I quote: "If any Clergyman has a dispute with another, let him not leave his own Bishop and resort to secular courts, but let him first submit his case to his own Bishop, or let it be tried by referees chosen by both parties and approved by the Bishop. Let anyone who acts contrary hereto be liable to Canonical penalties. If, on the other hand, a Clergyman has a dispute with his own Bishop, or with some other Bishop, let it be tried by the Synod of the province. But if any Bishop or Clergyman has a dispute with the Metropolitan of the same province, let him apply either to the Exarch of the diocese or to the throne of the imperial capital Constantinople, and let it be tried before him." Now you understand how self ordained schismatics can become legitimate bishops? If you have complaints about Ukraine, you need not look further than Bulgaria to see how a schismatic and thug "church" can become legitimate.. Only through the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
Alex11/11/2019 7:00 am
Brother “Greek of Constantinople” your explanations just go around in strange circles. Are you perhaps a politician, sir? Your explanation(s) make no sense whatsoever in regards to my original question posed to you: How did Pat. Bartholomew create a ‘church’ made up of deposed clergymen, schismatics and un-ordained laymen? How was that ever corrected? Does he possess some kind of magic wand that corrects timelines and erases past history? And, again…he made a ‘church’ out of a bunch of Neo-Nazis thugs who love beating up priests and old ladies, and desecrating holy temples. Seriously, if you can’t answer that question, don’t even bother typing a reply. Because if you do, and don’t have an answer, then why are you wasting everyone’s time?!
A Greek of Constantinople.11/10/2019 11:20 pm
Truth be told, I don't have grievances against Russia(ns). Had the whole Ukrainian issue not been turned into a geopolitical/religious issue, I probably would not have spoken a word. Unfortunately Bartholomew involved us into this conflict which we had no business of entering in the first place. Many in Greece also love the Russian nation and people, which makes my defense of Constantinople very hard in the case of Ukraine. I hope reason prevails. As the prophets foretold. It was the prescribed period by God that the Russian people would endure 74 years of Communism, to atone for their sins. Just like the Jews who were exiled to Babylon. We Greeks are still undergoing the prescribed period since the fall of Constantinople, to atone for our sins. Our prescribed period will be ending soon. This relaxing has been evident for the past 198 years since the war of independence. We may be nearing the last decades of it. Wars, strife, suffering and conflict must be endured as the years come near the day of liberation for Constantinople.. and hard hearted men must do their part to make the prophecies come true. I am not too concerned with the current situation, because it has been foretold that in the days leading up to resurrection of the Roman State, before the wars, the clergy will become more corrupt that the laity. So in reality those of you who know the words of the prophets and the prophecies should be rejoicing, because the times are near. In the end Orthodoxy will come out triumphant and victorious. Stronger that it has ever been. And I quote Emperor Leo the Wise who is one of the many who foretold of the fall and rise, on that day of liberation. "With regards to the legendary, poor and chosen king, who is well known and yet unknown, who lives at the edge of the geographical area of the Byzantium. The true king, whom people have chased from his abode… will be revealed at the time when the end of the Ishmaelites approaches… It will be on a Friday, in the third hour of the morning when he will be revealed… He, who is to be revealed, will be identified by means of celestial signs. While he is sleeping, he will hear a voice and see and Angel who will appear like a royal servant dressed in white; the Angel will take him by the hand and will tell him: you, who are sleeping, get up… Jesus Christ will be with you. It is your calling to lead a chosen people; and the Angel will add: you, who have been concealed, do not hide yourself any longer, many are asking for you… and furthermore, the Angel will give him plaques of stone upon which are etched two commands: Punish the evil doers and rule justly over your defeated enemies." "You, who have been the courtyard of Byzas and the home of Constantine, Rome, Babylon and another, new, Zion, In six centuries minus about twenty years you will become powerful again.1 You will amass the gold of the nations as if it were the dust of the earth. And you will be the leader of all the surrounding powers. But a blond nation, with fire-red hair Will turn to ashes and completely destroy your power. You will appear again as if you had never began. Till the moment that the finger of God will be visible at dawn And will strike two fingers with the hand The fingers having edges like the hot currents emanating from a furnace And will take revenge over the seed of the fathers. And from all around your children will arrive In a centripetal fashion, from the periphery to the center Disembarking from the ships to administer justice You will become renewed and renovated again And your power will be greater than in the past. Because you will become the house of the Glory of God And those who will be near, will fall on their knees and ask forgiveness."
Alex11/10/2019 10:25 pm
Hello again, "Greek of Constantinople," you never did answer my question. How do you explain a 'church' being made out of deposed clergymen, schismatics and un-ordained laymen? How was that ever corrected? Does Pat. Bartholomew possess some kind of magic wand that corrects timelines and erases past history? Again, he made a ‘church’ out of a bunch of Neo-Nazis thugs. You keep citing how the EPC has the right to go in anywhere throughout the Orthodox world and start creating new church structures. Okay, put that notion aside for just one minute…and think the question over. How did he rectify all of these schismatics and self-ordained laymen into become legitimate bishops and priests? Is his magic wand invisible or something? You keep ignoring the BIG elephant in the room question.
nun Cornelia11/10/2019 9:45 pm
Greek of Constantinople: What a touching comment! But know that most Russian believers, not just monastics, will always have a love for the Greek nation and reverence for Constantinople, Tsargrad, as they used to call it. It's in their blood, so to speak. The current thing is a problem, but with God's help it too will be solved.
A Greek of Constantinople.11/10/2019 8:33 pm
Nun Cornelia, please do not mind me. I am of the world and not of the Church. Yes, I am a Christian and an Orthodox like you.. But I am of the world. I am not a soldier of Christ, like your fellow monks with whom you shared my comments with. I am attached to the world and it's politics and ethnic divisions. Maybe I have not realized that this blog could be "run" by monks, nuns and priests. I could very well be wrong. So I talk and think as the world talks and thinks. I know all monks are kind, humble and meek, because the world is irrelevant in their eyes. The world is dead to them. They look onto the Kingdom of Heaven and in there there is no Greek nor Jew, no Greek nor Barbarian. Yes, I know very well all this is irrelevant in the eyes of God. I cannot help it, but I am of the world. I mostly speak like this because all my life, I have been dealing among ethnic lines. I live in the Balkans, and our region has it's share of blood-spill, perhaps on par with the Middle East. I am a product of the region I grew up in. Ethnic division and suspicion is built in the back of our mind. Not exactly Christ like. Well not Christ like at all, perhaps even anti-Christ if you come to think of it. Sure, I believe in Christ and his words.. but my actions and statements are quite the opposite. Because I am attached to earthly ideals, and dream of earthly kingdoms instead of heavenly. My allegiance to ancestry often supplants my allegiance to the word of God. I said before in an other article. I am not without flaw. In fact, I know I am sinning with my outlook of the world through such narrow interpretations. It is something every man or woman who loves their nation would understand very well. It is also something that seems so banal and pointless to a monk and a nun. Because the world is irrelevant to them. I hope you and the elders are well and I hope you forgive me for having such a hard heart. I know my heart is hard. I do not fear that, I fear that I like it that my heart contains such hardness. I do not mean Russians by this statement, but I will give you an example. It is very hard to forgive your enemies. Truly it is the hardest thing in the world, as I cannot possibly ever entertain the thought of calling a Turk a brother, more so to forgive him and pray for his well being. Yes, I am a product of the world.. and I admit it. So please do not mind me.
A Greek of Constantinople.11/10/2019 7:39 pm
"Mark". It is well known that there seems to be issues of historical revisionism and preposterous statements in the Slavic world that contradict history. The Ukrainian Schismatics are not the only example of this. The pseudo-Macedonians of FYROM (actually Bulgarians with a minority of Serbs) are an excellent example. You know those who claim Alexander the Great was a Slav. Then again you have a Russian Metropolitan, Metropolitan Vladimir (Ikim), who claimed days ago that St. Demetrius was a Slav in a sermon. Laughable and unhistorical at the very least. But such is the world, everyone these days has an opinion and even someone as high ranking and prestigious as a Metropolitan can make a fool out of himself in front of his flock by falling a victim of ethnic pseudo-history. The irony is, his flock most likely believed him and did the sign of the cross at the end. Such things are known to us, but like I said elsewhere it is your responsibility as a society to make sure you keep such errors in check because they can evolve into bigger problems, for example the situation in Ukraine. The Slavic world has a major issue with historical revisionism and your problem is showing. You misunderstood the reason I am here commenting. Maybe I have not been clear enough. I wouldn't be caught dead in a coffin in one of those Ukrainian "churches", more so taking communion with them or the so called "Macedonian church". I wouldn't even step foot in a Bulgarian Church, because even though it is recognized it came into creation out of the will of an Ottoman Sultan and after some bloodshed. I am not here commenting because I am a blind sheep who follows my Bishop and I advise highly against that. If you want to be a part of the flock at least be a little skeptical. I am here defending Constantinople out of my free will because during the past year I have heard preposterous statements of the magnitude.. "Constantinople is irrelevant and should be replaced".. from quite a few Russian Church officials and particularly the Metropolitan of Volokolamsk. I have mentioned him specifically several times in my comments. Comments of that magnitude is the equivalent of a diplomatic episode in earthly politics. I wouldn't have bothered to come and comment on a Russian Orthodox site, had there been some consideration for the flock of an other sister Church. Imagine if a Greek Metropolitan who has a grievance with Irinej would claim that the Serbian Patriarchy is irrelevant, fallen into heresy and you shouldn't take communion from those "fallen" Serbs. Wouldn't the Serbs have something to say about it? Now I am defending Constantinople as a Patriarchate, not the actions of Bartholomew. Bartholomew is no Pope, he is a human and just like Hilarion Alfeyev, he errs and is a sinner. Hell historically is filled with clerics who failed to be faithful servants.. and believe me the clergy will be judged with more strict criteria on the day of judgement. I wrote elsewhere that Bartholomew may as well be a clever opportunist. I have my grievances against Bartholomew, just because you belong to Constantinople does not mean I agree with him. But I will not play the ecclesiastical partisan or rebel and act against, destroy, not attend, wreck and by my actions cause strife and unrest in my own Church on account, instigation and the suggestion of some foreign bishop or metropolitan. I would be sinning and causing others to sin as well. Our Church and its sacraments are just as valid today as the were before this pseudo-schism and as they were 1,000 years ago. We altered nothing from our creed. If you wish to be in schism with us because Bartholomew and Kirill who cannot sit down like responsible spiritual fathers (and by extension responsible adults) and solve their differences in a spirit of brotherhood.. So be it. I came here to defend Constantinople as a Church, after waking up to many of Orthodox brothers and sisters started calling us heretics and schismatics.. Shame.
Mark11/10/2019 2:07 pm
Behold our double-headed eagle; the double-headed eagle handed down to us by the Greek(s) of Constantinople:
Archimandrite Gregory11/10/2019 1:24 pm
There is but one Judge of ecumene and His name is Jesus Christ the Lord of the Cosmos.
nun Cornelia11/10/2019 12:35 pm
Greek of Constantinople: I admire your stamina and devotion to your ancient homeland. I asked some Russian monks what they though about being called barbarians. They, answered, we are worse than barbarians. They said that Russians will always be very grateful deep down to Greeks for bringing them the Orthodox faith. I asked, but what about Metr. Isidore, who was sent by the Greeks to make Russia Uniate? They answered, oh, well, that was a long time ago. We've also had our own heresies. In other words, after telling them what a Greek from Constantinople thinks of them, they just waived their hands and said, this too will pass. We will always love the Greeks for giving us Orthodoxy. It just goes to show that you can't shake true Christians with insults!
A Greek of Constantinople.11/10/2019 6:48 am
I will just say this because I wrote enough for one night. Many of you will make fun of me because my replies have many errors, sound preposterous to you, and at some points don't make sense. I don't care. In my defense I type at 4 AM and 5 AM so obviously there will be mistakes and when I edit I leave parts all over the place. But I will tell you this. I was born a Roman and I will die a Roman. Something most of you "foreigners", will never understand. I use the word "foreigners" because I don't want to use the other but more proper word my ancestors used that starts with a B.. Because some people will complain that I am insensitive, a troll and offensive.. It is what is is. That is the legacy of my ancestors. Take it or leave it. I for once have resolved to stick to my traditions, my faith, my double headed eagle.. which I fly and I will cling onto my double headed eagle even to the grave. My allegiance lays with Emperor. If you thought Tsarist Russians are crazy, think again.
A Greek of Constantinople.11/10/2019 6:26 am
"Matfey Shaheen" like I said to someone else, you claim Constantinople is the city of great Saints but also heretics and I can reason that Moscow is the city of great Saints and KGB agents. Which is explains much. Do you believe that we will simply undo thousands of years of tradition because an Empire fell? Because you believe it is time we should "reshuffle" the deck of cards and place Moscow at the head of Orthodoxy, because times have changed? Christianity has always been connected with the Roman Empire. It is why the Emperors were the heads of the Church and moderated the affairs of the Church. An adopted custom from it's polytheistic imperial past. Where the Emperor was the Pontifex Maximus. When the capital moved from Rome to new Rome, Constantinople became the center of Christendom for over a millennium, not only the center of some Empire. The Queen of Cities and Mother of Churches, from which most of you learned Orthodoxy, the "true worship" of Christ. A Christ that was Crucified under the supervision of the Romans and had his tomb guarded by Romans when he was resurrected. Indeed he chose the Roman Empire for his ministry, be crucified, resurrected, convert it and use it to spread his gospel to the ends of the earth. That is why Constantinople is sacred for us. Because it is the heart of not only Christianity, it is the heart of not only Orthodoxy, it is the heart of an Empire that was blessed by God and will be the heart of the Empire God has ordained to come. Not Moscow, not Belgrade, not Antioch, not Alexandria, not even Rome. I By your logic the we Romans (and by that I mean Greeks) would have gone extinct after 9 AM Tuesday May 29 1453. We are it's living successors, because we are it's children. We never squared with the fact our 1123 year old (actually if you count correctly since the founding of Rome it's 2206 years). Instead we took the path of resistance, revolt, insubordination that lead to our revolution and the tearing of the Ottoman Empire, which we collapsed in the aftermath of WWI and the Greek expedition in Asia Minor of 1919-1922. We worked ever since the fall of the Empire for it's revival, and the day will come when our troops will liberate Constantinople and the black double headed eagle on a golden or red background will fly once again over the walls of Constantinople and a golden cross will top the dome of the Hagia Sophia. That is the ultimate desire of every Greek who has lived since 1453, that is what our Saints have prophesied before and after it's fall. That out of the ashes of "Istanbul" will rise a new Constantinople, whose power and influence will be greater than before. An Empire resurrected, lead by a risen Emperor named John, who will was born of the purple, who ruled, does not live now, but will come to rule again. An Emperor chosen by God and serving only Christ. Who will restore order to a destroyed and fallen world, depose all corruption both in the Church and in the State and will spread Orthodoxy to the ends of the World. This will go on Emperor to Emperor until the time it has been prescribed by God that the Empire will fall again, to prepare the coming of the antichrist and the day of judgement. You may be ignorant of Orthodox prophecy, but any Roman and by extension Orthodox who is worth his salt knows what the role of Constantinople is and why it has always been essential to Christendom. Why do you think every Church has a throne (kathedra)? The bishop sits in it temporarily, because that throne is the seat of the Emperor and the bishop is nothing more than a seat holder. Those of you who know what I speak of will understand. Those of you who know not of what I speak of, to you it will sound alien and entertaining. But God has other plans, he will not abandon his people just like he did not abandon the Isrealites. His plan will be fulfilled as spoken by the lips of the prophets. Hows is that for your answer of why Constantinople and not Jerusalem.
Stan Minor11/9/2019 11:35 pm
By “time in prayer,” he must mean contemplating the best way to sell out the Body of Christ for 30 pieces of silver. What a joke. He is a traitor of the highest order.
Silouan11/9/2019 11:19 pm
LORD HAVE MERCY! He looks tired and defeated. What tortures did they drag him through to force a change of position overnight? Did they drug him? Look at that vacant look in his eyes. Our Orthodox brothers are being forcefully dragged into Neo-papist apostasy and they need our prayers! Lord Have Mercy!
Matfey Shaheen11/9/2019 8:39 pm
Greek of Constantinople: Just out of curiousity, where was Constantinople in the first century?

Because as far as I understand, the Orthodox Church (from an apostolic point of view) began a few centuries before the birth of St. Constantine let alone the founding of Constantinople. If not, then to which Church did be convert?

Constantinople, or rather Byzantium was subordinated to the Metropolitan of Heraclea for a great deal of time.

That fact alone is worth considering: How far has Constantinople had to fall for them to make claims that they are "the beginning of Orthodoxy".

They are not the Mother Church of the entire world, if anything logic would make that Jerusalem, where the Lord rose from the dead, or Antioch where the disciples where first called Christians. This was all before Constantinople even existed.

Pat. Bartholomew seems far too confident in his "primacy" considering his office was not even the original holder of that primacy, which was in fact the Bishop of Rome.

Constantinople only gained this "primacy" because the previous primus was deluded with prelest and began to think he was not simply first among equals, but first without equals.

So in other words, Constantinople got to its position because the church before it fell into heresy for among many reasoms, behaving just like Pat. Bartholomew is doing now.

Constantinople probably would have never even gotten so high were it not for the fact that it was the city of the Emperor and the Senate.

And it was only the (Roman) Emperor of Constantinople, and not for example the Russian or any other Orthodox monarchs, who called the ecumenical councils.

But where now are the Emperors of old?

To the great tragedy of all the Orthodox, many of their tombs are buried beneath the rubles of Mosques, and Constantinople is called Istanbul, which is a perversion of the Greek phrase Is tyn Polys "To the City" - a relic of the Roman Empire which has long fallen.

History changes, only the Orthodox Faith itself founded by the Word of God will forever remain, but individual aspects of our hierarchy have constantly changed throughout history.

Just because a city was once great and filled with many saints, and the capital of some great Empire, does not make it always so.

Kiev for example is far older than Moscow, and was the original capital of the Rus' Church, but that has since changed, and if the Bishop's Council of the Russian Church (in which Ukrainian Bishops participate) so voted, it can change again.

The Patriarch of Antioch now lives in Damascus, and of course the example of Jerusalem is the most powerful. The Lord's city is counted as forth in four Patriarchates!

These administrative things pale in comparison to the confession of faith. And when any Bishop starts committing heresy, no primacy defends him.

Serving with Neo-Nazis who physically torment the Ukrainian people and call them biomass without rights (see Nikolai Medinsky, Kolomyia) is proof enough of heresy.

And I'm honestly sick of hearing people who have never been to Ukraine tell me what's best for the Ukrainian people, considering Ukrainians are in fact a lot more loyal to Orthodoxy than many other ancient peoples. Metropolitan Onufry is venerated for his holy life, and the clown Epiphany is a man who steals his schismatic father Philaret's panagias and parades about proud to follow in the footsteps of a Nazi war criminal.

Paradoxically, Pat. Bartholomew thinks the latter, who was ordained in schism is a representative of Ukrainian Orthodoxy, and that's alarming.

And as for Constantinople, it is indeed a city of great saints, but also great heretics like Nestor. No primacy saved him from Judgement.

Pat. Bartholomew currently supports people who torture the Orthodox people of Ukraine, and his predecessors supported the Bolsheviks backed church while Russian and Ukrainian priests were martyred.

The blood of the Saints is the seed of the Church, but woe to the man who has their blood on his hands.
Alex11/9/2019 7:43 pm
"Greek of Constantinople," even if we buy your Constantinople is the center of the Orthodox universe, which it is not, how do you explain a 'church' being made out of deposed clergymen, schismatics and un-ordained laymen? How was that ever corrected? Does Pat. Bartholomew possess some kind of magic wand that corrects timelines and erases past history? Again, he made a ‘church’ out of a bunch of neo-Nazi thugs. You need to do more research below the surface. Churches have been and are still being seized violently from the established canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church under the saintly Met. Onuphry. Please put aside your Greek pride and review the facts. (That’s all I’m going to say on the matter…as I need to leave and help out at my neighborhood soup kitchen.)
nun Cornelia11/9/2019 7:31 pm
Greek of Constantinople: What you are describing is precisely a heresy--the heresy of neo-papism, that there is somehow a "first without equal". This is a heresy. No one is buying it, you might as well save your strength.
A Greek of Constantinople.11/9/2019 6:56 pm
So, I will briefly answer with one post. Note I said briefly. The comments here reveal the folly of some. For instance "Mark" believes the Pentarchy is a Tetrarchy and that it ended in 2018 when his bishop ceased commemorating Bartholomew.. So much for pretending to be the "keepers of tradition" contrary to those "Orthodox Papist ecumenists". The Pentarchy is the Pentarchy. Just because Rome has fallen into schism and mainly heresy (this is the main issue), does not mean that the Pentarchy became a Tetrarchy, neither does it end in 2018 because some disgruntled Moscovites said so. You have fallen into schism by following such thoughts and making statements such as "Constantinople is irrelevant".. Like "Nun Irinea" who thinks there is some other order. In short you are un-Orthodox and therefore a schismatic by your own professing. If the Bishop of Rome was to repent and return from heresy.. tomorrow. Rome would be the first throne of Orthodoxy and not Constantinople. Constantinople has been since the Fourth Ecumenical council the highest ecclesiastical court. Read your canons. It has the right to establish a court of final appeal for any case from anywhere. The exclusive right to summon the other Patriarchs and heads of Autocephalous Churches. Constantinople has jurisdiction, ecclesiastical authority over Orthodox Christians outside local Churches. No autocephally, even Moscow's, came into being without the consent of Constantinople. In the case of Ukraine, it is territory of Constantinople that was not ceded to Moscow. In 1686 the Ecumenical Patriarch allowed the Patriarch of Moscow to choose the Metropolitan or Kiev, for ease of political purposes and bureaucracy. It was never ceded to Moscow, like "Alex" believes. Therefore Constantinople can do as it wishes in it's own territory (Ukraine).
Mark11/9/2019 5:39 pm
@ the Greek of Constantinople: You said, "The entire original Pentarchy stands with Constantinople," and then proceed to refer to Constantinople as the "Mother Church." The Pentarchy was a Tetrarchy from 1054 to 2018. If you've now gone into union with Rome, there is no need to cling to the idea of Constantinople as being the Mother Church.
Alex11/9/2019 5:36 pm
Yes, "Greek of Constantinople," you have been brainwashed. Not only is this situation in Ukraine about trampling the rights and canonical territory of sister Orthodox Churches, but making a 'church' out of deposed clergymen, schismatic and un-ordained laymen. How was that ever corrected? So, basically it would be just like you or me buying vestments somewhere, donning them…and proclaiming that were now priests and bishops. There is no apostolic succession or grace within the ranks of Pat. Bartholomew’s Ukrainian thugs. Wake up and smell the coffee,“Greek of Constantinople”!
Nun Irinea11/9/2019 4:48 pm
To the Greek of Constantinople: Brother, you have been brainwashed and in ignorance of the real canonical order. It is recommended that you read the excellent and thoroughly documented paper of the theologian and hieromonk Lucas Grigoriatis:
Archimandrite Gregory11/9/2019 4:45 pm
As we face these incredibly soul wrenching times I wish to offer the comfort of the Holy Theotokos and ever Virgin Mary. She is our Protection if we we call upon her maternal care. Let us hymn the Virgin Mary, / The glory of the whole world, / Who sprang forth from men and gavest birth unto the Master, / The portal of heaven, / And the subject of the hymnody of the incorporeal hosts, / And the adornment of the faithful; / For she hath been shown be heaven and the temple of the Godhead. / Having destroying the middle-wall of enmity, / She hath brought forth peace and opened wide the kingdom. / Therefore, having her as the confirmation of our faith, / We have as champion the Lord born of her./ Be of good courage! / Be of good courage, O people of God! / For He vanquisheth the foe, in that He is almighty! / For He vanquisheth the foe, in that He is almighty!
Nun Irinea11/9/2019 4:28 pm
To Nick: Joseph Lipper is just referring (ironically, I sense) to one of the official titles of the Patriarch of Alexandria.
Gary Cox11/9/2019 1:36 pm
2 Thessalonians chapter 2 talks about Christ not returning till there first be a falling away. And for those who don't receive the love of the truth that God will send them strong delusion that they all be damned that believe not the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. And what of selling Christ out for 30 pieces of silver? This issue is framed as being about the Ukrainian situation, but is is that, and more. It is a blatant in our face attack on the Church. It is about Constantinople taking over the Church and having a one man rulership. The patriarchs are not stupid people. If we the average people can see what's happening, we know they do. This may be God cleansing the Church of impurities. Pray for our remaining Patriarchs to remain true!!! Gary
A Greek of Constantinople.11/9/2019 7:00 am
The Patriarchy of Moscow and the Serbs dared claim that we should ignore Constantinople, Church law, canons, 2000 year old tradition.. because it lost control over Ukraine. There are not my statements but those of the Metropolitan of Volokolamsk, and Ireneus of Belgrade. Today they receive their answer. The entire original Pentarchy stands with Constantinople. Because Constantinople did not violate it's own law. This is a wake up call that if you persist in attacking and undermining the Mother Church which is Constantinople you will end up the schismatics and not the Ukrainians. Many of you are simply ignorant of Church law and Church history. Keep dreaming of the "Pan-Orthodox" council that will never happen. Because everyone knows. When Constantinople gives autocephally it is permanent, non-reversible, and Church law. Many of you have fallen into schism by your very own ignorance. This is the truth and the truth shines.. as clearly seen.
Alex11/9/2019 3:17 am
He has his 30 pieces of silver now. May God forgive him!
Greg11/8/2019 11:45 pm
Extremely dark and disheartening news. It simply boggles the mind that we have no real leaders committed to faithfulness to the Church and its unity.
Mikhail11/8/2019 10:48 pm
This so-called Patriarch has changed his position 180 degrees. It should have been obvious because he had gone silent for many months. It is hard to believe that he has decided to stab a holy man (Metropolitan Onufriy) square in the middle of the back. He is another Judas Iscariot! Now the Patriarch of Alexandria and his bishops have joined the ranks of the schismatics. Anaxios!
Dan11/8/2019 10:33 pm
My prayer is that this is God weeding the garden of the Panagia. Christ pruning his vineyard. I suppose Antioch will be next. Well, if all the New Calendarists leave, it would make sense since they tend to be at the forefront of innovation. If we are left with a Church of Conservative Old Calendarists, perhaps we will be able to reach out to the “Genuine” Orthodox Churches and they will in turn help us to have the intestinal fortitude to implement universally ROCOR’s 1983 anathema against ecumenism. Let one schism heal to fight another.
ACatharina11/8/2019 9:27 pm
No doubt this act will distress many, these shifts among hierarchs seem so sudden. The Church is so fragile...if the devil wanted he could have all the patriarchs, monks and priests kiss his feet, because they themselves have no spiritual strenght. Truly, the Church and her people are alive and enduring only by the mercy of God, His mercy keeps us all from drowning.
Maria11/8/2019 9:07 pm
Know one thing for sure, expect no loyalty to the Orthodox Church canons from ecumenists.
Joshua M. Wherley11/8/2019 8:33 pm
I am quite disheartened by this news. I was trusting the Patriarch of Alexandria to remain faithful to Metropolitan Onufriy as he has for many years. Why he has decided to recant on this, I do not know. All I can do is pray for the Church in these times of trial. Lord, have mercy! +
Andrew in BG11/8/2019 8:26 pm
With all respect to this leading Bishop of the Orthodox Church: if you recognize the schismatic party given "autocephaly" single-handedly by E.P. Bartholomew, then you implicitly deny the canonicity and Orthodoxy of Moscow's side. And I am just aching to know, and be given a clear answer: why would you take that position? In terms of pure confession of faith, and not money or politics, why is the Holy Spirit not with the Ukrainian Church under Met. Onuphry? His holiness is well known, and his people, who are certainly a faithful Orthodox Christian flock, are suffering and taking all kinds of trial and duress from the nationalists, those whose heart is not with Christ but with EU and a worldly spirit. The world is changing, and the time for ethnic pride is running out, and in the meantime its infection of Christianity (phyletism) is a heresy which, I hope, is condemned in council. Talk is cheap, and now that the conciliarity between Moscow and Constantinople is a wreck, our leaders are caving in? They don't have a martyric, confessing spirit anymore? That is sad. I believe that any bishop who recognizes and commemorates the Ukrainian Schismatics, no matter how much pressure is leveled against them or the threats or the discomfort, is committing a sin. I have yet to see ANYTHING to convince me that what Bartholomew has done in Ukraine, is actually according to the pure ekkrevia of Orthodox other-worldly faith. It's politics and money!
Nick11/8/2019 8:18 pm
Joseph Lipper: Just curious, are you a catholic? Where the pope says something ex cathedra and even if it's totally wrong it goes?
Haeul11/8/2019 7:40 pm
Greek ethnophyletism rears its ugly head, yet again. You need pray no more, Your Holiness, for you have just just jointed the ranks of schismatics and heretics. Anaxios!
Stefan11/8/2019 7:07 pm
I wonder what US state department toadie got to him to change his position all of a sudden?
John11/8/2019 7:04 pm
Is it really just about some paltry funds from the Greeks? Would Patriarch of Alexandria really just abandon all Orthodox principles and morality overnight just to secure some funding from the Greek Foreign Ministry? If so, he's worse than any betrayer of Christ I have ever heard of. Sometimes a Christian will be brought to denial of Christ and the Church under extreme physical torture, but nowadays it seems like a threat of "cutting off funding" is simple enough. I thought that Patriarch Theodoros was a personal friend of Metropolitan Onuphry. This doesn't make any sense to me.
Joseph Lipper11/8/2019 5:59 pm
The "Judge of the Ecumene" has ruled.
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