The Unfolding of Orthodox Christianity

Photo: Photo:     

If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next.
C.S. Lewis

I fear the further secularization of our Orthodox Christian faith, once premised on Holy Tradition, today following the wiles of power, authority, and non-apostolic Protestantism.

I authored the following words on November 28, 2018.

Given the decision of the Ecumenical Patriarch to revoke “the legal binding of the Synodal Letter of the year 1686” a precedent for ecclesial chaos and disunity has been established. Moreover, the Ecumenical Patriarch’s overt alliance with U.S. Government policies have served to make the Ecumenical Patriarch a pawn in the new Cold War between America and Russia. Whereas the strength of the Ecumenical Patriarch was once portrayed in his poverty and humility, today such strengths are called into question.

“With reference to the environmental initiatives and actions, what is perhaps most characteristic of the Patriarch’s initiatives is the mark of humility. The Ecumenical Patriarch is able to see the larger picture. He recognizes that he is standing before something greater than himself, a world before which he must kneel, a chain that long predates and will long outlast him. Therefore, he speaks of self-emptying (kenosis) (Phil. 2.4-11), ministry (diakonia) (Luke 10.40; Acts 1.17, 25; 6.4), witness (martyria, a term which also has the sense of martyrdom and suffering) (John 1.7, 19), and thanksgiving (or eucharistia, a term which also implies liturgy) (Acts 24.3; 2 Cor. 4.15).

“The emphasis is always on humble simplicity—the technical term in Orthodox spirituality is asceticism (askeo—to work up raw material with skill, to exercise by training or discipline; Acts 24.16) and on liturgy (ministration, ministry, service) as the essential source of Orthodox theology. The notion of liturgy leads us into what is perhaps the most distinctive feature of the Patriarch’s vision, namely the concept of communion (koinonia—which also means communication and fellowship; 1 Cor. 10.16; Phil. 6).1 [Emphasis added.]

Indeed, the text “On Earth as in Heaven”2 takes on a different and contradictory meaning when “President Poroshenko and Patriarch Bartholomew signed an agreement on cooperation between Ukraine and the Ecumenical Patriarchate”3 there were “50,000 allied troops, from all 29 [NATO] member states . . . taking part in [Operation] Trident Juncture. They arrived with 65 ships, 250 warplanes and more than 10,000 vehicles” operating in proximity to Ukraine. Included in the “Trident Juncture exercise in Norway and among the roughly 15,000 American troops — most of them Marines — who are participating, is a consuming narrative about the alliance’s next possible war.”4 [Emphasis added.]

The Ecumenical Patriarch's unprecedented action has made nations and their militaries pawns. The Ecumenical Patriarch may be seen as a pawn himself. I have been to war. War is about people. In this day and age talk of war ought not be premised on Christian leadership decisions against other Christian leaders—especially in Orthodox Christianity, which has for centuries suffered at the hands of non-Christians.

That the preceding is a very real concern, one only need read the Washington Post: Black Sea standoff intensifies tensions between Russia, Ukraine.5 There are many levels of warfare and people are and will be injured and dying—in no small part, now, because of the Ecumenical Patriarch’s actions.

In James McElroy’s essay “How Marxism created the West: Its rotting carcass sprouted every political movement,” he writes of Italian philosopher Augusto Del Noce (1910–1989). “Del Noce’s take on Marxism was strange. It was, he believed, a stillborn ideology, dead upon arrival, yet its rotting carcass sprouted every twentieth century political movement.” And I believe its “rotting carcass” has infected the realm of Holy Orthodoxy, negating Holy Tradition.

Marxism [bifurcated] along two different paths. The first path embraced the revolutionary philosopher, while the other one embraced history. The first path led to Lenin, the revolution, and the Soviet Union. The second path led to us. Del Noce wrote, “Marxism has ended up being a stage in the development of the technological and affluent society, which accepts all [of Marxism’s] negations of traditional thought but at the same time eliminates its messianic and (in its own way) religious aspect.” Marx’s vision was achieved by his ostensible enemy.


Decomposed Marxism limits our ability to see a new horizon, and the future seems impossibly hopeless because so few are willing to reassess past mistakes.

Indeed, it is pride that brings the world to the brink of hopelessness and an unwillingness to “reassess past mistakes.”

How actual is the planning for war? All one needs to do is read the Rand Corporation's 2021 report entitled Civilian-Based Resistance in the Baltic States: Historical Precedents and Current Capabilities.

We conclude that, during a scenario in which allied forces assisted the Baltic states in regaining territorial sovereignty, civilian-based resistance could prepare the ground both through direct support to military forces and through contributions to the information and security environment. The findings suggest that civilians in particular can represent a powerful asset in the competition for information and messaging, as well as in spearheading national political continuity and powering civic mobilization. Civilians also would likely be at the helm of economic emergency plans that, if successful, could buffer the impact of occupation on civilian communities and increase the costs of occupation on the aggressor by denying food, energy, and other necessary resources to adversary forces. Throughout the struggle, clear delineation of military and civilian roles would be critical in protecting vulnerable populations, while mechanisms to provide opportunities for civilians to contribute throughout a spectrum of risk would enable civilian participation based on individual risk tolerance.[Emphasis added.]

The recommendations in this report identify tangible areas of support that allies could provide in the current environment to further improve Baltic civilian preparedness for resistance to future notional external aggression. Several areas stand out as potential priorities because of their centrality across resistance objectives.

In other words, the Rand report is identifying means for civilian resistance to external aggression based on individual risk tolerance. “Risk tolerance” is a euphemism for people dying and suffering.

Given the above Department of Defense sanctioned study, the questions begged are, “who is preparing for war?” and “Does preparedness lead to inevitability?” I pray the latter is not inevitable. Regarding the former, someone is. And an Orthodox Patriarch’s willingness to upset established order and create chaos is a contributory factor.

I am reminded of a priest colleague who departed before me to our present diocese. When his name was mentioned to a senior priest in our former diocese the response was, “Yes! He's a good man. We just have different politics.” Is that what our Orthodox faith has come down to?

I pray there is no war. No one wins in a war. War is about people. In any war, many are buried. And all too often, for politicians and patriarchs, the names of the deceased and injured are forgotten. One way to think of the realities of war is the following: If your bishop is unwilling to bury his priests, why would you expect him to bury your children, much less pray for them?






Isidora2/19/2022 12:43 am
The Constantinople Patriarchate (falsely called Ecumenical, since the Byzantine empire has ceased to exist) has been on a steep downhill slide ever since its Encyclical of 1920, its calendar change of 1924, and its Truman-appointed patriarch of the 1940's. Bartholomew is just the latest puppet doing the will of worldly masters. Too bad for people claiming to be Orthodox who can't or won't see the obvious. Too bad for people who think Christ's holy church is just another pawn in the Great Game against Russia by the globalist forerunners of Antichrist.
Theophan2/4/2022 4:52 pm
Excellent article Father and the headline photo says it all. The salon article was excellent as well.
Archpriest Nectarios Trevino2/3/2022 4:20 am
1. Steve - I did not quote the Bible. The authors of the texts on the EP did so. See footnotes one and two. 2. Angelo, Tim - Did the EP's actions promote peace?...or exacerbate tensions by accepting non-apostolic laymen as "clergy" contrary to Holy Tradition. 3. Recommend all read - 4. The above article is about "LIFE." It's a God-given treasure all should value.
Michael2/2/2022 7:09 pm
The Ecumenical Patriarch’s treachery in Ukraine has showed that both he and now his office are superfluous. We have less than 2,000 Greeks in Constantinople. Why do we need dozens of senior bishops who do no missionary work and spend their days sleeping late, sipping coffee, smoking cigarettes, causing mischief, preening and God only knows what else. There is no longer an Imperial City. We don’t need a divisive, schismatic and heretical Ecumenical Patriarchate. This Greek American believes it’s time for an authentic American Orthodox Church. Thank God for the OCA!
Theodoros 2/2/2022 7:08 am
The recent statement by Archbishop Elpidophoros of the GOA that he supports the State Department over the Church of Russia and that the Russian Church is an arm of the Kremlin says it all about the Ecumenical Patriarchate's involvement in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.
Scruziel2/2/2022 5:53 am
"what is perhaps most characteristic of the Patriarch’s initiatives is the mark of humility." Anyone who needs to tout his humility is anything but humble. I'm reminded of Emerson: "The more he talked about his honor, the faster we counted our spoons."
Steve2/2/2022 1:55 am
I find it disturbing to read what is essentially a political opinion piece written by a man of the cloth. Such divisive, poorly argued positions make one suspect that the author's true alliegence is on the side of the foreign office of the Russian state. His use of biblical footnotes by referencing verses from the Holy Bible is a tactic most often used by Protestants aiming to justify their false views. Let us grant the Ecumenical Patriarch proper respect and not describe historical events without true context.
Nelsen Michael Thomas2/2/2022 1:48 am
The EP is a globalist puppet not a confessor of the Faith right now. He wants the praise of men. He is an ecumenist and covidist. He has sown division in the Church and in politics. Ukraine's top 2 leaders are Jews. They are a Western globalist puppet.
Angelo Bonilla2/1/2022 10:47 pm
It is so sad to read and hear about this bickering between Ancient Churches and some how implying that the Ecumenical Patriarch is the reason for a possible war. What does our Lord would say about this split? Pray that the Devil does not sow tares in God's Church.
Tim2/1/2022 5:38 pm
An absolutely ridiculous assertion to make, that Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople is somehow responsible or has anything to do with, the war between Russia and Ukraine, which has been going on for 10 years now. Just shocking what is written and said these days.
Here you can leave your comment on the present article, not exceeding 4000 characters. All comments will be read by the editors of OrthoChristian.Com.
Enter through FaceBook
Your name:
Your e-mail:
Enter the digits, seen on picture:

Characters remaining: 4000

to our mailing list

* indicates required