Fr. George Maximov’s Answer to Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria

As was reported on on February 14, the Patriarchate of Alexandria issued a statement that if the Russian priests who are currently visiting and serving in Africa as part of the Russian Church’s African Exarchate don’t stop serving, they will be subject to canonical sanctions. Fr. George Maximov, one of these missionary priest currently serving in Africa, wrote an answer to His Beatitude Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria. This answer was written in English, and we reproduce it here with very slight grammatical corrections.

Fr. George Maximov with priests and parishioners of the Russian Church's African Exarchate. Photo: Telegram Fr. George Maximov with priests and parishioners of the Russian Church's African Exarchate. Photo: Telegram     


I have been in Africa for more than two weeks, visiting local communities of the Russian Orthodox Church with the blessing of my Church hierarchy. Archpriest Andrei Novikov has been here for about the same time with the same mission. As it turned out, our modest efforts attracted the attention of many people.

So, the other day I learned from the media that Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria addressed me and Fr. Andrei Novikov “for the last time” with an appeal to “return to the church system, observing the canonical law of the Church, and to immediately stop services with parishioners” in Africa. He even threatens us with eccesiastical punishments if we do not obey.

Of course, I am touched by such attention, but at the same time I am surprised. Because according to the canonical law of the Church, Patriarch Theodoros cannot officially address Fr. Andrei and me by bypassing our Church hierarchy. Moreover, he cannot threaten us with anything and take any measures against us as clerics of a different Church. If Patriarch Theodoros has any questions about Fr. Andrei’s and my activities, he can address Metropolitan Leonid of Klin, with whose blessing we came to Africa, or His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, whose Exarch Metropolitan Leonid is. This is all the easier to do, considering that Patriarch Theodoros has known them both personally for many years.

However, he avoids addressing them, and it’s not hard to guess why: It’s always embarrassing to look into the eyes of someone you’ve betrayed. It is much easier in the circle of his clergymen to act as if these Russian priests came to Africa by themselves.

It was even more surprising for me to see that Patriarch Theodoros accuses Fr. Andrei and me of violating Canon 2 of the Council of Antioch. Let me remind you of the text of the canon: “It is unlawful to commune with excommunicated persons... If any one of the bishops, presbyters, or deacons, or any one in the Canon shall be found communing with excommunicated persons, let him also be excommunicated.”

But I don’t commune with excommunicated people in Africa. The priests with whom I meet and serve here were in communion with the bishops of the Church of Alexandria yesterday and no one excommunicated them from Communion. But you, Your Beatitude, are exactly a violator of this rule. On November 8, 2019, you began commemorating the head of the schismatic organization, pseudo-bishop Epiphanius, at the liturgy, and on August 13, 2021, you concelebrated with him and received Communion from the same chalice. I find it rather cynical that you are trying to accuse the others of your own canonical crime.

Everything that is happening now in Africa is your personal accountability—the consequences of your decision, which you made without asking the opinion of African believers, clergy and even bishops. One of your bishops, sending out to the priests of the Russian Church those meaningless “letters of suspension”, writes: “Remember, you are not a victim of anyone or anything other than your own choice.” It is a pity that this bishop did not dare to address these words to you, because they suit you much better.

Without any explanation, you entered into communication with those whom you had previously openly called schismatics. Here are your words from a 2016 interview: “From the very beginning, when the problem of church schism first arose [in Ukraine], the Patriarchate of Alexandria and I, as its representative, took the position that the Ukrainian Church is an integral part of the Russian Orthodox Church <...> When the schismatics tried forcibly, without an invitation, to come to the Holy Trinity Church, which was then a courtyard of the Alexandrian Church in Odessa, I stood at the door and said: This will not happen.” And here are your words from another interview: “As an Orthodox hierarch, I ask believers in Ukraine to remain under the omophorion of the canonical head of the Ukrainian Church, Metropolitan Onufriy.”

Maybe in November 2019 you suddenly began to see clearly and admitted that you were wrong? Maybe there appeared some arguments that convinced you that the schismatics were not really schismatics? No. You didn’t give any arguments. You did not declare any fallacy of your previous position. All you said was, “The time has come.”

Is that the whole explanation? It has not even convinced many Greek bishops of your Church. And, of course, it did not convince many African priests and laypeople who followed the situation. “The time has come” For whom can it sound convincing? And if this convinces you, then why not say that “the time has come” for the Russian Orthodox Church to restore its jurisdiction in Africa?

But we don’t need such weak arguments. Both Fr. Andrei, I, and other Russian priests who will soon come to Africa, in fraternal cooperation with African priests, specifically work to fix the Church order that you have hurt. Orthodox Africans who do not want to bear the spiritual consequences of your sin have every right not to do so. If they remained in ecclesiasticl communion with you and the bishops who supported you, they would become accomplices in your violation of Canon 2 of the Council of Antioch. They would become together with you a single Church body with a schismatic organization. The only way for them to avoid this is to join a Church that is not in communion with the excommunicated. Most Local Orthodox Churches do not recognize Ukrainian schismatics, but the Russian Church could not ask any of the other Churches to accept Orthodox Africans. She took on this holy mission as the Church that suffered the most from the schism you supported.

Photo: Facebook Photo: Facebook     

Fr. Andrei and I are in Africa following the decisions of the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, of which Your Beatitude is well aware. These decisions explicitly state that you “deviated into a schism” (Journal No. 100 of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church dated December 29, 2021). This is a conciliar canonical assessment of your act and your position. By uniting with the schismatics, you have taken yourself out of the protection of the holy canons, because the canons do not protect schismatics. Schismatics have no canonical territory that could be violated. Schismatics have no power over Orthodox priests, so any of your decisions about me or about African clerics of the Russian Orthodox Church mean nothing. To use the paper of your “encyclicals” for domestic purposes is the only way to make them anyhow profitable.

They won’t stop us.

The same media report says that “the Patriarch calls on all African clergy, enticed by the material promises of the aforementioned [Russian] clergy, to return to the embrace of their mother Church.”

This is what Patriarch Theodoros thinks about the African clergy—that they are greedy people who ran for material goods, and nothing else. I find this offensive to all Orthodox Africans who joined the Russian Orthodox Church. It’s as if they can’t have a conscious Church position. As if they can’t have an opinion. As if they are unable to understand the problem of the split and the consequences of its recognition.

And this is what the Patriarch of Alexandria says after the publication of the letter of the African priests, who opposed his decision to recognize schismatics! A letter that you officially ignored, and unofficially your bishops began to persecute many priests who signed it. Though nobody even spoke about joining the Russian Orthodox Church at that time, the whole “fault” of these African priests was that they remained in the ecclesiastic canonical position that you held earlier and that you did not have the courage to stay in. I heard that in private conversations you later made excuses: “I was pressured, I was forced to recognize the Ukrainian schismatics.” If this is true, then I can recommend you to learn courage from African priests, many of whom your staff could not force to change their Church position.

But besides the letter that the priests signed without any material promises from anyone, you could remember your meeting with the priests of Western Kenya in 2020. When they expressed their feelings to your face because of your recognition of Ukrainian schismatics, you simply waved them away: “It’s not your business, I know better.”

And now, when you pretend that you did not know about this position of many African priests, and they are just corrupt and the Russians bribed them with material promises, I am ashamed for you.

Photo: Telegram Photo: Telegram     

This is what I actually promised the African priests at our meetings: “Think carefully before you decide! It won’t be easy. The Greeks will expel you from churches, take away all church things, demonize you in the media, turn parishioners against you, they will use everything they can use against you.” African priests heard such promises from me and you have already begun to implement these promises!

Of course, only God knows what is in a person’s heart, what reasons he is really guided by. I know that there is a belief among some bishops of the Patriarchate of Alexandria that now they just need to engage more money and “the problem will be solved.” In their opinion, it is enough to shake money in front of faces of the African priests and they will quickly run back to them.

Well, we’ll see.

If there are indeed those among the African priests who joined the Russian Orthodox Church only because of the expectation of material benefits, then the Church of Alexandria will help us to purify our ranks, leaving only principled people. But I think that the majority are principled. I believe in African priests and I know that they are able to understand Church issues no less than Russians and Greeks. Your bishops, who have already tried unsuccessfully to bribe some of our priests, also know this.

When you further make a claim that the Alexandrian Orthodox Church “has never cultivated ethnocentrism,” it looks like a mockery of common sense and of your African flock. To understand this, just look at the photo of the Synod of the Orthodox Church of Alexandria. The overwhelming majority of the bishops of which, by a strange coincidence, are representatives of one small European nation. Do you think Africans don’t notice this?

One would understand this if you had started a mission in Africa five or ten years ago. But you’ve been in East Africa for eighty years. How did it happen that over all these decades, when the question of episcopal consecration arose, in most cases a Greek turned out to be more worthy than all representatives of African peoples combined? And we are no longer talking about Greeks born in Africa. No, calling yourself the “Church of All Africa” You are looking for bishops not in Africa, but someone from Greece or Cyprus, no matter that he was born on another continent and does not know the local realities—he is still more worthy in your eyes than a person born and raised in Africa. Many of the bishops of the Church of Alexandria do not even live in Africa after their ordination, they continue to live in Greece, coming to their dioceses a couple of times a year—and still they turn out to be more worthy of episcopacy in your eyes than those Orthodox African pastors-monks who live in Africa all the time. And it’s not related to ethnocentrism? Seriously? If you think this will sound convincing to your African flock, then you know it very poorly.

For comparison, look at the Japanese Orthodox Church. Russian missionaries created it, but how many of its bishops are Russian now? None, all Japanese. If you did not have the task of “preserving the heritage of Hellenism in Africa”, there would be no ethnocentrism and Greek ethnophyletism, then the Patriarchate of Alexandria should have come to the same result long ago, since almost one hundred percent of its flock and priests are Africans.

My answer has already turned out to be too long, but I would like to comment on another phrase from Patriarch Theodoros’s address. Namely, that the Alexandrian “Patriarchate will continue its martyric process.” We can agree here, but in the sense that you provide this process for Africans who do not want to be with you. When representatives of your Church blocked access to the only well with clean water in the village of Sokoyne, saying that access to water would be only for those who would continue to go to the church of the Patriarchate of Alexandria—is this how you want to arrange a martyric process for the villagers who decided to convert to the Russian Orthodox Church? And when, in the Mwanza district, a Greek priest kicked out of school the children of those African priests who did not want to follow you into the schism, is this also the same “martyric process” that you are talking about? To take revenge on children for the choice of their fathers? Very dignified. I am sure that you will continue this “martyrdom”, or rather, torture of Africans, further. And this will cover with shame the very heritage of Hellenism in Africa that you are trying to protect. We will make public all the cases of your persecution of Orthodox Africans who do not want to be with You. Let people know how you really feel about Orthodox Africans.

In response to the appeal of the Patriarch of Alexandria addressed to me, I would like to repeat the recent appeal of the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church addressed to him: “We call on His Beatitude Patriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria and the archpastors of the Most Holy Church of Alexandria to abandon support for the Ukrainian schism and return to the canonical path in order to preserve the unity of Holy Orthodoxy”.

And for my part, I would like to call on Patriarch Theodoros to repent of the sin of recognizing the schism, and of all his sins and mistakes that made the lives of many Orthodox Africans unbearable, for all the pain he caused to many believers in Africa, Ukraine and other places.

I understand that these calls are unlikely to be heard. There are no signs that Patriarch Theodoros is ready to admit his responsibility for at least something. His position is simple: It’s all the evil Russians and greedy Africans who have created problems, and we, the innocent Greek bishops of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, are suffering martyrdom for nothing.

Maybe this position sounds convincing to Patriarch Theodoros himself, but I don’t think it will convince many in Africa—even from among those who, for various reasons, still remain in the Church of Alexandria.

Anyway, the Russian Orthodox Church came to Africa at the invitation of Orthodox Africans and it will not leave its new children here. We did not come to fight with anyone, but to take care of those who chose our Church to protect themselves from schism. They have the right to do so.


PS: After this answer was written, I was sent messages from the media that allegedly “the court of the Patriarchate of Alexandria sent a summons to the church court” to me and Fr. Andrei. It’s like a media spectacle in a desperate attempt to impress their audience.

I answer again: As a cleric of another Church, I am in principal not subject to the court of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, even if it were not in schism. And after falling away into the schism, even more so. All the “prohibitions” of schismatics against Orthodox clerics will be like God’s blessings. And I personally will take this as a sign of recognition of the success of my modest efforts in Africa. Your Beatitude, please send me the decisions of your “court”, I will hang them on the wall and smile looking at them. It will help me to become closer to my African brothers priests, who got “Suspension letters” from their previous bishops. I am happy to be in the same boat with them.

I think the clergy of the Patriarchate of Alexandria were surprised to learn from this news that, as it turns out, there is a church court in the Church of Alexandria! I wonder how many complaints of African clerics sent to Patriarch Theodoros against Greek bishops were considered in this court? As far as I know, not at all. Although such complaints took place and I am aware of them.

To what a pitiful end did Patriarch Theodore lead the great and glorious ancient Church of Alexandria! Κύριε ἐλέησον!

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Laurentios3/5/2022 1:30 am
Unfortunatelly, the creation of the Russian Exarchate deepens the ukrainian schism. At least at this stage. The problem is there are no canons invoked for this move. It might be a correct decision for the african priests, but has no grounds. A big problem resides in this phrase: „They (african priests) would become together with you a single Church body with a schismatic organization (OCU)”. It suggests the OCU is an outside the Church structure, but it΄s not, it is inside of it. Yes, it is schismatic, but in action, not officially condemned. The MP cannot anathematize OCU because it is not in its jurisdiction, bun in the Phanar area. It's the same stance as the two russian priests in Africa here. So, the point is the Russian Church doesn't have the right to take over Africa and create an Exarchate. It has some means to do that, but not by forming an Exarchate, a bishopric.
Panagiotis2/26/2022 3:53 pm
To Orthodox Brother David: Please continue to leave your comments on this website, as I enjoy them, and I can see that you are educated, and that you can put the pieces of the puzzle together. People do not always agree with each other, but we need diverse opinion, so we may be able to learn from each other. Just my opinion.
Katherine2/26/2022 1:51 pm
It's like the Hierarchy of my beloved Alexandrian Patriarchate is not even trying to engage the real issues (or they are willfully covering up the real rot that has taken place in Kenya). Either way may there be repentance soon Thanks to Fr. George for pointing this one out: "I think the clergy of the Patriarchate of Alexandria was surprised to learn from this news that, as it turns out, there is a church court in the Church of Alexandria! I wonder how many complaints of African clerics sent to Patriarch Theodoros against Greek bishops were considered in this court? As far as I know, not at all. Although such complaints took place and I am aware of them." Indeed, I never knew that discipline and order could be pursued with such swiftness by the AP.
David2/24/2022 9:48 am
It doesn't really matter now. War has come, nullifying any "position" we think we hold. This will be my last comment on this website. It just seems silly to argue about this stuff now, doesn't it?
David2/24/2022 3:48 am
Sister Cornelia: I have not forgotten Christian Love. The Canonical violations are but one aspect of it. I mention the Canons, because the MP is so keen on claiming to be "defenders of the Canonical Order." This "Exarchate" contradicts that narrative (which is why they are receiving such pushback on it). I have said multiple times that the EP and MP have hurt one another in different ways, and neither should place more obstacles to reconciliation. In short: Two brothers in a big family who have deeply wounded the other and need healing. This "Exarchate" makes that reconciliation very difficult, and grossly contradicts the rhetoric of peace and love that the MP has been using. There is no "Christian Love" in throwing gasoline on a fire that perhaps they didn't start, but are not excused from their own responsibility. No Sister, this is a political project masquerading as a missionary one. The MP's speeches on all of this can be summed up very simply: "They did it first!" It might carry water on the Elementary School playground, but it is beneath the dignity and LOVE of a Bishop of Christ. Salvation can be found in ANY Church or Parish. The Church isn't Amazon or Burger King, where you can "have it your way." The MP (or ROCOR) has no qualms about squashing "uncanonical" priestly receptions when it suits them. The Father Andrew Phillips affair revealed the double standard here. There is no Christian love in it, and I refuse to pretend that there is. The Lord has allowed all of this, but it is a dangerous temptation to speculate on why, I would say.
Alex2/23/2022 11:02 pm
Steve, Russian Orthodoxy is about 50% of the Orthodox Church just by itself, and then when you add everyone else who agrees with the position of the Moscow Patriarchate you get closer to 60%. And most of the remainder is composed of clergy and laity that are neutral and just want the entire conflict to go away. Those who actively agree with Patriarch Bartholomew are probably not even a majority of the Greeks, and they're almost non-existent outside of the Greek world. So there is Orthodoxy, and then there are schismatics and a handful of schismatic sympathizers (most of them in Istanbul and in America). Take your pick.
Lord HaveMercy2/23/2022 8:50 pm
We’re all going in circles. Those condemning the actions of the Russian Church only repeat the accusations that were answered thoroughly in their explanation. You cannot speak of violating canonical boundaries when the authorities whose canonical boundaries are supposedly being violated themselves acknowledged the violation of canonical boundaries BY THEIR OWN STANDARDS that are on the record. For those expressing concerns about this site choosing sides, do you forget how Christ spoke about not coming “to bring peace but a sword”? And “Whoever is not with Me is against Me and whoever does not gather with Me scatters”? The canons that have been brought up forbidding laity to join with schismatic bishops are also being ignored. It seems like the telling strategy of hand waving and trite phrases that Fr George rightly exposes the Alexandrian hierarchs for is the only one that anyone who wants to find fault with the Russian Church in this particular case has to follow. Sometimes God makes it easy for people to see where the truth lies. To the editors and writers of OrthoChristian: WE THE LAITY SUPPORT YOU IN CHOOSING THE SIDE OF HOLY ORTHODOXY
Steve2/23/2022 5:24 pm
There's Orthodoxy, and then there's Russian Orthodoxy. Take your pick.
nun Cornelia2/23/2022 12:09 pm
David, forgive me, but you are the one sounding like a Catholic here. Don't forget that "the Spirit bloweth where it listest". Read the Gospel about how Christ rebuked the Pharisees. There is either right or wrong. You are arguing about details of canons and schisms, but don't forget about Christian love. Perhaps God has allowed this problem for a reason? Just take the US, for example. Multiple jurisdictions is a canonical problem, but a life-saver for those who want to cleave to a Church that they can find salvation in.
David2/23/2022 1:24 am
Michael: But it isn't "the next day" is it? Where is the dividing line when "schismatic" sacraments become invalid? Who decides that? Your likely answer is a Synod decides. Whose Synod? An Ecumenical Synod, right? Which has not met nor decided any such thing. Alexandria is still part of the Church, so if Alexandria is schismatic, how can they speak of "valid sacraments" and whats more, what of EVERYBODY else who communes with Alexandria? All this talk of "valid sacraments"-----are we Roman Catholics now? Madness.
Alex2/23/2022 1:02 am
Moe, which of the things said by Fr. George here are false? As far as I can tell, they are all true. What I keep seeing time and time again in the current Church conflict is the Russian side making various arguments, and the Greek side responding mainly with vague platitudes like "the time has come", "why are you so hostile towards us?", "you are not serious", etc. This refusal to engage with the arguments is far more offensive than anything that either side explicitly said. It's as if the Moscow Patriarchate spoke for two hours outlining its case in detail, and the Greek side responded only with "nah, you're wrong".
Moe2/22/2022 4:33 pm
The hatred these Russians seem to have for the Greek Orthodox Church is frankly surprising and absolutely shocking to me, some of the commentary from so called Russian Orthodox Church figures in the last few months especially has opened my eyes to who they are.
Michael2/22/2022 12:45 pm
In response to David: Metropolitan Leonid of Klin - the bishop you are referring to, Fr. George's bishop - said that Alexandria has valid sacraments, not that it isn't in schism. The Russian Holy Synod has officially adopted the view that Alexandria is indeed in schism, so I highly doubt that Met. Leonid thinks otherwise. But the sacraments of schismatics do not immediately lose grace the very next day after the schism (if they did, then it would never be possible for any schismatic clergy to ever return to the Church as clergy - they could only return as laymen). The so-called "Orthodox Church of Ukraine" has invalid sacraments not merely because it is in schism, but because it is in schism AND also most of its "clergy" were never properly ordained. Presumably, if Alexandria persisted in schism for many decades, and if it started treating laymen as bishops and priests, then it would also eventually lose the grace of the sacraments.
David2/22/2022 5:08 am
But his Bishop just said that Alexandria is not schismatic. What is actually going on here? It shows two things: FIRST, that Alexandria had some serious problems before this crisis, and the Russian intrusion just exposed them for the world to see. SECOND, the MP's African Exarchate is on shaky ground, as even its own bishop and apologists are mealy mouthed about the canonicity of it, resorting to whataboutism towards the EP and a shrill defensive tone that was absent with its other actions on the Ukraine issue. The internal dissent must be significant, as well as the private "What the heck are you doing?!" messages they are getting from "allies." Time isn't going to make this look better, and given geopolitical events, it can only look worse over time.
John D2/22/2022 4:46 am
"The time will come when your shepherds will betray you. They will watch the wild beasts tear you apart and they will NOT come to your aid. Know that these are apocalyptic times that will be hard for us!" + Blessed Elder Justin Parvu What Should we do when our Bishop is an Ecumenist? by Fr. Emmanuel Hatzidakis Blessed Disobedience or Evil Obedience? Archpriest Theodore ZisisJun 13, 2019 The Error of Blind Obedience to Bishops – According to the Saints of the Orthodox Church by Nektarios Dapergolas Obedience is to the truth when the "Church" is not Orthodox. Ieromonah Savatie Bastovoi ‘Obedience to the truth’ is consistent with the third canon of the Third Ecumenical Council, which forbids the Orthodox ‘to obey bishops who have departed from or are departing from Orthodoxy.’ According to Bl. Fr. Seraphim, this precisely should be the ecclesiological position of today’s Orthodox Christians who are seeking to abide in the fullness of Christ's Truth, to be living members of Christ's Church. While those who claim that the termination of ecclesiastical communion can only happen following conciliar condemnation should take into consideration the fact that the condemnation of a given heresy by even a multitude of Fathers, without holding a council, is a sufficient reason for this termination according to *Canon XV of the ‘‘the Second Council. This particular canon treats those acting in this way as ones who ‘‘have not created hav protected the Church from schism.’’ Moreover, in 1983 - only one year after the death of Fr. Seraphim - the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in council condemned ecumenism as a heretical doctrine incompatible with Orthodoxy. As to ‘Sergianism’, it was condemned by numerous holy Fathers – the Orthodox New Russian Martyrs and confessors, who ceased their ecclesiastical communion with Metropolitan Sergius and his Synod, as well as the Spirit-bearing Fathers in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, who shone forth with their righteous life, among which is Bl. Fr. Seraphim himself. *CANON XV OF THE FIRST-SECOND COUNCIL According to the Holy and Scared canons of the Orthodox Church, the monks are obligated to cease commemoration of a Bishop or Patriarch when his teachings are in direct conflict with what the Orthodox Church teaches. After seeing many documented instances, in writing, of the Patriarch acting and teaching in direct conflict with the teachings of the Orthodox church, the monks ceased commemoration of the Patriarch of Constantinople as they were obligated to do. The proper procedure within the church is to call for an ecumenical synod for clarification of the dispute, not a local synod controlled by the bishop in dispute. It is not the procedure of the church to call the police to enforce a blockade of food, water and medicine to the monks with whom you disagree. Here is what the canons of the Church say on this: "... So that if any presbyter or bishop or metropolitan dares to secede from communion with his own patriarch and does not mention his name as is ordered and appointed in the divine mystagogy, but before a synodical arraignment and his [the patriarch's] full condemnation, he creates a schism, the Holy Synod has decreed that this person be alienated from every priestly function, if only he be proven to have transgressed in this. These rules, therefore, have been sealed and ordered concerning those who on the pretext of some accusations against their own presidents stand apart, creating a schism and severing the unity of the Church. But as for those who on account of some heresy condemned by Holy Synods or Fathers sever themselves...
Doug Carlson2/21/2022 10:04 pm
Can you tell us, what does it mean that this post appears in the section at the top rather than in the news? Does that indicate that OrthoChristian supports what Fr. George has written? If so, it's highly disappointing to see the site go this route. Are you really so sure that going into the territory of another Church is the right thing to do? Is that really something you're certain you want to stand behind? Most of the articles about the Exarchate have been just objective, informative news, giving us voices from both sides, so I hope the placement of this article doesn't indicate an abandonment of that practice. And not to mention that the Exarchate leadership says soemthing VERY embarrassing things. Metropolitan Leonid tells an Alexandrian bishop, "Your resume is unimpressive, you're a nobody," and Frs. George and Andrei say the canonical judgments of Alexandria are worthless and worthy of derision. Is this setting a good example for ANYONE? Is this something we should be proud of? And what happened to all the Russian Church's talk about synodality? Now they unilaterally give themselves the right to go into the territory of another Local Church - a territory that NO ONE disputed until yesterday. Please, Ortho Christian, get back on the right path. The English-language Orthodox audience doesn't need a Russian Orthodox site. We need an Orthodox site.
Theodoros2/21/2022 9:59 pm
For the record, there are those of us who are Greek who oppose the actions and attitudes of Theodore and his boss Bartholomew. What deplorable destruction and chaos they have wrought? Orthodoxy needs to be liberated form these power hungry clerics. Furthermore, Greece and Cyprus need to be liberated from the yoke of the Phanar. Theodore and Bartholomew can wave the Greek flag all they like but they are leading the churches of Greece and Cyprus into complete and total ruin as they are Orthodoxy. Moscow today plays the role that Constantinople did 1,000 years ago. An Orthodox empire exists today in holy Russia. Greeks should be embracing the Russians as brothers who are part of the same spiritual heritage. Bartholomew, Theodore, and Elpidophoros are destroying Orthodox unity and the once great spiritual heritage that was Greek Orthodoxy. What a tragedy. These three should be deposed and anathematized. Alexandria should be left to the Arabs and Africans. Greeks should be looking to correct the direction of the churches of Greece and Cyprus and to liberate themselves from the western occupation of the Hellenic speaking world.
Dionysius Redington2/21/2022 9:32 pm
Largely true as far as Hellenism goes, but not a word about why the Exarchate is in Egypt, where Alexandria has sole authority under the canons. No explanation of how the Exarchate's existence is compatible with Met. Leonid's astonishing statement that Alexandrian sacraments are still valid (which, if true, makes the claim that 'schismatics have no territory to be violated' irrelevant). Very little about why the supposedly non-ethnocentric Exarchate is called 'Russian'. No mention of the good things (and there are many) that the Greek Church, for all its flaws, has accomplished in Africa. Flattering references to the Church of Japan for having Japanese bishops, but no mention of the puzzling fact that Christianity after 120+ years of Orthodox mission remains the sole aspect of 'Western' culture the Japanese people have not adopted, making the ethnicity of bishops something of a side issue. St. Nicholas of Japan, pray to God for us, your unworthy successors. Dionysius Redington
Alexander2/21/2022 9:27 pm
Patriarch Theodoros = Bp Irenei Steenberg Fr George Maximov = Fr Andrew Phillips
Menas 2/21/2022 4:41 pm
Savage. Axios
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