Church Greek Orthodox Church

The Beast1

Peacock
Orthodox Inquirer
Gold Member
GOARCH has the unique privilege of being under the thumb of not just one, but two secular powers: its leaders need permission from Turkish authorities, and its direction appears to be dictated by the US State Department.
As opposed to the MP who has the unique privilege of needing permission from Putin while also appearing to be dictated by the FSB?

I'm going to get a litany of thumbs down, aliens, and clown world emoticons for saying this, but let's not delude ourselves. The entire schism is heart breaking and lacking in grace from all those involved.

I understand your negative experience with GOARCH in the past, but it would be better to instead pray for those who lead to come to a solution that leaves out secular concerns and guide for the ultimate well-being of Christ's church.
 
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The Beast1

Peacock
Orthodox Inquirer
Gold Member
Can you provide sources to your claims?
To clarify (and apologies for not stating as such), it was a retort to Michael since we both don't have sources available to prove either my claim for the MP or Michael's for GOARCH beyond photographs with various leaders and actions where we can only surmise what was the cause behind the scenes.
 

MichaelWitcoff

Hummingbird
Orthodox
To clarify (and apologies for not stating as such), it was a retort to Michael since we both don't have sources to prove either my claim for the MP or Michael's for GOARCH beyond photographs with various leaders and actions where we can only surmise what was the cause behind the scenes.
The Ecumenical Patriarch, as per the rules imposed by Turkey, must be a Turkish citizen and be approved by Turkish authorities. GOARCH - specifically Archbishop Elpidophoros - constantly promotes the woke narratives funded by antichrist billionaires and which the US State Department seeks to impose on the entire world. They started a schism in Ukraine which appears to have served no purpose but to harm Russia and the Russian Church, which is a prerogative of said State Department. This is after GOARCH “lost” millions of dollars on the St. Nicholas Shrine project, money which to this day remains unaccounted for. It is not that big a stretch to imagine that they were forgiven for “losing” all that money in exchange for favors of some kind. That part is speculation of course, but GOARCH promoting woke nonsense doesn’t take a detective to figure out.

Here’s a screenshot of some of the videos on their official YouTube channel.
 

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DanielH

Ostrich
Moderator
Orthodox
@The Beast1 I'm not sure what the MP could have done any better up until this new year. Would you have done anything differently if you were Patriarch Kirill? I haven't heard any serious suggestions from either side regarding this. Just subordinate your current validly consecrated bishops to people who were schismatics, i.e. laymen outside of the Church, who were re-made bishops at the stroke of a pen? If each one of those schismatic bishops in Ukraine asked for forgiveness and then the EP sent bishops to re-consecrate those bishops, this situation would be completely different, but that's not what happened.

I haven't looked into the Africa thing which is why I reserve judgment and specify the new year.
 

get2choppaaa

Hummingbird
Orthodox
The Ecumenical Patriarch, as per the rules imposed by Turkey, must be a Turkish citizen and be approved by Turkish authorities. GOARCH - specifically Archbishop Elpidophoros - constantly promotes the woke narratives funded by antichrist billionaires and which the US State Department seeks to impose on the entire world. They started a schism in Ukraine which appears to have served no purpose but to harm Russia and the Russian Church, which is a prerogative of said State Department. This is after GOARCH “lost” millions of dollars on the St. Nicholas Shrine project, money which to this day remains unaccounted for. It is not that big a stretch to imagine that they were forgiven for “losing” all that money in exchange for favors of some kind. That part is speculation of course, but GOARCH promoting woke nonsense doesn’t take a detective to figure out.
I try and look past a lot of it to see something akin to the soviet control over the Russian Church. There were certain political realities that had to be navigated in order for those organizations to function with out being wiped out.

Thats just a reality.

Much like the reality going on now with the EP/Greek Church. That my layperson assessment.

I was going to a Greek Church who had an very conservative priest and a very conservative bishop (Bishop Isiah) pre covid. I think it bears repeating that the individual bishops and can be outstanding, and there are many very tight night communities and churches who do not share the liberal invective being pushed on them. It is sad for the members of that church community and it is sad for all Orthodox Christians everywhere that this strife is continuing, but I see no way out until calmer heads prevail and our state department changes and politics in Turkey change as far as the EP goes...

Admittedly, I have to remind myself not to be overly concerned with the church politics and certainly not to gossip as these things are not productive. But... it is important to know what's going on at a base level. This isnt the first schism between various Patriarchates and certainly wont be the last.
 

The Beast1

Peacock
Orthodox Inquirer
Gold Member
The Ecumenical Patriarch, as per the rules imposed by Turkey, must be a Turkish citizen and be approved by Turkish authorities. GOARCH - specifically Archbishop Elpidophoros - constantly promotes the woke narratives funded by antichrist billionaires and which the US State Department seeks to impose on the entire world. They started a schism in Ukraine which appears to have served no purpose but to harm Russia and the Russian Church, which is a prerogative of said State Department. This is after GOARCH “lost” millions of dollars on the St. Nicholas Shrine project, money which to this day remains unaccounted for. It is not that big a stretch to imagine that they were forgiven for “losing” all that money in exchange for favors of some kind. That part is speculation of course, but GOARCH promoting woke nonsense doesn’t take a detective to figure out.

Here’s a screenshot of some of the videos on their official YouTube channel.
Thanks Michael. Wokism aside, and I agree it is an annoying distraction, they still haven't supported the more egregious items of wokism like abortion, gay marriage, female clergy, and trans issues.

I've found some sources to support my post above. For the sake of the discussion, I will post this even though it hurts my heart to do so.


MOSCOW -- In March, a strange story swept through Russian online media: Police and agents of the Federal Security Service (FSB) had raided the St. Petersburg apartment of the bishop of Cherepovets and Belozersk.

According to the sketchy reports based on anonymous law enforcement sources, the authorities discovered a laboratory for producing illegal drugs there. They claimed that a mysterious 22-year-old identified as "Kain Montanelli" was living in the flat and producing and selling narcotics.

The bishop, Flavian, was dismissed from his post by the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church "for health reasons" and sent to an obscure monastery in Vologda, a sprawling region north of Moscow and east of St. Petersburg. Flavian's lawyers denied the accusations against him and said that he'd resigned as bishop of his own accord.

St. Petersburg police at the time did not issue a statement about the raid and no arrests were reported.

Flavian, whose birth name is Maksim Mitrofanov, is now living in London. He spoke exclusively by telephone with RFE/RL's Russian Service to tell his version of the story. He denies allegations of wrongdoing and alleges that the FSB is punishing him for refusing to serve as an informant.

The case marks the first time in the post-Soviet period that the FSB has gone after such a high-ranking cleric in the Russian Orthodox Church.

and from a Ukrainian source (of course whose bias can certainly be questioned):

The Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (ROC MP) at the present time is “99 percent controlled” by the special services of the Russian Federation, the FSB at home and the SVR abroad, according to Yehor Bozhok, the head of Ukraine’s Foreign Intelligence Service.

The evidence of this control is overwhelming, the Ukrainian intelligence chief says, but unfortunately, many in the West cannot accept it because it is beyond their imagination.

and another
While the Communist regime denounced religion and prosecuted priests in Soviet times, the relationship between the church and security services has flourished after the Soviet collapse. "The relationship between the church and FSB is very friendly, and they cooperate closely with each other," said Andrei Soldatov, who tracks the FSB with the Agentura.ru think tank.

The point I'm trying to make is that there's an elaborate and complex political relationship between secular and religious authorities in Russia (for better or worse) that come with quite a lot of unspoken rules. If I was a priest in the ROC, I would be nervous about speaking out in a way that angers the authorities.

At the end of the day, I can put up with token gestures by GOARCH about why racism is bad and other non- scripturally offensive woke things. At least one knows what the "sacred cows" are to avoid stepping on in the west. The situation is more complex for ROC clergy who need to observe how the church survived Soviet times in order to navigate the current order.

Believe me, ROC's efforts in resisting wokism are admirable. The control by their secular government authorities over church affairs however are as bad as wokism in my eyes as a layman.

Two sides of the same coin at the end of the day.
@The Beast1 I'm not sure what the MP could have done any better up until this new year. Would you have done anything differently if you were Patriarch Kirill? I haven't heard any serious suggestions from either side regarding this. Just subordinate your current validly consecrated bishops to people who were schismatics, i.e. laymen outside of the Church, who were re-made bishops at the stroke of a pen? If each one of those schismatic bishops in Ukraine asked for repentance and then the EP sent bishops to re-consecrate those bishops, this situation would be completely different, but that's not what happened.

I haven't looked into the Africa thing which is why I reserve judgment and specify the new year.
The whole situation is remarkably raw, complicated, and fraught with landmines. I'd rather retire to prayer and let higher powers help sort out the mess since there really isn't much we can do.
 
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The Beast1

Peacock
Orthodox Inquirer
Gold Member
Fair enough! Who knows what the truth is…though as you mentioned, Ukrainian intelligence is not exactly an unbiased source of information. We should pray for all involved, ROC and EP alike.
Even with all of this political nonsense, I still feel blessed and honored to have the privilege of calling you a brother in Christ.
 

josemiguel

Robin
Orthodox
Believe me, ROC's efforts in resisting wokism are admirable. The control by their secular government authorities over church affairs however are as bad as wokism in my eyes as a layman.

Two sides of the same coin at the end of the day
Category error. Even assuming true to the fullest extent, the ROC didn't start communing and concelebrating with schismatics. As far as errors go, Schism is more severe than heresy, and communing and concelebrating with them not far behind.

State interference in church affairs happened many times even in the first millennium. It's why St John Chrysostom died early among others. It has always been seen as a problem, but it isn't an error of the same severity as communing and concelebrating with schismatics.

If this bishop Flavian was wronged in the same manner as St John Chrysostom was, he's in a good spot to become a canonized saint. Not a bad spot to be in.
 

Roosh

Cardinal
Orthodox
Thanks Michael. Wokism aside, and I agree it is an annoying distraction, they still haven't supported the more egregious items of wokism like abortion, gay marriage, female clergy, and trans issues.

I've found some sources to support my post above. For the sake of the discussion, I will post this even though it hurts my heart to do so.




and from a Ukrainian source (of course whose bias can certainly be questioned):



and another
RFE/RL is a propaganda outlet operated by the US State Department. This is common knowledge. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_Free_Europe/Radio_Liberty

Euromaiden press is a George Soros project: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Renaissance_Foundation

The Moscow Times is run by foreign lefties. What you've done is like sourcing CNN, ABC, and MSNBC to get the truth on coronavirus vaccines.

Your intentions don't seem malicious, but you have to ask yourself what is the purpose of your "research" and how it will help you or others come to the faith. If you have a problem with a specific patriarch, you should be able to point to clear mistakes he's making, but you are dangerously close to attacking the church based on speculation and biased sources.

If you really believe what Zog and Soros says when it comes to the Russian Church, I can only imagine the work the demons are going to do on you when it comes to believing in Orthodox dogmas and Bible exegesis. And then the Protestant spiritual disease will take over: you'll pick-and-choose what to believe, become your own pope, dust off an ancient heresy, etc. Do you understand that Satan and his legions are watching you closer than ever and actively tempting you as you consider Orthodoxy? Have you seen the other thread where a man who started praying is having demonic attacks? Be very careful about going down paths that are attempting to separate you from the Church. At least use proper sources in your inquiry. If you know any Orthodox Christians, start asking them to pray for you and your family. This is not going to be easy.
 
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The Beast1

Peacock
Orthodox Inquirer
Gold Member
RFE/RL is a propaganda outlet operated by the US State Department. This is common knowledge. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_Free_Europe/Radio_Liberty

Euromaiden press is a George Soros project: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Renaissance_Foundation

The Moscow Times is run by foreign lefties. What you've done is like sourcing CNN, ABC, and MSNBC to get the truth on coronavirus vaccines.

If you really believe what Zog and Soros says when it comes to the Russian Church, I can only imagine the work the demons are going to do on you when it comes to believing in Holy Scripture.

Your intentions don't seem malicious, but you have to ask yourself what is the purpose of your "research" and how it will help you or others come to the faith. If you have a problem with a specific patriarch, you should be able to point to clear mistakes he's making, but you are dangerously close to attacking the church based on speculation and biased sources.
Thank you for your patience in letting me flesh out what I said Roosh. I do understand the thin ice I am skating on.

The goal here wasn't to be critical of the church or of religious leaders but to show the precarious positions of both patriarchs. I would view both the EP's and MP's actions as being astute navigators of difficult domestic political climates. Whether it's full of grace or not is obviously not my position to make and one I apologize for stating previously.

The sources were just quick 5 minute
pulls from (((Google))) to find sources that were asked for. Obviously, they're all biased to a laughable degree. But really, are there any unbiased news sources left? I doubt any news source in Russia would write something critical of any leader in Russia in Putin's inner circle as well as state security. Everything these days is a propaganda arm of something. It's all a matter of perspective.

As for whether I trust Soros, Zog, Xi, Putin, Biden, Trump: I really don't trust any of them and spend more time ignoring their propaganda shouting matches. I have to do my best to navigate my own family away from their gazes if my family is to survive what is coming.

Even then, at the end of the day we can still be critical of our government. Heck, I just did a standup routine where I lambasted Biden to laughter and applause in southern California. Could I do a standup routine in Russia where I'm critical of Putin and state security without being imprisoned and/disappeared? I won't fly there to find out.

I also have a small bias. I like my new GOARCH church and my bishop has been incredibly helpful to me as an inquirer. He's also pretty based. What more can I ask for? This is why I dove in to defend the Greek Orthodox church.
 
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Samseau

Eagle
Orthodox
Gold Member
I'm really not sure what's going on at the top of the GOA, but, every individual parish has it's own personality and devotion to Christ. That's what really matters, the guys at the top are more often than not just acting out roles to keep the Church from being persecuted. "Innocent as a dove, wise as a serphant," comes to mind.

That said, opulent wealth and evidence of bishops/patriarchs stealing from the Church must be called out and dealt with immediately.
 

The Beast1

Peacock
Orthodox Inquirer
Gold Member
I can only imagine the work the demons are going to do on you when it comes to believing in Orthodox dogmas and Bible exegesis. And then the Protestant spiritual disease will take over: you'll pick-and-choose what to believe, become your own pope, dust off an ancient heresy, etc. Do you understand that Satan and his legions are watching you closer than ever and actively tempting you as you consider Orthodoxy? Have you seen the other thread where a man who started praying is having demonic attacks? Be very careful about going down paths that are attempting to separate you from the Church. At least use proper sources in your inquiry. If you know any Orthodox Christians, start asking them to pray for you and your family. This is not going to be easy.
I saw you edited the 2nd half of your post to include this and I wanted to reply to it without having to redo what I wrote before.

I've trying to figure out my faith since 2013 when I was a broken soul destroyed from pick up. The baptists picked me up and "fixed" me but only temporarily. My spirit was left wanting more.

I went back to the Lutherans which was my childhood church where I spent most of my time in the choir. I found my place, temporarily. Really I just liked singing classical spiritual music. Then work sent me abroad. I still found decent Lutheran churches but sadly this high church tradition is dying in American Lutheran churches.

Praise music isn't enough and I'm not about to go back to the Catholicism after years of hearing how the Papacy is the seat of the antichrist.

There's a ROCOR priest who was a former Lutheran. His name escapes me at the moment but he's often posted here. He said ," Lutheranism is about as close to orthodoxy as you can get." I can concur with that. The motions are all there but it feels incomplete and missing something.

Why was I seeking out old 100 year old Lutheran churches with beautiful stained glass? Are these not icons?

I recently prayed to theotokos for the first time to help guide me to a more stable job so I could better support my family after seeing the thread about why we venerate Mary. I found one. I believe.

There's a thread floating around where I describe both my wife and I saw a black mass of something in front of us in the middle of the night. Shortly there after, she miscarried. I hung an icon I had purchased as a souvenir during our trip to Jerusalem of the last supper above my bed and we haven't seen anything since.

Clearly this mere image of Christ and his disciples has power to keep away bad spirits. Should I not venerate it for keeping us safe while we sleep? It's clearly doing something!

Then after a long hiatus from the forum, I stumble on some of your blog writings and I'm blown away. In such a sort time the power of Christ's salvation through Orthodoxy has quickly turned you into a shining beacon of hope while I've been meandering and half assedly doing my own motions. Clearly you're onto something.

Then I discover this great book: https://www.amazon.com/Augsburg-Constantinople-Correspondence-Theologians-Confession/dp/0916586820

To which I learned that Marty Luther and Philipp Melanchthon had esteemed to create a church that was indistinguishable and in communion with the church of the east. The only reason it didn't come to be was because they died before they could reply to Patriarch Jeramiah leaving the replies to their less than capable understudies.

Clearly the founders of the Lutheran reformation wanted to be one with the true church of the east. Ok, I'm sold.

My new church's patron saint famously fasted from his mother's breast on Wednesdays and Fridays while an infant. Does this sound absurd? Heck no, that's the power of Christ's grace in action even in the very young. That's not dogma, that's fact.

The best part about relearning the bible was having those old misinterpretations be cut down through the strength of those more rooted than I am. Trust me, I've seen demons and been in the hell hole.

But you'll have to forgive me because I have two (soon to be 3) others I have to weigh in also during our inquiry which is why I am seeking the guidance of an in-person priest. Through God's grace, the Greek Orthodox church I found has been exactly what we are looking for.
 
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Mackerel snapper

 
Banned
Trad Catholic
I saw you edited the 2nd half of your post to include this and I wanted to reply to it without having to redo what I wrote before.

I've trying to figure out my faith since 2013 when I was a broken soul destroyed from pick up. The baptists picked me up and "fixed" me but only temporarily. My spirit was left wanting more.

I went back to the Lutherans which was my childhood church where I spent most of my time in the choir. I found my place, temporarily. Really I just liked singing classical spiritual music. Then work sent me abroad. I still found decent Lutheran churches but sadly this high church tradition is dying in American Lutheran churches.

Praise music isn't enough and I'm not about to go back to the Catholicism after years of hearing how the Papacy is the seat of the antichrist.

There's a ROCOR priest who was a former Lutheran. His name escapes me at the moment but he's often posted here. He said ," Lutheranism is about as close to orthodoxy as you can get." I can concur with that. The motions are all there but it feels incomplete and missing something.

Why was I seeking out old 100 year old Lutheran churches with beautiful stained glass? Are these not icons?

I recently prayed to theotokos for the first time to help guide me to a more stable job so I could better support my family after seeing the thread about why we venerate Mary. I found one. I believe.

There's a thread floating around where I describe both my wife and I saw a black mass of something in front of us in the middle of the night. Shortly there after, she miscarried. I hung an icon I had purchased as a souvenir during our trip to Jerusalem of the last supper above my bed and we haven't seen anything since.

Clearly this mere image of Christ and his disciples has power to keep away bad spirits. Should I not venerate it for keeping us safe while we sleep? It's clearly doing something!

Then after a long hiatus from the forum, I stumble on some of your blog writings and I'm blown away. In such a sort time the power of Christ's salvation through Orthodoxy has quickly turned you into a shining beacon of hope while I've been meandering and half assedly doing my own motions. Clearly you're onto something.

Then I discover this great book: https://www.amazon.com/Augsburg-Constantinople-Correspondence-Theologians-Confession/dp/0916586820

To which I learned that Marty Luther and Philipp Melanchthon had esteemed to create a church that was indistinguishable and in communion with the church of the east. The only reason it didn't come to be was because they died before they could reply to Patriarch Jeramiah leaving the replies to their less than capable understudies.

Clearly the founders of the Lutheran reformation wanted to be one with the true church of the east. Ok, I'm sold.

My new church's patron saint famously fasted from his mother's breast on Wednesdays and Fridays while an infant. Does this sound absurd? Heck no, that's the power of Christ's grace in action even in the very young. That's not dogma, that's fact.

The best part about relearning the bible was having those old misinterpretations be cut down through the strength of those more rooted than I am. Trust me, I've seen demons and been in the hell hole.

But you'll have to forgive me because I have two (soon to be 3) others I have to weigh in also during our inquiry which is why I am seeking the guidance of an in-person priest. Through God's grace, the Greek Orthodox church I found has been exactly what we are looking for.
Martin Luther: “The Greeks [Orthodox] are not heretics or schismatics but the most Christian people and the best followers of the Gospel on earth.” — (Luther, Martin (1999). Vol. 32: Luther’s Works, vol. 32: Career of the Reformer II)

Martin Luther was Orthodox.
 

The Beast1

Peacock
Orthodox Inquirer
Gold Member
Martin Luther: “The Greeks [Orthodox] are not heretics or schismatics but the most Christian people and the best followers of the Gospel on earth.” — (Luther, Martin (1999). Vol. 32: Luther’s Works, vol. 32: Career of the Reformer II)

Martin Luther was Orthodox.
Coming from a trad catholic, that is a helluva complement.

I discovered these guys recently: https://lutheranorthodoxchurch.org/

I reached out to them and their goal was to achieve exactly what Martin and Philipp we're trying to achieve. It's orthodoxy wrapped in the Lutheran German high church tradition with a roccor priest advisor on their synod board ensuring they are keeping everything valid. I would join them if one existed nearby but sadly they are very small.
 
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