On this upcoming October 11 (NS), the Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew (Archontonis), will attend and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council. The Second Vatican Council was the Papist synod that initiated, officially, the heretical Vatican into the ecumenical movement.
In celebration of the sad fact that some professed Orthodox hierarchs had attended the previous Romanist council, the Ecumenical Patriarch (and undoubtedly others) will attend this ecumenical celebration.
One of the themes of this event will be 50 years of ‘successful ecumenism’. The Vatican has certainly achieved a number of goals in its past 50 years. Aside from its massive foray into a new heresy, ecumenism, the past 50 years have seen the near complete collapse of the Papist communion in the Western world. Dwindling church attendance, complete loss of respect for the doctrine of the Eucharist, large clerical scandals, acceptance of modernism (that is, teaching that states the Scriptures are contained of legends and fables, with some garbled oral tradition, as the new modernist biblical critics maintain), and more.
For the Vatican, their Second Council constitutes one of the last of a long line of large scale deviations from the Truth of Christ. Beginning after the Great Schism of the Western Patriarchate of the Church from the Orthodox Faith, the Vatican ceased to be possessed of the sanctifying power of God. The Holy Ghost had left the halls of Old St. Peter’s Basilica (built by St. Constantine the Great in the 4th century), and soon the Romans themselves would destroy this structure during the 1500s in order to make room for the affectation of the Renaissance upon ecclesiastical architecture in the West.
Besides, there was the issue of those pesky silver plates inscribed in Greek and Latin with the unaltered Nicene Creed, that is, with no filioque. Pope Leo III had ordered them placed in the Old Basilica in order to rebuff those clergy in sections of the Church in the West that were seeking to promote filioquism. The old reminder served no ones purpose anymore.
Papism’s history is one of increasing degeneration after the Great Schism. All those elements of trouble and dissension that had been festering for years prior to the schism of western portion of the Orthodox Catholic Church, would now explode on scene. The new ‘Roman Catholic Church’ was completely free to do whatsoever it wanted. It had been ridden of the ‘dead weight’ that the ‘Eastern Church’ had provided (which Eastern Church was what was left of the Orthodox Church after said schism).
The degeneration of papism was on a two-fold scale: liturgical and doctrinal. Essentially, both are related, and inseparable. The Roman pontiffs, since the power achieved by Gregory VII, were all about complete and absolute uniformity. The Spanish Church, under Gregory VII and his allies, essentially had its whole liturgical history abolished around 1080 (after all, the Liturgy celebrated by St. Isidore seemed so ‘strange’ and ‘barbaric’ to the Romanists; it was possessed of many western and eastern relics that Rome was now abandoning). Local Synods also gradually lost much of their power; ironically, the German Emperors who had, for their own selfish reasons, promoted so much that precipitated the Schism, and were intentionally doing everything they could to bolster the elements that led to the Schism, now suddenly discovered that the new found pontiffs’ powers were not to their liking. If they so willed, the Popes could depose kings and emperors at their will.
Gone also was that oath in the Liber Diurnus Romanorum Pontificum which had been there since the late 7th century. After the horrific experience of the Orthodox Romans with Pope Honorius, a number of successive Popes did everything they could to blot out the damage done. Pope Severinus, in 640, called a Synod together and condemned monotheletism. We finally reach Pope St. Martin the Confessor, who, in consort with St. Maximus and hosts of other Orthodox bishops of the West, held the famed Lateran Synod of 649 where they, once again, condemned the monothelite heresy and deprived all those who held it of the priesthood, and cast them out as heretics (which history is much to the chagrin of those who say this action can only be taken by an ecumenical council). In the wake of all this, and the massive triumph of Orthodoxy after the Sixth Ecumenical Council, the Orthodox Romans inserted the following section into the oath of the newly elected Pope:
“But also for the authors of these new heretical dogmas, that is, Sergius, Pyrrhus, Paul, Peter, of Constantinople, together with HONORIOUS, who pays incentive to their depraved assertions;”
This section of the Oath, which affirmed that Honorius was an heretic, quietly disappeared after the 11th century. And it may have been completely forgotten, if not for the discovery of a copy of an old Liber Diurnus in the 17th century. Lucas Holstenius, a German scholar, discovered the old book in the monastery of the Santa Croce in Gerusalemme (a surviving 4th century church, built by St. Helena around 320). The manuscript was almost immediately censored by Roman authorities because of the above cited formula (to be specific, formula lxxxiv ). It was nearly 100 years later that the manuscript was finally allowed to be printed. After all, they reasoned, a pope couldn’t teach heresy! But, they did.
Gone also were any men of the calibre of the ancient Orthodox Popes. Let us look at some of their words:
“Even the authority of this See [that is, Rome] CANNOT grant or alter anything against the statutes of the Fathers, for amongst us antiquity flourishes with unshaken root, to which the statutes of the fathers enjoin reverence.” (Pope St. Zosimus to the Bishops of France)
“The law of every Synod which the consent of the universal Church has approved, no See ought more fully to execute that the chief See.” (Pope St. Gelasius to the Bishops of Dardania)
“Let the laws rule us, not we the laws.” (Pope Celestinus I, to the Bishops of Illyricum)
“Those things are very wicked and very bad, which are shown to be contrary to the most holy Canons.” (Pope St. Leo the Great)
“If ye keep not the Canons, and if ye wish to destroy the statutes of our forefathers, I know not who ye are.” (Pope St. Gregory the Great, the Dialogist)
“We cannot destroy the Ecclesiastical Canons, who are defenders and keepers of the Canons, not their transgressors.” (Pope St. Martin the Confessor)
“We cannot change the boundaries set before by the Fathers.” (Pope Leo IV)
(All quotes can be found in Tentativa Theologica, pg. 127, by Antonio Pereira De Figueredo)
And the courage of a St. Dunstan (909 – 19 May 988) to stand against an immoral authority would never be heard again:
“St. Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, being ordered by the Pope to absolve one of his people whom that Saint had excommunicated on account of incest, boldly replied to the Pope that he would obey his command when the offender had rendered himself deserving of absolution by performing public penance. ‘When I shall see him doing penance for his fault, I will willingly obey the command of the Lord Pope.'”
(Tentativa Theologica, pg. 106)
The old edifice was mutilated. The old stone moved, but, ever so cunningly and slowly. But, moved nevertheless. And the monster that was created was under the control of no man; instead, it was under the influence of him who had been moving behind the scenes since man’s creation on earth and Fall in the Garden, that “old serpent”. Now, no emperor, no kink, and certainly no council of Papal bishops could ever hold the creature back. With absolute power fast becoming the pope’s, the old Liturgy was done away with piece by piece. One pope detested the sequences of the old Orthodox Fathers of the West, after all, it made Liturgy longer, and he could but contain himself to feast. Other papal lackeys saw no need for the Offertory chant to be so long, so, it was reduced to 1/4 of its time or less. Others disliked anything that made things ‘longer’ and less ‘simple’ in their mind.
The height of irony again; the Germans and French, who for so long had been the preservers of these aspects of the Roman Liturgy, had put in power something that had no need for what they cherished most. Change after change, followed, until by the 20th century we had but a skeleton. Schism leads to heresy, and heresy will lead to its own manifestation. An hollowed husk; a ghost bereft of all dignity and majesty. Instead, we only have present a stolid wraith; a pompous and stoic looking gollum, animated only by the desires to rule.
The Jesuits, who for so longed had pressed for the triumph of the logical ultramontanism, had their goal reached in the first Vatican Council of 1870. Thus, the Pope was now in the place of God Himself to them. He was Christ on Earth in the truest sense to the Romanists. His power was absolute, and his judgment beyond contestation. His very word would become law. Yet, for many, it mattered little who was the occupant of this spiritual tyranny; instead, what mattered was who controlled the bureaucracy. Popes could be managed by the upper echelons of power; this many had learned through the centuries. And, an especially weak minded pope, would essentially become a puppet. In a similar manner to presidents and kings throughout history, the real powers cared little for what party or person comes into office; they care about the office itself.
But, as the first early anti-ecumenist, convert to Orthodoxy, former RC priest, and great scholar, Dr. Joseph Julian Overbeck said:
“History was always the weak point of the Jesuits, and consequently of the Papists. If this nasty and troublesome stumbling-block could be cleared away altogether, Romanism would be irrefutable. But it is with history as with conscience. Could the criminal only clear away his provokingly uncomfortable conscience, he would be a perfectly happy man. History is the conscience of mankind, and Rome by falsifying it has sealed her own doom.”
(pg. 64, “A Plain View of the Claims of the Orthodox Catholic Church As Opposed To All Other Christian Denomination”, published in 1881)
Thus, the second Vatican council arrives. It was the quintessential culmination of the Roman system, summed up in two words: innovation and rule. It changed the Papist system fundamentally on a theological and liturgical level; and, as an heresy, Papism became further from Orthodoxy than it had before (all the while protesting friendship!). It abolished everything that would offend the Protestants in its liturgy. It found little it wished to preserve that would be unequivocal of the Unbloody Sacrifice; it saw no need for exorcisms in its baptismal rite; and it certainly had no need for the ‘barbarisms’ of priesthood in its ordinations. And, once again, the powers betrayed those who seemingly thought nothing was going to change; the Romanist traditionalists were in a bind, they were now forced to fight the papacy. This was unthinkable, and impossible in their system; it still is.
The fact that the heretical patriarch of Constantinople should wish to attend ecumenical celebrations with such a grotesque and monstrous beast as the Vatican is no surprise. The only thing that separates the two is one desires complete power to promote heresy, while the other desires joint power to promote heresy. The throwing in of Rowan Williams, the head of the government religious society of England (better known as the ‘Church of England’), is just icing on the cake.
And so, we have the Sergianist-Ecumenist heretical fallen Patriarchates, allied with the Roman monster which denies the most fundamental of Christian dogmas (Priesthood, Eucharistic Sacrifice), with the very founders of the branch theory attending (the Anglicans).
Now more than ever is needed the message of True Orthodoxy; which message is plain Christianity. Many find this to be an incredible claim; but, this is because they only see the distortions that are ever so present. True Orthodoxy has no allegiance to the heresies of the Romanists or the Sergi-Metaxakites (the ‘World Orthodox’); nor should it have any affection for those who deny the true doctrines of atonement, original sin, iconography, the particular judgment (such as the ‘toll-houses’, etc) and all the traditions and teachings. The plague of the modernist/renovationist should be something foreign to True Orthodoxy.
We are experiencing the worst period in the history of the Orthodox Church; the constant fights among the Orthodox during the 4th century now begin to pale in comparison. Then all were against the Arians, even if the True Orthodox of that period often times anathematized each other in their combat. But, now, we see new heresies arising, from different and unforeseen avenues and directions. Assaulted from within and without, fights and antagonisms; and the man who dares raise any point of objection, contestation, or speculation is hated. Those who profess themselves to be the wise and educated are discovered to be possessed of a spirit of malice and hatred equaled only by the Sergianist-Ecumenists themselves.
What time we have left is not to be spent in constant wrangling for power and control on one hand, and innovation and renovation on the other; after such goals did the papists seek and mighty has been their fall. Men with thin skin and unable to engage in the rigour of combat, nor able to endure the perceived slight have no place in such a battle as is being waged. If the constant war that has been the state of the supposed professors of True Orthodoxy is to continue, we shall see a dreadful end indeed. It is a war none of us can win, if we wish to fight it.