RTOC Breaks Communion with STOC; Says Bishop Stefan of Trenton is Deposed

Proceedings of the RTOC Synod of Bishops Meeting in January 2018

The Synod of Bishops of the Russian True Orthodox Church was held from the 19 January/ 1 February to 21 January/ 3 February 2018, in the city of Dimitrov of Moscow region.

The Synod made the following decisions:

– To sever prayerful and Eucharistic communion with Serbian True Orthodox Church

– To depose Bishop Stefan (Sabelnik) of his episcopal rank.

Source Link: http://www.ripc.info/en/documents/doc/proceedings-of-the-rtoc-synod-of-bishops-meeting-in-january-2018/

37 Comments

  1. Justice forOrthodoxy says:

    I’m sad to see this happened. Hopefully in the future monk Stephan and the STOC will repent and once again seek spiritual communion!

  2. Josaphat says:

    …and here we go again. And yet canonical infractions are NO BASIS to sever communion. Only explicit heresy previously condemned. This is the attitude of pharisaism which will haunt the splinters of Orthodoxy until the second coming. What good is it? Why not greater generosity and communication? This is simply the temptation from the right taking hold.

    • Joe Digrande says:

      Where is the attitude of St. Paul when he had a serious disagreement with St. Peter over circumcision? He did not break communion but traveled to Jerusalem to confront St. Peter “to his face.” At that time it was a debate at the Council of Jerusalem about whether the Church would be the “One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church (St. Paul) or the Jewish Orthodox Church (St. Peter).
      Ironically not one bishop in this group (RTOC.STOC or Bishop Stefan) has anathematized or broken communion with Masons Meletius Metaxis, Athenogoras or Joachim III. Did these Masons just make “Cyprianic mistakes from 1877-1972? A Mason has no power to even hold a cross, much less be a member of the church. They were much worse than Herod the Horrible, Arius and Nestorius put together.
      The Matthewites are the only ones to hurl anathemas against all of these Masons. Origen was condemned 175 years after his demise so it is no problem to pay back the Masons for this original sin of all the Old Calendrists: No one prior to 1924 said one word against Meletius or Joachim III, neither St. Matthew, St. Chrystomos of Florina, the entire Russian or Serbian Churches with all their saints.
      If we repent for this sin, that will be the basis of union. If we cannot repent, there will be no union, but just more chaos. St. Aaron worshiped the Golden Calf along with most the Jewish people but they repented. We still have not condemned the sterling silver calf of Masonry as personified by these three heretical monsters.
      This sorry reality illustrates the hypnotic power of Masonry and its bastard children: Ecumenism, Nationalism and the rejection of Orthodox autocracy over the last 150 years.

      Kill the mother first and the other three will wither and starve within our church. As St. Nicholai Velimirovich said: the greatest threat to the Orthodox Church is not Communism, but Masonry infecting the clerical estate of the Church.

      Instead of killing these false shepherds with personal anathemas, we coddle their memories and the destruction they wrought and fight among ourselves, break communion and treat each other like dirt. The demons and Masons just laugh us to scorn.

      • Deacon Joseph @ NFTU says:

        For the record, the Western Rite Old Calendarists (now the Metropolia I am part of) have anathematized Freemasonry for decades. For that matter, so have the New Calendarists in Greece, since at least 1940. I doubt they’re the only ones. Verbum sap sat.

        • Joe Digrande says:

          The problem is that these three hierarchs have not been anathematized personally like Arius or Nestorius were. ROCOR also anathematized Masonry as a doctrine in 1932 but continued to see Meletius Metaxis and Athenagoras as valid hierarchs with grace, just like the New Calendar. It is the double standard that continues to haunt us to this day.

          • Deacon Joseph @ NFTU says:

            The problem with this argument is that Arius and Nestorius founded their heresies. Meletius & co. did not found Freemasonry, nor can it be said with any certainty that they were the first formally Orthodox freemasons in the hierarchy. What they did found is New Calendarism, but that technically is following the Papal calendar, which was already anathematized. And virtually all Old Calendarists have anathematized the New Calendarists, hence the schism. It’s an imaginary double standard.

          • Joe Digrande says:

            The research shows that Joachim III was a Freemason and had large masonic symbols placed above the Greek School in Constantinople after he was made Patriarch in 1877. He was anathematized by the GOC and the Matthewites (who also anathematized Meletius and Athenagoras)

            They were formally Free Masons. Meletius (as early as 1913) had his photo published in Masonic garb. Both he and Athenagoras were members of the Masonic lodge named Harmony. Joachim III had him ordained Metropolitan of Kition in 1910. Joachim III was the first to introduce the heresy of Ecumenism at the turn of the century when he was elected Patriarch of Constantinople. He remained in that position until 1912.
            As a result they fell under the anathemas against Free Masonry and had no power to convene Councils or even take the sacraments as a layman. Of course they did not found Free Masonry.

            As for the problem of who were the first Masonic hierarchs, more research has to be done but it is almost certain that they made inroads within the hierarchies of the major patriarchates in the 19th century. A Masonic Pope was elected in 1903 but this decision was overturned by the Austrian Emperor. But the Mason was allowed to remain a cardinal so this problem was not confined to the Orthodox Church.

            It is not allowed for one to be a member of the KGB and a Patriarch. So too is it forbidden to be a Mason and a member of the Orthodox Church. If it is allowed the word “anathema” means nothing in any real sense.

          • Justice forOrthodoxy says:

            So you don’t think the RTOC or the STOC are valid churches? the RTOC and the STOC have absolutely no tolerance for freemasonry or it’s followers.

          • Joe Digrande says:

            Both Churches currently have no tolerance for freemasonry or its followers but their ancestors (ROCOR/ the Russian Orthodox Church prior to 1917 and the Serbian Patriarchate) tolerated and propped Meletius Metaxis, Joachim III and Athenogoras up from 1877-1972 when Athenogoras died.

            For example there was no response from ROCOR or any Patriarchate when Meletius Metaxis easily became “Patriarch” of Alexandria after being deposed in Constantinople. He remained at “his” see from 1925-31. This was after the Masonic Council of 1924. There was no response from the Greek Church in Greece. His mission was to destroy Alexandria like he destroyed Constantinople and Greece. He wanted to move onto Jerusalem after 1935 but he died before he could continue his onslaught.

            Athenagoras easily was transported to Constantinople in 1949 by Truman (a public Mason) and installed as “Patriarch.” ROCOR and the Serbian Patriarchate (along with the Jerusalem Patriarchate) had no response.

            This Masonic takeover of these Patriarchates was as easy as the Muslim conquest over the first 75 years. In fact it was easier.

            The question is why there was no outrage. Why were they not excommunicated and anathematized by the other local churches then? The only three answers I can come up with are:

            1. The heresy of nationalism raised its ugly head like it did in the late 19th century. It was officially condemned in 1871. From the Serbian Patriarchate and ROCOR this was a “Greek problem” and considered none of their Apostolic business.
            2. Large swaths of the local churches involved had secret Masons within the clerical estate at all levels and supported financially by lay Masons by 1900. That is why it was so easy for Meletius Metaxis and Athenagoras to operate without opposition. In the Jerusalem Patriarchate most of their funds come from and through Constantinople.
            3. Within the local churches fear reigned with the Orthodox when the word “Mason” raised its ugly head and thus all the local churches were paralyzed.

            Origen was supported by many people (and many saints including St. Gregory of Nyssa) scattered all over the Orthodox Church when he first promulgated his heresy. He died and 175 years later both he and his heresy was condemned at the 5th Ecumenical Council. Something similar is possible today.

            Local Churches (The GOC and Matthewite Synods) have condemned one or all of these Masonic pseudo-patriarchs personally so this is not some wild idea of my own. As a first step toward even talking to each other, the other local Old Calendar Churches should unite with them on this one point first. The decades long refusal to act as One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church on this issue was the earthquake that originally caused the cracks in the Old Calendar Churches we navigate and suffer with today.
            This Mason (Meletius Metaxis) cleverly adopted the New Calendar but left the Paschalion alone and thus escaped condemnation. He did not destroy the Paschalion. But he had no power to do this or even convoke an Orthodox council to begin with. If this council produced an Orthodox decree, it would still be false. A priest of Baal in the Old Testament or an Arian in the New Testament) has no power to convoke an Orthodox Council much less order grape leaves and ouzo as take out for it in the name of the Orthodox Church. A layman like me (within the Church) has been given no power to convoke a council, or to “bind and loose” much less a Mason who has declared his Masonic faith in public.

            St. Nicholai Velimirovich (who had an intimate knowledge of both the Greek Church, ROCOR and the Serbian Church) sounded the alarm bell in the last century and was ignored. He did not concern himself with just the Serbian Church but was a true Apostolic bishop. He considered this problem a greater threat than Communism to the entire Church. I agree with him.

            Maybe this common sin of ours and its solution over 100 years later can induce both the necessary humility and repentance necessary to unite us. St. Aaron built the Golden Calf but repented. It was not a mistake; it was a common sin. Right now each local Old Calendar Church sees itself without sin over the last 150 years. Each church struggles to even say they made “Mistakes.” Doesn’t that have to change?

            St. Moses and God asked the question that reunited the Jews under Sinai. They asked who is with the Lord God and the Levites including St. Aaron went to their side. They then turned on the Jews who remained adoring the Golden Calf and slew 23,000 men.

            We don’t fight with swords nowadays but our hierarchies can wield the sword of personal excommunication and anathema and leave the rest for the Trinity One in Essence and Undivided who always backs the underdog who puts their trust in Him. We need to make this personal. Most people see the word Mason in this country and think of tolerant people in funny hats running hospitals for the poor.

          • Deacon Joseph @ NFTU says:

            Were I to guess, if he’s arguing the Matthewite TOC is right (which one I am not sure of) than basically none of the True Orthodox are valid except….

          • Justice forOrthodoxy says:

            I’ve always thought that laymen from the “Matthewite” synods accepted the RTOC, STOC, and the ROAC as fully Orthodox considering their anathema against ecumenism also condemns the Freemasons.

            I love the life of Blessed Matthew and his sacrifices for his flock, but I don’t think the “Florinites” are graceless. Personally, I think the true “Matthewite” synod is continued under Archbishop Stephanos.

          • Joe Digrande says:

            Hello: Can you tell me more about the Matthewite Church of Archbishop Stephanos. I too believe that Matthew and Chrysostomos are saints. And I am interested if they have accepted RTOC,ROAC and STOC as fully Orthodox. I would like to contact them on that possibility. If you can give me their web address I would appreciate that.

          • Justice forOrthodoxy says:

            Hi Joe,

            Here’s the website for the GOC-Stephanos: http://www.orthodox-christianity.net

            The GOC Stephanos is the only “Matthewite” synod that hasn’t schismed in any way, shape, or form like the other two synods that claim to be the rightful synod. In other words, the GOC-Stephanos is the only synod to trace its apostolic succession back to Blessed Matthew of Bresthena.

            On another note do you have a Euphrosynoscafe account? I would like to send you a PM if your a new inquirer.

            For more information in the history on the synod, here’s a book by Fr. Stephan Fraiser.

            http://www.svetosavskasrbija.com/sites/default/files/book_file/genuine_orthodox_church_of_greece_goc.pdf

          • Joe Digrande says:

            Hi: I am not a member of Euphrosynocafe. How can I get in? Is there a website? I will examine the website you gave me.- thank you:)/ Joseph

          • Justice forOrthodoxy says:

            You’re very welcome,

            Euphrosynoscafe is a forum for Traditional Orthodox Christians and inquirers. There you can freely ask questions without having to worry about any attacks from World Orthodox groups.

            Link: http://www.euphrosynoscafe.com/forum/

          • Joe Digrande says:

            Hello Justice: I got onto the website and looked at the Genuine Orthodox Church website and read the book you gave me from Father Stephen Fraser. I had some questions about the book but their website has not had any changes since 2015.

            Metropolitan Gavalas died. Who can I contact about this book? Is Father Steven alive? And last of all I have a good friend living on Cyprus- where can I find a directory in English of the churches under Archbishop Stephanos on Cyprus.

            Thanks for any help you can be. I joined this website and it looks like it can help me in that I live without a church in Alaska./ joseph

          • Justice forOrthodoxy says:

            I would recomend talking with Fr. Fraiser, though I’ve been told he’s very busy these days with his mission parish hence ahy it hasnt been updated.

            Since I’ve only seen the website once, I’ll have to PM an admin over at ECafe who’s apart of their synod. I’ll try and post it later today.

          • Joe Digrande says:

            The RTOC (And ROCOR of the past) and STOC are valid churches. They now have no tolerance for freemasonry or its followers but both churches considered Meletius Metaxis, Athenagoras and Joachim III valid patriarchs at the time of their holding office.

            That was a sin. For ROCOR I think that they made the calculated and logical decision to protect their property in the Holy Land at all cost from 1920-2001. That meant considering the Masonic Patriarchs less than anathematized. If they had decided to confront them they feared that Constatinople would force the Patriarch of Jerusalem to hand over all property to them and remove the permission to serve Liturgy in the land of the Jerusalem Patriarchate. ROCOR had lost their homeland and psychologically were too weak to take on both the Communists from afar and the Masons who were much nearer. The Russian Church and the Romanov Dynasty (the head of the Church) did nothing to confront Joachim the III from 1877-1912. That is another sin to know that a Patriarch is a Mason but continue to be in eucharistic communion with him. Why?
            Perhaps they calculated that to confront him would put their plan to take Contantinople in peril?
            Met. Antony Krapovitsky was a close personal friend of Joachim III, knowing full well he was a Masonic Patriarch. This was a sin.

            The Serbian Church also sinned to a greater degree by maintaining eucharistic communion with Meletius Metaxis and Athenargoras along with Joachim III, knowing full well that they were Masons.

            Condemning them now puts real faces on Masonry. This heresy of heresies is like a secretive hypnotic octopus. Faces have to be put on this octopus and these historical sins need to be repented for. We need to repent now for allowing this octopus to roam free.

            It is the foundation of the union of the Old Calendar Churches. Despite all the general anathemas against Masonry, no real faces have been attached to them.

            And that is the weakness of the Anathema of 1983 which could have listed these heretics and their followers as cursed for being Masons first.

            I suggest reading the Tomos of 1285 for what a professional anathema needs to look like.

            Both 1935 (which should have condemned Joachim III and Meletius by name as Masons first and 2nd for introducing the N. Calendar at a Masonic Council in 1924) and 1983 were too general. It is time to tighten up and link 1935 and 1983 and make this personal. Put some faces on the hypnotic octopus of Masonry.

            Any church and all the members of that so called church who still has these Masonic monsters in their diptychs are condemned personally. We need to make this personal. We need to pick a fight.

          • Deacon Joseph @ NFTU says:

            Very little of this has to do with my point, which is that the addition of their names doesn’t improve the anathema, since Freemasonry predated both of them. Now it goes back as far as 1901? Or 1882? There is such thing as secret belief protecting the office, but if you don’t believe in that, then things get a little problematic.

            I feel like you’re shoving in a lot of useful trivia that doesn’t actually answer the fact that a bunch of other people anathematized the freemasons.

      • Diakrisis Dogmaton says:

        Dear Joe Digrande,

        I agree with several of your sentiments, especially that the breach between the RTOC and the STOC is a tragedy and that we should concentrate on anathematizing masonry, ecumenism, and relativism. We should all concentrate on a pure confession of Orthodox faith and fully breaking communion with Masons and ecumenists. Those actions are what is needed for unity to occur between various traditional Orthodox groups. However, you were misleading (and seem to have contradicted yourself) when you wrote that “The Matthewites are the only ones to hurl anathemas against all of these Masons … No one prior to 1924 said one word against Meletius or Joachim III, neither St. Matthew, St. Chrystomos of Florina, the entire Russian or Serbian Churches with all their saints.” In reality, there was serious opposition to Joachim’s westernization program during his times as patriarch. You already mentioned correctly that ROCOR condemned masonry early on. Bolshevism and theosophy/occultism were also condemned. Saint Chrysostom Kavourides spoke out against Meletios’s uncanonical election as patriarch in 1921 and was disciplined with forced exile on Athos. Saint Nikolaj Velimirovich denounced freemasonry (as you noted) and he supported the old calendarists in Greece from the 1920s to his repose in the 1950s. The “Lamian” synod under Metropolitan Kallinikos of Lamia (now under Archbishop Makarios of Athens) anathematized Masons in March 1997, English http://www.omologitis.org/?page_id=513 and Greek
        http://www.omologitis.org/?page_id=513&lang=el. That 1997 encyclical also says that the synod condemned masonry in 1988 (presumably the synod of Archbishop Auxentios). HOCNA issued an encyclical against masonry, which cites other condemnations of masonry and even has a short bibliography (rare for an encyclical). A year and a half after the Lamians issued their strong _Orthodox Confession_ in March 1997, the Kiouses synod anathematized Joachim, Meletios, and Chrysostom Papadopoulos as the “first workers of the cacodoxy of ecumenism” in late 1998, http://ecclesiagoc.gr/index.php/ekklisiologika/470-katadike-oikoumenismou-1998. I am unaware of a full English translation, but the Greek is very clear: Ἰωακεὶμ τῷ Γ’, Πατριάρχῃ Κωνσταντινουπόλεως, Μελετίῳ Μεταξάκῃ, καὶ Χρυσοστόμῳ Παπαδοπούλῳ, τοῖς πρωτεργάταις τῶν κακοδοξιῶν τοῦ Οἰκουμενισμοῦ, Ἀνάθεμα (“To Joachim III, Patriarch of Constantinople, to Meletios Metaxakes, and to Chrysostomos Papdopoulos, the first-workers of the cacodoxy of Ecumenism, Anathema.”) Sadly, since the Kallinikos-Cyprian-Agafangel-Vlasie union in 2014, that group of sister churches is in a form of limited intercommunion with heretical ecumenists in Jerusalem and in the areas where Russia and Georgia have fought wars recently. The Romanians in the union may or may not be in a form of limited intercommunion with heretical ecumenists in Moldavia/Moldova. All of that needs to end, if they want to be considered Orthodox. If all these wavering churches would (1) read the 1983 _Anathema against Ecumenism_ in all of their churches and (2) fully cut communion with ecumenist churches, those would be great steps. Waiting for a “unifying synod” or a “major synod of true Orthodox” is unjustified procrastination. Masonry and ecumenism have already been validly condemned numerous times from the 1920s to the present. The bishops of the Kallinikos-Cyprian-Agafangel-Vlasie-Fotii union need to put those already-valid condemnations into practice by cutting communion with the ecumenists in Jerusalem, Georgia/Russia, and Moldova/Moldavia! If their property is taken from them, so be it. True churches cannot maintain communion with the ecumenists in order to retain their property. True churches can have Liturgy in people’s basements, if needed. Saint Gregory the Theologian himself was the acting True-Orthodox archbishop of Constantinople in a house church. We should not be afraid of house churches. In places like China and often in Russia, that appears to be the only option. If we have to that in Southeastern Europe and the Americas, then that is what we have to do. You are correct, nothing justifies this continuing intercommunion with masons and ecumenists! P.S.: Could you possibly provide a full citation for the quotation from Saint Nikolaj of Zhicha?

        • Joe Digrande says:

          Hi Diakrisis:

          Thank you for educating me. I stand corrected on what the various Greek Old Calendar Churches have done to personally condemn the Masons who tried to tear the Church apart in the 20th century.

          It remains for the various Russian groups and the Serbs to follow suit and join Makarios, Lamians, the Matthewites and the GOC in condemning them.

          I will read all of this from the links you have given me. If you have any more information, send it my way. What church are you in? I have one foot in RTOC and the other in STOC and I am trying to read their websites and Bishop Stefan to figure out the situation.

          Someone on this site said that the New Calendar Greeks have condemned Masonry since the 1940’s too but Meletios, Athenagoros and Joachim III are still on their diptychs as valid Bishops who convoked valid synods so their general anathema against Masonry is hypocritical and moot in my opinion.

          Is there a reason that the Old Calendar Greeks you mentioned have not personally condemned Athenagoras?

          I also think this site would benefit from a color-coded flow chart of Old Calendar Churches and who they are currently in union with. Does anyone have any interest in doing that?

          I know about how Agathangel and the Jerusalem Patriarchate are in illicit contact.I was there in 2015 and had a nun under Agathangel give me her side of the story and invite me to visit Ireneous- the deposed hierarch. I declined the invitation.

          ROCOR after 1983 maintained official contact with the Jerusalem Patriarchate which was a total disaster.

          Does your Church recognize the Council of Blachernae (1285) and the 8th Ecumenical Council (879) of St. Photius the Great? Has it canonized St. Gregory of Cyprus who wrote the Tomos of 1285?

          I think both the British and Turks who controlled the Egypt, Palestine and Asia Minor and most of the rest of the Middle East after WW1 had a vested interest in installing and maintaining Masonic Patriarchates throughout the area. Using bribery, extortion, murder and terror, they took over Alexandria, Constantinople, Antioch and through them controlled Jerusalem.

          I also wonder about the friendship between Met. Anthony Krapovitsky and Joachim III and if that has had anything to do with ROCOR not condemning him and his proteges who took over from 1921-72.

          If you have any books in English I need to read to understand your point of view, let me know. I am a monolingual American and thus uneducated in many ways due to my laziness in learning languages. I will ask STOC to give me the exact quote from St. Nicholai and get back to you. If you want to communicate privately/ I will send you my email.

          I am happy that St. Chrysostomos confronted Meletios Metaxis in 1921. What was St. Matthew’s response before 1924?
          When he was made Metropolitan of Kition in 1910- did anyone protest?

          Have a blesses Holy Week and Pascha/ joseph digrande

        • Joe Digrande says:

          I have a few more questions: you mention that the policies of Joachim III from 1901-1912 were opposed in the Greek Church.
          Who opposed them and is there a record in English?
          Also was it commonly known during the period he was in office that Joachim III was a Mason. If so was there outrage and a movement to depose him on this fact?
          Was there an anathema against Masonry issued before he took office in 1901 or 1876? If there was no anathema, was it allowed to be both a Mason and be an Orthodox Christian before the Anathemas issued in the 20th century in the four Greek patriarchates?
          Who ordained him in the first place and was that person a Mason?
          Thank you for any help you can be i this matter/ Joseph

          • Diakrisis Dogmaton says:

            Yes, there is some documentation, and some is in English, but I do not have access to it at the moment. In general, Joachim allied himself with the Greek westernizers-modernizers-secularizers in Istanbul and was opposed by the Greek conservatives in the Patriarchate. He was also opposed by Orthodox churches other than Constantinople. I think the focus then was on his public stances rather than any secret membership. Similarly today, I think we should focus our condemnation on the public stances that were attacks on Orthodoxy, such as Athenagoras’s, Demetrius’s, and Bartholomew’s numerous heretical statements. The Freemasonic background is useful to document for scholarly and historical support, but the fully heretical statements after 1965 need to be exposed and condemned. I will try to post some documentation after Pascha. I have never read that Saint Gregory Palamas considered a Photian synod to be the Eight Ecumenical Synod or the 1285 synod to be the Ninth. Could you give me references to Saint Greogry on that.

          • Joe Digrande says:

            Hi:

            I agree with you on the need to focus on the heretical statements from 65 on but there was a golden opportunity to tie Meletius to the Anathema of 1935. He was Patriarch of Alexandria at the time. And he was a public Mason, not secret at all.
            What jurisdiction are you?
            St. Gennadius Scholarius said about the 8th Council:

            “I receive with all my heart the holy and great council that condemned the Latinizer Beccus, and firmly believe it to be ecumenical, since the absence of the West does not remove its ecumnenicity… Note how the Council of Florence (1439) differs from that which met in Constantinople against Beccus (1285).
            The latter (1285 agrees completely with the faith of the ecumenical councils, both with the 8th (the union of Council of Constantinople, 879) and the rest. In Constantinople, the patriarch of Alexandria was present, and the other patriarchs agreed with and approved of the result as a sound and lawful decision.”
            St. Gregory was very good friends with St. Mark of Ephesus. I do not have access to the autobiographies or other writings of both of them in that they are only in Greek. Have you read them? St. Gregory Palamas, being a hesycahast and a believer in 1285 must have bee a believer in the 8th Council. St. Gennadius spoke in the above quote like it was a given that 879 was considered the 8th Council. It was abolished by the Latins in 1015. Who in the Orthodox Church had the right since then to demote it? And when was this done? If it can be done, then Councils 1-7 can be demoted to.
            I think it was done by the Latins in their educational invasion of eastern Europe after 1453 in that most publishing came out of Padua and Venice until the 18th century. Higher education was completely controlled by Jesuits. And so the 8th Council gets demoted in that it spoke directly against the Filioque and the iron hand of the Papacy uncontrolled. I think the 8th needs to be returned and it should have been item number 1 at Florence along with 1A- acceptance of Blachernae (1285).
            Does your church accept 1285 as valid and has it canonized St. Gregory of Cyprus who wrote the Tomos?
            Again that is another foundation for all anathemas after 1285. It was ignored at Florence totally by the unionists. 1341-51 was also ignored. 1285 should be celebrated in our churches like the 8th Council. We need to return to the conscience of St. Gennadius Scholarius and the entire Church in this matter. The saints of Kiev Caves Monastery all believed in the 8th Council.

            If the autobiography of St. Mark of Ephesus is ever published in English, let me know. Have you read it in Greek and if so, what is your impression.

            I also agree in general with you on your ideas concerning the Serbs. In London itself today both RTOC and STOC have parishes. We are all geographically intermingled all over the world. Right confession of faith is most crucial.

            What I find alarming today is the total lack of desire to communicate at the level of the Bishops across national boundaries, despite instant communication available to all. There is a great need for all of these bishops to be locked up for a year to sort out their problems. But for that we need autocratic King or a group of Kings to enforce it and preside. Of course such a council can be hit with a Masonic cruise missile or drone so it remains a pipe dream.

            I see this contempt for each other as the nationalistic vitriolic wars between the Orthodox that erupted 125 years ago in the Balkan wars while the Masons, Papists, Turks, heretical monarchies and republics watched in hilarity. How little human regard between Bishops in general. I thought we were supposed to love our enemies. We do not even love the bishops who have the same faith and thus our friends.

    • Diakrisis Dogmaton says:

      Dear Josaphat: Unia is not “holy,” it is diabolical. There is no unity of faith in the Roman Catholic Church. What is mandatory in Chicago, Argentina, and Malta is heresy in Poland and Africa. Cardinal Burke sticks to RC tradition and is demoted several times. Cardinal Sarah says one thing and Pope Francis tries to humiliate him. Cardinals ask their dubia and the Pope ignores them and waits for them to die off (it has partially worked). The official website of the German bishops openly promotes immorality as do Cardinals Marx and Cupich and the Pope’s adviser Father James Martin. Cardinal Müller, a very intelligent man, uses his intelligence to try to be a uniting intermediary between irreconcilable advocates of irreconcilable doctrines. They may be all “in communion” with one another superficially, but there is absolutely no communion in faith. There is only communion in doctrinal and moral relativism. Francis? WORST. POPE. EVER. Relativism is the order of the day among the RCs and the “Unia.” Newsflash: Vatican PR person resigns after misrepresenting what Pope Emeritus said about liberal theologians who support Francis. This is not the catholic (whole, complete, Orthodox) Christian faith — it is doctrinal and moral relativism. Leave them and return to the Orthodox faith that existed prior to the unia of Brest and Uzhhorod!!!!! Forget about Josaphat Kontsevich and return to the faith of Josaphat Kontsevich’s and Meletii Smotritskii’s Slavic ancestors. They were traditional Orthodox Christians who denounced the false pope of Rome. Join the Orthodox. We would welcome you with open arms.

      • Josaphat says:

        No, this is just charged rhetoric. The abuse of individuals does not alter the legitimacy of either a position or a doctrine.

        The facts are quite evident-

        1. No bishop can canonically declare another bishop deposed or treat him as such without a trial that actually applies the penalties. So anathemas and depositions related to various canonical infractions don’t stick unless a synod actually applies them, and applies them rightly and justly. This is clearly taught by Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain.

        2. Which synod of the Orthodox summoned and tried and canonically condemned either the Pope of Rome or his representative? None. Only after Patriarch Jeremias III are the Latins as a CHURCH spoken of as anathematized, in 1583.

        3. The Latins continually reached out for Union, the Orthodox continually violates and repudiated the terms of Union. That’s schismatic.

        4. The Metropolitans of Kiev for example have not all been consistently Orthodox, but alternated between those who are anti-Latin and those who commemorate and favor unity until the time
        Of Metropolitan Isidore.

        • Diakrisis Dogmaton says:

          DOCTRINAL CHANGES DISPROVE PAPAL CLAIMS. Historians — Western Christian, Eastern Christian, non-Christian — all agree that the Roman Patriarchate changed doctrines, sacraments, and church structures in the middle ages, whereas the ancient autocephalous Orthodox Catholic Churches of the East (Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Cyprus, and later Georgia and Bulgaria) were much, much more conservative on theology, canon law, and church administration. These Eastern Churches maintained the faith and practice of the seven ancient ecumenical councils whereas the Latin Church changed. Baptism was changed from immersion, to pouring, to sprinkling. Confirmation was changed from immediately after baptism by a priest to years later by a bishop. First Communion was changed from immediately after baptism-confirmation to years later. Communion was also changed from leavened to unleavened bread and from two kinds (Body and Blood) to one kind. The rule for ordination of a bishop by at least two bishops was changed. The married priesthood was abolished in the Latin Church (but fornication with mistresses was extremely common). The sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick was changed into Extreme Unction only for the dying. It is an undeniable fact that ancient canon law DID allow divorce and remarriage in some cases as did Christ Himself when he said no divorce “except for immorality” and as Saint Paul allowed remarriage in the circumstance of abandonment by an unbelieving spouse. “Annulments” is a dishonest term for a true divorce that is given to those who are powerful who want to remarry (Ted Kennedy, Joe Kennedy, etc.) The idea that the Latin Church does not have true divorce and remarriage is not honest. Today, the pope, cardinals, and national bishops conferences are all over the map on Communion for those living in adultery, fornication, and sodomy. The Latin Church has no real unity in reality on morality. You may have an official doctrine on contraception on paper (Humanae Vitae encyclical) but many bishops and most theologians do not believe it and most priests do not enforce it. Francis initiated a commission that may eventually lead to a change. Amoris Laetitia radically reversed Familiaris Consortio on Communion for the remarried. No stability of doctrine there! The Seven Ecumenical Councils forbade changes to the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, but the Latin Church disobeyed and added the Filioque. Augustine of Hippo was a former Platonist and Manichean whose extreme (untraditional) doctrines were opposed by Saint Vincent of Lerins and Saint John Cassian, because they departed from the patristic consensus. But Augustine became THE theologian in the Latin middle ages. Anselm introduced a new, overly-legalist understanding of atonement. Aquinas went from being an Aristotelian heretic to the “Angelic Doctor [=Teacher].” That was a huge change in Latin theology. The Eastern Orthodox Churches continued to theologize as the Universal Doctors (Athanasius, Gregory the Theologian, Chrysostom) did. Lastly, the evolutions and perversions of the papal claims over the centuries show that the Latin Church departed from the ancient catholic consensus (maintained in the East). In the ancient period, ecumenical councils were supreme over popes of Rome. Pope Saint Gregory the Great said that a “universal bishop” was impossible. But the Latin Church totally changed its view of the Roman papacy and elevated one bishop over the ancient patristic consensus and ancient canon law and ecumenical councils. Please do some research on what historians call the “Gregorian Reform.” It completely changed the papacy. Logically, because the Eastern Orthodox Autocephalous Churches maintained the consensus of the Seven Ecumenical Councils and the Latin Churches changed so many, many things, we have to conclude that the Universal Church is the Eastern Orthodox Church. We Orthodox are present in all the continents of the earth. “Catholic” (a Greek, not Latin word) means “whole.” The ancient Church of the Seven Ecumenical Councils has that “whole” truth, and this truth is maintained today by traditional Orthodox Christians, not by the papacy, which has presided over change after change after change.

          • Josaphat says:

            Again, charged rhetoric.

            Please demonstrate a single ACTUAL change in either faith or moral teaching.

            Here’s the Orthodox failings-

            1. Marriage went from being indissoluble to dissoluble by an ecclesiastical court in certain circumstances.

            2. Those divorced are allowed communion without a change in lifestyle. Institutional sacrelige.

            3. Contraception is only as sinful as your confessor suggests. There is a change in consensus. An 180 degree change.

            4. Annulments are not divorce. A divorce is the attempted rupture of a sacramental marriage. Annulment is the declaration a marriage did not exist. Again, do some abuse it? Yes, but it doesn’t make it wrong. Neither do people’s faithlesness to official teaching affect the official teaching.

            Distinguish in the future between official and personal.

        • Joe Digrande says:

          The Council of Blachernae (1285) condemned the Filioque and posited the eternal manifestation of the Spirit to explain the phrase “through the Son.” This was a compliment to St. Photius’s explanation of the procession of theHoly Spirt The Latins were condemned and remained condemned under this Synod.

          St.Gennadius Scholarios, St. Gregory Palamas and St. Mark of Ephesus considered 1285 as the 9th Ecumenical Council after the 8th Ecumenical Council of St. Photius which explained that there is no eternal procession of the Father through or from the Son.

          If you read the Tomos of Blachernae- you can see it is the further development of St. Photius which explains the difference between procession and manifestation and a bridge to the Essence/Energy Truth of St. Gregory Palamas. My opinion is that 1285 and 1341/51 should be combined and designated the 9th Council.

          • Josaphat says:

            Fine, it was the condemnation (whether legitimate or illegitimate) of a perceived false dogmatic position.

            But it’s an altogether different condemnation to say Bishop X or Church X is to be condemned for holding this position. There is no synod that accomplished that before 1583.

            And again, the fact is this synod is objectively wrong because many Greek Fathers ARE speaking of eternal procession, not temporal mission, which in itself reflects eternal procession anyway. Again- does the Spirit send the Son into the world? No. Why? Because he has his eternal Hypostatic being from the father through (dia) the Son.

            And further, no one taught before Photios that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the father ALONE. That is HIS innovation. And it doesn’t wash to say the Latin Fathers misspoke. Says who? Him? Circular reasoning and circular appeal to authority.

          • Joe Digrande says:

            Josaphat:

            The Tomos of 1285 did condemn John Beccus directly along with all who believed with him. And that included every Latin including all the churches under the Popes. 1351 condemned a specific heretic from Calabria and all that believed like he did, including all churches under the Pope.
            This wall of anathemas exist to this day and separate you and the Pope who is above you from me and all the people and bishops who follow the Tomos of 1285, 1351 and 879 ( 879 had the approval of Pope John) but was later excised from the Latin Church in 1015 by the Gregorian Revolution.
            There is no real need to debate this. It is carved in stone for both sides. I will not reply further. The Tomos of 1285 is my answer to any further posts by you.

          • Josaphat says:

            And yet there was no summoning nor trial of any Latin Bishop or Pope: it’s an assumed application inside a closed system. Schismatic.

          • Joe Digrande says:

            John Beccus was summoned and tried in 1285. He was the former Patriarch of Constantinople and in union with the Pope (after the False Council of Lyons in 1270). He was on trial at Blachernae. He is a saint in your church. He is mentioned by name in the Tomos. Arius and Nestorius were tried in a similar manner at the 1st and 3rd Ecumenical Council. The Nestorian or Arian Church was not on trial at either council but the formulators of the heresy. In the anathemas issued to them personally it is carved in stone that all that follow the heresy are condemned.
            From your point of view we are schismatics. From our point of view you and your church are heretical. It has been that way since 1285. Nothing has changed except individuals from the Latin church have moved toward the Orthodox Church and some from our church have moved to the Latins.
            Heresy means “one who chooses.” And schismatic means one who breaks away. It is a fact of life and the anathemas back that up.

    • Diakrisis Dogmaton says:

      Also, the temporal filioque of certain western Fathers was perverted into a filioque of eternal origin much later in the Latin Church. That is why the Photian opposition to the ninth-century filioque in the Creed (an opposition shared by Pope John) was essentially correct. Also, Palamism was not an innovation. It is at over 2000 years old. Even in the Pentateuch and Kings they distinguished between God’s invisible “face” (“essence” in Palamism) and His visible “glory” (“energy” in Palamism). One God Who is both face-and-back in Pentateuchal theology and is both essence-and-energy in Palamite theology. The Davidic and Solomonic writings also make an essence/energies distinction. This should not surprise you because the East stayed Orthodox-Catholic, whereas the late medieval West made change after change after change. You will find doctrinal continuity in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, whereas rupture after rupture in Latin theological history. If you are having doubts about the Unia, those doubts are of God. Return to Christ’s true Catholic Church today—the traditional Eastern Orthodox Church. Orthodoxy or death.

      • Josaphat says:

        Often in these discussions there is a need for nuance that is lost in the passion.

        The eastern fathers such as St. Gregory of Nysa clearly CLEARLY teach that the Son plays a mediatory role in the eternal procession of the Spirit. It’s the entire point of his analogy of the three candles, where one candle lights a second and the second lights a third. The third is lit by the first through the second, and the second receives its ability to light from the first. That’s NOT temporal mission, and besides that, temporal sending reflects ontological origination.

        Does the Son “send” the Father? No the Father sends the Son because he is the source of the Son. Does the Spirit send the Son? No, he is sent by the Son and the Father because he proceeds from both, the temporal sending reflects the eternal Hypostatic origins.

    • Deacon Joseph @ NFTU says:

      “Canonical infractions are no basis to sever communion”? How about a Bishop illegally taking another’s church? How about a Bishop getting married and proclaiming it the superior tradition of the Church? Ask Aftimios Ofiesh. Or if that’s not close enough to home… try Googling Emmanuel Milingo.

      • Josaphat says:

        The 1-2 synod of 860 is clear isn’t it? Canons 13, 14 and 15 clearly spell that the allegation of a “crime” (canonical infraction/ immorality) are not sufficient for priests, bishops or metropolitans to break communion with their bishops, Metropolitan’s or patriarchs, respectively.

        That would then apply to the intercommunion of synods, especially those of a known ranking, such as Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem.

        So for example the property quibbles between Antioch and Jerusalem are completely insufficient to sever communion. Unless the Eucharist is a reward for the proper managing of properties. That’s clearly a
        Schismatic mentality.

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