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HERESIES, SCHISMS AND UNCANONICAL ACTS REQUIRE A LIVING SYNODICAL JUDGMENT An Introduction to Councils and Canon Law The Orthodox Church, since the time of the Holy Apostles, has resolved quarrels or problems by convening Councils. Thus, when the issue arose regarding circumcision and the Laws of Moses, the Holy Apostles met in Jerusalem, as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles (Chapter 15). The Holy Fathers thus imitated the Apostles by convening Councils, whether general, regional, provincial or diocesan, in order to resolve issues of practice. These Councils discussed and resolved matters of Faith, affirming Orthodoxy (correct doctrine) while condemning heresies (false teachings). The Councils also formulated ecclesiastical laws called Canons, which either define good conduct or prescribe the level of punishment for bad conduct. Some canons apply only to bishops, others to priests and deacons, and others to lower clergy and laymen. Many canons apply to all ranks of the clergy collectively. Several canons apply to the clergy and the laity alike. The level of authority that a Canon holds is discerned by the authority of the Council that affirmed the Canon. Some Canons are universal and binding on the entire Church, while others are only binding on a local scale. Also, a Canon is only an article of the law, and is not the execution of the law. For a Canon to be executed, the proper authority must put the Canon in force. The authority differs depending on the rank of the person accused. According to the Canons themselves, a bishop requires twelve bishops to be put on trial and for the canons to be applied towards his condemnation. A presbyter requires six bishops to be put on trial and condemned, and a deacon requires three bishops. The lower clergy and the laymen require at least one bishop to place them on ecclesiastical trial or to punish them by applying the canons to them. But in the case of laymen, a single presbyter may execute the Canon if he has been granted the rank of pneumatikos, and therefore has the bishop’s authority to remit sins and apply penances. However, until this competent ecclesiastical authority has convened and officially applied the Canons to the individual of whatever rank, that individual is only “liable” to punishment, but has not yet been punished. For the Canons do not execute themselves, but they must be executed by the entity with authority to apply the Canons. The Canons themselves offer three forms of punishment, namely, deposition, excommunication and anathematization. Deposition is applied to clergy. Excommunication is applied to laity. Anathematization can be applied to either clergy or laity. Deposition does not remove the priestly rank, but is simply a prohibition from the clergyman to perform priestly functions. If the deposition is later revoked, the clergyman does not require reordination. In the same way, excommunication does not remove a layman’s baptism. It only prohibits the layman to commune. If the excommunication is later lifted, the layman does not require rebaptism. Anathematization causes the clergyman or layman to be cut off from the Church and assigned to the devil. But even anathematizations can be revoked if the clergyman or layman repents. There Is a Hierarchy of Authority in Canon Law The authority of one Canon over another is determined by the power of the Council the Canons were ratified by. For example, a canon ratified by an Ecumenical Council overruled any canon ratified by a local Council. The hierarchy of authority, from most binding Canons to least, is as follows: Apostolic Canons (Universal) refer to those compiled by the Holy Apostles and their immediate successors. These Canons were approved and confirmed by the First Ecumenical Council and again by the Quinisext Council. Not even an Ecumenical Council can overrule or overthrow an Apostolic Canon. There are only very few cases where Ecumenical Councils have amended the command of an Apostolic Canon by either strengthening or weakening it. But by no means were any Apostolic Canons overruled or abolished. For instance, the 1st Apostolic Canon which states that a bishop must be ordained by two or three other bishops. Several Canons of the Ecumenical Councils declare that even two bishops do not suffice, but that a bishop must be ordained by the consent of all the bishops in the province, and the ordination itself must take place by no less than three bishops. This does not abolish nor does it overrule the 1st Apostolic Canon, but rather it confirms and reinforces the “spirit of the law” behind that original Canon. Another example is the 5th Apostolic Canon which states that Bishops, Presbyters and Deacons are not permitted to put away their wives by force, on the pretext of reverence. Meanwhile, the 12th Canon of Quinisext advises a bishop (or presbyters who has been elected as a bishop) to first receive his wife’s consent to separate and for both of them to become celibate. This does not oppose the Apostolic Canon because it is not a separation by force but by consent. The 13th Canon of Quinisext confirms the 5th Apostolic Canon by prohibiting a presbyters or deacons to separate from his wife. Thus the 5th Apostolic Canon is not abolished, but amended by an Ecumenical Council for the good of the Church. After all, the laws exist to serve the Church and not to enslave the Church. In the same way, Christ declared: “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath (Mark 2:27).” Ecumenical Canons (Universal) are those pronounced by Imperial or Ecumenical Councils. These Councils received this name because they were convened by Roman Emperors who were regarded to rule the Ecumene (i.e., “the known world”). Ecumenical Councils all took place in or around Constantinople, also known as New Rome, the Reigning City, or the Universal City. The president was always the hierarch in attendance that happened to be the first‐among‐equals. Ecumenical Councils cannot abolish Apostolic Canons, nor can they abolish the Canons of previous Ecumenical Councils. But they can overrule Regional and Patristic Canons. Regional Canons (Universal) refer to those ratified by Regional Councils that were later confirmed by an Ecumenical Council. This approval gave these Regional Canons a universal authority, almost equal to Ecumenical Canons. These Canons are not only valid within the Regional Church in which the Council took place, but are valid for all Orthodox Christians. For this reason the Canons of these approved Regional Councils cannot be abolished, but must be treated as those of Ecumenical Councils. Patristic Canons (Universal) refer to the Canons of individual Holy Fathers that were confirmed by an Ecumenical Council. Their authority is only lesser than the Apostolic Canons, Ecumenical Canons and Universal Regional Canons. But because they were approved by an Ecumenical Council, these Patristic Canons binding on all Orthodox Christians. Pan‐Orthodox Canons (Universal) refer to those ratified by Pan‐ Orthodox Councils. Since Constantinople had fallen to the Ottomans in 1453, there could no longer be Imperial or Ecumenical Councils, since there was no longer a ruling Emperor of the Ecumene (the Roman or Byzantine Empire). But the Ottoman Sultan appointed the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople as both the political and religious leader of the enslaved Roman Nation (all Orthodox Christians within the Roman Empire, regardless of language or ethnic origin). In this capacity, having replaced the Roman Emperor as leader of the Roman Orthodox Christians, the Ecumenical Patriarch took the responsibility of convening General Councils which were not called Ecumenical Councils (since there was no longer an Ecumene), but instead were called Pan‐Orthodox Councils. Since the Ecumenical Patriarch was also the first‐among‐equals of Orthodox hierarchs, he would also preside over these Councils. Thus he became both the convener and the president. The Primates of the other Patriarchates and Autocephalous Churches were also invited, along with their Synods of Bishops. If the Ecumenical Patriarch was absent or the one accused, the Patriarch of Alexandria would preside over the Synod. If he too could not attend in person, then the Patriarchs of Antioch or Jerusalem would preside. If no Patriarchs could attend, but only send their representatives, these representatives would not preside over the Council. Instead, whichever bishop present who held the highest see would preside. In several chronologies, the Pan‐Orthodox Councils are referred to as Ecumenical. In any case, the Canons pertaining to these Councils are regarded to be universally binding for all Orthodox Christians. National Canons (Local) are those valid only within a particular National Church. The Canons of these National Councils are only accepted if they are in agreement with the Canons ratified by the above Apostolic, Ecumenical, Regional, Patristic and Pan‐Orthodox Councils. Provincial Canons are those ratified by Councils called by a Metropolitan and his suffragan bishops. They are only binding within that Metropolis. Prefectural Canons are those ratified by Councils called by a single bishop and his subordinate clergy. They are only valid within that Diocese. Parochial Canons are the by‐laws of a local Parish or Mission, which are chartered and endorsed by the Rector or Founder of a Parish and the Parish Council. These by‐laws are only applicable within that Parish. Monastic Canons are the rules of a local Monastery or Monastic Order, which are chartered by the Abbot or Founder of the Skete or Monastery. These by‐laws are only applicable within that Monastery. Sometimes Canons are only recommendations explaining how clergy and laity are to conduct themselves. Other times they are actually penalties to be executed upon laity and clergy for their misdeeds. But the penalties contained within Canons are simply recommendations and not the actual executions of the penalties themselves. The recommendation of the law is one thing and the execution of the law is another. Canon Law Can Only Be Executed By Those With Authority For the execution of the law to take place it requires a competent authority to execute the law. A competent authority is reckoned by the principle of “the greater judges the lesser.” Thus, there are Canons that explain who has the authority to judge individuals according to the Canons. A layman can only be judged, excommunicated or anathematized by his own bishop, or by his own priest, provided the priest has the permission of his own bishop (i.e., a priest who is a pneumatikos). This law is ratified by the 6th Canon of Carthage, which has been made universal by the authority of the Sixth Ecumenical Council. The Canon states: “The application of chrism and the consecration of virgin girls shall not be done by Presbyters; nor shall it be permissible for a Presbyter to reconcile anyone at a public liturgy. This is the decision of all of us.” St. Nicodemus’ interprets the Canon as follows: “The present Canon prohibits a priest from doing three things… and remission of the penalty for a sin to a penitent, and thereafter through communion of the Mysteries the reconciliation of him with God, to whom he had become an enemy through sin, making him stand with the faithful, and celebrating the Liturgy openly… For these three functions have to be exercised by a bishop…. By permission of the bishop even a presbyter can reconcile penitents, though. And read Ap. c. XXXIX, and c. XIX of the First EC. C.” Thus the only authority competent to judge a layman is a bishop or a presbyter who has the permission of his bishop to do so. However, those who are among the low rank of clergy (readers, subdeacons, etc) require their own local bishop to try them, because a presbyter cannot depose them. A deacon can only be judged by his own local bishop together with three other bishops, and a presbyter can only be judged by his own local bishop together with six other bishops. The 28th Canon of Carthage thus states: “If Presbyters or Deacons be accused, the legal number of Bishops selected from the nearby locality, whom the accused demand, shall be empaneled — that is, in the case of a Presbyter six, of a Deacon three, together with the Bishop of the accused — to investigate their causes; the same form being observed in respect of days, and of postponements, and of examinations, and of persons, as between accusers and accused. As for the rest of the Clerics, the local Bishop alone shall hear and conclude their causes.” Thus, one bishop is insufficient to submit a priest or deacon to trial or deposition. This can only be done by a Synod of Bishops with enough bishops present to validly apply the canons. The amount of bishops necessary to judge and depose a priest are seven (one local plus six others), and for a deacon the minimum amount of bishops is four (one local plus three others). A bishop must be judged by his own metropolitan together with at least twelve other bishops. If the province does not have twelve bishops, they must invite bishops from other provinces to take part in the trial and deposition. Thus the 12th Canon of Carthage states: “If any Bishop fall liable to any charges, which is to be deprecated, and an emergency arises due to the fact that not many can convene, lest he be left exposed to such charges, these may be heard by twelve Bishops, or in the case of a Presbyter, by six Bishops besides his own; or in the case of a Deacon, by three.” Notice that the amount of twelve bishops is the minimum requirement and not the maximum. The maximum is for all the bishops, even if they are over one hundred in number, to convene for the sake of deposing a bishop. But if this cannot take place, twelve bishops assisting
THE PAN‐HERESY OF ECUMENISM EXISTED AMONG THE ORTHODOX PRIOR TO 1924 In 1666‐1667 the Pan‐Orthodox Synod of Moscow decided to receive Papists by simple confession of Faith, without rebaptism or rechrismation! At the beginning of the 18th century at Arta, Greece, the Holy Mysteries would be administered by Orthodox Priests to Westerners, despite this scandalizing the Orthodox faithful. In 1863 an Anglican clergyman was permitted to commune in Serbia, by the official decision of the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church. In the 1800s, Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow wrote that the schisms within Christianity “do not reach the heavens.” In other words, he believed that heresy doesn’t divide Christians from the Kingdom of God! In 1869, at the funeral of Metropolitan Chrysanthus of Smyrna, an Archbishop of the Armenian Monophysites and a Priest of the Anglicans actively participated in the service! In 1875, the Orthodox Archbishop of Patras, Greece, concelebrated with an Anglican priest in the Mystery of Baptism! In 1878 the first Masonic Ecumenical Patriarch, Joachim III, was enthroned. He was Patriarch for two periods (1878‐1884 and 1901‐1912). This Masonic Patriarch Joachim III is the one who performed the Episcopal consecration of Bp. Chrysostom Kavouridis, who in turn was the bishop who consecrated Bp. Matthew of Bresthena. Thus the Matthewites trace their Apostolic Succession in part from this Masonic “Patriarch.” In 1903 and 1912, Patriarch Joachim III blessed the Holy Chrism, which was used by the Matthewites until they blessed their own chrism in 1958! Thus until 1958 they were using the Chrism blessed by a Masonic Patriarch! In 1879 the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople decided that in times of great necessity, it is permitted to have sacramental communion with the Armenians. In other words, an Orthodox priest can perform the mysteries for Armenian laymen, and an Armenian priest for Orthodox laymen! In 1895 the Ecumenical Patriarch Anthimus VII declared his desire for al Christians to calculate days according to the new calendar! In 1898, Patriarch Gerasimus of Jerusalem permitted the Greeks and Syrians living in Melbourne to receive communion in Anglican parishes! In 1902 the Patriarchal Encyclical of the Ecumenical Patriarchate refers to the heresies of the west as “Churches” and “Branches of Christianity”! Thus it was an official Orthodox declaration that espouses the branch theory heresy! In 1904 the Patriarchal Encyclical of the Ecumenical Patriarchate refers to the heretics as “those who believe in the All‐Holy Trinity, and who honour the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and hope in the salvation of God’s grace”! In 1907 at Portsmouth, England, there was a joint doxology of Russian and Anglican clergy! Prior to 1910 the Russian Bishop Innokenty of Alaska, made a pact with the Anglican Bishop Row of America, that the priests belonging to each Church would be permitted to offer the mysteries to the laymen of one another. In other words, for Orthodox priests to commune Anglican laymen, and for Anglican priests to commune Orthodox laymen! In 1910 the Syrian/Antiochian Orthodox Bishop Raphael (Hawaweeny) permitted the Orthodox faithful, in his Encyclical, to accept the mysteries of Baptism, Communion, Confession, Marriage, etc, from Anglicna priests! The same bishop took part in an Anglican Vespers, wearing his mandya and seated on the throne! In 1917 the Greek Orthodox Exarch of America Alexander of Rodostolus took part in an Anglican Vespers. The same hierarch also took part in the ordination of an Anglican bishop in Pensylvania. In 1918, Archbishop Anthimus of Cyprus and Metropolitan Meletius mataxakis of Athens, took part in Anglican services at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London! In 1919, the leaders of the Orthdoxo Churches in America took part in Anglican services at the “General Assembly of Anglican Churches in America”! In 1920 the Patriarchal Encyclical of the Ecumenical patriarchate refers to the heresies as “Churches of God” and advises the adoption of the new calendar! In 1920, Metropolitan Philaret of Didymotichus, while in London, serving as the representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate at the Conference of Lambeth, took part in joint services in an Anglican church! In 1920, Patriarch Damian of Jerusalem (he who was receiving the Holy Light), took part in an Anglican liturgy at the Anglican Church of Jerusalem, where he read the Gospel in Greek, wearing his full Hierarchical vestments! In 1921, the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury took part in the funeral of Metropolitan Dorotheus of Prussa in London, at which he read the Gospel! In 1022, Archbishop Germanus of Theathyra, the representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in London, took part in a Vespers service at Westminster Abbey, wearing his Mandya and holding his pastoral staff! In 1923, the Ecumenical Patriarchate recognized the mysteries of the “Living Church” which had been anathematized by Patriarch Tikhon of Russia! In 1923, the Ecumenical Patriarchate recognized Anglican mysteries as valid! In 1923, the Patriarchate of Jerusalem recognized Anglican mysteries as valid! In 1923, the Church of Cyprus recognized Anglican mysteries as valid! In 1923, the “Pan‐Orthodox Congress” under Ecumenical Patriarch Meletius Metaxakis proposed the adoption of the new “Revised Julian Calendar.” In December 1923, the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece officially approved the adoption of the New Calendar to take place in March 1924. Among the bishops who signed the decision to adopt the new calendar was Metropolitan Germanus of Demetrias, one of the bishops who later consecrated Bishop Matthew of Bresthena in 1935. Thus the Matthewites trace their Apostolic Succession from a bishop who was personally responsible (by his signature) for the adoption of the New Calendar in Greece.
The Position of Bp. Kirykos Regarding Re‐Baptism Differs From the Canons of the Ecumenical Councils In the last few years, Bp. Kirykos has begun receiving New Calendarists and even Florinites and ROCOR faithful under his omophorion by re‐baptism, even if these faithful received the correct form of baptism by triple immersion completely under water with the invocation of the Holy Trinity. He also has begun re‐ordaining such clergy from scratch instead of reading a cheirothesia. But this strict approach, where he applies akriveia exclusively for these people, is different from the historical approach taken by the Holy Fathers of the Ecumenical Councils. Canon 7 of the Second Ecumenical Council declares that Arians, Macedonians, Sabbatians, Novatians, Cathars, Aristeri, Quartodecimens and Apollinarians are to be received only by a written libellus and re‐chrismation, because their baptism was already valid in form and did not require repetition. The Canon reads as follows: “As for those heretics who betake themselves to Orthodoxy, and to the lot of the saved, we accept them in accordance with the subjoined sequence and custom; viz.: Arians, and Macedonians, and Sabbatians, and Novatians, those calling themselves Cathari, and Aristeri, and the Quartodecimans, otherwise known as Tetradites, and Apollinarians, we accept when they offer libelli (i.e., recantations in writing) and anathematize every heresy that does not hold the same beliefs as the catholic and apostolic Church of God, and are sealed first with holy chrism on their forehead and their eyes, and nose, and mouth, and ears; and in sealing them we say: “A seal of a free gift of Holy Spirit”…” The same Canon only requires a re‐baptism of individuals who did not receive the correct form of baptism originally (i.e. those who were sprinkled or who were baptized by single immersion instead of triple immersion, etc). The Canon reads as follows: “As for Eunomians, however, who are baptized with a single immersion, and Montanists, who are here called Phrygians, and the Sabellians, who teach that Father and Son are the same person, and who do some other bad things, and (those belonging to) any other heresies (for there are many heretics here, especially such as come from the country of the Galatians: all of them that want to adhere to Orthodoxy we are willing to accept as Greeks. Accordingly, on the first day we make them Christians; on the second day, catechumens; then, on the third day, we exorcize them with the act of blowing thrice into their face and into their ears; and thus do we catechize them, and we make them tarry a while in the church and listen to the Scriptures; and then we baptize them.” Thus it is wrong to re‐baptize those who have already received the correct form by triple immersion. The Holy Fathers advise in this Holy Canon that only those who did not receive the correct form are to be re‐baptized. Now then, if the Holy Second Ecumenical Council declares that such heretics as Arians, Macedonians, Quartodecimens, Apollinarians, etc, are to be received only by libellus and chrismation, how on earth does Bp. Kirykos justify his refusal to receive Florinites and ROCOR faithful by chrismation, but instead insists upon their rebaptism as if they are worse than Arians? The 95th Canon of the Quinisext (Fifth‐and‐Sixth) Ecumenical Council declares that those baptized by Nestorians, Monophysites and Monothelites are to be received into the Orthodox Church by a simple libellus and anathematization of the heresies, without needing to be re‐baptized, and even without needing to be re‐chrismated! The Canon reads: As for Nestorians, and Eutychians (Monophysites), and Severians (Monothelites), and those from similar heresies, they have to give us certificates (called libelli) and anathematize their heresy, the Nestorians, and Nestorius, and Eutyches and Dioscorus, and Severus, and the other exarchs of such heresies, and those who entertain their beliefs, and all the aforementioned heresies, and thus they are allowed to partake of holy Communion. Now then, if the Quinisext Ecumenical Council allows even Nestorians, Monophysites and Monothelites to be received by mere libellus, without requiring to be baptized or even chrismated, and following this mere libellus they are immediately free to receive Holy Communion, how is Bp. Kirykos’s approach patristic, if he requires the re‐baptism of even Florinites and ROCOR faithful?!!! Is Bp. Kirykos not trying to outdo the Holy Fathers in his attempt to be “super‐Orthodox”? Can such an approach taken by Bp. Kirykos be considered Orthodox if the Holy Fathers in their Canons request otherwise? Are the Canons of Ecumenical Councils invalid for Bp. Kirykos? Certainly the Latins (Franks, Papists) are unbaptised, because their baptisms consist of mere sprinklings instead of triple immersion. Likewise, various New Calendarists are also unbaptised if they were not dunked completely under the water three times. But can such be said for those Orthodox Christians, and even Genuine Orthodox Christians (be they Florinite, ROCOR or otherwise), who do have the correct form of baptism? In the Patriarchal Oros of 1755 regarding the re‐baptism of Latins, the Orthodox Patriarchs make it quite clear that their reason for requiring the re‐ baptism of Latins is because the Latins do not have the correct form of baptism, but rather sprinkle instead of immersing. The text of the Patriarchal Oros actually refers to the Canons of the Second and Quinisext Councils as their reasons for re‐baptizing the Latins. The relevant text of the Patriarchal Oros of 1755 is as follows: “...And we follow the Second and Quinisext holy Ecumenical Councils, which order us to receive as unbaptized those aspirants to Orthodoxy who were not baptized with three immersions and emersions, and in each immersion did not loudly invoke one of the divine hypostases, but were baptized in some other fashion...” Thus we see in the above Patriarchal Oros of 1755, that even as late as this year, the Orthodox Church was carrying out the very principles of the Second and Quinisext Ecumenical Councils, namely that it is only those who were baptized by some obscure form other than triple immersion and invocation of the Holy Trinity, that were required to be re‐baptized. How then can the positions of the Holy Ecumenical Councils and the Holy Pan‐Orthodox Councils be compared to the extremist methods of Bp. Kirykos and his fellow hierarchs of late? Is Bp. Kirykos’ current practice really Orthodox? Is it possible to preach contrary to the teachings of the Ecumenical and Pan‐Orthodox Councils and yet remain Orthodox? And as for those who believe that there is nothing wrong with being strict, let them remember that the Pharisees were also strict, but it was they who crucified the Lord of Glory! The Orthodox Faith is a Royal Path. Just as it is possible to fall to the left (as the New Calendarists and Ecumenists have done), it is also quite possible to fall to the right and spin off on a wrong turn far away from the tradition of the Holy Fathers. It is this latter type of fall that has occurred with Bp. Kirykos. In fact, even Bp. Matthew of Bresthena was quite moderate compared to Bp. Kirykos. For Bp. Matthew of Bresthena knew the Canons quite well, and required New Calendarists to be received only by chrismation, or in some cases by only a libellus or Confession of Faith.
ARE THE HOLY CANONS ONLY VALID FOR THE APOSTOLIC PERIOD AND NOT FOR OUR TIMES? In his first letter to Fr. Pedro, Bp. Kirykos writes: “After this, I request of you the avoidance of disorder and scandal regarding this issue, and to recommend to those who confess to you, that in order to approach Holy Communion, they must prepare by fasting, and to prefer approaching on Saturday and not Sunday. Regarding the Canon, which some people refer to in order to commune without fasting beforehand, it is correct, but it must be interpreted correctly and applied to everybody. Namely, we must return to those early apostolic times, during which all of the Christians were ascetics and temperate and fasters, and only they remained until the end of the Divine Liturgy and communed. They fasted in the fine and broader sense, that is, they were worthy to commune. The rest did not remain until the end and withdrew together with the catechumens. As for those who were in repentance, they remained outside the gates of the church. If we implemented this Canon today, everyone would have to go out of the church and only two or three worthy people would remain inside until the end to commune. And if the Christians of today only knew how unworthy they are, who would remain inside the church?” From the above explanation by Bp. Kirykos, one is given the impression that he believes and commands: a) that Fr. Pedro is to forbid laymen to commune on Sundays during Great Lent in order to ensure “the avoidance of disorder and scandal regarding this issue,” despite the fact that the canons declare that it is those who do not commune on Sundays that are causers of disorder, as the 9th Canon of the Holy Apostles declares: “All the faithful who come to Church and hear the Scriptures, but do not stay for the prayers and the Holy Communion, are to be excommunicated as causing disorder in the Church;” b) that Fr. Pedro is to advise his flock “to prefer approaching on Saturday and not Sunday,” thereby commanding his flock to become Sabbatians; c) that the Canon which advises people to receive Holy Communion every day even outside of fasting periods is “correct” but must be “interpreted correctly and applied to everybody,” which, in the solution that Bp. Kirykos offers, amounts to a complete annulment of the Canon in regards to laymen, while enforcing the Canon liberally upon the clergy; d) that “we must return to those early apostolic times,” as if the Orthodox Church today is not still the unchanged and unadulterated Apostolic Church as confessed in the Symbol of the Faith, “In One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church,” with the same Head, the same Body, and the e) f) g) h) same requirement to abide by the Canons, but that we are supposedly some kind of fallen Church in need of “return” to a former status; that supposedly in apostolic times “all of the Christians were ascetics and temperate and fasters, and only they remained until the end of the Divine Liturgy and communed,” meaning that Communion is annulled for later generations supposedly due to a lack of celibacy and vegetarianism; that supposedly only the celibate and vegetarians communed in the early Church, and that “the rest did not remain until the end and withdrew together with the catechumens,” as if marriage and eating meat amounted to a renunciation of one’s baptism and a reversion to the status of catechumen, which is actually the teaching and practice of the Manicheans, Paulicians and Bogomils and not of the Apostolic Church, and the 9th Apostolic Canon declares that if any layman departs with the catechumens and does not remain until the end of Liturgy and does not commune, such a layman is to be excommunicated, yet Bp. Kirykos promotes this practice as something pious, patristic and acceptable; that Christians who have confessed their sins and prepared themselves and their spiritual father has deemed them able to receive Holy Communion, are supposedly still in the rank of the penitents either due to being married or due to being meat‐eaters, as can be seen from Bp. Kirykos’ words: “If we implemented this Canon today, everyone would have to go out of the church and only two or three worthy people would remain inside until the end to commune. And if the Christians of today only knew how unworthy they are, who would remain inside the church?” that we are not to interpret and implement the Holy Canons the way they are written and the way the Holy Orthodox Church has always historically interpreted and implemented them, but that these Canons supposedly need to be reinterpreted in Bp. Kirykos’s own way, or as he says, “interpreted correctly and applied to everybody,” and that “if we implemented this Canon today, everyone would have to go out of the church.” All of the above notions held by Bp. Kirykos can be summed up by the statement that he believes the Canons only apply for the apostolic era or the time of the early Christians, but that these Canons are now to be reinterpreted or nullified because today’s Christians are not worthy to be treated according to the Holy Canons. He also believes that to follow the advice of the Holy Canons is a cause of “disorder and scandal,” despite the fact that the very purpose of the Holy Canons is to prevent disorder and scandal. These notions held by Bp. Kirykos are entirely erroneous, and they are another variant of the same blasphemies preached by the Modernists and Ecumenists who desire to set the Holy Canons aside by claiming that they are not suitable for our times. Bp. Kirykos’ incorrect notions regarding the supposed inapplicability of the Holy Canons in our times are notions that the Rudder itself condemns. For in the Holy Rudder (published in the 17th century), St. Nicodemus of Athos included an excellent introductory note regarding the importance of the Holy Canons, and that they are applicable for all times, and must be adhered to faithfully by all Orthodox Christians. This introductory note by St. Nicodemus, as contained in the Holy Rudder, is provided below. PROLEGOMENA IN GENERAL TO THE SACRED CANONS What Is a Canon? A canon, according to Zonaras (in his interpretation of the 39th letter of Athansius the Great), properly speaking and in the main sense of the word, is a piece of wood, commonly called a rule, which artisans use to get the wood and stone they are working on straight. For, when they place this rule (or straightedge) against their work, if this be crooked, inwards or outwards, they make it straight and right. From this, by metaphorical extension, votes and decisions are also called canons, whether they be of the Apostles or of the ecumenical and regional Councils or those of the individual Fathers, which are contained in the present Handbook: for they too, like so many straight and right rules, rid men in holy orders, clergymen and laymen, of every disorder and obliquity of manners, and cause them to have every normality and equality of ecclesiastical and Christian condition and virtue. That the divine Canons must be kept rigidly by all; for those who fail to keep them are made liable to horrible penances “These instructions regarding Canons have been enjoined upon you by us, O Bishops. If you adhere to them, you shall be saved, and shall have peace; but if you disobey them, you shall be sorely punished, and shall have perpetual war with one another, thus paying the penalty deserved for heedlessness.” (The Apostles in their epilogue to the Canons) “We have decided that it is right and just that the canons promulgated by the holy Fathers at each council hitherto should remain in force.” (1st Canon of the Fourth Ecumenical Council) “It has seemed best to this holy Council that the 85 Canons accepted and validated by the holy and blissful Fathers before us, and handed down to us, moreover, in the name of the holy and glorious Apostles, should remain henceforth certified and secured for the correction of souls and cure of diseases… [of the four ecumenical councils according to name, of the regional councils by name, and of the individual Fathers by name]… And that no one should be allowed to counterfeit or tamper with the aforementioned Canons or to set them aside.” (2nd Canon of the Sixth Ecumenical Council) “If anyone be caught innovating or undertaking to subvert any of the said Canons, he shall be responsible with respect to such Canon and undergo the penance therein specified in order to be corrected thereby of that very thing in which he is at fault.” (2nd Canon of the Second Ecumenical Council) “Rejoicing in them like one who has found a lot of spoils, we gladly embosom the divine Canons, and we uphold their entire tenor and strengthen them all the more, so far as concerns those promulgated by the trumpets of the Spirit of the renowned Apostles, of the holy ecumenical councils, and of those convened regionally… And of our holy Fathers… And as for those whom they consign to anathema, we anathematize them, too; as for those whom they consign to deposition or degradation, we too depose or degrade them; as for those whom they consign to excommunication, we too excommunicate them; and as for those whom they condemn to a penance, we too subject them thereto likewise.” (1st Canon of the Seventh Ecumenical Council) “We therefore decree that the ecclesiastical Canons which have been promulgated or confirmed by the four holy councils, namely, that held in Nicaea, and that held in Constantinople, and the first one held in Ephesus, and that held in Chalcedon, shall take the rank of laws.” (Novel 131 of Emperor Justinian) “We therefore decree that the ecclesiastical Canons which have been promulgated or confirmed by the seven holy councils shall take the rank of laws.” (Ed. note—The word “confirmed” alludes to the canons of the regional councils and of the individual Fathers which had been confirmed by the ecumenical councils, according to Balsamon.) “For we accept the dogmas of the aforesaid holy councils precisely as we do the divine Scriptures, and we keep their Canons as laws.” (Basilica, Book 5, Title 3, Chapter 2) “The third provision of Title 2 of the Novels commands the Canons of the seven councils and their dogmas to remain in force, in the same way as the divine Scriptures.” (In Photius, Title 1, Chapter 2) “I accept the seven councils and their dogmas to remain in force, in the same way as the divine Scriptures.” (Emperor Leo the Wise in Basilica, Book 5, Title 3, Chapter 1) “It has been prescribed by the holy Fathers that even after death those men must be anathematized who have sinned against the faith or against the Canons.” (Fifth Ecumenical Council in the epistle of Justinian, page 392 of Volume 2 of the Conciliars) “Anathema on those who hold in scorn the sacred and divine Canons of our sacred Fathers, who prop up the holy Church and adorn all the Christian polity, and guide men to divine reverence.” (Council held in Constantinople after Constantine Porphyrogenitus, page 977 of Volume 2 of the Conciliars) That the divine Canons override the imperial laws “It pleased the most divine Despot of the inhabited earth (i.e. Emperor Marcian) not to proceed in accordance with the divine letters or pragmatic forms of the most devout bishops, but in accordance with the Canons laid down as laws by the holy Fathers. The council said: As against the Canons, no pragmatic sanction is effective. Let the Canons of the Fathers remain in force. And again: We pray that the pragmatic sanctions enacted for some in every province to the detriment of the Canons may be held in abeyance incontrovertibly; and that the Canons may come into force through all… all of us say the same things. All the pragmatic sanctions shall be held in abeyance. Let the Canons come into force… In accordance with the vote of the holy council, let the injunctions of Canons come into force also in all the other provinces.” (In Act 5 of the Fourth Ecumenical Council) “It has seemed best to all the holy ecumenical council that if anyone offers any form conflicting with those now prescribed, let that form be void.” (8th Canon of the Third Ecumenical Council) “Pragmatic forms opposed to the Canons are void.” (Book 1, Title 2, Ordinances 12, Photius, Title 1, Chapter 2) “For those Canons which have been promulgated, and supported, that is to say, by emperors and holy Fathers, are accepted like the divine Scriptures. But the laws have been accepted or composed only by the emperors; and for this reason they do not prevail over and against the divine Scriptures nor the Canons.” (Balsamon, comment on the above chapter 2 of Photius) “Do not talk to me of external laws. For even the publican fulfills the outer law, yet nevertheless he is sorely punished.” (Chrysostom, Sermon 57 on the Gospel of Matthew)
PRESIDENT OF THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OUTSIDE OF RUSSIA 75 EAST 93rd STREET, NEW YORK, N.Y. 10028 Telephone: LEhigh 4‐1601 A SECOND SORROWFUL EPISTLE TO THEIR HOLINESSES AND THEIR BEATITUDES, THE PRIMATES OF THE HOLY ORTHODOX CHURCHES, THE MOST REVEREND METROPOLITANS, ARCHBISHOPS AND BISHOPS. The People of the Lord residing in his Diocese are entrusted to the Bishop, and he will be required to give account of their souls according to the 39th Apostolic Canon. The 34th Apostolic Canon orders that a Bishop may do ʺthose things only which concern his own Diocese and the territories belonging to it.ʺ There are, however, occasions when events are of such a nature that their influence extends beyond the limits of one Diocese, or indeed those of one or more of the local Churches. Events of such a general, global nature can not be ignored by any Orthodox Bishop, who, as a successor of the Apostles, is charged with the protection of his flock from various temptations. The lightening‐like speed with which ideas may be spread in our times make such care all the more imperative now. In particular, our flock, belonging to the free part of the Church of Russia, is spread out all over the world. What has just been stated, therefore, is most pertinent to it. As a result of this, our Bishops, when meeting in their Councils, cannot confine their discussions to the narrow limits of pastoral and administrative problems arising in their respective Dioceses, but must in addition turn their attention to matters of a general importance to the whole Orthodox World, since the affliction of one Church is as ʺan affliction unto them all, eliciting the compassion of them allʺ (Phil. 4:14‐16; Heb. 10:30). And if the Apostle St. Paul was weak with those who were weak and burning with those who were offended, how then can we Bishops of God remain indifferent to the growth of errors which threaten the salvation of the souls of many of our brothers in Christ? It is in the spirit of such a feeling that we have already once addressed all the Bishops of the Holy Orthodox Church with a Sorrowful Epistle. We rejoiced to learn that, in harmony with our appeal, several Metropolitans of the Church of Greece have recently made reports to their Synod calling to its attention the necessity of considering ecumenism a heresy and the advisability of reconsidering the matter of participation in the World Council of Churches. Such healthy reactions against the spreading of ecumenism allow us to hope that the Church of Christ will be spared this new storm which threatens her. Yet, two years have passed since our Sorrowful Epistle was issued, and, alas! although in the Church of Greece we have seen the new statements regarding ecumenism as un‐Orthodox, no Orthodox Church has announced its withdrawal from the World Council of Churches. In the Sorrowful Epistle, we depicted in vivid colors to what extent the organic membership of the Orthodox Church in that Council, based as it is upon purely Protestant principles, is contrary to the very basis of Orthodoxy. In this Epistle, having been authorized by our Council of Bishops, we would further develop and extend our warning, showing that the participants in the ecumenical movement are involved in a profound heresy against the very foundation of the Church. The essence of that movement has been given a clear definition by the statement of the Roman Catholic theologian Ives M. J. Congar. He writes that ʺthis is a movement which prompts the Christian Churches to wish the restoration of the lost unity, and to that end to have a deep understanding of itself and understanding of each other.ʺ He continues, ʺIt is composed of all the feelings, ideas, actions or institutions, meetings or conferences, ceremonies, manifestations and publications which are directed to prepare the reunion in new unity not only of (separate) Christians, but also of the actually existing Churches.ʺ Actually, he continues, ʺthe word ecumenism, which is of Protestant origin, means now a concrete reality: the totality of all the aforementioned upon the basis of a certain attitude and a certain amount of very definite conviction (although not always very clear and certain). It is not a desire or an attempt to unite those who are regarded as separated into one Church which would be regarded as the only true one. It begins at just that point where it is recognized that, at the present state, none of the Christian confessions possesses the fullness of Christianity, but even if one of them is authentic, still, as a confession, it does not contain the whole truth. There are Christian values outside of it belonging not only to Christians who are separated from it in creed, but also to other Churches and other confessions as suchʺ (Chretiens Desunis, Ed. Unam Sanctam, Paris, 1937, pp. XI‐XII). This definition of the ecumenical movement made by a Roman Catholic theologian 35 years ago continues to be quite as exact even now, with the difference that during the intervening years this movement has continued to develop further with a newer and more dangerous scope. In our first Sorrowful Epistle, we wrote in detail on how incompatible with our Ecclesiology was the participation of Orthodox in the World Council of Churches, and presented precisely the nature of the violation against Orthodoxy committed in the participation of our Churches in that council. We demonstrated that the basic principles of that council are incompatible with the Orthodox doctrine of the Church. We, therefore, protested against the acceptance of that resolution at the Geneva Pan‐Orthodox Conference whereby the Orthodox Church was proclaimed an organic member of the World Council of Churches. Alas! These last few years are richly laden with evidence that, in their dialogues with the heterodox, some Orthodox representatives have adopted a purely Protestant ecclesiology which brings in its wake a Protestant approach to questions of the life of the Church, and from which springs forth the now‐ popular modernism. Modernism consists in that bringing‐down, that re‐aligning of the life of the Church according to the principles of current life and human weaknesses. We saw it in the Renovation Movement and in the Living Church in Russia in the twenties. At the first meeting of the founders of the Living Church on May 29, 1922, its aims were determined as a ʺrevision and change of all facets of Church life which are required by the demands of current lifeʺ (The New Church, Prof. B. V. Titlinov, Petrograd‐Moscow, 1923, p. 11). The Living Church was an attempt at a reformation adjusted to the requirements of the conditions of a communist state. Modernism places that compliance with the weaknesses of human nature above the moral and even doctrinal requirements of the Church. In that measure that the world is abandoning Christian principles, modernism debases the level of religious life more and more. Within the Western confessions we see that there has come about an abolition of fasting, a radical shortening and vulgarization of religious services, and, finally, full spiritual devastation, even to the point of exhibiting an indulgent and permissive attitude toward unnatural vices of which St. Paul said it was shameful even to speak. It was just modernism which was the basis of the Pan‐Orthodox Conference of sad memory in Constantinople in 1923, evidently not without some influence of the renovation experiment in Russia. Subsequent to that conference, some Churches, while not adopting all the reforms which were there introduced, adopted the Western calendar, and even, in some cases, the Western Paschalia. This, then, was the first step onto the path of modernism of the Orthodox Church, whereby Her way of life was changed in order to bring it closer to the way of life of heretical communities. In this respect, therefore, the adoption of the Western Calendar was a violation of a principle consistent in the Holy Canons, whereby there is a tendency to spiritually isolate the Faithful from those who teach contrary to the Orthodox Church, and not to encourage closeness with such in our prayer‐life (Titus 3:10; 10th, 45th, and 65th Apostolic Canons; 32nd, 33rd, and 37th Canons of Laodicea, etc.). The unhappy fruit of that reform was the violation of the unity of the life in prayer of Orthodox Christians in various countries. While some of them were celebrating Christmas together with heretics, others still fasted. Sometimes such a division occurred in the same local Church, and sometimes Easter [Pascha] was celebrated according to the Western Paschal reckoning. For the sake, therefore, of being nearer to the heretics, that principle, set forth by the First Ecumenical Council that all Orthodox Christians should simultaneously, with one mouth and one heart, rejoice and glorify the Resurrection of Christ all over the world, is violated. This tendency to introduce reforms, regardless of previous general decisions and practice of the whole Church in violation of the Second Canon of the VI Ecumenical Council, creates only confusion. His Holiness, the Patriarch of Serbia, Gabriel, of blessed memory, expressed this feeling eloquently at the Church Conference held in Moscow in 1948. ʺIn the last decades,ʺ he said, ʺvarious tendencies have appeared in the Orthodox Church which evoke reasonable apprehension for the purity of Her doctrines and for Her dogmatical and canonical Unity. ʺThe convening by the Ecumenical Patriarch of the Pan‐Orthodox Conference and the Conference at Vatopedi, which had as their principal aim the preparing of the Prosynod, violated the unity and cooperation of the Orthodox Churches. On the one hand, the absence of the Church of Russia at these meetings, and, on the other, the hasty and unilateral actions of some of the local Churches and the hasty actions of their representatives have introduced chaos and anomalies into the life of the Eastern Orthodox Church. ʺThe unilateral introduction of the Gregorian Calendar by some of the local Churches while the Old Calendar was kept yet by others, shook the unity of the Church and incited serious dissension within those of them who so lightly introduced the New Calendarʺ (Acts of the Conferences of the Heads and Representatives of the Autocephalic Orthodox Churches, Moscow, 1949, Vol. II, pp. 447‐448). Recently, Prof. Theodorou, one of the representatives of the Church of Greece at the Conference in Chambesy in 1968, noted that the calendar reform in Greece was hasty and noted further that the Church there suffers even now from the schism it caused (Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate, 1969, No. 1, p. 51). It could not escape the sensitive consciences of many sons of the Church that within the calendar reform, the foundation is already laid for a revision of the entire order of Orthodox Church life which has been blessed by the Tradition of many centuries and confirmed by the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils. Already at that Pan‐Orthodox Conference of 1923 at Constantinople, the questions of the second marriage of clergy as well as other matters were raised. And recently, the Greek Archbishop of North and South America, Iakovos, made a statement in favor of a married episcopate (The Hellenic Chronicle, December 23, 1971). The strength of Orthodoxy has always lain in Her maintaining the principles of Church Tradition. Despite this, there are those who are attempting to include in the agenda of a future Great Council not a discussion of the best ways to safeguard those principles, but, on the contrary, ways to bring about a radical revision of the entire way of life in the Church, beginning with the abolition of fasts, second marriages of the clergy, etc., so that Her way of life would be closer to that of the heretical communities. In our first Sorrowful Epistle we have shown in detail the extent to which the principles of the World Council of Churches are contrary to the doctrines of the Orthodox Church, and we protested against the decision taken in Geneva at the Pan‐Orthodox Conference declaring the Orthodox Church to be an organic member of that council. Then we reminded all that, ʺthe poison of heresy is not too dangerous when it is preached outside the Church. Many times more perilous is that poison which is gradually introduced into the organism in larger and larger doses by those who, in virtue of their position, should not be poisoners but spiritual physicians.ʺ Alas! Of late we see the symptoms of such a great development of ecumenism with the participation of the Orthodox, that it has become a serious threat, leading to the utter annihilation of the Orthodox Church by dissolving Her in an ocean of heretical communities.
DEMANDING A STRICT FAST ON SATURDAYS IS THE FIRST HERESY OF THE PAPISTS In his two letters to Fr. Pedro, in several other writings on the internet, as well as through his verbal discussions, Bp. Kirykos presents the idea that a Christian is forbidden to ever commune on a Sunday, except by “economia,” and that if per chance a Christian is granted this “economia,” he would nevertheless be compelled to fast strictly without oil on the Saturday, that is, the day prior to receiving Holy Communion. For instance, outside of fasting periods, Bp. Kirykos, his sister, Vincentia, and the “theologian” Mr. Eleutherios Gkoutzidis insist that laymen must fast for seven days without meat, five days without dairy, three days without oil, and one day without even olives or sesame pulp, for fear of these things containing oil. If someone prepares to commune on a Sunday, this means that from the previous Sunday he cannot eat meat. From the Tuesday onwards he cannot eat dairy either. On the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday he cannot partake of oil or wine. While on the Saturday he must perform a xerophagy in which he cannot have any processed foods, and not even olives or sesame pulp. This means that the strictest fast will be performed on the Saturday, in violation of the Canons. This also means that for a layman to ever be able to commune every Sunday, he would need to fast for his entire life long. Yet, Bp. Kirykos and his priests exempt themselves from this rule, and are allowed to partake of any foods all week long except for Wednesday and Friday. They can even partake of all foods as late as midnight on Saturday night, and commune on Sunday morning without feeling the least bit “unworthy.” But should a layman dare to partake of oil even once on a Saturday, he is brushed off as “unworthy” for Communion on Sunday. Meanwhile during fasting periods such as Great Lent, since Monday to Friday is without oil anyway, Bp. Kirykos, Sister Vincentia and Mr. Gkoutzidis believe that laymen should also fast on Saturday without oil, and even without olives and sesame pulp, in order for such laymen to be able to commune on Sunday. Thus again they require a layman to violate Apostolic, Ecumenical, Local and Patristic Canons, and even fall under the penalty of excommunication (according to these same canons) in order to be “worthy” of communion. What an absurdity! What a monstrosity! A layman must become worthy of excommunication in order to become “worthy” of Communion! The 9th Canon of the Holy Apostles advises: “If any clergyman be found fasting on Sunday, or on Saturday (except for one only), let him be deposed from office. If, however, he is a layman, let him be excommunicated.” The term “fasting” refers to the strict form of fasting, not permitting oil or wine. The term “except for one” refers to Holy and Great Saturday, the only day of the year upon which fasting without oil and wine is expected. But it was not only the Holy Apostles who commanded against this Pharisaic Sabbatian practice of fasting on Saturdays. But this issue was also addressed by the Quintisext Council (Πενδέκτη Σύνοδος = Fifth‐and‐Sixth Council), which was convened for the purpose of setting Ecclesiastical Canons, since the Fifth and Sixth Ecumenical Councils had not provided any. The reason why this Holy Ecumenical Council addressed this issue is because the Church of Old Rome had slowly been influenced by the Arian Visigoths and Ostrogoths who invaded from the north, by the Manicheans who migrated from Africa and from the East through the Balkans, as well as by the Jews and Judaizers, who had also migrated to the West from various parts of the East, seeking asylum in Western lands that were no longer under Roman (Byzantine) rule. Thus there arose in the West a most Judaizing practice of clergy forcing the laymen to fast from oil and wine on every Saturday during Great Lent, instead of permitting this only on Holy and Great Saturday. Thus, in the 55th Canon of the Fifth‐and‐Sixth Ecumenical Council, we read: “Since we have learned that those in the city of the Romans during the holy fast of Lent are fasting on the Saturdays thereof, contrary to the ecclesiastical practice handed down, it has seemed best to the Holy Council for the Church of the Romans to hold rigorously the Canon saying: If any clergyman be found fasting on Sunday, or on Saturday, with the exception of one only, let him be deposed from office. If, however, a layman, let him be excommunicated.” Thus the Westerners were admonished by the Holy Ecumenical Council, and requested to refrain from this unorthodox practice of demanding a strict fast on Saturdays. Now, just in case anyone thinks that a different kind of fast was observed on the Saturdays by the Romans, by Divine Economy, the very next canon admonishes the Armenians for not fasting properly on Saturdays during Great Lent. Thus the 56th Canon of the Fifth‐and‐Sixth Council reads: “Likewise we have learned that in the country of the Armenians and in other regions on the Saturdays and on the Sundays of Holy Lent some persons eat eggs and cheese. It has therefore seemed best to decree also this, that the Church of God throughout the inhabited earth, carefully following a single procedure, shall carry out fasting, and abstain, precisely as from every kind of thing sacrificed, so and especially from eggs and cheese, which are fruit and produce from which we have to abstain. As for those who fail to observe this rule, if they are clergymen, let them be deposed from office; but if they are laymen, let them be excommunicated.” Thus, just as the Roman Church was admonished for fasting strictly on the Saturdays within Great Lent, the Armenian Church is equally admonished for overly relaxing the fast of Saturdays in Great Lent. Here the Holy Fifth‐and‐Sixth Ecumenical Council clearly gives us the exact definition of what the Holy Fathers deem fit for consumption on Saturdays during Great Lent. For if this canon forbids the Armenians to consume eggs and cheese on the Saturdays of Great Lent, whereas the previous canon forbids the Westerners to fast on the Saturdays of Great Lent, it means that the midway between these two extremes is the Orthodox definition of fasting on Saturdays of Great Lent. The Orthodox definition is clearly marked in the Typicon as well as most calendar almanacs produced by the various Local Orthodox Churches, including the very almanac as well as the wall calendar published yearly by Bp. Kirykos himself. These all mark that oil, wine and various forms of seafood are to be consumed on Saturdays during Great Lent, except of course for Holy and Great Saturday which is marked as a strict fast without oil, in keeping with the Apostolic Canon. Now, if one is to assume that partaking of oil, wine and various seafood on the Saturdays of Great Lent is only for those who are not planning to commune on the Sundays of Great Lent, may he consider the following. The very meaning of the term “excommunicate” is to forbid a layman to receive Holy Communion. So then, if people who partake of oil, wine and various permissible seafood on Saturdays during Great Lent are supposedly forbidden to commune on the Sundays of Great Lent, then this means that the 55th Canon of the Fifth‐and‐Sixth Council would be entirely without purpose. For if those who do partake of such foods on Saturdays are supposedly disqualified from communion on Sundays, then what is the purpose of also disqualifying those who do not partake of oil on Saturdays from being able to commune on Sundays, since this canon requires their excommunication? In other words, such a faulty interpretation of the canons by anyone bearing such a notion would need to call the Holy Fathers hypocrites. They would need to consider that the Holy Fathers in their Canon Law operated with a system whereby “you’re damned if you do, and you’re damned if you don’t!” Thus, according to this faulty interpretation, if you do partake of oil and wine on Saturdays of Great lent, you are disqualified from communion due to your consumption of those foods. But if you do not partake of these foods on Saturday you are also disqualified from communion on Sunday, for this canon demands your excommunication. In other words, whatever you do you cannot win! Fast without oil or fast with oil, you are still disqualified the next day. So how does Bp. Kirykos interpret this Canon in order to keep his Pharisaical custom? He declares that “all Christians” are excommunicated from ever being able to commune on a Sunday! He demands that only by extreme economy can Christians commune on Sunday, and that they are to only commune on Saturdays, declaring this the day “all Christians” ought to “know” to be their day of receiving Holy Communion! Thus the very trap that Bp. Kirykos has dug for himself is based entirely on his inability to interpret the canons correctly. Yet hypocritically, in his second letter to Fr. Pedro he condemns others of supposedly “not interpreting the canons correctly,” simply because they disagree with his Pharisaical Sabbatianism! But the hypocrisies continue. Bp. Kirykos continuously parades himself in his printed periodicals, on his websites, and on his various online blogs, as some kind of “confessor” of Orthodoxy against Papism and Ecumenism. He even dares to openly call himself a “confessor” on Facebook, where he spends several hours per day in gossip and idletalk as can be seen by his frequent status updates and constant chatting. This kind of pastime is clearly unbecoming for an Orthodox Christian, let alone a hierarch who claims to be “Genuine Orthodox” and a “confessor.” So great is his “confession,” that when the entire Kiousis Synod, representatives from the Makarian Synod, the Abbot of Esphigmenou, members from all other Old Calendarist Synods in Greece, as well as members of the State Hierarchy, had gathered in Athens forming crowds of clergy and thousands of laity, to protest against the Greek Government’s antagonism towards Greek culture and religion, our wonderful “confessor” Bp. Kirykos was spending that whole day chatting on Facebook. The people present at the protest made a joke about Bp. Kirykos’s absence by writing the following remark on an empty seat: “Bp. Kirykos, too busy being an online confessor to bother taking part in a real life confession.” When various monastics and laymen of Bp. Kirykos’s own metropolis informed him that he should have been there, he yelled at them and told them “This is all rubbish, I don’t care about these issues, the only real issue is the cheirothesia of 1971.” How lovely. Greece is on the verge of geopolitical and economical self‐destruction, and Bp. Kirykos’s only care is for his own personal issue that he has repeated time and time again for three decades, boring us to death. But what does Bp. Kirykos claim to “confess” against, really? He claims he confesses against “Papo‐Ecumenism.” In other words, he views himself as a fighter against the idea of the Orthodox Church entering into a syncretistic and ecumenistic union with Papism. Yet Bp. Kirykos does not realize that he has already fallen into what St. Photius the Great has called “the first heresy of the Westerners!” For as indicated above, in the 55th Canon of the Fifth‐and‐ Sixth Ecumenical Council, it was the “Church of the Romans” (that is what became the Papists) that fell into the unorthodox practice of demanding laymen to fast strictly on Saturdays during Great Lent, as a prerequisite to receiving Holy Communion on the Sundays of Great Lent. This indeed was the first error of the Papists. It arrived at the same time the filioque also arrived, to wit, during the 6th and 7th centuries. This is why St. Photius the Great, who was a real confessor against Papism, calls the error of enforced fasting without oil on Saturdays “the first heresy of the Westerners.” Thus, let us depart from the hypocrisies of Bp. Kirykos and listen to the voice of a real confessor against Papism. Let us read the opinion of St. Photius the Great, that glorious champion and Pillar of Orthodoxy! In his Encyclical to the Eastern Patriarchs (written in 866), our Holy Father, St. Photius the Great (+6 February, 893), Archbishop of the Imperial City of Constantinople New Rome, and Ecumenical Patriarch, writes: St. Photius the Great: Encyclical to the Eastern Patriarchs (866) Countless have been the evils devised by the cunning devil against the race of men, from the beginning up to the coming of the Lord. But even afterwards, he has not ceased through errors and heresies to beguile and deceive those who listen to him. Before our times, the Church, witnessed variously the godless errors of Arius, Macedonius, Nestorius, Eutyches, Discorus, and a foul host of others, against which the holy Ecumenical Synods were convened, and against which our Holy and God‐ bearing Fathers battled with the sword of the Holy Spirit. Yet, even after these heresies had been overcome and peace reigned, and from the Imperial Capital the streams of Orthodoxy flowed throughout the world; after some people who had been afflicted by the Monophysite heresy returned to the True Faith because of your holy prayers; and after other barbarian peoples, such as the Bulgarians, had turned from idolatry to the knowledge of God and the Christian Faith: then was the cunning devil stirred up because of his envy. For the Bulgarians had not been baptised even two years when dishonourable men emerged out of the darkness (that is, the West), and poured down like hail or, better, charged like wild boars upon the newly‐planted vineyard of the Lord, destroying it with hoof and tusk, which is to say, by their shameful lives and corrupted dogmas. For the papal missionaries and clergy wanted these Orthodox Christians to depart from the correct and pure dogmas of our irreproachable Faith. The first error of the Westerners was to compel the faithful to fast on Saturdays. I mention this seemingly small point because the least departure from Tradition can lead to a scorning of every dogma of our Faith. Next, they convinced the faithful to despise the marriage of priests, thereby sowing in their souls the seeds of the Manichean heresy. Likewise, they persuaded them that all who had been chrismated by priests had to be anointed again by bishops. In this way, they hoped to show that Chrismation by priests had no value, thereby ridiculing this divine and supernatural Christian Mystery. From whence comes this law forbidding priests
To the pious Orthodox Greek people, The Faith of our Fathers is at trial. The enemies – and many are cunning – lurk outside the National and Ecclesiastical bastions. They who betray the precious treasure of our National and Religious ideology and cast their eyes away from the valuable pearl of Orthodoxy make use of every treachery and machination to demolish the unshakeable bulwarks of our National and Ecclesiastical glory and repute. Materialists, Communists, Chiliasts [i.e., Jehovah’s Witnesses], Theosophists, Masons, and other manifold internal and external enemies, undermine the unshakeable and unbreakable bulwarks of our National and Ecclesiastical constitution and indestructible power. These insolent and cunning enemies, due to the tolerance of the State and the inactivity of the Church, succeeded in penetrating into all of the levels of Greek Society. These effluent haters of our National and Ecclesiastical ideology, attempt, under the guise of progress and individual freedom, to corrupt the National and Ecclesiastical conscience of Greek Society. Thus we ring the warning bells. Greek Orthodox civilians, awaken, be alert in regards to the unyielding forefront of the Nation and the Church, so that these guile‐minded and manifold enemies do not dissipate the valuable treasure of our ancestral and glorious heritage. Do not be sluggish; do not be afraid of imprisonment for the sake of defending the endangered Orthodox Faith, and the National Traditions which are everywhere undermined. The enemies are many and resourceful. The Church’s institutions are unprotected, the Ecclesiastical bulwarks are defenseless, the National Traditions are ignored, the National ideals are under persecution. And on the contrary, the soul‐destroying teachings of the Materialists and the subversive doctrines of the Communists are methodical and persistent. The poisonous and growing net of the different antinational and antireligious propagandas choke the very heart of the Nation and Church. The poisonous and malodorous fumes of faithlessness, of materialism, destructive selfishness, fill the atmosphere of Greece to the point of suffocation. Unfortunately, the alleged resistance is inconclusive, the defense of the Ecclesiastical institutions and National traditions is lifeless and listless, the struggle against the disease‐causing germs, that corrode our National and Ecclesiastical organism, is powerless and useless. For this reason, the ramparts of our National ideology and the bulwarks of Orthodoxy began, one after the other, to fall to the torrential and precipitous irrepressibility of our opponents. The appointed leaders and guardians for the defense of our National and Ecclesiastical Traditions, are faint‐hearted and do not have the courage or guts to resist head on. The resistance and defense cannot be obtained without a national pulse and loyalty to the ideals of the homeland and the religion. We require that national and religious zeal that our fathers had, with which they glorified the Church and Nation. The leaders of the Nation and the Church should have that Greek genius and that religious pulse, by which the Orthodox Greek race increased in works, being reborn in the baptismal font of Hellenic Christian culture. Yes, faith is needed in struggles; we need moral solidity; we need spiritual courage; an iron will, bravery, and unshakable hope, are necessary for the success of the struggle. These are all qualifications that are created by faith in the ideals of the homeland and the religion. But the appointed guardians of the Ecclesiastical ramparts, lacking faith and moral courage, not only fail to show the required resistance against the opponents, not only fail to dig new trenches that are able to compete against the contemporary polemics, but they also, with a completely clear conscience, raze to the ground whatever the veteran strugglers built through our National and Ecclesiastical Traditions. An example is the recently disposed citadel of the Traditional Patristic Calendar, which, like an unbreakable barrier, appreciably separated the Orthodox from the heretics and infidels. The cunning enemies of Orthodoxy tried many times to destroy this defensive bastion, but they kicked towards centers. This is because they always had to confront the Doorkeepers and Housemaster of the Church, sleeplessly watching over the unyielding bastions of Orthodoxy. Indeed, the Fathers of the Church were themselves not unaware of theory in which the Gregorian calendar was considered more perfect, time‐wise, than the Julian. Yet they never ceased defending the Traditional Patristic Calendar! This is because they honored the tradition of the Seven Ecumenical Councils and the perpetual practice of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Inasmuch as the Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council interlocked the Julian calendar with the Paschal Canon, the Orthodox Festal Calendar, and the Sunday Cycle of Gospel Readings, it served as a component of Divine worship and a unifying link between universal Orthodoxy, as well as an irremovable bastion against heresy and infidelity. Yet this irremovable bastion was shattered without a fight, and not by the age‐old enemies of Orthodoxy, but by those appointed as its guardians, the Ecclesiastical Doorkeepers and Housemasters. For this reason, the current administrators of the Church of Greece, breaking apart the unity of Orthodoxy through the calendar innovation, and dividing the Orthodox Greek nation into two opposing calendar parties, did not only break the Ecclesiastical Tradition that was instilled by the Seven Ecumenical Councils and ratified by the age‐old practice of the Eastern Orthodox Church, but they also broke the dogma regarding the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Thus, the current administrators of the Church of Greece, by their unilateral, uncanonical, and irresponsible introduction of the Gregorian calendar, tore themselves off from the entire body of Orthodoxy, and declared themselves in essence [κατ’ οὐσίαν] schismatics compared to the other Orthodox Churches, which stand upon the ground of the Seven Ecumenical Councils and the Orthodox institutions and traditions, and upon the Churches of Jerusalem, Antioch, Serbia, Poland, the Holy Mountain [of Athos], the God‐trodden Mt. Sinai, etc. That these things are so, is also confirmed by the excellent lawyers, theologians and professors of the National University, when it appointed a committee to study the calendar issue, and one of the members happened to be the [current] Archbishop of Athens, [Chrysostom Papadopoulos], who at that time was a Professor of Ecclesiastical History at the National University. Here is what that Committee stated regarding the calendar issue: “All the Orthodox Churches, even if they are Autocephalous in their internal administration, do not fall apart because they are united to each other through the Dogmas and Synodical Decrees and Canons…No Orthodox Autocephalous Church can separate itself from the rest and accept the new calendar without becoming schismatic in the eyes of the others.” Accordingly, since His Beatitude, the Archbishop of Athens, through his own signature, declares himself a schismatic, what further need do we have of witnesses, so that we can prove that he and his like‐minded hierarchs have made themselves schismatics, by breaking apart the unity of Orthodoxy through the innovation of the calendar, and splitting the Ecclesiastical and National soul of the Orthodox Greek people? This same Beatitude, in one of his works regarding the calendar issue, commenting on one of the epistles of Ecumenical Patriarch Jeremias II, says the following: “The letter of Patriarch Jeremias II indicates in an excellent manner the position which the Orthodox Church immediately took against the Gregorian modification of the calendar. The Church considered it yet another of the many innovations of Old Rome, a universal scandal, and an arbitrary affront to the Synodical Canons and Constitutions. The reform of the calendar is not only a matter of astronomy but also pertains to the Church... Hence, the Pope had no right to reform the calendar, [for in so doing] he proved that he esteems himself superior to the Ecumenical Councils. Consequently, the Orthodox Church has not been in favour of the reform of the calendar...” Apart from these violations of the canons, there are also important moral issues, which stem from that very Archdiocese, requiring the cleansing of the clergy of every rank, for the elevation of the workers of the Church and the increase of the prestige of the Orthodox Greek Church. Therefore, we leave it up to the Orthodox Greek people, to judge whether His Beatitude, the Archbishop, disagrees with himself, and whether or not he tramples the Orthodox Constitutions and Sacred Canons, and whether or not he is fit to be the President of the Orthodox Greek Church, the highest feature and the most glorious post, which is meant to protect the Orthodox Christian and National ideology. We always disagreed with this innovation of the calendar, but we submitted to the decision of the majority of the hierarchy by ecclesiastical economy, on the one hand, so as to prevent an ecclesiastical schism, and on the other hand, because we had the hope that the Hierarchy, wanting to prevent the division of its flock, would have hastened to return to the Orthodox calendar cycle. But since the schism was caused even without us, in the realms of the Church, between the Orthodox Christians themselves who became divided because of the new calendar, and since the Hierarchy after an entire twelve‐year period, not only did not take heed to return to the Orthodox calendar for the sake of the unity of the flock and the pacification of the Church, but it also persecuted the Old Calendarists! Therefore, we were compelled by the suggestion of our consciences, to declare to His Beatitude, the Archbishop, that we sever every communion with him, because he is a Schismatic even according to his own confession, and we make a fervent petition to the portion of the Greek people who accepted the new calendar in good faith, thinking that this is not contrary to Orthodoxy, as was declared by the innovative Archbishop of Athens in the past, that they too denounce the Gregorian calendar, as unorthodox, and let us trumpet out to the Schismatic Archbishop, the words of wise Joseph Bryennius: “We shall never renounce Thee, O beloved Orthodoxy! We shall never be untrue to thee, O revered tradition of the Fathers! We shall never forsake thee, O Mother Piety! In Thee were we born; and in Thee do we live; and in Thee shall we repose. And if the times require, we shall die ten thousand times for Thee!”
Translation from the Greek: [Letterhead symbol of double‐headed eagle] [Seal of the Metropolis of Mesogaea] GENUINE ORTHODOX CHURCH OF GREECE HOLY METROPOLIS OF MESOGAEA AND LAUREOTICA EPISCOPAL HOUSE OF ST. CATHERINE, KOROPI, ATTICA 19400 P.O. 54 KOROPI, ATTICA, TEL: 2106020176, TEL+FAX: 2106021467 Protocol No. 518. In Koropi on 19 September 2009 (O.C.) APPOINTMENT OF PRIEST FR. PEDRO AS RECTOR OF THE HOLY CHURCH OF ST. SPYRIDON IN KAREA [ATHENS] We, the Metropolitan of Mesogaea and Laureotica, Kirykos (of the unadulterated Genuine Orthodox Church), taking into account: 1) the event that the Holy Church of St. Spyridon from the year 1974 has been served by the Protopresbyter Fr. Thomas Kontogiannis, and after the schism of the Nicholaitans, due to the petition of the Rector and the Parishioners, is ecclesiastically and administrationally subject to the Holy Metropolis of Mesogaea and Laureotica; 2) the event that the Holy Metropolis of Mesogaea and Laureotica is the only Holy Metropolis of the unadulterated Genuine Orthodox Church, which “unadulteratedly and unchangingly,” according to the phrase of the Seventh Ecumenical Council, the good Confession of Faith, both in the Ecclesiology and other dogmatics, and also in the Apostolic Succession which we received from the Holy Father Matthew, in whose name, together with St. Spyridon and St. Mark Eugenicus, the Church is in honor, from the dedication [of the Church] on 12 October, 2006; 3) the event that the Holy Church of St. Spyridon at Karea is the only Church of the Metropolis of Athens which remained in the Genuine Orthodox Church after the “barbaric invasion” of the Nicholaitans and the abandoning of the Spiritual Centre at Peristeri, and the Shelter for Hospitality of the Clergy, and the remaining Churches, which they placed into the service of Old Calendarist Ecumenism; 4) the event that the new ecclesiastical circumstances which have become apparent after the convening of the Pan‐Orthodox Holy Synod in 2008, require, in the Metropolis of Athens, the existence of a “MISSIONARY ECCLESIASTICAL CENTRE OF THE WORLDWIDE GENUINE ORTHODOX CHURCH” for the better managing of the Missionary work on a Pan‐Orthodox scal; 5) the event that we have already appointed the Priest Fr. Pedro, of Brazilian origin, as the assistant Rector of the Metropolitan Cathedral of St. Demetrius in Acharnae; DECIDE That we appoint the Priest, Fr. Pedro, as the second Rector of the Holy Church of St. Spyridon, since he is well educated and intelligent, and we give him the position of responsibility for the organization of the “MISSIONARY ECCLESIASTICAL CENTRE OF THE WORLDWIDE GENUINE ORTHODOX CHURCH “HOLY FATHERS OF THE SEVEN ECUMENICAL COUNCILS,” to be located near the existing Church. We also declare, by the current [certificate] that Fr. Pedro will serve, depending on our command, at the two above Holy Churches according to the program and depending on the needs, or anywhere else the needs of the Missionary work require. METROPOLITAN OF THE GENUINE ORTHODOX CHURCH OF GREECE [Seal and Signature] + KIRYKOS OF MESOGAEA AND LAUREOTICA
ENCYCLICAL OF METROPOLITAN GERMANUS OF DEMETRIAS, PUBLISHED AND DISTRIBUTED IN MAY 1935 The following flyer was published and distributed throughout the Metropolis of Demetrias in May, 1935, after Metropolitan Germanus of Demetrias and two other hierarchs had officially returned to the old calendar. The section has been emphasized in bold print where Metropolitan Germanus describes that he and his fellow hierarchs have the purpose of collaborating with the Old Calendarist Patriarchates and Autocephalous Churches. This proves that although the three hierarchs did denounce the State Church of Greece as schismatic, they did not regard the Churches of Jerusalem, Antioch, Mt. Sinai, Mt. Athos, Russia, Poland, Serbia, etc, to be schismatic, but on the contrary, they viewed them as “collaborators.” Bishop Matthew accepted consecration at their hands despite this, and he was also fully aware of the fulfilment of this obligation when the Holy GOC Synod (to which Bishop Matthew belonged) decided to send Metropolitan Chrysostom of Florina to Jerusalem and Antioch for this very purpose in 1936. Is this not “Old Calendarist Ecumenism” as described in the mind of Bp. Kirykos Kontogiannis? The below document was taken from Bp. Kirykos’ own archive at Koropi. This document has been hidden in this archive for several decades. It cannot be said that Bp. Kirykos is unaware of it, because together with the original document there was also a photocopy of the same document, upon which the controversial statement is underlined with a pen. Whose pen might that be? For it to be underlined it means it was not only read but attention was also drawn towards it. So the question remains: Why has Bp. Kirykos failed to publish such an important document? What could be his excuse other than the fact that he hides such documents on purpose in order to get away with falsifying GOC history to suite his fanatic one‐sided positions? A true Orthodox bishop does not hide the truth from his flock by choosing to reveal only the documents that suit him. A true Orthodox bishop reveals the truth, be it in his favour or not. Thus, Bp. Kirykos proves to be a false bishop. His own archive betrays him. The original document in Greek is available as a scanned image, while the below is an English translation: HELLENIC REPUBLIC METROPOLITAN OF DEMETRIAS Pious priests, honourable wardens of the Churches, and remaining blessed Christians of our most holy Metropolis. A qualification sine qua non for every pastor is to have love towards our Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ. “Do you love me?” our Saviour asked Peter, “Tend my sheep.” Love and faith towards the Saviour and towards the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church that He founded, is what we bishops confess officially before God and men when we take up the hierarchical dignity, certifying that we desire, by divine succour and confidence, to unwaveringly retain the faith of Christ and the holy traditions completely spotless. Upon reaching a thirty‐year period of shepherding the God‐saved eparchy of Demetrias, we retained, with fear of God, the holy traditions, protecting the flock of Christ from every opposing attack, becoming a faithful witness of the divine and holy canons and traditions of our Church. Unfortunately, men speaking perversely received the succession of the Holy Church of Greece, and, perverting the truth, they substituted it with falsehood and deceit, disregarded the Holy Canons and the Holy Traditions, causing obvious spiritual damage. Our objections were in vain. Our protests were to no avail. Not considering even one of all of these [objections and protests], they disregarded the Festal Calendar [Greek: Heortologion] of our Church, which is inextricably linked to the Paschal Rule [Paschalios Canon], the Sunday Cycle [Kyriakodromion], the fast of the Holy Apostles, and the worship in general, introducing instead of the Orthodox Festal Calendar (Julian), the Gregorian (Frankish) calendar. We, due to love for the Church, for twelve entire years did not cease to advise and admonish the innovators, pointing out the downhill direction the Church had taken leading to the future severing of the unity of the One Holy Church of Christ, and the arising discords, attitudes and riots, but unfortunately we were not listened to. With great sorrow and contrition of heart we were compelled, together with other hierarchs, to overthrow and expel the Gregorian calendar, keeping it only for the daily life and political necessities of the Christians, while embracing the Festal Calendar of our Church, based on the Julian Calendar which was adopted for use by our Church at the Ecumenical Council of Nicea. Remaining faithful to the tradition of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, the ordinances of which our Church respects and unwaveringly retains, we shall collaborate [Greek: synergazometha] with the Orthodox Churches of Jerusalem, Antioch, Mt. Sinai, Mt. Athos, Russia, Poland, Serbia and the remaining Orthodox Churches that keep the Patristic Old Festal Calendar, not acquiescing to remain under the curses and anathemas of the Holy Fathers and the Orthodox Patriarchs, who in Ecumenical and Regional Councils, appointed what is befitting. We are convinced that you shall follow us to the fields of evangelical grace, just as the shepherd treads before the sheep and the sheep follow him, and do not follow, but rather flee, from anything alien. For about 150 years, emperors, hierarchs and mighty men upon the earth were expelling the holy icons from the churches, but the Faith of the Christians proved to be victorious, triumphantly restoring [the icons] to the churches, because “this is the victory that has conquered the world, namely, our Faith.” Whenever the people felt their faith being disgraced, they supported and retained [their faith] unscathed and unfalsified throughout the centuries. Therefore stand fast and hold the Orthodox Traditions, keep the Patristic Festal Calendar, namely, the Julian. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may deprive you of your crown, namely, Orthodoxy. In Athens, May, 1935. Your fervent supplicant to Christ, + Metropolitan Germanus of Demetrias
The Apostolic Succession of the Matthewites Derives From A Freemason and Ecumenist “Patriarch” In his book “Elenchos Kai Anatrope” Mr. Gkoutzidis writes about the various ecclesiological books that were printed by the Zealot Athonite fathers: “At the very same time important documents of an ecclesiological nature are circulated by the Zealot Hieromonks who had departed Mt. Athos, the foremost of which was the then Hieromonk and later Bishop and Archbishop of the G.O.C., Matthew Karpathakis. From among these documents we mention the most important, namely, ‘Apostasias Elenchos,’ ‘Distomos Romphaia’ published in 1934 and ‘Phos tois en Skotei’ published in 1936, which widely shocked the innovative process of Chrysostom Papadopoulos…” From the last of these Athonite books, ‘Phos tois en Skotei’ of 1936, we provide the following quote: “…Therefore, the Official Church of Chrysostom Papadopoulos, recognized by the State, is naked and deprived of the grace and gift of God, because it betrayed the Faith of our Christ by its tolerance and collaboration with atheistic Judeo‐Masonry!!!...” Below is a photocopy of the actual page from which the quote is taken: We agree wholeheartedly with the above quote, that if a bishop enslaves himself to antichristian and satanic Judeo‐Masonry, his mysteries are invalid and his hierarchical status is “naked and deprived of the grace and gift of God.” But unfortunately, “Archbishop” Chrysostom of Athens was not the first, nor was he the last, of these Mason “hierarchs.” Among the masons of high rank also happened to be the Ecumenical Patriarch Joachim III, the first Masonic “Patriarch” of Constantinople. This information is derived firstly from the official website of the “Grand Lodge of Greece,” as well as from several books published by the Zealot Fathers themselves, many of which refer to Joachim III as “the first Mason Ecumenical Patriarch.” On the Greek version of Wikipedia, in the article regarding Joachim III, we read: “According to the official website of the Grand Lodge of Greece, he was a member of the Masonic Lodge called ‘Progress.’ (Πρόοδος).” And he wasn’t only a Mason, but also an Ecumenist. In the Patriarchal Encyclical of 1904 he asked of the Primates of the Autocephalous Orthodox Churches to discuss the following: “a) the meeting and strengthening by concordance and love, of the Holy Orthodox Churches of God, b) the possibility of relation and Christian love and rapprochement of our Churches with the two great branches of Christianity, namely, Catholicism and Protestantism, c) how it is possible for the Orthodox Church to approach the so‐called Old Catholics, who desire a union with us, and d) whether it is possible or not for us to formulate and better adjust our current Calendar.” He also wrote: “It is beloved of God and Evangelical for me to ask of the leadership of the Holy Autocephalous Churches regarding our present and future relations with the two great branches of Christianity, the Western Church and the Protestant Churches. And it is known that every genuine Christian must pray and petition, as is found in the texts of our Church, for the Evangelical Unity, a teaching constituting a pious and heartfelt desire in the Orthodox Faith, for the unity of them and all who believe in Christ…” Further down he writes: “Not without worth is our attention towards the issue of a common calendar, so that we can adequate document things said and written, using the same proposed systems of reform of our Julian Calendar, which has been kept by the Orthodox Church for a long time. [This reform shall take place] either by adopting the Gregorian Calendar, since [the Julian Calendar] is scientifically lacking, whereas this one is more accurate. We must consequently also consider the transformation of our ecclesiastical Paschalion. Regarding this topic, the opinions are divided, as we can see from the resulted specific opinions of our Orthodox people…” Thus, ‘Ecumenical Patriarch’ Joachim III was not only a Mason (member of the Lodge called ‘Progress’), but he was also a branch theory Ecumenist (he called Catholicism and Protestantism ‘branches of Christianity’ and he expressed a desire for unity with them). Additionally he was also in favour of the reform of the ecclesiastical calendar, either by the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar or the creation of a new calendar. In any case his purpose is spelled out quite clearly as “common calendar,” meaning a single calendar for Westerns and Orthodox, to better promote their unity. In other words, ‘Patrarch’ Joachim III was the forerunner of ‘Archbishop’ Chrysostom Papadopoulos! He was the ‘Metaxakis’ before Meletius Metaxakis!!! But this very Mason, Ecumenist and very‐well‐would‐have‐been New Calendarist ‘Patriarch’ is the very bishop who consecrated Metropolitan Chrysostom Kavouridis of Florina in 1909, who in turn consecrated Bishop Matthew of Bresthena in 1935! In other words, the Apostolic Succession of the Matthewites derives from a Mason, Ecumenist and Modernist ‘Patriarch’!!! So by what means does Bp. Kirykos Kontogiannis and Mr. Eleutherius Gkoutzidis preach to us that supposedly Bishop Matthew offered a “pure” line of Apostolic Succession, whereas all other lines (Russian Church Abroad, etc) are looked upon as “unclean”? What could be more unclean than a consecration derived from a Mason, Ecumenist and Modernist ‘Patriarch’ such as Joachim III??? Such a line of Apostolic Succession is by far as “unclean” as one can possibly get! Yet Bp. Kirykos presents it as some kind of “spotless bastion” of Apostolic Succession! The fact that Joachim III was a Mason is enough to disqualify the validity of this line, without even mentioning the fact he was also a ‘branch‐theory’ believing Ecumenist heretic, and was also in favour of the reformation of the ecclesiastical calendar! But the hypocrisy doesn’t stop there. This Mason, Ecumenist and Modernist ‘Patriarch’ Joachim III did not only pass on the Apostolic Succession to the Matthewites. He was also the very ‘Patriarch’ who blessed the Holy Chrism in 1903 and again in 1912, the very Holy Chrism that the Matthewites were using until as late as 1958! Thus the Matthewites were rechrismating converts from New Calendarism by anointing them with the Holy Chrism blessed by a Freemason, Ecumenist and Modernist ‘Patriarch’!!! Behold a photograph of ‘Patriarch’ Joachim III and the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate shortly after the blessing of the Holy Chrism on Holy Thursday, 1912: The consecration of Holy Chrism by Patriarch Joachim III in 1912 Now let us again read the quote from “Phos tois en Skotei” published in 1936: “…Therefore, the Official Church of Chrysostom Papadopoulos, recognized by the State, is naked and deprived of the grace and gift of God, because it betrayed the Faith of our Christ by its tolerance and collaboration with atheistic Judeo‐ Masonry!!!...” What does this mean? This means that according to their own ecclesiology, the Matthewites THEMSELVES are “naked and deprived of the grace and gift of God” because they derive not only their Apostolic Succession but even their Holy Chrism from a ‘Patriarch’ who “betrayed the Faith of our Christ by his tolerance and collaboration with atheistic Judeo‐Masonry!!!...” Alas! But let the Matthewites rethink as to whether they truly do have “pure” Apostolic Succession and “valid mysteries” before they dare to judge or doubt the Apostolic Succession and Valid Mysteries of the historic Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, and the Acacian hierarchy it founded in Greece.
Most traditionalists view the Council as a valid, but problematic, Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church.
OPEN RESPONSE to the Letter of Mr. Anthonios Markou (Translation from the original Greek) Dear brother in Christ Anthony, With much grief I read your letter to brother Theoharis. I was grieved because you said other things when I visited you with Father Pedro, his wife Lucia and Theoharis, and now you write other things in your letter. Do you know about the truth? Of course, you know. Do you know about Orthodoxy? Of course, you know. Do you know about the Holy Fathers? Of course, you know. Do you know about the canonical order of the Church? Of course, you know all these things. But how do you ignore them now? On the first paragraph of your letter you write: “Theoharis, my child, I send you this message in order to express my sadness. Iʹd ask you if you are ashamed of your behaviour, but shame is a virtue and I don’t think you have it...” Brother Anthony, Theoharis is a golden child, and very shy. Whoever knows him very well knows that a pure and God‐fearing lad like Theoharis is rare to find in today’s society. Although he grew up as Evangelical (Protestant) and comes from a third‐generation Evengalical Greek family, he decided to investigate matters of Faith and was baptized five years ago in the Russian Orthodox Church in Exile. The fact that Theoharis went from being an Evangelical to discovering Genuine Orthodoxy is a small miracle. The fact he remained and lives as a chaste lad, a zealot for things divine, a struggler for Patristic Piety, and with temperance and respect, is the greater miracle. Admiration and high esteem is due. If only there were others like Theoharis in Greece and in the world in general, Orthodoxy would also shine! There wouldn’t be today’s chaos we see among the “GOC” of whichever faction. The truth must be said. Theoharis is very shy. He has the virtue of shame, and those who know him can verify this truth. And for this reason he couldn’t endure the disgracefulness of Bp. Kirykos Kontogiannis! Those who do not have the virtue of shame are those who accept Bp. Kirykos’ scandals and especially those who give excuses in order for the scandals to continue! So if there is any lack of shame, it does not concern Theoharis, but rather Bp. Kirykos himself and those profane people, yourself among them, who justify his scandals! In your letter you continue: “...Come on, my child, one year near Bishop Kirykos (he gave you hospitality, as he could, he gave you shelter, and he fed you) and your thanks is your scandalization, that he sleeps in the same building with sister Valentina? Did you understand this so long near him? I known him for almost 40 years, as a person he has his faults, but nobody has ever accused him of immorality...” First, brother Anthony, I want to thank you because by writing the sentence “...he sleeps in the same building with sister Valentina...” you testify in writing the sad REALITY that was also told to us by the nun Vikentia (Kirykos’ sister according to the flesh), which she said with many tears. Now she may deny that she told us these things, but she didn’t tell them to just one person. She told them to several people: two from Australia, one from the Unites States, two from Canada, others from Larissa, others from various parts of Greece and abroad. She didn’t tell them with a smile, she told them with tears and pain, because these are indeed very sad things. Now if she is in denial, it is in order for her to escape from her brother. But since Presbytera (Matushka) Antonina and five different families in Menidi who are really scandalized by Valentina’s case, told us the same thing, and since we saw with our own eyes that Kirykos actually lives and sleeps with Valentina, how can it be possible to act as if all is “milk and honey?” And what exactly was revealed by Nun Vikentia, Presbytera Antonina, the five families, various monks, the former novices of Koropi, and other people who are witnesses and know all these things first‐hand? That Bp. Kirykos SLEEPS (as you wrote) in the same building with a woman, Ms. Valentina, who is not blood‐related to him, she is not even a nun, but a simple unmarried laywoman, who for 22 years acts as Kirykos’ “housemaid,” and for several of these years “sleeps” with him, earlier at Kalithea, at Peristeri, at Koropi (until Valentina was expelled by nun Vikentia when the latter entered Koropi Monastery and “found them together,” as she said), and now the couple lives and even sleep day and night at the “Hermitage of Our Lady of Paramythia (Consolation)” in Menidi, where the walls were built very high, and the doors are always locked, so only God knows what happens inside this “hermitage.” Let us note here that when Ms. Valentina started collecting thousands of euros in order to build the actual building at Menidi, she used the idea that a NURSING HOME would be built to aid the community. You cannot ignore this truth that the people happily gave their donations because it was for a nursing home! If only these unfortunate souls knew that the the term “nursing home” was only a ploy used by Kirykos and Valentina to raise money! If they told the Pontians of Menidi “We are building a house so Kirykos can sleep there together with his housemaid,” would the Pontians have given their money? Of course not! They would not have given a single cent! But some old people are naïve and just don’t understand. One old man from Menidi used to smoke. At confession, Kirykos told him “Stop smoking.” Τhe old man came back after a few months and told Kirykos: “I want to thank you for telling me to stop smoking! Now I feel very well! To thank you, I made two chairs: one for you, and one… for your wife!” (!!!). How was the wretched man to know that Valentina is not Bishop Kirykos’ wife, but she simply “sleeps in the same building” with him, as you have just written it? In any case the poor people were cheated. They gave thousands upon thousands of euros, but when the work was finished and they expected some old people to move into the nursing home… What a strange surprise! Kirykos nestled there himself… with his Valentina! And you cannot deny this fact because the day Valentina started moving her belongings in there, the tears of the other women were heard throughout Menidi! Because their offerings, their money, their hard work, etc., for the “nursing home” was all lost! They realized that there was never a “nursing home,” but only disorder and deceit! If it were a proper Convent it would be another thing. But Bp. Kirykos tonsured a new nun (Nun Kyranna) in December 2009, but instead of living at the “hermitage” as it should be, this nun continues living in the house of her daughter (Barbara). And who lives at the “hermitage?” Kirykos with his Valentina! He has kept Valentina as a laywoman for 22 years, and she dresses as a presbytera (priest’s wife). She dresses as the presbytera of Bishop Kirykos! Even if she were a nun, this “blessed” woman it is not allowed to live alone with the Bishop if there are not other nuns living there. And even if there were other nuns, the bishop must sleep outside, in another place, as is the norm in other Old Calendarist Convents. For example, at the Convent of Our Lady of Axion Estin (It is Truly Meet), in Methoni, Pieria, His Grace, Bishop Tarasios, sleeps in a completely different building and far from the nuns. And these nuns are many, and not just one, and they are truly nuns, and not laywomen serving as “housemaids.” This canonical order is neglected in the person of Bishop Kirykos Kontogiannis, who claims to be an exceptional zealot and a “super” confessor! But his claims are all talk, and he puts nothing into practice. Brother Anthony, it is not a matter of “shame.” It is a matter of Holy Canons. It is a matter of Ecclesiastical Tradition and Order. It is a matter of Orthopraxia. It is a matter of Orthodoxia. The 1923 “Pan‐Orthodox” (rather Pan‐ heretical) Conference by Meletios Metaxakis did not require only a change of the calendar, but also other even worse cacodoxies, such as the marriage of bishops, etc. If we disavow the change of calendar, how can we accept the marriage of bishops? And indeed, in the Apostolic times, Bishops were married, but legally! They did not have a laywoman residing with them that “sleeps in the same building” (as you wrote) and plays the “housemaid.” And if perchance this disorder was taking place, the bishop would be defrocked immediately! They would not permit the scandal to continue for 22 years! Even if nothing happens between Bishop Kirykos and Ms. Valentina (God knows!), even if she is simply “the bishop’s housemaid,” the fact that Bishop Kirykos “sleeps in the same building with sister Valentina” (as you expressed it) makes Bishop Kirykos liable not only to deposition but also to excommunion! We quote the relevant Sacred Canons. Canon 3 of the First Ecumenical Council writes: “The great Council has forbidden generally any Bishop or Presbyter or Deacon, and anyone else at all among those in the clergy, the privilege of having a subintroducta [i.e., housemaid]. Unless she is either a mother, or a sister, or an aunt, or a person above suspicion.” The interpretation of St. Nicodemus: “Men in holy orders and clergymen ought not to cause the laity any suspicion or scandal. On this account the present Canon ordains that this great Council—the First Ecumenical, that is to say—has entirely forbidden any bishop or presbyter or deacon or any other clergyman to have a strange woman in his house, and to live with her, excepting only a mother, or a sister, or an aunt, or other persons that do not arouse any suspicion.” (The Rudder in English, O.C.I.S., p. 165) Do you see, brother Anthony, what the Holy First Ecumenical Council writes? Valentina is neither a nun, nor an aunt, nor any person who does not give suspicion. On the contrary, she is not related at all to Bishop Kirykos. But for 22 years she works as a “housemaid” of the then hieromonk and later bishop. And for some of these years they were living together, alone, earlier at Kallithea, at Peristeri, at Koropi, and now at Menidi. Bishop Kirykos has a real sister according to the flesh, namely, nun Vikentia, who lives at Koropi, at Kirykos’ so‐ called “Episcopal House.” But Kirykos does not live with his real sister, rather he sleeps and lives with his fake presbytera (or rather episkopissa) Valentina at Menidi! He goes to Koropi only when a stranger comes, so it may “appear” that he supposedly lives there. Bishop Kirykos argues that he is fighting for the Old Calendar for the preservation of the resolutions of the First Ecumenical Council. If that is the case, how does he ignore the 3rd Canon of the same Council? How does he disregard it, while simultaneously posing to be “super” canonical? Canon 5 of the Sixth Ecumenical Council writes: “Let no one on the sacerdotal list acquire a woman or housemaid except persons mentioned in the Canon as being above suspicion, but let him safeguard his reputation in this respect. Let even eunuchs safeguard themselves in this very same situation too, by providing themselves with a blameless character. As for those who transgress this injunction, if they are Clergymen, let them be deposed from office; but if they are laymen let them be excommunicated.” The interpretation of St. Nicodemus: “What the present Canon decrees is the following. Let none of those in holy orders who are living modestly have a woman staying in their house, or a servant girl, unless she be among those specified in a Canon as being above suspicion—this refers to c. III of the First Ec. C.—such persons being a mother and a sister and an aunt; so as to keep himself from becoming liable to incur blame form either the father or the mother in relation to the laity. Anyone among persons that transgresses this Canon, let him be deposed from office. Likewise eunuchs, too, must keep themselves safe from any accusation against them, and therefore let them not dwell together with suspicious persons. In case they dare to do this, if they are clergymen (as having been involuntarily, that is to say, or by nature made eunuchs), let them be deposed from office; but if they are laymen, let them be excommunicated. Read also c. III of the First Ec. C.” (The Rudder in English, O.C.I.C., p. 298) Do you see, then, brother Antony, that bishop Kirykos is worthy of deposition? It is not enough that he was deposed by the Synod of the “Five,” it is not enough that he was deposed by the Synod of Archbishop Nicholas, but even now Kirykos’ own “Pan‐Orthodox Synod,” if only it really loved and appreciated the Sacred Canons, would also consider Kirykos liable to deposition! Kirykos knows how to open the Rudder (Pedalion) on the heads of other Bishops of various factions. He never opens the Rudder on his own head. And this is because he is not a Christian but a Pharisee, and this Phariseeism drove him to his current condition of delusion and schismatoheresy. Canon 18 of the Seventh Ecumenical Council writes: “Be ye unoffending even to outsiders, says the Apostle (1 Cor. 10:32). But for women to be dwelling in bishoprics, or in monasteries, is a cause for everyone’s taking offense. If, therefore, anyone
The Bishop Who Consecrated Bishop Matthew of Bresthena Was An “Old Calendarist Ecumenist” Metropolitan Germanus of Demetrias, who consecrated Bishop Matthew of Bresthena in 1935, did not have the Gkoutzidis‐style ecclesiology. On the contrary, Metropolitan Germanus of Demetrias believed that all of the Patriarchates and Autocephalous Churches that continued to retain the Patristic Calendar were still canonical and Orthodox, even if they had not severed communion with the New Calendarists. Accordingly to this quite moderate ecclesiology, Metropolitan Germanus of Demetrias published a Pastoral Encyclical in 1935, in which he writes that the very PURPOSE of the Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece was to CO‐OPERATE with the Patriarchates and Autocephalous Churches that kept the Old Calendar! In the said Encyclical we read: “…Remaining faithful to the tradition of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, the ordinances of which our Church respects and unwaveringly retains, we shall collaborate [Greek: synergazometha] with the Orthodox Churches of Jerusalem, Antioch, Mt. Sinai, Mt. Athos, Russia, Poland, Serbia and the remaining Orthodox Churches that keep the Patristic Old Festal Calendar, not acquiescing to remain under the curses and anathemas of the Holy Fathers and the Orthodox Patriarchs, who in Ecumenical and Regional Councils, appointed what is befitting…” The original text in Greek reads: «...Ἐμμένοντες πιστοὶ εἰς τὰς παραδόσεις τῶν ἑπτὰ Οἰκουμενικῶν Συνόδων, τῶν ὁποῖων τὰς διατάξεις σέβεται καὶ διακρατεῖ ἀπαρασαλεύτως ἡ ἡμετέρα Ἐκκλησία [τῶν Γ.Ο.Χ. Ἑλλάδος], θὰ ΣΥΝΕΡΓΑΖΟΜΕΘΑ μετὰ τῶν ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΩΝ Ἐκκλησιῶν Ἱεροσολύμων, Ἀντιοχείας, Ὄρους Σινᾶ, Ἁγ. Ὅρους, Ρωσσίας, Πολωνίας, Σερβίας καὶ λοιπῶν ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΩΝ Ἐκκλησιῶν, αἴτηνες κρατοῦσι τὸ πάτριον παλαιὸν ἑορτολόγιον, μὴ στέργοντες νὰ διατελῶμεν ὑπὸ τὰς ἀρὰς καὶ τὰ ἀναθέματα τῶν Ἁγίων Πατέρων καὶ τῶν Ὀρθοδόξων Πατριαρχῶν, οἴτινες ἐν Οἰκουμενικαῖς καὶ Τοπικαῖς Συνόδοις ὡρισαν τὰ συμφέροντα...» Since Metropolitan Germanus of Demetrias believed that the Patriarchates of Jerusalem, Antioch, Russia, Serbia, etc, were valid Orthodox Churches, and that the role of the G.O.C. was to collaborate with them, does this not make him an “Old Calendarist Ecumenist” according to the extremist Gkoutzidian ecclesiology? If so, then that would make Germanus a graceless heretic even at this time that he was consecrating Bishop Matthew. So then, with which grace did he perform the consecration? Behold the original document in Greek, as it was found in the archive of Bp. Kirykos Kontogiannis, and criminally hidden for all of these years:
She has also actively worked with of the Council for World Mission ecumenical (CWM) partner church Guyana Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC).
A The Sacred Synod of the Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece ENCYCLICAL Protocol No. 3280/28‐11‐2007 Published in ATHENS FEBRUARY, 2008 To the Sacred Clergy, the Monastic Orders and the Pious Laity Children, beloved in the Lord! “The right hand of the Lord hath wrought power……” In these latter days of the world, where there is apostasy and rebellion of the many against the principles of Faith and Orthodox Confession, there are, according to the prophetic words of the Apostle Paul “terrible times.” “For men will be,“ he writes, “lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high‐minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.” And concluding, he counsels all of us saying, “From such, turn away.” (II Timothy 3:1‐5) Living in our times, we are all witnesses of the emboldening of the devil against the righteous God. On a daily basis, we observe, because of our own sins and the permission of God, the continually spreading authority of the enemy over the nobility of human nature and over all our natural environment. All around us, we see shamelessly manifested and praised: alienation, corruption, degeneration, and the imposition of that which is unnatural as if it were natural. Beginning with the opening of the way by desensitization, there follows the total overturning of every principle and every moral order and justice. And all this in the name of progress and human freedom. But our Lord God doth live unto the ages! And His Church, which is “the pillar and foundation of truth,” as the Apostle of the nations declares, lives unto the ages founded upon the Lord’s words: “and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.” She walks humbly and piously upon her martyric path in the world from the time of the holy Apostles even until today, while her children, in the words of Holy Scripture, are “…destitute, afflicted, tormented,” but being witnessed to by faith, they “…subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness and obtained promises….” From the very day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples of Christ, leading them unto “all the Truth,” the Church has never ceased facing the attacks and assaults of the devil, the enemy of Truth, who as the “prince of this world,” desperately attempts to take revenge upon our God in Trinity, the Former and Creator of all, by abusing all of the Divine creation, but especially man, who was formed in the image of God. Schisms, heresies, and rebellions have throughout the ages troubled, and even now trouble, the Church and are all the works of the “prince of this world,” having as their source his continual maniacal warring against the Creator God. Children beloved in the Lord! The “first schism” in the New Testament, the rebellion and betrayal of Judas, is the pattern and example of every schism or apostasy that followed throughout the ages. Similar movements and behaviors are manifested and realized from then even until today. The Seven Ecumenical Synods; Pan Orthodox Synods held in various places; and the Local Synods; faced, with the Grace of the holy Spirit, the imitators of Judas throughout the ages, that is, the leaders of heresies, and showed them to be in error, and their heretical teachings to be kakodoxies. Gnostics, Cathars, Nikolaites, Arians, Nestorians, Monophysites, Patropaschites, Monothelites and others, (in our days, the Ecumenists and whatever other deniers of the Orthodox Faith and Confession), are all examples of those who troubled the people of the Church, tearing asunder the unsewn Robe of Christ as imitators of Judas. But the Church of Christ lives unto the ages! However, it is natural and understandable that every heresy, every ecclesiastical schism or separation that sprouted forth, brought difficult times to the peace, like‐mindedness, and unity of the members of the Church. The harmony, concerning God, of those who are sincere in their relationship to God, that is, the Orthodox Confession of the members of the Church, is threatened by the disagreement and the battling evoked by those who do not have an Orthodox Confession, that is, by those members of the Church who act insincerely toward God, in opposition to the Orthodox Confession which they held up to now. And, as we are informed by St. Gregory the Theologian: “Nothing is mightier for the harmony of those who are sincere toward God as their agreement in Godly matters. And nothing creates antagonism like disagreement in this matter.” (Sermon VI Eirenical I). But while the Church receives attacks and wounds from those who deny the Truth, and even while many of her children distance themselves and fall from the Truth, she, herself, as the Body of Christ, remains unto the ages. According to St. John Chrysostomos, “… being warred against, she is victorious; plotted against, she prevails; being cursed, she is made even more brilliant; she receives wounds, but does not succumb to the ulcers; she is battered by waves but does not sink; she is tempest tossed, but suffers not shipwreck; she wrestles, but is not beaten; stricken by fists, but is not crushed….” (Second Homily To Eutropios) Yet, all the while, she struggles and uses every means, and tries in every way to return to her all who have been beguiled into error from the Truth and Tradition of Orthodoxy. All of this is true, because the work of the Church in the world is the revelation of the will of God unto mankind and its participation in the eternal life and the Kingdom. In addition, she works for the gathering of those who are scattered and the return of those who have strayed from the path of Truth. As we read in the prayer of the Anaphora of the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great: “… gather up those who are scattered, restore those who have strayed and unite them to the Holy and Apostolic Church …” The Holy Church experienced a tempest in our times when, in 1924, the Ecumenical Patriarchate; the local Church of Greece; and, in consequence, other Patriarchates and local Orthodox Churches, accepted the introduction of the New Papal Calendar and its imposition upon the Ecclesiastical Festal Calendar as the first step to the pan‐heresy of Ecumenism. Having come to this difficult situation, the Orthodox Church in Greece remained, as is known, until 1935, without Orthodox Bishops, even while many of her clergy, along with many monastics, mainly from Holy Mountain, labored to fortify the people in the struggle for piety and the defense of the Tradition of the Fathers. Thus, In 1935, the Orthodox Church in Greece (having found her canonical, Orthodox, ecclesiastical leadership by means of the return of three Bishops from the New Calendarist Innovation and their rejection of the Innovation) struggled to accomplish her purpose: the healing of the New Calendarist schism and the returning to her (due to the rejection, by the three Bishops, of New Calendarist Ecumenism) of those who had been led astray. In 1937, however, a new schism troubled the Church when Metropolitan Chrysostomos, formerly of Florina, rejected his original Orthodox Confession and put forward his kakodox teaching of the “potential but not actual” schismatic nature of the New Calendarist schism, which made, by this means, the New Calendarist “Church” simply “subject to trial,” but not in actual schism from the beginning (as she had been considered by all the faithful members of the Church) with all the consequences of this condition, In 1948, by condescension, the ever‐memorable Bishop of Vresthena and afterwards Archbishop of Athens, Matthew I, after many fruitless attempts to re‐unite all the Bishops who followed the traditional Ecclesiastical Festal Calendar in the Orthodox Confession of Faith, consecrated Bishops alone, thus passing along Apostolic Succession to those Bishops he consecrated and thus preserving unchanged and pure the traditional Orthodox Faith and Ecclesiastical teaching. The unjust attacks and the theologically unfounded assaults by those who strayed from and who were torn from the Body of the Church (the clerical and lay followers of Metropolitan Chrysostomos, formerly of Florina) under the pretext of the “consecrations by one bishop” (consecrations of Bishops by Matthew of Vresthena) once again threatened the struggling Church with a tempest. Under the Episcopal leadership of the successors of Archbishop Matthew, the Church continues her work. In addition, she continues to struggle for the healing of the New Calendarist schism along with the return of those who were, and are today, torn away: Metropolitan Chrysostomos, formerly of Florina, who refused, and now his followers, citing uncanonical status because of the consecration of Bishops by one Bishop. In this continuous attempt of the Church, that is, the return to her of those who had strayed according to St. Basil, there occurred by the permission of God inapt deeds and actions on the part of the Ecclesiastical Leadership, and human errors, among which were the cheirothesias of the year 1971. When, in that year, a Synodical representation of Bishops traveled to America, and coming into contact with the Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad, and placing before their Synod the request that they examine and judge the matter of the Episcopal consecrations by one bishop of 1948, so that the excuses relating to this matter by the followers of Metropolitan Chrysostomos, formerly of Florina, might cease, accepted the relevant Decision of the Synod of the Russian Church Abroad. Wherefore, because of the lack, to date, of a consistent, single, stable, and correct (from an Orthodox standpoint) position concerning the cheirothesias of 1971, and because of this lack, many and various questions concerning this matter which are expressed via a variety of opinions which of late became the cause of things concerning the cheirothesias of 1971 (being said by persons who war against the Church in various ways) the Sacred Synod of the Bishops of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ of the True Orthodox Christians of Greece, moved by pastoral concerns and responsibility, needed to act accordingly. And so it was that the Holy and Sacred Synod, the time having come and the circumstances insuring (and the impediments for the ecclesiastical confrontation in its fullness having disappeared) in the fear of God and with full understanding and sure knowledge of our Episcopal responsibility, met and considered together this matter (of the cheirothesias) during the Meeting of the Holy Synod of the Hierarchy of the Church of the T.O.C. of Greece, which took place on the 27th of December, 2007, under the presidency of His Beatitude Archbishop Nikolaos of Athens and All Greece,, and with the participation of all the Members of the Holy Synod: that is, the Metropolitan of Argolis k.k. Pachomios, the Metropolitan of Peristerion k.k. Galaction, the Metropolitan of Verroia and Naousa k.k. Tarasios, the Metropolitan of Thevae and Levadeia k.k. Andreas, the Bishop of Phillipi k.k. Chrysostomos, who was represented by the Very Rev. Abbot Archimandrite Stephanos Tsakiroglou, and the Chief Secretary, the Very Rev. Protopresbyter Demetrios Tsarkatzoglou. It is concerning this work (matter), and of the unanimous Decision taken in this regard, that we, as canonical Shepherds and leaders of the rational Flock of the Church of Christ, now humbly inform you by these presents. The ambition and the greedy disposition of burdensome men, and the general spirit of our times, inspired by Western philosophy and shaped on the
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He gained a World Council of Churches Scholarship to study Ecumenical Relations at Ecumenical Institute, Bossey, Geneva, Switzerland.
SIGILLION The Ecumenical Patriarchate to the Sacred Community of the Holy Mountain Gregory by the mercy of God Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch Most Holy Overseers and supervisors of the community of the Holy‐ named Mountain; abbots, priors, sacristans of the Holy and Stavropegic Monasteries situated there and the remaining Fathers, who are in the Holy Sketes and Cells abiding in the solitary life. Beloved and dearest children in our Lord, may the grace and peace of God be upon you, and our blessing and prayers. Years before during my second time by divine mercy as Patriarch, the Church, beholding the ongoing quarrels and disputes between the most holy Fathers there, published its Patriarchal and synodical decree, abolishing and stopping the immoderate ambition of some, and rejecting the satanically inspired scandals and removing from the midst that which was causing spiritual ruin, thereby treating your God‐beloved conduct and realizing your irreproachable solitary state. [Here the kollyva issue is expounded at length.] Concerning Divine and Holy Communion, you must be sure and know that the pious have the obligation at every Holy Mystagogy to approach and partake of the life‐creating Body, for which reason they are thus summoned by the Priest “With fear of God, faith, and love, draw near.” Also, concerning the precariousness and incompetence of people receiving Communion every day, the Church is entrusted with this and each one is commanded to approach the Holy Communion, whenever one confesses to one’s spiritual father, finds oneself worthy of Holy Communion and receives the permission of one’s spiritual father. But if one proves to be a criminal, one must submit to a penance, carry out the assigned penance with repentance and tears first, then present oneself again to one’s spiritual father to receive permission, and thus become worthy of the Divine and Holy Communion, for which neither is there a predestination of days, but nor must forty days first pass after having received Communion. Since [Communion] is unobstructed and unhindered, and whoever wishes to receive permission from their spiritual father, as one irreproachable, it is permitted for this person to receive Communion every week; however, neither is this a limit, nor is it an Apostolic Canon [i.e., neither is weekly the limited frequency, nor is it demanded for all to commune weekly]. These things we order and advise to everyone, to which you should be firmly rooted, and do not deviate from them, but neither break out into untimely and arrogant quarrels and disputes and satanic convictions, which are the fruit of death and destruction of the soul. Whoever is caught, out of malevolence or an evil mindset, persisting in this spiritually detrimental mindset and is proven to be quarreling about these things and resisting or that he thinks lawfully that memorial services be performed and kollyva presented for the salvation of the souls of the dead only on Saturday and not on any other day, or out of obstinacy and passion he carries out these things and presents them on Sunday, rewarding those who on occasion fall into minor sins, or he is seen saying that we must receive Communion every forty days and neither less nor more frequently than forty days, such a person, whatever his class and rank and age may be, must know that if it becomes known to the Church, he will be required to submit to its legal exasperation and punishment and to experience things which one could not even imagine in one’s dreams. Therefore, pay close attention to everybody, do so willingly and obediently, as we are already writing to advise and request you, and do not choose otherwise. May you be healthy in the Lord. 1819, in the month of August, 7th indiction. + GREGORY V of Constantinople New Rome + POLYCARP of the Holy City of Jerusalem + JOANNICIUS of Caesarea + ATHANASIUS of Nicomedia + GREGORY of Dercae + DOROTHEUS of Adrianople + JEREMIAS of Bizye + CALLINICUS of Siphnus + MELETIUS of Heraclea + MACARIUS of Nicaea + JOSEPH of Thessalonica + ZACHARIAS of Berroea + CALLINICUS of Dydimotechus + PHILOTHEIUS of Varna + DIONYSIUS, Metropolitan of Reos
Annual Prayer Service The Passaic Ecumenical Committee invites you to attend the Annual Prayer Service in celebration of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity to be held at 3:30PM on Sunday, January 18th, 2015, in The Hungarian Reformed Church, 220 Fourth Street, Passaic, NJ.
The First Synod and the Consecrations of 1935 In 1935, two hierarchs of the Orthodox Church of Greece (Metropolitan Germanus Mavromatis of Demetrias and Metropolitan Chrysostom Demetriou of Zacynthus) and one retired hierarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate (Metropolitan Chrysostom Kavourides of Florina) joined the Sacred Struggle and assumed the leadership of the Old Calendarists of Greece. Germanus of Demetrias became the President of the Holy Synod and the Locum Tenens of the Metropolis of Athens. This act was most canonical because the innovative “Archbishop” Chrysostom Papadopoulos of Athens had illegally usurped the Archdiocesan throne in 1923, whereas the lawful Archbishop was Theocletus Menopoulos (+1931). Assisted by the Metropolitans Chrysostom of Florina and Chrysostom of Zacynthus, Metropolitan Germanus of Demetrias, as the canonical and lawful President of the Synod, performed, in Keratea of Attica, the consecrations of four new bishops. Those consecrated were Bishop Germanus Varykopoulos of the Cyclades, Bishop Christopher Chatzis of Megaris, Bishop Polycarp Liosis of Diaulia, and Bishop Matthew Karpathakis of Bresthena. The first three Metropolitans and the abovementioned newly‐ordained four Bishops constituted the first re‐establishment of the canonical Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Greece since the time of Archbishop Theocletus Menopoulos of Athens, who had been dismissed in 1923 and reposed in 1931.
NEW TESTAMENT Presented to Presented by Date – Occasion THE EASTERN - GREEK ORTHODOX BIBLE NEW TESTAMENT THE EASTERN / GREEK ORTHODOX BIBLE BASED ON THE SEPTUAGINT AND THE PATRIARCHAL TEXT NEW TESTAMENT ALSO KNOWN AS THE CHRISTIAN GREEK SCRIPTURES With extensive introductory and supplemental material The EOB New Testament is presented in memory of Archbishop Vsevolod of Scopelos (†2007) Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople And in honor of His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah Primate of the Orthodox Church in America ABBREVIATIONS AND CODES  Indicates words added for clarity and accuracy but which may not be in the Greek text.