Globaldoxy's Battle with Truth - Six Questions EP Supporters Can't Answer

The Truth is, the actions of the EP in Ukraine have only brought more suffering, more division, more conflict, more violence, more deconstruction of Orthodoxy.

Time? What time do you think we have?” Saruman.

I came across an article entitled, “The Russian Orthodox Church's Battle with Time: Reflections on the Patriarch of Alexandria's Recognition of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.” The article was posted on “orthodoxy in dialogue.”

The above article, of course, is supportive of the Ecumenical Patriarch's actions in Ukraine. As is consistent with most articles in such a vein, it fails to address substantial issues. For, when the issues and actions of the EP and its Frankenstein group in Ukraine are analyzed, it becomes very clear how substantially wrong they are (I have pointed this out in numerous past articles).

The reader will note how a slight revisionist history is already emerging in the EP's camp. The author claims that in the past the Alexandria Patriarch (AP) only had an issue with the self-proclaimed patriarch Philaret and not with Epiphany. It should be remembered that Philaret was one of the few within the schismatic group who could trace his “ordination” back to anything that resembled a canonical action. Of course, he was defrocked and excommunicated, so there goes validity. He is the one who “ordained” Epiphany of Apostasy. If Philaret has no credit then Epi has none also. That's just logical.

Originally the whole dialogue of “autocephaly” was started with Philaret as the main protagonist. If he is faulty then the whole thing is faulty.

Philaret revived the former “Kiev Patriarchate” because he realized the “tomos” from the EP was indeed not what he anticipated. The “tomos” conveniently made the schismatic group very dependent upon the EP. At current, Philaret has served his purpose and like most patsies they have made nice concrete shoes for him and thrown him off the pier. He was only what is called “a useful idiot.” And his usefulness ran out. I can feel the love ...

Furthermore, former President Poroshenko was also one of the main architects (with outside support) of the current schismatic group under the EP. In fact, the group only gained traction through heavy government support, which included active persecution. It is nice to see that our “liberal” friends at “orthodoxy in dialogue” and elsewhere support government-enforced churches and persecution. At least that's clear now!

As a reminder, the facts are – the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has endured heavy persecution at the hands of the EP's servants, government and religious. The EP's cronies in Ukraine use the following methods: the violent seizure of Church buildings, the beating of clergy and laity, desecration of icons and altars, death threats, labeling such as “Russian agents,” “enemies of Ukraine,” and so forth.

His Eminence, Met. Luke of Zaporozhye, who is in the eye of the storm of persecutions, testifies,  Their (that is the EP's) supporters break down the doors to our temples, cast the altars into the streets, and beat our parishioners. He then asks a very reasonable question, Are such things taught in the Gospel? Yes, supporters of the EP's actions, please tell us, are such things according to the Gospel?

Thankfully, the current President, Zelensky, has taken a neutral stance. Although, as noted above, local government officials, mostly in Western Ukraine, continue to act aggressively towards the Orthodox Church. (The perceptive reader will comprehend that the current disparaging of Ukraine in the American presstitute – aka media – is interwoven with the fact that Zelensky is trying to at least pursue courses that would be more beneficial to Ukraine. Contrast this with the former President Poroshenko who was a willing servant of the globalist agenda, part of which is the “recognition” of the schismatic group.)

Is it not telling that even the author admits that after Zelensky took office, “no new parishes have decided to change affiliation.” Wow! Remove government force and the schismatics lose momentum?! Thus, the tactic has changed from inside pressure to outside “support.” Cue Church of Greece and the AP.

The feeling of betrayal that the author notes in the midst (and elsewhere) of the Orthodox faithful in Ukraine upon hearing of the AP's sudden support for the schismatics is understandable. The author herself brings out how loquacious the AP was in his support not too long ago. His 180-degree turn does smack of betrayal. One day you are kissing someone on the check and the next you are supporting their persecutors ... It seems to qualify as betrayal.

The author drudges up some mud to sling at the Russian Church such as creating “economic pressure” on Greece through forbidding tourism to certain areas. I find this simply grasping for straws. How much economic pressure can the Russian Church really create on tourism to Greece? Really?

Yet, this is part of a false narrative which is seeking to frame the Ukrainian situation as only a turf war between the EP and MP. This is a smokescreen and not a substantial issue. Would that it were only a little scuffle between Moscow and Constantinople regarding influence. History is not ignorant of such happenings, for example, Constantinople and Alexandria in the late 300 - 400s.

The strategy is to label anyone who disagrees with the EP's actions as a “supporter of Moscow.” Oh, no! Clearly, you're a Kremlin agent if you disagree with the EP! It is very childish. The point is not Moscow vs. Constantinople. The point is what is true Christian good order in the Church? The point is, do we have a “first without equals” whose actions must simply be accepted because he has “the authority?” The point is Orthodoxy.

The “Russian threat” is just a propaganda front. (That is not to say I, or anyone else, has blind support for the MP; it is also not to say that the MP is perfect. BUT in the issue at hand, its points are logical and valid.)

The EP did not infringe upon the Russian Church, as I have pointed out before, it infringed upon the Autonomous Ukrainian Orthodox Church. It did so in a calculated and cold manner under the full support of Governmental powers from both within Ukraine and from without.

To this, the common reply comes, in what seems to be mantra form, – “but the EP has the authority to do what he did!” My dear friends, this is not a real answer. It is a phrase with no substance, other than it reflects the mindset of those who condone the EP's work. It comes down to cold authority and all must submit!

To make things a little clearer for all, I have bullet pointed some issues below (not an exhaustive list). Maybe this will also help people like Miss. Bogdonavinski (author of the article referenced at the start of this article) to address real issues.

  1. How can a universally recognized schismatic group, who is the minority, with no validity whatsoever – no apostolic succession – petition for autocephaly over against the universally recognized canonical Church in a geographical area? Since when do schismatics take precedence over Orthodox?

  2. Upon what authority can the EP invade an Autonomous Orthodox Church and disregard the canonical Hierarch; even as the Hierarch pleas for the EP to not interfere?

  3. With what authority does the EP make valid invalid “ordinations?” Almost every “clergy” member of the schismatic group lacks true Apostolic succession. They trace their “ordinations,” including Epiphany, back to a defrocked and excommunicated man, Philaret.

  4. Why does the Autonomous Ukrainian Orthodox Church have more independence than the so-called “autocephalous” group under the EP?

  5. How can EP supporters justify the fruits of the EP's group in Ukraine? I have addressed this already but to make sure it is clear, I repeat, the fruits are: violent acts, persecutions, desecration of churches and holy things, a deepening of schism in Ukraine and now throughout the Orthodox world.

  6. From whence is the “authority” of the EP to lord it over his brethren and disrupt the life of an Autonomous local Church? Please provide substantial evidence from the life of the Church, both the Scriptures and the writings of the saints. Most are now well aware of the dubious and controversial interpretation of certain canons that is used to justify such “authority.” Such an interpretation is strained at best and has been refuted by many a knowledgeable person.

The above will suffice for now. Come, let us dialogue in truth with regard to substantial issues.

For as it is, according to the “logic” of EP supporters schismatics bear more credentials than true Orthodox and they do so only upon the “authority” of the EP.

Yes, do not look at the fact that the EP has created a greater division within a national culture and throughout the Orthodox world. The actions of the EP are not healing anything whatsoever, in fact they have simply exacerbated situations. Ukraine is not healed, it is in fact in a worse state. The EP and those who are supporting him are driving a wedge of division in Ukraine for their own personal benefit, not for the benefit of the Ukrainian people whatsoever. The EP has simply carved out a group that is willing to be subservient to him. This seems to be his goal as the purported “first without equals.”

Most Ukrainians have remained in the True Ukrainian Orthodox Church, under His Beatitude, Met. Onuphry, the long-suffering. Most reasonable believing Ukrainians know when foreign powers are simply trying to make slaves of them. Of course, there have always been those in every culture and time that are willing to betray their people and faith for the sake of personal gain, such as Epiphany of Apostasy and his lackeys.

Miss. Bogdonavinski states regarding the “recognition” of the schismatic group, “This is not a reversible process, the Russian Orthodox Church is battling with time.”

Again, note the attempt to make resistance to the EP's actions a “Russian” issue (she must get cues from BBC and CNN). Now what about this phrase, battling with time?

  • I could see Herod telling St. John the Baptist, “look you're in prison and all alone. Your message is outdated. John, you are only battling with time.”
  • I imagine during the 300s when under Emperor Constantius the Arians gained the upper hand, they could have written to St. Athanasius – “you are only battling with time,” look our victory is inevitable.
  • In the 700s the Iconoclasts could have easily told the Iconophiles, behold we are winning, our policies are imperial law, “you are only battling with time.”
  • In the 1400s all the Bishops at the “council” of Florence could have told St. Mark, see we have all signed the union, we have all recognized the Pope of Rome, “you are only battling with time.”

Examples are plentiful.

Yet, the above persons upheld the Truth. And time is no match for the Truth. It may be that “time” at times swings the way of apostasy. It has in the past. If Orthodoxy just followed “time” then we would not have Orthodoxy today.

We are called not to follow “time” but Truth. Yet, the servants of the times at “orthodoxy in dialogue” and elsewhere desire that we bow our heads and submit to the “irreversible” actions of the EP. They also have a well-planned agenda as to why they want such a thing to transpire ...

Don't ask real questions. Orthodoxy must inevitably serve the “first without equals.”

The Truth is, the actions of the EP in Ukraine have only brought more suffering, more division, more conflict, more violence, more deconstruction of Orthodoxy.

Since these actions are being relentlessly justified, one can only assume that they are indeed the true goal and intent of the EP and its supporters. This is the fruit they desire to cultivate; it is not Gospel fruit.

“Unity” purchased at the price of violence and division is not true unity.

Let them serve the “times” and let us hold fast to the Traditions that have been faithfully given to us (cf. 2 Thess. 2:15). Let us stand with courage side by side in spirit with our persecuted brothers and sisters in Ukraine. Those who support and recognize the schismatics in Ukraine are only battling with the Truth.

Fr. Zechariah Lynch & his wife Natalia

Fr. Zechariah is an Orthodox priest in Pueblo, Colorado, at the Archangel Michael Orthodox Church. He blogs at The Inkless Pen, and is a regular contributor at Russian Faith.

  • Shqip
  • العربية
  • English
  • Français
  • Deutsch
  • Bahasa Indonesia
  • Italiano
  • Português
  • Русский
  • Español